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Eribol’s mansion is in the eastern noble’s district.
If Serva Gaylal’s story was a lie, the search will become difficult.
But I think that’s unlikely to be the case.
After mounting Rollo, who’d changed into her Horse Lion size, we advance towards the northeast at rising speeds.
After a few dozen minutes of travel by way of repeatedly cutting through various estates, we reach a place that seems to be the noble’s district.
The pedestrian traffic is practically nonexistent here.
Only a few luxurious carriages occasionally pass by.
I’ll wait until the sun goes down and the darkness of night fully takes over, only then will the search begin.
Until then, I decide to take a slow stroll towards the eastern end of the noble’s district for a little while.
There are more units of soldiers patrolling arounds the streets, dressed in matching blue armor, than actual, regular people.
As might be expected of the noble’s district, the security is tight, huh?
I wait until all the soldiers have passed through.
“Rollo, please fly into the sky, and while you’re at it, try to drag as little attention as possible.” (Shuuya)
Rollo increases in size from her Horse Lion form to that of a huge gryphon.
At the same time, black tentacles stretch out to the left and right, proceeding to fixate themselves into the ground with the bone swords at their ends.
Just like the other day, she pulls the tentacles with a twist, and then lets go, shooting upwards like a slingshot.
She rises high into the sky almost instantly.
I promptly activate <Nightvision>.
Within the darkness, I could see wings coated in a violet-like black tinge extending outwards from both sides of Rollo’s torso.
The appearance of her spreading her jet-black wings in an instant deeply moves me.
A darkness sprouting within the twilight. Perhaps you could call it something like that?
Excusing my trivial interpretations, I have to remain vigilant of my surroundings…
I can’t see any dragon knights flying about the now darkened sky of Pelneet.
It looks like the soldiers are only patrolling on the ground.
I see a group of large, grey buildings in the distance. Let’s avoid that place.
I’ll borrow Helme’s Spirit Sight.
『I’m going to borrow your eyes, Helme.』 (Shuuya)
I imagine grabbing Helme, who’s appeared within my field of view.
『… Ahn.』 (Helme)
She apparently bore with it through heavy breathing, but it’s strangely sexy nonetheless.
As I’m preoccupied with Helme’s voice, the Spirit Sight fills my vision.
I start a full-scale search of the noble’s district from up above, fully utilizing my thermographic vision.
It’s much easier to see people, since they’ve all become red.
Combining it with the effect of <Nightvision>, I can completely understand the situation of the people living on the surface.
Given that there are no signs, although landmarks do still exist, I feel it would have been a major hassle to search normally.
Well, there are many estates with barrier stones strewn about their grounds…
I believe I was told that it’s a place that with a stone gate, correct…?
While riding Rollo, I lower my gaze and swivel my head left and right in search of Eribol’s mansion.
Eh? What? Howling?
After passing above several big mansions and large plots of land, I hear a loud roar resound from below me.
Let’s have a looksie at what it is. While thinking along those lines, I look at the estate under me, towards the origin of the sound.
The thermography, aka the Spirit Sight, depicts a dragon’s silhouette.
Eh? Whoa! It’s breathing fire out of its mouth!
It’s dragons. Three of them. Moreover, knight-like people clad in silverish-white shining armor are attempting to mount said dragons.
The speed they manage to do so is remarkably quick.
Exactly like air defence pilots executing an emergency scramble. (ED: What is a scramble?: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scrambling_(military))
No one told me there’d be dragon knights on the ground!!!
However, probably because it’s dark, we haven’t been discovered yet, since the dragons seem to just be looking around restlessly towards the sky.
However, it appears that we’ll actually get found out if it were to go on like this.
In a hurry, I frantically look for a place to land—.
Guess we will get down next to that place over there.
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Compared to the other plots at the eastern end of the noble district… Oh, are those several blue hanging lanterns strewn about a garden within a natural, err no, pre grown lawn?
Isn’t that place my objective?
Lucky! Let’s get down quickly.
While the dragons are causing a fuss nearby, I will be, er, intruding upon the neighboring grounds.
We land safely.
Rollo immediately shapeshifts back into her small cat form upon touching the ground.
Simultaneously with Rollo, I activate <Hide>.
I’ve decided to take advantage of the darkness.
