Chapter 0423 Infiltrating Wingston

Translator: Jay_Forestieri

Editor: Tseirp

 

“We were told to come to Wingston, but doesn’t it feel a bit… tense?”

“Yeah… there are a lot of patrolling soldiers… right?”

“Those are probably knights.”

“There are regular city guards too.”

Swordsman Hector, spear-wielder Isaiah, scout Oriana, and priest Tarlow exchanged their impressions while surveying the city.

Kenzie, the earth-attribute magician, nodded silently after hearing their words.

They are all members of the former royal capital-based C-rank party ‘Morning Star’.

 

Currently, they are active as adventurers based in Acre, the capital of the Heinlein Marquisate.

 

Although officially a C-rank party, they often take on jobs from Marquis Heinlein and his eldest son Phelps A. Heinlein, who oversees almost all the affairs of the marquisate.

These jobs are not counted in the guild’s completion count since they bypass the Adventurer’s Guild, so they remain at the C-rank level.

 

However, being C-rank adventurers means they are still top-tier and not to be underestimated.

 

The jobs from the Heinlein Marquisate come with exorbitantly high rewards…

But they are often dangerous…

And mostly involve traveling abroad…

 

But the money is good!

 

“Well then, let’s get ready.”

“Yeah.”

Swordsman Hector said, and scout Oriana responded.

The other three nodded as well.

 

This request is also extremely dangerous…

So they needed to prepare thoroughly.

 

 

 

“Hey, Scotty. Do you really think it was a good idea for both of us to come out?”

“Well, even if you say that…. Only Zack can make the ID, but I suppose I’m here as a sort of escort. Besides, it’s an order from Knight Captain Dontan himself, and even the Battalion Commander personally came and took charge of our squad. We don’t have a choice but to go, right?”

 

Royal Knight Company Commander Zack Cooler and his counterpart, Company Commander Scotty Cobook, are now within sight of Wingston’s city gate.

It was too late to turn back now.

 

Indeed, it was too late, but… Zack had been repeating similar questions since leaving Hafrena City.

 

It was quite unusual for Zack, who is generally seen as carefree, to repeat the same question so many times.

But Scotty, who has a long-standing relationship with him, knew.

Zack doesn’t fuss much about himself, but he cares a lot about his subordinates and juniors.

 

Not exactly a big brother figure, but somewhat similar…

One shouldn’t judge people based solely on appearances.

 

 

While they were talking, the two passed through the gates of Wingston.

 

The guards were standing, but they didn’t particularly check the belongings or identities of those entering and exiting.

It was the ducal capital and also the largest city in the eastern part of the Kingdom.

Moreover, it was still in the process of recovery from the Kingdom Liberation War, so the pedestrian traffic was unusually high.

It wouldn’t be practical to check everyone and everything.

 

“We’re in luck, Zack. We’re disguised as merchants, but if they had investigated a bit, they would have seen through our lies immediately.”

“Well, there’s no helping it. It would’ve been risky to enter as Royal Knights. That’s why entering as adventurers makes the most sense, but we can’t forge those guild cards. It might look real at first glance, but if they check, they’ll know it’s fake right away.”

 

 

The adventurer guild cards of the Central Countries are said to be impossible to forge.

They are created through highly advanced alchemy, and there’s even a legend that it was created by King Richard, the founder of the Kingdom.

 

Well, when it comes to ‘highly advanced alchemy’, it’s often said to be ‘created by King Richard’, so whether it’s true or not is unknown at this point.

However, because it’s true that they cannot be forged, Zack and Scotty disguised themselves as merchants.

 

There is indeed a merchant guild for merchants, and those who belong to it have merchant guild cards, but in reality, most merchants are not affiliated with the merchant guild.

 

The merchant guild can foster mutual support, but they are often required to pay membership fees and cooperate in ways other than financially…

Therefore, younger merchants often do business without belonging to the merchant guild.

