Stray assassins -> unaffiliated assassins
Chapter 105: Red wishes to keep his promise with Ruti
Moen’s house was a brick home similar to the mansions commonly found in Zoltan’s central district. It was a material broadly used in the Imperial Capital but in the subtropical Zoltan, the brick’s high thermal storage property where it was hard to heat but also hard to cool was a problem as the heat accumulated during the day would slowly dissipate at night so the nights would typically be quite hot.
The nobles in Zoltan pass those nights by getting fanned by their servants and to them, that was the elegant lifestyle they imagine the nobles in the central region enjoy.
However, in the Imperial Capital of Avalonia, the summers were not as hot as Zoltan so the average room temperature was just nice. After all, the central region nobles won’t wilfully spend hot nights by choice.
Lit and I went up to the second floor. The stairs and corridors were lined with carpet so the dust would not float up even when walking.
Ademi was walking in front of us in high spirits. I have not seen him for a long time but it seemed that he had resolved the issues he had with his divine protection.
Ademi opened the door to the reception room.
“Ademi-san, good work!”
When we entered the reception room, two teenagers suddenly placed their hands on their knees and bent their waist to greet us while looking in our direction.
Both teenagers had sharp eyes and noticeable facial scars.
“Ou, these are Red-san and Lit-san which I told you guys about. Remember to not be disrespectful to them.”
“Yes! Good work Red-san! Good work Lit-san!”
The two of them greeted us similarly in response to Ademi’s words. Yup, they were very energetic.
“All right, I’ll be having a chat with Red-san and Lit-san so you guys can go home for today.”
“Yes! We shall take our leave first!”
The teenagers left the reception room. I could hear the teenagers energetically greet the servant downstairs.
“Erm … who were those?”
“I decided to not deny the impulses of my 『Bar Brawler』 as Red told me not to. There’s no point wishing for other divine protections, I am a 『Bar Brawler』 after all. However, even as a 『Bar Brawler』, I should be able to become a guard that protects the peace by relying on my physical strength and brawling skill. So I beat up all the delinquents in town and made them obey.”
I see, so those two were what you would call underlings.
“If I become a guard, I will enter the Thieves Guild Countermeasure Division! I feel that I will be able to utilize my 『Bar Brawler』 there!”
The guard’s Thieves Guild Countermeasure Division huh?
The Thieves Guild is a legitimate guild and the Thieves Guild leader Gorga was a celebrated person holding a seat in Zoltan’s congress. However, the majority of the Thieves Guild’s business were criminal acts so they often clash with the guards.
And so the guards of most towns form Thieves Guild Countermeasure Divisions to deal with the crimes involving the Thieves Guild.
The way they were referred to differred according to country and town but among the adventurers, they were referred to as the ‘Guards Guild’ or the awful name of ‘The Thieves Guild that does not steal’.
Well, regardless of what they are called, the Thieves Guild Countermeasure Divisions was a group that was not inferior in strength to the Thieves Guild.
“I will definitely become a guard like my father!”
With the divine protection of 『Bar Brawler』and his strong arm, joining the Thieves Guild countermeasure divisions might be Ademi’s true calling.
“Ademi is meant to become a guard after all.”
Ademi’s face turned red from joy after I said that.
“Father has no returned since yesterday.”
We sat around the table and chatted with Ademi.
At the moment, we have finished talking about Ademi so I asked about Moen.
“Since yesterday huh?”
“Yup. Everyone has been restless since the Veronia warship came over. I believe it’s probably because of that case.”
Normally, that was a given. The Guard Captain has to work day and night to calm the citizens unsettled by the Veronia warship. It was a probable reason.
(We saw the warship offshore during yesterday lunch. And the Zoltan summit meeting happened today afternoon.)
Veronia warship would not be able to enter Zoltan’s port. It should be anchored at sea and Prince Sarius should have come to Zoltan in a small boat.
Although it was located near Zoltan’s estuary, there was still quite a distance between the harbor and the sea so it was not easy to see a ship anchored in the sea. As such, I don’t believe the information would have gotten to the Zoltan citizens to cause a commotion.
In actual fact, there was no sign of a commotion in the town of Zoltan yesterday. The information only became known just this morning. The information spread in an instant after the usual well-side gossips.
There didn’t seem to be anything strange at first glance but …
I felt something was strange but I couldn’t put it into words.
“When was the last time you met Moen?”
“Yesterday morning. The night before yesterday, he was apparently called out for some urgent matter. But he seemed to have returned in the dead of the night as he ate breakfast with me yesterday morning.”
The night the day before yesterday was probably regarding the assassination attempt of Mayor Mistome.
That day, I entrusted Mistome-shi to the Adventurers Guild executive Garadin since he was trustworthy.
I imagined that Moen had already returned home by that time and decided that instead of entrusting Mistome-shi’s safety to guards whom I didn’t know very well, it would be safer to entrust her to Garadin who was her party companion.
