Chapter 8 - Welcome, Anna
Having left the monastery, Edna breathed heavily as soon as she managed to discern her destination. She could not believe it. As soon as she knew where Eli’s land was, Edna’s heart began to beat wildly. The fact that her destination was Westfield, where she spent her childhood, excited Edna. But the sight of the carriage running through the vast land quickly calmed her excitement.
A land long since abandoned after being plagued by a long war. More than half of the dense forest was burned down, and she gradually noticed that it looked like a barren, uninhabited land. Edna’s face hardened as she pulled up the veil and looked out with golden-brown eyes. The fact that all this was due to the evildoings of the late king made her heart shatter. Edna shook her head in an attempt to shrug off the past.
‘I must forget. I must forget everything that’s happened. However, I must always remember that my current situation has already hit rock bottom.’ Mumbling inwardly to herself, Edna lowered the veil again. Her eyes reddened for a moment, but Edna refused to cry.
The carriage arrived at Eli’s castle late in the afternoon. Standing by the rampart, Eli’s eyes widened as he looked closely toward the cloud of dust which looked as faint as a haze from afar. Eli soon came to realize that it was the carriage carrying his bride.
“You’re here after all. I did say that a wife was nothing but a headache.” He murmured as the carriage drew closer and closer. Eli shook his head faintly as if he thought it cumbersome then eyed his surroundings with an apathetic expression. Noble Anna will certainly not even leave her carriage when she sees this land.
The land bestowed by Cayden was vast but barren. In the aftermath of the fierce civil war, nothing was going right. The castle seemed to be in danger of collapsing, and no one took care of the abandoned land, so it looked no different from the wilderness.
He had no intention of settling down anywhere, to begin with. But Cayden had asked him to. Not an order, but a request! After much consideration, he came here reluctantly to strengthen the victorious king’s hold on the throne following the civil war, and for his men who had wandered through the battlefield for many years, constantly facing death. But he didn’t mean to do anything for this land. Because the battlefield was his only place to be.
He didn’t approve of the marriage Cayden decreed. Marrying him to an aristocrat wouldn’t make him one, so why did he have to marry the viscount’s daughter? But he had no valid pretext to refuse.
Unlike other knights who grew their hair up to the nape of their necks, Eli kept his short. Under his thick eyebrows, his deep blue eyes pierced through the cloud of dust as he stood tall watching the carriage nearing to a halt.
When she did not attempt to open the carriage door as if waiting for him, Eli begrudgingly walked down the rampart to greet the bride. When he went out of the gate, the carriage door finally opened and a woman fully dressed in a luxuriously embroidered white dress with a veil covering her face came within view.
Eli frowned with his arms crossed over his chest, noticing that Anna was unexpectedly tall. In fact, the dazzling beauty that was Anna came to be his wife due to a careless joke he made to Cayden, telling him that he’d consider having a wife if she were that pretty.
Anna stood still as if waiting for Eli to escort her. Eli reluctantly extended one hand and started walking in large strides as soon as her arm was linked in his, which made it hard for her to keep up with his pace.