I was guided by the White Nine folks.
They brought me to a place in front of the noble district with a group of two-storied, gray buildings.
Vertical torchlights have been set up on the pillars that surround the nave, as if lining up next to each other.
Magic lanterns decorate alcove-like spots where the walls were depressed.
As sparks scatter from the fixtures, the walls reflect them without catching fire, causing a mysterious hue. The crests of Oseberia Kingdom and the Great White Nine Knights had been carved with the torches in mind, showing off the majesty of the organization.
The two airborne dragons descend towards the other side of the nave.
I guess this is the office of White Nine.
We arrive at a huge, dark-brown gate.
Torches and sentries are positioned on both sides.
A round emblem depicting nine dragons with dragon knights is etched onto the center of the gate.
Just like the other soldiers, the sentries also wear white chainmail.
Once they spot us, they salute with swift movements.
A single soldier opens his thick lips.
“Great Knight Saril, Great Knight Remrona, thank you for carrying out your duty.”
The sentry uses a formal tone.
So the name of the blonde-haired Great Knight is Saril, huh?
Just as I had heard at the inn, Remrona is the female Great Knight’s name.
“Thank you. Open the front gate.” (Saril)
Saril thanks and instructs the sentry.
The soldier opens the heavy, dark-brown gate.
Being led by the two Great Knights, we pass through the entrance alongside a great number of soldiers.
In the middle, there’s a wide stone path continuing towards the courtyard.
The Great Knights ignore it and advance along a path on the right.
We enter an open gray building off to the right.
We proceed through a corridor.
At last, we arrive in a rectangular room.
There are crystal light sources on the ceiling and a large flag as well as a dreamcatcher-like decoration on the wall.
They were embossed with pictures of dragon knights.
However, pictures of the king are missing.
I guess there’s that sort of stuff?
A long table with inlays and short legs as well as clean chairs are lined up in the center.
It’s a place similar to a reception hall.
Only a small vase, goblets, and a pitcher have been placed on the table.
“I’d like you to sit down over there.” (Saril)
Saril told me to sit on a chair, but that’s a little different from my expectations.
Going by my assumptions, I would be tied to a chair in a small room and exposed to water torture or such…
I thought that today would be the longest day of my life.
Or something like having my arm broken by a famous, scary, blonde-haired investigator and then being asked whether I want to have my other arm broken as well?
I ponder whether I would be interrogated in a manner close to torture, but unexpectedly I’m treated like a gentleman.
Before taking a seat, I activate Magic Observation and Grasping Perception to check the vicinity.
The magic sources I sense nearby are…
—Only the great knights and soldiers who are in the same room.
I can’t sense any mana from the dreamcatcher’s decoration with its shady appearance.
How misleading…it’s big, but it’s just a decoration.
In addition, I also sensed the magic sources of soldiers resting in other rooms.
However, I sense absolutely nothing from this room.
It doesn’t look as if there’s something like a trap installed here.
—Just as I had been told, I sit down on a clean, wooden chair.
Once I do, Saril had all the soldiers except for Remrona leave the room.
Only us three, huh? The two knights go around to the other side of the table and sit down.
They are opposite of me now.
I was never interrogated by a detective, but I feel a slight pressure.
I have to focus my mind and be careful of flattery designed to deceive me.
They won’t serve any katsudon 1, but the first one to open her mouth within this detective drama-like atmosphere was the female investigator, err, rather Remrona, the Great Knight.
“…Well then, Shuuya Kagari, we are going to question you, so please answer. You are a Rank C Adventurer. And you possess the title Dragon Slayer, correct?” (Remrona)
Well, it makes sense that they have investigated at least this much.
Let’s talk in honorific language from now on, just in case.
“…In a part of the underworld, you are rumored to be the Lancer or the Magic Spear User with a Black Beast. Due to a dispute with the dark guild 【Owl’s Fangs】, you invaded the Macbayn mansion, the headquarters for that dark guild, murdered Mr. Eribol, who happened to be present, and abducted or killed his daughter Sylvia. Correct?” (Remrona)
Remrona briskly lists the information.
Her vocal tone is nice…and her freckles are cute, too.
Oh damn, I must not lose to the charm of a beautiful investigator.
However, those guys shouldn’t have been present back then.
And yet, for some unknown reason, she talks as if she knows everything except for the fact that his daughter died.
