Gossip: The Duke’s Daughter VS The Kingdom’s Order of Imperial Knights & The Kingdom’s Knight Corps & Adventurers
“Hey guys! You’re the talk of the town!!” Three men in the Adventurers Guild turned their heads to the sound of a familiar voice. They had just finished one of
“Huh? What talk?” The three adventurers were covered in sweat and breathing heavily, just oozing fatigue. They looked as though they just returned from running a full lap around town.
“Around half an hour ago, you three were chasing a little five year old girl carrying a maid, weren’t you? I don’t really get it, but perhaps you’d be able to enlighten me??” To hear that such a young girl was carrying around an adult seemed absurd. Especially considering these three adventurers were renowned for their agility and adept at catching quick prey, just why were they chasing a little girl around?? What made the story even more far-fetched was that the girl had actually gotten away.
“Oh, that. I guess we really stood out back there; caught up in our stubborn pursuit. I don’t know what you’ve heard, but…” The three adventurers went about explaining their side of the story.
They had just returned from a hunt and were heading to the guild to receive their reward, but were caught up in a scuffle with drunken adventurers who were blocking the entrance.In the midst of all that, a maid from some estate tried to pass by, but she bumped into one of the adventurers and knocked the one-horned rabbits he had slung over his shoulder to the ground. The rabbits’ horns hit the pavement and summarily broke. The man with the shortest temper among them, still angry from scuffle earlier, flew into a rage and attempted to hit the maid.
What he didn’t know, however, was that her master was just 60 meters behind her. Rumour had it that the little 5 year old girl radiated a killing intent so tremendous that it froze the three adventurers in place. Neither they, nor any onlookers could move under the overwhelming pressure; even causing the maid in question to faint under said pressure. In that moment, everything was quiet. The girl began to move and, in the blink of an eye, crossed the 60 meter gap between her and the adventurers in an instant.
Before any of them could react, she drew a mithril blue weapon out from under her frilly dress and impaled it deep into the stone pavement. The little girl proceeded to speak, but her voice was drowned out by the intimidating acts she had just performed—they were too stunned to take in anything. What was more shocking was that she appeared to be offering the weapon as reparation for the damage her maid had done The mithril weapon was smaller than a sword, but larger than a normal dagger. One thing was certain though: it was finely crafted. In addition, it appeared to be magically enchanted. To put its value into words, it was easily worth more than 500 one-horned rabbits..
They couldn’t possibly accept such an expensive item and, even if they did, they’d be the ones with a debt to repay. But, before the adventurers could finish processing what had just unfolded, the little girl had already picked up the maid with ease and started to book it. The men tried to give chase in an attempt to return the weapon, but the girl was unbelievably fast—they simply couldn’t catch up. The three even tried to stop her by utilizing a pincer movement, but the girl feinted with a sudden movement and effortlessly jumped over them. She was just too good.
The adventurers, having forgotten their original goal of returning the weapon, chased her with the intention of recruiting her to their team. However, they had to give up when the Schneiver family, the Fafnir of Rosereale, interfered. The Schneiver Company was renowned across the Galphasia continent for high quality products and dependable service. They were the lifeblood of adventurers for they not only provided adventuring gear such as potions and magical items through their numerous branch stores dotted along the continent, but they were also one of the Adventuring Guild’s biggest consumers due to their large demand for raw materials. It was thanks to this that they earned their reputation as the number one company for adventurers—a relationship one would want to avoid ruining.
Thus, when the second son of the Schneiver Company personally appeared before the three adventurers, they were floored. When they laid eyes upon him, they quickly realized one thing: though he resembled his father, who had married into the Schneiver family, the impression he gave off was much more akin to that of his mother—one to be wary of. Not one of the three knew why he had decided to get involved, but it was clear to them the girl wasn’t worth the trouble; so they returned to the guild.
And that’s how their story went.
“There’s so many things I have to say about your story but I seriously can’t even right now.”
“Trust me, I know, I was there.” Everyone thought the incident with the girl was over and she would never be seen again—her story destined to fade away into a mere local legend; or so they thought. For not even two hours later, a large scale search party composed of the kingdom’s Imperial Knights and Knight Corps began scouring the city for the aforementioned little girl.
Rosereale Kingdom, Imperial Knight Barracks.
