16-55. Sage's Tower (4)
Satou here. Unlike in fictional stuff such as detective manga or drama, I would have liked it for incidents to stop happening every time I got to a new place. Peaceful every day life is the best you know.
"What's the big trouble?"
"Come with us nanodesu!"
Pulled by Tama and Pochi, I was taken elsewhere through the shadow.
After coming out of a back alley, we arrived at an open space near Kariswolk City's outer wall.
Something seems amiss, many people in the open space are crouching down looking ill.
There are fireplaces burning here and there in the open space, also traces of people distributing food here.
--Is it food poisoning?
"Master, come here nanodesu!"
Tama and Pochi pulled me by hands to the blue light point that indicated Lady Karina.
"Master, over here."
Liza called me from the direction of the light point.
Lady Karina is sitting down next to a watering hole in the center of the open space.
"Karina-sama, are you okay?"
Lady Karina looked at me with a pained look when I called her.
Her condition is displayed on the AR reading on top of her.
--State [Curse: Progressing]
I would have never imagined that there would be an abnormal status Raka cannot cure.
Looks like Lady Karina has been cursed by someone.
I don't think anyone would target someone who had just arrived at a foreign country like her, so I checked on the other ill-looking people around.
Sure enough, the people here are cursed as well.
I search for everyone with a [Curse] state and put markers on them.
Since the number is quite high, I group them together and change the color.
"Will Karina be okay nanodesu?"
Tama and Pochi look up at me while looking really worried.
"Ah yeah, she'll be fine."
I smile back at the two to reassure them and pick a Soul Magic [Return Curse]-type from among my magic list.
There's this spell that would return the curse back to its user multi folds, [Karma (Space Return Curse)], but I pass over that as it would likely kill the target.
--Curse Back: Home In (Return Curse Chaser)
I pick a convenient spell that would trace the curse back to its user while also returning it back.
Once I used the spell, black miasma came out of Lady Karina's body, then it turned into a cutout-like crow, and flew to the sky--
"It's gone nodesu."
But for some reason, it was repulsed and then disappeared when it was about to fly over the water.
Normally, it should have flown back to the curse's user, but apparently, there was some kind of anti Return Curse mechanism at work, so the tracking was stopped midway.
But for now, since Lady Karina's abnormal state has gone back to [None], all's well.
And for other people with Curse status, rather than using [Return Curse] on them one by one, I'll just use the advanced spell of light magic [Divine Brilliant Purification] and cure them off their Curses.
Right when I was about to cast the spell from the magic list, Tama slashed her claw at empty air.
With a view magnified by my skill, I could see a falling mosquito that had been cut in two.
Oh, it's just a mosquito--wait, mosquito in the middle of this winter season?
Right when I was thinking that, my conversation with Arisa flashed back on my mind.
『They were bitten by bugs right? Maybe the bugs were the vector of the vampiric infection?』
While thinking, no way, I read the info of the falling mosquito.
Its species name is [Vampire Mosquito: Mutant].
Searching for [Vampire Mosquito], I found a not insignificant amount of them in the surroundings.
I have no reason to ignore this, thus I operate my Magic List, and suck all the mosquito in using wind magic [Air Control] to a sub-space I created using space magic [Garage].
The new snow in the area also ended up getting sucked in, but it's not like anyone would be troubled if the mosquito died, so I left it alone.
After securing one rat that had fallen into the same condition as Lady Karina earlier, I cast the [Divine Brilliant Purification], and purified the crouching people who had been cursed in the open space all at once.
Quite a flashy light filled the open space, but we're the only one who would pay it any mind here, so no problem there.
"So what actually happened here?"
"There was this little kid who broke a pot nodesu."
"The adult was going to hit that kid with a stick~"
"He was going to hit her with a stick nodesu!"
I sort out the info in my head while Tama and Pochi continue on with their narration.
I had asked Liza to patrol the open space for a bit, I might have made a mistake in the personnel selection here.
There was a man next to the watering hole, and there was a big pot next to that man.
That pot had a warm water inside, steam was coming out of it.
One of the kids who were playing hide and seek bumped into that man, and then the falling man hit the pot in a chain reaction, breaking it.
Afterward, Lady Karina and the girls, who witnessed the enraged man flailing a stick around, put a stop to the barbaric act.
I secretly secured the broken pot's splinters from the ground into my Storage.
According to its detailed information, it was an item created at the old capital of Saga Empire.
...Saga Empire huh.
"He told us to pay to make up for the pot the kid broke nodesu."
"And did you pay?"
"Pochi and Tama did with our pocket money nodesu."
Checking on the their magic bags, all the gold coins I gave them have disappeared.
