Translator: Ranzan Editor: JackOFallTrades
「What? Is this for real?!」
I shouted accidentally after hearing Nonorik’s words.
「Yipes! Geez, no need to get angry, master! If you get upset, no girl’s gonna be happy with you!」
「I don’t have time for your jokes! Are you telling me the truth?」
As I wrapped my arms around me, Nonorik described the whole scenario while sitting on my specially-made sofa.
「Stop being so impatient with me, old man. If you rush a girl too much, she gets uncooperative.」
「I could care less about that, you’re saying that everyone related with moving that “Ramune” is dead?!」
「Yeah, pretty much. I know what I saw, some dead from the drug, some thugs had killed each other with each other’s blades. Would you like to see an image of it?」
Then, Nonorik took out a blue display, and projected it onto a white wall without waiting for an answer.
(…That’s horrible, there was a really bad grudge in their death, almost no one would go that far.)
There were countless dead projected on the screen.
The joints of the bodies were broken backwards as if they were tortured, and they all seemed like strangely perverse objects now.
Some bodies were also cut up after they cut each other through the belly, a way of dying that took quite a bit of time.
You could tell it was human, but there was one that looked almost as if it had melted from head to toe, the whole body purple.
Also, there was one that had skin chewed from neck down, the dead body only left with a teared up face and a huge scar from a blade through the head.
These dead bodies were half discernible, but were distorted in looks of fear and despair, and you could see trails of tears down their faces.
「So, then! The leader of all of them was killed in a really interesting way! You can’t really see from the image, but, it seemed like a sword with really small teeth ate up all the skin on this guy’s body. It’s the first time Nono’s seen this, a way of torture he couldn’t recognize. It made my pants all wet…」
「…what is all of this…」
I put my pained head in my hands, and then laid back in my chair looking upwards.
(The dead body that Nonorik was talking about had to be the leader of the 『Slugs』.)
That unreal look of despair made him look like a completely different person, but he was definitely the one that secretly made and sold the “Ramune”
「Dammit all! Now we got to look for a way to make money off those drugs all over again!」
Only the『Slugs』were the ones that sold Ramune in the slums
The ease of making, the production cost, and the effectiveness made the Ramune mixed with this『Quick Growth Drug』and there were good substitute drugs, but we never found out the way to actually make the Ramune.
There were several ways to find substitutes, but it would take a while to sort out the good from the bad.
We could use old ways to find them as well, but it was then hard to find a producer that you could trust.
「Are there any materials to create Ramune left in that den?」
「Of course there aren’t. Even the papers left behind were either chewed up by some sort of bug, or rotten in intense humidity. And not only that, even without that, the people in the slum that could still make some with some money aren’t alive either.」
Nonorik laid flat on his face and put both of his hands to his face and started laughing.
「And you know, that’s the place where you only take what you need in order to survive. Power, knowledge, a straight heart, blood all over you, chipping the skin off over and over, it’s not a world that lets you act loosely or without danger.」
Nonorik then spun his index finger around, and a prune on the table suddenly sliced itself up, and then floated through the air towards Nonorik.
「Hmm! Looks good!」
Chomp, and his little mouth ate the whole thing, while his happily kicked his feet with a glad face.
「Of course, I went to check, and there was no one that knew? Anyone that knew what happened were to scared and didn’t approach the place, so I was the first one that even saw the whole thing.」
「I see…well, my guys went to check as well, and it seems there’s no evidence left of plans for the drug.」
And there was no way to let a new group of thugs start making the stuff either.
There was a way for this company to make it since we knew that it was made from the 『Quick Growth Drug』, but that was just one way of trying to make excuses for the problem.
If we were to start doing underground work, then the risk we took may end in disaster.
There’s no other way to put it but to say that losing the 『Slugs』was a really tough loss.
(With no plans for making, that means…)
「Ah, old man, you doubted Nono right now!」
As soon as the doubt of Nonorik reached me, Nonorik wiped the fruit juice off his face and jumped up to face me.
「I don’t like those drugs anyway, so even if you have doubts about the guys you hire, don’t let that extend to me! Hmph!」
「Okay, okay, I’m sorry.」
(Man, he really does have some instincts)
I knew that Nonorik didn’t like drugs like Ramune. That’s why it was a bit to far in thinking that he had destroyed or taken the plans on his own, but he could sense that I was even thinking over that fact without me saying it.
