AIWTRO Side Story 5

AIWTRO Side Story 5

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Translator’s Note: ICYMI, here’s the Discord invite link 💕


What? His Grace, the Grand Duke?

Quicker than the wind, everyone turned in one direction. 

In the dark alley, they could see the hair slowly revealing itself. 

Eventually, when his features were revealed under the lights of the central square, they could no longer deny the reality.

The one person who shouldn’t know about this incident has appeared. On the day of the final battle, too.

Ludwig: “… it’s like you didn’t expect to see me.”

Ludwig looked around at the stunned crowd and muttered. He thought they’d be surprised if he suddenly showed up, but… Wasn’t this too much?

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They looked like they had seen a ghost rather than their master. In particular, Ludwig never thought that even Joseph, the Vice Captain, would make such an expression.

He started to wonder if he shouldn’t be here.

‘No, why…’

‘Why now!’

‘You should have warned us at least!’

‘Why’d he suddenly pop out?!’

Leaving the shocked knights behind, Keira was the first to come to her senses. Time was running out, so they needed to get rid of that ‘variable’ quickly.

Keira: “W-what are you…doing here?”

Ludwig: “I heard that you’ve been helping the guards for several days. It’s kind of weird the vassals are helping all night long, while I, the head of the household, have nothing to do with it.”

Keira: “That’s…”

He’s right. What he said was right.

She had nothing to refute. But, due to his personality, he’d be uncomfortable leaving it to his subordinates and sleeping at home.

Still, Keira had to think hard to rectify the situation somehow.

Let’s go back and think about it.

Keira: “Such a thing… it’s not necessary for His Grace the Grand Duke do it himself.”

Joseph: “That’s right. Rather, I am worried that the family’s prestige will fade.”

Fortunately, Joseph chimed in with a plausible reason–the family’s status. It was a perfect cause to convince Ludwig.

To that, Ludwig calmly replied.

Ludwig: “Don’t worry about that. I just came here to give some encouragement. Robert.”

“?”

Robert? Everyone turned to the sudden appearance of the butler.

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Ludwig’s sudden appearance was so shocking that they didn’t even notice it, but he wasn’t the only one who had appeared.

Several servants, including butler Robert, were grouped together a few steps away.

Why are these people…? Puzzled, Keira asked.

Keira: “Why is everyone here…”

Ludwig: “It’s early in the morning and it’s cold. You should wear a jacket.”

The head of the household handed over the coat. Soon after, the servants also gave the knights coats.

Warm drinks were given to ordinary soldiers who weren’t members of the family.

It really did seem like he came here to cheer up the guards and knights posted. That was fortunate.

‘All I have to do is send him back quickly.’

Keira quickly put on the outerwear her father gave her.

She did it to send them back as quickly as possible. Everyone seemed to have thought the same thing because they wore their coats immediately.

Keira: “Then I will be grateful. Thank you for your concern.”

So hurry up. Please, please go soon.

But even though the business was over, Ludwig didn’t think to move. Instead, he just lingered in front of her as if he had something to say.

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Unsatisfied, she carefully opened her mouth. If it wasn’t feasible to send them back quickly, she might have to sacrifice herself and leave with them.

Keira: “Do you have anything else to say to me? Shall we move?”

Ludwig: “Just… I’m just trying to say that it’s admirable to step up to something like this.”

Keira: “Ah…”

Keira said nothing.

That was because the gem that was the root of all trouble… was with the grand ducal family. To be precise, Zeke should be holding it by now.

Keira: “Thank you.”

At that time, she saw Arthur standing behind Ludwig, communicating with her through his eyes.

‘W-what are we going to do now!’

‘I don’t know either! He’s not leaving. What should I do?’

‘In a little while, group A will move!’

It would be nice if there were a way to get in touch with Group A, but that wasn’t possible in the current situation.

If Keira used the communicator, he might ask who she was contacting, and if she tried to go and let them know herself, he would ask her why she’s leaving. 

‘I’ll pretend to be sick. I’ll collapse on the spot and go to the doctor…’

Bang! Blast!

But at that moment, Keira shut her eyes tightly at the sound of an explosion coming from afar.

“W-what happened?”

“It sounded like explosives.”

“I heard it from the east gate.”

Soldiers who did not know the truth began to stir.

Just in time, people from afar started screaming. Anyone could understand that something has happened.

As Ludwig’s gaze turned to the east, Arthur mouthed.

