Home Post 981-chapter-95


“…A pharmacist?”

Silanda’s respectful demeanor seemed to momentarily halt Servia’s rage. In Aquilea, the only official pharmacists were Piache and her recently trained young assistant, so the notion of there being another pharmacist was new to her.

Silanda began to explain.

“I was not originally a pharmacist. My knowledge is merely rudimentary, acquired from living in the cave.”

Even though Servia’s lips twitched, Silanda did not stop speaking.

“As you are aware, Senu’s condition has been deteriorating. Fortunately, we have been able to slow down the progression of his illness with a salve made here in the cave. The odor you’re sensing comes from that ointment.”

As Enya looked at Jahan for confirmation of Silanda’s words, he quickly shook his head. Then, Silanda raised her voice to continue.

“If you must take Senu with you, I must accompany him as well. I am the only one who knows how to make that salve.”

Enya’s eyes widened in surprise.

“Why, why is Silanda doing this?”

Jahan murmured beside her, fidgeting in anxiety about Silanda’s unexpected behavior.

Silanda went on.

“Making that salve is quite labor-intensive and requires specific skills. It must be applied to the necrotic skin every morning and evening. It’s essential for prolonging Senu’s life.”

Bowing her head at Servia’s feet, Silanda declared.

“If you must take Senu with you, then I, as the pharmacist who makes the salve, must accompany him.”

Finally, Enya grasped Silanda’s intentions. Jahan’s mouth behind the bandages also opened in shock.

‘She’s doing this to follow Senu, who’s being taken away.’

Caught in tension, Enya was engulfed in frantic thoughts.

Tarhan was gone. And Enya needed to find him at all costs. If things continued this way, Senu, who had agreed to join her in searching for Tarhan, would be taken away by Servia, and the cave’s inhabitants would be trapped there.

‘Even if we sneak out through the back, it’s the same.’

If Servia’s words were true, Aquilea was currently in chaos due to Gernan and Avisak’s soldiers. If they were indeed rounding up anyone associated with Tarhan, sneaking out wouldn’t guarantee they would be safe from capture.

If caught and it was revealed that her death had been falsely reported to Servia, it would cause even greater problems.

‘The cave’s arsenal might even be exposed then.’

It was clear how Servia might react upon seeing the weapon. Even Enya, with no knowledge of weapons, could guess its destructive power. A conflict of unprecedented scale might be looming over the Great Plains and deserts.

The obstacle wasn’t just the disruption in the plan to meet Tarhan. However, everyone’s safety, including herself, was at grave risk.

‘…I need to stay calm.’

Enya wanted to tear at her hair with the worries crowding her mind. She took deep breaths to calm down.

‘What needs to be resolved first?’

First and foremost, they needed to safely exit the cave.

Aligning with Silanda’s plan would mean facing Servia, the biggest hurdle. However, it would also mean they could leave the cave. Being under Servia’s protection could indeed offer more safety. Moreover, Servia was likely the closest to receiving any news about Tarhan, given the current silence around him.

‘If I can avoid being discovered…!’

It seemed she had no other choice.


Enya softly called out to Jahan, who was anxiously pacing nearby.

“E, Enya…?”

Though his expression was hidden by bandages, his anxiety about the gravity of the situation was evident. Enya spoke up in determination.

“I need a favor.”

“…No, now?”

Jahan’s voice sounded like he had aged by decades just at that moment. The next moment, at Enya’s request, he slowly backed away.

“I… I can’t…!”

He waved his hands frantically and refused, but Enya grabbed his forearm.

“No, you have to. Jahan. Please help me.”

Where this courage came from, she didn’t know. Enya grabbed Jahan’s cheeks with both hands and persuaded him with repeated pleas. Finally, Jahan mumbled his agreement with a look of resignation and in a defeated tone.

As soon as she finished her last instruction, she dashed into the room, just as Silanda had done. Den and Jahan, just like before with Silanda, failed to catch Enya.

Bursting into the room, she saw through her shaky vision Senu kneeling before Silanda, with Servia sitting authoritatively like a chieftain in front of them. Even in the dim light, she could see Servia’s dignified arched back and her dark hair cascading over her robes.

It struck pain through Enya as if her blood vessels were all constricting.

Before Servia could catch her gaze, Enya quickly dashed to Silanda’s side and, like her, prostrated herself at Servia’s feet.

“Who are you?”

Servia’s low, sharp voice, previously heard through the wall, now hit Enya directly, causing sweat to break out all over her body and her heart to feel like it was shrinking.