Is it some kind of skill? Or a magic tool?
Is someone monitoring this room from somewhere?
I don’t know, but there are no movements of magic sources that seem to hint at that…therefore, it seems better to assume that one of the two in front of me owns an investigation ability.
If it was a reading ability like Eva’s, it’s possible that it has been already exposed, but I’d like to believe that the probability of running into someone like Eva is low.
…In that case, lying to some extent should be effective?
But, I guess I will continue the conversation more or less honestly.
“…If you stay silent, I will take that as affirmation. Is that alright with you?” (Saril)
Saril inquires while glaring at me, having grown tired of waiting.
“What is going to happen if I confessed that I was the one who did it, for argument’s sake?” (Shuuya)
Saril twisted the corners of his mouth upon my words and laughed while answering,
“We will have you appear in a royal trial and you will likely be sentenced to death.” (Saril)
So capital punishment, it is? In that case, I will struggle…
“But you didn’t do it, did you?” (Saril)
Wha-? What’s this about?
Saril asks me while smiling.
Just like me, Remrona’s expression also completely warps into surprise.
“…Great Knight Saril? What do you mean by that? Your fiancée, Sylvia-san, is still missing, isn’t she? I saw—” (Remrona)
Perplexed, she rattles on as if pressing Saril who squares his shoulders unnaturally.
Without giving a reply to Remrona, Saril creases his eyebrows, makes a rigid expression, and puts strength into his fists.
“—Remrona! What is your rank?” (Saril)
He yells while drowning out Remrona’s words.
“Sir! It’s the ninth rank.” (Remrona)
Remrona throws a crisp salute like Pavlov’s Dog.
Just now, she leaked important information within the flood of words without realizing it…that the blonde-haired man in front of me, Great Knight Saril, is the fiance of Eribol’s daughter, who I killed.
“Then state the fifth article of the hierarchy doctrine.” (Saril)
Once Remrona hears Saril’s words, she pulls a frustrated expression and starts speaking with her eyes downcast.
“…The hierarchy’s fifth article is 『A hierarchy’s rank is absolute. You mustn’t disapprove of a higher rank. Lower-ranking Great Knights are to be treated as apprentices of high-ranking Great Knights』.” (Remrona)
Don’t defy those above, eh? What disagreeable hierarchy system.
“Correct. You are the lowest rank. I don’t care that you solved many cases in the past. You were just added to the investigation this time because you are the favorite of Prince Fals-sama. While it might be true that you possess a skill that’s useful for investigation, more or less, don’t get the wrong idea.” (Saril)
“But it’s true that I saw it with <Magic Residue Vision>.” (Remrona)
Angry, Remrona widens her narrow eyes.
“What was that!? You still don’t get it? That has nothing to do with anything! To say nothing that you are ten years too early to comment on my expertise! As of now, you are taken off the investigation. You are placed under house arrest till further notice.” (Saril)
Whoa, the words “shut down” cross my mind.
A severe abuse of her superior’s power similar to strangling Remrona with just his speech.
Remrona turned pale.
Slumping her shoulders, she hangs her head in shame while answering with a small voice.
“Humph! Hurry up and get lost!” (Saril)
Saril cold-heartedly waves an arm, urging Remrona to leave her seat.
She exits the room in low spirits.
…Only Saril and I were left in the spacious room.
He clears his throat. “There’s a reason why I had Remrona leave, but I imagine you were able to guess it?” (Saril)
After unnaturally clearing his throat, he shows off a sarcastic-looking expression.
“The negotiations have already started, right?” That’s the kind of look it is.
As expected, Saril can disregard Remrona’s opinion.
Likewise, my murder of Eribol can also be hushed up with a word from this guy. Is that what it means?
“…Yes. Mostly.” (Shuuya)
“I see. You have a quick wit for being an adventurer. In that case I think you can also imagine what I want.” (Saril)
This guy’s name was listed in the “secret account book.”
He probably wants to get his hands on the account book because of that.
But, how come he’s not asking about his fiancée, Sylvia?
Well, I won’t go out of my way to wake sleeping dogs, if he doesn’t ask himself.
Let’s talk while feigning ignorance.
