The Unwanted Princess Becomes Loved in the Werewolf Kingdom and Becomes Queen! – Chapter 58
Chapter 58: The Lovely Ones 1
The army of werewolf warriors, escorted by the castle inhabitants, marched out at dawn.
The warriors had already turned into werewolves and would begin running as soon as they left the town. It seemed like a reckless march, but it was a golden rule to move quickly within the range that would be useful on site.
While watching the numerous strong backs leave, Ernesta was only looking at one. The back of a powerful figure with black clothing and golden fur that stood out.
It was a tall tower. The only one standing beyond the backyard was a prison for catching noble sinners.
Led by surprised guards, she proceeded to the back. At the end of the hallway, there was a special room with a tough iron grille. She saw a man for the first time behind it.
“Hey My Queen. I was surprised you were coming. Ivan couldn’t stop you?”
Theodor was now in human form, sitting on a bed set up in the cell. His crimson eyes did not lose their vigor in this environment, and his powerful smile remained.
Ernesta told the guards to return, then turned back to the prisoner behind the iron bars.
“Yes, they said it was absolutely impossible.”
“Well, that’s no surprise. There are probably several reasons for it.”
“What do you mean?”
In response to her questioning, Theodor furrowed his brows and lowered his crimson eyes.
“I heard you injured your wrist…I’m sorry. I’m the scummiest person for injuring a woman.”
Ernesta was completely taken aback. She never expected him to bring up the injury she had even forgotten about and apologize for it. Ivan’s friend was truly kind and simply went astray.
“Don’t worry about it! It was just a little scar, and it has long since healed and disappeared!”
“You’re too kind. Ivan says that even if you forgive me for abducting you and causing the injury, he won’t forgive me.”
“…He said that?”
“Yeah. Of course, I also opposed the idea of a meeting.”
Ernesta held her breath at his words with a bitter smile.
She didn’t know that Ivan was so angry about it. She was reminded of his kindness and sense of responsibility, and felt a warm feeling in her chest.
“But, I see. So he’s not here anymore.”
She immediately understood that “he” referred to his one and only best friend. Ernesta regained her composure and nodded clearly through the iron bars.
“You can get a sense of the situation to some extent even by being here. Yes, he went out to battle not too long ago.”
There was no response from Theodor. How did he feel after being unable to participate in the battle against Leutravia, who was likely the direct cause of his lover’s death?
Theodor smiled quietly. Choosing the path of revenge for his deceased lover came with an immeasurable amount of conflict. How great would it have been if he could have taken both loyalty and love.
“Listen, everyone in my family punched me once.”
“Eh?! that must have been tough…”
“Johan and my old friends too… And then, we all laughed together. They’re happy I’m alive.”
Ernesta imagined the scene and smiled softly. For those close to him, perhaps they were angry at him for being so reckless, but being alive was probably the greatest stroke of luck.
“So, what did you think about it?”
Asking a tough question on purpose, Theodor shrugged as if to say he was in trouble.
“You don’t hold back, do you? Well, I was happy… but it was also painful. I wonder what I could have done differently.”
Even if he had to sacrifice his own life, Theodor had something he wanted to choose. Whether his desire for a country of solitude had become a thing of the past was unknown.
But now he was shaken. He was thinking about whether his past choices were right or wrong. For Ernesta, that was enough.
“I think what you did was necessary. If you didn’t do it, someone else would have. By being with comrades who share the same goal, some were able to survive.”
Kautsky (Theodor) still seemed to be silent. Their hatred for humans wasn’t something that could easily be dispelled, but it became the reason for some to keep living.
“Theodor-san, I’m grateful for having the opportunity to think because of you. So, I came to return the favor.”
“…You’re really crazy, aren’t you?”
“Not really. The most I can do is bring some food to share.”
Ernesta showed the basket she had been carrying. It contained freshly made khachapuri, boiled meat, aromatic vegetables, cheese, and alcohol. Theodor sighed but looked pleased at the mass of the basket.
“What, are you trying to bribe me? For a princess, you’re surprisingly cool.”
“Fufu, that’s right. I thought you might be hungry. Theodor-san seems to eat a lot.”
Ernesta said as she opened a small window with a key and pushed the basket through the iron bars. Theodor promptly began to rummage through its contents.
“Oh, it’s Hashrama! And it comes with Tsukemari sauce. You have good taste,” he said as he started to eat without any hesitation. Ernesta was a bit surprised by his voracious appetite.
“…Don’t you think it might be poisoned?”
“Hmm? What, this might be poisoned?”
“No, it’s not, but… I just thought you trusted me pretty easily as a human.”
Theodor stopped chewing and thought for a moment.
But he quickly put on a bright smile and grabbed the khachapuri, chomping into it enthusiastically.
“It’s my intuition! Plus, I was really hungry!”
“So, what’s the deal? Why did you come here?”
He is a mysterious person. He has a childlike smile, yet seems to be skilled at reading other people’s psychology.
“Theodor-san, what will you do if you get out of here?”
“Are you assuming that I can leave? You wouldn’t want me to come out of prison, would you?”
“No, not at all.”
Ernesta replied easily. Surprised by her straightforward answer, Theodor remained silent for a while, chewing his meat.
“…Well, what is the reason then?”
“Because His Majesty asked for your help.”
Ernesta smiled softly. If Ivan said that this friend’s help was necessary, there was no need for any other reason.
At least, it would be good to have one more person she could count on by her side. If Theodor’s return was recognized by everyone, it would be a happy thing for Ernesta too.
“If I come to see you like this, people will realize that the Queen has forgiven the guilty. If that happens, the trial will be easier to conduct, won’t it?”
This is a gesture of gratitude and atonement. It’s a heartfelt gift to the king, who will continue to walk a difficult path in the future.
“I’m not asking for all your time, but once we leave here, please use your power to help the king.”
Theodor remained silent for a moment, taken aback by the earnest request.
Eventually, he blinked and let out a wry smile, banishing any doubt from his eyes.
“You’re quite the strategist. I owe you a big one for the favor you did me.”
“I have to take care of my comrades. Once that’s done, I’ll think about it.”
Despite his murky words, Theodor’s smile was refreshing.
In contrast, Ernesta’s guilt was growing. This was as far as she could go as a fake queen. Whether he would be accepted by those around him and whether he himself would want it were both factors in making that decision.
“Thank you. Please, take care.”
Ernesta smiled, feeling the sensation of everything she could do being almost finished, lingering in her chest.