18. Hide and Seek
A few days had passed since my dreamy date with Noel. Every time I saw the shiny necklace around my neck, I couldn’t help but smile.
Three days remained until the restriction spell was lifted. When I thought that those three months were finally going to be over, I was so happy I almost died. After a few days, I’d be able to confess to Noel.
Today, I was working as usual from the morning. During the lunch break, I talked with Sheila as we ate in the city. Then, I returned to the lab and entered the changing room to put away my purse.
The moment I saw a familiar envelope peeking out of my locker, I froze.
I told myself that I was going to be alright. I still had the escorts hired by my father and Noel. After taking a deep breath, I picked up the envelope.
When I opened the seal, there was only a single sheet of paper, unlike last time.
However, my relief was short-lived.
The moment I opened the folded piece of paper, I screamed and threw the letter onto the floor.
“I will pick you up soon.”
That was the only sentence within the letter.
Wasn’t the sender basically saying he was going to kidnap me? Fear crept up my back. Being alone terrified me, so I rushed into the workplace where everyone else was.
I wasn’t in a mental state where I could afford to focus in work. When I told the director about my situation, I was advised to leave early. When I told him about the letter last time, he changed the lock to the changing room and even strengthened security. The director also seemed terribly surprised, and not to mention, worried.
I asked my father to call a carriage for me, and I boarded it with the escort sent by my father. He was usually hidden, but I couldn’t help but feel uneasy being alone.
I recalled Noel saying that he had important mission, as such, he’d be late. I wanted to see him badly. After spending half of the trip being swayed in the carriage—
Suddenly, the carriage shook side to side with a loud bang.
“Sherry! Don’t move!”
The moment he said that, the escort disappeared from my sight. The carriage door was wrecked, and there was a big hole on the other side. I didn’t know what was going on anymore.
Dominated by fear, I lost my ability to speak—or even move a fingertip.
Four men were lying around the carriage. The moment I realized they were my escorts, I was filled with despair. I started to black out.
I didn’t want to run away. I didn’t think I could run away. Suddenly, a cloth covered my mouth, and my consciousness faded.
When I slowly opened my eyes, a ceiling I didn’t recognize enter my filled of view. While clutching my throbbing head, I slowly raised my body. As I vaguely looked around the room, I realized I had been kidnapped.
All my escorts had been killed, Noel must had noticed I had been kidnapped. The escort he had prepared should’ve survived and notified him of the incident. Even so, when I thought about how the culprit could defeat all four escorts at once, my fear grew.
Fortunately, my body wasn’t restrained. When I stood up, I checked the magic instruments I had. All the accessory type items had been taken away, including the necklace I received from Noel. When I realized that, I wanted to cry from the bottom of my heart.
The only thing in the room was a bed and a small wooden table with some chairs. The windows were barred with multiple wooden boards. Escape seemed impossible. I couldn’t see anything outside the window, and I didn’t know how long I had been asleep or what time it was.
When I touched the doorknob, it didn’t seem to be locked. When I gently opened it and peeked out, I saw a long corridor. I watched through the gap in the door for a while, but there was no noise or any other signs of people.
“What do I do…?”
To just wait there until the criminal returned was plain insane. I should reorganize my thoughts. Thinking that, I left the room altogether. As I walked while keeping an ear open to my surroundings, I realized how large the old mansion was.
Although there was no evidence that the rooms were being used, I couldn’t find any dust. Who on earth took me there? For what purpose? Even if the criminal truly had feelings for me, when I recalled the letter, I didn’t think he had my safety in his mind.
I slowly descended down the stairs and came out of a place that looked like an entrance hall. At that moment, I couldn’t hide my surprise at the sight waiting for me.
The place where the entrance was supposed to be was also barred with boards like the windows in the previous room. The door was completely blocked.
The culprit shouldn’t want to live here for the rest of his life either…
…Even if the front door was sealed, I desperately told myself that an exit existed somewhere else.
Then, as I began to look for another exit, the sound of footsteps echoed within the quiet mansion—
Upon noticing the presence of another person, my heart and limbs shook. As I looked around, I quietly hid in the shadows of the wooden boxes that were piled up nearby.
My trembling at the gradually approaching footsteps wouldn’t stop.
Please, don’t find me.
Even though I knew it was too late after being taken there, I still prayed.
That wish was also unfounded, because the footstep stopped right beside me.
—red, I’m scared, I’m scared…
My body violently trembled as my vision blurred. The only person that came to my mind was Noel.
He said that with a bright voice, as if we were merely playing hide-and-seek. The person peeked from the shadow of the wooden boxes.
The moment I saw his face, such a question leaked from my mouth.
Why is he here?!
“I’ve always been good at finding you.”
Cliff said that with an innocent smile on his face.
***T/N: Lmfao!!! Right on the mark!!!
Please also consider donating to my ko-fi! It’ll greatly support me in action, no matter the amount!