Chapter 37: The Spy’s Visit – The Visitor Therese

 


Translator: Manga0205


「Abram’s Assassin’s Guild……ish it?」
After placing a towel on Sara who had fainted, Shiro, who had regained consciousness, answered my question while cleaning up after our liaison.

「Nnー……Although I haven’t made direct contact with them, apart from the union of thieves, including the ones that are Adventurers, I have heard that there is a group that specializes in fight scenes. They weren’t in Abram since long ago, and seems to have been made only several years ago. If I remember correctly, they would sell illegal drugs……Things like opium and aphrodisiacs, though a portion of that was handled by the thieves union……or mediate for unlicensed prostitutes, but it’s said that that is all a front. It was rumored that they would be connected to a portion of nobles through their entanglement with prostitution, and that they dyed their hands in assassination around there as well, but I don’t know how they actually are.」
Although she doesn’t know the details, it looks like there’s no mistake that she saw that the entity is there.

「……Can you make contact with them?」
「I think that’ll be difficult……」
Well, I thought that would be the case. They’re probably also aware that having their information being unknown is important. In regards to that, after having continued business with criminals and unlawful peddlers for close to a year, even if they were screened to a certain extent via Gustave, it might be best to think that my dungeon has had more than a certain amount of its information be made known. ……Isn’t there also the possibility that they will make contact with me?

Calling Astarte and Dahlia, I confirmed the state of progress for the preparations for our moving……or rather, our skipping out by night, as well as the preparations for the sake of splitting up and confining Abram’s expeditionary force. In regards to the skipping out by night, there was only the preliminary arrangements that took half a year to make, and as long as I resolved to discard the workshop, there were no problems. In regards to the splitting and confinement, it wasn’t going all that well. Even if there was a map of the mine’s interior, we would have to hire mining engineers. I had Shiro make confinement traps, and there were Golem parts that were set beforehand, but when it came to large-scale things that made use of the tunnels, as expected, it was a lot to bear.
Saying pretty words like 「I want to lessen the casualties and injured people」, it wasn’t a plan that seemed like it would win. Even if we did something like cause a cave-in at the tunnels, unless we were at least able to divide and confine them, they would probably trample down everything inside the tunnels from the front and that would be the end. I, the leader that should be protected, don’t have any decent battle abilities. Even if I got lucky and more than half of them became lost, if 25% of the regular soldiers were to reach where I was, most likely, even if Astarte were there, they would probably kill me with a couple of hits.

If it was just running away, it would be fine if I just instructed the monsters to stall for time and then immediately leave. However, I couldn’t do that. No, I wouldn’t do that.
I met with Olivia, and talked with her. It was because I myself understood the desire that I had within myself. I had made my decision. The only friend that I had when I was a Human. The Olivia who had her life targetted, was tossed around by the malice of the aristocratic world and waves of conspiracy, and was unable to run away nor cry. I will save her, make her fall, and make her mine.

◆◆◆

After half a day, the anticipated visitor came. Carrying Gustave’s letter of introduction, she was a travelling female merchant. What she mainly handled was precious metals and a bit of illegal medicines. The letter of introduction was genuine. But the name on the letter was most likely someone else’s. The short haired, intelligent-looking female merchant requested one night’s safety at the inn, and made an offer asking if I wanted to buy information on the expeditionary force.

The female merchant that named herself as Therese was exaggeratedly surprised from the fact that the Dungeon Master was a young man whose youth wasn’t all that different from her own, and asked about the authenticity of various pieces of gossip without being rude. I took the sheltering fee at market price, and even in regards to the expeditionary force, I said 「I thought they would come here eventually, but it was faster than I expected」 as my response.

I wasn’t all that good at acting, but even if it was exposed that I was lying, I would be fortunate if she instead thought 「You’re hiding that you didn’t know」. Now then, how will she come at me……?

