Chapter 25.2

“Just a while ago, I heard about it too. The Emperor has arranged a marriage for him,” Leto commented, casually stroking his chest-length beard. “I don’t think he was thrilled about the idea.”

“Nevertheless, if it’s a command from His Majesty, the duke has little choice but to comply. Besides, if she’s a duchess, there’s no reason he shouldn’t,” Cura added.

Leto, shrugging his shoulders, continued, “He’s the second-highest-ranking individual in Baruchella after the King. So, whether she’s a duchess or not, he should comply. However, he has never shown any interest in women, let alone marriage,” he trailed off, casting a brief glance at Elena. Both Cura and Leto noticed, exchanging glances and pursing their lips.

Despite sensing their scrutiny, Elena kept her gaze fixed on her teacup. She presumed she understood their thoughts, but it seemed impossible. She was an unidentified and unremembered person.

Her very name eluded her, bestowed upon her by Kennard. The desire to reclaim lost memories battled with a deep-seated fear of what revelations her past life might unfold.

In the sanctuary of the castle, she thought she could endure her state of amnesia indefinitely. The notion of remaining within these walls seemed secure, as long as the shadows of her past remained concealed.

Yet, a haunting uncertainty lingered – what if her rediscovered memories unveiled a life of escape and imprisonment, a fugitive or a slave in her previous existence? The recollection of the White Fox Tribe, assailants in the woods who seemed to recognize her, reinforced the conviction that her history was far from ordinary. Their actions and attempts to drag her away hinted at a tumultuous past.

The relentless question echoed within her, ‘Who the hell is she?’

Each time her thoughts ventured to that abyss, breathing became an arduous task for Elena. The prospect of Kennard marrying someone else at this juncture sparked a fear of eviction. No, how could anyone throw her out? She could persist here as a humble servant, perhaps a maid, and carve a space that befits the life she’s lived.

It resonated as a more fitting option.

“Elena, you don’t appear well. Would you like to lie down?” Cura inquired, scrutinizing Elena’s complexion with genuine concern. Elena nodded wearily. A pervasive fatigue enveloped her entire being.

Cura gently placed her arm around Elena’s shoulders, aiding her in reclining on the bed. Despite her careful demeanor to avoid causing discomfort to the scarred shoulder, a sharp throb shot through Elena as it made contact with the mattress.

“Did you mention that Cura stays in the outbuilding behind the castle?” Elena inquired, observing Cura tuck the sheets around her.

“Yes. The maids and servants have their quarters in the outbuildings.”

Elena hesitated before voicing her thoughts, “Do you think I… could move there?”

“What?” Cura’s surprise was evident, her voice unintentionally rising before she coughed, embarrassed by the sudden outburst.

“I mean, I don’t know if I deserve the treatment I’m receiving here,” Elena explained.

Leto, who had been silently observing, interjected with a sigh. “Didn’t I advise you earlier? Don’t cause any more trouble for His Majesty. Avoid stirring the pot, and remain still.”


“If a move is necessary, let him make the decision. He is not known for his mercy, so accept it with gratitude,” Leto asserted, cutting off Elena’s protests.

Then, he gave his thigh a reassuring pat as he stood up from his chair. “Cura, I’m heading to my room for some rest. Call me if anything comes up,” he instructed.


As Leto left the bedroom, Elena’s gaze drifted upward, fixating on the ceiling. A sheer cloth extended from the bed’s canopy to the floor, tracing the four corners. Though thin enough to see through, the atmosphere felt unusually stifling that day.

“Don’t dwell on anything right now. Just rest. Make yourself as comfortable as possible, eat well, and get plenty of sleep. It’ll speed up your recovery,” Cura advised.

“Yeah,” Elena responded out of habit, closing her eyes. Seconds later, she reopened them, looking at Cura.

“Cura, have you seen the lady who is His Majesty’s fiancée?”

Cura paused from arranging teacups on the table, meeting Elena’s gaze.

“No, I only caught a glimpse of the servants who were following her from a distance.”

“I see.”

Cura completed the arrangement of teacups on the tray, carefully placing them alongside the soup bowls, and then approached the bedside.

“Elena, if sleep eludes you, would you like to hear a story?” she offered.

“A story?”


Elena nodded, and Cura fetched a chair, situating herself beside the bed. Lowering her voice to a gentle murmur, reminiscent of someone reading a bedtime tale to a child, Cura began to speak.

“The wolves believe that when they encounter their destined mate, a profound imprint forms between them at that very moment.”




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