Chapter 23: I woke up three days later
My mind feels surprisingly clear, but my body is sore and aching.
My lower and upper back are incredibly stiff and it hurts to move.
“Claire-sama! Ah, the doctor and His Highness are… Oh, water, Gwenna!”
“Claire, I’m so glad you’re awake.
Can you try to sit up slowly? If it’s too difficult, let me help you.”
“Please… My lower and upper back feel like they’re made of stone, and the pain is unbearable.”
Melissa quickly left the room and Gwenna came over, tears streaming down her face, to help me ease the stiffness in my body.
Before I knew it, I had changed into my nightgown and my throat was parched.
My voice was also raspy.
According to Gwenna, I had been asleep for three days.
She said I had been sweating profusely and she had wiped me down and changed my clothes.
The detoxification was a success, and I felt no discomfort or numbness.
“Claire! I’m so relieved… I’m so glad you’re okay.”
His Highness Auglia arrived in a rush, panting for breath, followed by His Highness Julius and Lord Balk.
It was unusual for all of them to leave work like this.
The prince took my hand and stroked my head with his other hand while I laughed.
It’s okay, I’m more resilient than you think.
“…I’m so sorry for causing you all this concern.”
“Really? If you hadn’t woken up…”
It took a bit longer than expected, but I’m feeling much better now.”
When I said “I’m back,” the prince, who had been on the verge of tears, smiled and said, “Welcome back.” I felt so grateful and happy.
His Highness Julius and Lord Balk also looked relieved to see me awake and well.
Since I was still wearing my nightgown and unable to stand, Melissa politely asked them to leave for the day, promising to let them know when I was ready for visitors.
Over the next few days, I started eating porridge and gradually regaining my strength by walking around my room.
I dressed in proper clothes and was able to see the faces of those who were in that strategy meeting, though Millie wasn’t there.
My mother-in-law, the queen, embraced me and shed tears.
I truly believe that coming here as a bride was the right choice.
“What happened?” I asked.
“Lord Balk… would you care to explain?”
“Yes, of course.
If it weren’t for Claire’s foresight, Millie would have been sentenced to death and her family’s estate would have been seized.
But, as per Claire’s instructions, the spy and their family were returned to the Faithnum Empire.
Furthermore, the emperor and the third princess of the Faithnum Empire were accused of attempting to murder our royal family, but since Claire ‘had not yet married’, she was not considered a member of the royal family.
As a result, they sent doctors, medical books, pharmacists as compensation as a form of apology for causing a disturbance in the palace… Isn’t that a bit naive?”
“Hehe, it’s already been factored in that they won’t interfere with this country again, right? Otherwise, we’ll really have all the subject nations rise up against them at once.”
As a result of this episode, the Faithnum Empire has been completely dominated by the Baratonia Kingdom.
They have only one opportunity to take me out.
If they were to eliminate me during peacetime, the royal family of the Baratonia Kingdom would retaliate, and they would have to send another princess, as I am not yet married.
If that princess also met her end before tying the knot, they would have to send another one.
Even for the mighty Faithnum Empire, they can’t afford to send three princesses to a Baratonia Kingdom that is no longer a vassal state, knowing full well that their princesses would be targeted.
When the request arrived, we issued a menacing reply, reducing their chances to just one.
It seems that Millie did not pass the information on Melissa and Gwenna to the Faithnum Empire.
This is likely due to her resentment for the Faithnum Empire.
Although she may have agreed to be used as a tool, it appears she couldn’t sell out her fellow countrymen.
Millie is too naive.
Father and Lilia also underestimated me.
The Faithnum Empire is no longer in a position to make unreasonable demands, and the King of Baratonia has shown himself to be reasonable, making the situation even more challenging for them.
If this can contribute, even in a small way, to the medical advancements of the Baratonia Kingdom, I consider it a worthwhile accomplishment.
However, I don’t want to continue being a target.
I set down my cup of milk tea and gazed at His Highness Auglia beside me.
“Your Highness, I have a request.”
“What is it?”
“Let’s get married.”
Although I hesitated to mention it, I don’t feel the need to delay my wedding with Your Highness any further.
The official duties have settled into a routine and we have received sufficient bridal money as compensation.
Everyone here is someone we can trust.
His Highness Julius and Lord Balk wore puzzled expressions, but Father-in-law and Mother-in-law, Melissa and Gwenna, were all beaming.
“That’s… would you like me to say it?”
“His Highness brought it up at the first banquet.
Most of the concerns have been addressed, but there are still many hurdles to overcome.
Before tackling them, I want to be with His Highness.”
I’m not skilled in beating around the bush.
Despite my lack of training in etiquette, I want to make up for it a little bit for the sake of future diplomacy.
There’s no need for formalities between two people in love.
“Claire, I want to renew our marriage vows.”
My face broke into a smile naturally.
My cheeks were slightly warm.
I took His Highness’s hand and replied with conviction,
“Yes, I would be delighted.
Your Highness Auglia.”
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