Rei and Southernus left the inn and headed for the place where the distilled spirits where stored. Set followed after them, guided by Southernus.
Even with the guaranteed medicinal cure for Magic Fever, the majority of them were still asleep like the innkeeper as they hadn’t recovered their physical strength. Nevertheless, people who had just shown signs of the onset of Magic Fever had already completely recovered, the number of people Rei saw around the city was clearly more than yesterday.
When those people saw Rei……or to be more accurate, when they saw Set, they showed surprised expressions before immediately smiling and bowing their heads.
Those who had been given the medicine knew who had brought the Aurani grass powder over.
At the same time, Diarog had also instructed the residents to not cause a fuss when they saw the monster, a Griffon, that would usually never be seen in the city.
「……So, how many distilled spirits storage locations do you have in the city?」
While stroking Set’s head, Rei asked Southernus, who was guiding them.
At Rei’s question, Southernus shrugged his shoulders lightly as he turned to look at the wall that surrounded the city and kept monsters out.
「The biggest one is in the city’s south. There’s also one in the east and west. Those are the three big ones, if there’s nothing there, the remaining possibility would be in an individuals storage.」
「Why would you do something that troublesome? You should have just stored them all in the same place.」
「Well then, I don’t know the exact reasons, but there are various conditions required for liquor to age mature, I remember hearing about that. Actually, the liquor from all three sites taste different.
Rei had just been and ordinary rural high school students before he came to Elgin, the only knowledge he had of liquor was from what he saw on TV or special reports. Because of that, he could only nod when Southernus explained it to him as such.
Walking for about 40 minutes while talking, they eventually arrived at the southern storage storage facility.
As expected of a place which kept the city’s specialty product, city guards were stationed securely in front of the gate. However, two guards raised voices of surprise when they saw Southernus.
「Southernus-san!? What’s going on for you to come here.」
「Hey, hey, you know where this is. This is where Baar’s local specialty is kept.」
「……There’s no use even you say that you know? This place is checked regularly to make sure the amount stored is correct..」
「Ha, you, you know how to tell jokes. I just came here to investigate why Magic Fever has spread around Baar.」
「The cause of Magic Fever? In this place?」
One of the guards turned to look at Southernus suspiciously.
His look clearly stated how he normally thought of Southernus.
However, the guard who hadn’t kept company with Southernus before tapped the shoulder of his partner.
「Mm? What’s wrong?」
「Hey, the two behind Southernus-san. Aren’t they the ones we heard about who brought the Aurani grass powder?」
「……Ah, you’re right. Southernus-san, it seems what you said earlier is true. Please come in.」
At the guards, whose attitude changed as easily as the flip of a hand, Southernus gave a stiff smile as the blood vessels on his forehead appeared.
「I think I know how you guys think of me. It seems it will be necessary to correct those thoughts in the next joint training.」
「That’s unfair Southernus-san. In the first place, it’s because you’ve caused various problems in the past.」
「Haa? When did I do anything light that.」
「Early last month for example. You started a brawl with an adventurer who came to this city, didn’t you?」
「That was because the adventurer was picking fights with people in the city you know!?」
「Late last month, you went to a big party hosted by one of the blacksmiths in the city and started singing after you got drunk.」
「W-Well, that is. The blacksmith’s daughter was getting married.」
「I don’t think it’s right for the captain of the guards to kick up a fuss while on duty just because of that.」
After that Southernus was blamed for more detailed events.
Feeling sorry for him in that situation, Rei interrupted them with a wry smile.
「I’m sorry, but I’ll keep an eye on him, so can you let us in? I would really like to push forward with the investigation of Magic Fever.」
「It can’t be helped. You heard that, Southernus? Don’t given in to your temptations and drink the liquor inside.」
At the guard’s words, Southernus, who was feeling weak due the guard’s blaming words, lightly waved his hand with a sigh before entering the storage area.
Rei was going to follow after him when the guard who had be lecturing Southernus just before bowed his head and spoke.
「Although it may be troublesome, please take care of Southernus. He may not look like it but he will end up doing various things.」
「……You said various things?」
「Naturally. The fact is, he will cause trouble.」
Rei gave a small smile at the guard’s wry smile before entering the storage area for distilled spirits.
The moment he went in, his nose was hit by the smell of wooden barrels and the odour of aged liquor.
It was probably the same for Set. If it was a drinker, they would express the smell as being fragrant or rich. But for Rei and Set, who didn’t like to drink that much, it wasn’t a pleasant smell.
While enduring the smell, they looked around.
In terms of size, it was about the same space as five ordinary houses in the city with stairs leading to a second floor
「Well then, Rei. Let’s split up and look for each other if we find anything wrong.」
「……I’ll just say, don’t mess around with the liquor. If you do that, I’ll report it to the guild master and representative lord.」
「You shouldn’t be deceived by their lies. No matter what, I know that this matter isn’t something that can be investigated jokingly.」
「In that case, that’s fine. I’ve been mostly told about your behaviour anyway.」
「Guh…….well, that’s fine. I’ll get going. The second floor is narrower than the first floo so I will look in the second floor. You and Set can search the first floor.」
You called? As Set turned to look at Southernus, who had been reaching out his hand towards Set before immediately heading straight for the stairs.
Seeing him leave, Rei immediately started surveying the first floor with Set.
「……Set, do you feel any strange magic power?」
Set shook his head at Rei’s words.
