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Okami wa Nemuranai 34.9

 9





Eliza's attitude is completely unlike someone seeking apology, but Lecan doesn't really care about that.

"Guess that means old man Termin won't have trouble living his life."

"What? What tomfoolery are you spouting. There is an endless line of people who wish the elder's appraisals for a huge sum of money. Having elder Termin's name on the appraisal tag alone makes it worth so much more. He is under special treatment even at his home."

"Yeah? That's a relief."

"Lecan-dono, I want you to accompany me now and persuade elder Termin to stay at Tsubolt."

"I refuse."

"Why!"

"What's the old man wanna do is his alone to decide. Not my place to meddle in."

"But the elder is going to leave this town because of what you said to him!"

"I'll tell you exactly the words I spoke to the old man."

"Please."

"I just got summoned by the General Dungeon Chief Administrator. Chief Administrator knew that I used Secret Appraisal service. As well as what's written on the appraisal tag. She told me to show her the Grace Gear. Chief Administrator claimed I'm feigning ignorance. She said the observer Gwislan clearly saw the appraisal tag elder Termin wrote. That man's apparently a spy, I believe he's got some sort of skill that lets him see distant objects magnified."

"Is that all?"

"I said this too. I have no doubt that you're just doing your job. The blame is entirely off you in this matter either. But I don't think they'd only send a spy for me. In other word, this is likely how they've always done it with every Secret Appraisal session. Details in Secret Appraisal get passed down to the administrative office as well as the town lord."

"Why would you even say that. And then?"

"That's it."

"But then how come the elder got mad."

"Do you really not get it?"

"Are you talking about how I saw the Secret Appraisal's tag? However that is our house, Marquis Notz's duty and right as the ruler of Tsubolt. It's simply unthinkable for us to be be ignorant of what comes out of our dungeon."

"I see. So that's how you see it. Then this talk is over. Go home."

"You impudent!"
<TLN: Catch the latest updates and edits at Sousetsuka .com >
"Young miss."

Zoltan who had been keeping silent right behind Eliza interrupted.

"What did elder Termin tell you do again."

"He told me to apologize to Lecan-dono first."

"Then you should apologize first thing first."

Eliza turned around and looked at Zoltan over her shoulder.

"Stand up. And apologize to Lecan-dono with your hand on your chest."

"How should I apologize?"

"Think up words of apology on your own. What have you done wrong, how do you ask forgiveness for that. And what actions you ought to take after apologizing. Spin up your words after thinking that through."

Eliza thought things over for a little while, then she stood up, pushed her palm in the middle of her chest and spoke to Lecan.

"I apologize for having your secret disclosed. I shall take every measures available to keep it confidential. Yale. I hope you find it in your heart to forgive me."

Lecan stood up, pushed his right fist on his left chest and spoke.

"I accept your apology. However, whether I will forgive you or not hinges on the actions you take from here on out. Yale."

Eliza and Lecan sat back on their chairs.

"You won't forgive me right away?"

"How the heck could I. You broke an oath on me."

Honestly speaking, Lecan is still mad. But there's no turning back time to make it never happened. Eliza and the town lord have found out about Lecan reaching floor 121 and him acquiring a <Comet Cutter>. Nothing can be done about that now.

He never intended to keep it a secret forever nor was it something that could be kept hidden indefinitely. These kinds of things will always find a way out of secrecy.

Besides, putting himself in their shoes, he can understand why the marquis family wishes to know about items that get dropped in the dungeon.

What Lecan finds offensive is the deceptive way they go about it. And how they have absolutely zero remorse over their actions.

The previous Lecan would have cut off one of chubby man's limbs, and furiously cursed at Eliza.

Yet right now he's calmly ruminating the right course of actions to take in this situation instead of rushing headlong to pummel his irritations onto the other party. This wolf is changing bit by bit.

"Lecan-dono."

Zoltan spoke up.

"Young miss is truly clueless as to why elder Termin is mad. Sorry. Mind if you clue her in on it."

Lecan let out a sigh, and began talking slowly.

"Chief administrator-dono. You've got to ask the old man in person if you wanna know the real reason why he's bent on leaving Tsubolt. But I don't think there's any doubt that the old man feels he's been betrayed by Marquis of Tsubolt."

"Betrayed?"

Lecan let out another sigh. And continued on.

