*˖:✧ ⑅•.⋅༻♔༺•⑅ ✧:˖*
Zelle shot her face out of the quail meat.
‘So this bastard is saying I’m obsessed just because I ate some piece of meat?’
Zelle fumed out hot air.
It was already embarrassing enough for her to be eating like this but she was currently a bird, not a princess.
So how could he call me obsessed just because I’m eating a little messy!
Ahhh, father! Help me!!
Zelle fluttered her wings and expressed her frustration to the max.
Valhayle did not even flinch looking at her.
After a long while, Valhayle made a you-are-pathetic face and spoke in a scolding manner.
“It’s not a virtue of the messenger bird to be obsessed with a confidential message. If you have delivered it, then forget about it.”
This time it was Zelle who made the you-are-pathetic face.
Talking about virtues to a bird. Hah. What a crazy man.
Zelle genuinely felt sorry for the 40,000 Roheneim men who served him.
Also, she felt sorry for her 2nd oldest sister who could have been engaged to him. Even though he was just one of the many men in candidacy.
“The more you obsess over the confidential message, the less useful you will be.”
Aargh, I’m not obsessed over it!!!
Zelle screeched and stomped her foot.
Valhayle frowned but Zelle went back to focus on the quail meat.
She chewed aggressively on the meat thinking it was Valhayle.
The tent door flung open and Sir Luke entered with a soldier.
“Sir, I’ve brought him here.”
It was the soldier that was scratched by Zelle earlier.
Valhayle spoke coldly.
“How long will it take to train it completely?”
“It depends on the species but… it will take about a fortnight to a month.”
“Alright. Take it and train it after it’s done eating. Since right now….”
And he glanced at Zelle.
“It seems abnormal.”
“Yes, sir. Oh….did you give it cooked meat?”
“Am I not supposed to?”
“No. It’s just that…it’s odd that it’s eating cooked meat….because it prefers raw meat.”
“i guess It’s a picky eater.”
Valhayle ate the vegetables and bread elegantly.
“It wasn’t like this before… It must have been shocked by something. It’s been acting out since the morning.”
Valhayle spoke after a moment.
“Can birds understand people?”
The soldier asked dumbfoundedly.
“Or can it explain something?”
The soldier studied him to see if he was being serious right now.
Valhayle noticed that and glared at him.
The soldier hurriedly looked away.
“Birds…birds can’t understand words or explain things. They can only carry out certain commands through training. Just because a bird brought something because it heard the command, ‘go bring that to me’ it doesn’t mean that it understood what it meant. It did that because it was trained to bring that certain thing when a person commands in a specific tone or length.”
The soldier continued.
“It’s impossible for a bird to explain something.”
The soldier warily released the rope around Zelle’s ankle and grabbed her wings.
Zelle glared into Valhayle’s pocket as she was being carried away.
Valhayle saw that and glared back.
Sir Luke watched as the soldier bowed and left.
“I will dismiss myself too.”
Sir Luke stopped midway and asked.
“Uh, Sir Valhayle.”
“Who…were you talking with earlier?”
Valhayle raised his brows.
“Yes. Just before I came in…….”
“There was no one in the tent. You must have misheard something.”
“But I’m certain that you said, ‘the less useful you will be’.”
Valhayle fell silent and made a confused face. Then he spoke.
“I was talking to myself.”
“Alright then. I’ll go now.”
When Sir Luke left Vahayle slid into his chair.
He took a deep breath.
‘I was talking to a bird.’
Valhayle was displeased about him not thinking straight.
To be fair, his mind was preoccupied with the rigorous schedule of battle after battle.
But Valhayle shook his head.
‘Being exhausted is just another excuse.’
He pressed his forehead with his palm and brushed off the breadcrumbs on the table.
Then suddenly, he remembered the bird’s gold, infuriated eyes.
It was oddly disturbing.
Valhayle shook his head to get rid of that image.
It was a silent night that night.
Zelle was in the middle of training.
The soldier pointed at the yellow flag on the far right and spoke.
“Go bring that branch over there.”
Zelle pushed off the ground into the air. She grabbed the branch with her talons and brought it back.
A piece of cooked meat was thrown to her as a reward.
The soldier in charge of her now knew that she only ate cooked meat.
The soldier pointed at the flag again and spoke.
“Go get that branch over there.”
Zelle barely controlled herself from flying away.
Seems like this was how birds were trained.
Being ordered for thousands of times like this.
The soldier was already commanding her to bring a branch for the eleventh time.
Zelle clenched her beak.
She was frustrated but to get closer to the confidential message, she had to complete the training. Zelle pushed off the ground again.
The soldier ordered by Sir Valhayle or Sir “Vexed” was responsibly doing his job.