「Ah, so here. The thing you wanted.」
Nonorik took out of the bag containing the sword and scabbard I now recalled was called the 【Stone-Leaf Sword】.
Nonorik held the sword in the air and then brought it over and laid it on my desk.
Clunk, the sword was laid before my eyes with a heavy sound, and it was magically superior to the other sham I had seen before.
「Whoa, that was fast. With this quality, this has to be the real 【Stone-Leaf Sword】.」
I didn’t have the talent to use magic, however, I had developed the ability to appraise magical objects well.
With that experience, I could declare whether something was a sham or not.
「Get my promised toys ready, okay?」
「Relax, I’ll introduce you to the slavetrader I know, and get you the money to buy slaves you can do whatever you want with. I’ll send my employee to handle it.」
「Yeaaay! I’ll make sure not to break them too quickly!」
「Do whatever, even more than before if you want.」
Clinka-clink, I rang a bell, and Fegner was called in.
「You called, master?」
「Fegner. Arrange for this to be sent to the Imperial Kingdom.」
Fegner bowed, entered, and took the sword.
「Understood, sir. However, because of the magical storm, there are many monsters between here and the kingdom, so it may take time to send this without problem.」
「Ah, you’re right about that. Isn’t the magical storm finishing up?」
「Yeah, seems so, won’t it be over soon? It did have some weird and fun effects though.」
Nonorik said while he floated another prune over to eat.
「Just as Master Nonorik says, unless you have a lot of magical skill in this storm, you can’t…」
「But isn’t that fun? I was a little surprised at first.」
「That is so. However, from my experience, it seems like it should be over soon. After seeing a bigger magical storm than this one end in around two months, and from the decay in magic, I would say that this one has one or two weeks left.」
Fegner stopped for a second, and then continued.
「Also, 10 days from now, the guild will beat back all the magical monsters from the town. Would you like for me to hold this until that time?」
「…10 days? Hm, sounds good. We need to sell some things to the traders too. After we’ve finished our negotiations, we’ll go to the imperial kingdom. Fegner, I’ll ensure this sword with you until then.」
「As you wish, master.」
「Oh, and I was thinking of asking one more thing of you, old man.」
Nonorik said as he remembered something.
「Something else on your mind?」
「Yeah, yeah, everyone’s talking about the bad reputation your stores are getting.」
His sour face got two times more sour.
「I mean, lately, a lot of shops and traders have had their money disappear.」
「Yes, I’ve heard something about that.」
A report that I read that, near to here, there were quite a few stores that had money of theirs disappear.
From the list that I secretly got from the police in their secret recordings of what had happened, the police were investigating 14 or 15 names connected, and almost all of them had no connection to me.
There were only two or three stores connected in direct transactions with me, and the police had decided to keep silent about the whole thing for a while.
I thought that they would catch whoever did it soon after I heard it, but it seems the criminal was extremely skilled, and so police had absolutely no clue who had done it.
「I thought this would be over quickly…those damn police, you pay them taxes, and they can’t do anything even though they squeeze out your money, those idiots.」
It wasn’t clear on the surface, but there were probably far more victims then the ones the police had reported.
It seemed like the same feeling as having been robbed by bandits as having this happen to you, but with the money stolen from these stores, it showed that there was doubt that their money was being managed correctly, and so as businessmen they lost trust.
Because they all didn’t lose that much money, there were many that complained to the police without giving their names.
Due to this, as the numbers were comparatively larger than the names on the list, so there were a lot of rumors surrounding what was happening.
「So people are saying, it’s the 『Ghost Robber』or 『Spirit Burglar』and so on, the rumors say, and that you’re the person behind all of this thievery…is what the rumors spread among these businessmen are.」
My voice suddenly said in a gasp.
「Wait, why did that happen?」
「The money that disappeared was money that they had just gotten from you, right? I don’t know much because they’re all saying different things.」
Maybe it’s that? Because before I was messing with the currency and people thought I was stealing their money?
「Old man, you’re really gathering up the money lately, right? They’re gone now, but those drugs and so on, people kind of feel it, right, and the traders themselves are riding some hard times…it’s a bit dangerous, don’t you think?」
Hmm…Nonorik smiled like a cat that was stalking a mouse.
