I Don’t Mind Running Away, Do You?

Clip, clop, clip, clop… Goes the carriage that carried Mia.
The horse that pulled it walked in an unmotivated gait, as if reading the mood of its master, Mia.

Aaaah, I don’t really want to do this!

A deep sigh echoed inside the carriage.
By the way, currently, there was only Mia and Anne inside the carriage.
Ludwig went ahead of the others to prepare for Mia’s arrival; and Bel and Lynsha were acting separately.
As a result, inside the narrow carriage, only Mia’s sighs could be heard, creating a subtly dull space.

In the first place, if he was Ludwig’s master, then it should be Ludwig doing the convincing.
Ugh, maybe everything will have worked out by the time I arrived there…

It should be obvious by now that Mia is the kind of person that takes the easy way out if possible.
For her, it would be best if a moon fairy comes while she was sleeping and solves all her problems.
Ideally, Ludwig should arrive by now and report to her that everything has been solved.

…Of course, there is no such convenient story.

“Ugh… Phew”

Mia let out a sad sigh several times more.

“Milady, are you okay?”

Anne called out to her with a worried look on her face.

“Oh? What do you mean?”

“Well… I felt like you weren’t feeling well…”

“It’s nothing like that.
Don’t worry.”

Saying that, Mia smiled.
Then a second later, she let out a deep sigh again.
Noticing this, Anne made a face as if she had just figured something out.
She climbed towards the driver’s box and came back to Mia with a question.

“Umm… Milady, since we are on the road, would you like to do some horse-riding?”

“Huh…? Horse-riding?”

Anne gave a gentle smile to the confused Mia.

“Yes.
I know milady enjoys long rides.
I checked with Vanos earlier.
He said that the roads here are well maintained, so it should be easy to ride horses.”

“Hmm, well, it might be good for a change of pace… Huh? But Anne what about you? Last time I know, you can’t ride horses.”

When Mia asked that, Anne fumbled for some reason and then said,

“Actually, I am now able to ride horses.
I’ve been practicing in my free time.”

“Wow! Anne on a horse? That’s new to me.
Why on earth would you do such a thing?”

Anne answered with a dignified face.

“Because I didn’t want to be a hindrance to Mia-sama.”

“Oh, I never thought you were a hindrance, Anne.”

“When you were in Remno Kingdom, you couldn’t take me with you.
Even though you were in a dangerous situation, I couldn’t be there for you because I couldn’t ride a horse.”

Anne said in a frustrated, trembling voice.

“Anne…”

“But with this, I can keep up with milady at any time.”

Anne gently put her hand on her chest and then gave a small smile.

“So, milady, please don’t worry too much.
I believe that if it’s you, milady, you can solve any problem.
But if it comes to the point that there’s nothing more that can be done, we can just run away.
Even to the ends of the earth, I will follow you milady until the end of my days.”

With such a long speech, she was basically saying a simple message: “Don’t worry so much.
I am here for you.” Anne’s words of encouragement were filled with genuine concern.

When Mia heard that, she was deeply moved.

“Ah, ah, Anne… yes, you are right…”

After being impressed by Anne’s words…

That’s right.
I can always just run away.
In the face of an unbeatable opponent, I don’t mind running away.
Sweet moons, what was I thinking? I was too focused on figuring out how to persuade that weirdo that I lost sight of the bigger picture.
If I’m gone, the Ludwig and his people will just have to deal with this problem instead, and they will solve it for me.
Probably.
That’s right! Why am I so worried? I have got nothing to worry about.
If it doesn’t work out, then I can just run away.

Mia was so moved by Anne’s words that she distorted her message and ended up on the other side.
Human beings are creatures that hear only what they want to hear and see only what they want to see.
However, in reality, it shouldn’t be that easy to escape…

 

Freed from her dark and depressed mood, Mia got off the carriage with a light heart.
There were already two horses prepared by the guards.

“Your Highness Princess Mia.
Please use this horse.”

“Ufufu, thank you very much.
Then I shall oblige myself.”

Mia mounted the horse in a good mood.
Glancing sideways, she was pleased to find that Anne was on the horse next to her.

“Ufufu, not bad, Anne.
Shall we go?”

When they have started to walk their horses, a thought came to Mia.

Come to think of it, it’s been a while since I’ve ridden a horse.

