Translated by Tianic, edited by Grammarly
She woke. Darkness shrouded her. Her body was padded with soft down in a velvet cushion, and how odd, she was unable to move due to a bizarre magical injunction, nor could she talk or make a sound. The steadily shaking and horse neighing told her she was on a fast-moving carriage.
After passing through a checkpoint, Princess Bunny even heard a soldier’s voice. He was obviously making jokes with the wagoner. Bunny was so abashed so she passed out one more time.
She woke again and saw the darkness had gone. She observed and found she was transferred to a cabin located on a ship. Sound of wave surge came constantly. She was actually in the middle of the sea. The think of she’s further and further away from home each second had made her welled her eyes. Sorrow took her.
The door of the cabin opened, came in a blue figure. Bunny was unaware of its gender but she did see it came in with a silver tray and something one it.
She grew scared and closed her eyes.
“Eat, Your Grace.” A female voice rose and she sounded not evil, “I’m going to lift the spell, but if you resist, you’ll be sorry.”
The sound of the female voice gave Princess Bunny comfort to open her eyes.
The blue figure released her then tasted a bit of each food on the silver tray, then made a ‘eat now’ gesture to the princess.
Bunny did nothing but replied with a firm face.
“Your Grace, if you refuse, I’m going to make you.” Coldness flew from the blue female’s eyes.
Therefore Bunny had no choice but to follow her instruction and eat. She was obviously aggrieved, and she did not taste anything from the food.
Three days later, the ship docked on a wharf.
This time, Princess Bunny unboarded the ship by her own before the blue female forced her to eat breakfast and get dressed.
A handsome carriage was already waiting for her. There were 10 guards by the vehicle, they all looked fierce and vigilant. Bunny knew from one look these men were better than her shadow guards.
Could these people be working for that rascal viceroy from Swabia? A big rascal’s men would be small rascals. Either way, Bunny has marked these people as bad men.
She made up her mind to not give them what they wanted even if it meant death.
The carriage made a stop at a grand chateau. Bunny stepped out then had a brief observation of the surroundings. She was certain that this place must be Cohen Kheda’s lair. She didn’t intend to back off so she proceeded into the lobby without hesitation.
Upon entering, she did not see fearsome men or succubus, or big and small rascals, only dozens of ladies of the same age as hers.
They were noble ladies, she could tell.
“Ugh, another one.” One of them approached, “May I ask your name?
Princess Bunny watchfully stepped back and asked, “Who are you?”
“I… I am the daughter of Durand Cisco, Viceroy of Silversand.” The delicate lady replied, “My name is Sephora Cisco, it’s my fourth day here.”
“Silversand? The 4th biggest province in Swabia? And you’re the viceroy’s daughter?” Asked Bunny.
“I am.” Sephora nodded, “Along with my sister.”
“Were you all kidnapped here, like me? What have they done to you during the past days?”
A lady sharing Sephora Cisco’s look came closer then nodded to Bunny as greeting. She must be Sephora’s elder sister.
“We don’t know. They did it at night. We woke up here.” She had her hand on her younger sister’s shoulder, “Miss, later on, a certain madam will come and ask you a question. If you answer ‘no’, then they’ll keep you here for another day.”
“Whoever she is, I can afford an extra day.” Bunny said in contempt.
“It’s not like that.” Sephora said anxiously, “They’ll stop feeding you in day 1, no water on day 2, then the third… the third day…”
“What will happen on the third?” Bunny knew how starving felt like.
“On the third day, they will show you the cruelest place in the world.” The elder took over the telling, “For us ladies, it is.”
“What?” Bunny developed gooseflesh. Her kidnappers were able to kill and loot a royal princess, what else can’t they do.
“Whorehouses.” The elder Cisco said while tidied her little sister’s garment, “We’ve made our decision to say yes to that woman.”
Princess Bunny now was completely dumbfounded. Sending a princess to see a whorehouse sounded like a thing this rascal viceroy was capable of doing. She would rather die.