“…Who knows? I can’t read your mind, so can you say what you might mean?” (Shuuya)
“…Haha, certainly.” (Saril)
Hearing my words, Saril lifts the corners of his mouth enough that it becomes clear through the mask, revealing a smile, then nods.
“But, I will promise you as a Great Knight, whether you might be an adventurer, someone belonging to some dark guild, someone from a different country, or one of the second prince’s faction; I won’t ask you to take any responsibility, okay? What matters is the account book possessed by Eribol Macbayn. All you have to do is to hand that over to me, then you will be treated as if you had cooperated with me from the start. One of my members, who infiltrated a dark guild as an undercover agent, got it?” (Saril)
Saril stopped smiling in the middle of talking, changing his expression into a serious one.
He continues speaking while showing an increasingly threatening expression as if gnawing on his molars and moving his cheekbones.
He seems to be certain that I possess the account book.
I buy time by replying with an ambiguous murmur.
Can I really believe this guy?
Although he’s speaking of his status as Great Knight, it’s just a verbal promise after all.
If I hand over the account book, Saril might put an end to it by using his authority.
Therefore, I guess the answer is no.
I don’t possess the account book.
I wonder what will happen…if I play innocent here and show the account book to the other Great Knight, Remrona.
Remrona might not be able to oppose Saril as the lowest rank, but he also said that she’s the prince’s favorite.
If I hand this account book over to her as negotiation material, I might be able to get in contact with the higher authority, the prince, cornering Saril in reverse.
It’s also possible that Saril had Remrona leave the room since he doesn’t want her to learn of the matter with the account book.
Or should I directly threaten Saril by using the account book?
No…that will only make him cautious instead.
I guess it’s better to get through this by pretending to not know anything about it.
“…Huh? I don’t know anything about an account book.” (Shuuya)
I act stupid while making sure to produce an idiotic and indifferent look.
“Tsk, don’t lie. You finished off Eribol and his daughter, and likely also stole the account book along with a part of his treasures!” (Saril)
Oh my, oh my, all of a sudden he raises his voice.
Even though he said that I didn’t do it with such a straight face just a few minutes ago.
“…To begin with, I haven’t done anything.” (Shuuya)
Once he hears my shameless lie, Saril abruptly loosens his tense expression.
“I see. If you don’t feel like talking, I don’t really mind either. Either way. After all, you are going to die without even getting a royal trial. Hey—.” (Saril)
Either way, eh?
He’s going to kill me anyway.
Great Knight Saril gives me an uninterested look, then shouts at the soldiers outside.
“Thow this man in jail.” (Saril)
I guess Saril believes that the account book will “vanish” without ever coming to the open if I rot away in jail.
Or is it just a threat? He might suspect that I’m going to talk if I spend a long time in jail.
“I will go on patrol next. Guard him until I return from visiting the prince. I don’t think he will be able to do anything since he’s unarmed, but be careful just in case. It looks like he has nothing on him except for his leather clothes, but take away the shady black ring and the small bracelet.” (Saril)
Bright light balls were cast and my ring was taken by the soldiers.
Since the ring had been forced onto my finger, there were traces of it left, but the skin returned to normal within no time.
Saril leaves, still eyeing me.
If he had looked properly, he should have noticed the transformation of my finger, but it wasn’t discovered as the soldiers were using all their power to try and remove the other ring and bracelet.
“Shit, this won’t come off?”
“Can’t be helped. Toss him in the jail just like that. It will be fine as long as we keep watch.”
“True. We haven’t been told injure him and Saril-sama will return soon as well.”
Since they couldn’t remove the small bracelet of the item box and Prison Bone Knights of Darkness, they ignored those.
They restrain my hands with ropes and make me walk.
I won’t act up here. For now, I will meekly obey.
Given that I haven’t been blindfolded, I was able to check the vicinity as we walk through the corridors.
I confirm the location of the interrogation room we just left as we continue.
On that occasion, I was able to see Remrona, who looked to be on the verge of crying, entering a room located next to the stairway.
I guess that’s her private room.
With a sidelong glance at the distraught female Great Knight, I memorize the location of her room.
Being guided by the soldiers, I descend a stairway. At the bottom, several iron jail cages were lined up.
It seems like there’s nothing like a cellar located below.
A soldier yells.
Don’t get so mad, mate. Grinning, I ask,
“About when will be the trial?” (Shuuya)
“Hah? As if I’d know something like that. Hurry up, go in—”
They pushed my back.
