A clattering sound brought me back to consciousness with a huff.
No! I fell asleep!
I looked around nervously and let out a breath of relief that I hadn’t been found.
Then I noticed the scent of the sea coming from outside, so I quietly peeked out from behind the wagon, trying not to make a sound.
Yay! We’re arriving at the destination, Port Town Zaira!
I gave a small gasp of relief when I realized that the scene in front of me was the same as when I first arrived here.
I hid and looked around and was lucky to find no one near the wagon.
It was a good idea to get out of the wagon and look around and see the merchant and his servants chatting away from the wagon.
Alright! Let’s get out of here while I still can!
So I quietly stepped out of the wagon, wary of the merchants, and quickly hid in the shadows of a nearby building.
I took another look around the wagon and was relieved to see that no one had noticed me.
Now that I’ve managed to reach port town Zaira safely, the next step is to find a ship that will take me to the kingdom of Beizelm.
I approached the harbor, hiding in back alleys and in the shadows of buildings so as not to be seen.
When I finally arrived near the harbor where many ships were docked, I peered out of the shadows of the buildings and looked around at the ships in the harbor.
Hmmm, the ship bound for the Kingdom of Beizelm is…what? Come to think of it, I don’t know which ship is going to the Kingdom of Beizelm…I mean, it goes to the Kingdom of Beizelm in the first place, right…?
The thought made my blood rush to the surface and I began to break out in a cold sweat.
But then I saw a familiar ship among the ships at anchor.
Ah! That ship for sure…It must have been a ship that Prince Alfeld told me that was a trading ship of the Molvarado Empire in the port town called Landaine that I visited on the pilgrimage trip to the holy land…Then that ship might go to the Kingdom of Beizelm!!
I decided to observe the ship more closely to determine if it was going to the Kingdom of Beizelm.
Then a distinctly dissimilar trio of three people came down from the deck of the ship…
The reason for this is that the three of them were wearing robes and hoods that were completely over their heads while the others wore wearing revealing clothing.
What are those three suspicious people? And one of them is very tall…but I shouldn’t be worried about that! Hmmm…maybe somehow I can find out where that ship is going…
Just as I was thinking this, a group of men, who I assumed were sailors, started talking near me.
“Yo! You’re back?”
“Yes, I just got here.”
“Good job. So, how’s it going?”
“Yeah, I got a ton of goods.”
“Our business partner is the kingdom of Beizelm, I believe?”
“Yes, yes! I’m a big customer there, and it’s a big help to me that they buy what I take with me for a good price every time, or conversely, they sell me their goods for a reasonable price.”
“I’m jealous. You know, my place is…”
As it was, those men continued to talk more and more, but the words ‘Beizelm Kingdom’ were going around in my head.
Beizelm Kingdom, he said Beizelm Kingdom, didn’t he? Huh? What ship are you from!? I want to know! But if I call out to him and he gets suspicious…what do I do?
So as I was agonizing alone, the men’s conversation answered my question.
“Oh, by the way, which one is your ship?”
“Hey, hey, hey, did you forget? It’s that ship that’s bigger than all the others.”
“Oh, come to think of it, that’s right. So many ships come and go every day that I’ve lost track of them.”
“Well, it’s true. This is a key port town for trade after all. I suppose that’s just as well.”
“But even so…aren’t you carrying too much on board?”
“Yeah, actually…we have some information from a source that we may not be able to trade with the Beizelm Kingdom for a while.”
“…No trade? Why?”
“That’s…I hear it has something to do with that Prince Alfeld’s marriage…well, I don’t know much about it either. But I’m going to make some more money before that really happens, so I’m going to visit the Kingdom of Beizelm again.”
“I’m sure you’re right. Well, but even if the worst happens and we lose trade with the kingdom of Beizelm, we still have other countries to deal with. Our business is still the same.”
“Yeah. Well, I’ve got some more work to do.”
“Yeah, have a good day, okay?”
And so the men parted, and I was there, trembling with joy.
Alright! I’ve got a means of transportation! All I have to do is manage to get on that boat and I can go home!!!
I was grinning beneath the black cloth that hid my mouth in delight.
I was staring at the ship, waiting for the right moment to board it.
At that time, I didn’t care about the that trio of strange men.
Then, fortunately, the time came when there were no more people in the flow line to the ship.
With that momentum, I quickly jumped from the shadows of the building and ran towards the ship.