「Dungeon Master-dono……No, may I call you Eliott-san? ……I had heard about you from rumors, but after meeting with you in person, you’re a bit scary.」
Therese’s voice, it more or less had some nervousness in it, but it was cheerful. She might be making it cheerful on purpose. There was a reason for her to call me scary. This time, when I met with this guest, I had a bit of makeup applied on. Using colored powder to change the color of my skin, the color of the skin on my face and arms were made to be bluish. I put a bit of shading underneath my eyes, and by putting on hair ornaments, I made it so that the number of horns I have couldn’t be told. Since I was a novice in regards to makeup, I entrusted it all to Astarte and the other women. Because of that, I actually haven’t seen what kind of appearance I have yet. If Gustave saw me, he would probably point and laugh at me, but, well, that can’t be helped. Even if she saw through my makeup, it would be fine as long my undisguised face wasn’t exposed. This was a caution prepared for the worst case of where this guest had heard of my outward appearance from the Officer of Arms.

「Ahh, Eliott is fine. Though I have this appearance, I am not very good with such formality. ……Therese-san, was it? What sort of information do you have on that expeditionary force?」
Confirming the other party’s hand is one of the basics of negotiating. It’s also one of the basics to bluff somewhat……is what I’ve also heard from mercenaries. Being honest was my motto in business, but right now, it wasn’t the time for that.
「The information on the expeditionary force itself, although I can make conjectures on what it might be, I’d be grateful for it. I was thinking of evacuating since it would be a pain, so I intend on paying a good amount of money for good information, you know?」

Going by my and Astarte’s judgement, the expeditionary force that departed eight days ago, after thinking about their marching speed, they will probably arrive at this mining village by around just past noon tomorrow. We anticipated that they would build their encampment on the outskirts of the village so we thought that their actual capturing of the dungeon would happen the day after that. Now then, what kind of information is this girl trying to pour on us?

「……The expeditionary force departed Abram seven days ago. They number at around 100 people, but since they have a supply unit, their actual fighting power is half that. Even within that portion, knights, mercenaries, and regular soldiers are only half of that, I suppose that’s how it is? Most likely, their arrival in front of this dungeon will probably be around tomorrow evening. While I can’t imagine how terrifying the demons of this place are, wouldn’t it be dangerous to clash against them from the front?」

……She did say any lies, but she wasn’t accurate. Therese’s information was only a day late on the expeditionary force’s departure date. Moreover, her estimation of their fighting power was also subtly lower. It was hard to say that she was mistaken. In other words……
「For you, would it be favorable if they and I were to clash with each other?」
Therese’s gaze stopped for an instant from those words. It was incredible how her facial expression didn’t pretty much didn’t change, but even so, I could tell that her eyes were swimming for an instant.
「……Let’s see. It would be fortunate if you could halt the expeditionary force until I could safely escape. However, even if you were to fight with his……since the commanding officer is a woman, would it be proper if I say her?……with her forces, there wouldn’t be any particular profit that a mere peddler could make.」
It looked like she was strong at ad-libbing as well. It seemed that she wasn’t some mere underling, but someone that possessed the authority to make some considerable decisions. Even in the conversation just now, if I hadn’t known about the information beforehand, I wouldn’t feel any particular need to doubt her.

「Well, their total is big, but their actual fighting power is lower than half of that. Most likely, another half of that are at the level of lookouts that were drafted from the peasants, or something around that. Although it’s not that you can’t win, it’ll be hard to get out of it unscathed……Well, I don’t feel that there is a need for you to force yourself to fight. That being said, I would rather not be chased after by those guys. How does making preparations to run away until tomorrow night and then stall for time after that using this dungeon sound?」

Since their invasion would attack two days later anyhow, it’ll be fine as long as we move by tomorrow night, is what I added. Therese’s eyes slyly slanted just a bit. Were those they eyes of someone looking at their caught prey? The battle has already started within this conversation. What was the move that my opponent made aiming for? At that time, Shiro and Sara, who were in their maid uniforms, came into the room carrying meals. With things not calming down congenially, this conversation of deceiving each other continued even in the middle of the meal.


 


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