(388) Peace doesn’t arrive
The encirclement would be removed today so we prepared to leave My World. Once the encirclement was removed, Practitioners who could use Dispel would enter the town so there was no longer any need for me.
The road east of Mallegory seemed to be well-maintained so the three of us would be traveling by carriage for the first time in a long time.
Before that, I wanted to find out about Norn-san and Malina’s situation so I was planning to use Home Return to return to Florence.
For the time being, the tasks I had in town was roughly settled so we left My World to let Suzuki know that we would be leaving town today.
Eh? There was nobody around?
“I wonder if everyone has something on?”
“Rana-san would usually be shopping at this timing.”
Haru and Carol commented. Carol had actually grasped Rana-san’s work schedule? As an instruction manual person, she would definitely follow her schedule for shopping.
For now, we sat in the living room and drank some tea.
Rana-san wasn’t around so Carol made tea instead.
As we sat on the chair and stretched our feet under the table, Suzuki came back.
When Suzuki saw me, he shouted loudly.
“Kusunoki-kun, where have you been!? Something serious has happened.”
“Hey, Suzuki – you need to uphold your position, you’ve been sounding like an underling who goes ‘It’s terrible, boss!’ but you have the protagonist correction trait.”
“Yeah, I agree but more importantly, it was really terrible! A lot of people in town had their frenzy curse triggered and were rampaging. There have been casualties.”
I stood up and bumped my knee on the underside of the table, causing the teacups on the table to fall over. Luckily we had finished the tea and it didn’t matter anyway.
“I thought this incident was over?”
“The transmission talisman has still not been found – somebody was using that.”
“You mentioned it in past tense so the situation has calmed down?”
Carol asked. That’s right, if the incident was still ongoing, Suzuki wouldn’t be here.
“For now …. Over an hour has passed since the incident so the confusion caused by the frenzy curse has been resolved. But the town is in bad shape. Everyone thought that the case was resolved but suddenly the people who were just talking normally turned into berserkers and started killing others. It might even be possible that not only friends but children or parents were turning into berserkers.”
“But wouldn’t everyone be fine if they are not wearing the clothes washed in the dry cleaner?”
Since the Receiver Talisman was hidden in the clothes.
We had issued a notice to all the people on the dry cleaner’s customer list to not wear the clothes washed in the dry cleaner and the Magic Research Investigators should be going round to check if the clothes had the curse.
“But that wasn’t all. There were Receiver Talismans all over town. Furthermore, they didn’t forget to place Loudspeaker Talismans behind them. The words ‘The World’s Salvation’ spread through the town like it was a broadcast. Along with a proclamation from the criminal.”
“His words were ‘The world must be destroyed once to save the people from this birdcage created by the God of Creation – The world’s salvation comes after destruction’.”
“God of Creation? Not the Goddesses?”
“Yup, that was what he said – Kusunoki-kun, I asked all around town but where were you?”
Suzuki breathed heavily for a moment in an accusatory tone but after collecting himself, he changed his question to a purely inquisitive question.
“Well, I kind of shut myself in for a while … sorry.”
“Sorry, I wasn’t trying to blame you. Since the incident happened all at the same time, we wouldn’t have been able to stop it even if you were at another location. We let our guard down.”
“Would the Royal Army delay the removal of their encirclement?”
Suzuki shook his head.
“That won’t be the case from what I gather from the deputy mayor’s words. Ironically because of this incident, there is no longer anybody harboring the curse. The encirclement would be released today.”
“It isn’t a relief as long as there have been casualties.”
“That’s right – and the mastermind is still unknown. But I believe it is truly the end this time.”
At the end of the day, all I could do was feel depressed.
“I wonder if the criminal’s aim was only to perform an act of terrorism.”
If that was the case, it could be deemed as a great success.
This incident would be carved into the history of the world, let alone the history of the country.
Because of that, we originally wanted to buy the supplies necessary for our upcoming journey but there were no shops open at all. Up until yesterday, even though the food department was empty, at least the general stores were open.
