The Bewilderment of the Sacrificial Second Princess ~ Married Into the Enemy Country as a Hostage Princess, but Was Strangely Welcomed With Open Arms~ – Chapter 93

The Bewilderment of the Sacrificial Second Princess ~ Married Into the Enemy Country as a Hostage Princess, but Was Strangely Welcomed With Open Arms~ – Chapter 93


Chapter 93: Operation ‘shut-in’

If Bianca has been accepted into the royal family as a descendent of the goddess, there is a chance that I may be spared as a sacrifice. However, this is still mostly an extremely confidential matter. Those in powerful positions take great pride in keeping secrets, particularly regarding the state religion. This means that any announcements might only come after a sacrifice has been made and proper tribute has been paid to the goddess Lina.

The thought of this possibility is nauseating. I cannot fathom what Bianca is thinking… Her way of thinking is so vastly different from my own that I can only speculate on what may benefit the Faithnum Empire.

Until I can anticipate Bianca’s actions, attending tea if invited will be the most dangerous situation.

“Auglia-sama, if I am invited for tea, there is a high chance that I will be alone with Queen Bianca.”

“Yes… So, can we schedule tourist activities to fill the itinerary? Of course, the invitation from the queen takes priority.”

“As much as I can… I would like to take any steps I can.”

The plan for our stay in the Wegrain Kingdom has been established. 

First and foremost, we must prioritize exploring the country as thoroughly as possible. To achieve this, we need to fill our itinerary and venture beyond the castle and, if possible, the capital city.

For this, we require Lord Warg’s assistance. A guide and chaperone are indispensable for a successful sightseeing trip, and it is not feasible for guests from foreign lands to roam freely in a country, regardless of which country it may be, not even the Kingdom of Baratonia.

“Forgive me for interrupting.”

Gauche said as he entered through the open window.

We are on the second floor of a castle in a foreign land, and while his purpose for being here was unclear, he gave the appearance of a minor noble. Despite the elaborate, possibly embroidered clothing he wore, he did not appear ostentatious, and with his hairstyle and demeanor, he may have blended in too well at a social gathering to be recognized.

Hillian was the only one with a look of confusion on his face, but since he had seen Gauche’s countenance a handful of times in the Poleinia Kingdom, it was possible that he was unable to recall him.

I put off explaining to Hillian and swiftly addressed Gauche.

“Gauche… Bianca was there. As the Queen.”

“Well, this has become quite the predicament. And now, regarding the recently proposed plan, is it possible to abandon it?”

Gauche smiled sheepishly and tilted his head.

It was frightening to ask, but if he didn’t inquire, the conversation would not progress.

“…Why?”

I could hear my voice quivering. However, since no one else spoke up, Gauche motioned to close the window and join the group in a face-to-face manner.

Despite being outside the window, he could still hear the sounds from within the room. He must have overheard all the conversations taking place inside. And he was also the leader of the Shadows of Nejia.

He must have obtained information that they were not privy to.

“One reason is that…at least in the capital, it’s safer to remain within the palace. Can’t you see? Everywhere outside the capital is just a tranquil countryside. Ah, it’s hard to have someone discreetly accompany you. There aren’t any tall trees, after all.”

The reason made sense to me, so I exhaled in relief and held my chest.

“One more thing to keep in mind… Lord Warg, the guide, not the ruler of Wegrain, is aligned with Queen Bianca. He has his sights set on Claire-sama. I strongly advise against any careless interaction with him that could give him an advantage.”

I was taken aback and my eyes widened in shock. Despite his unchanging demeanor, Gauche’s eyes were fixed on me with a serious expression.

“The king… as you likely deduced during the audience, he is… um… let me put it simply. He’s foolish. Impulsive and deeply devoted to the goddess Lina. As for the Pope, let’s just say for now that he’s a fanatic… as I mentioned before our trip.”

“The royal family, the Pope, and the upper echelon of this nation… they carry out sacrifice rituals.”

“Yes. At present, there’s no available king’s illegitimate offspring. Lord Warg’s spouse is recovering from giving birth to last year’s ‘sacrifice.’ He is simply waiting for a replacement, as there are no noble maidens capable of bearing a child. And now, Queen Bianca, who possesses the purest bloodline capable of producing the strongest offspring, has been brought in. ——Well, Queen Bianca may believe she can escape, but the fanaticism in this country runs too deep for that.”

