˖:✧ ⑅•.⋅༻♔༺•⑅ ✧:˖
Zelle watched as Valhayle aggressively pressed his temples.
‘He must be under a lot of pressure.’
But he didn’t show any signs of being overwhelmed.
Nevertheless, Zelle still believed he was suffering from the pressure.
‘The very proof for that is him always talking to me.’
Zelle nodded, satisfied with her conclusion.
Valhayle had suspected her, a bird, and even tried to interrogate her.
That was enough of a sign that he was under heavy mental burden.
Zelle studied Valhayle’s exhausted face.
‘He’s quite young.’
The man the 1st princess married was about 10 years older than her, so she naturally thought the 2nd princess’s fiance would also be about 10 years older than the 2nd princess.
But he looked way younger than the 1st princess’s husband.
‘How old could he be?’
She knew his schedule and how to avoid him; however, she didn’t know—nor did she want to know—more about him.
So Zelle knew nothing about Valhayle’s personal information.
Valhayle seemed to have felt Zelle’s gaze. He looked back at her with a displeased expression.
“I noticed you’ve been staring at me since a while ago.”
Zelle quickly pretended to be busy.
Whenever she tried her best to communicate, she was choked, called crazy countless times, and even almost killed because of his suspicion. So she thought just acting like a bird would have a higher chance of being safe.
She had originally planned to wait until the next mission to leave the Roheneim camp and never return.
Zelleine felt threatened by Valhayle. Her main priority was to save herself, so she had no reason to stay here anymore.
Yes, the next mission.
She was planning to behave herself until she earned enough trust from him.
Zelle changed her mind over the past few days.
Ironically, it was because of Valhayle.
Zelle studied him carefully the past few days.
At first, she observed him to watch out for the potential threats that he might create. However, as she observed him, she grew more certain of one thing.
He was doing all he could to not make Roymonde’s name disappear from this land.
Zelle thought of what he said when he grabbed her.
Hundreds and thousands of lives could be lost in a single confidential message. Do you think I would trust you that easily?
‘He said he did that to save hundreds and thousands of lives.’
Zelle ruminated over what he said again and thought,
‘My safety matters to me. That’s why I am so angry with him for risking that. But…’
Sadly, Zelle was more useful to this nation as a bird than when she was a princess.
‘So I am not going to run away anymore.’
Ironically, Zelle made that decision for the country that didn’t even give her the rights to sacrifice herself for.
The next mission was quickly ordered.
It was the first night after taking back the major castles in the East that the Granoir camp had stayed in.
Valhayle brought Zelle out of the birdcage.
He grabbed her wing joint tightly and remarked,
“You got heavier than the last time.”
Zelle sucked in her stomach.
To be honest, she did know that her bum was getting heavier and heavier recently.
But she believed they were muscle— not fat—since she trained every day.
‘It’s because of all the hard training that I’m hungry all the time.’
Zelle remembered how she finished her portion of food and pestered the soldier into feeding her more.
“I hope you didn’t get slower.”
In a fit of rage, Zelle swung her talons.
Her feet were too short to reach Valhayle which enraged her further.
You don’t know anything!
I’ve read once somewhere that wild animals are more popular to the opposite sex when they’re chubbier!!
She huffed and puffed as Valhayle looked outside and spoke.
“There will be a storm coming soon.”
Zelle looked out the window too.
‘Right. It was always around this time of the year.’
Every fall, there was a typhoon in the Central region of Roymonde.
Valhayle spread the map and explained where Zelle had to go.
He still seemed to doubt Zelle’s ability to follow his directions though.
After he finished explaining, he approached the desk and mumbled.
“If only I could go there myself.”
Zelle glared at him when she heard it.
Where do you think you can go off to as the Chief Commander?
Or do you want to become a bird or something?
Valhayle packed the confidential message in a leather case and tied it around Zelle’s ankle.
“Come back safely.”
Zelle flapped her wings and felt that they had gotten stronger. All the training and eating were worth it.
She jumped up to the sky and flew out the window.
When she reached and pierced through the sky out of Valhayle’s view, she felt a sense of freedom.
‘Ah, should I just run away?’
She felt a sudden urge to escape but she shook her head.
‘Even if I leave this camp, there is no guarantee that I will find or even return to my real body.’
It was more beneficial to remain at the Roheneim camp and collect information.
In that aspect, it was fortunate that she was staying with the Chief Commander.
‘I will come back as soon as possible and finally get to listen to their meeting.’
Zelleine clenched her beak and started flying swiftly.
Valhayle gazed at Zelle’s back which seemed excited somehow and frowned.
