Chapter 101 – Owl’s Fangs, Internal Information of Holker


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I caught sight of dwarves and humans, who wore craftsman-like cool work clothes, creating smithing products at a large blacksmith’s workshop.
The sound of clink-clank-clonk* resounds as they process the metal. (There’s an OST song from DragonQuestX with the title of the sfx, I kinda liked it, so here you go: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LmQ1xAPO-os)
There are many craftsmen working on and adjusting the shape of crimson iron, that was tinged with heat and was placed on anvils, by hitting it with hammers. There are also labourers who are mixing some chemicals in iron pots.
Their faces were shining due to being drenched in sweat. Their hands and faces are dirty with oil, but they also made people feel the awesomeness of men.
While admiring their work, I head toward the back of the mansion Phila entered.
The mansion seemed to be the home of a merchant who attended to a store. As items that are likely stock of the merchandise were scattered around starting from the entranceway, you couldn’t call it an overly clean house.
Even the reception hall ahead of the hallway was messy, but since many round tables had been set up, it’s a room giving off the sensation that you could even use it as party venue as long as you tidied up the luggages.
Once the client Phila-san realises that the adventurers have gathered in this room, she turns her face towards us.

“I will return to my workroom, which also serves as bedroom, located in the inner part. Although this place is messy, please feel free to use it as you like, okay? For today it’s only dinner afterwards, but since I had the store prepare a high-class dinner for everyone, enjoy it to the fullest.” (Phila)

“Ooh!”

“A beautiful merchant is something else, right?”

“I’m grateful as I won’t have to go without a meal today…”

The adventurers erupted into cheers of relief and delight.
Due to the reactions of the adventurers, Phila smiles satisfied and after nodding slightly, she walks towards the inner room while accompanied by two guards.
The inner room seems to be her bedroom and workroom in one.
There are pantry-like small rooms on the left and right of the passage where Phila is walking, but she advances through the short hallway without looking at those.
Then she steps into the room that should be her aforementioned personal room at the end of the hallway.
In the end she only took the guards whom she trusts along, huh…?
I look at the people in the same trade that were left behind in the open space.
The people with their specialized spears, shields and swords sit down on chairs or lean against the walls. Everyone gathers in small groups.
A part of the groups cast piercing gazes, seemingly observing the state of the surroundings.
Did Rollo sense that we had free time now? She crawls into the hood.
From her lovely touch on my back I grasp that she has curled up. She appears to have gone to sleep.
Since it’s free time, I will try peeking at the inner room where Phila is.
Opening the door of the room at the end of the hallway, I entered Phila’s room.
In the middle of the room there’s a large bed. Next to it there’s a desk with documents on it. Expensive-looking parchments were piled up all over the floor.
The back of Phila searching for something is visible in a corner.
Once I sneaked a look from her side wondering what she’s doing, she was tending to her nicely long fingernails with a small brush.
Styling herself up, isn’t she?
When I tried to approach her, a macho-like guard that was standing close to the bed stops me.

“No further than that. Phila-sama is working.”

“We will guard this place. I’d like you to leave.”

There’s something black, round birthmark-like on the chests of the lightly dressed, macho guards.
They might be slaves.
Their black eyes are sharp as if they are malicious towards me.
I was able to check the room. Let’s withdraw here.
Facing the glaring guards, I open my mouth while waving my hands.

“… I see. Understood.” (Shuuya)

After speaking in a light tone, I turned around and left the private room of my client.
I return to the large room, where the employed adventurers are hanging out, and wait while leaning against a wooden desk that has a bar counter.
Since there’s no attack, the leisure time continues for a while.
Once evening passed and night got close, the store’s staff and maid-like people began to clean the room where the adventurers have assembled.
And then, after the tables are lined up in the centre of the room, dishes are set on top of those tables.
It seems they plan to hold a buffet party.
When the smell of food starts to hang in the air, there’s squirming in my back.
Rollo woke up from her sleep and returned on my shoulder.

“Nnn, nyaa~, nyao?”

She stretches her forepaws while yawning.
It feels like she’s saying something like 『Time for food nya?』
Her nostrils sniff the air as well.

