Chapter 93.2

Fortuitously, the month of September heralded the arrival of the harvest festival, a customary celebration that marked the onset of a grand punitive expedition to purify the lands surrounding the Grenthern Mountains. This annual endeavor aimed to eradicate the lurking threat of monsters in the north before winter’s icy grip took hold.

The departure time for the punitive expedition exhibited a degree of flexibility each year, aligning with the manifestation of madness in the realm’s ruler. According to Alfred, the expedition’s duration typically spanned anywhere from half a month to a full month.

“But this year, His Highness might forego it.”

“Why?” inquired Elise.

“He appears deeply preoccupied with Your Highness. Recent incidents involving Lady Irrien have left him uneasy about leaving you alone in the castle.”

‘Not out of genuine concern, but likely for surveillance,’ Elise surmised.

A method to put Rezette at ease had to be devised, even if just for a fleeting moment of respite. Elise took a measured breath, drawing magic into her core. Her recent mastery over magical manipulation allowed her to subdue the effects of the calming tea and fragrances saturating her surroundings.

Yet, the delicate balance required to conceal the overflow of magic demanded her utmost concentration. A subtle layer had to be maintained, for an excessive surge would undoubtedly attract Rezette’s notice, while a complete absence might raise suspicion.

As a consequence, a persistent tension gripped Elise throughout the day. Perhaps that was why, despite her efforts, she remained yet to conceive.

Contemplating Rezette’s audible sigh in response to Freya’s recent pronouncement of a lack of pregnancy signs, Elise couldn’t help but recall the irony of a man who had shown no affinity for children expressing an unexpected interest in her potential motherhood. The motive behind his curiosity was transparent.

He needed an heir, and the countdown to the promised early October was ticking away, leaving approximately a month. Recently, another imperial missive from the capital, Opel, had found its way to Rezette. Speculation arose regarding its contents—was it an update on Argan’s military maneuvers? Or could it be connected to the Genovia Irrien? Perhaps it concerned Elise’s well-being. As Rezette perused the contents, a peculiar expression crossed his features.

“What should I present? It seems like anything inconsequential is intriguing now.”

With this musing, he handed the letter to Sobeul, dismissing the need for a direct response. The emperor’s missive, it seemed, would likely find its place somewhere amid the chaotic disarray of his office. The enigmatic nature of each passing day felt like navigating an unseen thorny path, leaving Elise with an unsettling emptiness as she gently caressed her still-flat stomach. The sole comfort lay in the absence of news about a child.

Lately, evading Rezette’s scrutinizing gaze made the task of taking contraceptive pills more challenging. Yet, in the absence of a naturally conducive environment for a child, the effort of contraception seemed almost unnecessary.

“Please, don’t come to me.”

That was the best option. Elise clasped her hands together in prayer.

Please, may no trace of him take root inside me. May the nights be just simple pleasures.

With that earnest invocation, she cast her wishes into the ether, yearning for liberation.


September ushered in the season of the golden harvest with undeniable fervor.

The plains were a hive of activity, a vibrant canvas painted with the culmination of the harvest. As the week drew near when the fields yielded their final treasures, the Harvest Festival unfolded—a joyous celebration, an ode of gratitude to the gods for the opulence of the harvest.

Standing as the grandest festival in Rotiara, and uniquely orchestrated by the castle, this period typically demanded the bustling attention of its inhabitants. This year, in particular, Rotiara reveled in an extraordinary abundance. While the region consistently yielded plentiful crops and commodities, this year’s harvest surpassed all expectations.

The warmth of an unusually balmy summer and precisely timed rainfall had collaborated to yield plump grains, sweet fruits, and an unprecedented cooperation from the usually unpredictable fauna. The result was a bounty beyond compare.

“Your Majesty, the popularity of Her Highness the Princess has experienced an explosive surge among the residents of the territory recently,” Alfred reported, his sharp expression bearing the signs of sleep deprivation from days of tireless preparations for the Harvest Festival. An unmistakable excitement danced in his eyes.

“This harvest is truly unprecedented, isn’t it? Rumor has it that even in the southern reaches of Grandel, achieving such yields is a formidable task. The accolades are reverberating, attributing this prosperity to the presence of Her Highness the Princess in Rotiara.”

In the unforgiving northern territories, a plentiful harvest held profound significance. The belief that the Princess of Argan brought blessings from Grandel and prosperity to Rotiara permeated every corner. The curiosity about her was palpable.

After a deep breath, Alfred delicately broached a proposal to Rezette.

“On the closing day of the Harvest Festival, when the castle gates swing open, what do you think of ascending the castle walls with Her Highness the Princess? You don’t necessarily have to reveal her entire face, just showing her silhouette from a distance would make everyone very pleased.”



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