Sunday, October 23, 2022 @

Chapter 188 New Encounter

 We entered the city of Alteriore through the western gate.
 Although there was a brief inspection at the gate, I was able to enter without being stopped, since I was a marquis.
 However, I was worried that someone might misunderstand me. For example, they shouted, "The head of the evil Baskerville family had arrived..." or something like that.
 "Nagisa-san! So you came!"
 But thanks to Nagisa, it turned out to be all right.
 There was a soldier at the gate who knew Nagisa who was participating in the defensive battle.
 "Thanks to you, Nagisa-san, who took the lead in the battle, the number of casualties among the soldiers has been greatly reduced! I have been wanting to thank you!"
 The soldier who had been examining the soldier, who spoke to Nagisa through the window of the carriage, shined his eyes.
 "Yeah, I'm glad to hear that you both survived. But more importantly... is there any problem if we go in like this?"
 "Of course not, if it's you, Nagisa-san! You and your companions are welcome to come in too!"
 Nagisa's trust was greater than my status as a nobleman.
 But I don't mind either way as long as they let me into the city... but somehow, I am not satisfied with my feelings.
 "I see, this is the pride of a nobleman... I've become a marquis, haven't I?"
 "What's wrong? My Lord?"
 "It's all right. Let's get inside"
 The carriage in which we were riding passed through the gates and entered the city of Alteriore.
 As soon as we enter through the gates, there is a wide street. The street is lined with stores on both sides.
 In the games, the streets were lively with many people coming and going, and the stores were attracting customers with their lively calls, but today, the streets are deserted and few people are coming and going.
 Most of the stores also closed. It was like a closed-down shopping street.
 "It's been a week since the battle... I guess the wounds haven't healed yet..."
 "It's terrible... there are a lot of injured people..."
 Aeris looked out the window of the carriage, and her face was also pained.
 The battle had just ended, and there were wounded people everywhere in the city, lying on the streets. Maybe there are too many wounded people and there are no facilities to accommodate them.
 "I'm telling you... please don't get off the carriage and go around treating people from one side to the other..."
 "...I understand."
 Aeris turned her face down in pain at my words.
 She probably really wants to go around treating the wounded. But... she is a member of my party and already a member of the Baskerville family. So, she can't act rashly.
 More importantly, we need to find out if Leon is alive or dead. We don't have time to go around treating the wounded.
 "But then again... we can't go into the abyss right away. We have to gather information first, and we have a little time."
 "...if that's the case!"
 "Well, there must be a treatment center somewhere that treats injured people. So, I'll allow you to treat them there. But only until the information I need is gathered."
 Aeris hugs me tightly as if she's moved to tears.
 Inside the narrow carriage, I end up in close contact with a beautiful woman in a sisters' uniform.
 "Zenon-sama is a wonderful woman after all! I'm so glad I chose you...!"
 "I see... all right, just get away from me..."
 I push Aeris away from me with a scowl on my face.
 Seriously, I'm in a lot of trouble if she hugs me too much. I hope it was just a coincidence that she was pressing her chest against me.
 "You'll search treatment centers, and I'll go talk to the lords of the city. If I, a nobleman from another place, do as I please, there will be trouble later."
 The family that rules this city is called the Duke of Alterio.
 The other family is a noble family of a higher rank than my own. If I, the head of the Marquis of Baskerville, visit the city and don't greet them, it will be troublesome later on.
 "Nobles are troublesome creatures. Good grief...."
 Fortunately, the treatment center was soon found. They are built all over the city and seem to house the wounded from the battle.
 And after leaving Aeris and Urza as her escort at the treatment center, Nagisa and I headed straight for the lord's mansion.
 The lord's mansion was located in the center of the city.
 The clean white walls and red roof were impressive, and a large garden surrounded the big house.
 "Duke Alterio, huh...? Did you see him when you were defending the city, Nagisa?"
 "Yes... I saw him commanding soldiers and adventurers, but I did not speak to him. Although I saw him from a distance, he seemed to be quite a warrior."
