179.1 The Abduction of Princess Natalie (4)
Perhaps, she was fortunate.
With that in mind, Natalie chewed on an apple under a small stone bridge. The raindrops that had just stopped were flowing past her. However, she didn’t feel cold. Fortunately, the season was nearing summer, and she was in the South. The seasonal flooding of the river was also near its end.
Elynsia, a soldier, and Frida, someone with magical talent, had looked after the isolated Natalie. Elynsia, in particular, enthusiastically taught her self-defense and equestrian, as well as different ways of thinking and acting during an assault. At that time, Natalie only listened to her half-heartedly. After all, it had nothing to do with being a princess. Who would’ve known that the knowledge would prove so useful?
She was also quite fortunate to have been involved in the education of the magically talented Frida instead of the busy Listeard. When it came to magical power, Natalie would immediately think of Kratos. She was also interested in the climate of Kratos, a place with no dragons. To top it off, Natalie also read up on the bountiful harvests of Kratos which was blessed by the Earth Goddess.
Finding wild apple trees growing in a place like this at this time of year is amazing.
Not to mention, yesterday’s rain should have cleared Natalie’s footsteps. As things were, she had already abandoned her horse and was ready to return to the city. Last night, a group of attackers made a round trip over the stone bridge overhead, but they dared not look under the bridge for fear of the flooding. The sound of rain made hearing the surrounding sounds difficult and visibility was also poor. By holding her breath right beside the body of water, Natalie somehow managed to evade them.
…I’m really lucky. Or maybe, unlucky. I wonder if help will come for me….
With a sigh, she threw the apple core to the ground.
Two days had passed since the attack. The assailants should no longer be in the city. She wasn’t familiar with Kratos’ transportation and contact networks, but reports of the attack should’ve already been made. It might be time to start moving back to the city.
When she thought so, she heard footsteps once again. The rain had already stopped and the skies were clearing. As it was, she’d soon be discovered. Natalie crouched down behind the bridge and held her breath.
Multiple footsteps could be heard.
“The horse was abandoned. Therefore, the princess shouldn’t be far.”
The commander sounded like a young man. The voice was so high he could still be called a boy.
Still, there was an unconcealable dignity to his voice.
“The assailants may still be looking for the princess. Keep an eye open for any traces.”
“Understood! Everyone, first check the safety of our surroundings in pairs! …Your Highness Geraldo—”
Natalie gasped at the name.
…Impossible. Did he come to look for me?
Geraldo de Kratos—the future fiancé of Natalie. There might be another person of the same name, but in that situation, that was difficult to imagine.
She quietly came out from under the stone bridge. As expected, there was a figure in front of the river. However, she could only see the face of the older soldier. The cloaked boy, who stood in front of him, had his back towards Natalie.
The color of his cloak was blue.
It was amongst the forbidden colors that only the Kratos royal family could wear.
Blue was the color that the Goddess had claimed after she mistook it for the sky.
“What is it?”
“At the very least, please return to the city. There’s no need for you to lead us in person.”
Natalie actually agreed with the soldier. However, Geraldo replied nonchalantly.
“It’s my fault. It only makes sense for me to come.”
“But some also said that the assailants have taken her to His Majesty the King. Therefore, you shouldn’t be seen around here.”
“There’s also that testimony from a merchant. That a girl resembling the princess robbed his horse. The jewel she threw at him was from Fairert. We can’t overlook the possibility that the princess escaped on her own.”
“I don’t think the princess could escape that attack on a hose. If she did, she’d soon be found by the assailants.”
“I heard that Princess Natalie is loved by Princess Elynsia Theos Rave. Judging by the merchant’s testimony, she might not just be a sheltered princess who was raised amongst butterflies and flowers.”
Despite his nonchalant tone, it was apparent that the boy had done his research.
Natalie listened to them while crouching.
“Moreover, the Rave Empire is a land of dragons. If the princess can ride a dragon, her being able to ride a horse as well wouldn’t be too surprising.”
“—If so, isn’t it possible that the princess staged an escape?”
Natalie gulped. She had expected them to be suspicious.
“Inherently, the Rave Empire did unilaterally impose the princess upon us. Perhaps, the entire abduction incident was staged. This could be a plan to set you against His Majesty the King.”
***T/N: Geraldo the incest prince is a good guy now?
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