The Unwanted Princess Becomes Loved in the Werewolf Kingdom and Becomes Queen! – Chapter 86
Chapter 86: Small story picnic 2 – The End
Upon realizing that the words she had imagined had become a reality, Ernesta smiled briefly before stopping herself.
However, she quickly scolded herself inwardly and gripped the handle of the basket tightly enough to remain unnoticed.
She couldn’t show a shocked face. She had to smile to allow Ivan to work with peace of mind.
“Is, is that so? What happened? Are you okay?”
“They found an iron vein in the mountains near Mount Koshka. It’s not a big deal, but we need to consider our response.”
That was certainly a difficult situation. The authorities needed to issue a gag order, confirm the situation, and form an investigation team as quickly as possible. Johan also appeared anxious, and it was likely an unexpected circumstance for him as the Prime Minister.
However, Ernesta was worried about the menacing presence beside her. When she glanced over, Dasha was glaring at the two men, writing “Are you breaking your promise?” on her face.
“… Um, is there anything I can do?”
“Thank you, I can handle this matter alone. I’ll try to finish it as soon as possible.”
Ivan said apologetically, furrowing his brows. He repeatedly apologized and kissed Ernesta on the forehead, then quickly left with Johan.
In the busy hallway where his vassals were passing by, Dasha’s concerned look pierced Ernesta’s heart.
Ernesta gave her youngest handmaid a smile as if to hold back tears.
“Oh, don’t look like that, Dasha. Ivan is busy, so it can’t be helped.”
Yes, this was unavoidable.
Ivan was the king of this country and thought more about Shenka than anyone else.
“He said he would finish it as soon as possible. It’s more than enough.”
In that case, Ernesta will just have to wait in anticipation. Even the dishes waiting to be eaten in the basket must not have been made in vain.
“Oh no… My Queen is too kind.”
“Fufu, that’s not true. Hey, Dasha, since you’ve been standing for so long and must be tired, shall we have some tea?”
Encouraging her with a cheerful voice, Dasha smiled despite seeming hesitant.
Afterwards, they returned to their own room and enjoyed tea with the maid, which doubled as breakfast. Ernesta studied during her free time, and eventually noon arrived, but Ivan still hadn’t returned.
Looking up at the clock for what felt like the umpteenth time, Ernesta let out a small sigh and stood meaninglessly in front of the window where the afternoon sun shone in.
The weather outside was nice. She could sense the gentle breeze blowing, but now that it had already passed 2pm, it was probably impossible to go outside anymore.
Ernesta had hoped to change her mood during her rare time off. But with such a busy schedule, and it may have been better to rest in her room instead of going outside.
Ernesta noticed the basket on the table and smiled softly.
It had cooled down quite a bit, so hopefully the vegetables hadn’t gone bad, but they were probably wilted and dried out.
It was sad, but Ivan was busy, so there was nothing to be done. She had missed lunch, so she decided to eat by herself.
Ernesta removed the lid from the basket. She couldn’t help but laugh at the neatly arranged dishes, as they always were.
Sharp footsteps could be heard in the distance. The sound of someone coming at an incredible speed grew louder and the door was knocked down.
Ernesta ran with excited anticipation and opened the door.
“I’m sorry, Ellie. I kept you waiting for so long…!”
Ivan was so out of breath as if he had really sprinted all the way here.
Despite being tired, he hurried to keep his promise. Ernesta felt bad for being happy, but she was overjoyed that he had returned and couldn’t find the right words to say.
“Ah, sorry for rushing you. I’m sorry, you didn’t have to run this much…”
Avoiding eye contact, she invited her husband, who had finished work, into the room. As the door closed, the afternoon silence enveloped the two of them.
Perhaps it was stamina, Ivan quickly caught his breath.
“… Are you mad at me?”
Surprised by the unexpected question, she lifted her face and saw Ivan frown with his blond eyebrows, as if enduring pain.
“I’m sorry. I couldn’t keep my promise even though you invited me. But I really was looking forward to it. If Ellie is okay with it… Do you want to go out now?”
His blue eyes pleaded with an earnest color. Ernesta was so surprised that she blurted out what she thought.
“…Were you really looking forward to it that much?”
“I thought I said I was looking forward to it last night.”
He answered dubiously, and Ernesta was more and more outspoken.
“I thought it was just a polite thing to say. Besides, when we met in the hallway, you didn’t seem that disappointed.”
When she found out he couldn’t go, Ernesta was really disappointed and forced a smile. However, Ivan seemed to be acting as usual.
“…I have to show off a little too. Can’t just act like a child, whining about how I wanted to go, especially with Johan there.”
Ivan covered his mouth with his hand and looked away. His slightly reddened ears were a sign that he was blushing.
