* * *
“What?! What do you mean you haven’t seen Yuri since yesterday?”
A loud voice rang out in the quiet Crawford mansion. The mansion which had been pretty quiet lately was noisy today due to Bastian’s anger.
“Are you saying Yuri has gone missing? Then this isn’t the time to be sitting around like this!”
Today was the day Anne-Marie normally went to Crawford’s mansion to do her job as Bastian’s caretaker. However, Anne-Marie forgot about her usual appointment with Bastian.
This was because after leaving the coffeehouse earlier, her mind was completely preoccupied with trying to find where Yuri might have gone to.
As it was the first time Anne-Marie was so late, Bastian naturally asked why. In the first place, Anne-Marie was not a good liar and she wasn’t the type to make excuses for her mistakes. So she immediately explained to Bastian why she was late.
That was how they got to the situation right now.
However, Bastian took what Anne-Marie said in a somewhat distorted manner.
“Ah, no. She isn’t missing.”
Anne-Marie was taken aback by Bastian’s extreme word choice and expressed her opposition.
“I just haven’t heard anything so I’m worried but maybe she had something to do so she went away for a bit…”
“So, what you’re saying is, from yesterday up till right now, no one knows where that child is, right?”
“Yes, that’s true but…”
“Not only that, she missed work at the coffeehouse for the first time?”
“Then how is that not an issue!”
Bastian slammed his hand on the table and sprang to his feet. Anne-Marie was startled and got up from her seat opposite him.
“Things are already awful these days!”
Bastian grabbed the cane next to his chair and began to hurry to the door.
“Grandpa! Please calm down…!”
Anne-Marie hurriedly rushed up to catch Bastian.
“Kalian, call Kalian! Right now!”
Who knew where Bastian’s energy came from, but he went right out the door with Anne-Marie beside him and yelled so loudly that the entire hallway rang with his calls for Kalian.
The butler standing outside the door quickly ran over and told him where Kalian was.
“Young master Kalian came home to rest a bit earlier and just went out again.”
“Call him back! I need him to do something for me urgently!”
The butler and other servants were troubled, but Bastian was stubborn. When Kalian was heading out the front door earlier, his steps were in hurry and he looked like he had something quite urgent to do.
However, knowing that once Bastian began to act stubborn, there was no other answer, the butler asked a servant to chase after Kalian.
“Grandpa, I know you’re worried, but you should calm down first. It will be terrible if you collapse.”
“I’m not so weak that I’ll fall sick over something like this!”
Anne-Marie was also worried about Yuri so it’s not like she didn’t know how Bastian felt. But she was worried about his health, that’s why she said that.
But it seemed like nothing was entering Bastian’s ears.
“Why is it so noisy this early in the morning?”
Right then, someone’s displeased voice came from the stairs.
Anne-Marie’s eyes went wide when she saw the person who appeared in her sight.
“Early in the morning, my foot; the sun is already going down!”
Bastian also frowned when he saw the person coming down the stairs.
“Besides, why do you look so comfortable? Someone might think this is actually your house! You suddenly barge into someone’s house without permission and settle down as you like, what is this nonsense?”
Tatiana, the old lady Anne-Marie met at the exhibition, snorted at Bastian’s words.
“I thought it would be pitiful to let a fussy, senile old man die sadly by himself so I came to see your face, but you can’t even thank me. To think you’re still acting so spry. Maybe this is why you don’t have a friend at your age, Bastian.”
At that, Bastian’s mouth twisted like he was speechless.
“Are you talking about yourself now, Tatiana? Who do you think you’re lecturing?”
At that moment, lightning seemed to strike between the two elders causing Anne-Marie to blink her eyes.
“Do you treat guests like this in the East? Well, the Crawford is said to represent the East but seeing as the former head is this kind of stinky old man, that answers itself.”
“Do the northern people know nothing about good manners? Or maybe you’ve gotten so old and senile that you’ve forgotten everything you learnt before.”
