16-39. [Judicial Nation] Sheriffald (3)
Rumors about plausible-sounding underworld of society and illegal websites circulating among people might have the same appeals as a certain urban legend. The thing that piqued curiosity isn't whether it exist or not, but that it really might exist.
"Tried inputting Doujii or Dudii?"
"Got no hit on either."
I've searched those before Arisa suggested.
From the results of my search on criminal background, just like in other towns, there's a lot of criminals lurking around.
However, there's no Crime Syndicate Dujii to be found anywhere.
"Wonder if it's its street name?"
Map Search would have found it even if it were concealed, but things get tricky if the case here is where the real organization name and the well-known name differs.
"If Master is thinking of using some special searching method, maybe Sera and I'd better go back to base?"
Arisa whispered in my ear.
She's probably being considerate since both of them may have god's back doors on them.
"Nah, there's no need for that."
I don't think we'll get to the point of needing to use cheat skills this time.
Besides, I've got no response from the equipment to trace back the back door the two are wearing.
Looks like gods don't have the time to frequently peek at this world either.
As for these backdoor re-tracer, the mechanism works by indirectly measuring Divinity from the change in Miasma and Magic Power.
The tool doesn't react to my [Unit Arrangement] and Sera's holy magic, but I've confirmed that it did react to Divinity back when I received the [God's Trial] earlier, so it should work properly.
"I'll be heading to Echigoya Firm to collect information, everyone, could you do the same at the inn and other local stores?"
The girls agreed to my suggestion.
I changed into Kuro in a back alley and went to the inn where the advance party of Echigoya Firm is staying.
The advance party was a noble girl working directly under Echigoya Firm's manager, Elterina.
She can use summoning magic, hence she's got a variety of ways to secretly gather info and get in touch with someone.
I immediately got down to business.
"--Crime Syndicate Dujii? Oh that's a famous name."
Apparently their operations extend to many things like distilling liquor, to smuggling salt and stuff.
"I've tried using my summon rats to look for them, but--"
Apparently they couldn't even find a single member, let alone their base.
"Rumors going around that their headquarters is at the neighboring corrupt city Dodobu, but merchants coming from that city denied the rumors, you see~"
Corrupt City is the alias, officially it's known as Commercial City Dodobu.
It's one of city states, and a place where you can procure grey zone commodity and get some services.
"I see, then I should pay a visit to Dodobu City."
After showing my appreciations to the noble girl, I asked her to continue gathering more info about Crime Syndicate Dujii.
『Apparently, Crime Syndicate Dujii's hq is at the Commercial City Dodobu, I'll be going there for a bit.』
『I gotcha--but don't think of going to some lewd onee-san's store just because you're heading alone to the Corrupt City Dodobu, okay.』
Looks like Arisa and the girls knew about Dodobu City from their own network of information.
『Yeah, of course.』
I replied instantly while making sure that my voice wasn't shaking from the guilty consciences with the help of Poker Face skill.
Let's postpone the visit to the pretty onee-san establishment for later.
""Welcome home, Satou-san.""
"That was quick."
After returning back to the inn from Corrupt City Dodobu with Unit Arrangement, I met up with Arisa and the others by relying on my Map.
"Yea, both ordinary people and criminals know the name Crime Syndicate Dujii itself, but I couldn't find anyone who knows how to get in contact with them at all."
Since I couldn't find them with Map Search, I marched into the headquarters of a largish Crime Guild and made use of [Interrogation] and [Negotiation] skills, but the results were nil.
"I see, we don't have new info either."
Arisa said so with a gloomy face.
Right then, sounds of building collapsing and noises could be heard from deep inside a back alley.
"HERO'S COMING FOR UUUUUUUUUUUUS"
Afterward, ruffian looking men rushed out of the alley while screaming.
"Satou-san, stand back."
Zena-san steps forward with a Wind Crystal furnished wand in hand.
However, she probably won't get her turn.
Bandages-like things stretching out from behind the men pulled down and bound those men one after another.
