Chapter 337

“Where is it? I’m going.”

“Hmm…”

Killian took on a cautious expression before shaking his head.

“No. This is an issue of the duchy. Although the Ancona Orcs are our allies, you, the head of the Ancona Orcs, should not move hastily.”

“How come?”

Karuta asked back in a furious tone.

Under normal circumstances, Killian would have become frightened and taken a few steps back, but now, he responded without a single change in expression.

“You may not understand, but the recent death of Duke Arangis in Leus has put a lot of pressure on the lord. The atmosphere in the imperial castle is quite turbulent right now, with the imperial nobles scrutinizing every move of our lord and the duchy. At a time like this, if you head to someone else’s territory and something happens, things could quickly get out of hand.”

Killian recounted the same precautions that he heard from Vincent.

“The Earth be split! Why are human beings so complicated!?”

Eventually, Karuta burst into rage. Killian understood the orc’s reaction. In fact, Killian himself had been annoyed when he heard the reasoning from Vincent.

“Eltuan is not human! She is a brother under the great Earth God, just like any other orcs! Why do I have to give a rat’s ass about human matters!? I’m going!”

“No, you cannot just…”

“Karuta is right.”

Killian flinched and turned around at the new voice.

“.....!”

His eyes grew slightly with shock.

Dozens of Red Moon Valley elves were looking at him.

“This has nothing to do with human circumstances. Although we came here following Duke Pendragon, it is unclear right now whether one of our own is alive or not. We will move according to the laws of the Red Moon.”

One elf spoke while stepping forward, and the others nodded in agreement.

“Hmm…”

Killian observed each and every one of the Red Moon warriors with a stiffened expression. All of them looked angry and determined. He spoke with a sigh.

“Then there is no helping it. I will let the duchess know. However, not everyone will go. If the Red Moon Valley elves and the Ancona Orcs move together, it could pose a serious threat to other territories.”

“Then what are you going to do?”

The elven warriors frowned at Killian’s words, and Karuta stepped forward.

“I will pick out three or four. Some of our people will be accompanying you as well. There’s the issue with knowing the land, and it will be easier to move about if some of our own are there as well.”

The elves whispered amongst themselves for a moment. After sharing their opinions, an elf warrior stepped up.

“We will do as you wish. And I want that orc friend to be with us. It will be helpful in many ways for a strong warrior to be with us.”

“Keheung!”

Karuta crossed his arms while snorting. His forearm muscles wriggled like living worms, as if silently protesting.

“Well…”

After a moment of thought, Killian nodded.

“So be it. I will let the duchess know.”

*** 

“Let us do that. However, you, Sir Killian, are excluded.”

“...what did you say? Heut! M, my apologies.”

Killian had wanted to join the group to search for Eltuan as well. However, he retorted involuntarily before realizing his mistake and bowing his head. He could not speak carelessly to the mistress of the family.

“The situation is quite precarious, both in and outside of the duchy. Moreover, the duke is away right now. The head knight of Pendragon should not be absent from the duchy at a time like this.”

“My thoughts fell short. Forgive this foolish knight, duchess.”

Killian felt shame at Elena’s words, and his head drooped even further.

“That is all right. I know that you fought alongside the lady elf Eltuan as a comrade in the South. I am sure you were quite worried about her.”

“.....”

“So you can send a knight that you trust.”

“Yes, my lady. Then, please excuse me.”

Killian stood up after straightening his knees, then bowed politely before leaving. Elena stared at his back with a smile, then spoke quietly.

“Oh, all of our knights are so kindhearted, even though they become so brave when they wield their blades. Would you not agree?”

“...I think it must be because they practice chivalry. His Excellency Duke Pendragon is very lucky to have so many capable knights.”

Argos replied in a solemn voice while standing a few steps behind Elena.

“Yes. The duke has truly been blessed. Now, shall we go?”

Elena spoke with a pleased expression, then rose to her feet. Argos and the quietly waiting maids followed behind her as she left the room.

“Duchess.”

Lindsay quickly rose to her feet. She had been concentrating on something with her back leaning against the wall in a comfortable position.

“No, lie down. Mia, there you are.”

“Yes, mother.”

“Kiek!”

Mia quickly stood up and bent her knees in a bow. She had been reading a book by Lindsay’s side. And Kazzal, who was playing at her feet, quickly hid behind the bed as if he was afraid of Elena. Elena smiled softly and stroked her daughter’s head. She felt proud of her youngest daughter. Before, Mia would have paddled over and embraced her, but now she had matured.

“Were you reading to the babes?”

“Yes, since I am going to be an aunt soon.”

Although she spoke and acted like an adult, Elena and the maids could not hide their smiles at the sight of Mia. She was just so cute and adorable.

“You should treasure your body. Your body is not yours alone anymore.”

Elena dissuaded Lindsay from standing up. Lindsay gently bowed her head.

After sitting down next to Lindsay, Elena stroked Lindsay's stomach with a gentle smile.

“You must eat well and rest well. Always keep your stomach warm. It is not good for you to move suddenly, so always be in a comfortable position.”

