Chapter 336

“Serin? Is that really you, Serin?”

“I give you my greetings, Duchess Elena. It is I, Serin of the Reiner family.”

Serin bowed towards Elena, who had rushed out with her maids and her escort Argos.

“What is going on here? What happened?”

Elena grabbed Serin’s two hands while speaking frantically. She hurriedly examined Serin’s body for any signs of injuries.

Then Jody, who was standing behind Serin, took a step forward and spoke carefully.

“My lady. I know you must be worried sick, but why don’t we head inside first? Considering Miss Reiner’s condition as well.”

“Ah, I forgot myself because I was so surprised… Come, let us go inside. You can wash up and get a change of clothes first.”

“Yes, my lady.”

Elena led Serin herself. The knight from the 7th regiment attempted to follow behind the two. Argos, who was guarding Elena, stepped in front of the knight like lightning. Although he was old and missing an arm, his gaze still contained the full might of a peak-level fighter.

“The annex is only accessible to the people of the Pendragon Duchy.”

Jody spoke belatedly. The 7th regiment knight looked at Serin. When she silently gestured towards him, he slowly backed down.

“Come this way. You must be exhausted. You can take a rest. We will ensure Miss Reiner’s safety.”

“.....”

The 7th regiment knight nodded without speaking and followed behind the knights of the Pendragon Duchy.

“.....”

Argos carefully observed the back of the 7th regiment knight. But as Elena started walking towards the building with Serin and the maids, he shifted his gaze and followed behind the group like a shadow.

‘Strange. I definitely feel something familiar… I should let Knight Killian know first.’

Although he was old and toothless, the tiger was still strong and experienced. He narrowed his eyes while recalling the sensation he felt from the 7th regiment knight a while ago.

*** 

“Is that really true?”

Elena could not hide her astonishment after hearing Serin’s story.

“They dared storm the carriage in broad daylight? What kind of savages would…”

Elena was wise. She had a hunch that this was no ordinary event.

“I am  truly relieved to see that you are safe. I am worried about the lady elf from Red Moon Valley.”

“Yes…”

Elena was inwardly puzzled at the sight of Serin lowering her head.

‘Was she always this quiet and calm?’

Elena recalled the young Serin as she observed her carefully. Although she had been shy, she was always polite and smiling.

‘No matter how long it has been, she was not like this…’

It was a little strange, but she put it aside. Serin had lived in a monastery for more than ten years, and she had just experienced a traumatic experience. She was probably in a daze.

“I will send someone right away, so you do not need to worry too much. Serin, you better take a good rest. Think of this place as home and rest comfortably.”

“Thank you, duchess.”

Serin followed Elena up from her seat.

“Yes, yes. I will see you at dinner.”

After lightly patting her on the shoulder, Elena turned around.

“Excuse me, duchess. I have a favor to ask of you.”

“Hmm?”

Elena turned her gaze towards Serin once more.

“I would like to have the knight who accompanied me as my escort. With all due respect, if you could arrange his residence here in the annex…”

“Of course. I will let them know. Do not worry and rest comfortably.”

“I thank you again for your great consideration.”

Serin bowed deeply. Elena smiled before walking out the door with her maids. Soon, Serin was left alone in the spacious, fancy room. She straightened her back.

Paaa…!

Her eyes, which had been indifferent and calm until now, momentarily flashed with a green glow. She slowly shuffled towards the window decorated antique patterns. Serin raised her head.

Her eyes grew darker as she stared at the giant dragon statue located at the highest spot of Conrad Castle. As if recalling something she could not quite remember, she repeatedly frowned and relaxed.

“Alex… Alex Pendragon. Alan Pendragon… And Elkin Isla. Elkin Isla…”

The light slowly faded from her eyes as she muttered the three people’s names.

“Alan pendragon… Who is that…? Who is Elkin Isla…?”

Serin muttered to no one in particular with a blank expression. The images of three people came to mind one after another - two men who looked a little alike, and a man with dark blue eyes. But soon, the faces of the three people mixed together.

“Who… am I? Yes. Luna. Luna Seyrod. And Serin Reiner… No, that’s not right. I am. I am…”

She spoke in a confused voice with her head held down. But soon, she raised her head. Her eyes shone with a green light that was darker than ever before, and her pale blue lips spread open.

“Elsaroa of Alcantia…”

The name of the Queen of Death resonated in the empty room. Hundreds of years ago, the same name had driven the world into suffocating darkness and fear.

*** 

“Lord Isla’s future bride is here?”

“Yes, that’s what I am telling you. I do not know what happened, but she rushed here from Bellint Gate with soldiers in a carriage. I heard something happened on the way to our duchy.”

“Hooh…”

Killian nodded and spoke in a subtle voice at the words of a heavy cavalryman.

“But was she pretty?”

“The boys who went out to greet her said she was quite average. But they said the atmosphere was a little weird…”

“Hmm? what do you mean by that?”

“Well… I do not know what happened, but apparently, she was basically emotionless. Besides, they said the 7th regiment knight who accompanied her was a little strange as well.”

Killian frowned at the words of his subordinate.

