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Looks like things are really starting to pick up~CSWH Chapter 46: My Mission
Two months after that, I was summoned by father to his study.
"……please excuse me."
Other than Father, Kuroitsu-san and Bellice-san were also in the study.
Perhaps due to the aura the three of them were releasing, the atmosphere in the room was surprisingly heavy.
"So you've come? ……Mel, I had you come here because there is something I wanted to request of you."
"Just what sort of business would you have with myself?"
"Could you cooperate with mission from the Army?"
At the words that I hadn't even fathomed, I was momentarily rendered speechless.
"What in the world would that-……"
"Since a few weeks ago, there have been numerous cases of n.o.ble daughters from either high status houses or wealthy houses being kidnapped…….in the Capital, here."
It couldn't be……-I closed my mouth, shutting the words I had been about to say in it.
Because if Father's words weren't lies, then I could easily figure out the reason for Father's tone of voice and the atmosphere in this room, even if I didn't want to.
"Since they're quite skillful, even if we investigate, there aren't any leads at all. It can't be helped that with the kidnapped girls being who they are, there is a great demand for this to be quickly settled, but……."
"……in other words, as Mellice-sama's body double, I am to act as Mellice-sama and become bait?"
"I understand. Please teach me the specifics of the plan."
"……is it okay? I know of your ability, but……even so, it's a dangerous mission, you know?"
"Girls without any power at all are currently captured in such a dangerous place, right? I am sure that their parents are quite worried…….and above all else, the degree of danger those girls are exposed to increases as more and more time pa.s.ses. It is imperative that this be resolved as soon as possible. If my power can be used for that purpose, then just what is there to hesitate about?"
When I stated that bluntly, Father let out a sigh.
"I see…….then Bellice. I'll leave the explanation to you."
After that, I heard the plan from Bellice, and in order to move according to it, I changed into Mellice's clothes.
And then, only taking a few guards as planned……or rather, members of the Army disguised as guards……I boarded my own carriage.
At this time in the evening, there wasn't much traffic in the area where the n.o.ble's mansions were located.
It'd be good if they came in the first go, but…….
As I was absentmindedly thinking that, I gazed at the street.
It felt like the evening scenery with little traffic made people feel a sense of desolation and oppression.
Though I was on a mission, I felt relatively calm. The me who had the composure to think of that was laughable.
……it didn't seem to have gone very well, as in the end that day ended in vain.
Since then, it has been one week, and the strategy is ongoing.
We tried strolling around the indeterminate n.o.ble areas, as well as the other places with little traffic, but……
The enemy didn't take the bait at all.
Could it be that the culprits of the kidnapping case have already ceased their activities?
That sort of suspicion crossed my mind.
Of course, there were other units other than my own trying to investigate, but……there weren't really any new developments.
It's just that even if they did spot the enemy, it would be difficult to get to the heart of them.
Because our priority was the rescue of the taken children.
If we simply just broke into the enemy territory, leading to the captured children being used as hostages, then everything would be pointless.
That was precisely why the best method was to have me captured, so that I could protect them from the inside, but……
Just as I thought about that, the surroundings suddenly became noisy.
Don't tell me……when I thought that and looked outside the carriage, what appeared before my eyes was the sight of my battling guards.
It seems that today we got a hit.
As the sound of my heart echoed loudly, I could sense my head quickly cooling down.
With a bang, the carriage door opened.
"……now then, Ojou-sama. Could I perhaps have you come with me?"
Contrary to his polite wording, the man was smiling vulgarly.
……naturally, he was not one of my guards.
I drew back in a frightened manner.
……I wonder if I managed to act it out well?
As I thought that in the corner of my mind, I focussed my gaze on the man.
The man forcibly grabbed the unresisting me, and like that I was dragged outside.
The members of my guards were in the middle of fighting against the other enemies.
Dragged by the man, I was made to board another carriage parked in a corner of the area and was taken away.
I wonder where we are headed……though I wanted to look outside, as I was blindfolded, I couldn't see.
It's just, based on the presences, I could approximate how many people there were.
This was also a boon of my daily training.
