en you want to run away, you have to earn a house first and then run.

 

***

 

The news of Elodie Perdia’s disappearance soon reached the ears of the family servants.

 

The butler tried to keep their mouths shut as much as possible, but he couldn’t stop the noisy gossip.
The news of her disappearance spread out of control.

 

Meanwhile, in Duke Perdia’s office….

 

After half a day of searching with little progress, the Duke first returned to the mansion and listened to Jansi’s report.

 

“I searched all the nearby villages, but there was no testimony that someone saw a person that looked like Lili.”

 

“….
Okay.”

 

“I will continue the search just in case.”

 

Instead of answering, the Duke wiped his tired face and nodded roughly.

 

Carlot had been searching for Elodie near the scene at the cliff after roughly treating his injuries.

 

The Duke called for Garon, the knight commander, who was in charge of commanding the search party.”

 

“Garon.”  

 

“Yes, Your Excellency the Duke.”

 

“Did you find out who was behind the attack?”

 

All the bodies of the assassins Carlot had killed were brought to the Perdia mansion to be examined.

 

Garon’s report on them followed.

 

“Since even Master Carlot had struggled, it seems to be a group of talented people.”

 

“Next.”

 

“Judging from the fact that indicators of a group or organization were not found on the weapons they used, nor any marks left on their bodies or clothes, it is presumed that the person behind it would be in trouble if his identity is revealed.”

 

“Looks like a lot of cowardly guys.”

 

Jansi dared to add a word to the Duke’s acrimonious comment.

 

“It’s usually called a cautious personality.”

 

“What are you talking about?”

 

The Duke gave a cold reply and looked at Garon again.

 

“As a result of the investigation we have found nothing about the background.
However, Master Carlot said that they seemed to be aiming for Lady Elodie.”

 


“…..Elodie?”

 

“Yes.
The young master got out of the carriage and showed himself, but they tried to attack the carriage.”

 

When Elodie’s name came up again, the atmosphere sank even more somberly.

 

Jansi, who always smiled leisurely, also kept his seat with a smileless face.

 

Garon sighed and said lamentably, “It’s unfortunate, If there was at least one living guy, we might be able to figure out something.”

 

“……Rather than that, finding Elodie comes first.
I’ll go back to the scene.”

 

As soon as the Duke’s words were over, Gaylan and Jansi were about to rise from their seats.

 

Bang!

 

Suddenly the door opened violently, and a servant shouted loudly, “Ah, sirs, the Lady is back!”

 

He dared to invade the family’s head office, but no one pointed it out.

 

Because immediately after hearing that shout, the Duke and Jansi rushed out of the office at the same time.

 

What was waiting for them outside the main mansion was Elodie, who came back with a lot of scratches here and there.

 

“Li-!”

 

Jansi, who was striding relentlessly towards Elodie, lost to the Duke who overtook him.

 

“Elodie.”

 

As the Duke approached and stood in front of Elodie, she hesitated and raised her head.

 

“I’m sorry for causing a commotion.”

 

The Duke ignored her comment completely and just said, “Body.”

 

“It’s okay, except for a few scratches.”

 

Elodie smiled bravely, but she couldn’t escape Duke of Perdia’s sharp eyes.

 

Seeing her covered in bandages and full of wounds, his intent to kill was instantly raised.

 

“……Father?”

 

In the aftermath even Elodie trembled, and the Duke, who had regained his senses, placed his hand on Elodie’s shoulder.

 

“Go in and get treated.”

 

“Well, but…..”

 

When the Duke and Elodie were having a conversation, another set of eyes observed them closely.

 

‘Anyway, you’re back safe and sound, so it’s okay…..’

 

Elodie’s back was the place where Jansi’s eyes landed.

 

There was a person who was not yet aware of the fact that Elodie had returned.

 

Jansi’s eyes crumpled when he saw the face.

 

“Oh, this person saved me.”

 

At Elodie’s words, the two men’s eyes turned to the man behind her.

 

Jansi called his name.

 

“Ian, the Mercenary King.” 

 

A man who became one of the highest-ranking mercenaries in the Empire.

 

That man was in front of him.

 

Jansi, who knew through his tailing that he had contacted Elodie the other day, could not dismiss the situation as just a coincidence.

 

***

 

Carlot’s face became terribly distorted as the fruitless search continued.

 

“Damn it……!”

 

He searched for hours through untrodden bushes, but to no avail.

 

He was scratched by a bush, but he didn’t even feel the pain.

 

He just moved his body like crazy to find only one person.

 


How long had it been?

 

The search party that had been searching the area, began to prepare for withdrawal.

 

Carlot, who had been concentrating on the search, became sharp.

 

“What are you doing?!”

 

“I report.
There was an order from His Excellency the Duke to withdraw.”

 

“But I haven’t found any clues yet-!”

 

Naturally, he thought Elodie, who was missing, was presumed dead and the search was stopped.

 

Because the father he knew wasn’t a man who would stay.

 

However, the answer that he heard was one Carlot had never imagined.

 

“Miss Elodie has returned.”

 

“………..ah.”

 

It was something he had longed for.

 

After hearing the report, Carlot rode his horse like a madman to the Perdia’s mansion.

 

It was quite a distance, but he arrived in a ridiculous amount of time due to his relentless running.

 

It was night and the dark had already fallen.

 

He jumped off his horse and made his way to the annex without hesitation.

 

The hallway of the annex, where no servants were walking around, was dark and deserted.

 

As he walked quickly through the corridor, where not even a little bit of human warmth could be felt, Carlot was suddenly frightened without realizing it.

 

‘What if I misheard it?’

 

‘What if I went to Elodie’s bedroom like this, and inside there is no one?’

 

Thinking about that made his body shudder again.

 

Eventually, Carlot’s footsteps stopped in front of Elodie’s tightly closed door.

 

Squeak–

 

The door opened little by little, revealing the interior of her bedroom.

 

In the well-organized room, only a faint light flickered on the bedside table, and Elodie was sitting on the bed next to it.

 

Staggering, Carlot approached her.

 

“…..Why did you let go?”

 

“Carl?”

 

“Do you want to die?”

 

Surprised by his ragged and hoarse voice, Elodie finally looked at him, appearing to check Carlot’s condition.

 

He knew he was a mess from head to toe.

 

“Why? Are you disappointed that I didn’t die?”

 

“…..You!”

 

When he saw Elodie’s bitter smile, he felt like he was losing his mind.

 

Carlot couldn’t control his overflowing emotions.

 

He went to Elodie and hugged her without hesitation, his hands wrapping up and around her back.

 

“Hey, you, what are you–” Elodie gasped.

 

“Worried….I was worried about you!”

 

Drip…drip… 

 

Tears flowed down from Carlot’s eyes.
Like an animal that had lost its owner, he sobbed out his pent up emotions and buried his face on her shoulder.

 

‘Yes, I was worried.’ He finally admitted to himself.

 

This crazy feeling.

 

Carlot decided not to deny his feelings anymore.

 

(E/N: Strongly encourage you to check out the photo for this one if you love when men cry, like I do )

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