It was dark inside the prison.
It didn’t take long for them to eventually give up and sit on the floor, looking for a way to escape from being blocked on all sides.
Last night they were transported secretly in a carriage from the meadow to this prison in the basement of the castle. Now, far from saving the princess, any hope of escaping from this place has become distant.
“It’s all because of me. This old woman followed her all the way stubbornly… I should have followed what the princess said to just stay in the palace.”
The nanny, who was sitting in the corner without energy, was crying. She kept blaming herself, saying it was all because of her that Allen was caught together.
“I should have bit my tongue and killed myself at that time. What is so precious about my life that won’t be long now that you hesitated and got caught? How foolish…”
Allen came over and patted the nanny on the shoulder. “It’s not your fault, nanny. It’s all because of my carelessness.”
“No. If it weren’t for me, wouldn’t you already have gone to save the princess?”
“Even if I had abandoned you at that time, it would have been difficult for me to find my way alone without the help of the tribesmen.”
After some time had passed and his mind cleared up, Allen realized again that what he had just said was true. It was impossible for him to catch up with them in the dark of the night, knowing nothing about the geography of this place.
“How could she do this to us?”
Soon after, the nanny poured out her anger at the woman who betrayed them.
She said, “Because of her, the princess became a bride substitute with a generous heart, but this happened, and instead of helping us, she threatened us. I never thought she would be so ungrateful!”
Allen bit his lip hard. He also felt betrayed by that woman, Rosie. He thought she was a righteous and brave woman enough to throw her life for a stranger, but she wasn’t.
“I will never forgive that woman. I must—”
Then there was the sound of a door opening in the distance. The sound of footsteps quickly followed. As soon as they checked the face of the woman who came closer while lighting up the darkness with a torch, Allen and the nanny jumped to their feet at the same time.
“Shh!” Rosie put her finger to her lips and said, “I am here without my father’s knowledge, so don’t make a noise.”
“How dare you come here!”
Allen gritted his teeth at her. The woman ignored him and held out something through the bars.
“Eat this first. You must be starving all day long.”
The small basket contained food such as bread, milk, and cheese. As she said, they were very hungry, but now was not the time to be tempted by such food.
“How can I eat food like this when I don’t even know if the princess is alive or dead!”
As he was about to explode in anger, Rosie said, “You have to eat something to get out of here.”
Looking straight at Allen, Rosie continued, “My father planned to take you to the forest to kill you once he finds out where the princess is. That means he won’t kill you right now. Now that surveillance is tight, it’s difficult for me to save you. But if it becomes a little lax, then I will definitely take you out of here.”
“Don’t be ridiculous. If you’re going to do this, why did you—”
“If I had just let you fight earlier, our tribesmen would have been sacrificed. I just wanted to prevent meaningless sacrifices.”
At that, Allen burst into laughter.
“So, you’re going to help us now?”
“Anything I can do.”
“What do you think would be different if you let me go? Do you think that I, no, Kingdom of Lisa will just leave you alone? You who hindered me from saving the princess?”
“That shouldn’t be the case. So I intend to release you on one condition.”
“What is the condition?”
“Please keep this a secret from the Kingdom of Lisa. Then I will help you save the princess.”
Allen slammed his fist into the bars. He really wanted to twist the neck of the woman in front of him right away.
“Do you really want to die? Do you think I can’t kill you?”
“Kill me or not, that’s up to you. For the sake of my tribe, I am also determined to marry a man much older than me. I’m not afraid of anything like death. But you’ll have to think carefully. If you waste your time venting your anger, you will lose your precious princess forever.”
Rosie raised her chin. “Now you have two choices. Either die in this prison or go to save the princess with me on condition that you keep this a secret from the Kingdom of Lisa.”
“Don’t you know that our numbers aren’t enough after they enter their territory? That doesn’t mean you can give your tribe’s soldiers away, does it?”
“I can give you some soldiers who follow me, but it’s still not enough. The rest of them only listen to my father’s orders.”
“Then how are you going to help us? You told me not to tell the Kingdom? Where are you going to find soldiers to save the princess?”
“Isn’t there a royal army that you can mobilize separately?”
Allen let out a dejected laugh. “I’m just an escort knight for the princess, so I can’t possibly have that kind of power.”
When he was young, around the time of his father’s death, Princess Rosetta was seriously ill for a time. Allen’s grandfather, a royal doctor, was always by the little princess’ side and took care of her. And that led Allen to meet Princess Rosetta.
“I’ve heard a lot about you from your grandfather. Nice to meet you.”
A girl wearing a white dress sitting on a bed and smiling brightly.
Contrary to the prejudice that a princess would be arrogant and superior, the young princess was a kind and sweet child.
She never threw a tantrum, apart from her being in excruciating pain of unknown cause. Even though it was more natural for her to whine at that age.
While staying with the princess, Allen suddenly came up with an idea.
I want to protect this little small and weak child.
His grandfather happened to want his grandson to follow in his footsteps as a doctor. At first, he gladly complied but changed his mind after the princess grew up and completely regained her health.
I will be an escort knight and protect the princess.
But instead of protecting her, he ended up doing something like this.
Allen dropped his head helplessly. He had once heard this; You are too soft for the princess, and that weak mind of yours could rather put the princess in danger.
That’s true. It would have been better if I had strongly opposed this trip from the beginning. Or said absolutely no when she suddenly changed the destination. No, if only I had stopped her from acting as a bride substitute…
“Allen, how about getting help from Sir Issel?”
Then, at the sudden words of the nanny, Allen raised his head.
“Yes, Sir Issel, wouldn’t he be able to help us without informing the palace?”
Allen’s face went blank for a moment.
Why didn’t I think of that sooner?
“Yes, that’s right.”
Issel. He is the fiancé of a princess and heir to a country. Having inherited his father’s title of duke not long ago, he also had the power to independently move thousands of troops.
Rosie asked, “Issel? Who is he…”
“Duke Issel Scallion. He is the fiancé of the princess and the next lord of the Grand Duchy of Hezen,” answered Allen.
The Grand Duchy of Hezen is a small country located in the southern part of the Kingdom of Lisa. It was established as a Duchy about a hundred years ago by one of the princes of the Kingdom of Lisa.
After that, it was promoted to a Grand Duchy and gained its own independent power, but it still maintains a close relationship with the Kingdom of Lisa.
“Besides, Hezen is much closer to here than Terra. If we send a messenger, the news will arrive within three days.”
Allen looked at Rosie and added, “If you mean what you say, you should send a messenger to Hezen.”
Rosie nodded her head. “Of course. If you write a letter, I will send someone there right away.”
The sending of messengers was immediate. Allen also put a mark to prove himself in the envelope. If it was a duke that Allen had seen before, he is sure he will come right away if this letter reaches him.
“One more thing.”
When Rosie was about to leave, Allen grabbed her.
“Explain to us what happened between your tribe and the Quat tribe. What do you mean they’re going to take revenge on the princess for things in the past?”
A complex emotion quickly appeared on Rosie’s face. After hesitating for a while, she finally opened her mouth with a long sigh.
“I don’t know exactly because it happened before I was born. However, about twenty years ago, my father proposed peace to the Quat tribe, who were in frequent conflict at the time. It was about finding a way to coexist rather than confront each other and tear each other down.”
“The Quat tribe accepted the offer and invited my father and our other tribesmen to their territory. But there, my father kidnapped a newly married tribal woman and ran away.”
Allen’s mouth fell open. He was the first to ask for peace, then stole a woman and ran away. What a crazy man.
“Why did he do that? Who was that woman?”
“Do you know what method is used to hunt down the wolf leader?”