Chapter 75: The Imprisoned Princess
「I knew you wouldn’t listen to my advice. God made humans foolish after all. 」
Cynical words were spilled one after another. This high-pitched voice was a voice that stuck on my ears.
The moment I tried to move my body in response to this voice, I felt an excruciating pain on my shoulder and hand. It felt as if someone was trying to rub my wounds with heated salt.
I sobbed silently, and then, I opened my eyes. All I could see from my field of vision was a random ceiling from an unknown place. I could see a sequence of beautifully arranged stone bricks. Then, I realized that I laid down. I probably woke up after falling unconscious.
Where was this place?
My memory was vague, but I remembered what happened. In front of the Royal Palace, elf soldiers surrounded my party and me. Afterwards, as I tried to resist them my body was inflicted with several arrows. I thought that my reckless action would make me lose my neck. However, here I was. Being alive meant that this place was probably a prison.
If my life was spared, perhaps Caria, Filaret and Matia’s lives were spared as well. Yes, let’s pray for their safety.
As my consciousness returned, I felt that my hand and shoulder ached tremendously. I even felt agony on my lungs when I breathed deeply as I began to move.
「Hey. If you can move by yourself, then you can manage to take your own medicine, right? If you are my cellmate, you must try to lighten my burden a bit.」
My eyes quivered a little. My eyesight was still vague. But, it cleared up over time. The faint outline emerged in front of me. This person’s face was immaculate as if it were a doll.
The Elf Princess. The Destroyer. Eldith the monster.
I could feel my blood running to my face. My heart and spirit were terrified at the same time. Why was she here? Actually, I didn’t even know where I was. I didn’t know if this place was really a prison. Either way, this was a strange occurrence. Why would she be by my side? I couldn’t understand this bizarre situation.
「…What are you talking about? What really happened? I should be the one closer to the depths of hell, and yet, here I am.」
My lips trembled while I laid down in bed.
Speaking of which, this bed. I’ve just noticed it now, but I was lying on a comfortable bed. It seemed quite luxurious. I didn’t feel any firmness on my back. My skin felt relaxed, since I was lying on extravagant linen. Why were these things in a prison?
The sound of sighing reached my ears.
「Don’t worry. You won’t be killed immediately. Well, not until you’re brought to that miserable human land.」
So, it seemed that I was kept here as a hostage. That’s why I was still alive. While thinking about it, something was put in my mouth. I felt the weird sensation of a thin finger that touched on my lips. She put something that resembled a pill into my tongue. What was it? It had a terrible and unpleasant taste. The sensation of my tongue paralyzed the sense of taste.
「It’s a painkiller. You’re going to get a little better, so stay calm. 」
Eldith stood up from beside my bed and tried to leave quietly. My head was occupied by utmost confusion. My dejected thoughts, which were buried, began to resurface once again. What did this mean?
A Painkiller. Certainly, I felt that my body’s sensations were getting numb from the tongue down. That excruciating pain was less noticeable now.
But, why? I had so many questions. However, my understanding was limited. I didn’t understand the reason why the Elf Princess cared for me. I could firmly assert that this princess wasn’t this kind.
The princess from the journey of the past didn’t care about humans at all. In particular, to lower human beings like me. She probably regarded me as an insect. She didn’t care if a “beetle” like me got injured.
That’s right. That princess only cared about one person. The golden one, the only one she would look at. The only one…
I threw questions into my brain. Then, after the swirling confusion that erupted on my head, I finally managed to ask her another question.
「Wait a second. There are lots of things that I don’t understand. Why are you here? And where are we? If I’m alive, then this place isn’t the bottom of hell.」
I had many other questions. Nonetheless, that was all I needed to ask her right now. I couldn’t stand because of my injuries. But, I had to understand the current situation. I had no idea why I was here with Eldith.
Eldith’s slightly dissatisfied voice echoed in the room.
「This is a special prison in Ghazalia. It doesn’t have an official name, but everyone calls it “The Tower”. And I’m here because of one reason, isn’t that obvious?」
It was a self-disapproving phrase. These words didn’t suit the status of an elven princess.
「I am the same as you. I’m imprisoned in this Tower…Let’s get along well, fellow cellmate.」
After spending some time in the prison called “The Tower”, I noticed the irregularity of this place.
