She and the Watchdog
The next afternoon, we left the castle and headed for the outer gate.
Yesterday, I talked to the King about the wolf.
He’d been surprised after hearing the situation but agreed on the condition that no harm would befall his subjects, or their surroundings.
If the wolf caused a single problem, he’d be cast out.
No aggressor could remain inside the castle.
I thought that was just common sense so I obediently agreed, simply grateful to have received permission to accommodate that child.
We also dropped by Freed’s stableman to explain the situation.
He’d been surprised to learn we were bringing in a wolf, but he happily accepted that responsibility. He appeared to like animals, so he was very interested in keeping a wolf, which would be his first.
I was again very grateful.
After getting ready and passing through the outer gate in high spirits, we focused our search on the place Bell had told us about yesterday.
Aside from Freed, only Cain accompanied me.
We had discussed and concluded that a select few people would be better than a large group.
As that child was considerably large, he would definitely be difficult to capture. I was certain that if Freed and Cain couldn’t catch him, then nobody could. Additionally, any others would get in the way. We decided it was optimal to find and capture that child with just the three of us.
“He’s not here, huh.”
There were many bushes and trees in the area Bell had pointed us towards. I considered that he might be in hiding and looked through the bushes, but it was a swing and a miss.
I had hoped that I’d find him quickly, but in retrospect, none of the soldiers had found him so far. Locating him could very well take much longer than initially assumed.
“Freed, Cain, have either of you found him?”
They both responded.
Today, Freed was dressed even plainer than whenever he went out to town. He wore a plain jacket and slender pants and had a thin ribbon at the base of his neck. The reason being that unnecessary decorations were a hindrance in catching the wolf, but since his physique was inherently fit, it just made his coolness stand out all the more. His six-pack abs were not just for show. Well, they’re mine and only mine!
Cain looked the same as usual, and I wore a dress prepared by Clara.
The dress’s sleeves were fluttery and cute, so I was quite enamored with it.
The three of us searched every location we could think of.
Even after looking for an hour, we didn’t spot a wolf-like figure. While I was feeling dejected, I saw somebody wearing a guard uniform running towards us from afar.
“Eh? A guard?”
I wondered if he needed something from us.
The soldier stopped in front of us and knelt down.
“What is it?”
Freed asked him, and the guard deeply bowed.
“I have a message from the guard captain. The beast appeared a short while ago. Knowing Your Highness would be here, he dispatched me to report in.”
“Ah! That child did so?”
Freed and I exchanged looks upon learning that the wolf was found. He nodded and questioned the kneeling soldier.
“Please, show us the way.”
“Yes. This way.”
The soldier stood up and broke into a jog to lead the way. When I tried to run after him, Freed lifted me in a princess carry.
I realized he was running while carrying me, so I hurriedly asked.
“F-Freed? I can run by myself, you know?”
I wasn’t a sheltered lady. I was bad at exercising, but my stamina was average, so I could run.
However, Freed refused to let me down.
“Nope. We don’t know how far it is, and your stamina isn’t enough to keep up with a trained man, right?”
Freed was right.
There was a decent chance I’d be left behind. Given that the soldier leading us trained regularly, I understood that it was wise to go with Freed’s idea.
“I-I’ll be counting on you.”
“Of course. Don’t worry, I won’t drop you. But hold on tightly, okay?”
Freed started running while holding me, so I instinctively clung to his neck. Freed’s running was so stable it was hard to believe he was carrying an entire person at the same time.
— Uu. Freed is so cool.
My husband running with me in his arms while looking straight ahead was just too cool.
Freed’s serious eyes were so lovely that my heart fluttered.
— Kyaa! Freed’s so wonderful!
As always, my mind was in chaos.
Cain, who was running by our side, said in exasperation.
“I-I wasn’t really mesmerized or anything!”
“I didn’t say anything of the sort.”
I turned red upon noticing that I’d dug my own grave. Freed chuckled.
“It’s nothing, I was just thinking that you’re as cute as ever, Lidi.”
“Freed, you’re very cool, after all…”
I was suddenly embarrassed for some reason, so I tightly clung to Freed.
Despite talking while running, Freed’s breathing was undisturbed and calm.
I wondered if it was normal for trained people, but more likely, Freed was just that ridiculously athletic.
While running after the soldier, Freed enquired of him.
“I want to know one thing. You said the beast appeared earlier, but in what way did it appear?”
“To be frank, the guards were chasing after a thief fleeing from the royal capital. The thief was so fast we almost lost sight of him, but the rumored beast turned up, blocking his way.”
What a surprise. It seemed that the child had helped the guards.
He really was quite intelligent.
Freed urged the soldier to continue. The soldier replied, “Of course.”
“We caught the thief. The beast was about to leave, however, remembering that Your Highness was looking for it and was present here today, the captain ordered me to contact Your Highness. I would hazard a guess that the captain is stalling the beast for now.”
“I see. It hasn’t escaped, then?”
It would be pointless if he escaped even though we went out of our way to meet him. The soldier confidently answered Freed’s question.
“I believe it will be all right. Yesterday, the magical capturing tools were distributed to everyone. They should be in use right at this moment.”
“Is that the case?”
They went so far as to use equipment of that nature? Apparently, they made substantial preparations in order to catch that child. They had probably done so in order to help Freed. However, with consideration to that child’s feelings, I knew we had to move quickly.
“I know. Let’s hurry.”
Freed improved his hold on me. I tightly clung to him to avoid putting even the slightest burden on him and prayed for a safe reunion with that child.
Editors: Alexis, CoastalService