「Hey, stop with that look, it’s unsettling.」
「Oh, sorry. Don’t get mad at me.」
Now his face was full of laughs.
「I’m involved? That’s stupid, all the places on that stupid list are stores I have no transactions with!」
「Those little ones don’t even make enough money to deal with you, you can’t help it right?」
As though he didn’t want to say it, he flipped from face down to face up on the couch.
「How do they even know the money is from me? I only use shops that I’ve selected, so it’s not like I manage any of their money anyway.」
「Well, it seems the only money that’s disappearing is the money that was used in transactions with you, right? Even if there’s a whole load of money from others, even if it’s only one copper from you, it gets taken.」
「What? What the hell?」
「Even if we ignore that, the rumors are still expanding and everyone’s already talking about it. And even more interest is those Smugs…Smugs was it?」
「You mean the Slugs?」
「Yeah, yeah, they really are lame! I think the people that crushed them and the ones spreading the rumors are the same.」
「Yeah, somehow, they’ve kept their identity hidden very well, and I’m still trying to get information, but with my female intuition getting all mixed in, it’s unclear. But I’m sure that there’s no mistake in that fact.」
Even though Nonorik said he was in the middle of getting information, he laughed after giving that final sure comment, squinted his eyes and smiled again.
「Old man, you think someone has one hell of a grudge against you?」
「What are you talking about? For someone to go that far…there’s no one I can think of that would do that, aaahhh, dammit!」
I was pissed. Having someone do this and not being able to identify them, it was so frustrating.
「Master, this way.」
Fegner slid forth with some tea, just at the right time.
It had a good smell, a bit stronger in the nose than usual, but I suddenly forgot my anger and relaxed.
「Phew…well, maybe this will be a good test.」
All of these big trading companies that lost trust and that could now become strong hindrances to me all had to be looking for information as they all had the same special information gathering abilities as my firm.
Of course, the first one on the scene was the police, and with that list of victims, they would see the truth in these rumors quickly.
We needed to try the small and medium sized places.
It was best to see the information that the other smaller firms had gotten. Those with no information and that just did whatever they thought any rumor meant had no future anyway.
「Nonorik will find out who’s doing this. Either way, we can take part in proving that these rumors have no basis in reality.」
「Okay, to work, to work…lala laaaa」
Nonorik jumped from the sofa with a bounce, and in his usual jolly way, hummed a tune as he left.
「Fegner, how is the money being collected?」
「Yes, there was force necessary in order to get some to talk, but if we are able to negotiate well with the other big traders, I think we will be able to get the money we need.」
「I see, then, please continue with the negotiations for the sales.」
「I see. Then please excuse me, master.」
Fegner bowed politely as usual, and contrasting Nonorik, left with a quiet manner.
「Hmph, with this done, I don’t have to go back to work.」
I drank the rest of the tea, and decided to entertain myself as I rested.
「Nonorik? A word, perhaps?」
「Hm? Have somethin’ for me?」
Just after Nonorik left the room, I quickly followed, looking to talk to him.
「Honestly, if you know it’s no bother, however, I would like to be introduced to someone underground that knows much about magical drugs. As quickly as possible, and if possible, today.」
「Magical drugs? No bother to me, but why?」
「It’s embarrassing, however, I can’t think of anyone I know that matches that description. Also, it may be suspicious if I get caught up looking for someone like that, so I wanted to ask someone that knew about things like that. Could you help me?」
I dipped my head, and Nonorik laughed as usual.
「Sure! But do you have money for me to introduce someone like that?」
「No problem, when can you help?」
「Depending on the other person, two or three days until I can take you.」
「Well, that will help immensely.」
「Okay, then I’m goin’. I’ll come get you as soon as I speak to the person.」
Nonorik waved and walked off.
Just as usual, he looked like a small girl, and not a man at all.
「Well, okay then. I wonder if this old man will figure out what’s going on.」
Lately I can’t move my body quickly like when I was younger.
However, in order to do what needs to be done for my former master, I will use my remaining fate to perform.
「…no matter what has to happen.」
I don’t think it will go well, and that may be the intuition that has accompanied me all these years, but even so, it was a desire that I said out loud.
Thanks for the chapter!
Is Nonorik a trap?
What the **** have you been reading all this time? It’s been hammered into our skulls every chapter or two for the last 10+ chapters that Nonorik is a trap.