Chapter 87.2

Barnon Conrad. The first time Rezette encountered that name was likely amidst Elise’s menstruation. As Rezette dryly reflected on the past few days, a span of about four days when physical contact with Elise was prohibited brought forth significant changes for him.

Elise, engrossed in her own festivities, may not have been cognizant of these shifts. Rezette, however, paid meticulous attention to every nuance surrounding her, even delving into the indistinct murmurs escaping her lips during sleep.

Observing Elise’s actions and the gradual awakening of her senses proved generally satisfactory. Except for the request to explore beyond the confines of the bedroom, she exhibited no inclination to venture outside. Aside from Rezette and the lone maid, and Rebecca Petisson, who accompanied her, interactions were limited to Alfred and Sobeul within the castle. Whereas in the past, she frequented the second-floor office, even during the revelry, such visits seemed conspicuously absent from her agenda.

Occasionally, when Rezette shifted his gaze with contemplative eyes, she responded with a quick smile. This behavior was more prevalent during the day—yes, during daylight hours, she exhibited such mannerisms.

However, the challenge lay in unconscious.

It was an impervious territory, resistant to his most concerted efforts to penetrate. In that realm, Elise beheld faces unknown to Rezette. Despite his ability to harness the boundless magical power emanating from her like water and fire, it remained accessible only during those fleeting moments.

At nightfall, Elise delved into dreams, shed tears, and uttered the name of someone unknown to Rezette. For a dragon, unbound by human physiological constraints, sleep held no particular significance. This fortunate circumstance allowed Rezette to observe Elise night after night.

Through these nocturnal observations, he gleaned valuable insights. Notably, a substantial surge of magical power emanated from her during her dreams. Over time, Elise became more deeply immersed in her dreams, forsaking tears for a profound connection with her subconscious. It was during these episodes that a new name escaped her lips.


She, who once murmured only the name of Emperor Argan sporadically, spoke a different name for the first time. It was a singular occurrence, but the tremor in her voice, the articulation of the unfamiliar name, the resonance, and the delicate longing that emanated were so profound that it bordered on discomfort.

As Elise whispered her brother’s name and began to slip back into deep unconsciousness, Rezette decisively pulled her up from the bed. ‘Andrei’ would make more sense; after all, he is her blood relative. Why, then, did she passionately call out a name clearly belonging to another man in her dreams? Especially while lying in his bed, being embraced by him? It was unbelievable. Rezette’s tolerance for another man’s name escaping his woman’s lips was not plenty enough.

After glancing at his own reflection in the dim golden light, he swallowed as if trying to grasp the breath that had just left her lips. The momentary discomfort subsided, but the name Barnon continued to gnaw at Rezette’s patience, persistently resurfacing in his mind.

“Even if I were to ask you, I wouldn’t receive a favorable response, so I investigated on my own. Barnon—whose name is it?” he said. “It belonged to Duke Conrad. The head of one of the two families supporting Argan.”

The woman cradled in his arms trembled like a frightened bird, yet her protesting voice remained resolute.

“I must have had an old dream. I don’t remember. Why do you have to use that as a reason to accuse me?”

“Do not attempt to deceive me with lies. I’m not asking out of ignorance.”

Elise’s shoulders visibly tensed under the stern tone. Regardless of whether the individual named Barnon belonged to the Van Yela lineage or not, Rezette would have felt equally repulsed. Furthermore, discovering that he was affiliated with Argan only added to his disdain.

The surge of anger directed at the illusion was far from pleasant. While the daily spectacle of Elise writhing and shaking beneath him provided a measure of satisfaction, there lingered an unsettling residue that occasionally grated on him like leftover scraps.

It almost felt like divine intervention that the very perpetrator had fallen into his hands.

“I was genuinely curious about his face. Why search for it even in dreams?”


“What kind of memories did you share that prompted you to throw yourself into the river, abandon yourself, and go to such lengths as taking the body of a man, even when you couldn’t bear to take off your clothes.”

It took mere seconds for the man, who spent a considerable part of his day observing Elise, to detect the slightest hint of discomfort emanating from her. Without delay, he began scouring the farmhouse for Southerners.

The glances exchanged among the Argan people, who sensed that their identity had been laid bare before the Duke, underwent a palpable shift. The princess, a source of pride and hope for all of the Argan people, being insulted by the Duke ignited a collective fury among them.

“You, a dragon, dare to insult the Princess!”

“Silence!” Ruben delivered a ruthless kick, accompanied by a spine-shuddering impact. The young man, with both hands bound behind his back, cringed fiercely. “Unless you wish to face immediate decapitation, maintain your silence and await disposal.”

“If we feared death, we wouldn’t have come this far. Spare the princess the disgrace and end us now!”

“My lord, perhaps making an example of one of them would be prudent. What do you think?”

The exchange teetered on the brink of a potential bloodbath. Elise tightly shut her eyes in the face of impending doom, grappling with the pressing question of what action to take.

What should I do?

She couldn’t afford to do nothing, yet no words of defense presented themselves. Even if Rezette were aware of Barnon’s name, she could have insisted they were strangers, but even that seemed futile.

“If you intend to kill, Duke, do so now.”

While Elise was still grappling with indecision, Barnon’s eyes snapped open, fixing a direct and defiant gaze on Rezette.



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