TL/N: I mistranslated consort as queen in the previous chapter. I’m sorry for the mistranslation and to avoid any misunderstanding, here are some clarifications:
Consort is a wife/husband of royal authority. And a king could have multiple consorts. A consort is different from a concubine in that consorts have higher social status and are officially married to the king.
I’ve also added concubine-to-consort to indicate that there are concubines who became consorts.
*˖:✧ ⑅•.⋅༻♔༺•⑅ ✧:˖*
The 1st Princess married a noble of a prominent family.
That’s why Zelle always avoided the noble supporters. She didn’t even go near the Lopecce personnel.
She also avoided the Queen supporters, that is Roheneim, who were discussing to wed one of themselves with the 2nd Princess.
Among the three children of the 1st Queen, the 1st Princess and the 2nd Princess were born into the same mother.
They were blood-related sisters and Zelle was not.
In order to sustain her life as the next term royal authority, she had to maintain a low profile.
However, the 1st Princess and the 2nd Princess always disapproved of her.
Her other siblings were not favorable to Zelle either.
She was a rightful princess with no power.
That excluded her even more.
The princes and princesses of the concubine-to-consorts only had their hopes on Voymont, the King supporters.
Since the King supporters didn’t care about what status their mothers were and only supported those in the King’s favor.
If the 1st Princess did not make a deal with Lespelle the 1st, king, Voymont would have supported the 4th Prince, the king’s favorite.
Zelle was not close with the king too. So she had no reason to strive to earn the favor of Voymont.
Zelle’s relations in high society was basically nonexistent.
She was always hiding and maintaining a low profile.
The king had other women besides the 7 official consorts. And most of the children of those women disappeared with no trace.
It was because the 1st Princess and 2nd Princess killed them.
The 11 siblings that are alive now excluding the official consort-born children were only alive because their mothers were from influential noble families despite them originally being a concubine.
The only reason Zelle was safe from the 1st Princess without a mother was because she had an unthreatening conduct.
It was also because Zelle’s mother was not from a powerful family.
So the 1st Princess didn’t had her guards up for Zelle.
And that sadly, was Zelle’s fortune.
Her wings were starting to get sore.
Just as she was recalling the nobility list to distract her mind from the pain…
Sir Luke’s family.
It was Roheneim’s …
Then at that moment, Zelle felt a murderous intent behind her wings.
An arrow shot up behind her.
Zelle turned to dodge the arrow.
Was it Granoir?
Then another arrow shot past her.
Zelle couldn’t find the guts to look down so she clenched her beak and flew harder.
Her heart was beating violently.
I have to get away from them.
Do I have to fly higher?
No. I have to temporarily stop to fly higher and if I do, I’ll get hit.
Her wings were getting heavy because of long flight.
I’m slowing down.
Zelle looked around.
There were tall, thick trees on the right.
Zelle spread her wings.
Another arrow shot past her.
Zelle dashed towards the woods.
She flew rapidly though the thick leaves.
The branches and the thick leaves scratched her as she flew but Zelle didn’t slow down.
I have to live.
I must return alive.
After flying like that for some time, the murderous intent behind her started to fade.
Zelle slowed down and struggled to land on a branch with her throbbing wings.
She thought as she breathed heavily.
‘I… I escaped.’
She was getting sparks of thrill from the end of her exhausted wings.
It was her first time.
That Zelle escpaed danger.
She lived a life of surveillance and threat.
Just because she was the rightful princess the noble supporters and queen supporters would all support if she had no older sisters.
She didn’t exactly know why but Zelle had an exceptional sense of detecting danger.
Just like when she felt the murderous intent before the arrow.
When she was a human, she used to get chills on her back too.
‘I guess the skill I developed through 22 years of caution and survival didn’t disappear when I became a bird.’
Actually, her sense to detect to danger was more like an animal’s sense rather than a human’s.
Detect danger. Escape immediately.
That was Zelle’s life motto.
But ironically, Zelle had never really escaped before.
She detected the danger but she had to power to escape when she was a human.
One wrong move and she would have been killed.
So Zelle could do nothing but to hide and avoid.
Since if by hiding instead of escaping, she could live.
Then there was a war.
When she got out of the castle that night, she felt murderous intent everywhere and ran with all her might.
That was Zelle’s first attmept of escape.
But then she was captured by the enemy.
Without even a taste of freedom from her miserable life.
Then she became a bird.
And for the first time after being a bird…
‘I escaped danger!’
Zelle cheered internally.
Exhaustion then started flooding her.
Zelle dug her talons into the branch and took a short but deep nap.
She woke up and drank water nearby and started retracing the things that happened.
