North x Northwest - Chapter 241
Volume 7 Chapter 241
Translators – Pru and Formidable
“…Is that all? That’s why you asked the Duke of Mireille to ask the Admiral? …Just to bring me back?”
An angry face burst into heat beyond the rain.
“What?! Your father’s dying, but that’s all you can say? You ungrateful bitch! You truly are the devil’s child!”
“With the devil, you refer to our father and mother, right?”
“I knew you would be like this, so I tried to bring you back by kidnapping you. You… You’re worse than a beast! I at least know that much!”
“I’ll think about going to see my father. However, even if I end up heading to the Obernyu estate, I refuse to be accompanied by you. I will take care of myself. I’ll merely inform you if I come.”
When the horses’ hooves stepped out of the corridor and onto the grass, heavy rain poured on Lil. Venua remained standing there with his shoulders shaking violently, but Lil simply corrected her posture that was initially turned towards him and slammed the reins down.
Raindrops pelted her face and entered her eyes. Wiping her eyes with her arm, she sped through the garden, where beyond the sound of iron hooves shaking the ground, the sound of grass crumbling beneath the beast’s four legs, and the sound of pouring rain, Venua’s cry could be heard as well.
“…Get that bitch!..”
Following the distant shout, the front gate’s bell rang loudly.
Lil felt like someone was about to grab her head from behind. No, instead of someone, it was more like a formless demon she had forgotten for a while. Lil felt goosebumps running down the back of her neck and glanced behind her. She sensed Mortu’s voice, which she had thought had long since faded, mixed within the rain.
‘It seems like he can suddenly appear from somewhere and drag me back to his castle.’
Despite her sinking heart, Lil hastily pulled out her gun. There was still a considerable distance to the front gate, but because of the darkness, Lil had not yet been spotted by anyone while running out in the rain. Soldiers guarding the tightly closed iron gate were busy going back and forth, wondering what they just heard.
Lil shot her saved bullet without hesitation.
“Open the gate!”
The soldiers, who eventually discovered Lil, gathered in front of the gate. One of the guards who was aiming a rifle suddenly took his eyes off the barrel of the gun, probably surprised that the figure he saw through the raindrops was that of a woman in a dress.
“…It’s a woman! Who is it?..”
“…Stop! Don’t shoot! It might be the young lady!..”
“…Then we shoot the horse instead…”
“…That’s crazy. She might get hurt!..”
The soldiers probably expected her to rush straight to the gate, so the area in front of the gate thickened as a result of their efforts to form a human shield, leaving Lil with no room to break through the men who had poured in. However, Lil only pretended to steer the horse to the exact centre before abruptly changing direction. Due to the fact that all the soldiers gathered in front of the iron gate, the footpath next to it was now empty. It was still blocked by a gate of course, but Lil’s horse could easily leap that high.
Lil gripped the reins tightly and accelerated. Although some soldiers realised her true intentions and ran from the main gate, it was already too late.
Knotting the reins, Lil led her horse to instinctively jump over the obstacle without slowing down. As soon as the horse’s front hooves leapt, Lil stuck her torso close to the beast. Droplets of water splashed from its mane and hit her face while the horse’s huge body floated into the air and drew a flexible, parabolic line. Unfortunately, the hem of Lil’s skirt got tangled in the decorations that rose above the iron gate and as soon as the beast’s hind legs crossed the highest point, her dress, heavy with rainwater, tore apart with a squishy sound.
Having landed on a well-paved road, the hooves of the horse were now light. The horse occasionally stepped in a puddle, causing water to splash in all directions and hit Lil’s bare calf from time to time.
The gate creaked open behind her back. Remembering the layout of the city of Roahn, Lil decided to run through the most complicated route she could come up with.
‘No matter how much the royal guards search Roahn in order to catch me, I have the advantage of having learned all the roads through the maps of the lord himself and so memorised even the routes of unmarked alleys.’
After leaving the meticulously demarcated main street, she entered a narrow, tangled maze of alleys. When walking frantically between buildings, Lil suddenly came to her senses. It dawned on her that she couldn’t see clearly in front of her because moonlight didn’t make it into the narrow alleys. All she saw was rain. So, she directed her horse to stop as she finally felt secure enough to catch her breath.
It was also then that Lil noticed that the sound of the other hooves was no longer audible.
