Chapter 87: Shadows of the Past: The Educated Witch

Chapter 86: Shadows of the Past: Prince and Princess

Chapter 88: Shadows of the Past: The Monster Facing Cursing Eyes


Translator: Adam Seacord


As I was finishing up my communication with Olivia and Sara, Daria brought me some tea.

「Here you go, Master.」

「Oh, thank you. After we take a break, we’ll have to take care of that.」

A few small pastries were on the tray. I heard there were from a store that Shiro and Daria had found out in the town. As Lily’s baby was approaching, it was getting more difficult for Shiro to go out, so Daria had been on her alone more. Sometimes, she would bring home some treats and drinks without me asking for it… I was happy to see this trend in her behavior.

I unpeeled the pastry, and put it in my mouth. The sweetness seemed to heal my brain, even though I was about to exhaust my brain and magical powers again.

・・・

After a short break, I went down to the basement of the shop with Daria, where she had already prepared for the ritual. For a close distance, I only needed to utter a Command Word, but as distance grew, so did my exertion. So, sometimes I needed to prepare the ritual like this.

A magical circle drawn with colored sand, with the catalyst (the exact same jewel as the one at the destination) placed in the center of it. While it was rare for Daria to perform any tasks independently, once she became a golem, her memory had been drastically improved. Most of the time, when one of my spells required a ritual, I would leave her to prepare it for me. At this point, she could have probably drawn out the simpler ones without looking any instructions.

I sat inside the circle, and concentrated. Imagining my mind jumping forward out of my body, I attempted to look at myself on the other side of the jewel. Blurry at first, but eventually clearly, I could see two different scenes.

・・・

In front of my eyes were two copper-toned hills, and two onyx hands grabbing them. There was a slight lag before I realized that those hands were mine. Through a filter, like seeing through a cloth, I could tell that I (in this case, the body that I was possessing) was feeling pleasure.

Ah, I see.

I understood, now. Fred was ravishing Chana at the moment. The two copper-toned hills were Chana’s butt in front of Fred, and he was grabbing that butt as he pounded his penis inside of her.

「More…! More please! Hard! Hard please! Master!」

Chana’s nectar wafted with a slight scent of tree bark. Now that she was an Alraune, I could see the feint changes in her odor and skin. One wouldn’t notice without observing in detail, but I could see that her fingers and toes looked plant-like.

As I continued to observe while possessing Fred’s body, his penis convulsed. I could see that his limit was approaching, and he was about to ejaculate.

…It would be too cruel to keep his body through this.

I waited for him to finish ejaculating, and once he slumped down, and I put his mind to sleep again and put mine in charge.

「Master… I like… One more, one more time.」

「I’m sorry, Chana. It’s time. …Is Diana here already?」

His body, post-ejaculation, was shroud in exhaustion, but perhaps because of his youth, it recovered rapidly. Chana looked quizzically in noticing the sudden change in tone, but she seemed to realize that someone, who wasn’t Fred, now occupied his body.

「Oh, I heard you were coming. This is how you come. Diana in the next room.」

「…People may be watching. And, I was kind of busy today so I didn’t want to walk all the way through the underground.」

・・・

I called in Diana to have a quick meeting. Staying in Fred’s body for long would tire me out quite a bit.

「First, can you tell me what I’ve asked you to look into? You can just turn in the papers later regarding the sales of Spider’s Web and work of the Assassin’s Guild.」

Eck, I’m in Fred’s body, so I’m speaking in his voice, too. I knew this would happen, but it sure feels weird.

In any case, I asked a few things what I wanted to know urgently:

「About House Lambert… Especially about that housekeeper. Did you find out anything?」

Receiving a look from Diana, Chana began her report:

「I have Diana talk about her later, but here’s the deals I found out. Three assassination request and reconnaissance related to them. Other than that, some drugs… That I’ve made. This one has been going on for a while. That’s the business side. 」

「Hm… Who did she kill, and what did she buy?」

「The third one, as you know, was a failure. The previous two times happened two years ago… Well, after we came here and those two bastards took over. Targets were a major member of the shopkeepers’ association, and the old man who was in charge of the water gates. Both disguised as accidents.」

…Shopkeepers’ association. I wondered if I could find out anything from Jemma Firm. As for the water gates, my only lead was simply to ask Olivia.

