The Unwanted Princess Becomes Loved in the Werewolf Kingdom and Becomes Queen! – Chapter 57
Chapter 57: Full Moon Promise
Ernesta had taken an early dinner during a break in her work, so she decided to take a bath as soon as she returned to her room. It might be a little early, but there was nothing else she had to do anymore, so it wouldn’t be a problem.
As usual, she handled everything alone, then prepared for bed and headed for the bedroom. Ivan was not there, and the dimly lit room felt chilly even though it was summer.
Was he still working? He seemed to be leaving early tomorrow morning, so it would be bad if he didn’t get some sleep soon.
Ernesta clasped her chest, trying to calm her restless heart.
She just wanted to see Ivan for a moment. On this last night, when she wasn’t even mentally prepared, she wanted to greet him and then go to bed.
As Ernesta was about to light the lamp next to her bed, she suddenly noticed a noise coming from the adjacent room.
She suppressed her excitement and knocked on the connecting door, feeling the air on the other side vibrate. Still, there was no answer, so she called out to the owner of the room in a small voice.
“Ivan… are you there?”
After waiting for a long pause following the call, a voice with a sense of detachment responded as if there were a wall between them.
“You should go to bed first. I still have things to do.”
Ernesta trembled as her hand rested on the door handle.
She knew that it was a burden to wait; perhaps she had upset him with the words they exchanged in the orchard during the daytime.
It seemed that even the slightest prayer for good fortune before going to battle on the eve of deployment was not acceptable.
It was inevitable. Ernesta was a liar to someone who had done so much for her. She was a cold-blooded person who planned to quietly leave the castle while he was away at war, shedding neither blood nor tears.
“I’m coming in, Ivan.”
Without waiting for a reply, Ernesta opened the door wide.
Perhaps she should have given up, but her heart beat strongly and refused to turn back.
Ivan, dressed in a black chokha, was sitting on a carpet, his eyes wide in surprise as he stared at his wife. Several swords and tools were scattered around him, indicating that he had been taking care of them.
“Sorry for bothering you when you’re busy. I just wanted to see your face for a moment.”
As she took a step forward and began to move, she was stopped by a hand. Ernesta flinched at the clear rejection, but the reason was different.
“Don’t come here, it’s dangerous. I’m cleaning up right now.”
Ivan, who handled tools for killing people, looked the most upright he had ever appeared.
He successively inserted blades into the handles and put them back into their sheaths with a smooth and efficient movement. While mesmerized by his graceful movements, Ernesta furrowed her brows.
“Have you not finished? You don’t need to clean them up.”
“No, I’m almost done. I was just polishing them absentmindedly.”
It was unusual for Ivan to waste time like this for no reason, so Ernesta asked in curiosity. She witnessed his face distort in self-derision as he replied.
“It’s a full moon tonight… I didn’t want to see Ellie.”
Before she could figure out the meaning of his words, the familiar blue color began to ripple.
Without realizing it, the room had become so dark that the lamp’s light stood out. Outside the window at the end, the full moon cut through the purple-blue sky.
Finally, Ernesta realized what day it was tonight.
Ivan, with a brilliant glow behind him, began to ripple suddenly. His golden hair had the texture of an animal’s fur, his blue eyes had the iris of a beast, and his human-shaped hands held the claws and fur of an animal.
The transformation that happened right before her eyes ended while she held her breath.
“Before, you said that I’m not scary.”
He put the sword he had previously sheathed under his arm and stood up. The distance between the two of them represented the invisible wall that separated the temporary couple, as wide as the room itself.
“But, I am scary. These fangs and claws are too sharp to touch you.”
His voice was as calm as the night sky. It was filled with warmth that covered everything, yet it was so far away that it was out of reach.
Ernesta gazed at his golden fur shimmering in the moonlight and remembered when he saved her back at the tenement house.
Yes, Ivan turned back into his human form before carrying his wife in his arms. In retrospect, there was no need to revert to a form with inferior strength.
At the time, she didn’t feel any doubts, but now she finally understands. Ivan didn’t just show his human form to avoid scaring others. It was to protect Ernesta from any potential harm.
“I won’t get hurt. You won’t hurt me…!”
As she shouted, her eyes burned with pain. Ernesta also wanted to protect this person with such kindness and sensitivity.
Her breath trembled. Her vision blurred, and she couldn’t discern his rugged stance. Still, she wiped her eyes with brute force and took a wide step forward.
The wolf’s face showed surprise, defenseless. While Ivan was speechless, Ernesta had arrived in front of him.
The full moon casts a blue-white glow over the room, casting two different shadows with different contours onto the carpet. His blue eyes radiating with the same glow as always, he stares directly back into her deep green eyes.
Ernesta places both hands on his strong shoulders and reaches up and gently places her lips on the golden fur of his beautiful mouth.
———I can’t get hurt. Because I have you.
Unable to put her feelings into words, she expresses her love for the man she adores through touch. She is a cruel woman. No matter how much she confesses her regret, she will never be forgiven for doing this to someone that belongs to another.
In any form or at any time, this overwhelming feeling cannot be controlled. But even if her love is so crazy and intense that it cannot be contained for herself, touching him now is different.
If she doesn’t reciprocate, everything will be lost. Before longing for an insatiably inappropriate desire.
It was only for a short time. Ernesta feels a sense of regret as she quietly separates herself.
“Please be safe.”
Finally, she smiles and says just that. There were more things she wanted to say, but they were things that should not be spoken.
Don’t get hurt anymore.
I wish you peace in this country.
Please be happy.
It was hard to read the expression on the wolf’s face, but it was clear that he was bewildered. Ivan, a bit embarrassed, scratched the back of his head vigorously and let out a sigh that seemed to release all the air from his body.
“… It’s a good thing it’s a full moon today. Otherwise, it would be unbearable.”
As Ernesta began to ask what he meant, a pair of arms, which were now noticeably thicker than usual, reached out and pulled her close.
Feeling the softness of his arms, she closed her eyes to hide her tears.
“And you, don’t overdo it. You don’t have to go outside for work. Make sure you don’t catch a cold as it gets colder.”
Each word dropped by Ivan weighed heavily on her chest. Ernesta awkwardly nodded without raising her head. Unable to embrace him, she clung to his chest with weak and powerless arms.
After a while of silence, Ivan gently peered into her face. She was aware of her messy expression, so she instinctively tried to hide it, but then he took her hand, preventing her from doing so.
“Ellie, there’s one promise I want you to make. Wait for me here.”
Her heart pounded painfully.
There was no hint of a joke in the wolf’s eyes. Wrapped up in their straight shine, she felt an impulse to slump to the ground.
“I-I don’t want to, Ivan. You don’t have to confirm it like this…”
He suppressed her attempt to create some distance with a quiet voice.
Neither a silly conversation nor a cheerful smile was appropriate for the two of them right now. Ernesta could only look into his eyes, ignoring the pain that was coursing through her body.
“Please just nod your head. That’s all I need to come back here.”
Ernesta couldn’t resist the urgency in his voice.
And she lied. It was the worst lie she had ever told.
“…Yes. I promise. I’ll wait for you here.”
Ernesta heard the sound of her heart breaking. She forced herself to speak in a trembling voice and put on a smile that was halfway between laughter and tears.
What is certain is that she bore the burden of the guilt that she couldn’t redeem with this promise.
The smile with a wolf’s face was the kindest one yet.
Ernesta kept gazing at her temporary husband, to etch that expression in her mind so she could never forget it.