Episode 46: Re-forming the group.
From what the knight guard Lienhardt said, a terrible incident was made known to Yamato.
Someone, somehow, kidnapped the consul regent Isis.
“We’ll stand out here. Let’s move somewhere else.”
Yamato followed after him, moving away from the center of the bazaar, in order to hear the detailed story.
Where they stopped was by a wagon parked in a street behind the Urd stall. There was nobody there, and even if someone was to come, Yamato could sense it immediately.
So, alone with the knight Lienhardt, the talk resumed.
“How long has it been since Isis disappeared? “
“Bastard! To drop the honorifics towards Isis-sama! “
“That’s not something to worry about right now.”
“…I guess you’re right.”
After confirming that they were indeed alone, Yamato questioned Lienhardt about the time when the incident happened.
After all, the on-site verification wasn’t possible at this exact moment, therefore he asked about the time it happened instead.
“Earlier… she disappeared alongside one of the maids.”
“Maybe that maid was secretly working for the other party.”
“True… that might be the case.”
Although Lienhardt regretted it, that was a situation that couldn’t be prevented unless they knew they had a betrayer in their ranks.
The information that she was to come today to the bazaar might’ve been leaked to the other party, and they aimed at that time when she was alone with that maid.
This was most likely an already planned kidnapping, carefully laid in advance.
“Is the culprit the Hisan Empire?”
“Probably not… there’s no evidence linking them to this incident, but…”
The knight Lienhardt answered, but in the latter part, his words become muddied.
It was impossible for a knight guard to go pointing fingers at possible culprits without any evidence to support those claims.
Especially this time, when the opponent was a foreign country, and even more since it was a neighboring empire with great power.
“Are they aiming to use Isis as a bargaining chip?”
“The possibility of that is high…”
It was too much of a risk to target the daughter of the consul whom was guarded by the knight guards for monetary gain.
If that was to be the case, it would be better to aim for a rich merchant’s child.
And the kidnappers this time, aimed for someone who could be used as a diplomatic tool.
Therefore, chances were high that the Hisan Empire was the one behind this incident, seeing as they were already targeting the trade city of Orn.
“What are the measures taken by the knight order? “
“They have already been mobilized and are heading towards every building that has even a remote relation with the Hisan Empire across the city. But…”
“Extraterritorial rights, huh?”
“Yeah. Buildings that are considered of diplomatic importance, and merchants with a noble rank can’t be handled carelessly by the guards.”
“That, I can tell.”
The most suspicious place where Isis might be taken captive was the Hisan empire’s embassy, or a commercial building related to them.
However, some of the larger merchants had bought a noble rank with money, from their respective countries.
They could invoke the extraterritorial rights, and unless there was evidence of a crime, a forced investigation couldn’t be conducted.
As for the Orn side, they wanted to prioritize the safety of Isis, but if they gave the other party a justified reason to start a conflict, it would do more harm than good.
Even if the consul regent was kidnapped, the Orn side had the law/justice by their side, and inside their walls they had an overwhelming advantage in a long-term battle.
“Instructions had been issued to encircle all Hisan-related buildings. “
“…But that only applied if Isis is still inside the city.”
“Y-you can’t mean!? No, there’s no way that could happen…”
In response to Yamato’s hypothesis, Lienhardt raised his voice.
For him, it was impossible to pass through the inspection at the gates with Isis and bring her outside of the city walls.
It was then.
From the direction behind the Urd stall, a new person appeared calling his name.
Turning around, Yamato answered.
“Danna! There you are! Something terrible happened! …Oopsy…”
Out of breath, the usually laid back Lacq came running.
After seeing that besides Yamato was the knight guard Lienhardt, he swallowed the rest of the words.
“Is it about Isis, Lacq? If so, it is okay to say it.”
Yamato wondered whether Lacq had something confidential to report to him.
But from the reaction he got the moment he saw the knight guard Lienhardt, he guessed it was related to Isis.
“I see… yeah, that’s right. Something really bad happened.”
From his appearance, it was obvious that Lacq had dashed all the way here.
Since he was out of breath, he spoke the words apart, in between breaths. He was not in a state to properly talk.
“First, calm down, Lacq. What’s wrong? “
“Thanks, I’ll do that, Yamato-danna…”
Yamato passed some water and had him drink it so that he could calm down.
After Lacq regained a bit of his composure, he began to report quickly.
“Danna, it’s terrible… Isis-sama was kidnapped and taken outside the city walls a little while ago.”
“How can that be!? And it happened this fast!? Did they even cross the city gates!? “
Lienhardt unconsciously raised his voice after hearing the unbelievable report from Lacq.
