The Unwanted Princess Becomes Loved in the Werewolf Kingdom and Becomes Queen! – Chapter 23
Chapter 23: Star
As Ernesta entered the main bedroom, she first saw Mikolash lounging on the rug. His eyes were closed as he curled up on top of it, but his ears were perked up. He seems to be asleep, but he is awake because his partner has not yet fallen asleep.
As she glanced over, she noticed the nearby window was wide open, and a large man’s back was visible in the distance.
Ivan stood on the balcony, wearing his usual long gray pajamas and a woolen stole. The lamp inside illuminated his figure, and a white crescent moon overhead cast a gentle light.
Ernesta hesitated for a moment before calling out to him. She didn’t want to disturb the picturesque scene, but more importantly, she felt something strongly.
——Why do you look so sad?
“Is your cold better?”
Ernesta shuddered as he suddenly spoke to her. Ivan turned to face her, but his expression was unchanged as always.
“I’m completely better now. I’m sorry for worrying you.”
“I see. That’s good.”
“Ivan, what were you doing?”
It seemed like Ivan narrowed his eyes as his wife still awkwardly called his name.
“I was stargazing.”
She didn’t expect to hear that word, so she was surprised in her mind.
She went out to the balcony and stood next to Ivan. The surroundings were dyed black as ink, and only the sky was sparkling with countless stars. Although it was summer, the heat dissipated at night, leaving a pleasant wind brushing her cheeks.
“However, I’m just looking. I’m not an expert.”
“Ivan, do you like stars?”
“I guess so. I wouldn’t say I love stars themselves, but I love looking at them.”
——Me too, what a coincidence.
She stopped the words that were about to come out of her throat just in time.
She shouldn’t say things like that. The current Ernesta is Ermengard, so she can’t express her likes and dislikes as she please.
“I see. Why is that?”
“Someone once told me that when you’re suffering, count the stars.”
Ernesta’s eyes widened. She couldn’t believe that there was another person who said something like Isolte.
“And when I looked up, the starry sky was beautiful. At that time, I was in the period of my life when I was trying to give up on my relationship with humanity the most. But that person rescued me from a difficult situation, and my broken heart was also mended.”
Ivan quietly spoke, his profile facing the clear night sky.
He must be thinking about that person now. His determined eyes held even more warmth, and Ernesta focused on his outline, squinting.
“A benefactor, I suppose. Since then, I’ve started looking at the stars, even though I didn’t have any interest in them before. If it weren’t for heer, I might have died, and our alliance would never have been formed.”
For some reason, Ernesta’s chest hurt at the sight of Ivan’s soft smile.
Ivan had someone important in his heart. The emotions he directed toward the person he called his benefactor were warm, and they were surely a much greater existence than someone like Ernesta could compare to.
That’s why there shouldn’t be a need to be sad. It was good that he started to open up and share important stories. What more could she hope for?
She wanted to ask about who that person was and what memories they had, but at the same time, she was scared to ask.
When Ernesta fell silent, he draped his stole over her shoulders and said, “You’ll catch a cold and relapse. Let’s head back.”
See, he’s still kind-hearted after all.
Ernesta couldn’t bear it and lowered her head.
She held onto the hem of the stole he draped over her and shook her head slightly.
“… Why were you looking at the stars today?”
The question she mustered the courage to ask touched upon the core of the matter.
Yes, he said that he was told to count the stars during difficult times.
She was aware that it was impudent to ask someone to reveal their painful experiences, but she still wanted to know.
“I knew you were smart.”
Ivan not only did not get angry but even had a hint of a bitter smile on his face.
“On this day nine years ago, my friend died.”
Ernesta held her breath. She knew just how much sadness was imbued in those words, delivered so casually.
“You probably don’t want to hear this kind of story.”
“No, I want to. If it’s not too much trouble for you to tell.”
“…I see. Then come along with me.”
Ivan narrowed his eyes, reminiscing about the past. Under the starry night sky that seemed to engulf them, he began to recount his past in a low voice.
Ivan’s first battle was when he was fourteen, around the same time he became an adult.
Werewolf boys are born warriors, taught to be proud and raised to courageously throw themselves into battle for the security of their homeland. Their comrades-in-arms, who were raised with the same values, fought valiantly.
At that time, Shenka was engaged in a conflict with Leutravia, a nation that bordered its southern border. Depending on the strength of individual werewolves and the number of foes they faced, the war was at a standstill.
The people of Shenka had pledged their absolute loyalty to the Urbashek royal family. But those without strength were deemed inadequate, and youths like Ivan had to start by carving out a place for themselves on the battlefield.
His goal was to achieve military success in his first battle. Currently, Ivan was accompanied by “Johan Orzif Slezak”, and her other childhood friend, “Theodor Simon Zavesky”.
The three of them transformed into werewolves, hiding among the withered grass and standing in the wilderness. At this point, they did not have the title of a hero, so they wore brown chokha and armor that blended into the sand.