『Don't think you can run away from [Hero's Attendant] Jema-sama's Flexible Bandage--wait, Demon Lord Slayer?』
A bunny eared beauty is looking at me.
Unfortunately, she's not wearing a bunny suit, just ordinary leather armor instead.
The gauntlets furnished with small shields equipped on both her arms must be the magic tools to control the bandages that bound the men.
『Aren't you going to catch bad people too? Seigi-sama would catch 'em all if you play around.』
The bunny eared beauty talks in Saga Empire Language.
I suppose she only knows how to speak her native language without a translation ring.
『Are these guys members of Crime Syndicate Dujii?』
『Who knows? I dunno.』
Well, they're not.
『Jema, you got them too huh--A-Arisa-san!』
Seigi came out of the back alley.
Looks like he's been working hard, his armor and mantle are dirty.
The hero brushed off the dirt from his mantle and armor and then, with a flushed face, he trotted and stopped in front of Arisa.
"H-how have you been? Faring? We have crushed six crime syndicates already, and caught more than 100 criminals ourselves."
Hero Seigi is looking at Arisa with a face hoping for her praises.
"Hee, amazing. How'd you do it? With human-wave tactics using Sage Empire soldiers?"
"No no not that, I found them with one of the three Unique Skills I got from Parion-sama, 『Evil Search (Where's the Bad People)』."
A woman wearing a civil official attire rushed from behind him and blocked his mouth in panic.
"Didn't I just tell you not to reveal your Unique Skills after that trial!"
"I-I know that! Your eyes, you don't have to get so mad!"
Hero Seigi protested at the attendant like a child at his rebellious phase.
Come to think of it, he also announced his unique skill 『Justice Mind's Eye (There is Only One Truth)』 during the trial.
Judging from what he said, looks like he still has one last Unique Skill left.
Considering the other two Unique Skills are Search and Examination types, I guess the last one is an Enforcement type?
They're pretty useful if you're going to work as a policeman or a detective, but I can't help but wonder if that's alright for a hero expected to slay demon lords.
"Seigi, is there a top member among these people Jema caught?"
"Wait a minute--"
Asked by the civil official attendant, Hero Seigi glared at the bandaged men for several seconds.
I think it's the initial [Appraise] skill given to Heroes by the god, but he sure takes time to perform it.
"--No. Looks like it was only the bald guy knocked out at that room over there, and the beard guy who tried to escape until the end."
"Thank you very much--please call Saga Empire soldiers to bring those two to our base Moryu and interrogate them."
After telling that to hero Seigi, the official turns around toward the bunny eared attendant and instructs her.
『Jema, hand over those bunch to this country's soldiers.』
Meanwhile, Hero Seigi was talking to Arisa, "Did you know that you're prohibited from drinking liquor in this country, that's why you don't see drunkards around."
Wait, this country has prohibition law?
Come to think of it, I don't think there was a bar at that diner too.
I displayed the Tourism Ministry document on the AR display.
The document states, [Local Product: Nothing in particular], [Choice Liquor: None].
Skimming through, the fact that it's [None] instead of [Nothing in particular] must mean it really is prohibited.
Would have liked if it was written clearly on a footnote instead of this confusing text.
Well, since this is a country where Shiga Kingdom absolutely has no diplomatic relations with, forget embassy, there's not even any spy situated here, I guess it's only natural.
"Seigi, can you still go on?"
"Yea, no problem. I can still use 『Evil Search (Where's the Bad People)』 a few more times."
The official attendant made a sour look to hear hero Seigi who completely didn't get what she just admonished him earlier.
Looks like she's got quite the work cut out for her.
<TLN: If you're reading this novel at any other site than Sousetsuka .com you might be reading an unedited, uncorrected version of the novel.>
"What should we do? Master?"
Maybe it was due to the fact that Hero Seigi's skills has a surprisingly good compatibility with criminal search, Arisa's voice was mixed with fluster.
"Satou-san, should we split up and search too?"
"Let me help the search with wind magic! The miasma around criminals' bases of operations is usually quite thick, I could narrow them down with advanced level wind magic."
