Chubby came back before they even finished dinner.
"That was fast. That's your dinner over there."
"Thank you. I took the opportunity to eat outside though."
"Then I'll have them."
"No. I will take it of course. My, this is quite a feast."
Chubby chowed down the meal and then washed it all down with water diluted roast liquor.
"That was great. This inn really has got some good food."
"So, Chubby-san, how was the town?"
"It's Gwislan, Mistress. About that you see, this was the most difficult it has been in my spy career. After all, everywhere I went, people would always go 'Haven't seen you around these parts.'"
"Well yeah, sounds right."
"No you see, it's not like they never had outsiders in. But the townsfolk know who and where those outsiders are from."
"They must ask your identity. What did you tell them?"
"I'm an attendant of a whimsical adventurer couple related to Marquis of Mashajain, I go around eating good food in all kinds of places and report it back to the Marquis House."
"I see. So have you found out what's going on?"
"They're trying to revive Holy Kingdom of Yufonia. All the townsfolk were ecstatic, saying that the time has finally come and the likes."
"Isn't that pretty much a revolt to the Royal Family?"
"Theoretically, yes it is."
"The three God Cures Yufu presents to the royal palace every year are important commodity to the royal family. Same can be said to materials from Great Flame Dragons, Eight-legged Great Fish, and Five-headed Serpents. And Yufu is way spacious. Them going independence will have a large ripple effect. I don't think they'd let them gain independence that easily, no?"
"Hee? Chief, you sure know a lot about that stuff. I'm not too well informed on political matters and such myself."
"I just learned about the gist of Yufu's history, geography and system at Wazrof. Dunno the details. Hold it. You said there were outsiders?"
"Yep. They would be merchants. They're here to stock up on medicines and herbs. Those stuff are apparently on a whole other level of good here. Those merchants are currently waiting until the checkpoint is open again."
"Ah. So they're not letting anyone inside out to prevent independence stuff leaking out huh."
"That is pretty much it. A manner of doing things that wouldn't have been possible anywhere else."
"Guess they're gonna keep us confined too then."
"Yep, they likely will."
<TLN: Catch the latest updates and edits at Sousetsuka .com >
(Is going independence.)
(Something you can do so openly?)
(Something's not right.)
"Fumu. So, Chubby. Did you find out why couldn't the royal envoy meet the marquis? And is Lady Rubianafale safe?"
"I still haven't found any trail on that matter yet. Chief."
"This is just my gut feeling speaking. But I don't think we can afford to take it slow here."
"Really. That makes two of us."
"May I have a hundred, no two hundred gold coins as my fund?"
Lecan took a small <Box> bag full of gold coins from <Storage>.
"Here, take it."
"Thank you very much. I shall spare no expense. Okay then, I'll be off now. Can I count on you to stay in this inn tomorrow night?"
Chubby left from the window, vanishing into the night.
Knight Futsla came to fetch them the following morning.
He noticed that there were only Lecan and Eda, and asked a question.
"May I ask where your attendant is?"
"He hasn't come back since yesterday."
"That guy's helpless. He'd tell you he's our attendant yet never attended to our need. He goes everywhere looking for good food. Hence, Chubby."
"He'll record any good food he found and report it back to Wazrof. Wazrof keeps such records around as part of their research, see."
"Is that right. Then your attendant and the dungeon."
"He's never entering a dungeon. Woulda keeled over and died the second he did."
"Well then, I shall lead you two to the dungeon. I have your horses prepared."
"No, today's a shopping day."
"The dungeon's entrance is on the hillside of Mount Yufu, yeah? Heard it takes two days to get there from here."
"Besides, the plan may be to leave once we've taken a good look inside the dungeon, but there's still chances we stay longer. Gotta buy up food first."
"Ah, yes indeed. You need to be in a big group of knights to go deeper inside, but exploring areas around the entrance may be better with a small group instead, as you won't attract the magic beasts that way. Please do take your time."
(That's one bare faced lie.)
(This guy wants us dead in the dungeon.)
In Dungeon Yufu, even weak magic beasts form a crowd of hundreds. To top it off, more magic beasts will keep coming while you're engaged with a group. Entering in a small group is akin to death wish.
"And besides, we've come all the way to Yufu. Can't pass up this chance to stock up on potions and medicines."
"I see. Well then, allow me to take you to good stores."
And thus, Lecan and Eda spent the entire day shopping around with knight Futsla as their guide.