AIWTRO Side Story 6 (End)
Translator’s Note: Surprise! I couldn’t sleep, so I decided to finish the last chapter. Enjoy 💕
Shouldn’t she at least stop him if he rushed to execute him?
Keira desperately followed after him. If left alone, a real catastrophe could happen.
Ludwig followed the criminal ahead of him and gritted his teeth.
The shadow stepped on a cart and climbed up onto the wall. He immediately reached the top of the building after running away. He seemed skilled as he used his light and agile body.
The prestige of the Grand Duke’s family would not stand properly until such a thief was caught.
Ludwig: “I’ll go ahead.”
Keira: “Yes? W-wait!”
Ludwig stepped on the window frames of the building to climb up to the roof.
Plans didn’t always work the way people wanted to.
Zeke thought that the essence of planning was to overcome all unexpected variables.
But that should be good enough.
‘Why!! Why!!! Why did Father come out of nowhere!’
Wasn’t this too much?
The one person who should never find out about this was closely following him.
The Grand Duke didn’t even shout ‘Stop!,’ or ‘Surrender now!’ the way others did when running after a criminal.
He just chased after Zeke at tremendous speed with a glint in his eyes.
‘That’s why it’s even scarier!’
He would have been less scared than he was now if his father had just said something as he chased him. Zeke felt genuinely threatened with my life.
‘Hurry! A little faster!’
He was almost out of breath. And as he jumped between buildings, his legs trembled.
At this rate, he’d be caught soon. He tried to think of the best strategy even as he ran, feeling threatened for his life.
‘If I compete with speed, I will 100% lose.’
If he, a growing boy, and his father, who must have reached the peak of his skills, confronted each other head-on, the outcome would be obvious.
Zeke immediately gave up his strategy of running on top of buildings and went down. After stepping down the store sign, he hid among the busy alleyways of the business district.
Over the past few days, he had looked at the maps of the capital city over and over again until he got sick of it. Now, the complicated maze-like alleyways appeared clearly before his eyes.
As he hid in one of the many forks in a narrow alleyway, he was certain of his victory.
Something caught in his shin, and his body floated in the air.
Why was he floating in the air? The moment he tried to tilt his head, Zeke was able to touch the ground again. Well, to be more precise, he was thrown back to the ground.
After rolling and tumbling for a while, he finally stopped after hitting a wall. It felt like the whole world was spinning.
Zeke: “Krgh… Ugh…”
It was like someone was banging on his skull with a hammer. He grabbed his throbbing forehead as he struggled to stand. He could feel the skin underneath his torn gloves as he touched his head.
He was wearing a mask, but he could feel skin. While rolling on the floor, his mask must have flown off.
Zeke frantically looked around for something to cover his face but gave up immediately. He’d better get out of here sooner than find the missing mask…
But then, a voice like that of a grim reaper came.
His whole body froze.
He slowly turned his motionless head to look behind him. He gulped.
Oh my god.
The light from outside the alley only dimly leaked in, but it wasn’t hard to see the person’s features.
Standing tall at the end of the alleyway was his father, staring at him in disbelief.
Goosebumps ran down his spine.
Goddess, please help me even though I’m a disrespectful servant who damaged your statue…
The moment he thought he’d rather faint, he heard the sound of guards moving outside.
“This way! He went this way!”
“He went down!”
The situation was becoming more and more catastrophic.
By the day after tomorrow at the latest, there’d be a special report saying that the culprit who stole the jewel from the statue of the goddess was the heir of the Grand Duke Parvis.
Ludwig walked towards him, stepping on a puddle. It was hard to see his expression because he had entered the dark alley.
His father, who had narrowed the distance in an instant, grabbed Zeke by the collar.
I’m really gonna die! Zeke unknowingly closed his eyes tightly.
Ludwig: “I’ll listen to your explanation later.”
Ludwig pushed Zeke away as if hiding him behind a pile of boxes.
Are you thinking of crushing me?! As Zeke trembled with fear, he heard a conversation from outside.
“Your Grace! The culprit is here…!”
Ludwig: “This is a dead end! Search the other way!”
“The other way! The other way!”
The guards, who believed the Grand Duke’s words, rushed to the other side like an ebbing tide. Zeke could only blink as he heard the guards’ fading footsteps.
