A Harem in the Fantasy World Dungeon Volume 1 Chapter 5 Part 7
Huh? Did I just hear that correctly? I could swear that in the middle of the sentence that I couldn’t make heads or tails of. I heard a single word that I was able to understand: Hugo. Or was it just my imagination? Hugo. Hmm… If I remember correctly, that was the name of the Bandit Leader who attacked the village together with his people. There could be no doubt about it, because back when we were making appraisals after the battle ended that was the name that was present on the Bandit Leader’s Intelligence Card. Why did his name come up now of all times? And another question: is the leader of those Lv.9 Bandits also one of the criminals who were cast out of the city, or is he perhaps just someone related to them, but not directly involved?
A few hours later, just before dawn when it was still dark I went to the back of the brothel district again. But this time instead of walking all the way there I used Warp to teleport there in an instant. Apparently as long as it was a place that you saw with your own eyes, you could use Warp to get there without any issues. In other words, it’s like I have my very own fast travel system.
I warped to the back of the building that was at the opposite side of the street to the brothel. It was the perfect observation spot, since even during the day most of that building was hidden in the pitch black shade. The only part of it that was a little brighter was the eastern part. While camping there, I patiently waited for the sun to rise and for the people to leave the brothel after the night they had spent there.
Most of the people who were leaving the building were labeled as Male Villagers. Wow, who knew that so many of them were using such establishments? Then again, seeing as how this world is modeled after the middle ages, perhaps I shouldn’t be too surprised. Most of them were carrying lanterns in one of their hands, most probably the one they brought with them yesterday night. Understandably, I didn’t brought my own with me again in order to avoid gaining too much attention. When the men were leaving the brothel, almost all of them were making their way towards the exit from the slums. The lights of the lanterns they were carrying around with them were a real hindrance, making it difficult to get a good look at their faces, and that makes my investigation that much more difficult. If I could just see the faces of the customers who were leaving the brothel, then maybe I could spot someone suspicious or someone whose face practically screams “Hey, I’m a criminal!”. Not to mention that the Bandits might be hiding their Bandit Job in the same way I have kept my Thief Job hidden from everyone. That’s why for the current moment the visual clues might be my best bet, but as I have already said, those pesky lanterns are not exactly making my job any easier! Ugh, if only they didn’t have as many of them! Why did they even bother with setting the light in them again when the sun is going to be illuminating the entire slum any minute now?! Sigh, now when my initial plan has officially gone out the window, I guess there’s no reason for me to stay here in this corner anymore, so I left my hiding spot and proceeded to walk along the street, just like everybody else around me. Using the increasing stream of people to blend into the surroundings of the slums I made my way across the brothel district, but before I go anywhere else I have to check that alleyway where the Villager woman has been dragged by the Bandits.
The alley itself was a rather short one, and at the and of it was a perfectly ordinary one story house. This clearly isn’t a brothel. Maybe this is the Bandit’s hideout? It certainly doesn’t look like it, but it is exactly that quality that makes that option all the more viable. I can’t just stand outside of it and stare mindlessly, so I will just pass it by without stopping or glancing in its general direction.
I just noticed it right now, but in the morning the brothel district looks like a perfectly normal town, all things considered. It certainly doesn’t feel like a part of the slums. I guess it has to do so, because if it reeked like the rest of the slums then no one would want to visit it, since normal citizens want nothing to do with the poorer parts of the city at all. I hanged around the slums for a bit more and then once again headed back to the inn. I went out there again during the proper daytime, but I couldn’t spot any thieves at all. As expected, they must be holed up in their hideouts throughout the day.
[One night with dinner, hot water after the meal.]
[As you wish. One night stay with dinner and hot water. And since you’ve been behaving so far and you’re not stirring any trouble, then I’ll give you a special discount. 238 Nar please.]
That was the exchange I had with the Innkeeper as soon as I returned to the inn in the evening. This time I got a discount even without asking him to borrow the lamp. Looks like the only time when my 30% discount is not kicking in is when I ask him for just the hot water and nothing else.
[You know, a few days ago there was a murder not that far away from here.]
Under the guise of striking a casual conversation I wanted to see if I could get some useful information out of him.
[Ahh, that incident, huh? You don’t have to worry about anything as long as you’re staying here since this place is one of the safest in the entire city, even more so if you’re staying away from the slums and its brothels.]
[How can you be so sure of that?]
He really seems to know something. If that’s the case, then I want him to spill as much beans as possible. The knowledge he is privy to might be the exact thing needed for the continuous peaceful existence of this inn and it’s guests, and who knows, maybe even the inns and their guests around the entire city?
[That was a part of a battle for the influence between the criminals nesting in the slums. ]
[Really? Well I heard something entirely different. From what I have heard, the victim was killed as a part of the vendetta the Bandits of the slums are carrying out against those who banished them from the city.]
[Oh, so you know that much, huh? Okay, just between you and me, that is a load of horse shit. A hoax.]
The innkeeper said to me, leaning over the counter and lowering his voice to a barely audible whisper.
So that murder wasn’t for revenge?
[Uhm, could you perhaps… go into a little bit more detail about that?]
[So basically some time ago, the slums were divided between the two groups who fought with each other for dominance. As the result of that conflict, the faction that lost got cast out of the town by the one that bested them. And in order to vent their frustration over losing what they believed will always belong to them, the banished faction attacked some small village outside near Veil.]
Small village? Bandit attack? Uh-huh, looks like the pieces of the puzzle are slowly falling into the right places. He must be taking about the group that I killed when I first arrived in this world.
[Yup, the poor sap that got offed the other day belonged to the group that emerged victorious from that turf war. I know that rumors state that he was killed in revenge, but to me that seems very unlikely and suspicious. My money’s on the bet that one of the other groups is responsible for it. Worst case scenario, we might even be on the precipice of another turf war in the slums. But enough digressing. To answer your question: no, that murder does not look like the work of the Bandits who were cast out.]
Well I’ll be damned if that conflict between Bandits is not complicated as hell.
[Is that conflict still going on?]
[Nobody knows for sure. But as messy as the slums may be, no one from them would dare to cause trouble for the city in broad daylight with the Knights watching them. That’s why we are all safe here, kid.]
I’m sure that’s his catchphrase when he’s trying to get himself new customers, but it was still reassuring to hear. With all the things that he knows, maybe he’ll finally be the one who will point me in the right direction when it comes to finding the Bandits.
[If the Knights have an eye on the slums, then wouldn’t it be better for them to go and kill all the Bandits that are hiding in town? Because I was under the impression that they want to totally annihilate them.]
[Oh, they will surely annihilate them, kiddo. Right after they’re done with throwing everyone who’s littering behind bars and ridding the city of its rat problem. See? Simplicity itself!]
And the Innkeeper laughed through his nose. So I guess the Knights are unable to do anything of importance when it comes to the Bandit problem, and it’s the open secret among the citizens of Veil. Kinda like the police back in Japan, actually.
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Harem in the Fantasy World Dungeon
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