The Gap Between You and Me - Chapter 59
“If you move a little further across the border, you will come to a small village. If you’re going to wait for the delegation to arrive anyway, wouldn’t it be better to stay in that village rather than here? If it’s because you’re worried that you might cross the border without notifying them, don’t worry. I will leave a few soldiers here.”
“We would have to march for several more days to get to the capital of Velicia. Shouldn’t we be concerned about the health of the princess as well? If the bride who arrives with great effort got bedridden, the Velician side will definitely not like it.”
The knight coaxed Janice a little by arguing with plausible words.
‘It’s a village.’
Janice glanced at the carriage parked behind her. Herietta must be very tired. She didn’t complain openly, but she too, would most likely be desperate to rest with her legs stretched out.
‘Is that okay?’
Janice questioned her intuition.
It was Velicia, not Brimdel, who broke the time they had agreed to meet. It was just before the marriage between the two countries took place, but she wondered if there would be any big deal if she crossed the border between the two countries.
No. Rather, as the knight said, if there was something wrong with the health of the future princess Herietta, that might be a bigger problem.
“… How long will it take? How do we get to the village you are talking about?”
After hesitating for a while, Janice asked carefully. Then, as if the knight had been waiting, he had a smile of determination.
“It takes half a day.”
A confident answer came back.
* * *
Chirp, buzz. The grass bugs woke up early in the night and started singing together one by one. Although the sun had not yet set completely, there were also a few fireflies emitting a faint light. The day was setting and night was coming. It was no different than any other time.
Herietta and Janice stuck to the window of the carriage and looked at the scenery outside. How long has it been since they moved across the border? The appearance of the barren wilderness that had spread near the border could no longer be found.
The sparsely visible number of trees was increasing, and at some point they were crossing the middle of a dense forest.
Every time the wheel of the carriage went over a protruding stone, it made a loud noise. When she glanced down at the floor below, she saw weeds and wildflowers overgrown. It looked like it had never been touched by a human. At first glance, this place did not look like a road that many people pass by.
‘Didn’t hesay we were going to the village?’
As time passed, Herieta tilted her head at the forest scenery that grew thicker and thicker.
‘I was told we would be able to get there before the sun went down.’
Herietta saw Janice sitting across from her. A stiff face. Upright rigid posture. She hasn’t said anything to her yet, but she must have been skeptical of the situation now.
‘We must have lost our way… Don’t you think so?’
Herietta recalled the knight who swore that he knew the shortcut to the village and that he would guide them there safely. With a confident face, he raised his voice.
She wanted to stretch out her legs and rest as soon as possible, so she agreed to it, but as she slowly thought about it, there was more than one questionable thing.
They should just wait patiently for the Velician delegation at the border as originally planned. Herietta frowned at the belated regret.
‘If Edwin had been by my side, he would have nagged again, saying that she made a hasty decision without thinking carefully.’
Herietta smiled softly, remembering Edwin’s face that was holding back his bubbling anger.
But the happy thought only lingered for a while. A beat later, her smile disappeared, and her expression darkened.
Don’t think about him now. Rather, she shouldn’t think about him in the future. Although she promised herself several times, she kept failing. Unbeknownst to her, he had naturally incorporated himself into many parts of her life.
‘How can I forget?’
Herrietta rested her head helplessly against the window of the carriage.
Will I be able to forget if I try?
Will I be able to forget it over time?
They were questions that no one could answer. A heavy sigh flowed from her lips. Janice, who had only looked out of the window attentively, glanced at her.
“Don’t worry, princess. It may take a little longer than expected, but we will be able to get to the village soon.”
Janice said in a rather friendly tone. It was clear that she had mistaken Herietta’s sigh for some other reason.
She contemplated whether she should give Janice an explanation about it for a moment. But she eventually decided that she would just keep her mouth shut.
When she met the Velician delegation, Janice would return to her homeland with the Brimdel soldiers who had escorted her this far. They were separating soon anyway, so she didn’t need to explain everything.
“Sorry to trouble you. Originally, we would have been together only up to the border and you would have returned to the capital by now…”
Herietta apologized. Janice shook her head.
“No, Princess. You don’t have to apologize to me. It’s all the fault of the incompetent Velician delegation for not keeping up with the promised time.”
She looked very displeased.
“Even though Brimdel is a relatively small country compared to Velicia. It’s an official promise made by the two countries, but it’s a bit disappointing to see that even that hasn’t been properly kept. Since this is the first step, honestly, I am worried about the future.”
“It’s okay. There must have been a reason out there.”
“I don’t know. To be honest, I don’t really like just sending an envoy to meet them. It’s not just a lady, it’s about welcoming the future princess. Since that is the case, isn’t it proper that not only the delegation but also the groom and the person in charge should come to meet you?”
‘I guess. If the two countries had been on an equal footing in many ways.’
Brimdel’s national power was far behind that of Velicia. No matter how bad this situation was, they did not have the strength to argue with the other side. So the Brimdel royal family must have given it permission. Herietta was passed into their hands as if she were being sold.
Well, in her situation, she had sold herself to that side too.
Herietta smiled bitterly.
* * *
“I’m sure there’s a lot of work to do. Velicia is a country that has risen to the ranks of an empire. To be a princess in such a place, there must be an uncountable number of responsibilities.”
“I don’t know. If all the rumors are true, I don’t think you have too many obligations.”
Janice, who knitted her brows as she sarcastically commented, put on an ‘oh dear’ look on her face when she realized what she just did. It seems she had just remembered who she was talking to and what kind of relationship she had with the person she had criticized.
She hurriedly looked into Herietta’s eyes and lowered her head.
“I’m sorry, Princess. I didn’t even know my place and made rude remarks. Please forgive me.”
“It’s okay, don’t worry about it. Because I don’t really care.”
Herietta said, lightly ignoring it. Janice was not easily relieved by her words, but it was true.
Whatever the reason, it was the man who was going to be her husband. Even if it’s just a name, it’s a relationship between a married couple. Still, she didn’t feel much about the words that criticized him. She wouldn’t have blinked an eye if Janice had cursed worse than that.
Was it because she was given a false identity? All of this was obviously happening to her, but at the same time it seemed like a story that was completely unrelated to her.