However, just as I thought, another group separate from the people of the Army acting as my guards that had been hiding in the shadows earlier began to chase after me……how mysterious.
As expected, even if I could identify their presences, I didn't know who they were.
For now I decided to trust them, but……when it came down to it, I resolved myself to fighting alone.
After a brief period of time, the carriage came to a stop.
And then, my arm was forcibly grabbed as I was made to walk.
Since we disembarked from the carriage, we walked further than I had expected, but……that meant that this was a considerably s.p.a.cious place.
Just what kind of building was it?
Nonetheless, as the architectural style couldn't be too different, I focussed on remembering the layout of the building with my body.
Even though I couldn't see due to the blindfold, I remembered how many steps forward we went, how many stairs we climbed, and how many times we turned.
Perhaps we had finally arrived at our destination, as together with the sound of a door opening, I was pushed into a room and the blindfold was removed.
Inside was a normal room.
No, it was modestly arranged, but…….normally, when you mention a kidnapper's base, you'd think it'd be a bit dirtier and c.u.mbersome, so it gave an out of place feeling.
Yes, it was as if this were some n.o.ble's mansion.
Though naturally, there weren't any valuable furnishings or things engraved with a family crest.
I shivered at the possibility that I finally arrived at after thinking about it.
When I looked around the inside of the room, I found a group of children huddled together nearby.
I immediately counted how many of them there were.
Five people…….it was the same as the number of kidnapped children that I heard about from Bellice-san beforehand.
"……is anyone hurt?"
As I called out to them, I gave their bodies a cursory glance.
Though that glance was rather impolite, there were any people at this place who would find fault with me.
"W-We're okay. Were you also brought here……?"
Amongst the group of silent and timidly nodding girls, there was one that seemed a bit more stout-hearted that spoke.
"Yes, indeed…….was everyone else also…?"
At my question, all of them timidly nodded their heads up and down.
It must have been quite frightening……their faces were tear-stained, and all of their complexions were bad.
Even right now, there was a child crying.
Fear was spreading…….the first thing I did was hug that sad-looking child who had curled up her body as she trembled.
"……it will be alright."
I lightly and gently pat her back.
"I'm sure that help will soon come. And, I will definitely protect all of you."
I whispered that and continued to embrace her for a short while.
Before long, her shivering gradually settled, and the tension in her body appeared to have relaxed.
"…….just who in the world are you……? My name is Sharia. The daughter of Count Tearose's house."
"I am……the Anderson Marquis House's Mellice."
"Eh, the daughter of that Gazelle-sama!?"
"I am the guard and body double of that esteemed person. My name is Mel. This time, in order to resolve this incident, I have infiltrated this place. Right now, my mission is to protect everyone here."
At my words, a relieved air seemed to flow through them.
Although I was the same age as them, that relief was likely connected to me directly saying that I would protect them.
When a human is in a dilemma, they will clutch even at straws.
……that being said, naturally I have no plans at being satisfied with merely being straw.
"That being said, while it is quite impolite of me, I would like everyone here to follow my instructions. First, even if the enemy comes, please do not panic, do not move, and stay crouching. If everyone is gathered in one place, it will be easier for me to protect you. Also, please go a little more into the corner……please stay here."
I stood up and pointed out a place.
It was the farthest away from the door.
Everyone gradually stood up and timidly sat down in the place I pointed out as instructed.
"In addition, if you are scared, then please close your eyes. It may be difficult, but please do not scream."
I gathered together the relatively light side tables and created a fortress.
"I will also help out."
The n.o.ble-like Sharia, who seemed to have never lifted anything heavier than a spoon, volunteered to help, and the both of us moved the furniture around.
Thanks to that, I was able to move the heavier furniture as well.
Though I called it a fortress, it seemed like it'd be demolished quickly, but it was better than nothing.
After we finished making the fortress, I had Sharia go inside, and tore my skirt.
When it came down to it, this overly long skirt would be hard to move in.
And then, I took out the sword that I had been hiding in my skirt.
It was lighter and smaller sword compared to the one I usually swung.
After doing all of that, it suddenly became noisier.