Gauche appeared to believe that even if Bianca were to succeed in killing me, she would still not be able to return to her home country.

I never had any fondness for Bianca, but just thinking about her future made my heart feel heavy.

As if he had sensed this, Gauche shook his head in my direction.

“Let’s not worry about Queen Bianca for now. I apologize for taking so much time. I dispatched some of my subordinates to infiltrate the country and investigate religious rites, but the date for the human sacrifice ceremony is fast approaching. I had to rush their entry. There is no doubt that Claire-sama is in danger. If Queen Bianca had not secretly married the King and registered her marriage at the church, there was still a chance she could have been selected as the sacrifice, but it seems she has been taken care of.”

Gauche was being considerate by avoiding words like “converted,” “death,” and “dying,” but I could no longer sit idly by and rest my head on Auglia-sama’s shoulder.

Auglia-sama remained silent, taking in everything that was being said. I was too exhausted to even lift my gaze and look at his face.

The news that my life was in danger, even though it was something I had anticipated, still came as a shock to me. My mind was filled with a jumbled mix of thoughts such as “this means war” and feelings of “I don’t want to die”, and I couldn’t focus on anything else.

“So, if I understand correctly… the plan is to offer Claire as a sacrifice and make a grand announcement of their marriage after receiving the blessing of the goddess Lina?”

“Yes, unfortunately. There isn’t enough time to secure a sacrifice this year. It’s a disgusting story… but they had planned to gather some of the king’s illegitimate offspring. Unfortunately, they all failed to meet the criteria this year. Then, Claire-sama, the second princess of the Faithnum Empire, arrived for her honeymoon and, on top of that, another princess came in a palanquin to give birth to a legitimate child… We will take every precaution to protect Claire-sama, but we kindly request that she stays within the capital. If she could rest in her room and claim to be tired from the long journey, that would be ideal.”

Auglia-sama’s strong grip on my shoulder left me speechless. My exhaustion was so overwhelming that I could barely stand.

“Let’s deal with this calmly. So, what do you make of Lord Warg and Queen Bianca?”

His tone was firm. Is Auglia-sama smiling right now? Or is he wearing a different expression?

“The King may be foolish, but Lord Warg, the Duke, is a different matter. He is the King’s uncle and a trusted advisor. As a result, he was able to establish a rapport with Queen Bianca quickly, and they are both in agreement with the Faithnum Empire’s plan to use King and Queen Bianca as pawns and sacrifice Claire-sama to start a war. Lord Warg understands Queen Bianca’s intentions well and is guiding you all with confidence…”

“Claire, stay calm. We’ll protect you. You make the decisions.”

Auglia-sama’s voice was gentle, and it brought me a sense of relief. I placed my hand on my chest and looked up at him, feeling comforted. 

His Highness, Auglia-sama, is beaming, clearly impressed by my words about the belief that strength begets support from those around us.

I mirror his smile and survey the people surrounding us.

In the Faithnum Empire, I stand tall, correcting my previously hunched posture.

“From here on out, I will be exhausted from the lengthy journey and the sickness that comes with leading the forced summon. Please ask Melissa or Gwenna to prepare and bring me all of my meals, as I will be demanding and want familiar flavors. Gauche, is that attire suitable for wandering the palace, or have you been designated as one of Duke Warg’s subordinates?”

“Of course, Your Royal Highness.”

“In that case, do not approach me unless you have official business. Hillian.”

“Yes.”

“It may be arduous, but I need you to gather all the available materials on the Lina religion. Whether it be for personal enlightenment as a priest of the Four Gods or for any other reason, bring it to me. I will read it during the night.”

“Understood.”

Auglia-sama looks at me last. His smile is imbued with warmth and seems to inquire about my thoughts.

“Please, stay close to me at all times, Auglia-sama.”

“Understood, I will always accompany Claire and keep her safe.”

We were already close to each other, so I turned my head to look at everyone and nodded.

“Very well, let’s proceed with the operation ‘shut-in’.”

The operation was given a name so pathetic that everyone there made faces showing their disappointment. I, however, believe that it’s the best name it could be, and was shocked by the reactions of those around me.


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