Luckily, the bustle of the early evening market drowned his loud voice, so nobody else heard him.
However, that truly was an unexpected development.
“It seems she was taken outside inside a cart disguised as if they were disposing of horse dung, inside a sack.”
The one who noticed it was an orphan who made a living by cleaning up horse feces around town.
The wagon wasn’t the one he was familiar with, seemingly it had broken down, so after clearing the inspection, they went out through the eastern gate.
Finding it suspicious, the orphan sneaked outside the city gates.
And although it was dangerous, if he were to get hold of some secret information, he could make a pretty penny, so it was worth the risk.
There, he saw a beautiful and well-dressed woman being transferred to a carriage waiting outside while fainted.
That carriage then drove away towards the east at a tremendous speed.
“From the story of that orphan, there’s no way ‘that woman’ is not Isis-sama.”
Lacq was lucky to hear that information and be the ‘first’ one to buy it.
By the way, he also explained that the orphan was currently being ‘secured’ at a certain place.
It was done at his discretion to avoid that information from spreading and causing unrest across the city.
“Lacq, I guess you are smart, nicely done.”
“What does that mean!? Anyway, what should we do, Yamato-danna? If we don’t hurry up…”
“Yeah, the horse-drawn carriage carrying Isis will probably cross the border.”
From the fact that the carriage headed east, it was then confirmed that the criminal was part of the empire. And if they were to leave the territory of Orn, then they could no longer interfere directly.
Also, the future of Isis, being take to the imperial territory, was a bleak one. Being a tool in diplomacy between nations, her life would be pretty much in the hands of her captors.
“How about chasing after her with the knight order? “
“I’ll have to gather them from the Consul’ house… but by that time…”
After organizing the information, Lienhardt was at loss for words.
The young man was a knight guard, and intelligent enough to come to a conclusion from the earlier facts.
He was thinking 『Even if I hurry up and prepare the knight guards, we will not be able to catch up with the high-speed carriage that is carrying Isis-sama』…knowing their own capabilities, he was convinced of such.
Even the time difference between the start of the chase from the knight guards might be carefully calculated in the empire’s plot.
“Damn it! I… have failed as a knight…”
Using vulgar words, unworthy of a knight guard, Lienhardt spat out his regrets.
He was ashamed by his blunter while guarding his escort.
He had served Isis since she was very young, and regrets that by his mistake, he might have robbed her of her future.
“Lienhardt. Are you ‘free’ to do something after this? “
Yamato asked the knight who appeared as a mere shadow of his former self.
He asked him if he was prepared to use his life and risk his position to save his lord, Isis.
“Of course! If it’s for the sake of Isis-sama, life and status mean nothing, I’m ready to throw it all out for her! “
His words were his honest feelings.
For her, to protect her, Lienhardt has ready to throw away his glorious title as knight guard, if that meant he could protect the life of the one he served.
“Alright, then help me a bit.”
“Hey… bastard, what do you…”
Ignoring the knight who was visibly confused and unable to understand, Yamato changed the direction he was facing.
“All of you ‘over there’, I guess you were properly listening, right?”
His words were directed to a place where nobody should be. But since time was of the essence, he decided to ignore them before, so that they wouldn’t have to explain everything a second time.
“I’m really sorry… Yamato-sama.”
“What! We were found out already, Nii-chan!? “
“As expected of Yamato-ani-sama! “
In response to his words, one by one, the children along with Liscia, who were supposed to be at the Urd stall, showed themselves.
“What… when did they…”
The knight guard Lienhardt did not notice, but everyone was hiding and listening to the story since a while ago.
They heard the conversation between Yamato and Lienhardt. And also, the fact that the consul regent girl Isis, was kidnapped.
“Hey scrubs, it’s time to get to work! “
Yamato issued a command to his ‘underlings’ with vulgar words. Normally that was a tone he would never even think of using.
“Aye! Boss (Aniki)! “
“What’s today’s juicy prey!? “
In response to his words, the children also replied with a bandit-like tone. Ignoring Lienhardt, who couldn’t keep up with the event happening in front of him, Yamato continued talking.
“The prey this time is… Orn’s Princess! Got it, you scrubs!? “
“” AYE! Boss (Aniki)!! “”
Everyone vigorously answered to his orders with a gleam in their eyes.
About a year ago, a mysterious armed group appeared in the northern region.
That group overwhelmingly destroyed the bandits that had their base in a windmill in an instant.
From the mouths of the few survivors, only their name was known, and it spread as synonymous of fear.
Its name was, the ‘Mountain Dog Group’.
And now it was time for them to sharpen their fangs once more, and leave the Urd region to help the girl Isis.
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