Even if I couldn’t use it, I had still felt the abnormalities of the wind wolves and the failed magicians.
And though it was faint, I knew that this sensation was similar.
“Would I find a magician if I followed in this direction?”
As soon as this thought came to me, I immediately returned to the room I was assigned to after becoming a handmaiden.
And after changing into clothes that would be easier to ride in, I left a short note… There was a chance that I would not be able to return.
Charging forward like this in such a powerless state was a risky move, there was a nine-out-of-ten chance I would die. And so with trembling hands, I had written that they must presume I was dead and not come looking for me.
Then I went to the stables and saddled the horse that I was given, and set off. It was unlikely that I would ever find it, no matter how hard I tried, if I traveled on foot.
The gatekeeper was very familiar with my face, so a quick word of it being an emergency was all it took to get passed him.
And then I rode down the road into the darkness of the night.
The night road was quiet. Once you were away from the castle walls, all you could hear was the chirping of the night birds.
I would occasionally stop to confirm the direction I was headed. Even so, it felt like I would never arrive.
Finally, I allowed the horse to drink from the banks of a river and tied it to a tree.
Feeling that I should rest as well, I was just about to sit down, when something suddenly grabbed me by the arm. I was so surprised that I nearly jumped.
Was it a thief!? Was it because I was a lone woman? I thought.
“It’s me, Lady Kiara.”
I turned my eyes toward the calm voice. I was now accustomed to seeing in the dark, and I could see that it was Sir Wentworth who stood beside me.
His black hair and dark clothing blended in with the shadows, but I could see his slightly tanned face and light brown eyes.
A different kind of anxiety took over me.
When I had been first hired, he had once said that I might be considered a spy should I ever run.
What if the result of his suspicions would be to execute me right here and now?
But Sir Wentworth only sighed.
“I believe I know the reason you are so worried. I do not suspect you of running away. If anything, I am worried about you. Perhaps you had to leave home because it was too painful.”
Once I realized that my fears were groundless, my knees gave in and I slumped to the floor.
Sir Wentworth, who had been holding my arm, looked surprised.
“Are you hurt?”
“No. Not yet.”
“? In any case, we should go back.”
I shook my head to Sir Wentworth.
“…I can’t go back. I think that Alan and the Margrave and Margravine would not be happy if I returned now.”
The girl suspected of being a spy could do nothing but spit out baseless lies.
It would be much better for such a girl to go far away, and not ever return. I had left because I knew that there was no way to make them believe me unless I became a magician.
I assumed that Sir Wentworth would ask, ‘Why?’ but he didn’t.
“Lord Alan told me about your conversation.”
The unexpected words continued.
“Furthermore, I’ve asked him to keep that information from anyone unless necessary. And I’ve persuaded him that you, Kiara, are not an enemy. It is settled.”
“…Why, did you?”
No one would have heard my story and not have suspicions.
But Sir Wentworth had the look of a parent who smiles wryly at their crying child. Such a change in expression was rare for him, and it took me by surprise.
And then he continued.
“How could I suspect someone who tried to save her comrades at the cost of her pride as a maiden? Without you, more than a few would have been seriously wounded. You have my gratitude.”
They were such pleasant words.
Hearing him say that was enough to make me teary-eyed.
But, wait just a moment.
“Um, Sir Wentworth. I must ask you, please forget about this business of my pride as a maiden…”
I said while wiping at the corner of my eyes. He laughed in a quiet, deep voice. It was a very different kind of voice compared to the ever composed Reggie or the bold and emotional Alan.
“Of course, I shall. But you are a very strange person. One moment you can run heroically through a battlefield with no regard for your own safety, the next, you say things fitting of a girl your age.”
To such an impression of me…I did not know how to react.
“Well, uh, I’m not so young… I’m an adult now.”
I had turned sixteen. Though, no matter how hard I tried, I could only recall memories of my past life up until I was fourteen. So once I had surpassed that age, it felt like taking a step into the future. But in any case, I was now old enough to marry. So there was no doubt that I was of age.
“That is right. Ahh, it seems a little awkward to keep calling me by my family’s name, so please just call me Cain.” He casually brushed it aside.
Oh, was that Sir Wentworth’s name? Everyone else called him Wentworth, so I had assumed it was just his name.
“When I first started to serve the Margrave, there was another who had the same name, Cain. I’ve been called Wentworth ever since as to differentiate us.”
“Ah, I see.”
If there was someone else with the same name, that would make sense. Thinking back, there were also several ‘Alans’ as well.
“Now, lady Kiara, let us return to the castle. We are not able to keep guards on every corner of this territory, so places like this that are away from the roads can be dangerous.”
“Yes, when such a time comes, I would like to return. Especially if Alan stays quiet… But, please let me search a little longer.”
I nodded at Wentworth, now called Cain.
“I will look for a magician.”
I could think of no other way to save everyone from the coming inferno. Even if I didn’t find anyone now, I would somehow come in contact with a magician even if it took me days.
I looked straight into Cain’s eyes as I made my declaration. But in my heart, I apologized to Reggie.
…I’m sorry, for breaking our promise.