Home Post 1620-chapter-153

1620-chapter-153

Dunwich Mayflower Hotel for five nights. Alone. Black hair. She checked out on Wednesday afternoon and took a taxi to the train station.

But that was where the trail ended.

He managed to locate the porter who carried her luggage at the station, but he didn’t know her destination. During that time period, five trains stopped at the platform where she waited, and combining their subsequent stops covered dozens of locations.

“D*mn it…”

As Leon stretched out on the sofa and muttered a curse, a soldier sitting upright at a desk in the corner of the office flinched.

“Nils.”

“Yes, Major.”

“I thought I told you to go to bed.”

“No, Major.”

Leon glanced towards the window. It was still dark outside, but the clock hands were almost fifteen minutes to six am.

“Well, you’re about to finish your shift anyway. I don’t really have off hours.”

He had not left the headquarters since last Wednesday.

“I should also…”

“Forget it. Go home when it’s time.”

Leon cut off the private’s cautious reply and muttered to himself.

“Soon, the others will be starting their shifts anyway.”

Another day passed without any progress.

Thud. Thud.

The baseball he was tossing reached just short of the ceiling before falling back into his hand. Leon lay on the sofa, tossing and catching the ball, lost in thought.

That woman making a bold survival claim from the most unlikely or perhaps the most characteristic place. There have been four tips so far, spaced four to ten days apart. The last call was last Wednesday, which makes today, Friday, the ninth day.

It was about time for another call.

He mechanically tossed the baseball, repeating the information he had dwelled on over the past few days.

Sunglasses.

Yes, she would’ve started with those. The eyes are the most definitive feature. Maybe he should issue a ban on sunglasses, trying to link it somehow with the rebels.

At that thought, Leon chuckled. Only a dictator could enforce such a rule.

Maybe he could ban hair dye, too.

‘Black hair… Daisy with black hair… Grace Riddle with black hair…’

Leon’s lips curled into a wry smile at the thought of that. He may not need to ban hair dye. The image was quite alluring. If she were in front of him, he wouldn’t have been able to resist lifting her skirt and tearing at her underwear. It was obvious what would happen next.

“D*mn it…”

The thought of her freely walking around the bustling city full of men was frustrating. It was fortunate, at least, that it was clear she belonged to someone. No one would dare touch her.

Thud. Thud.

The meaningless noise began again.

Seeing her travel the country, she seemed to be in good physical condition. As his worry slightly eased, resentment resurfaced.

It was infuriating.

‘Grace Riddell, you left me. Without a word.’

To a former fiancé, she had left enough room for a final word and a punch. But for him, she disappeared without even a curse as if he wasn’t worth the effort.

And yet, she frequently called his office?

It was absolutely cruel.

She didn’t want to see him again, but she seemed intent on using him continuously.

That was even more cruel.

At that moment, Leon gripped the baseball so tightly that the veins and tendons on his hand bulged.

Ring. Ring.

The phone rang. It was the phone that was used to receive the rebel tip line right loudly. As the private stationed by the phone looked anxiously at Leon, he swiftly got up from the sofa and instructed,

“Do as we’ve arranged.”

“Yes, sir.”

The private swallowed hard and picked up the receiver.

“Special Missions Unit. How may I assist you?”

As soon as he answered the phone, he raised up and gave Leon a significant nod, signaling that the caller was a young woman.

Leon promptly took the receiver.

[ Is this where I can report a tip? ]

The voice was slightly hoarse. The familiar voice he heard every morning.

A faint shiver ran from his ears down his spine from the woman’s voice. It felt like every cell in his body was waking up. He wanted to ask her immediately where she was but had to grit his teeth to suppress the urge.

Leon grabbed a pencil rolling on the desk, and scribbled in the notebook the private offered.

Yes, that’s correct. Where are you?

The private, unaware of what the woman had said, repeated into the handset what Leon had written.

“Yes, that’s correct. Where are you?”

[ I’m in Bilford, Camden. ]

Leon clenched his teeth harder, suppressing a scoff. Camden, of all places, and Bilford was just a four-hour drive from here.