"First, consider just what is Secret Appraisal anyway."

 

 

 

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Okami wa Nemuranai 34.8

8





The person opening the door didn't go in right away.

Instead, General Dungeon Chief Administrator, Eliza Notz got in through the door.

"Pardon me."

Behind her, the tall man bent over as he passed the door.

It's a curious looking man.

He's taller than Lecan. He's thin and lanky, but his bones are thick, and the muscles sticking to his bones haven't lost their firmness. He's wearing a leather vest on top of a nicely ventilated shirt. His trousers look quite sturdy. And the longsword hanging on his waist looks very small relative to his height.

He's an elderly. Quite at an advanced age. Yet he's still overflowing with life force.

And the most striking feature is how his face is missing the flesh on a third of his right mouth to before his right ear. His teeth and cheekbone in that area are exposed due to that fact.

Nark who noticed the visitors came out of the kitchen and stopped moving.

"Well dang, this takes me back. If it ain't Zoltan!"

"Hey sonny, been a while eh."

"Hahahahaha. Yer' still callin' this old man sonny? Come on in, don't just stand there, get..."

That was when Nark saw Eliza. It's clear at a glance that she's a noblewoman. Very high up on the ladder at that.

Lecan spoke to the frozen up Nark.

"She's General Dungeon Chief Administrator, Eliza Notz. Think she's the marquis's niece or something."

"C-c-c-chief administrator? Mar, mar, mar, mar."

"You're Lecan-dono then."

"Yea."

"I am Zoltan. Here today as a guide and escort for the young miss. Mind if young miss takes a seat?"

"Yea. Excuse my lack of tact. Chief administrator-dono, have a seat."

"You have my thanks."

Eliza waited around for a bit but as no one would pull a chair for her, she went and did it herself.

"Aren't the four outside coming in?"

"Don't think it'd be good if so many people got in. I have them wait outside."

"I see. You're not gonna sit?"

"I'll remain standing. For as long as I'm guarding young miss that is."
<TLN: Catch the latest updates and edits at Sousetsuka .com >
"Do as you like."

Zoltan pointed his finger at the kitchen toward Nark. A sign to leave them privately. Nark obediently went inside.

"Lecan-dono, that was just too cruel."

"Well that's sudden, chief administrator-dono. What did I do again?"

"Elder Termin has made an ultimatum that he will go back to the royal capital. Along with his disciples. Just why and how did it come to that?"

"Come to what."

"You must have told the elder to stop working here and go back to the capital."

"I said nothing of the sort. To begin with, I didn't even know that old man's from capital."

"Then how come the elder wished to go back to the capital all of a sudden?"

"What happened after I left the Administrative Office the other day?"

"Elder Termin sought an audience with me. 'In the matter of Secret Appraisal service adventurer Lecan paid one big gold coin for, the sitting observer Gwislan broke the oath, stole the content of the appraisal tag which he reported to the Chief Administrator, then based on that report, Chief Administrator revealed that she knew about the result to adventurer Lecan, in effect admitting that the sitting observer Gwislan saw the content of the appraisal tag. Do you have any excuse for this'. Thus he asked out of nowhere."

"Hou. What did you tell him?"

"I cannot answer that as it pertains the Marquis House's secret."

"Hee. Did the old man relent then?"

"No. He inquired further. 'You must have been stealing the results of all Secret Appraisal that have been performed thus far, and got them reported, do you not'."

"He pressed on eh. So what's your answer, administrator-dono."

"'It is not stealing. We, the marquis house are simply finding out that which is our right to know.' So I said to him."

"You... No, forget it. So was that the end of it?"

"No it wasn't! Elder Termin spoke thus. 'I and my disciples shall hereby take our leave from this town, I expect you to deliver the overdue payment to the capital'."

"Hou. Brazenly done. But, I thought old man Termin lived in Tsubolt or an employee of the marquis house, so he got a house at the capital eh."

"You cannot be saying that you are not aware of who Elder Termin is, can you?"

"Got acquainted at the trade facility here."

"That's not funny for a joke. Elder Termin is renowned as the kingdom's best appraiser in everything swords, you know."

Lecan never thought he was that important.

But if you think about it, this place is Tsubolt. <Dungeon of Swords>. It's probably the place to get the best and biggest amount of swords in the whole kingdom. Nothing surprising with the kingdom's best sword appraisers flocking here.