When Mia first started riding horses, the shaking and the height of the horses scared her; but now she was totally used to it.
Mia looked at Anne, who was walking next to her.
Mia had the smug look of a veteran horse-rider.

Anne on the other hand, seemed to have practiced a lot.
She mounted the horse with not much problem.

“You’re pretty good, Anne.
How about we race to that hill?”

As soon as she said it, Mia kicked the horse’s side.

“Let’s go, Silver Moon!”

“Your Highness, that horse’s name is…” the nearby guard intervened.
But neither horse nor rider seemed to mind.
Mia leaned forward and started galloping with Silver Moon (provisional name).
She can feel the wind in her hair, tickling her cheeks, and against her body.

“Ufufu, this feels good.
Come on, let’s go faster!”

In response to Mia’s shout, the horse steadily accelerates.
It kicked up the grass of the meadow and Mia felt like she was one with the wind!

Oh, this is amazing.
It’s like I’m riding a heavenly horse! Later on, I have to tell Elise about this experience!

While Mia was drunk on speed, a voice was shouting behind her.

“Your Highness, stop the horse! You’re too fast!”

“Eh?”

It was then that Mia finally came to her senses.
She realized that the surrounding scenery was flying by at an alarming speed.

“Oh my, I got too carried away… Ohoho, hmmm… In order to stop the horse…”

Mia soke the necessary steps in order to calm herself.
Then exactly as she instructed herself, she tightened her grips on the reins… and pulled! But her efforts to remain calm wasn’t all that successful.
Her nervousness caused her to pull the reins too strongly.

The horse did not appreciate the sudden yank on the reins.
It reared violently.

“…Huh?”

With just this word, Mia once again became one with the wind.
The difference was that time, the horse wasn’t with her.
It’s retreating form was a dire reminder that she had been thrown from its back – at such a dangerous speed, no less.

Uh… oh? This seems to be really bad…

She felt weightless and started getting nauseous.

“Milady!”

She could hear Anne’s screams at the distance, but it was too late.
Just when she was about to hit the ground, something thick and rigid wrapped around her stomach.

“Blech!”

A voice came out of her lips.
Her nausea was taking over, and she swallowed hard barely managing to hold back from vomiting.

“Phew.
I made it on time.
Are you okay, Your Highness?”

She saw the face of Vanos smiling wryly.
It was then that Mia finally noticed that she was held by Vanos’ thick arms.

“That was really dangerous.
I’m glad I made it on time.”

Saying so, Vanos let Mia straddle his own horse.
Mia obediently sits in front of Vanos and calms down, then turns her head again and looks at Vanos.

“Thank you Vanos.
You saved me.
I’m sorry to have put you through that.
I got a little carried away there.”

“You sure did, Your Highness.
If something happens to you, both Captain Dion and Ludwig will be disappointed.
And not to mention your poor maid…”

When Mia looked behind her, she saw Anne with a deathly pale face, trying desperately to control her horse she urged it toward them.

“Ah, I made Anne worry too…” If, by any chance, she fell and got injured, Anne would have fainted.
“I should have been careful.”

“I must say, I wasn’t expecting to hear that from you…”

“Oh? But you were right, and you saved me.
Isn’t that natural?”

“Well, I agree with you.
But I thought I would get an earful about being insolent and everything else.
Most nobles would surely react like that.”

Vanos smiles wryly.

“That aside, Vanos, you are quite big, now that I see you up close.”

“Oh? Hehe, well, I’m proud of being one of the biggest in the empire.
It’s not just my size though.
I also am quite good at the sword.
Though not as good as Captain Dion.” Vanos lets out a loud laugh with Gahaha.
“There are imperial soldiers who are bigger than me, and there are imperial soldiers who are stronger than me, but I don’t think there are any imperial soldiers who are as big and strong as me.
I make a great meatshield.”

“Now that is very reassuring, isn’t it? But please don’t call yourself a meatshield.
You are now a member of the Princess Guard, so you should carry yourself with confidence and pride that befits a knight who protects me from harm.”

Mia said with a pleasant smile, to which Vanos grinned from ear to ear.

“Hehe, Your Highness, you’re really a likeable person.
Makes me feel good to serve under you.
Makes the whole job worth it.”

The two looked at each other and laughed.
Mia gets along well with big men.

“Milady! Are you injured!?”

Anne finally caught up with them.
Her face was pale with terror.
Mia bowed her head to Anne in apology.

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