Translator: Denryuu; Editor: Ryunakama
Following what looked like Dee, I crept toward the villa which was large enough to accommodate the population of a small village.
Sneaking past the guard wasn’t a problem at all.
To me, there’s nothing wrong with her staying here, but she should at least have said so.
「Maybe she hasn’t decided to settle down here yet…」, I muttered in the shadows.
Making sure to make as little noise as possible, I entered the mansion. I detected the presence of some humans — perhaps they were cooks or maids.
I hurried after Dee so as not to lose sight of her, climbing flight after flight of stairs to reach the highest floor of the four-storey mansion. Seeing her disappear into the furthest room, I trained my ears towards it with bated breath.
「Guess who’s back!」
The voice that replied to her seemingly belonged to a noble.
「No quest today, I see? Very well. You can take it easy today.」
It seems like they’ve known each other for quite some time.
If this noble had fallen for Dee after meeting her for quest-related matters, and was helping her out, then I would have been relieved. A blessing in disguise of sorts, I’d say.
According to Lord Bardell, the adventurers had been vanishing since a month ago. His description matched what Neil and Roger had told me as well.
Adventurers don’t usually have a fixed residence. They’re continuously on the move, and even if they disappear, few people will notice, let alone care. What separates them from common criminals is the fact that they do have a place they frequent.
That place is the guild.
If both Dee and this noble had something to do with the mysterious disappearances, then I had come to the right place at the right time.
I can’t jump to conclusions, of course — I’ll have to eavesdrop a little longer.
Hearing footsteps from within the room, I quickly dived for cover. A moment later, a young noble came out, accompanied by Dee who had removed her overcoat.
I believe his name is Victor Darton, I remember seeing him in the army during the war. He was indeed the third son of a baron whose area of jurisdiction was somewhere in northern Ferland.
Walking on the carpeted floor, they talked casually as they made their way downstairs. Upon reaching the basement, Darton unlocked a door, dashing all my hopes immediately.
Have you ever seen a locked door in the basement that isn’t hiding something bad?
Seemingly having gotten used to this, Dee followed Darton into the depths of the basement. I followed them along a path paved with freshly-cut stones. It was cool to the touch.
Recalling the layout of the entire villa, I reasoned that Dee had entered the largest building — the one which Darton was in. We were now heading towards a somewhat isolated cottage. The closer we got, the more I could smell blood in the air. After checking that the coast was clear, I opened the door.
The stench increased tenfold.
I sensed that there were more people than just the two of them here.
「Ooooh! Hnng –! Nnnngh!」
「Here, go ahead. Just a little, okay?」
Splish, splash — I could hear the jarring noise of running water.
I found another door in the back, so I quietly smashed the lock open and went inside.
A rotting stench permeated every inch of the room. Flies which looked like little black specks were buzzing around. On the walls various tools hung, coated a tarry black by oxidised blood.
Even the bed hadn’t been spared.
「Not just two or three victims, huh?」
Aside from the stale air and the streaks of blood that lined the walls, everything else was just speculation at this point. All I knew was that this was not a good place to be in.
I spotted a wagon as I looked around more. Multiple corpses lay there as I lifted the bundle of cloth covering it.
All of them were damaged beyond recognition.
I made out five or six people, but there could’ve even been ten — that’s how battered they were.
I get it now.
There was yet another door next to the wagon. Opening it, there was a staircase that went up, probably leading to the cottage above ground.
Some people there might still be alive. If that’s the case, then I might be able to get them —
「Ara-ara, if it isn’t Roland-sama. Never thought I’d meet you here of all places.」
Whirling around, I saw Dee standing at the entrance, striking her signature hand-on-cheek pose. Her thin lips formed a smile, even though her eyes betrayed her true emotions.
「Neither did I. What are you doing in a place like this?」
「Guess I have no choice but to kill Roland-sama.」
「It’s a shame you won’t be able to.」
As soon as I finished my sentence, Dee made her move.
Launching off the ground, she did a 180 in mid-air and kicked the ceiling for momentum, barrelling straight at me. She would have killed the average human many times over before he could register those physics-defying movements.
「I see how it is.」
I stuck my hand out, clutching Dee’s neck like a butcher selecting his next chicken to carve up.
「Gah… hack!? How did you see –!?」
I slammed her onto the bloodstained ground with all my strength.
I had sparred with Dee for the practical assessment. That’s how I knew that she was weaker than me. There’s no way she can take me down, especially without a plan of some kind.
Standing on both of the struggling Dee’s arms to pin her down, I squatted, taking a good look at her eyes. I had been uncertain all this time due to the hood obscuring her face, but I could finally confirm my suspicions.
From within Dee came the sound of shattering glass.