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Chapter 20 The Princess and the Confinement Room


 "Oh, such a convenient room! Wait! Calm down. Isn't that too convenient...? D-Don't tell me that someone's trying to lure me there... No, no, in fact, someone may be rebels who want to overthrow the state, and they may all be conspiring together to lock me up there..."
 
 (Hey.... Where the hell did the human-eating demons go?)
 
 Lucas was stunned by this, as expected.
 
 As soon as he told the princess about the hidden room, she began to imagine things on her own and to get scared.
 
 Or should it be said that she was a skeptic to the extreme.
 
 It was interesting to watch from the side, but it was a different story when it came to dealing with her directly.
 
 "Well then, let's stay in that room and keep a tight guard..."
 
 When Valerie said this, the princess jumped up and down in a panic.
 
 "I-I don't want to! But...? I-I understand! I'd rather move to the hidden room than stay here!"
 
**a
 With these words, the princess moves into the hidden room after all.
 
 While she is getting ready, Valerie and Lucas gather all the knights and send them back to their assigned rooms.
 
 It is better if no one knows the location of the hidden room.
 
 It is not impossible that some of the knights may hide the human-eating demon.
 
 So, they must stay in their rooms until tomorrow morning so that the princess will not be seen entering the room. That is the order of the Princess.
 
 While giving instructions to the knights, Olga is the only one left to protect Her Highness, but since there is no end in sight, the princess decides to trust her for the time being.
 
 It is a very good story.
 
 It is already dark outside the window, and it is about eight o'clock in the evening. Outside the window, the wind and rain are blowing even harder.
 
 After giving the knights some instructions, Lucas, and Valerie knock on the door of the princess's room, and a silver-haired maid peek out.
 
 As she steps out into the corridor with a cantera in her hand, Olga comes out from behind her pushing a wheelchair carrying the princess.
 
 As usual, the wheelchair is so exaggerated that one can only think that she is crazy.
 
 It is not so strange as long as the wheelchair is stopped in the room, but the sight of the high-class sofa with wheels moving around is nothing but a curiosity.
 
 The princess seems to have already prepared for bed, wearing a purple robe with a thin nightdress peeking out from its bosom.
 
 However, what caught more attention was that she was wearing a black veil covering her face.
 
 "Why a veil?"
 
 When Lucas asked her suspiciously, the princess sniffed annoyedly.
 
 "Well, I'm taking off my make-up. You must be a man, too. I couldn't possibly show my face without makeup, could you?"
 
 "Huh?"
 
 "What's with the 'huh'? You don't understand the heart of a girl, do you? Your beloved Valerie may be wrinkled and stained by the time she's over 40. When that time comes, you'll understand what I mean."
 
 "I wonder if that's how it will be..."
 
 Lucas glanced at Valerie, feeling a slight resistance at the mention of his beloved Valerie, and then she said, “Don't look at me!” and her knuckles fell on his head.
 
 Apparently, this was a topic that was not to be touched.
 
 When they reached the side of the staircase, pushing away the empty crates, and came to a large door, the Princess exclaimed in admiration.
 
 "I see, it is indeed a hidden door! Are you the only ones who know about this door?"
 
 "Perhaps. Still, some of us are aware of the existence of the door, but since it is locked, no one has ever entered it."
 
 "And the key?"
 
 "The only one we've found is this one."
 
 When Valerie picked up the biggest key from the bunch of keys, the Princess put her hand on her chin and looked as if she was thinking about it.
 
**b
 "It is possible that there are other keys... I want to say that but... Hmm, Olga, after this princess enter the room, you will guard this room and the outside of the door."
 
 "...Understood"
 
 Olga nodded, somewhat unwillingly.
 
 However, the Princess encouraged Valerie to unlock the door.
 
 Valerie unlocked the bolt and opened the door, and the moldy air leaked out.
 
 However, the door has been opened several times for cleaning. The smell was not as bad as the first time.
 
 Lucas and Valerie lead the group, followed by Olga pushing the princess's wheelchair, and the silver-haired maid at the end.
 
 Eventually, the group reaches the door at the back of the room, and Valerie invites the princess in, saying, "This way, please".
 
 The room is dark. The maid held up the cantera, and the Princess looked around and opened her mouth.
 
 "Well, it's not as bad as I thought."
 
 The cleaning itself had been finished before the princess arrived at the fort.
 
 Although it may not be a room for royalty to stay in, all the bedding has been changed to new ones, so there should be no problem if it is just for a night's sleep.
 
 "It's certainly a relief that there are no windows... Valerie, I'm sorry, but could you please check if there is a hidden passage somewhere? Make sure of it."
 
 "Understood!"
 
 Valerie does as she is told, tapping, and pushing on the wall to check.
 
