PDM Chapter 62
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“Hey, take it easy, take it easy!” Annoyed, Rin struggled as he was dragged by a knight bigger than him. “Oh, this is–Ugh.”
Upon entering the interrogation room, the knight kicked him in the hamstring. The shock caused him to sit down and let out a groan. Then, with both hands tied behind his back by the knight, he twisted his upper body.
“Ah, this is pissing me off. I was taking a pleasant nap, but they came in…!” As he fired nervously, he felt a high-pressure energy and slowly stared straight ahead. His eyes widened, then he turned away, clicking his tongue.
Kyle rested his chin on his hand and looked down coolly at Rin. Feeling the unusual energy, the commander stepped back and stood by. The knight who tied Rin’s hands to him posted the report.
“This is Rin, the blacksmith. He is believed to have assisted in Madam’s kidnapping. He’s an old acquaintance of Takan and lives close to the forest near Walton Square, where he met Madam–”
The knight scowled when Rin laughed out loud. He leaned close to Rin’s side and tightened his hold on him.
“You’re laughing now? You’re an accomplice! Where…!”
Rin furrowed his eyebrows, holding back a small smile. He tilted his head to the side, a smile still lingering on his lips.
“Can you really call it kidnapping?”
The knight’s scowl deepened after hearing what he thought was a provocation. Rin turned to Kyle as if he was done with the knight.
Kyle continued to watch on, his expression blank.
“Is it kidnapping, Your Grace?”
Suddenly, a crack appeared on Kyle’s face, and Rin raised his brows. When the commander tried to step out at his disrespectful gaze, Kyle stopped him with a single gesture.
Hmm, Rin hummed. He met Kyle’s gaze and asked, “Didn’t she run away?”
“This b*stard.” The knight gritted his teeth and glared at Rin, but Rin remained calm.
Rin had experienced battles like a man drinking water, so even if he couldn’t wield a sword, he was familiar with the knights’ lives and hostility.
Kyle got up from his seat, not once breaking eye contact. He slowly closed the distance and looked down at him, blinking slowly. A moment later, he broke the silence.
“Have you met her?”
Rin shrugged. “You could say so. She came to my shop as a customer with Takan. I never thought she was a Duchess.”
But he did think she was running away from love. Rin grinned to himself as he thought so.
“A shop, huh.”
In response to Rin’s answer, Kyle reflexively rubbed the back of his hand on his scarred cheek, suddenly remembering Aelle aiming a bow at him. His scar, which had confused him when he got it, was now the only thing he had left of her.
Kyle leisurely bent down to look directly at Rin.
Rin slightly faltered when he met the Duke’s bloodshot eyes. His overbearing aura, which seemed to rise like a haze all over his body, wiped off Rin’s smirk. A strange tension appeared on Rin’s face.
Kyle looked down for a moment, seemingly lost in thought, before speaking. “She ran away. Why do you think she did?”
Rin didn’t know. He suddenly looked up at Kyle, his expression serious.
“I’ve seen you before,” Rin said, staring directly at the Duke’s gray eyes. “Well, it was a long time ago. At that time, I stayed on the battlefield to see the Imperial army who was crazy abut long swords and other weapons. There, I accidentally saw you cutting someone’s throat, blood splattering everywhere.”
As if reminiscing about that day, Rin, who had a more subdued atmosphere, smiled. “Without realizing it, I wanted to run away.”
Haa, this is embarrassing. Rin, who continued with a smile, shrugged. He looked up into the air and opened his mouth with a deep sigh.
“When she came to the store, her eyes were dead.” Rin slowly turned back to Kyle. “So that’s what I thought. No matter how much I think about it, it didn’t seem like a kidnapping.”
The two stared at each other for a while, but Rin averted his gaze first. He twisted his body as if he couldn’t stand it any longer and showed his bound hands. With the chains colliding, it made a loud noise.
“So, would you mind releasing this now? That guy suddenly came to visit me and said he’d spend time with me for a day, then suddenly disappeared and never returned. Above all, I am a victim, to be honest, because he took a weapon without paying for it. I want to beat him up if he’s alive.”
Kyle stared blankly at Rin and stood up without regret. Soon, Rin sighed. When Kyle left the rest of the interrogation to the knight and left the interrogation room, the commander followed.
Catching up quickly with Kyle, the commander said, “Your Grace, it seems that they haven’t even interacted with each other for several years, so there’s no evidence that the blacksmith actually helped in the abduction.”
The commander was displeased and paused, then continued. “What shall we do?”
At the question, Kyle stopped in his tracks and stared straight ahead, his eyes darkening. As he stood there, a pensive expression on his face, the commander gulped at the silence. He swallowed dryly and waited for an answer.
Want to run away… As Kyle whispered to himself, he recalled the last time he saw her–an arrow aimed at him, her face in contemplation.
As if to cut off his thoughts, he opened his mouth and headed forward. “If there’s no evidence, make one. Get someone to keep an eye on him.”
The commander bowed his head in awe at the following command.
“Yes, Your Grace.”
Kyle sat inside the cold and quiet office and looked through some papers. When his bloodshot eyes reached the end of the document, he couldn’t hold back his emotions rising like a pillar of fire, and hit the desk.
The aide, frozen in his spot like a statue, gulped, proof that he was alive.
“Is this everything? In the end, a note was posted because you couldn’t find a single strand of her hair.”
Sensing the disturbing energy, the aide closed his eyes in sorrow and said, “Sorry for posting this report, Your Grace. We searched all over the empire, but… Not even a trace. Most of the reports received through newsletters and leaflets were false.”
As soon as he finished speaking, Kyle asked without a pause, “What about Rin?”
“They have been following him constantly, but they didn’t find anything suspicious.”
Kyle dropped the papers with a scowl. He sighed deeply and rubbed his face with his hand.
From the time she searched through her study to the time she left the duchy and met Takan, Aelle left no traces. But the most important was that Aelle was out of reach.
Time passed and flowed like water, and Kyle struggled day by day. He was tired of just sitting and listening.
When he could not suppress his desire to run out immediately, his aides advised him to protect his face or prestige.
Kyle roughly loosened the tie around his neck.
It was the first time in his life that he had been told to keep calm. He was the one who knew better than anyone that what happens usually couldn’t be undone and that there was no real benefit to getting swept up by emotions. But why?
Occasionally, anxiety swept through his body, and he couldn’t calm down. While living in the unfounded belief that she was alive, he was worried they’d find her body any moment.
Kyle closed his eyes, his eyelids twitching, and a heavy breath came out. The aide just stared at him pitifully.
He hadn’t slept for days and hadn’t eaten, so his body merely reacted to it. Nothing was strange about his bloodshot eyes, dry lips, and haggard face. They wouldn’t even be surprised if he collapsed.
The aide sighed bitterly before speaking. “Your Grace, why don’t you take a day off? I’ll finish the rest of the work, so you should–”
“Did you not hear me telling you to get out?”
The words came out like venom, and the aide could do nothing but groan and step back.
“I’m worried, so please close your eyes for at least one day. Please.”
After the aide left the office, Kyle was alone in the silence, his eyes closed as if drawing something in his mind.
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