Chapter 014: Lei’s Gone! (Otou-sama’s POV)
“Have you not left yet?!” I yelled at the Captain of the guard even though I knew it was hopeless.
“I have narrowed it down to three suspicious dragons that departed from town last night, but it’s unclear which one carried Leila-sama. It’s pointless to split the guards into all three directions right now. Please wait a little longer.”
He was right. I knew this. Leila was gone, and so was Hannah. We didn’t realise that they had been kidnapped until late morning. It was Hannah’s job to wake Leila up in the morning, and it was also her job to bring food to Leila’s room. The people in the kitchen noticed that Hannah hadn’t come to get Leila’s food when things had finally calmed down.
And now, it is already the afternoon.
I was working at the castle, but I immediately called the guards when I got word from the mansion and instructed them to investigate this matter.
This surrounding area was just called Kingdom. The guards were an elite force in the Kingdom Army, who protected nobles and held power to maintain the barrier.
I don’t know what they usually do, but I held the right to command the whole guard in matters involving nobles.
They were capable guards for us nobles, and they also monitored any dangerous people.
Then, a messenger suddenly rushed in and whispered into the Captain’s ears. The Captain nodded and immediately walked to where I was. He said, “It appears that Leila-sama has been taken to Lazuli in the south. The purpose of the kidnappers are still unclear, but they’ll probably continue south towards Frontier. I will send pursuers their way,” and turned away from me.
“Wait!” The Captain turned around looking somewhat annoyed when I stopped him.
“I’ll go too.”
“I’m sorry, but this is a race against time. You will only drag us down if you don’t have the right training.”
“I’m sure you know that I’m quite capable of riding a dragon.”
I rode the Rug Dragon as a hobby, and the army didn’t suit me. The Captain and I eyed each other for a while.
“Relatives are motivated by personal feelings. If you can’t follow commands, then you’re out. Is that clear?”
“Okay. I’ll be ready shortly.”
“Then, we’ll wait for you in front of the castle. We’ll leave if you don’t make it on time.”
This time, the Captain turned around and left. Rug Dragons were robust so I could get them to carry a considerable amount of weight, but I had to be as light as possible. It took three days to get to Frontier at the fastest speed, and I considered that we would be changing dragons and replenishing our supplies half-way, so I quickly packed for one person.
“Luke, I’ll definitely bring Lei back. As the eldest son of the Albans House, protect it while I’m gone.”
I tightly hugged my son, who I had no interest in six months ago. I will bring back Lei, who taught us the meaning of family and happiness.
I jumped onto the Rug Dragon that had been prepared in front of the mansion and headed towards the castle.
“Hmm, so you made it on time…” The Captain said regretfully. I nodded silently. There were about 10 guards gathered here.
“This may seem few to you, but we don’t have evidence that this is an organised crime. It seems like this was done by a small group. Even if their numbers exceed what we expect, my elite group of guards can handle them. And, I wanted to prioritise mobility above all else.”
I nodded silently again.
“They have a girl and baby with them. It’s possible to catch up with them even if we ride a Rug Dragon. Now then, let’s go!” Upon the Captain’s shout, all the Rug Dragons simultaneously began to run.
We went at a fixed speed without taking any breaks until we reached Lazuli. The place that we had arrived at was the garrisons. We descended from the dragons and took a break while we let them rest. In the meantime, the Captain confirmed the information he had gotten from the members who went into town to gather information. It was frustrating, but the Captain was quite competent.
I controlled myself from wanting to stand up straight away when the Captain came to report, “It appears that a party fitting our descriptions came to the dragon shop early this morning. Apparently, they told everyone that they were going to visit the man’s sick parents, but his wife is young, and she looked exhausted and frightened. For human trafficking, this Kingdom has no laws for it in Frontier. They’re probably taking the shortest route to Frontier.”
It was just a prediction, but I heard those words clearly and flinched.
“Leila-sama has the same appearance as Milord. You might think that the colour of your House is very prominent, but it’s easy to hide and nurture someone, especially if they’re women. She could be bought by someone at Frontier, or by someone in Kingdom.”
I stood up in anger and drew closer to the Captain.
“That’s why we’re resting here.”
“What did you say?”
I froze because of the Captain’s unexpected words.
“We won’t last if we don’t rest for a few hours. Of course, I have already sent a small number of us ahead.”
I sat down after a few moments of silence.
“We’ll rest for three hours and leave in four.”
Anyway, I had no choice but to obey this man for now.
We stopped at each garrison to swap our dragons and replenish our supplies. We were confident that we were drawing closer to the scum who had kidnapped Lei.
I was exhausted from travelling for a long time, and on the third day, we were just hours away from the border.
“We won’t rest here so we can catch up to them at once. We’ll leave you behind if you lag.”
This Captain was always calm. Thanks to him I was able to remain calm.
“Okay. Let’s go,” I said and quietly got onto the dragon. The guards and I had ran this far with the last of our strength. We will finally catch up to them in half a day. If we don’t catch up to them, then I wouldn’t be able to get my beloved Lei back. It was a race against time.