Translator: Denryuu; Editor: Ryunakama
It was in the wee hours of the night that I noticed a disturbance in the atmosphere. That disturbance was by now familiar to me, so I got out of bed (in the room that Leyte had assigned) and opened the door.
Dee was standing there, about to knock.
「Ara-ara. I was planning to sneak in and pamper the sleeping Roland-sama. What a shame.」
「Trying to enter by the front door may put you at a disadvantage, then.」
「It’s not like I’d have escaped detection either way.」
Well whatever, I said, allowing her to enter.
Today marked our third face-to-face exchange. I usually dispatched a ‘Shadow’ to receive a letter from Dee and bring it back to me. We had previously agreed on a code for us to use, ensuring that the letters were incomprehensible to anyone other than us. Even if the letter had gotten intercepted at some point, I would have been the first to know, and it wouldn’t have been too much of a chore to find out who had done it.
Despite all the precautions, though, none of my fears had come true. It thus seemed like Dee had done an excellent job in currying favour with the other party.
Of course, the easiest way to spy on Bale would have been to use ‘Shadows’ to watch him round the clock. However, there was no guarantee that there wouldn’t be anti-magic barriers at certain places, so I had had no choice but to rely on Dee.
『Allow only their leader to escape. I’ll need you to consort with him and dig up what you can about Welger & Co.』, was what I had instructed her to do before the big day. 『Get closer to him and gain his trust.』
『To make me associate with another man despite knowing my feelings for you, what an evil person…』
『I have no intention to not be evil.』
『No, no. I didn’t mean to say that. I meant that I like your cruelty and mercilessness.』
On the big day, everything had gone according to plan — Dee had allowed Bale to escape and used the opportunity to gain his trust. As expected of a vampire, honestly. Seducing a member of the opposite sex is simply child’s play to her.
According to her previous reports, Bale was pretty much at the lowest rung of the chain of command. Although he had been the leader of one of the poaching teams, he might be transferred to another team now that his original one is gone.
「Bale-kun seems to have gotten back into the flow of things. I had expected him to start poaching again, but it seems different this time.」
「What is it?」
「Although he won’t tell me much, I’m ninety percent sure it has something to do with abduction. I think telling him that I liked bad boys worked like a charm… although ‘bad boy’ refers to you, and only you, Roland-sama.」
What to do, smiled Dee.
「Their targets appear to be former nobles and their progeny — those who may pose a political threat in the future. After kidnapping them, they use them to extort large amounts of ransom money.」
「Obtaining ‘funding’ and keeping future members of Congress in check? Talk about killing two birds with one stone.」
「Yeah. While they do a lot of shady things, I think all of them contribute to the ultimate goal of obtaining enough capital to become an organisation that not even Congress can ignore. The number of threatened members — or bribed puppets — will only continue to increase.」
「Once they’re that involved in the country’s financial system, it’ll be difficult to get rid of them.」
The ‘cancer’ doesn’t seem to have metastasized much for the time being, though.
「I don’t think they’ve resorted to assassination yet. They might be using the methods they can and leaving that for the end…?」
「The general motive behind an assassination is to keep the target’s mouth shut forever.」
「Oh, and the people you mentioned… ‘Aimee’, ‘Emilie’, ‘Celine’, ‘Gens’, ‘Guzel’ — there’s nobody within Bale’s circle using any of those names.」
An otherworldly beauty with undisclosed name and age, but powerful for sure… it’s simply not possible to ‘find’ someone like that. Even her beauty isn’t a constant, and could change at times. Ta’uro had caught a glimpse of her before, but it’s a stroke of luck that she’s no longer in the country.
「I’m still investigating, but the resources they’re amassing don’t seem to be for the sole purpose of controlling Congress. I think they’re also being used for something else, but I don’t know what yet.」
「The funds, used for something else…? Please continue investigating. At any rate, I simply want to ensure that the country’s post-war restoration doesn’t have to go hand-in-hand with the growth of this cancer.」
After all, Meiri’s from this country.
「Ufufu. Are little kids the only people you help, Roland-sama?」
Truth be told, both this matter and the Rina affair had some degree of personal feelings mixed into them.
「No. I can’t put my finger on it exactly, but I’ve spent so much quality time with her… yeah. I guess you can say she has a place in the ‘inner sanctum’ of my heart.」
Smiling, the vampire rubbed my nose gently.
「How typical of Roland-sama to say things in a roundabout way. You can just call her an ‘important person’, you know?」
「…Really? Is that the ‘normal’ way to say it? If it is, then I will use that from now on.」
「Will you help me out if I ever need it…?」
「You’ll be fine. I don’t need to lift a finger, because you have the ability to fend for yourself.」
「Oh, come on. You don’t understand a maiden’s heart at all. You’re supposed to say something like ‘I’ll come to your rescue in any place at any time’!」
She squinted, pretending to be miffed.
「It’s precisely because you can fend for yourself that I can trust you to get things done.」
Since she had been staring at me relentlessly the whole time, I noticed the change in her eyes right away. She suddenly drew closer for a hug, and I returned it, sitting on the bed with her in my arms.
「I’m so happy…」, she whispered, giving me a kiss.
Taking off her clothes, she used her body weight to push me onto the bed.
「If I don’t get lots and lots of love today…」
Sitting astride me, she put a hand on my clothes. I clutched it firmly to stop her.
「Bale will get suspicious if you’re not there when he wakes up.」
Having taken off her last piece of clothing, Dee shook her head. The wind whipped up by her hair carried a faintly sweet scent with it. Her slightly cold body reminded me of the fact that she was a member of the undead. She had stuffed her old wound beforehand, and it seemed like she had just changed the dressing recently.
Her skin was white, and on a belly with no excess whatsoever was a cute navel. The outline of her neck was gentle. Her large, soft breasts were barely held back by a black brassiere.
Even in the dimly-lit room, I could see every curve clearly.
「If this investigation had been a proper quest, then I’d have been able to receive rewards, you know?」
Moving one hand behind her to undo her brassiere, she let it fall onto my face. I produced a tired sigh.
「Fine… but only until sunrise.」
「Ufufu. Love you, Roland-sama♡」