Imperial Knights hail from all over the country. They leave home, aspiring to become knights, and the majority end up living here in the barracks. Some get married and move into the city’s residential district, but they are a rarity. Most wind up spending all day doing nothing but training, which of course left little time for finding a lover. It didn’t help that many were past their prime either. The nearby Knight Corps’ barracks were in a similar position. Although, nowadays they were less barracks and more a small town.
It was around two in the afternoon when a short young woman with a carefree attitude walked in. She was Miss Maureen, daughter of the Leader of the Imperial Knights, and fiancée of the Captain of the Imperial Knights First Unit, Daemon Zak Rottenstein. For a woman like her to be visit a squalid man-cave like this, while in such a rush too, it was clear as day she was here to ask a favor in Captain Daemon’s stead. As for what that favor entailed…
“At the behest of my fiancé, I’ve come to ask for your assistance. Earlier, he sent his men out to chase down his dear little sister, but… she is proving to be far more nimble than he expected. So, here I am, soliciting the aid of you off-duty knights, to ready yourselves and your horses and join them.”
“Huh?! Do they really need horses to chase a little six-year old girl?”
“That’s right. I also thought horses would be a little excessive, however…”
“But I mean… you’ve got to be joking or something, right? Regardless, I suppose it’s dangerous for such a young noble girl to be running around town on her own, so I can understand why they’d want to ensure her safety as soon as possible. Lemme round up the guys with nothing better to do. Where do they need us to go?”
And with that, eight more Imperial Knights with nothing better to do joined the fray.
——Two Hours later
“Five horsemen just arrived!!”
“Twenty reinforcements from the Knight Corps also arrived!!”
“The sun’s starting to go down!! Let’s aim to get this done before it sets!!”
“Let me get you new arrivals up to speed! The mission this time is to capture the Young Lady of House Rottenstein, Miss Isabella Ali Rottenstein! And when I say ‘secure’ her, I mean it!! Don’t underestimate her just because she’s six! She’s slipped through the hands of countless Imperial Knights and continues to elude us!! Messenger, report!! What’s the current news on the target!!”
“Reporting in, Sir! Currently we know the following regarding the target, Isabella: she’s thrown off the Lycanthrope Unit pursuing her, and escaped into the city. According to intel, her athletic capabilities are off the charts; she can easily clear two meters in a single jump and it’s been estimated she could jump as high as eight meters. What’s worse is that she has the capability to exude a vicious killing intent upon anything she lays her eyes on, so vicious that normal horses will rear with just a glance. Because of that we will be switching to warhorses in order to keep up the pursuit. Be wary of being within her line of sight!!”
“And there you have it!! You lot will be receiving intel updates and new orders in the field via messengers, so when you see them you better listen up. Obey your orders, but be prepared to respond upon receiving new information! I expect you all to conduct yourselves accordingly! Now report to your units for further instruction!!”
At this time of day, the main street would normally be bustling with activity as citizens went about their business shopping or looking for a place to drink after coming off work. Today, however, was a bit more bizarre… The streets reverberated with the sound of galloping horses as the Lycanthrope patrol continued their hunt. It was a surprise to be sure, but not nearly so much of a surprise as seeing the Imperial Knights and Knight Corps working together. Normally the two worked separately, with one working for the Royal Palace and the other for the Royal Castle, but today they had united under a single cause—to find a single person of interest.
The person in question being the six-year old daughter of the Duke. If one were to hear about this incident, they’d surely be under the mistaken impression that someone had abducted the Duke’s daughter and thus a search party was rallied to ensure her safety, but that was not the case.
“You think it could be those guys who were chasing her earlier?”
“Would you look at that, they brought out the warhorses and still can’t catch up to her. That kid sure has some spunk. They can send all the knights they want to after her, but they’ll never catch her!!”
“The kid they’re after is the Duke’s daughter…?”
The knights, who set out expecting to apprehend the girl before nightfall, found themselves looking at the last rays of day slipping away. Excitement was building among the city’s residents as they watched the young duke’s daughter outrun and outmaneuver those strapping knights. They watched from the sidelines, drinks in one hand and snacks in the other. There’d been no celebrations nor fun events as of late, but, with just a glimpse of the noble girl in question, the street had been sent into festive merrymaking.
“Which street will she appear on next,” the townspeople wondered with excitement and anticipation in their eyes. Some townspeople did feel bad watching the knights giving it their all, but many more wished to see this grand chase go on for even a second longer… They truly did have too much free time and were sorely lacking in other sources of entertainment.