I focus my consciousness on acting like a ninja. I can also place my hopes on the effect of <Darkness Adaptation>.
I’ll proceed with stealth for now.
There’s a huge mansion in the centre of the site, built in a romanesque style that makes heavy use of marble.
Blue barrier stone monuments, which I hadn’t see much of in the other plots, have been set up all over this large garden area.
I can sense a great number of people moving about, both inside and outside the mansion. Not only maids and servants, but what appears to be soldiers have shown up as bright red figures in my Spirit Sight.
Even compared to the neighboring mansions, the number of people here is undeniably high.
Despite the location being just a single plot of land at the eastern edge of the gigantic noble’s district.
I haven’t seen a mark with an owl and a tree or whatever, but this place is probably Eribol’s mansion. Guess I oughtta have a visit?
I start walking across the lawn, the grass shortly-trimmed like a golf course.
Rollo changes into her black panther mode and has her tentacles float in mid-air.
It’s a combat-ready stance, preparing her for any dangerous situations.
“Rollo, this time we’ll do everything while remaining hidden.” (Shuuya)
I talk while bending down. I assimilate into the darkness of the night.
The <Hide> + <Darkness Adaptation> combo’s effects are outstanding.
I don’t know whether Rollo is also concealed from the effects, but as if to imitate my behavior, Rollo slowly advances in a steady prowl.
Rollo and I, the former behaving rather cutely, walk through the rear garden.
Once I reach the mansion, I discover a wooden door that’s most likely the entrance.
However, there are magic sources approaching from next to it.
I see lights. In a hurry— I lurk back into the shadows.
I observe the people and lights closing in, from within the darkness.
The dim lights are the soldiers’ torches.
There’s only two, each with a sword visible at their waist.
Patrols, I’m guessing?
Even if I attacked these guys, it would probably be fine, but… let’s watch the situation for a little longer.
Rollo, let’s hold off from attacking for now, I try to convey to Rollo with a shake of my head.
The talking voices of the soldiers, who’re going to pass us, are audible.
“As expected of the enemy, don’t you think? I have a feeling they won’t be coming to this noble’s mansion, especially not one so huge.”
“Certainly. That’s very unlikely. After all, there’s royalty in the neighboring plot. Because of the patrolling soldiers outside and the dark guild’s powerful fighters, it’s probably quite difficult to get inside too far.”
“Right? I guess you’re thinking the same thing I am. It’s because we’re always working. No matter how good the pay might be, if the patrols are increased everyday like this, of course it’d be hard.”
“You’re definitely right there. But I guess it can’t be helped right now. … The leaders have been done in successively, and our turf’s been getting stolen by other dark guilds. I can understand Eribol-sama’s reasoning for strengthening the hideout.”
“But, you know…”
“Don’t complain so much. If the president heard, he wouldn’t let you get away with just a little scolding.”
“Uh, I-I know that!”
The two mercenaries pass by us while complaining like so.
Thereupon, I, once again, sense magic sources approaching.
Soldiers? It’s another pair walking this way.
Those soldiers pass us without a word.
It looks like there’s still a high number of patrolling enemies remaining. Since it seems like it’ll never end, I hurry with a sneaky ninja dash and reach the door.
I place my hand on the door and try to open it, but it doesn’t yield.
It’s locked. That’s only natural though, isn’t it?
Luckily, there’s another small backdoor entrance.
『Your Excellency, I will open it.』 (Helme)
『Got it, Helme. I leave it to you.』 (Shuuya)
Following that, Helme, in her liquid state, ejects from my left eye in a spiralling arc, spraying water about her.
In the middle of it, she makes her shape, that’s similar to a water slime, wriggle, plunging into the small keyhole. She disappears as if she were being sucked in.
I immediately hear the sound of the lock opening with a clack.
Wow, that was fast! Then the door moves.
As it opens, Helme, who’s changed back into her human form, waits for me in a peculiar pose, capitalizing on her narrow waist.
“… You did well.” (Shuuya)
Making her blue, leafy skin flutter from my praise, Helme smiles happily.
But, she’s amazing. Her opening the lock so easily would put a thief to shame.
Maybe I can have her open the locks of treasure boxes as well.