 

Even among the lords, many believe that encouraging competition leads to economic development, so whether one belongs to the merchant guild or not, there are no restrictions on doing business in the city.

 

 

For these reasons, Zack and Scotty entered the city of Wingston as independent merchants.

 

 

Their mission was to confirm whether the Shrewsbury Duchy had any connections to the Djinn.

Specifically, Zack, who faced a high-ranking follower, was tasked with confirming if they were entering and exiting the Duke’s residence…

That’s why the order was directly given to Zack, who actually knew the face of that high-ranking follower.

 

The two, combining lunch and a strategy meeting, entered a diner in the city and engaged in conversation.

 

“To get to the Wingston Government Office, well, anyone can go there. But even though the Duke’s residence is adjacent to the office, it’s not easy to enter the premises. Moreover, there’s a restricted area within the Duke’s residence called the ‘annex’, and they might be entering and exiting from there, right? Zack, you mentioned you had a good idea. What’s the plan?”

 

To Scotty’s question, Zack solemnly nodded and replied.

 

“It’s risky to approach during the day. We’ll sneak into the Duke’s residence at night to confirm.”

“Yeah, that won’t work.”

Scotty immediately rejected Zack’s plan without hesitation.

The speed of his rejection was almost as if he had anticipated it.

The ability to ‘anticipate’ from years of association is not to be underestimated.

 

“Why not! Then what? Are you saying we should sneak in during the day?”

“No, it’s not about it being night or day, it’s the idea of ‘sneaking in’ itself. That’s what I’m trying to say.”

Zack retorted in frustration.

Scotty criticized his plan.

 

“Say we sneak in, and we get caught… no, if there really are Djinn minions around, we’ll definitely get caught. There’s no way we can go in there and come back safely.”

“Then what do you suggest!”

Zack retorted against Scotty’s calm observation.

 

“It was written in the instructions. Knights in ‘red armor’ are entering and exiting a noble’s residence a hundred meters away from the Duke’s residence. It’s connected to the ducal residence’s annex through an underground passage. Keeping watch over that noble mansion seems logical.”

“Ugh…”

Scotty’s logical explanation left Zack speechless.

 

“Zack… you probably just skimmed over the orders, didn’t you…?”

“T-T-That’s not true. What are you talking about, Scotty-kun?”

Scotty’s exasperated remark clearly unsettled Zack.

 

Confirming his suspicion by watching Zack’s reaction.

Scotty shook his head slightly and said;

“I was probably asked to come along because they anticipated something like this…”

“Grrrh…”

 

The two of them made quite a good team.

 

 

The mansion, while not large, had an elegant exterior that could be described as luxurious.

As evening fell, lights came on inside the house, and occasionally, figures could be seen passing by the curtains from outside.

It seemed like someone was indeed inside.

 

“Hey, Scotty. Are you sure that mansion is connected to the Duke’s residence?”

“Don’t ask me… The instructions that came from Captain Dontan didn’t specify the source of the information.”

“If that’s true, then they must have done quite a thorough investigation…”

“Yeah. It’s probably from the Prime Minister’s intelligence network.”

“The former Knight Captain, huh…”

Scotty speculated about the source of information, and Zack nodded in agreement.

 

Prime Minister Heinlein was the former Knight Captain of the Kingdom and acted as a mentor to the current Knight Captain, Dontan.

His information-gathering abilities were considered among the best in the Central Countries, and it was said that his intelligence gathering had led the Kingdom to a great victory during the ‘Great War’.

 

“He was strict as hell, wasn’t he?”

“His nickname is ‘the demon’ after all.”

Zack whispered for some reason, and Scotty responded in a hushed tone as well.

 

Perhaps they thought that speaking in normal voices might reach the ‘the demon’…

 

 

The two were sitting by the window of a tavern where they could oversee the back entrance of the surveilled mansion.

It was a perfect spot to monitor while having a drink!

