BBYW Vol. 2 Chapter 15 (WN)
Chapter 15 – A Goddess in Peril
【POV: Rossellia Baal】
“Princess, you will be sick if you do not eat…”
“I’m fine, please take it away.”
I was in my room in an inn in Avalon, capital of the Maxwell province, where I was staying with my entourage.
Ten imperial knights and my personal maid, Luna, accompanied me into the Maxwell domain.
Rajang Salazar, captain of the imperial guards, wanted to accompany me as well, but in order not to alert the Lamperouge royal family of our presence, we came with a very small party.
“Princess, are you still thinking about what that lout said? He’s just one of the kingdom’s countryside nobles…he was never fit to be your partner, that is all!”
Luna, my maid, tried to console me, but that was not what I was concerned about.
“That’s not it, Luna. I’m not down because the meeting ended in failure. I would like to reflect a bit, by myself, could you please leave me alone?”
“Your Highness…very well. I will be in the next room, please call me if anything happens.”
“Yes, thank you.”
I looked at Luna exit the room, then sighed.
“Dyngir Maxwell…what a mysterious man.”
The figure of the man who just turned me down appeared in my head.
To be frank, I thought he was a disrespectful lecher at first. When he leered at my body, his gaze was as unpleasant as Grett’s.
(“I couldn’t care less about the royal family. Not about protecting them or the kingdom. I fight to protect my ancestors’ pride and my own convictions.”)
When he said that, he looked at me with such an intense gaze…whenever I recalled his voice, brimming with unshakable resolve, I felt my heart beat faster, for whatever reason.
(“I can’t embrace a woman with hands that have thrown away their pride. Without pride, a man isn’t a man anymore.”)
“I wonder if that’s what they call a gentleman’s ‘fortitude’…”
As I had lived most of my life secluded deep in the imperial court, I barely ever had the chance to talk to men that were of the same age as me.
Around me were only my maids, female knights, Captain Rajang, and servants of advanced age.
Today was the first time I had spoken one-on-one with a man who was the same age as me.
Every time I recalled it, something bizarre, something I never felt before, stirred in my heart.
It was not unpleasant. It made me want to run outside, to lie on my bed and roll around in it, like a mixture of excitement and embarrassment.
“…I would have liked to talk with him a little more.”
If I did, maybe I could identify this strange sensation.
“…I suppose that I should change and go to sleep. The feeling might be gone by tomorrow, anyway.”
I took off my dress and donned my nightgown. I was usually assisted by several maids, so to change by myself, here in a foreign land, gave me a new kind of excitement.
“…he looked intently at my body, didn’t he.”
I gazed at my figure in the mirror.
Those uncouth eyes were on me. They just felt unpleasant then, but now…
(He wanted me, as a woman….)
I could see myself in the mirror grow bright red, as if I was about to burst into flames.
“Oh, honestly! I won’t be able to fall asleep if I think about such…”
I pressed my hands on my cheeks and squirmed.
No matter if my eyes were opened or closed, I always saw him in front of me. I tried to wave it away many times, to no effect.
A feeble noise, behind me. I turned around, and the door was slightly ajar. When did it happen?
“Luna? Are you there?”
I thought my personal maid could have come in, but received no reply. I approached the door, and—
Someone covered my mouth and pushed me down to the floor. A man, his face covered by a sort of hood, was sitting on top of me.
I had never been subjected to such violence like that in my whole life: I flailed arms and legs, but the man was too powerful: I couldn’t escape his hold in the slightest.
“I told you to be quiet!”
I felt something sharp hit my cheek. A moment later, a stinging pain.
(Did he hit me…?)
Shocked and confused by that first experience, I became unable to resist anymore. The man looked at me and grinned under his hood.
“You finally calmed down, imperial princess?”
The man knew I was the imperial princess. We had come to the Maxwell province in secret; the inn was not informed of my identity, naturally.
“As pretty as they say…shame we have to kill you.”
(Kill…me…? But why…?)
After I stopped resisting, the man’s grip on my mouth had relented.
“Why would you want to take my life…? Who are you…?”
“Hmph, the order came from above…to kill you as brutally as possible. I have no grievances with you, princess, but you’re going to die tonight.”
The man’s killing intent froze me. He was powerful, surely had a weapon too. Even if my guards noticed the disturbance and came to my aid, he could surely kill me before they could do anything.
“What…what did I ever do to you…!!”
“Me? I got nothing to do with all this. A certain person wanted you dead, and they paid well. That’s all.”
The man laughed. Playing with my life clearly brought him great pleasure, as he grinned hideously.
“That means I can cut up a pretty girl like you however I want, though, so I’m going to enjoy it. C’mon, make me have a good time.”
The man grabbed my nightgown and tried ripping the thin cloth away.
I had never shown my naked skin to any man, and the first one would be such a beast of a man…to me, it was a humiliation worse than death.
(Luna!! Estia!! Anyone…!!)
I called my maid and one of the knights’ names in my heart. They were not in the same room as me, obviously.
The faces and names of the people closest to me appeared in my head, one by one.
Father, mother, Luna, Estia, Captain Rajang, the other maids, and knights…
…then, the last one to appear was…
His name escaped my lips. Though I myself did not know why.
“I see, so you used that name. That’s the right answer.”
As soon as I uttered Lord Dyngir’s name, a third person suddenly spoke up. The man’s body slipped to the side and fell on the floor.
Behind him was a small silhouette, which belonged to…
“I thought I could wait and see a little longer…but as you used my master’s name, I had to act.”
Behind the man was the young maid I had seen in the Maxwell manor. In her hands, a needle about 10cm long.
“Princess Rossellia Baal. On my master’s orders, I have come to save you.”
The young girl then bowed her head to me.