(In that case, is it unrelated to magic power? Because it’s Magic Fever, I think it would be strange if it wasn’t related to magic power.)
「It can’t be helped. I’ll have to take a look around.」
He looked around the shadows where the barrels for ageing were stacked, they were probably empty barrels that would later be filled with liquor. He also looked around the place were repairs were carried out, but he didn’t find anything particularly out of place.
「Mm, there’s no clues here I guess. No, I can’t say that for sure as we’ve only searched this place. We still have to head to the other two places.」
Giving a sigh, Rei heard the footsteps of Southernus coming down from the stairs leading to the second floor.
「There are no clues here. What about you……no, I don’t need to ask that.」
「Ah. I don’t think there’s anything abnormal here, at least I couldn’t see anything with my eyes.」
Don’t forget about me, Set seemed to say as Rei rubbed his head.
「That’s right. We couldn’t find anything suspicious even with Set’s senses as a Griffon, I don’t think there is anything here.」
「What should we do? Do you want to head to another storage location?」
「That’s right. There’s nothing here for now so I don’t mind. Between east and west, which one is closer?」
「Either way the distance is about the same, but I daresay the western one is slightly closer.」
「Let’s go to the western one then. Set, let’s go outside.」
Maybe he disliked the smell of alcohol that leaked from the wooden barrels, Set gave a cheerful cry. They would be heading to another storage facility after this, but in the end it was only a temporary check.
「Ah, Southernus-san. You didn’t steal a drink did you?」
As soon as they left the storage area’s main entrace, they were asked by the guard, which put a dent into Southernus’s mood.
Seeing that, Rei nodded with a smile and told him that there were no issues.
「Don’t worry. Set, the Griffon, has a good nose. If he had been drinking, he would be able to tell right away.」
Aren’t I great! Set seemed to say as he puffed up his chest proudly.
It seemed the A rank monster didn’t have much dignity and seemed more like a rather large pet.
A pet that was more than 2m in size.
「Ah, ahahahaha. Surely Southernus-san won’t be able to steal a drink with such a strong guard.」
「You lot, what are you saying. ……Well, that’s fine. Here, we will head for the western facility.」
「Ah. ……Sorry for troubling you.」
「No, no. Fortunately, there are signs of Magic Fever dying down, but if we don’t know the cause, we won’t be able to feel completely safe. Well, please investigate the cause of Magic Fever.」
Sent off by the two guards with a quick bow, Rei, Set and Southernus walked towards the western storage area.
「You’re pretty appreciated aren’t you?」
「Is that so? It feels like I’m being subtle insulted. Well, I’m still attached to this city so it’s fine.」
While talking like that and asking Southernus about the city of Baar, they eventually saw a building identical to that of the previous storage facility.
「Ah. The western storage facility. ……If there’s anything strange, I hope we find it here.」
Muttering to himself, they walked towards the storage facility, where two guards appeared in the same way as the southern storage facility.
「Southernus-san? What’s going on?」
「We’re investigating the cause of Magic Fever. ……Hey, haven’t you heard? This is Rei, who brought the Aurani grass powder.」
When Southernus turned towards Rei and Set who were behind him, one of the guards came over with a smile on his face.
「So you’re Rei-kun! No, I heard that you delivered the medicinal ingredients. I’m really grateful. My father was taken down with Magic Fever. I was told by the doctor that without the ingredients you brought, he probably couldn’t have been saved.」
Rei gave a small nod while being somewhat overwhelmed by the guard, who had grabbed his hand and was shaking it vigorously.
「Ah, ahh. I’m glad I helped. ……So, as Southernus said, we’re looking for the sudden cause of Magic Fever. There might be something inside the storage facility, so could you let us take a quick look?」
「Yes, of course. However……」
The guard turned to glance towards Southernus. Slightly further away, the other guard also looked at Southernus.
(This guy, how many problems has he caused up to now?)
Rei gave a sigh and placed his hand on the shoulder of the guard to reassure him.
「Don’t worry. I’ll keep an eye on him to make sure he doesn’t drink anything without permission.」
「I’ll be relying on you.」
「Seriously, you……trust me a little more.……」
「Yes, yes. That is what Southernus-san says every day.」
And after finishing the same discussion that had happened at the southern storage facility, they went inside.
「Mm, there’s nothing in particular I can see about the surroundings……Set?」
Rei watched Southernus head up to the second floor before looking around the first floor. He asked Set, who was walking next to him, but Set shook his head as there didn’t seem to be anything like magic power here either.
「In that case……the last one is the eastern storage facility. Ah, was it all just my own thoughts that it had something to do with the storage facilities? But, there’s no other possibility.」
Nevertheless, Rei searched every corner of the first floor just to make sure, but he didn’t find any abnormalities.
Southernus also came down from the second floor and shook his head.
「Only the eastern storage facility remains after this.」
「Hey, what if this is all a useless search?」
「That said, is there anything else that might provide a clue?」
「No, there isn’t but……」
Leaving the storage facility, while voicing their thoughts to each other, they were sent off by the guards as they headed for the last storage facility.
In any case, the lack of results from the investigation had dampened their motivation. But although they were feeling as such, they still went to the eastern storage facility as they didn’t have any other options……
As soon as the storage facility came into view, Set raised a cry of caution.
「……It seems that that unlikely chance has hit the mark.」
Rei also sensed something unfamiliar when the storage facility came into view and he muttered to himself.