"I asked him. How did it come to you going home. Your working period per the contract is not over yet. Then the elder replied back. 'His excellency Marquis of Tsubolt has violated his contract with me. Defiling the oath, trampling it underfoot. Therefore, I shall not remain here any longer'."

(That old man's unexpectedly fiery.)

"When this matter reached my uncle, marquis's ears, his wrath was truly immense. He ordered me to make the elder stay at Tsubolt no matter what even if it means I have to grovel on the ground. I paid a visit to elder Termin. Then he told me to ask forgiveness from Lecan-dono first of all. And so I have come here."

 

 

 

 

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Okami wa Nemuranai 34.6_7

6





Lecan recalled the scenes in which Shira, aka Nike wielded her <Comet Cutter> in his mind. She'd freely lengthen and shrink down the blade while fighting like she was dancing.

(I wanna get to that level one day.)

(But it's not gonna happen overnight.)

His goal for now is to generate and maintain a minimum length of the magic blade.

In this sword's case that's twofold. Or just about one step long. Half of which the metal blade part wrapped in magic blade from the base, and the other half consists of the magic blade only. Or you could say that only half a step long blade is made of a pure magic blade at its minimum length. At maximum length, it's twice that, or four step long.

Its minimum blade length being a step long is not actually short at all. It's a very standard length for a long sword.

(I gotta master this length first thing first.)

What he needs to do is to practice generating the magic blade at this length using the least amount of mana.

And also grasping the knack to maintain the magic blade while consuming the littlest possible amount of mana.

Once the magic blade has been generated, it will stay manifested as long as you keep supplying the sword with very little mana. However, the blade will disappear if the continuous supply of mana falls below a certain amount. Lecan can keep the blade manifested if he just pours lots of mana constantly, but he'd be just wasting mana then.

Lecan fully immersed himself in the practice.

He was staggering by the time he realized.

Casting magic consumes something akin to stamina. You may say it's like magical stamina.

Absorbing mana from magic stones also uses up this magical stamina. Once or twice in small doses are nothing, but absorbing a lot in one go is quite exhausting. The act of absorbing mana also tires you out, and your body experiences a peculiar sense of unpleasantness while it's acclimatizing itself to the absorbed mana.

Emitting mana also consumes this magical stamina. Even people who like to sing will have their throat dried up, organs fatigued and found it hard to even stand if they kept singing loudly for an extended period of time. And then they lost the mood to sing. It's the same principle.

Lecan got carried away in his magic blade training and sucked up so much mana from magic stones, he drove himself to exhaustion. Complete exhaustion. And with it vertigo, headache and nausea.

He used up lots of magic stones too. He went through his entire supply of small magic stones, and it'd take him three to four, no five to six days to refill all medium and large magic stones he emptied. And that's only if he doesn't use his mana for other things in the meantime.

Lecan staggered his way back to <Rafin's Rock Terrace Inn>.

It was way past dinner time, Tsuinga and Bruska were having a drink.

Lecan's portion was still there.

Seeing Lecan's state, Yoana asked him out of worry.

"Whoa there, what's up? It's you we're talking 'bout here so I'm sure there's nothing to worry about. But that was way late. Didja have a run in with a strong one?"

"Yeah. A real toughie."



<TLN: Catch the latest updates and edits at Sousetsuka .com >

7





The following morning, Lecan couldn't get up his bed. He just couldn't get himself out of his bed like he was having an awful hangover. He cast <Recovery> on himself which helped a tad, but the revolting feeling wouldn't go away. He slept until noon. He got in bed early that night without drinking.

The following day, he didn't feel like going out either.

He took a late breakfast, a nap, and then got up in the noon for a meal.

As he stared into space while drinking his tea, a strong light suddenly dwelt in Lecan's eye.

(Hou.)

(They're here.)

Among many red dots displayed in <Life Detection>, three especially strong dots that are unlike others are heading here.

One among those three seems familiar. It's the woman that was in the adjacent room during his audience with the Chief Administrator the other day. It's probably the Marquis House's finest mage. However, her red dot is only the second strongest. The strongest red dot easily exceeds hers.

(Oy oy, that their ace up sleeve or something?)

Five other not really strong red dots are moving with them. As well as companions without mana.

Before long, the eight red dots got within <3D Perceptions>'s range.

