Chapter 27 – It somehow became a serious issue?
First Published on Ainushi
Even though I was struggling inside, Suou continued to talk regardless. If you are going to talk in such a serious manner, could you please release my hand. Even when I tried to remove his hand he only holds on stronger than before, so in the end I just gave up. Let’s just listen obediently for now… kuu.
[The reason I came to the Kingdom and met with the Baron is because there was a connection/link between them. I already told you earlier, but there are only a few people who know about the “one with closed eyes.” Naturally, there aren’t any requests either. No other person of “one with closed eyes” would undertake the request except for me.
But suddenly, there was a request to the “one with closed eyes” to smoke me out and bring me in. That request was from the dogs’ group. I don’t want to stand out more than necessary and I don’t want to be found out by troublesome people, so I basically lived while hiding. It wasn’t like I was in the country. It is impossible to find me unless you spend time, money, effort, and have connections. But to go as far as to find me, there is no way it could be because of that kind of request.
Then it has to be because of the dogs or the owner of the dogs. He knew about the “one with closed eyes” in detail. Otherwise, the actions and words of the dogs couldn’t be explained. I felt that this was something more than a simple request and I judged that it couldn’t be ignored. So, despite the probability of it being a trap, I still came.]
Mooks-san started to think about something at Suou’s words and let out a groan.
[So the Baron wasn’t the one behind the men in black. Did he not know about the “one with closed eyes?”]
[He knew about the characteristics. That’s why he made me remove my eye band and checked my eye color. Well, that’s how I knew.]
Mooks-san’s face became even more thoughtful from Suou’s words and he scratched his head.
[Well, they would check if your eyes were deep crimson if they knew about it. They could confirm it at once if they looked at your eyes. There isn’t any better proof of identity… Ahh, are you saying that they didn’t know about the rumor that they would die if they looked at your eyes?]
[If they only thought about the distinctive features, their actions weren’t strange.
But I said it before, right? That the owner knew about the “one with closed eyes” in detail. That wasn’t at the level of knowing the rumors. The dogs were wary of the arcane magic of the “one with closed eyes”. Those who knew about it wouldn’t carelessly try to look at my eyes. As evidence, the dogs who knew about it were all cautious of their surroundings and tried not to look at my eyes at all. It was set up so the Baron only thought I was a useful pawn and knew about my characteristics. He didn’t know about the rumors at all.]
This time, I also stiffened up from Suou’s words. Because I saw them! I saw his eyes!! What arcane magic? When I lifted up my head to stare at him, I didn’t know if he noticed my confused face, but he sneered while continuing his talk.
[Relax. A rumor is just a rumor. Now, nothing happens if you look at me. I investigated about it even before I came to the Kingdom, but I couldn’t seem to catch any leads. The mastermind is quite the careful guy. This time, thanks to the dogs’ mistake, we got to know some information, but it’s merely a fraction of it. Even if you follow the tracks, they skillfully cover it up. I wanted to check how much the owner knew about the clan, but naturally, including the characteristics of the “one with closed eyes,” I found that they at least knew that the eyes were related to arcane magic, and simple contents of that arcane magic. Another thing is that the owner is connected to the upper ranks of aristocracy. That’s also troublesome.]
I wondered how many times this room was going to get cold. The atmosphere in the room became cold in an instant again. My stomach hurt.
[Do you have any evidence? You’re not going to say it’s your instinct again, are you?]
[It’s not my instinct, but it’s my weakness, so I don’t want to talk about it…. Haa. It’s the reason I was caught.]
Amazing! Mooks-san’s glaring worked! It was really scary after all. Even I almost wet my pants, just a little bit. This guy only sighed. It would be better if a hole opened up in his stomach!!
[While the mansion was attacked, I was poisoned. I’m immune to most of the poisons in this world, so there are almost no poisons that work on me. Even if it does work, my body recovers immediately. The only exception is the poison possessed by the Daitonia Empire.]
[My clan knew of the existence of that poison and its symptoms, but since it was difficult to get a hold of, we couldn’t make an antidote or a method for immunity. This time, it matched with the symptoms. This coincidence is absolutely impossible with other poisons. This poison is the fruit of labour I attained this time.]
[How can you be so sure they are connected to the upper ranks of the empire’s aristocracy, or about the relationship with the men in black? The poison could probably be obtained by the Baron as he has connections with the leading merchants in the empire. Isn’t it normal to think that the mastermind is using that connection?]
[The Baron can’t obtain it. If it’s something the Baron could obtain, then my clan would have already gotten a hold of it. Not even the upper ranks of the empire’s aristocracy know of its existence. Moreover, it’s controlled so no one can use it. It’s supervised to that extent… Well it’s fine. I don’t know if the empire is using ‘him’ while knowing he’s a useful pawn or whether they joined hands, but narrowing down the prospective candidates shows that the owner is connected to the empire. Excluding the Baron, even with spies, the empire would not have been involved with the dogs to this extent. All that remain is the owner…if there’s someone behind that owner, then it’s probably that person…I can’t specifically deduce the identity of the mastermind connected with the empire yet, but it’s certain that the empire is involved…moreover… 『Hey! You!』…]
Near the end, Mooks-san seemed to slump down tiredly on the chair and look up to the ceiling, but he should be fine. Suou was in the middle of talking, but there was something that kept bothering me, so I hit his hand and interrupted him.
[You!! Right now, what are the poison’s effects? You don’t have the antidote or immunity for it? If the poison is managed by the empire, then the antidote should be as well, right? Did the men in black take it!? Are you alright? Did they heal you at the station? Hey! Say something!!]
