of fluttering papers for company.

“Huh? That was—?”

Massaging his stiff neck, Wells cast his gaze outside in search of the new sound.

A heavy downpour of rain began, causing Wells to swallow uncomfortably.

“It's raining badly.
Will we reach the capital before evening if this continues?”

As if agreeing with his mutters, the speed of the carriage slowed down significantly.  

He pulled out a pocket watch and estimated the new time of arrival.
They were going to be late.

The carriage shook loudly.

Wells' body, which had been comfortably seated in the carriage's cushioned seats, was thrown onto the floor as his papers haphazardly flew around the interior of the carriage.

Before he could take action, the carriage door was roughly opened from the outside.

“Your Grace, please come quickly!”

The escort knight wrapped his cloak tighter as he grabbed ahold of the duke's arm.

Even with the insistent pulling of the knight and the messy papers strewn about, Wells was able to gracefully exit the carriage after the knight.

Alas, the carriage collapsed as soon as Wells' polished shoes touched the rain-soaked, muddy road.

Startled, he turned and took in the mess that was once his carriage.

He currently stood stranded in the middle of the road that connected the capital of the Tristan Empire and the Tuga Mine.

In most places, the road was paved and tidy, while in others, it was dangerous as it hadn't been repaired.

The escort knight gave his report.

“The soil seems to have collapsed because of the rain.
The rest of the wagons are in a situation where they can't go any further because their wheels have fallen off.
The horse is all right.
Would you like to mount it?”

Wells' gaze followed the knight's finger.

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It was dizzying just looking down the cliff that they stood on, but to actually get on a horse and travel?

No matter how courageous Wells was, he felt it was only natural that he was anxious in his predicament.

Shaking his head to show his refusal, Wells moved closer to the wreckage and pulled out his collection of papers, placing them safely under his cloak.

“Firstly, we need to get off this cliff and get a carriage from somewhere close by.”

As he hesitated to give the order, a map of the surrounding area was drawn in his mind.

If his memory wasn't wrong, the only place within walking distance that had available carriages was the land owned by the Baron of Titonsser. 

Rose's letter, which had been forgotten until then, came to mind.
It seemed he couldn't promise his sister.

Can I go to Baron Titonsser? I'm a little worried, as Rose has never before given such warnings.

“Duke Honeywell, Baron Titonsser's estate is nearby.
Shall we go over there and request the use of a carriage?”

He silently weighed his options.

I'm just going to get a carriage and leave.
It won't matter much, right?

Convinced, Wells agreed.

“Don't loiter.
We'll leave as soon as we secure a carriage, so there is no need to tell the baron about me.”

“Yes, sir, in case of any danger, I will take the lead.”

The escorting knights walked out, surrounding Wells in the middle.

Although the cliff road was wide enough for a carriage to pass through, it was difficult to walk due to the wind, rain, and uneven surface.

By the time they had successfully crossed the cliff's road, Wells, the coachmen, and the strong escort knights were exhausted.

The escort knight turned to their duke, watching as he breathed heavily while trying to hide his tiredness.

“The road to Baron Titonsser is smooth from here on out, but it will be more difficult to use compared to the cliff's road.
Would you like to get on the horse now, Your Grace?”

“No, that's alright.
My legs aren't broken yet.
It's just a walk to the Baron's estate.”

Wells hastened his footsteps.

The escort knights planned to scout ahead in search of the direction to the Baron Titonsser's estate when they heard the sound of several footsteps.

Through the cracks in the densely nestled trees, Wells and his group could vaguely make out men carrying lanterns.

The men were surprised to find Wells and his group standing in the middle of the road, soaked in the rain.

“Did you decide to take a trip in this heavy rain? Without a carriage?”

The escorting knight replied in Wells' stead.

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“The carriage had broken down on the cliff's road.
We are on our way to Baron Titonsser's estate to get another carriage.
Excuse me, but who may you be?”

At his inquiry, the man gasped. 

“We are the residents of the barony of Titonsser.
By order of the baron, on days such as this where there is heavy rain or snowfall, we are to look around.
We will guide you to the baron's territory.”

“Then, if you'd please.”

The escorting knight bowed his head, and the man smiled.

The man's searching gaze turned to Wells, who stood behind the escorting knight. 

Even in the midst of the downpour, the man could make out the clothes and cloak on Wells, all of which appeared to cost a pretty penny.

“My apologies, are you a noble?”

Wells knew that the man had not recognized him yet. 

If this man patrols the area around the estate under the command of the baron, he must be quite close to the baron.

If Wells let it be known that he was the Duke of Honeywell, the man would most likely report it to the baron immediately.

Wells rejected that thought.
He was uneasy about the contents of his little sister's letter.
He would need to hide his identity.

It's fine.
We just need to get a carriage from the baron, and we can leave straight away.

“I am a noble—“

He was ambushed by his own people.

“That's right, this is the Duke of Honeywell!”

One of his escort knights, who was extremely loyal to the Honeywell family, took the initiative to proudly introduce his master.

The men before him might not have known the face of the Duke of Honeywell, but they did know of his name and fame.

“Huh, you're the Duke of Honeywell?! Forgive me.
I'm only a country boy, so I didn't recognize the duke! As soon as we arrive in the Baron's Territory, I will report to the Baron.
They'll prepare a hot meal and bathwater.
You must be tired in this rain, so let's go!”

The leading man turned around, asked them to follow, and marched away.

Wells sighed, and he glanced at his escorting knight.

The escorting knight smiled back proudly.

The duke then looked at his escorting knights and coachmen, who were visibly exhausted.
He raised his hand and massaged his temples. 

Okay, my dear Rose, I've made a bit of a slur.
But what could be worse than losing my carriage in the pouring rain?

Shaking away his trepidation, Wells stepped forward.

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