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The next morning. Having spent the night just like that at Chana’s refuge, I had the various plants and fungi that Chana was researching identified.
The poison and medicines would probably prove useful, that this wasn’t the time for them. Going by the details I heard from Diana and Chana, the chief of the Assassin’s Guild, the demon called the Snake Princess is a female type Mazoku possessing the lower half of a serpent called a 「Lamia」. Upon my knowledge, I had heard that that was a demon that was in the far eastern continent, but I had no idea why she would be here. Well, if I were to say that, the Arachne is also a demon that existed in the folklore of the north, and I had never heard of demons making their appearance like it was natural. Of course, it would probably be different if I were to go to the Demon World, but I don’t even know there the Demon World is.
I left the handling of the carriage to Shiro, who was familiar with Abram, and to Dahlia, who had an outward appearance that was hard to be suspicious of, then called Astarte in exchange. Placing the map of Abram’s underground waterways that Diana possessed in the center, we thought of conquering measures. Currently, we came up with a certain extent of measures.
The creation of an underground room was a considerably big job as long as natural caverns weren’t used. Even with just creating a small room, at the minimum, there was a need to take the earth that was there away to some other place. If the detailed stoppage points and worries such as the reinforcement of walls and drainage controls were to be brought up, there would probably be too many of them to count. In regards to excavating the ground, it is said that the required amount of time and labor needed would greatly differ depending on if there are specialized devices or Dwarves being employed. Abram’s waterways were established by the river and waterways that were originally there, and only a portion of the routes were changed to make them easier to use. Even if we say that they made use of the river that was originally there, digging waterways to various places of the town and shutting a portion of them underground as underground waterways should have been some astounding technological strength. This town planning that was performed 30 years ago, even if there were towns that mimicked it afterwards, there was no way that there would be many towns that could compare favorably with it within this country. (Then again, that was only because the site called Abram was in contact with a large river though) In any case, their specialization is that high.
……That’s why, they didn’t make it with that much wide space. Moreover, since it was probably made airtight in order to increase its durability, the ventilation not being very good was a constant. That’s why, volatile paralysis gas would probably display effectiveness. That’s what I thought. That prediction wasn’t wrong. However, that was only with the condition of “in an area that a Human can go in and out of”.
「……As a possibility, the possibility that that Snake Princess’s location is directly connected to the underground waterways is high.」
Astarte pointed that out sounding disinterested, and when the map of the underground waterways and the passages meant to maintain them was overlapped with the map that indicated the Assassin’s Guild’s location, we learned that there was a high probability that the area that the Snake Princess stayed at was in the underground waterways……Moreover, we learned which directions where the waterways that were close to it would diverge. Abram’s underground waterways are extensive, and if one didn’t have to think about the risk of being seen from above ground, it would be possible to directly go to around 70% of the town’s interior. It would probably be difficult to obtain this map unless one bribed people on the class of being the ones responsible for Abram’s public order or the ones in charge of its construction. Even for the military, having this known to other countries or hostile forces would be a dangerous affair. ……I don’t have any positive proof as to where this was obtained from, but there is one prospect that I can think of. The reason why the Assassin’s Guild could raise accomplishments with a small number of people is probably because they used this map and had such mobility. And then, the Lamia who is the single remaining chief of the Assassin’s Guild, if she were to take a step in the wrong direction, there was a high possibility that she would escape into this underground waterway. If it comes to that, we won’t be able to comfortably walk throughout the town.
「One way or another, we need to set up a trap……We need to either make it so that we won’t let her escape, or fix her route even if she does escape……」
「Hey, hey, Eliott. As far as I know, I’ve heard that Lamias are considerably strong demons even when they are alone but……Do you think that we’ll be able to deal with her somehow with our fighting power?」
Sara brought in a reasonable retort.
