At this time of the day, the main street would usually be crowded with shoppers and men looking for a place to drink after coming off work. Today, however, was a bit more bizarre.
Down the streets marched warhorses and the kingdom's elite Lycanthrope unit, while each corner of the city stood members of the Imperial Knights and Knight Corps, who normally worked separately—one at the Royal Palace and the other at the Castle Walls, yet today they were working together in search for a certain person of interest.
The person in question being a 6-year-old Duke's daughter.
If one were to hear about this incident, they would surely misunderstand that someone had broken into the duke's manor and abducted the young lady, but it seems that was not the case.
"You don't think it was the little girl those guys were chasing around all day, do you?"
"There's no way there could be that many little brats who can release such vicious killing intent, and wouldn't be caught even with warhorses!!"
"So that girl they chased was actually a Duke's daughter..."
The knights, who were raring to secure the young lady before sundown, were unable to meet their expectations as nightfall approached.
The townspeople brimmed with excitement as they watched the young Duke's daughter outrun and outmaneuver the country's mighty knights, beer in one hand and snacks in the other.
It may have been the lack of events and festivities as of late, for a glimpse of the noble girl in question would bring the entire street into cheers.
Their eyes were filled with anticipation, wondering which street the girl would appear on next.
Although they felt apologetic for the knights giving it their all, the townspeople still wished to watch this grand chase go on for even a second longer.
They had truly gone long enough with the lack of entertainment, and were bored out of their minds.
However, it wasn't just the townspeople who wanted to prolong this chase.
Those feelings were shared by the businessmen handling food carts and restaurants.
In fact, food stalls and night shops were popping up one after another, even more than usual.
Cheers were raised across the street.
As the sound of cheers seemed to approach, a girl emerged after rounding the street corner.
With shining golden hair reminiscent of an angel or a fairy, the young girl had a lovely face, one that left no doubt that she would become a beautiful woman in the future.
The girl gracefully lifted up the hem of her luxurious dress... as she ran through the streets, closely pursued by three strong knights on their warhorses.
In the next moment, the girl's body gently soared through the air, leaping over the onlookers, her foot landing on the building's wall. Without pause, she ran up that building's wall, arriving on the roof of a five-storey building, and jumped from one rooftop to another.
As the girl ran across the rooftops, the knights rode their warhorses, following her closely from down below.
A big round of applause from the audience.
In the midst of all that, the Duke of Rottenstein had to be carried into a tent the knights had set up, as he had once again fainted.
"Hey! Did you guys see that?! That little noble girl is amazing!! If they issued a quest to chase her, what rank do you think it'd be?!"
Excited adventurers pop into the guild one after another.
"You mean like the rank given on monster subjugation quests?"
"Don't even think of subjugating her!! ...In the first place, which monster would you even compare her to? She looks harder to catch than a Wyvern."
"Say, isn't this more of our field of expertise? Y'know, compared to the knights..."
"True... The knights are indeed more used to killing than capture."
A moment of silence.
"Now hold it right there, you lot. What are you getting all fired up for? You're not getting any reward from this, you know?"
"So you're not going?"
"No? I totally am? Like hell I'm missing out on something this fun."
Enter, the Adventurers.
With the addition of the adventurers, the girl seemed to have gotten serious, for her running speed rose, her acrobatic movements increased, and the difficulty of her capture rose exponentially.
The Schneiver Company provided full cooperation to the knights, lending them large-scale magic items, such as outdoor discharge lamps which used magic stones. After launching them into the sky, the city was brightly illuminated, allowing the knights to see clearly through the night.
The townspeople were overjoyed over the prolonged battle, bringing out the tables and chairs as they continued with their merrymaking.
With how much fun they were having, it made one wonder if they would be in any condition to work the next day.
No, the real question was if the duke’s daughter would even be caught by the next day.
"We’re the Schneiver Company~. We’ve got Recovery Potions, would you like some Recovery Potions? We've got a great deal on them for today only~. They’re all 30% off~."
""Give it here!!""
Perhaps having reached the limit of their stamina, those forced to take a break from the chase popped up one after another.
“Thank you for your patronage~. And a big thanks to all you Adventurers for your cooperation~.”
"Yeah!! ...Wait, what? What do you mean by 'cooperation'? The Schneiver Company has got nothing to do with this, right?"
"As a matter of fact, we do~. Because the lost child currently running around town is Lady Isabella, the 'fiancée' of our company's second son, Young Master Ursch."
"""What? A Duke's daughter being engaged with a merchant's son?"""
"...and that definitely isn't a lost child."