Even though I was looking up at Suou and asking him questions, he was blank and did not reply, so out of annoyance, I unconsciously hit him on the head. He still seemed to be somewhat dumbfounded, but he finally replied.
[Since the quantity of the poison was small, I won’t die. The symptoms have also calmed down. Strangely, ever since before, I recover if you’re near me That’s why I pulled you closer. Actually, I really want to put you on my knees, can I?]
[…? Haa!? There’s no way it’s alright! You really are an idiot! It’s probably the wrong impression from your stupid head thinking that you’re recovering!! ]
No way am I getting on your knees! But, you’ll recover if you place me on your knees? Is there such a foolish thing? I’m not doing anything right now. I would know if I used healing magic, but I haven’t done anything.
[That’s why I only pulled you towards me. Normally, doesn’t a kid get happy when placed on the knees and hugged? Are you trying to look cool?]
[Stop calling me a kid! I may be a child, but I’m 13 years old! Would a 13 year old child be happy on your knees?!]
Suou’s face changed into a surprised expression. Huh? I feel like I’ve seen this expression before!!
[I kept thinking you were a kid, but for it to be to this extent. Don’t talk nonsense. You’re probably at most…10 years old?]
[I’m not talking nonsense! I am genuinely 13 years old, I’ll be turning 14 years old in another six months! Ahh, you don’t believe me!?
It’s true!? Mooks-san!! I’m not lying right!? I’m 13 years old.]
When I suddenly turn around towards Mooks-san, he was nodding while holding back his laughter. Why are you laughing!
[Ahh, Az is genuinely 13 years old. He isn’t lying. He isn’t saying nonsense. Kuku~]
[…I guess there are things you can’t believe exist in the world. Why don’t you eat some better things? Are you very picky with food?]
[It’s none of your business! I’m not picky with my food and I eat enough with three meals and snacks! I also drink milk!!]
…Th- this guy! What a guy!! I shouldn’t have worried about a guy like this!! If he was going to talk like this, then…I don’t think I need to worry. Well, I should probably get back on track. All we need to do is make the antidote. I don’t know if it’ll work, but it’s for my self-satisfaction.
[I’m sorry I intervened whilst you were talking. It’s okay if the poison doesn’t have any effect. Please return to your story. There’s no reason for such pointless arguing and it’s a waste of time!]
As he talked, I imagined taking in mana essence at the same time. Suou started talking and I activated my magic. I didn’t say any chants, spells, or even any magic formations. I probably won’t get found out since no phenomenon has occurred. …I won’t get found out, right?
[I guess so…hm? You? ………. Haa. What were we on about again…ahh, the Baron and the dogs will be disposed of in the near future. That’s probably also within your expectations though. Whether it’s the mastermind or the empire you are anticipating, they won’t keep something inconvenient left as is. Do you know what their response would be? Since the empire is involved, they will be dealt with thoroughly. They have probably already started moving.]
Hii, it was not the time to be talking about my age. What a great topic. Why did I go interrupting his story at an important point?! While I was speechless, Mooks-san turned his gaze towards Suou.
[We have formed a plan regarding the anticipated mastermind, but it’s another story if the empire is also involved.
It means that in this case, the empire’s purge is skillfully covered and something is moving. One of their aims is you.]
Suou let out a whistle. I could only stiffen and listen to the story, because the story was getting too big…. It would definitely be better if I was not here!
[Well that’s true. The dogs’ behaviour suddenly became strange, so they acted out of plan. I don’t know which part is their trap, but could this also be their strategy? It’s difficult to comprehend though…the Baron was probably treated as a sacrificial pawn from the beginning. I’m not sure when they started planning it, but until now, they used him as much as they could. In the end, they used him as a cover to lure me out. However, I don’t know whether it was to kill me or capture me alive.
Whether it was the orders of the empire or the mastermind, the fact that they got a hold of the poison makes you think it was the empire’s doing. But even so, why this country? Was it to make me careless? What was the mastermind’s purpose in the first place? There’s too little information to make a conclusion.]
[I guess so. First is the protection of the Baron and the men in black. It’ll trouble me if they die. I’ll head to the royal castle. Az, you stay in the Agency. Do some work until I return. Think of it as today’s punishment. So, what will you do?]
As Mooks-san stood up and asked, Suou also stood up.
[Presently, it seems better if I stop today’s registration. I’ll return to the inn today. After I investigate some matters, I’ll temporarily leave the country, then return after I change my appearance. I’ll register at that time.]
Eh? You’re going to return? You don’t have to come back though. Also, it’s totally okay if you don’t register!?
[What do you mean by changing your appearance?]
[This is only my standard appearance for undertaking requests. It’s the clan’s rule, but recently I didn’t change it because it’s troublesome. I’ve been spending my time like that, since this appearance stands out even if I don’t want to. It’s common sense if you want to live a normal life, so the predecessors made a magical artifact for it. Though the men in black and the empire recognise this appearance, they shouldn’t be able to recognise my usual appearance, so I’m going to use this chance. Moreover, the reason to stay in this appearance might disappear as well.]
Mooks-san had an extremely difficult expression right now, but that was only momentary and we all left the room together. The moment we stepped out, Mooks-san gave me a warning….
[Don’t return home ahead of time, okay? We’re going to return together. If you are obedient, I’ll buy you snacks. Pfft]
I didn’t need the last bit at all!! You laughed. Even Suou laughed. Haa.
[I will absolutely not go out. I’ll obediently do my work. I don’t need snacks, so I’ll be really happy if you cancel my prohibition on going out and taking on subjugation requests.]
[Ah~, that’s up to how you do! Then, I’ll head out for a bit, now.]