「How about the drugs? What kind of drugs, and how many?」

「The most popular one with her are stimulants given to workers. You won’t be tired anymore, but it’s bad for you. But not enough to sell. Other than that, sleepers, aphrodisiacs, poison… Some herbs and gems a few time, too.」

Drugs… Since they weren’t buying much, I guessed that they were using it in the shadowy side of their irrigation business. Or else, they could have been doping up their employees. As for the sleeping pills, aphrodisiacs, and poison… I wondered if those were staples in noble social circles. As for the herbs and gems…

「…Enchantment magic.」

My guess was backed up by Diana’s research.

「Most likely. That housekeeper… Was enrolled in the academy for magic in the city of Palmira to the west. This is only according to the rumors of the staff at the Lambert mansion, though…」

Facing off a formally educated witch wasn’t something I was thrilled about.

「She may be a human, but if she’s formally trained in magic, she might be stronger than me. We’ll have to keep our guard up… Wait, Diana. This housekeeper wasn’t hired for her talents in magic?」

A housekeeper (or butler, is it were a man) is the highest ranking employee of a house, who would take care of all manners around the house. Still, the prestige of that position compares to that of a court magician. How did House Lambert managed to hire a witch as their housekeeper?

「And her name is…」

「Gratina. I heard that she is from a low-ranking noble family, the Crults, from Palmira… But I couldn’t verify that.」

I planned to ask Olivy, who worked at the temple in Palmira for a while to see if I could find out anything. I had no room for error. All I knew at this point was that my opponent most likely knew some magic that I didn’t. To top it off, I had no idea how much they knew about me…

「Diana, would it be possible to contact Gratina again?」

Diana slightly frowned at this.

「…To be honest, I don’t know. They undoubtedly know of our failure, and they have seen Arachne’s head, albeit in monster form. I think it’s safe to assume that they know of Arachne’s defeat.」

Diana was right. If they were in contact with Arachne, it was too dangerous to assume the best, even though we didn’t know how much they knew. I had to assume that they knew that the Assassin’s Guild had been taken over by someone.

「…Diana. Chana. See if anyone’s snooping around the Assassin’s Guild members. If I was in Gratina’s place, I would look into the Assassin’s Guild. 」

I had Shiro on the lookout in the neighborhood, so I knew that no one was snooping around my shop, yet. …Layla’s visit could be considered snooping, but she didn’t bring any surveillance items wither her, and I doubted that the stoic Layla could play dumb. I had to keep an eye on the Assassin’s Guild and my side business, the Spider’s Web. Also, on Sara and Olivy.

「…Diana, if possible, prepare to contact Gratina. I will have you visit her as the new leader of the Assassin’s Guild.」

The Assassin’s Guild raked in considerable amount of information, but not all of them. And there were several other gangs of thieves akin to the guild in Abram. Since I couldn’t assume that we had the higher ground, I would have to dive in, right under their nose.

・・・

「…So you’re the new leader of the Assassin’s Guild?」

A few days later, Diana was meeting with Gratina. We couldn’t confirm whether or not she was working for House Lambert, but since I had seen some money and women given to a few of the lower-end members of the guild, I couldn’t prong the meeting.

I had given Diana an Eye and an Ear, just in case, but since was hiding them, I couldn’t see Gratina’s face from my end. I was listening in from the basement of my shop while I left Daria to take care of any customers. I f something would happen, there was almost nothing I could do to help Diana.

「Yes. As you may recall, my previous employee failed. I didn’t want to come out in the open, but I don’t have anyone else up for the job. I won’t apologize, though… I believe our previous debt has been paid with blood. So, I’m just here to go over our existing deals, and see if you want to continue doing business with us.」

These kinds of half-truth, half-lie spiels were perfect for Diana. She had a great poker-face and guts; she was an invaluable asset for someone like me, who wanted to remain in the shadows.