Even more intense lightning flashed before her eyes.
The two elders have smiles on their faces but their gazes at each other were like a snake and an eagle.
Anne-Marie bit her lips, not knowing what to do in the confrontation between these two. Seeing this, the butler approached her. His expression was calm and peaceful even in this volatile situation.
And once she heard what the butler said next to her, Anne-Marie didn’t know how she should react.
“Even though they look like this, the two of them are very close so there is no need to worry.”
“R-Really? They look like they’re fighting though…”
“Because they are very close, they have no qualms in how they treat each other so it simply looks like that.”
“Ah, is that so?”
It still made her tilt her head a little, but Anne-Marie was finally convinced. Besides, she knew nothing about their relationship so the butler would be more correct.
But who would have thought that the old lady and Bastian knew each other.
Right then, the servant who the butler sent out on Bastian’s orders cane running up the stairs.
“Huff, huff, Kalian-nim has already left the gate in his carriage!”
“What? At such an important time!”
Bastian lost his temper again.
“Call the guard right now!”
“Why is this old man making such a fuss?”
Tatiana couldn’t understand what was going on and her face crumpled when she saw Bastian stirring up all kinds of noise. She had been at Crawford mansion as a guest since last night.
Tatiana was the head of a grand noble family in the north. Unlike Bastian who passed on his position to Dominic early on, Tatiana was still an active head.
Hence, it was normally the case for Dominic, the current head of the Crawford family, to welcome Tatiana. But after what happened in the East yesterday, Dominic was still busy with the continuous meetings in the central council.
In addition, Tatiana declared that her visit this time was based on her friendship with Bastian. After skipping all the troublesome procedures with that, Tatiana used the excuse of catching up with Bastian to tell him about all the strange things happening in the North lately.
Even though Bastian’s expression was serious at the time, he wasn’t this agitated. And so, Tatiana felt puzzled.
“And who is this child? I was wondering why your face looked familiar, you must be the child I saw in that racket yesterday.”
“Ah, you remember me. My sister and I were safe yesterday because of your help. Thank you.”
Anne-Marie bowed her head to Tatiana and thanked her again. Tatiana’s green eyes calmly watched Anne-Marie.
“Grandpa, let’s go inside for now. You’ve been standing for too long.”
Anne-Marie walked up to Bastian and held his arm. Then she began to lead Bastian into the room.
Bastian had been continuously excited and perhaps he had exhausted his energy because he acted like he couldn’t win against Anne-Marie and headed to the room.
“When the guard comes, bring him to my room right away!”
Of course, he didn’t forget to nag the butler till the end.
While feeling like his insides were burning with worry over Yuri’s disappearance, Bastian went back into the room with Anne-Marie’s support.
* * *
As soon as the tracker activated, Kalian took action. He didn’t know if the thing he attached was still on the target’s body, but it was still better than getting no signal.
However, the tracker’s location was very far from where the signal disappeared.
‘So they moved this much in that time span.’
Kalian figured the pursuit would be much longer than he initially anticipated so he stopped by the Crawford mansion for a bit before leaving again.
He climbed into the carriage and left the mansion right away.
Meanwhile, another carriage began to follow behind Kalian’s carriage. It was the carriage carrying Damon Salvatore.
Normally, there was no way Kalian wouldn’t have noticed that he was being followed but right now, his mind was focused elsewhere. Hence, he didn’t notice Damon was tailing him.
‘Where is he going? I don’t think he’s going to the scene of the incident.’
Damon watched the Crawford carriage through the window with suspicion in his eyes.
‘I’m not sure but let’s follow him for now.’
Like that, they rode in their carriages under the sunset sky.
The two of them didn’t know at the time, but the destination they were heading to was the very place where Yuri was imprisoned.
 A bit of a wording issue in this sentence. Just to be clear, it’s saying Bastian distorted Anne-Marie’s words in his mind.
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