Chapter 16: Hannah
“I’m sure they were running this way,” when it got dark, we heard the sounds of rustling and a person’s voice. Hannah hugged me straight away and made herself smaller.
But, “Kyyee,” the dragon cried. Another member of their group must be there.
“I heard a Rug Dragon. This way!”
I could feel several people approaching us.
When I reluctantly opened my eyes, I saw Rug Dragons and three men standing before us.
“I never heard anything about a baby, but this girl must be here to take care of her. Well, whatever. There are lots of people who can help us at Frontier. Oi!”
Just because you’re calling out to us, doesn’t mean we’ll reply.
“The hell? Can’t they speak?”
The men quickly approached us.
“Oi, show me your faces.”
“Oh, you spoke,” the man said in satisfaction as he grabbed my jaw and lifted it up to the light.
“This is stunning. I’ve never seen it before.”
I put my face back into Hannah’s chest.
“Rick got caught? Oh well, the guard won’t come here. The deal was a success. Now, follow us both of you.”
“No. Go ome.”
“Hah?” The man raised his voice.
“Le-Leila-sama. Let’s listen to them, okay?” Hannah quickly stopped me. Then, we were put on the dragon again even though we’d just gotten off it.
Even the dragon was tired.
No, they were just happy that their group had increased.
The men were excited that the deal was a success even though one of their comrades had gotten caught.
“But seriously, this is the first time I’ve seen the pale violet eyes of one of the Four Marquis Houses.”
“What? You’ve seen the other three?”
“‘Course not,” they laughed.
“It’s time for the Hollows to become active. Let’s go,” a man said. Then, they left the forest and headed for the prairie. At that time, I heard a harsh, whirring sound. I hazily thought about the sound since I was exhausted. It was like the sound of turning on your computer, yes, your computer.
Even though there were no computers in this world.
I thought idly, and then I heard the panic in the man’s voice, “It’s the Hollows. The Hollows are here!”
“Hurry! We can still shake them off!”
Hollow? What’s a Hollow? The dragons started running at full speed, and we couldn’t talk. Isn’t this too hard for a baby?
“Shyt, we can’t shake them off!”
“There’s 3 of them! The hunters can take 3 of them on right?!”
“The problem is we ain’t hunters!”
The men stopped the dragons and dragged us out of the basket.
“This is a big job, but there’s nothing we can do. The meeting place is still too far off,” he said. Then, he removed the dagger from his waist belt and started hacking at the dragon’s side.
“Kyee!” Surprised, the dragon warded off the attack with his front paws.
“You’re the decoy!” He shouted as he got onto his own dragon and ran. Then, as if lured by those actions, the sound along with a shadow passed us.
“Tsk, the dragon’s not doing what I want it to. Woah, why is the Hollow coming this way! We left you some prey over there!”
“Calm down. You got the rhodolite sword don’t you?”
“O-oh yeah. Woah, wait!”
I didn’t know what was happening and could only hear the sound of their voices echoing in the night. The voice along with the clattering sounds of them equipping something soon became muffled as if it was being wrapped by something and eventually disappeared.
“Hollow. So they really do exist,” Hannah stood frozen on the spot. She muttered while watching them and trembling.
Hannah hugged me.
“I made excuses for myself. I told myself that this was for my brother and that Leila-sama would be treated well no matter where you go because your eyes are precious. But I wouldn’t be able to see the light of day since I’ve done something that my mother and brother would be ashamed of.”
“Leila-sama, I’m so sorry. I’m really sorry.”
We heard the sound again. Hannah hugged me lovingly again and then put me on the ground with my face down.
Then she rolled herself up and covered me.
The dragon, who was running around before covered in blood, came back to us. He licked Hannah and I, sat near us and hid us between his legs. It was like he was warming an egg.
“No. You have to stay quiet no matter what happens. Ah, Leila-sama, I was happy to be able to work beside you.”
We heard the whirring sound again. The dragon and Hannah lost their strength. My drowsiness exceeded my fear, and I fell asleep before long.
“Well, well, did she cross into Frontier? Or did she get kidnapped?”
“She probably got kidnapped, right? She’s young and blonde. She’d probably sell for a lot in the black market.”
“But why’s she so close to the forest? Did she get killed by the Hollows? What a waste.”
I woke up when I heard people talking and it was already bright out.
“Well, if the Hollows were here, then they were here. We’d still get money. Alright, let’s collect the load.”
What should I do? What to do. But my body won’t move. Babies probably won’t be able to escape even if they could move.
“Ah, ah, even though she was so young.”
“She’s probably older than you!”
“Just leave everything except for the valuables. And hold on to anything that can ID her.”
The voice belonged to someone who was still only just a boy, and he sounded about brother’s age.
“Niini,” at the same time that I’d muttered this, the dragon was taken away, and Hannah was pulled out. It’s bright.
“This! A kid, no, a baby?! Bart! Come here!”
“What is it, Alistair? You’re noisy.”
“The heck! There’s a kid. How tragic……”
It looked as if they were praying for me. No, I’m alive. I’m alive, you know?! I managed to move my body.
The dragon approached us.
“The heck. A Rug Dragon came.”
The dragon pushed my body. Stand up, he was saying. I felt that he was telling me that I’d be killed if I don’t stand up. But, I can’t. *ROLL* The Rug Dragon rolled me over.
“Bwight,” my mouth moved.
“She’s alive…… She’s alive!”
“A person and a dragon. Was she protected by both of them? No, now’s not the time for this. Alistair, can you wake her up?”
“Yeah. Oi, you!”
Don’t shake me, I’m awake!
He held me and gave me some water from the flask.
I could finally move my body. I rubbed the crusty substance off my eyelashes. I don’t want to look, but there’s something I have to see. I opened my eyes. The people around me gasped in surprise.
“That means she was kidnapped.”
Who cares about that? Hannah.
“Hannah,” someone moved at the sound of my voice and hid something. But even if they could hide her face, they couldn’t hide the uniform worn by those who worked at a Marquis House.
Even if I reach out to her.
Even if I call her in a loud voice.
Hannah will never reply to me anymore.
“Woah, wwwaaaaa, aaah!”
Hannah was the one who had committed a crime even if it was for the sake of her brother and mother. But what other choices did a 15-year-old girl have? If these violet eyes are so important, then why did my family neglect me at first? Why was I kidnapped? And why did I have to lose someone important to me?
My mind wasn’t that of a child, but that was why I could cry tears that I couldn’t as an adult. My tears kept pouring out.