Chapter 29: Thank You Very Much for Your Cooperation
(Elliot…? Why is he here?)
Olivia’s eyes widen unintentionally, and Viscount Bergor’s face contorts in surprise.
Elliot appears to be relieved to see Olivia.
He enters the room without looking at Olivia’s uncle, who is crawling on the floor, and he looks down at the Viscount with a blank face.
“You’ve made a fool of me. I knew you were a dangerous man of means, but I didn’t expect you to go this far.”
“T-This isn’t what it appears to be! This woman is free to do whatever she wants…”
The Viscount steps back, muttering incomprehensible excuses.
Elliot steps forward with a blank expression and pauses to examine the white cloth wrapped around Olivia’s hand.
He inquires coldly.
“…May I ask what you have done with her?”
“I ask you, what have you done to her?!”
The Viscount shivers in the face of the icy stare.
He leans against the wall.
Olivia feels like he might stab his sword at him, so she quickly clasps Elliot around the waist.
“It’s all right! I’m perfectly fine!”
As if regaining his composure, Elliot steps back from the Viscount.
Before he puts his sword back in its sheath at his waist and takes off his coat, he talks with the knights, who rush in with loud footsteps.
He wrapped her completely in the jacket he had removed and carefully sat her in the chair in the corner of the room.
He knelt in front of her and looked her in the eyes with concern.
“Let me see your hand.”
Elliot carefully takes the white cloth wrapped around her hand, examines the abrasions on it, and asks in a concerned tone.
“…Is there anything else hurting?”
“N-No, I don’t think so.”
Elliot smiled and gently hugged Olivia.
“I’m glad… I’m really sorry for the pain you’ve been through.”
Wrapped in Elliot’s warmth, Olivia realizes she is finally saved.
The knights hold her uncle, who is crawling trembling on the floor, and Viscount Bergor, who is sitting against the wall..
They also save Jack, who is in the adjacent room.
One of the knights approaches Elliot, salutes him, and declares loudly.
“We’ve got everyone in the house! We’re also sending people to the main residence!”
“Yes, I understand.”
Elliot sighed and whispered something into Olivia’s ear.
“I’d like to stay with you, but my job prevents me from doing so. I’ll apologize once more when I return to the hotel. Then, I’ll explain everything.”
Olivia nodded in confusion.
Elliot turned to face the knights.
A young man of knightly stature stepped forward.
“Give her treatment. Then, take her to the hotel after that. The Rose Hotel, just south of the city center. Send her off with great courtesy.”
The knight smiled at Olivia as he saluted Elliot cheerfully.
“Now, miss! Come this way!”
A worried-looking Elliot saw her off, and Olivia left the room.
As she follows the knight down the corridor, she notices a group of pale-faced servants chained up against the wall.
She frowned in bewilderment.
She has no idea what’s going on here.
(What exactly is going on?)
Despite her reservations, she has the wounds on her hands healed with a magical healing tool that appears to be of the Order and climbs into the carriage provided for her by the knight.
There are men in knight’s uniforms and the Viscount’s men tied up outside the carriage window.
(Does this mean that everyone in the house has been apprehended?)
For a brief moment, she suspected it had something to do with the fact that she had been kidnapped.
But it’s difficult to imagine a single person being kidnapped being such a big deal.
(Do you mean there was another big thing going on…?)
The carriage had just left the house and was on its way downtown.
The knight, diagonally across from the perplexed Olivia, opens his mouth and smiles.
“Thank you so much for your cooperation!”
Olivia is perplexed by the knight’s words.
The knight began to speak with a smile, paying no attention to her.
“That was an outstanding performance along with the Deputy Knight Commander!”
“Deputy Knight Commander?”
Olivia cocked her head at the strange word, to which the knight smiled.
“It’s Elliot Freelance-sama! I’ve been a knight for four years and I’ve never witnessed a more brilliant operation!”
(… Elliot is a knight?)
That’s why he and Nikka got along so well. While Olivia is silent, the knight is cheerfully blabbering on.
“Well, Viscount Bergor is very cunning indeed. The Order has been having a hard time keeping track of him. And now this wedding! We are extremely grateful that you have become bait!”
Olivia’s brow furrowed in response to those incomprehensible words.
“Yes—Not only did you attend with Elliot-sama at the wedding, but you were also captured and taken to the enemy’s stronghold, which not everyone can do! You are the definition of bait! It was fantastic!”
Like a blow to the head, a strong shock shot through Olivia’s entire body.
Her heart is pounding as if it’s broken.
(…Do you mean he used me as bait?)
The knight laughed and went on.
“How typical of Elliot-sama to solve the problem so well! That’s right. You’ll be rewarded for being bait, so consider what you’d like.”
Olivia gripped her chest tightly.
The words pierced her weakened heart like a knife.
“Are you okay? You don’t look so good.”
He is asked, but she can only nod in shock.
The carriage soon arrives at the hotel.
She was able to thank the knight, get the keys from the front desk, and stagger up the stairs.
When she walked into the room, she collapsed against the door.
(… What did he just say…)
The knight’s “Thank you for your cooperation” and “You are the definition of a bait!” run round and round in her head.
(This cannot be. He’s not the type of person to do something like that. Right…?)
What comes to mind, however, are the various doubts and suspicions she has been harboring in the back of her mind.
[This morning, he was talking with a man outside, whom I did not know, but I think it was a meeting about this case.]
[I was wondering why he was accompanying me to Daregas this time, but I think it was to take advantage of this opportunity.]
[I thought it was an extraordinary coincidence that I became friends with someone I had just met at Daregas station, but I guess it was not a coincidence but a way to get closer to Viscount Bergor.]
(N-No. He’s not that type of guy!)
Nevertheless, the knight said, “We’re very grateful that you’ve become a bait!”
In addition, the words of the Viscount, “A duke’s son would never take a countryside baronet’s daughter seriously. I’m sure he’s just having fun..”
And the fact that she was lied to about his status and profession for two years bothers her and makes him unbelievable.
Olivia’s hands cover her face in confusion and sadness.
She has seen far too many events today.
Viscount Bergor, Jack, Elliot, and her in-laws
Her mind is in shambles right now.
Elliot promised to tell her everything and that she should wait for him at the hotel.
There could be a reason for this.
But she lacks the strength to accept it right now.
No matter what he says, she’ll cry out loud.
She might burst into tears the moment she sees him.
(… I have to go home.)
Olivia takes a shaky step forward.
(I can’t do it any longer. My heart can no longer take it.)
She packs her belongings and leaves without waiting for Elliot.
“I’m sorry. I’m going to go ahead—Thank you so much for the hospitality,” and left his jacket and the ring and ran back to the Royal Capital.
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