I had no other choice but to give an evasive answer to Charlotte’s words, that relieved me somewhat.
The princess was already aware that her life was in danger.
Rather, the way she stared at me so calmly confirmed to me that my guesses were correct. she was looking at me with such serious eyes, as if she was never so preoccupied with the food.
“It’s difficult for me to go into detail, but my half-brother, Bertus, was probably blindly waiting for me to die. For him, knowing that I was still alive, would be like a thorn in his side.”
The girl that was sitting in a prison cell holding her mother’s body and crying was completely gone. Charlotte, who returned to her seat, was calm, as if she realized again that she was a member of the imperial family.
However, Bertus actually had a lot of followers. He was a villain, but he sure wasn’t incompetent.
“However, I don’t know how he plans to kill me. I don’t know who will do it, I just know it will happen soon.”
She didn’t know how she was going to be attacked and Charlotte didn’t know who to trust in this chaotic situation just after the end of a war. Due to most forces searching the Demon King’s Castle and cleaning up the stragglers, almost all the main forces were missing.
“And the people I turst aren’t here. I think it was intentional.”
When Charlotte was rescued, she realized that none of her own were around. Then something flashed through my mind like lightning.
“Hoh, so that’s why you told the people to leave….”
In the first place, she kicked everyone out except me because she couldn’t be sure if any of them would end up being her killer except me.
Rather, Charlotte was a lot more cautious than I was.
She didn’t know who to trust, or when she’d be killed. How could one know if they hadn’t poisoned the food?
“Hey, the food might gotten poisoned….”
At my words, the princess laughed.
“If they poisoned the food, I’d just eat it and die then, in this situation.”
She was so hungry she didn’t care anymore.
I couldn’t imagine just how hungry the princess was, but it seemed like she was so starved that she’d rather die than not eat the food in front of her. She was so hungry that she’d even eat poisoned food. Fortunately, there wasn’t any poison in it.
“Most people stationed in these barracks will be enemies.”
“Is…… that so?”
Charlotte was convinced that not just a few but most of them were her enemies.
“I tried to leave the barracks a few times before, but they didn’t let me, with the excuse that I should relax. I’m sure they’re trying to lock me up.”
Charlotte’s voice was getting lower and lower.
“It’s not known yet that I was rescued. They didn’t want to announce this either.”
Is that so?
Even when she got rescued, she came out wrapped in something like a thick coat. Charlotte was convinced that there weren’t other survivors inside the Demon King’s Castle.
“They’re probably waiting for instructions on how to deal with me. That’s why they don’t want it to be known that I’m alive. After killing me, there’s a high possibility that they’ll just say I died in the Demon King’s Castle.”
They would make it out that she died in the Demon King’s Castle, but would keep quiet about her getting rescued, so there they could say that they retrieved the corpse from inside the Demon King’s Castle. Charlotte was looking at a number of possibilities.
From the outside it seemed like they cared for the First Princess, however, in reality, it was more like hundreds of people holding Charlotte in custody. Just the thought gave me goosebumps all over my body.
It didn’t look like that at all. At least to me.
However, Charlotte already knew their intentions.
“So I, who was rescued with you, am also in danger.”
Obviously, Charlotte said ‘our’ life is in danger and not ‘my’ life is in danger after all.
This wasn’t just a matter of them finding out if I’m a demon or not anymore.
Bertus’ followers would remove anyone who knew the first princess was alive, and I wasn’t going to be an exception.
In the end, I was in a position in which I had no other choice but to try my hardest to keep Charlotte safe.
“Listen. We’ll leave the barracks now.”
She was in even greater danger after getting rescued, so she was planning to escape from this non-surveillance.
“Are we even able to run away?”
But with so many soldiers patrolling the grounds, was it even possible to escape properly?
“Of course we can’t run away, but that’s not the point.”
“I want as many people as possible to know that I’m alive.”
Her purpose wasn’t to run away, but to inform the ordinary soldiers of her survival.
I was older.
So why did she seem so much smarter than me?
Charlotte rose from her seat, while I felt a strange sense of defeat.
The meal was over.
