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"It is nice to go outside after such a long time."

 

"Is that so? Then I will come out often."

 

The maid laughed happily at that. The laughter wasn't aimed at Lucifella specifically, but more for herself. ‘Good things are good,’ Lucifella thought leisurely.

 

Lucifella was accompanied by two escort knights in her carriage, exploring the capital of Yansgar, Greenhill.

 

When she was Estelle, she became a knight, and even when the king granted her a mansion she hardly stayed there. She was always moving around, walking or riding her horses.

 

It was torture for Estelle to be stuck at the Count's mansion as Lucifella. So, she made up an excuse to go out of the castle under the pretense of needing to buy her own dress. Lucifella didn't know anything about dresses, so she figured she could leave it to her maid. However, in order to obtain permission to go out, she had to agree to take two escort knights due to the current dangers in the capital.

Lucifella saw an unfamiliar city. As Ersha’s brother country, Yansgar had a similar building style but the buildings were more colorful than Ersha's.

As she moved along the rosy brick road, she smiled bitterly at the sight of the developed capital city.

 

Lucifella concluded that this country must have advanced through the tears of the fallen nations. It was bittersweet that she had become one of the nobles who enjoyed that luxury.

 

"Why is the street so noisy?"

 

At her words, the maid opened the window leading to the driver and asked.

 

"Ah, they say they are investigating a serial murder now."

 

"Serial murder?"

 

"Yes, don’t you remember? I told you about it last time."

 

"Ah, the one that only kills women? The knife killer?"

 

The maids brought news of the outside world to the frustrated Lucifella. Among the news, the most talked about was the murder by the knifeman. She had felt cynical that he only killed women and had said that Yansgar also had some crazy bastards.

 

"They found the culprit."

 

"Really?"

 

Ah, that was why they were making such a fuss trying to catch the culprit. Lucifella nodded her head.

“Who is the culprit?” she asked.

 

"Lear… … Liam Hirka."

 

In an instant, she felt her heart sink. She knew she hadn’t heard it wrong. She had even heard the surname 'Hirka.'

 

"It's Liam! So, that of Ersha."

 

"Yes, the remnants of Ersha,” the maid nodded her head.

 

/"Commander, don't make such an ugly expression on that pretty face. You’ll get wrinkles." (Flashback)/

 

He was a large man with a scar under his chin. Although he was over 30 years old, he was a sly lieutenant who had followed Estelle obediently even though she had become the commander at a young age.

 

"Yes, they still foolishly believe that the Ersha Kingdom will become independent. Still, killing an innocent woman is bad no matter how you look at it. His Majesty the Emperor will hand out proper punishment."

 

"They are claiming independence?"

 

"Yes, they were leading people to protest. Where was it last time? I think it was in the County of Bavand, they destroyed the bell tower. While investigating the serial murders, someone spotted him here in the capital. His Majesty will stop at nothing to catch him. Oh, so scary."

 

Her eyes fluttered. As far as she knew, Ersha had been subjugated for a long time. The Emperor had given land to the lords who surrendered and told them to rule.

 

The Emperor's treatment of the Ershan people was merciful in comparison to other kings, so Lucifella was surprised to hear that Ershan rebels still called for independence. But if that was the case, Liam did not lose his loyalty to her or for Ersha! Suddenly, Estelle in Lucifella felt overwhelmed.

 

"My Lady! Are you crying?"

 

"No, no."

 

"Don't worry. All the knights are gathering to catch Liam right now."

 

Liam's face flashed in her mind. She had thought that all her subordinates had betrayed her, but apparently, they had not.

 

Yes, Liam wasn't like that. Why didn't she trust her men? She suffered a horrible death due to Khalid's betrayal, and she just let herself believe in one record from Yansgar and despaired with rash thinking. She felt ashamed of herself for acting so pathetic.

 

"Shall we go back? The Count would also ask you to come back."

 

"No, it's okay. We have escort knights with us. And there are many knights spread all over the capital, so they will catch the killer soon. We are safe."

 

Lucifella smiled broadly as her eyes twinkled.

 

She needed to meet Liam. If he was in the capital and she proved herself to him, he would recognize her. Maybe she could even meet her other subordinates too.

She couldn't afford to wait for him. The Emperor could capture him at any moment. Right now, time was on her side. It was such a reckless plan, but she had to see him, as there would be no other chance for a Lady of Yansgar to meet Liam, a rebel from Ersha.

 

***

 

"Why don't you try it on, too?" she said to her maid. The maid also took measurements at Lucifella's urgings, and the tailor who had brought her dress widened her eyes.

 

"I don't think it is wrong to buy a struggling maid some new clothes?"

 

"Ah, Miss!"

 

After arriving at the shop, she had smiled brightly and told her maid she would buy her a dress.

