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The Unwanted Princess Becomes Loved in the Werewolf Kingdom and Becomes Queen! – Chapter 45

The Unwanted Princess Becomes Loved in the Werewolf Kingdom and Becomes Queen! – Chapter 45


Chapter 45: This thought

The rain had already stopped, and the alley that the sun had set on was damp.

It seemed that this was the outskirts of the city of Rashtovka. Opponents who had been restrained were scattered along the way, including Kautsky and Veronica. They were restrained with their hands tied behind them and had vacant eyes looking at the empty space amidst passing warriors.

Ernesta had no words to say to them, so she just went along being carried. The warriors looked surprised at the sight of the king and queen, but did not speak and only waited for orders. Ivan also only responded to them.

After passing through the chaotic tenements, they walked in silence on an empty road for a while. Ernesta’s head began to spin as she finally grasped the situation, and she yelled out loudly.

“Ivan, are you hurt? You were hurt a lot, weren’t you?!”

“No problem. But more importantly, what about you?”

She couldn’t continue to argue while being carried, with Ivan having suffered such significant injuries. Ernesta tried to ask him to put her down, but Ivan moved more quickly.

Just as she was seated on the bench right there, she found herself being lifted up with both hands pressing against her face.

He kneeled down, and now they were at the same eye level. Under the dim lights of nearby houses, his blue eyes glared sternly. She froze, thinking that she must have angered him so much, but the way he stroked her cheek and touched her neck was remarkably clerical and polite.

“…What are you doing?”

“I’m just making sure you’re not injured. It’s a bit brighter here, so it’s easier to see.”

Ivan gazed at Ernesta with a serious look in his eyes.

It was a situation where she could have instinctively pushed away a man who casually touched her body, but she didn’t feel any disgust at all. Instead, she felt embarrassed and bewildered.

“Is there anywhere that hurts?”

“Well, I don’t think so, but…”

“Right now, your body is still tensed up, so even if there is an injury, you won’t feel any pain. It’s too late to notice it later.”

Ivan should know that she hasn’t been subjected to violence. Still, he must care about her so much because she’s his important political marriage partner.

“Thank you for coming to help me.”

Ernesta smiled a faint smile, knowing she shouldn’t be happy but still glad that he came to her rescue.

However, the person who received her gratitude looked at her with an unsatisfied look.

“You’re so relaxed. You don’t even know how much I was worried.”

“I’m sorry. I must have caused you some concern.”

“Yeah. I thought my heart was going to stop.”

She couldn’t see his rare joking expression because his azure eyes were already averted.

Now, he took her arm and extended her elbow. The sensation of grabbing her upper arm from below tickled Ernesta, making her burst out laughing.

“Ah, that tickles…!”

“Stay still. It’ll be over soon.”

Despite her squirming, the examination continued solemnly.

However, Ivan suddenly stopped moving as he took her palm.

His gaze landed on her wrist that peeked out from her sleeve, with abrasion encircling it like a bracelet. Ernesta let out a faint voice upon seeing them.

She hadn’t noticed them at all. She wasn’t tied up tightly, but it seemed she had moved too much in that position.

“…It’s because I was tied up.”

The man’s hand holding her palm strengthened. His blue eyes staring at the wound held a ferocious gleam, and the voice that spilled out from his shapely lips was as low as crawling on the ground.

“That idiot, I should have cut him deeper. Binding these fragile wrists with rough ropes? It’s insane!”

His voice was now too low to hear what he was saying.

However, she felt it wouldn’t be good to anger him any further. Ernesta instinctively pulled her hand back and vigorously shook it left and right in front of her face.

“I’m fine! It’s not even a real injury and it’s just a scar.”

“Don’t move it so much! What if it gets worse?”

This time, he scolded her head-on.

But she didn’t feel scared at all. Instead, she couldn’t help but feel relieved. Why was that?

“I’m okay. See, it doesn’t hurt at all…”

It happened suddenly, without warning.

Drops overflowed and ran down her cheeks. Confused by the suddenness of it all, Ernesta unintentionally touched her eyelids with her fingers.

As tears flowed, the dignified face in front of her was colored with surprise.

“I’m…sorry…I’ll…stop it soon…!”

Ernesta realized that she was scared, despite acting brave as a queen. After all, she was nothing but a young girl.

“I’m sorry, I’m sorry…!”

How pathetic. As Ermengard’s substitute, she was supposed to be calm and collected at all times.

Ernesta lowered her head and rubbed her eyes desperately. She didn’t even notice when the hesitant hand that reached out to touch her shoulder stopped and eventually withdrew.

“…Were you scared?”

Unable to admit to the question, Ernesta swallowed her breath while still looking down. But the voice that came after a short pause was tinged with sadness.