Though it wasn’t only the townspeople who were thinking it’d be fine for this to drag on longer. The food cart and restaurant owners in particular, were overjoyed. In fact, more and more food stalls and night shops were continuing to pop up, serving to further the liveliness of the impromptu festival..
In the midst of the crowd, on the other side of the street, a conspicuous volume of cheering began to surge. Around the source of those cheers was a young girl rounding the street corner. Like an angel or a fairy, her golden hair had a brilliant shine. It was easy to see she was a girl with a lovely face who was sure to become a beautiful woman in the future. Lifting the hem of her dress, she ran through the street pursued closely by three strong knights astride warhorses.
And then in the next moment, her body gently soared over the onlookers and she ran up the side of a building with her delicate feet. Running up the side of the wall as if it were perfectly natural, she traversed five tall buildings until she finally reached the rooftop. She then carried on running across the rooftops one after the other. As the girl ran across the rooftops, the earth rumbled below as the knights astride warhorses attempted to keep pace with her.
In the city, the girl’s astonishing physicality, and the rare sight of warhorses intensely running about the city was met with great ovation. In the midst of all that, Duke Rottenstein had to be carried to the to the tent set up by the knights as he had once again fainted from shock.
“Hey! Have you guys *seen* this?! That little noble girl is amazing!! If they issued a quest to catch her, what rank do you think it’d be?!” An air of excitement hung over the guild as the adventurers enthusiastically participated in the current hot topic.
“I’d say the same rank as a kill quest, like if a monster suddenly appears in town or something?”
“Don’t even go there!…that said, which monster would you compare her to? Looking at her agility, intelligence – and especially the way she’s leading everyone in a merry chase – I’d compare her to a Wyvern, no, she’d be even harder to catch than one.
“Say, dontcha think we’re better at this kind of thing compared to the knights? Ya know, when it comes to situations like this…?”
“The knights are indeed more used to killing magic beasts than capturing them….”
A moment of silence.
“”Yeah!!”” All the adventurers in the guild stood up simultaneously.
“Now just wait a minute, you lot. What’s got you all fired up for this? It’s not like you’ll get a reward for it.”
“Then y’all ain’t goin’?”
“Ya kidding? Not go and miss out on something this entertaining? Hell no!”
Enter, the Adventurers.
Contrary to expectations, the adventurers joining the pursuit only served to increase the difficulty of the chase. The girl seemed to go into overdrive; her sprinting speed, the frequency of her acrobatics – all of it increased exponentially.
Although night had fallen, everything remained brightly lit, even the darkest of alleyways. This was the work of the Schneiver Company, who had been charged with assisting the knights. The widespread source of light was a large-scale magic item array that had been launched into the night sky, containing glowing magic stones more commonly known as ‘Outdoor Discharge Lamps’ within it. As the night wore on, the citizens began setting up chairs and tables so they could continue witnessing the ongoing proceedings and merrymake in comfort.
What with no end in sight for the current late night festivities, whether they would be in any condition to work the next day was anyone’s guess. But 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, get your Recovery Potions here! We have a great deal on them for today only~. They’re all 30% off~”
“”Gimme!!”” Having reached the limit of their stamina after participating in the perpetual chase, there were those that had to bow out and take a break.
“Thanks for your patronage~. And a big thank you to all you Adventurers for all your hard work and cooperation~.”
“Hell yeah!! …Wait a sec! What do you mean by ‘cooperation’? It’s not like the Schneiver company has anything to do with this.”
“Rest assured we do~! That little girl currently running lost around town is none other than Lady Isabella, the ‘Fiancée’ of our company’s second son, Young Master Ursch!”
“What? How is a duke’s daughter affianced to a merchant’s son?!”
“… and that kid definitely ain’t lost, lemme tell ya.”
“Oh my, the Young Lady is simply smitten with Young Master Ursch, you see. She did everything in her power to get herself engaged to him. Even this whole debacle was the result of the Young Lady’s desire to see her ‘beloved Fiancé’ Young Master Ursch, so much so that she snuck out of the Duke’s mansion by herself without a single guard by her side…hohoho”
“That being said, I thank you gentlemen and entrust you with our Young Master Ursch’s “Fiancée”, the Young Lady Isabella, and her safe return.”
