The cry of an owl resounded in the capital city of Roumrelus that was under the curtain of night.
Even the Illumination Magic that floated within the city and illuminated their surroundings couldn’t reach as far as the top of the roof tops.
What illuminated this place, was only the moonlight.
If even the moon were to be hidden, then at that point, only the God of Darkness Dagulas would be watching over it.
Therefore, no matter what town──no, no matter what country it was, the world above the roofs was a separate domain.
There, those that lived under rules that were different from the ones on the ground ran rampant.
Called intelligence operatives in the Zadark Kingdom, and spies in the other countries, they were emissaries that infiltrated other countries and performed espionage activities.
In peaceful eras, there were many cases where they would be engaged in relatively peaceful missions for the sake of removing the unease of the influential people.
There was also an aspect where both the spying side and the being-spied-on side would use their intelligence units as tools for the sake of a kind of diplomacy.
However, right now, that situation had made a complete change.
First, the St. Altlis Kingdom had started movements to eliminate the intelligence units of other nations.
Next, the alert status of the Canal Kingdom, which had started a civil war, had risen to an abnormal degree for some reason, and the intelligence units of any country was unable to enter it.
In the Jiol Forest Kingdom and the Cylas Empire, since there were no painful spots even when they spied on each other and the truly important highly classified information was tightly protected, there weren’t any changes……but that sort of collusion, it would someday break due to one stealing the march on the other.
On top of the roofs, a single spy had gotten down without a sound.
Their face was hidden, but going by their long ears, they were a Sylphid──In other words, it was understood that they were a Jiol Forest Kingdom spy.
In that spy’s abdomen, there was a stab wound.
It was a wound at a level where it couldn’t be called a severe wound, but the pain stole the normal movements away from the spy.
Readying a black-lacquered dagger, the Jiol Forest Kingdom spy glared at the opponent that chased after them.
「……What is the meaning of this! Don’t you understand what is beyond here!?」
The opponent that inflicted the wound on the Jiol Forest spy readied the dagger that still had blood on it and quietly breathed out.
Their entire body was covered in black cloth, but in general, their height was shorter than an adult, and the color of their body was a dark green which differed from any member of mankind.
Other than the fact that they were smeared with tree sap or something for the sake of camouflage, possessing this sort of skin color would mean they were something other than human.
──There’s no mistake that they were looking at a Goblin, a comrade of Mazoku.
After forming a treaty of friendship, the Zadark Kingdom’s intelligence unit ended up appearing on top of the Jiol Forest Kingdom’s roofs as well.
That being said, the Zadark Kingdom’s intelligence operatives would always safeguard their bases, so it was rare to meet them in other locations.
Even if they gathered information, it was nothing but trifling rumors and talks that were in fashion, and it was to the point that others in the same profession had whispered that they did that maybe because they trusted the Jiol Forest Kingdom quite a bit, or maybe because they didn’t understand the importance of intelligence activities.
Incidentally, the Zadark Kingdom’s intelligence operatives were all ones called Majin who had figures that weren’t that different from mankind, but if they were to get serious, it was possible for them to turn into their Majuu (magic beast) forms and mix in with the animals. The fearsomeness of their true intelligence scouting abilities, it was still unknown to the spies of the other nations.
Among them, a Goblin intelligence member was rare, and even the Jiol Forest Kingdom’s spy had not seen one before.
Although they felt suspicion from the fact that there was a Zadark Kingdom intelligence operative in a place that they would normally not appear in, letting down their guard from the fact that the other party was someone from a friendly nation, the Jiol Forest Kingdom spy approached that Goblin intelligence operative against their better judgement.
Just as they were offering to exchange information while they were at it, their abdomen was suddenly stabbed.
The Goblin that the Jiol Forest Kingdom spy had met, they weren’t called an intelligence operative or a spy.
Ones who took such dangerous measures were called 『Shadows』, or 『Darkness』, or more simply 『Assassins』.
They were ones allowed to kill for the sake of their shady objective, or who had killing itself as their objective.
However, the thought of “why” was inside of the Jiol Forest Kingdom spy.
There was no reason for the Zadark Kingdom to send in a Shadow at this time.
In that case, what was their aim?
What was at the end of the Zadark Kingdom Shadow’s gaze was the Temple of Wind. The ones there were the Temple Knight of Wind, and his guests.
Was their target one of them──No, there was no time to think about that right now.
