Translator: Latte Editor: Sasha
Ever since then, the Prince had consistently expressed interest in Elody.
Unfortunately, he never succeeded in having a proper conversation.
“Your Highness, please just give up,” Carlson said, striking his nerve.
Elody’s days were packed. She was very busy, unlike Prince Andreas, who had nothing to do.
“Do be careful, Your Highness.”
It was finally time for him to leave for the capital, but he still hadn’t gotten any achievements.
He had been openly courting Elody from day one, but talking to her was like talking to a wall.
‘Is she not interested in me, or is she misunderstanding something?’
He couldn’t sleep.
Nonetheless, the more he got rejected, the bigger his feelings grew. He couldn’t help wanting to follow his heart over his head.
“Well, Duchess. I’d like to talk to you for a moment.”
“What? Oh, yes. Go ahead.”
The Prince glanced towards Carlson and the maids. They took a hint and immediately stepped back.
Elody, on the other hand, was confused as to why they were backing away.
‘How is she so dense….’ Andreas thought, staring at Elody. ‘Yes, I’ll just say it directly!’
He was determined.
“Duchess, if by any chance…”
“If I don’t get a bride by the time I reach adulthood….” he said nervously.
“And your husband doesn’t come back from war… Then, will you come to the Empire of Brenbell?”
“My husband will return safely,” she snarled.
“Yes, of course. Of course… But, let’s just say, if he doesn’t-“
“There’s no such thing. He will come back.”
Because that was how it went in the novel.
Prince Brenbell was stunned by Elody’s stubbornness.
“Oh, but I’ll think about going to the Brenbell Empire.”
Unexpectedly, he succeeded in getting a positive answer.
“D-do you really mean that?”
“Well, of course. I’d like to take a look at the Mana Crystal Mines.”
Elody thought of it as nothing more than a usual trip.
But the prince rejoiced as if she had just accepted his marriage proposal.
He waved his hand with a bright face, got on his carriage, and left for the capital.
“Your Grace is really…”
The maids, who had listened to their conversation, sighed in disappointment.
“Prince Andreas invited me to his Empire. Let’s all go together and get cheap Mana Crystals!” Elody grinned.
“Yes, madame…” Marie faltered.
Even though she felt dissatisfied, Marie thought it’d be better this way.
Because Elody already had the Duke….
* * *
Elody had been writing to Caville steadily over the years. She wrote so many letters that they could be combined into an entire book.
Unfortunately, not a single reply came back.
‘I guess I shouldn’t dwell on it too much…’
Elody knew it couldn’t be helped. He was in the war for God’s sake!
Caville’s first priority was his mission. So, he could have been exhausted and stressed, or maybe he just couldn’t find the time.
She knew all of that, but she still felt helpless.
She was sad and hopeless all at the same time.
Elody had always read the daily newsletters.
The temple published the newsletters, so of course, it was biased against the Imperial Army as well.
Fortunately, Elody had known the truth beforehand.
The report said that the conflict between the Temple and the Imperial Army had worsened.
The Emperor was to blame for the war.
Besides, there were even stories about the Urtans infiltrating the empire through the Amur Strait, not through the Catan Mountains.
But the articles had no logic to them.
The Amur Strait, or better known as, the Dead Man’s Strait, was one of the most dangerous sea routes. The weather conditions were volatile, the waves were very rough, and there was no sunlight all year round.
Furthermore, there was an alternative route. The Urtans could also cross the West Coast through the North Sea of Lavlensia. It would take a longer time, but it was undoubtedly safer.
No matter how stupid the Urtans were, they would never use the sea route.
‘Also… winter is coming.’
Elody pictured Caville shaking in the cold weather.
‘I can’t do anything about it… It’s going to be cold, so I’ll have to make more winter clothes.’
The West and the East were separated by mountains.
The Catan Mountains, where the ice caps fell, was the only path for travelers to pass.
Beyond the mountain range was the Empire of Dayev, the heroine’s homeland, and further east was the Empire of Urta.
‘They’ll meet in a few years…’
After destroying the Empire of Dayev, the Empire of Urta sought to invade the Western Continent.
The motivations for the colonial expansion were to exploit their resources to bolster their own economies and expand their land.
