In front of the main residence of the Grand Duke all the servants gathered to see off Elena to the Frontier Academy.
“How long it’s been since you’ve come back… to be away from home again. I don’t feel comfortable.”
Grand Duke Friedrich gently hugged Elena then let her go. His face was full of anxiety for his daughter heading to the academy.
“Don’t worry about me and take care of yourself, Father.”
Elena also played a filial daughter who loved her father very much and both played a kind father daughter relationship. Some maids looked pitiful and moved in tears.
“Liv, I’ll be back.”
“I look forward to you becoming a more intelligent lady, Your Highness.”
“I’ll try to live up to your expectations.”
Elena, who said goodbye, loaded herself into the top-of-the-line carriage. It was not long before the coachman’s whip began to move the wheels of the carriage.
The carriage, which slowly began to accelerate, proceeded at a rapid pace. The Frontier Academy is located on the outskirts of the Empire’s capital.It takes about a couple of hours to reach while traveling in a carriage. Elena sat with her chin on her hand and organized her thoughts by looking at the panoramic view of the capital through the window.
‘Whether I want it or not, I’ll see people with deep connections.’
The first person that comes to mind was Ren. He was currently attending the Faculty of Swordsmanship at the Academy, and there was a high possibility that he would get involved with her in some way.
Since he’s someone who sees bullying Veronica as a pleasure in life.
Also, there’s him.
A person she loved once more than her life; the emperor and her husband. They lived as a couple, but their relationship was worse than anyone else. She wanted to avoid him if she could because seeing him in flesh reveals the scars she had.
‘It won’t work out my way.’
It was certain that they would run into each other. In particular, if they stay in a detached dormitory where only descendants of the royal family, high-ranking aristocrats above the title of duke, and descendants of the founding meritorious retainer are available, they would encounter each other more.
‘I’ll pretend I don’t know him even if we meet him. There is no point hurting each other with the resentments of my previous life.’
While Elena was engrossed in her own thoughts, the carriage arrived at the front gate of the Frontier Academy. After a brief identification, the carriage entered the academy.
Elena glanced at the view of the academic institute outside the window. After passing by the familiar clock tower, sculptures, fountains, and training grounds for the Faculty of Swordsmanship, the wall continued on the basis of an open road. Beyond that, she could see the roofs of the two-story buildings built in western style, just like small villas.
“We’ve arrived at the dormitory, Your Highness.”
When Elena pointed out the outside with her chin, Anne quickly opened the door of the carriage. When she got off, Anne bowed down in silence.
Elena’s eyes surveyed the area carefully. It was like a garden in a forest where the harmony between a single dormitory building, a small pool of water, and a laurel tree were all well matched.
“Why are you guys in the back? Move the luggage.”
Anne, who had been distracted by the appearance, began to move the luggage hurriedly. May also rolled up her arms and helped. Hurelbad looked outside the dormitory to find out about the surrounding environment. Elena stood in the living room and reception room on the first floor and pointed out eye-catching things one by one.
“The curtains are old. Replace it. When was this done? Take it off.”
Erasing the traces of Princess Veronica, Elena filled the space with frames, curtains and carpets from the Grand Dukedom. She was willing to endure this much because she had to spend a year here.
Elena went upstairs to the bedroom which was somewhat organized. Elena, who scanned and checked the cleaning condition of the room, sat on the bed with satisfaction.
“We’ll have a lot of visitors in the next few days. Don’t slack off and be hospitable. Especially Anne, pay attention to refreshments. Wouldn’t May be able to follow suit if you set an example?”
“Of course! Just trust me, miss.”
Anne’s expression quickly brightened up at the word appointment.
She was actually anxious because May was older than her. When Elena stepped up and arranged the order, Anne’s insecurities subdued and she felt flattered.
This reaction was anticipated by Elena. Elena was planning to train Anne without using her own hands and just by using May. Anne, who has a nasty personality, apparently would rhyme her seniority and boast in front of May. Still, May had a lot of age, and was someone difficult to deal with, and it was visible that she was struggling.
‘Can I handle May?’
She was holding her breath now, but May was a poisonous snake.
Otherwise, she wouldn’t even have attempted to assassinate the Grand Duke.
“Anne, go down and clean up.”
“Yes! Your Highness the Princess.”
Anne responded vigorously, and left the bedroom. Over the closed door, a creaking sound of the wooden staircase was heard. When the sound was no more audible, Elena took out an emerald brooch from a jewelry box inside the drawer.
“May, you will go on an errand separately.”
Elena put out the emerald brooch.
“Go to the academy and find out if there is a student named Lucia in the first year of the archaeological department. If there is, find her and give this to her.”
