The Unwanted Princess Becomes Loved in the Werewolf Kingdom and Becomes Queen! – Chapter 3

The Unwanted Princess Becomes Loved in the Werewolf Kingdom and Becomes Queen! – Chapter 3

Chapter 3: Town girl on the frontier 2

“Is that true…?!”

This time, Ernesta cried out.

She remembered the emaciated face of her foster mother who had been bedridden for a year, and at the same time, she felt as if a beam of light was shining through the clouds.

“The Emperor has ordered us to fulfill any wish you may have. If Ernesta-sama nods, we will dispatch the best pharmacist tomorrow.”

“I understand. I will accept the offer.”

It was an immediate response. If there was a chance that her mother could be saved, she was willing to do anything. No matter how dangerous the plan was or how reckless the mission was, she didn’t care.

“What are you saying, Ellie! Are you really going to trust what this man says?!”

It was Bruno who raised objections, as expected.

Ernesta faced the stern-faced Bruno firmly. No matter what he said, even if it would make her dear father sad, she had no intention of backing down.

“Dad, there’s a possibility that mom could be cured. And it’s the most promising option we’ve had so far.”

“It’s no use! Being a substitute and marrying someone like that Shenka’s king! Especially him, the ruthless Werewolf King!”

The king of Shenka is famously known as a ruthless Werewolf King, feared as a demon in battle, and having no hesitation to send his subordinates to their deaths.

“I don’t care what happens to me. Whatever happens to me, I wouldn’t trade Mom’s life for anything.”

Feeling his daughter’s determination, Bruno was briefly silenced.

However, he did not fully agree with it and soon glared at her with burning eyes.

“You foolish daughter! You cannot ensure your Mom’s happiness just by sacrificing yourself like this!”

“Yes, it’s only for my own satisfaction. I won’t tell Mom about the substitution, so it’s fine, right?”

“That’s the problem! It concerns not only your life but also your future!”

His angry voice shook the entire shop. It may have even reached Isolte’s bedroom, but hopefully, she didn’t hear the details.

Ernesta felt Bruno’s concern so deeply that it made her heart ache.

In this situation, it was agonizing not to be asked to sacrifice herself for Isolte. While Bruno believed that there was nothing more important than his wife’s life, he made the difficult decision, weighing his stepdaughter’s life against his own wife.

It is enough. These beloved parents showered me with just as much love as they gave to my younger brother.

I must repay them. Considering all the kindness I have received until now, it’s not enough, but I have to do something.

“Mom saved my life. So now, I will save Mom. Even if the possibility of success is only 1 percent, I will do everything I can. No matter what Dad says, I absolutely will not stop!”

Ernesta’s impressive declaration blew away the intense atmosphere for a while, but then Bruno averted his eyes from her and let out a deep sigh. He did so with the weight of the words he had to tell himself.

“If that’s the case, then do whatever you want. It seems I raised you incorrectly. I should have made sure to remind you to prioritize yourself in the end. If you were more cunning and flexible like most people, this wouldn’t have happened.”

Ernesta’s heart filled up with self-deprecation mixed with a joke in his muttered words.

She wanted to apologize for causing worry, but she couldn’t find the right words to say and remained silent. As she did, Bruno raised his face and glared at Engebert.

“Three months. Even if Ermengard-sama is not found, you must return her in three months. Got it?”

Engeberg calmly nodded at the intimidating assertion, saying, “We will definitely find her.”

Bruno still had a sharp look in his eyes, but he didn’t say anything further.

As they opened the door connecting the store to their residence, Ernesta nearly screamed in surprise when her younger brother was waiting for them.

“I was so… surprised! Konrad, did you hear that?”

“Isn’t it obvious?! Why does it always have to be like this, Nee-san?!”

Konrad is fifteen years old this year. He is a cute and intelligent younger brother, with short, rigid hair, and intellectual eyes just like both parents. He knows the secret of Ernesta’s birth, and even though he knows it, he still adores his big sister.

Although his harsh words were usual, Ernesta stopped in her tracks, surprised to see him this angry.

“You’re always being so reserved like this…! You’re just doing it to look cool!”

“Konrad, listen. I——”

“I won’t! If you’re willing to sacrifice yourself, then do it yourself!”

When did he learn such adult-like expressions? Ernesta still thought he was a child, but he had already surpassed her in height.

This brother rarely expresses condolences in words, but Ernesta knows he is truly kind at heart.

“Please protect Mom, okay?”

“I don’t need to be told that! You’re an idiot!”

Konrad screamed with a red face and angrily left the house.

