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Chapter 58

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Jed’s Point of View
I didn’t know why Elle was in the forest.
I wanted to get at least some information about her, so I headed to the Portu village where she said she had visited.
When I entered the village, I found it a bit deserted for its size.

“Is the village head not governing here well?”

With this in mind, I went to the bakery where Elle had received the cream buns.

“Welcome!”

The person who greeted me was a kind-looking woman.

“Excuse me, but umm, do you know anything about a woman named Elle?”

As I had never asked around much, I asked her straightforwardly. As soon as I mentioned Elle’s name, the woman’s expression turned stern.

“Don’t know.”

She denied coldly.
Did Elle do something to her?
No, but she received cream buns from her, after all.

“A woman named Elle just shared with me some cream buns from here. I wanted to thank her, but she was in a hurry.”

As she spoke, the woman’s expression changed again.
I tilted my head at the surprised, confused, and apologetic woman.

“Elle helped yet another person… that softhearted girl.”
“Again?”
“Ah, no, it’s nothing. Sorry for being so cold to you earlier.”
“It’s nothing…”
“I cannot tell you anything about her, though.”

She obviously knows something, but won’t talk about it.
I wondered if she was being silenced.
I couldn’t force her to tell me, so I left the store.

“Elle is a noble, so the Feudal Lord might know something?”

As I headed for the most magnificent house in the village, I heard a conversation between a well-dressed old man and a young man from the garden.

“What is Ansanse really thinking, throwing Lady Gabrielle out of the country on false charges?”

Gabrielle… Elle was exiled on false charges?
What is this about?
I wanted to know more, so I sneaked up on them closer.

“Father, is there anything we can do for her?”
“The people of Ansanse are looking for her. The only thing we can do is to disguise the information so that she can escape from her pursuers.”

This is the literal meaning of the word ‘jaw-dropping’.
Elle was falsely accused and forced to leave her country.
And pursuers from her country were coming after her.
That was all I could learn from their conversation.
I staggered to hide behind a tree and covered my mouth with my hands to keep my voice down.

What kind of false accusation had Elle been accused of when she was kicked out of the country?
And why are the people from the Ansanse Kingdom who kicked her out chasing after her?
What is her fiancé, who seemed to be on good terms with her, thinking?

I wondered, but more than that, I was worried about her.

“This is bad.”

Elle is one of the top magic users on the continent.
If the Fall Empire found out that Elle had been kicked out of the Ansanse Kingdom, they would certainly want her.
In the first place, the reason why the Empire hadn’t touched her until now was because of her title as the fiancée of the Crown Prince of the friendly Ansanse Kingdom.
If Elle was taken by the Empire, she would definitely be treated like a weapon or a tool to give birth to a child with even stronger magical power.

“… Is there something I can do?”

There was nothing I could do now that I didn’t know where Elle had gone.
If I could at least find her, I would be able to protect her from the Empire and from the pursuers of the Ansanse Kingdom that she is running from.

“Elle…”

I want to protect the person I love.
I had been traveling aimlessly, but now I had my first goal.
I’m going to find Elle, and then I’m going to protect her.

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