Author: alyalia

Luize dropped her gaze instead of answering. She knew the pain of losing loved ones all too well. During her solitary days in Perils, she cried often, missing those who had left her. Some days, she blamed the gods for treating her unfairly, and on others, she irrationally hated the forest itself. Perhaps Lorein felt the same way.


Lorein’s steps halted in front of a large door. “He entrusted you to me. So, Luize, if you’re ever hurt or in need, come to Servenia.”


“…Father did?” Luize asked.


“Yes. The brooch he left you, that’s the proof. If you show it to the world, we are bound to meet. Instead of ‘take care,’ his letter ended with ‘I entrust her to you.’ What a stubborn man.”


Lorein’s eyes reddened, and she furrowed her brow. Whenever she mentioned Allen, she became brusque, seemingly holding back tears. Luize could easily tell Lorein missed her father dearly.


“I see…”


Lorein opened the door to Kasel’s room, a spacious area fitting for the household’s head, with a large bed at the far end where a pale man lay sleeping.


“He has platinum blond hair just like Aunt.”


“And when he opens his eyes, you’ll see he has the same purple eyes as you.”


Kasel seemed to take after his mother. Even with his eyes closed, Luize could tell Lorein’s resemblance in his face. Her cousin was quite tall and would have been quite the topic of conversation in high society if he had been in the capital, thanks to his handsome appearance. Despite having grown up under a strict mother, his features suggested a more approachable personality.


“He looks quite pale, probably because he’s been asleep for so long.”


“It was worse before he fell asleep. You’d think he wasn’t from a line of healers, the way he was obsessed with healing methods. Speaking of which, Luize. You said you inherited all of Allen’s healing techniques, right?”




“Kasel was deeply troubled that he couldn’t find the healing method passed down through our family. It was supposed to be taught from one lord to the next, so I didn’t know it either. Just my luck that my husband didn’t pass it on before your father disappeared… He was devastated, thinking he was unworthy of being the lord without it. The technique was called ‘The Method of Hearing the Departed,’ wasn’t it?”


Luize blinked in surprise. “Wait, I know that.”


“You do?” Lorein asked, her eyes widening at Luize.


“Yes. It’s not a cure-all, and my father thought it so trivial that he considered publishing it in a journal or newspaper. I can tell you about it.”


“Kasel will be thrilled when he wakes up! Ah, Luize. If you want to follow in Allen’s footsteps, you could receive training to become the lord. Though, if you were to marry, your husband would become the lord, as that’s the rightful line of succession. Kasel would understand.”


“What? I don’t need such a position. I haven’t received nor do I wish to receive lord’s training.”


Luize quickly set boundaries, and Lorein muttered with a complicated expression, “In other families, there’s a bloodbath to become the lord, but in Servenia, it’s like passing around some kind of bomb. Kasel was so resistant to becoming the lord at first. After all, the previous two lords had died young.”


“If I had experienced that, I would have been scared too.”




That’s when a thin voice interrupted the conversation between the two. Luize and Lorein shifted their gaze towards the source of the voice. Lorein’s eyes widened.


“Oh my.”


As Luize gasped, Kasel’s brow furrowed. He groaned in a hoarse voice, fluttering his golden eyelashes.


“Kasel, are you awake? Doctor, come and check on him!”


“Milord, are you conscious?”


Finally, his golden eyelashes fully lifted, revealing purple eyes similar to Luize’s.


Ah… Why is everyone making such a fuss over me waking up from sleep? Doctor? Why are you here? Move aside, please. That lady over there.”


Desperation laced his rough, unused voice.


“I heard in my sleep that you know ‘The Method of Hearing the Departed.’”


“Yes? Ah, yes.”


“Stay there, don’t go anywhere. Let me gather my thoughts.” He tried to get up but fell back weakly. “Why can’t I feel any strength in my body? Mother, how long have I been asleep?”


“Almost half a year. You’ve been barely clinging to life with the help of magic tools and potions. And here you are, looking for that as soon as you wake up.” Joy and relief mixed in Lorein’s voice as she spoke.


“You must have been upset. I’m sorry. My muscles must have atrophied. Even with the help of potions, rehabilitation will take a long time.”


“You could have woken up earlier.”


