Home Post 1115-chapter-14


Before Marchioness Magnum came to wake her, Elfreda had already opened her eyes. Still groggy, she blinked blankly for a moment before realizing she had fallen asleep in bed with him the night before.

She quickly came to her senses and looked over to the other side of the bed, only to find it empty. Her eyebrows drooped in disappointment. She cautiously felt the other side of the bed, which had long since gone cold. Elfreda’s heart sank further.

‘When did he leave?’

After all, he was busy, and when she asked him to rest a bit last night, it was only for a brief moment. She remembered him staying almost until she fell asleep. However, she had quickly moved on from the topic of Serena and almost immediately fell asleep afterward.

Elfreda found some comfort in the fact that she hadn’t been fully awake to see him leave and got out of bed just as Marchioness Magnum was entering.

“Good morning, Marchioness Magnum.”

While she greeted the Marchioness warmly, the return was a cold gaze. The Marchioness’s mood seemed even worse than yesterday, and the other handmaids felt the same. Elfreda suspected their displeasure was related to Ejnar’s visit the night before.

Indeed, from the day Ejnar stopped visiting Elfreda’s bedroom, the maids’ moods noticeably improved.

Additionally, whispers of ‘I knew it wouldn’t last’ were heard in the background.

Elfreda wasn’t too upset about it. Considering his busy schedule, she was grateful he had visited her two nights in a row. And even if she did feel sad, her position made it difficult to show it. How could she, known as the enemy’s granddaughter, shamelessly go to him first?

The only thing she could do was to fulfill her duties day by day. Being an abhorrent existence to Ejnar, the only way she could be of help was just that.

As soon as she had that thought, a crisis emerged.


* * *


“A Makaeri soldier has killed a citizen of Machi.”

It was the day before Serena was due to return home.

Elfreda, who was attending to her duties, dropped her pen upon hearing the news from Marchioness Magnum. Turning her head in shock, she was met with Marchioness Magnum’s gaze as cold as the voice delivering the news.

The chilly voice added.

“Not just one, but three.”

Elfreda asked, feeling a sudden headache.

“Where is the Princess now?”

“She’s currently in the guest palace.”

Elfreda stood up immediately. Throughout her journey to the guest palace, the Emperor of Makaeri’s warning echoed in her head.

‘Do not act in a way that could serve as a pretext for war…’

Right now, Serena had clearly given a pretext for war. Elfreda arrived at the guest palace feeling despondent.

“Is Princess Serena inside?”

The maid at the guest palace did not hide her perception of Elfreda and Serena as barbarians, which was evident from their dismissive glance. Silence seemed to be their answer, so Elfreda entered without waiting for an answer.

Inside, Serena, looking just as displeased, was burying herself into a plush sofa made of fur. Elfreda felt her anger rising at the sight but managed to suppress it before calmly confronting her.

“What on earth is this all about?”

“It was a deserved retaliation.”

Serena retorted sharply.

“They dared to insult the great Makaeri!”

She explained that she had encountered many hostile stares while exploring the city over the past few days. Though irritated, she did not want to cause a problem. Especially since the robust Makaeri soldiers escorting her ensured that people only glared without daring to speak.

However, today, a few passersby who failed to recognize Serena insulted Makaeri loudly, and one of Makaeri’s soldiers, who were unable to tolerate it, threatened to kill them.

The onlookers, intimidated by the soldiers’ ferocity, did not dare intervene.

With Serena’s tacit consent, the assault continued. Leading to this unfortunate incident.

Like many from Makaeri, Serena, as a princess, had immense pride in her country. It was remarkable that she had restrained herself until now, but this was crossing a line. Elfreda pointed out the severity of the situation, feeling a throbbing headache.

“No matter what was said, killing is an excessive response.”

“So, you’re saying I should have just stood there and tolerated it?”

Serena looked visibly agitated, got up abruptly and strode towards Elfreda.

“Are you suggesting I should’ve endured whatever lowlife treatment like you?”

Serena’s face turned red with anger. Her expression screamed of injustice, as though she had done nothing wrong.

