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Milady, We’re Under Attack
And so, it came to pass. Rather than carrying out an extravagant farewell party, I opted to bid adieu to the people I’m close to before setting off for the fief.
All my family members, together with all the servants, sent me off. Even though I would only be “returning” to the fief, for some reason, I felt slightly lonely.
“…Milady. We will be journeying back in the fastest pace possible. Although it might be uncomfortable, please forgive me and put up with it somehow.”
“It’s all right, Tanya. Besides, everyone is doing this for my own safety, and since that’s the case, I have no reason to complain.”
Just as Tanya described, the journey back was anything but pleasant. I spent the entire day being jolted about inside the carriage and spent the night in local inns while incognito. When night turns to day again, I boarded the carriage once more. Rinse and repeat. Although it was tiring, but because I was the cause of it all, I can’t complain.
…Rather than that…
“Everyone, I really sorry about this. To have everyone accompany me in such a serious predicament.”
Although I am able to maintain a satisfactory state since I am riding the carriage, however, my escorts all have to ride horses almost without any breaks. Compared to my state, they must be feeling a lot more fatigue. Because I felt remorseful, I apologized to them a couple of times in between breaks.
“Milady, there is no need for you to apologize. We are, after all, milady’s escorts.”
“There are, perchance, adversaries who have personally set their sights on me… Ryle, as well as Dida, aren’t you two also being more attentive than usual?”
On the account of us spending time together ever since we were young, just like how I can tell what Tanya is thinking despite her natural deadpan expression, I can also read their atmosphere in spite of their aloofness.
Even though these two have always been levelheaded, they have been jittery this entire journey. Apprehensive, they are giving out this kind of feeling.
We might get attacked, but there’s also a chance we might not be. If we do experience an attack, how would it take form? It might perhaps come as a frontal attack, or they might come without a sound at night. They might also resort to pure violence, or they might use poison as their tool to take my life. If they use that tool, how much would they have at their disposal? Because they are that kind of opponents.
From the start, a person from the royal family has set their sight on my person… Many would have already abandoned such a troublesome master, and quickly go someplace else. Especially if it was Ryle or Dida. Even so, they expressed that they wish to follow me. Because of that, although I’m happy, I also feel guilt-ridden.
While having those thoughts inside my head, perhaps Ryle knew what I was thinking, he knelt down in front of me.
“…Whether it’s becoming milady’s sword or shield, I take pride in it. This time, and even in the future… I will continue to ensure milady’s safety.”
And then, Dida also knelt down next to Ryle.
“…I also take complete pride in being milady’s sword and shield. Today, and even in the future… I will use my sword for milady and master.”
As soon as Dida finished his vow, the other surrounding guards turned towards me and saluted. It was rare for Dida not to be humorous. Although I was surprised by it, I was even more astonished by the sight that developed right before my eyes.
“Everyone, thank you.”
* * *
After our short break was over, I climbed the carriage again. Through the gap of the curtain, I absentmindedly looked at the scenery outside. Just a little bit more and we would arrive at the fief.
Mounted on top of their horses, the other escorts rode side by side the carriage, enclosing it in a circular formation. …For some reason, it was turbulent.
All of a sudden, Tanya pulled me, making sure that my body is as far away from the window as possible. When I thought about it, I realized that the speed of the carriage has increased.
“…Presently, the escorts have engaged in battle.”
“Have you identified who the other party is…?”
“I did not get a good look. However, based on their equipment, they are not part of the regular army…”
From then on, we, who were riding the carriage, remained silent. Tension seemed to have filled the place. The carriage traveled as fast as possible to get away from the hustle and bustle.
Soon after, the carriage returned to its original speed before completely stopping.
“Please wait for a little wait, milady.”
Tanya went outside and seem to have talked to Ryle.
“It appears that everything is in order now.”
“I see. Is everyone safe?”
“Yes. Would it be all right to call Ryle and ask for a complete report?”
I shifted my position slightly to get closer to Ryle’s location. Although Ryle looked a little dirtier than before, there was no conspicuous injury; I felt relieved.
“Please excuse me for remaining mounted. Presently, we have annihilated the people who attacked us, and several people are conducting a search for survivors.”
The word “annihilated” weighed heavily in my heart. Especially to someone like ‘me’ who has been living in a safe country such as Japan. However, the delight I feel from knowing the crisis had come to past eclipsed worry. I hate to admit it but the present ‘me’ now lives in a completely different world.
“Is that so… Really, thank you very much. And so, how many were injured?”
“Several people are slightly injured. Nevertheless, it’s not to the point where the escorts cannot resume their duties.”
“It’s good if that’s the case… Now then, have you discovered anything regarding the people who attacked us?”
“No. From their equipment and their movements, they seemed to be ordinary bandits… As for why they aimed for us, it is uncertain if they target us due to being a company of nobles or if they were directly aiming for milady.”
Although it’s regrettable, bandits still exist in this country. This is especially the case at borders of fiefs where public order are not being actively maintained.
However, I wonder if they really were ordinary bandits. Were they being indiscriminate in kidnapping people and holding them for ransom, or was it because it was me… and they were hired to attack. If the latter was the reason, and it was the Queen and faction who hired those people, I felt that the attack was too conservative.
“Please accept my humble apologies. We would have originally kept one or two alive in order to conduct an investigation, but…”
“It’s fine. Considering the number of assailants, it would be difficult to arrest even just one. Now then, we aren’t that far away from the fief, right? Let us depart right away, aim for entering the fief by the end of today. I will express my gratitude to everyone at a later time.”
Once more, the carriage departed. It seemed like the people who looked for survivors have returned.
…I want to return to the fief as soon as possible.
While being jerked inside the carriage, that thought float across my mind.
* * *
I hate the heat, it makes me feel sleepy… I hate the cold, it makes me sick (literally). I want to live in a country with constant 20°C-ish (68°F) temperature!