Chapter 208: Tangled thread
Shisho closed his eyes and looked like he was recollecting the scene that happened at that time.
Then, he started describing what happened sequentially.
“After Garba received information that there were rumors being spread around regarding Luciel, without causing any confusion, I asked everyone to let me know if somebody came to them about information on Luciel previously. Then, I found a guy who has been successfully spreading the rumors.”
Shisho continued with his eyes closed.
“Then, you caught him and interrogated him?”
“Yeah. I made him drink Object X, woke him up after he fainted and repeated it countless times but he caved in a lot quicker than I had expected, after about two hours in.”
Shisho and Garba-san could do something like that but that spy probably had quite the resilience.
But I’m surprised he interrogated him just for spreading rumors.
Well, he probably did his preliminary investigations too …
” … Well, it would have been tough if he didn’t have any status resistances.”
“Yeah. Then, after comparing the information I obtained through the interrogation and the information Garba acquired, I could tell that he was saying the truth. At the same time, I also ascertained another fact other than Luciel’s case but we’ll put that aside for now. And I found that the person I caught was just an ordinary human who was hired to spread the rumors.”
I don’t know how much he was paid but the request was absolutely not worth the price.
I inadvertently sympathized with him.
“If he was hired then I naturally take it that you also traced the person who paid him?”
“Yeah. It was the Blange noble who we talked about just now, Lord Kamiya. After he spilled the beans, I immediately asked Garba to investigate.”
” … I see.”
Information gathering is Garba-san’s specialty after all.
“So, given that the human I captured gave me powerful information and looked like he was repenting, I released him after keeping him for the night in the Adventurer’s Guild.”
So it was something like a plea bargaining that I’ve heard of in my previous life.
“Well, if you tried to punish him for spreading rumors then it would likely turn into a problem …”
“Yeah, since anybody is capable of spreading rumors. It was just a detailed talk after we found a suspicious point during our investigation.”
The interrogation was somehow phrased to be a ‘talk’ along the way but it was a Shisho-quality ‘talk’.
“Eh? But then there’s a gap of about two months between Shisho’s injuries and when you released that guy?”
The rumors should have been spread a month after I went to Nelldal. But Shisho said earlier that he’s had his injuries for about ten days?
” … Yeah. Once or twice a week, I also trained myself while having the Adventurers escort me.”
Shisho’s expression stiffened for a second before Garba-san cut in and explained.
“And this guy is a guildmaster you know? Can you believe it? Even though he did perfectly finish the documentation work he had, he delegated all emergency requests to Grulga you know? I think Luciel-kun is also responsible for this behavior.”
However, Garba-san uncharacteristically narrowed his eyes and glared at Shisho.
Well, he was most likely concentrating single-mindedly on his own training.
“Ei, Garba! Don’t butt in! I’ll continue. Ten days back, I was training in the forest at the foot of that mine when I suddenly heard yelling and sounds of sword clashes. When I rushed over to help, I couldn’t tell if they were bandits or mercenaries but they were fighting with my Adventurers.”
Shisho advancing his story all at once after snapping at Garba who was right to be angry.
“Going by the flow of the events, I guess that the human who spread the rumors was among the people who attacked?”
“Yeah. People who resort to banditry would either get beheaded or sold to another country as a criminal slave so I steeled my heart and took care of that guy.”
But Shisho suffered injuries.
I couldn’t understand how that happened.
If it was somebody capable of dealing such injuries to Shisho, did he let Shisho go? Shisho’s capabilities now shouldn’t be much different from ten days ago.
I felt a hazy feeling well up.
“You had the strength you showed in today’s battle when you suffered those injuries ten days back right? You suffered those injuries even with that?”
“Yeah. I didn’t think that a number of them would transform into demons after all.”
The fact that Shisho confronted demons was so shocking that my mouth was left half open in shock as I lowered my eyes to the map.
When I looked at the location after passing through the south-eastern forest from Meratoni, I saw that it was the Principality of Blange.
Those demons were most certainly the subjugation targets that the Principality of Blange requested the Church Headquarters’ help with.
“Well, I didn’t sense that they were that strong but I could not properly control this body yet so I had to make use of sacrificial attacks multiple times so I ended up like that.”
Shisho spoke of the demons’ strength indifferently but if he had to make sacrificial attacks then … ? Multiple times even?
“Multiple times … then what about the other Adventurers?”