“Seems so. If there’s something delicious-looking like fish or meat, I will let you eat it.” (Shuuya)

“Nyao, nya.”

After she purred delightfully, Rollo nuzzled her small head against my cheek.
Large platters filled up with meat and fresh vegetables are carried in and placed on top of the tables.
There’s some large bird roast, something like piroshki, quarkfresh cheese and wine.
I had seen high-class bird dishes once before.
Are they treating us, the adventurers, to such high-class dishes?
Phila Elzard-san is a big-hearted merchant.
Once the setting of the food on the tables finishes, Phila-san seems to have a speech for everyone and thus begins to speak after bowing her head.

“To all of you adventurers, this dinner is intended as meagre thanks. I will fully rely on you from today onwards.” (Phila)

She talks and then moves to the inner room while taking her guards along.
While raising shouts of joy, the adventurers start to eat the luxurious dishes.
I pour wine into a cup to the brim, bring it to my mouth and drink it.
Next I placed roast chicken, lettuce, fresh leaves of vegetables and a vegetable tasting like mashed potatoes on my plate and ate the assorted food with my knife.
Of course I also let Rollo eat plenty of grilled meat similar to cow fillet and roast chicken just like me.

“Nyanyao!”

“Don’t eat too much, okay?” (Shuuya)

Rollo urges me on as she seems to not have eaten enough yet.
Did the necessary amount of food increase because she grew up?
Although I brought her a large amount, she already ate up all of it.
… Let’s give her my share as well.
The dinner time continued noisily in such manner.
Something like just eating; that doesn’t feel like being a bodyguard at all.
The adventurers, who finished their meal, create separate groups split into those who are solo, and those who belong to a clan, and start to sleep in the same room.
Since there’s a bar counter where they serve alcohol, I wasted my time there.
The provided alcohol is different from the previous wine. With it being a strong wine due to its sourness, the flavour could be called so-so.
However, compared to that high-class inn, the wine’s taste is inferior.
Damn it…
My tongue apparently ended up remembering the taste of the wine provided by that high-class inn.
Let’s abstain from eating over there.
When I gulped down the alcohol in the wooden goblet while thinking that, I was addressed by a chubby adventurer with conspicuous, unkempt hair on his head.

“Yo? You’ve been drinking alcohol with a nice mood going there for a while now, but haven’t you forgotten the request here?”

A steel mace is hanging at the waist of the fat adventurer.
It looks like it would hurt if I were hit with that…

“… Hah? I’m all right. I have a constitution where I won’t get drunk at all.” (Shuuya)

It’s only to the degree of feeling slightly good.
At any rate, this guy…
He should be one of the adventurers I had an eye on at the beginning due to his quite good handling of the magic combat style.
His head is wrapped up by something like a bandana, but it’s useless as his frizzly, long, dishevelled hair is popping out.

“I see, I see, you are resistant against alcohol, I suppose? Oh well, as long as you stay composed, all’s fine. I was wondering whether I should have a drink as well, you know?”

Will you drink, too?
Well, I will restrain myself with this being the last.

“Don’t drink too much, okay? This will be the last for me.” (Shuuya)

“Aye.”

The corpulent, nice man showed his dirty teeth while smiling broadly and started to drink alcohol.
I step away from him after downing the remaining wine in one go.
I withdrew into a corner of the vast room where the adventurers are resting.
For some reason or another I like corners.
However, although the client prepared meals, it’s not like she has prepared something like beddings.
Since the number of adventurers is large, that can’t be helped though.
I will probably stand out if I took out the tent by using the magic tool of magically-built house here…
I will have to put up with the floor and wall today, won’t I?
And then time flows on. Late at night of that day—
Nuoh? Something smells.
This room is teeming with a smoke different from incense.
Even so, there’s no uproar… how weird. Ah, the nearby adventurer is sleeping. I don’t know this smoke’s effect, but it seems to have enticed most of the adventurers into sleep.
Not only the wide room but even the mansion’s interior has fallen silent. The silence of just the faint lights of the lamps burning here and there on top of the tables dominated the space.
Talking about this smell, I say, there’s something in it?
I activate <Night Vision>.

