Dream Life Vol 3 Chapter 7.2: “Rawcliffe City”

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 And so, my brother Theophilus, and my sisters Seraphine, and Sophia decided to take a stroll through the city.


 Guy objects to letting my siblings go out into the city, saying that it is dangerous.



“If it’s what Master Zack thinks, wouldn’t they be targeting Master Theo and the Misses? It’s not easy to protect them in a city full of people.” (Guy)



 But I have a different opinion.



“I understand what Guy is saying, but there is no benefit for anyone to kidnap or kill Theo and my sisters in this situation. I don’t know what the mastermind is after this time, but at least it can’t be a grudge against the Lockhart family. Of course, it is not inconceivable that they could kidnap any of us and threaten my father, but knowing our grandfather, I don’t think the Lockhart family would give in to the threat. In other words, as long as we don’t show a big opening here, they shouldn’t forcefully kidnap Theo and my sisters.” (Zack)



 Father, Guy, and Byron were silent for a moment, but Father nodded on behalf of all of them.



“What you say makes sense, but is there any need to take the risk?” (Matt)



 I had another idea.



“I have another thought. In other words, if we act as we normally do, the enemy will not know what we are thinking. If the people who are manipulating Maddock are watching our actions, they must know that we took him into custody by force and that we were also on high alert at night. Here, if we continue to act as we have been, I mean, as we normally do, the enemy should be confused.” (Zack)



“That may be true, but…” (Matt)



“If Father makes a courtesy visit on Boyette, who is connected to the mastermind, with impunity, and even your youngest daughter Sophia is allowed to go out, the enemy will be troubled as to how much information we have on them.” (Zack)



 My father nods and says, “I guess so.”



“And the enemy may suspect that we are trying to use my brothers as bait to get the attackers. If they know the name Lockhart, it would not be surprising if they think we are trying to solve the problem ourselves. If that happens, I think the enemy will hesitate to do the deed of attacking my siblings in the city of Rawcliffe.” (Zack)



 After explaining that much, my father nodded broadly in agreement. However, Guy raised a question.



“But then we would have to protect the base, Theophilus and the young Misses, and Maddock separately. It would mean a spreading thin of forces.” (Guy)



 I was thinking the same thing, so I explained to him about the division of the guards.



“Byron, Enos, Brett, and the others will be assigned to my father. Theo and my sisters will be protected with just me, Beatrice, and Mel. Maddock should be protected by Guy, Liddy, Dan, and Sharon, and there will be no problem. However, the thing to be wary of is Maddock being assassinated. In other words, Guy’s place should be the most dangerous…” (Zack)



 I went on to explain my thoughts.


 If they know we’re out there, they’re going to try to get to Theo and the rest of my siblings, because we’re the weakest link.



 However, it would be difficult to send a rogue against us in this safe and bustling city.


 The mastermind or Boyette might use soldiers from the city’s garrison, but from the looks of the soldiers yesterday, it is unlikely that they would be monolithic. And with only a few soldiers, anything is possible.



 Furthermore, I have chosen Beatrice and Mel, who are good at melee combat, as my escorts, considering how we could respond in a busy city.


 As for the inn, I have placed Guy and Dan, who are good at detecting presences, and just in case, I have left Liddy, who can use healing magic, and Sharon, who can control magic in a confined space. The inn is located on a main street in the commercial district.



 The inn faced the main street of the commercial district, making it difficult to conduct a covert raid. Furthermore, the bandits who were with Maddock were too suspicious and would be immediately reported to the garrison.


 It is not impossible that a few skilled men could assassinate him, but if there were skilled men, they must have been mixed in with Maddock’s men during yesterday’s raid.



 The only person we should be wary of is Harold. Even Harold should not be easy to get a hold of if we are not careful.


 The combination of two excellent scouts, Guy and Dan, and two magicians, Liddy and Sharon, was powerful. If they were good enough to get past them and assassinate Maddock, they would have made their own move at an earlier stage.



