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As we advance through the alleys, I catch sight of dark elves.
They are walking while talking to each other.
Distracted, they don’t notice us.
Just like me, one of them has their face covered by a hood, making it impossible to see any details.
In that case, even if other dark elves see me with my hood pulled over…they probably won’t consider it unnatural.
I feel a bit relieved.
As we move further into the city, the number of dark elves out on the streets increased.
We walk right behind Viine — with me with and Rollo on my shoulder — giving off a vibe similar to being her attendants.
The other dark elves don’t realize that I’m a magul.
It looks like it will be alright.
At that point, Viine approaches a person that happens to pass by.
The person she addresses is…an old, shabby-looking dark elf.
The old man adopts a menial attitude once he realizes that Viine is a woman.
Since he whispers, I can barely hear what he says.
However, I can understand that his speech has hints of an Elvish root.
As a fact his Elvish is a bit different from how I’ve heard it spoken on the surface.
The language Viine is using is likely the one that most dark elves use in this underground city.
I fall back to the rear and peek at the old man through the kaleidoscope.
It’s a real-time CT scan.
As it penetrates his body, I see that the structure of his body resembles that of a human.
Carbon-type Napalm Life Form B-f＃＃＃72
Brain Waves: stable
Overall Physical Strength Value: 5
Elenium Integration Value: 92
The napalm life-form thing seems to be basically the same.
I touch the metal next to my eye, returning my sight to its normal state.
Viine and the old man are still talking.
After a few minutes Viine finishes chatting with him and returned to me with a meek expression.
“Master…【Flower of the Marsh Snake】 is this way.” (Viine)
“You heard something important, didn’t you?” (Shuuya)
Hmm, she doesn’t seem awfully lively.
“What’s up? Tell me.” (Shuuya)
“…Since it’s information coming from a lower class citizen, I don’t think that we should rely on it, but he told me that the 【11th ranked Sorcery Noble Squad Household】 doesn’t exist anymore. However, I obtained the information that the 【5th ranked Sorcery Noble Langibad Household】 is continuing to grow as a promising family. And, the place where I grew up has turned into ruins; someone destroyed the mansion. There’s nothing left anymore…” (Viine)
One of her enemy sorcery nobles vanished and her home disappeared?
That would certainly be a shock for her.
“…Are you alright? Do you wish to visit your former home? Or are we going back without doing anything?” (Shuuya)
Lifting my hood slightly, I peer into her face.
“No, we won’t go back. We won’t go to my house either. But, honestly said, I’m sad. I’m also mortified… Let’s gather some more precise information in the 【Flower of the Marsh Snake】.” (Viine)
Her expression looks as if it is oozing with rage rather than sadness.
“Got it. Lead us there.” (Shuuya)
I advance through the underground city following Viine.
She walks through the meandering alleys for several hours without any hesitation.
Finally, our destination comes into sight.
That’s the bar-like establishment【Flower of the Marsh Snake】.
Its exterior isn’t that different from the other buildings, but there are magic illumination tools , on both sides of the entrance door that are shaped like big roses, they stood out like a trademark.
Despite the distance, the shape of the roses and the contrasting light and shadow gave a showy impression.
The rose magic tools change from faint, green light that reminds one of a paper lantern, to strong green light that makes one think of LEDs.
And then they fade again, back to the faint green.
Drunken, male dark elves are clamoring in the open space in front of the door.
A boxing match, huh?
Many of the surrounding men are laughing, yelling, and frantically screaming while watching the fistfight between the two men, appearing to bet money on it.
I guess the things they do aren’t any different from humans on the surface.
Viine and I avoid the drunkards and head towards the entrance.
We arrive in front of the door. The door is oblong and is made out of iron.
Violet and green skull marks were added to its surface.
The bright magic tools on both sides of the door are beautiful upon closer inspection.
Green light is shining through from inside, a very beautiful light that’s emitted to the surroundings.
It’s dazzling and the first decent illumination in a while.
That the magic tools creating this light weren’t stolen makes it obvious that the people managing this store are quite influential.
