˖:✧ ⑅•.⋅༻♔༺•⑅ ✧:˖
There are only a few things Zelleine knew about Roymonde’s typhoon as a princess.
One was that the typhoon swept through the central region in a diagonal direction.
Another was that by the time it reached the capital, the thunderstorms were so bad that even going out to the Palace gardens was dangerous.
Third was that many of the king’s illegitimate children were killed and their deaths were disguised as accidents.
Fourth was that after the typhoon had passed, all the royal descendants had to take part in the restoration process. However, only the 1st princess Linbessy and 2nd princess Demiera received credit for it.
These were bad enough by themselves, but they weren’t as bad as having to go through the typhoon head-on.
This was a direct threat to life.
Zelle heard something as she started her way from Lopecce.
It was a very soft sound like the sound of paper flying in the wind.
She couldn’t tell what it was. All the senses in her body were telling her to listen carefully so she did.
As she flew, the sound got louder and louder.
‘This is strange.’
Zelle wanted to ignore the sound and fly faster—but her body didn’t allow it.
She suddenly lost altitude like she was fully wet.
‘This is really stra—’
Then, the danger detection ability that Zelle had as a human was activated.
‘It’s dangerous to keep flying this way!’
Zelle swiftly changed direction.
But at that exact moment, a clap of thunder roared.
Zelle started flying away from the thunder sound. But it was pointless. Thunder sounds began roaring from everywhere.
‘What do I do now?’
Left with no choice, she turned back to her initial direction of flight when she felt raindrops on her feathers.
Zelle shut her eyes.
Now she knew what would happen.
When the thunder roars in a dry sky, the sky gets dark, and raindrops start to fall…
Rain and hail will shower along with extremely strong wind and lightning.
I should have returned earlier.
No, I shouldn’t have left the Lopecce camp in the first place.
She should have at least known better when she heard the weird sounds.
When she could hear the sounds only a bird could.
When she still had the chance to escape.
But it was all too late now.
Zelle looked around frantically for any trees or bushes that would serve as a shelter in the gale-force winds and lightning strikes.
There was nothing.
The central region of Roymonde was covered in plains. Excluding the capital, the surrounding areas were not developed. So the majority of the lands were fields and paddles.
Zelle felt the wind that rushed through her wings.
It wasn’t a force that a bird her size could withstand.
‘But if I stay still, I will die.’
Zelle clenched her beak.
She flapped her wings through the rain.
Suddenly, everything turned dark and spear-like rain started hindering her sight.
Heavy and saturated with rainwater, her wings faltered sideways along with the wind.
She couldn’t control her course anymore.
Zelle thought as she was struck and scratched by flying branches.
‘Are they safely evacuated?’
If the war didn’t happen, it would have been Zelle’s job.
It was her job to evacuate the people of the Central region and to distribute the supplies.
If she did well, no one would recognize her work; if she didn’t do well, she had to take all the blame.
Compared to the responsibilities the 1st or 2nd princess had or even what the other princes and princesses were tasked with, her task didn’t benefit her in any way.
Unlike Linbessy or Demiera, she didn’t meet the people face-to-face, so she didn’t get recognized nor did she earn any political support. Nevertheless, Zelle loved this job.
This year, when news of war was spread, Roheneim was sent to war while Lopecce and Voymont remained stationary.
If the war hadn’t occurred, Roheneim would have been moving the crops of the Central region to the Western and Eastern storages.
Back when she was a princess, Zelle had felt uneasy about this.
The crops of the Central region supported the whole country.
This was a blessing but… If Roheneim failed and the crops were destroyed from the typhoon, the kingdom would have to suffer through at least 2 years of food shortage.
At the time, Zelle couldn’t imagine Roymonde would be conquered so the only thing she was concerned with was the typhoon.
She wanted to tell the people to move the crops to the Western storage since the typhoon came from the East…
But she couldn’t.
If Linbessy ever found out about Zelle’s knowledge of Roymonde, she would be killed.
Zelle saved herself by making her position unimportant. Yet, as a result, she couldn’t save anyone either.
‘I can’t do anything.’
That was when Zelle fully realized her powerlessness.
And not long after, war really did began.
Princess Zelleine was caught by the enemy during the escape.
The typhoon that didn’t come last year finally came, but now Zelle was a bird.
A bird that was not even worth one soldier’s life.
‘Who will evacuate them this year?’
The strong wind slammed her down to the ground.
Her consciousness grew hazy.
She could see the Black Wall in the distance.
Is this the end?
Zelle felt the wind suffocating her and she slowly closed her eyes.
She was a little wistful that she had no name to call out at a time like this.
When Zelle woke up, she was in the middle of chaos.
The only dim memory she had was that someone had lifted her from the ground and was trying to determine if she was an edible bird.
She was slammed to the ground when she tried to wake up.
And as she lost her consciousness, she saw…
A green military uniform.
