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Chapter 36

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Minister’s point of view.
After ten minutes of walking through the dimly lit passage, I noticed the sound of metal scraping against metal coming from up ahead.
Thinking that it could be someone from the villa, I told Randolph to hurry up, so we increased our speed, and the sound gradually grew louder, and I began the sound of talking voices and something hitting against the walls.
It was hard to tell because of the echoes, but one of the voices belonged to a woman who I thought was Ivana, plus her men.
There was no doubt. Ivana and the others were probably ahead of us.

I’m sure I wasn’t the only one who guessed that, as Randolph breathed a sigh of relief, and Erbel and the others who were walking behind him were also quietly happy.
And then we all heard the sound of swords being drawn, and at the same time, we noticed that something was rapidly approaching us——

“Uoh!?”

Right before my eyes, Randolph’s drawn sword collided with someone else’s, and a sharp metallic sound reverberated throughout the passage.
I fell on my backside because of the sudden attack, and looked from behind Randolph who barely managed to defend himself at the attacker.
There was a slender woman wearing armor with a familiar crest engraved on it.
When she made eye contact with me, she stepped back in a panic.

“Master!? P, please forgive me, I thought we had intruders.”

“Sorry about that. I should have announced myself.”

As I apologized to the woman, Ivana, who knelt down and bowed, a group of private soldiers came running from the back with their swords drawn.
They all looked puzzled by Ivana’s behavior, but as soon as they noticed me, they dropped to one knee and put a hand on their chest.
Randolph, who sighed in relief, looked back at me.

“It’s good that I walked in front. You would have died if it was you.”

“Yeah, sorry. I appreciate it.”

Thinking that I have to treat Randolph, who had sheathed his sword, to a good meal later, I approached my private soldiers.

“Everyone, thank you for your hard work during this state of emergency. Please tell me what happened first.”

“Understood.”

Ivana knelt down and began to explain.
The noble district was stormed by commoners with combat experience, and battles occurred all around, and because of the unexplainable resentment of the commoners, our mansion ended up getting attacked, too.
Although they succeeded in intercepting the attackers, Ivana judged that it would be too dangerous if they attacked with magic again, so she decided that using the underground passage to escape would be for the best.
And because my wife wanted to carry as much of the family’s belongings as possible, what they are carrying now is the last thing taken out.

“In short, everyone is all right?”

“Yes, no one was injured. It’s just that we had no plan after leaving the mansion, so we were just discussing what to do next.”

“I’ve arranged a carriage. The man should be waiting if he hasn’t decided to run on his own. Anyhow, let’s move to the exit.”

Ivana and the others nodded and began to walk ahead of us, and we followed.
After retrieving the household belongings that had been left in the passage, we walked through the passage and began to see faint lights and the vague shapes of my wife and children.
As I ran past Ivana and the others, I hugged my children and said,

“Oh, I missed you so much. I’m sorry for making you experience something so scary.”

“Who are you, uncle?”

My daughter, who hadn’t recognized me at all, uttered a remark which gouged out my heart, but tears came out from the relief I felt when I finally realized that we were able to reunite safely.

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