Chapter 0120 Infiltration
“Their body checks are pretty strict. It’s impossible to keep weapons on you.”
Hector said when he saw the dagger that Abel had concealed when everyone was ready and the final checks were being done.
“That ball too … do you have a better place to hide it so that it is harder to find?”
The so-called 『transmitter』 ball.
It was a thumb-sized sphere.
Abel thought they would think it was a stone or something if he put it in his pocket but … Hector objected.
“Well … Where should I hide it?”
“If you sew it in your clothes …”
“I think it’s best to keep it in your mouth all the time.”
“You might as well swallow it and keep it in your stomach!”
Hector made a common-sense proposal, Rihya made a harsh proposal, and Rin gave a radical opinion.
And after saying that, Rin immediately hid behind Warren.
“Is it really okay for me to leave my life to these guys …”
Abel looked up at the ceiling and lamented.
A hideout for 『Dawn Star』 in the royal capital.
Hector, Oriana, and Aiseiya stuffed a bound Abel in a bag and held it so that he could not be seen from the outside.
“Hector, you guys are very late.”
The two who came earlier, Kenji and Tarlow, welcomed Hector and his companions.
“Yeah, a lot of things happened.”
Hector replied and sighed really deeply.
“The three that we followed, one went to the Royal Alchemy Workshop and the other two went into the Kingdom’s Knights’ Order dormitory. We just needed to know where they went, so we came back after that. Is that fine?”
Kenji confirmed with Hector.
“Yeah, that’s enough. For the time being, don’t touch those three people.”
Kenji tilted his head at Hector’s instructions.
“I found out that there was an aristocrat among them, whom His Majesty the King appointed personally, so I wouldn’t touch them at all. There was no instruction from above for those three either. We didn’t see anything. Is that all right?”
Kenji nods involuntarily because of Hector’s excessive reminders.
“The only instruction from above was to capture this man. They won’t say anything as long as we hand him over safely. This man was drinking alone. And I captured him when he was returning home. Okay? We’ll go with that.”
“Yeah, I understand.”
Kenji replied and Tarlow nodded that he understood too.
When Hector put matters like that, they knew from their long relationship that it was a troublesome matter.
And in such cases, they have also experienced that waiting for Hector to resolve it had the highest success rate.
So there was nothing wrong with doing what Hector said.
Abel was taken out of the bag about thirty minutes later.
From the other side of the door to his left, he could hear the laughter of drunk people.
“That is the guardroom for hired adventurers.”
Hector whispered while taking Abel out of the bag.
At that moment, the door on the right opened, and a man came out from inside.
“Is that him?”
“Yes, that’s right.”
Hector answered the man’s question.
“I’ll take him. You guys can take a rest there. Good work.”
Then, the man called another person from behind the door and flanked Abel in front and behind.
And did a body check.
Indeed, as Hector said, it was a pretty detailed check.
Finally, the body check was over and Abel was made to walk forward.
Hector worriedly glanced at him, opened the left door with his companions, and entered the adventurer’s guard station.
Abel, sandwiched between two men, walked down the hallway for a while and then exited into a vacant room.
It was about the size of two classrooms in a school?
A chair was placed in the center and three men stood around it.
And Abel was seated in the chair.
His arm was bound with string, but that was it.
Were the men so confident? Or was it just carelessness …
The moment the leader-like man standing in front tried to open his mouth, a door different from the one that Abel entered opened, and two men brought in a barrel.
Seeing that, all five in the room shouted as if they were uneasy.
“Idiot! Not this room!”
“The innermost room. Take it there!”
The men who brought in the barrel left the room, bowing their heads in apology.
(That apprehension … what was in it?)
Abel felt like he had found something to investigate.
The man, who seemed to be the leader, standing in front of Abel, spoke.
“We want to ask you two things. Who are you working for? And how much have you found out?”
(I want to ask you who are you working for and what are you trying to do.)
Abel rephrased it in his heart.