Therefore girls were summoned upstairs one by one then one by one, they were sent to carriages. Princess Bunny was in tremendous stress.
Eventually, Bunny was the last one left in the lobby. She heard footsteps approaching from upstairs.
(What kind of human being is going to come down from there? An exposed, thong-wearing vicious woman? Or drooling, flesh-eating witch? Could she be a 3-headed monster who feeds on beautiful girls?)
The footstep halted behind her.
“Good morning, Princess Bunny Ebbinghaus.” A gentle and melodious female voice said, “It is my honor to meet you, Your Grace.”
Having heard a very standard and courtly greeting, Princess Bunny turned to face the owner of the voice.
The one who spoke was a woman at her 20s. No, she was supposed to be a miss judging from her attire, she was not married.
She wore a purple longuette, a few elegant pieces of jewelry made from silver. And she was gazing at Bunny with a gentle smile.
Bunny sensed the geniality from her and the hatred weakened.
“How do you do.” She curtsied, “My name is Lucy, Your Grace.”
“Lucy?” Bunny paused for half a second, her long-prepared threatening swear didn’t actually come out, “Good morning.”
“Your Grace, you must have so many questions.” said Lucy, “I’m able to answer all that on your carriage. We do have a tight schedule.”
Lucy was right, Bunny needed to ask so she was about to nod, then she realized she had to say something to uphold the royal dignity.
“Considering Cohen Kheda’s reputation, I refuse to ride in his vehicle.” The princess was certain this Lucy must be somehow connected to Cohen Kheda.
To ordinary nobilities, what Bunny said could be considered very awful humiliation. Therefore, Bunny carefully constrained her target to Cohen Kheda and him alone, not spreading to his family. Actually, the rest of the Khedas had a pretty high reputation on this continent.
Now, once this Lucy said anything to retort, Bunny will be able to deduct his relationship with Cohen Kheda and further guess her standing in this whole incident.
Faced with this invisible assault, Lucy did nothing but smiled, “Your Grace, needless to worry, you will be riding in a carriage that belongs to Summers, the imperial house.
Never occurred to Bunny that her wishful thought fell short. When the princess was thinking about further confrontation, Lucy approached and said, “Everyone is waiting, please, Your Grace.”
Bunny had no choice but boarded the vehicle.
“Your Grace, have you read the invitation?” Lucy showed a card as the carriage drove out of the chateau, “This one is reserved for you, my princess.”
Bunny took the card and unwaxed. She frowned, “You actually call your rude action an invitation.”
“There has to be some misunderstandings in certain parts.” said Lucy, “As a matter of fact, I represent Viceroy Cohen Kheda. As for what happened earlier, my people told me that you were kidnapped and I paid 50, 000 in ransom to save you from the kidnappers.”
“Saved me?” Bunny was half angered, half amused.
“Your Grace, if anyone says otherwise, that’ll be a grave insult to you, the princess.” Lucy revealed concern on her face.
“Where are you taking me?” Princess Bunny asked, “To see a brothels, or to see Cohen Kheda?”
“Commander Cohen Kheda is directing a war on the front line. Your Grace, we’re going to Dark City.” Lucy smiled, “You’re not like the other girls. They’re more or less connected to the rebels. And you are a princess of our neighboring empire. You’re to be treated with respect. Believe me, Your Grace, your presence here is an accident. We will inform your father as quickly as we can.”
(And of course it’s an incident, what else could it be.)
Princess Bunny had to acknowledge the official story.
Noticeable horse-hoof beats arose and were closing. It was getting louder then gathered on both sides of the carriage.
“May I have the honor to present our troops to you, Your Grace? It is also known as Lord Cohen’s guarding troops as well as the king’s imperial guards. The only army that defeated the Asmodian United Forces during the last P/A War.” Lucy lifted the curtain on her side, she said with great pride, “They just came off the battlefield on a mission to protect you.”
Princess Bunny had witnessed all kinds of armies. Last year, during a royal military parade, she destroyed the Royal First Chivalry, aka ‘the best of the elites’ by simply showing her face. She could still remember the scene where knights fell from horses.
