Home Post 1347-chapter-116


Some were anxious, fearing that Akarna who had newly descended to the mortal realm, had abandoned the empire, but Grand Duke Aleph Reveion, the Second Prince and now the new lord of the North, reassured them.

Akarna had not forsaken the empire.

It might be a difficult time ahead, but it was a trial humans could overcome on their own, which is why Akarna had left. The empire could survive without relying on God, proving that humans could fend for themselves.

In fact, he demonstrated subduing the beast personally and how humans could fend off beasts without Akarna. Showing how dependent humanity had become on Akarna.

It was good propaganda.

* * *

Jiwoo received no reply to her letter.

There wasn’t exactly much to reply to, it merely expressed her gratitude for considering her and the knights’ well-being, for the protection during the mass purges, and for giving her the wealth like the gold coins.

However, she knew her letter had been safely delivered because gifts from the capital arrived after she sent it.

After a few more letters, Aleph finally responded. He asked about her well-being in the cold North and mentioned that she was free to head to the outer walls whenever she wished. If she found a way back, she could go back immediately.

‘Go back, what does he mean?’

It wasn’t the first time she heard this. In the past, Jiwoo interpreted it as being sent back to the temple quickly.

They exchanged letters for a season, but as Aleph kept repeating that phrase, Jiwoo ran out of things to say.

‘Maybe I’ve been imposing on the castle without realizing it?’

Given the substantial amount of gold he provided for her to head to the outer walls, yet she still lingered in the castle, it seemed she had missed the subtle hints.

Moreover, Aleph was now the lord of this castle. It seemed somewhat inappropriate for an outsider woman to stay for so long.

Jiwoo had often thought about fleeing the temple on her own, but restrictions related to her status, money, and physical abilities, mostly confined those plans to mere imaginations. Now, with knights for protection and some money at hand, it seemed feasible.

Jiwoo decided to stop replying to the letters and began preparing to leave for the outer walls with the knights. However, when she tried to leave, not just the knights but even the castle’s servants tried to stop her.

“What? You’re going to the outer walls now?”

“In this weather, it’s impossible.”

Just as Jiwoo resolved to leave, a severe blizzard began in the already cold North.

“I thought it would be okay since it’s spring now…”

“Oh no, Akarna. The North almost always has snow year-round. The only time the weather is somewhat favorable is for one season at most.”

“Is that so… Then when can I leave?”

Everyone, from knights to servants, seemed anxious at her question.

“Akarna, if there’s anything you need, please let us know. If you’ve been feeling cooped up, we can clean up the garden, so you can at least take a walk.”

“No, no, it’s not that…”

Eventually, everyone’s persuasions meant she couldn’t set a date to leave.

The treatment she received got even better, though it seemed her attempt to reduce the burden on the castle’s staff had ironically added to it instead.

The blizzard did not stop for a while, and Jiwoo had to stay in the castle without being able to move.

As time passed, then one day, Grand Duke Aleph Reveion, the new lord of the North, returned.

* * *

Grand Duke Aleph Reveion entered the castle with a few advisers and a small number of soldiers. For someone of his influence in the new empire, it was a modest entourage.

The castle’s servants and knights went out to welcome the Grand Duke, while Jiwoo, with her ambiguous position, waited inside for his arrival.

Normally… is it right for a guest to stay like this? Was she being treated as the Grand Duke’s guest here, or was it a misunderstanding? If not, it felt closer to being treated as the lady of the castle than a guest.

However, Aleph, who should have provided an answer, merely glanced at where Jiwoo was standing before turning away again.

Jiwoo was perplexed but quickly scurried towards him before the distance was long. She was pondering whether to address him as Grand Duke but soon remembered what he preferred to be called.



Surprisingly, Aleph jumped at her call. For someone who just ignored her, his reaction to her voice was too startled. A reaction as if he had seen a ghost or heard a mute person speak.

“A, Akarna?”

Aleph reached out to grasp Jiwoo’s shoulder, then recoiled as if startled by the touch.

As if he was verifying that what was in front of him wasn’t an apparition.

“I, I thought you had left…”

“I’ve been right here.”


“I thought you were ignoring me.”

“No, definitely not that.”

Aleph immediately denied it. But he seemed to struggle to find an excuse.

“I thought you had left the castle because your letters… stopped.”

It was not exactly an excuse for treating her as nothing, but Jiwoo decided to let it slide. She considered Aleph’s notably tired and haggard appearance even more than before. The dark circles under his eyes obscured his handsome features.

“If I knew you were still here, I wouldn’t have come empty-handed… Just, just a moment…”

Aleph put his hand in and fumbled in his pocket for a while.

“Take this at least…”

It was a ring. The stone was large and elaborately crafted, suggesting it could be a wedding ring. Yet it showed signs of wear. It must have been crafted decades ago.

Had it been a newly made jewel, it might have been easier to refuse. But its apparent significance made rejection awkward.

Still, it seemed right to refuse, especially since it looked important.

“I can’t keep accepting things when I’m already indebted to you.”

“Is, is that so. I see.”

Aleph tucked the ring back into his pocket. He looked more regretful when he was the one who offered it.

More importantly, Jiwoo had many questions for him regarding the kindness she had received here and her potential life if she moved to the outer walls.

“I’d like to talk.”

“…You want to talk with me?”


“With me?”

As if in disbelief, Aleph asked once more.

“Would it bother you?”

“No, it’s an honor for me. I’ll prepare a place, please go up and rest.”

Aleph became busy at once. He called a servant to give various instructions, making Jiwoo wonder if she had caught on to someone so busy.

Not long after she went up and waited, she was guided by a servant to another room.

The room was set up for a meal for two, complete with an array of dishes.

And Grand Duke Aleph, seemed to have dressed up for the occasion unless she was mistaken.

After traveling a long distance and his hair having been disheveled, now he had neatly combed it back and changed out of the thick, rugged cape typical of the north into a well-fitted and stylish outfit.

It appeared that his reputation wasn’t limited to his military exploits but extended into the social circles of the capital as well.

He extended his hand to Jiwoo in a truly noble gesture, and escorted by him, Jiwoo approached the table.