Zelle’s eyes shot open.
A Granoir uniform?
Zelle then realized that she was still on the ground.
They would have killed me already if they knew that I was Roymonde’s messenger bird Yet why am I still…?
She shook her dizzy head and looked around.
Screams, metallic clangs, the sound of arrows.
And the stench of blood in the air.
There was a battle going on.
Covered in mud, Zelle struggled to stand up.
I have to run.
I have to return to the Roheneim camp and give him this confidential message…
She was caught immediately.
She looked up at her captor.
She saw the design under his eye which was the distinct custom of the tribal unionized country Granoir.
Zelle struggled to escape.
The Granoiran pulled out a dagger and pointed it at her.
With a sharp cry, a warm liquid splattered onto Zelle.
Someone had shot the Granoiran with an arrow.
She was still dizzy and sick to the stomach but she was sure of one thing.
There’s a Roymonde army here.
Zelle brought herself together and flapped with all the strength she had left.
Then I must deliver this.
When she was up to about a man’s height, she could see all the chaos.
Bodies all over the ground, flags torn to shreds, and…
Zelle looked in the direction where the arrow flew.
A yellow flag.
Her instinct screamed: Fly over there!
Zelle beat her wings with her last strand of strength.
Then she hit something and fell.
She lost her consciousness.
When she regained her consciousness, her body was dried up.
Then someone tugged at the letter case attached to her leg. She pecked the hand subconsciously to protect the letter.
This is a confidential message for Roymonde. I will not let you have it.
The hand tried several more times to grab Zelle’s leg.
Zelle screeched ferociously.
Then a familiar voice spoke.
The hand moved away.
Zelle panted and opened her heavy eyelids. Her whole body ached all over like she had been beaten up.
“Leave it and go. I’ll do it.”
After a few minutes, there was only silence.
Zelle lifted herself up to look around.
“You are awake.”
She turned to the source of the voice.
The man with just-showered wet hair stared back at Zelle.
He seemed to have noticed her shock and frowned.
Sir Luke, who had been silent this whole time, spoke up.
“Hey, crazy bird. Is your head ok?”
He giggled, obviously enjoying the fact that he was talking to a bird.
“This is the second time you headbutted into Sir Valhayle. The first time was to his neck, and now his chest… You hit the armor so you could have had a concussion.”
Zelle remembered hitting something hard before she lost consciousness.
That must have been Valhayle.
Zelle looked at Valhayle with round eyes.
‘You came to save me?’
When Valhayle rose from his seat, Sir Luke also stood up.
“Sir, leave it. It will bite.”
Valhayle approached Zelle and held her in his hand.
Sir Luke cocked his head at Zelle’s sudden calm demeanor.
“Huh. It’s calm now.”
Sir Luke remarked lightheartedly.
“We did not dispatch a reconnaissance troop for the bird but it’s such a relief that we found it and saved the confidential message.”
‘We saved the confidential message?’
Zelle fluttered her wings in joy.
Valhayle spoke coldly, “Don’t move.”
Then his hands approached Zelle’s leg.
Zelle looked down and saw what the string attached to her leg was.
It was not the string of the letter case.
It was a bandage.
‘I was injured.’
Valhayle removed the bandage from Zelle’s leg and spoke.
“You were flushed to their camp because of the typhoon, I assume. You were covered in mud and leaves.”
Sir Luke replied.
“Yes. Thanks to that, they didn’t know it was our messenger bird. We charged right in so they didn’t have the time to cook it too so that was lucky. We can’t allow our enemy to be full.”
He tapped the desk.
“We are running short on messenger birds too.”
Zelle realized she had been on the verge of becoming roasted or getting chopped into stew and shivered.
Valhayle skillfully wrapped Zelle’s leg with a new bandage and spoke.
“If Granoir gets information that Voymont is regrouping, they wouldn’t stay still.”
“I’ll make sure this information stays within the camp.”
Zelle listened carefully.
Voymont. The military that supported the king.
They were mainly based in the Eastern region which was the first to be conquered so their damage must be the biggest this war.
In the beginning of the war, Voymont was defeated by the Granoir army and even lost the Black Defense Wall they were stationed in in Roheneim’s place.
Voymont still exists? I thought they were all dead.
Zelle wasn’t sure of the contents of the confidential message she delivered; however, she was now sure that it was something about Voymont.
I guess they weren’t wiped out.
After mulling over this for a short while, Zelle thought of a possible reason.
In this war, Granoir chose to be speedy.
When they won a battle and conquered the castle, they just replaced the flag with theirs and moved on.
Then they must not have had enough time to kill all the defeated soldiers.
That means the Voymont soldiers who had escaped would have hidden themselves in the woods of the Eastern region…
Zelle’s eyes lit up.
‘Roheneim is looking for them.’
˖:✧ ⑅•.⋅༻♔༺•⑅ ✧:˖
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