No one even imagined that Charlotte de Gardias could still be alive, so there wasn’t much surveillance in the barracks Charlotte and I were in. They were now waiting for instructions from above and didn’t seem to think that we’d be able to get away.
Even if I called it barracks, it was really just a tent.
Escaping from it was simple.
I slightly cut the tent in the back with a knife provided for the meal and checked their movements outside.
After cutting a hole in the tent, we crawled outside. We came out from the back and not its entrance so there were only a few troops walking around. It was quiet, which was understandable, as most of them were gathered in the Demon King’s Castle and not the garrison.
No one seemed to have expected that the princess would feel her life in danger and escaped as soon as she was rescued.
Yeah, that was normal. I was surprised by her behavior as well.
However, we couldn’t walk around for long. They’d soon find out we were gone. Charlotte knew that as well.
“Okay, we’ll be caught soon.”
One might wonder why she came out when she knew that she’d be caught soon, however, Charlotte’s purpose was to reveal her own survival to everyone so it didn’t matter.
Just rumors about it alone would prolong Charlotte’s life a little longer. Like this, the fact that she was still alive would spread among the ordinary soldiers, preventing her death from being made out as something that happened in the Demon King’s Castle.
This could keep her alive for a bit until she found an alternative method.
That was Charlotte’s purpose.
“You go ahead.”
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Charlotte’s eyes lit up a little as she looked at me.
“You have to come back as soon as possible.”
At that moment, I was able to catch a glimpse of Charlotte’s fear of having to face death again.
You must live, no matter what.
I left Charlotte behind and started running through the grounds.
-H, her, her Majesty the Princess?
-Her Majesty the Princess is alive!
Soon after, the cries of the remaining troops could be heard echoing through the camp.
Charlotte would be taken back to the HQ barracks, but that would leave me with greater freedom of movement.
‘If they find out that you’re gone, they’ll naturally try to find you as well. Run as far as possible. They won’t try to kill you right away, but they will definitely kill you.’
‘Find Sir Francis and make sure to come back together with him.’
‘I need you to find him and make him my escort.’
Just before we left the tent, Charlotte told me as such.
She said she didn’t know who’d be her enemies and who’d be her allies.
However, she said that there was only one person who could never be her enemy.
The knight who rescued us, Francis.
If he had been Bertus’ minion he would’ve killed us right on the spot, but saved us himself. That was why he couldn’t be one of Bertus’ servants.
From the moment she got rescued, Charlotte already had a hunch that she was about to face another crisis before she was even able to be happy about having gotten saved.
Originally, Charlotte would eventually get killed even though she was aware of the danger to her life. Charlotte couldn’t do anything on her own to survive even with her wits. Which meant…
My success or failure determined Charlotte’s life or death.
Charlotte couldn’t find Francis on her own. Perhaps she gave orders to bring him to her, but those orders wouldn’t have been carried out.
In the end, I had to find him myself and bring him to Charlotte’s side.
The soldiers coming and going from the vast barracks only titled their heads when they saw me running around, but none came directly towards me. While Charlotte’s face was well known, mine was not, hence, making this possible.
I approached one of the passing soldiers who looked like an officer and asked him.
“Do, do you know where Sir Francis is?”
He looked down at me and nodded.
“Well? What’s going on?”
“I have an urgent message from the Commander-in-chief.”
If I mentioned the princess here, it might take me some time to explain, so I had no choice but to cover this up with lies. He scanned my body and clothes from top to bottom. Fortunately, I changed into luxurious clothes, so I wasn’t just dismissed.
If I had worn the rags, he would have told me to get lost.
“I don’t know Sir Francis very well, but I’m pretty sure he’s searching through the castle. I heard that most of the knights were sent there.”
After rescuing us, it seemed like he had focused on his original mission, searching the castle, again.
No, wait a second.
Bertus’ minions would kill anyone who knew that Charlotte was alive.
It’s clear that Francis’ life would also be in jeopardy. He wasn’t loyal to Bertus, so he wouldn’t keep his silence. Bertus, however, would want to eliminate anyone who knew of Charlotte’s survival.
I wasn’t the only one whose life depended on Charlotte’s survival.
“We must go find Sir Francis! His life is in danger!”
I had no choice but to urgently shout to this unknown officer.