This chapter was released this sunday on Patreon. I apologize for the delay with the wordpress, still having trouble since it’s not automated anymore.
Anyway, here’s the chapter, I hope you’ll enjoy it!
【” Hmmm! “】
Felbell stretched herself all out while yawning.
Before she knew it, the dark feelings and fatigue she had been accumulating had disappeared like they had never been there.
How long had it been since she had last woken up in such a refreshed mood?
Perhaps it had been since the time after her marriage, right as Albert’s facade had started peeling off, revealing its disappointing self.
It was only when her thoughts reached this point that Felbell realized she was not dead.
There should have been no way to save her, she had suffered a fatal wound.
Now that she thought about it, she had vague feeling that she had been having a conversation with someone, right on the brink of the death.
【”Looks like you’re awake.”】
【”Eh? …Miss Skuld?”】
Felbell was bewildered to find the mad princess of Asgard, whom she had been afraid to approach before, look right at her face.
【”Your physical wounds have been healed, but it looks you’ve been accumulating a lot more than just that. I mean, you’ve been sleeping for three whole days.”】
No wonder she was feeling reborn after get ridding of three-days worth of tiredness.
【”――You thought you were dead, and yet here you are, alive and well. That’s not so bad, is it? “】
【”…I will not deny that.”】
She was sure she had been okay with dying to Albert’s blade at the time.
Even so, she had no feeling of satisfaction to speak of towards that outcome now.
The man who had sworn his everything to her had escaped and left her in disgrace.
What woman in the world would wish to be abandoned and murdered by her own husband?!
As such thoughts crossed her mind, sickening feelings started emerging in her chest once again.
【”When you thought you were dead, you felt freed from your shackles for some reason, didn’t you?”】
【”Have you experienced a similar feeling, miss Skuld?”】
【”I have. To be honest, I still can’t believe I’m still alive. After all, I’ve always lived to fight and die.”】
Since the day her father was assassinated as punishment, Skuld had been seeking a man who could kill her and surpass Heimdall.
But, having survived to see herself lose, she felt like there was too much left to do in life.
Life was full of possibilities, wasn’t it?
She felt there could be enjoyment to be found in just staying in bed until sunrise, or stuffing her belly with sweets until she couldn’t have lunch anymore.
More importantly, she could not wait to duel that man again.
(No, if possible, we could go a step further and… do this, and that… And even that!)
Felbell found herself smiling at the sight of Skuld, who suddenly started blushing and twirling her index fingers around.
It was heartwarming. She looked far too innocent to fit the title of mad princess.
【”Could it be… you have fallen in love?”】
【”L, L-Love? In love? Me?”】
【”Oh, are you just realizing it?”】
Skuld flapped her hands around chaotically in panic.
Felbell felt like she could see her old self in her, from the days when she had fallen in love with Albert.
Her own love had taken an unfortunate turn, but she could not help herself from wishing that Skuld’s love would succeed.
It was only once noon passed that Kurats came to pay a visit to the now fully-recovered Felbell.
【”――You look healthy, that’s great. Truth is I came to ask you something.”】
Felbell’s heart jumped when she heard that familiar, deep voice.
It was the voice of none other than the man who had talked with her when she had been on the brink of death.
It felt oddly embarrassing to her that she could not guess from her vague memories what she might have said at the time.
【”I believe this is our first time meeting like this, lord Bashtar.”】
She had heard about him countless times from Albert’s complaints and abuses, but this was her first time meeting him in person.
――Excluding the time he saved her, of course.
【”Then I’ll formally introduce myself. I am Kurats Hans Almadianos of Bashtar. I’ve heard a lot about your from Lunaria, your highness.”】
Felbell recalled her little sister from back when they had to split into two factions.
She had been the only one who shared a good relationship with her without any superfluous hierarchy or status involved.
Unlike herself, her little sister was the cheerful and openhearted type. Everyone was drawn to her eccentricity.
The reason Felbell had gathered the nobles’ support was that she had Albert’s talent on her side. Had the two sisters competed individually in a popularity contest, Lunaria would have won.
Felbell had always felt envious of her innocent and simple little sister.
And the wilder Lunaria became, the more stubborn Felbell became with acting like a good child.
That had definitely made her seem like an easy-to-manipulate puppet for Albert and others.