“I understand.”

“By the way, what were you doing?”

Elena asked while gesturing towards what Lindsay had been working on. Lindsay held it up with embarrassment.

“I was making socks for the children. I remembered my mother making it for my younger brother when he was still in her womb. Since they are due to be born when it’s cold…”

“I see. I also made it when I was expecting the duke.”

A soft smile appeared around Elena’s lips as she recalled her own experience.

“You are very skilled. The two pairs are exactly the same.”

Elena also knew that Lindsay had twins. Raven had relayed it to her after hearing it from Soldrake.

“Not at all.”

Lindsay quickly shook her head. However, she had been known for her excellent knitting skills since the days she spent as a maid in Conrad Castle. The socks she made were superb.

“Good. Very good…”

Elena had been under a lot of pressure recently due to the current situation. However, her unborn grandchildren brought her great joy and relief. Simply looking at Lindsay, who was getting a fuller stomach day by day, brightened her mood.

“Your skin will start to become rough and spots will form. But do not worry, it is something that everyone goes through. I experienced it as well.”

“Yes.”

In fact, Lindsay had been a little worried about a brown spot that formed on her neck a little while ago. Elena reassured her as if reading her mind, and Lindsay smiled while feeling embarrassed and relieved at the same time.

Elena held Lindsay’s hands tightly, then spoke as a thought came to mind.

“Ah, did you know that Serin arrived?”

“Oh! The lady who is set to marry Lord Isla. I heard about it… She experienced something horrendous, right…?”

“Yes. I told her to rest since she went through something so traumatic. It could have been so much worse… You will be able to see her at the dinner banquet. I have known her ever since she was young. She is gentle and amicable. I am sure she could be good friends with you.”

“Yes. I am looking forward to it as well.”

Lindsay nodded brightly. But Elena’s expression seemed somewhat uncomfortable. As such, Lindsay asked back.

“Is there anything you are worried about?”

“No, it’s just… I do not know if it is because it has been such a long time since I last saw her, but she seemed a little different from before…”

“By different, you mean…”

Elena was one of the most considerate, wise women she knew. As such, she became a little worried and asked back.

“Perhaps it is because she spent so much time in the monastery. That and the incident must have caused her to go into shock. There is no need for you to worry. Worrying will not be good for the children either.”

“As you wish.”

Lindsay bowed her head. Elena patted her on the back, then rose from her seat.

“Mia, take good care of the babies and your sister.”

“Yes. Do not worry, mother. I am here, and Kazzal is here as well.”

“Yes. Kazzal listens well to little Pendragon.”

When Mia answered bravely, Kazzal stuck out his head and chimed in.

“Yes, I will entrust it to you two. You do not have to get up, so rest comfortably.”

Elena nodded several times with a kind expression before turning away.

“Phew. It seems the duchess is quite worried, little lady.”

Lindsay sighed as soon as Elena walked out the door. Mia glued herself to Lindsay’s side and held her hands.

“Just as mother said, do not worry about it, Baroness Conrad. It is not good for the babies.”

“Yes. Thank you, little lady.”

Lindsay placed her hands on the back of her sister-in-law’s hand, holding back the laughter that threatened to burst. Mia had been young and shy until not too long ago. But she transformed like a lie as soon as she heard she was going to be an aunt. It went without saying that everyone was overjoyed about her transformation, not to mention that she was speaking again.

Blood was thicker than water.

Although Mia was completely different from Irene, who was smart, a little sneaky, and arrogant, she was still responsible and very considerate. Everyone knew it to be the influence of their mother, Duchess Elena Pendragon.

“I will always be by the babies’ and your side until my brother and sister come back.”

The youngest daughter of the Pendragon Duchy spoke in a clear voice as if promising herself. A smile appeared on everyone’s lips, and the troubling atmosphere brightened at once.

The little girl was completely changed with the birth of new life, and her transformation was changing so many things.

*** 

“Here comes the duchess. Everyone get up and show respect!”

General Melborn shouted in a solemn voice. He was dressed in a black tailcoat free of any wrinkles, and his hair was smoothly combed back.

Everyone in the hall stood up. The men took off their hats and the women slightly bent one knee while shouting in one voice.

“We greet the duchess.”

“Everyone, please sit comfortably.”

Elena slowly strode forward while being escorted by Argos, Serin, and her maids. As she observed the palace, a glimmer appeared in her eyes.

Until just a year ago, only a dozen guards and nobles had been present in the wide hall. But today, there were over a hundred knights and soldiers armed in silver armor, and the number of attending nobles was even greater. The extravagant palace was engraved with a large symbol of the dragon on the floor, and it displayed its full brilliance with numerous attendees. 

Elena’s eyes glittered with tears of pride as she looked around the palace filled with countless people. How much had she endured and suffered as a widowed mistress of a duchy?

But now, the historic palace of Conrad Castle was so full of people that the dragon’s symbol on the floor was not even fully visible.

This scene was a clear indication that the Pendragon Duchy had once again risen to its glory.


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