‘I hope the success last time wasn’t just a lucky occurrence.’
It was impossible that a bird understood what a human said, but it didn’t matter as long as it could deliver this confidential message.
Valhayle had just sent a confidential message regarding the military supplies.
To find all the soldiers that fell behind in the East, he needed more military supplies.
He had also included a message ordering Lopecce to move onwards in a certain direction.
In this chaos where it was too dangerous to send messenger soldiers and when messenger birds kept dying, if this message was delivered safely, Roymonde’s military power would be matched to Granoir’s military might.
For that to happen, he had to avoid hand-to-hand combat with them.
Valhayle pressed his temples.
It felt cruel to put so much pressure upon a small bird.
A sign escaped through his lips.
If it was a delusion that a bird understood him, then the bird will most definitely die in this mission.
It had to fly through open land so it will inevitably be more visible to the enemy.
But if it went as he directed, it will survive.
If that happens…That proved the bird did indeed understand him to some extent.
If that is the case… What was that bird?
‘Well, that doesn’t matter right now.’
Valhayle furrowed his brows.
The most important thing right now was to find at least one of the royal heirs.
Following that was to drive Granoir away from this country and save the people.
Valhayle had no time to spare on thinking about other things.
But that bird. That patterned brown bird that fit in his one hand.
Its clever eyes somehow always got on his nerves.
Whenever their eyes met, he felt like it was reproaching him.
Sometimes he also felt a burst of anxiety about the royal descendants’ whereabouts.
‘Why do I feel like that?’
Valhayle stared at the empty birdcage.
It must come back before the wind gets stronger.
The sunny, cloudless sky made him even more uneasy.
It was already her second visit to the Lopecce camp.
Zelleine successfully avoided the Granoir camp and arrived at the Lopecce camp.
‘Haha, what do you think Valhayle! Admire my amazing flying skills! I even understand the human language!’
Then it hit her that she was being proud of understanding the human language when she was a human herself and her excited tail drooped.
She flew to the biggest tent in the center and flapped loudly.
A person came out of the tent.
Last time a person named Sir Evon greeted her but this time it was…
Zelle recognized the face and stopped breathing.
Zelle instinctively tried to run away. Then she remembered that she was a bird and tried her best to stay still.
Sir Caiburne spoke in a gentle tone.
Zelle’s breathing quickened and she hopped onto his arm.
As he opened the confidential message, Zelle glanced at his face.
He looked more emaciated than before.
“You must be thirsty.”
Sir Caiburne set a bowl of water in front of Zelle.
Zelle drank hurriedly and slowly backed away from Sir Caiburne.
At this moment, her curiosity for the confidential message was the last thing that mattered in her mind.
She was too preoccupied with her extreme anxiety staying in such close contact with Sir Caiburne.
Sir Caiburne was the leading commander of the Lopecce military and the 1st princess Linbessy’s husband.
He was Zelle’s 1st brother-in-law.
He was the man who conspired with Linbessy every time she contemplated killing Zelleine.
Zelle tried to find viciousness from his kind and exhausted face.
No, perhaps it was all pointless now.
There was no reason for him now to be hostile to Zelle since Linbessy was not around.
Zelle thought of that and barely managed to calm herself.
Sir Caiburne muttered to himself.
“So they don’t have any news either.”
He was in despair.
“…Where are you.”
He didn’t specify but Zelle immediately knew who Sir Caiburne meant.
Sir Caiburne was searching for Linbessy.
No, all of Lopecce was searching for Linbessy.
Zelle looked at Sir Caiburne’s desperation and let go of the resentment that she had for Lopecce.
They wouldn’t feel easy after failing at protecting all of the royal descendants.
The ones that were responsible for it are all dead so there was no one left to blame anyway.
And Sir Caiburne’s face was the evidence for that.
‘I guess being a bird is good for this one reason.’
Zelle scorned herself.
No one masked their emotions in front of a mere bird. No one had secrets to keep in front of a mere bird.
All the people Zelle met as a bird were their true selves.
The true selves which they didn’t show to others.
To be honest, they weren’t the only ones who acted as their true selves. Zelle was acting true to herself too.
Zelle finished a simple meal in Sir Caiburne’s tent and got ready to leave.
There was a storm approaching.
She thought of returning to the Roheneim camp before the storm reached here.
Zelle flew swiftly.
And on the way back, the 8th princess Zelleine experienced Roymonde’s harsh typhoon directly for the first time.
˖:✧ ⑅•.⋅༻♔༺•⑅ ✧:˖
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