『Your Excellency, will you use Spirit Sight?』(Helme)

『Yeah, I will.』 (Shuuya)

I catch Helme who appeared in my visionary field.
As usual I disregard the heavy panting of the captured Helme.
I check the vicinity with the night vision and infrared viewthermography active.
Furthermore I pay attention to my surroundings with Grasping Perception and Magic Observation.
Once I do, there’s a reaction from my Grasping Perception.
One, no, two are moving… mmh?
The magic sources of the sleeping adventurers in their vicinity are vanishing.
They are killing the adventurers? Assassins, eh?

“Rollo.” (Shuuya)

I notify Rollo with a whisper.
Rollo has already switched over to a combat stance at my feet.
The medium-sized black panther. You might call it a body befitting for battle indoor.
Her red eyes shone, her fangs were visible from her mouth and six tentacles hung in the air.
Fully ready, huh?
All right, the moving responses that might be considered enemies are three.
Among them, two magic source responses are moving towards the inner room where Phila is.
The remaining response seems to go around and kill the sleeping adventurers in this wide room one after the other.
… Their skill is decent.
To assassinate the adventurers, albeit them being asleep, successively without causing a sound while taking advantage of the darkness…
I might have not realized it either if I hadn’t Grasping Perception and Spirit Sight.
No, no, this ain’t the time for admiring them.
The request takes priority.
Though I feel sorry for the sleeping adventurers, let’s ignore them.
I head towards the room of the client.

“Rollo, follow me.” (Shuuya)

I hurry towards the inner room from the saloon with its slight lamp light.
Rollo follows behind me.
The inner door was closed.
Quietly pushing open that door, I enter inside.
The moment I opened it, the door hit something. Right below me there are two corpses.
It’s the two macho-like guard slaves that should have protected Phila.
One was killed from behind, the other died by having his head crushed.
I guess I was too late?
Then,

“Kyaaaa—” (Phila)

Because I heard Phila’s scream, I stormed in.
It looks like my client didn’t sleep.
While wearing a negligee, she stands between the bed and the wall as she trembles and holds a pillow at her chest.
Something like a cloth mask was equipped on the quivering Phila’s mouth.
Did that cause her not breathing in the incense with the sleeping effect?
There was a duo trying to corner Phila.
The fat man shakes off the blood clinging to his steel mace.
Next to him, a man, who possesses a firm torso with dark skin and wearing a hat, swung a cutlass-type weapon that is dripping with blood while looking happy.
The cheerful guy who came greeting me while I was drinking the wine, and a swarthy man.
Is it for the sake of not inhaling the sleep gas? Both have their mouths covered by cloths.

“You guys are assassins, huh?” (Shuuya)

I glare at the two assassins while confirming Phila’s safety.

“Guess so. Tsk. You have woken up, eh?”

The fat man with the frizzly hair glances at me looking bored while making spit fly around.

“That’s odd, you know? You should be asleep? Besides, what’s that black beast?”

The dark skinned, toned man looks at RolloBlack Panther and asks doubtfully.
Ignoring those words, I check the vicinity with Grasping Perception.
Phila-san is in the right corner of the bed.
Apart from these two as enemies… there’s one more.
It’s the enemy who can be considered to have come from behind after previously killing the adventurers sleeping in the saloon.
I realize that the response of that enemy is approaching this room.
Did he stop killing the sleeping adventurers and place priority on this place?
At this rate, I will get attacked from two sides.
Huh? … He stopped in front of the door?
He still won’t enter this room? Is he hiding? I wonder why.
As I’m analysing the state of affairs, the fat man threw a glance at Phila and showed a smiling expression on his greasy face.

“… Phila-san, the food was delicious. I will humbly eat you next, Phila-san, okay? This Balban-sama will love you plentyyyy, peck youuuu, hehehe, until those soft-looking legs won’t be able to stand anymore, you knooooow—”

Gross, he places the mace on his shoulder and swings his waist.
However, I feel like he’s slightly stupid for an assassin.
I’m sure that the guy hiding at the room’s entrance is the real deal.
Oh well, for now let’s get rid of that perverted fool in front of me?

