Lia sat in the open-air café with a glazed look in her eyes.
After leaving the Academy, she’d told the driver to stop the carriage by the first café that came into view.
She had no desire to return home because she knew that Ian would hover around her, and she needed time to think.
When the waiter came around, she ordered a homemade lemonade and then returned to her thoughts while tapping her fingers on the cream-colored table.
The conversation she’d had earlier was troublesome, and she recalled what the general had said, “There’s a criminal who normally only targets noble youngsters.
We refer to his actions as ‘the hunt.’ To catch the criminal, we have to lure him out, but as you know, the nobles are fearful and refuse to send their daughters outside.
Since then, he changed his targets to children.
He is a devil that must be captured and punished.”
“So you’re going to use someone as bait” Lia had guessed.
So we’ve been looking for a boy who can dress like a girl to be bait.
But we haven’t found someone who can do this, so I came to the Academy.” The middle-aged general had stared at her with a serious-looking expression on his face.
Lia had read in a newspaper about the police and the army working together on a case.
But it felt like it was a story from another country.
Even though Marilyn Selby became a victim, it didn’t feel real because she wasn’t too close to the young lady.
“What should I do after I dress up like a girl” Lia had asked.
“You have to show up at places where I tell you to be, like a library, theaters, or the train station.
But it’s unlikely that we’ll catch the murderer straight away.
So, that’s why we were asking for assistance.
And you look like the perfect person to do this job,” the general had explained.
Lia couldn’t willingly accept his proposal.
She knew the danger it held for her to dress up like a girl in public.
Of course, it was Canillian dressing up as a girl.
But to her, it wouldn’t be a normal dress-up.
The general had then asked her to respond by the end of the day, and he’d promptly left the office.
Lia took a sip of the cold, tasty lemonade while examining the people on the street.
There were so many people in the capital, and they all lived different lifestyles.
But the poor people in the abandoned Louvre didn’t have the luxury to do the same.
As Lia sat biting her thick lip, she noticed an old carriage passing by.
It was a roofless Lando carriage that moved by slowly.
She saw that it was an old horse which explained that.
Therefore she could see the face of the person who sat inside.
Lia sat still, doubting her eyes for a brief moment, and then suddenly got up from her seat, nearly knocking the small table over.
She was in such a hurry that she jumped over the café’s railing and ran after the carriage.
Even though it had gone a bit far by now, she might be able to catch up.
Lia’s horseman waited for her and started to move the carriage when he saw her bolting down the street.
She was unaware of this as her heart began to beat rapidly, almost to the point of explosion, which made her eyes hurt.
And her insides felt like they were going to explode due to an overload of emotions.
She couldn’t hear or think straight.
All she knew was she had to catch that carriage, so she yelled, “Wait!” People on the streets stopped and stared at the well-dressed young noble who ran after a carriage and screamed to the driver.
Lia was breathing deeply and sweating profusely.
But the carriage turned towards Leon Bridge as if making fun of her.
“Stop right there!” She demanded.
The lady in the carriage turned her head, and it seemed as if she’d heard Lia screaming.
Then she took off her hood, and her hair cascaded over her shoulders.
And the lady, whose age one couldn’t tell, looked around curiously.
Mother! “Damn it!” Lia cried out in frustration and stomped on the ground angrily with her feet, but there was no way to cross the bridge without a carriage.
Her mother had been right in front of her, and the tears that were in Lia’s big eyes started falling.
She rubbed her clouding eyes and looked across the river, following the outline of the carriage.
But the river was so broad that she didn’t know where the carriage had eventually stopped.
Sadly, Lia had missed an opportunity to see her mother, and she felt like a fool.
She was right there, and Lia couldn’t call her loudly enough nor catch up to her, and she felt shattered.
The horseman, who’d followed the sprinting Lia down the street, quickly approached as she held onto the fence while crying her eyes out.
“Young master, are you okay” He asked, looking deeply concerned because of the state she was in at the time.
Lia stared at the ground while clenching her teeth and then slowly lifted her head.
The back of her hands that were holding the fence became white, and her breath was short.
Louvre, once again, would be the starting point of her search for her mother.
After wiping the warm tears with the back of her hand, she turned to the carriage.
Then she took out a card in her pocket and handed it to the horseman.
“Take me to General Bill Bryton.
Now, this instant.”
The sound of the white teacup hitting the saucer became a bit too loud.
General Bill Bryton felt incredibly intimidated by the young noble sitting in front of him.
The Emperor had requested help from Duke Ihar’s family to solve this case.
The reason being if the royal guards couldn’t solve it, their reputation would be affected, and so the Duke had accepted the request.
The man put in charge of the special operation was General Bryton.
But the master of the Ihar private soldiers was the man in front of him, Claude Del Ihar.
After sharing the new tactic to solve the case with Claude, Bryton didn’t know what the problem was.
And shortly after the Duke had listened to him, the general had sensed that he’d become sour.
“Did Canillian Vale accept” Claude’s eyes looked very cold.
The general smiled awkwardly and lifted his teacup, “I gave him my address, and so the answer will come.
He hasn’t accepted it yet.”
“Make him dress up like a girl Who in the world thought of this It is a clown fest.”
“I know it hurts our pride to put someone out as bait, but it’s our foremost concern to catch this madman.
Also, Canillian Vale doesn’t look like a boy at all.”
“Just because he doesn’t look like one doesn’t mean he should dress up like a girl.”
The general laughed.
“Can I ask what annoyed you”
At Bryton’s direct question, Claude’s gaze went down to his tea out of habit.
He then lifted his head as he was caressing the cup.
“Canillian Vale is the second child of the Marquis.
He is a dear brother of my friend as well.
If something was to happen to him, you should all prepare yourselves for the worst.”