In that case, it might be better if we bought our supplies in the next town.
“ …… ”
Carol seemed like she was thinking about something.
“Carol, do you have something on your mind? Did you find something strange?”
“Yes, strangely the identity of the mastermind was not revealed.”
“Hm? Of course, they used the Transmission Talisman so others wouldn’t recognize them –”
It would be different if there was a skill that could identify the criminal just through voice but, at the very least, I didn’t know of any such skill.
“No, a proclamation is usually for the criminal to let the world know of his existence or goal. Even if he doesn’t reveal his identity, he would at least announce the name of his organization or such.”
Now that she pointed it out, even for the proclamations on Earth, we never received an anonymous proclamation. There was always an organization or group that claimed it.
“Does that mean the incident this round was made to seem like an act of terrorism but there is another goal?”
“It would still be okay if that was the case –”
“There is a chance that we have not seen the end yet.”
Haru said, continuing Carol’s explanation.
It was not the end yet.
The incident was not over?
Would the mastermind only reveal themselves after everything is over?
Well, we might be overthinking things.
And we arrived in front of the beginner’s dungeon.
In the end, I never entered this dungeon.
I wanted to clear the intermediate and beginner dungeon once the town calmed down.
As I was thinking, I saw guards leave the beginner dungeon with hectic appearances. It looked like something happened.
“Is something wrong?”
I asked vaguely.
“You are Viscount-sama’s friend –”
“Sorry for the late introduction, I am called Ichinojo.”
I replied and showed him the brooch which was proof that I was a baronet. (TL: Just realised Baronet is a better term vs Quasi-baron)
“M-my apologies, baronet-dono!”
He said and saluted.
I was this title quite effectively.
“And so, what happened?”
“The monsters are surging from underground. There are only weak monsters but there’s a disquieting atmosphere.”
“Monsters from underground … is the advanced dungeon all right? Even the shallow floor monsters there would be a threat.”
“The advanced dungeon has been sealed but according to the reports of the adventurers who explored the first floor, there were no signs of the monsters increasing. On the contrary, the number of monsters seemed to have been lower than usual.”
“There weren’t many monsters?”
Perhaps another Trapdoll spawned and was making traps on the first floor?
“Thank you for telling me.”
I thanked him and returned to where Haru and Carol were waiting a distance away.
“It seems like the monster numbers had increased.”
I said to reassure them before we heard the guards speak again.
“Hey, the monsters are coming up the stairs again.”
“You’re kidding, this is the fourth time. Is the monster thinning not going well?”
“Well isn’t it fine, since this is the beginner’s dungeon. The vegetables still sell for a high price, right?”
“I’m a carnivore – I would be happier if beast-type monsters appeared.”
“That would be great. If that happened, everyone from the squad could have a meat party today.”
Minotaur meat? I didn’t know how minotaur would taste like as the minotaurs in the dungeon all dropped beef.
The meat from drops was quite a large portion so it would be enough for two to three people but a person with a large appetite would be able to finish it on their own too.
“It looks like it isn’t anything serious. Ichino-sama, there’s a general store in the back alley where the old man running it always boasts that he would still be open when the world ends. Should we check on him?”
“An old man like that would probably still have his shop open – but.”
I was still worried about the dungeon after all.
“Master, if you are worried about the dungeon, maybe we could stop by the Adventurer’s Guild? We will be able to gather information there and with Master’s peerage, even if you are not an adventurer, you should be able to exchange all the magic stones we collected until now for gold.”
“Ah, that’s true. Carol, do you mind we if stop by the Adventurer’s Guild before we check on the back alley old man?”
“Yes, of course.”
All right, so we will head to the Adventurer’s Guild to gather information.
It happened just as I had that thought.
“The monsters are coming out from the dungeon!”
“The supply of vegetables is going to increase again.”
“You’re wrong, they are not vegetables! Those are –”
The man who came up as the messenger suddenly got blown away.
Haru reacted quickly and rushed out to catch the man flying in mid-air.
A herd of minotaurs appeared from the dungeon.