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146 Part 2
The negotiation between Iris and the chief criminal had abruptly stopped. Some information might have reached Iris as well. I think it would be safe to assume that the Iron Heat Corps had been mobilized. I led the hostages covertly, so to make it seemed that they were stampeding into the darkness.
Eliza was also desperately running. I was very happy that she assisted in the fight. The thought of performing the extraction all by myself had certainly crossed my mind. The gentle-hearted Eli existed in Eliza Deauville, after all!
Moments after we had escaped and hid, the violently raging Iron Heat Corps echoed near the hill. After a while, the uproar subsided. The annihilation seemed to be a success. I could hear people calling us from the sky and the ground. Phew, it seemed this incident had been taken care of.
I thought it would be safe dispelling the transformation magic, changing the bearded face back into my charming face.
The hostages were taken aback by my transforming face. They were shocked even more when the face appearing before them was that of Kururi Helan’s.
“Rural nobleman uses weird magic, eh?”
As usual, Eliza used abusive language. Eli hadn’t returned yet. Maybe she would never return.
“It’s the magic I learned from the best academy.”
“Whatever. My dress is dirty. I wanted to obliterate them with my own hands.”
“You’re safe now, so just let it go.”
“You should’ve saved me sooner!”
… If the conversation continued at this rate, we would definitely be having another fight.
The other hostages would also be blaming me, so let’s stop the conversation right there. Besides, there were other things I wanted to talk about.
“… Eliza, I remembered a lot since the last time. But mainly the knowledge on magic ….”
“So have I. Mainly the knowledge on magic.”
Mainly, eh …. We both knew other memories had resurfaced as well. But to speak up first was somehow embarrassing. Moreover, I would feel defeated if I did.
“What else did you remember?”
“You tell me.”
She definitely wouldn’t yield, this woman. It couldn’t be helped, I decided to be the grown-up here. What a child she is!
“It seemed that I gave Eliza Deauville flowers as a gift in the past ….”
“Yes, so it seemed. I was given flowers by a hick named Kururi Helan ….”
Were we remembering the same thing?
Did I give such an unpleasant woman flowers as a gift?! Impossible, but it was possible. Impossible! Yes, it was possible! No, it was impossible, after all!
“That’s impossible, right? There’s no way I could be so happy to receive flowers as a gift ….”
What?! No way! I couldn’t believe it! Did this Eliza Deauville have such a pure heart that was able to feel pleased when given flowers as a gift?!
“… Somehow, I think you’re kind of cute.”
“What?! Who’s what now?!”
Is this really that Eliza Deauville, an arrogant woman who was pleased when given flowers as a gift…? This is bad. Somehow she’s cuter than I imagined, interesting as well. I would like to see that!
This version of Eliza is camouflaging her embarrassment with anger. Hahaha! I would let you off this time. Then, I would use the power of my imagination to let the flower bloom once more in a peaceful place.
We were chasing each other around the hostages. One of us was bursting in laughter, the other was furious with a bright red face. Since the kidnappers were caught, the atmosphere had somehow become more cheerful.
Afterward, a search party of the Iron Heat Corps rendezvoused with us. They would notify their other teams of our location and come and pick us up. The handling of this incident seemed to have reached its conclusion. A dragon was visible in the distant sky. It must have been Iris and Rahsa flying this way. There were signs of people approaching. They were probably the Iron Heat Corps led by Mr. Lotson.
At this point, all the hostages felt relieved and came my way one after another.
Some came to express gratitude. Some promised to return the favor. Some influential people from other territories also came in person and sent messengers to inform of their future visits.
The man who approached me at the end was fretting incessantly. It seemed that he was traveling alone on the magic train, and he must have felt disheartened about the whole kidnapping incident. As I was trying to find comforting words to say to him, he started to search his chest pocket for something.
“That’s right. I have something good for you. Please wait a moment.”
“It’s fine, you don’t need to give me anything in return. Most importantly, all of us are safe.”
“Don’t say that, please receive this.”
The man looked impatient as he was rummaging his chest pocket for something, but it seemed to be stuck. Even though I felt a little creeped out by it, I waited patiently.
A rock salt came out of his chest pocket. It seemed he had been carrying a bar of rock salt around. Since it was so strange, I was unconsciously fixated on the man and the rock salt he was carrying. What a strange passenger.
The face of the strange man suddenly changed into a startled expression, and he was shuddering. As I was wondering what happened, a burning sensation struck my abdomen.
What? Why? Looking more closely, the burning sensation came from a sharp knife that had pierced through my abdomen. It penetrated from my back. Was this what startled the strange man? I turned around to see who stabbed me.
… It was the man who came earlier and promised he would return the favor. I never would have thought this would be his returning of the favor ….
“Why did you do this …?”
“Hahahaha! I did it. I did it! You didn’t think that the kidnappers could disguise as hostages, too, right?! Though you’re a man without weakness, you have let your guard down. You finally showed your weakness, and that’s your loss!”
In the end, he didn’t even explain the reason for stabbing me. But somehow I remembered. This man’s face was somewhat familiar. That was it, he was one of the representatives in the Noblemen Assembly of Kudan Kingdom the other day …. Oh, so that was it. He got mixed up in this hostage situation and got me good this time.
The man made a run for it but was stopped by the Iron Heat Corps. Still, I wouldn’t dismiss this matter so lightly.
I somehow managed to stop the bleeding, but the wound was quite deep.
Fading in and out of consciousness, I could see Iris and Rahsa jumping off the dragon and rushed toward me.
With eyes wide open, Eliza was standing frozen next to me.
Even at this moment, I could recall more memories. Why did I aim to be a blacksmith? Oh yeah, I was originally a nobleman who was expected to fall into ruin. So I worked so hard and was desperately trying to climb up to become a lord of an autonomous territory, and then this incident happened… Avoiding to fall into ruin was just around the corner. Would it become out of reach again?!
I didn’t want to fall asleep, but I reached my limit. My consciousness slipped and I fell into a dark sleep.
Since I was expected to fall into ruin, I aimed to become a blacksmith, huh …. It was such a realistic idea.…
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