Shadow Queen

Chapter 6

“How can I send you off? How can I?”

Chesana’s heart darkened at the thought of parting with Elena, who was still young.


It was the same for Elena. Feeling sorry for Chesana, she was eager to spend one more day with her.

‘Let’s not be shaken. Haven’t you been preparing for this?’

But Elena strictly controlled herself. It’s difficult to restrain your emotions when Liabrick’s eyes are on you. There was a possibility that it could cause suspicion. It’s better to pretend you can’t win right now.

“…I’ll go, as a substitute.”

She had no intention of just leaving. Elena quickly went on to say something.

“Let me spend just three hours with my family. No, two hours is fine. Please.”

Liabrick, who was tapping her fingers on the table to gauge the time, reluctantly accepted.

“I can give you two hours. I can’t do more than that.”

“Thank you. That’s enough.”

As soon as they found an agreement, the frightful Liabrick left the house to prepare for their departure. There was a strange silence when only the three of them remained. Knowing that there was no time to be doing this, no one knew where to begin to say anything ahead of the uncommitted farewell.

“When did my baby grow up like this… You’d always been a crybaby.”

Chesana, barely speaking, stroked Elena’s cheek. Her reddened eyes warned that she could shed tears at any moment. Baronet Frederick’s voice, who tried to keep his composure, trembled slightly.

“Don’t worry about us, just mind your own business. Do you understand?”

“Mother, Father.”

Elena clenched her teeth in a momentary surge of emotion. Don’t be weak. It’ll be difficult if you falter. The time given now is golden. Spend this time in vain and you’ll lose your chance forever.

“Listen to what I’m going to say now.”

Grimness grazed Elena’s voice.

“Leave this place before Liabrick returns.”

When asked to leave in a hurry, the couple blinked as if to say, ‘what are you talking about?’

“Leave? Where to?”

“Didn’t we decide to entrust her with the situation? I don’t know what you’re being fickle about now.”

When Elena changed her words, the couple looked perplexed. Elena abandoned her impatience and calmly convinced them as she had prepared—she had expected that it wouldn’t be easy to persuade them.

“Isn’t it strange? The Lord who offered to sponsor a mere fallen nobleman was strange, but I don’t understand why I’d be a concubine as soon as I rejected the sponsorship. What’s even more amazing is that Liabrick appeared in front of us when we were driven into a corner. As if they were waiting.”

“You mean…”

“Maybe it’s all fabricated.”

The couple flagged. It was unknown when it could be passed by as insignificant, but when doubt started to grow, there were more than one or two things that were suspicious. However, it was impossible to accept Elena’s speculation as a fait accompli. It was only an assumption, and it was beyond comprehension as to why she approached Elena that way.

Elena said it wasn’t a simple question to confirm.

“The obvious thing is, for whatever reason, the Grand Duke of Friedrich needs me.”

“You, you… How do you know it’s the Grand Duke?”

Baronet Frederick stammered in astonishment. This was why Elena had never mentioned that the Great House of the Empire she had to depart for was the Grand Duke.

“I knew it from the moment I saw the crest.”


“Please wait a minute. I have something for both of you.”

Elena briefly asked for their understanding and turned around. She then went into the room. When she came back into the living room, there was a sealed envelope in her hand.

“I know you’re curious. No doubt you want to ask numerous questions. I wrote everything down in here. Why you have to leave, where to go, and how to find a way to live.”

“When did you ever…”

The couple were confused and at a loss. They didn’t know how to take this. Elena looked as if she had predicted this before. Otherwise, everything prepared in advance could not be explained.

“If you leave the back door, go straight to the path along Mount Rose. Fifty steps to the right of the Zelkova Tree in the middle will lead to a stream. If you follow the stream and cross the hillside, you can see the Ronyalf River.”

“You, you…”

“There should be a boat at the ferry dock downstream. Take it and cross the border along the current.”

The couple were astounded to hear that there was even a ferry boat prepared. She was certain this time. Elena knew this was going to happen, so she had prepared it ahead of time.

How the hell did you know? No, apart from that, is that possible? Come to think of it, Elena might have cried lovingly, but she was not a smart or wise child.

But Elena had suddenly changed two months ago. Not only did her speech and behavior mature, but she also became thoughtful. Also, the knowledge and insight that unconsciously popped out were hard for the couple to understand. They should have noticed by then. That Elena had changed.