「It would be a stupid plan to hit her from the front. Unless we use some sort of trick and make her powerless, we don’t stand a chance at winning. ……I want to control her if it’s possible, but just like with Arachne, if we make a single mistake, we’ll be killed in no time at all.」
Olivia and the others would return the day after tomorrow. News of their return would arrive by tomorrow early morning at the earliest. In other words, the Assassin’s Guild being negligent would probably only last for today at the longest. If we don’t achieve victory by tonight, we have no chance of winning.
We repeatedly analyzed whether we could do this or that while comparing the investigation results about the Assassin’s Guild’s fighting power and the map with the fighting power and tools that we have in our possession. However, no matter what we could do, we couldn’t reach a solution to the problem of 「there is a high possibility that there is an escape route in the underground waterway, and there is no means to stop the Snake Princess in the event that she escapes into the underground waterway」.
We thought of various things, but we still couldn’t find a clue for the solution. Around that time, I finally started to feel hunger. I didn’t know the brightness since we were underground, but is it about time for lunch? When I had thought that, Dahlia and Shiro come with meals for everyone prepared.
「Master, we have brought enough meals for everyone. ……This town, it sure is amazing. Even if I didn’t make it myself, or even if I didn’t go into an inn, to think that they would be selling light meals on the street……」
「The thing with the sandwiches here, they’re cheap and deliciousss♪ Since long ago, Adventurers and mercenaries without much money would line up for them. Though, since my identity was almost found out, I asked Dahlia to buy them♪ It looks like you got good amount of extras from the Oji-san, didn’t you.」
Having never left the mining village before, it would seem that Dahlia really did go into a state of being a country bumpkin just like I did. For the time being, it looks like I was correct in putting her together with Shiro who was familiar with this town.
Sara and Diana raised shouts of joy at the aroma of bread that wafted from the baskets that were in the two’s hands, and the two boys that had just turned into demons also had their stomachs rumble the moment they saw the meals and blushed from it. Well, although we did lightly snack on things like pastries since last night, they continued to move about until morning. Of course they would get hungry. Even the completely exhausted Chana finally woke up.
「Wha’, is wit’ this peaceful atmosphere……Ah, I’d be happy if there was some food fer me too…… Ah, tha’ was wrong. Um, Goshujin-sama……」
Being half awake, maybe because she remembered what happened last night, Chana suddenly revised her tone.
「Aah, it’s fine if you act as you normally do. It’s not like I’m thinking of controlling every aspect of your life, and I won’t do something like punish you because I don’t like your way of speaking.」
Chana stared in puzzlement at my words. For her, she has probably never experienced such a loose domination relationship up until now. Looking at Diana, then looking at me, she approached with a face that looked like she understood something.
「……I feel like I can somehow understand da reason why Diana called out ta me. It looks like ya’ve gotten quite comfortable, haven’t ya?」
Diana pointed out an open seat with her gaze, and Chana sat down in it without any spirit. Well, this place was originally Chana’s residence after all.
「So, what’re ya discussin’ right now?」
Before answering Chana’s question, I made an announcement as the leader of everyone here.
「Leaving that talk for later……First, let’s have a meal. Honestly, I’m so hungry that I’m at my limit.」
The sandwiches that Dahlia and Shiro bought were a so-called deluxe version of rations aimed for travelers. They were things where soft, round bread, instead of hard bread, was cut into about half, and not just cheese, butter and smoked food but even pickled slices of fish and finely chopped vegetables are inserted in between the two pieces of bread. In exchange for not being able to be preserved, it became a lunch whose price became a bit lower from them using cheap, fresh food products……That’s probably about it. Well, it would probably be more convenient if it were wrapped in something like cloth or paper, but for this handheld lunch that was sold cheaply, it would be difficult to use something as high-class as paper.
I’ve heard stories that in the country to the east, they use something that was thinly cut from a soft qualitied wood and tanned as wrapping paper, but unfortunately, I haven’t seen the actual article for myself.
While having our meal, we continued our discussion on how we would conquer the Assassin’s Guild. When I bit my sandwich, Chana, Harry, and Fred, the three of them looked at me like I was a mystery.
