178. The Abduction of Princess Natalie (3)
As Vissel said, the journey was comfortable.
First she rode a dragon to the territory of Fairert. From there, she traveled by sea. Afterwards, she crossed the border by ship. Finally, she stepped onto the land governed by the Goddess of Love.
At the Southernmost tip of the Saber territory, the Margrave of Saber traveled all the way to the port to welcome Natalie. Being greeted by the parents of Prince Geraldo’s supposed fiancée, Natalie was inadvertently nervous.
However, the couple only laughed, “It hasn’t been officially decided, yet.” The family truly didn’t concern themselves with politics, it seemed.
On the contrary, they apologized to Natalie for not being able to entertain her at their main residence. Apparently, the main residence, which was built on the hillside of the sacred mountain, couldn’t be entered by humans without magical prower. Of course, even if Natalie had magical power, she’d still have refused the invitation.
What’s with this family…?
Although she hadn’t intended to lower her guard, the friendly Saber family innocently asked about the Rave Empire.
For example, they inquired about training of the Noitral Dragon Knights and other heroic stories such as the story of a Leirzatz warrior who surpassed the Saber family. The story dated to before Natalie was born. Of course, she didn’t know much from back then. She also couldn’t entertain them about military topics. On the contrary, the Saber family talked about the same topic as if it was nothing.
Apparently, the military was a small talk for them.
They’d also often spoke about their daughter who was a candidate for Geraldo’s fiancée.
The girl was just 11-years-old. Her hobby was eating while her favorite food was strawberries. That was supposed to be a secret, though. The girl seemed to be ashamed of liking strawberries for she deemed it childish. She first appeared at Prince Geraldo’s fifteenth birthday and was currently undergoing bridal training in the royal capital.
Natalie had also heard of various difficult stories regarding the prince. However, it was up to Natalie to see the truth for herself. It was said that the man could slay a dragon. Therefore, if that man were to despise Natalie, the only option left for her would be to run. If she couldn’t, it would mean her downfall.
“If you meet our daughter, please take care of her.”
When Natalie was about to leave the Saber territory, her escort was replaced. Then, Mrs. Saber told that to Natalie with a smile.
Natalie was confused.
“Pardon me? Is that really alright? That… I might ruin your daughter’s engagement.”
“Oh, how kind of Your Highness Natalie. It’s alright, she’s only 11-years-old. She can find as many wonderful men as she likes as she continues to grow.”
“…Is that truly alright?”
“Indeed. Besides, you have your work cuts out for you. Be it embroidery, singing, or dancing—she isn’t good at anything. At any mention of the princess education, she immediately runs away. She likes to eat, but can’t cook. That child has to overcome her weaknesses.”
The madam, sighing gracefully, taught Natalie of her rival’s weaknesses and how to effectively defeat her.
“—However, let me say this, you might want to be careful, Your Highness Natalie. If you were to offend or anger her, you might die instantly?”
That’s something the little girl is capable of…?
While swallowing her pride as a princess, Natalie smiled and said that she’d be careful.
Then, the madam saw her off.
Had she not been told of the Saber family’s eccentricity by Vissel, Natalie wasn’t sure how she’d have survived her time there. Therefore, she owed him that.
It was odd and exhausting, but she was also taught good things. The lady of the Saber family seemed to like dragons. When told that she wouldn’t be able to raise a dragon at home, the girl cried.
…We might be able to get along well.
To survive, she had to avoid increasing her number of enemies. Had she been born to the Saber family, would she have been able to navigate her way through the kingdom without any difficulties?
The difficulty she mentioned was that the Kingdom of Kratos was monogamous. Even the king wasn’t excluded from that rule. The Goddess of Love abhorred adultery, even if it was done to preserve the bloodline.
For the role of queen and princess—there was only one seat.
If Natalie couldn’t raise up to that role, she’d most certainly die.
…If I were to ask her honestly, would she withdraw?