 And the important thing was that we would meet up with my brother this evening. This will make the enemy even more impatient. If that happens, it’s our advantage. If they take action in a state of impatience, they are bound to make a mistake.



“If they attack us, I will protect my siblings even if it costs me my life. If I use dark magic, I can neutralize the enemy without harming the people in the city. You just have to trust me.” (Zack)



 When I said that much, Guy agreed and bowed his head, while saying, “Please leave Maddock to me.”



 After our discussion was over, I told Theophilus, Seraphine, and Sophia that we could go out into the city, and the three of them jumped for joy when they heard they could go out with us. After seeing Pericritor, Doctus, and the big cities, they were happy to see a variety of cities, as this was their first trip.



 As soon as my father and the others changed into their formal wear and departed, we too packed our gear and headed out into the city around 10:00 am.


 The town of Rawcliffe is a lively place, and in the commercial district around the inn, street vendors had already opened their stores and were calling out loudly for customers. The town is an inn town, and they are very aggressive in their approach to travelers like us.



“It’s a rare fruit from central Caelum! You can only find them here on the Aurella Road!” (Vendor)


“It’s glassware from Girsol! If you’re going back to Welburn, you’ve got to buy it here!” (Vendor)



 As a trading hub, a variety of goods are traded here.


 In the area lined with food stalls, my younger brother Theo and younger sister Sera are discussing which one to choose while looking at rare pastries and delicious smelling skewers.



 Sophia, the youngest sister, sits on Beatrice’s shoulder and says excitedly, “I can see very far!” She is so excited. Sophia, for some reason, loves Beatrice and spends all her free time playing with her. Beatrice also seemed to be not too worried, saying, “I didn’t know there were little children who weren’t afraid of me.”



 Mel and I stay alert behind Theo and Sera.


 I told Guy that it was unlikely that my siblings would be attacked, but as long as we didn’t know what they were up to, there were no absolutes.



 After two hours of exploring the city, we had lunch at a food stall on the main street. The seasonings were different from those of Rathmore Village and Doctus, with plenty of herbs and spices used, including grilled skewers of Great Horned Ox, a specialty of the northern part of the Caelum Empire, and large river shrimps from the Farthus River.



 We returned safely to the inn without any apparent contact, although we felt a few glances along the way.


 Mel let out a sigh as soon as she entered the room, perhaps because she had been so preoccupied. Even Beatrice has a look of relief on her face.



 I asked Guy how the inn was, but he said that there was no sign of anyone watching the inn and that nothing happened. It seems that Maddock was not a target, as Guy, Dan, and Liddy did not see any sign of anyone.



 When we returned, my parents had already returned, and we asked them how the meeting with Boyette had gone, but they said that Boyette was not feeling well, so a substitute official had responded. Therefore, he said, he had to cut short his schedule and came back early.


 My father and Byron both said that there was nothing unusual about the meeting except that Boyette did not show up, and that the official who responded did not seem to be acting strangely.



(This is just my guess, but it means that the enemy has only a small number of forces that can be moved inside the city. Even though we have been dispersed in three locations, there is no one to keep watch of us. We are using a small group to look weak. Even though someone was following us, they didn’t touch us. No, I guess they couldn’t touch us. I didn’t feel the gaze of many people, and Beatrice said the same thing… I gave up on this. I wish they would, but as long as they keep Maddock under control, there’s a chance they’ll try to lay their hands on him…) (Zack)



 I go on to talk about my reasoning, how the enemy doesn’t have any good assassins and that they could still try to force things.


 My father nods his head in agreement, but then gives me a somewhat resentful look, saying, “I guess that means we’ll have to keep our guard up after all.” He wanted to get this over with before his eldest son’s big wedding day.



 Around 4:00 p.m., the innkeeper informed my father that he had a guest.


 When we went to the entrance of the inn, my brother Rodrick was standing there.




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