「Oh, I don’t recall any failures from any of our deals.」

I was surprised by Gratina’s response. I was sure she would make that a bargaining chip.

「…Excuse me. I was mistaken. Of course, you would never order anyone’s assassination.」

But, I caught on with Diana’s response. They don’t want to admit it all over again. They were most likely suspecting remote surveillance. She would only suspect it if she knew the skills of magicians. I had only Diana my goal, and left the course to get there up to her. All I had to do was listen for a while.

「Since our previous leader had defected, we were not able to carry on some details of our business… So allow me to double-check. Our deals comprised of medicinal supplies, and a small quantity of gems. Is that correct?」

The conversation continued in the dark.

「Yes, for the most part. Other than that, we had occasionally requested some reconnaissance in the city.」

Reconnaissance… That’s what they called it.

「I see. Our members are skilled in reconnaissance, and will take care of any unforeseen events on our own.」

By “unforeseen events,” Diana meant assassinations. I could tell that, on paper, none of the killings were ever requested, but were only an inevitable result of some scuffles.

「In that case, I expect to continue our favorable relationship.」

When I caught my breath, thinking that our meet-and-greet had concluded without a hitch, Gratina slyly dropped a verbal bomb:

「By the way, how is the snake princess in the underground waterways? I missed her in her previous lair.」

They know that Miyabi?

「How did you…!?」

As soon as the words left her mouth, Diana realized her mistake. But, I wouldn’t have reacted any differently. They had a leg up on us. Come to think of it, there was nothing suspicious about Gratina holding that information. It was always possible that she had gotten vague information from Arachne, and it wasn’t like she mentioned the specific location nor Miyabi’s name. She was probably bluffing.

However, we knew too much. While I had told her not to show her face above water, we knew that Gratina’s familiar had witnessed Miyabi assisting Nubia’s escape from the underground waterways. She didn’t know much, but Gratina now realized that Diana was hiding something.

Did they think that the Assassin’s Guild had assisted in Nubia’s escape? I had no idea what they did, and did not know.

What can I do now?

「I can hear them, you know. Not all of them, but some of your thoughts. Did Arachne not tell you… That I was a witch?」

Gratina switched in to offense. The fact that she was a witch was well known enough to be rumored; it wasn’t much valuable. Why would she reveal that, now?

「So, you’re the new leader? Sure, you seem better than the other good-for-nothings. But, you need to understand. Your guild is nothing without my influence. You’re only one of my tools.」

I was taken aback by her brazen choice of words. Gratina continued lyrically:

「You have to understand. You are the limbs, I am the head. Remember this. You’re predecessor worked for me. I will drill into you, that the one who binds your soul… Is I.」

Diana slowed her movements. I could immediately tell that Diana’s body was affected by something, since she was a monster under my control, so I rushed to read her thoughts. I borrow her eyes to see what’s going on. I could see an incense emitting a thin line of smoke, in the corner of my eye. None of the items transmitted smells, so I didn’t notice. But, it wasn’t poison. Diana would notice poison. It seemed to be a store-bought incense with only a slight addition. All it would accomplish would be to slightly sedate Diana.

I had no choice. I turned off her consciousness, and took charge. Since I didn’t adjust her body for this purpose, I couldn’t stay as long as could in Harry or Fred, but I was able to control the body of any monster whom I had created… I was hoping to keep that fact a secret, though.

I could see Gratina’s fair face. Her vibrant, red and gold eyes. She seemed to be in her later twenties. Even though she appeared to be a soft-spoken, frail woman, her eyes seemed unnaturally large…!!

Hypnosis… No, Cursing Eyes!


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2 Comments

  1. Thanks for chapter

    Suddenly a new enemy. Hope there is nothing bad happened later

  2. “Now that she was an Alraune, I could see the feint changes in her odor and skin.”

    It should be faint, not feint, in this case. They are pronounced exactly the same. And, indeed, are somewhat related in meaning.

    A feint is a misleading move in combat situations, where one pretends to start an attack but actually intends to make a different attack once your opponent starts to react; the idea is to lead them out of a proper defensive position for the true attack.

    Whereas faint, in this context, would refer to vague, hard to make out details.

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