Chapter 30 – Beast Thief Sheila
“Thank you very much.”
I heard the voice of the shopkeeper behind me as I left the Magic Tool shop.
They didn’t have any Magic Staves that met my requirements, which was to have excellent durability whenever I activated Magic that was used with Joujutsu.
Although I had thought I would immediately acquire a suitable Staff if I headed to Termuilles…Battlemages were rare in the first place, and there weren’t any equals around. Naturally, the result was that there was nothing that suited my needs.
I wonder if I should look for treasure chests in the lower levels or collect materials and request for them to be made?
On the other hand, I did find a Magician’s coat. Although it wasn’t a robe and I had not been looking for one, it was an item woven from Luna Worm silk, so it was quite good.
The cost to strengthen it with additional magic was 400 Kilig. Its performance was sufficient if I considered the price.
(ED: Staffs -> Staves)
I quickly put on the coat and left the store.
I had contemplated going around town a bit more, but I noticed a vibration, as if someone’s feet were striking the ground. This was a signal from Caduceus, who was hiding in the shadows.
…Was it that beast person? Although I didn’t know if they were pursuing something somewhere, it was still a suspicious reaction as I came out of the store. It seemed that this person was caught in Caduceus’s surveillance.
Without looking around, I began walking, pretending that I hadn’t noticed them.
I closed my left eye and linked my senses and vision with the Familiar.
With my right eye, I saw the scenery in front of me. With my left eye, I linked with Caduceus’s senses so I could see behind me.
There appeared to be a hooded person amongst the crowd, walking with their face down and slightly detached from the others.
For now, let’s make it so that they would be hard pressed to come up with an excuse.
Pretending to stroll about the town, I led myself down an old street, the same one in Kagehisa’s memories.
I went around the corner, which lead into a back alley, and just as I was cut off from the vision of people in the opposite direction, I activated Mana Circulation. Then I jumped from wall to wall until I reached the top of a building.
After the person, who had shadowed me until reaching that corner, took a moment to fortify themselves, they began to run towards the end of the back alley with a look of slight panic, since they had suddenly lost sight of me.
At this point, it had turned into me chasing my pursuer.
However, this was neither a game of tag nor was it sneaking around. Further ahead was a dead end, after all.
I knew every nook and cranny around here, since I had set up Termuilles as my home base in BFO.
I had also roamed the streets and examined every last detail as I pleased.
I’m especially familiar with the old streets near the center of Termuilles.
The elements and structures that were said to divert portions of the Labyrinth probably wouldn’t change for the better in the future.
When the person who was pursuing me got to the open space that was surrounded by buildings with no exit, they looked around here and there, wondering why I vanished. They looked up towards the high walls and also confirmed whether or not there were any gaps that one could pass through in between the buildings.
“Who are you looking for?”
The beast person looked back after hearing the voice behind them, as if they had flicked their head.
“…I’m a bit lost.”
It was a girl’s voice.
Although I had planned on figuring out how to deal with them after seeing how they acted, it appeared that this person wouldn’t suddenly attack me. I should deal with her peacefully if that was the case. I wouldn’t let her feign ignorance and run away, though.
“Is that so? So you were lost at the back of my house last night too?”
I could tell that she had gulped under her hood.
“After all, aren’t you looking for someone?”
She asked how?
How did I realize she was shadowing me? Or how I got behind her? Could it be that she knew about last night?
“Magicians should be prepared for all kinds of things. Won’t you show me your face first?”
After I said that, the beast person shrugged her shoulders slightly. It felt like she had given up. The girl’s face was revealed when she took off her hood. Her large, triangular ears twitched.
“I’m not anyone suspicious, is what I want to say. I don’t plan on hurting you.”
“I’ll believe you if I’m satisfied with your reason after listening to it.”
I felt that she wasn’t someone who was observing my house. It would be better to trust her.
“I’m Sheila. I’m looking for a missing friend.”
“Then, why me?”
Sheila narrowed her slit eyes and responded.
…Them, huh? I had thought that she was linked to the Count’s House, though.
A lost friend, right. It was possible that they might be involved with Snakebite’s kidnapping incident.
Sheila opened her mouth again after we had looked at each other silently.
I decided to keep a poker face going for as long as I could, in order to ask about her.
“I’ve heard that you had a struggle with Snakebite and went as far as to catch them. I also heard that you’re fighting with the Cardiff House. Cardiff’s army might show up if you are involved.”
Hmm…What was that? Was she trying to say that there was a connection between Snakebite and the Cardiff House?
If she was wandering around here and knew about me, she had probably heard about the incident with the Cardiff House.
It could be that details on both parties had been provided for the sake of attracting my interest or confusing someone.
It was also hard to obtain Snakebite’s information, since the Adventurer’s Guild made it forbidden to talk about it…At least, the things I struggled with should probably be known to them.