 But to Lucas, who had drawn a plan of the fortress, it seems ridiculous.
 
 Even without doing so, each side of this wall is a bath filled with hot water and a warehouse full of supplies. There is no such thing as a hidden passage to somewhere else.
 
 "It seems to be all right. Your Highness."
 
 When Valerie reported this, the Princess breathed out a sigh of relief.
 
 "Now, Olga, lift this princess and put me down on the bed. Very gently. My broken leg still hurts. Then, Lucas! Valerie! You're to keep watch outside the bedroom until it's ready."
 
 ""Yes, Your Highness""
 
 Lucas and Valerie went out of the room and looked toward the passage they had come from.
 
 The door to the room had been left open, but Valerie hurriedly closed it just as they heard the voice of the Princess saying, "Well, Stellanova, take off my underwear."
 
 Because of the quietness of the surroundings, the conversation in the room with only one wall between them is clearly audible.
 
 After the Princess had specified the color of the underwear to be brought to the maid tomorrow, everyone could hear Olga's voice pleading with the maid to let her stay by her side to guard her.
 
 But the Princess said, "Listen carefully, Olga. I cannot sleep peacefully when I know someone is near me," and so casually refused.
 
 After a while, Olga comes out of her room with a mortified look on her face. She notices Lucas and Valerie's eyes on her and clears her throat.
 
 Then she turns around and calls into the room.
 
 "Well, Your Highness. I will come to pick you up in the morning."
 
 "Well, I count on you. Take care of yourselves."
 
**c
 When Lucas heard the Princess's reply, he looked into the room and saw a maid pushing an empty wheelchair out of the room.
 
 The purple robe that the Princess had been wearing is neatly folded and placed on the seat of the wheelchair.
 
 Through the maid's shoulder, he could see the princess standing on the bed.
 
 Although only her silhouette was visible in the dim light of the cantera, she was clad in a white nightdress with her face covered by a veil.
 
 The silhouette of the gentle curve of her breast and the silhouette of her slender legs were visible.
 
 "Good night."
 
 Olga closes the door and offers her hand to Valerie with a mortified look on her face.
 
 "Give me the key."
 
 After Olga turned the key with a jumble, she pushed and pulled the key again and again, nodded, and then threw the key to Lucas.
 
 "Her Highness has instructed me to do this. Valerie is to stand guard at this door, I am to stand guard at the outer door, and the key is to be handed to you."
 
 Olga says this in a sullen tone, and suddenly drops her shoulders.
 
 "What's wrong?"
 
 Valerie tilted her head, and Olga lowered her eyebrows in a pitiful manner.
 
 "...I'm sorry. I understand the situation. Although I am Her Highness' direct knight, the fact that she trusts you more than me is unbearable."
 
 "I see... well... I'm sorry."
 
 "I'm sorry too. It's not your fault. Valerie, take care of Her Highness. I'll be outside the door. If you need me, knock on the door from inside."
 
 "Well... it's going to be a long night for both of us."
 
 "Yes, it will."
 
 They smile quietly at each other. Valerie looked at Lucas and gave a small nod.
 
 "Okay, see you in the morning..."
 
 "Yes, see you tomorrow."
 
 Lucas replied curtly and turned away from her.
 
 Leaving Valerie there, Lucas, Olga, and the silver-haired maid pushing the wheelchair step out of the door.
 
 Outside the door, they see a window by the stairs. The weather outside is still very stormy.
 
**a
 (Indeed, it's a disaster, that's all I can say. The people on the front must be having a hard time in this weather. Even their tents might be blown away. I hope it will be fine tomorrow.)
 
 Lucas was thinking about this in a daze,
 
 "Then, Olga... Stella's going back to her room."
 
 "Yeah, you be careful too, Stellanova."
 
 "Yes."
 
 The silver-haired maid nodded and pushed the empty wheelchair away down the hall.
 
 As soon as she was out of sight, Lucas yawned and started to walk away, saying, "Well... I think I'll go back to my room," when Olga grabbed him by the collar.
 
 "Where do you think you're going?"
 
 "No, I'm going back to my room to sleep..."
 
 "You stay here. I've been instructed by Her Highness to stand guard at this door."
 
 "Yes, I heard. But I'm not under any orders..."
 
 "You may have. After all, I'm also being told to keep an eye on you."
 
 "What?"
 
 "I can't guarantee that you're not the human-eating demon. Besides, you're one of the ones who knew her Highness was here. So, you cannot move from here. You'll stay here until morning. Well, I don't know what a weak man like you can do."
 
 "...What a mess"
 
 "How dare you, a reprobate who seduces the Duchess Valerie..."
 
 (It's getting troublesome, isn't it?)
 
 With this complaint in his heart, Lucas sat down leaning against the big iron door.

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Edited Kanaa-senpai.
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