BBYW Vol. 3 Interlude Part 20 (WN)
Interlude – Royal Martial Tournament
Part 20 – Crumbling Armor and Helping Hand
【POV: Naam Sphinx】
The men that kidnapped me, took me to an abandoned shack outside the capital.
My abductors were apparently expert martial artists: I did not have a chance to repel them, unlike the ruffians from the day before.
I was tied and gagged and made to lay down on the floor of the shack.
“Did you deliver our demands to the Sphinx?”
“Yes, I’ve had a couple of our young men deliver them. The reply should arrive at any moment.”
There were several men in the room. Listening to them talking, I desperately kept my tears from falling.
(Why…why is this…happening to me…)
According to what the men said, I was brought here accidentally.
I had turned into an adult woman using the magic tool “Skuld”, which was handed down through generations in House Sphinx. My abductors thus mistook me for Mist, my brother Valon’s fiancee, and brought me here.
Being Valon’s sister, I was worth the same as a hostage. However, looking at my current form, no one would ever guess I was his 10-year old sister.
(What’s going to happen to me…?)
I had already gone through a kidnapping experience, three years ago.
That time, my abductors were local nobles of the western province, who rebelled against House Sphinx: they kidnapped me in order to use me as bargaining material, to obtain the position of leading noble house of the western province.
I was 7 at the time: the kidnapping traumatized me deeply, and I became unable to appear in front of strangers without borrowing the power of the magic tool.
The memory of the incident made me tremble uncontrollably.
That time, my father and brother came to my rescue.
I had been kidnapped in the central city of the Sphinx domain, so many of the eyewitnesses recognized me: my brother was familiar with the area and could find me relatively quickly.
This time, however, I was abducted in the royal capital, an unfamiliar place for the people of House Sphinx. No one could recognize me, no matter if I was in my child or adult form. It would be pointless to look for witnesses, so my brother and the others had very little chance to find my whereabouts.
The face of my closest family members appeared in my mind.
I might not see them anymore. As such a powerful wave of anxiety filled my chest, I could feel the tears welling up in my eyes more and more.
I could barely keep myself together thanks to the power of the ring magic tool, but if I was still in my 10-year old form, I would probably be bawling right now.
Looking at me holding back my tears, with my face all red, one of the younger Saverne swordsmen swallowed his breath.
“H-Hey…since we’re here and all, why don’t we have some fun with her?”
“What are you…? She’s a hostage. If we hurt her, the negotiations won’t work out.”
The young man’s bloodshot eyes leered at me, from head to toe. I shuddered.
I had been the subject of lecherous gazes before, but the current situation was completely different.
I had been kidnapped, forced to face my past trauma, thus my adult persona was crumbling down and the timid young Naam began to emerge from inside the shell.
In this state, men, who were nothing but a source of fear, pointed at my heart like a blade.
I could feel the tears trickle down my cheeks. In contrast to my adult appearance, child-like weeping started leaking from my mouth.
“At your orders.”
I wasn’t expecting anyone to answer, but it somehow happened.
“Wha-Who are you!?”
Apparently, an unexpected third party arrived, causing the men to shout. The next moment, the walls shook violently and the shack’s door was knocked down.
A silhouette barged in the room, rolling down on the dusty floor. Looking at it, the Saverne men were wide-eyed in surprise.
“What…? Why are you…!?”
The man sprawled on the floor was one of the messengers they had sent to deliver their demands to House Sphinx. The young swordsman had been beaten up and leaked blood from his nose and mouth.
“Delivery for you, sirs…hah.”
“Who…who the hell!?”
The person who threw the young man in the shack made his entrance, without an inch of hesitation. Looking at the man, a sword at his waist and a grin on his face, one of the Saverne swordsmen shouted.
“Dyngir Maxwell…!! Why are you here…!?”
The man standing there was none other than the man who had stolen my lips.