(380) The dry cleaner couldn’t answer
Miri lied … didn’t she say the Home Return spell was meant to transfer a person to the home of the opposite gender?
I should have realized the moment I saw Margaret-san’s name in the second entry.
This time the feeling was different compared to Margaret-san. I was under her care and she behaved while understanding my feelings – – although I was afraid that she would get the wrong impression and attack me.
But this time I felt pure fear.
I don’t think it was purely because we were the same gender.
If somebody of the same gender confessed to me, I would reject even if I didn’t have Haru. That wasn’t the issue. In a sense, I would be proud of receiving that kind of good feeling.
However, the Berserker man was only captured yesterday. That secretary was able to find time away from his secretary work to research on my name, address, information on Haru and Carol, and even my friendship with Kikkori and the others. That drive was terrifying.
“I don’t know what happened but did master somehow bring the city’s emergency budget documents back with you?”
“It slipped my mind to return it.”
That wasn’t all.
Carol gave her impression as she gripped the documents tightly.
“Judging by this budget statement, the government office is quite excellent. The manual to follow for emergencies was probably planned well. Although I could see that they are acting to protect themselves a little.”
“Ah, now that you mention it, I was told that the deputy mayor is a small-time villain but an excellent worker.”
“Yes, this budget was manipulated very convincingly but the funds can be seen to be channeled to the criminal guilds. I guess it is true that he is a small-time villain.”
“How can a small-time villain be an excellent politician?”
“A non-corrupt politician would be wonderful but the world isn’t perfect. Criminal guilds exist in all towns and are said to be connected to the lords. Although it would be great if all the captured criminals are put on trial and rehabilitated as Atonement-Seekers, the status of an Atonement-Seeker is extremely low and even among criminal guilds, it is common for the senior-level personnel to become military soldiers. The Zero Squad – the criminal guild squad said to not exist.”
“ … Uwah, the things that happen in the background is hard to digest.”
It was probably the same in the past in Japan.
It doesn’t occur now but at that time, everyone knew that the politicians and the yakuza had connections behind the scenes.
Criminal guilds huh?
Naturally, they would be present in towns but – ordinary people will not know about their presence in their lifetime.
“Incidentally, there are two criminal guilds in this town. I know the locations.”
Carol, you frightening child!
“Did you visit the criminal guild to gather information?”
“No way, I didn’t.”
“I guess that’s normal.”
Phew, that was a relief.
“Even without entering, it is possible to gather information obtainable within the guild outside.”
And I wasn’t able to feel relieved.
Well, Carol could probably accurately identify the safety margin during her information gathering and would not make a mistake.
Shouldn’t she aim to be a detective or a police officer rather than a Peddler?
“Master, I have finished placing the books.”
All 200 volumes of the manga ‘This is the police station in front of Shibuya Yoyogi Park’ was lined up in front of me with two-meter spacing between each book.
“Book search! This is the police station in front of Shibuya Yoyogi Park!”
I activated the skill that will locate the manga for me.
【Search results: 151】
The title and position of each book was displayed in my brain in lists of ten.
I was thankful that it didn’t display all at one go. That would probably make my brain go into shock.
“Carol, I’m able to search up to 151 volumes.”
“That’s roughly about 300 meters, understood.”
Carol confirmed it and spread open a map of Mallegory.
It was originally from Suzuki’s home but I used Counterfeit Creation to make a copy.
Carol looked at the map and drew some circles.
“For now, the number of suspicious locations Carol heard from Kikkori-san and where Carol personally thinks is suspicious adds up to 37 but if we use Book Search in 10 of those locations, it should cover everything.”
Carol noted the 10 locations and drew perfect circles of the same size with those points as the center.
It meant that there was a high chance of finding a book by Milky if I use Book Search at these points.
That was an efficient method of finding the book.
Now that we knew Daijiro-san’s flight path, there might not be a need to look for Milky’s book anymore but I wouldn’t be able to keep still and just do nothing.
“There is an even easier way to find Milky-san but – Carol can’t recommend that – or rather, Carol doesn’t want to do it.”
“There’s another method?”
If Carol didn’t want to do it, it was probably quite a reckless method.
But there was no harm in knowing.
“Yes. If Ichino-sama walks around town with that person called Felice, she would catch onto that scent and appear –”
“All right, let’s go with Book Search!”
Carol would gather information in town while Haru and I would walk around town.
I used Book Search as we went to each location that Carol recorded.
We started from the center of town and search in sequence. But there was no reaction to Milky’s book at all. Carol anticipated that Milky would be staying in an inn in town so we searched the inn street carefully but there were no reactions.
“Get out if you are not going to pay!”
“You’re telling me to get out but I can’t even leave town so there’s nothing I can do!”
“Then you can just exchange your goods for gold.”
“If I sell these then I won’t have anything to sell in the next town!”
An inn owner and a traveling merchant-like man were having a dispute. The town was really in chaos.
I seriously wondered if it was okay to be looking for Milky’s book at such a time.
In the end, there was no reaction from the book we were looking for from the Otherworld Street and attractions located on Inn Street as well as the Japan Street that had plenty of shops, and we finally arrived at the Magic Street at the end.
There were many warehouses there so there was a high chance that books were stored there.
If there was no reaction there, we would be out of options – we would have to resort to searching the entire town.