‘You decide what to do! Are we following the plan?’

‘Just push through!’

‘Really?’

‘Then what else should I do now!’

Now, it was all or nothing[1].

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Arthur: “Your…Your Ladyship, shouldn’t we check what’s going on?”

With a pale face, he recited the lines he had prepared. The only fortunate thing was that his complexion looked like it was from the shock of hearing the explosion.

Arthur spoke as he had planned, and before long, Joseph also recited his lines.

Joseph: “It looks like. There was an explosion. At the east gate.”

‘Sir Joseph, your acting is so awkward!’

His several days of practice had vanished, perhaps because he was taken aback by the unexpected situation.

But fortunately, nobody paid attention to his acting, thanks to the tense situation.

Arthur: “I’ll go!”

The first to move was Arthur, who was in charge of leading the guards to leave. Following his instructions, the capital’s guards chased after the knights who were moving around.

Arthur had succeeded in sending most of the guards along with him. The problem was…

‘All I have to do is get rid of this person.’

Keira: “Your Grace! Please leave for now. It could be a terrorist attack.”

Keira exclaimed, feigning panic. 

Of course, Keira didn’t think that would happen, but that’s not what’s important now. She had to send him to another place immediately.

Keira: “We’ll take care of this. There should be no problem since Sir Joseph and I are here.”

Robert: “Just as Her Ladyship said, let’s move. It could be dangerous to stay here.”

“…”

Even though the butler recommended that they hide together, Ludwig was unmoved.

He stared at the place where they heard the explosion, narrowed his eyes, then clicked his tongue as if he realized something.

Keira’s heart sank as she watched the change in expression.

No.

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Ludwig: “Stay where you are! It could be a double operation!”

D*mn it! He just had to be smart!

Keira: “W-well, first, you should run away for now…”

Ludwig: “No, as I expected, they’ll be here soon.”

Ludwig handed the cumbersome coat to the butler and approached the remaining guards. Then, he pulled out the sword attached to one’s waist and said. 

Ludwig: “I’ll borrow this for a while.”

“Y-yes!”

Ah… Keira’s mind went blank. No matter what she said, he didn’t seem to want to leave.

Judging by the expression on his face, he was probably thinking of catching the jewel thief right there.

After a while, a silhouette moved between the building roofs, his movements swift and agile. Ludwig, who didn’t miss the scene, smirked.

Ludwig: “I knew it.”

“…”

She didn’t even have time to groan. The motto of this operation was originally ‘quick battle, quick conclusion’.

They needed to return the jewel to its original spot immediately before people discovered that the explosion was fake.

Zeke immediately descended from the rooftop according to their plan. The shadow quickly approached the plaza fountain.

Keira wasn’t sure, but she thought her eyes met Zeke’s. The shadow paused for a moment, as if he had realized their father was beside his sister.

Ludwig: “That’s him.”

Slim figure, medium height–it was as stated by eyewitnesses on the day of the incident. Ludwig laughed fiercely and ran straight to the fountain.

For a moment, Zeke was taken aback by his father’s unexpected appearance, but it was already too late. In the first place, they weren’t too far from the fountain.

‘No!’

At this rate, they would be caught.

Keira hurriedly shouted.

Keira: “Oh! There’s one more over there!”

“?!”

She shouted, pointing in the opposite direction, and Ludwig paused to look back at her. In such a tense situation, her acting came out naturally.

Keira: “Looks like they’ve gone down that alley!”

Ludwig: “Give up the other one. First, catch that guy.”

Making a bold decision, he stared straight ahead again. As time passed, the shadow near the fountain quickly disappeared through the alleys of the residential area.

Ludwig: “Tsk!”

Ludwig clicked his tongue and immediately followed him. He was a pretty nimble guy.

With that level of skill, he could be active in the sun, so it made Ludwig wonder why he became a thief instead.

‘I’ll just have to interrogate him after catching him.’

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He raised his voice at the sound of the footsteps of his daughter and knights behind him.

Ludwig: “Keira, wait in the square! I’ll go after him!”

Keira: “I left Sir Joseph behind, so it will be alright!”

Ludwig: “There’s a possibility that he’s an unexpectedly powerful person, so you could be in danger!”

Keira: “That’s not the problem right now…!”

Because he’s my brother and your son!


[1] 이판사판 (ipansapan) when you’re driven into a corner and can’t do anything else; Hongik Story has an informative article on the origin of the word


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