“They were pretty beaten up but we took advantage of our greater numbers and somehow defeated them. Well, despite receiving that amount of damage, it’s fortunate that I did not get defeated and that the other guys didn’t lose their lives.”
Shisho spoke proudly but I held complex feelings.
If the situation was even minutely different, Shisho would not be here at all.
“Well, thankfully those Adventurers helped me who was suffering from those severe wounds down all the potions that we had and somehow carried me back to Meratoni, saving my life.”
” … I’m really glad that you survived.”
“Ou. It’s the life Luciel paid so much to revive after all. There was no way that I would give it up.”
If you think so then cherish your life more!! I wanted to scream that but it all happened due to irregular events so shouting that would only be satisfying myself so I continued the conversation.
“If that person was really a real human at the start then there should have been something that made him a demon … did you notice any suspicious points or characteristics?”
“I did not notice anything on his person. I felt his magical power abruptly rise and his body began to release miasma before his figure transformed in an instant.”
” … I see. It would have been great if we had some kind of a clue.”
” … I don’t know if it will serve as a clue but do you remember the slave merchant we fought at Grandol?”
“Yes, of course.”
I won’t possibly forget about a reincarnator.
“At the end, that man tried to summon something by using a magic stone as compensation right?”
“Yeah. A magic circle that shined reddish-black appeared …”
“This time, I didn’t see a magic circle. However, I saw a burst of reddish-black light. Well, I don’t know if it would be helpful or not though.”
Shisho nodded with a serious expression.
After putting together all the information this time, a single fact surfaced.
” … So the one responsible for creating demons is not the Empire but the Principality of Blange?”
“Don’t jump to conclusions. We still don’t know that for sure … right, Garba?”
“Yup. Information on that reddish-black light and summon art are being kept a secret so I couldn’t find out the details. But I succeeded in acquiring other information in Blange.”
“Yeah. Before going into that, just now Broad told Luciel-kun about the information he got from the person who spread the rumors right?”
“Actually there was information regarding the Empire too but it would make things too complicated so we spoke about the Principality of Blange first.”
“Then the topic now is about the Empire huh … please continue.”
I looked at Lionel and the others and they nodded to me so I decided that it would be alright and I asked him to continue.
“Are you aware that even now the Sen’Oni General is still in the Empire?”
It’s probably the guy Wisdom-dono mentioned when I was in Nelldal.
“That guy’s name is Cloud. While being a Swordsman, he’s also a Magic Swordsman capable of controlling multiple different magic so he is an Adventurer that is recorded even in the Grandol Adventurer’s Guild.”
“Is there records of his features too?”
“Nope, only his name and some information are recorded. He apparently couldn’t use the sword or magic at all when he registered but he gradually gained more strength and it seems like he learned Transformation Magic at some point in time but all traces of him disappeared after that.”
“Then now he’s rumored to be in the Empire?”
“It seemed to be so now but to be honest the order is wrong. In the beginning, it was Blange, Rubruk and now it’s the Elimasia Empire.”
“So his aim was the Principality of Blange and the Empire huh … it’s true that the pile of information is getting tangled up in my head.”
“Well to summarize it in simple terms, including the Church Headquarters, I believe everything is related to the Principality of Blange.”
“I see. So that’s why you asked me what kind of relationship I wish to maintain with the Church Headquarters in the Holy Capital of the Saint Schull’s Allied Nations … ”
“Yeah. Since it might even turn into a war in an instant if something goes wrong. Currently, I feel that the safe places would be Ienith and Nelldal as well as maybe Grandol. The other countries are entangled in a complicated manner.”
” … I’ve come to understand the situation. But I would like to have some time to think about this. I wish to carefully consider it, including whether I wish to involve myself in this or not.”
“That’s fine. Then, this conversation will end here for now. Luciel, what are your plans for lodgings?”
“What do you mean?”
“Your room here is still in the same condition you left it?”
“So it’s still the same huh? Then I’ll borrow that room.”
“Yup. Okay. Then, those who want to rejoin the party can do so while those who want to return to their inns can do so.”
Shisho said that and concluded the meeting.
Due to the information overload, I didn’t want to think about anything else so I decided to have a nice sleep at that nostalgic room just for today and I saw the others off to the inn they booked.
I sensed that everyone wanted to talk to me but I didn’t have enough space in my head left to spare at that moment.
“I just wish for an ordinary … quiet life but I wonder why is it this difficult.”
My muttered sigh was drowned out by the hustle and bustle of the rowdy adventurers at the party.
Thank you for reading.