"Well~, the Duke's daughter was simply infatuated with Young Master Ursch, you see. She insisted on getting engaged. Even the commotion this time was because the young lady desired to see her beloved 'fiancée' Young Master Ursch, so much that she snuck out of the Duke’s mansion all by herself without a single guard."
"That's how it is, thus I would like to entrust you all with our Young Master Ursch’s 'fiancée', the Young Lady Isabella, and her safe return.”
"Alright, we understand the situation."
"I'd also appreciate it if you could inform the other adventurers of the 'Schneiver Company's' request to take good care of the Young Lady."
“Huh? Oh sure, leave it to us.”
Throughout the entire conversation, the potion seller had spoke loudly enough for even the townspeople listening in to hear everything clearly. After the adventurers left, he chuckled to himself before speaking under his breath.
"Was that all right, Madam?"
Almost immediately after, a woman’s voice came from the potion seller’s earring in reply.
"Very well. Now, if you will, please do the same on the corner of every block. Also, inform the others who are scattered throughout the city to target well-reputable, gossip-loving owners of food stalls and restaurants. They are to spread information under the guise of small talk, that 'the Schneiver Company is wholeheartedly cooperating because Isabella-chan is our Ursch's fiancée'."
"May I ask when the situation would be resolved?"
''After the story spreads to a certain extent, I'll have Ursch rescue Isabella-chan. That should resolve this matter. Until then, I’ll be counting on you."
After answering, the recovery potion seller headed off towards the next corner.
"Alright!! She's coming this way!! Ready the throwing net!! ──Now!!"
"Nice, we... didn't get her!! The net's been torn to shreds!!"
"What?! She had a sickle and chain under her skirt? Why would a Duke’s daughter have such a thing under... No, we need to regroup first!! Report to the next unit!!"
"Wai-!! Stop!! Who did thatttt!! Don’t shoot arrows at her!! Don’t shoot arrows at a Duke’s daughter Goddammittt!!"
"Hey!! Someone's passing around fake info!!"
"Damn!! Now there's a group of adventurers who sided with that Young Lady!!"
"Gaah!! Those bastards blocked the road so the horses can't pass!!"
"Huh?! What?! This whole festival is all about catching that girl? ──Alive?
"Of course alive!! She’s a Duke’s daughter!! Why would we kill her?!"
"Listen up, don't you dare leave a scratch on her, got it?!"
"Isn't that impossible?"
"Shut up! Anyway, not a single scratch, you hear me?!"
"No seriously, isn't that impossible? How are we supposed to catch that alive without a scratch?"
The chaotic commotion, which lasted until just before midnight, was brought to a halt by one boy.
That being none other than the ‘Fiancé Everyone Knows About’ of the currently on-the-run Lady Isabella, the second son of the Schneiver family, Ursch Schneiver.
In this mass mayhem of warhorses, burly knights and adventurers running about left and right, a young boy stood alone in the center of a wide street.
Right when the spectators who noticed him were about to call out, "Watch out!", that girl came running towards him, warhorses still closely pursuing her.
The boy waved his hand at the girl, sending her a kind, gentle smile.
As the chased girl realized this, her entire face lit up, a smile blooming across it as she spread her arms wide open.
"Kyaaaa~♡♡ Ursch-kun!! Ursch-kun!! Ursch-kuuuun!!"
Squealing out the boy's name, the girl leaped into the so-named Ursch-kun's arms, hugging him tightly.
The boy embraced the girl, keeping a gentle smile on his face...
...as he took out the whip he was hiding and tied the girl to him.
The girl, coming to her senses, tried to pull away from the boy, but the whip was tightly bound to herself and the boy.
Worried she would inadvertently injure the boy should she struggle excessively, the girl couldn't bring herself to put up much of a resistance.
The knights who arrived with their warhorses a bit later, crumpled on the spot when they attempted to dismount.
And thus, the event that abruptly began, the "Grand Chase of The Duke’s Daughter VS The Kingdom’s Order of Imperial Knights & The Kingdom’s Knight Corps & Adventurers", came to a close with the noble girl’s fiancé as the sole victor.
※Wyvern: A legendary dragon often used in the portrayal of England's coats of arms, flags and the like. It has wings resembling a bat, a serpentine tail ending in an arrow-shaped tip, and eagle-like legs. It can spit fire, and is often depicted as red or green in color.
※Lycanthrope: Beastmen. Although they usually stay in their human form, they have the ability to transform into a beast. They are said to turn violent and attack people on moonlit nights. Some believe it's a form of disease or a curse. Originally used as a term to refer werewolves, but in recent years, it is also used for beings that transform into something other than wolves.
T/N: the "sickle and chain" Isabella brought out is a "kusarigama". It consists of a sickle, and a chain with a weight at the end. Sometimes shown in ninja anime n such