Translator: Kell | Editor: Ryunakama
「We should arrive in thirty minutes.」
Thanks to Alpha leading the way, our journey had been smooth. As expected from a competent detective, he was very familiar with the roads.
Unlike Mylia who chose the rugged, but shortest and fastest route, Alpha chose the safer but still quite fast paths. He also used paths that people used to avoid suspicion. A traveling technique fit for a detective.
As we walked onward, a huge gate came into view. There were seven towns in Georgis’s territory. The one they spotted was the gate of the northernmost town Geonon. Beyond this gate is enemy territory.
The moment we saw the gate, Alpha’s expression turned grim, his steps heavier. I heard that detectives feared Georgis’s territory, and it seems that Alpha is no exception.
I didn’t see any magical security equipment near the gate. That was probably because there are lots of civilians here. Using magic to search people wouldn’t matter since there’s no way of knowing if they were suspicious or not. It seems the Cardinal’s security isn’t tight in places away from his secret area.
「I will carry out the Count’s request. He saved my life before. I’d be glad to offer my life for him.」
Alpha’s face twitched, but his voice was full of determination. He had told me about how he owed his life to the Count on our way here. It looks like he actually came here fully prepared to die.
「You don’t need to throw your life away. You can go home.」
He looked like he had the wind taken out of his sails. He came prepared to die in the line of duty, yet I told him he can go. No wonder he was surprised.
「Your giving me information and bringing me here quick is more than enough. I’ll go alone from here.」
「Are you sure?」he asked, feeling both baffled and a bit glad.
He probably really didn’t want to die.
「I already told you I’m going in alone. That means any place dangerous.」
「Okay. Thanks.」Alpha said and went back down the same road we came from.
Incidentally, it wasn’t like I pitied him. I just sent him home because he would only get in the way.
He’d been a huge help on our journey here. But bringing someone who can’t even conceal their mana would only make us easy to spot. I planned to make him turn back around here from the start, so I already got the information I needed from him.
「All right. Time to go.」
After seeing Alpha off, I set off towards Georgis’s domain.
It was just starting to get dark when I arrived at the eastern town Geomuis. According to Alpha, this town was were plenty of slaves were imported. The mine with plenty of deaths was in Geomuis as well.
Looks like this is their base.
The town itself looked like any other town. In fact, most of the people here were probably civilians. But in one corner of the town, there was clearly a heavily-guarded warehouse.
I couldn’t tell what was going on inside, but people who clearly didn’t look like civilians gathered around in places. They were obviously guards dressed up as civilians.
Georgis’s secret facility was most likely inside. A hasty detective might just sneak in right away, but there’s really no point in doing that.
What I’m looking for should be deep in the forest.
The Bloodstone Ritual can only be performed in an altar created in a forest. Various guidelines had to be followed: you can’t block the sky, there should be no buildings in a hundred-meter radius, you can’t chop down the surrounding trees, among others. The evil spirit that descends to the altar is extremely high-strung and dislikes unnatural environment.
So the ritual can’t be done in that warehouse. The altar should be inside the forest.
I left the town and activated Mana Invisibility. It’s a very convenient spell that allowed the caster to hide himself and his mana. Since mana is not released to the immediate surroundings, the caster can’t be sensed by mana detection skills.
But it had a drawback. It was an extremely delicate spell. It gets dispelled easily when the caster uses magic or moves quickly. The effect of the concealment gradually drops when moving slowly too.
When penetrating the enemy’s security, using Magical Invisibility meant the caster has to be extremely cautious when moving.