Had she lived as willfully as Lunaria from the very beginning, would her life have been a little bit different?
【”You saved me, didn’t you?”】
【”Ah yes, Lunaria asked me to. Plus I wouldn’t be able to sleep at night if I let you die like that.”】
【”――She asked you?”】
There was some irritation in that question.
Her pride did not let her approve of her little sister granting her sympathy after they had become enemies on two different sides.
【”What if I wanted to die?”】
【”I’ll ask you then, do you want to give up on your life again for that man’s sake?”】
This reaction was not only a logical one but also an emotional one.
She did not think she would be willing to die for Albert’s sake any longer.
The roots of her feelings for him had completely withered. No matter how much water she poured on them, they would never bloom again.
【”Figured. People aren’t strong enough to make themselves believe in an idea that led to their own death.”】
Sacrificing one’s life for someone was something that could literally only be done once.
Once that opportunity was wasted, there was no redo.
【”Still, for now, I want to ask you about something just to be sure. Your husband is apparently being detained by Asgard.”】
【”They’re probably trying to make him take responsibility for the defeat. I guess he doesn’t have any value now that he’s been driven out of his own territory.”】
(As I thought, it came to that.) Felbell found nothing to say as this was unfortunately well within her expectations.
She knew that Albert had no power anymore as he had lost both his territory and his influence after his defeat.
The only one who had failed to understand that this would happen was Ablert himself.
Dying bravely on the land of his ancestors was the least he would have been able to do to protect his honor, but in the end, he had rejected that option.
【”Right now, he’s like an unwanted child for Asgard. They said they’ll hand him over to us so we can do whatever we want with him, but only if we give them something in exchange.”】
The country that wanted to punish Albert the most was, of course, Jormungand, not Asgard.
He was the princess’ husband, and yet he had rebelled against the kingdom and had even brought an enemy nation into his territory.
Even if he was torn apart limb from limb from limb, that naturally still would not be enough to make him pay.
【”What will you do, lord Bashtar?”】
【”Well, I’m sure they would be above the clouds if we hand them her highness Felbell or general Skuld.”】
【”Aaaah, no way! I don’t want to go back to that country anymore! “】
Skuld, who had been quietly listening so far, clung to Kurats’ right sleeve like a child who had just been caught making mischief.
【”――She sure has become attached to you.”】
【”I’m as surprised by this as you are… Hey, don’t look at me like that.”】
Kurats felt awkward seeing as Felbell was looking at him like he was the enemy of all women.
【”Relax, it’s okay. I don’t plan to hand you over to them. “】
【”R-right! I have no reason to fight for Asgard now! Rather, I’ll work with you to defeat them!”】
The very honest Skuld became visibly lively again, giving Felbell a pleasant feeling.
She, too, had once been like Skuld. Just like her, she used to react overly emotionally to the every move of the one she loved.
【”You don’t want to save him, do you?”】
【”I was willing to die with him, but I have no intent to sell my body for his sake.”】
Even for two people who loved each other, dignity was something that had to be respected no matter what.
That was especially true for royals and aristocrats. They were supposed to protect their dignity over their own lives.
【”Then I’ll tell them that I won’t give them anything.”】
【”――No, send a sword. I want to at least give him an opportunity to make his own decision.”】
If Albert could personally take responsibility for his actions, he would be able to ever so slightly erase his dishonor.
However, both Kurats and Felbell knew that that would be impossible for Albert.
【”Here’s to hoping he’ll put it to good use.”】
Though those words were a mere consolation for Felbell, Kurats could not help himself from saying them
Felbell realized Kurats was more gentle than she thought he was.
He was deliberately speaking ill of Albert so that Felbell would not feel guilty about surviving.
Yet he was also willing to help Felbell send her last thoughts to Albert.
There were few men who were considerate enough to worry about such things.
It seemed Lunaria had found herself a truly good partner.
【”Now then, what will become of myself?”】
Felbell had been kept alive and captured.
One could guess that meant she probably would not be killed, but there was still the possibility that she was being kept alive in order to be executed in public to serve as an example.
The most conceivable solution was to lock Felbell somewhere until Lunaria would give birth to an heir.
Maybe she would end up becoming the plaything of some other nobles who were locked up before her.
If that was to be her fate, Felbell had every intention to take her own life by any means.