Whatever. I walk for a bit and enter a cage.
Once the soldiers, who shoved me in, lock the jail, they leave while grumbling and walk towards the end of the corridor.
I check the jail.
It was spacious; prisoners, who had been arrested first, were deeper in.
Beastmen, elves, humans; all kinds of races.
All of them are thin and spiritlessly lie on the straw provided for a bed, or even the dirty floor.
The prisoners look into the empty air like fish with dead eyes.
Though they are probably here because they have committed some kind of crime.
I sure don’t want to become like them. There’s no way that I will, either.
The emaciated prisoners seem to have no interest in their new jail mate.
I stand close to the jail entrance without going deeper in where bad stench hangs in the air.
I wait for a little while. The prison guards are at the end of the corridor, I think.
I guess it’s about time now?
Rollo and Viine might come here.
Just as I have such a premonition, Helme appears in my sight.
『Your Excellency, should I go outside and open the prison cell?』 (Helme)
『No, not yet. I think Viine and Rollo will arrive any time now, I will have you go outside then, Helme.』 (Shuuya)
『Yes, understood!』 (Helme)
Right after finishing that telepathic conversation, Rollo and Viine appear from within a shadowy corner of the corridor.
“Ah, there you are, there you are.” (Shuuya)
Viine immediately starts to tamper with the cell’s keyhole.
Although the iron door is easy to open, the prisoners in the back don’t raise their voices at all. They didn’t try to make a fuss.
I thought that all of them would struggle to get out first, but…
The prisoners only watch my actions with frightened expressions.
Well, I suppose they don’t have the ability nor the energy to go on a rampage. It might be inevitable for them to act like this.
I left the cell. Rollo returns to my right shoulder.
I shut door to the cell uneventfully.
It’s pitiful to look at the scared prisoners, but since I have no real obligation to free them, I will leave them behind.
“…What about the prison guards?” (Shuuya)
“Yes! They have already fainted. I retrieved this from a soldier’s pocket. It’s something that was found by Rollo-sama.” (Viine)
Viine presents the stolen ring while kneeling on one knee.
“Oh, thanks.” (Shuuya)
As expected, she works quickly.
I will ask later how Viine and Rollo infiltrated this building. For now, we are going to look for that female knight.
『Helme, come out.』 (Shuuya)
As ordered, Helme appears in her liquid state.
Landing on the floor, she forms a puddle. In an instant, that puddle rises up and the liquid transforms.
It shape-shifts into the bewitching Helme.
“Your Excellency, I await your orders.” (Helme)
“I’d like you to infiltrate a certain room in your liquid state. But, don’t kill anyone until I order you to do so.” (Shuuya)
“Yes! Then.” (Helme)
Once Helme finishes speaking, she breaks down her body right away, changing it back into a liquid.
No matter how many times I see it, it’s mysterious. She looks just like a normal pool of water.
Appearing unaccustomed to the behavior of spirits, Viine watches Helme and reveals a strange expression.
“Viine, once I jailbreak, I won’t be able to live as an adventurer, so I will first negotiate with the female Great Knight.” (Shuuya)
There’s also the fact that I want to know her abilities.
“Female Great Knight?” (Viine)
“Yeah. One of the ones who first entered the inn and talked with me. It’s the short woman with red hair who stood next to the tall leader. It seems she’s the Great Knight of the lowest rank.” (Shuuya)
“Got it. I will keep <Hide> activated.” (Viine)
Once Viine moves as if crouching down, her presence became a lot more inconspicuous and her shape turns thin as if melting into the darkness.
She seems to also have experience with assassinations.
“Let’s go. If it’s just as I saw before, she should be in the room right beside the top of the stairs.” (Shuuya)
Helme wobbles up the stairs.
We follow after her.
“Helme, it’s the room over there. Enter first and go behind her.” (Shuuya)
Helme wobbles once more and forms a hand.
She replied to me by forming a big circle with her hand.
Helme turns back into a completely liquid state and infiltrates the room through the gap below the door.
Next, we enter the room. As expected, Remrona was inside the room.
“—Mmh? Oh? The Eribol killer! I heard you were sent to the prison, but you are prison breaking?” (Remrona)
Remrona looks surprised when I enter the room.
