Chapter 106 – I Got the Information I Wanted
Translator: Kell | Editor: Ryunakama
I Got the Information I Wanted
A little while later, I met with Marquis Maiar in the guild’s reception room.
「I’m delighted you came to see me even though my request sounds absurd. You must be Eld.」
「Yeah. I’m an adventurer, but right now I’m helping them make healing medicine.」
「Helping… Circumstances suggests that you taught them how to manufacture the medicine. Isn’t that why the Count brought you here?」
Me coming up with the manufacturing method should be a secret, but I guess they saw through it. This is the investigative capabilities of a Marquis.
「Yeah. He told me you want to know how we’re growing the belladonnas. I want to know why exactly. It’s not really something I can tell others without giving it careful consideration.」
「I am aware of that. Actually it’s not the method I wanted to ask about.」
「Then what do you want to know?」
「I need an expert’s advice. I did a bit of research on you. Not even a month has passed since you arrived and the healing medicine were mass produced. The fact that you were able to produce them in such a short amount of time means you know a lot about the healing medicine, correct?」
I see. This might be good. The information I need requires a lot of work to gather. But this person just might provide it in no time at all.
「Yes, I’m quite knowledgeable about healing medicines. What do you want to know?」
「Let’s see… If there’s a method to create the medicine by using humans as ingredients, can you tell me about it? No, actually, I just want to know if such a method exists.」
「It does.」I answered immediately.
The Marquis’s eyes widened.
「If that’s your first question, I’m guessing you have a lead.」I said.
「You’re quick on the uptake. Too quick, in fact, it’s quite scary.」
His face still surprised, Maiar took out a bunch of papers about a few centimeters thick from his bag. The title says “Investigative Reports on Cardinal Georgis’ Territory”.
「Take a look at these two pages here.」
Maiar pulled out two pieces of paper from the stack. The first was “Total Estimated Amount of Cardinal Georgis’s Healing Medicine” and the other one was “The Number of Slaves Brought into His Domain”. Both data were neatly sorted.
This is exactly the kind of information I need. Now I narrowed down all the possible production methods that Georgis is using to just one.
「How’d you gather this data? Why did you focus on the number of slaves?」
There was no way the Cardinal would just provide data on his own. I’m sure he sells his product in different places, and there are plenty of slaves around. It would be nigh impossible to know exactly how many slaves entered a particular territory.
「We gathered every little bit of information using massive amounts of manpower. And then we looked for data that might be related to the healing medicine. It took a lot of hard work to gather these.」
「Every little bit?」
I studied the documents’ table of contents. “Change in Cardinal Georgis’ Iron Ore Imports”, The Rivers’ Flow Rate”, “Shift in the Amount of Strawberries Harvested”…
There really was every sort of data gathered – some of them seemingly trivial.
「How many spies did you employ for this?」
「More than a hundred. It’s my first time forming such a huge intelligence team. But I believe it was worth it.」
Maiar took out two more pages. One said “Number of Deaths in the Mines” and the other “Mining Output”.
Ever since Cardinal Georgis started producing healing medicine, the number of deaths quickly increased, but the mine’s output didn’t move at all. Whenever the healing medicine output was low, so was the number of deaths.
「I see. It’s clear that he’s using humans as ingredients.」I said.
「You think so too, huh? But that raises a question. Can you give me an answer for it?」
「What is it?」
「We obtained the medicine he produced and analyzed its contents. It was no different from a normal healing medicine. Of course, we didn’t find any component that comes from a human being.」
「Oh, that… By “using humans as ingredients”, it doesn’t mean he literally grinds them up to make the medicine. He artificially grows belladonnas by using human lives.」
There are a few methods to obtain large quantities of belladonnas. Mine is a peaceful one – using monsters and sun beans as fertilizers. There’s a much easier method that requires live humans. Then again, procuring people is not that easy, so my way is actually better.
「Is that possible?」
「Yeah. Have you heard of the Bloodstone Ritual?」
「No. What kind of a ritual is it?」
「You sacrifice a live human to an evil spirit. In exchange, the spirit leaves behind a magic catalyst called a Bloodstone. As a by-product, belladonnas will grow in huge quantities around the location of the ritual. Cardinal Georgis is most likely using this method.」
The belladonnas only grow right after a ritual. As such, it’s quite an inefficient way to obtain lots of belladonnas. But still… since the healing medicine is so valuable here, it’s worth employing that method.