‘It’s either due to the rain or because the guards have truly lost sight of me.’
Remaining still for a while, her horse eventually lowered its head and bit the grass that had sprouted between the pavers on the ground. Lil brushed her hair away from her face and became aware of the cold. She was only hit by this much rain, but her limbs already began to tremble with the heaviness and weariness creeping into her body.
‘Come to think of it, the medicine I took at the inn before going to Gualtiero must’ve long since lost its effectiveness…’
As soon as she realised that, the feeling of fatigue took over her entire body and she no longer had the energy to run.
‘It will be better to save up my stamina for now and speed up again when I sense someone catching up with me.’
Lil turned her horse’s head and led it to walk. From where she was, it was only a short distance away from the port anyway…
The moon, setting from the west, shone over the Devito Harbour.
Standing in the shade of the buildings, Lil looked at the quiet harbour.
‘There are no signs of a battle and more importantly, the Bell Rock is gone.’
Lil stared at the dock where the ship had been anchored, but now there was nothing but waves continuously getting hit by the falling raindrops.
‘It must’ve sailed safely then.’
Feeling relieved, her body relaxed and sank further. Lil, who had held her horse close to the shadow of the building, stuck even closer to the wall and tilted her head up. The rain was getting stronger, pouring on her face, clothes, and down to her toes. Although she was exhausted and worn out, she had nowhere to go.
‘A place I can come back to… There’s a place I once thoughtlessly said I’d return to someday. Funny how I’m suddenly reminded of how happy he was even though it was a slip of the tongue… But was it truly a mere slip-up?’
Lil raised her gaze at the cliff. Seeing the windows of the Retiro residence brightly lit, an illusory warmth seeped through the rain. While blankly staring at it, reminded Lil even of the smell; the harshness of the medicine she had to take from Levi all the time, the old papers in the library, things like that. And even the pleasant fragrance Ed used.
‘It’s the scent he has been wearing since I first met him, but I still have no idea what it is… A scent that was most present when he hugged me…’
Lil blinked her eyes slowly. Raindrops formed on her eyelids and fell. Perhaps because her mind was getting more and more clouded, her vision seemed to be blur as well.
‘Somehow I held on to this last bit of hope, but it turned out to be nothing but a useless dream. I knew… I always knew it wouldn’t work out in the first place. I knew it from the beginning, so now I have no reason to regret it or feel sad. Even after everything we went through these past months, I’m not shameless enough to keep clinging to Ed… Venua clearly warned me that he would kill Ed, so it’s obvious how my brother will act if I lay my trust in Ed…’
Lil closed her tired eyes. As she sighed, the lips that had long lost their senses trembled and a small stream of water continued to flow down her cheeks.
The darkness deepened.
At first, it was just hiding in the shade of the building, but now the shadows appeared to be condensing to reverberate a dark voice. The voice told her that she couldn’t get away no matter how hard she tried. The pitch black mass on the floor eventually found shape and a hand appeared out of nowhere. The hand, formed from darkness, came up to the leg that had been exposed by the torn dress and gripped Lil’s ankle.
Lil offered Mortu her ankle without a fight and her foot popped out of the stirrup.
‘If both my feet fall off like this, then I won’t be able to go anywhere…
How strange. I originally intended to leave the League and resume my life with the Duke of Mireille, wanting to end my old, bad relationship with the Duke and start over as ‘Liloa Obernyu’ again… The only thing that I wanted was to just live my life without denying myself…
But now I don’t want to go anywhere. I barely escaped Venua’s clutches by sheer force of will, but it feels like I’d face the same problems no matter where I go… Perhaps Mortu has already defeated me… I don’t seem to get away, no matter how hard I try… I’m trapped in a castle with no doors and I’ve been completely unaware of it this entire time… The whole world must’ve already know of this and that’s the reason why they’re constantly laughing, despising, and mocking me…’
– – – – –
We have some unfortunate news. Due to family circumstances, we’ll enter a period of irregular uploads for about 2 weeks. This will mean that from now on, we won’t be following our regular schedule and that we won’t be able to upload 3 chapters a week. We’ll post a new chapter whenever we have one ready but know that translating isn’t our number one priority right now.
Happy reading, stay healthy and hope to be back soon,
Pru and Formidable