But, looking at the drunken dark elves…
The image that they are lower class doesn’t well up within me.
They look like common citizens.
As I’m examining the surroundings, Viine lets out a fake cough, drawing my attention to her.
Viine gives a slight nod.
Nodding back, I reply (I know, go ahead) with my eyes.
Even Rollo, who remained motionless on my shoulder, apparently understood the signal. She taps my shoulder.
Viine pushes open the door of the store and enters the 【Flower of the Marsh Snake】.
I follow her from behind while admiring her beautiful, silver hair and the vermilion quiver equipped on her back.
The inside of 【Flower of the Marsh Snake】 is bright.
The illumination magic tools from outside and inside are overlapping with each other.
As I’m captivated by the brightness, the smell of food and the scent of alcohol wafts over alongside the sounds of an ongoing hustle and bustle.
Not only were there dark elves drinking alcohol inside, but dwarves having arm-wrestling contests and a small race that danced while playing tiny instruments were present as well.
I suppose they are gnomes?
A group of dark elves located at a row of tables on the right side of the hall participate in merrymaking while shouting to bring them more alcohol.
There is also a group of dark elves putting razor clam-like, long pipes with a narrow end into their mouths.
The smokers are making ahegao1 faces.
Looks like they are inhaling really dangerous stuff over there.
Viine walks towards the center of the hall, weaving her way through the drinking and dancing guests.
I observe the surroundings while making sure to not draw too much attention to myself as I walk closely behind Viine.
Given that there are gnomes present, I’m anxious about whether one of them might look up and see me. (T/N: Looking at his face from below)
Viine stops at the counter.
On the other side of the counter stood a muscular male dark elf with his silver hair in cornrows and a grim face, he appears to be the store’s owner.
“I’d like to get some information…” (Viine)
Viine begins to ask that grim-looking man with a frosty tone as if she was chanting a witch’s spell.
“Well, well…what’s this all of a sudden? Lady, you a female servant of some Sorcery Noble?”
The man laughs, breaking into an ugly smile without reacting to Viine’s tone.
“Hoo, since when did this become a place where one could take such an attitude?” (Viine)
As Viine brushes him off with an undaunted, indifferent demeanor, he suddenly stiffens.
“…Ha-Haha, it’s just a joke. What does someone from a high-ranking Sorcery Noble want in this lower-classes district?”
Viine’s ability to convey her strong will with her eyes is incredible.
The cocksure attitude of the muscled daruma-like dark elf vanished all together.
“I want to get some details about the 【Sorcery Noble Langibad Household】.” (Viine)
“…Langibad household, the single-digit one, Sorcery Noble-sama of the fourth rank, right? The likes of us lower class people can’t obtain information about any Sorcery Noble-sama in the single digits.”
Fourth rank? When Viine mentioned them last, they had been fifth rank.
It looks like they went up a rank.
“Do you still intend to play dumb? This place is the hideout of 【Defeat of the Venomous Snake】, isn’t it?” (Viine)
The instant she said those words — the atmosphere froze.
Even the guests, who were happily drinking their booze, stop chatting and focused their eyes on us.
“…For you to know that name, please come this way.”
The dark elf cast a glance at us and then guided Viine to an inner passage continuing from behind the counter.
Of course, I follow behind as well.
We were led through a narrow, dark hallway to a bright room colored violet and green.
Since the green light of the magic tool illuminations is strong, it mixes with the patterned walls and becomes a disgusting hue.
I’m not really one to judge, but the room lacks good taste.
There’s a violet office desk in the center of this unsettling room.
An elderly dark elf sits behind the desk.
There are male dark elves standing on both sides of him — his subordinates, I presume — wearing black armor and wearing curved katana affixed to their waists. They scowl in our direction.
I guess the one sitting in the executive chair is the boss.
Viine and I approach him.
This room is so spacious that one could take dance lessons here.
I think at least 20 tatami2 fit in here.
As we draw closer to the violet desk,
We were instructed by one of the boss’ subordinates.