But let’s keep that for later. For now, I’ll have her do her best in regards to searching for enemies and quietly eliminating them.
After all, I’d been having Helme endure her bloodlust in the labyrinth the entire time, wasn’t I…?
“… Helme, can you go ahead and search for enemies in your liquid state?” (Shuuya)
“Yes. Please leave it to me.” (Helme)
“I’m counting on you then. Can you take out all others, except for Eribol and those seeming to be strong?” (Shuuya)
“I wonder whether it’s actually possible to make powerless*, weak humans even more powerless, but since I have never seen Eribol beforehand, it’s impossible for me to spare him. Judging whether they are strong people is certainly possible though.” (Helme) (T/N: In the previous lines I called it “take out” but basically the kanji says “powerless -fication” which makes no sense in English. In this line I had to pertain this awkward way of phrasing to make the pun apparent)
There’s that as well. I mean, I don’t know Eribol’s face either.
Even if she might be a spirit, there’s no way for her to possess supernatural powers outside her range of authority.
“Got it. In that case, I’ll search for magic sources too. You go on ahead, since I’ll be following right behind you, Helme.” (Shuuya)
Helme, who’s transformed into a water slime with a splash, advances further into the room with sliding sounds.
Actually, if I’m being honest here, the movement of her advancing in her liquid state doesn’t cause any sounds. I just can’t help feeling that it’s resounding in my ears, as the onomatopoeia of *slide slide* pops up in my mind.
While harboring such thoughts, I use <Grasping Perception> to locate the magic sources in the vicinity.
This room’s interior is dim, and I don’t sense any magic sources.
It gives me the impression of something similar to a storehouse, since there’s grain and barrels stocked up.
Rollo returns to my shoulder.
She’s probably concluded that we should advance stealthily, and avoid being all flashy this time.
Like that, I start to slowly walk through the dim storage room.
I could see Helme’s slippery water slime shape sliding steadily onwards across the wooden floor.
Leaving the storage room, we come out into a passage.
Instantly, there are magic source responses, two of them.
The magic sources come from the corner on the opposite side.
Helme goes around the corner.
Following behind her, I also go around.
There are two humans walking through the hallway.
Going by their appearances, they seem to be a butler and a maid.
It looks like Helme will take out both of them.
Helme releases a darkness mist-like spell.
Once the male and female servant are covered by the black mist that envelopes their heads, they instantly faint, simultaneously collapsing where they stood.
Next, I’m also sensing eight magic sources coming from the rooms to the left and the right of the hallway.
Helme releases magic from the entrances of the rooms.
I can hear the thumps of people colliding with the floor.
The rooms to the left and right apparently are a kitchen and a pantry.
All the cooks and waiters, who were in those rooms, have collapsed and fainted.
It sure works quickly, doesn’t it?
Although it resembles a vision blocking spell, it appears to be somewhat different.
It might be magic of the darkness attribute, but it’s much more amazing than normal.
Making use of her traits as a water spirit, Helme moves to the end of the hallway in her liquid state.
Fitting for such a big mansion, it has quite the size.
Entering inside a room from the hallway, we come out to yet another hallway, and then enter another room.
We meet dozens of servants and soldiers.
All of them have been silenced. Her performance is truly splendid.
Helme only fought the strong, skilled soldiers capable of utilizing mana, by changing into her human form as they seem to have resisted her spell; Except those, she silenced everyone by using magic in her watery state.
From the end of a hallway, Helme moves towards a place that seems to be a reception hall.
Chasing after her, I come out at that hall.
In the middle of the hall, a group of four, who are likely mercenaries, are lying unconscious on the ground.
It looks like they were defeated without being given a chance to draw their swords.
This place is extremely bright as there’s a chandelier attached to the ceiling serving as a light source.
The light, strangely, both refracts and reflects simultaneously upon contact with her fluid form, causing her to glitter and sparkle as if she were a gemstone.
That dazzling Helme stops next to the fainted soldiers while maintaining her liquid-pool state.
She seems to be uncertain about where she should go next.
The hall is a rectangle, with a single passage in the wall to the left.
There is an ascending stairway in the centre, and two more passages proceeding to the left and right of that stairway.
It’s a reasonably spacious hall.
The walls all around are decorated with portraits, paintings, and fashionable cloths adorned with golden threads.
