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The Girl who Disappeared
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People knew that Lina wasn’t in the mansion because the matter was discovered after more than an hour had passed.
The reason for taking so much time to be known was simple.
The people that should’ve reported this in the first place— well, actually, those who first noticed it didn’t report the matter.
“I see… So, that’s how it is. For the past month or so, Lina was absent from your lesson about once a week. But you thought that there was no problem because she was back for the next lesson, right?” (??)
“Y-yes… That’s right.” (Tutor)
“And then, you also noticed that she wasn’t here today, and you never reported it because you thought it would be like always, right?” (??)
“…Th-that’s right.” (Tutor)
“Speaking of the intervals so far, she should be here by tomorrow, is it?” (??)
“W-well… occasionally, such a thing also happened…!” (Tutor)
“…Haaa. Fine, I understand the circumstances. It doesn’t seem I can know more than this. So, you can leave now.” (??)
“—Didn’t you hear me? Didn’t I ask you to leave?” (??)
With her head looking down, the face of the woman who left was pitiful.
Well, even if she said so, there was not even a single fragment of sympathy towards her.
Together with the sound of a door closing, Camilla spewed a sigh.
“…I thought so from a long time ago, but why did you hire her?” (Camilla)
“…To be honest, I’m not hiring her just for the sake of hiring. But, it can’t be helped, right? Even so, it is still better that way, you know?” (??)
“Really? …Well, this is certainly a sudden development, and weren’t those capable people enclosed to another house a long time ago? Rather, why didn’t you completely enclose it?” (Camilla)
“The truth is, it was planned to teach Soma such a thing from now on, so… when it comes to capable people, the payment is reasonably high.” (??)
“You can afford to be careless, huh? Geez, I guess that is hard for a Duke’s household.” (Camilla)
“Even if you said that I am from a Duke household, this country is merely a small country that is just newly existing.” (??)
“Does that mean once you hired them, you also can’t carelessly fire them?” (Camilla)
“Well, that is true. But this time, it is enough. …Now, I wonder what I should do.” (??)
Camilla shrugged her shoulders when Sofia mentioned that.
She thought that it would be great if something was immediately done, but nothing came out of Sofia’s mouth.
Because it was meaningless to say anything.
That was also similar when it came to punishment.
Perhaps, what Sofia should say in the first place was something like firing them.
It would be enough with that.
Because of their types, these tutors thought that they were at the top of the summit and were so proud about it, and they thought that they were allowed to do anything.
Once they fell down, they would just arbitrarily go to hell.
There was no reason to bother doing it using their own hands.
And yet, Sofia didn’t mention such a thing.
“For the time being, let’s return to our discussion. As far as I know, it has been about an hour… no, it’s going two hours soon. At this time, we still can’t confirm that Lina is in the mansion. It was during meal time, right?” (Camilla)
“Yes. She ate together with me.” (Sofia)
“In that case, she disappeared after that. Whether she slipped out or got kidnapped…” (Camilla)
While saying it as if Camilla didn’t know, she had an assumption.
Lina had most likely slipped out.
Since Camilla had verified it herself, of course she knew that Lina had the skill of concealing her presence, and… more importantly, Camilla already knew about two things.
Those two things were Lina went out of the mansion every week and where she went to.
Well, she knew it because she asked Soma.
Even so, Camilla didn’t inform Sofia.
Speaking of negligence, it truly was her negligence. However, if Sofia knew it, she would do something about it.
However, Camilla had no hobby of taking advantage in this kind of situation.
Because of such a situation, it would be necessary for Camilla to fabricate the reasons.
But, that wasn’t difficult at all.
“…Well, if we think it as normal, it is natural that she went out.” (Camilla)
“…What is your basis?” (Sofia)
“Although you seriously raised a barrier, there are some people who can invade this place, right?” (Camilla)
Anyhow, this was the house of a person known as the most powerful.
With Special Rank of Magic and Swordsmanship, it was impossible to break through with anything. Therefore, if someone intruded this place, it would be immediately noticed.
