Picking Up the Exiled Prince
Read at Watashi wa Sugoi Desu!
Ch 26: Escape from the City
After he’d rested for a little while, Alan was summoned the next day to a room that looked like a reception room.
Danis, Chris, Bourne, and some of Danis’s other subordinates were sitting on the sofas or around the desk. When he met Danis’s gaze, he turned his gaze away unconsciously. He didn’t really know how to react. Alan thought that there was going to be some sort of discussion, and he grimaced a little.
Chris encouraged him to sit on the sofa. Chris stood right beside Alan like a guard, as was customary for a knight.
Danis stubbed out the cigarette he was smoking into an ashtray. As if that was a signal, everyone looked towards Danis.
Alan and Chris took their places.
“Now that everyone has gathered, what are you going to do, Chris?”
“After protecting Alan-sama as planned, I’m thinking of heading to Aqua City. First of all, I need a place where we can set up a system that can provide support and backing.”
Danis nodded at Chris’s opinion, indicating that he agreed.
He looked at Alan and asked if he had any objections. Alan had no particular objections to this plan. Even if he could borrow Danis’s help, he would still need someone to help him publicly.
“So, how do we get out of this city?”
“If I were them, I’d have probably stationed a heavy concentration of guards at the main gate or something as soon as Alan-sama had escaped. It would probably be difficult to get out of the city through the main gate.”
Chris crossed his arms with a serious look on his face.
It wasn’t that strange. The central city, where the royal castle was located, has high walls covering the castle and the downtown area, and was designed to be heavily defended against enemies.
The main gate was controlled so that no one could enter without a permit. And now, with the prince’s escape from the castle, there would be even stricter checks.
“What’s your opinion, Danis?”
“It’s quite a distance to Aqua City. If you want to get there, you may be able to get out via the underground. However, you’ll need to have prepared a horse for travel at the very least.”
“I guess we’ll have to get through the main gate somehow…”
Chris made a thoughtful face, and Danis smiled wryly.
“That means we’ll have to fool the soldiers at the front gate.”
“That’s easy for you to say, but the faces of the prince and I are quite well known. Upon reaching the checkpoint at the gate, they will definitely ask us to show our faces. I don’t think we can fool them by simply disguising ourselves.”
Chris pointed this out to Danis, who had tossed out that suggestion as if it would be simple.
Chris had a good point. As long as the soldiers have been tasked to search for them, the soldiers will definitely be briefed on his and Chris’s appearance. He had also heard that the checks at the main gate were particularly strict.
However, Danis snickered and brushed away his concerns.
“Who do you think we are? It’s enough to just keep you guys unnoticed when we get close to the entrance. It’s just a matter of not getting checked by soldiers in the first place. Just leave it to us.”
“… Are you sure we can get out?”
Danis answered Chris’s question with an amiable tone.
“You know better than anyone that I’m good at surprises, don’t you?”
Chris frowned, as if he remembered something, and then sighed. Then he nodded his head in agreement.
Alan didn’t have any complaints. He was curious about the method they were going to use. However, he also knew that if they were to get out of this situation first, then they didn’t really have the luxury of choosing their means.
Alan nodded again.
The moment it was decided to go with Danis’s method, Danis spoke to Bourne and gave out instructions to several of his subordinates who had been waiting to procure supplies.
”Understood,” Bourne and a few others replied. After that, they left the room as quickly as possible.
Now, how were they going to get through that main gate? Alan was a little curious, but he figured it wasn’t through legal ways when they didn’t tell them right then and there. Since Chris was there, he probably didn’t want to show his hand too openly.
Sometimes it was better to leave things to those who know better, Alan thought.
Maybe it was a bad thing that they’d left it completely up to them.
On the day they were going to escape from the city, Chris and Alan wore clothes that made them seem like merchants and, without any other disguises, just wore hoods over their heads. They lined up the usual for the soldiers’ strict check at the main gate.
No, he was definitely going to get found out as usual when they get to that point.
Alan’s hands started sweating.
There were two horses pulling on their cart, and since it would be suspicious to just pretend with an empty cart, it was filled with a variety of things. Chris had hidden a sword in one of the satchels there so that he could grab it quickly.
Chris’s brow furrowed, as if he too was worried about Danis’s plan.
“How can we deceive them with this? Danis said he would send us a signal that we would know at once.”
“I don’t know, but … at worst, I’ll find a way. In that case, you’ll have to ride ahead of me.”
Chris looked a little defensive when Alan questioned him.
He hadn’t received any specific explanation from Danis.