As I look at the many cloths, I notice that they depict a picture of an owl sitting on a tree.
I also look at one of the portraits. This is Eribol, huh? He’s a fat middle-aged man with white hair.
There are also other pictures, but ignoring them, I look at the right side of the room.
The white-stoned staircase, emitting a unique color as it ascends towards the second floor, is quite an extravagant stairway, with elaborate ornaments embedded in its handrails.
The end of this stairway is really suspicious.
However, I guess we’ll check the hallways on the left and right first.
There are magic sources further ahead inside both halls.
No matter where we go, it’s clear that soldiers are waiting there.
Helme hesitates a bit, but, in the end, seems to have chosen the hallway in the left-hand corner.
In that case I should go to the right-hand corner, huh?
“Helme, let’s meet up here after we’re done.” (Shuuya)
Helme forms a hand that extends outwards from within the pool of water.
She makes a hand sign meaning “Ok”, that one where you put your thumb and index finger together to make a circle.
Seeing her signal, I nod and head toward the hallway in the right-hand corner.
There’s no one in the hallway. However, I can sense four magic sources nearby.
Since there’s a door at the right side a little further in, they are probably in that room.
As I quietly approach that door, I can hear voices.
“Say, just now the president went up to the second floor with an angry face. But I wonder, did something bad happen again…?”
“Who knows. I wasn’t close-by…”
“I also looked from the sidelines, but I unintentionally put my guard up after feeling his bloodthirst from all the way where I was. That was definitely bad news.”
“How does it help with you guys getting cold feet? Our job is to protect this place, right?”
“Bah! Adam, aren’t you a shitty sentry? Don’t tell us the obvious.”
Is this the soldiers’ break room?
Guess I’ll put their break in the breakroom to rest, by breaking in.
I shift my gaze to Rollo.
“Stealth mode ends here.” (Shuuya)
“I got this one, okay?” I say and nod at her.
Staring at me with her round, red eyes, Rollo purrs once.
She hops off my shoulder and transforms into her medium-sized black panther mode.
Gazing at the door, she presses the tip of her long tail against my feet as if to tell me 『It’s alright nya.』 as usual.
Okay, let’s go.
I plan to finish it in an instant from a distance, but just in case something happens, I open my overcoat and summon the Magic Halberd into my right hand.
I open the door quietly and enter on the left side.
There’s a long desk and chairs in the middle of the room. The soldiers are sitting in those chairs.
All of them carefreely enjoy their meal while chatting away with each other.
Rollo extends her tentacles towards one of the eating soldiers.
As soon as the soldiers notice us, they try to grab their weapons, but that won’t work with me here.
Intermediate class: Water attribute 《Frozen Arrow》!
I invoke the spell without any movements.
Instantly, an ice arrow with the size of human arms forms in front of me and flies away.
The ice arrow pierces the chests of a soldier who had tried to repel it with his weapon.
Next, I hold up my left hand without any halt and shoot <Chain>—.
The chain pierces the stomach of a female soldier and the head of a male soldier in succession, defeating both of them simultaneously.
Rollo also killed a soldier by piercing their head with a tentacle.
The female soldier, who’s had her abdomen stabbed through by the chain, is still alive while groaning.
That works. I suppose I’ll try to interrogate, I mean, ask her?
She might be a low-ranking soldier, but I think she’ll resist and refuse to speak as long as I don’t suck her blood, since she’s a member of a dark guild, but let’s give it a go just in case.
“… Hey, I’ll find President Eribol on the second floor of this place, right?” (Shuuya)
Whoa, that bitch hurled bloody spit at me with a glare.
Well, as I predicted that, I dodged it by lightly sidestepping.
“In that case, I don’t need you anymore—” (Shuuya)
I mercilessly swing down my Magic Halberd.
The female soldier is bisected with a dull sound.
The blood clinging to the red axe blade evaporates with a sizzling sound.
Making the chain disappear, I get rid of the blood with a swing of the Magic Halberd, erasing the stench overflowing with an iron scent.
Alright, I’ve ended up being a bit noisy, but I was able to finish off all the soldiers who were in this room.
Though Helme would probably be capable of doing it without killing them.
Oh well, it’s too late anyway now, isn’t it?