Swiftly standing up from her chair, she places her hands on the longsword and dagger at her hips and drew the longsword.
“That’s right, but first let’s tal—whoa!” (Shuuya)
Remrona thrust her longsword at me, but both her feet are grasped by Helme who had moved below her.
—Remrona, who had her feet immobilized, pitches forward with a lot of momentum and falls over.
She hit her head against the small table in front of her.
It looks like she hasn’t fainted, but it sure seems painful.
Remrona looks up at me while shaking her head.
Different from her questioning expression, her eyes were full of bloodlust.
First I have to get her to listen to me.
“…Remrona-san, you understand your current situation, right?” (Shuuya)
As I smile, I spin my words while staying as polite as possible.
However, Rollo hit Remrona’s face with her tail, obviously teasing her.
“…Kuuh, a murderer and a fugitive! If I call Sirjes, someone like you…” (Remrona)
After Remrona wards off Rollo’s tail that’s coiled around her face, she places a hand on the table and checks the ice hands seizing her feet.
I added an explanation for her, who was frantically trying to recover.
“Please wait, Remrona-san. Please understand that I don’t want to attack you right now. I’d just like you to listen to me.” (Shuuya)
Remrona slowly stands after having been calmed a bit by my words.
“…Hmph, how about removing those ice hands from my feet first then?” (Remrona)
There’s still bloodlust dwelling in her eyes, but let’s trust in her here.
“Helme, remove your hands.” (Shuuya)
The frozen hands growing out of her liquid form vanish at once.
Remrona looked somewhat surprised at having her feet released so readily.
Still, she took up a combat stance.
“Did you understand me?” (Shuuya)
Remrona nods faintly and lowers her longsword.
Now then, before talking about the account book, I have to check whether Remrona is connected to Saril.
Her previous exchanged with Saril might have been a little act, after all.
“…Before we talk about the main topic, I want to confirm something.” (Shuuya)
“What is it?” (Remrona)
Remrona looks at me dubiously.
Well, I do get her.
It’s the words of a man who has broken out of jail and who restrained her feet by manipulating a mysterious pool of water.
“What relation do you have with Great Knight Saril?” (Shuuya)
“You saw it, didn’t you? Great Knight Saril Dalarl is the 8th ranked Great Knight. He’s my superior. We are both viscounts, but for someone who belongs to the 【Nine White Great Knights】, hierarchy is absolute.” (Remrona)
Rank is everything, huh?
But it seems that she doesn’t know about his fraud.
“…What would you do if I told you that Great Knight Saril was involved in various illegal matters?” (Shuuya)
“—Are you mocking me, Shuuya Kagari?” (Remrona)
With a nimble motion, she lifts her lowered longsword.
She points her sword at me.
Seeing her stance, where she holds the longsword with her right hand and touches the haft of her dagger with her left, I felt traces of a style I have seen somewhere before.
A strong will is emitted from her eyes.
It’s just my intuition, but I think that she’s not involved in the fraud of Saril.
I think it’s fine to show her the proof, so let’s do that.
“…No, not at all. I don’t have the slightest intention to do that. Then, wait a little moment—open.” (Shuuya)
I activate the item box.
Remrona twitches her longsword forward a bit after seeing me move my arm, but appearing to comprehend my action, she didn’t come attacking me.
While smiling, I retrieve the account book from my item box and open it on the table.
“First lower your sword and have a look at this, please.” (Shuuya)
Remrona moves her eyes back and forth as if comparing me and the account book.
…After a short moment, she nods and sheathes her longsword in its scabbard. She takes a seat on the sofa to get a better look at the account book on the table.
“…T-This is the Macbayn family’s…real crest?” (Remrona)
In an instant, she recognizes the account book as being genuine.
Even while being amazed, Remrona turns over the pages of the account book.
Her hands tremble with each turned page.
At the same time, rage oozes out of her narrow eyes.
“Fuck. Even though we are at war; for the corruption to have spread this far…” (Remrona)
Remrona expresses her anger.
With that timing, she picks up the account book she was reading.
Now then, from here on out it’s the main topic.
“Remrona-san, what will you do if I told you that I’m entrusting this to you?” (Shuuya)
She was angry but closes her eyes to suppress her wrathful feelings. Once she slowly opens them again, she had regained her composure.