He just told them to separate the wagons from the horses and to run through the main gate when the signal was given. They were not told what the signal would be.
In the meantime, they were fast approaching the checkpoint with the soldiers. With every step, Alan became more nervous.
“Isn’t it … time yet?”
Chris blurted out.
Chris tried not to show it, but Alan thought he was also getting nervous.
One by one, the people in front of them finished their inspections.
Finally, it was Alan and the others’ turn.
“Hey, take off your robes.”
Alan broke out in a cold sweat as the soldier called out to him.
He was urged to hurry up. He couldn’t just take off his robe like this. Chris retrieved his sword from the wagon.
Boom, boom, boom! Loud explosions echoed throughout the area, and everyone in the area turned their heads in the direction of the sound.
The explosions seemed to have come from a nearby building. People started screaming, and the soldiers rushed towards the direction of the explosions.
That was when they realized what had happened. No way…
Chris unsheathed his sword and cut off the rope connecting the wagon to the horses.
At Chris’s call, Alan turned his attention away from the explosions and mounted one of the freed horses and started galloping away.
The rest of the soldiers noticed this and reacted too slowly. They tried to chase him, but Chris blocked them with his sword. Then he got on the remaining horse and started galloping away as fast as he could.
“Damn it, wait!”
The soldier who shouted this was slow to react, and his horse was far from the main gate.
Alan frantically rode his horse to the rendezvous point after slipping out of the main gate.
No way, who would ever think that was a signal!
He didn’t think that they would blow something up!
While he was shouting that in his mind, Chris caught up with him on the way.
“I’ll keep going.”
Chris had a calm expression, but Alan could sense his anger.
It was a natural reaction from Chris since he was a knight who protected this country and its people. Even if it was to get out of the main gate, an explosion happening in the city might have caused damage to unrelated people. There was no way Chris would have normally allowed that to happen.
Although he thought it was too much, it was certainly effective in distracting the soldiers.
After riding off for a while, they arrived at the rendezvous point that they had first decided on after confirming that no pursuers were coming.
The rendezvous point was a watering hole in a nearby forest outside the city. Once there, they dismounted from their horses and took a break.
It seemed that Danis had not yet arrived.
“Did Danis make it out safely?”
Alan looked towards the city.
“That guy won’t get caught so easily. I hate to say it, but there’s nothing to worry about.”
Chris let out a heavy sigh and said the words bitingly, as if they were somehow vexing.
It was probably because of what had just happened.
Chris’s eyebrows were knit together forcefully.
“He’s someone you hate… but you still admit it.”
Alan chuckled, finding Chris’s acknowledgement of the other person’s capabilities a little funny, despite the seeming dislike in his voice.
Chris was quite surprised.
“What? That was the only way to get away with it. You should use your head for something more serious.”
Alan heard a voice behind him and turned around to see Danis standing there with his arms crossed, leaning against a tree.
He wanted to ask when he’d gotten there… but Danis was there, uninjured, as usual.
“I got out of the city safely.”
With a reassuring expression, Danis sighed with a grim smile.
Chris had been staring at Danis since he had appeared. Alan was sure he wanted to confront him about the explosion earlier.
“Don’t glare at me like that. Rest assured that nothing and no one got injured or damaged. It was just one of my nearby hideouts that suffered the damage.”
“I don’t trust you.”
Chris cut Danis’s words short. Danis shook his head and said, “Do what you want.”
Alan realized that the situation was getting out of hand, so he stepped in between the two.
He said, “Anyway, now that we’re together, let’s go to the nearest supply town as fast as possible.”
So Chris stopped glaring at Danis, even though he wasn’t convinced, and headed for his horse.
Alan patted his chest in relief.
Alan got on his horse, and Danis, who hadn’t bought a horse with him, rode behind Alan. Alan was a little surprised by this. It was only natural, since there were only two horses, but his pulse suddenly started racing.
Alan turned to Danis.
“What’s the matter? Do you need me to hold the reins?”
“No, I’m fine.”
He has been taught how to ride since he was a child, so it wasn’t a problem. Lately, he felt like he was overreacting whenever Danis approached him. Alan shook his head and tried to clear his mind, but Chris was glaring at Danis again.
Normally, Chris would not have ridden behind the prince, but now was not the time to worry about that. Danis didn’t seem particularly bothered by Chris’s gaze.
He exhaled, wondering if the atmosphere between these two would be okay for the trip, and then urged his horse with his leg to start galloping towards Aqua City.
“Let’s go together.”
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