Natalie felt like she was taking advantage of someone else’s good nature. However, her life was at stake.
…Nevertheless, what if Prince Geraldo and the lady of the Saber family were in love with each other?
Thinking so, she sighed.
The interior of the carriage carrying Natalie to the royal capital was magnificent. Guards were stationed at the front and the rear of the carriage. Many wagons had been provided so that she wouldn’t feel thirsty and could eat in peace. Her maids even had shifts.
Should this be regarded as hospitality or keeping me in check?
Well, rather than thinking about such a hopeless topic, she’d rather go to sleep.
There was plenty of room to lie down on and rest.
In less than three days, she’d be arriving at the royal capital. It’d be useless if she were to exhaust herself mentally. There was only a short time left before she passed through the city gate. Outside the gate would only be a large one-way path and a meadow. She wouldn’t have much enjoyment staring at the passing scenery.
She was about to prop up the seat cushion when the carriage suddenly stopped. As she tried to keep her balance, the entire carriage shook, as if it had fallen over. An angry cry rang out, as if the horses had fled.
“It’s an attack! We’re being ambushed at the gate!”
“Who are they!?”
“This way, Your Highness Natalie.”
A maid quickly pulled Natalie, who was shocked, and put a hooded cloak over her. In the first place, Natalie was light-dressed in anticipation for the swaying of the horse-drawn carriage. Her shoes were also made of soft leather. That lightness should aid in her escape.
When she peeked out of the hood, she could certainly hear the sound of swords clashing and explosions from the castle gate. Unfamiliar magic shone everywhere.
“We don’t have much time, hurry!”
“Wait, what’s going on? Is it safe to run?”
She understood that they were being attacked, but who was the enemy, who were their allies, and which one was superior? Without knowing any of that, how could she just run away?
Elynsia nee-sama once said—when attacked, hide and stay still until everything settles down. To recklessly escape or go wild without knowing a safe place to hide would be even more dangerous.
To alight from a carriage that was obviously carrying a nobleman—was that truly a wise choice? But the maid puling Natalie by the hand took a firm step forward as she checked their surroundings—
—seeing that maid, Natalie realized her oversight.
Why was the maid pulling Natalie’s hand? Did she have a destination in mind? The maid wasn’t a soldier and yet she was able to escape so easily.
In the first place, was the maid even her ally?
The maid, who thought that Natalie was being slow, turned around. At once, Natalie clasped the maid’s hand, and shook it. While the maid was screaming, Natalie fled into the busy main street.
“Your Highness Natalie!”
“What are you doing!? You let her get away!?”
She didn’t know where she was. All she knew was that staying there would be dangerous.
Elynsia nee-sama, Frida, Listeard nii-sama, Uncle Georg…
She couldn’t stop and beg for help. Rather than that, she had to think about her future actions.
The carriage was attacked, but there was no sign of it fighting back. Kratos as a whole wasn’t her enemy. For the attack to occur in such a place and with such timing…
…It couldn’t have the Rave Empire, either. If it was, they’d have disposed of me quickly.
If so, it was from internal conflict within Kratos.
In other words, the attack would be reported to the royal capital and be investigated.
Therefore, what Natalie had to do was discover who was on her side and who was her enemy. After avoiding danger through hiding, she would return to the site of the attack. Then, she’d be ‘discovered to be safe.’
First of all, I’ll make it look like I fled the scene.
“Isn’t that the princess of Rave Empire’s carriage?”
She seized the reins of a horse tied to the front of the castle gate by a merchant.
“I’ll be borrowing this horse! I’ll be sure to reimburse you later!”
She tore off the jewels that had been sewn onto the lining around her chest area, threw them at him, and kicked the horse’s flanks. After raising its front legs, the horse graciously sped away.
I’m sorry, but I’m in a hurry!
There should be a gate in the opposite direction!
She had managed to survive.
With that in mind, Natalie rode out of the city.
***T/N: Natalie the Warrior Princess
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