‘Did you just cover for me?’
‘Goddess statue jewel thief = son’
It didn’t take him long to come to that conclusion.
While Zeke pondered hard to assess the situation, the pile of boxes that shielded him was moved aside.
Naturally, it was Ludwig who pushed the boxes aside and took out Zeke.
As soon as he took out his son, he opened his mouth.
Ludwig: “Are you hurt anywhere?”
Zeke knew he sounded like a fool for only answering ‘yes?’, but he couldn’t help it. Ludwig looked like a real father when he looked around the boy’s body to see if he had any injuries.
What was this really about? The incident didn’t turn out well because his mind had turned blank.
Ludwig continued to ask the puzzled Zeke.
Ludwig: “Do you have any broken limbs, ankles or wrists?”
Zeke: “N-no… I don’t think I do.”
Ludwig: “Which part of your body doesn’t move?”
Zeke: “That, too… I don’t think there’s anything like that.”
Ludwig: “Then go back home. Before anyone else notices. The guards have gone to the other side, so you won’t run into them.”
Zeke: “Ah… Y-yes!”
Standing there in a daze, Zeke only moved after Ludwig urged him.
His scratched skin stung a little when he was pushed to the floor, but it wasn’t enough to immobilize him.
Stepping on the boxes, he climbed onto the wall at the dead end. Since he had memorized the map, he knew clearly which shortcuts to return to the mansion.
Before stepping down the wall, Zeke reflexively looked back.
His father was still standing there, looking in his direction.
He looked worried, Zeke thought.
The jewel of the statue was returned safely. Apparently, the well-preserved gem was thrown under the statue in a sack.
‘I’m glad he still managed to return the gem.’
Keira was worried that Zeke might have forgotten the core of the operation when he faced Father, but she seemed to have worried for nothing.
Scratching his head, Arthur said.
Arthur: “What… It’s good that it seems to have worked out, right?”
Keira: “Hmm, it ended well anyway…”
In fact, the culprit returned the gem on his own, but for some reason, the people from the capital believed that the knights of the ducal family had recovered it.
It seemed that everyone believed that because it was more convincing than the idea that the culprit returned what he stole of his own volition.
Arthur: “We took the gem, but our reputation only improved.”
Keira: “No. That’s not what’s strange to me.”
Keira: “Didn’t His Grace catch us? I didn’t think he’d cover for us.”
Arthur: “…You’re right.”
Arthur didn’t understand either.
Still confused, Keira sat on a garden bench, waiting for Zeke to come out.
It’s been about thirty minutes since Zeke was called to their father’s office, so she decided to wait for him.
Not long after, Keira spotted him trudging out in a daze.
Keira and Arthur approached the boy and began to interrogate him.
Arthur: “What did you say? Was he angry?”
Keira: “What happened? What did you say?”
Zeke was at a loss on where to start, but soon enough, he answered slowly, still looking out of it.
Zeke: “I just… explained that I was drunk and made a mistake. I also explained that I really had no intention of stealing it, so I tried to put it back in its original place.”
Zeke: “Then he just… told me to be careful next time. He told me not to drink more than what I can take.”
I’ll never drink more than two drinks again, Zeke added, gritting his teeth.
Keira: “Is that all?”
Arthur: “Is that really the end of it?”
Arthur: “In the future, no more team dinners or… did he call for everyone to gather or something like that?”
Zeke: “No, he didn’t say anything like that.”
Arthur murmured incredulously.
Arthur: “Did something really good happen recently…?”
“I don’t know.”
Arthur, who tried to figure out what his boss was thinking, gave up with a sigh.
Arthur: “As long as we didn’t get in trouble, that’s fine. Right, Your Ladyship?”
Keira: “Uh… I’m glad it worked out.”
Arthur: “Anyway, to thank us for helping them find the gem, the temple sent a bunch of presents. Would you like to go see it?”
Keira: “Okay. Do you want to come, Zeke?”
Before long, the three of them moved toward the knights’ quarters.
It was a warm afternoon.
〈 Side Story End 〉
Translator’s Note: Well, that’s the end. Thank you for reading and for supporting this project! For new project announcements and updates, join us on Discord!
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