Viine and I come to a halt, as ordered.
At this point, I clearly check the face of the sitting, elderly man.
His eyes are long and narrow. His black eyes never leave us.
There are many drooping creases on his bluish-white skin and his cheeks are sunken; he almost looks like a skeleton. It’s a face that gives me the impression of a Southeast Asian.
His hair is plaited. It’s a weird hairstyle with his long hair being gathered in the middle.
It’s similar to that of a dance instructor walking with a strange pose. 3 He’s wearing a pitch-black chain-mail-like armor that has protrusions at the shoulders, but I could definitely judge that he possesses a lean figure.
The man opens his mouth.
“…Lady, you want information about Sorcery Nobles or something like that?”
I check them with Magic Observation.
The subordinates of the lean man are reasonably strong.
All of them are storing and manipulating mana within their bodies.
『Your Excellency, the other party is somewhat good at manipulating mana.』 (Helme)
『I know. I won’t use your sight yet, okay?』 (Shuuya)
Helme disappears after my telepathic message, looking disappointed.
I won’t activate the Kaleidoscope either.
“…From what Sorcery Noble-sama do you hail from that you have business with 【Defeat of the Venomous Snake】 and not 【Lightning of Judgment King】, lady?”
The boss not only observed Viine, but also Rollo and me.
Mana is dwelling in his eyes.
That means this man is capable of analyzing us as he’s capable of using Magic Observation.
In the dark elves’ matriarchy, it’s no wonder that the organization is led by this kind of man.
Should I enjoy the boss’ reactions from me releasing a bit mana then?
“There’s no need for a bastard like to you know that. Hand over the information about the 【Fourth ranked Sorcery Noble Langibad Household】. That’s all you need to know.” (Viine)
Viine keeps up her strong attitude.
The boss gazes at Viine and me as if comparing us.
Moreover, surprised by my playful release of mana, his narrow eyes widened and his expression transformed into one of fright.
He sighs, “…Damn, so the other party is a special one… I got it. However, we have absolutely no relation to each other and we never met today, either. That much is fine with you, right?”
The boss talks while having cold sweat flowing down his face, and states his condition.
“No problem.” (Viine)
Viine answered curtly, tilting her head.
It’s possible that she’s showing a wicked smile.
“…Okay, the 【Fourth ranked Sorcery Noble Langibad Household】 is centered around four family members: The mother, the priestess matriarch Phelemin Dao Langibad; the eldest daughter, Wizard Tomelia; the second daughter, Majin Gamily; and the third daughter, Sword Genius Hali’An. The three daughters hold high-ranking positions within the family. You might say it’s a strong family supporting their priestess matriarch Phelemin, the mother… They are famous Sorcery Nobles that ascended to the fourth rank a little while ago.”
It seems the matriarch and the three family members are powerful.
“How many soldiers do they possess?” (Viine)
Viine’s words are short, but one can sense a cool-headed rage from her voice.
“For directly controlled subordinates, they have around 700 soldiers including their relatives. I guess it’s a lot more if you include the mercenaries.”
“…They have a stronghold?” (Viine)
There are more than 700 soldiers?
“Yes. They have set up a big mansion transformed into a fortress in the southern part of the Central Noble District.”
“I see, the Central Noble District, eh?” (Viine)
So the whereabouts of her enemies is a place changed into a fortress located in the central noble block.
“There are rumors that they are upholding a friendly alliance with the two households, 【Third ranked Sorcery Noble Enpal Household】 and 【Second ranked Sorcery Noble Belladora Household】.”
“Any hostile sorcery nobles?” (Viine)
“At present, there are only rumors that the 【Head Sorcery Noble Sarphen Household】, the 【Eighth ranked Sorcery Noble Salmeyer Household】, the 【Seventh ranked Sorcery Noble Ligiér Household】 and the 【Tenth ranked Sorcery Noble Guma’Chewtsuy Household】 are hostile towards them. And, they are famous for always finishing a war in a shape close to a victory. I don’t know the number of Sorcery Nobles that they have crushed in the past…”
Once he starts on that topic, Viine shakes her head as if telling him “I don’t want to hear that.”
