The Unwanted Princess Becomes Loved in the Werewolf Kingdom and Becomes Queen! – Chapter 24

The Unwanted Princess Becomes Loved in the Werewolf Kingdom and Becomes Queen! – Chapter 24

Chapter 24: War Past 1

Overcoming an incredibly difficult situation, Ivan won his first battle in victory.

Although General Kudera was the one who raised their enemy’s head, news of the prince’s leadership spread throughout the army, the troops under his command played a significant role. Thanks to this, Ivan had become popular within the army.

Once werewolves enter a battle, they continue to stay in werewolf form until they return home. It’s the same at the campsite, where they create circles near their tents and revel in singing and dancing, fully enjoying themselves with their wolf heads still on.

“Oh, Your Highness! I heard you have achieved impressive results. Please keep it up!”

“Wow, you’re such an excellent prince that you surpass my expectations. I’m looking forward to the future.”

These lively conversations seemed to be taking place around the bonfire among a group of soldiers in their early twenties who seem to have been drinking.

The soldiers from the commoners’ area are all friendly and rugged, which makes it easier to talk to and get along with them.

“Wow, your physique is already impressive! Let’s compare heights.”

As one werewolf stood up to stand shoulder to shoulder with him, Ivan raised the corner of his mouth and retorted.

“Are you sure? I’m taller.”

“Well, you won’t know if you don’t try!”

Their eye levels were about the same, making it difficult to judge. As they stood back to back facing opposite directions, the crowd erupted.

“Hey, Yamil, you lost to a 14-year-old!”

“Hahaha! He’s a reliable prince, that’s for sure!”

As the boisterous laughter echoed, Ivan was pulled by the arm and ended up sitting cross-legged on the spot.

While the people of Shenka respect the country’s founding father, the barrier between nobles and commoners is low. After receiving roasted meat, Ivan enjoyed a brief respite with the friendly folks.

“Oh, Ivan! Great to see you!”

As soon as he entered the commander’s tent, Ivan was beckoned by a golden werewolf wearing a black chokha.

His father, King Radoslav, had the same blonde hair and blue eyes, and looks like an older version of Ivan. However, surprisingly, their personalities were quite different, and the man had a love for alcohol and a free-spirited temperament.

As he sat on the carpet after being guided, he was handed a cup.

“To decorate your debut battle with victory, you are truly my son. Well then, drink up.”

“…Thank you, Father.”

The prince, who had just come of age, was not accustomed to drinking much. Radoslav laughed heartily as he watched his son make a bitter face after drinking the generously poured wine.

“You don’t have to force yourself. Do you want some grape juice instead?”

“No, I’ll drink this. I can’t say I don’t like it.”

If he were to drink fruit juice to celebrate his first battle, the names of the werewolf soldiers would be degraded. Ivan opened his ripped mouth and choked down the liquid that was far from delicious.

“You’re serious. Well, you’ll get used to it while drinking… So, how was your first battle?”

“There were too many humans, and they looked down on us and found out the hard way that it is very troublesome.”

Radoslav burst out laughing once again at his son’s concise and to-the-point answer.

“Hahaha! I see, I see. If you’ve realized that, then it’s quite a harvest.”

Simply put, they were humans who invaded the country to destroy it. They naturally had no intention of negotiating and tried to take everything as if it was their right to do so.

“Father, why are you trying to establish diplomatic relations with the human country?”

Ivan stared straight at his father with his clear eyes.

Before the war began, the response was that there was nothing wrong with being on good terms with them. But now, the situation was not so simple that a simple answer could satisfy him.

“Do you think we shouldn’t have any relationship with the human country?”

“That’s not it. It’s just that I don’t think it’s possible.”

Radoslav stroked his chin, looking amused. After narrowing his eyes in thought for a while, he casually asked a question while waving his wine cup.

“Then, let’s change the question. Ivan, what do you think is the greatest sin for a king?”

To the unexpected question, Ivan’s sharp wolf eyes widened.

There were many things that were considered inappropriate for a king, and he had memorized them all. Considering this, if he were to answer…

“To make the people unhappy.”

“…Hmm. It seems Silvestor and Rougena have taught you well.”

Radoslav spoke words of praise, but his eyes had a softness reminiscent of a child. Ivan didn’t like it and inadvertently pouted.

“It’s unfair to act coy. If it’s different, then just say it.”

“No, you’re doing well. There are as many answers to this question as there are kings.”

“Then, what does Father think?”

Radoslav tilted his cup and took a sip before turning his powerful gaze towards Ivan.

“My belief, Ivan, is to choose things according to your ideals.”

Ivan parroted his words understanding the intention of his father only to a limited extent.