‘As a father, I’m disqualified. I can’t believe I’m so ignorant of my daughter.’

He regretted trying to assess and judge Elena by his own standards. Elena must have been frustrated because a person who only saw trees on the ground tried to understand a person who saw a forest. [1]

“We’ll leave.”

Baronet Frederick spoke with difficulty.


“But you’re coming with us.”

Elena raised her chin to make eye contact. Though aware of Baronet Frederick’s concerns, who was worried about his daughter, he was taken aback by the fact that he could not be with her.

“I can’t go. No, I won’t be able to.”

“You said he was untrustworthy! How do you know he’s not going to harm you? Let’s go together.”

Even Chesana persuaded her to come along, but Elena was adamant.

“They need me for some reason. I wasn’t going to mindlessly argue with you. But Mother and Father are different. Both of you clearly won’t be kept alive. If kept alive, you’ll be hostages. As a means of controlling and suppressing me.”

Elena’s terrifying expression made the couples’ mouths open wide. Control, hostage, oppression. None of those words were unacceptable or without sufficient explanation. Elena continued speaking incessantly.

“I have to stay. There’s something I have to do by following them.”

Revenge. The hatred that had barely subsided below the surface, would rise again and revenge would begin. By then, she would use herself and drive those who had led to her miserable death to destruction.

“What are you going to do? What is it that you’re going to do?”

“Please don’t worry about me.”


The couple were on the verge of collapsing. They felt miserable, leaving their child in a fatal situation and running away on their own. Elena said she had something to do in the Empire, but she was very sorry that it seemed they were to blame for not being able to leave together.

“I’m running out of time. They’ll be here soon.”

“Elena, let me ask you one thing.”

There was a deep sense of remorse in Baronet Frederick’s eyes, who stared at his daughter.

“Have we put you in danger?”


Elena replied as if she didn’t have to think. I know what you’re feeling beyond that anxious glance.

“This is unavoidable. Like a midsummer shower.”

How could we avoid the rainstorms of dark clouds that had covered the dry sky without warning? It was only fortunate to find a place to avoid the rain before your whole body and skin got wet. Baronet Frederick dropped his head helplessly.

“…I’ll do as you say.”

Eventually, the couple prepared to leave, feeling like they were cutting out their own flesh. It was all light clothes, gold coins, and envelopes. With the farewell at hand, the couple stood at the back door. Once that door opens and you get yourself into that dark environment, it will really be time to part.

“Come here.”

Chesana half-sobbed, hugging Elena tightly. Baronet Frederick wrapped the mother and daughter in his open arms. Their body temperatures, which were close enough to reach each other’s breath, was comforting at this moment.

“Our Elena, my only daughter in the world.”

Elena held her breath. She hid her gentle sobbing through her teeth to prevent it from escaping. Elena, Elena, Elena. I will keep that name in my heart, not in my ears. I will not forget the name that will soon be erased from the world, and perhaps my identity that won’t be heard of again.

“Let’s go.”

The brief and calm farewell was imbued with unimaginable injustice.

“Be careful, and we’ll surely meet again, okay?”

When she opened the back door, Elena looked at Chesana and smiled silently, colored with grief.

“Wife, let’s go.”

Chesana was forced away along the hillside by Baronet Frederick. Even as she gradually moved away, her eyes were still glued to Elena’s.

“Please stay safe.”

Elena straightened out her posture by capturing the increasingly distant couple in her eyes. She placed her hands on her stomach then bowed, bidding her final farewell politely and reverently. I hope to see you again. She prayed for the wind to reach the skies.

By the time the rustling through the bushes died down, Elena looked up. When she couldn’t find the two people buried in the darkness, the word ‘parting’ touched her heart.

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“Crying…is just the beginning.”

Elena muttered as if promising to herself, wiping her eyes. When she managed to get her emotions together and rolled down her sleeves, her eyes were as cold as ice. Elena, the daughter of the fallen aristocrat, was no longer in the world. Only an iron-blooded woman who looked down at everyone with a noble gaze and dominated the Empire’s society remained.

Elena closed the back door and locked it with a key. She tidied up her disheveled hair. She also did not forget to tidy up her wrinkled skirt and sleeves. The act of straightening up one’s posture was to constrain one’s emotional side.

[1] Proverb: someone who only sees the part of it tries to understand someone who sees the whole thing.

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