“—What do you want?” (Remrona)
“First, my freedom.” (Shuuya)
“…Got it. Is what I want to say, but I’m curious about the route you used to invade Eribol’s mansion. My dragon, Sirjes, felt something in the sky that night.” (Remrona)
That time, huh?
If I remember correctly, I heard the roar of a dragon from the neighboring mansion when we invaded Eribol’s mansion.
“I can’t tell you the full details, but it’s just as you say.” (Shuuya)
“…Hoh, so what about Eribol’s daughter?” (Remrona)
Guess I will be honest about that, too.
“…If I told you that I killed her?” (Shuuya)
“Nothing. I will overlook it if you hand over the account book.” (Remrona)
Oh wow, how unexpected.
I thought she would arrest me after saying “unforgivable,” like a policewoman.
In that case, I suppose I will talk a bit about Saril.
“After you were ordered to leave by Great Knight Saril, he told me the same thing. But it was strange that he didn’t ask even once about his fiancée.” (Shuuya)
“…I suppose that’s the reason he turned me down. In that case, she might have been a fake fiancée just for form’s sake. For a noble at that level to be involved in this. Even excluding what’s written in the account book, his dark connections with Eribol might have run deep.” (Remrona)
Going by her thought process it seems that she has already predicted her fellow noble’s black connections to some extent.
By now I think that it’s fine to hand the account book over to her, but there’s still something I’d like to know.
I will try asking about her skill they had talked about before.
“…I’m curious about the <Magic Residue Vision> skill you mentioned, Remrona-san. Were you able to connect me with Eribol’s mansion by using that skill?” (Shuuya)
“That’s right. I used that skill. Speaking of details, there’s also the aspect that all information was present. It’s an excellent spy for me…” (Remrona)
Remrona averts her face a bit while saying so.
It looks like she doesn’t want to talk much about her own abilities.
However, I will still ask her.
“…Putting spying aside, what kind of ability is it?” (Shuuya)
She looks into my eyes that are brimming with curiosity.
After a small sigh, she lowers the special, mana-filled, white cloth covering the lower part of her face, exposing her beautiful, crimson lips.
“…First, look at this.” (Remrona)
She lifts her red forelocks, showing her forehead.
A crest with a white, faint hyakumanako mark 2 surrounded by fine, spiderweb-like lines was engraved on her forehead.
The white — close to transparent — lines spread until right above her ears.
It seems unrelated to the special cloth that concealed her mouth.
I guess it’s a third, white eye on her forehead.
Since she had semi-long, red hair, I didn’t notice it at all.
Once I check it with Magic Observation, the eye squirms as if being alive and the mana dwelling within is mysteriously increasing and abating.
“…If I use my skill, this forehead changes even further.” (Remrona)
“Hee, it doesn’t look like you are a human.” (Shuuya)
“Indeed. I’m a half-ghost. The skill’s range is very small, but there are cases where mana remains as branches at a level that is far beyond the understanding of an ordinary person. By looking at those branches, I can watch a part of what happened in the past in black and white.” (Remrona)
“That’s amazing!” (Shuuya)
I raise my voice in excitement.
It’s inevitable for Remrona to widen her eyes in surprise.
“…Thank you. Even if it’s a lie, that reaction makes me happy. With this, I can chase the faint traces of mana within a range and watch a part of the events that happened there for a limited time, but it’s an ability that allows me to watch through a monochrome view. By the way, it’s different from the skill <Devour Traces> used by the monsters of the spirit world. This white eye is an Extra Skill called <Ralsuun’s Eyes of Fate>.” (Remrona)
That’s the first I’ve heard of that. It appears to be a skill that monsters in the spirit world have.
In addition, the Extra Skill <Ralsuun’s Eyes of Fate>, huh?
The faint traces of mana left behind in things and space?
Is it some kind of ESP-like psychometric ability?
To begin with, mana leaves behind traces?
I wonder, are mana particles, which are smaller than elementary particle-like quarks, since they are faint, remaining in the air without being annihilated by anti-particles as it happens in the quantum field theory?
If you do a scientific experiment making use of the laws of Dirac and Heisenberg, it might be possible to see mana and magic source as numerical values.
Though that’s only a story if quantum fluctuations also exist in this world.
However, if she has such an ability, it appears to be easy to catch criminals.
