The first thing Mariette saw was the unfamiliar ceiling. Then she heard a rumbling sound and two figures filled his vision.

What happened? Oh right, wolf, she thought as the voices of the people around her passed casually in his ear.

”Viscountess Tierney, you are currently at the border castle. I found you lying in the back woods earlier, ” someone explained to her.

Mariette squinted, trying to clear her vision. ”Sir Elroy? ”

”My Lady, are you having trouble seeing? ”

That just sounded like her butlers voice. ”Emmanuel? My vision is a little blurry and dark, ” Mariette told him.

”Did you just sit up all of a sudden? Just lie down or lean back first, ” said Elroy. ”Do you feel dizzy or sick in any part? ”

”My Lady, please move your hands and feet. Tell me if you have trouble moving it, ” said Emmanuele.

Mariette obeyed Emmanuele. She could move his legs, but her hands were a little difficult. ”My hand… ”

”Thats it? How about a headache? ” Elroy asked.

Mariette looked at Elroy. ”Its normal—except my vision is a little blurry. ”

Mariette could catch the confusion in Elroys expression and tone just now. But the man didn ask her anything else and immediately gave his order to others.

It didn take long for Elroy to leave the infirmary room to take care of something. Only Mariette and Emmanuele were left.

”Forgive me, My Lady. It seems Sir Elroy has realized something, but I haven had a chance to explain yet, ” Emmanuele told her.

”It doesn matter. That can be taken care of later, ” said Mariette.

Emmanuele looked like he wanted to deny it, only he chose to hold it in. ”Then, just as you say, My Lady. The important thing is we go back first, then call a healer for you. Linda must be really worried about you. ”

”Yes. I also want to come back soon… ”


There is still a lot of work to be done by Mariette as a viscountess.

The head of the Tierney family has for generations served members of the royal family as the household secretary of the Palace. In the past, her late father served as the Palace secretary. After her father died, her uncle who took over remembered Mariette was still very young. Then two years ago, when her uncle died, Mariette took over everything.

The problem wasn just the Palace household that Mariette had to take care of. Her job as head of the Tierney family should not be left behind. Whenever the Palace gave her a day off, Mariette would use it to take care of her little estate.

Lets be honest, 24 hours a day is not enough for Mariette. Especially now that one hand is not functioning properly.

”Shouldn you rest, My Lady? Its a holiday. You also just had an accident, ” said Linda, Mariettes lady-in-waiting who has been with her for almost half her life.

”This can wait, Linda. The Palace will soon hold a debutante for Her Highness the Princess. I will be swamped. So its better now for me to start preparing for the needs of our region for the next few months, ”explained Mariette.

”My Lady… ” Linda sighed. ”Excuse my impudence, but Im sure Mr. Emmanuele can do circuit work for you. ”

A knocking sound is heard. Emmanuel appeared from behind her office door.

”Excellent timing, we were just talking about you, ” Mariette said.

”Sir Elroy is coming to see you, My Lady, ” Emmanuele told her.

”Visiting? ” Mariette repeated. ”I will meet him. Its time for lunch, right? Serve it to Sir Elroy as well. ”

Mariette also meets Elroy in the drawing room. The maids served tea, sandwiches, and some sweets that could be eaten with hands.

”How are you doing, My Lady? ” he asked. His blue eyes fell on Mariettes hand. ”Looks like youve returned to work. Shouldn you rest first? ”

”Your words are exactly what my maid said just now, ” Mariette replied. ”I am all right thanks to your prompt assistance, Sir Elroy. The healer said I almost froze to death. ”

Mariette watched Elroys expression turn stiff. ”Yes… When I found you, your skin was icy and pale. ”

”This is the first time someone has said that to me. ”

”Ah, my apologies. I didn mean to make a bad comment about your―erm―appearance. ”

”I also heard from Emmanuele that you changed my clothes and took care of all the wounds on my body. ”

”I swear I don touch more than necessary, My Lady. ”

”Really? In that case, is there anything else that bothers you that you are watching me with such scrutinizing eyes? ”

Elroy immediately looked uncomfortable. The man gasped, glanced left and right, then looked at Mariette with a determined look.

”My apologies Viscountess Tierney. Im sure you were already dead at that time, ” said Elroy with a sharp look. ”Its not about your skin being cold as a corpse anymore. Pulse, heartbeat… No matter how hard I searched for it, I couldn find and feel it. ”

Mariette sipped her tea quietly. ”But in fact, Im still alive, ” she said.

”Yeah, and its just plain ridiculous. ”

”Are you frightened, Sir Elroy? Or perhaps you think I am a wizard? ”

”Thats impossible, ” said Elroy confidently. ”Witches on this continent have long been extinct. The last witch was Her Majesty the Queen, right? And as far as I know, none of the twins are descended from wizarding talent. Its just… ”

”Its just that? ”

”Its not impossible that you
e a wizard, considering how His Majesty the King has treated you far too well. He treats you like his own daughter, too much if I may say so. ”

”Thats true. His Majesty the King has indeed treated me very well. But not because I am a wizard. ”

”Then, may I know why? ”

Mariette stared deep into Elroys blue eyes. The man was not at all afraid of being stared at by Olive Mariettes eyes which looked empty.

”Because the late Queen froze my heart. His Majesty the King feels guilty because his wife has cursed me. ”

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