The table shook slightly after I slammed my body into it.
My thigh hurt a little but I couldn’t show it.
I then lifted my head to see two pairs of eyes staring intently into me.
Shane’s eyes were filled with concern, wondering what was going on, and Cesaria was frowning as if she didn’t know what I was doing.
Shane set down the teacup he was holding.
His small gesture alone gave me a huge relief.
“What’s going on?”
Cesaria set down her teacup as well.
Her tone was not cold, but her expression and gaze were sharp enough.
I needed an excuse for why I suddenly jumped up, and I couldn’t just say, ‘I wonder what’s in that tea?’
I’d have to stop him from drinking it, and the only way to get everyone up at this table was to interrupt it.
I glanced at the nape of Cesaria’s neck again.
The pendant had become transparent.
Even if she came with her best intentions, I couldn’t let my guard down around her completely.
There were too many things that weren’t going according to the original story.
Shane stared at me, then pushed his chair back as if to stand up.
What am I going to say?
What if he asks me why I just stood up?
Maybe I’ll just tell him that I’m sick, but I looked too well for that.
What am I going to do?
Will I throw myself on the table and spill all the teacups?
That’s when I finally decided,
‘Okay, I’m going to pretend to pass out and fall on the table, and then I’ll think about it later.’
My hands and feet suddenly went cold and I was breaking out in a cold sweat, and the bruise on my side was starting to hurt again.
It felt like stagnant water was pouring over my head again.
It was a sign of a demon.
As expected, the horn suddenly sounded.
When I finally came back to my senses, Shane was already standing next to me.
“Wh–What’s going on?”“
Cesaria voiced her embarrassment behind us.
The demon’s appearance finally saved me the trouble, but it was not something I wanted at all.
After making eye contact with Shane, we immediately rushed out of the door at the same time.
The flag was moving vertically.
My heart sank with a thud.
It meant that the demon had appeared inside the fortress again.
There was also a sound of something breaking in the distance.
“Your Highness! It’s in front of the observation Deck. What about the princess?”
Vaslow came running in a hurry.
The observation deck was located at the opposite end of this place.
If so, civilians had to evacuate to the small gate at the end of the fort as trained.
Shane looked at the observation deck for a moment.
“Should we leave by carriage?”
“Just evacuate together for now.”
Shane looked down at me this time.
I could see concern flickering in his dry eyes.
I nodded my head slightly to indicate that I was okay.
His large hand came to rest on the top of my head.
A warm glow then washed over me.
I put my heart into it, praying that he wouldn’t be hurt, and that everyone would be safe.
“Princess. We need to evacuate.”
Vaslow summoned Cesaria, who was still inside the barracks.
She then walked gracefully out of the room.
“Seth, you too.”
Everyone else had already moved ahead for evacuation, but I found it difficult to run ahead of Cesaria, so I followed behind her.
I shouldn’t have gone so slowly though—
While I was running past the barracks, a demon suddenly appeared in front of me.
It was on the other end, so there was still some distance, but its sheer size alone was intimidating.
Three jet-black figures were whirling about, while arrows started pouring down on them like rain.
My side stung for no reason when I heard someone call out my name.
I had to pull myself together.
In this case, If anything happens I could just use my teleportation skill again.
So I opened my eyes to keep my consciousness straight.
“Arrows! Get more arrows!“
“Run! What are you doing there!“
As the knights were gathered, voices of those carrying weapons were heard here and there.
“Princess! You must move!“
Cesaria was as stiff as a stone statue, while looking toward the demon.
Sally, the maid who was following her, was standing stiffly behind her.
“You have to evacuate now!”
I purposely spoke close to the maid’s ear.
“Oh, my lady.”
As if startled by my scream, Sally began to move with Cesaria as if to help her.
“No! This way, this way.“
She tried to go to the side where the demon was, but I hurriedly turned around.
When they saw the demon for the first time, they seemed to have been shocked.
I felt impatient and wanted to push them from behind, to make them move quickly..
If only I could.
“Get out of my way, get out of my way!”
“Get in line!”
“Don’t step on me!”
When we finally reached the location where we had to move in two lines to escape the fortress, I saw a mess of people toppling over everyone.
Looking at the clothes and their appearance, most of them were from the Lé Chenío family.
They’ve never been trained, so all they did was to simply try, and move forward to run ahead of everyone.
“Oh, aren’t you all too impatient to be crushed to death?”
Vaslow, who was guiding the princess in front of me, suddenly spoke up for everyone to hear.
“Do you want to die with each other! Make a line! Line up!”
The knight who had already lined up was suddenly pushed back.
Vaslow broke through the chaos with his strength and screamed.
“If you line up, you can go faster!”
I couldn’t just look at it, so I stuck to the back and persuaded the servants.
No one can go out if they’re stuck together like this.
I fell on my hip after being hit by someone’s elbow, and I saw someone’s familiar crutches next to me.
It was the Priest, O’mont.
“You’ll have to let the Lady go first!”
“It’s the princess! Princess!”
The maid and servant, who were protecting Cesaria, shouted, but they were only flinching at the back, showing no signs of order.
“Oh! Do you want to die together? Then get out! Get out!”
Finally, Vaslow pushed his way forward, picking people off one by one from behind with his strength.