 

Lucifella's face was so innocent and bright, unlike her ferocious personality. Like an angel, a servant of God, someone who would never tell lies.

 

The shop owner gave her a blank look. It was the first time a lady had ever asked her to make a dress for her maid. Pride, which meant that the daughters of aristocrats only wore the finest gowns, did not seem much to Lucifella. The shop owner was perturbed.

 

"My Lady, this is too much for me,” the maid said as she fought a smile.

 

"It’s okay because I'm bored right now, too. My father won't scold me for my actions, right? It's just one more. I want to see you in a pretty dress, what's wrong with that?"

 

"I don't deserve it, My Lady."

 

"Why? If I need to look pretty, then you must look pretty too. You’ll certainly look like a Lady."

 

"No, never!"

 

Even though she was protesting against it, the maid's eyes were trembling and she smiled softly. It was time for all the hard work Lucifella had done on her voice tone to pay off.

 

"Okay, then let's do this. Try changing clothes once. I'm going to check to see if what you said is true or if what I said is."

 

Lucifella was not the quickest at catching the drift, but she knew that the maid had been looking at her with envy earlier. She had devised a plan to escape rather spontaneously, but she thought this would be the best trick.

 

"My Lady, but I am the maker of your clothes. So…."

 

The tailor finally came to her senses much too late and was trying to tell Lucifella that she wouldn't make a dress for the maid. Lucifella turned to her with a smile, but her eyes were cold.

 

"Then I will have no choice but to go to a different store that will join me in my game," she said.

 

Even if she wasn't Estelle, the original owner of this body, Lucifella, was also born stubborn, and she was a person who would become infinitely cruel if her demand wasn't met.

 

After Lucifella recovered from her illness she wasn’t as cruel, but the maid didn't know what would happen if she didn't comply. Lucifella's gaze was not the poisonous gaze she used to have, but her current overbearing gaze characteristic of a person giving a command still frightened her.

"Take off your maid uniform immediately."

 

Lucifella was beginning to enjoy being a wealthy Lady, able to move people at will. Eventually, both the tailor and her maid gave in. While taking off her clothes, the maid made the excuse of 'because Her Ladyship ordered me to' and followed Lucifella's instructions.

 

From the moment Lucifella came into the shop, she had already pinpointed the location of the back door.

 

The tailor measured her maid's size before undressing her, and wanting to get this done quickly, she brought her a dress saying it would suit her. It wasn't a flashy design, but the fabric was of high quality, so the maid happily accepted it.

 

The maid came out after changing her clothes first. Then, Lucifella took her dress and headed into the dressing room. The maid tried to follow her, but she refused.

 

Lucifella ordered the tailor to bring the matching shoes and ribbons to tie her maid's hair. The tailor left the store to avoid offending the selfish noble Lady and went to the ribbon and shoe store next door.

 

"Are you okay with your clothes?"

 

"Yes."

 

Lucifella had been quite annoyed with having the maids attend to her when dressing. So when Lucifella walked to the dressing room alone, the maid readily accepted it as any other day. Of course, there was another reason. The maid wanted to keep looking at herself in the mirror, excited that she was wearing a luxurious dress that she would never be able to wear again in her lifetime.

 

After closing the door to her dressing room, Lucifella took off her clothes. She didn't have any trouble doing it herself. Since she wasn't in good shape yet, she didn't wear a corset since it would put a lot of pressure on her body.

 

She put on her maid's clothes. The clothes weren't too shabby even though she was a servant, as the clothes were provided by Count Aydin anyway. Lucifella wasn’t picky about the material of her clothes in the first place, she just hoped that wearing the maid's clothes would make her less conspicuous in town.

She wore her maid's navy-blue dress, leather shoes, and a scarf. She then untied her hair which had been knotted with a colorful ribbon. With her long hair hanging down, she lowered her head and carefully opened her dressing room to check on her maid.

 

The maid was looking at herself in the mirror with excitement on her face. The tailor was still gone.

 

Lucifella quietly opened the door.

 

Killing her presence was her specialty. Of course, her abilities were poor as Lucifella, but they were good enough to fool her engrossed maid.

 

She looked at the back door. As it was a door used for convenience, there was no lock but it had a bar.

 

She removed the bar very gently before she opened the door and went outside. She apologized to her maid under her breath, who may or may not have been Louisa or Roisa.

 

Successful in her escape, Lucifella tried to blend into the crowd as much as possible. She lowered her head as far as she could, knowing that her beautiful appearance would catch people's eyes.

 

She was new to the geography of Yansgar's capital. Without knowing where to find Liam, she just knew she had to move fast. She had little to lose. If she didn't find Liam, she would go back to the Count, and that would be it.

 

She thought about Liam and the serial killer.

 

The serial killing was bizarre. People had found a body right near the main street as though the killer had meant for people to discover it. Since the locations of the murders were all across the city, rumors had circulated that there was an accomplice.

