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Zelle stopped banging her head against the ground and looked up at him.
Valhayle spoke as if he was holding back anger.
“I am quite confident if you went to the route I told you, you wouldn’t have gotten injured.”
Zelle recalled the reason she had to go through the Granoir camp.
But she did disobey him.
She feigned weakness, hoping to avoid his scorn.
He will not hesitate to punish a bird so I should make use of my wounds.
Who knows if he will execute me by military law?
When Zelle started pretending to be dying, Valhayle approached her and remarked.
“I should show it to a medic.”
He called for his squire outside and ordered.
Zelle was relieved that she managed to avoid getting punished for now and quietly looked up at Valhayle.
“I thought it understood me. I guess I was wrong.”
His voice somehow sounded bitter.
Valhayle wasn’t aware of Zelle’s independent plan so he must have thought Zelle just flew in a straight direction like a normal bird.
Zelle shut her beak in sullen silence.
He suspected me for understanding him and now he is disappointed that I don’t.
Then suddenly, Zelle remembered something important.
Right, the confidential message.
The confidential message with my name on it!
Zelle flapped her wings and got herself out of the cloth.
Her wings weren’t injured and she wasn’t bound anywhere so she could move quite freely.
When Zelle jumped into the air, Valhayle frowned.
“Your wounds haven’t closed yet. If you move that much, it will…”
Zelle circled Valhayle’s desk.
Where’s the confidential message?
Zelle landed on the desk and started digging through the pile of paper using her beak.
She was immediately caught by Valhayle.
Let me go!
Zelle struggled to escape but Valhayle tightened his grip on her wings.
“It’s going to hurt more the more you struggle.”
However, Zelle didn’t give up. She continued wiggling her leg towards the pile of paper.
A trace of realization flashed through Valhayle’s eyes.
“…Are you looking for the confidential message again.”
Zelle nodded her head fervently.
‘My name is in there. It must be about my life or death. Show it to me…’
Valhayle spoke sternly.
“I thought I told you not to be obsessed.”
Zelle screeched from frustration.
It’s not an obsession. I just need to find out what happened to me!
Blood seeped out through the bandage so Valhayle started removing the bandage around her leg.
While he did so, Zelle pondered over what she should do.
Yes. I should use my injury to convince him to show me the confidential message.
Zelle started pecking at Valhayle’s hands.
Valhayle dodged her attacks and spoke.
“I’m just trying to help.”
Not before you show me the confidential message!
Zelle continued to struggle.
“Are you refusing treatment?”
If she had arrived safe and sound, she would have had the chance to eavesdrop on their meeting regarding the confidential message.
But the meeting was already over while she was unconscious, so she had to read the confidential message herself.
Blood spilled out from her wound and over Valhayle’s hands.
It was painful but Zelle’s message was delivered to Valhayle.
Valhayle pulled out a piece of paper in his inner pocket.
“Here’s the confidential message.”
Zelle tried to snatch the paper from his hand.
Valhayle held the paper out of Zelle’s range and spoke.
“If I show it to you, will you comply with being treated?”
Of course! That’s what I was trying to tell you to in the first place.
Zelle stopped struggling.
Valhayle’s face stiffened a little.
He placed the confidential message on the desk. Then he released Zelle and stepped away.
It seemed like he was trying to observe what Zelle would do.
As soon as she was released, Zelle rushed over to the paper and pecked on the string around it.
Valhayle mumbled as he watched.
“So it’s not trying to have it…”
The string didn’t seem to be severed so Zelle looked up at Valhayle.
“…It’s trying to read it.”
Zelle nodded softly.
He extended an arm towards the message.
Zelle flew and landed on Valhayle’s shoulders.
He fell silent like he wasn’t happy but he didn’t chase her off.
The string fell off easily when Valhayle pulled it.
Zelle thought with excitement.
‘Finally. I can finally read the confidential message!’
She widened her eyes and looked at the letters on the paper.
[&^% [Eight Princess Zelleine Bmaha Meredith]+/?@]
I can’t read anything except my name.
What is this…
Zelle froze from the shock.
Vahalye waited for a moment before taking the paper away.
“That should be enough.”
‘It’s not enough!’
Zelle lunged for the paper again.
But Valhayle grabbed her first.
Zelle screamed from frustration.