“—Nyanya! Shaaaa.”

RolloBlack Panther reacts first.
Leaping towards the wall, she performs a triangular flight and stands in front of Phila.
She stood in the way of the two man holding weapons.
I don’t want to lose either, I move—
I restrain the two men by throwing daggers with <Throw>.
But, the fat man displayed a reaction that doesn’t match his figure.
Using the mace, he blocks the dagger tossed with <Throw>.
In the same way the dark-skinned man repelled a dagger thrown by me with his cutlass.
Without minding that, I make the Magic Halberd appear in my right hand, hold it shortly and jump lightly.
My aim is the head of the swarthy man wearing a hat.
While rotating to the left, I bring down the Magic Halberd from the upper left to the lower right.
— A dull metallic sound reverberates.
The swarthy man crossed the cutlasses he held in both hands and protected his head from the red axe blade with them.
Hey, that’s quite decent. Though, the strike does its work.
The swarthy man apparently saw through my attack with the Magic Halberd that the blow of the red axe blade would be heavy.
Lowering the both hands with the cutlasses, his hands were seemingly numb and his face warps. The two cutlasses fall on the ground.
Using that as chance, I shortened the fighting distance.
I unleash Left Back Blade which is one of the techniques in the spear sparring of close combat battle.
It’s a blow technique using the left shoulder and the shoulder blade on the back.
I impact on the dark-skinned head with my shoulder and hit his chest with my back.
Blown off by the double strike, the swarthy man fainted after strongly clashing against the wall.
He was a man possessing a firm and nice body build, but he was weak against impacts on the head.
That’s the first one down.
The other one, the perverted idiot, or rather the fat man, who introduced himself as Balban was apparently scared of Rollo’s figure? He retreated close to the door where the corpses are lying around.

“Phila-san, are you all right?” (Shuuya)

Since the enemy took a bit of a distance, I made sure that she’s safe.

“Y-Yes, I-I’m fine.” (Phila)

Phila answers with quivering lips while hugging the pillow strongly.

“W-What are you! It’s different from that guy’s storyyyy!? Something like there being a master spear user and such beast around! O— wh-!” (Balban)

In the middle of his flustered speech, a sharp blade shows up protruding out from Balban’s chest.
The blade pierces Balban’s chest twice. Blood overflows from his chest alongside a wet sound.

“Wh-, ha-? Gueehh!” (Balban)

Balban lets his steel mace fall to the ground— looking at the sword sticking out of his own chest, he spoke while appearing surprised and collapsed to the ground.
The one who emerged on the other side of Balban’s corpse is the one-eyed man with blackish long hair, a deep blue outfit, long sleeves and a longsword in his hand.
Isn’t that the man who caused a response in the back.
Although I thought that he’s an enemy, he was an allied adventurer?
No, in this situation I can’t differentiate who’s an ally or not.
This guy probably requires special attention.
The one-eyed man held one longsword in his hand and persistently stabbed the back of the fat Balban’s corpse many times.
The back of Balban turns into a tragedy.
Was the Asian-styled, one-eyed man satisfied with stabbing him? He shifts his glaring one eye— he sends a piercing gaze at Rollo and me that seemed to be filled with mana and bloodlust.
What? Though it was for an instant, it was filled with bloodlust.

『Your Excellency, this man is amassing mana in his eye. Please take extra care.』 (Helme)

The spirit Helme, who dwells in my left eye, warned me.
Yeah, I realize.
However, the one-eyed man stored away the longsword and started to talk as if nothing had happened.

“Phila-san, you were safe? It seems that those guys are the ringleaders.”

“Yes, that’s what it looks like. It was dangerous.” (Phila)

He’s suspicious…
The one-eyed man continues to speak.

“No way, for them to have blended in among the adventurers! Can you stand up?”

