Chapter 31 – Rescue
According to Sheila’s information, Snakebite would be captured before long. The Adventurer’s Guild had conducted investigations in the buildings near the port, but it seemed that they had unfortunately ended in failure.
Contact from Snakebite had been severed, huh? They feared the information would be leaked at a magic trial. Perhaps the suspects had fled their base.
However, it appeared that the suspicious point Sheila mentioned, which was that members of the Cardiff House frequented the places Snakebite also frequented, had already been grasped by others.
I decided to go inspect that place before heading off to the Adventurer’s Guild. Having to share information to the extent that I would have to cooperate with the Adventurer’s Guild was out of the question.
The place we headed to next, under Sheila’s guidance, was a building in the Southern District surrounded by high walls. I decided to observe the building from a street a short distance away.
“Is it that building?”
“Yes. However, we won’t be able to enter with a guard hanging around the entrance.”
“If we watch this guard…can we secure evidence to show a connection with the Cardiff House?”
“As long as I watch them, the guards who are active inside won’t change personnel. Members of the Cardiff House also won’t appear later. It looks like they aren’t bringing in daily necessities either…”
I see…So it really was the Black Dimension Stone. The enemy might be summoners or opponents with similar skills and knowledge.
They appeared to be quite skillful. They had even considered the matter that the Adventurer’s Guild hadn’t come to an understanding of the Black Dimension Stone’s existence until now.
One was able to move inside the town without being seen if they utilized transfer magic, and they could bring in necessities and switch the personnel inside of the building.
Although I couldn’t imagine that they would be so thorough…perhaps they were exercising a certain amount of caution, since Snakebite was captured.
Caduceus separated from my shadow, slipped into an alley, climbed up a wall, and entered the site. I decided to link my vision with it now. In order to sync my senses with it, it was necessary to consume some Mana.
“Did something happen?”
Sheila’s face turned doubtful.
…Her senses were quite sharp. She somehow sensed that Caduceus had moved.
I wanted to conceal my cards since I didn’t know if I could trust her, so I concealed the presence of Caduceus for now.
I let it infiltrate and investigate the building like this.
I should run this by the Adventurer’s Guild. There was also the option of talking to Rossetta about it, or even letting Prince Albert take measures.
Sheila looked back multiple times as we left. It seemed she was quite reluctant to leave.
Well, it was possible that her friend was being held captive in that building.
If this were to end in failure in any way, even if we spoke with the Adventurer’s Guild, I didn’t know whether they could take immediate action. If the opponents could use transfer magic, there was also the possibility of them fleeing again.
It was more than having a magic trial. It was like denying the information that was directly connected to the perp. They probably took precautionary measures to the extent of having multiple bases, and I couldn’t say for sure where their next base would be.
“What happened to Snakebite’s case?”
We headed to the Adventurer’s Guild, and I brought up the subject after greeting the receptionist, Heather. Sheila waited without accompanying me.
“…Isn’t it better to not involve yourself too much in this case?”
“Well, I understand that you’re concerned, but I’d be grateful.”
Perhaps they didn’t want rumours about guys hunting people of the same profession to spread to novice Adventurers.
“We’ve obtained information about the building that Snakebite’s partners frequented. If we kept quiet about it, it would be a dishonor.”
I decided to conceal the matter of the Cardiff House for now. It wouldn’t be strange even if I talked about the dispute I had with the Cardiff House, and even if I had other intentions by talking about such a thing, it would be troublesome.
“Understood. This isn’t something in my jurisdiction, so please follow me inside to talk.”
I looked at Sheila, who was observing me while pretending to look at a request form, and then headed into a room inside the Guild.
“I’ll go call someone who is of a higher rank than me, so please speak with them.”
While waiting for Heather’s superior, I sat in a chair and concentrated on giving instructions to Caduceus. Even if it couldn’t run away after it was detected, it had other countermeasures it could use. After I had focused my attention on the ‘Opposite Side’ for a while, there was a knock on the door from Heather, and an old man with white hair and a white beard entered.
“Oswald-sama, he is Theodore Gartner. Theodore-kun, this person is the Vice-Head, Oswald Coppard-sama.”
Oswald Coppard. Another amazing figure appeared.
He was an NPC in BFO, and he was famous enough to be in books.
Currently the Vice-Head of Termuilles’s Adventurers’ Guild, he was someone who held the nickname ‘Holy Sword’ when he was on active duty.
“It’s a pleasure to meet you. I am Theodore Gartner.”
“Hrm. I’m Oswald. Well, make yourself comfortable.”
