Fanfic: Auf der Jagd

Chapter: At the wrong place

She shouldn't be here. Merle was more aware of this than usual. She sat on the soft bed of the guest cabin in the cat paw and stared out of a porthole. The only civil airship of the Farnellias royal family floated extremely leisurely over the forests of the empire on the way to Chuzario, Merle's refuge, due to its flat shape. As a passenger ship based on a freighter design, the Katzenpranke had a wide window front in front of the bridge in the front part of the ship and grappling hooks below the circular hull, which currently held a sleek Guymelef with a blond head. Inside, the ship was a small village with a small hospital, a galley, a dormitory, two communal showers, a small mess, and other small storage rooms. Only the captain was given his own bunk by the crew, which, however, could not even remotely compete with the guest cabin and its small but nice bathroom at the other end of the corridor.
Merle had used the ship many times on her travels, even more so than Van. He even dedicated the name of the vehicle to her. And yet she shouldn't be here. It was a gift from Astoria to the ruler Farnellias and not intended to serve false princesses.
But King Van de Farnel was dead, murdered by Trias, a powerful descendant of the Dragonfolk, the no longer legendary inhabitants of Atlantis. Together with his vampire-like servants and their slaves, he had attacked Farnellia and set a trap for Van. If only she hadn't been so out of her mind herself, she might have saved her brother.
Now all that was left of the time-honored line of Farnellia was an adopted sister and a widow who was again engaged. The last spark of hope emanated from her, as the only offspring of Vans was growing in her belly.
Merle let out a strained breath. Though she and Hitomi had officially separated in an argument, her kings had entrusted her with tasks that she had to fulfill for years. Which was no reason not to start now.
The cat woman swung her legs over the edge of the bed and left the soft cloud. Stormy, she left her bunk and hurried to the bridge. Gesgan spoke to the captain there. The tall warrior and former spy Zaibach was her confidante and the head of the royal bodyguard, which unfortunately was the only military unit in Farnellias that had to be taken seriously. Still!
"Singing, please call everyone on board into the mess.", Merle ordered cheerfully.
He had expected an instruction of this kind and was still surprised.
"Everyone, your Majesty? I think we should just include the guard."
"No, everyone!" Affirmed Merle. "Everyone who is not essential to the operation of the ship should come. What I have to say is everyone's business."
"Very well."
Merle then withdrew back into the guest cabin and did something she rarely did.
She looked at herself in the mirror.
Mostly it was uncomfortable for her to see herself. She rarely liked the sight. That is why, unlike Van, she had always preferred to be tidied up by servants. Her hands carefully stroked her white, elegant dress. She would be more comfortable in her battle uniform, after all, she had her own battle to fight, but it was the time for peace, not violence. This signal had to get through.
The young warrior took a nervous breath, closed her eyes and delved into herself. Still, there was no calm. Since Van was no longer there, so much has not been the same as before.Focusing her thoughts on the goal again, she stomped towards the fair. She must be a strange sight to everyone she met. It wasn't until she got to the door to the common room that her steps narrowed, her posture took up less space, and her fists fell apart. However, the knot stayed in her head.
Seriously, but calmly, she strode across the mess hall while taking a look at the people around her. Most of the time, she only met worried looks. She positioned herself on the wall opposite the door and openly asked the group if everyone was present. The captain excused his first mate and more newcomers rolled in, driven by Gesgan, who closed the door behind him. Only Serena was missing. Merle assumed that Allen's sister was hiding somewhere in the ship. Since the meeting didn't concern her anyway, Merle began:
“I know you have questions.” It was literally written on their faces. "You want to know what is happening and what will happen now that Farnellia is without a ruler."
"Aren't you going to rule?" Interrupted the cook. Merle looked at her sternly, then her eyes showed indulgence. Actually, she had wanted to stop the day before.
"No, a kingdom is not like a galley. It is not skill but blood that counts. And as much as I or Van wished, we are not really related. In addition, I have sworn my loyalty to Hitomi out of conviction."
"That power-hungry witch!" Said Marco, a member of the guard, and this time Merle's gaze remained hard.
"You may see intrigue in her engagement to King Aston of Astoria, for Hitomi it is a sacrifice."
