Chapter 80.2


Elise’s eyes fluttered open abruptly. A sizable and warm presence rested on her chest, moving with a distinct autonomy, causing her body to quiver with a firm sensation.

“Re, Rez…”

Before Elise could utter the name in her dazed state, something coarse and velvety assailed her lips, seemingly intent on engulfing them. Breath escaped through the parting of her lips.

A different and delicate sensation spread across her tongue and the inner recesses of her mouth. The touch, offering solace to her airway while playfully teasing the inside of her lips, was simultaneously tender and urgent, affectionate yet intense.

Only after the two moist lips separated with a gentle sound did Elise manage to open her eyes. A familiar silhouette loomed above her.


Andrei’s face, gazing at her with wide eyes, dissolved like a sandcastle succumbing to the waves. In his stead, a new countenance emerged, adorned with jet-black hair, sun-kissed skin, and eyes akin to blue flames.


Elise’s awareness hadn’t completely disentangled itself from the dream. In her scrutinizing blue eyes, fractures propagated like spiderwebs, dissecting her thoroughly.

“Who else…”

The man’s eerie, almost whispered voice barely registered with Elise. Unconsciously, she extended her arm and encircled it around the man’s neck. Unaware of what had just transpired between her and Rezette, she closed her eyes again.

She desired a little more sleep. Just a bit more.

So that she could continue to see her brother even in her dreams.


Elise inhaled the fragrance carried by the breeze, a blend of the noon sun and the lush aroma of the surrounding greenery. The exploration party, having set out in the late morning, had just arrived at the mouth of the Tene River. Elise surveyed the unfamiliar surroundings.

The sun, gently descending to the west, bathed the blessed land in even illumination. To the left, a vast river sparkled brilliantly in the sunlight, while to the right, a verdant expanse extended to the horizon.

Guided by Rotiara’s owner himself, the survey party moved leisurely along the riverbank. The procession was modest – four knights, including Ruben and Isaac, and four attendants of various roles, such as Sobeul, Ivetsa, and Freya, totaling thirteen.

Among them, Elise stood out as the sole member without an escort. Of course, the narrative would change if the alternate term for a bodyguard knight was a husband. Additionally, Elise lacked the luxury of setting her own pace. This too would be different if not for the fact that the steed, the soulmate of the man serving as both her husband and guardian, followed her more obediently than its own master.

“Gumdoong-ah, take it slow…!”

Elise held the reins firmly, the ebony steed, thrilled by the long-awaited excursion, prancing with exuberance. The effort required to rein in the steed was formidable.

“Let’s go at a leisurely pace. If you rush ahead, others won’t be able to keep up,” Elise implored.

“Elise, this creature doesn’t respond to words. Please, hand it over to me now…” A dissatisfied voice reached Elise’s ears, contrasting with her composed words.

Ignoring the voice encircling her waist from behind, Elise tenderly caressed the mane. “If you behave well, we can play together tonight, okay?”

The gentle touch seemed to soothe the ebony steed, and only then did Elise’s forehead relax.

“Easy… Yes, good boy. Thank you.”

She murmured as if to herself, adjusting the reins. “Indeed, animals are better than people.”


“If you tell it to stop, it stops. If you ask it to go slowly, it slows down. It doesn’t act recklessly or cause trouble for people.

Elise didn’t spare him a single glance, yet Rezette couldn’t shake the suspicion that her playful banter was aimed at him.

“…So, you’re planning to spend time with this fellow tonight. Is that what you’re saying?”

Elise nodded. “It’s a promise. Even if I can’t fulfill all of it, I’ll manage some. I’ll be the one to feed Gumdoong-ah his dinner.”

“Why bother?” Rezette inquired.

“Well, just because.”

“…If you say so.” Rezette reluctantly agreed. The ebony steed neighed happily, as if comprehending their conversation.

Where had the spirited and unruly steed, once prone to fits at the mere touch of a saddle, disappeared to? Even when he, the current owner, had to break its wild streak, it had remained an untamable beast until subdued by magic. Did it recognize beauty even in its own way?

What bothered him even more was Elise. The stubbornly unturned back of her head appeared unusually resolute today.

“Elise,” he called.

“Yes?” she answered.

“You’re not sulking, are you?”

“Why would I be?”

“Because of this morning.”

Elise openly snorted.

Her menstrual cycle had concluded two days ago. Rezette had maintained his distance, refraining from any physical contact even after it had completely ended. She believed the man who endured just a day had likely lost interest by now, but that was a misconception. The man who patiently waited for a day had immersed himself with Elise even before sunrise today.

As a result, they departed late. Consequently, her waist now ached, and due to that, the determined Elise didn’t even turn to look at Rezette.



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