『And yet the man insisted it still wasn't enough and tried to take the jewelry I and Karina-dono had, but in exchange for a large diamond, that is Tama-dono's secret saving, he ceased his demands.』
The <<Intelligent Item>>, Raka that Lady Karina had added more details.
Additionally, it was apparently Raka who took care of the rest.
The diamond that Tama had was a manmade one I created using magic, I'll be sure to make another one later and give her that.
"So where did that man go?"
"He ran there while dancing~?"
Tama pointed at the east gate.
『Right after that man had left. The kids in the plaza started to keel over.』
They fell one after another, and eventually Lady Karina ended up collapsing herself.
"Medicines didn't work~?"
"Not antidote, not panacea worked nodesu."
"That must have been rough."
I pat the two's heads as they tried to convey what happened at the time with gestures.
Due to the matter of Weasel Empire's temple knight, Liedill, who ended up becoming my familiar, I had restricted the use of Blood Elixir only in cases where the victim is in a serious state of near death.
I'll let the two carry the easy to use ordinary elixirs with them next time.
"How are you feeling?"
"I'm fine desuwa."
Lady Karina slowly got up.
Looks like she's recovered already thanks to her Self-Recovery skill.
"Private Pochi, Private Tama! I will now assign you a duty."
"Yes sir nanodesu!"
To the two who struck the Shupin pose while standing straight, I ask them to care for the sick people here.
"I shall help too desuwa!"
"Yes, if you would. Raka, sorry, but I'm counting on you to support the girls."
『Umu, leave it to me.』
The guards will probably come later, I'll let Raka to deal with them.
I turned my back at them, and dashed out to chase the man together with Liza who had just come back from patrolling.
<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.>
A man who was riding a ride beast, a Snow Black Rat, was thrown off his ride when the rat suddenly stopped, and then he fell headlong into a piled up snow at the side of the road.
I left the Snow Black Rat to Liza to take care of, would be bad if it went wild.
"You look to be quite in a hurry, did you have an urgent business somewhere?"
I dragged the man out of the snow and talked to him.
When the man tried to shake off my hand, I shoved him down with his back on the snow and thrust my drawn Fairy Sword before the man.
"What were you doing next to the watering hole? I'll let you off with your life if you talk."
I accosted the man while relying on Deception and Interrogation skill.
The reason why I could pinpoint this man as our culprit is because he was the only one who tried to flee to the urban areas at high speed.
Just in case, I should use the mind magic [Detect Lie] to see through lies.
This magic is not really that accurate, but it's still better than nothing.
"Someone just paid me to do that! 『Watch the pot』 they said."
Result from Detect Lie--Truth.
I put on a callous expression and jerked my chin urging him to continue.
"I don't know who that person was. They were hiding their face in a hood, hell if I know who they were!" <TLN: Gender neutral they, not plural they.>
He doesn't know that person--Lie.
"That's a lie. You must know who they were."
The man had a cramp on his face when I declared so.
I gripped the sword tighter and coerced the man.
Using Coercion skill here would have knocked the guy out.
"T-they were a scholar-sensei like you."
"I've no idea. They had a 『Ring of Wisdom』 on their arm just like you."
Apparently, that's how he deemed them to be a scholar.
I put markers on all scholars that have 『Ring of Wisdom』 with them inside the country.
None seems to be acting suspiciously.
"Hey, I've told you everythin' yea. So let me go. I'd be killed by that scholar-sensei if I stay here."
"It's coz I broke an important experimental tool. That scholar-sensei who woulda go as far as killing their scholar cohorts wouldn't think twice to kill me."
Well, they're a bunch who's been spreading Vampire Mosquito that put a debilitating curse on people all over the places after all. That much shouldn't be strange.
"I, overheard 'em..."
This man has [Attentive Ears] skill and apparently with that, he overheard the scholar in question instructing men in white to carry out murders in a back alley.
"Who are they trying to kill?"
I can't overlook an attempt for life here.
"Those men mentioned three names."
And the names that came out of the man's mouth sounded familiar to me.
Witch, Witch's apprentice, and Oracle Miko-san.
Miraculously enough, they're all my acquaintances.
"...It's the guards."
Looking at the direction the man muttered at, I saw guards coming here while breaking snow.
Just in time, I drag the man to the guards, and tell them that he's a concerned person of the incident at the open space.
The man was screaming 'This isn't what you promised!" or something, but it's not like I ever said I'd let him go if he talked, so I paid him no mind and proceeded to take the action needed to protect the three whose names came up earlier.
Good grief, just when we've got a fun trial that stimulated my spirit of inquiry, would it kill them to not cause these unnecessary incidents.
※ Next update is planned for 7/15