Dream Life Vol 3 Chapter 17.1: “Escape”

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~Dan’s Perspective~



 The corridor on the third floor of Welburn Castle was filled with soldiers from the Northern Frontier Count’s Army. It was so sudden that even Master Zack didn’t seem to grasp the situation.



 In the midst of all this, I, Dan Jakes, was ordered by his lordship, Lord Mathias Lockhart, and Master Zack to check the safety of the escape route used by the Governor, Hubert Roswell, the Northern Frontier Count.



 Although we have managed to stall them for now, the enemy numbers are overwhelming. It was really hard to leave Mel… Master Zack and the others in such a place. Of course, since Master Zack ordered it, I know this is the best way.



 Yes, I also knew why Master Zack had appointed me.


 I am not very useful in a corridor battle. That’s why he chose the method that would not reduce my strength the most.



 But I don’t feel pessimistic about it, and I don’t feel down because I know that I can be useful in this mission. So, I changed my mindset and resolved to do what I could do, to scout the escape route as best I could.



 When I entered the room, I found that my Lord had informed the Governor of Beatrice’s concerns. The Governor agreed to allow me to scout the escape route, as the Lord had suggested.



 The hidden door to the passageway is located behind a magnificent fireplace. It is a door that is rarely opened, and when I tried to open it, it made an unpleasant creaking sound.



 Once inside, I found a narrow spiral staircase leading from the third floor, where His Excellency’s quarters are located, to the basement.


 It was pitch-dark and filled with a dusty smell. I put on my light magic tool and carefully but hurriedly descended the stairs.



 As I descended to the bottom, the smell of damp earth and mold became stronger.


 I ran as fast as I could through the narrow underground passageway, but I kept my eyes peeled for any sign of enemies.



 Occasionally, I see a glint of rat-like red eyes, but there is no sign of any particular enemy. There are several doors along the way that look like iron bars, and I carefully open them with the key that the Governor has given me. The iron grates are supposed to prevent intruders from outside the castle, and if we try to force them open from the other side, a trap will be triggered, and the ceiling of the passageway will fall down.



 After about five minutes, I could vaguely see a dead end. The slight light coming through the gap in the door told me that this was my destination.


 I proceeded cautiously, holding my breath as I searched for a presence on the other side of the door.



 As I approached the door and put my ear to it, I could faintly hear the creaking sound of metal armor scraping against the wall, as well as the clattering sound of metal objects, like weapons, hitting the wall.


 But I could not hear any sound of conversation.



 Once again, I hold my breath, focus my attention, and peer inside. This time to see how many soldiers are waiting to ambush us. Imagining the room in my mind, I searched for signs of people. The number of people I could sense with certainty was ten. I am not sure, but I have a feeling that there are nearly twice as many soldiers waiting to ambush us. Another important thing is the smell of burning wood, like torches.



(Beatrice was right. …With this door, I’m sure I’ll be stabbed to death with a spear the moment I open it. Master Zack might be able to do something with magic, but it might be difficult since I don’t know what’s going on inside… Anyway, I have to hurry back…) (Dan)



 I didn’t want to spend any more time, so I went back the way I came at a quick pace.


 When I frustratingly climbed up the spiral staircase, the anxious-looking Lord and Master Rod were waiting for me. Ms. Lydia and the others had just entered the room, mindful of the corridor.



(Did they defeat the enemy in the hallway while I was out scouting… Oh, why isn’t Master Zack here?) (Dan)



 I thought that for a moment, but then reconsidered that I had to report to my lordship first.


 When I tried to report to the lord right then and there, he said, “There is no time. You must report directly to His Excellency.”



 I was puzzled by his words.


 The atmosphere of His Excellency the Governor was completely different from that of the dinner the day before yesterday. The day before yesterday, he spoke to me in a gentle manner, but now he had a stern expression on his face that reminded me of the former lord, Sir Govan Lockhart. I was intimidated by the Governor and couldn’t help feeling nervous.



 As I was thinking about this, I suddenly met Ms. Lydia’s eyes.



 At that moment, a chill ran down my spine.


 Yes, Ms. Lydia’s eyes were very scary. She didn’t raise her gaze, her face was as beautiful as always, but I could tell.


