15. The Returnee Noble Lady (14)
The next morning, pretending to be unwell, Jill slipped into the futon.
The guardsman, concerned about her, gave her water and medicine. However, she turned down lunch and asked to be left alone so she could rest. Then, she stuffed her clothes under the futon to inflate it. After that, she changed her attire and went to the vent.
She didn’t want to use magic.
It was still a naval port, after all.
No matter how rare magic was in the Rave Empire, there was no guarantee no soldier could use it.
Jill appeared behind the cathedral. She dusted off her clothes before tying her hair up in her hat and pretended to be one of the boys being taken care of by the cathedral. Having enlisted in the military made it easy for Jill to imitate a boy. There was also the fact that after reaching Veilburg, those who had gotten a good look of her face were Sufia and the previous guardsman.
As long as her breakout wasn’t discovered, it was unlikely she would be recognized.
…speaking of which, I don’t see any children in the cathedral. Did they all go somewhere?
When she turned her head around, she heard a pretty voice.
“Priest, I… what should I do—!?”
It came from inside the cathedral. Realizing the window was open, Jill gently tiptoed to peek inside.
It turned out to be a chapel. In front of the altar was a man dressed in priest attire. Sufia was kneeling before him.
“I have a bad feeling. When I saw that man lying on the floor, I was sure it was Hadith-sama. But it seems that my Father disagreed. He said it wasn’t Hadith-sama—what could my Father be thinking? You said I needn’t worry about a thing, but I wonder about that.”
“Marquis Veil is only thinking about what’s best for you. Why can’t you believe me?”
In response to the Father’s gentle response, Sufia bit her lips tightly and snarled.
“…even if I’m merely a daughter born out of a loveless political marriage?”
“You’re Hadith’s fiancée candidate. There’s no reason not to take proper care of you.”
“That’s right… If it’s for Hadith-sama to finally look at me—but, Hadith-sama met a girl from Kratos and proceeded to bring her home yesterday…”
To Jill’s impatience, the Priest denied.
“As of current, Hadith-sama is bedridden, correct?”
“Yes, but I can’t help but suspect there’s more to it—!! Yesterday, he said ‘Where’s my Amethyst Princess’ and keep worrying afterwards. I too am ashamed of my own selfishness. However, on the same day, suddenly, ‘don’t approach me, it’s dangerous. I got a severe palpitations problem.’ He said so…”
“That’s …he might calm down afterwards?”
“It’s not so simple! Don’t look down on a maiden in love! Hadith-sama is falling in love!”
No, I don’t think so…
…But Jill’s voice didn’t reach Sufia.
“This morning, he drowned himself in reading all the available recipe books for making sweets…!”
…that might be Jill’s fault.
“He asked about what sort of decorations and flavors would please women, to ME—!! There’s no mistaking it, it’s for the sake of that little girl—!! Must he be this cruel to me—!?”
“C, calm down, yes! It might be intended as a gift for you, Lady Sufia.”
“Well, that’s, yes… b-but, for Hadith-sama, if the girl isn’t under fourteen years old…!”
Finally, Sufia fell on the floor and began to cry.
“I even asked him myself, to reconsider our engagement, but he told me I wasn’t under fourteen years old… If it were because of other reasons, then I might be able to work hard—but this is my age we are talking about! Why am I not under fourteen years old—!? Why aren’t I younger—!? Is it my fault for being sixteen years old—!? A, and, when Father heard of it, he immediately prepared a feast and planned to invite my younger cousins…!”
Sufia’s grievances pained both Jill’s head and heart. But she couldn’t just stay there forever and listen to Sufia’s complaints…
She felt sorry, but she gently moved from under the window to the wall.
Certainly, there’s nothing someone can do about their age… I don’t even know why my body is under fourteen…
…now that she thought about it, why was the age fourteen being emphasized so much? Was there more to it than a pervert’s hobby…?
Speaking of which, in the Kingdom of Kratos, 14 years old was said to be the age when the goddess in the heaven—who, at the time, was a girl—had ascended to authority. Because of that, every girl who was born in Kratos had a special celebration when they reached fourteen years of age. They would also make flower crowns—
—a bad memory is revived…
…after all, that was the trigger for her to jump off the castle’s wall that night.
Because that day was Faelis’ 14th birthday, that’s why I returned to the Capital… no, I don’t want to think about it anymore…
Maybe it was better to listen to the reason directly from him. But she was afraid to ask…
“…but, I better make haste and ask the question. Otherwise, there’s no knowing what will be done to me once I become 14 years old…—”
“—oi, there’s no signal yet?” “There will once the gate is closed. It’s almost time, keep quiet!”
Jill turned in front of the cathedral immediately after hearing some voices and hid in the nearby bushes. Several men continued down the street in front of the cathedral in a hurry.
…weird, considering most of the soldiers here are the sons of aristocrats something is…
Their steps sounded heavy. Their gaits were rough and also somewhat familiar. They might be mercenariesy or something akin to that…
…but they were wearing the uniform of the Northern Division.
“The target is definitely here, right?”
Jill blinked at their gesture of pointing to the cathedral.
“Yes, the priest is holding her back right now. The other is under house arrest.”
“Those of Northern Division remain cooped up in their base.”
“Besides, they consist of ten people at max. What a useless bunch.”
These people were nothing but suspicious.
Wai—… are you guys truly that no good, Northern Division—!?You guys are that weak—!? Could it be, the reason you lot reformed after this…
Before that, there was a more pressing problem.
While she was wondering if she was in a very bad situation, she heard the gate open. The cathedral door was kicked off its hinges. She heard a scream from inside.
“W, what do you guys want from me—!?”
It was Sufia. As expected—Jill clutched her head. Right away, she made her decision.
I’m here to collect information!
“Umm, the scream just now, what happened?”
Jill jumped in, and Sufia, whose arm was grabbed, turned around. Tears brimmed from her eyes.
“Who’s this kid—!?”
It wasn’t long before the attention shifted to Jill.
***T/N: Our Action Girl, Jill, is on the move again!!! I see that although Sufia may not be bad, she is the archetype of damsel in distress.