At the time when the one-eyed man tried to make his way through my side quickly in a casual manner, an unnatural plock sound could be heard from the wrist parts that were hidden by the long sleeves.
Thereupon mana concentrates in the palms of the one-eyed man and hidden chakram appear while moving from the wrists to the palms.
Did he move and guide them with an elastic band towards his palms? He grasps the chakram. With slight snaps of his wrists he threw the chakram towards Phila.
The instant he thought that the rotating chakram would hit her forehead—
I activate <Demonic Brain SpeedTrump Card> after a long time.
I, who had his speed doubled, repel the chakram that were thrown towards Phila with my Magic Halberd.
The repelled chakram got stuck in the ground and pierced the wall.
The next chakram are grasped in the one-eyed man’s right hand and he shifts into the motion of throwing them once again.
— 3 seconds pass.
I have have some business with this guy.
I will bring him down without killing him.
Hitting his stomach with a mana-charged first of the Magic Combat Style, I seize his right arm, bend it upside down and make him eat the mana-charged outer edge of my foot with his right foot.
I broke the bones of the one-eyed man’s foot as if breaking a bat.
Thereupon <Demonic Brain SpeedTrump Card> stops once 20 seconds have passed.

“Guohh!?”

The one-eyed man collapses to the ground.
A normal human shouldn’t be able to catch up with the speed of <Demonic Brain Speed>.
He probably couldn’t comprehend what happened.
Most likely he should have realized that his stomach was hit and that his hand and foot were broken.

“Gu… I’m sure I threw chakram just now…”

The one-eyed man whinged with a mumbling voice that couldn’t be understood while wriggling and crouching on the ground.
Him not raising his voice into a scream due to the pain makes me think that he’s a trained member of an organization.
However, this guy won’t be able to resist anymore.
Accordingly I turn my face to Phila.
Due to the excessive events, she has leaned her back against the wall and fell on her backside.
An ammoniac stench hung in the air.

“Phila-san, are you all right? You have no injury, right?” (Shuuya)

“Y-Yes. I was afraid—” (Phila)

I held Phila-san and raised her up.

 

 

“Gu, what! Get off me!”

Oh? The voice of the flustered one-eyed man resounds.
What, it’s Rollo, isn’t it?
Rollo climbed on the face of the one-eyed man and pushed the paws at the sole of her feet into his face.

“Rollo, restrain him like that.” (Shuuya)

Separating from Phila, I approach the one-eyed man, who’s grovelling on the ground, from the side.

“For starters, let’s hear your name?” (Shuuya)

“Don’t fuck with me! There’s no way that I will talk, right…? Hurry up and kill me.”

“Phila-san, you want to know the opponent who’s aiming for your life, right?” (Shuuya)

“Yes, I do…” (Phila)

“Well then, it would be best if you don’t watch from here on out. Besides—” (Shuuya)

Phila’s skin line is visible through her thin negligee.
I implicitly indicated that her nether region that was drenched with urine had become exposed by pointing my sight at it deliberately.

“Kyaa… g-got it. I leave it to you…” (Phila)

Phila left the room while hiding her nether region with her hands having a red face.

“Okay, let’s have you teach us your name, one-eyed-kun, okay?” (Shuuya)

“As if.”

I don’t think that this one-eyed-kun, who doesn’t show his pain on his face, will easily confess.
Therefore I will have him forcefully taste just a little of fear that can’t be relished by humans.
Let’s enjoy his blood.
After displaying my fangs on purpose by spreading my mouth, I bit into the nape of the man’s neck with a crunch.
The one-eyed man showed a frightened expression due to suddenly having his blood sucked.

“Hihiii.”

He releases a scream with his pupils repeatedly dilating and constricting.
As if participating as well, Rollo transforms into a slightly bigger shape.

“Goawlll!” (Rollo)

While roaring, she makes her six tentacles suspend in the air. The tentacles approach the man’s face.
Producing silver-coloured, protruding bone swords from the tentacles, she pokes the cheeks of the man with their sharp ends.
Blood ran down from the one-eyed man’s cheeks.
The tentacles repeat an eerie, swaying movement.

“Do you feel like talking? As you can see, the black cat and me aren’t normal. Even as for torment methods, there are plenty of ways you don’t know about, aren’t there?” (Shuuya)

I match my gaze with his one eye.
While showing a scared expression, the man retreats as if escaping by using the arm and leg that aren’t injured.

