Chapter 29: I hate being chased
At that moment, when the two smiled at each other, a sudden, strong wind blew.
Flora cried out softly as her white hat was carried away by the wind.
She hurriedly stood up and chased after her hat, but it flew up in the wind again and again, making it difficult to catch.
Flora was running around in a panic trying to catch the hat, and Margaery eventually stood up as well.
“Are you okay? Oh, look! It’s over there now!”
“I-I can’t catch it at all~”
Flora gave a pitiful voice as she stumbled after the hat. It was somehow cute, and Margaery chased after her with a wry smile.
“It can’t be helped. Look, it’s going to fly away again! Run, run!”
They repeated this several times, and before they knew it, they had entered the forest. However, they could still see the Mirror Pond faintly beyond the trees. If they turned back, they could easily return.
Finally, Flora caught the hat and breathed a sigh of relief, her shoulders dropping.
“I finally caught it…! I’m sorry, Margaery-sama. I made you run around.”
“We wouldn’t have entered the forest if we hadn’t run around like that. Let’s go back to the pond. His Majesty and the others might be surprised if we’re gone.”
Margaery was about to step forward with a smile, but suddenly stopped.
Flora turned around in a hurry, but all they could see were the quiet trees of the forest. ‘Was it a misunderstanding?’ Margaery strained her ears just in case, and Flora tilted her head.
“Margaery-sama? What’s wrong?”
“No, I just felt like I heard a beast’s growl or something.”
At that moment…
Zazazazaa! The sound of leaves rustling echoed, and a large black shadow fell in front of the two of them.
Flora screamed and jumped onto Margaery. While catching her, Margaery widened her eyes.
A person who jumped down from the trees like a cat, agilely lowering their body and preparing for battle. It was Anya, the maid and bodyguard hired by the Noel family.
As it was a secret meeting between King Julius and his younger brother, neither Julius nor Serge had any guards with them, so Anya was the only one on alert. Using her sharp eyes and ears, Anya had been watching for any abnormalities from the trees.
With her back still facing them, Anya looked sharply ahead towards the forest where she had heard the growl earlier.
“I’m sorry, Ojou-sama. They suddenly appeared within range.”
Instead of answering, Anya quickly lifted her skirt. Under the fluttering fabric, leather belts wrapped around both legs were revealed. She quickly drew a small knife from there and mercilessly threw it towards the trees.
Immediately, something ominous jumped out from between the trees and cried out, “Gyan!” before rolling over.
While protecting Flora, Margaery was amazed. The demon beast, which looked like a fox, was trembling on the ground with a knife piercing its forehead.
‘Why was there a demon beast in a place like this?’ This forest was a leisure spot used by the royal family. She had never heard of a demon beast appearing in this forest before.
Anya grabbed Margaery’s arm as she widened her eyes in surprise.
“They’re still coming! Ojou-sama, this way!!”
Amidst the sound of rustling leaves, a thin, high-pitched voice could be heard.
Serge blinked and swallowed his words as he turned around.
“Did you hear something just now?”
Julius narrowed his red eyes and turned his attention to the other side. Then, he furrowed his well-shaped eyebrows.
“Margaery is not here. Neither is Flora Hermeia.”
“Huh? Oh, you’re right.”
Serge tilted his head while looking across the river.
‘It’s strange. My heart is restless.’
Margaery’s maid, who also serves as her bodyguard, is quite skilled. Even though they run together every morning, her movements are still impressive compared to those of ordinary maids.
So, there shouldn’t be any need to feel so anxious about a small matter like this.
He recited an ancient spell with his mouth. Suddenly, a wave of magic surged from bottom to top, transforming Julius into his true form.
Serge was taken aback when Julius suddenly transformed into the ‘Wolf King’ form for the first time. He had a look of admiration and excitement mixed in his eyes as he choked up.
“Brother, your appearance…!”
Julius silenced her with one hand and closed his almond-shaped eyes.
While taking on the form of the Wolf King, Julius’s magical power and physical abilities both increased. In particular, his hearing and spatial awareness, which could also be called his sixth sense, improved dramatically.
With his black ears perked up, he sharpened his senses.
The outline of the forest gradually emerged, lured by the sound of the wind rustling the leaves. The sound of fish jumping in the water, the rustling of grass, the restless sound of the horse they brought, and the gusts of wind rushing through the trees.
With a snap, the sound of a thin twig breaking echoed as a foot stepped forward with force.
[Ojou-sama! Over here, quickly!]
[Ah?! There are more demon beasts than before!]
[Why?! Why are there demon beasts in a place like this?!]
With heavy breathing, three girls rushed in a panic. Excitedly chasing their prey, demon beasts ran through the trees, showing their fierce fangs.
The demon beasts resembled foxes and lived in groups, skilled hunters who cornered their prey in packs.
——There should be no such thing in this forest.
What emerged was Margaery and her friends desperately running away from the pack of demon beasts.
“Margaery is in danger.”
Serge muttered in a low growl, his expression tense. Julius sharply shouted at the sky-blue eyes that stared intently.
“So is your fiancé. Follow me, Serge!”
Without hesitation, Julius ran towards the direction he ‘saw’.