(223) To the smuggling group’s hideout
After he reconfirmed the fact that Daijiro-san was female, we put it aside and bade Schreyl to proceed, disguising my job as Pirate for a time.
Suzuki cautioned me to avoid getting asked about my job as we exit the town. If the 《Job Seeing Gem》 that is used when entering town was used on me, I would be treated as a criminal. I just only found out that the gem was called the 《Job Seeing Gem》.
Ultimately, the smuggling crew would only contact us at night so we returned to the luxurious inn that Suzuki stayed in to wait.
When we returned, Haru and the other girl’s were surrounded by a dark atmosphere.
In particular, I was concerned about how Haru and Carol only glanced at me when I returned and didn’t say a single word.
Did I do something bad?
It was Kanon who broke the silence.
“Actually, there might be people in this continent who know of Daijiro’s whereabouts or aims. I was just telling Marina and the others that.”
“Yup, the Hero Alessio and the Magician Hagg. They were once Daijiro’s companions.”
I see — Alessio and Daijiro certainly did appear riding on the Dragon Lord during the disturbance at Dakyat and protected the town of Ferruit.
They might actually know about Daijiro-san’s goal and her exact location.
“Do you know their locations?”
“Kind of. They should currently be in the Arundel Kingdom.”
Arundel Kingdom — where Florence and Belasra are located in. In other words, the country I arrived in after my transfer.
“What about the other person?”
“The slave merchant called Quince. It’s a coincidence but she is an important person to Carol-chan here.”
This time, she named an unexpected person.
Quince-san is the bewitching girl who runs the slave business in the town of Belasra. A person who can pull off the smoking pipe look well.
I purchased Carol from that Quince-san’s slave trading post.
“That person runs a famous information store in secret and has information networks within the Adventurers Guild, the influential big shots in various countries and, on top of that, even within the Demon Lord army. Miri-sama and I almost died at Korat because of that connection.”
Kanon said that with a cackling laugh but judging from Norn-san’s pale complexion, they were probably involved in something seriously bad.
At any rate, Quince-san huh …
“So I have a small suggestion, why not you split into two parties to look for Miri-sama?”
“That’s right, for certain reasons, I cannot chase after Miri-sama. I have been given an order so I can’t remain in this country and the Southern Continent. To not miss the heroes, I plan to head north for the town of Belasra.”
“I-I wish … to travel with Kanon. Returning to my former world is important but I also wish to return the favor to Kusunoki-san.”
Malina said with her usual fearful tone.
Malina is close to Kanon so it would probably be easier for her to travel with her.
“And so, Ichino-sama. Regarding Quince-sama, it would be better for Carol to go along too.”
“I also have the connection of the Arundel Kingdom town vigilante group so I believe I would be useful in looking for people.”
Said Carol and Norn.
Both of them made sense.
But, that leaves —
“So Haru and I will travel to the Southern Continent.”
“—No, Master. Among us, only Kanon-san and I are capable of fighting. Moreover, I have met Alessio-sama when I was young so if I can get Master’s permission, I wish to stay on this continent with Carol and the others.”
Looking at Haru’s eyes filled with resolve, I asked.
“Are you concerned about the words Miri said to you?”
“Somewhat — but this is my wish.”
I see — in that case.
“Can I leave it to you?”
“Yes — I will do my best to meet Master’s expectations.”
I held her hand as I looked into her eyes that were filled with resolution.
“One month — 30 days from today. Please wait for me in the town of Florence. I will definitely come to get you.”
With my Home Return spell from the Lifestyle Magic, I could transfer to Norn’s house which has been recorded as Margaret-san’s house.
During that time, returning with Miri will be considered a success, once everything is over —
Oop, saying any more would be a death flag.
That night, Suzuki and I contacted the smuggling crew.
Apparently, the smuggling crew’s hideout was a warehouse at the pier. However, after entering the warehouse, there were tons of wooden crates but human presence was —
The Presence Detection skill was working well.
I could feel the presence of dozens of people below the floor.
“As expected of Kusunoki-kun. Correct. The crates above are all dummies, the smuggling crew and the goods are all below ground.”
“But isn’t that quite worrying? If an investigator has the Presence Detection skill like me, it would be easily discovered.”
“Of course, there would normally be somebody with the concealment skill on standby and they would only be transferred somewhere else during work. Furthermore, they have dug quite deep underground. The smuggling crew leader mentioned that regular Presence Detection skills would not detect anything even if there were people there. After all, even my Presence Detection skill can’t detect it.”
So I could tell because I had the Presence Detection II skill.
The hole leading underground was actually in the toilet.
It was originally dug to let discharge flow into the ocean but the smuggling crew used it as a secret passage.
There was a single cubicle with an out-of-service notice posted on it and opening that door revealed a yellowed toilet seat.
Suzuki showed a slightly disgusted expression as he shifted the toilet seat and the floor tile.
Revealing a rope ladder and earth walls.
Even though it was probably not used as a toilet now, it might have been used as one in the past —
” … 「Clean」.”
I cleaned the surrounding walls with Lifestyle Magic. The walls were made of earth so there was no visible change but it was a matter of feelings.
“I can understand the reason why Suzuki is acting alone. There’s no way I can let a girl enter through a place like this.”
“Hahaha, I’m glad you understand. Well, that’s not the only reason though.”
Suzuki smiled bitterly and went down the rope ladder first.
I followed after him.
From here on, I’ll have to act like a smuggling crew member.
… Becoming a Pirate lackey and a smuggling crew lackey, my life has kind of gone off the rails.
Even though I wanted to live a clean and upright life.