 

Eyewitnesses accused Liam of being the culprit, since it was easy to claim the murders as an event organized by the remnants of Ersha, but Lucifella knew that Liam could not have killed a woman.

No, he was weak to the weak, especially when it came to women and children. As Estelle, it had been rather embarrassing to watch someone of Liam’s size get so flustered around women and children. He might have destroyed the bell tower as her maid said or killed some influential person, but he would never attack women.

 

In that case, the serial killer and Liam had to be viewed separately. She did not know who the serial killer was, but Liam had been witnessed in the capital and the Yansgar knights were looking for him.

The most important thing was not whether Liam was the murderer but whether Lucifella could meet him.

 

The first thing she needed to do was make cash out of her jewelry since she happened to be wearing jewel earrings.

 

She quickly found the appropriate place. The back alley was not perfect because it could pose a threat to her life, but a sales office operated by a large upper store would require proof of her identity.

 

Lucifella soon found the perfect place: a moderately shabby shop. She discovered the store quickly as she had already been in the precinct where stores sold clothes and jewelry.

 

The merchant glanced at her, a woman with a beautiful face holding the earrings. However, her dignified and relaxed expression, along with her casual tone, made the merchant think that Lucifella must be a mistress or a lover of someone from an aristocratic family.

 

He offered to pay her with a check, but she told him she just wanted cash convenient for her to carry.

 

Thinking that Yansgar's denominations would be similar to Ersha's, she roughly put the money in her pocket.

 

As her pockets became thick, she thought about buying a horse, but seeing that no women rode horses, she thought that would make her stand out too much.

 

On the main street, she saw the knights riding their horses and running at high speed.

 

The horses were approaching menacingly, and the people looked on in fear and anxiety when seeing the edgy looks of the knights. Eight knights rushed down the street, passing quickly, and people chattered as they looked at their backs.

 

"What's going on?" she asked the nearest middle-aged man, despite being sure she knew the answer already.

 

The man was startled by Lucifella’s appearance and coughed as she brushed away her tangled hair, revealing her pretty face.

 

"Liam Hirka, they are making this uproar to catch him. They appeared from Northwest of the capital."

 

"Northwest?"

 

As she opened her eyes wide, the middle-aged man seemed to be in a good mood.

 

"Yes, the 2nd Knights and His Excellency Duke Ruirk are in a frenzy to catch him. He will be caught soon."

 

"… … Where are we now?"

 

He smiled at her as he thought she was asking out of fear.

 

"This is the southeast, so it is the safest area far from danger, and you...." he answered.

 

The man trailed off as the figure of Lucifella had long since disappeared.

 

She had no choice but to ride a horse.

 

As she was wandering around to see if there was any place selling horses nearby, she saw a red wagon on the side of the road. When she looked at the carriage, she saw a seal engraved on it that appeared to belong to the Merchant Society.

 

‘Ah. A private carriage, why didn't I think of that?’

 

She had also seen them in Ersha. Unlike aristocratic families, who could always prepare a carriage and a driver, ordinary people did not have the money to buy and maintain a carriage. So, the ‘private carriage’ was born.

 

Commoners who traveled long distances paid their fees and rode wagons. It was unpleasant for the aristocrats to have commoners on the road with them, but the private carriage quickly caught public interest as widening the distance people could travel had had a greater economic effect than expected.

 

Lucifella watched as people waved their hands to call over a carriage. She waved her hand awkwardly, and one carriage stopped.

 

"Where are you going?"

 

"To the Northwest."

 

"Northwest?"

 

"You can drop me off anywhere in the Northwest."

 

The driver frowned and shook his head.

 

"It's too dangerous to go there. You should go home, Miss."

 

Before Lucifella could say more, the wagon left.

 

Lucifella bit her lip.

 

She then called in a few more wagons, but the result was the same. Even telling them that she would pay more didn’t change anything. Since Liam had knocked down the tower people seemed terrified. So, she was thinking it might be better to rent a horse.

 

"Where are you going, lady?"

 

Another carriage stopped in front of her. Lucifella decided that if this one also rejected her, then she would ride a horse instead. The driver looked at her worriedly.

 

Lucifella thought that the coachman was wearing clothes a bit too thick for the current weather.

Then the coachman spoke.

"Get on."

 

***

 

"Why are you suddenly stopping by the Merchants' Guild? Commander, we need to catch Liam Hirka as soon as possible."

 

Jed looked at him, ignoring the Deputy Commander's question.

 

"The guards, the patrols, and the Imperial Palace Guards are all pansies who haven't properly been on the battlefield, so they probably didn't examine them very well. So, they still haven't been able to catch that bastard with their hardened heads. Their heads are just for decoration. I should whip those doctors’ asses, too. How can they delay a task that would have solved the case immediately if they had only looked at the body properly?" he said.

