Chapter 33

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Translated by Momo. Edited by Mary.

When she regained consciousness, Cecilia realized she was inside of a carriage.

The interior was completely dark and she couldn't see outside,  she only grasped that she was placed in a carriage because of the sound of horse's hooves kicking the ground and the steady vibrations. The wooden door was locked and it was unlikely she could escape. All of her limbs were tied up and they even gagged her mouth so that she wouldn't utter any sounds.

Cecilia was laying on her side but she could still somehow move a little. Her body was a little numb and sore after being hit on the stomach, but it was gradually recovering.

(They took away the 'treasure'...)

She wasn't sure if they knew what it was and removed it for that reason, but the bracelet that had always been on her wrist was gone now. The wig also disappeared, together with the handkerchief and hand mirror she kept in her pocket.

(Will anyone come to rescue me?)

She thought about that, but actually didn't expect help to come immediately.

Even if Leanne herself asked for help, most people wouldn't be able to identify the thugs who kidnapped Cecilia as part of the same organization that Dante belonged to. Probably only Gilbert would be aware of that possibility, but he would have to be cautious given his position as the Duke's heir.

Even if he managed to involve their household, the Silvy family were known as being a civilian aristocratic clan and they weren't associated with military affairs even as a Duchy. They had a private army, but their numbers were less than most ordinary noble families and it was only prepared to protect their state. In other words, they're not qualified to handle an incident like a sudden kidnapping. They were simply not prepared for this.

(It's because mom and dad really don't worry about this kind of thing. I wonder if that's because it was sufficient until now...)

One of the reasons behind it was because there wasn't anyone stupid enough to openly assault the Duke's family.

If she managed to return safely, this would probably be one of the areas she needed to take a look at in the future.

If Dante heard about what happened, he would surely figure it out immediately, but she didn't believe he would act on behalf of Cecil since they didn't have that much of a close relationship.

(I'm a little envious of Leanne at such times...)

In the game, Leanne was described as the perfect image of someone who is loved by all.

And correspondingly, Cecilia was depicted as someone who deserved to be neglected.

Cecilia's actions might have changed the future somehow, but the basic plot shouldn't have been affected. If Leanne and Cecilia were both kidnapped, maybe even Oscar or Gilbert would be more determined to rescue the heroine instead.

(Well, it's no use crying over spilt milk, I must find a way to escape now!

If she couldn't rely on anyone, there's no other option but to do something on her own. That's something she already understood 12 years ago. Cecilia had been preparing herself since that time.

She firmly nodded to assure herself. At that moment, the horse-driven carriage came to a halt and the previously locked wooden door slowly opened. A man peeked inside.

◆ ◇ ◆

"Boss, this is the girl."

Cecilia was pushed out in front of their commander. As she looked up, she could see that the so-called 'Boss' was a woman. The woman had striking features with bright red and pink hair and a deep scar on her cheek.

Her name was Marleen Sweeney. She was the leader of Heimat and also Dante's foster parent.

It seems their main hideout was an old castle that was once abandoned, and she was sitting on the throne in the main room.

Marleen hummed loudly and gazed down at Cecilia while crossing her legs with a lofty attitude. She stared at her as if appraising merchandise.

"Is it true that this is Cecilia Silvy, the Crown Prince's fiancée?"

"We're still trying to confirm that information, but her features match."

The man behind Cecilia answered to the husky voice, her throaty tone seemed to have been tempered by strong alcohol throughout the years. It might have looked like the man standing closer to Cecilia was more powerful if one only considered pure strength, but it would be dangerous to underestimate this woman who was commanding all of them. She could not help but be wary of her.

"I was just getting back at that brat, Dante... but how come more fish jumped in by themselves into my net? So the reason he was trying to desert was a woman? How pitiful..."

It seemed like she believed that story.

Marleen got down from her seat and stood in front of Cecilia, holding her chin and observing carefully.

