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Chapter 3 Knight Commander Jeffrey Asher
Nonna appeared to be parched as she drank the orange juice mixed with water that I bought for her all at once. So I bought another cup, two grilled meats, and cucumber buns and returned to the bench.
Nonna immediately opened her mouth and was about to sink her teeth into the food, but she suddenly stopped herself and said ‘thank you’ before she started eating.
(I wonder what happened.)
Her mother probably won’t come.
Seeing that she was disciplined enough to say thank you, her parents must have raised her with great care. But did her mother fall into debt? Or did she find a new partner and the child was in the way? When I asked, she replied she had no father.
Casually observing her, I was relieved that at least there were no visible signs of abuse. Many of the parents who abandon their children have violent tendencies.
“Be careful of choking so chew properly before swallowing.”
“I have another glass of fruit water here, so drink it while you eat.”
“How old are you, Nonna?”
“Six years old.”
At the age of eight, when my father’s business failed and I was about to be sent to work as a servant in some household, I was picked up by a young Lancôme. No, to be accurate, I was sold for a considerable amount of money. But it was unavoidable so I didn’t resent my parents. Rather, I thought it was good that I was able to help my family.
After she finished eating the bread, Nonna’s body started swaying back and forth as she began to doze off.
“You’ve been waiting for four hours now. Poor thing.”
Nonna ended up sleeping peacefully on my lap. She was dirty but with her blonde hair and blue-ash eyes, she was a cute girl. She would have been abducted as soon as a bad guy sees her. Luckily, I noticed her first.
I stayed there until it started to turn dark, but as expected, her mother didn’t come.
(This child was abandoned.)
I decided to carry Nonna on my back as she slept and search for the guard station. She would probably be sent to an orphanage. Would she continue to wait for her mother there too? I wondered to myself as I walked, and saw a young man running at full speed toward me.
(That’s dangerous. I have to avoid him.)
That’s what I thought, but the bag the man carried was clearly a woman’s bag. Is he a snatch thief? I was carrying Nonna on my back, but it can’t be helped. I wouldn’t have gotten involved when I was an operative, but (now that I’m a well-intentioned commoner) I didn’t think too much about it and took action; I might have been feeling especially helpful too since it was my first day of freedom.
I braced myself and the moment the man passed me, I stretched out my leg and tripped him. The man fell flashily.
The man was pinned down by a silver-haired man with a great physique who was chasing after him.
For some reason, the silver-haired man was holding a fine cord. With skillful hands, he bound the man’s hands behind his back. And then he thanked me.
“Young lady, thank you for the assistance.”
“You’re welcome. Are you going to turn that man over to the guards? If so, may I go with you?”
“This child is probably an abandoned child.”
Mr. Silver hair glanced at my back.
“I see. I’ll lead the way.”
Without saying anything more, Mr. Silver hair returned the bag to an elderly woman who seemed to be an aristocrat who had finally caught up. The white-haired woman bowed gracefully, thanked him many times, and left.
And so Mr. Silver hair led the way as he pulled the tied-up young man along. Mr. Silver hair introduced himself as Jeffrey Asher.
Mr. Asher was apparently in his early thirties and was well-built. He appeared about 190 centimeters tall and probably weighed about 80 kilograms. The clothes he wore were quite fine. With his physique, silver hair, blue eyes, and well-proportioned face, he was surely popular with women.
And he had such a great voice.
The guard station was a large two-story building in the center of the downtown area. There were two sword-bearing guards at the entrance, who straightened themselves when they saw Mr. Asher.
“I caught a snatch thief so I brought him here.”
“Thank you, Commander!”
Commander? He would be called captain if he was a guard, so was he the commander of a Knights’ Order or the army? He was in plain clothes so perhaps it was his day off?
“And this lady is?”
“It seems that she safeguarded this abandoned child. Please take care of her.”
I was ushered down the corridor to the left by a guard, while Asher took the snatch thief to the right. Afterward, I explained how I had taken care of Nonna, showed them my ID, and signed the papers as Victoria Sellers before I asked the question that was bothering me.
“What will happen to this girl tonight?”
“She’ll be staying here tonight. I’ll contact the orphanage, but it will be tomorrow at the earliest before they decide where to put her and have the person in charge come by.”
After waiting for her mother to pick her up for a long time, she’ll be sleeping alone at night in a guard station? I was reminded of the time when I was eight years old and taken to the organization’s facility. I slept crying in the foreign room, scared and lonely.
“Could I take her to the hotel where I’m staying just for tonight? I’m new to this country and don’t have a guarantor, but I’ve spent hours with this girl so it’s heartrending to leave her here and walk away.”
“You don’t have a guarantor? Hmm… I’d like to give you permission because you appear to be a good guardian, but in the unlikely event that you’re not a guest at the Frude Hotel that you filled out, we’ll be at a loss too.”
He did make sense. I guess it’s too much to ask? Just as I was about to give up, a voice called out from behind.
“I can check if this young lady is really staying at the Frude Hotel. Today is my day off.
“Is that so! Miss Sellers, thank you very much for your assistance. Also, regarding the hotel confirmation, thanks for the help, Commander.”
“It’s fine, she helped me arrest the thief. It hurts my heart to consider this child feeling lonely in a dirty guard station.”
“It’s not that dirty …”
The guard gave his permission with a wry smile, and it was decided that I would be able to let Nonna stay in my room tonight.
“I’ll carry her.”
“Thank you very much.”
Mr. Asher, who lightly picked up Nonna, talked to me about this and that until we arrived at the hotel. He had a luscious low-pitched voice that made you want to listen to him forever.
Mr. Asher was the Commander of the Second Knights’ Order, which protects the peace and order of the royal capital. An organization above that of the guards.
“Young lady, where did you come from?”
“I’m from the neighboring Randal Kingdom.”
“How long will you stay in this country?”
“My family died in a fire, so I thought to migrate to this country to have a change of pace.”
I answered the answer I had prepared without hesitation. If he was the leader of a Knights’ Order, there was no loss in making a good impression. I smiled and answered amiably. I didn’t lie as much as possible. That way, I could remember it better and wouldn’t expose my lies.
“It’s amazing how you’re already speaking in this country’s accent.”
I bought a change of clothes for Nonna on the way and arrived at the hotel.
I explained about Nonna to the man at the front desk who greeted me with ‘Welcome back Miss Sellers’. Mr. Asher was also friendly with the receptionist.
When I reached my room and gently placed Nonna on the bed, I thanked him with ‘Thank you for your help’, and Mr. Asher snapped to attention.
“Thank you for your assistance in arresting the snatch thief and for protecting that child. I bid you good night.”
He ended in Commander mode and left. I saw him off and locked the door.
My first day as Victoria Sellers sure was quite eventful.