「……Is there, something strange?」
When I tried asking them about it,
「Ah, no……I, don’t really.」
「Goshujin-sama, may I……?」
Harry and Fred made unclear responses. Maybe because she had become familiar with having an exchange of words with me ahead of them, Chana replied to my question.
「Harry an’ Fred are yer slaves, an’ I am a slave ta these two Goshujin-samas, ya know? Normally, da master wouldn’t have somethin’ like meals together with slaves, an’ there’s a reputation tha’ da meals given ta slaves would be da master’s leftovers.」
Even Diana and Astarte were in agreement with those words.
「Well, I did think that Goshujin-sama originally wasn’t raised with that sort of upbringing……And I don’t think that that is the master’s responsibility either. As long as I’m properly dominated, I guess I’d be satisfied with that……」
「It might be about time for me to teach Eliott-sama about that sort of behavior of the ruling classes…… Since we are slaves to your great self, I think it would be good for you to have a bit more solemnity.」
I see, that’s, well, since I’m not anything like a noble, I was indifferent to that sort of lifestyle. Even with employees, since I had never used them up until I dominated Dahlia, there was no way for me to know about that sort of common sense.
「……Well, I’ll think about it eventually, but doing that to you guys, would there be any good to that? If a time where I need to conduct myself like that in a public location comes, I’ll think about it again. Things turned out like this due to the course of events, but I was raised as a commoner. Things like etiquette and the behavior and common sense of someone’s social class……Honestly, it’s all just a pain.」
Saying that, I took a big bite out of the sandwich. ……The dressing that was used in the seasoning kind of got caught in my throat.
「Huh? This dressing, it kind of feels like it won’t go down……」
While presenting me a handkerchief, Dahlia answered my question.
「That is……According to the shopkeeper, he used a material that is used in things like high class desserts, and after turning the dressing meant for seasoning into a jelly state, it seems it was sprinkled over. It was because if it were to spill out when carrying it around, the flavor with become thinner, that’s what he said.」
I see, so this is the ability of a large city…… That jelly for dessert-use, come to think of it, is it that sweet, slime-like thing that we were given as an extra when I came to Abram with Astarte a little while ago? Certainly, that was an unusual food texture……
「Aah, I got ittt♪」
Shiro suddenly raised her voice.
「What is it, Shiro?」
Sara questioned her with a puzzled face, and Shiro, with a smug smile,
「This jelly, when you tilt it, it slides a bit, and how it wobbles a bit……I thought that it resembled somethinggg. It’s just like Goshujin-sama’s semen!」
Everyone had a grand coughing fit at that comment. Dahlia put her hand on her lips and blushed, while Sara coughed a lot and a portion of her food was spewed out. Diana, Chana, Harry and Fred, after the four of them coughed with all their might, they became dumbfounded and just watched the whole thing.
「……Um, Shiro-san. Even Master isn’t this thick each and every……」
「Dahlia! You’re saying too much!」
With what could probably be described as ‘un ange passe’ (an angel is passing), an awkward silence flowed, and after reading the atmosphere, Chana started on another topic.
「C, come ta think of it, I remembered this from da talk of jelly but, dere was a bit of a strange child among da little plants tha’ I was raisin’…… I thought, maybe I could close up da path wit’ it, but I guess it’s lackin’ a bit in strength……?」
I thought it was a bit strange how when she tried to change the topic away from the jelly, only to end up at the same starting point, but for some reason, it seemed that Chana had a plant that she wanted to introduce.I could intuitively tell that she wanted to boast about something.
「Chana, that child, what kind of child is it? If you’d like, could you show it to me?」
「Yeah, sure♪ I’m yer demon, an’ my children are there fer yer sake after all♪ This child is a mutation of Slime an’ Ooze, ya see……Huh? Hey, my body feels kinda strange in some places but, what is this?」
While explaining to Chana who had finally started to notice that she had turned into a demon, the time for lunch passed by.
