Elena ordered the carriage to stop before she arrived at Blaise Castle. She felt concerned that someone would see it and think it strange. On the way to town she had instructed her coachman to pick her up again in the evening, however, he might be surprised if she already arrived home in a different transport. She also wanted to avoid the possibility of explaining Kuhn to her family.
When Elena stopped the carriage, the dutifully quiet Kuhn broke his silence.
“Tie a red handkerchief to your window if you wish to summon me.”
“Then what happens?”
“I’ll come and see you.”
Elena’s immediate reaction was doubt. For one thing, she wondered if he knew where her room was. She also had no idea how long it would take for him to respond. If it took several days, he would be of no use then. However, Carlisle had assured her he was a capable man, and she was also curious about the extent of Kuhn’s abilities.
“Alright. If I need anything, I’ll place a handkerchief on my window.”
Elena did not interrogate Kuhn on how he would visit her. One might wonder about her intentions, but Kuhn only silently looked at her with an unchanged expression. Compared to Carlisle, this man seemed to have no emotion at all.
She shook her head, then climbed out of the carriage. Kuhn bowed behind her in farewell.
Elena began to walk alone towards Blaise Castle. Only the sound of her footsteps echoed clearly in the dark street. She lost track of how long she walked until she looked up and saw entrance of Blaise Castle lit up like daytime. As she got closer she saw a group of people gathered outside, including her brother Derek.
Derek rushed towards Elena when he saw her.
“Are you all right?”
“Yes. What’s all this about?”
Derek looked her up and down to see if she was harmed, then knitted his brows.
“Where the hell did you go? And how did you come back? You know how worried I was because the family knights lost you?”
Only then did Elena realize the individual who assigned the knights to follow her. She quickly turned her thoughts towards a suitable excuse. She thought she might have worried someone at home, but she didn’t expect her brother to be waiting for her with the castle lit up like this. If she came any later, surely the whole place would have been turned upside down.
“I…I just wanted some fresh air so I wandered around the streets. I didn’t even know the knights were following me, so I could I have known that I lost them?”
“If you were just walking down the streets then how did they lose you?”
“Because it was a busy area and there were so many people, right? I don’t know what happened.”
She looked up at Derek with wide, innocent eyes. Derek didn’t question Elena any further, and glared at the knights standing behind him. Some of the knights looked put out, but they could not ask her for the whole story.
“Did you all come out here because you were worried about me?”
“No. We were going to have extensive training tonight actually.”
The expressions on the knights’ faces turned to dust. Elena couldn’t help it, but she burst out in laughter.
By all appearances, Derek was too embarrassed to admit he was worried about Elena. She felt sorry for the knights that would have to undergo the exercises, but Elena felt warmed that Derek was thinking about her.
“…Thank you, brother.”
Derek’s stern expression softened. He turned around and walked back into the castle, speaking to Elena in a relaxed tone.
“It’s cold. Let’s not talk nonsense and go inside.”
Derek and all the family knights marched back into the castle. Staring at their retreating backs, Elena’s face widened into a smile.