“W-What are you…? Aren’t you a human?”

“Rather than that, I will allow you to die easily if you talk now about everything. Or, do you want to die after suffering even more due to a special torture?” (Shuuya)

I smile broadly while showing my sharp teeth. It’s a smile with the shape of an arc.
Blood trickled down from my fangs.

“G-Got it. I will talk, please, since I will talk, finish me off normally. Please, finish me off without suffering… my name is Serva Gairal.” (Serva)

Did he resign himself? He introduces himself while casting his face down.
Haha, he caved in easily.
As expected, even a trained assassin apparently doesn’t want to be tortured by an inhuman, monstrous guy like me.
Well, it’s a fact that I activated the skill <Drain Soul>, I guess.

“… Who has ordered the assassination this time? And, to which dark guild do you belong?” (Shuuya)

“The one who ordered it is President Bill. He’s a subordinate of Eribol Macabayne-sama. I’m the vice-president of the dark guild 【Owl’s Fangs】.” (Serva)

This guy is a leader of that 【Owl’s Fangs】? And moreover, the vice-president?

“That Eribol Macabayne or whatever, where is he?” (Shuuya)

“Though he doesn’t show up in front of us usually, Eribol-sama lives in a palatial residence located in 【Labyrinth City Pelneet】.” (Serva)

“And President Bill?” (Shuuya)

“He’s the boss of the dark guild. President Bill is Eribol-sama’s loyal follower.” (Serva)

I see. Not Bill but that Eribol is the wire puller?

“What’s the official occupation of that Eribol?” (Shuuya)

“You don’t know Eribol-sama? He is the president of 【Macabayne Company】, the biggest ruling maritime guild of Mahaheim. He has the nickname white tanuki. He’s one of the Eight Lights” (Serval)

White tanuki and Eight Lights?
Ah~ it’s about the community of dark guilds, eh?
I remember. Melissa and Marquess Chardonnay mentioned them.
In addition a maritime trader?

“… Why have you been told to assassinate Phila Elizard?” (Shuuya)

“It began with the feudal lord of 【Holkerbaum】 Earl Makfol ignoring our orders and giving permission for the construction of the bridge after having seemingly yielded to Phila’s persuasion. Being angered by this, Eribol-sama made the necessary arrangements with high-ranking noble bureaucrats in the 【Royal Capital Gromheim】 and the Minister of the Navy, Marquis Langlid, to apply pressure on the feudal lord of 【Holkerbaum】. Using our protege dark guild, we cornered him into stopping the construction of the bridge.” (Serva)

They did something that pigheaded?

“That’s why the bridge construction was finished in such a half-assed manner…” (Shuuya)

“Correct. If they are able to complete the bridge, a land route will be established between 【Pelneet】, 【Benraque】 and 【Holkerbaum】, and the business of Phila’s group will prosper even further, but the one who will receive a blow will be Eribol Macabayne-sama who’s main activity is marine transport… and thus he gave the leaders Oze and Jane the order to kill Phila, but… there was a report stating that Oze and Jane alongside the 【Holkerbaum】 branch had been annihilated, there was an emergency meeting about that.” (Serva)

I see.
Did I prevent that since I killed Oze and Jane?

“… Being given new orders by the board of directors, it was decided for me to come to 【Holkerbaum】. I employed two ruined adventurers and attacked the carriage where Phila should be on board, but… the one who was there wasn’t the target Phila, but her younger brother.” (Serva)

“It was a failure.” (Shuuya)

“Indeed. We killed her younger brother Ben Elizard, but the assassination of Phila Elizard ended in failure. But, without giving up, we planned to assassinate her after learning about Phila commissioning guards at the adventurer’s guild, by making use of that fact instead. And then, since we were able to safely infiltrate Phila’s mansion as adventurers, we went ahead with our assassination at first as planned, but it’s a failure. … I have told you everything at this point. That’s all there is to it.” (Serva)

Serva sighs at that point.