"She will be the queen of one of the most powerful empires on Gaia. What a sacrifice!" Interjected the oldest of the servants, Isabel.
"Have you ever seen Aston? He's extremely stout, greasy and possessive. He's not a man you want to wake up next to," Merle replied. "I want you all to imagine that! Imagine a hairy bull with a nose ring lying on you, holding you down, snorting and forcing yourself mercilessly while pain tears you apart from the inside. Hitomi has promised him a son and will be Keep promises as soon as they are married. Every night! "
"Where from...?" stammered Fee, the youngest of the servants, then choked her voice. The princess studied them carefully. The girl was one of the orphans Van had given work to, and she knew what Merle was talking about.
"Aston has already called in its first night.", The cat woman explained mercilessly, while she resolved to have a private chat with Fee later. "I looked after and comforted her the day after."
"But you fell out," interjected Isabel.
“I may not agree with her, but she is and will remain my friend.” A lie should always be as close to the truth as possible. "She has chosen her way to save Farnellia. I would have liked to have looked for further options for her sake, but she did not ask me, neither for permission nor for advice."
"She also attacked the people with it. I'm afraid that didn't go down well at all," said the captain, earning a head twist.
"Wouldn't it be possible that that was your intention too?", Merle pointed out. "Hitomi is only too happy to sacrifice herself when she feels it is her duty. So she poses as a villain so that it can be easy for me to play the heroine."
"For what purpose?", Marco doubted. The talkative young man was exactly the kind of clientele Hitomi intended to bring into Merle's arms.
"To protect Van's legacy.", She explained succinctly, then explained: "Van did not shed blood and sweat in the fight against the Zaibacher, just so that we are now content to remain a part of Astoria forever.However, if she wins our sympathy, the Astoria Empire will also rise in our reputation. Or so she thinks. "
"Why are you telling us this?" Asked Gesgan, warning himself. "Isn't that how you destroy their victim?"
The princess smiled boldly at him.
"As I said, the two of us disagree. I don't think this deception is necessary. Farnellia also has such a strong penchant for independence and I like the governor that Asoria will send as a villain much better. Besides, I'll be her not leave Aston! "
"What are you going to do?" Asked Fee hopefully. "Do you free them?"
"She is hardly a prisoner.", Marco contradicted.
"Your cell may be golden, but the instruments of torture are ready. I can assure you of that.", Merle countered. "Unfortunately we can't get you out of it while your first sacrifice, the wedding to Aston, is still necessary. You have probably not heard it yet, but the peace obligation within the Alliance has practically been abolished and none of the members want to care about the other That's why Hitomi is marrying Aston and forging an alliance with Astoria. We don't have an army to speak of, and since Van is dead, we don't have a general.
"How can fight!"
"Do you really believe that, Marco?" Merle snapped at him. "You were also on the wall when Astoria's bombers simply turned two thousand slaves of the marked into ashes while we wanted to defend our city with a bow and arrow." She paused for a moment and let her gaze wander. “We do not lack the will to fight, but we lack arms and hands to hold!” The princess walked around the semicircle while she continued to speak. "So it is our most urgent duty not to let the future scare us and to rebuild our people by raising families and fathering children. We will need each one, because Astoria will only leave without a fight if we intimidate them by outnumbering them. "
"Outnumbering doesn't mean much to Astoria," the song reminded.
"That's why we have to be clever and steal Astoria's weapons when the time comes. Until then, Marco, I won't tolerate violence! I'm also sure Astoria will take our young men into military service too, to keep the city going You should definitely take these opportunities and learn to use Astoria's technology. "With no objection, Merle continued. "I was also very impressed by how small groups in our population have organized themselves since the Zaibach Wars to help themselves and others. We should expand this concept. Engage your fellow human beings and form teams. Build organizations that our children in our culture, because Astoria is guaranteed not to teach them. Celebrate festivals, meet for discussions, set up poor houses and hospitals. Be charitable! We have to bring life on the streets under our control as much as possible. "
"What if they don't let us? You could kill us anytime!", Marco objected.
"Then I turn to our queen.", Merle promised. "You may not believe it, but we have an ally in Astoria. And we will free her as soon as we can help ourselves." Then she