“The lady asked you a question. Either answer it, or die.”
He groaned in pain when I grabbed his throat harder.
Hmm, quite stubborn, isn’t he? He was having trouble breathing, his face was already turning blue, yet he was more occupied with me than saving his own life.
I let his throat go as Lantz and Phiria appeared from the crowd surrounding us.
Lantz asked, and I turned to him. Perhaps seeing this as an opportunity, the man stood up and ran to the street behind him.
Cecile shouted in panic, but her actions told me otherwise.
“You are letting him escape so that you can tail him and find out his hideout, huh.”
“As expected of you.”
Cecile replied with a slight smile.
“Then what are we waiting for?” I turned to Lantz. “Can I ask you to handle this lost child?”
“Sure.” He flashed a smile. “In return, protect the Princess and demolish the bastards behind this.”
Isn’t that too much he’s asking for in return? I should probably protest, but I’ll let it go this time.
And so, we went into that street to follow that man.
“Thank you for protecting me earlier.”
Cecile said as we continued after him after hiding our presence and maintaining a distance from him.
I replied as I hid at the corner of the street and looked towards the way that man had run to, to check whether he had caught on to our pursuit.
“What?” She then grumbled. “Aren’t you too cautious?”
The man continued after glancing back once, but his steps were slower now.
“The one I saved was that man.” I looked at her. “Really, what were you thinking when trying to decapitate that man in the middle of the town, and in front of a child no less. Do you want to traumatise him?”
The chances are low, but such a trauma could have later turned him into a serial killer or something.
“Ah.” Her eyes widened. “You are right, I didn’t think of that.”
“You are welcome.”
The man turned right from an intersection (just how far is he planning to go?). As before, I peeked from the corner to check on him, and now the man had slowed down to a walk. While panting heavily, he glanced back once again- I hid when he did- and then continued walking ahead.
When he was 20 metres apart from us, we walked out from the corner and started following him.
“Aaahaah, what was with those bastards?!” He shouted. “Missed such a good haul because of them! The next time I see them, I’ll kill that man and make a good sport of that woman!”
I stole a glance at Cecile’s expression, but she wasn’t fazed in the slightest by that man’s words. Is it because she is used to such vulgar comments and no longer minds them, or is she just hiding her emotions for now and plans to punish him later?
Using the same strategy, we continued following that man. Left, right, left, straight, left, right, right, left; that man kept making turns again and again, making the path complex. He had completely let down his guard now.
“We are in the slum area of this city.”
Ah, the slums, usually the hub of such criminals. Due to the lax security in these areas, lowly criminal organisations choose them to set up their HQ.
Now, I wonder what we will find here. Perhaps a human trafficking group?
“How’s the security of this area?”
I asked Cecile to gauge our current situation.
“We have deployed a considerable number of soldiers in this part of the city to reduce crime, so we would probably be fine.”
Probably? I sincerely hope that a situation where some thugs see us and try to mug us doesn’t come to pass. I do have 0 LUC though.
Hmmm, but what about these two women? What are their LUC values? If they are considerably high, then it’s possible that we would be able to avoid such a situation.
And fortunately, my guess was right. Dunno if it was because of their LUC values, but the path the man we were following took was deserted. Aside from an occasional woman looking out from her window, we did not encounter anyone else.
Until now, that is.
“Is this it?”
“Seems like it.”
The man stopped in front of a door which was being guarded by two hooded figures. We were deep into the streets, so this was a good place to hide their HQ.
Those two figures checked the face of that man and then let him in. The door closed as he went inside, and they continued their job as guards.
“So, what should we do?”
I asked just to confirm, but.
“Of course, we are going inside.”
It seemed there was no need to do so-
Now wait a fucking minute! How did I get involved in such a situation? Aren’t events like ‘I-accidentally-stumbled-on-a-criminal-organisation-and-wiped-it-out’ reserved for Heroes and the main protagonists? So, what am I doing here? Why is Michael not here?
Granted, this is certainly better than that accursed date with Cecile, but I still don’t wanna get involved in such a situation.
But as I looked at my surroundings where two hooded figures were lying on the ground unconscious after being taken out by my ‘Wave Explosion’, I realised I was already too deep in this shit to pull back now. Well, let’s just get this over with.
And so, I opened the door. The moment I did, something came flying at me and I swiftly caught it.
Groaned the guy with a crossbow as I knocked him out.