“…You observed past crime scenes with that skill, right?” (Shuuya)
“Correct. That black cat over there killed Eribol. I could even see the moment when you quarreled with Eribol’s daughter. Since his daughter held a cursed dagger, the situation was weird, no?” (Remrona)
Whoa, that’s amazing shit.
Or rather, I guess she didn’t see me sucking her soul out.
Great. Otherwise she would never regard me as human.
Mmh? Wait…is she deliberately not saying anything since she’s guessing that I’m hiding the fact that I’m a vampire?
She has watched the whole scene with her skill, after all. It’s possible that she’s being discreet about it.
“…I see. That’s why you could identify me.” (Shuuya)
Well, assuming that to be the case, I will show no gaps in my words.
“Yeah, given that the strain on me is large, it’s really limited though, I guess? I’d like you to keep this a secret. To the bitter end, this is something I talked about for the account book over there and because I trust you.” (Remrona)
The pupils of her narrow eyes glance at the account book.
“Yes, I understand.” (Shuuya)
“Well then, that’s enough, right? Can you hand that account book over to me?” (Remrona)
Remrona leaned forward as if telling me to quickly pass the account book, that I picked up, over to her.
“There’s still something. How are you going to fabricate my innocence after I gave you this account book?” (Shuuya)
“You’ll just have to trust me for now…” (Remrona)
Remrona lets out a small sigh.
However, I mention yet another worry of mine.
“I’m negotiating with you exactly because I think that I can believe you. But, your superior, Saril, is targeting this very account book. I think he will investigate how I was able to escape from the prison. Seeing as you are related to this, I believe that he will also turn his suspicion at you, Remrona-san…” (Shuuya)
Remrona laughs a bit at my words.
The thin line of her chin is adorable.
“Haha, it’s unnecessary to worry about that. I have the honor to be attached to His Highness Second Prince Fals, who governs this Pelneet. If His Highness directly sees the various evidences of fraud stated in this account book, they should be swiftly dealt with, even if the other party is the 8th ranked Great Knight. Besides, I won’t only hand it over to His Highness. I’m also attached to the nearby 7th ranked Great Knight.” (Remrona)
Is Remrona attending other Great Knights, too?
The prince’s name isn’t mentioned in the account book. I think he’s fine in regards to the fraud.
However, what if the prince is unreliable?
“…Eribol hasn’t been in contact with His Highness?” (Shuuya)
Once I asked that doubtfully, Remrona’s expression completely changed and she drew the dagger at her hip without getting up.
She turns the naked blade my way.
“—Shuuya Kagari, don’t get too carried away. Certainly, His Highness also has his insincere aspects, but there’s absolutely no way for him to be in contact with such a vulgar dark guild!” (Remrona)
Rollo, who had stayed silent until now, reacted to Remrona’s loud voice.
She released a threatening voice with her fur standing on end.
“—She’s cheeky for turning her sword against you several times, Your Excellency. It’s time for me to pierce her butt, isn’t it?” (Helme)
Next, Viine and Helme react as well.
Helme returns to her humanoid shape in an instant, announcing that coldly while releasing an ice pebble against Remrona’s dagger.
Once the ice pebble clashes with the dagger, ice encroaches up her dagger wielding arm in an instant.
Moreover, Viine drew Blacksnake and pressed its point against Remrona’s neck.
“Helme, Viine, it’s fine. Remrona-san only tried to display the authority of royalty.” (Shuuya)
“Yes, Master!” (Viine)
In response to my words, Viine sheathed Blacksnake in a unique motion.
Since the poison magic characters of Blacksnake release a green light, she likely doesn’t want to be cut.
Helme also liquefies.
While making a splash, her liquid spread on the floor, returning to the previous pool of water.
At the same time, Remrona’s frozen arm melts.
“Remrona-san, excuse me for my subordinates acting as they please… But, it’s probably better for you to stop threatening me. After all, it would be unpleasant…for my negotiation partner to become headless.” (Shuuya)
“…Okay, understood.” (Remrona)
Remrona agrees with my remark.
I can see a tinge of fear in her eyes.
Did we make things a bit awkward? Given that the situation would worsen if I hurt her feelings, I give a little apology and bear mind to talk as polite as possible.
