Chapter 20.2

“Elena, are you awake?”

The voice calling her roused Elena, who struggled to open her eyes with considerable effort. Her heavy eyelids gradually lifted, revealing a girl with jet-black hair parted in the middle and freckles gracing her nose and cheeks as she peered down at Elena.

“C… Cu…”

Her lips moved, and a hoarse, strained voice barely escaped.

“Yes, that’s right. Do you recognize me now?”

In the eyes that had previously held deep concern, a glint of relief finally emerged. Elena tried to turn her head to survey her surroundings, but her body refused to cooperate. Even the slightest movement sent waves of pain coursing through her, prompting Elena to grimace and emit a pained groan.

“It’s your bedroom,” someone interjected in their conversation, bending down towards Elena. The man had hair and a beard that had turned a pristine white, extending down to his chest – none other than Leto, Kennard’s personal physician.


Upon recognizing him, Leto, much like Cura, breathed a sigh of relief and expressed his own sense of relief. “Thankfully, it seems you haven’t lost your memory this time. Do any memories from before this come to mind?”

Elena commenced recalling the events that had unfolded, from her initial awakening in this place, marked by injuries, to the White Fox Tribe’s attack in the forest, all the way to the night when Kennard had come to her rescue. However, the memories preceding her memory loss still eluded her.

“No, I still can’t remember anything from before losing my memory.”

“I see. By the way, why do you keep ending up in such a battered state? Once again, His Highness brought you back covered in blood,” Leto mused, reclining in the chair beside the bedside as he shook his head. “Well, at least it’s fortunate that your injuries aren’t too severe, and you’ve managed to retain consciousness.”

Cura moistened a small cloth and delicately dabbed Elena’s parched lips. Her lips absorbed the moisture like a thirsty desert, instantly regaining their moisture, carrying with it the rich aroma of herbs.

“Lord Serin provided us with herbs from Erbejo,” she shared. “We applied them to your injuries.”

Instead of nodding, Elena blinked slowly.

“How long have I been like this?” she inquired.

“You were unconscious for three days,” Leto replied, stirring the tea. “Thanks to that, my vacation has come to an end.”

“Once Elena’s treatment is completed, you can return home and rest,” Cura remarked before turning her attention back to Elena. “Teacher doesn’t reside in the castle; he has his own home in the village.”

“Cura, you should visit our village sometime, and you’ll understand why I feel this way. There’s a hot spring in the forest behind the village. When you soak in it, it’s like paradise.” Leto chuckled heartily as he touched his beard.

“You’re remarkably carefree for a Duke’s personal physician,” Cura muttered.

“I suppose there’s little for His Highness to fret about after the war’s end. Who else could be as robust and resilient as him?”

“In recent days, the White Fox Tribe has been encroaching upon the Terra Demorte forest. Elena was attacked by those rascals.”

“But His Highness remains unscathed. There’s no way he’d be harmed by such small fries.”

“Oh, please!” Cura narrowed her eyes at Leto, then burst into laughter, as though she found it hard to believe.

“Well, whatever happens, if His Highness summons me, I’ll be there in an instant, so don’t fret. Nevertheless, it’s best if I’m never needed.”

“That’s true.” This time, Cura nodded in agreement with Leto’s words. “Where is the Duke, His Highness, anyway?”

Elena, who had been quietly eavesdropping on their conversation, shifted her gaze to take in her surroundings. She harbored a fleeting hope, but no matter how she scanned the room, it appeared to be just the two of them, with no sign of Kennard.

His distinct pheromones were also notably absent. Why had Kennard left her alone in that forest that fateful day? Where had he vanished for such an extended period? How had the White Fox tribe become aware of her existence, and what had motivated their attempt to end her life? As her thoughts spiraled, her mind grew increasingly convoluted, offering no answers.

“Cura,” she called.

“Yes, Elena. What can I do for you?” Cura inquired.

“No, it’s not that… What about the Duke?”

Cura, who had been engaged in casual conversation until now, fell silent and turned her attention to Leto.



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