He thought food touched people’s hearts. Eating food in a tough situation has resulted in great power.
“What are you going to cook today?”
“It’s the same as usual! But I want to change the herbs a bit.”
“Oh, I’m looking forward to it.”
And that power gave Luana freedom. Of course, she wasn’t completely free because Cain was next to her, watching her, but at least it was better than before. People also treated her better. They became more friendly and sometimes approached her. It was unavoidable no matter how much Cain was wary of Luana.
“Even if you look at me that way, I don’t put anything strange in.”
“I can’t believe it.”
“Is that all you can say, Sir Cain?”
“It’s not like that.”
Only Cain was stubborn. He couldn’t entirely trust Luana. He doesn’t know what the life of the abandoned princess was like, but considering that time, it wasn’t unreasonable. She entrusted herself to the Duke of The Empire and willingly stayed with him, unlike Ingrid, who had to conceal her real feelings.
“If you could go back, would you go back?”
“To the duke.”
Luana replied indifferently as she cooked. Yes, Cain was annoyed by Luana’s answer.
“Can’t you be more aware of yourself as a princess?”
“Well, I never grew up as a princess in the first place. Would you like to taste this?”
She suddenly brought the stew into the small bowl in front of his mouth. Today, one of his men caught a rabbit nearby. She used the meat to make the soup, resulting in a rich and thicker taste than yesterday’s soup. It was a taste that everyone would like.
Luana grinned when he replied sullenly. It was not the graceful and elegant smile of any nobles, but when he saw that smile, that sometimes made his heart race.
‘Is it because I’m wary of her?’
Cain thought so. His eyes keep looking at her tiny wrists and keep talking to her to dig up some information. Moreover, she was a dangerous person and different from Ingrid.
Ingrid was a princess who had to be treated more preciously than Luana. The two surviving princesses were obliged to save the kingdom, and Cain wanted to marry a princess. Cain had already spoken to Ingrid for consent. Without hesitation, she said she would sacrifice herself for the sake of her kingdom. It was an excellent example of royalty.
On the other hand, what about Luana? From the looks of what she does, she doesn’t look like royalty. And from the way she talks, it seems like she has a feeling toward the duke. ‘The slayer can’t even love anyone. What a foolish woman.’
“Boil it a little more, and it’s done.”
Luana shouted, and a cheer came from outside. Under the increasingly tight web of chasing, the meals provided by Luana gave them a little pleasure. However, they won’t taste it again if she starts running again.
Luana gave everyone the food, sat on a flat stone, and stretched her legs. ‘Should I put drugs in the food while pretending to cook or use transformation powder?’ She had a lot of worries, but she couldn’t do anything in the end.
Even if she transforms, she’ll be caught by Cain, who is always next to her. She is hesitant to use the drugs in the food because if they fall asleep, what comes next must be her death. Although she was reincarnated and had many resolutions, she has not yet dared to kill many lives.
At this rate, they will end up going to the place where all of the death squad is.
‘By then, it will be more difficult to escape.’
Probably because there will be more people.
“Please eat delicious food when you go there.”
The man who had finished eating came talking to her with a smile.
That’s a big deal. These people already thought Luana would follow them there. Only Cain and Ingrid doubted her.
‘I have no intention of joining the death squad. This damned bloodline.’
She won’t help anything at all. She received nothing but heavy obligations due to this bloodline. She doesn’t know why her mother fell in love with this trashy king. Luana sighed out of habit and pulled back her stretched legs.
She thought of him to this day. At the very least, she wants to leave a trace of staying here. Luana pouted and looked at a small tree by the rock she was sitting on. She pulled out a few strands of her hair and tied it up.
‘I don’t think he would see it.’
Somehow she felt like she had done something pathetic.
The ranger leading the way with the dog, stopped in one spot. He quieted the dog and carefully stepped back and told the duke.
“I found it, but I think they’ve already run away.”
The duke, who had become emaciated after a few days, looked at him with a sharp gaze. He was trying to eat every meal, but he couldn’t. The weight he gained naturally with Luana’s help had been lost quickly. If she found out, she would be devastated and sad.
The duke gave orders in a harsh voice.
“Search around and keep tracking.”
With a single word, knights walk around the old house, spreading like a wide net. The duke also walks around with his sword. The empty house has traces of life, but as the ranger said, there was no one in sight.
After looking outside for a moment, the duke went inside the house. He stood in front of the furnace as if possessed. There were traces of cooking. ‘Those traitors who are being pursued can still cook and eat?’ He was about to burst into laughter.
It was nonsense. People who are being chased have no appetite to eat. But the duke knew the face that sometimes will make sense.
If it were Luana, she would enjoy cooking wherever she goes and be happy to feed the dish to others because she has always been like that. As soon as he thought that, he felt upset.
First of all, she was kidnapped. They may have forced her to cook. He knows he has to worry about Luana’s safety.
‘I’ll be by your side.’
Luana said that to him. But what if that were just false words? Every time he had that thought, his stomach burned.
‘What if you wanted to follow them? And what if it’s because you wanted to cook for them?’ He knew the situation of the royal death squad through a detailed investigation.
The group is led by Cain, a former duke of the kingdom, but he has no perfect justification. If so, what would be his reason? His reason might be the princesses who carried the royal bloodline; it would be more perfect if he had a child born to one of them. Then, shouldn’t he only need Ingrid? However, they even kidnapped and took Luana. It meant he did not want to leave a royal bloodline in another territory, and also, Luana could be Ingrid’s substitute.
The duke has seen his face before. He was the typical noble who grew up well in the family, unlike Legion, who ran on the battlefield from a young age and was called a slayer. He thought Luana might fall for him if he acted friendly with that face.
Even though he knew Luana wouldn’t do that, his desire to believe and his mind collided. As the number of days searching increased, he became more anxious. He was jealous of those people who ate Luana’s dish. She is his. She said she’d cook only for him. Why is she not with him now?
‘You broke your promise.’
The duke came out of the house, suppressing his growling stomach. There was nothing that could help in their pursuit except for the fire pit, where traces of her cooking remained. Legion decided to raise his evaluation of Cain a little higher as the well-raised guy turns out great at leading the way and playing his role quite well on the subject.
“Did you find any traces?”
“Sorry, not yet.”
Watching the ranger bow his head, the duke displayed an eerie face. Others who saw him like that trembled in fear because they knew how cruel he could be on the battlefield.
“Track again. Release more dogs.”
The dogs released from the ranger’s hands started running again. The chase is not over yet.
The duke then walked again, and his eyes fell on a small tree next to a flat stone by pure coincidence. But that coincidence led him to discover something like a loose thread. When he approached and took a look, it was human hair.
He carefully untied it and put it in his hand, and the familiar color caught his eyes. It was Luana’s hair color. The moment he saw it, his heart, boiling in anger, subsided a little. Luana left a trail.
‘But, what do you mean by this?’
He almost passed that trail without seeing it. It was ridiculous because she didn’t make a more noticeable trace, but the duke thought it was cute that Luana made such a plan. The duke clasped the hair tightly and put it in his little pocket.
The duke heard a voice calling him from a distance, so he started running again. He wanted to get Luana back as soon as possible.