(It's a wagon.)

(A huge one.)

(Yeah that thing ain't gonna fit the path here.)

(Two other horses besides the ones drawing the wagon.)

(Knights huh.)

(Oh.)

(This guy.)

The individual leading the way is on foot, and very tall. Taller than Lecan. This individual is the one with the highest mana pool.

(Not a knight.)

(An adventurer eh.)

The wagon stopped. Some people came out of it and started walking toward <Rafin's Rock Terrace Inn>.

(Two are left to tend the wagon huh.)

Six red dots are drawing closer.

(Oh.)

The tall individual was walking foremost, and surprisingly, the person behind them is none other than the chief administrator herself. Someone that high up going out of her way to visit a place like this surely doesn't occur often.

Lecan noticed something as the six came even closer.

(That tall lanky fella leading the way.)

(Not only got some crazy amount of mana.)

(But also some real extraordinary skills.)

(But this feeling.)

(This sensation.)

(Could it be.)

(Could it be.)

It was such a nostalgic feeling. Lecan almost shouted out loud in reflex.

He had never imagined that this sensation even existed and that he would actually experience it.

But there's no mistaking it. There's no doubt. The individual drawing closer is exactly that.

The six arrived in front of <Rafin's Rock Terrace Inn>.

A knocking sound.

The door got opened before anyone replied.

"Coming in."

 

 

 

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Okami wa Nemuranai 34.5

 5





That chubby man was the culprit after all. Lecan always had his suspicion. Since there was no mana emission, it wasn't a magic. Must be some sort of skill. In his previous world, there were skills that allowed one to see faraway objects magnified. Must be that type.

(But still, their info is quite half-baked.)

(Why?)

As the guy was reading with bare eyes, the parts in his blind spot should remain invisible. Or perhaps the skill couldn't read too small characters. The explanation part on that appraisal tag was written in compact and tightly placed letters, and got handed to Lecan right after it was written. Then, when elder Termin wrote on the back of the tag later, he held it in his palm and used small letters again.

(Is that why the guy could only read the front side and the big lettered part?)

Lecan took the appraisal tag.





<Name: Comet Cutter>

<Type: Magic Sword>

<Offense: 20>

<Hardness: 20>

<Firmness: 20>

<Sharpness: 50>

<Wear Rate: None>

<Endurance: 100>

<Spawn Spot: Dungeon Tsubolt Floor 121>

<Maker:>

<Depth: 121>

<Grace: Magic Blade (Offense tenfold, sharpness tenfold, length two-fivefold), Damage Restoration>


<TLN: Catch the latest updates and edits at Sousetsuka .com >



(These are all written in big letters.)

(Likely why the guy could read it.)

(But the part after that.)

(Probably safe to assume they don't know about the details on <Magic Blade> Grace.)

After ruminating that much, Lecan stopped his walk toward his inn.

He recalled elderly appraiser Termin.

(That old man.)

(Probably takes pride in his job.)

Lecan turned around and went to the trade facility.

There's a long line of people seeking elder Termin's service like usual. Lecan walked briskly to the elder's counter and spoke.

"Master-dono."

"You need something?"

"I just got summoned by the General Dungeon Chief Administrator."

"Umu."

"Chief Administrator knew that I used Secret Appraisal service. As well as what's written on the appraisal tag. She told me to show her the Grace Gear."

"What'd you say."

"Chief Administrator claimed I'm feigning ignorance. She said the observer Gwislan clearly saw the appraisal tag elder Termin wrote."

The elder scowled with an intense look on his eyes.

"That man's apparently a spy, I believe he's got some sort of skill that lets him see distant objects magnified."

Termin stood up and bowed at Lecan.

"Sorry. Forgive me."

"I have no doubt that you're just doing your job. The blame is entirely off you in this matter either. But I don't think they'd only send a spy for me. In other word, this is likely how they've always done it with every Secret Appraisal session. Details in Secret Appraisal get passed down to the administrative office as well as the town lord."

"Understood. You have my gratitude for telling me this. Somebody, take this spot!"

Elder Termin went inside in violent strides.

Elder Termin can't possibly go complain directly to the townlord as long as he lives in this town. It would be bad if he lost his job at his age.

But Lecan cannot just not tell him that he's being deceived either. Hence he went and did.