“…I understand. That’s enough. It’s more than I wanted to hear.” (Viine)
“…Is…that so? …Please leave at once then.”
The lean man is slightly surprised by Viine’s response.
With a small delay, he requested us to quickly leave as if shooing us away with a listless look.
“Got it.” (Viine)
Viine turns on her heels and heads to the door.
I follow her.
At that moment,
“…By the way, who’s the person behind you?”
Viine reacts to those words with her back twitching with a start.
I turn around slowly and talk with a grin on my lips.
…While at it, I fill them with bloodlust.
“…I believe you will regret your wish to know quite a bit though?” (Shuuya)
Since my face is hidden by the hood, the boss shouldn’t be able to see anything but my mouth.
After coughing several times and pausing, he replied, “N-No, please forget it.”
The lean man makes a sound as if choking down his salvia and displays an uneasy expression as his breath became shorter.
Viine turned around as well and stares at the two of us, but then uneventfully turns back around and starts walking again.
We leave the room.
Going back through the hallway, we head to the exit of the 【Flower of the Marsh Snake】 from the counter.
The noisy guests became quiet when we returned, but we were able to get out of the 【Flower of the Marsh Snake】 without anything happening.
“We were able to safely obtain some information, I guess.” (Viine)
Viine spoke with a smile to me while walking through an alley.
“Yeah, you’re right.” (Shuuya)
I felt a bit tense though.
“That man seems tobe a somewhat sharp and able man or perhaps he’s just influential.” (Shuuya)
“…You think so?” (Viine)
Viine inclines her head to the side in doubt.
“He looked at us with Magic Observation and judged our strength in his own way. 【Defeat of the Venomous Snake】 was it? I think he possesses the ‘eyes’ to lead them. He readily passed information to strangers like us. Even his two underlings didn’t move a muscle during our discussion. It’s proof that they have been trained to a certain degree.” (Shuuya)
After all, they would have likely started meddling with us if they were simple thugs.
“You could say that, but…” (Viine)
Viine doesn’t seem to agree with my opinion.
Is her cautiousness making her feel more timid? Or is it simply because the other party is a man?
I change the topic.
“So, Viine. We obtained some information about the 【Fourth ranked Sorcery Noble Langibad Household】. Do you have some kind of plan?” (Shuuya)
“Let’s see. Even if I want to take revenge, as expected, opponents whose numbers exceed 500 are tough. Even if I try to recruit soldiers here, there’s no way they will gather around me who has no prestige and money. If I incite the other hostile Sorcery Nobles causing a war against the Langibad household, it might give birth to chances, but…” (Viine)
Having the first and fourth ranks fight each other; a plan of two tigers fighting over food, eh?
Even without doing something so complicated, I might be able to put an end to it quickly if I force them to yield with my power.
“Viine, that’s unnecessary. If you ask, I will force them to surrender. How about it?” (Shuuya)
Viine is surprised once more hearing that question.
Her silver-colored pupils dilate then contract.
“…Whaaat!? Can you…do that?” (Viine)
Her true nature shines through a bit.
“Sure, that’s easy. Also, Viine, if you get surprised every time, it will be a hassle from now on, no? Can’t you simply believe me?” (Shuuya)
I stated, full of confidence.
Rollo taps my shoulder with her paw, appealing something like, “Me too of course nya.”
Making her eyes shine crimson, she reveals a triumphant look.
“—Yes! I shall do so. Please help me, Master and Rollo-sama.” (Viine)
Rollo answered with a purr first, extending a tentacle towards Viine’s cheek while looking at her with a proud expression, then Rollo presses it against her cheek.
It looks like she’s conveying her feelings.
“…T-This is…” (Viine)
Once Viine touches the tentacle on her cheek while looking curious, Rollo pulls back her tentacle.
“Did Rollo transmit her feelings to you?” (Shuuya)
“Y-Yes. She repeatedly transmitted…hunt, hunt, fun, come, sample, play, nice scent.” (Viine)
Viine’s cheeks dyed slightly red.