“Yeah, we got this now.”
“I’d really appreciate it if you could also impart the Young Lady’s relationship with the Schneiver Company to the other adventurers.”
“Huh? Oh sure, leave it to us.”
Throughout this entire exchange, the Potion Seller had made sure to speak loudly enough that even the nearby residents couldn’t help but be privy to the conversation. As the refreshed adventurers left, he chuckled quietly to himself before speaking under his breath, “Did that go according to plan, Madam?”
In response to the hushed question, a woman’s voice came from the Potion Seller’s earring. [Indeed. Now, if you will, please do the same in the square a block away. Once accomplished, join the others and target the gossip-loving proprietors of the night stalls and food carts. You are to maintain the ongoing gossip that “the Schneiver Company is out in force because dear Isabella is our Ursch’s Fiancée.]
“And the situation will be resolved when?”
[After the story spreads to a certain degree, we’ll let Ursch go to his dear Isabella. That by itself should resolve the matter. Until then, I’ll be counting on you.]
“Understood.” And after answering, the Potion Seller rounded the corner and headed to his next destination.
“A’ight!! Here she comes!! Ready the throw net!! —Now!!”
“Yes, we got her…or not!! The net’s been torn to shreds!!”
“What?! She was hiding a sickle and chain under her skirt? Why would a Duke’s daughter have such a thing under…Nevermind, we gotta regroup first!! Report to the next group!!”
“Wai-!! Stop!! Who did that–!! Don’t shoot arrows at her!! She’s a Duke’s daughter for God’s sake–!!”
“Hey!! Someone’s passing along fake info!!”
“Damn!! It’s that bunch of interfering adventurers that split off to help her…they’re here again!!”
“Gaah!! Those bastards ducked into an alleyway where the horses can’t follow!!”
“Huh? What?! This whole festival is about catching that girl? ——Alive?”
“Of course alive!! She’s the Duke’s daughter!! Why would we kill her?!”
“Listen up, there won’t be a single scratch on her, ya hear?!”
“Isn’t that impossible?”
“Shut it!! Anyway, not one scratch, you got it?!”
“No seriously, how’re we gonna do that? No scratches, taken alive, ain’t that impossible with her?”
“I can’t believe there’re people out there that still don’t know what this uproar is all about!! The goal has always been to capture her!! Capture her, just capture–!!”
“So don’t get any funny ideas in your head about us taking her down!!”
Up and down and all around town, chaos reigned supreme as the chase continued deep into the night. Just as the clock was about to strike midnight, the direction of this chaotic marathon began to converge upon a single young boy. That being one, Ursch Schneiver, second son of the Schneiver family, the ‘Fiancé That Everyone Knows About’ of the current festival’s main character, the young Lady Isabella.
In stark contrast to the mayhem of warhorses, burly knights and adventurers all running around left, right, and center, that young boy stood alone smack dab in the middle of the wide street. “Look out!” The spectators finally noticed his presence just as the “Rumoured Noble Girl” bore straight down on him, her pursuers close at her heels.
The boy waved at her, his gentle smile like a beacon in the darkness. The instant the pursued girl noticed, her entire face lit up, a smile blooming across her face. She spread her arms wide open, pursuers, everything else all forgotten.
“Kyaaa♡ Ursch!! Ursch!! U~rsch!!” Clearly no stranger to this sudden turn of events, the so-named Ursch embraced the girl that jumped into his arms.
Being hugged as a matter of course, the boy covertly reached behind himself, smiling all the while…and smoothly pulled out a hidden whip and demonstrated considerable skill in the art of restraint. The girl found herself quite firmly bound to the boy upon regaining her senses. Unwilling to inadvertently injure him by struggling excessively, she only attempted the most minimal, if useless, of struggles before giving up on any form of resistance.
The knights on their warhorses who were finally able to catch up to their target, dismounted sloppily and proceeded to crumple into a dismal heap on the spot.
And thus, the sudden and well-received event, the “Grand Chase of Duke’s Daughter VS The Kingdom’s Order of Imperial Knights & The Kingdom’s Knight Corps & Adventurers” ended with the noble girl’s fiancé as the undisputed victor.
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TL: Solistia Cosmopolitan
Editor: Comrade Vodka & Midwinter Gimlet
QC: Solistia Cosmopolitan