Little Erna quickly realized this bitter reality. Still, she tried to fight again and again, but the abuse worsened over time. Eventually, Erna gave up resisting. It was just too much pain for a child to bear.
“What? Won’t you fight us today?”
“Yeah, it’s too boring.”
Even though her brothers and sisters trampled on her with their heavy feet, Erna remained still, thinking it would discourage their harassment. But it only made her an easy prey. Since then, Erna became someone, no, something people could treat however they pleased.
Having lost the spirit to fight back, Erna just held onto herself. Just because children are young doesn’t mean that they wouldn’t feel emotions such as anger and humiliation. But since she couldn’t release her anger on others, she vented it out on herself.
There was a void in her heart that could not be filled. So, little Erna tried to fill it through the only way she knew. Therefore, from some point on, Erna’s hands always had something she could eat.
She wasn’t picky about food. From fruits to sweets, Erna kept eating everything all day long. The maids who attended her tried to stop her, but after knowing that Erna would become quiet when given something to eat, they brought her even more food. As she always had food in her mouth and didn’t go outside, her body quickly became plump. As her growth period approached, her body began to grow rapidly. Her features became distorted and her skin became coarse and greasy. Her siblings, who used to just tease her, now frowned upon seeing her and started treating her as a complete stranger.
“Even though she is a princess, would there be a nobleman who would want someone like her?”
“It might be better to send her to a convent when she gets older.”
Hearing the malicious whispers about her, Erna only hoped that she could someday leave the royal palace by whatever means possible.
In the meantime, news came in that the Grand Duke of Hessenguard was dead, and soon a war would begin. For a few years, the atmosphere of the royal family was very gloomy. Then finally, the news that a treaty had been signed reached them.
She thought the royal family would be peaceful for a while, but it only lasted for a short while.
“This is the Grand Duchy of Hessenguard. It is a position that cannot be compared to a worthless royalty like you that cannot even take over the throne.”
With the exception of the first prince, who was destined to take over the throne, all the members of the royal family indulged in a fierce battle for the position. Soon after, it was decided that the second prince would go to the Grand Duchy of Hessenguard, and Erna watched his farewell ceremony from a distance.
But a week later, the second prince was killed in a sudden attack even before he could even cross the border. The same thing happened to the princess, who was sent from the Aether Kingdom.
The two kingdoms thought that it was an ambush done by the surrounding kingdoms who were against the co-rule of Hessenguard. They again chose a member of the royal family to return to Hessenguard, saying that they would not back down from their decision.
This time, the first princess of the Haband Kingdom and the second prince of the Aether Kingdom were chosen. But they too lost their lives just before they could reach Hessenguard. After the second assassination, the pride of the two kingdoms was crushed. Despite heavy security, the members of the royal family were again murdered.
“Do you think we’re going to give up Hessenguard because of that?”
However, unlike the first time, there was no royal family member that would go voluntarily this time. Two people have already been killed. No matter how much they prioritized their protection, the chances of them also being killed was very high.
The position that everyone desired quickly became a position that everyone wanted to avoid. They had no other choice but to send someone; if they didn’t, the other kingdoms would swallow the entire Duchy alone.
“Anyone is fine! We need someone to send there first!”
The ministers chose a candidate again. Someone who was from the royal family, but wouldn’t be a loss if their lives were taken. Someone who’s death no one will mourn.
In the whole Kingdom of Haband, there was only one royal family member who met these conditions. Thus, a week later, Erna was dragged into a carriage heading to Hessenguard without any preparation.