What the elder's gonna do from now on. That's up to elder Termin himself.

Lecan also left. As he passed through the exit, an employee came running, calling for his name.

"Lecan-dono! You're Lecan-dono, right?"

"Yeah, I am."

"This is for you."

The employee had one big gold coin in their hand.

"It's from elder Termin."

That old man's got integrity all right, thought Lecan as he received the money.

"I'll take it. Tell him I said thanks."

Then just as he was about to head to the inn for real, he stopped short again.

(Man, I'm starving.)

Right, he hasn't had lunch yet.

Lecan went to the food court.

There are two food courts around Dungeon Tsubolt. One in the southwest, and another in the east. The southwest one is expensive, a high class establishment with many food to offer. The eastern food court only got three diners, but they're cheap and plentiful.

Lecan went to the southwest one. There are two marketplaces specializing in swords trade around dungeon Tsubolt, and this particular food court is sandwiched between these two marketplaces. This troubling arrangement is such that you could find yourself dead drunk while searching for the right sword.

After stuffing himself with three servings of meatful stew, Lecan's mood improved significantly.

And now going back this early would be a waste. He's been itching to give the <Comet Cutter> in his <Storage> a swing.

Lecan went in the dungeon. He tried to manifest the blade in all sort of lengths in a vacant room on floor 91. It's limited only to two-threefold the length though. Four and above uses up an unbelievable amount of mana and stamina.

After generating twofold magic blade, lengthening it to 2.5 was a simple matter.

But shrinking down the 2.5 blade back to twofold wouldn't go well. Having no choice, Lecan decided he'd undo the magic blade and generate it back should he need it shrunk, for the time being. However, this method takes too long. It's not usable in the heat of combat. Which means, once the blade has been lengthened, it will stay lengthened for the duration of that battle.

The mana used in one battle wielding the sword corresponds to the entirety of Lecan's own mana, and the mana stored in <Necklace of Intuador>. Refilling mana from the necklace can be done swiftly, but absorbing mana from magic stones requires a bit of time. Considering how much mana it consumes, keeping the magic blade manifested can't go on for too long.

 

 

 

 

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Okami wa Nemuranai 34.4

4





"What real thing."

"<Comet Cutter>! The regalia of legend! If that really got dropped, that'd be an irrefutable evidence!"

'Evidence', Eliza's voice echoed in the next room after a slight delay. Her voice got picked up by the <Yacklubend Televoice Jar> put next to other vases and resounded in the adjacent room.

"Evidence?"

"Founder King's trusty sword, <Comet Cutter> is a regalia which symbolizes this kingdom's founding. And that is said to have been dropped in this dungeon. However, not one <Comet Cutter> has ever been found in this dungeon ever since House of Notz took up position as lord of Tsubolt. That emboldened some rogues to dare claim that Founder King's <Comet Cutter> was never from <Dungeon of Swords>!"

"Hm? When did House of Notz assume the townlord position again?"

"It was on the second of Zaka Kingdom year of course! Our family has stayed here in this land since the year after the founding!"

"So, either way the <Comet Cutter> Founder King used wasn't from House of Notz."

"Listen to the word you spouted off! Such an incorrigible man. The <Comet Cutter> which was in possession of House of Notz found in Dungeon Tsubolt aided the founding of this kingdom. Us Notz prided ourselves in that fact."

(I don't get what this woman is rambling on.)

(In short it's not that they need a <Comet Cutter> for a highly pressing matter.)

"It's not like the thing ever got dropped somewhere else just cause no <Comet Cutter> ever got dropped since the founding here."

"And we absolutely have to make that definite! This world is rampant with fake <Comet Cutters>! By showing off the real <Comet Cutter>, we will prove to the world that <Comet Cutters> can only be dropped in Dungeon Tsubolt!"

"Are there that many fake <Comet Cutters> around?"

"So many it's sickening."

"How'd you figure they're fake. There might be a few <Comet Cutters> dropped in this dungeon, and who can say if another dungeon dropped some as well."

"Our house once launched an investigation to check the veracity of all swords claiming to be <Comet Cutter>. But none, not one of them was real. The only known true <Comet Cutter> is the same trusty sword wielded by the Founder King."

"Ah, I see. There's a <Comet Cutter> left at the Royal Palace. Hm? Then can't you just appraise that one and find out which dungeon it's dropped from?"