 

At Jed's angry words, the Deputy Commander was puzzled. Jed threw a list at the deputy. It was a list of private wagons registered at the Merchants Guild.

 

"I commend you for even thinking about the guides. But if there were multiple murders, we should have checked the means of transportation first."

 

"But was it not reported that there were no suspicious passengers on the wagons at the time of the murder?"

 

"It's not the carriage's passengers. It's the coachman. Did you not have the idea that the driver might be the problem?"

 

At those words, the Deputy Commander's face was filled with questions.

 

"That doesn’t make sense. If he wanted to kill a woman, he would have to have gotten off the carriage to search for a target... Isn't that too much work...?"

 

"Didn't you think that there was too little blood for someone slaughtered with a knife?"

 

"Blood?"

 

While on the battlefield, Jed had realized that human beings were nothing more than a chunk of meat made of blood and fat.

 

Blood was the main component of the human body, but the amount of blood the woman had shed was too little. If she was stabbed so many times with a knife, the surrounding area should have already become a sea of ​​blood, but instead there was only a small stagnant pool drained from the body. The Deputy Commander seemed to realize it too.

 

It was difficult to connect a woman who had been murdered with a corpse on the battlefield. They had just skipped over the female body to the male body, assuming they were only slightly different.

 

All of the women who had been killed were commoners. The doctors refused to perform an autopsy, saying it was unlucky to see the corpse of a woman, especially a person of low rank, and everything got twisted from there.

 

No one was taking this seriously, so they were helplessly beaten by that bastard.

 

"That bastard killed the girl somewhere else and then put her body back."

 

The wagon was nothing more than a vehicle to transport the body. Even on the battlefield, some madmen enjoyed killing people. If those crazy people were hiding in a city like this, this would be the result.

 

The letters engraved in blood also expressed the desire to show off and served as a smokescreen.

 

Since the letters were written in blood, it looked like there was a lot of blood, and everyone unconsciously thought that the murder had taken place there. Everyone’s attention was focused on the 'grotesque,' so they couldn't see anything else.

 

"Then…The body was transported."

 

"It was a carriage. The killer was playing a very funny joke,” he said with a crooked smile. The Deputy Commander immediately realized why Jed had stopped by the Merchant Guild. The private carriages were operated by the guild. These were all people with the economic power to use a private carriage.

 

"Actually, there are three guilds that operate private carriages. Is this the last one? Investigate everyone. If we don't figure it out today, another body will be found in a few hours."

 

The Deputy Commander nodded his head, his eyes glimmering. If actual evidence was found but the criminal was not caught, the reputation of the knights would run aground in shame.

 

"Among the coaches, check mainly those who own several wagons. It would be impossible to reuse the wagon that carried the body right away. The smell of blood lingers for quite some time."

 

A private carriage's floor was made of iron, but the chairs of wood. Unlike the carriages of the nobles, it was easy to wash because there were no fabric coverings.

 

At that moment, they heard shouts and cries from inside the building. Exchanging glances with the deputy chief, Jed wondered what was going on. He looked down at the lower level of the upper structure with his hand on the handle of his sword. There he saw a familiar person.

 

"Count Aydin, what are you doing here?"

 

Count Aydin stood in a fancy suit with disheveled hair looking panicked and red in the face. He looked up at Jed.

 

"My, my daughter! My daughter Lucy has disappeared!" he shouted.

 

Looking at Jed, tears welled up in the Count's eyes.

 

‘Well, she could disappear. Why is the Count so fretful over that? We are too busy right now.’ Jed, who was still angry about the killer, grimaced even more.

 

"You mean from the mansion?"

 

"No, not there. I mean, Lucifella disappeared from here! She put on her maid's clothes and ran away!"

 

‘Maid's clothes? From here? Now, what the hell does that mean?’

 

"Please explain what is going on."

 

Sigh.

Jed heard everything about her actions from the Count and sighed.

 

He was so close to spitting the words ‘go to hell’. He would be wasting time looking for one person when he already didn't have enough time to concentrate on finding the killer.

 

If there was a serial killer on the loose, he thought she would at least have the sense to stay put in a quiet house. But what was she doing, wearing maid's clothes and running away? She had to be crazy.

 

At that moment, a possible scenario came to his mind. Well, the assumption was close to worry, but there was no way it was a coincidence that everything fit so tightly. The chance of her riding a private wagon was slim... no, there was chance. With a reasonably high probability, she may have ridden a carriage.

 

‘That woman must be frail. No. What are the chances of her riding the wagon with the killer among all the wagons?’

 

After a brief moment of something similar to worrying, Jed gave orders to the knights.

 

"Five knights cooperate with the guards to find Her Ladyship, Count Aydin's daughter."

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