“Choose things according to your ideals…”

“That’s right. Ideals are nothing but a person’s emotions. There’s no guarantee that those ideals won’t turn into madness.”

When Ivan finally grasped the point of the conversation, he realized that it was a very heavy concept and held his breath.

“A nation is nothing but an uncertain existence that exists only through the recognition of its citizens, those living in different countries, and their perceptions. Uncertainty is easily changed. Nothing is more vulnerable than ideals that appear just at first glance.”

Radoslav explained quietly, his usual brightness and cheerfulness giving way to a majestic demeanor befitting a wise king. Ivan listened and began to express his own thoughts.

“So, as a king, it means we should assess things based on present circumstances, rather than our ideals. We should seize the best opportunity at that moment and lead the country in the right direction.”

“Ah, exactly. It’s good that you understand it so quickly.”

It was an incredibly idealistic story that denied ideals.

If there were someone who could always do that, they could be considered a transcendent existence.

However, Radoslav is trying to put this into practice. He strives to be ruthless as a king while being a loving father in private. That’s why this king can become a wise ruler.

“Well then, Ivan, it’s true that Leutravia is currently in the midst of war. However, it’s too hasty to give up on diplomatic relations with all countries just because of that. Even if the ethnic groups or even the races are different, we shouldn’t narrow our vision because of that.”

“…Our country is poor in resources. Our small territory and barren land are helpless against the power of nature. Above all, there is no way to survive if we make all humans our enemies.”

“That’s right. Therefore, I aim to understand humans. It’s not a matter of possibility. I have to do it.”

The king spoke strongly, causing Ivan to lower his gaze, ashamed of his shallowness.

No matter how much knowledge and insight he had accumulated, he still couldn’t see his father’s back, far ahead of him.

Could he really be the successor to this king?

“Hey, do you remember when you were still young, we had let the father and son of a minstrel stay in the castle?”

With the sudden memory, an unpleasant memory resurfaced, and Ivan gritted his teeth.

Yes, when he was about six years old or so, he had become friends with the son of a human minstrel.

However, during a time when they were playing in the garden, the child accidentally wandered into a wild boar’s territory and was attacked. Ivan immediately transformed into a werewolf to protect the child, but the child was honest, and sometimes cruel.

He screamed that Ivan was a monster and ran away.

Pointing out such memories now would do no good. Radoslav, who was receiving a disapproving gaze from his son, had a soft smile on his face.

“I didn’t tell you not to associate with humans. If you can think that way even after that experience and in your current situation, it’s proof that you’ve developed a fair view.”

His father nodded confidently.

Is it really so? Is it true that he has grown and matured, as the king says?

“Look at various things, Ivan. It’s okay. You’ll become a better king than I am.”

That night, Ivan had to take the night watch duty. He told his childhood friends about his conversation with the king, gazing at them from the night sky. The werewolf with black fur stared back at him with determined eyes, but the one with copper-red fur had a subtle expression on his face.

“I don’t get it, it’s too complicated. So, is it certain that we’ll get more food if we do it that way?”

The friend showed his usual lack of understanding, causing Johan to visibly frown.

“It’s because you neglect your studies and only focus on swordsmanship and martial arts practice.”

“Well, I hate studying. But hey, winning is what matters first. And then we can make friends by going in every direction, north, south, east and west.”

As Theodor spoke like a child and messed with the edges of his cloak, the spring night in the wilderness was freezing. It was just the right weather to weaken the warriors who were tired from the battle.

However, he smiled without any ulterior motives to affirm his friend.

“I think it’s the best if it comes true. Johan, don’t you think so too?”

“Well, Theo’s simplified it too much… but what the king says makes a lot of sense. Understanding and getting along with others is one of the most difficult things, but it’s worth putting in the effort, even for civilians.”

Johan spoke calmly and it seemed he didn’t intend to deny the young prince’s goal.

He can’t help but think again how lucky he is to have such great friends.

“Alright, we’ll be your sword and shield! I’ll be the sword, and Johan will be the shield.”

said Theodor, but he was being overly loud, which made his squint. Johan also raised his eyebrows, but the anger of the Prime Minister candidate was misplaced.

“Why do I have to be the shield?”

“Because I’m stronger, and the sword is cooler!”

“Okay, you’re an idiot. It’s reckless of me, a basically intellectual worker, to pick a fight with you. You, who rely solely on physical strength, should carry both the sword and the shield.”

“Don’t keep saying I’m an idiot! Johan, you’re still not getting it. You’re such a party pooper!”

The two started a childish argument, but it was a trivial matter that they always bickered about, which was something all three of them had in common.

Although his voice was drowned out by their quarrel, Ivan quietly smiled and murmured his thanks.

That was a springtime story from a far-away past. After five years, the boys had turned into young men, and the war was entering its final stages.

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