“…I had no intention to insult His Highness. But, as written in this account book, the connections between Eribol and the influential people in this city ran deep. Therefore, I wanted to know in advance whether there’s a connection to the prince for caution’s sake… I don’t know anything about His Highness. As you can see, I have the position of a rude adventurer. Since I have apologized for my rudeness, I’d like to ask you for your forgiveness on this occasion.” (Shuuya)
I bow my head while sitting.
“No, drawing a weapon while negotiating was impolite as well. Excuse me.” (Remrona)
Once I politely apologized, Remrona responded by bowing her head as well.
Just considering her high loyalty towards the prince, she seems to have a good disposition.
“No, no. Well then, I want to hand over this account book, but…” (Shuuya)
“What is it? Is there still something?” (Remrona)
Remrona reveals a reluctant expression.
“Yes. Remrona-san, you are going to meet with His Highness after receiving this account book, right?” (Shuuya)
“That’s correct, but, don’t tell me, you want to meet His Highness as well?” (Remrona)
As expected, was I too blunt about it?
“…What will you do after meeting Fals-sama?” (Remrona)
She stares at me, trying to infer my real intentions.
Honestly, I just want to see the prince, to see royalty, though.
It’s also possible that he will become a nice financial supporter, a sponsor.
If it’s just me and Rollo, there’s no need for a supporter, but I made Viine, Rebecca, and Eva into my friends and subordinate.
For the sake of making sure to not foist too much on them, I think I should use the chance to make connections if it presents itself.
“…Please don’t be so cautious. I just want to form a connection with royalty. If I get in contact with His Highness, I should be able to pretend that I joined his faction in the eyes of others. Once that happens, it will become difficult for enemies to meddle with me unnecessarily — a deterrence. Well, if I phrase it so that it’s easy to understand, it means that I’d like to be supported by joining His Highness.” (Shuuya)
But, there are also worries.
Remrona-san’s superior seems to be the second prince himself. There might be a factional strife with his family: his younger brother, the third prince; the first prince, the elder brother; or his younger or elder sisters.
Well, there’s no point in overthinking either.
“…Hmm, it’s rude, but just as I’ve heard, you are a frank man.” (Remrona)
Just as she heard?
Remrona laughs a bit. Her slit eyes are beautiful.
Her face is small as well. A beautiful knight with freckles and scarlet hair is really nice.
“Yes, indeed. There is another reason for the frankness. After all, I’m in front of a beautiful woman like you, Remrona-san.” (Shuuya)
Getting on with her style, I got carried away.
“Wh-…Humph, So, can I have you pass me the account book?” (Remrona)
Is she not used to having her womanly appearance praised? While averting her face slightly to the side in order to hide her embarrassment, she asks for the account book.
Her cheeks are dyed red.
Without gazing at her cheeks, I speak up while looking into her two reddish-brown eyes.
“Yes, I think I will give it to you. But, is it possible for me to be present when you are reporting to His Highness?” (Shuuya)
“…Understood. If you definitely won’t take any hostile actions when we do so, I will promise you that.” (Remrona)
Oh, it worked. The negotiations succeeded.
“Yes. Please. Then—” (Shuuya)
I hand the account book over.
“Alright. We are going to head to the mansion where His Highness lives. It’s fine for you to follow me, right?” (Remrona)
Remrona stores the account book in a cloth bag at her waist, stood up, and fixed her appearance.
That cloth bag seems to be an item box.
Even with the account book put inside, the bag’s small size doesn’t change.
I stand up from my chair.
“Helme, come back.” (Shuuya)
Once I instruct her, Helme came back into my left eye while drawing a parabola.
Rollo also gets on my shoulder.
Remrona watched in amazement at the moving water settling into my left eye, but she pulls herself together with a sigh and walks towards the door in front.
“Let’s go—” (Remrona)
While saying that, Remrona placed her hand on the doorknob and opens it.
“Roger, please take the lead.” (Shuuya)
Viine and I look at each other and nod.
Remrona heads out of the room first.
There are soldiers walking through the corridor, but they don’t notice us.
We follow her with a delay.
Help out filling the Glossary of this series with life! Anyone is free to join by clicking >here< !
- Bowl with pork cutlet served on rice, it’s a common trope in stories that you are served that dish while being interrogated by the police
- Try this to get an idea: http://www.kaitenhyakume.com/jk/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/CeS4avOUsAAzjiW.jpg