“Will you listen to me? We might be able to help each other out.”
Sheila tilted her head without changing her expression.
If she was unable to take secretive actions, then she would get ahold of me and become allies, huh? Well, that was reasonable.
“I’ll just listen to you. I might not be able to give an answer, though.”
I had also been requested to keep quiet about Snakebite and received money from the Adventurer’s Guild.
Other than receiving money, this was probably also a contract. A part of this consisted of trust, so it wasn’t something that I should be talking about to the extent where one would ‘take an interest’ in it.
“I’ll make the long story short then. My friend, who was involved in the production of labyrinth maps at the Adventurer’s Guild, had spoken with Snakebite and knew about the events. The Cardiff House had frequented the building that Snakebite used.”
“…In other words, the party involved, the Cardiff House, guided Snakebite and involved your friend, who is now missing?”
The Cardiff House has had problems with money, and as for Talcott, it wouldn’t be strange for him to be driven into a corner and get involved in illegal acts in order to fill in the hole that he couldn’t fill with his marriage proposal.
“I see it that way. However, there isn’t enough information.”
“Aren’t these things at the Adventurer’s Guild?”
Sheila shook her head.
“I was turned down. I know that the Adventurer’s Guild wants Snakebite’s information to stay hidden, and it would be troublesome for me if I was seen as suspicious and received a magic trial.”
“Why is that?”
Sheila closed her eyes. I got the impression that she didn’t know what to say next.
She finally opened her eyes and clearly responded.
“I’m a member of the Thieves Guild.”
“Well…Will it be troublesome if this was revealed at the magic trial?”
She nodded after I asked this.
Even if the information, which was confidential, could be disclosed to her, there was no way she could receive a magic trial, huh?
One shouldn’t kill, even if they steal. One should practice their skills day after day.
There were detailed rules for such things. Although she appeared to be a chivalrous thief, by no means was she a righteous ally. Their higher-ups might be similar to generous yakuza.
I rather hated thieves. I understood that there was a difference between Thieves or Scouts compared to Bandits, Brigands, and Burglars…that’s what they were intended to do, though.
Surely there were underlings of the Thieves Guild working amongst the Adventurers as Scouts.
They also absolutely could not inform law enforcement personnel about these things.
Although I knew this because of the Game’s knowledge, there was no reason for me to know the law, since I was an outsider. That was why there was a need to choose what words to ask Sheila again.
Rather, it could be said that Sheila was shouldering a reasonable risk by talking with me.
“Are you referring to talking about this to the higher-ups of the Thieves Guild?”
With the information I had obtained from BFO’s quests…surely there were people who were officially members of the Thieves Guild but secretly worked as slave merchants.
I thought that there was a connection to this, even now.
If I were to say what they would do if one got kidnapped…They would probably first cast slave magic, which would disguise them as a criminal slave, and then sell them off. This was certainly an action that would cause conflict with the Thieves Guild.
Slaves were roughly separated into two types.
The first would become slaves through debt, as if they were apprentices, and were known as debt slaves. It was possible to buy yourself back with the money you saved up, and you would become free.
On the other hand, people who fell into slavery because they committed serious crimes, would be branded with slave magic and would never be able to become free.
This slave magic could bind the speech and behavior of those it was cast on.
In other words, if someone was kidnapped and disguised as a criminal slave…victims would find it difficult to profess their own innocence.
Even if one were across the sea, it would be better to just sell themselves off.
“There are people amongst the higher-ups who disguise themselves and work as slave merchants. I don’t know whether it’s okay to trust them or not, and even though I truly don’t know if Snakebite is involved, I can’t just talk about mere speculation. I need to find some basis.”
In short, the information about the Black Dimension Stone wasn’t being leaked, huh?
Perhaps she didn’t have confidence in the incident of the person’s unknown whereabouts and Snakebite, whose methods weren’t known.
They had a working army that was supported by the Cardiff House, so she tried to search for the whereabouts of her friend, who took evidence from them, by conducting a follow-up investigation on these guys?
“I see…I’ve understood your story; we might be able to help each other out.”
“This and that are separate matters. It’s an issue of trust between me and the Adventurer’s Guild. I can’t leak the information to you.”
Sheila knitted her brows and dropped her shoulders. Discouragement was written all over her face.
“However, there isn’t a problem if I go to the Adventurer’s Guild and request investigation backup or an informant’s report. It’s better this way.”
She opened her eyes widely and lifted up her head at my words. It looked like this was really effective.
If I could clean up Cardiff’s mess with this, then I wouldn’t say anything more.
There was trust with the Adventurer’s Guild because of my fortunate relationship with Beline.
As to whether the Cardiff House was truly involved in this incident, perhaps it would be easier to investigate if I went to the Guild.