North x Northwest - Chapter 180
Volume 6 Chapter 180
Translators – Pru and Formidable
Lil took a deep breath and looked ahead. No, she had to look up, for the two heads that showed up were taller than her. A northern continental man and woman with pale skin and black hair were clearly shocked to see her. The man, however, immediately drew his sword and held it. The tip of his blade was undoubtedly pointed toward Lil. In an attempt to defend herself, Lil also brandished her sword despite her clouded mind.
She swung it. Or, so she thought.
– Zeng! –
Lil’s blade slammed on the marble floor. Her hand, which had let go of the sword halfway, swung through the air in an empty trajectory. This action caused her to lose her balance and Lil staggered forward. As soon as her stomach was squeezed, she burst into tears from the pain and she threw up a foreign substance. To check what was pouring out of her nose and mouth, Lil rubbed her face with her hand.
Lowering her gaze, she witnessed her own blood dripping down, staining the white hem of her dress. Not long after, her legs began to tremble like she was having a seizure and morbid tremors ran from her head, through her shoulders, to her back. To make matters worse, her tongue curled up on its own and blocked her airway.
A scream came from the woman with the blurry face.
The man’s face came closer as if he leapt forward. At the same time, Lil’s vision continued to fade away. In her world where the lights were dimming, only inaudible voices came and went.
But before long, even before her sense of hearing was lost, Lil had already lost her mind…
The port city of Roahn.
The Marquisate of Rohan, which included the Mondovi Peninsula, was a region bestowed on the Retiro family by the first emperor. The first in their lineage, Eichendorff, was an explorer from the Northern Continent who should’ve been captured when he set foot on the land. But instead of doing so, the emperor granted them territory instead. This provoked strong opposition from the aristocracy, who claimed that the emperor was bestowing a title on a mere foreigner. In the end, the emperor had no choice but to give them an unappealing piece of land. The Sesbron nobles eventually accepted the new estate of Retiro, due to the fact that it was on nearly barren land. To them it felt like they were giving away trash.
Roahn had previously been an outlying village where farming was impossible, so no one wanted to embrace it. Roahn’s rapid rise as a sophisticated city was accomplished due to the exploration of the Western Continent. When the Western Navy was formed around the Mondovi Peninsula, the mansions of officers and the home of merchant associations were intermittently built. Following these military developments, culture and art progressed naturally. Now, more than a century later, Roahn has grown into one of the empire’s leading cities.
The Retiro mansion, overlooking the Devito Harbour, was a structure that had been built on the top of a low cliff. Its official name was the ‘Residence of the Marquess of Roahn’, but it was more often referred to as the Retiro mansion, like how its owner was usually addressed as Admiral Retiro rather than the Marquess of Roahn.
At the bottom of the cliff, the harbour shrouded in thick darkness was quiet. A man standing in front of the mansion looked down at the pier of the Devito Harbour. His elongated, mono-lid eyes carefully examined the port.
“…It’s time for him to arrive. Why can’t I see him yet?..”
While muttering, he turned to the other side and saw the city with sparse lights down the hill of the Marquess’ residence. Shortly thereafter, a dark figure approaching the residence caught his eye. Watching the person come up along the well-marked road, Linhardt chewed on the leaves in his mouth, causing a refreshing mint scent to be released. The smell of mint, wafting in the autumn night breeze, filled his nose. A sudden rustle made Linhardt turn his head. Butler Grits spoke to him as he was walking out of the main building’s entrance.
“Sir Linhardt. This…”
“What is it?”
“This is a petition related to transportation tariffs on the canals. There seems to be an urgent problem, so please take a look.”
“Ha, damn you Edgar, you bastard… Even for issues on tariff duties, I’m the one who has to do them myself. At moments like this I’m starting to wonder who the real Marquess actually is.”
Linhardt accepted the papers and quill. With the amount of work constantly piling up, he seems to have no time to go out for a break.
Of course, it was only natural for Roahn’s governor, Linhardt, to be busy. However, customs duties were under the jurisdiction of the Marquess, Edgar. In spite of Ed being back in the mansion, Roahn’s master and the person responsible for the signature, the whole management of the estate was still bestowed upon Linhardt, and this fact annoyed him dearly. This was all because Ed’s presence here was kept a secret. Not that Linhardt wanted to stop working, but given the good harvest year, he felt like he deserved a break.