But then the sound of a horse echoed right beside me.
I stopped suddenly at the sound and looked at the horse.
I looked up slowly and further realized that there was someone else on top of the horse, and then my eyes widened and I froze.
Why is Prince Alfeld here!?!?
Right there, Prince Alfeld was pulling the reins while straddling his horse.
As I looked up at him, Prince Alfeld settled his horse while judging the reins and then turned his attention to me.
That’s when I hurriedly lowered my face, but I could clearly feel his gaze piercing my head.
Ugh, this is bad…
As I was sweating nervously while inwardly impatient, Prince Alfeld’s voice, a low voice I had never heard before, echoed in my ears.
“…It’s Cecilia, isn’t it?”
The voice made me tremble a little, but I still didn’t look up, and while keeping my head low, I changed my tone of voice and replied, “No, no…”
“I’m not…I’m not.. I…I don’t have that kind of name. You must have the wrong person…”
“How could I possibly mistake Cecilia for someone else?”
Prince Alfeld lowered his voice even lower and at the same time ripped off the black cloth I was wearing. Furthermore, the cloth that covered my mouth at the same time was also removed.
I let out a small scream as I put my hands on my head to hold back my messy hair and looked up at Prince Alfeld, who was clearly angry.
“Oh, Prince Alfeld…”
“Why did you run away?”
“You didn’t accept your marriage to me, did you?”
“I don’t think that’s…”
“You tricked me, didn’t you?”
“Oh well. I’ll hear your excuses when we get home. But I am not going to let you escape from me again. I will lock you up deep in the palace until the wedding and keep you under guard. I don’t know how you knew it, but that way, even you won’t be able to escape with a floor plan like this one.”
Saying this, Prince Alfeld took out a folded sheet of paper from his pocket and unfolded it to show me.
When I saw the paper, I gulped.
I had written a floor plan of the palace and hid it away.
“Why is that…”
“Mara found it and reported it to me. At that point, I realized that Cecilia had disappeared from the palace, and I hurriedly came to this port with my troops. I knew without fail that Cecilia would get on a ship from here to return to the kingdom of Beizelm.”
“Now that that’s out of the way, let’s go back.”
So said Prince Alfeld, and he bent down and extended his hand towards me.
“No! I hate it! I’m going back to the Kingdom of Beizelm!”
I took a step back as I insisted.
Then a group of people came between me and Prince Alfeld. There people, to be precise.
Huh? These people are…
There were three people who entered.
However, I could not confirm their appearances. Because those three people were wearing robes on their heads.
Ah! Those are the three guys I saw earlier!
I was surprised to find that out, but at the same time, I had a question on my mind.
…Why did these people interrupt us?
I looked at the trio, the tallest man standing in front with the two others behind him, and me in the back, but I could still see Prince Alfeld on his horse. I was able to see the situation.
And I noticed that he was looking at the trio with a very grim expression.
“…You guys are…”
With a grim expression on his face, Prince Alfeld muttered and the tallest person removed the hood on his head.
Then black hair appeared from underneath.
The two people behind him followed suit and took off their hoods as well.
And the appearance of blonde and dark green hair from underneath it made me stare at the trio with a shocked expression on my face.
“Huh? Huh!? Viktor! Kaiser! Ghislan! Eh? Why are you here!?”
I looked around in amazement at the three people who were not supposed to be here.
Then all three of them turned their heads in my direction.
“Cecilia…I’m glad you’re safe.”
“Princess, I was worried about you.”
“…You really do get into trouble, don’t you?”
There was relieved look on Kaiser’s face, a serious look on Viktor’s face and a dumbfounded look on Ghislan’s face as they looked at me and called out to me.
Yeah, I’m safe. Sorry to worry you…or rather, what do you mean that I get into trouble!?”
I stared at Ghislan with a blink of an eye.
With me as the other, Kaiser and Prince Alfeld were glaring at each other, clashing their sharp gazes.
Furthermore, Viktor had placed his hand on the hilt of his sword at his waist and was ready to pull it out at any moment.
The soldiers in Prince Alfeld’s bodyguard noticed Viktor’s behavior and took a stance to pull out their swords at any time.
And if you look closely, you can see that Ghislan was also staring at Prince Alfeld with a dark expression.
What? What!? This tense atmosphere!
I was looking around at everyone, cringing by myself at this unusual situation.
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