Zelle was so fed up with the ‘bird’ training that she wished someone would realize that she could understand human language.
It was to the point she missed the aggressive Sir Valhayle who seemed to have realized that the most.
Zelle made it clear that she understood the soldier but he only thought she was acting charmingly to get his attention.
She was out of strength.
Zelle still didn’t find out if the King or her siblings were alive or dead.
She didn’t even know whether she was alive or dead.
‘Someone must have survived.’
Zelle comforted herself.
‘If not why would Roheneim continue to fight these hard battles?’
After being a bird, she had overheard many things from the soldiers.
She wasn’t taken outside the messenger bird tent for four days but she could still hear whispers here and there.
Roheneim was being chased by something but it was also definitely looking for something.
She guessed this from the camp’s frequent relocation and from the messenger soldiers coming in and out.
Zelle vaguely suggested that they were looking for the surviving members of the Roymonde royal family.
She just wished she was included in their search.
She met Sir Valhayle in five days.
Valhayle spoke after glancing shortly at Zelle.
What did you just say! Is that all you got to say to me after meeing me in five days!!!
Valhayle gave the soldier a scolding look.
Zelle quickly looked at herself.
Yeah, I have to admit. I am dirty.
But where am I supposed to clean myself when I don’t even get water to clean myself?
Zelle felt embarrassed and started chewing on her feather, finally pulling it out.
Valhayle looked down at her like she was pathetic.
The soldier spoke warily.
“I’ll wash it. We had to move tents often recently so I couldn’t find the time to clean it.”
Valhayle spoke firmly.
“Wash it right now.”
The soldier started loosening the rope tied around Zelle’s ankle. Valhayle spoke.
“It’s the only messenger bird we have left. At its state, we are only going to be a laughing stock.”
The soldier raised his head.
“What do you mean…it’s the only messenger bird left?”
“Most of the messenger birds we dispatched last time haven’t returned.”
The soldier’s face darkened. Valhayle’s face was not that different.
“Is it the five birds…we sent to Lofecce?
“Yes. The only one that returned is severely injured. It should be in the tent by now.
“May I leave to see it? There are not many people that can treat a bird here…”
“You have to clean this bird.”
The soldier spoke in haste.
“A bird can clean itself, sir. I’ll get a bucket of water for it behind your tent. I tied the rope loosely so it can go in and clean itself.”
“Alright then. Treat the injured bird first.”
Zelle was anxious. It was because she heard about ‘Lopecce’
It was the military of the nobles.
Seems like Roheneim was not the only one left.
Valhayle is the commander of Roheneim and thus the commander-in-chief right now, so Lopecce must be under his command too.
But if the messenger birds didn’t return…..
When the soldier left to get water, Valhayle mumbled.
“Now it’s certain that there’s a Granor camp in the way. “
Then he looked at Zelle and spoke coldly.
“If it weren’t for you, we would never have been this certain.”
Zelle widened her eyes.
His tone was cold but it meant that she has been some kind of help to him.
Zelle made a relieved smile. Even though obviously it wouldn’t look like she was smiling.
“Sir, it’s Luke”
Sir Luke entered the tent. And stopped abruptly after seeing Zelle.
“Uh, this bird….”
Sir Luke asked.
“Why is it here?”
Valhayle looked at Zelle and answered tiredly.
“I’m planning to send this bird to Lopecce.”
Zelle was frightened.
‘What? he’s going to send me to Lopecce??’
Sir Luke spoke her mind.
“It hasn’t completed the training yet, though.”
“As so I’ve heard. It only got the training to move from one flag to another.”
“Then aren’t we not supposed to send it?”
“It should be fine since it only needs to identify a yellow flag.”
Sir Luke spoke after a while.
“Also… Why must it be that bird? Don’t you think that bird has gone mad?”
“Enough about it being crazy.”
Valhayle cut his words.
“The Granor troop is between our camp and Lopecce’s camp. It’s too risky to dispatch a messenger soldier. We can’t gamble with a person’s life so we have no choice but to send a messenger bird.”
Sir Luke nodded.
“Alright then. What message are you going to send?”
Valhayle dismissed flatly.
“You don’t need to know.”
Hearing that, Zelle thought.
‘A confidential message that he doesn’t even tell Sir Luke about….”
Was it about something super important?
She suddenly felt urgent.
I must successfully complete the mission of going to Lopecce.
This could be the chance to find out if my siblings and I are still alive.
Zelle stared at Valhayle and Sir Luke.
Valhayle glanced back at Zelle.
The eyes of a bird and the eyes of a human tangled mid-air at that second.
*˖:✧ ⑅•.⋅༻♔༺•⑅ ✧:˖*