Chapter 28.1

Despite experiencing Carmen’s oppression, Cura prioritized expressing concern for Elena rather than delving into her own ordeal. Elena, feeling a mix of sorrow and gratitude towards Cura, refrained from speaking for the time being. She closed her eyes, contemplating the recent events.

“Thanks to Serin, he intervened just in time. I really thought something bad was going to happen,” Cura shared with a sense of relief.

“Serin? Why did he come?” Leto inquired, surprised. “He usually complains so much about Elena.”

“That’s true. But in that situation, he stopped everything and even yelled at Hazel to stop,” Cura explained.

“Interesting turn of events.”

“But the Duke just left.”

“The Duke?”

“Yes. Don’t you think there’s something going on with His Highness and Serin?”

“Hmm. Anyway, let’s focus on treatment for now.”

As they both climbed onto the beds, the furniture shook slightly. Leto, re-examining the wounds, felt rough and wrinkled hands touch Elena’s exposed shoulder.

“It’s going to sting a lot,” Leto warned, and without delay, he applied a treatment to Elena’s wound.

“Ahh!” Elena screamed, not just from the burning sensation but also from the unbearable pain, as if her flesh was melting.

Cura firmly pressed down on Elena’s opposite shoulder and back, preventing any writhing. Despite letting out a short scream, Elena gritted her teeth together, suppressing her voice. Enduring the pain, she clenched the bedsheet tightly with her fingers. Her entire body turned red, veins seeming to burst, and bluish streaks stood out vividly on her pale skin.

Elena’s vision blurred, and cold sweat streamed down, dampening the pillow and sheets. She lost any sense of how the wounds were being treated. Even the sound of something rustling from behind and Leto and Cura having a conversation didn’t register properly in her ears. Vaguely, she noticed the application of herbs to the wound and the careful wrapping of bandages around her shoulders and armpits.

“It’s all over,” Leto declared as both he and Cura descended from the bed, wiping their foreheads with the back of their hands. They poured water into a wide bowl, washed their hands, dried them on a cloth, and tidied up the items they had taken out on the table, putting them back into the bag. In the midst of this, Leto, who had been glancing at Elena, stopped his hands.

“I’ll make you tea that helps with sleep. Drink it and get some rest. Don’t think too much about everything.”

Although there was no immediate need for sleep-inducing tea, Elena closed her eyes as if fainting, not even nodding her head. Tears flowed silently from her eyes, tracing down her cheeks.


Seated on the sofa in front of the fireplace, Elena gazed blankly at the flickering firelight, despite being wrapped in a woolen shawl. A chill enveloped her as Leto entered the room and noticed her.

“You’re awake again?” Leto approached. “You really don’t listen, don’t you?”

“I felt like if I kept lying down, I would lose sensation in my back,” Elena explained.

“Just change your position from time to time,” Leto advised, pulling a chair next to her and sitting down, licking his lips. “The many old scars on you are also a result of your stubbornness.”

“My stubbornness?” Elena questioned.

“When you get hurt, you should be careful until you heal, but you don’t act like that. You keep moving, never resting your body. That’s why your wounds last longer, and the scars become darker.”

“Is that so?” Elena stretched her smile, lips curving long.

“If you’re going to smile like someone who has seen everything in the world, it’s better to stay expressionless,” Leto remarked.

Despite feeling embarrassed, Elena forced herself to smile more. Her body seemed to sink into the floor, and her energy didn’t return.

Persisting in a somber mood, she kept the curtains drawn even during midday, harboring a disdain for the hazy sky. The thick curtains perfectly blocked both sunlight and moonlight, creating an environment where she had lost track of whether it was day or night after spending several days in the darkened room.

The idea of venturing out to the terrace to alleviate the stifling feeling crossed her mind, but the fear that Hazel might catch sight of her involuntarily made her shrink back. The intense and painful encounter had left a significant impact on her. Above all, what distressed Elena the most was that Kennard hadn’t visited even once during all this time.

“Teacher is staying in the village, right?” Elena asked, her gaze fixed on the fireplace flames.

Similarly staring at the flames, Leto turned to Elena. “Yeah. Since coming to Terra Demorte with the Lord, I’ve been staying in the village.”

“What kind of place is the village?”

“What kind of place? That’s too broad a question. What are you curious about?”

“How are the people, what’s in the village… Just anything.”

“Hmm.” Leaning back on the chair’s backrest, Leto stretched his upper body. “People live the same everywhere. They farm, trade, eat, drink, sleep, and wake up.”

Elena remained silent, prompting Leto to sigh before continuing.

“Terra Demorte is situated in a snowy region, and it has been that way for a long time. Even farming has its limits due to the harsh conditions. If someone wants to farm, they have to head quite far south, where potatoes apparently grow well. The White Fox tribe has benefited from this situation, thanks to the diamond mines.”



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