She overlooked the fact that confidential messages were written in military codes.
A soldier entered the tent.
“Sir, you called for me?”
Valhayle handed Zelle to the medic as if she was some unpleasant package.
Zelle watched Valhayle leave the tent and screeched for the last time.
If it were to be translated into human language, it would have been too vile to be said out loud.
After getting treated, Zelle was wrapped in the yellow flag again and placed in the corner of the tent.
There was now a rope around her uninjured leg.
Valhayle came back late at night. He glanced over at Zelle and spoke.
He conserved the preceding phrase ‘Now that you aren’t in my way’.
Zelle lied down and glared up at him.
I just don’t have the energy to get in your way.
Valhayle ignored Zelle and immediately started working.
While he worked, Zelle repeatedly slept and woke up from the side-effects of the medication.
The herb that the soldier had used was a common herb for reducing pain. Zelle had also used it often for her menstruation cramps when she was a human.
But the effect was way harder on a bird and she was having a hard time staying clear-headed.
Then Zelle fell asleep.
It was around dawn when she regained her consciousness.
The effect of the medicine faded and the pain was getting stronger.
Zelle groaned from the pain.
Although she had been barely audible, Valhayle somehow heard it. He turned towards Zelle.
“Looks like the pain is here after your episode of insanity.”
How is every word he speaks so mean?
Zelle grumbled, “Grrooo.”
Without lifting his eyes from the documents before him, Valhayle continued.
“You were lucky. If you arrived even a little later, you would have bled out to death.”
Hearing that she had almost died for real gave her chills.
Zelle burrowed deeper into the flag.
It’s warm when I do this but also…
Zelle had to admit it.
‘Yes. I feel protected.’
I’ve never been protected by anyone my whole life.
‘No one values a thing no one protects.’
She survived using this mentality of the people.
That was why Zelle never attempted to make any connections with people who would ever try to protect her.
But when this yellow flag surrounded her… It felt like the Roymonde kingdom was protecting her.
Aside from that, though…
Why is he talking to me all of a sudden?
I’m sure it’s not because he is bored.
Valhayle spoke coldly.
“This confidential message… Isn’t that important.”
Not important? My name is in there though?
Her mind went blank.
Yes. I know.
This is Roheneim and thus the 8th princess is not important to the queen-supporting Roheneim.
It’s important to me!
Zelle huffed and flapped her wings.
Valhayle raised his gaze from his document to look at Zelle.
“Gweck! Gwechh!! Gweck! Gwettk!”
Zelle showered swear words on him.
You still call yourself the commander-in-chief of Roymonde!
He obviously didn’t understand them but his face turned hostile.
“If you continue to act like this…”
He warned in an intimidating tone.
If she was in the body of a princess, she would be terrified at what he might say next like ‘I will kill you’, ‘I will banish you’, or even ‘I will sell you to the Granoir chief for peace’.
Now that she was a bird, though, she couldn’t be threatened by anything except her life.
And she was confident he wouldn’t kill her.
Why was that? It’s because it would be his loss to kill her.
Who is the one who said she was the only useful messenger bird in Roheneim?
Zelle shook her tail like she was taunting him.
‘Kyahaha! I’m not scared of anything!!’
Valhayle continued coldly.
“I will starve you.”
Zelle immediately stopped prancing.
Valhayle noticed that his threat was effective and raised his brows with a confident expression.
Zelle huffed and curled her talons.
You dirty little bastard.
How could you threaten to starve an animal for just screeching?
Zelle knew the feeling of hunger in this bird’s body. It was more painful than a human’s hunger.
So she had to shut up.
When she fell silent, Valhayle spoke slowly.
“I don’t know why you are so obsessed with the confidential message.”
He ran his hand through his hair.
“But what I said is true. This confidential message had nothing much since there was no progress in the search.”
Zelle listened attentively to every word Valhayle uttered.
The man continued in a subdued tone.
“The only royal descendants who haven’t been found dead are the 1st, 2nd, 8th princesses and the 4th, 10th, and 11th princes.”
Zelle’s beak dropped open in shock.
Chills ran down her spine.
Surprisingly, Valhayle was explaining to her what the current situation was.
Her body started shaking.
‘My body hasn’t been found yet.’
Zelle could barely breathe.
And the king and her other 5 siblings were…Dead.
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