Or even with the Special Rank of a hiding presence Skill, it might still be impossible.
Although the barrier was boasted about its perfection, there was one defect.
The barrier perfectly prevented intrusion and assault from the outside, but it was totally unprotected with respect from the inside.
Once a person gets inside, it would be possible to easily assassinate everyone in the mansion, even with a Low Rank of a concealing presence Skill.
Although Camilla was thinking whether it was with a person, she kept it aside, since it wasn’t related to that now.
Nevertheless, it was basically not a problem, even with such a flaw.
In fact, Camilla was hired by this house for that reason.
“If there is a suspicious person, you would’ve found them a long time ago, right?” (Sofia)
“Yes, I would.” (Camilla)
Camilla’s Skill Appraisal wasn’t exclusively for Soma’s sake.
Well, according to Sofia, that was one of the purposes, but there was another purpose.
The other purpose was to verify all Skills of the people employed and those who entered and left the mansion.
Accordingly, if there was even one Skill that seemed to be suspicious found, that person would never be hired, or never be allowed to enter or leave.
Those who didn’t even have Low rank Skills meant that they had no talent.
To that extent, it was possible to crush the invasion.
Well, Camilla knew that it was impossible for one person, but there was an exception among exceptions, and since they were more than members of the same house, she didn’t think about it.
In any case, since this had happened, they had to go out by themselves to find the people who disappeared from this mansion.
“For that, Lina has the perfect Skill for that purpose.” (Camilla)
“It is not unusual if nobody was watching. …Well, after all, it’s going to be like that. Especially when she’s been going out every week for about one month.” (Sofia)
Sofia, herself, wasn’t aware of that matter.
Basically, she was rearranging her thoughts.
Whether Sofia made a mistake on that, there was a confirmation.
Of course, there was a possibility that both of them were mistaken, but it would be much safer than having a single person’s thoughts.
“Is there a reason why it must be done by today, and not tomorrow?” (Sofia)
“There may be or may not be a reason, and… there is no one who would know, except the person herself.” (Camilla)
“Well then, shall we put it on hold?” (Sofia)
“Yeah. What’s important is afterwards. Whether Lina will come back today or not…” (Camilla)
In a sense, this also had to be confirmed.
This was somehow an unforeseen situation.
“For now, we were able to confirm the situation so far… so, what are you going to do? ” (Camilla)
“I guess so… Can you help me in this matter?” (Sofia)
“…Yes, I will. You probably won’t call me if it’s not something to ask about.” (Camilla)
“There is no such thing, you know? Either way, it is necessary get confirmation.” (Sofia)
“Isn’t it the same thing as asking me? Although there is a difference, it’s just either through an individual or a group. And it is impossible for a group to search at this time… right?” (Camilla)
“…Yes. To be honest, I also want to go out and search for her… but…!” (Sofia)
As Sofia, herself, said earlier, although this house was a Duke household, this country was still a country that was just recently made.
No, rather than that, if she was involved in numerous scandals, she would be instantly sabotaged by various quarters.
This matter was not something that could be solved with power. Therefore, before they were found out, this must be secretly resolved.
“Got it. If that is possible, you wouldn’t change the treatment towards Soma in the first place, right? Well, that is that, but it was the right consideration as the Duke’s wife.” (Camilla)
“But, I am disqualified as a parent.” (Sofia)
“If that is so, you can apologize later. I will create that opportunity with all I have.” (Camilla)
“Yes, I will… so, please.” (Sofia)
“Hah, I guess that I have to cover you all the time, huh? This time is also one of them.” (Camilla)
As Camilla boldly told her that, she left the place as it was.
No matter how unexpected the situation was, it would be too late if she took too much time.
If that was the case, there was nothing better but to make haste.
While walking through a long corridor, she was thinking about it and…
“—By the way, are you looking for something?” (??)
She thought that it was hard not to scream at that moment.
When she looked downward, there was the figure of a boy who stood on that spot.