This place was too luxurious to be called a prison.
Just like the fluffy bed, the whole space was filled with fine furniture. It was hard to imagine that a prison could be this great. There was no way that commoners would get access to such furniture, much less prisoners.
Moreover, the meals came three times a day. The food given to Eldith and me was strangely elaborate.
The prison itself was extremely wide. For some unknown reason, the bed was set up as soon as I got into the prison room. But, perhaps, this Tower had other rooms out of my sight. Occasionally, Eldith disappeared from my sight.
The prison guards were polite to Eldith, and she took it for granted.
After all, everything about this was odd. It felt quite strange. She said to me that she was my cellmate. But, was that even true? There were doubts swirling around in my chest.
First, as far as I could tell from her appearance and voice, there was no difference between the current Eldith and the Elf Princess from the Rescue Party. There were small differences in behavior and personality that were incomparable to what happened with Caria and Filaret. But, that was all. Actually, let’s put this in a different perspective.
Why was this princess imprisoned here? And why was I in the same room as the princess? Besides being human, I was just a low-ranking commoner after all.
「You don’t have to worry about it. Questions and anxiety could kill your heart, you know. It’s best for you not to think anything at all.」
When I tried to ask Eldith about her circumstances, it was like throwing a stone in the wind. Except for answering the first questions, she clearly avoided my other questions about her current situation. She said that she didn’t want to talk about it, rather than hiding it. At the very least, I had to wait until my body recovered. That was crucial.
「More importantly, let’s talk about something else. I’m bored. Okay, you can start with the story of the demon beast that you killed a long while ago.」
So, the topic of our conversation was usually this kind of talk. Eldith often said that she didn’t like humans, but it seemed that she was interested in topics about the world that she didn’t know about. She glittered her eyes like a cat as she sat down in my bed.
When I sighed before talking, Eldith gave me a medicine with her thin hands and began to change my bandage. Although I felt the pain slightly running through my wounds, the pain was slightly dull. It was probably because of the painkiller that she gave me occasionally.
She was rather killing time than treating me with concern for my well-being.
The only thing that she could do in this prison was read a book on a chair or talk to me. Nothing much happened on this particular place. Occasionally, she would look fixedly somewhere. I didn’t know where she was looking at, but it could be an elf ritual or something alike.
As usual, she was dressed as a man. Well, of course she was. She had to pretend to be a man. There was nothing more dangerous than having a man and a woman together in a prison.
Even if there was no other beauty in this world, I would refuse to be together with Eldith. Yes, I would rather accept an enemy than choose Eldith as my partner. When I imagined such scenario in my head, I felt like throwing up. Indeed, I felt a horrible nausea crawling out of my gut.
Still, the fear of my past journey left me a thorn in my heart. It felt as if my spirit was torn into pieces and scattered away. She wasn’t rude to me now, but I was skeptical if she could change abruptly and hurt me.
However, the days were calmer than I thought they would be. Well, except for those thoughts and my wounds, which were not completely cured.
I never thought that I would live such a great life in a prison. I had plenty of food, since I had daily meals. I had good bedding, and no one hurt or humiliated me. For me, it felt like living in heaven instead of living in hell. I never experienced this type of situation before.
Of course, I knew that I wouldn’t enjoy this life forever.
The sound of little knocks disrupted my easy and peaceful life.
「Excuse me, Your Highness. 」
I heard a nearby voice. It was a quiet voice, but one that I clearly heard in my ears.
「The Fin has ordered me to see Your Highness again. 」
The color of this voice belonged to a woman. The words seemed to give a sense of true honesty. The owner of that voice came beside my bed and kneeled down.
「How is it going for Your Highness? Is there any inconvenience in your daily life?…Please, forgive my incompetence. I couldn’t help Your Highness with my lack of power…」
She continued to speak. I couldn’t understand the meaning of those words. Those incomprehensible words kept piling up inside of my head.
I continued to listen to this woman’s words while lying in bed. Then, I finally realized what was going on.
Ah, I see. She definitely mistook me for Eldith since I was lying in bed covered with the fluffy linen. I felt my cold sweat falling from my forehead.
Lugis PTSD is flaring up again…Poor thing ;(
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