Monday, December 5, 2022 @

Chapter 197 Unexplainable Disappearance

 "Oh... Have you finished your talk?"
 I put Ciel to bed and return to my friends.
 Monica comes out from behind Aeris's back and asks me.
 "Ciel-oneesan... fell asleep? Is it because she's tired?"
 "Yeah... by the way, you knew Uranus, right?"
 "Yes, we grew up together."
 Monica nodded.
 Ciel Uranus was a daughter of a nobleman, but she met Leon Brave when she snuck out of her house and went to visit him in a village on her domain.
 She must have known Leon's sister Monica as well.
 "It was Ciel-neesan who wrote me a letter telling me that my brother Leon was missing... 'I'll find him, don't worry,' she wrote."
 "So that made you worry more and you came here... I guess it had the opposite effect."
 Ciel is also a bit of a tightwad.
 If she really didn't want to worry her, she should not have said anything until she knew whether he was dead or alive.
 Probably, she thought that if his family heard half-truths from a third party, it would cause them to worry more than they already should.
 Leon has been active as a hero and his name has become famous in his own way. That may be one of the reasons.
 "Anyway, as a result, Monica and I met, so it's all right. I guess I never know what fate will bring about."
 "Oh? If it isn't Baskerville-san...?"
 Someone else called out to me in a friendly tone.
 When I turned around, there was a girl with braids and glasses standing there with a smirk on her face.
 "I see you came too, Baskerville-san. Well, I was worried about Leon..."
 "Biel deployed... wait, ouch!?"
 I gave the girl a chop on the top of her brain.
 The girl clutches her head in her hands and cowers in place.
 "Wh-what are you doing!? I was just trying to be friendly!?"
 "Sorry... I just got irritated. I'm regretting it, but I don't regret it."
 I apologized to the girl with the braided glasses.
 Her name was Melia Sue. She was one of Leon's party members.
 Behind her was Ruffie, a monk, who raised her hand to greet her old friend Aeris.
 "Aeris-sama, I didn't know you were coming."
 "Yes. Ruffie-san too. It's been a while."
 Aeris and Ruffie start a friendly conversation.
 On the other hand, Melia comes up to me with tears in her eyes.
 "Are you a devil who hits me just because I call out to you!? Isn't that terrible!? Are you saying that your bad guy face isn't just for decoration!?"
 "Well... I don't know what's wrong with me, but you make me pissed off. When I hear your voice..."
 "So you did it because you were pissed off, what kind of criminal are you!?"
 I'm confused too. I don't know why her voice makes me so angry.
 It's as if someone I don't like is standing there with a different face.
 "Anyway... are you guys looking for Leon too?"
 "Yes, together with Ciel-san."
 Melia looks at Ciel who is sleeping under a blanket at a little distance from her.
 "...Baskerville-san put her to sleep, didn't he? I was thinking that I had to do something about it too, so thank you."
 "Well, after all. It's obvious to everyone that she's at her limit."
 It seems that the others also had a sense of urgency about Ciel being on the verge of collapse.
 "So... did you get any leads on Brave?"
 When I asked, Melia looked difficult.
 "...It's hard to say. But at least it's clear that he didn't die in a fight with the Four Heavenly Kings."
 "Hmm? Why are you saying that?
 "Because there were no bodies directly under the hole. Neither Leon's nor the Fourth Heavenly King's. But there are blood traces of two more bodies leading deeper into the dungeon, 'at least one of them' seems to be alive."
 "I see... but I don't think I can be optimistic from what I've heard."
 Did one of them escape deep into the dungeon and the other one went after them?
 Or... one of them is still alive and dragged the other's body with him.
 I have no idea how this happened, but it's hard to say whether Leon is safe or not.
 "Okay. Leave the search to me. Take Uranus to the inn and let her rest. If she wakes up..."
 "We'll make her sleep this time. We've prepared the medicine for her too."
 Melia showed me a bag of something with a mischievous smile.
 Had she prepared sleeping pills? It seemed that she was planning to force Ciel, who was pushing herself too hard, to sleep.
 "Do that... At all, she's going to be in trouble if Leon dies, isn't she?"
 "She might even kill herself afterward... oh dear. I really have no idea what's going on."
 "You're a nervous wreck... well, it's better than being as depressed as Uranus."
 I snickered and headed for the dungeon entrance.
 My companions follow me with a brief greeting.
 When we reached the edge of the hole, a thick rope was attached to the edge of the hole to allow us to descend.
 "Well then... let's go in!"
 For Ciel's sake, Leon must be found as soon as possible.
 With this determination, I jumped into the hole. Naturally, my friends follow me.
 "...I'm counting on you. Zenon Baskerville. Save my hero."
 Melia's little murmur melts into the wind and disappears without reaching me.

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