After hearing Chana’s explanation, we were guided to her medicinal plant storehouse. This place was also, it was a secret passage that was directly connected to the underground waterways, and within there, a storehouse was created.
「It’s dis child.」
Chana pointed out a single glass container. The glass container was transparent, and the wall on the other side of it could be seen through it.
「Well, though there’s a limit ta its size, it’s at least able ta block up a narrow path. Tha’ bein’ said, when usin’ one of this size ta block up a path, da thickness is pretty good……」
Hearing her explanation, I had her show me a small sample to test out. ……This is, wouldn’t this work out by some chance? Reviewing the map a second time, I thought about the amount of my own magical power, and the number of the things that I just saw. When I put together only the rough estimate in my head, it resulted in me thinking that things will unexpectedly work out.
「……Chana, prepare as many of those as possible. I’ll return to the room, and refine the strategy. ……Surprisingly, this just might work out.」
Just past noon, we were walking through the underground waterways. Although I had heard that the underground waterway security was rare, if we are unlucky enough to encounter them, the strategy will come to nothing. Therefore, we slowly advanced while checking the map.
Abram’s underground waterways had two types where one was the shallow type that had a cover over the waterway, and the other was the deep type where the ground is excavated. And the area close to the Assassin’s Guild was the latter. Since the waterway, which was wide enough for three Humans to walk side-by-side, had a water gate that would open up on occasions such as heavy rain, it seemed that there was a chance that it would be full, but I could only guess that it normally had a depth of going a little bit past my knees.
If it was with this amount of water, it was probably plenty possible for a Lamia to swim in it. In that case, it might be possible to deceive her. When we arrived at the point we planned for beforehand, I drew a simple magic formation on a foothold using blackboard chalk while I had Shiro keep watch on the surroundings. It’s not like my magical power was all that large. According to the plan, I would need to do the same thing five more times, so I needed to reduce the consumption as much as possible……
The catalyst was bones that I had been stockpiling in the dungeon up until now. In truth, if it were possible to produce the whole thing with this, the biggest consumption of magical power would be reduced, but I couldn’t take that much time to do so. If I could abundantly use even magical power, then it would be possible to do summoning even without a catalyst, but I can’t do something so luxurious. When the several minutes long ritual ended, the bones started to move, multiplied, and produced several Skeletons. Attaching the shovels and leather boots and other things such as boards that I had Harry and Fred carry here on to them, I then properly specified the actions that they should perform once things turned into the specified situation. Skeletons had no intelligence, but in exchange for being completely unable to be of practical use, if they were appointed actions beforehand like Golems, it was possible to make them do fairly complex actions. Of course, since I can’t do something as dexterous as suddenly altering them, it would really become a serious matter if I were to screw up the specifications here.
After about five minutes, there were only shovel holding, leather boot wearing, grandly misshapen Skeletons with twigs and boards bundled on their arms and loins remaining there. I don’t think that it would happen, but I had them squat inside of the water so that it would be even just a bit more difficult to spot them if someone were to pass by, and ordered them to hide and be on standby. After repeating this five more times, then performing a large-scale gambit in a different location, by the time we went above ground, the sun had already gone down. We were dead tired, but after a little while, we had to perform our attack on the Assassin’s Guild. Traveling along the underground waterway once again, we returned to Chana’s refuge, and after taking a meal, I had everyone take a nap while I embraced Dahlia in order to replenish my magical power.
The sun completely set, and the gates surrounding Abram closed. At that point in time, we were woken up by Harry and Fred, and we hurriedly started to prepare. I had Shiro be on standby in the underground waterway, and I had the carriage stop close to the building where the entrance to the Assassin’s Guild was at.
Diana and Chana entered the Assassin’s Guild. At the same time, I activated the water basin that was carried onto the carriage, and confirmed the images and sounds that entered from Diana’s pendant. Things were going well so far.
Now then, this time, it’s our turn to attack.