The Bewilderment of the Sacrificial Second Princess ~ Married Into the Enemy Country as a Hostage Princess, but Was Strangely Welcomed With Open Arms~ – Chapter 42

The Bewilderment of the Sacrificial Second Princess ~ Married Into the Enemy Country as a Hostage Princess, but Was Strangely Welcomed With Open Arms~ – Chapter 42


Chapter 42: Gauche, His Highness and I

“Has it been decided?”

“Ah, it’s been decided. Our country will be forming an alliance with Nejia and the Shadows of Nejia.”

Three days later, on the agreed upon night, Gauche appeared at the window, clad in black. The smile of satisfaction on his face as he heard Auglia’s response was feline, as if he had already been aware of the decision.

I can’t let my guard down. But so far, Gauche hasn’t shown any hostility. In fact, he has demonstrated his enigmatic abilities in front of me. And the other day, he came with his companions and introduced us to the other side of Nejia, known as the “Shadows of Nejia”.

Until now, they have been concealing their identities by ensuring that the tasks they carry out remain unnoticed. The fact that they have all come out into the open suggests that Nejia is exposing itself to Baratonia.

If Baratonia publicly declares Nejia as a threat and launches an attack, it could easily overpower the country. While individuals could seek refuge in other nations, both Nejia and the Shadows of Nejia could still persist.

Despite their bold words and actions, they had a vulnerability from the outset.

In retrospect, there are circumstances that bring me to be convinced. How did Gauche manage to detect someone’s presence outside the room, even though I, who was inside, failed to notice anything? Despite the fact that I was asleep and there was no one around, he was able to enter my room undetected.

Gauche had the ability to vanish at will. He could pose as a young man traveling to this country to teach silkworm cultivation techniques and earn a living without arousing suspicion.

But when it comes to joining forces, the situation will change. As previously noted, Baratonia has the capacity to conquer and eradicate Nejia.

Exposing one’s vulnerability to an adversary to gain their trust is a delicate balance. It’s crucial not to appear weak or submissive, or one could easily be taken advantage of and betrayed. This is why Nejia demonstrated their capabilities and expressed their “affection” for Claire, making it clear that she is a priority if things go wrong.

The peace treaty relies on Claire’s crucial role, and her safety is paramount to prevent its breakdown and a potential attack by the Faithnum Empire. If anything were to happen to her, it would provide the Empire with a justification for war. Even if the Baratonia Kingdom denies any involvement, the fact remains that the second princess was killed in their land.

Even if I don’t have to be killed, I might be really taken away (kidnapped). I don’t have any confidence in my athletic ability at all.

“I understand that prioritizing my safety is crucial to the stability of the Nejian country.”

“Is it true that you like it? That’s just the way it is. This is the first time we’ve ever disclosed our true identities. As you know, our country is small and doesn’t have the capacity for a major conflict. Our limited military forces limit the options available to us. But perhaps this will prove to be an interesting subject for Claire-sama. You could even turn it into a book that is only accessible to members of the royal family.”

“…Even if you have to take my life, can you promise not to kidnap me?”

“As long as the Kingdom of Baratonia does not betray us, there is no reason for Nejia to betray you… Our decision to reveal our true identities is a result of being at a stalemate on both sides. We want to sell this information as soon as possible.”

“Understood. His Majesty mentioned that he would make time for this. When will the representative arrive to finalize the written agreement?”

Gauche pondered for a moment.

“It’s daytime. During the day, Nejia sends negotiators disguised as silkworm breeders to conduct business. Claire-sama may have already met him —— an elder with a beard who serves as the leader of Nejia.”

“…The kingdom’s?”

“Nejia is not structured as a kingdom, but instead consists of villages separated by responsibilities. Each village is led by a clan leader, while the elder or, if they are young, the head chief is responsible for supervising the clan leaders. All decisions are made through agreement and there is a well-established legal system in place. I am the clan leader responsible for the Shadows of Nejia.”

“Huh?”

“It can’t be helped. The active force of the Shadows of Nejia is determined by strength. I’m the strongest, which is why I was able to negotiate with the Elder after meeting Claire-sama and why I was entrusted with these negotiations. There were objections, but I was able to convince them. One shouldn’t judge a person based on appearance.”

I had suspected that Gauche held some sway, but it appears that in the Baratonia Kingdom, he holds equal power to His Highness Auglia. The frightening aspect is that this power is not determined by birthright, but by actual strength.

“The Elder is expected to arrive shortly with information regarding silkworm farming, and I may accompany him. If you have concerns, you may leave Claire-sama in the care of His Majesty during the day. ——We hold the Baratonia Kingdom in high regard. The notion of gaining independence and forging their own path is appealing, but peace is of utmost importance. We do not wish to see the Baratonia Kingdom, now without the protection of the Faithnum Empire, fall easily. This is the first time Nejia has placed so much trust in another country. Please forgive us for our cautious demeanor until the official agreements are signed. We will pledge our allegiance once the documents are exchanged. Until then, farewell.”

With these words, Gauche took his leave, moving silently as if the trees were swaying in the wind.

His Highness Auglia and I both let out a sigh, both of us apparently relieved at having overcome our nerves. We smiled at each other after making eye contact.

“Shall we partake in a cup of tea, Claire?”

“Yes, I would like to have milk tea.”

Both His Highness Auglia and I had some reservations about Gauche’s words, but we still had faith in him to a certain extent.

The information that the Shadows of Nejia wanted to sell quickly must be information that would be advantageous to Baratonia. In order to acquire it, trust was crucial… This was a matter of national importance. Trust was everything.

If I was to serve as collateral… Ultimately, I couldn’t escape being labeled as a “sacrifice”.

However, even if my life was on the line, the royal family of the Baratonia Kingdom wouldn’t make a misstep. I firmly believed that.

After all, this is now my country.


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