"I will lend a hand too. As it is possible to distinguish criminals with holy magic, 『Evil Detection』."
Sera and Zena-san made an appeal to help.
The roundup would probably not fall behind Hero Seigi's party with these two's magic.
Well, if we're simply looking for criminals, searching with my Map is faster and the correct choice.
However, it couldn't find the Crime Syndicate Dujii hero Seigi mentioned.
Might be a good idea to continue arresting criminals while interrogating them.
『Expose wrongdoings, pass down righteous judgement』
『Right the injustice, you who challenge the trial』
Orders from God Urion flashed on my mind.
"...Expose wrongdoings? Right the injustice...?"
Something bothered me somehow, so I uttered them.
"Aren't those God Urion's order?"
I affirmed Arisa's question.
"Something is not right..."
Looks like she caught on something like me.
Together with Arisa, she spaced out with furrowed brows.
Zena-san tilted her head.
Unfortunately, I can't articulate it enough to answer Zena-san.
"Even at Seryuu City, we often expose injustice done by the territorial army and civil officials and punish them properly, you know?"
The moment Zena-san said that, Arisa and Sera suddenly raised their faces.
"I got it!"
Arisa and Sera shouted out at the same time.
"It's the expose part!"
Then, as if that explains everything, the two look at me with cheerful faces.
"Umm? What do you mean?"
Zena-san asked the two before I could.
"It's normal for criminals to do wrongdoings right?"
"You won't say 'right the injustice' for criminals. Normally it'd be 『Judge the criminals』 wouldn't it?"
I see, I get what the two are trying to say.
"You mean the people who are committing those crimes aren't part of a crime syndicates?"
I confirmed what the two wanted to say.
In other words, the ones carrying out wrongdoings are people that belong to the authority and judicial organ huh.
Even though I think exposing wrongdoings are also the correct words to use on villains, that's probably what the two mean.
"At the very least."
"That should be what God Urion meant by expose."
Arisa and Sera asserted.
"Perhaps, Crime Syndicate Dujii itself never actually exists."
"Is it like a cover used by the people belonging to the authority and the judicial organ for when they're doing something unlawful?"
Zena-san said her guess at Arisa's remark.
No wonder my Map search couldn't get a hit if it was a fictitious organization created by people who are in charge of punishing evils to hide their wrongdoings.
"Arisa, Zena-san, and Sera, please arrest the criminals at the places I point you at."
"--A diversion huh."
Arisa struck a snapping finger pose that didn't actually make a sound.
Even if we know that it's the authority and judicial organ, the number of people is too big, thus I intend to cause them unrest by randomly arresting criminals who are likely connected to them.
"Besieging them would be troublesome with just you three alone, take the living doll unit from the airship with you."
The heroes should have been enough to act as a diversion, but either his Unique Skill has a limited range, or they carry prejudice on the downtown, they've been ignoring the crime syndicates at the high streets.
"Will Master watch over through magic?"
"I can't possibly do it all alone, I'll be relying on reinforcements, you see."
After seeing off Arisa and the others running off toward the airship, I went behind a shadow and summoned a reliable reinforcement from the capital with Unit Arrangement.
Sage Mouse ChuuFat cried on my palm.
The king-like outfit and crown I gave to him as a present suit him very well.
"Sorry to call you on a short notice, ChuuFat."
ChuuFat cried, like he's saying "Don't worry about it."
"I'd like to investigate crimes done by the bigwigs of this country, could you lend me the Intelligence Bureau of Mouse Empire?"
ChuuFat cried out loud while beating his chest with his small hand, as if saying, leave it to me.
"I'll be counting on you then. I'll send you back, would you gather personnels needed at the Mouse Square then."
I sent back the nodding ChuuFat to Shiga Kingdom's subterranean tunnel with Unit Arrangement.
With ChuuFat at the top, the Sage Mice have exerted a huge influence under Shiga Kingdom's capital, they've been helping to elevate hygiene level and curb criminal activity at the capital.
