Cop Craft Volume 3 Chapter 1 Part 10


Translator: ClefRunner

Editor: Weasalopes


「Well, if you guys want to hear a story like the ones in the movies, there are some. There’s a play called “May Darahna”. It’s the story of a king named Zahbra who was known to indulge himself in degeneration and debauchery」
「So they really existed, those tyrants!」
「And the play was about the May Darahna harem. Do you know what that is?」
「No clue…」
「It’s an old word for “ultimate pleasure”. There were over a thousand beautiful female servants at the harem, and it was said that obscene parties were carried out day after day. King Zahbra simply ignored the sorry condition of the kingdom and kept indulging in these partes, so a priestess advised him to stop secluding himself, hoping he would devote time to the government. That priestess was a beautifully modest woman. So King Zahbra made a different proposal to her. “If, after a hundred bygone days in my harem, thou dost still think that way, then very well, I shall do as thou sayest”. She accepted the king’s proposal, and joined May Darahna.」

As Tilarna got up to that point in the story, Emma and the others were evidently overflowing with intrigue.

「And then? What happened to the priestess?」
「She was attacked by the temptation of pleasures beyond what anybody on Earth could imagine. Liquor and banquets more delicious than anything she could ever taste. Guards so skilled in love making they could make any woman melt. Nonetheless, she kept crying out god’s name with honesty, and managed to push through every single temptation she faced. However, she could not win against Shumena.」
「Shumena?」
「A secret potion. It was an extremely strong aphrodisiac created by a magician that worked for King Zahbra. Just by drinking it, any woman no matter how modest she was, would lose her mind in pleasure and sloth. And then the hundred days were over. She clung erotically to King Zahbra, completely naked, and begged him to let her stay in the palace.」
「Woah… he broke her.」
「What an ending」
「What a sucky aftertaste…」

All of them were muttering in unison.

「While it’s true that it is a painful story, the tale itself also serves as a lesson on its own. About how anybody, no matter how purehearted they may be, can lose to addiction…」
「I don’t know, it’s kind of a preachy story. Isn’t that obvious?」

Emma said while laughing, and then the rest of the group laughed along with her. Tilarna just observed them annoyed, and as they were calming down, she muttered quietly

「Well, Norune didn’t know…」
Everybody went quiet, as if someone had dropped a bucket of cold water on them. Silence surrounded the entire table. Tilarna was caught off guard by that reaction.

「What Norune…?」

Emma asked

「That was the name of the priestess. In Earthling terms, it’s close to “Maria”, a pretty common name…」
「Ah, I see. So that was it, you scared me」

Said Emma, as they all were laughing uncomfortably, and exchanging looks with each other.

「Oh okay. Why did that scare you?」
「Eh? Ah… we have a friend with the same name. Norune. She hasn’t come to school in the entire week, so we’re kind of worried about her…」
「Hm… is she a Semani?」
「Yeah. She’s a good girl. I would like to introduce her to you as well, Tilarna, but… I wonder what happened」

Wasn’t this some unexpected chance? Tilarna was thinking. The actual name of that priestess was pronounced “Nolahne”. It was a good fit, so Tilarna had just tried to say “Norune”. However, enquiring anything more from Emma and the others would be too risky.

There was a possibility that somewhere would hear something like “that transfer girl has been sniffing around asking about Norune” from them. She could tell at least that even without Matoba explicitly telling her so.

As if trying to fix the spoiled mood, Emma spoke

「… Anyways Tilarna, about the party. Friday at seven, I’ll see you at my place. Don’t forget it, okay?」
「Of course! I’m looking forward to it」

~o~

Besides hanging out with Emma’s group like that, Tilarna also kept meeting up with Nyath Maybell, the ex-Semanian student. However, she didn’t speak much with him while they were at school. Even when they ran into each other, they would each go their own way rather quickly. The moment she had to speak with him was after school. They would both go to the bus stop and meet up there.

The fourth day after infiltrating, a Thursday, was no different. Tilarna and Nyath were standing around waiting at the bus stop on their way back home.

Her conversations with Nyath were also pretty superficial. About how the hot math teacher actually wore a wig, or several different things about the cafeteria’s menu, or the urban legend about the haunted locker that would make any student that used it fail a subject. But those conversations were in fact refreshing for Tilarna. The detectives at the Vice Squad would normally talk about very work centric topics, so they would usually be filled with brutal or graphic things.

This kind of life wasn’t so bad. What kind of person would she have been if she had grown up commuting to a school on Earth like this one, and talking to a carefree kid like Nyath? After talking about a singer that was selling lots of records recently for a while, Nyath asked her

「By the way, Tilarna, are you kind of used to this school already?」
「Well I don’t know. I don’t think I’ll get used to Earth no matter how many years go by.」
「I’m not so sure about that. You know, for some reason, I get the feeling that you’re actually a pretty adaptable person」
「I wish. Speaking of adaptability, I get the feeling that you also don’t really fit in with the rest of the school, Nyath」

Tilarna said without thinking much about it, but immediately an uncomfortable expression fell on Nyath’s face.

