10-30. Lost Thief Extermination (2)
Satou's here. There's a wonderful item that raises your experience gain by 200% in MMOs and browser games. Implementing the mechanic in the game was unexpectedly easy since it just needed an added coefficient during the time you gain experience points. I'm interested just what is the level up medicine that I saw in the black market composed of.
One of the soldier immediately went ahead alone as a messenger after we met the the labyrinth army troops, so three high level guild staffs were already waiting in front of the labyrinth gate. Although I said high levels, they're only around 30-35.
"T, this guy is the 『Mad Magic Axe』 Rudaman?!"
"That Rudaman the Lost Thief King?"
For some reason, the high level staffs look awfully surprised when they checked the bearded daruma boss with a Yamato Stone. Lost Thief King uh, wonder if it's like the lesser version of Pirate King?
"Chevalier-sama, you've done an outstanding work. This Rudaman is a fiendish lost thief who have turned the table against many subjugation units."
"His reward prize should be more than 100 gold coins now."
About as much as one magic sword huh. The magic axe that I've taken just before seems quite expensive too.
"Well then, Chevalier-sama. We will have to take the lost thieves to the west guild, please come to the guild later."
"Yes, I understand. Best regards."
The bearded daruma boss is taken away by the three high level staffs. The small fry lost thieves are being made to check their statuses with the Yamato stone in a group of five by the labyrinth army.
The reason why I didn't go with them was because half of the young nobles got exhausted from climbing the meandering great stairway, thus I needed to wait them to come out while they were being carried by the soldiers.
Jeans and Merian were the only two that had come back to themselves, the princess was shouldered by Lulu. Every member besides me and Lulu said "There's still some quota for today." and then they returned to Area 11. The two people from Beautiful Wings were screaming, but they were dragged by Pochi and Tama who took their hands.
"Satou-dono! My level has been raised noja! Labyrinth is really amazing."
"Congratulations, Mitia-sama. How about Jeans-dono and Merian-dono?"
Princess Mitia had returned from confirming her status with the Yamato stone. If she could go back on her feet in this short amount of time, she might be apt to become an explorer. I also asked the two people who have arrived with her, but Jeans shook his head and denied it.
"No, we've only defeated one Maze Moth."
Merian who was brooding over something asked me like she had readied herself.
"Chevalier-sama. How should I do to become as strong as your retainers?"
"Training and actual combat. Those girls asked some famous martial artists and fairykin masters in the duchy capital and trained without sparing any time to sleep, and they also had extreme actual combat where they almost died in the labyrinth of this city and another one."
Un, I probably didn't lie. The power leveling thing is a secret.
"I see, so it really is about actual combat..."
"I'm warning you just in case, if the present you try to do actual combats in order to become stronger, you would die in not even a month."
"Wha, what do you know about me!"
I was worried at Merian who was muttering like she was obsessed, and warned her. Looks like she was shocked by my remark, she reflexively showed her dissatisfaction emotionally.
I know her actual nature only superficially, but looking at her level and skill, she would die without a doubt if she was surrounded by multiple monsters. Her level is 3, she only has Etiquette skill.
By the way, even though Jeans beside her has Bronze Plate, his level is 4, and he only has Social and Horse-riding skills. It's a mystery how he got the Bronze Plate.
"It's probably good if you hide your social position and train for a bit in a dojo. I think it'd be good if you re-challenge the labyrinth once you've gained your confidence back after working hard for a month."
"Do you also want to say that my sword is a play?"
"Merian, leave it at that. Your anger is misplaced at Sir Pendragon."
Merian was going to say more, but she apologized with reluctant face after Jeans admonished her. She seemed to be interested with the training, she asked me which dojo should she go. I saw some open dojo-like places in several vacant lands, but since I didn't know which one was good, I asked the staff-san.
"A reputable dojo?"
"Yes, if possible it'd be good if the instructor is a former explorer, or someone from the army."
"Then I recommend Horun-dono's dojo 『Labyrinth Self-defense Style』."
"Labyrinth self-defense style huh. Isn't there a dojo with more actual combat training?"
It seemed Merian was dissatisfied with the female staff's recommendation, she asked about another dojo while tampering with the rapier on her waist. The female staff seems to have expected that reaction, she corrects Merian's misunderstanding while smiling.
"Ufufu, Labyrinth Self-defense style is for actual combat you know. By self-defense it means emphasizing on your own safety as the priority, evading the opponent's attack to prevent it from injuring you. Since in the labyrinth, having injury directly relates to the danger to your life."
"That makes sense. Even just getting your foot injured means that you can't evade, and you'd be killed in the blink of an eye."
It seems Merian has decided to try going to that dojo, although it's unknown whether it's because she has understood the female staff's explanation, or my follow-up.
I lead the young nobles who have finally come out to leave the labyrinth. Four of them who were being carried by the soldiers kept being carried until the west gate.
Six fine carriages are waiting outside the west gate.
Baronet Dyukeli who was the foremost to step up slapped his daughter's cheek with his palm. It seemed to be a relatively merciless slap, Merian dropped her knees to the ground while blood came out of the edge of her mouth.
"Chevalier Pendragon. I thank you for your help. I will pay this debt, without fail."
After telling me so, Baronet Dyukeli took Merian like he was dragging her to the carriage and went home.
The ones who came for the other young nobles were only the butlers and the servants, so they boarded the carriage and went home without any argument. The differences in accordance to their houses are great, but they have one thing in common; the ones who have come for them are not their parents, but the servants. They only came to pick the young nobles as instructed by their masters, but they told me that the family heads would like to say their thanks another day.