"The Royal Palace's <Comet Cutter> is treated as a regalia, its visage is only allowed a glimpse during special ceremonies, forbidden to be held by hands. Forget ever getting appraisal done to it."

"Then get the royal palace to dispatch their own appraiser and announce the results."

"Our family heads have been making such requests for generations. But it's no use."

Guess that's just how it is with regalia. Its inviolability makes <Appraisal> out of question.

(Guess the act is treated like trying to peek under goddess's skirt.)

(Hm?)
<TLN: Catch the latest updates and edits at Sousetsuka .com >
(Hold it.)

(That means there's no record of <Comet Cutter> appraised at Tsubolt.)

"Are <Comet Cutter>'s exact abilities known in Tsubolt presently?"

"We have no idea. But since the story about how it emits a dazzling light that cuts down everything in its path is famed far and wide, we suspect that it's a magic sword. Is that true?"

"No clue."

"How could you not have a clue! Just get it out right away!"

"Who's been feeding you lies about me getting to floor 121 or having gotten a <Comet Cutter>?"

"It is not a lie. Gwislan submitted the report."

"Gwislan? Who's that."

"It is the observer who was present during your Secret Appraisal service."

"That chubby spy huh. What did that man report?"

"You asked for a Secret Appraisal service, elder Termin wrote down an appraisal tag. There it's written, <Comet Cutter> and <Dungeon Tsubolt Floor 121> as its spawn spot. Gwislan saw it clearly."

Lecan stood up.

"W-what's the matter?"

He headed for the door without bothering to say anything back to Eliza.

Knight Torog stood in his way.

"Eliza-sama is not done with her business yet. Lecan-dono. Do return to your seat."

"Did you hear what she said?"

"What?"

"I paid one big gold coin to use the Secret Appraisal service. This service won't have the appraisal tag transcribed, the staff cannot see the content, only the client and the appraiser are privy to the appraisal results, moreover, the appraiser is to keep the secret for life. That's what I was told."

"Hmu."

"And yet miss administrator here admitted herself that Gwislan trampled upon the oath of secrecy he swore in townlord's name. I cannot stay here a second longer."

A knight and a mage in the next room are heading to the door in a passage connecting to this room. The other knight and mage are heading to a door connected directly to this room. Probably to prevent Lecan getting away and to protect Eliza.

"Keep that door shut!"

Lecan shouted fiercely at the <Yacklubend Televoice Jar> next to a vase.

"This place will turn into a battlefield if you guys come out. I may not leave unscathed, but I'll make sure your side suffer a much greater loss."

"Hmu."

Knight Torog pondered for a second before speaking to the Televoice Jar.

"Do stay in the watch room. Indeed, if this turns into a melee, it will only worsen our relationship and give him an excuse to retaliate."

Lecan confirmed the four returning to their posts with his <3D Perception>.

As Lecan took a step forward, knight Torog stepped aside.

"Do give us a chance for a reconciliation."

Lecan glared at knight Torog and took another step in silence. Two servants opened the door, the slit-eyed man was waiting beyond it.

Led by the slit-eyed man, Lecan left the General Dungeon Administrative Office.

"Send a spy and they're dead."

The slit-eyed man quietly bowed.

 

 

 

 

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Okami wa Nemuranai 34.3

3





"Also, I'm a swordsman. Not a mage. I can use magic yeah, but it's just an extra."

"Ha, haha. Hahahahaha."

That's one dry laugh alright. She might need to get hydrated.

"So you won't admit that you're an elite member of Magic Knights dispatched by Marquis Palcimo, no matter what?"

"I've never even been to Palcimo. Neither have I met Marquis of Palcimo. Got absolutely no clue 'bout their magic knights."

"I see. So you will not admit that you are a top man of Palcimo Magic Knights then. And despite of that, you demonstrated how easily you disabled <Eye of Kirjevog> in the washroom with a simple parlor trick. Our finest mage, Nertsen audibly gasped when you cast <Move> without preliminary casting. And again with that brilliant Move you showed us just now. According to Nertsen, the precision of your mana control rivals or perhaps even surpasses her."

Lecan himself didn't really think much of his mana control, but he's been getting more confident in it lately after all the accolades Amamir and other temple apothecaries from the capital gave him.