I sat face-to-face with Oswald.
Heather seemed to be quite nervous though.
“Have you heard the information regarding Snakebite’s case?”
“Yes. I thought that I would not involve myself with that case too deeply, though. According to the information I obtained about Snakebite, it appeared that the investigation ended in failure. Before we talk about the topic at hand, I have something I want to ask.”
“What is it?”
“Are there people who have purchased Red Dimension Stones? Have you investigated it from that approach?”
The Black Dimension Stone was probably a product of the Red Dimension Stone, and if I was trying to think of a way to kidnap people for ransom or a way to make a profit, then gathering Red Dimension Stones was necessary. Basically, there were people from the Adventurer’s Guild who purchased these.
Oswald guessed what I wanted to say, then he closed his eyes and nodded.
“We have. It seems that there were people who requested several groups of Adventurers to purchase Red Dimension Stones…and whether or not they have been vigilant, they have been disappearing after the Snakebite investigation ended in failure.”
…I see. As one would expect, the Cardiff House had not come to make those purchases directly, huh? The guys who have been giving instructions probably knew the situation, to a certain extent. The Cardiff House might be directly involved in this.
“Here is my information then. The building is in the Southern District, and –”
I told him the location of the building. The corners of Oswald’s lips rose and he asked me a question.
“I also have something I want to ask. How did you obtain this information? Who did you get it from?”
Well, I had not spoken of the circumstances to him. It couldn’t be helped for him to ask this.
“I’m unable to answer that.”
“It’s to protect the person who provided me with the information. Please sympathize with their background. He is a friend of a victim of this case.”
(TL: Theo uses “he” to protect Sheila.)
“…Is it the Thieves Guild?”
“I can’t say. He, who had a promise with the Adventurer’s Guild, brought me this information, but didn’t hand it over for free. Other than this, not revealing his origins is the same as me protecting the promise of being bound to secrecy with the Guild, so I think that there is a line where I should protect him.”
As for my role, it should be that of a mediator.
“…You’re pretty eloquent. Haven’t you thought that I might request for you to do a magic trial?”
“I don’t really care for it specifically, but I don’t think you have much spare time, do you?”
At any rate, the source of the information and such had become inconsequential and would be left unsettled.
“What do you mean by that?”
“For me, I think that the highest priority is to find everyone who has been captured and rescue them, rather than figuring out how the evidence was found. It’s mandatory to reveal the evidence we gather, so it’s better to take our time with that.”
I put my hand on my left eye and examined the situation on Caduceus’s side.
Right now, it was entering a keyhole and opening the lock. What came into view was a prison where the victims, who were held captive, were now escaping.
Although the prison guards sensed an abnormality and placed their hands on the swords on their waist, they fell to the ground with their hands and feet skewered by Caduceus, which had solidified itself, so that they would neither die nor be able to run away.
There weren’t that many personnel inside the facility, so I decided to taunt them a bit and crush them. They, too, would become witnesses.
I basically let Caduceus run rampant inside the facility, destroying its equipment and allowing the captive victims to escape.
It was like the destruction was proof of their escape. Clever imitations were impossible. Sheila informed me of this area, and I think it was our win when we discovered the victims after Caduceus infiltrated it.
Perhaps some material evidence or verbal evidence that would implicate the Cardiff House would show up amongst the proof that was left behind by the perpetrators. If that happened, Ashely and I wouldn’t be occupied by hassles caused by Morris.
“I’ve tried to investigate the inside of that facility and already discovered the victims. Right now, I’m letting my familiar run rampant to help the victims escape. It’s necessary to prepare personnel who can cancel Slave Magic.”
Immediately after hearing my words, Oswald stood and and said to Heather.
“Send anyone capable to that place immediately. Please wait briefly before rushing in. If they can detect clear abnormalities, don’t let them limit themselves. Let them support the escape. Priests of the Moon Shrine have Slave Magic Release Spells. Hurry up with the arrangements.”
Heather rushed out of the room.
Oswald smiled and sat down on the chair with a ‘Doka’.
“This should be quite interesting. Did you intend to not talk about your familiar if you were unable to find the victims?”
“Well…that is the case. Also, if Oswald-sama hadn’t appeared, I would have held back on talking about my familiar, and I would have only helped out with the escape of the victims. I heard stories of Oswald-sama’s when I was younger, after all.”
Oswald had climbed up with his own efforts and, compared to the current me, he was a rather open-minded person who wasn’t short of ‘excessive episodes’. Oswald’s shoulders trembled as he laughed at my answer.