7-19. A Night No One Knows
Satou's here. As I lived in Japan where the limit for religions was lax, country that went to war for difference in religious views was strange to me. I wonder if there's also religious war even in a parallel world?
The ship carrying us is anchored at a place where the capital's night view can be seen. The port is crowded due to the tournament season, so we're waiting our turn. It seems the duke has issued order to prioritize ships that are carrying supplies, there are a lot of other anchored ships.
Since the captain has gotten the right to enter the port first thing in the morning tomorrow, it looks like we could enter the port without waiting tomorrow.
Everyone was watching the night view until just now, but since the youth trope began to doze off, I made them turn back to the room.
I hear light footsteps, I look back, and there's Arisa.
"You're going after all?"
I answer briefly to Arisa who's giving off strange atmosphere.
"I can't imagine you'd fall off against opponents at the level of short horn, but absolutely don't let your guard down, okay?"
"Ah, I know. Or rather, I'm going for it before the short horn demons could appear."
We wouldn't be able to tour the capital relaxedly if there are people who are like terrorists with bombs around. Moreover, I've been looking forward to the scroll workshop, like I would let them get in the way.
Furthermore, the identities of the people who are holding the short horns are suspicious. Majority of them are younger people of the nobles who are members of a secret society called [Wings of Liberty]. There doesn't seem to be anyone who has peerage, but there's even a direct descendant of the duke among them. I feel like the weaselkins are involved with them in the background, but the members are all humans.
"Alright now, you have to absolutely come back unharmed okay? You're not a hero, so don't be reckless! If you come back with even a scratch, I will never let you go alone again!"
"I know, I won't overdo it. If some strange powerful enemies comes out, I'll proceed with [Protect life]."
Since Arisa still tends to be overprotective, I put her at ease by citing play tactics from a famous game that's common in both our worlds. Arisa finally nods her head while saying, "Really, that's fine then.", so I decide to depart.
<TLN: Dragon Quest reference, haven't played one in ages so I don't know the official English localization for the reference.>
"Arisa, the likes of river pirates might attack tonight, so have someone among our companions to do night watch, it's also fine to call lady Karina and her maids to our room. If she comes, Raka would be with her."
I shouldn't say that Arisa is overprotective. I'm one as well.
Now then, there was a little something that I didn't tell Arisa.
First, there are about 300 Wings of Liberty's members who aren't holding the short horns. There isn't anyone past level 30. I feel that they should have been exposed with Yamato stone, but since every member has not-less-than two affiliations, the other affiliation is probably prioritized.
Their stronghold seems to be a mysterious area several hundreds meter below the capital's ground. I knew this after someone who I had marked before appeared out of map's range, when I checked, it was treated as different area. I wonder if it's a geofront or a labyrinth?
Of course, there are also buildings that look like their offices on various places above the ground.
Furthermore, there are three people with, [Abnormal Status: Demonic Possession]. Among the two executive members, one of them is a clergyman of Tenion temple. Putting aside the former, I wonder why is the latter possessed? Since the three of them are in the underground, I'll do something about them after collecting the short horns.
I wonder if it's because of Spy skill, I've successfully sneaked into the capital without being found out by the patrolling batkin.
Of course I didn't enter via the front gate, I leaped over the outer wall with sky drive skill.
Since it's a sneaking mission at night now, I'm wearing a jet black mask instead of the silver mask. I'm also not wearing robe, but the knight clothes with the ornaments taken out. I've thought that it's better to not wear something conspicuous since my purpose isn't demon subjugation, but thievery.
Now then, even though the night is long, they're gathering in the underground, so I should quickly raid the short horn holders above the ground.
First of all is from a fortuneteller in the back alley. I enter the store without knocking. It took some time with the lock, but I entered without problem. I was somehow able to do it with treasure chest unlock skill.
"Who? The shop is closed for today."
A sexy blond haired older woman tells so as if spitting out, but I make her faint without minding it. I've confirmed that there's no one beside her here, so I collect the short horn from the safe and leave. Just to be sure, I lock the door.
And then, I was able to collect until the fourth person without problem, but the fifth one is bad. Of all things, he's the third son of the duke. I am able to infiltrate the castle somehow, but there are a lot of guards with see-through, surveillance, and enemy search skills scattered around. Even now, I'm hiding from the sentries who are patrolling the area.
There's no beastkin sentries, but I use [Deodorant] magic to erase my smell just in case.