“Yes, Your Highness the Princess.”
“You should know one more thing. Anne must never know about this. Right now, from now onward. Do you understand me?”
May nodded silently. Her face showed a slight hint of curiosity k, but she swallowed it without asking.
After May was dismissed, she realized she was tired.
“Wait a minute. Can I lay on the hay now?”
Elena lay on the bed as if she was falling. Sleep poured on her because of the fatigue that accumulated in her throughout the ride in the carriage.
Elena woke up after a long sleep and opened her eyes. The night came as the sunset stretched beyond the skies.
“… How long has it been since I slept with such a peace of mind?”
It seemed that the tension was relieved when she left the Grand Duchy to avoid Leabric’s surveillance. She couldn’t believe she slept so long in broad daylight.
She heard a knock as she was touching her messy hair and clothes.
“This is May.”
May, who opened the door, held out a brooch wrapped in a handkerchief.
“I heard she was in school, but I was unable to find and meet her. I went to the dorm and met her roommate; she said she hadn’t seen her in a few days.”
“Really? I can’t help it. Well done.”
When May turned around and left the bedroom, Elena put the brooch back in the jewelry box.
“What kind of person are you, Lucia?”
Elena had never met Lucia. Despite taking the same liberal arts course, Lucia never attended, so she ne’er had a chance to see her. It was even said that Lucia was the first person to sign up for classes and skip lectures all year round.
“Did you have any symptoms before the start of course?”
As she found out later, Lucia was ailing and unable to stay at the academy and attend lectures.
The northern fever, known as the indigenous disease of the northern region, is accompanied by a high fever and cough similar to a cold, with showing early skin exfoliation. It was a rare disease in the empire that encompassed the central and southern parts of the continent, but was often seen among the three-nation alliance and the indigenous people of the north.
The reason why the northern fever was so scary was that there was no proper treatment. Unlike a common cold, any medicine was useless. It was enough for doctors to say that the best treatment was prevention.
Lucia had early symptoms of the northern fever and had rushed off for medical treatment without having enough time to take a leave of absence. . That’s why she was never able to attend even though the name Lucia was written in the attendance book of the lecture.
Elena remembered an indelible name with Lucia: Emilio. He was the head of the Castol Corporation, who was named in the top ten companies in the continent. The first time she heard the name was when she was just in the wilderness. This was because rumors had spread that Emilio, the owner of the upper house, was traveling to the North of the Empire, and was pouring huge amounts of money to treat his daughter Lucia.
Emilio visited the tribe of the grasslands when he heard that some eastern grassland tribes had been completely cured of fever. Impressed by the resolution to save his daughter, the tribe of grassland allowed him to stay despite being a stranger.
Did that sincerity reach the sky? Emilio eventually found out the medicine that would cure the northern fever. The medicinal herbs were laminergia petals. While looking for reasons why grassland tribes did not develop the northern fever, he noted that they regularly ate the leaves of laminergia flowers.
In the north, where the winter was long, laminergia flowers were not always in bloom, so he found out that laminergia flowers were not available everywhere like the grassland tribes.
In the process, he devoted his life to bankruptcy and wasted his entire estate, but if only his daughter could be saved, that was enough.
After all, how could he compare wealth with the life of his precious daughter?
Confident of the medicine, he was buoyed by the hope of saving his daughter. He hurried to see Lucia because he wanted her to get better soon. HoweverLucia, who had been fighting the disease for a long time, couldn’t hold out for just one day.
Emilio cried out. He cried his eyes out in front of Lucia’s grave for days and days. Then after some time, he managed to get over his feelings, wrote down a cure for the Northern fever he had learned. At the end of the year, he wrote that he hoped no one would die of the Northern Fever like his daughter. And a few days later, Emilio, who lost his reason to live, died. It was a tragic end indeed.
Elena hated tragedy. This is because she had faced a tragic ending as well.
“Lucia, in that sense, you’re a lucky girl.”
Elena sat at her desk and took out the finest parchment. After printing ink on a fountain pen, she wrote it down with a single stroke, folded it, and put it in an envelope.
“Your life, I’ll save it. Think of it as a price for borrowing your name.”
A year from now. Elena will be touring the academy with her name and status.
The only daughter of the castol merchant and a book-loving archaeological schoolgirl: Lucia.
The Frontier Academy is an educational institution that aims to produce outstanding talent by studying, learning, and developing various qualities. However, few of the aristocrats entered the school to learn professional knowledge or study. Children of high-ranking aristocrats did not pay much attention to the education of academic institutes because they received private education from their young teachers.
Nevertheless, there is one reason why the aristocratic children cross the empire threshold of the academy.