“To attack us like this…” Cecile said as she looked at that man. “Did he anticipate us?”
We could wait for him to wake up, but we don’t have that kind of time on our hands. Besides, I already have an idea of why he acted that way.
After tying him up, we went through the door which led us into a room; it looked like a store room, with a large bookshelf on the wall opposite to us.
I walked to it and pushed the only book which had no dust on it, and with a rumble, the shelf slid to the side to reveal an iron door behind it. I knocked on it twice, and the door of the peephole slid open and a set of eyes looked at me.
He asked in a monotonous tone.
Aight time to break this door open, but interestingly, as the man closed the peephole, he opened the gate.
Wat? That actually was the right password? Who was the dumbass who thought it up?
We walked in and he closed the door behind us.
“The boss is on the first floor.”
He told us and sat back on the chair situated beside the door. And so, we started walking through the large hallway we were in, towards the set of stairs on our left.
“This……is really your first time here, right?”
I was lucky that I uttered the right password- wait, I have 0 LUC! Goddamnit! Let’s forget about it for now.
“That was just a fluke.”
“You must be really lucky to have flukes like these.”
Don’t remind me of that for damn’s sake!
And so, we finally reached the stairs. We took the left and started going up, but.
The man we had been following was coming down from those stairs and spotted us. Left with no choice, I rushed towards him and caught his mouth before he could shout and alert everyone.
“Shhh.” I put a finger on my lips to gesture him to remain silent. “If you want to live, then take us to your boss.”
This time, I released a bit of my killing intent, and the man started trembling and sweating profusely. Finally, he nodded. I let go of his mouth then.
“You seem pretty used to this.”
Cecile commented from behind me.
“That’s just your imagination.”
I glared at that man again, and he stiffly nodded.
“P-please follow me.”
He spoke in a shaky voice and turned around. We followed him while being on our guard. As we turned from the landing to continue upwards, two men also appeared above. They were chatting with each other and laughing.
They glanced at us once, but after seeing the man who was leading us, they continued down. The man sighed in relief, and looked back at us.
“T-this way please………”
And so, we reached the first floor. He took a left and then knocked on a door.
“Sir, it’s me. I have something important to discuss.”
It was impressive how he was able to stop his voice from trembling while saying that.
A sharp voice allowed him to enter. The man glanced back at me, and I nodded. So, with trembling hands, he opened the door.
“What do you want now-” The bespectacled man sitting behind a desk and going through some paper stopped as he saw us. “………What is the meaning of this, Allo?”
“Actually.” This time, Cecile stepped forward. “I should be the one asking you that.”
“Y-your Highness!” The man instantly recognised her and stood up from his table. While sweating bullets, he asked. “To what do I owe this visit, your Highness?”
“This man here.” She pointed to Allo, who now understood the gravity of the situation. “Tried to abduct a child in broad daylight, and then attacked me when I stopped him.”
That man glared at Allo.
“Is that true?”
“No no no!” He frantically shook his head. “I-I was just trying to help him-”
“‘Missed such a good haul because of them! The next time I see them I’ll kill that man and make a good sport of that woman!’ Now whose words were they, I wonder.”
Colour drained from Allo’s face as I recited his words back to him.
“So it was true….” That man at the desk sighed, and Allo turned to him in fear. “It seems I misjudged you. Trying to abduct a child………… You shall be punished.”
Allo shrieked and turned around to run, but by that time a dagger was already heading for his head. It would have impaled his head and killed him on the spot, had I not stopped it.
“What is the meaning of this?”
Cecile glared at the man behind the desk, and then at the other masked man who had appeared beside him and had thrown the dagger.
“T-that is………” He gulped, and then sighed heavily. “I guess this is the end for me, huh. Unied!”
At the man-behind-the-desk’s shout, the other man Unied threw two daggers at Cecile, which the latter easily evaded. But by that time, the thrower had already broken the window behind him and jumped out.
“Wait!” Cecile approached that window with haste. “Shit!”
She cursed. Looks like that man got away. Cecile turned to the other one.
“You are under arrest as the leader of this human trafficking group!”
“As you will, your Highness.”
That man replied with a bow.
Huh, that was anticlimactic. And that is precisely why it bothers me. Why did this man order that ‘Unied’ to run away instead of covering his own retreat? It is clear that this man was the boss, while Unied was his guard, so why did he sacrifice himself to let his guard escape?
Good grief, this could become really troublesome.