She made up her mind to do the same now. Therefore, with one jade-like finger, she lifted the curtain, then revealed her gorgeous smile, the smile capable to let everyone forget everything.
But all armors continued rumbling, helmet clattering. Eyes of men on horsebacks did not favor another direction but the front. They marched on the rough ground, crossed dangerous trenches. All spearheads did not even shiver.
Bunny gazed at the mighty fleet for quite a while. As a royal female member who often visited other empires, one of her mission was to observe that empire’s military power, a miniature image of that empire’s collective strength. But what kind of an army was it she saw? They had utterly concentrated eyes, skillful horsemanship, handsome rides, and second-to-none weaponry.
She supposed these men were just too scared to see her, but at least there had to be petty actions such as bumping chest or peeping eyes. But, no, there was none, nothing.
“Black current, it is a black current.” Bunny told herself, “A current capable of destroying everything it comes across.”
“It is my pleasure to accept this invite.” Curtain down, Princess Bunny had a change of heart, she told Lucy.
“I am glad, Your Grace.” Lucy offered a silver tray, “Have some dessert.”
Swabians have been very thoughtful on Princess Bunny’s trip. A dozen days later, she has arrived at Dark City.
At the same day, General Winterhard Lennie approached Darkmoon with 3, 000 Rivalzian royal guards and forced a standoff with Darkmoon’s local army.
She did not come across any resistance when crossing Swabia’s border since all viceroys have been saving power and concentrating armies during the rebellion. They simply want to watch Luhrmann and Fischer fight and die. Therefore border defense existed in name only.
All neighboring empires have been drooling over Swabia’s rich land. If it weren’t for the temple’s intervention, they’d long came to dismember this land for good.
But why did Winterhard knew the princess’s whereabouts? Because a certain scamp left her a ‘memo’.
Currently, she was facing one of Cohen Kheda’s legion commander: Brigadier General Moya.
Winterhard was granted access to cross Darkmoon under one condition: cut her army by 2, 000, namely she was only allowed to take 1, 000 royal guards. However, she insisted on taking all 3, 000. Therefore, Winterhard’s army and Moya’s 2, 000 Dark City’s field infantries have been standing idly for the entire morning.
The two armies kept a distance of 500 arm’s-length, two commanders, 5 arm’s-length.
What kind of a woman was Winterhard Lennie? She successfully protected important priests with Cohen Kheda during the temple trial; she saved Prince Fischer’s life during Luhrmann’s rebellion, even she hit Cohen Kheda’s belly with her sword handle. It shouldn’t have taken so long for her to solve the problem at hand.
However, she came across Moya, a commander nothing short of stubbornness.
In order to meet her princess, Winterhard has come up with every way possible to negotiate. Her eyes emitted lightning, mouth breathed fire, but Moya would neither listen to reason nor bow to force.
“A thousand.” Whatever she said, Moya will always reply, “no more.”
“Three thousand!” Winterhard fisted, “Last call or we fight!”
“As you wish.” Moya kept calm on his face and leveled one of his arms.
Like a spreading piece of black cloth, intensely standing soldiers immediately spread, wingmen took off, mages started buffing soldiers.
“I was joking.” Like a deflated balloon, Winterhard said, “A thousand.”
“As you wish.” Moya was still calm on his face.
Winterhard had to force back her intention to rip this man’s face.
(Dark City, viceroy’s mansion, top of the meeting building)
King Fischer Summers wore a suit of a white robe. He has finished reviewing today’s papers and was standing by the window, gazing the sky.
“My king, all the nobility socialites are here.” Visual Kheda came arriving.
“Very quick move, Cohen Kheda.” Fischer was dull in his voice, “Who are they?”
“Basically all unmarried and unengaged daughters of our neighboring provinces’ viceroys are here. There are a few ladies from downfalling noble houses.” replied Visual Kheda, “Above all, Cohen has brought you the youngest princess from Rivalz Empire, Princess Bunny Ebbinghaus.”