He had been observing what the men were wearing to see if there was anything that might lead to their status or affiliation, but they weren’t really wearing any identifiable article he could see.
“You should speak before you get hurt.”
When the leader said that, the man next to him took out the knife to look at it.
Seeing that, Abel spoke.
“Okay, I’ll speak.”
“Ho. So you can understand your circumstance.”
“I don’t want to be hurt. My employer is the Knight-Captain.”
Of course, he was just straight out lying.
He knew that the guys in front of him were connected to the Finance Minister.
Abel also investigated the Grand Chamberlain Sorrel and the Knight-Captain Baccara.
Both took bribes and were corrupt, but if anything, the Grand Chamberlain’s actions were not indicative of treason or rebellion.
To be honest, he didn’t know how corrupt the Knight-Captain Baccara was.
For that reason, he wanted them to admit it themselves.
However, the reaction of the leader who heard Abel’s admission was intense.
After muttering that, he kept silent.
That reaction surprised the people around him, and Abel was also inwardly surprised.
(Huh? What was with that reaction? It’s like saying that there is some connection between the Finance Minister and the Knight-Captain … including the barrel earlier, this is too lucky! I knew infiltrating was the best method.)
Abel repeatedly nodded internally, agreeing that his decision was correct.
After a while, the leader looked at Abel after his thoughts were settled and asked more questions.
“So the Knight-Captain is your employer? Then why were you sniffing around?”
“To get proof of the Finance Minister’s wrongdoings, for security.”
If there was evidence of wrongdoings, he certainly wanted to grasp it.
Naturally, if it was for an enemy, but of course, even an ally now would not always be an ally, so getting hold of something was preferred if possible.
Abel replied with an answer that couldn’t be mistaken no matter what.
“I see. So did you find any evidence?”
Abel answered the leader’s question in the guise of honesty.
“Where is it?”
“I’ve given it to a trusted companion. I’ve arranged for them to give it to a Home Affairs investigator if there is no regular contact from me.”
Upon hearing his words, the leader did not change his expression, but the entourage showed a surprised expression.
Home Affairs investigators were those who belong to the Ministry of Home Affairs and investigated the wrongdoings of officials.
In some cases, the decree of the King may even give them the authority to crack down on the aristocrats.
“That’s pretty interesting. Why are you trying to go to the Home Affairs investigator instead of the Knight-Captain?”
“That’s because it is for my self-protection.”
Abel answered the leader’s question with the air that the path for a snake is to be a snake.
He looked very much the part because he had been an adventurer for a long time.
(This leader has a different disposition compared to the others …. He would be the one if Abel was planning to defeat them and abduct someone. The remaining question would be how to deal with this situation?)
Internally, Abel was thinking about something dangerous.
Realistically, it was not a good idea to be surrounded by five men and have no weapons and hands tied up.
He had to reduce the number of people a little more …
“Hmm. I wonder if you could sell the evidence to us here. Of course, we could also resort to force …”
Then the leader looked at the fellow holding a knife next to him.
“No, I said I don’t like to be hurt either. If I could get a little money and escape abroad …”
“Okay. That’s a deal. Let’s talk about the contents of the evidence.”
Abel was in trouble.
Of course, because he didn’t have any evidence from the beginning.
“Ah, well, so to speak … Geho, Gehogeho.”
Abel suddenly began to cough. And he looked in pain.
“What? Hey, someone bring some water.”
When the leader gave instructions, one of the entourage left the room.
Abel continued to cough, eventually falling off his chair and rolling around the floor.
“What the hell? Hey, bring a priest.”
One more person left the room.
(I guess it’s time.)
Abel grabbed the leg of one of the men, who approached to check on his situation, with his hand from his lying position and pulled him down.
As he pulled the man down, he spun himself up and swung his right foot down on the head of the man on the ground and knocked him unconscious.
Then, he pulled out the knife that was on the man’s waist.
Seeing that, one of the last remaining captor rushed at him.