We may not be able to exchange words, but they understand our words, and can operate simple magic tools.
While waiting for the ChuuFat and other Mice, guess I'll go and support Arisa and the girls, and keep track on hero Seigi's movements?
Spacing out in a back alley would get me reported, thus I decided to move to a nearby bridge.
Gazing at the surface of water on top of a bridge shouldn't look that suspicious.
There was already a preceding visitor on the bridge.
It's the 100-man platoon commander who was deemed a stalker at the trial yesterday.
His face looks serious, like he's going to attempt suicide anytime now--.
While I was looking, the armored commander had put his feet on top of the bridge rail.
"Hold it right there!"
I immediately rushed out and pull the commander back.
"Unhand me! No point in me living anymore! No point in living a life where I can't see Yowa-chan's smiles!"
Yowa-chan must be the bakery girl's name.
"I was just watching over her, what's so wrong about that! Look at Dujii, no one arrest them no matter what shitty thing they did! This world ain't fair!"
He's at the absolute end of his wits.
"If I have to say, it's the way you're doing it that's wrong."
Oh crap, I went and said it out loud.
The 100-man platoon commander is glaring at me resentfully.
Can't be helped, I'll accompany this guy till ChuuFat is done preparing.
"Yep. Should have directly confessed your love to Yowa-chan or something like that instead."
"Like I could do something so embarrassing!"
He declared something so weak with a manly expression.
No well, I think that's the starting point.
"Then what about utilizing a go-between?"
"Enlist your superior's help to ask her parents for her hands in marriage."
I'm not sure how much the average wage of this country's servicemen, but a 100-man platoon commander should be able to support a family.
The commander has a look like everything has ended in this world.
"I did that already. Her parent said 『I'm never giving my daughter to soldiers and guards.』"
They refused both soldiers that could die in a battlefield, and guards too?
Is it because they don't want a groom who can't continue the bakery or something?
"I see, I'm sorry to hear that. Here, eat these and try to cheer up."
Liquor is apparently banned in this city, so I gave him some donuts taken from my bag.
"This is good... Really good..."
Please don't eat while crying.
In addition, I used mind magic [Calm Field], [<<Inconstancy Regret>>], and [Mind Recovery] to sweep away his regret.
"Can I ask you one thing?"
"What is it?"
I confirm one thing that's caught my interest earlier while supplying additional donuts to the commander who had done eating.
"You mentioned Crime Syndicate Dujii earlier--"
Earlier he said, "Look at Dujii, no one arrest them no matter what shitty thing they did!", didn't he.
"Yeah, guards who usually went to arrest criminals with zeal only do so haphazardly when it involves them, even the supposed watchmen of justice, Judicial Bureau won't dispatch their investigators for them."
I see, looks like I've narrowed down the places where ChuuFat should probe around.
"Do you know somewhere I can check records about cases that had happened and stuff?"
"Why dontcha look at either Judicial Bureau or the Guard Bureau?"
Looks like he's not detailed in this too.
Servicemen and guards have different jurisdictions after all.
Well, I'll likely find out what kind of crimes the Crime Syndicate Dujii has done if I check on Judicial Bureau and Guard Bureau records, then by investigating people who profited off of those crimes, seizing evidences should be possible.
Map Search is way too convenient I even forgot to check on such basic places.
I parted ways with the commander who looked like he had been liberated off of an evil spirit after binge eating donuts, and I decided to look for places where they keep the records of Judicial Bureau and Guard Bureau with space magic.
"Think it's about time they're ready?"
Looking at the Map, they seem to have done preparing, so I moved to a back alley and Unit Arranged ChuuFat and the other Mice all at once.
They've come together with crows for some reason.
Apparently, these crows are tamed animals of the Sage Mice.
Maybe I should call them Raven Riders?
"Now then, I'm counting on you."
After seeing off Sage Mice who had signal transmitter magic tools with them, I went to prepare stuff for when we found the culprits.
Villains acting like good people huh, they should learn when it's time to give up.
※ Next update is planned for 3/18