“Serva, once it becomes known that you failed the assassination, how will 【Owl’s Fangs】 move next?” (Shuuya)

“Independent of whether I fail or succeed, they will have to withdraw themselves from 【Demonic Steel-City Holkerbaum】 temporarily. Next they have to oppose the other dark guilds who will very likely start a genuine offence soon. 【Labyrinth City Pelneet】 is 【Owl’s Fangs】 headquarters after all.” (Serva)

Other dark guilds, eh? I remember Melissa talking about it.

“Pelneet is your stronghold. Is the turf war between fellow dark guilds extreme?” (Shuuya)

“Extreme doesn’t even describe it. It’s war every day. Especially the gambling street and the harbour’s warehouses are crucial sources of income as important sales locations. I’m certain that boss has tightened the protection of our turf.” (Serva)

If this guy’s story is true, they won’t get involved with 【Holkerbaum】 for the time being.
However, their boss Eribol Macabayne feels as if he matches a godfather in the mafia.
The part of possessing an official and unofficial face being something quite simple for any business is the same in any world.

“… Is Eribol Macabayne a considerable bigwig?” (Shuuya)

“Of course. Just as I told you before, he lives in a palatial residence as major merchant.” (Serva)

However, this guy is spilling the beans fluently because he became obedient after having his blood sucked.
The hypnotic effect of <Drain Soul> is outstanding.

“… Palatial residence, eh? Does he live like a noble?” (Shuuya)

“He does. He’s probably equal to a high-ranking noble. Controlling the marine transport from 【Gromheim】 until 【Senapua】, he also employs several slave traders and is in charge of a part of the sales network of the synthetic magic drugChrystal Meth according to the black market agreement Ga・Pe. Moreover, he has been spreading his influence to various places owned by the dark guild and his subordinates.” (Serva)

Black market agreement Ga・Pe? Synthetic magic drugChrystal Meth?

“You are making something like a magic drug?” (Shuuya)

“Yes. It gives birth to tremendous profits. As long as we use our ships, the sales network grows large.” (Serva)

“And black market agreement Ga・Pe is?” (Shuuya)

“It’s the name of an agreement between 【Ocean Light City Gazellejan】 and 【Labyrinth City Pelneet】 that uses the first initial letters of both.” (Serva)

I hear the name of Ocean Light City Gazellejan for the first time.
Going by my guess… I believe it’s a coast-lands or island city located at the point where the Heim River flows into the open sea.

“… What are the details of that agreement?” (Shuuya)

“First, it’s a comprehensive non-aggression treaty including the merchant ships of Oseberia Kingdom and the fishmen pirates 【Sea King Hornets】 who rule the Ocean Light City as dark guild. Second, on top of selling the synthetic magic drugChrystal Meth, which is produced in Gazellejan, on the markets of south Mahaheim that are under our control, they share a part of the profits with us. Third, we sell the illegal slaves caught in the Ocean Light City to all cities in south Mahaheim. Those are the details.” (Serva)

Hee, it’s a far more important agreement than I expected, isn’t it?

“What’s the scale of the organization of 【Owl’s Fangs】 if compared to your rivals?” (Shuuya)

“If we restrict it to 【Labyrinth City Pelneet】, we have secured a much larger turf than the other dark guilds. Moreover, our influence extended even to the areas of other cities… That’s about it.” (Serva)

It matches with what Melissa said.
【Owl’s Fangs】 is a dark guild on the bigger side among the many dark guilds.
For them to be connected up to the city where the Heim River flowed into the sea…
I wonder how many ships they possess.
Ships… ah, I see.
That’s why they attacked us at that place.

“… Eribol laid waste to the roads of 【Holkerbaum】 and 【Hekatrail】 for the sake of his own marine transportation, didn’t he?” (Shuuya)

“Yeah, that’s true. If they are attacked by bandits on the land routes, the utilization of merchant ships and ocean liners will increase.” (Serva)

Now I understand the reason why they assaulted us.
The large company, where the boss of these guys’ 【Owl’s Fangs】 exists, likely focusses on smuggling through the transport business that used the Heim River, but that means their major reason is profit.
If they are attacked on the land routes, scared rich people and companies, who lost their cargo, will choose the sea route next.
I listen to the matters of the dark guild while grasping the relations.