"I see. I see. So you won't officially admit it yet you go around showing off extraordinary skills in magic obvious to every onlookers. You're practically screaming. 'Notice my true identity'. Wait a minute. Perhaps, your action of deliberately showing off <Free Box> is also..."

Looks like she's digging deeper into the misunderstanding hole.

"I understand your intention now."

"You probably got that very wrong."

"We're very much interested in <Free Box> but we shall back down this time and be satisfied with just knowing that it exists. The Marquis will put out an official request to Marquis of Palcimo for this matter."

"Do as you like. No guarantee there's a <Box> like mine at Palcimo though."

"What? Are you saying yours is a special made <Free Box>? No. Let's forget about that. I'm fully aware of your aim. There is no spy sent by Marquis Palcimo to infiltrate Dungeon Tsubolt. It's just a normal dungeon diving by adventurer Lecan and his friend."

"Sure you got it?"

(I've been demoted from magic knights elite to spy in her mind.)

(No. Guess it's promoted?)

"Of course. I get it. So could you please tell me. And could you listen to our request. First of all, how did you know that there are floors below floor 120 in Dungeon Tsubolt?"

"Once you've got to floor 120, those who know, know."

"No, you had a prior knowledge. Otherwise, there would be no reason for the treasured elite of Magic Knights to go on a such time-consuming mission. Could you please tell me. Did you read some sort of old documents or the likes?"

"A certain old woman clued me in."

"Who and where is this old woman?"
<TLN: Catch the latest updates and edits at Sousetsuka .com >
"I've been prohibited to speak of it."

(Did she I wonder.)

(Don't really remember, but felt like she did.)

(No. Guess she didn't?)

(Well, whatever.)

(Let's just go with it.)

"Oral tradition is it. I see. Makes sense as the north has a slew of regions flourishing since ages old. There must be some sort of legend passed down there. And so, how does one get down to floor 121?"

"Dunno."

"How wouldn't you know! You even got down to floor 121 yourself!"

"I didn't."

"How could you deny that. Didn't you just say those who got to floor 120 would know how!"

"Listen when people speak. I merely said those who know about floors below 120, know. Not a word on how to get there."

"Can we please not with word play. We desperately seek this information."

"Then go check it out. You know about the fact that a secret exists there, finding it out should not pose a problem. Just gotta be thorough with the checks."

"We marvel at how you managed to unravel that mystery in such a short period of time. Wait? When did you arrive at this city again."

"That'd be the eight of month one this year."

"Like anyone could believe that!"

Eliza breathed in and out roughly for a while, but then she took a deep breath and pulled herself together.

"No, excuse me. Of course you cannot possibly disclose the day you sneaked in here."

"I did not sneak in. Got in through the front gate of the city and the dungeon."

"Okay, okay. So how many other elites are you with?"

"Me and one other person."

"So you're not telling that either... I see. I have finally grasped your goal."

"Hou? Let's hear it."

"You're telling us to go negotiate with Marquis of Palcimo ourselves. And that we have to prepare a fitting compensation. I see, that is only right if you think about it. You have discovered the secret. And Marquis of Palcimo is the only person who can sell that secret off."

"I've got no relation whatsoever with Marquis of Palcimo."

"Yes all right, I hear you loud and clear. It is as you said. I shall go tell Uncle that we have to negotiate with Marquis of Palcimo for the secret of the hidden floor. Let's put all that aside and cut to the chase. It's <Comet Cutter>. I still can't believe that a <Comet Cutter> has been really dropped in our dungeon. For now, could you show me the real thing."

 

 

 

 

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Okami wa Nemuranai 34.2

 2





"I'm Lecan."

A bizarre silence seized the room after Lecan introduced himself.

Eventually Eliza turned her line of sight away from Lecan.

"Let's leave it at that for now. Over here if you would."

She pointed at a gorgeous sofa.

Eliza waited for Lecan to sit first. Lecan found it strange.

(When knight Torog came to see us back then.)

(He sat down first on his own.)

(Yet this superior of Torog, probably the highest positioned individual here.)

(Waited for me sitting down first.)

(What is up with this difference?)

There are other things bothering Lecan as well. Namely the adjacent room.

The adjacent room is an awfully spacious room, housing two highly skilled individuals, likely knights, and two mages with abundant mana pools. As well as many magic tool-like objects. Going up against those four, knight Torog and the slit-eyed man won't be easy. And that would result in turning everyone in this building into his enemies.

