Chapter 92.2

Elise had been incorporating this blend into her routine for the past month, partaking in the herbal remedies every three or four days. These potions, crafted to alleviate physical fatigue, were complemented by the inhalation of Mangjonghwa and other herbs, guiding her into a dreamless and restful slumber.

Despite the minuscule amount of powdered Mangjonghwa added to the mixture, Freya couldn’t suppress a moment of hesitation. She issued a caution, “Excessive sleep is strictly prohibited. Ensure you do not exceed two hours.”

Acknowledging the warning, Elise responded, “Yes, I understand.”

In truth, Mangjonghwa was entirely unsuitable for the princess’s constitution. Not just Mangjonghwa, but any herb with a sedative effect posed a risk. A slight misjudgment in consumption could lead to irreversible consequences—never waking up again. The gravity of this knowledge weighed heavily on the princess herself.

In a clandestine directive to Freya, she had commanded, “Do not disclose this to the Grand Duke. Prescribe a sleep potion for me. Emphasize its ability to induce sleep without dreams.” This request, grounded in the princess’s unique needs, was beyond the realm of logical comprehension for Freya as a doctor.

Internally grappling with the acceptance of such perilous herbs, Freya’s thoughts raced. Meanwhile, Ivetsa moved swiftly to pour water into the teapot, met with no objection from the Grand Duke. His silent approval hinted at an acknowledgment of the efficacy of making the princess sleep as if she were dead.

Elise leisurely drained the teacup, savoring the rich hue of the brewed tea. Gradually, a profound drowsiness draped over her, pulling her into its soothing embrace. The Grand Duke, attuned to the signs, gently scooped her up into his arms. Tenderly placing the languid Elise onto the bed, he bestowed a light kiss upon her forehead.

“I’ll come to wake you up,” he assured, his words met with a languid nod from Elise as she closed her eyes.

As his wife succumbed to a brief, restful slumber, Rezette descended to his office to attend to his duties. It marked the rare moments, once every three days, when he briefly left her side. In that interval, an opportunity unfolded for Elise.

With the Grand Duke’s departure, a tranquil hush enveloped the bedroom. Downstairs, the routine of daily responsibilities engaged Rezette’s attention.

In the midst of this quietude, a white dove gracefully glided through the window of Ivetsa’s room on the floor below. The dove alighted on the window frame of Elise’s bedroom, its gentle coos echoing through the space as it meticulously selected pristine white feathers.

The canopy unfurled in a delicate dance.

Elise’s eyes, previously veiled by the weight of drowsiness, now sparkled with relief and joy. Hastening toward the window, she extended her hand, and the dove alighted with nimble grace upon her fingers.

“Hello,” she whispered softly, her touch caressing the bird’s soft, ivory feathers. “Thank you for coming safely today too.”


The first time Elise dreamed was on the night she returned from the Tene River to the castle.

The nuances of her magical abilities, still in a state of flux, rendered direct communication with her twin brother a challenge. Instead, she found herself immersed in Andrei’s monologues, resonating in the dim light like distant echoes.

Despite the limitation of their connection, Andrei, attuned to his sister’s presence, swiftly detected her silent visits. “I knew you could do it. You said you could do a lot, Elise!” he exclaimed with palpable joy during their brief reunions.

Yet, the moments of shared happiness were fleeting. Andrei efficiently relayed crucial information to his unseen sister.

“The Ugel savages are still hunting for you. Your discovery could lure me out, and their ultimate aim is to unveil the magic concealed in our castle’s church catacombs. Hence, the first location we must reclaim is precisely there.”

Beneath the castle, in the underground tombs where Argan’s forebears, including the heroic Gallian, rested, lay the essence of magic monopolized by Argan for seven centuries. Yet, the imperative to safeguard that place extended beyond the magical reservoir—it housed the central core of an expansive protective barrier fortifying Argan’s borders.

“When you and I were united, the barrier functioned flawlessly. Thanks to it, the Empire remained impervious to external threats. It stands as a shield, erected on the empire’s foundation, safeguarding the descendants of Gallian from the madness of Sameshita. Even in the face of the rebirth of the mad dragon, it remains an inviolable barrier.”

As long as wizards capable of manipulating the barrier existed, the entirety of Argan’s territory stood as an impregnable fortress. However, the harmonious equilibrium was disrupted seven years ago when Emperor Andrei, in the midst of a fate-altering spell that severed the magical connection with his sister, sent seismic ripples through the protective barrier. The rupture of this vital link with his sister, the source of magical supply, inevitably led to the collapse of the once formidable shield.

At that moment, the twins, bound by blood yet divided in their paths, raised their voices in discord for the first time.

“It was my arrogance. I believed I could sustain the barrier with my own power without drawing on your magic, but all I managed alone was to prevent the catacomb’s door from shattering,” confessed Andrei, his voice carrying the weight of regret.

“Why did you do that? Regardless of my fate, you should have protected the country. That should have been the choice of the emperor!” countered Elise, her frustration evident.

“The emperor should have made that choice. But as your younger brother, I couldn’t bring myself to make that decision.”

“The result is this. Tens of millions of people lost their country and became wanderers. Can’t you distinguish what’s more important?”

“As a consequence of that choice, you are still alive. I believed nothing was more important to me than that.”

“Andrei, you still haven’t come to your senses…!”

“Elise, if I hadn’t engraved magic on you seven years ago, your future would have been singular. You would have become a magical stone, confined to a bed, so frail that even the slightest movement would send shooting pains through your bones. You would have been unable to open your eyelids or speak, merely clinging to life while I extracted magic from you.”

In the face of her tormented brother’s confession, Elise found herself rendered speechless, the weight of his words settling heavily upon her.



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