Chapter 18: Leila! (Otou-sama’s POV)
“Leila, Leila. Why!? Why did you stop me?!”
I was just about to catch up to her. She was within my reach. It would have been fine if Leila’s Rug Dragon had stopped. Didn’t they catch the man leading them?
Five guards surrounded me. It looks like I can break out of here if I just brush past them a little. When I prepared myself and was about to spur the dragon, the Captain came up from the side and struck the dragon.
“What’re you doing?!”
The Captain grabbed my shaking body and dragged me off the dragon.
I was dragged off the dragon. A Marquis. By the guard who is supposed to protect me.
“I’m sure you know very well that the guard cannot cross beyond the barrier. That’s not all.”
The Captain bound my hands behind me and said quietly, “Other nobles can pass to the other side, but the Four Marquis cannot leave Kingdom.”
It was shameful for an adult man over 30 to scream. However, the Captain didn’t let go of my arms even if I shouted or rampaged, and no one from the guard chased after Leila.
What’s the point of being a Marquis when I can’t even chase after my precious daughter? Is Kingdom a region I have to protect that much?
“Don’t forget. If we lose you, then the next person in line for the Albans is the 10-year-old Luke-sama.”
I was startled. Luke. He had just started learning magic circulation, so his life will definitely be shortened if he was made to maintain the barrier. I can’t. I can’t lose Luke, he’s the precious Albans heir. No, even if he wasn’t the heir, I can’t lose him since he’s so dear to me.
I stopped struggling, and the Captain finally let me go.
“Captain, the target,” a guard came to report the information. Target. Not Leila.
“They ran along Walsall. From this course, we can assume that he was going to cross the barrier and meet up with his comrades along the forest.”
“What did his comrades look like?”
“I couldn’t see.”
“Did the dragons not stop?”
“Not from what I could see. They’re supposed to obey the dragon in front, but it kept running as if it were running away from us.”
Running away. Was it because we were chasing it? Ridiculous.
“Milord, when a Rug Dragon rampages alone, it is to protect its companions. My guess is that it thought that it had to protect Leila-sama and the maid from us.”
“Why didn’t you stop Leila’s dragon?”
The Captain put his hand to his head for a moment as if he was tired and answered, “When there are two dragons or more, you have to stop the head, or else the other dragons will keep on following it. It is unlikely for a dragon to act independently like this one did. If we stopped Leila-sama’s dragon, then the criminal would have escaped past the barrier.”
“What is this rescue party for? Was it put together to stop the criminal?!”
The Captain looked down.
“It’s our fault for thinking that we could have secured them both.”
“So you never thought that you’d lose anyone.”
He was under no obligation to answer my mutter.
“If I had to choose, then I would choose you Milord.”
It’s like that.
“Aaah!” My cries were absorbed by the prairie.
Luke, sorry. I couldn’t bring Leila back.
That day, we forced ourselves and moved our weary bodies to Kaylie, a border town of Wester. Apparently, they hadn’t heard about our situation here, and I was immediately taken to the garrisons when I wore a mantle with a hood.
Apparently, they didn’t take me for a criminal. Thus, I was going to return to the Royal Capital, Gadestar, after resting at their dormitory for a night. I was only allowed to be away from the Royal Capital for 10 days.
I’m going home. Weren’t they wrong to arrest me?
Nevertheless, my body, which had been tensed for three days straight, wanted rest and I slept soundly until morning.
The next day before I went back to the Royal Capital, I was invited by the Captain to visit the border with a guard.
“So this is the border?”
I was dumbfounded. There were no walls or fences. I couldn’t tell where the border was and the only thing there was a plaza.
“Take a good look at those people,” I was told, so I observed the people who were walking towards the plaza. This was the boundary between two countries, even if the border couldn’t be seen. Most of the people crossing over were merchants pulling on Rug Dragons.
The merchants seemed to be holding something that looked like credentials in their hand. They showed it to the official in the hut and received permission to cross over. However, people who didn’t have much luggage weren’t checked.
Also, I realised that some people stopped walking for a second. They seemed surprised for a moment before walking again. This was the same for the merchants and everyone else.
“That’s the barrier.”
“Yes, Milord. You can’t see it, but the barrier is there, and only those with magic can feel it.”
There were indeed a lot of people who crossed the border without feeling anything. Anger swelled up from within me. Why did I have to give up on Leila when you can’t even see the border and people are crossing over freely?
“Of course, people are free to cross the border. But Frontier people cannot stay in Kingdom.”
“People who don’t have Kingdom IDs cannot stay in inns, nor can they do business or work here. In short, everything is restricted within Kingdom. Especially the border town.”
So why are so many people crossing over?
“They are making day trips. Business that can’t be done through stores aren’t controlled. Conversely, people who have Kingdom IDs are free to enter and exit Frontier.”
Of course, they are.
“It is becoming increasingly difficult for merchants from Frontier to do business within Kingdom. Therefore, there are very few who actively trade with those from Frontier.”
A sense of privilege?
“They are free to escape into Kingdom if Hollows appear near the border. But, it would be difficult for them to live here.”
“Why are you showing me this?”
The Captain gazed at the sky.
“You know that there are guards on the other side, don’t you?”
There was indeed a group with weapons and uniforms on the other side of the plaza, even though they looked sloppy.
“That is the Wester Border Patrol.”
“Are they like the guards here?”
“No, they are not.”
He firmly denied.
“In cases when important people get kidnapped like this, the border guards should be informed. But, if we contact them-.”
“If we contact them-?”
“They’d happily search out for the culprits while thinking about who they’ll be selling, those bastards.”
“That’s why I hid you. They’ll be suspicious about what is happening if a Marquis were to show up at the border.”
“Leila would be in danger……”
“Even if she is safe. I’ll tell you honestly. We can only get talented villagers to look for her,” Captain flat-out said. We won’t do anything. He was also implying this.
I felt like he was also saying, if you feel like you’re trapped in a cage and have free time to think about why you’re here, then find a realistic way to solve this.
“What is it, Milord?”
“What’s your name?”
The Captain was taken aback by my question, and then he began to laugh, “Ha, hahaha. I feel great that I can boast about the Four Marquis Houses.”
It was the first time I’ve seen him show such emotions. The Captain corrected his posture.
“I’m sure I introduced myself when we first met, but I’ll do it again. Graces Remington, the captain of the Special Forces.”
Remington. He is also part of the Four Marquis Houses but has no magic. I see.
“We’re going back to the Royal Capital.”
“That goes without saying.”
Reorganise and search for Leila.