"No sir, we've searched the entire estate and the city for him, but there's no sign of Captain Bai Lan found. None of the guards have seen him since yesterday when he came to receive the official reports from the soldiers within the walls."
Early that morning, in the governor's estate, word had gone out the young Captain Bai Lan was missing.
The servants who usually served him didn't see him in the morning, along with his personal bodyguard.
Both disappeared from sight.
When told this, Governor Tao first assumed the boy was in the soldier's courters and worked there late.
However, upon searching there, not a trace of the boy was seen.
Before long, Governor Tao ordered his guards to search the city for him.
Yet in the end, they were left with nothing.
Captain Bai Lan had disappeared.
Inside his office with two guards in front of him and a prime minister by his side, Governor Tao's brows furrowed deeply.
"What about outside the city walls? Did he try to reach out to our general stationed there? Have you searched there?" Governor Tao questioned.
"Not yet sir." A guard responded.
"Then go and search! Report to me when you discover something." Governor Tao ordered.
"Yes, sir!" Both guards cupped their hands and bowed before exiting the room.
Unable to hide his uneasiness, Governor Tao narrows his eyes.
Where could he have gone? Did he leave to do something? Or did something happen to him?
Governor Tao couldn't help but think the situation was almost the same as when their previous captain went missing, where they then later found out he was kidnapped and killed by the Tuhan's men.
Could they have kidnapped Bai Lan as well?
But then again, it didn't seem like a move they would make. Kidnapping the captain again; It was unlike them.
Along with the fact, the governor knew someone like Bai Lan wouldn't be tricked so easily.
Although the boy was no older than fifteen, the governor knew the boy was highly intelligent and skilled.
Even when he tried to hide it at times with innocent smiles, Governor Tao knew behind those smiles was an intelligent scheming demon.
Those upon first seeing him would never assume someone who appeared to be so delicate could end up being so strong and determined.
The prime minister standing respectfully beside the governor, couldn't help but frown nervously as he saw the man's distressed expression.
"Governor Tao…I'm worried, recently there's been a rumor going around the city about Captain Bai Lan." The prime minister spoke cautiously.
With a hesitant gaze, the prime minister carefully lowers his head.
"They're saying that Captain Bai Lan and his men ran away because the enemy was too strong and chose to retreat back to the Northern Empire. With this going around, more are assuming that Bai Lan was a sent spy by the Tuhan's; and they think the Bai family is also involved."
Governor Tao was well aware of the rumors going on in the city.
Unsure of how it started, all he knew was the people were beginning to worry and express their doubts toward their chances.
Everyone in the city knew of the Bai families young Master joining the ranks and becoming captain, along with their notable victory.
However, as the rampant rumors began, some doubted whether the young captain's strategies were even his own. If possible, he stole someone else's ideas to claim as his own.
After all, he was a young boy. Not to mention being raised from a wealthy household, they all naively assumed he was spoiled.
And when the pressure became too much for him, he ran away and left them all to suffer.
Expressing a displeased expression, Governor Tao shifts his gaze toward the prime minister behind him.
"And do you believe their rumors?"
"Of course not, governor. I merely worry that if these rumors continue, the people will worry. Although these rumors are indeed suspicious."
"That's enough. You're dismissed." Governor Tao flapped his long sleeves and walked toward his desk.
"Yes, sir." The minister, with cupped hands, lowered his head before heading toward the door.
Upon opening it, a small round figure hopped in the governor's office.
"Daddy! Where's pretty big brother? Lixue wants to invite him out to play!" The little girl's childlike voice sprung out.
"Lixue, what are you doing here?" Governor Tao furrowed his brows.
"Lixue was looking for pretty big brother to play, but couldn't find him. So Lixue thought to ask daddy where he is!" Lixue smiles brightly up at her father.
Heeding her words, Governor Tao hesitated on how to respond, a frown forming on his face.
Just as he was about to answer his daughter, the sound of wings flapping could be heard from the doors entrance.
"There you are, Ju!" Lixue beamed as she hopped over toward the brown falcon. "Where did you go? You left me all alone in the garden!"
In response to the little girl's words, the small falcon tilts its feather head, its dark beady eyes blinking.
Governor Tao watches his daughter and the small falcon with wide eyes.
"That bird…" Governor Tao murmured. "Lixue where did you get that bird from?"
Looking up at her father with large doe eyes, the girl brightly smiles, her chest puffing out.
"Its pretty big brother's bird, he gave him to me while he did some errands. He told Lixue to carefully watch over it while he was gone real quick!" Lixue said proudly.
"Did he say where he was going?" Governor Tao asked wearily.
"Nope!" Lixue grinned.
Sighing, Governor Tao looks at the falcon standing on his table, its ink eyes staring back at him.
If Bai Lan gave the bird to Lixue, then wouldn't that mean his disappearance was a part of his plan?
Even if he wasn't reliant on the falcon's calm attitude towards its master's disappearance, Governor Tao somehow knew everything would be fine.
He was well aware of how intelligent the small bird was. Surely if the boy were in danger, the bird would most likely react differently.
Lightly chuckling, Governor Tao gently shakes his head helplessly. Who would have thought there'd be a day he relied on a young boy and his bird.