“The man is none of my business. Anyways, so what was so weird about the lady? It should not be so weird that she was expressionless.”

“I do not know for sure because I only heard the stories. But all of the boys who saw her are saying the same thing. They can’t quite place their fingers on it, but she seemed rather unusual. One of them even said he got goosebumps on his forearms.”

Killian had been listening to the man’s words with a serious expression. But as soon as he heard his subordinate’s last words, his eyes widened with excitement.

“Heuk! So that’s how beautiful she is?”

“.....”

The subordinate had been explaining with great tension. His anxiety disappeared at Killian’s words. Whenever or wherever a woman was mentioned, the captain’s eyes sparkled with light. He answered while trying to hold back a sigh.

“I already told you, did I not? She is just average in terms of looks. She’s not much of a beauty.”

“Well, I see…”

Killian smacked his lips together as if he was somewhat disappointed. He shook his head.

“No. I cannot bring myself to trust your eyes. It is only appropriate that I see her in person since she will be the wife of my friend. Yes. So where is Lady Reiner right now?”

Killian spoke with a solemn expression. The subordinate barely suppressed his desire to punch Killian in the face, then answered.

“She was escorted to the annex. But the royal guards are standing guard, and the duchess personally restricted access to the building. There will be no point in heading there.”

“...That is too baked. Well, I will see her at the dinner banquet, so it does not matter. Ah-ham! I’m so bored.”

As soon as he heard the subordinate’s words, Killian lost interest and stretched.

“Well, I’ll be heading off to train…”

The subordinate was about to leave after being fed up with Killian. Someone hurriedly rushed towards the two.

“Captain!”

“Hmm? What’s going on?”

The man spoke.

“Master Argos would like to see you. He wants you to come to the annex right now.”

“Oooh! I’m coming right now!”

The head knight of the Pendragon Duchy erupted from his seat and spoke with a look full of pride and vitality. It was as if he were on the verge of a great battle.

“Is that so…”

Contrasting with his initial expression, Killian spoke with calm eyes. He had been full of anticipation and curiosity when Argos first started speaking about Serin Reiner, the bride chosen by Isla. However, his expression had become somewhat serious since then.

“Hmm…”

Killian sank into thought with his arms crossed.

Before he arrived here, he had partially disregarded the things his subordinate said about Serin Reiner. But Argos was mentioning the 7th regiment knight that accompanied her. He could not remember for sure, but the old man spoke of a spirit that he was familiar with. The feeling he received from the knight was bad rather than good.

“I apologize. Maybe it is because I am getting old, but my memory is a bit blurry… However, I am certain. It was something bad… It was an ominous sensation.”

“All right. I will ask around about the knight first. Since he is a member of the 7th regiment and a noble, I am sure that we can figure it out soon enough.”

Argos nodded at Killian’s words.

“I hope I am not burdening Sir Killian with something like this.”

“Of course not. I know how deeply Master Argos cares for the duchy.”

Killian’s expression was cautious as he waved his hand. Killian was not necessarily referring to Argos’ loyalty towards Duke Pendragon and Duchess Elena. Argos was as wise as his years of experience and his great strength. Everyone had been relieved and delighted when Killian returned with his lord from the southern expedition. Everyone but the families of the deceased.

Argos was faced with the death of his disciple, whom he considered family. Leon had been the first and last disciple he received.

Leon’s death would have come as a great shock to Argos, but he accepted it calmly. He said he was proud of his student who died to protect the ladies of the duchy as a squire of the duchy. Nevertheless, no one in Conrad Castle took his words for it. How could an old fighter be fine after having to send off his children and then his disciple?

However, Argos never revealed his wounds.

He became even more faithful to his responsibilities as Elena’s guard. Therefore, even though Killian’s status was high enough to be counted within five fingers in the entire duchy, he was cautious in how he acted towards the old fighter.

Argos, the Black Tiger, deserved respect.

“I am only fulfilling my responsibilities. His Excellency the Duke is the benefactor of this old man…”

Argos smiled bitterly and his wrinkles deepened. He had understood Killian’s heart from the knight’s expression.

“Then, I will take my leave for now. The duchess should be coming out of her quarters soon.”

“Yes. I will take care of the issues you mentioned, so there is no need to worry.”

Argos nodded at Killian’s words, then moved along.

“Gus Plain. Company captain of the seventh regiment…”

Killian also stepped out of the door while muttering the name of the knight who had accompanied Serin Reiner. Then, he frowned and scratched his head as if something had come to mind.

“This will be a huge deal. To think something like that happened to Eltuan… Karuta will not stand still…”

Killian’s concerned words soon became true.

***

“What…?”

“.....”

Killiian gulped involuntarily.

It surely wasn’t an illusion that Karuta’s thick, sharp fangs looked even more hideous today. Killian thought he would be rampant, but Karuta’s current reaction did a better job of conveying the orc’s anger.

Killian spoke in the face of Karuta’s Orc Fear, which was slowly erupting from Karuta’s figure.

“It is too early to be sure whether she is dead or not. She is only missing in action for now.”

“Krrr…”

Karuta’s Orc Fear intensified along with his growl.

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