Let’s get some blood… I suck plenty of the stuff from a section of the killed female soldier’s body.
Looking only at this scene, it’d make for a perfect horror movie.
Rollo also licks up some blood.
There are doors leading deeper inside and to the left, but for the moment, I’ll return to the giant hall.
Guessing from what was heard of the soldiers’ previous conversation, it’s highly probable that President Eribol is on the second floor.
Leaving through the door I entered through, I head back to the hall.
Helme is waiting in her human form at the front of the hall’s stairway.
“Were there anymore soldiers on the left side?” (Shuuya)
“Yes. There were soldiers with high magic resistances against the darkness mist, but I annihilated them.” (Helme)
“Got it. Let’s go upstairs and continue as we have been.” (Shuuya)
Helme shapeshifts into her liquid form, that might as well be called her stealth mode, and crawls up the stairway with her strange, slippery, sliding motions.
I follow after her.
I can sense several magic sources on the second floor, but…
Upon reaching the top of the staircase, a simply-done room arrangement comes into view.
It’s ahead of a wide hallway.
I confirm that there’s indeed a large room, similar to a government affairs room, deeper inside.
There are crystal lights attached to the ceiling of the hallway. They don’t lose out in brightness compared to the chandelier located in the hall below.
A Persian-like, high-class carpet has been spread across the floor. The walls on the left and right are decorated with vases and statues.
We advance through the hallway while treading atop the carpet.
There are not only decorations on the left and right walls. There’s also a small room behind an indented door.
On the other side of that door, I sense nine magic sources.
“Helme, take out the one on the left side.” (Shuuya)
Once Helme acknowledges my command by forming a circle with her fingers, she invades from below the door in her water slime form.
It seems she’s defeated them in the blink of an eye.
I can hear the sounds of people noisily collapsing.
I better hurry as well. I place my hand on the other door located on the right side, and try to push it open, but stop shortly after.
It’s not like this is a competition. Even if you say that it’s a dark guild, as there are ordinary servants here as well, killing them too, feels, you know…
As such, I order Helme who’s returned to the hallway after having silenced the small room on the left,
“Helme, I leave this one to you as well.” (Shuuya)
Helme-san shows the same reaction as before.
She gave me an answer with another “Ok” hand sign.
Helme intrudes upon the small room from below the door.
Once again, I can hear the sounds of people noisily collapsing, but—
Shit, I hear the voice of an enemy. In a hurry I open the door and storm in.
Helme has returned into her human form and is fighting.
She hurls ice blade spells repeatedly towards a female magician.
The female magician is resisting with defence magic, which seems to be an effect of her silver-thread-covered robe.
You rock! While honestly admiring her, I check the room.
Two servants, who are in the left-hand corner, have collapsed lying on their faces, and a soldier in the right corner has passed away after having an ice pebble pierce between his brows.
Only the female magician is left resisting in front of a sofa.
Once the magician sees me who just entered, she reveals a startled expression.
As I deliver a smile to her face, I send her a gift in the form of a <Chain> from my left hand, snapping my wrist up as if I drawing a gun.
The chain easily hits the female magician, annihilating her defence magic.
The chain, which transformed into a bullet, collides with the woman’s forehead, destroying her head.
Her head explodes into pieces as if it were a watermelon that got hit by the bullet of an anti-material rifle. Grey matter and sticky clots of blood scatter around within the room.
I make the chain, which is dripping with blood after being shot through a brain, disappear right away.
“As expected of you, Your Excellency! Please look at my pose!” (Helme)
Helme cheerfully announces and makes the blue leafy skin all over her body flutter.
And then she seductively rotates both her arms as if doing a full moon killing strike*. While making her arms cross towards her buttocks, she lifts her huge breasts by inserting them between her two arms… she’s adopted a magnificently bewitching pose. (T/N: Hard to describe… it looks like this: http://seiga.nicovideo.jp/seiga/im3398560)
Wowzers! My eyes are figuratively popping out of my head— I give it a twenty out of ten.
Although it’s the site of a massacre, it’s miraculously turned into a glitteringly gorgeous and beautiful mood almost instantaneously.
“… I-It’s a wonderful pose.” (Shuuya)
“N, nyao, nyaon.”
Rollo says that she’d like you to read this novel on infinitenoveltranslations.net nya.