 "Well... I didn't know him either."
 Although we are nobles, the Baskerville family is in the royal capital. And the Duke of Alterio lives in the east.
 I've only just become head of the family, so I haven't been out socially... or even met him face to face.
 The Duke of Alterio also appeared in the game, but he is an NPC who only gives commands to his soldiers. I don't think he ever talked with the hero.
 "Well, if the head of the marquis's family comes to the game, he won't be indifferent. Let's greet him appropriately and ask for permission to go through the hole in the 'abyss'."
 The hole in the castle wall that leads to the "Abyss of Alteriore" has been sealed by soldiers, and is closed to the public.
 I heard that a team of adventurers had been dispatched to investigate the hole, and I would like to hear about the status of the investigation, if possible.
 With this in mind, we made our way to the main gate of the Duke of Alterio's mansion... but there was some sort of commotion going on there.
 "How can a duke meet a commoner! So, go back! Go back!
 A soldier guarding the front gate pushed the girl.
 The girl falls down on the road and rubs her leg probably because of the injury.
 "Hey, hey... you're being very rude to a girl who's no older than you are, aren't you?"
 "Oh? You guys are... Eeek!?"
 A security guard turns to me... his face scrunched up.
 Apparently, he's scared to death when he sees my face. A bad guy face. Well, it's a reaction I'm used to.
 "You've done a terrible thing... to hurt a little girl like this!"
 Nagisa runs to the fallen girl.
 The girl's ankle is swollen. It seems that she was injured when she was pushed.
 "I-I only refused the girl's request to meet the duke! How can a commoner's girl be a match for a nobleman?!"
 "Huff! Then, if it's a nobleman, you don't have a problem with it, do you? Here! I ask permission to enter the mansion!”
 "This is..."
 I tossed the soldier the proof of my identity.
 A silver watch with the Baskerville family crest engraved on it, the proof of being the head of a noble family given by the king when I was decorated.
 "I-I beg your pardon! I'll talk to the duke right away!"
 The soldier enters the mansion in a panic.
 I snicker "Hmph!" and walk up to the girl.
 "That must have been hard. I don't know what happened to you but, for now, put this on your wound."
 The girl took the potion I offered her.
 She was dressed in ordinary village clothes and was a little younger than I was. Her innocent face reminds me of the bud of a flower that is about to turn from a child into a woman.
 Her eyes look up at me, and strangely enough, there is no hint of fear or trepidation in them.
 When a girl of this age sees my face, she usually cries or screams... but her eyes were wide with surprise, but she did not seem to be afraid.
 I suddenly felt a sense of déjà vu and raised my eyebrows.
 Slightly smoky blond hair. Her plain but well-groomed features are familiar to me.
 I can't remember where but I have met this girl before. I had such a feeling.
 "U-Umm... are you the one who helped me that time, by any chance?"
 The girl seemed to know my face as well.
 She turned to me and asked boldly.
 "Don't you remember? I was kidnapped by a crazy person and put in a prison dungeon, but you saved me..."
 "Oh... you were in his custody, by any chance?"
 I realized what the girl was trying to say.
 Apparently, she was the victim of child abduction by a nobleman named 'Count Cannibal' Belonga Jack Salt that took place a while ago.
 It was the case that led me to the Maafern Kingdom, and it seems that the girl in front of me was also a victim who had been kidnapped and held captive by him.
 "Is that so... But...?”
 But I'm still not convinced.
 I understood that we had met before, but... did I really know her because I had met her in the prison?
 It was dark in that prison, and there were many children locked up there. I don't recognize each face individually.
 "I'm sorry I didn't thank you properly at that time."
 The girl stands up.
 She brushes the dirt from her skirt with her hand and bows her head to me.
 "Thank you for saving me! My name is Arte Brave!"
 "I came to this town to look for my missing brother. Nice to meet you!"
 Arte Brave.
 I know that name well.
 She is the little sister of Leon Brave, whom I am currently searching for, and one of the sub-heroines who appeared in 'DunBrave 2'.
 She is the girl who was kidnapped and imprisoned by Zenon Baskerville, the villainous protagonist and was supposed to be subjected to unspeakable humiliation.

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