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Translated by Momo. Edited by Mary!

Still wearing her pyjamas, Cecilia put on her wig and walked while hiding herself in the shadows.

She could see three shadows moving in front of her. They were all uniformly dressed in black clothing, and their faces were covered with black cloth, making them unrecognizable.

"Please sto--Mmmff..."

Someone screamed while being surrounded by those shadows. However, the voice soon became muffled. Surely the mouth was covered with a cloth or something alike.

Through a gap between the moving shadows, Cecilia saw the person who screamed.

Cecilia covered her mouth.

(Is that...Leanne!?)

Leanne was close to being kidnapped by the people wearing black. Her mouth was shut firmly and she was about to be thrown in a large hemp bag.

That was one of the scenes from Dante's route.

(Why!? I thought we definitely avoided that route...!!)

Leanne learned Dante's secret, and he decided to leave the organization, which in turn, caused her to be kidnapped by them. It was their retaliation against Dante.

But she shouldn't have witnessed the actual scene.

The one who saw it...

(It was me--!!)

Cecilia didn't understand what exactly happened, but it was entirely possible that since she took Leanne’s place, this might have triggered the kidnapping event. In other words, Cecilia did something that made Dante decide to leave the organization. And for some reason, Leanne ended up taking the fall for it. This could actually make some sense.

Leanne was covered with the hemp bag while Cecilia was busy thinking about those possibilities.

(What should I do? ...For now, I need to warn Gil!)

Gilbert told Cecilia more than a million times, "Don't go running into stuff by yourself." If she headed out there alone at this moment, surely a hearty scolding would be waiting for her later.

(But...)

"Gyaaah!!"

Leanne fell down. She was desperately resisting.

"Wait!"

Cecilia raised her voice.

Leanne and the men wearing black looked in her direction.

(I cannot let this happen before my eyes!!)

Cecilia approached the four of them. Then she clearly showed them her face.

The shadows looked obviously bothered.

(In the end, if Leanne is taken away like this, Cecilia [myself] will be incriminated and killed.)

That was the one thing she wanted to avoid the most.

"Who are you?!"

They shouted, showing off their impatience.

Cecilia took a step forward.

(They only have two purposes: one is retaliation against Dante, the other--)

She bit her lower lip firmly so her voice wouldn't tremble.

(A request for a ransom!)

Cecilia took off the wig.

The long hair that looked like transparent gold threads reflected the moonlight and fluttered in the wind.

Cecilia showed a calm, yet standoffish, smile.

She couldn't let them notice how frightened she was It was time to make them sway towards her viewpoint. They only had to choose her instead.

"I'm Cecilia Silvy, daughter of the Duke of Silvy. And that girl is an important friend of mine. Won't you let her go?"

The men growled after hearing her dignified voice. Leanne widened her eyes in surprise.

While they were distracted, Cecilia helped Leanne out of the sack and pushed her shoulders. Leanne nodded and started running when Cecilia gave a signal with her eyes for her to escape.

"Hah!"

Cecilia stood in front of the men who wanted to pursue Leanne.

Most likely, they were apprentices of the organization that Dante belonged to, Heimat. Because they were greenhorns, it was somewhat easy to let Leanne escape from them. If an expert like Dante was involved, both Leanne and Cecilia would end up being captured together.

Cecilia placed a hand on her chest.

"Isn't ransom one of your goals? A daughter of a Duke's family is more valuable than some Baronet. After all, my parents dote on me a lot."

There was no one following the vanishing shadow of Leanne.

Cecilia perked up her quivering body and laughed daringly.

"Well, please make a decision. Which one will you take, me or her? Which one will make your boss rejoice the most?"

The next moment, one of them punched her stomach.

The negotiations were successful.

Far off inside her dwindling consciousness, Cecilia yearned for Leanne's safety.



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