It seems she was happy.
“Haha, she’s putting on airs like a senpai. It looks like she wants to hunt. You will probably see it since we are going on a rampage from now on.”
“Y-Yes. Please allow me to watch.” (Viine)
Feeling a bit shaken, Viine takes an attitude far away from her original coolness as she bows her head towards Rollo.
“…That would be no good. I will have you work, too, Viine. We have to search for the Langibad family’s big mansion.” (Shuuya)
“Yes. A fortress in the Central Noble District. Having said that, I think there will be several prospects.” (Viine)
I suppose coming up next is the noble district of the underground city…
“Well then Rollo, let’s get there quickly?” (Shuuya)
Hearing my instruction, Rollo leaps down from my shoulder and grows her body in an instant with a puff of smoke.
She transformed into what seemed to be a huge lion with fluffy fur, surpassing her usual Horse Lion size.
Entwining tentacles around Viine and me, she places us on her back.
Viine shrieks a little and hugs me.
Her bluish-white, long ears droop.
It looks like she’s still not used to this kind of transformation.
Once the huge lion Rollo puts us on her back, she leaps on top of a nearby building.
After jumping atop the roof while demonstrating her power, she extends tentacles towards both sides, piercing the walls and roof.
She rotates the tentacles stabbed into the walls in spirals and draws back.
It seems she intends to catapult us..
“Rollo, don’t fly too high. I don’t know how much space you have left until the ceiling.” (Shuuya)
Viine stays silent while embracing me.
“Viine, keep your eyes open. We will locate the central noble district from the air. It will be troublesome if you don’t instruct us on the destination.” (Shuuya)
She whispers as she opens her eyes slightly.
It’s a timid voice I’ve never heard from her.
Moreover, it’s in Elvish. Since it has a nuance of the French language, it was quite cute.
Ah, is maybe…air travel Viine’s weak point?
As I’m laughing lightly, Rollo flies up into the air.
I can see the dark ceiling and several thick pillars in the distance.
So it’s not just a cave. There were thick rock pillars all over the place.
“Kyaaaaaa! T-The c-cover…iiiis above…!” (Viine)
Viine is so scared that the white of her eyes are showing.
She grips me in a stranglehold while using all her power to cling to the overcoat I’m wearing, her grip is so strong that she’s getting close to tearing it apart.
It’s only natural, but it appears that it was the first time for her to get this close to the ceiling.
“…Hey, it’s alright, so calm down.” (Shuuya)
Viine’s eyes are scary.
I can only judge by the left eye that’s not covered by the silver mask, but after I saw whites of her eyes, next, her eyes become bloodshot.
Is she frightened of flying in the sky? She’s shedding tears.
But, she seems to do her best to keep her eyes open.
“Can you see below?” (Shuuya)
Looking at me with a frightened expression, she hesitates a bit, but then endures turning her eyes towards the ground.
She’s afraid but still looks downwards properly.
And then we continue flying for around 30 minutes.
It seems Viine wet herself with pee.
Does she have acrophobia?
“F-Found it. The group of buildings over there is the Central Noble District.” (Viine)
There’s a large cluster of buildings ahead of where Viine was pointing her shaking arm.
“Over there, huh? All of them look about the same…” (Shuuya)
Given that it only looks like rows of big buildings from the sky, I don’t know where to find the Langibad house.
I realize that this underground city is quite large.
I’m certain that it exceeds Pelneet and Hekatrail.
“—Do you know where to find the mansion of the Langibad family?” (Shuuya)
“—There are some points that might serve as indicators, but it’s impossible to identify the mansion of the Langibad family from up here.” (Viine)
It can’t be helped.
I suppose we will fly lower, searching for places with many soldiers.
“Rollo, can you drop the altitude a bit? We will look for places with many soldiers from closer to the ground.” (Shuuya)
Rollo, who has changed into the huge griffon shape, alters the angle of her wings and lowers the height.
Viine screams once again and embraces me tightly.
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