The butler of the Marchioness relayed the Marchioness words, asking me to come to the mansion later. I said to the butler, "I need to report this matter to the explorer guild, so I will be intruding in the evening."
I've visited the west guild to explain the situation, but for some reason I have been summoned to the guildmaster's room.
"Thanks fer' coming Satou-dono. We had difficulty dealing with that Rudaman guy. I can't raise your rank Mithril as expected, but I'll let ya have preferential treatment if we get some delicious info."
"Ha, thank you very much."
"What's with that spiritless reply."
The guild master who was in good mood was going to hug me, I smoothly evaded her.
That bearded daruma would immediately made his subordinates became decoys if the fight turned into his disadvantage, on top of that, he had many hideouts, so the guild subjugation unit couldn't pin down them.
"Your reward should be quite considerable from the prize money and the selling-off of the lost thieves who become slaves. Don't forget to to get it from the cashier later."
The guildmaster added another words with a vulgar smile, "Those are some uhauha sum of money." This person is well suited for this kind of smile.
"Will all the lost thieves get turned into slaves?"
"Yeah, they will be working in the coal as crime slaves. Guys like Rudaman who has people with grudge against them will be executed publicly after they're turned into slaves. This time, the other one among the subjugated thieves beside Rudaman who will get the treatment is his aid, the vice-boss."
Originally, the work in the coal is already hazardous enough even without the public execution stuff, it seesms they will only live for three years there. I'd like to protect some children who are around junior high school students among them, but since they all have [Murderer] in their Reward and Punishment, I ended up not saying anything unnecessary when I thought about their victims and the bereaved family.
Ushana-san the secretary entered right at that time. It seems that Rudaman wants to negotiate with the guildmaster. For some reason, the conversation flowed in the direction of me coming with the guildmaster to the dungeon where Rudaman was confined.
"So, what do you have to say?"
"I'm looking fer' mercy appeal."
"Stop saying stupid things. You will be executed publicly."
Rudaman is confined in a particularly strict section of the dungeon. He's tied with Magic-sealing chain inside a room with sturdy iron bars. He negotiated with an arrogant face without looking like he was in pain from the broken arm.
"That might be the proper thing to do, but I can't stand becoming an exhibition for the shitty nobles and the clean citizens. Won't ya put me into Violet?"
"Look back at your own crimes. Your unsightly head will be shown on the severed head stand of the west gate."
It seems there's quite a barbaric custom. Is this Edo era. I don't want to approach the west gate for the time being. By the way, Violet is a unit of the kingdom army that's composed of crime slaves, it seems it's a unit with high disposable rate that's specially used to fight giant monsters or as the decoy. Ushana-san told me.
"Would the kind noble over there grant me wish? You subjugated us lost thieves without killing anyone and purposely brought us alive. You don't like letting someone die right?"
"I don't like killing people, but I don't have any intention of denying a villain from getting executed."
"I'll tell ya an information that'll interest ya."
Information that will interest me huh. Might as well hear it.
"It depends on the content. I'll let you negotiate if it's really an interesting info."
"There are a lot of female children baggage carriers whom explorers handed over as sacrifices in our hideout. And those people are making Fiend Drugs as ordered by us."
"Fiend Drug you said!?"
<TLN: Fiend or 'Majin'.>
The guildmaster who was acting as a spectator in silent interrupted.
Since some threatening name came out, I search it in the documents I have. Fiend Drug seems to be a medicine that was originally developed to bestow humans with physical strength enough to fight monsters in a hand-to-hand combat. If you drink this medicine, you will be strengthened enough to close 10 level gap, on top of that, it has an effect of halving the experience needed to level up. It was spread in the kingdom in the blink of an eye.
However, this medicine has an atrocious trap laid. If you regularly drink this medicine and keep leveling up, you'll become a grotesque monster. It seems that you will become a monster with 50% probability with 10 level up, and 90% probability with 20 level up. The level up is nice, but there's no meaning to it if you end up become a monster. However, looks like there are a lot of people who yield to the temptation in this harsh world.
I'm bothered with the sacrifice thing, but let's postpone it.
"If you leave them alone, the women and children who are cultivating field in our hideout will be killed. The killer is a noble, the same as you."
"In other words, the one who needs the Fiend Drug is that noble right?"
"Yeah, we use it sometimes too though."
Rudaman wants to be put into the Crime Slaves Unit (Violet) in exchange for the information of the secret cultivation place. Still, didn't he carelessly talk too much? I can't help but feel that the Negotiation and Cross-examination skills had been accidentally used.
"So, what's the noble name?"
"The fool who should be able to tell me that has stupidly died see. I know the name of the underling who acts as the agent to sometimes bring us food and salt though. That stingy bastard was called Besso or something. Ya tail that guy, and the other side should get in contact with him."
"Either way, there's no meaning unless we catch them in act huh. Guildmaster, what would you do?"
The guildmaster had a pensive look on her face for a while, but it seemed that she judged that it'd be dangerous if the Fiend Drug spread in the labyrinth city, she accepted Rudaman's deal. I couldn't help even if I remained here any longer, so I bid my farewell to the guildmaster.
The prize money and the slave sales amount to 160 gold coins. I put it in the bag without counting it. For now, I marked Besso before I forgot.
Fumu, forbidden magic drug huh.