~ Chapter 54: A mother's anger ~
[Melissa's point of view]
When Luthecia arrived at the Vlamyr Estate, she was frightened and still in shock. Her hands were shaking and her breath was ragged. With one glance at her clothes, we could tell that something was wrong, but what startled me was the blood... He dress and her hands were stained with red blood.
If not for the fact that one of the guards recognized her, Luthecia would have definitely been treated as someone suspicious. If she was still a slave, our last command towards her would have made her unable to leave the mansion and tell us what happened. No matter the state of emergency, a slave could not stray away from their master's orders.
Seeing her in this state, Baron Vlamyr excused my servant's appearance, realizing that something serious must have happened.
Then, in a trembling tone of voice and looking straight into my eyes, Luthecia said “A-Attacked... Someone attacked the mansion... The young mistress was k-kidnapped, and the young master is gravely injured... Blood... this is his blood...”
When I heard this, I felt like my heart stopped beating.
“L-Leonidas... What happened to my Leonidas? What do you mean attacked? Who? And Cassandra... she was kidnapped?” I asked as I held my husband's hand.
Strange cracking sounds were heard coming from it and a muffled scream from him.
Reynald helped me take a seat, and the baron's maid brought me a glass of water. While I was trying to calm myself, Luthecia waited at the door stand, clenching her dress with both hands.
After healing his broken bones, my husband asked the baron to borrow some of his men, and he happily agreed. We were thankful he was such an understanding man. For various reasons, I wouldn't have wanted to be in his shoes if he declined.
As my husband made his way to the door, I sat up and took a deep breath in.
“M'lady, you should rest.” Baron Vlamyr urged me with a worried tone in his voice.
“Thank you, Baron Vlamyr, but I can't just sit here while knowing that my son is bleeding in my house.” I said.
I may have been a noble woman, but healing magic was still one of my stronger attributes.
We left in a hurry and arrived at our mansion together with a small band of men lent to us by the baron. There, I found my sister waiting for us at the entrance to the house. I couldn't understand why she was here and not with my son or chasing after the kidnapper.
“Sister! What happened?! Where's Leonidas? Where's Cassandra?” I questioned her.
“Sister... Someone attacked the mansion. Cassandra was kidnapped and Leonidas was attacked, but...” she said and then stopped, clenching her fists.
“It's alright... Where's Leo? And do you know who it was? Did you see his face?” I asked as I tried hard to calm down.
Reynald was already ordering the men to secure the premises of our estate.
“Yes.” she nodded “Although I didn't see him, Leonidas did. He said it was the Royal Knight who came to Briston the other day.” she replied.
“Royal Knight?” I furrowed my brow and then remembered that suspicious man whose words were like honey. He was capable of charming even me to frightening degree. “Alexandre Damascus...” I said.
“The young master isn't inside! Where is he?” Luthecia questioned after she came out.
I didn't even see her when she rushed inside. This woman was as worried about my boy's safety as I was. Her loyalty was impressive, but this wasn't the time to praise her for this.
“Eliza?” I asked when I saw that my sister wasn't answering.
Where could my son be? I wondered.
After a moment, she looked into my eyes, half regretting what she was about to say.
“He ran into Chedelle Forest to chase after him.”
Rare were the moments when I raised my hand against someone. Usually, I could abstain from physical violence, however, now wasn't one of those moments. Something snapped inside me when I heard that she let my injured little boy go after that monster inside that dangerous forest alone and bleeding.
How could she? I thought as I felt my body trembling from all this anger and worry.
Because I slapped my sister as hard as I could, my hand was throbbing and her cheek had turned red.
“How could you?” I asked “How could you let my little boy go after that man?! He was injured! That blood on your hands is his, isn't it?! How could you let him go after loosing so much blood?! How could you send my little boy, your nephew, to his death?!” I shouted at the top of my lungs.
All the men took a few steps back from me, and it was for good reason too. A punching bag was always useful for relieving some stress.
“Melissa, calm down.” my husband said, but I thought he was joking “There has to be a reason for this... Eliza, please tell me you had a good reason for letting my son go out there alone.” he looked at my sister, and I noticed I wasn't the only one at wit's end.
Eliza nodded and then said “Leonidas, after he healed himself, he told me that he has a way to find his sister, but he doesn't know if he can defeat that man. That was why he came up with this plan... I placed [Mark] on him. As soon as you too arrived, I was to join you and give chase after him, tracking him down through the spell, while he tracked down the kidnapper.”
What? Healed himself? I wondered a bit confused.
My sister then looked into my eyes, and I could see her tears gathering “I'm sorry, sister. I tried to stop him... I did, but... but I was frozen in shock... Seeing all of that blood, I was remembered of the past... Leonidas' plan also made sense at that time, so I wasn't able to stop him. I'm sorry!” she apologized and made a deep bow at the waist.
Tears rolled down her cheeks and fell on the ground. She wasn't the type to let her own nephew run off like that unless there was no other choice. At the very least, I was certain of this. Eliza looked like a brute most of the time, but she wasn't stupid.
As for her past... I couldn't blame her. It was a traumatic experience and the reason for her gambling addiction as well as her continued downfall as an Adventurer. If that tragedy didn't happen, she would have reached Godlike Rank by now.
“Do you...” I gulped “Do you know where he is now?” I asked.
Eliza straightened her body and nodded while whipping her tears.
“Then take us to him right now!” I demanded.
“Yes!” she nodded.
I didn't apologize for slapping her because I felt like she fully deserved it.
Together with my husband, Eliza, and the Baron's men, we rushed towards Chedelle Forest while praying in our hearts that my children were safe.
Luthecia, who was the weakest out of all of us, stayed back at the mansion to clean up the mess. Besides, she was exhausted after running all the way to Baron Vlamyr's estate.
Still, even thought we were looking at this situation with hope in our hearts, I couldn't shake off the feeling that something really bad was about to happen, almost as if I was about to lose someone really precious to me.
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