I want to believe in Spy skill level 10, but the density of the sentries is too high, I can't feel relieved. I wonder if I could get invisibility-related skills if I erase my presence like when I get enemy search skill back then?
The fortunate things? There is no shortage of [enemies] who are trying to find me, so it should fulfill the conditions.
Back then I was searching for foreign body in the nature, but it's the opposite now. I relax, and imagine myself melting with the surrounding in mind and body.
Unexpectedly, maybe because I've had similar experience before, I obtain the skills easier that I've thought.
>[Hiding Skill Acquired]
>[Invisibility Skill Acquired]
>[Stealth Steps Skill Acquired]
I activate those skills, and I become able to pass the corridor while concealing my footsteps. There's no doubt that it's also thanks to the soft leather shoes I'm using.
Thanks to combination of the four skills and magic, the infiltration mission is successful, and I've arrived at the living room of the duke's third son. When I peep inside, there's an over thirty years old obese man muttering in low voice while facing a hand mirror. I've thought that he's talking to himself at first, but since the hand mirror is emitting magic power, it's probably a communication-type magic tool. When I listen closely--
"Then, kidnap--no, invite Sera from Teenion temple."
Disturbing words came out. If I'm not mistaken, one of the person with [Abnormal Status: Demonic Possession] is called Sera.
"Umu, I want to go there too, but I'm busy with government affair, so it's extremely unlikely that I could participate in the ritual. No, I am not making light of the society. I understand, I will be there before the ritual begin. Keep the person who can operate the gate waiting."
After he's finished with the hand mirror, he goes before the bookshelves while carrying it. After he operates something, the bookshelves slides out and a hidden room appears. Why do the residents of this fantasy world really like this kind of gimmick I wonder?
Since he's begun changing to the society's attire inside the hidden room, I quickly stun him and collect the short horn. There are passwords list and some kind of plan inside the treasure chest with the society's attire, so I collect them.
The duke's third son is fainted while wearing the society's attire, I decide to leave him as he is. Theoretically, I'd want to take his attire and wear it for the infiltration, but I don't want to wear that clothes.
There's a hidden passage along the drainage that continues to the castle's basement so I make use of it.
It smells of mold.
The rats are darting about since awhile ago. I would be caught if they were familiars, but since the radar and my crisis perception weren't kicking in, they were probably just normal rats.
There were several alarm devices that looked like spider webs along the way, but they were no obstacles before the trap discovery and crisis perception. Rather, the foul smelling drainage beside the passage I'm advancing in is more painful. Since I'd leave traces behind if I use [Deodorant] magic too much, I have to endure this.
In the middle of the drainage passage, I seized the society attires and changed to it. Typical of a secret society, the attire hides the figure and the face. Since the one who I seize this clothes from is a woman, I hesitate to leave her alone on her underwear, but I put clothes and a mantle that I've taken from the thieves back then on her and tie her up. I'll release her when I return.
"Toward the blue sky."
"The wind of liberty blows."
I replied with the code to a woman who was confirming the password.
There are also other people from the society gathered here. There is no one who has short horn among these people here.
There are people wearing different clothes than ordinary members' that seem to be the higher-ups, they seem to be disputing about something since awhile ago.
"What should we do, Mitsuo-dono still hasn't come yet."
"That fool must be resting somewhere. There's no time until the ritual start, let's go ahead."
Apparently, they're waiting for the duke's third son that I've stunned earlier, but it seems to be near the time for the ritual. I've been scanning the document that I've snatched from the third son since awhile ago, but I'm doubting if the content is serious. They're offering sacrifices with the ritual to summon holy relic--based on the context, the short horn from hell.
Today's sacrifice is probably lady Sera that the third son's talked about before. Since she's been possessed by the demon, she might have been sacrificed already.
I go to the gate device that would transport us to the underground area with the other members. I've imagined that it'll be like the torii/shrine archway that I've seen before, but it looks more like the Stonehenge instead.
The device is activated, and we move to the underground area. It's a type without time lapse huh.
I activate [All Map Exploration] in secret, and check on the underground area's composition. It's the [Pig King Labyrinth: Ruin] here. It doesn't seem to be an active labyrinth. It's probably the same kind as the [Withered Labyrinth] in Arisa's country. There should be some monsters left even if it's withered, but there is none at all here. There are only common insects and small animals.
The society's people seem to be gathered beyond this corridor. Since my main objectives, the short horn holders and the three demonic possession people are there, it looks like I could settle it at once.