Behind them were ten werewolf warriors. Although it was a separate unit, they were incredibly powerful beings with the strength of thirty humans each. The immense firepower and the determination with his two childhood friends made them feel invincible when they stood together.
“Hey, Theo, you’re not chickening out now, are you?”
Ivan surveyed the enemy approaching in the distance through the gap in the trees, while Theodor hardened his face of reddish-brown fur. However, he seemed to have risen to the challenge from his childhood friend’s provocation.
“As if! Ivan, you better watch and see, I’ll definitely take down the enemy commander before you do!”
Ivan let out a dismissive laugh at his best friend’s fierce crimson eyes.
“It’s obviously going to be me. Don’t dream too much, it’s not good for you.”
“You say that, Prince, but you’re getting carried away just because you have some skills. Don’t let your pretty face get scratched up, you hear?!”
This young man, who behaved like a thug towards the prince, was also a legitimate nobleman. It was not an exaggeration to say that Ivan had grown up with Johan and Theodor, and this casual conversation was a gift from that bond.
“Oh come on, you two are so noisy! His Highness is a commander, so please stop it!”
Johan’s scolding echoed, putting an end to the quarrel between the two boys. Their gaze wasn’t towards their friend, but towards a distant enemy, already indicating their hearts are headed towards battle.
“Geez, I wish they could focus like that from the beginning.”
While listening to his friend’s sighs, Ivan drew the longsword on his back. Johan wielded his dual rapiers, while Theodor unsheathed his jambiya (dagger).
Cheers could be heard from afar. By now, the king and General Silvestor Kudera, should be breaking through the enemy’s formation from the front.
There was no fear in his heart, for he was a proud werewolf warrior.
Ivan jumped out from the gap in the woods and swung his longsword forward, stopping it parallel to the ground. It was the dignified appearance of a full-fledged warrior with nothing to be ashamed of.
“Advance all troops! Take down the enemy from behind!”
The werewolves all rushed out from their cover, yelling with their mouths open, and attacked the enemy soldiers from behind.
There were two thousand soldiers. Normally, it would be a situation that could make them flee, but when they had trusted friends, they could somehow deal with it.
It was the moment when the battle, too severe for a first battle, was declared.
➤20/47 — Story of a Country Girl Reincarnated as a Villainess Trying To Avoid a Bad End ~I Tried To Become Stronger Than the Last Boss Because I Don’t Want to Die~
➤Ch40/40 — How To Train the Wolf King – Accidentally Spending the Night Together and Triggering the Death Flag, I’ll Tame Him To Aim for a Happy Ending!
➤Ch37/37 — “I Don’t Love You,” Said the Ice Magician to His Unrequited Love, Who Was Disguised as Me
➤Ch27/27 — The Obedient Saint Was Made a Scapegoat, so She Decided To Be Reborn as a Villainess
➤Ch120/148 — I Was Confessed to by the Person I Was Admiring
➤Ch112/112 — The Fat Aristocrat Waltz in the Labyrinth (hosted on fanstranslations.com)
➤Ch56/56 — I Was Forced To Quit Being a Nun and Get Married Because of a Divine Oracle ~the Wise Prince Who I Am Actually Marrying Is Someone Who Dotes on Me Excessively~
➤ Ch80/80 — Transmutation Master Aria Is Doing Her Best Today ~a Happy Second Life for a Transmutation Master Who Had Her Results Stolen by Her Sister~
➤ Ch46/46 — The Rune Magician Who Lost Everything to Her Older Sister, Becomes Doted On by the Genius Prince
➤ Ch86/86 — The Unwanted Princess Becomes Loved in the Werewolf Kingdom and Becomes Queen!
➤ Ch98/98 — The Former Villainess Who Went Back in Time, She Doesn’t Fix Her Bad Personality but Avoids the Execution Ending!
➤ Ch54/54 — The Legendary Villainess Who Vanished on the Guillotine, in Her Second Life She Wishes for Peace as a Studious, Plain Glasses-Wearing Person
➤ Ch105/105 — Until the Exiled Duke’s Daughter, Wilhelmina, Becomes Happy
➤ Ch85/85 — The Villainess Carries a Strategy Guide
➤ Ch70/70 — Leah Flores’s Devotion – I May Be a Mob Knight, but in This Life I Will Definitely Protect Duke William with All My Might!
➤ Ch95/95 — Although I Am Supposed to Be the Villainess (Planned), I Just Want to Eat Confectionery – I Will Aim for a Peaceful Life with the Block Skill
➤ Ch100/100 — The Bewilderment of the Sacrificial Second Princess ~ Married Into the Enemy Country as a Hostage Princess, but Was Strangely Welcomed With Open Arms~
➤ Ch66/66 — The villainess princess will dive into the labyrinth again today
➤ Ch50/50 — An Unconscious Genius Magic Tool Maker Wants to Live a Leisurely Life
For inquiries—Discord: Nekosaka-chan#1947
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