12-15. Carelessness of the Royal Research Institute
Satou's here. Unlawful dumping is a problem in Japan, and it's also a problem in another world. There's a seriously bad unlawful dumping among many....
"T-then, you're saying that you left the disposal of the fiend drug to the associate contractor!"
The Prime Minister's subordinate roared at the Royal Research Institute's director.
I'm also speechless beside him.
The morning of the next day, as Kuro I joined the Prime Minister's subordinate who went to the Royal Research Institute to watch the state of things.
"N, no. From what I understood, it should have been fighting spirit medicines that were expired. I never thought that it was such a dangerous medicine like Fiend Drug..."
The director who's sweeping his sweat really seems like he didn't know that it was Fiend Drug.
On the other hand, the woman who appears to be a secretary, standing behind him, looks pale. I direct the Prime Minister's subordinate's attention to the secretary.
"The woman over there, you seem to know something. If you speak honestly, I'll talk to Prime Minister-dono so that it won't become a case of treason."
"....Ha, treason?! S-such thing, I never"
The pale secretary falls on her knees to the floor.
We succeeded getting the circumstances from the director and the secretary with the help of an Inquisitor the Prime Minister subordinate had brought.
Foolishly, due to the secretary's mistake, the disposal document for [Fiend Drug] had been misplaced with the one for [Fighting Spirit Medicine].
Normally, the drug would have been destroyed by mixing it with acid first before dumping it to the sewage, but since it was mistaken as [Fighting Spirit Medicine], it was only dissolved in water before being dumped into the sewage.
"--H-however, even though it was dumped to the sewage, it shouldn't be enough to make monster transformation happen. Even if you orally take the 『Fiend Drug』, you would need to do it dozens of times before the symptom for monster transformation surfaces. In my humble opinion, the cause of the monster disturbance might be something different...."
"Nonsense. --Take them."
The director insisted, but the PM's subordinate curtly cut his talk, and ordered the Prime Minister's soldiers to take the two away. Looks like they're going to entrust them to the examination specialist.
Since the PM's Subordinate had ordered a low-class official to inspect the actual disposal site, I took that opportunity to tag along.
"Garbage disposal huuh? That's not something great official-sama and noble-sama need to care."
"Just answer the question."
The low-class official pressed a question on a manservant clothed in rag.
This man isn't a staff member, but someone taken from the slump quarter to dispose lab animals and filth.
The manservant guides us to the dumping ground.
It's a cylindrical room made of flat concrete-like substance.
There's a 5-meter big hole in the center of the room, and it's 10-meter long down below until the water surface.
"Don't ya got too close to it. A while ago, a newcomer fell and became the prey of slimes...."
There are some in the underground tunnel nearby, but there doesn't seem any directly below us.
"Huuh? Visitors? Can I throw this garbages now?"
"Official-sama, do you allow?"
"Leave it for la--"
"Wait, we don't mind, throw it."
I interrupt the low-class official, and let another man who came to the room later to throw the garbage.
....It's the dissected corpse of the monster yesterday huh.
Hm? The rat-type monster corpse doesn't have its hind legs. I think the back meat and the breast meat are also taken a bit too much if it's for samples.
I watch the corpse being dumped while only taking a sidelong glance at the low-class official who's grimacing from the putrid smell.
The moment the monsters' blood touch the water surface, the slimes in the underground tunnel gather.
I jump to the water surface while hearing the flustered voice of the manservant behind me. I activate Sky Drive just before I hit the water, and take care not to touch the corpses and the slimes.
I illuminate the water surface with a Light Drop.
There are no red rope-like pattern like on the monster's corpses on the slimes. Instead, many black bugs are stickied to them. It seems the slimes here only feed on carrion.
I gather tissue samples from several slimes and put it into organized test tubes.
I'll have the Royal Research Institute to check these and see if they have the fiend drug's residue and effect.
Before leaving, I'll confirm something with the manservant earlier.
He'll probably feign ignorance or lie even if we cross-examine him, so I ask him after I've made sure that the low-class official has gone back ahead.
"I won't fault you since monster meat are also eaten in Labyrinth City, but there are many that are rotten or toxic. There are also some that can spread illness, so be careful okay."
"Yeah, we know."
So they really take meat from lab animal's corpse and sell it in the back channel huh.
....It seems the slum quarter was hit with epidemics several years ago, I wonder if the cause was the meat brought by these guys.
It might be good to create epidemic prevention manual.