Witnessing this, Elfreda felt as if her breath was being choked out of her.

The events of her first night here were still vivid in her memory. With the maids potentially opening her bedroom door to assassins, it was no wonder she felt this way. Now, it would hardly be an exaggeration to say she prayed for her life every night before sleep.

Elfreda bit her lip, struggling to suppress her anger before continuing.

“It seems you haven’t heard any stories from the Emperor on your way here.”

“What kind of stories? He did tell me to ask you to behave.”

“So, it seems I’m the only one who needs to behave.”


“When you return, tell the Emperor not to worry too much. In this situation, how can I expect to keep my head on my shoulders unless I lie flat on the ground as if I’m dead?”

“Are you mocking me?”

Elfreda didn’t respond further and turned away. Judging by Serena’s attitude, even kneeling and pleading wouldn’t change her mind. It seemed futile to expect a proper response to this situation.



A painful cry escaped from Elfreda. Serena, who was unable to contain her anger, grabbed her hair and slammed her to the ground.

“Who do you think you are to lecture me!”

Recoiling from the impact of her shoulder against the side table, Elfreda collapsed to the floor. With a disheveled appearance, she looked bewilderedly at Serena. Apparently unsatisfied, she approached and slapped her across the face.

— Slap!

As Elfreda’s gaze naturally fell, she seemed pleased with herself.

“That’s more like it. You look best in this state.”


“To think your status changed because you wear that tiny crown? Have you lost your mind because they call you ‘the Queen’?”

Serena mocked Elfreda as she tapped her head disdainfully.

“This insignificant country could be wiped out by Makaeri tomorrow if we want to, Elfreda. Understand your place. Do you think you’re something because we need your offspring for a smoother takeover? Dare to think you can climb up, huh?”

More than her shoulder, Elfreda’s head still throbbed painfully. As she remained seated, she took a moment to steady her breathing before picking up the tiara that had fallen. She realized staying any longer wouldn’t be of any help.

Nevertheless, before leaving, there was something she had to do.

Elfreda dusted herself off and rose to approach Serena closely.

‘You are the queen of Machi. Your actions represent mine.’

The words he had said just days ago continuously echoed in her head. Even if it wasn’t a matter of life and death, returning as is would make it difficult to look him in the eye again. She couldn’t afford to add another reason to feel intimidated whenever she faced him.

“Why, haven’t you had enough…”

With a determined expression, Elfreda fiercely grasped Serena’s hair. A sharp scream erupted simultaneously.


She then slapped her across the face.

— Slap!

Serena’s head turned weakly, and the maids, in shock, tried to restrain Elfreda. However, she resisted strongly.

“How dare you lay a hand on me!”

As her uncharacteristically firm demeanor made Serena’s maids hesitate and step back, Elfreda looked more stern than ever before. Serena, still not fully grasping the situation but visibly shocked, held her cheek and looked at her with widened eyes.

“You… You wretch!

“If I leave here alone in this state, what do you think everyone will think?”

Elfreda uttered with a face on the verge of crying but smiling.

“If you don’t want to pour oil on the fire by revealing my lineage in this situation, I hope you won’t whine about just being slapped once, Princess.”

Elfreda left the guest palace with a sharp retort.

She removed all the pins stuck in her already disheveled hair, letting it fall loose before slowly placing the tiara back on. The maids watched her in astonishment, though she paid them no mind and continued on her way.

The spot where her shoulder had been hit hurt, but fortunately, it didn’t seem like any bones were broken. Each time she caught the gazes of people glancing at her, she felt so embarrassed she wished she could disappear.

‘…But you did well, Elfreda. You handled it well.’

Since both had struck each other, they could at least use the excuse that it was a quarrel between sisters that led to this situation.

Of course, for a princess to engage in such behavior was not rational, though most would likely think that such barbarism was to be expected from someone of Makaeri’s lineage. Ironically, while she was smiling at the thought that being from the Makaeri tribe could sometimes be advantageous, Elfreda saw the last person she wanted to see from afar.

Her smile quickly faded.


It was Ejnar.