CH88: Flockhart & Co.
“… Hey, I told you I had something to do, didn’t I? Why are you following me?”
I ask Fuuka who has been following me.
“I don’t know. Don’t worry about me.”
No, of course I care…
However, he seems to be determined to follow me no matter what I say, and it’s going to take a lot of effort to get rid of him.
And I can’t predict what’s going to happen in the future… And if we can use Fuuka’s supernatural powers, that’s something.
… I don’t know if they’ll use it.
“Huh… Okay. But what you see and hear from here on out, you say nothing. You can come with me if you swear to it.
“Yeah, okay. I swear.”
“Swear to what?”
To what…? My sword, then.
With that he produced the warped sword in its scabbard.
Fuuka’s sword is called a katana, and is used by many in the East.
The katana that Fuuka is holding has a unique atmosphere that is difficult to describe.
Many swordsmen think that their swords are worth as much as their lives, and it is said that Kyokuto people have a custom of taking extra care of their things.
I don’t know if Fuuka is one of them, but I think I can trust this oath.
Why do you want to go to such lengths to keep what’s about to happen a secret?
Because what I’m about to do is wrong in the eyes of the public.
If word gets out that I’ve done such a thing, it might cause trouble for the Night-Heavenly Silver Rabbit.
But if Fuka doesn’t tell anyone, it’s unlikely this story will get out.
It wasn’t the thief who was wearing the [target acquisition markings].
The theft was meant to take the heat off of your real life.
The thief looked around before he committed the crime, but he kept his eyes on a few places in particular.
And the victim was looking in the same direction as the thieves just before the crime.
Where both men were watching, at the same time the theft was taking place, another group of men were abducting children.
I was activating my target acquisition marker on the kidnappers.
I come to the location where the [Target Acquisition Marking] is responding, and sure enough it’s the main branch of the Flockhart Trading Company.
“I hope I’m remembering this wrong… I guess it’s confirmed after all this time…”
You’re here to see Mr. Flockhart?
The Flockhart Trading Company is one of the five largest trading companies in the Kingdom of Nochtant.
The share of the market, especially in the ultra-light segment, is definitely the largest.
And it’s also the home of Luna’s parents.
He followed the same route as the kidnappers, came to the back door of the store.
Well, you can’t go in there headfirst with a kid in a burlap sack.
I twisted the back door knob and pulled it, but it seemed to be unlocked and the door opened easily.
(You were in a hurry? What an idiot… to commit such a terrible crime as kidnapping.)
Try not to make a sound from here.
He closes the door once and tells Fuuka.
I’m not sure how much I’m going to be able to do with the money.
(I’ve never been in this building through the back door before.)
There was a staircase leading to the basement right next to it.
The kidnappers apparently went underground.
As I’m going down the stairs, I hear a man talking.
“… Well done at any rate. As always, if anyone gets caught, I’ll ask the Marquis to release them.”
Yeah, thanks. But aren’t there a lot of kidnapping requests for kids lately? We’re getting paid a pretty penny for what we do, so I’m not complaining.
The Marquess asked me to do something for him. I don’t know the details.
“I don’t know… You should at least know why.”
I was listening to the conversation, and I just couldn’t help but to give him a little bit of a kick in the pants.
I mean, it’s pretty amazing that you’ve been involved in all these crimes and you don’t know what you’re up to.
There are five men in the room. And a girl who looks like she’s been kidnapped.
One of them is someone I know very well, Pascal Flockhart.
He’s the president of the Chamber of Commerce and Luna’s father-in-law.
The remaining four are all in their twenties, but of varying ages.
And not exactly a hard man to look at.
I’m almost certain he’s familiar with the underworld.
The girl seems to be asleep. She’s lying in bed.
It seems that they haven’t been rough with him, but the handcuffs on his wrists are connected to a nearby pillar so that he can’t escape.
It’s been a long time. Mr. Pascal.
I call out to Pascal in the same lighthearted tone I use when I bump into an acquaintance on the street.
“… Orn. What do you want?
“There was a kidnapping right in front of me, so I thought I’d keep tabs, and that’s how I ended up here.”
“I see. Now that they know, we can’t let them get away alive. Jeffrey, I’m gonna need you to do something for me. Kill the kid in front of me.
(You made a quick decision…) Well… it might be a natural decision after being seen like this…)
It’s not a wrong decision, but it’s not like Pascal to make such a decision.
At least this guy I knew wasn’t so quick to judge.
“Yes. I’m sorry. I don’t have any personal feelings for you, but I’m here on behalf of a client.
Four men are on the line.
Mr. Pascale, you misunderstand. We have no intention to engage.
Raise your hands to indicate your unwillingness to engage.