However, their coalition forces were weak. That’s why the Urtans kidnapped and murdered mages and priests.
‘Though the answers are always the same.’
A priest was sent near the border to spy on the situation, but he had never told any valuable information.
He continued to answer that the situation was unknown, and that excuse had already been repeated for years.
‘If I could, I’d like to go there myself…’
But Elody couldn’t leave the land empty for so long. She was responsible for looking after the land until Caville returned.
Elody fiddled her fingertips nervously.
Suddenly, she could feel a slight burning sensation on her pinky.
And then, her pinky went stiff and numb.
‘Don’t tell me… is this one of the symptoms of the incurable disease?!’
The novel stated that the disease hardened the body like stone.
‘Why am I already…?
Her illness should’ve begun when she was about to be banished.….
‘What’s happening to me?’
The original Elody tried to poison the princess. It was a poison that hardened the body like a stone.
As retribution, Elody suffered the same exact disease and died.
Her expression sank.
‘What if I get sick and die before Caville gets back?’
If she died before she could see Caville again….
Fear came over her.
* * *
Ever since that day, Elody began to study the cure for her illness.
‘I was a fool to think that I had all the time in the world.’
She ordered Sirka to purchase all kinds of rare herbs. She had read and studied books about herbs so much now she could remember every single sentence.
And so, two years passed by…
Caville was nineteen, and Elody turned twenty-five. There were only four years left before Caville returned.
Elody constantly studied the disease but found no cure.
She had researched almost all the herbs in the world, but none of them were the answer to the cure she needed.
Her condition had worsened, and she could no longer move both her ring finger and pinky.
A few months ago, Elody found a familiar-looking grass while passing through the ginseng field.
“Anna, what is this?”
“This one? We’ve talked about it before, but madame was busy working on something else…. I’ve got it set aside, but it’s still growing….”
Elody observed the grass. The stems were green but its leaves were red. She remembered seeing it somewhere when she was studying red ginseng.
“Anna, where are all the herbs you’ve collected? Can you bring them to me?”
In pursuit of hope, Elody studied the unknown herb.
She learned that if she dried the stems and regularly took the meds, it could be used as a remedy for her illness.
After the symptoms began, Elody, who had been crying to sleep almost every night, felt like she had just been rescued from hell.
From that day on, she had been taking steady doses of medicine.
And now, several months later, her symptoms were gradually getting better.
However, there was a question still left unanswered.
‘Can I make use of the leaves?’
The grass was of an unknown species, but it was the remedy for her illness. Thus, she named it ‘Grass of Salvation.’
The grass was very unusual. They were similar to clovers, but the roots were thinner and longer.
Elody was able to figure out the use of the stem, but not the odd red leaf which had a similar color to roses.
The ingredients were found to be free of poison.
She found out that the components were safe. However, she was doubtful because of its bizarre appearance.
Elody fiddled with the tip of her little finger, which she still couldn’t feel very well.
‘It’s safe so… I’ll just try it!’
She advanced with an unflinching determination.
Elody dried the red leaves, boiled them, and drank them as herbal tea.
And precisely a few days later.
Elody coughed to her handkerchief.
But when she saw her handkerchief, she almost fainted.
The handkerchief was covered with dark red blood.
Her mouth hung with lips slightly parted, and her eyes were as wide as they could stretch. She immediately wiped the blood off her mouth.
Strangely enough, when she vomited blood, she could vividly feel her fingertips. It was as if the treatment had worked.
‘No way, it can’t be.’
But after two weeks, her fingertips were numb again. That was when Elody had learned about the perfect remedy.
First of all, dried medicinal tea is regularly taken two or three cups a day. And the leaves were also made of medicinal tea and had to be eaten once a month.
The stem kept the cells in the body active, preventing the paralysis.
And the leaves made one spew out the dead blood that paralyzed the cells. In short, the symptoms were alleviated every time she threw up blood.
Elody finally smiled at her success, she could finally get a good night’s sleep.
But… she spent the last two years desperately studying herbs, and she couldn’t get rid of the bloodstained handkerchiefs.
Elody would’ve never imagined that the handkerchiefs could cause great misunderstandings among the servants.
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