That woman, boldly stepping into his territory.

It felt like a cruel mockery.

[ I think a person living in the same alley might be with the rebels… ]

As the woman relayed her tip, Leon scribbled in the notebook:

Camden Bilford. Track it.

The private immediately stood up and, following Leon’s gaze, entered the aide’s office and closed the door. He would now contact the telephone company to ask about the exchange operator in Winsford who connected this call.

By tracing it backwards, they could narrow down the location from which the call was made.

[ South from the intersection of Newton Street and Belmont Avenue… ]

Leon sat where the private had been, silently listening to the woman’s prattling voice and then sighed.

[ Madison… ]

Suddenly, the woman’s voice stopped. Amidst the tense atmosphere that felt like a silent argument, Leon spoke first.

“Hello, darling.”

His voice was deeper than usual, choked with restrained emotions that threatened to spill over. Even after hearing his voice, the woman was silent for a while, then burst into laughter.

[ Hello. You started work early today? ]

“I don’t have to wait for you to wake up anymore.”

[ Oh, am I being accused of being lazy? ]

“Not at all. Quite the opposite, actually.”

Their exchange was so casual that anyone listening might mistake them for old lovers who had just reconnected.

“Did you have breakfast?”

[ Yes, I did. ]

“Good. By the way, how’s our child? Tell them Daddy misses them very much.”

A mocking chuckle came through the phone.

Leon, while trying to buy time for the trace, dragged out the conversation as long as possible, gradually steering it towards the main topic.

“Why are you wandering around this cold winter without the warmth of my embrace, huh? I’m worried about you.”

[ I’m not wandering. I’m doing very well in a warm and comfortable place without you. ]

“Oh, I know that well.”

What was so funny about knowing her whereabouts that made the woman chuckle? Leon sighed, stripping the pretend playfulness from his voice.

“Can we please be rational now…”

[ Ah, that’s right! Congratulations! ]

The woman interrupted him with sudden congratulations, not even listening to his words.

[ Should I call you ‘Count’ now, or still ‘Major’? ]

“Hmm, I didn’t expect you to have heard my news.”

[ Of course, I did. It’s so annoying. I feel like I’m still caught by you even after escaping. ]

“If that’s the case, you might as well be caught…”

[ You know this is all thanks to me, right? You should be thankful for a lifetime. ]

“I know. That’s why I’ll be indebted for a lifetime…”

As Leon glared at the still-shut door of the aide’s office, dragging the conversation, the woman suddenly changed the topic.

[ Ah, right. I have a confession to make to you. ]

“…What confession?”

[ I lied to you. ]

“I’ll forgive you, so come back.”

The woman grumbled about his magnanimity without even knowing what the lie was, then made a confession Leon didn’t ask.

[ Actually, there weren’t three people involved in your father’s incident that night, but four. ]

“What?”

[ Remember Fred Wilkins? That despicable traitor. ]

“Yes, that’s why I took care of him.”

[ Fred’s father, David Wilkins, was also at the villa that night. ]

As Leon recalled seeing that name on the list of rebel leaders detained in the prison, he gripped the pencil as if to snap it.

[ I heard that he made a critical mistake. I don’t know what it was, but I saw Jonathan Riddell Sr. comforting Uncle Dave. ]

Leon asked through clenched teeth.

“Why are you telling me this now after keeping it hidden all this time?”

[ Why? Because, although it wasn’t the case before, now you and I have a common enemy, right? We help each other out. ]

“I don’t know if I’m using you for my revenge or you’re using me for your revenge.”

Leon murmured, then let out a long sigh.

[ Why? Haven’t you caught him yet? ]

“He’s in the camp.”

[ So what’s the problem then? ]

“The problem is you, cunning as a fox.”

His indirect accusation of her for lying about his father’s death made the woman upset.

[ Wow, after all I’ve told you, you frame me like this. If that’s how you thank me, don’t expect my help in the future… ]

Was she doing this out of feeling guilty, or what? The woman’s excited noise, mixed with an unexpected noise, made Leon’s hand hurriedly move, still holding the pencil.

 

__