Chapter 27.1

Upon encountering Hazel, Elena found herself acutely aware of her standing, as Hazel unabashedly radiated animosity. No matter the opulence of Elena’s attire, Hazel exuded an arrogance and self-assurance that stood in stark contrast to Elena’s demeanor.

The haughtiness inherent in those who’ve been privileged since birth clashed with Elena’s nature. With a lowered head, she observed as Hazel’s dress skirt gracefully brushed past her, intending to retreat to her room in a manner devoid of confrontation. This encounter served as a sobering reminder for Elena to tread more carefully during her strolls in the future.

As Hazel’s dress skirt faded from sight, Elena released a sigh of relief and gradually lifted her gaze. Suddenly, an exclamation escaped her lips as the wind forcefully seized her arm, causing her body to sway. A sharp pain akin to a knife’s thrust shot through her still-recovering arm and shoulder.

“Miss Elena!” Cura, who had been observing from a distance, hurriedly approached in surprise. Elena, grappling with the pain, found no opportunity to respond. Her vision blurred, and cold sweat emerged in an instant.

Through the haze, her sleeve slipped down, revealing the arm enveloped in bandages, down to the exposed hand. Gasping for breath, Elena turned to identify the person who had caught her arm.

Hazel clutched Elena’s wrist tightly, examining her with a scrutinizing gaze that furrowed her brow in contemplation. As Carmen called out to Hazel and approached, she was taken aback upon witnessing Elena’s arm firmly held by Hazel, revealing new wounds on the palm and back of the hand that were not concealed by bandages.

However, the visible injuries were just the tip of the iceberg. Among them were freshly healed wounds marked by reddish scars, old scars that had darkened over time, and calluses on the fingertips, all telling a tale of past struggles.

“Who are you?” Hazel demanded, her voice sharp and unwavering.

“Miss Hazel, please release her arm. Miss Elena is still recovering from severe injuries,” Cura pleaded urgently, mirroring the concern etched across Elena’s face. Despite Cura’s plea, Hazel remained unyielding, maintaining her firm grip on Elena’s wrist.

“How audacious. Where do you think you’re placing your hands?” Hazel retorted with a stern glare, directing her piercing gaze first at Cura and then at Elena.

Startled, Cura momentarily stepped back, but quickly regained her composure and firmly grasped Hazel’s arm. “Let go. Miss Elena’s injuries will only worsen.”

In a swift motion, Carmen intervened, twisting Cura’s arm and separating her from Hazel. Carmen then pushed Cura towards the corridor wall, where she held her arms behind her back to prevent any further interference.

“You call her Miss Elena? Looking at her condition, she seems more like a commoner or a slave, and you even bring a servant girl around. On top of that, why is she wearing such an expensive dress?”

Hazel, with a fierce expression, jabbed a finger at Elena.

“That’s…,” Elena wanted to respond but couldn’t articulate her thoughts properly. The pain in her arm, shoulder, and back was so intense that she bit her lower lip to avoid screaming.

Struggling to cling to her fading consciousness, Elena summoned every ounce of strength within her. Beads of cold sweat, a testament to her exertion, traced a path down her forehead and meandered along her temples.

“Are you perhaps a slave? Does His Highness have a hobby of acquiring such things?” Hazel’s voice dripped with unbridled contempt, resonating through the corridor.

“What are you doing?”

A commanding voice sliced through the tension, echoing loudly. The steady cadence of approaching footsteps accompanied the arrival of Serin, who swiftly intervened, creating a physical barrier between Elena and Hazel.

Supporting Elena just before she teetered on the edge of losing balance, Serin fixed a stern gaze upon her. “Are you okay?” he inquired, concern etched in his voice.

Despite the throbbing pain in Elena’s arm and shoulder from Hazel’s relentless grip, she managed a nod.

“Let go of that hand.” Serin, firmly holding Cura’s arm, shot a piercing glare at Carmen, whose determination shone through even though she seemed poised for action.

Elena sensed the anger coursing through Serin’s body, a stark contrast to her own trembling from pain. It was understandable; Cura was Serin’s younger sister. Despite the constant scolding, Serin’s eyes consistently reflected deep affection for Cura.

Carmen, stealing a glance at Hazel, hesitated but continued to restrain Cura’s arm without making any additional movements. It became apparent that Hazel’s instructions were paramount for Carmen to release her hold on Cura.

“Miss Hazel, what’s going on?” Serin’s voice broke through the tension, assisting Elena to her feet.

“Miss Hazel was just trying to confirm the identity because it seemed like this woman was wearing inappropriate clothes for her status,” Carmen interjected, responding on behalf of Hazel, who continued to regard Elena with suspicion.

“Why should we confirm the status of the people in this castle? Everyone here belongs to the Duke,” Serin retorted.



not work with dark mode