“Soma… You, could it be…?” (Camilla)
“No, I haven’t heard anything.” (Soma)
Based on his manner of speaking, he surely knew that Lina had gone missing.
However, Soma was basically unable to get any information, other than from Camilla.
Such a thing was a matter of course, because he was treated as a non-existence in the mansion.
“Uhmm… no, there is nothing serious. I was walking in the corridor and I happened to listen to rumors and people talking amongst themselves. And according to them, Lina had disappeared from the mansion, but… was that something you discussed with Mother?” (Soma)
“…That is certainly correct.” (Camilla)
If he knew that discussion, it wouldn’t be difficult to guess.
However, Camilla was honestly surprised that Soma had a way to obtain such information.
Indeed, there were many soft-hearted people in this mansion. It wasn’t difficult for Soma to obtain their trust, regardless of Skills.
“…Goodness, you haven’t changed at all. Well, if you know, the explanation will be quick. That’s why, I will go out to search for Lina soon. I’m not sure how long it will take, but… please do a self-study during that time.” (Camilla)
“That is not a problem, but like I said earlier, were you looking for ‘something’?” (Soma)
“No, it’s not wrong, but… for the time being, to the Demon Forest— No. I will look for that first.” (Camilla)
The reason why it was impossible to search in a group was because of that reason.
Even if a group tried to search for her, it wasn’t easy to do so.
If the group entered the forest and didn’t find her, it wouldn’t be weird to assume that the group would barely keep their composure.
And if that happened, there was no mistake that the responsibility would fall on this house.
Before that happened, it was necessary for Camilla to confirm whether she found Lina or not…
“And, the time limit is three days. In the meantime, Sofia would search for Lina on the other side— that is in the town area and its surroundings, but… I think that the likelihood of finding her will be slim.” (Camilla)
“…I see.” (Soma)
In that case, the house only had two options.
However, they might have to give up on either option.
Would it be Lina’s life or the fate of the house?
It was probably needless to say that which one of these had a higher possibility.
“Well, I will find her before that happens.” (Camilla)
“Hmm… anyway, I was expecting that.” (Soma)
Camilla was surprised because she didn’t think that Soma would say so.
Although it was a good thing, but she couldn’t permit such a thing…
“…You’re not thinking something weird, right?” (Camilla)
“There is no such a thing. I’m not going to follow you from behind. I definitely won’t.” (Soma)
“Hmmm… somehow, that does sound unusual… doesn’t it?” (Camilla)
“That is disrespectful against such a good student.” (Soma)
“…Oh well. We have no time. Then, that’s it.” (Camilla)
“Uhm, yes.” (Soma)
Although Soma’s attitude was slightly worrisome, that didn’t mean that he didn’t care about his sister.
And then, Soma asked about the situation, and the story about Lina was mixed in and he seemed happy when she told him.
Maybe that was his attitude.
Whatever it was, there was only one thing Camilla could do.
Not only Sofia’s wish, Camilla started walking in the corridor, while fulfilling Soma’s hope.
“Hmm? What’s wrong?” (Soma)
“Didn’t you tell me that you won’t follow me?” (Camilla)
“Just so you know, I’m not following you. I am actually leading you.” (Soma)
Camilla spewed a big sigh at Soma, who was waiting at the entrance of the Demon Forest, as if she gave up.
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- I could write Sofia inside bracket in the early part of the chapter, but I wrote it as ?? because the narration didn’t mention her name until a certain part.
- This is just an assumption and I might make a mistake on this. Please let me know in comment section. It might be spoilers, so please highlight the text below.
- Sofia needs to find Lina ASAP because if the fact a Gift Holder (people with Special Rank skills who are treated like national treasures to their country) disappears, many will try to bring her household down. Maybe because the number of Duke allowed in their country is limited, and other people is trying to get the position.
- She is also can’t let the fact of her son being talentless to be known to the public because it will put shame to her household. However, that doesn’t mean she hate him.
- Those are already two big ‘scandals’ in their country. Anymore than that will make things worse for Neumont household.