“Noted, and they’re willing to come here?” Fischer turned away from the window.
Visual Kheda made a meaningful smile, “Of course, beyond willingness.”
“Visual, can I ask you to receive them for me? I mean to stay here to wait for Cohen’s war report.”
“My king, allow me, I understand that you do not want to hastily settle your marriage, I really do. I hope you understand it is a strategic move.”
“I understand, I really do.”
“I wouldn’t worry. If you want to find your future queen, make your decision, if you know what I mean.”
Fischer gazed at Visual, suddenly, he looked delighted.
“Good, then I’ll meet with the Rivalzian princess first.”
(The grand hall located in the back of the viceroy’s mansion)
Due to her respectable status, Princess Bunny Ebbinghaus’ caravan drove straight to the back garden while the other girls were still in a manor out of the city. After spending a few days together, wittingly or not, Princess Bunny and Lucy stepped off the vehicle, hand in hand.
She instantly felt the pressure from the ones standing in front of her once she was out of the carriage.
She has heard about the rascal viceroy’s 3 beautiful wives but Bunny never took them seriously, and now, they were standing right in her face.
Bunny once considered women married to a rogue viceroy could not be any good, even if they were drop-dead gorgeous, they might as well be mere eye-candies. Or even they were no better than Miss Lucy.
Nevertheless, reality shocked her once again.
Their faces were far prettier than hers, especially the elf’s; dispositions, higher; as for social skills, the moment Mrs. Flynn spoke, Princess Bunny felt inferior.
Luckily Cohen Kheda’s wives were kind, approachable, not mean, which relieved Bunny’s tension.
As they were talking, the eunuch by the door cried, “Presenting His Imperial Majesty!”
Bunny stood up, she fixed her eyes to the door.
(Fischer Summers, I have heard stories about him. They told me this young king was quite… beautiful… hmmm. I hope he was not the kind of ‘beautiful’ like my big brother.)
He wore a pure white and smooth suit matched with a belt stitched by a silver lining. His golden hair was carefully tied and rested on the back. Besides, he wore no more decorations. Such a simple and clean Fischer, he went into the hall.
“He is too casual rather than simple. I am a princess after all.” Thought Bunny.
She was supposed to be offended by this king standing in front of her but she was not. She even expected him to walk faster to her.
When King Fischer approached, her heart speeded.
“Greeting, Your Grace.”
“At ease, make yourself at home.” Fischer said with a smile.
Everybody sat. Though Princess Bunny has been intentionally telling herself to not lower her eyes but her vision has always found its way to the floor.
“My king, may I present Princess Bunny Ebbinghaus.” said Mrs. Flynn.
“This is not a formal introduction, Mrs. Flynn, do it right!” Bunny quietly complained. Then a touch of white color took over her eyes.
“Princess Bunny Ebbinghaus, I am Fischer, Fischer Summers. It is my great honor to have you here in Dark City.”
“I was kidnapped here, and to my convenience, I’m a spy for my father.” She said quietly, tried to draw a line between her and the man standing at her face.
But when this pretty, smart and dignified Princess Ebbinghaus braced her slightly reddened face and looked into Fischer’s eyes, she froze as if another paralysis magic struck her.
Several days later, 1, 000 Rivalz Empire’s finest soldiers led by the weary-faced Winterhard Lennie have arrived at Dark City. She did not hesitate and expressed her intention to bring Princess Bunny back to her home empire.
“Your Highness, the king required me to keep you safe.” She was on one knee.
“I am safe.” Princess helped the female general to rise, “Winterhard, we’ll be staying here for a couple of days.”
“A couple of days?” Winterhard was riveted to the spot. She has never seen anyone who didn’t want to go home after being kidnapped.
“General Winterhard, it has been a while.” King Fischer walked from a distance.
The voice made Bunny smile, that was a happy smile.
This chapter was originally published on Wuxianation, any despicable reposts or copies without proper citings are strictly prohibited.