The cabin near the slums. It was the outskirts of the area and wasn’t exactly in the slums. Still, due to its location, very few people would come by. It was also night time, when fewer people were about. During this time, Rei’s group found the cabin and quickly went towards it.
「……It certainly looks worn out. If anything, it looks like it would collapse at any moment.」
Brazos muttered as he looked at the appearance of the cabin. Freon nodded silently in agreement.
「Well, I implemented various measures so that people wouldn’t come close.」
Murt replied as such and reached for the door to the cabin. Top right corner, bottom right, bottom left and top left. After pushing the door in that order, a clicking sound was heard.
「I see, a door with a special mechanism.」
Rei muttered in admiration. Like this, it wouldn’t be possible for people who didn’t know it to open the door.
Murt opened the door with a proud smile.
Although it was a door that could be opened easily if the correct procedures were followed, it was quite high quality……in addition, it had been made by a thief with no relations to Azoth Firm. Even if you tried to open the door without following the procedure, it wouldn’t open. Without any other means, the only way would be to destroy the door……however, not many people would make that decisions after seeing the condition of the cabin. There would be no point in forcing open the door and collapsing the cabin at the same time. In the first place, the cabin wasn’t something people would usually turn their attention towards.
「Ah……sorry Set, but I’ll have to ask you to wait outside.」
Comparing the door entrance with Set, Murt said that apologetically.
However, it was normal that Set wouldn’t be able to enter buildings. Having no particular objections, Set gave a small cry and lay down in the shadow of the cabin.
「Set, I’ll leave it to you to keep guard.」
Saying that to Set, everyone entered the cabin.
(Maybe because he got helped out at Pamidor’s workshop, Murt’s attitude towards Set has softened quite a bit.)
Rei thought to himself with a small smile.
「……So, where is the important Galahat?」
The first person to speak after entering the cabin was Brazos.
The figure of Galahat, whom they had been told was in the cabin, was nowhere to be found.
「Please wait a moment.」
Murt looked around the inside of the cabin and moved aside a barrel containing trash in a corner of the room without panicking. He then reached out to the floor under where the barrel was to do something. The next moment, a part of the floor moved sideways with a clacking sound and stairs to a basement appeared at the location previously hidden by the floor panel.
「What to say. Should I call this expected or unexpected.」
When the stairs appeared, Brazos spoke in amazement. Next to him, Freon nodded. Only Rei looked at the mechanism that hid the stairs to the basement in interest.
「Anyhow, it’s a hideout. I think you understand why it goes this far? It’s just to make sure.」
「……All this just to make sure, it must have cost quite a sum of money to build here.」
Of course, there was a possibility that it was made by just the two people who knew about this place, Murt and Galahat, but that would have taken too much time. Still, if they had asked someone who specialised in this area, since it was such a device, it should have costed quite a bit. That was what Brazos thought as he spoke, but Murt shook his head.
「No, the one who helped me make this mechanism was Galahat-san, so it was finished with minimal expense. Even the minimal expense could just be paid to Galahat-san.」
Murt said that proudly before realising that this wasn’t the time to discuss it. He stepped onto the stairs to the basement.
「Then I’ll go in. Galahat-san should be in the room ahead.」
Saying that with a nod, he went down the stairs.
As expected, it was impossible to have a light as they went down the stairs. Or rather, because it was a short distance down, there was no place to put one. After going down the stairs, the floor above closed back and the surroundings became covered in darkness.
「Hey, will this be okay?」
Because of the surroundings, Freon became uneasy as she asked Murt. Murt nodded to indicate there were no problems……the next moment, he realised that no one could tell that he had nodded because of the darkness and so he spoke up.
「No problems. It’s a mechanism that automatically closes the floor when there’s no weight placed around the stairs. When we leave the basement, there’s a switch on the floor near the closed panel that can open it if you press it.」
「……I guess that’s true. Isn’t it hard to be trapped inside such a dark place?」
「Kukuku~. Afraid of the dark, Freon has surprisingly feminine aspects.」
「Shut up drunkard. In the first place, I’m a woman.」
「No, I don’t think I’m drunk right now.」
While exchanging retorts, they all got to the bottom of the stairs in less than a minute. There was only a single door in front of them.
Of course, it wasn’t a unique door like in the Margrave’s residence, but a very ordinary door that you could find anywhere.
Murt just said a single word before knocking on the door.
「Galahat-san, are you there? It’s Murt.」
「……Did you bring anyone along?」
He probably guessed that there were other people besides Murt. A voice asked inquisitively from the other side of the door.
This was a hideout only Galahat and Murt knew, so there must be a situation that would require him to bring people other than themselves to this place. At Galahat’s question, Murt answered after taking a short, deep breath.
「Pardon me, because of our shortage in fighting strength……I asked for help without asking for permission.」
「……I see. In the end, older brother still has the stronger force.」
When Galahat heard that, he murmured with a sigh. The sound of a lock opened by a sound echoed before the door was opened. Although the figure that appeared had stiff movements, Galahat was still able to stand on his own two feet.
