The Bewilderment of the Sacrificial Second Princess ~ Married Into the Enemy Country as a Hostage Princess, but Was Strangely Welcomed With Open Arms~ – Chapter 98

The Bewilderment of the Sacrificial Second Princess ~ Married Into the Enemy Country as a Hostage Princess, but Was Strangely Welcomed With Open Arms~ – Chapter 98

Chapter 98: Claire and Millie

“Ever since the old days, it’s always been the same. Regardless of who’s looking, Bianca, who was highly regarded and cherished in the Faithnum Empire, never fails to pick a fight with me at every opportunity she finds.”

From my perspective, Bianca’s position is secure even without these actions. I married into a former vassal country, so why don’t she leave me alone.

I haven’t heard that the economy in the Faithnum Empire is so dire.

Marrying the King of Wegrain… it was done so discreetly that even Gauche and the others were unaware… Regardless of one’s perspective, the motivation was something like an irrational animosity towards me.

I don’t comprehend it at all. I don’t think I can surpass Bianca in social graces. I am content living in the Baratonia Kingdom now, and I want to defend it, and I have faith that it will protect me.

Even though I have established a comfortable life, initially, I only had the objective of avoiding any wars, even if it meant sacrificing my own life.

Even I couldn’t find any worth in my own existence, let alone others not valuing me.

“Even though Bianca Oneesama had a place in the Faithnum Empire, I didn’t have one. So I was taken as a hostage not knowing when I would be killed in the Baratonia Kingdom, and I had to give up my life and get married.”

“That’s right. Exactly. If you had not rebelled against Father’s declaration of war, I would have been spared from this forced marriage and ending up in a place like this! Ugh, it’s maddening. The Pope values you more than me. Whether it’s a sacrifice or a hostage, I can’t bear the thought that there’s a place where you are held in higher regard than I am!”

I sense that this is the first time I am witnessing Bianca’s true feelings, perhaps because she believes that I am bound to die anyway.

In other words, she detests my existence. I was so foolish that I lost to the refinement of a lady’s education, and Bianca believes that she escaped to someone who recognized the value of her education and gained wisdom.

Therefore, she thinks that despite her best efforts, they do not appreciate it.

With such petty and sulky emotions, she is trying to take my life and ignite a war.

She is trying to ease her anxieties by dragging the country and its citizens into the fray, risking their lives and livelihoods.

“Bianca Oneesama… No, I’m sorry. I can’t even call you Oneesama anymore. Bianca… Are you an idiot?

“… Excuse me?”

“What could you possibly mean by comparing yourself to me? Would you have preferred to have hair and eyes of a different color, to resemble a Lina goddess as a sacrifice? Would you have preferred someone like myself, despite failing my lady education, over someone like you, who embodies femininity completely? Are you claiming that your life has been filled with unhappiness?

I was genuinely curious if I couldn’t grasp this without putting it into words.

“You should have lived for yourself. In the Faithnum Empire, you would have been highly valued, loved, cherished, and lived life on your own terms. Is the reason for wanting war that you’re unhappy with your life? Are you content with just being appreciated and loved, while I am not, leading to the desire for war?”

“Yes! No, I don’t care about the war, it’s just that I can’t stand the thought of your very existence!”

I must have had a look of pity on my face, from the depths of my heart. 

With a contorted expression of anger, Bianca barked at the knight she had brought along to unsheathe his sword, as if she could no longer tolerate my presence.

I was already in a daze and watched as the knight clambered onto the wide cushion. It seemed that the flames wouldn’t ignite when ascending from the outside, but the knight who would ultimately take my life would turn into a fiery demon in iron armor upon descending from the platform.

I wasn’t sure if Bianca was aware of this mechanism or if she had disabled it.

The knight, burdened by heavy armor, climbed onto the plush cushion, which was so soft that you wouldn’t have been injured even if you fell from the hole in the ceiling. He approached me with sure footing.

As the blade was aimed at me, I thought, “Ah, is this really the end?” I was filled with regret for my inability to buy more time and tears streamed down my face as I gazed upon the blade. Suddenly, Millie, who had been lurking behind Bianca, lunged forward, intercepting the knight’s sword from behind and breaking the space between us.

“Claire-sama, I owe you my life and have resolved to live for your sake. You don’t have to trust me, but please, grant me permission to protect you for now.”

Just as I had lost all hope, a surprising ally appeared and left me in disbelief.

I had been sent mediators from Baratonia to the Faithnum Empire for the safety of the spies, but I never expected Millie herself to know.

Gauche and the others were keeping their word, and I believed Millie was alive, but I thought she despised me.

And yet, she would protect me. With her small stature, armed with only a delicate sword and dark weapons, she would defend me against the armored knights and Bianca.

“Mi-Millie…! How could you have deceived me…?!”

“I apologize, Queen Bianca. I have been misleading Claire-sama from the start, serving as Queen Bianca’s escort. To believe in a traitor like myself would be naive.” 

Bianca’s appearance had become so frightening that she was about to dispatch more knights, so I quickly seized the sword that Millie had fired earlier and hurled it out of the futon with all my might.

The sword was heavier than I anticipated.

However, the impact of throwing the sword was substantial.

As soon as the sword left the futon, a blue flame erupted, altering and melting the metal sword, creating a loud noise as it struck the floor and scorched the stone. The knights hesitated to approach the futon.

“That’s right, if you dare to get closer from here, you better be prepared to be burned. You all have armor, but how agonizing would it be to have molten metal adhered to your skin? Even if there is a source of water, how would you remove the metal from your skin that the melted metal has bonded to?”

I taunted them cruelly, nodding my head lightly and calmly, as if to instill fear.

With this, the only ones left on the futon were Millie, who was armed with a sword and knew how to fight, and me, who they couldn’t be touched and couldn’t leave. The other knights surrounding us didn’t seem to be particularly loyal to Bianca. 

It would have been wise to wait and seek an audience with the Pope, who would have known the proper protocol for removing me as a sacrifice.

(Millie, pay attention. This cushion is fireproof. Otherwise, it could ignite if exposed to flames. So, I implore you, be my sword and shield. Let us depart from here safely.)

In a hushed tone, I spoke to Millie. She gave me a quick nod and brandished her sword to keep the knights at bay.

However, the situation was still at a stalemate. Bianca was incensed with the knights who were disregarding her, but they were likely willing to sacrifice themselves for the sake of the Lina Religion. At the same time, they were aware that I would still be taken to be sacrificed without putting themselves in immediate peril by risking their lives.

Bianca’s annoyance was palpable, but I once again clutched the stone at my chest and silently prayed.

(Please, Lord Yoten no Mako…, please, please…, please help me…)

This prayer was not just for myself. 

All the potential disasters that could arise from a negative outcome loomed before me, starting with Millie right in front of me, my cherished Baratonia Kingdom, the detested Faithnum Empire, and even the cornered Wegrain Kingdom.

War leaves nothing unscathed. I yearned for assistance to prevent that future.

Then, golden light floods through my thin white nightgown.


Bianca cut off her exclamation and was momentarily transfixed by the radiance.

The hot rock transformed into a shining golden beam that extended all the way to the ceiling.

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