Abel held the knife with both hands still bound with string.
Dodging the charging captor’s swung fist, he tilted the knife sideways and stabbed it into the man’s armpit.
The stabbed man rolled around the floor, crying out pitifully.
The nerve endings were concentrated on that spot and some would faint from a stab to that point …
Abel, as a swordfighter, knew it from experience.
Finally, Abel was brought into a one-on-one situation with the leader.
“Weren’t you planning to get money and flee abroad …”
The leader was slowly retreating. He might have been thinking of running away through the back door.
Abel rushed towards the man.
He felt from the beginning that the leader wasn’t accustomed to fights.
Sure enough, the man could not avoid Abel as his solar plexus was struck and he collapsed in agony.
Abel kicked the leader’s head and knocked him out too.
At last, Abel was able to cut the string that tied his hands with the knife.
Just at that moment, the door where Abel came in opened and people jump in.
They were the three others from 『Crimson Sword』 and Ilarion.
From the 『ball』 sewn on Abel’s clothes, they learned that Abel had finally taken action and hurriedly entered the building.
“Oh. Wasn’t there a room where adventurers were hanging out near the entrance? Didn’t they notice?”
Abel asked in an easygoing manner.
“It’s okay because I erased our presence with magic.”
“Sheesh! Abel, don’t make us worry!”
Ilarion replied with pride while Rihya clung to Abel.
“O-oh. I’m sorry.”
Abel apologized meekly.
“So, did you find any evidence? As far as I could hear from the voices, there wasn’t anything.”
“Yeah. First of all, this guy.”
In response to Ilarion’s question, Abel pointed at the fainted leader with his chin.
“This guy seems to know a lot so let’s take him. Warren, sorry but look for a bag that can fit this guy. And, they made a mistake and a barrel was brought into this room. These guys were pretty anxious when they saw it. I’m curious about that, so I want to find out.”
“Hmm. The thing they said to take to the innermost room. Abel and I … along with Rihya can go. Warren and Rin, take care of these guys.”
Then Abel, Ilarion, and Rihya went through the back door.
When they exited the door, there was a wide corridor.
The room where Abel was interrogated was at the end of the corridor, and for the time being, they continued down the corridor.
On the way, they knocked out the man who came back with water, the man who brought the priest, and the priest, and the three proceeded to the other end of the corridor.
“Is it here?”
They arrived in front of a double door.
He placed his ear on the door and listened, but there was no sound.
“Let me. Gather the heartbeat and existence of life and bring them to me, <Probe>”
Ilarion cast the <Probe> Wind-Attribute magic … but at a terrifying cast speed.
The entire chanting took only about a second.
“Whenever I hear it, you’re definitely saying whatever you please, gramps.”
Abel commented on his unbelievably quick chant.
“What are you talking about? This is the result of many years of training and diligent study. No one is inside.”
In response to Ilarion’s words, Abel opened the door and entered.
The interior was about twice as large as the room where Abel was interrogated earlier.
About fifty barrels were lined up in the back.
Ilarion tapped the barrel to listen.
“I’m sure it’s not wine.”
Ilarion commented jokingly and Abel retorted exasperatedly.
Looking at some of the barrels, they found something like black sand on the lid, perhaps spilled from the contents.
“No way …”
Abel tilted his head in confusion while Ilarion touched the black sand, smelled it, and was at a loss for words.
“Abel … quickly leave.”
Ilarion, who was rarely anxious, recommended to do so with perspiration on his forehead and backed away with a stiff expression. Abel could tell that it was quite dangerous.
The group hurriedly returned to the interrogation room, joined Rin and Warren, who was carrying the leader in the bag, and came to the front of the door leaving the building.
“Wait a minute. I’ll let them know.”
Ilarion said, opening the door of the room where the adventurers hung out a little bit and chanted.
“Wind, deliver my whisper, <Whisper>” 『Hector, it’s Ilarion. Take the party members away from this building as soon as possible.』
After conveying that, the five left the building.
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