So, if Johan wasn’t there, Ivan would have whined. If that was the case, he missed out on something important——No, that’s not it. Ernesta realized her thoughts were getting off track and shook her head in a panic.
“I’m not angry. I’m just happy you came over quickly. It’s just embarrassing, you know?”
She truly felt fortunate.
She felt like she was reminded every day of how much he cherished her as his wife.
“You know, I want to go to the orchard. What do you think?”
“…Is that a good idea?”
“Of course. Do you want to go outside of the castle, Ivan?”
“No, anywhere is fine as long as I’m with Ellie.”
Ernesta blushed uncontrollably at the unexpected killer line.
Although Ivan was still shy, he had become more casual about saying things like this. Ernesta’s recent dilemma was that she couldn’t prepare herself for when he might say things like this.
Without a response, Ernesta looked to the side and suddenly noticed a basket on the table.
She couldn’t help but exclaim.
What should she do? The food was old and she didn’t plan on having Ivan eat it, but if they went on a picnic, there would be nowhere to put the dish.
Should she keep it for herself and get a new one for Ivan? But if she ate something different in front of him, he would definitely be suspicious.
While she was lost in thought, Ivan began walking resolutely.
It was too late to stop him. When he peered into the open basket, Ernesta gave up and chuckled as Ivan turned his wide-eyed gaze towards her.
“I’ve never seen this dish before. Did you make it?”
“Well, actually, I did. But it’s already gone bad, so I was going to eat it myself.”
Ernesta tried to continue, but she couldn’t find the words as Ivan hugged her tightly.
“Thank you. I’m really sorry for keeping you waiting.”
Those words were filled with all the regret he had.
Despite the black chokha blocking her view and not being able to see anything, Ernesta knew what kind of face Ivan was making because of his low, rough voice.
“I wasn’t upset at all. If Ivan can rest, that’s all that matters.”
As she said this and shook her small head, Ivan’s arm strength increased. Ernesta smiled slightly, trying not to let him notice.
In the end, Ivan would not listen to her, saying he would eat the contents of the basket, and Ernesta was forced to raise the white flag.
The orchard, untouched by time, was still refreshing, and the soft autumn sun felt pleasant. Just like before, sitting on the gazebo, Ernesta nervously watched her trembling fingers pick up the sandwich and bring it to his mouth from the basket.
“What is this?! It’s too delicious!”
Ivan’s eyes widened as he exclaimed, and Ernesta let out a sigh of relief.
“That’s good. Just to confirm, it hasn’t gone bad, right?”
“No, it’s too delicious!”
It seemed that Ivan’s vocabulary had been reduced to a single word. Surprisingly, he devoured the sandwich in just a few bites and then stabbed the schnitzel with his fork.
As he took a bite, his eyes widened again. “What is this! It’s too delicious…!” And with the same line coming out again, Ernesta couldn’t help but laugh.
According to what she had heard earlier, Ivan hadn’t eaten lunch for the picnic. While hunger might be the best spice, she didn’t expect him to be so impressed.
“Ellie, you should eat too. Otherwise, I’ll eat everything.”
As he spoke, Ivan picked up another sandwich. There were originally five sandwiches and eight schnitzels.
“I’ll just have one sandwich and a little schnitzel. Ivan can eat the rest. Of course, there’s no need to force yourself.”
As she slowly chewed her sandwich, Ivan opened his mouth in disbelief.
“What are you talking about? This is so delicious! Won’t you regret it?”
“Well, it’s homemade so it’s not that special. I’m fine with it.”
While she was someone who ate an average amount of food, she was already full today. She was just happy that Ivan was enjoying himself, and her heart was full.
“Is that so…? In that case, I’ll gladly eat it all.”
“Sure, go ahead and help yourself.”.
As she did, Ivan started eating silently. They say people become quiet when they eat something delicious, but it might be the same for werewolves.
A pleasant breeze swayed through the quiet space. The fruit orchard, illuminated by the setting sun, had grapes reaching the peak of their season, with plump, black fruit hanging as far as the eye could see. The fragrance emitted from the single planted pear tree tickled Ernesta’s nose, as she gazed at his perfect profile.
“…I wonder how long it’s been since we’ve had such a peaceful time.”
The low voice that dropped out struck Ernesta’s heart deeply.
The orchard held unforgettable memories with Ivan, but it was also the place where they realized they had to part ways. However, those memories that had fallen to the bottom of the earth at that time were warm and slowly being coated over.
“I was thinking the same thing.”
Even without words, enveloping happiness was there.
The evening sun was soft, casting the shadows of the two cuddled up figures long. They continued talking about nothing in particular, enjoying everyday life until nightfall.