“… Who are the other leaders?” (Shuuya)

“President Bill Sokurdo, Dark Archer Lane, Beck of the Scattering Sword, Morabi of the Darkness Sword and Pili of the Ox Sword. And the dead Blue Silver Oze and Jane of the Dual Whips. These two were finished off by you the spear user?” (Serva)

That means there were 8 leaders in total, I guess.
Serva stares at me with frightened eyes.

“That’s right, but rather than that, the feudal lord of this place, Earl Makfol, is connected to you guys as well?” (Shuuya)

The one-eyed Serva lowers his eyebrows and talks as if it’s only natural.

“The feudal lord Makfol, huh? Nevermind being connected, Eribol-sama recommended him in the first place. Currently even the feudal lord’s subordinates, the Red Feather Mercenary Band had been introduced by Eribol-sama.” (Serva)

Is that why the feudal lord’s protection was a sieve?

“To begin with, even at the incident where the previous feudal lord of Holkerbaum opposed the kingdom three years ago, it was a plot set up by Eribol-sama. Publicly it was a power struggle, but… it was very carefully and calculatively carried out behind the scenes. The one who performed that job was me. However, the present feudal lord Earl Makfol seems to be ungrateful towards Eribol-sama and the occasions where he ignores orders are recently increasing.” (Serva)

That feudal lord-kun who became my friend. Just as rumoured, he possessed a light connection to a dark guild.
Since it’s Makfol, he probably joined up with them on the spur of the moment after being given a good excuse.

“… I got it. Are you an acquaintance of the feudal lord Makfol?” (Shuuya)

“Yeah, I’ve met him only once on a party hosted by Eribol-sama. It was scheduled to hold an meeting with him for educating him again once I succeeded in this assassination.” (Serva)

They are going to threaten Makfol once more or would try to guide him, huh?

“Well then, can you tell me the territory, or rather, the base of the dark guild 【Owl’s Fangs】 and the details about the mansion in 【Labyrinth City Pelneet】 where your big boss, Eribol, lives?” (Shuuya)

“Yeah.” (Serva)

Has Serva Gairal given up on everything? He talks indifferently.
Eribol’s mansion seems to be at the eastern end of the noble block located on the northern side of 【Labyrinth City Pelneet】.
There’s a conspicuous gate that had the crest of the Macabayne Company applied to it at the entrance door.
I was told that I would immediately recognise it once I saw it as the design is an owl and tree.
Additionally, there’s an unprecedented number of barrier stones set up on the grounds. The number of hired adventurer wannabe’s is at the very least 50 and they stay there permanently. Otherwise there are also cases where their numbers exceed 100.
Having also secured several excellent wizards, the defence is flawless.
Although the quality of the soldiers has fallen, his are equal to royal guards, he says.
Moreover he told me the password used at the base of 【Owl’s Fangs】, and the locations of their major positions such as the harbour’s warehouses, the pleasure quarter, the gambling street, the market and the flavour street which are all part of the turf of 【Owl’s Fangs】.

“Wait. I forgot that the 【Pleasure Quarter】 was stolen by 【Dance of Supreme Vermilion】.” (Serva)

“【Dance of Supreme Vermilion】?” (Shuuya)

“That’s right. It was stolen by those guys who are similar to a mercenary band that’s led by the duo of the Massacre Sisters.” (Serva)

That sounds like a terrifying name.
But whatever, since I don’t have a map, I grasp it only roughly.

“With this it’s everything…” (Serva)

After hearing his last words, I shift my gaze around and check the room’s vicinity.
There are no other onlookers.
Did Serva sense death approaching him? He shuts his eyes and stays silent.
How brave. After he yapped this much.
I don’t understand the mental attitude of dark guild members though.
I bite the nape of Serva’s neck once more.
I sucked his blood and then his soul. Serva’s body dries up in an instant.
The clothes he wore and his hidden chakram fell to the ground.
After recovering the dagger lying around after having it used with <Throwing>, I call Phila.
I told her the information I obtained just now.

 


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