Lady Karin never came home that day. I am so incredibly worried. I heard the rumors about the Duke searching, hunting for Karin when I stayed at the inn, and that was all the way in the Whipper Kingdom, let alone within the borders of the Roan Kingdom. When I told the red haired man Cale Henituse what I knew and he confirmed she never contacted him, he immediately called over the cute little black Dragon and his assassin butler Ron Molan, and we started to search starting from Rain City. However, we haven’t found anything beyond one eyewitness report from an old blacksmith, and time just keeps flowing. It has been days.
(Ah, why didn’t you take me with you my lady? Where could you be? I promised to protect you, and I have already failed… I swear I will find you my lady. No matter what. And I will make those responsible pay with their lives. Please wait for me, and stay alive.)
Karin Orsena’s promised contact never happened, and the day passed. The following morning her maid Iris begged us to search for her, and confessed that she heard that Duke Orsena has been searching for that girl ever since she left with us. The culprit seems clear, but I sent out Ron for information gathering just in case. The black Dragon Raon also volunteered to help find her.
“Something happened to Karin!? We need to save her! I will find her quickly as I am a great and mighty Dragon, don’t worry human!”
‘Something must have happened to that girl. How annoying. Well, I need her since she’s useful and definitely knows things about the future. Also, Raon and the others seem to like her. I can’t prepare what I need to efficiently if the people I will be working hard are troubled. I need to solve this along with the other problems as soon as possible so I can become a slacker.’
“Raon, can you find her location using the mana in this bracelet?”
Raon took the silver bracelet into his paws and tilted his head side to side as he focused on the mana inside it. His wings fluttered before suddenly freezing up and looked back and forth between the bracelet and some place in the air in the southern direction.
“The connection suddenly cuts off in Rain City then begins again towards the center of the kingdom, but I can’t figure out where it is exactly. Based on the state of the mana, it seems Karin’s bracelet has been removed. I am unable to find her location. Don’t worry human! I will find Karin and we will bring her home!”
‘I wasn’t particularly worried? I’ll leave this to Raon. A great and mighty being like a Dragon handles matters of mana the best.’
“Alright, I’ll leave it to you.”
“Leave it to me, human!”
(I know the Henituse County is strong and won’t lose to the Orsena Duchy, and that the Duke won’t even be able to touch Cale’s shoes…but I’m still scared. Please, I don’t want anyone to be hurt because of me. I’m sorry. I’m so sorry for always causing problems…)
I don’t know how long I’ve been here. All I know is that it has been over a day since they send a servant to give me one small meal every so often. The prison is dark, and torches are the only light source. Seedy looking people come in periodically to sneer at my appearance and occasionally the Duke comes by to vent his anger by hitting my bruises as though it’s some sort of sick target practice. What a disgusting bastard. I’ve long stopped crying and despairing and now am mostly reflecting on what I remember of the novel, as though I’m replaying a movie in my head. It is an… interesting experience.
(It’s similar to Raon’s life before Cale saved him, huh. Who would have thought I’d end up in such a similar situation… it’s almost funny in a cynical kind of way. How did Raon survive through this kind of environment for four years? He is truly great and mighty. I’m already feeling depressed and worn down…)
I have also learned some good things while I’ve been trapped in this place after trying to chat up the guards out of boredom and to attempt to distract myself from the streaks of pain shooting all throughout my body from my leg.
First of all, this dungeon is in the capital, so I apparently got teleported here after I got abducted from Rain City. Second, according to the guards no one working for the Duke here seems to know who I was with after I disappeared, which was reassuring. I’m glad none of these bastards know I am connected to Cale. Another thing that gives me hope is that not all of the guards are the Duke’s loyal human scum.
There was a female guard at one point who passed me a cloth with some low quality potion on it, and told me to stay strong. She said her name is Katrina. Once I get out, I will do my best to repay her for her kindness. Sadly, Katrina is one of six guards that exchange posts every so often so I don’t get to enjoy her presence for very long.
There is another nice guard assigned here. He is an elderly man named Anthony. Anthony has been serving the Orsena family for decades, and he pities me. He sneaks me some bread from his lunch when he can. It is thanks to him I am not starving and even have the energy to think and plan for freedom. He also told me that my things have not been taken far from here, and that they are kept in a safe room upstairs with some sort of mana device since the Duke has always been wary of the unknown.
No one here knows I have the ability to make things. The Duke has tried interrogating me on where I got my magic items but obviously I’m not gonna tell him I made them. That would be so stupid of me. I know he would truly use me like a tool if he knew. Within an hour he gave up and has not tried again. He’s probably going to be hiring mages to investigate them to learn how to produce them. Ha, good luck with that, bastard. Even an ancient Dragon was impressed, there’s no way some normal human mage you hire would be able to replicate what I make. That thought raises my morale.
Is today day five? Six? I can’t tell. The Duke has stopped visiting altogether now. Anthony said he probably left to run his noble faction. I’m glad he’s gone, it will make things easier. It’s boring here and my wounds seem to be slowly healing, but my leg and head are still badly injured. I’ve gotten used to moving while chained and my balance has improved slightly, I guess my concussion is getting better.
Even with these improvements, I’m still covered in my own dried blood from the events on the first day. I feel disgusting and I want to bathe. I’m so lonely. I miss everyone. I want to hug Raon and eat food other than dry bread. I want to sleep on an actual bed and drink some tea again, I don’t even care if it’s drugged. I want to feel human again…
(Iris is definitely searching for me at this point, and Raon probably is helping, we got pretty close. Cale should be on the case too since despite his behavior he’s a softie and there’s no way he can ignore this in good conscience. If only I can get to my communication bracelet… If I had my tools I could easily make something to make myself strong enough to break free and get to the bracelet, but I don’t have anything- wait. I technically do have materials I can use… Ah, but I really don’t want to! It will hurt so bad and I dislike pain just as much as Cale… but still. If no one comes by tomorrow, I will use this method and consider it as my last resort. It… it should be fine. It’ll do.)
I whispered some of my thoughts aloud, just to break the silence in this dark gloomy place.
“I’m scared… I’m lonely… I just want to be free. Why is it so hard for me to be free…”
I heard a feminine sounding whisper from outside the cell door. Katrina was guarding me at this time.
“… I understand you well, miss Karin.”
I felt some unexplainable surge of emotion swell up inside my chest from hearing this small empathetic sentence. Before I realized it I had made a decision. I will trust Katrina, who understands me and has shown me kindness and decency this entire time I’ve been trapped in this dark hell.
“…Katrina, tell this to Anthony too but no one else. Whatever happens tomorrow is not your fault and some way or another your kindness will be repaid, I promise. Thank you, and I’m sorry… Okay, good night…”
“…Just, just keep it in mind please.”
I mumbled before sighing sadly and laid down facing the wall on my grimy, stiff prison cot and pulled the tattered sheet of cloth that can’t really be considered a blanket over my body before closing my eyes. I didn’t even want to be awake anymore. I heard some sort of small nasally noise come from outside my cell door. Was she sniffling? Dude, that’s what I’ve been wanting to do this entire freaking time! Well, crying won’t solve anything for me… Regardless of what happens tomorrow and the method I choose, it will be my last day here stuck in this cell dammit. I swear it. Ah, but the method I will likely need to use… Ugh.
I both dread and hope for the inevitable tomorrow.