"It's a pretty face indeed. It looks like you would fetch a good price if I handed you over to some certain people."

The scar on her cheek stretched as she laughed away.

That smile sent shivers down Cecilia's back. She was dumbfounded how that woman could make such ruthless remarks.

"Well, if you're really the Duke's daughter, it would be impossible to do in this country ... but that's also okay. I'll return you safely if your parents pay the ransom. I'm running a business here too."

While she said that with a surprisingly gentle expression, she released her grasp on Cecilia's chin.

"Until everything is clear, leave her in the prison. She's an important hostage so make sure to treat her nicely."

When Marleen lifted her chin and voiced her orders, the man standing behind Cecilia said "Hey!" and pushed Cecilia again.

She was struck forward and stumbled from the impact.

It was just around the time they were having their meal, so all the men were contemptuously laughing while gulping down from their cups filled with liquor. She wondered if it really was that funny when others were being mistreated right in front of their eyes.

(I don't care. Laugh while you can, fools!)

The moment she looked in front of her, she noticed a glint of something on the floor, so Cecilia suddenly pretended to fall a bit forward.

The object on the floor was a dinner knife. Cecilia stepped on it with her heel and deftly inserted and hid the knife between her shoe and the sole of her foot.

This was a technique the soldier, Hans, taught her just in case of emergencies.

The knife might be useful for something.

"Hey, what are you doing?! Stand up!"

The frustrated man grabbed her and made her stand up, then Cecilia was taken to her confinement.

The prison cell was located underground. Two guards were watching in front of the door leading to the basement. But there was nobody in front of the cell where Cecilia was thrown in.

They probably thought it would be fine if they just left her tied up in the cell. Or maybe it was because they thought the Duke’s daughter, who was rumoured to be sickly and fragile, wouldn’t offer any resistance. She didn’t know if they considered any of these things. Maybe it was neither.

The next time the men would come closer to the cell would be a few hours later at mealtime. Their boss directly said, "Treat her nicely" so food and water would surely be provided. Considering that, it seemed like she had a lot of time to take action.

But the sooner, the better. The boss might be a woman, but this was basically a group of rogue men. There was also her previous statement, "If I handed you over to certain people", so there was no way she could imagine what kind of suffering she would be in if the situation got dragged out.

(In this case, the best option is to take advantage of the opponent's carelessness and escape as soon as possible.)

Cecilia remembered the words of the soldier who taught her everything she knew about fighting.

She took the knife out from her foot sole and cut the ropes that tied her wrists together. With the shackles removed, she freed herself and looked around.

Inside the cell, there was a wooden desk and a chair. Both seemed unkempt for a long time, and they looked unsteady and unlikely to be of any use in that situation.

Cecilia loosened up one of the legs of the chair and removed one of the nails that stood out. Then, using the wooden leg of the chair as a makeshift hammer, she started to punch holes in the blade of the knife she obtained before.

Just like that, she worked obstinately for about two hours.

"I did it!"

Cecilia was still holding the same knife in her hand. However, part of the blade turned into a simple saw.

Cecilia thrust the saw into the prison door. After pulling it several times, wood shavings were piling on the floor.

The prison frame was made of iron, but the arm of the latch was a wooden slab. Perhaps the original latch was made of iron too, but it probably decayed with time and was cheaply replaced with wood.

The saw worked out well, and in a matter of minutes, the latch was cut in half.

"Okay! Next up is securing some clothes I can use as a disguise to move around in."

Then, Cecilia proceeded to knock on the iron bars with the knife.

Basically, Hans, the soldier, being the best support mob character (and never having his own scene) LMAO

Btw, are you reading the manga? A lot of people commented on my previous blog that they found my translations after they read it.
I'm very amused by Cecil's expressions! So funny!
The LN illustrations style is a bit more to my liking though.

Thank you for reading!
Let me know in the comments if there are mistakes to edit or if you have any suggestions!

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