Linhardt signed while chewing the leaves like he was chewing meat.
“I think she’s still taking care of the patient, I mean, ‘Visha’. She needed a change of clothes.”
Linhardt nodded and handed back the documents. While he and the butler talked, the figure, which had been getting closer for a while now, reached the entrance of the mansion. It didn’t slow down even after entering the garden. Evidently the man on horseback instantly headed to the front of the main building and jumped off his horse.
Linhardt snorted at the man’s sloppy disguise as a mere private soldier.
“You thoughtless bastard. What kind of soldier tramples the garden of his master’s mansion as if it were his own grass?”
Ed, who was picking up the luggage he had brought, glanced at his opponent picking a fight. Similarly, Linhardt blatantly looked at Ed from head to toe.
“Don’t you know that wearing such an inconsequential costume is even more conspicuous? I thought that your stay here should remain a secret?”
“I don’t care.”
“What a prick.”
“Why so savage? Do you have too much free time on your hands now?”
“Why do you think so? I like talking to my cousin whose status is up there.”
Ed kept his mouth shut, not feeling the urge to reply any further. Normally, that wasn’t really like him, but for now, he was so tired that he couldn’t be bothered.
Servants who approached him unloaded his belongings and slung them over their shoulders.
Ed took off his glove and squeezed his stiff neck. He has been feeling tense while riding his horse, so his neck and back ached. Meanwhile, Linhardt stayed silent as he watched Ed unload the new medicines. Ed suddenly felt a strange premonition and looked down at Linhardt’s feet before looking straight at his opponent chewing leaves. At first glance, Linhardt seemed preoccupied with chewing, but in fact, he was waiting for Ed.
Ed had a hunch that something might have happened.
“What happened with the patient?”
Linhardt only chewed indifferently.
Ed passed the hat and gloves to Linhardt. Leaving behind Linhardt, who received his luggage, Ed rushed to the hall on the first floor. Linhardt, who suddenly became a porter, explained while catching up with him.
“That patient… No, ‘Visha’… Oh, it’s inconvenient that we don’t know her real name, but the anaesthesia seemed to have worn off. She walked out into the hallway and swung a sword at us… Well, it wasn’t a significant attack. Actually, there was no attack. She immediately collapsed while coughing up blood. Nothing else happened after that, as the Maltine probably hasn’t yet gotten out of her body. It isn’t surprising, since she has been drugged all this time and then exerted so much strain on her body right after waking up.”
Ed, who was climbing the stairs, stopped walking.
“Wait, what did she do?”
“Levi forgot to replace her anaesthetic incense. I’m saying this in advance, don’t you dare blame Levi for this.”
“What did the patient do?”
“I said don’t you dare blame Levi… Hmm? Oh, she jumped out of the room and swung a sword at us, no, should I say she was trying to hide her presence? If I remember correctly, she was clumsily moving along the wall I think.”
“In which hand did she hold the sword?”
Linhardt immediately answered Ed’s strange but not difficult question.
“Did she get to say anything?”
“Oh, right… no, but I did. I was about to confirm that. She did seem to recognize people’s faces and had good muscle memory…”
Linhardt shook his head and muttered alone while watching the back of Ed’s head. The marquess climbed the stairs in an increasingly wide stride. After passing through several rooms and coming out of the hallway again, he finally reached Lil’s bedroom which was at the end.
Ed shouted while pulling open the double doors.
The room was filled with the smell of medicine and fresh linen. A machine made of wood and porcelain turned with a constant sound. Levi, who was at the bedside adjusting the patient’s clothes, shouted.
Levi tied the ribbon on the apron as quickly as she could and put the blanket over the patient’s body.
When Ed entered without hesitation, she threw him the nightcap she was holding.
“What are you doing, you idiot!”
Ed frowned at the nightcap he had snatched up. He didn’t really like the look of its thin lace, let alone its warming function.
“Why would you put something like this on her?”
“I didn’t intend to put it on either. But what else am I supposed to do with what the maids brought me?”
Levi scowled at Ed. She was the daughter of a vassal of the Eichendorff family, and an international student studying advanced medicine at the Imperial Clairaut. Although she and Ed were distant in terms of bloodline, being a daughter of a vassal, she has been with him since they were children, so she had no qualms even with Ed.
“Get out of here, now!”
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