(I sense no hostility as yet.)

(Doesn't seem like they're trying to take it by force.)

(Guess I'll go with the flow for now.)

Lecan decided to sit on the sofa. But it's hard to due to the cramped space between his sofa and the table.
<TLN: Catch the latest updates and edits at Sousetsuka .com >
"<Float><Move>."

As the sofa seemed quite heavy, he cast <Float> before <Move>. He put the sofa down after floating it about half a step back.

Lecan sank his body down in the sofa, and put his right leg on his left knee. An ill-mannered posture before high-ranking nobles. And yet neither Eliza or knight Torog uttered even a word of disapproval. Which Lecan found weird.

Eliza sat down and signaled the slit-eyed man with her eyes. The slit-eyed man bowed deeply before leaving the room.

"But still, Marquis Palcimo really can be quite mean. He could have sent a word or two about dispatching Lecan-dono out here. Forget getting in your way, we would welcome you with open hands even."

"What are you talking about?"

"Still, you really cannot trust rumors, can you. I have heard many stories about how Marquis Palcimo's prized magic knights are hopeless in close quarter combat despite their excellence in magic. Or perhaps Lecan-dono is one of a kind?"

"Sorry, but I don't follow what you're on about."

He really doesn't. However, he's heard of this Palcimo before. Among all Grand Dungeons in Zaka Kingdom, Dungeon Palcimo the so called <Dungeon of Magic> is located at the south-eastern end. This Marquis Palcimo should be the ruler of Dungeon City Palcimo.

"Oh, if you take offense at us refusing Palcimo's request to have our knights dispatched there to aid you conquering Dungeon Palcimo in the past, please, you have got it all wrong. We had a situation at hand that disallowed deploying our knights outside."

"I reiterate, I have no idea what you're talking about. Sure you don't got a huge misunderstanding? I've got nothing to do with Palcimo."

Eliza furrowed her finely shaped eyebrows and let out a small sigh.

"It seems Lecan-dono had let your guard down at the Secret Appraisal room. You took a wand out of that overcoat enchanted with <Box>, didn't you? And yet that overcoat showed no indication of having a wand stored in it whatsoever before you took it out. And even after you put it back. That is simply not possible with ordinary <Box>."

Come to think of it, Lecan hadn't been thinking much whenever he used <Storage> since no one really paid attention anyway, but Lecan's <Storage> is wholly unlike the <Box> in this world.

(Oh crap.)

(I've been getting too negligent lately.)

(And after I went out of my way to make it look like <Comet Cutter> is put in a <Box>.)

(Yet I completely forgot about the wand.)

"You cannot find a <Box> like that anywhere. Anywhere besides Palcimo Magic Research Institute that recently developed the <Free Box (Raftaloof)>, that is."

(Oy oy.)

(That kind of <Box> actually exists?)

"We are not utterly clueless of what's going on at Palcimo, just so you know."

(Isn't that.)

(Her declaring they had sneaked in spies there?)

"I have brought your tea."

"Enter."

Knight Torog replied to the slit-eyed man who spoke from outside the room.

Two servants opened the door from both sides, then a maid pushing a wagon with tea went in the room followed by the slit-eyed man.

As the maid poured the tea, the slit-eyed man handed over a piece of folded paper to Eliza.

Once tea cups have been put on the table, the maid and slit-eyed man excused themselves.

"Please have a sip while it's warm."

"Fumu. Nice fragrance."

Lecan brought the tea cup to his mouth, with the steam stimulating his nose. A well-rounded drift of bitterness and sweetness with a depth to it wrapped Lecan.

Sipping a bit, it had a strong flavor with curious kickback despite its smoothness. A sharp flavor permeated the back of his tongue.

"Good stuff."

"I'm glad to hear that. By the way, it  appears Lecan-dono's mana pool is even higher than our Marquisdom's finest mage. I'm wondering if there's anyone else with as much mana in the Magic City Palcimo."

Is there a magic tool to measure mana pool or something. Felt like that Yacklubend guy would probably make one. Or perhaps the mages in the room over have some sort of abilities to sense mana.

"Is that finest mage one of the two in the neighboring room, the woman controlling a big magic tool-like object on her seat, yeah?"

Eliza's expression froze up.

 

 

 

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