Feeling Heartbroken by their argument, Ernesta walked again, this time to say a temporary goodbye to her mother.

After knocking and entering the room, Isolte was wide awake and sitting up in bed, welcoming Ernesta.

“Ellie, what happened? Are you okay?”

Ernesta felt uneasy seeing Isolte’s arm and neck exposed, with only skin and bones visible from her nightwear.

Even though she was bedridden, Isolte was still beautiful. Her chestnut hair pulled back in a single bun, and her blue eyes that never lost their shine. They were different from the colors that Ernesta possessed and felt painfully distant at that moment.

There probably wasn’t much time left for her. Thanks to the recent incident, there was a glimpse of hope for her treatment, which was truly fortunate.

“It’s okay. Dad just got into an argument with a guest.”

“Ugh, your Dad has a terrible temper. Did the argument end peacefully, then?”

“Yeah, both of them seemed to have reached an understanding.”

Up to this point, Ernesta had told no lies. However, as she faced her visibly relieved mother, she felt the pain in her chest as if it were about to burst.

“Mom, I’ve actually been thinking of going into service.”

Isolte’s eyes opened wide. Ernesta apologized for surprising her with such a sudden topic, then sat down on the chair next to the bed and held her mother’s thin hand.

“But it’s only for three months, and this store will get busier. Can you forgive me?”

No, in truth, an imperial messenger had come. Ernesta should have told Isolte everything since she had raised her, but she didn’t.

“Ellie, you’re pushing yourself too hard.”

Ernesta was struck by the accuracy with which Isolte had read her thoughts and involuntarily tensed her hand. That small movement must have conveyed her emotions to Isolte.

“What’s going on? I’ve told you before that you don’t have to worry about my medical expenses.”

This blacksmith shop is making a decent profit. So far, they haven’t had any trouble with the cost of medicine, but that’s why the fact that Isolte wasn’t getting better had been frustrating for Ernesta.

Ernesta would never leave her sick mother behind for meaningless service. Isolte understood her daughter’s personality well and probably felt uneasy about her sudden offer.

“Well, that’s not the reason. I want to go to the north to study dyeing.”

“The north?”

“Yes. Don’t you hear that the northern people have amazing skills? I’ve always wanted to go there.”

Although it was a good lie for an impromptu excuse, the reasoning for the unnatural offer was somewhat doubtful. Of course, Isolte was not convinced enough to believe it, and after staring into her daughter’s eyes for a while, she finally laughed wryly.

“It seems like you’ve already decided. Okay, have a good trip.”

“… Is it okay?”

“Yes. As they say, ‘let cute kids go on a journey.’ You won’t pull back once you’ve decided.”

Isolte laughed and said, “You’ve inherited my bad parts.” Ernesta felt a mixture of guilt, loneliness, gratitude, and various emotions, and her vision blurred without her understanding why.

Will the best pharmacist be able to cure Mom while I’m away?

If they can’t…what if something happens while I’m gone…?

No, I shouldn’t think about that possibility. Ernesta must go, even if she cannot be there for her mother’s final moments.

If not, it wouldn’t be a debt that could ever be repaid.

“Hey, Mom. Why did you raise me? Why did you help me so much?”

Isolte had to leave the palace after saving a baby who was about to be killed. Despite working at the country’s top research institution, studying her beloved astronomy had to be abandoned as she took on the responsibility of carrying another person’s child into the city at only twenty years old. Ernesta doesn’t have any memory of that time, but she surely went through unimaginable hardships.

Perhaps Isolte was thinking about something serious when she saw her daughter’s earnest gaze, as she seemed to adjust her posture a little. Her gentle smile still remained on her face, however.

“Well, I think that’s because I was also the tutor for the current Empress when she was a princess. I didn’t want to see her sad. But more than anything, that baby was so adorable. It’s because you were smiling.”

Unaware of the fact that the baby was destined to die, she had innocently laughed.

Such arrogance that seeks to erase such a pure life for the convenience of adults. Isolte thought bitterly, unable to forgive it.

How Mom-like her motives were.

As a mother, as a woman, and above all as a human being, Ernesta thought she was someone she admired.

It was good to have been raised by this person. She was probably the luckiest person in the world.

She wanted the baby to live, no matter what kind of suffering she had to endure herself.

“Mom, I’ll do my best. So please do your best, too.”

When she declared her determination, Isolte also nodded strongly.

“Okay, thank you, Ernesta. Is that okay? When you feel down, just count the stars.”

“I know, it makes my own worries feel so small that I don’t care anymore right? I understand.”

Isolte also smiled contentedly as her daughter made a gesture of looking up to the sky with a self-satisfied expression.

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