Rollo also reacts to Helme’s tittie pose. Jumping high on the spot while purring delightfully, she presses her hind legs against the wall at the back, kicks off of it, and does a triangular jump. After performing a splendid landing, she reveals a triumphant look.
“Rollo, were you fascinated as well? Don’t get all agitated, despite not understanding what’s happening, just because you don’t want to lose… Anyhow, that was a feast for the eyes. Let’s head straight to the room in the back.” (Shuuya)
“Yes, it’s at the end of the hallway.” (Helme)
Taking along Helme and Rollo, I return to the hallway.
I smash down the door of the inner room, where I believe Eribol might be, with a kick and charge in.
There are two people in the room.
One of them is a gigantic man with a strong aura standing next to a business desk where a copper figure of an owl was placed.
On his back he wears an old, two-handed broadsword.
The other one is… I knew it with a single glance.
The person, who is sitting on the other side of the desk in a chair with a vertically long backrest while showing a stern expression with his chubby face, is Eribol.
The giant, who carries a large sword on his back, bows his head towards the man I’ve acknowledged as Eribol, and whispers some kind of report to him.
Once he finishes his report, the giant slowly turns around to face us, who have stormed in.
His eyes were glaring.
He has a face full of many scars, doesn’t he?
Moreover, he sure is missing an ear.
The color of his hair is silvery-grey and is well-arranged.
Going by his aura, he gives the impression of a powerful veteran warrior.
On the other hand, the face of Eribol, who is sitting on the other side of the desk, has a fair complexion.
He has blonde hair with a bob cut that’s split in the middle, and round eyes.
His corpulent face with its plump cheeks swelling, could be called that of a truly white-haired, sly old fox.
Even the attire he’s wearing is extravagant.
A black doublet-typed tunic with decorations.
A white shirt with a high collar that seems to tighten his double chin around his greasy, fat neck.
On his shoulders lies a high-class fur cape affixed with a silver chain.
His round eyes seize me, and stare at me.
While receiving the looks of those middle-aged men, I silently walk through the room and approach the two men.
The room’s ceiling is high and there’s a chandelier functioning as a light source.
The walls are decorated with a flag that had an embroidery of an owl, a painting of a luxurious boat in a frame, sea charts, sea route drawings, sail blueprints and maps I have never seen before.
A map of the sea, huh? Even though they’re like this, their main trade is still that of marine transportation, I suppose.
There’s a big door to the right.
There’s a magic source on the other side of that door, but right now this side takes priority.
Rollo on the left and Helme on the right; they advance while keeping pace with me.
“Rollo, Helme, I’ll talk first. So stay back and watch the situation for now.” (Shuuya)
“If it turns into a battle, you may join in as you see fit.” (Shuuya)
As we are having such a laid-back exchange, Eribol, who is seated in his chair, opens his mouth,
“Who are you!?” (Eribol)
While making my violet armor stand out by sticking out my chest, I take a few steps forward, and speak with a smile curling on my lips,
“… My name doesn’t matter here.” (Shuuya)
“Youngster, up to there. Stop.”
The grim middle-aged man with just one ear warns me while putting a hand on the hilt of his two-handed sword on the back.
For now I will stop as told.
“How brazen… if you came this far unhurt, you finished off Kalbayn and Monika, didn’t you…?”
Even if you tell me the names of some soldiers…
“You bastard, what’s with the attitude? Do you know what kind of place this is?”
The plump Eribol asks with an arrogant attitude.
“I do. This is the home of President Eribol of the Macbayn Company. You are a person considered to be one of the Eight Lights, Eribol Macbayn, the one in charge of the dark guild 【Owl’s Fangs】 and its subordinates. Am I right?” (Shuuya)
Once Eribol hears my polite words coated in an air of explanation, his lips tremble, seemingly in fright, and he opens his eyes wide, his eyelids flickering repeatedly.
“… Just who the hell are you? Ah— d-don’t tell me…” (Eribol)
Eribol falters, looking as if he’s about to fall off his chair.
“Your Excellency, please take a weapon, just to be cautious.”
The one-eared man instructs Eribol, while drawing his two-handed broadsword.
“Hiii, Bill, are you telling me to hold a weapon?” (Eribol)
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