“Who’s going to believe that? Even if he has no intention to fight, he’ll threaten us with this. We can’t let the Marquis be bothered. You’ll die here.
I didn’t really mean to fight, but I had to.
“… Fuuka, do you know what they’re going to do next?”
You ask Fuuka about the effect of [Future Vision].
There’s never enough information on Fuuka’s abilities.
It’s a good opportunity for me to gather some information.
“They’ll split up and attack me and Orn in two groups.”
It is answered as if it were a matter of course.
Really, this is a hell of an advantage.
Well, can I take care of the two that are headed your way? I’ll take care of them.
“Do you need a buff?”
No, it’s okay. I’m fine.”
As we were talking, two of the four attacked me just as Fuka had said.
Since there isn’t enough room to swing the sword around, he activates [Triple Hang Triple] with [All Ability Increases Status Up] and simultaneously launches [Wind Blast Aero Shock] near their faces.
The two people who were about to attack me are confused by the sudden diffusion of air in front of them.
I walk up to them and I slam my fist into one guy’s dove tail.
The other man tried to kick him, so he knocked him off his feet and knocked him off his feet.
He grabs her by the face and slams her to the ground.
Now you’re on your own.
The man who has been hit in the dove tail, holding his stomach, is slightly bent over, which makes it easier for him to kick.
Kick the guy in the jaw area, give him a concussion.
Now the two who came at me are out of the fight.
And Fuuka has already defeated the two who attacked her.
(Fuka’s fight didn’t take too long either. Well, it’s a good thing we got to see a little bit of Fuka’s battle.)
“Why… How can you, who’s weak and got kicked out of the party, beat them!”
Pascal is in a slight panic when he sees us defeating the four of them in a blink of an eye.
… She’s supposed to be a person with small emotional ups and downs, but I don’t know, this doesn’t feel right…
“… It’s true that I was kicked out of the party because I wasn’t good enough, but you’re wrong about me being weak. I can’t speak for myself, but I’m one of the better explorers in the whole of the world.”
“Even if you turn me in here, I’ve got the Marquis Forgas behind me! He’ll cover this up in no time! You’ll never get me!”
… What do you call someone like that?
Oh, yeah. “The fox that walks on tigers’ coats.
But you still smell like a small boy. Is that just because you’re out of the heroic party and are being watched from a distance?
“Huh… I told you it was a misunderstanding. I’m not accusing you of this in the first place. ・・・・・.”
Of course, child abduction is a crime.
In some cases, it is a crime so serious that it is no wonder that it is punishable by the death penalty.
But like I said, I’m not pressing charges.
There are a number of reasons for this, but the main one is that if this case becomes public, it is likely to create a mess that will be difficult to clean up.
There are always rumors about the Marquis of Forgath.
I’m pretty sure he’s actually up to something.
But until now, there was no evidence.
But if this case comes to light, there’s a possibility that a lot of things will become public.
the lords and merchants who hold this city together will disappear.
There’s a great labyrinth in this city.
I am not that familiar with the management of territories, but I can easily imagine that it would be more difficult to manage a territory than in other territories where the Great Maze does not exist.
The Marquis de Forgath’s sense of balance is a natural gift.
There is no doubt that his skills have contributed to the development of this city.
If he were to leave with no one to succeed him, the city could cease to function.
At this point, there’s no one who could rule this city on his level.
I feel sorry for those who are harassed and worse by them, but there is a word for necessary evil.
Now that it’s almost certain that the Marquis de Forgath has ties to the underworld, I’m more concerned about the chaos that could ensue.
I know most of you will say this is wrong, but I don’t care what happens to some stranger who has nothing to do with me.
I’m not a saint, much less a hero.
I’m just trying to keep my hands to myself.
Unless you’re trying to spread malice around me and mine, which is currently not the case.
For these reasons, I’m not pressing charges in this case.
Then the Marquis de Forgath will make it go away.
I think it’s fine.
What? Then why are you here?
Pascal has a quizzical look on his face when he hears what I said.
“Like I said, it’s just a back-up to figure out what’s going on. Nothing more, nothing less…”
Orn, someone’s coming. Looks like a soldier.”
I’m talking to Pascal and Fuka is talking to me.
You’re a soldier?
Fuca is right. I hear multiple footsteps.
“And the lord.”
(My lord… Marquis Forgas came here with his soldiers? Why at this time?)
“… The Territorial Army?”
No. Central Command.
Fuka denies my question, shaking her head.
(With the central army held by the kingdom, not with the Marquis himself? I’m getting more and more confused. What does that mean?)
While I was confused Marquis Forgas appeared with five soldiers in Central Army armor.