【Search result: 1】
The result I was hoping for was finally displayed.
“There’s a reaction!”
But one result?
Was Milky only holding onto one of her own book?
At any rate, we went toward the location that gave the reaction.
It was a shop called Red’s Dry Cleaner. (TLN: Lol that’s a coincidence. The same name as my other series protagonist)
“Let’s go in for starters.”
Haru and I entered the dry cleaner.
The interior was quite dim.
The first thing that welcomed us was costumes. And there was quite a number. There were 30 costumes.
I unconsciously exclaimed.
The costumes were those that people wear for fun during events but seeing 30 of them lined up in a dim room was frankly quite terrifying.
“A customer? Sorry for the shock.”
A gentle-looking man with brown hair and round glasses came out from the back of the shop.
Oh, it was the dry cleaner that I saw at the bread shop.
“Ah, sorry. I shouldn’t have shouted too.”
“These are costumes planned to be used for an event and they were sent for washing but the event was canceled and the customer asked me to store them for the time being – tohoho.”
That was the first time I met a person who actually said ‘tohoho’. (TLN: It’s used to express unbearable feelings or feelings of despair)
I see, so they were event costumes.
Only the hand portions were crafted to look like gloves so they were slightly disconcerting.
“So, what do you want me to wash for you?”
“Ah, no, there’s something I came to look for – – I heard there is a manga drawn by a person called Milky in this shop.”
“Milky? Ha? Did I have such a book? Ah, now that I think about it, there were books among the stuff the city staff asked me to hold onto.”
“That must be it. Could you let me see it?”
The search result seemed to be at the back of the shop.
“But letting others see my customer’s items is … never mind, it’s okay. I’ll guide you to the back room.”
The dry cleaner was slightly reluctant but he led us to the back room.
That was the first time I entered the back of a dry cleaner. It was mostly filled with clothes from his customers.
“Ooh, there’s all kinds of clothes.”
Many of them were uniforms but there were ordinary clothes as well.
Ah, I saw the clothes Suzuki regularly wore – – I see, so he took his clothes to the dry cleaner as I urged him to.
“That’s because all the clothes in town are gathered here. There’s no end no matter how much Clean I use.”
“Would you like me to help? I can use Clean too.”
“You can’t imagine how much I want that but my Clean has a slightly trick to it. For example, when Clean is cast on re-dyed clothes, the dye that was later added would be cleaned off. The spell would mistake the magic dye as dirt. So I use a uniquely improved Clean.”
Magic improvement – he’s been doing something like that?
Was it something like how I can create different kinds of oil with Oil Create?
“If you’d like, do you want me to wash something for you? I can clean something the size of a handkerchief immediately. Not only will it be clean, but I also have the reputation of making it comfortable to use too. It will be for a fee though. I can wash your clothes too. If you need, I could even prepare a change of clothes for you.”
The man said as he took out a couple of sets of nice clothes from a bag that was probably an item bag.
So he has an item bag?
I wonder how much capacity it had.
“Handkerchief – I guess I’ll give it a try. Haru as well?”
“Then, I wish to entrust this scarf.”
She said and unwound the scarf she always had on her neck and passed it to the man.
Then, something drew my eyes on the table. There were several papers that looked like Tanabata festival paper strips.
“Eh? Are these talismans?”
“Those are my notes for cleaning. I note down on paper when there are places where my spell can’t clean no matter what, when I must change a button or if there are things left in the pockets.”
Ah, those could be found in ordinary dry cleaners as well.
But I felt that I had seen those talismans somewhere before.
“Clean – here, I’m done.”
Ooh, the handkerchief felt like it was shining.
If he could improve on magic to such a degree, I wondered if he had magic training.
I was slightly curious and checked his job.
At that moment, the dots connected into a line.
I asked the man for confirmation.
“By the way, do you often get asked by the bakery to wash their work clothes?”
“Yeah. Oh, didn’t we pass each other by once at the bakery?”
“You wash the town hall uniforms as well, right?”
“Yes, I’m grateful for their business. Especially lately.”
The secretary mentioned. The Labyrinth Management Division lately didn’t have time to return home and they didn’t have enough change of clothes. Nevertheless, the uniform they had on were very clean. As though they had just been laundered.
The town hall staff usually do not bring their uniforms to the dry cleaner. Since they generally only have one set of uniform, they can’t afford to leave it to the dry cleaner for a couple of days. However, the Labyrinth Management Division staff have two sets of uniforms but they didn’t have time to return home or to change. It wouldn’t be strange if they sent it for dry cleaning for a change of pace.
“Suzuki – you have Viscount Suzuki’s clothes as well. I saw them there.”
“Yes, I was entrusted with noble-sama’s clothes so I had to take special care.”
Ah, I was the one who asked Suzuki to send his clothes here.
“Now that I think about it, he told me that during the flour seller dispute, there was a man who had his clothes dirtied with flour but his clothes were clean. He was able to change out of them? Was there a person who coincidentally had a change of clothes around?”
“ …… ”
The smile on the dry cleaner’s face disappeared.
And then, I touched the back of my collar.
“And if you put a Communication Talisman inside the collar of the change of clothes or the clothes after washing, it is possible to transmit your voice to that person. For example, saying the phrase ‘The World’s Salvation’.”
The dry cleaner couldn’t answer.