Chapter 4.2

She woke up several times.

Each time, her surroundings remained unchanged, and her physical condition showed little variation. Cura was a constant presence by her side, patiently waiting. Upon Elena’s awakening, Cura would assess her wounds and inquire about her well-being. She’d softly hum and gently pat Elena’s shoulder while tending to her injuries, lulling Elena back into a deep slumber.

Elena curled up as the warmth from the fireplace seemed to wane, replaced by a chilling cold that seeped in, in stark contrast to the sensation on her body. Unlike the frigid feeling on her skin, the oppressive air seemed to bear down on her.

She could only manage a groan, unable to articulate her pain. Whether it was her limited ability to move her body or the restless tossing and turning during sleep, the fur covering her gradually slipped down, exposing her shoulders.

Why did sleep engulf her so thoroughly?

She lacked the strength even to lift her eyelids, let alone muster the energy to pull the fur back up.

“Cura.” Elena struggled to call out, her trembling lips barely able to form the words, yet there was no response.

It’s so cold.

As she huddled her body, pain contorted her face involuntarily.

Elena heard an irritated sigh as she lay in her drowsy state, and she couldn’t help but wonder who it was.

Despite her curiosity, opening her eyes proved to be a formidable challenge. Then, an unfamiliar yet strangely familiar scent enveloped her. It wasn’t just the scent; she sensed that something sizable lay beside her.

What is this? Who is it?

She defensively huddled her body, but she couldn’t even muster the strength to move a finger.

Suddenly, an overwhelming fear washed over Elena. The one responsible for her current state might have returned, intending to harm her. Otherwise, she couldn’t explain the cold, piercing gaze she felt.

She struggled to make a sound, twisting her body and exerting all her effort, but it was in vain. It felt as though her voice and body had been immobilized, rendering her utterly powerless.

Fear coursed through her, causing her blood to run cold and cold sweat to form. However, something unexpected occurred. The unknown presence gently lifted the fur up to just below Elena’s face.

Moreover, something soft and long-haired enfolded her, radiating a warmth several times more comforting than the heat from the fireplace and the fur covering her body. In stark contrast to the initial cold and sharp sensation she experienced, the warmth radiating from her unnamed visitor was remarkably gentle and reassuring.

Close to her face, Elena could discern the steady rhythm of a heartbeat. As this comforting sensation enveloped her, her earlier fear dissolved, and she began to drift into a profound slumber.

Elena lightly traced her fingertips over the long, velvety fur, tilting her head toward her own body.

“Stop squirming,” a low, gruff voice admonished, descending upon Elena’s face.

Despite the gruff words, the long, plush fur was draped even more securely over her.

Elena felt as though she were in a waking dream, her eyes remaining closed yet her senses keenly aware of everything around her. The cold no longer troubled her; instead, her heart brimmed with warmth and comfort.

Unbeknownst to her, someone gazed down at Elena with a puzzled expression as she drifted once more into a deep and peaceful slumber, her lips stretched wide in a contented smile.


Elena lay on her side, clutching a substantial cushion that enveloped her like protective walls. A circle of cushions surrounded her head and body, forming a comforting barrier against the world outside. The fireplace crackled with the continuous burning of firewood, its warm ambiance a contrast to the room’s stillness.

Cura’s quiet yet diligent movements in the room generated subtle sounds, a soothing background to Elena’s contemplation. Elena turned her gaze downward, scrutinizing her own hands. Her skin appeared ghostly pale, so translucent that the veins were visible, and her knuckles jutted prominently.

From her forearms down to her wrists and palms, herbs had been applied and tightly encased in bandages. The areas left uncovered were marked only by scars and wounds, some fresh and others bearing the testimony of time. Observing her condition, it seemed incongruous that she should be receiving such lavish care in this place.

Elena’s bewilderment deepened regarding why Kennard would extend such kindness to her. Lost in her thoughts, she found herself idly stroking the soft fur that had enveloped her since her return to consciousness. The short, plush fur caressed her fingertips, which had stiffened over time.

Then, a sudden realization struck her, and she urgently raised her head, managing to lift it slightly from the pillow.


“Yes, Lady Elena.” Cura, having just added logs to the fireplace, approached with her hands wiped clean on her apron.

“Why do you ask? Is there something bothering you?” Cura inquired.

“No, it’s not that. Did you use something else to cover me last night, in addition to this?” Elena asked.

In response to her question, Cura arched an eyebrow.



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