Chapter 45: Rescued
How did you know to come in my time of crisis?
As I was held by Wilhelm-sama’s sturdy body, questions ran in my heart.
It had not yet been a full day since I was taken away. No, I had lost consciousness on the way, so maybe a day had passed. But going by bodily sensations, it was the very day I was kidnapped.
And yet, there were dozens of knights at the back headed by Wilhelm-sama.
「Carol, are you alright? 」
Gently, Wilhelm-sama’s strong fingers touched my cheek.
It was the spot Robert struck earlier. It slightly hurt and was probably swollen.
Wilhelm-sama gritted his teeth.
「If only I had noticed sooner, you would not have suffered like this……」
「Carol, it is alright now. As long as you are with me, no one will harm Carol」
「T-Thank you very much……」
Being hugged by Wilhelm-sama like this made my heart pound.
It was as if the situation earlier where I could have been defiled by Robert was only a bad dream.
Wilhelm-sama coming to my rescue in my time of crisis, I wonder if it was alright to have this much happiness.
「S-Stop right there, Caro……h-haa!? 」
Then I heard Robert’s voice behind me.
It truly looked to be Robert’s miscalculation that everyone of the Order was lined up like this. I did not even know why they were here, either.
Everyone of the Order—Wilhelm-sama, came to my rescue.
「It was you after all, Robert」
「H-How…did the Order……! 」
「You were trusted to change from your ways. Your conduct, which betrayed even Dukeridd and was left to your whole family, had been pardoned」
Robert stepped back. However, at Wilhelm-sama’s raised hand, everyone of the Order surrounded Robert.
As expected of everyone of the Order whose life companion was their training, Robert’s resistance would be futile.
「Yes, sir! Carol! It is good you are okay! 」
I was separated from Wilhelm-sama and was hugged by my elder brother.
Of course my brother would have been worried about me, too.
Despite the situation, I felt reluctant to part with Wilhelm-sama.
「Gu, w-why……? 」
「You raised your hand against Carol」
With a voice filled with rage, Wilhelm-sama approached Robert.
And strongly swung up his right arm.
It struck Robert’s cheek.
「Seriously reflect. There is no one left to protect you」
Amazing. Robert was flung away.
Wilhelm-sama, the knight captain, truly possessed incredible power.
But I am happy.
Wilhelm-sama was not just anyone.
Because he got angry that a hand was raised against me.
「Arrest him! 」
「Yes, sir! 」
Following Wilhelm-sama’s instructions, the knights restrained Robert.
Nonetheless, Wilhelm-sama’s single blow was extremely effective. With a purupuru, Robert was trembling like a newborn deer.
Perhaps he was not even conscious.
I watched as Robert was carried away by three knights.
「Investigate inside the manor. If there other collaborators, capture them as well」
「Yes, sir! 」
With Wilhelm-sama’s instructions, the knights entered the manor.
I certainly had not considered it, but there was a possibility of there being conspirators. Since nobody appeared besides Robert, it did not cross my mind.
But Wilhelm-sama considered it, as expected.
「With this, we can be at ease. Carol, it is good that you are safe」
「Thank you very much, Wilhelm-sama」
「Good grief, when I heard Carol was kidnapped, my blood ran cold. Please do not make me worry like this anymore」
Wilhelm-sama’s strong hand stroked my head.
It was rough palm, but it was very comforting. I want to relish in it forever.
When that hand was released, I felt so disappointed.
Thwack, a hand from behind hit my head.
「Carol! How dare you make us worry! 」
「Geez! You didn’t come no matter how much time passed, so I got worried and went to check on you, and you were kidnapped! What an absent-minded idiot! 」
My head which was warmed and comforted by Wilhelm-sama’s palm was ruined.
But Zack had also been worried about me.
「Zack, do not say that. This case’s fault lies in Robert’s vice. You should not blame Carol」
「Still, it is true we were worried. So, from now on, you can tell me when Lady Natalia is on a day off. I will send an escort from the Order」
「I understand, Wilhelm-sama」
I was sincerely grateful for Wilhelm-sama’s kind offer.
Because I was still allowed to come to the Order from here on.
I thought, perhaps this time, I might be told not to come to the Chivalric Order anymore.
「Wa~a, but it is truly great you are safe, Carol. I wanted to show it to you, too. The Captain’s state when he heard Carol was kidnapped」
「Is that so? 」
「O-Oi, Albert! 」
I truly felt regretful I made him worry that much about me.
Yet, my brother appeared to be having a lot of fun. Was Wilhelm-sama’s state that terrible?
「You see, the Captain summoned all off-duty troops, notified all those in patrol as well, and directed the entire army of the Order to search for Carol. A terrible abuse of authority, yes? 」
「My……is that so」
「That could only mean the Captain truly cares about Carol」
That made me extremely happy.
Would my feelings be finally answered?
「Captain, there is no one else in the manor! 」
「There seems to be no collaborators other than the ones we captured earlier! 」
「I-I see. Alright, then, seize the evidence and withdraw」
「Yes sir! 」
It seemed the knights began preparations to return.
I was really grateful to all the knights who worked for my sake.
But there was not anything I could do in return.
If possible, I would like to express my gratitude.
「Now then, Carol. Let us return」
「Y-Yes, Wilhelm-sama……ouch! 」
「Hm, what is the matter? 」
When I tried to walk, my right foot hurt.
I must have sprained it somehow when I ran to the entrance hall.
「What’s this? Didn’t you twist your ankle」
「Please do not arbitrarily touch a lady’s foot, Zack」
「……No, you, a lady? 」
I chided Zack who touched my foot without permission.
Zack’s attitude lately seemed to be extremely sloppy.
「Well then, Carol, allow me to carry you on my back」
「T-That, Wilhelm-sama, such a thing! 」
「Then, I’ll do it」
「Zack should stay back! 」
「Woah, what’s this difference……」
I truly felt regretful for troubling Wilhelm-sama like this.
But with my foot like this, descending the mountain would be tough.
In that case, it might be best to accept Wilhelm-sama’s kind offer.
「Well……do not hesitate, Carol. Now, get on my back」
「Y-Yes. Well then……」
While enduring my aching foot, I would borrow Wilhelm-sama’s back.
It was a sturdy, wide back. Even if I lean all my weight into it, it seemed to accept everything.
「Then, let us return. Carol」
To Wilhelm-sama saying so over his shoulder, my heart thumped.
Wilhelm-sama was this close the day he rescued me, when I almost got kidnapped by ruffians back when I was seven.
At that time, I pretended to sleep and waited for Wilhelm-sama.
I slightly leaned forward.
And, chu, kissed Wilhelm-sama’s cheek.
「Thank you very much, Wilhelm-sama」
「Wh……! H-Hm……! 」
My second kiss.
His beard really was a little prickly.