In the meanwhile, Silanda, who saw Enya, also retreated slightly in surprise.

Senu seemed shocked as well, and Lomba appeared almost fainting.

Without answering Servia’s question, Enya kept her head down on the ground, enduring the moment. Though she had braced herself for this, her heart felt like it was about to burst.

Servia, now looked visibly irritated by the patients appearing one by one before her. She covered her mouth and nose to avoid them. Fortunately, like Silanda and Senu, Enya was wrapped in bandages all over her body, so she did not recognize her immediately.

“I asked who you are.”

Once again, Enya kept her lips sealed and bowed her head even lower, closing her eyes tight.

‘…I’m scared.’

She had long been terrified of Servia.

It was impossible not to be. A daughter of an elder who had ruled the tribe for generations, the mother of four children by chieftain Kahanti. A woman revered and followed by all women, the power behind the plains of Aquilea.

There wasn’t a tribe member who didn’t fear Servia and her personal soldiers.

To someone like Enya, Servia was a being above the clouds.

…The cruel goddess of Aquilea.

A woman who could only be looked up to after bending one’s head back as far as it would go. If her mouth was to decree a sin and pronounce punishment like a storm or lightning, the only response was to wail and beg for mercy.

Standing before Servia made Enya tremble like a wet dog. It was obvious.

At the same time, from Enya’s position prostrated before Servia, the impeccably maintained toenails of Servia caught her eye.


Wrapped in sandals made of finely tanned leather and embroidered with dazzling patterns, Servia’s feet were white and spotless, without a single scratch or a crack in a toenail.

Everything was neat and orderly.

In Aquilea, having an imperfect body part was deeply despised unless it was a scar earned in battle, which was considered a mark of honor.

For all tribespeople, signs of labor or injury in daily life were embarrassingly hideous. They would do anything to erase those marks. For people of high status like Servia, who held elder-like positions, this was even more critical.

High-ranking individuals took care to prevent injuries from the start and applied healing salves containing herb extracts to even the smallest wounds on their hands and feet to prevent scarring. There was even a dedicated section in Piache’s pharmacy for concocting salves for the elite.

Piache’s pharmacy produced these lucrative salves in bulk every month.

As a child, Enya used to limp across the fields daily to Piache’s place, gathering ingredients for the salve to prevent scars on her own feet and contribute to the household income.

Although it was a side job that brought in incomparably less income than what Tarhan could earn, Enya found joy in knowing she had something to contribute and visited the pharmacy every day without fail.

‘To think they demand these gleaming salves for themselves while spilling all the herbs needed for patients with far worse injuries from hauling rocks around!’

Piache often lamented the waste of resources on slaves for minor scratches when those ingredients could treat more serious wounds. She always struggled to expand her herb garden to have enough supplies for real medical needs due to the demand for situations that don’t really need treatments.

She momentarily gazed, while lost in thought, at Servia’s elegantly elongated ankles and calves, contrasting sharply with her own twisted foot. On the other hand, Servia grew suspicious of Enya’s silence.

She scrutinized Enya with a stinging look as she didn’t answer her questions.

“Why won’t you answer? Can’t you lift your head?”

At Servia’s sudden shout, Enya’s heart sank once more. Simultaneously, a sort of indignant question burst from within her, filling her mind.

Did we really do something so wrong?

Was my twisted leg and Senu’s illness truly a curse?

Enya’s gaze remained fixed on Servia’s feet.

In the moment, her trembling ceased as she gazed at Servia’s feet, which starkly contrasted with her own disfigured ones.

Suddenly, Enya thought,

‘Why should I fear this woman?’

Servia had indeed promised to show her hell, but the hell Enya encountered was far different from what she had envisioned.

Very different.

A woman who locked her son because of his illness, for the mere reason that it became a blemish on her, to hide the sins she committed, and hid him away from everyone’s eyes. And still not satisfied, she sought to control everything within her grasp.

Enya no longer felt afraid of Servia.

If this was Servia’s version of hell, then Enya had always been walking through that hell, limping across the fields every day.

Pain was bad. Incurable wounds should be abhorred.

Enya, too, had been conditioned by Aquilea’s way of thinking and had never been free from it. The disability in her leg had tormented her all her life. Her past, present, and even her future were forever bound by this stigma.

But now, she realized.

…Just as much as it tormented Enya and dragged her through the mud, Servia was also never free from that stigma.

Not even for a moment.

Even in those moments when she stood in judgment before everyone.