The Emperor’s Daughter Chapter 63
It was early in the morning as we were preparing to depart.
"Miss, I bought these buns from a bakery near by. They are newly baked and still hot." Tricia said presenting to me a bag full of buns.
"Hmm, they smell delicious." I said why smelling the steam.
"I know. You can snack on them in the carriage later." Tricia said.
"Thank you Tricia." I smiled.
"You are most welcome miss." Tricia replied.
"Are you ready?" Leon asked.
"Yes." I answered.
Spending the night in the inn was refreshing. I had a hot bath and was able to sleep on a bed. In the journey these past few nights, we were camping out in safe places. So having a nice bed to sleep in last night was heaven.
"If we keep up our pace, we will be in the capital before nightfall." Leon said.
"That's good." I said.
Not long, our carriage came with the coachman driving. Leon opened the carriage door and ushered me inside while Tricia followed behind me.
"Just call me when you need anything." Leon said before closing the door.
Leon has been sitting beside the coachman in front the whole journey, even though he can sit with us here inside. He said it is much safer for him to sit in front so that he can watch the surroundings.
We were back in the road in no time. Time passed by fast and it was nearing noon when our carriage came into a halt abruptly.
"What is it? What happened?" I asked a little shaken.
"Don't go outside. Stay inside the carriage." Leon said from the outside.
Tricia lifted the curtain a little to take a peek. But she suddenly closed them. She looked at me frightened.
"What is it Tricia?" I asked concerned.
"P-Princess, we are surrounded." Tricia whispered.
I looked surprised and took a peek outside. I saw that our carriage were surrounded by bandits with swords and bows.
'One, two, three, four...' I count the bandits in my head.
"A dozen bandits, maybe more." I said. For sure there are some bandits hiding in the woods as well.
'Snow, can you scout the area?' I telepathically talked to Snow.
'Of course. Leave it to me.' Snow said. She stood up and then like the wind, she jumped outside the window and vanished.
One of Snow's specialty right now is her swift movements. It is very helpful scouting areas and do reconnaissance missions. I can keep a link with her telepathically in a certain range.
I see Leon standing guard outside our carriage with his sword unsheathed.
"I suggest you turn back if you do not want to get hurt." Leon gave a warning.
"Did you hear that? This young nobleman tells us to retreat or we would get hurt." A young man with auburn red hair mockingly said.
"Hahahaha!" The bandits laugh in unison.
"I am sorry sir. But I am afraid we won't be going anywhere. You are the one that entered our territory so you must pay a suitable amount of travel tax to continue on this road." The red haired guy said.
Looking at it, it looks like the red haired man is their leader. I scan the bandits one by one. They seem to be old and middle aged, they only have a few young men.
'This seems a little off.' I wondered.
"If that is what you only need, then here." Leon took his pouch full of gold coins and tossed it to the red haired guy's face.
The red haired guy caught the pouch before it hit his face. He opened it and looked at its contents.
"You are very generous sir." The red hair smiled mockingly. "Then I will leave you to your journey. I wish you safe travels." The guy bowed like a jester.
I saw Leon sheath his sword but he was still holding it tight with his one hand. When he was about to walk back to the carriage one of the bandits whispered something to the red haired guy.
"Wait a minute." The red haired guy said. "I heard you are traveling with your beautiful sister."
Leon's muscles tensed up. Anger was traced on his face. It was like he was about to kill someone.
"You can leave her here." The red haired guy said. "Don't worry, we will take care of her."
"Princess, how did they know you were beautiful?" Tricia said. "No, no. That's not important."
Tricia was rummaging my bag looking for something.
"What are you doing?" I asked her. But I have a guess on what she was thinking.
"I am sure someone from the inn saw us. But you were covered the whole time so for sure they don't know what you look like. They just guessed you are beautiful because sir Leon is good looking." Tricia said.
Then she found what she was looking for, my long cape with a hood. She hastily put it on.
"I will take your place princess. I won't let you be in danger. If they will let you leave here safely with me as hostage, then I would risk my life for you." Tricia said.
My heart squeezed with Tricia's actions. She would face danger just to keep me safe. I wouldn't want her to be in danger as well.
I hold her hand and looked right into her eyes. I shook my head, sending her a message that I wouldn't want her to risk her own life for me.
"B-but princess..." Tricia tried to reason out but I hold her lips with my fingers.
"I wouldn't want you to risk your life for me Tricia." I said. "You are like a family to me. You are the most near to a sister for me. I wouldn't want any harm to befall you."
Tricia looked touched, she was trying to hold back her tears.
'Alicia.' Snow talked to me telepathically.
'What is it?' I asked.
'This looks weird.' Snow said. And she told me what she saw in her reconnaissance.