 I knew that Ms. Lydia was very angry right now.



 I’ve always found Ms. Lydia to be extremely anxious when it comes to Master Zack, especially when he is being unreasonable, her usual kindness is overshadowed, and she is very scary. In other words, Master Zack is in danger now.


 I looked into Ms. Lydia’s eyes and realized that there was no time to think about such trivial matters as how to report to the Governor.



 I summoned up all my courage and got down on one knee in front of the Governor. Without any preamble, I immediately began my report.



“Reporting, sir. There is no enemy in the corridor. However, I sensed the presence of at least ten soldiers at the exit, and I am not certain, but I felt the presence of nearly twice that number. I did not hear them talking, perhaps under their breath, but they were clearly directing their killing intent at the door. Also, I could smell something burning, like torches.” (Dan)



 I was worried about whether I was using the correct language, but I couldn’t think of that, so I went through the motions of speaking as if I were reporting to the lord.



 His Excellency nodded, “Mm,” and said, “Thank you for your service. Dan Jakes,” he said, but immediately began to discuss the matter with the lady of the house, saying, “Sir Mathias, I would like to hear Sir’s opinion.”



 I looked down and exhaled with relief. The tension that had been building up in me had dissipated.


 I wanted to step back from His Excellency’s presence, but the two of them were still conferring and I couldn’t find the right moment to step back.



“…There is no mistake in Dan’s assessment, milord. Both I and my son Zacharias highly value his abilities. It means there is an ambush…” (Matt)



 I had not heard this because I was otherwise preoccupied, but it seems that His Excellency was checking with the lord about the accuracy of my report.


 My face grew hot at Milord’s assessment. However, his next words cooled me down at once, as if he had thrown cold water on me.



“Let’s send Roderick as our messenger. My squire, Guy Jakes, and Dan Jakes here will be his escorts.” (Matt)



 The lord appointed me and my father as Master Rod’s bodyguards. Master Rod is going to seek help from the knights outside the castle. Being his escort is a very important job. I honestly felt that it was a heavy burden to be entrusted with such a task.



 Furthermore, the lord asked Beatrice, who was standing in front of the door, “Couldn’t Ms. Beatrice accompany them?”


 Beatrice shook her head,



“As the lord said, I have to stay here. There is less chance of being found if it’s just Mr. Guy and Dan. If a big woman like me were wandering around, we would stand out.” (Beatrice)



 Ms. Beatrice answered with a bit of mirth, but that was not the case at all. If Ms. Beatrice was serious, it would be difficult for me, let alone my father, to even detect her presence. Perhaps she is worried about Master Zack and doesn’t want to leave this place.



 The Lord gave a small nod and said, “Okay. Guy, Dan, I’m counting on you.” After that, Master Rod wanted to stay here, but the lord and the Governor persuaded him, and the three of us decided to go to call for help.



 Once we decided what to do, we immediately went into action.


 We take a rope out of our backpack and tie it to the window frame. This backpack was given to me by Master Zack earlier. I am sure that Master Zack must have known that this would happen. He really is an amazing person.



 I looked out the window and saw about three or four dozen soldiers waiting for us downstairs with light magic tools in their hands.


 Before the lord could say anything, Ms. Lydia said in a flat, emotionless voice, “I’ll take care of those down there,” and went to the window. Then she called out to my sister, Sharon. Apparently, she and my sister will use magic at the same time.



 Although she is in no mood to talk to anyone, it seems that Master Zack is guarding the corridor by himself. Because of this, Ms. Lydia is really angry. Ms. Lydia who has become like this is really scary. More so than the former lord at training and Mr. Walt,  Walt Vassell, the head squire.



 I know that, so I knew right away what she was going to do.


 And I felt a little bit, just a little bit, of sympathy for the soldiers down there. Because they would be attacked with horrifying magic.



 I told my father and Mark, a village patrol archer, that I was going to snipe from another window.



“It looks like Ms. Lydia is going to annihilate the enemies below. Let’s help too.” (Dan)



 My father immediately realized my intention and began to prepare his bow, but Mark didn’t know what he was doing and was a bit flustered.



 Even as I said that I didn’t think we going to have our turn.




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