As the physician continued explaining, Ivetsa’s complexion grew even paler. The realization that Elise’s pregnancy was nothing but a complete fabrication weighed heavily on her, and the terrible ordeals she would have to endure if she were truly expecting. Ivetsa found herself unable to determine which of these terrifying prospects she should fear more.
After contemplating for a while, Elise directed her question to the physician, her mind filled with concern. “So, when you mentioned being cautious during intercourse with a dragon, what exactly should I avoid?”
“There are specific periods that you absolutely must steer clear of,” the physician responded. “It is during those times that the dragon’s madness emerges. The timing varies for each individual, and only the person themselves truly knows.”
“What exactly happens during that time?” Elise inquired, her voice tinged with anxiety.
“The wrath of the Great Dragon Sameshita is fully unleashed upon humans. It entails indiscriminate slaughter and even violation. No one, regardless of their gender, is exempt from the peril once they come within its reach.”
“The Duke’s frequent expeditions are likely connected to that very reason,” the words echoed with a chilling effect. Freya, delivering the explanation without even pausing for breath, finally took a moment to catch hers.
“Essentially, dragons are driven by their desires. It is known that they exhibit intense persistence during sexual encounters, likely an instinct to propagate and increase their numbers. Frankly, I can’t fathom how Her Highness, the Princess, manages to endure it with her delicate constitution… I would much prefer her safety above all else.”
“But that’s impossible, of course…!” Ivetsa’s complexion turned even paler, teetering on the edge of fainting. She gazed at Elise, who had regained her composure, as if unable to comprehend her actions.
“How could you engage in such a horrendous affair without risking your life?”
After a brief contemplation, Elise posed an unconventional question that left Freya and Ivetsa unsettled.
“But it’s not entirely impossible, is it?” she inquired.
“Pardon?” Freya responded, confused.
“I mean, from a physical standpoint,” Elise clarified.
“Yes…?” Freya replied, her curiosity piqued.
Elise’s ears turned red, but she pushed aside any concerns about her dignity, focusing solely on her inquiry.
“Well, since I won’t die anyway, I wonder if it’s feasible beforehand. I have a rough understanding of the process… but I’m unsure if it’s accurate…”
Silence hung in the air as everyone absorbed Elise’s words. She continued earnestly, her voice gradually growing quieter.
“Of course, I realize it would be quite painful. However, my curiosity lies not in the extent of the pain but rather the possibility.”
Elise’s hesitant tone conveyed her reluctance to discuss such matters. Freya cautiously responded. “Well, no, I suppose… If His Grace takes proper precautions, it shouldn’t be an impossibility.”
“In that case, during such encounters, does he experience any pain or encounter difficulties?” Elise inquired. “It would be helpful to know in advance, so I can exercise caution.”
“If His Grace takes special care… Well, Your Highness, when men and women engage in intimate relations, it is not always necessary to endure pain if there is consideration and mutual respect. Pleasure can be attained when both parties care for each other…”
“Is that so?” Elise blinked, her eyes filled with an unusual expression, before finally smiling faintly.
“But it’s not something I desire in my current position.”
“No, Your Highness, that’s not what I meant…!” Ivetsa exclaimed, clapping her hands in exasperation. Elise shrugged lightly.
“The Duke rejected me, stating that he didn’t want to bring violence even into the bedroom. I already knew that, so it’s fine.”
Silence fell at Elise’s response, leaving both Ivetsa and Freya unable to conceal their thoughts that the princess lacked a crucial understanding.
On the other hand, Elise had finally resolved the doubts that had plagued her for days. She looked down at her hands clasped on her knees, contemplating silently for a while before finally allowing a relieved smile to grace her face.
“Alright, I understand, at least for now. I will take my leave for today.”
Once the physician had departed, Elise proceeded to cleanse her body with the assistance of Ivetsa and a maid. Following that, she had a modest dinner.
Ivetsa maintained her silence until Elise had finished arranging her bedding. Sensing Elise’s deliberate avoidance of conversation, Ivetsa decided to respect her wish and left her alone.
Given that Elise had married the Duke under the pretext of a nonexistent pregnancy, Ivetsa understood that society would likely perceive her as a concubine. It was wearisome to constantly worry about how the maid regarded her. Elise weakly motioned for Ivetsa’s attention.
“You may rest now. I wish to be alone.”
“Yes, Your Highness. If you require anything, simply pull the cord.”
Ivetsa casually draped a shawl over Elise. Then, after a brief moment of hesitation, she gathered her courage and spoke with determination.
“Today, Your Highness, I haven’t heard anything.”
“Therefore, I won’t say anything either. Everything I witnessed and learned today will remain known only when you grant me permission to speak of it.”
Elise lifted her gaze, her eyes distant as she locked her gaze with Ivetsa.
“…Are you truly willing to keep this secret?”