Zelle was flying while deep in thought but she wasn’t an idiot.
She wasn’t any close to the Granoir camp when she was attacked.
‘Then why was I attacked?’
Zelle then started feeling bad that she was too preoccupied with escaping that she didn’t see who the person attacking her was.
But guessing by how they fired an arrow immediately… it must be Granoir.
Since Granoir didn’t use messenger birds, they had no reason to hesitate an attack to identify if a messenger bird was theirs or the enemies’.
The problem here was that the spot where she was attacked was not far away from Roheneim’s camp.
‘They must have been Granoir’s reconnaissance* troop then.’
Zelle was aware that Granoir didn’t use messenger soldiers or messenger birds.
She also knew that Granoir had a quite large reconnaissance troop instead.
‘I must hurry.’
Zelle shook her wings to check if her wings regained strength.
There was a strained pull but it felt much better.
Alright. Let’s go on then.
She flew up to the sky.
‘It’s not a good sign that Granoir’s reconnaissance troop is near the Roheneim camp.’
Since that means that they are planning something.
She had to deliver this confidential message before that happens.
There must be a reason Valhayle is sending a messenger bird.
Zelle decided to trust the decision of her home country’s commander-in-chief.
As she was flying over the central area, she could see signs of plunder.
Smokes from the town.
Zelle clenched her beak in anger.
‘Granoir, they are still moving with haste.’
Attacking and pushing like a rapid-fire was the military strategy of Granoir, the conquestivist country.
After conquering the Roymonde palace, they moved on to conquer the neighboring countries.
They are only obsessed with putting more flags…
She scoffed at their reckless conquestivism but she laughed bitterly at herself.
What country lost its Eastern region in 10 days and lost its palace in 14 days?
It was Roymonde, her proud Kingdom.
The centuries of history were destroyed in 2 weeks and because of that, the citizens of the Central region and the Eastern region were being plundered and looted.
It was because of Granoir’s strategy of minimizing military provisions for speed and looting conquested areas to compensate for that.
Since they had no supply route, it was impossible to defeat them by stopping their supplies.
‘We have to pressure them out of this land by force. There is no other way.’
The turning point Valhayle was earnestly emphasizing was coming near.
Zelle slowed down to change her directions.
‘Sir Valhayle, just wait and see how well I understood you.’
Zelle grinned and flew away from the green flag camp.
Zelle returned to camp with Lopecce’s reply in four days.
Valhayle mumbled unbelievably.
Zelle exhaustedly extended her leg to Valhayle for him to take the letter.
Valhayle looked at Zelle silently.
Valhayle continued to stare with suspicion so Zelle got annoyed.
He told me to come back alive and now that I’m back alive, he’s suspecting if I’m a spy or something? Huh?!
Zelle frustrated shook her leg.
Hurry and take this already. It’s urgent.
When Valhayle saw Zelle’s demanding eyes, Valhayle removed the letter case from her leg and placed the letter on the table.
Zelle looked at the confidential message with excitement.
Open it up!
Show me what this whole thing was about.
When Valhayle saw Zelle shaking her body excitedly he frowned.
Then he grabbed Zelle with both his hands.
By now, Zelle should have known.
That this man would never share a confidential message with a mere messenger bird.
That meant that Zelle would never be able to find the whereabouts of her real body or the current situation of her country.
No!! I want to read it too!!!
“Gwechkkk!!! Gweck! Gweck!”
Zelle resisted with all strength but it was no use against Valhayle. She got locked in a birdcage.
Flap! Flap flap!
Open this cage right now! Open it!
Valhayle didn’t even flinch at Zelle’s outrage and sat graciously on the chair to open the confidential message.
Zelle looked at Valhayle reading the words from the small paper and regretted.
Damn it, I should have read it ahead.
Zelle was about to go mad that she couldn’t read such an important letter despite being a princess.
“Sir! Sir Valhayle!!”
A knight ran into the tent.
“Did that crazy bird really return?”
It was Sir Luke.
Zelle stopped banging on the cage and glared at the knight that called her crazy.
Valhayle replied coldly.
“Here’s the reply from Lopecce. We need to have a meeting so call for the commanders of 1, 2, 4, 5, orders…”
Zelle’s bird screams intercepted Valhayle’s low voice.
Sir Luke was silent.
“…to gather here.”
Valhayle finished his words.
Sir Luke glanced at Zelle and went out of the tent.
*˖:✧ ⑅•.⋅༻♔༺•⑅ ✧:˖*
Reconoissance troop*: A troop for military observation of a region to locate an enemy or ascertain strategic features.
Conquestivism: It’s a coined word in the novel that indicates any force that is driven by the desire to conquest.
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