“Was it about being kidnapped? Or was it about…me?”

Today, Ernesta saw Ivan’s werewolf form for the first time. Realizing that’s what he was referring to, she turned pale.

He didn’t appear in front of Ernesta during the full moon. Dasha had said so. “Her Majesty will not show any form other than human form.”

“If that’s the case, just tell me directly. I promise not to show any other form in front of you from now on.”

“No, that’s not it! I was scared because…I was kidnapped.”

Ernesta impulsively looked up, imagining a golden werewolf standing alone in a room illuminated by the full moon. She didn’t care if it meant exposing her own weakness, even if her face, swollen from crying, looked unseemly.

“I’m not afraid of Ivan! I know that you are kind. You are sincere, serious, diligent, and you carry a heavy burden and walk with clumsiness more than anyone else.”

Why does this person always care about others?

Even though I am so selfish and self-centered…

“You’re the one with much worse injuries. You’re hurt, yet you’re not taking better care of yourself…”

He must have realized that she wasn’t just talking about physical injuries.

Ivan’s expression was covered with a film on his eyes’ surface, and Ernesta couldn’t read his expression. However, she felt he was in utter shock, and regretted speaking too much.

At the very least, she couldn’t continue to show such a pathetic figure. Ernesta tried to wipe her wet cheeks, but her raised hand was gently pushed down.

“…Yeah. I shouldn’t have been okay with what happened. After what happened, it was impossible for me to be okay.”

Through her blurred vision, Ernesta saw Ivan squinting his blue eyes.

His hard fingers reached out and wiped the edge of her eyes, causing Ernesta to reflexively close her eyes.

“I keep making you cry. Why would I have someone like you by my side? I haven’t done a single good deed.”

His voice, speaking incomprehensible things, sounded distant.

As she tried to ask its meaning, the warm hand that brought comfort to her slowly let go.

“Ellie, when I heard you were gone, I thought you might have run away.”

Ernesta held her breath as she met his gaze, which showed no signs of joking.

“No, ‘run away’ isn’t the right expression. I just thought it was impossible from the beginning, and that you were only trying to go back to where you belonged. Yes, that’s what I thought.”

His words were delivered in a matter-of-fact tone, expressing the young king’s long-held disappointment.

For Ivan, human relationships were necessary only for the country’s benefit, not out of a trusting nature towards people.

Just by facing the fact she already knew, she felt an intense pain in her chest.

But that pain was soon to be overridden by the next words.

“Please forgive foolish me. From now on, I will absolutely trust you.”

Without realizing it, Ernesta opened her eyes wide.

The guilt that she had repeatedly realized attacked her in a different form at that moment, almost crushing her.

No, please don’t believe in me.

When she swallowed the appeal that was about to come out of her throat, it tasted like burnt iron. Because at that moment, Ernesta finally realized it.

——I, I love this person.

How foolish she was. She should have treated it as a mere illusion as usual and erased it. A love that ended as soon as she realized it was not a laughing matter.

This vow was meant to be for her yet unseen sister. This straightforward trust was not something a sinner should receive.

Ernesta was a traitor. She was an existence that had been covered up by lies from the beginning…

“…Now, let’s go home. Your wrist injury needs to be treated as soon as possible.”

Without knowing what Ernesta was thinking, Ivan let out a bitter smile and got up first.

Ernesta was pulled up by Ivan’s outstretched hand, walking slowly with him.

The post-rain air was damp and cold, wrapping the rough skin hindered by tears. The city, now enveloped by night, looked somewhat desolate without the remnants of the sunset.

❂❂❂

Ivan glanced sideways at his wife walking beside him. The darkness of the night allowed him to gaze at her fragile figure, which he was grateful for, even if he stared at her how much he wanted.

He knew why he didn’t feel a great disturbance when he found out about Theodor’s betrayal. In order to move forward for the country, for his friend, for the lost lives, he had made up his mind. But soon, he saw his wife’s figure among them.

She had been the bridge between humans and werewolves, inspiring herself. The many actions his wife took had encouraged both her kind and himself.

Sometimes, she showed a womanly face appropriate for her age. It was inexplicable how much his heart beat faster at her gestures, warm gaze, or even just one expression.

——Yes. Unfamiliar emotions… that’s what this is.

I love you. Why didn’t I realize these feelings earlier, which hurt me so much I could cut myself? I wished I could stop those transparent tears, and this wasn’t the first time.

Who are you? Why did you appear before me? In front of a man like me who only makes painful expressions.

Without realizing it, Ivan clenched his fists. The fact that he didn’t know who she was made him feel restless, now more than ever.

He didn’t know what to do. This was the first time that Ivan couldn’t make a decision even though he had thought about it over and over again.


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