“Was I ill? Even if I was overworked…”


“It wasn’t an illness but black magic. Let’s talk more about it later.”


“Alright. But you, the lady?” Kasel called out to Luize.


Luize, standing there bewildered, spoke up. “My name is Luize di Servenia. I’m Marquis’s cousin.”


Ah, I have a cousin? So, you know about it.”


“Kasel. It’s rude not to greet a cousin you’re meeting for the first time properly.”


“…I’m sorry. Let me be polite again and ask, where is ‘The Method of Hearing the Departed’ now?”


As Kasel continued his questioning, Lorein murmured about not being able to scold a patient who had just awakened and pressed her forehead with her palm.


Luize’s cousin seemed to have a personality that didn’t listen much, regardless of strict parents.


“It’s in my head. There’s probably a document my father wrote in the main house, but it’s really nothing special… Many people might already know it. It might seem obvious, but…”


“Obvious? It’s the family’s secret technique. I searched the entire castle three times to find it. I even sneaked into the capital’s residence and got hit on the back by my mother at this age.”


“But if an important healing technique is kept as our secret, it’s meaningless. Healing techniques are meant to heal and save everyone.”


Oh… that’s a point.” Kasel nodded slightly. “So what exactly is this not-so-special content? The name sounded grand. Ah, but since it’s the family’s secret technique, it’s better if it’s just the three of us.”


“I’ll step outside for a moment.”


The attending doctor, who had been quietly listening, excused himself politely and left the room.


“So, ‘The Method of Hearing the Departed’ is…”


After hearing the whole story, Kasel laughed helplessly.


“All that for this? Ha, ahahaha…”


“It’s nothing special, I told you.” Luize shrugged.


* * *

Edward immediately went to see Kasel after hearing he had woken up. Unable to get out of bed, Kasel greeted the grand duke with an uncomfortable face.


To Servenia, Edward was a complicated figure. A person they could freely blame, yet also a burden on their conscience. Servenia had lost two lords due to their involvement with the imperial family, but it was also true that Servenia had failed to protect the previous emperor. In fact, the latter was more deserving of reproach.


Servenia knew the death of the previous emperor wasn’t just a simple rebellion. The condition of the bodies that crossed the threshold of the imperial palace on the night of the rebellion said so. However, if Kasel were to die after losing a lord and having a young heir take his place, Servenia would likely fall to a collateral line and struggle to regain its former glory. In the end, they chose to turn away and flee, not to fall out of favor with the emperor and to sever ties with Edward.


The emperor sent letters to people several times, but the deposed crown prince did not seek them out or blame them. That allowed them to hate the powerless disposed crown prince more easily.


“…Thank you for helping the territory.”


“There’s no need to thank me. It involves my subordinate. On the contrary, we should thank you for making it easier for us to cooperate. Servenia owes the knightly order nothing.”


Lorein, too, bowed her head uncomfortably as she watched.


Servenia had fled the capital, blaming Edward. It was a comfortable escape, a cowardly consolation for the losers. The disposed crown prince they had ignored chose to overlook Servenia’s misdeeds as his answer that Servenia owed him nothing. But why then did their hearts feel uneasy?


“I hope the Lord of Servenia recovers quickly.”




A heavy silence settled in the room after Edward left. Unable to leave the bed, Kasel could not join them for dinner, so Lorein, Luize, and Edward dined together. The other knights dined separately in the annex.


“To think you were the famous Madam Cloette… I had my suspicions when you mentioned being lovers, but you really don’t choose the easy path, just like your father. From a philandering count to now the grand duke.”


“That’s how it is…” Luize smiled awkwardly and nodded.


“I didn’t expect Your Excellency to be a lover of a married woman. I regret it. You were one of the few men I didn’t need to scold.”


“Well, she’s not a married woman anymore, so it’s settled, isn’t it?”


“How casually you say that.” Lorein frowned and sighed shortly.


Edward paused to use his utensils, and Lorein sharply noticed his hesitation. There were occasional moments like this during the meal, but Luize seemed not to notice anything unusual.


“Luize. Where did you gain your practical experience as a healer?”


“In Perils. Most of it was providing first aid to the injured.”


“I see. Then it’s natural you wouldn’t notice.”

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