 

Company Commander Zack Cooler was the one who spotted it.

When it came to detecting these kinds of things, Scotty was no match for Zack.

 

“It’s amazing how good you are at stuff like this.”

“What’s with that condescending tone? Thanks to that, we can monitor comfortably.”

Scotty said in exasperation, and Zack retorted as if he felt offended.

 

In big cities like this, taverns often stayed open until dawn.

Perhaps due to stiff competition…

Or because many customers wanted to keep drinking until morning…

Either way, it was convenient for the two of them.

 

 

 

Late into the night, after a considerable amount of time monitoring, four figures emerged from the surveilled mansion.

Even in the late hour, the ‘lamppost’ alchemy tools were lit, allowing for a decent view.

However, all four of them wore cloaks and hoods, so their faces couldn’t be seen.

 

“Zack, what do you think?”

“The one in front… I feel like their height is similar. Build too. But I can’t be sure.”

Scotty asked, and Zack grimaced while answering.

They had a feeling they were the suspected minions of the djinn, but they couldn’t be certain.

Nevertheless, the two of them had been dispatched to gain certainty.

 

“We have no choice. Let’s follow those four.”

“Well, it can’t be helped… The mansion is just the entrance to the underground passage leading to the Duke’s mansion, as stated in the instructions. There should be another place where the Djinn’s minions gather. Finding that would be a jackpot.”

“Is that so?”

“Yeah… Zack, read the instructions thoroughly next time.”

“Ugh…”

Zack couldn’t say anything in response to Scotty’s words.

 

He knew it too.

He knew better and made sure to go through them thoroughly when leading his subordinates…

“I just glanced through them…”

“Yeah, you’ve never been fond of reading.”

Zack muttered quietly as he stood up.

Scotty sighed and stood up as well while speaking.

 

“I admired Abel in that aspect.”

“Well, he was a prince in disguise. He skipped classes sometimes, but Abel often read books…”

Both Zack and Scotty remembered Abel’s love for reading.

 

 

In any world, it seems reading is important.

 

 

As the two left the tavern, they immediately noticed something.

“Hey, is that…”

“Yeah. Apart from us, there are others following those four from earlier.”

 

Three people were shadowing the four from a short distance ahead of them.

 

“Three people, huh?”

“Yeah, three.”

Scotty confirmed Zack’s observation with a nod.

 

 

The four who came out of the mansion.

The three following them.

And further behind, Zack and Scotty in pursuit.

 

The chase continued for a while.

 

As the largest city in the east, Wingston’s size was considerable.

One could even say it was vast.

 

Near the center of the city were the government office, the Duke’s residence, and the Wingston temple, with the city spreading out radially from there.

This time, the mansion was on the north side of the Duke’s residence, and the group that came out was quickly moving northeast.

 

“Indeed, it’s the largest city in the east… but I think we’re getting close to the city walls, aren’t we?”

“Yeah. There’s hardly any big houses left.”

When Zack asked, Scotty answered.

 

 

Suddenly, without a word, the two of them leaped backward.

 

Two swords swept down where their heads had been.

 

It was as if swords had come out from the shadows on both sides of the road…

 

“Damn it. They must have noticed our tailing.”

“Looks like we’re not the only ones.”

Zack cursed, and Scotty looked ahead.

 

In front of them, the three who had been following them were quickly defeated.

 

“This is bad.”

“Let’s run.”

Scotty said, and Zack made the decision.

 

 

“Too late.”

 

 

Clang.

 

Zack caught the sword that came down.

He had seen the man who swung the sword before.

They had come to confirm if that man was here…

 

“We meet again. Captain of Hafrena’s squad.”

It was Oranj.

 

 

Zack was able to confirm that high-ranking minions of the Djinn were indeed coming and going.

However, whether he could deliver that information to the right people was another issue altogether.

 

TLN: Please read my translations at tseirptranslations.com, I did not give permission to any site to host my translations. 

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