No matter which one it was, there would surely be an unusually negative influence on the Jiol Forest Kingdom.
It wouldn’t matter if the assassination was a success or a failure.
It was visible that the fact itself that they had attacked would become an all too enormous problem.
「……Just what is the Zadark Kingdom thinking……!」
Someone had interrupted those words.
「Sorry, but it’s troubling if you count that as one of ours.」
Next to the Jiol Forest Kingdom spy, a single, black dressed woman appeared.
They recognized that woman.
She was one of the Zadark Kingdom’s intelligence operatives, and was secretly a popular woman among the spies.
「You……Ein!? So you returned!」
「Pretty much. I became responsible for this area tonight but……for the time being, let’s leave the greetings for later.」
「Th, that’s right! What is your country thinking!?」
「I already said it, don’t count that as one of ours. There isn’t anyone in our intelligence unit that’s that ugly.」
After Ein glanced at the Goblin Shadow that was glaring at her as well, she unsheathed her dagger.
「That is probably……a Goblin of this continent, you know?」
The Jiol Forest Kingdom spy was startled by Ein’s words.
When speaking of the Shutaia Continent’s Goblins, they were a bunch that were representatives of creatures that were bad at using their heads.
For that sort of Goblin to dress up in black garments and take spy-like movements, it was so unexpected that they couldn’t believe it.
That is why the Jiol Forest Kingdom spy had judged that what was in front of them was one of the Zadark Kingdom’s Goblins which were said to be somewhat smarter.
「What. Do you have something in mind about it?」
「……No, I simply thought that if you said it, Ein, then it is probably true.」
Without taking here eyes off from the Goblin Shadow, Ein laughed scornfully.
「Don’t make such a boring deception. The matter of the Goblin settlement is something that even I’ve heard of.」
「……Tsk. But, there’s no guarantee that that’s one of them, you know?」
「That’s true. But so what.」
Ein said that, and expressed a smile as if to provoke the Goblin Shadow.
「That thing filth lower than shit that damages the dignity of us Mazoku, and trample on Demon King-sama’s efforts. Is there any other necessary protocol other than to slaughter them?」
「No……Normally, it’s better to capture them.」
「If it’s that, I’ve already tried it. These guys, it seems that they have a magic or something cast on them that annihilates them. I don’t know where they learned something like that……but it’s a nuisance.」
This was becoming more and more impossible.
If they could use that sort of magic, that was no longer just an ordinary Goblin.
As if cutting off the thoughts of the Jiol Forest Kingdom spy that could do nothing but be surprised, the Goblin Shadow leapt.
「Don’t raise such an idiotic war cry. At that point, you’re a failure of a 『Shadow』.」
Ein soundlessly dispatched a line at the Goblin Shadow that brandished its knife and came attacking.
With just that, the Goblin Shadow’s head separated from its body and revolved in midair.
And then, at the same time, the Goblin’s body turned into what looked like black particles and vanished.
The Jiol Forest Kingdom spy looked at that with a dumbfounded expression.
Although it goes without saying that Ein’s abilities were getting increasingly better, but the way that Goblin Shadow had died just now was strange.
They could agree to how Ein called it magic.
That was truly a vanishing method that could only be explained like that.
「……What was that, that Goblin……」
Replying with only that, Ein sheathed her dagger back into its scabbard.
No matter how many conjectures she made here, it wasn’t like they would change the situation.
The one to make the decision, at the very least, it wouldn’t be Ein.
「Hurry up and tend to your wound. I won’t help out with it.」
「Mu……Sorry. More importantly, I have a request. Until the next shift comes……」
「I know. The loss of the guest in that temple is also a loss for our country. Rather than that, it’s more important that this fact isn’t made known.」
「Ahh, that won’t be a problem. The spies of the other countries won’t come near this vicinity. The exception would be someone like you……or that should have been the case.」
Seeing the Jiol Forest Kingdom spy lose confidence and gradually lower their voice, Ein ostentatiously breathed a sigh.
「……You guys, haven’t you all let your skill dull while I wasn’t here?」
「Guh! I have no way to make excuses……」
What watched over this place that was far separated from the ground that was overflowing with light, was only the dark night sky.
There was no one else around to hear their lighthearted talk that quietly resounded.
Tonight as well, they slipped into the darkness of night as they moved.
For the sake of protecting this fragile peace.
And then, for the sake of the future that would come some day.