The people who were huddled in front of the gate gradually regained their senses and began to cling to the wall.
Other knights came and used their strength to push people to the side, back, and away.
A path was soon created for Cesaria to barely squeeze in.
“Shouldn’t the princess be the one to go first!”
They, too, screamed and rolled out of the way, even as they were about to be trampled.
Vaslow called after me, not even looking back.
I was dragging those who had been pushed along with the priest, backing them up against the wall.
“Seth, do as the knight says.”
O’mont pushed me gently from the side.
His eyes were serious, like when he was almost captured by the demon before.
I can’t let him know that I’m the only one who can evacuate at a moment’s notice.
I suddenly heard a scream and looked up to see a large piece of shrapnel flying out of nowhere and embedded into the ground.
It could have hit someone.
As I looked further away, I realized that the demon had gotten a little closer.
“Come on, get in line, we can all get out!”
“Okay, one by one, one by one!”
They impatiently persuaded the priest and the others from the back.
However, seeing the fallen shrapnels, the line that had been barely organized began to get messy again.
“You’re supposed to be protecting the lady! What are you doing!”
Sally’s angry shouts cut through the crowd, and as she and I tried to get out, the barely formed space seemed to narrow again.
Vaslow dragged the princess to the gate, supporting her with what little strength he could muster.
“Seth! Where are you!”
Vaslow called out to me once again.
“I’ll catch up with you in a minute!”
I was almost pushed out, so I didn’t think I could make it to the gate, but at least Princess Cesaria was ahead of me.
The fact that Vaslow was able to make a path through all this pressure reminded me that he was no ordinary Knight either.
“One at a time if you want to get out!”
Father O’Mont was limping, but desperately organizing people.
At this point, it seemed like no one was going to get out, but a few people were coming in from the back.
“Line up! Line up!”
I tapped the shoulders of the people I was with, urging them to move forward.
The people behind me trembled, not daring to look back at the demon.
That was when my body jerked backward and was suddenly dragged away.
Someone grabbed me by the nape of the neck.
I then saw Priest O’Mont nod and exchange a glance with the man behind me.
I was being dragged along by someone, but his voice was familiar.
Vaslow had actually moved over to this side.
Perhaps because he had already done this before, Vaslow expertly navigated our way through the crowd, and in a flash, I was already at the gate, releasing me from beyond the fortress.
“No, why is the slave here?”
Sally spoke in a small voice, but it was clear enough for me to hear.
Beyond the fortress, Cesaria and the maids, who had come earlier, were being ushered in, followed by the men.
I glanced over at Cesaria, and her face was completely blank.
She was leaning on her maid, as if in need of support.
It wasn’t until most of the people had finally entered that O’mont made his appearance.
He must have been uncomfortable, but he still managed to carry his way all the way to the back.
I helped him to sit down on a more level surface, knowing it would be hard for him to keep standing.
I pulled a small cloth from my pocket and handed it over to him.
Sweat was still running down his face.
“I’ll open the gate for you once we’re done cleaning up.”
When everyone was finally evacuated, Vaslow closed the gate in front of us.
I bowed my head to express my thanks, but he simply waved me off like it was nothing.
“You did well.”
I turned around to see the others, apart from the Lé Cheníos, looking gratefully at me.
Does he mean about me helping out with the line?
I felt slightly embarrassed because I hadn’t done much.
The knights were the ones who did the hard work.
“Lady, please sit here.”
There was nowhere else to sit, so they found themselves a wooden pole.
Knowing Cesaria she would have said no, but I guess it was still difficult for her to stand because she still slowly sat down.
Then I made eye contact with her.
I tried to avoid it, but she still gestured for me to come over.
“What are you doing, arrogant!”
I moved closer, and Sally’s pointed words flew straight at me.
Apparently she didn’t like the fact that she was scolded because of what happened to me earlier.
I had no choice but to lower myself.
Cesaria pressed a hand to her forehead and sighed heavily.
“I wonder if you knew.”
“No it’s impossible.”
Her hand moved up to the pendant.
I think she was referring to what happened earlier.
She couldn’t have meant..
If I knew that she wanted to hurt the crown prince, right?
“I don’t think so.”
She looked uneasy, as if she were asking herself a question.
I wanted to ask her if she really meant that… No right? There’s no way..
She didn’t mean to hurt him, did she?
Cesaria snapped the pendant from around her neck and tossed it away with a flick.
It clattered against the stone, cracked and shattered.
She closed her eyes and took a deep breath, looking deeply uneasy.
“Miss, are you all right?”
Her hand over her eyes was shaking slightly.
Sally fidgeted uneasily and glared at me in front of her.
“My offer still stands.”
Her voice trembled, and she didn’t look at me.
The corners of her eyes were still covered.
“… I’m sorry.”
Her blue gaze suddenly shot to mine.
It was a difficult environment for a noble young lady like her to understand.
Pushing through people, struggling to stay alive, waiting in a desolate place with no place to sit, and actually seeing a demon right in front of you.
She would not have expected any of this to happen.
“Make no mistake.”
Her low voice warned.
“You’re just a slave, nothing more.”
It wasn’t a loud voice, but it came right to my ears and stuck around.
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