Now that I’ve reached Nezu village, I can finally rest a little. Although personally I would prefer to not go to sleep yet as my mind is still sharp, my young body is telling me that it’s tired. It’s getting late in the night as well, so it’ll be difficult to fight off the desire to sleep. I borrowed a room in one of the mayor’s houses, as he also happened to be the biggest landlord in Nezu village. I fell asleep almost instantly upon reaching my bed, but I woke up quickly the next morning as well, getting up together with dawn.
I changed out of my clothes that I hadn’t bothered getting out of last night, and wiped myself with a wet towel from a bucket provided for me last night. I used a cheap cotton cloth to clean my teeth.
When I finished and walked out of my room, Claudia was sitting there waiting for me, and she greeted me.
“Did you manage to get some rest, Ellusia-dono?”
“It’s Eliza, Claudia-dono. Good morning. I’m feeling fine, strangely not tired at all.”
“That’s good to hear, Eliza-dono.”
Claudia, who had spent the entire night guarding my room, sounded a little less energetic compared to normal. She hasn’t been resting enough ever since we left the royal capital as she’s been entirely focused on being my personal bodyguard. I’m really going to have to make her rest a lot after this commotion is over and taken care of. – In the first place, it’s a bit too much to ask her to be my only bodyguard. It was a bit easier when I was back at the mansion, but now that I’m currently out on the move, there’s a lot more things to deal with.
When I went downstairs, the mayor’s wife had already prepared breakfast for me. When everyone saw me, a small sound of lamentation broke the silence in the hall.
In front of something she didn’t want to see, the mayor’s wife put a quick stop to the lamenting. The mayor’s wife was a woman of more than 30 years old, but she wouldn’t even look directly at me. I properly thanked the mayor’s wife for hosting and feeding me, but she pitifully just kept trembling. Although she seemed like she was running as if to escape from me, I followed after her to the dining hall where breakfast had been prepared for me. There was no poison or anything unusual, just rye bread commonly found anywhere and egg soup, as well as some sausages. Since sausages are preserved food and the cattle industry hasn’t quite recovered yet in Kaldia, this is actually quite luxurious and they’re taking rather good care of me.
I don’t know whether to feel happy or pained. But in any case, if they treat me well, I’ll treat them kindly in turn.
“You seem – to be quite calm.”
“No, Ena-dono…… Whoops, I mean, Eliza-dono, I can see for myself that you always worry yourself over your citizens.”
Ahh, how rare, Claudia noticed mid-sentence that she said my name wrong and corrected herself. Meaning, she thinks that I should be more worried, and more angry.
Indeed, that would be normal. I believe that as well.
I’m calmer than she believed I should be, due to the fact that all the Shiru warriors are on the move. My army and the Shiru warriors, will definitely catch the bandits and bring them before me. That’s what I believe – or in other words, I trust them. I have to.
“I believe Gunther and Teo will live up to my expectations.”
At my reply, Claudia blinked, then she smiled.
When I left the mayor’s house, waiting for me outside were Paulo and the three soldiers that Gunther left in charge of my protection yesterday.
“Good morning, my lord.”
“Morning. Anything to report?”
“Rashiok’s discovered their tracks. He’s currently following them.”
Paulo answered with a lively voice. He had only been a novice soldier in training just last year, but it feels like all the soldiers that returned from Fort Jugfena have really matured. Speaking of maturing, Rashiok is now the size of a horse, it’s getting difficult for me who’s still quite short to get on his back. Being the intelligent draconis he is, he’s using his other abilities to assist me.
……I stopped myself from getting lost in my thoughts and asked Paulo, “anything else?” He seemed to hesitate a little, before opening his mouth again.
“Also…… we discovered what we believe to be hair strands from the missing women.”
Women’s hair strands, eh. It seems that it was discovered on the side of the road. The rest can be left up to the imagination, the unfortunate plight of the women taken by the bandits. Since we’ve discovered their hair strands while tracking the bandits, it can mostly be confirmed that they’re responsible for kidnapping the women.
It feels like I’m starting to see red.
Last night I still had some doubts about what might have happened, but now it feels like some sort of anger is starting to flow up within me. It’s not irritation or rage, it feels like I’m boiling inside, but I don’t know what word to express it as other than anger.
“Eliza-dono, your eyes are getting really scary.”
At Claudia’s comment, I noticed that Paulo seemed to be getting really scared of me. I wonder just how frightening my face had been. I’m still only seven years old on the outside, I didn’t think I’d be able to leave that much of an impression. I rubbed my eyes, and Paulo appeared slightly relieved.
“Got it, tell everyone that they’re to pick up the pace and keep tracking the bandits.”
Paulo replied energetically and I saw him off, then I turned to Claudia.
I took out some paper and charcoal wrapped in a bundle from the pouch under my belt, and began writing a simple letter.
“Claudia-dono, I’m relieving you temporarily from your duties as my bodyguard. I want you to take Elise (Ratoka) from Sera River back to my mansion, the Mansion of Golden Hills. Give this letter to him.”
Claudia’s eyes were following the charcoal as I finished writing my simple letter, with her lips moving as she read what I was writing. The memo to Ratoka simply asked him to bring out the whip from the deepest part of the dungeon and bring it to me, as well as making sure the real noble girl Elise didn’t find out about this. That whip has drank the blood of many people, it’s not something that a sickly girl recovering from an illness should be witnessing.
“In order for it to be not said that I’m the incarnation of my father, I’m going to have to consider how to use it.”
“I know you’re not like him.”
”Then, it’s fine.”
Claudia nodded slightly, gave some orders to the three soldiers remaining for my protection, then headed for the stables to get her horse.
I was still seeing red in my vision, and boiling inside. Even so, my head still mysteriously somehow remained as cool as ice. It was as if I managed to remain frozen solid within boiling water.
That’s why, I’m going to wait here. I’m going to wait for my soldiers, my citizens, my draconis to drag those bastards in front of me.