「Because I don’t have any friends?」
「No… I’m not saying that」
「Well it sure seems like you are. Ah, I’m sorry. I really don’t have any friends. I guess maybe I could call Norune a friend, but she hasn’t come all week and she’s not answering the phone either」

He still didn’t know that Norune was dead. Tilarna felt inexplicably guilty at hiding the truth from him. Maybe he didn’t show it much, but it seemed like he was starting to feel uneasy about not being able to contact Norune.

「Personally, I don’t mind about having few friends」
「Thank you for your kind words, but well, I’m used to it, so I’m okay. I’m not like you who can become popular just like that after being transferred. I’m a poor Semanian peasant, so there’s absolutely no one who would want to be my friend.」
「I’m also a Semanian」
「A rich Semanian, right?」

Nyath noticed what Tilarna was wearing on her right wrist.

「This for example. Where did you buy this?」
「What?」
「This wristwatch. It’s a Tiffany watch, right? I think this is insanely expensive」
「Ah…」

Tilarna hadn’t even thought about the price of the watch that she was wearing. It was just an item that she had borrowed from the police’s confiscated items storage.

「I don’t know the price… it was a present from my family.」
「You see? A normal commoner would never get something like that. You were given a watch worth several thousand dollars, and you aren’t even aware of its price. Emma Sehlam and her group obviously noticed that too. From the moment they first met you, they knew that you were a rich lady, and called out to you immediately」

Tilarna was perplexed at Nyath’s resentful tone, and she protested

「Are… are you criticizing me for the price of a watch?」
「This is not about that! How should I say it… no, you know that? Forget it. You probably wouldn’t get it even in a million years!」

Just at that moment the bus was coming. Nyath was going to take out his pass and get on the bus originally, but he put his bag on his shoulders again, and started heading west, walking briskly.

「Where are you going? The bus is here」
「I just felt like walking. You go home on your own」
「Nyath, I didn’t mean to insult you-」
「See ya!」

Nyath waved his hand at her, and just kept walking. Tilarna hesitated about going after him, but ultimately got on the bus without doing anything.

~o~

「Well then, I don’t think you were in the wrong. It was Nyath who was being judgy.」

That evening, Matoba heard Tilarna’s story as they were turning around a corner in Seven Miles.

「But well, I don’t think we should be criticizing him either. This happens often when you’re that age. What about trying to just make things up naturally the next time you see him?」
「I don’t know about that…」

Tilarna was grimly looking out the car window. The neon lights were lighting up the city at night. Women were standing out on the streets, and their pimps were calling out to them. Plenty of vices, all far removed from that school. But no matter where she went, she couldn’t run away from sad incidents. Be it in Semani or on Earth.

「Hey, did you fall for Nyath?」
「Wha…?! Absolutely not!」

Tilarna denied eagerly. Matoba was just making a lighthearted joke, so her reaction surprised him a little.

「What’s up with you? Wait, am I right?」
「No, no. I’m telling you I didn’t!」
「Well then, why are you so flustered?」
「It’s not like that… It’s simpler than that. Ever since I first came to this city, I never had a friend that was from my same world, and around my same age.」
「Ah, I get it.」

Matoba simply seemed to accept that. Since she was working for the police, there was nothing to do about it, but Tilarna had been surrounded only by adults from Earth. So she probably hadn’t had the chance to simply hang out with anybody like that.

「That’s all it is. I don’t have feelings like that for him. Besides, Nyath is younger than me, and I don’t really dream about being together with a man as immature as him. Do you understand that?」
「Yeah I get it. Or rather, why did you get that serious and start denying it in the first place?」
「… who cares. I don’t even know myself」
「You’re pretty weird. You got all red all of a sudden」
「Shut your mouth, you savage」
「Shut up, you alien」

They insulted each other like they always did, and that conversation came to an end. But Tilarna still felt upset. Not about the Nyath issue, but about Matoba’s reaction. It was making her angry, though she didn’t quite know why.

「We’re here. It’s that building.」

Matoba slowed down. He parked in front of a small apartment building on Meyfield street, pulled the handbrake and turned the engine off.

「That’s a pretty seedy looking building. The dealer is here?」

There was a rumor going around about a large cocaine distribution network near Queen’s Ballet, and a dealer named Mendoza was living in that building. Matoba had planned a meeting with him, naturally not as a cop, but as “Kei Manobe, independent broker”.

「Not all traffickers live in luxurious apartments」


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