"We let the neighboring rats and strays to eat the meat going bad y'see. If they die, the slimes will eat them if we just throw them to the Clean Water Facility pond y'see."
Maybe I should check the slimes that are in the Clean Water Facility located near the edge of the Royal Capital.
Right, if they take the meat out, they might even take the drug that should have been disposed out too.
I've already checked on the map that the fiend drug doesn't exist in the Royal Capital, but just in case.
"If there's any drug that's hard to dispose, I'll buy it from you--"
I tell so to the man in low voice, and tell him one of the bars in the downtown managed by secret agents of the Prime Mainister.
With this, it should be easy to retrieve the drugs that have leaked outside. I'll leave the rest to the Prime Minister.
I go to the Water Purification Plant in the downtown, and collect the slimes that are attracted to the monster corpse I've thrown from storage.
I'll have the Royal Research Institute staff to analyze the rest.
I think I can analyze it myself with the facility in the Ivy Mansion, but doing everything myself is annoying right.
Let's sort out the information for a bit.
In the end, the things I know are--
- The fiend drug was dumped to the sewage without proper processing.
- There's a possibility that it has been spread to the creatures living underground through the slimes.
- The Fiend Drug was mistaken with [Fighting Spirit Medicine].
This medicine has some similarity with the fiend drug, so it might be sold illegally in the downtown.
- People of the slum might have taken the fiend drug.
- The fiend drug isn't present in the Royal Capital.
Is that all?
No, there's one more.
- The monster disturbance might have nothing to do with the fiend drug.
Just when I thought I had seized the cause of the monster disturbance, the mystery got deeper instead.
I wonder if the case would be quickly settled were a great detective conveniently appear.
The phantom thief exists after all, wish the great detective too.
"You're late desuwa!"
"Excuse me, I had some businesses to attend."
Lady Karina rebuked me as soon as I entered the state guest house's hall where she was doing special training.
The ones in this room are Lady Karina's maids, the dance instructor, and our girls.
Arisa is accompanying Nina-san in her work, so she's not here.
"Karina-sama, please concentrate."
"Satou will be my practice partner. You watch and instruct from there."
Lady Karina tells the instructor, and then she extends her hand to me.
Her cheeks blush a little, but her face looks somewhat sullen.
Well, I am late, guess I can be her dance partner.
I'll dance with our girls too once Lady Karina's practice is over.
"Then, I'll be keeping you company."
I take Lady Karina's hand and go toward the center of the hall the size of a classroom.
I lead Lady Karina while matching the dance music that Mia is playing.
When I dance with Lady Karina, my chest is too happy my consciousness feels like it'll soar, but I weather the storm with the help of prime number and pi.
Her dance is straightforward and manly like usual.
However, it seems she's been working hard, she's improved leap and bound better compared to the dance before.
"You've worked hard. You're quite better than before."
"--T-that's obvious! Because I endured it even while the knight order were watching the practice. Sa-Satou will dance with me in the real thing too!"
--U~n, isn't it impossible in the real thing.
During the dance party the night before the Kingdom Conference, the party where upper nobles higher than and including viscounts gather is separated with the party where lower nobles lower than and including baron gather.
There is no such rule, but like an unspoken agreement, it seems nobles that don't have much rank don't mingle with them.
To be more specific, the upper nobles side are the dukes, marquises, earls, and viscounts, but there are some cases where baron and baronet can also participate. A chevalier like me is prohibited from participating.
Lower nobles side are barons, baronets, and chevaliers, but viscounts can also participate. Nobles higher than and including earls never participate in this side.
Of course, Lady Karina is going to escort Baron Muno who's treated like an earl as a territory lord, she's going to attend the upper noble dance party, so it's impossible for us to dance together.
It's probably going to be another story if I were her fiance, but that's exactly why doing that means announcing we're engaged, so I'll be refraining.
"I cannot participate in the dance party of upper nobles so--"
"You can't desuwa!"
From her line of sight that was a bit higher than mine due to her heels, she interrupted my denial with a child-like anxious voice.
--Even if you said that.
"Excuse me. Karina-sama, some visitors have come for you."
Pina appeared right then, telling us about visitors. Good timing.
"They are waiting in the parlor, please come with Chevalier-sama."
"Visitors? Not for Father?"
"Yes, they are Sera-sama and Toruma Shimen-sama."
They're quite fast even though I was told that they were coming yesterday evening with an airship.
The two's blue luminous dots are in the parlor of the guest house alright.
I postpone the problem and go to the parlor where the two are waiting.