“Do you know who came to look for Moen the day before yesterday?”
“I was in the living room so I didn’t see the person directly but I remember he introduced himself as a person from the Adventurers Guild.”
That means Garadin bypassed contacting the guards and directly looked for Moen.
He was gathering their past party companions for Mistome-shi’s crisis. That wasn’t unusual.
“Thank you Ademi. I’ll be going to the guard station after this so do you have anything you want me to tell Moen?”
“In that case …”
Ademi told me without hesitation.
“Good luck with your job and don’t worry about the house because I am here. Please help me tell him that!”
Seeing Ademi say that with a smile, Lit smiled with squinted eyes.
“He didn’t come to the guard station as well?”
I realized that I had spoken aloud without noticing.
“Sorry, I was a little surprised.”
The old guard’s sullen face mellowed a little after I apologized.
Lit and I were at the guard station. Naturally, our aim was to meet Moen. In order to talk about Mistome-shi’s attempted assassination, the Veronia warship and to help pass Ademi’s message.
However, Moen wasn’t there. Not only that …
“Guard Captain has not dropped by today.”
“Not even once?”
“Yes. Yesterday after the Veronia warship was spotted, he only came in once in the evening to instruct us to be on standby and maintain security.”
“Following the decision made in the summit today, he should be holding a training drill in case the Veronia warship attacks villages near the coast while being on alert though.”
“I have not heard about that … how do you know that?”
“My younger sister attended the summit.”
“Ah, Ruru-san huh … Red is helping out too huh?”
The guard’s lip curled into a grin when I nodded.
“I can’t tell. So ultimately are you strong? Or weak?”
“Of course not to the extent of my younger sister. Well, I’m just here to ask about Guard Captain Moen.”
During the Devil’s divine protection case, it was recorded in the Guard Captain’s report that I sent Albert’s arm flying and saved Al and Ademi from Big Hawk’s mansion. However, the verdict was because Hero Lit was with me at that time.
Just like that incident with Albert, they should have been aware that Lit was not there at the scene but … Well, they probably have difficulty evaluating my ability since I have retired and was running an apothecary.
“I see, so Moen has not come by here.”
That was definitely unnatural.
“Are the guards protecting Mistome-shi?”
“Mistome-shi? The previous mayor? What are you talking about?”
“What? You have not heard from Moen?”
The guard tilted his head quizzically.
What was going on?
“What about the assassins that were captured yesterday?”
“The ones that B-rank adventurer Tifa captured.”
“Ah, Father Cien and Adventurer Guild Garadin came to pick up those thugs. I heard they were adventurers with bad conduct who came to Zoltan recently. Apparently, the guild would lecture them.”
“Lecture? Those were unaffiliated assassins you know!?”
“Un-unaffiliated assassins? I was off duty last night so I don’t know the details but … are you serious?”
“Yeah, I heard about it from Tifa so I’m certain. Furthermore, Tifa definitely would have told the guards that those were unaffiliated assassins.”
“The person in charge was … give me a moment.”
The guard quickly ran inside and loudly called for another guard.
Perhaps he was in the midst of eating his dinner as the guard came with a mouthful of bread.
After getting glared at by the old guard who talked to us, the other guard hurriedly swallowed the bread.
“Wh-what is it, senpai!”
“What did you hear from adventurer Tifa-san regarding the people that were caught yesterday!?”
“Eh erm …”
The young guard’s eyes swam uneasily. That gesture caused the old guard to raise his eyebrows.
“I-I was told that they were unaffiliated assassins! But then Garadin-san and Father Cien came by! They told me that they were adventurers who came to Zoltan recently! Then … they told me that they would deal with them so I handed them over!!”
Lit and I discussed while listening to the young guard get badly lectured.
“First, what is the possibility that the unaffiliated assassins deceiving Garadin and Father Cien with adventurer certificates?”
“That should be impossible. After all, Mistome-shi was being protected at Garadin’s place right? Since he heard about the situation from Mistome-shi, there should be no way he would be deceived.”
“That is true. In that case, Garadin and Father Cien could be the assassin’s companions or their client.”
“I feel that it impossible as well. I can’t say for certain without knowing their relationship but I heard that Garadin and the others in the party were getting along well and it is well known among C-rank and above adventurers that Garadin would always praise Mistome-shi whenever he drinks alcohol.”
“That is true, Garadin doesn’t seem to be the kind who would resort to assassinations.”
Just a small errand to speak with Moen turned into such a deeply rooted case.
“Red, what do we do from here? It seems that the situation is strange.”
” … I told Ruti that I would ask Moen after all.”
I don’t feel like returning as an adventurer but …
“I wish to at least uphold my promise. I guess I’ll put some spirit into it?”
“Yup, I imagined you would say that.”
Lit laughed and nodded.
All right, next stop will be the Adventurers Guild where Garadin should be.