(Heh~, has he really recovered from his injury in the past few days? I don’t know if it was a potion or healing magic, but the medical technology in this world isn’t low.)
Rei thought to himself in admiration. However, Galahat unexpectedly stiffened when he saw Rei looking at him.
「Ah. Didn’t you hear what Murt said earlier? Finding helpers. That’s me. ……To be accurate, us.」
Rei shifted his body to reveal Brazos and Freon.
However, Galahat had no time for them. Rei was in front of him. Yes, the person who had declared that there would be no next time for Bolton. If he was here then……
Galahat reproofed Murt on reflex.
That was not unexpected. In the first place, Galahat had decided and resolved himself to defy his older brother, who he had obediently followed all this time. All to protect Bolton from the person in front of him. Despite being told that there wouldn’t be a second time, after feeling the fear of death that day, Bolton had tried to get back at Rei. His older brother’s life would be hard to save. In order to protect his older brother from the person before him, he had to pull his brother down from his seat of power. Judging so, he decided to revolt against his older brother, who he loved. Even so, the person who was the cause of all this was here. From Galahat’s perspective, Murt’s actions were nothing less than a betrayal.
If his body had fully recovered, he might have drawn the sword at his waist. But in order not to worsen his injuries because of his rage, he didn’t make any actions that could be seen a hostile before Rei. ……And, a single hope. A variety of emotions mixed together as Galahat stopped himself.
Several seconds passed. Galahat asked quietly.
「Rei, did you come here after realising what my older brother is doing? If you came here knowing that……will you kill my older brother as you declared before?」
「……Well, about that. The previous case has already been reported to the Margrave Rowlocks, the lord of Gilm.」
At those simple words, Galahat held his breath. Next to Rei, Murt also had a shocked expression.
「As the lord of the city, it seems that the Azoth Firm controlled by Bolton has become troublesome. It’s tacit understanding, but I’ve been given permission to kill him.」
「Daska, is it.」
He couldn’t believe it……no, he didn’t want to believe it. He wanted to be told it was a lie. Galahat looked towards Brazos and Freon with such eyes, but his face turned to one of despair when he saw both of them shake their heads in silent acknowledgement.
At this point, Rei spoke up.
「Well, if the the president of Azoth Firm is replaced and doesn’t do what it has been doing so far, Margrave Rowlocks will be fine with that.」
Galahat felt hope at Rei’s words as he looked towards him, until he heard Rei’s next words.
「As the lord of the city, that’s fine for him. However, though I threatened you about what would happen if there was a next time, this happens not even after several days. What are you going to to about that?」
「……That, that is……I will try to stop him next time.」
「I’ve heard that before. At that time, I believed your words and what did Bolton do? After finishing a request and coming back to the city today, when I went to a blacksmith’s workshop, I was told that weapons shops have been told not to do business with me.」
Without letting Galahat interject, Rei kept speaking. As it was a fact, there was nothing that Galahat could even retort.
Instead, it was Murt that spoke out. He stepped forward to protect Galahat as he spoke.
「Wait. Regarding the matter of the weapons shops, Bolton decided that after Galahat-san fell unconscious from your attack. There’s no way Galahat-san would be able to stop that no matter what.」
「What about it? I allowed Bolton to live with the condition that there would be no second time. Galahat accepted those conditions. In that case, isn’t this Galahat’s responsibility? Even though he was unconscious, events still continue on……do you think that would convince me?」
Although Murt intended to continue to reply, Galahat grasped his shoulder to stop him.
「No, no. It’s as Rei said. Though I promised not to meddle with him anymore, I didn’t keep it. It’s my fault.」
Murt didn’t care what would happen to Bolton, in fact, he felt rather good about it. However, considering the shock that Galahat received knowing what would happen to his brother, Murt couldn’t agree with Rei.
Seeing the two of them like this, Rei gave a sigh before speaking.
「……All right. I promise not to take his life. I’ll agree to that.」
「You won’t kill him?」
「Ah. I won’t kill him.」
Rei nodded at Galahat, who asked to confirm.『I won’t take his life.』was saying in other words that he wouldn’t kill Bolton. That is why Galahat asked to confirm.
「Are you sure?」
「That’s right. This is the biggest concession I can give. If you can’t follow through even this time, I will go take revenge on Bolton without your cooperation. Naturally, various issues will happen compared to if I cooperated with you. However, I already have tacit understanding about that with Margrave Rowlocks. I will be able to avoid the worst situation of having a bounty placed on me.」
(Although……instead, he will probably make some demands of me.)
Rei thought to himself.
In fact, if that did happen, Daska would happily use various methods……to keep Rei in the city of Gilm. In addition, he would try to keep Rei as unaware about it as possible. As an individual, Rei possessed great value as a fighting force.
Hearing Rei’s words, Galahat thought silently for a minute. He finally spoke up after deciding on it.
「I understand. I will accept your demands.」
Galahat replied with a bitter expression.