Chapter 219 Strongest Sage, Successfully Snuck In
『This is a piece of magic tool, isn't it? Maybe it's a piece from the one attached to that box?』
『...Looks like it.』
I analyze the magic circle inside the piece.
Only a few parts could be read as it's only a fragment... but this was a part of the box's magic tool no doubt about it.
『Which means, we can find out where the dolls come from if we collect this right?』
『Yeah. We might find out where in the river were the dolls set afloat... but even if we did find the location, there's a high chance that place is also a disposable one, so no guarantee we would find the demons there.』
『Disposable... How can you be so sure?』
『The size of this box. At most, there would be 10 dolls inside. Weighed at around 1 ton... Just enough to be carried on a wagon, there's even the clasp.』
I point at metal fittings on the edge of the box.
These are fasteners to prevent something falling out of a wagon.
These things wouldn't be needed if the demons carried the boxes themselves.
In the current world, carrying 1 ton of luggage per wagon is optimal.
Any more and the wheels would sink in, making it harder to transport, any less and it would be a waste to not carry more.
『You figured out that much just from looking at the box.... Then there'd be no point in collecting these pieces.』
Ruli looks at the piece in disappointment.
However, it's not completely meaningless.
『No, we can use it as a last resort. Even if the people who transported the dolls are disposable, we can still ask them where they got the dolls from and go from there to trace the demons.』
『Last resort... You mean, there's a more efficient way to find the demons?』
Alma asked me.
『Exactly... Specifically, the source of life forces. There's not many ways to collect mana from tens thousands of people. I've got an idea about it already... But let's save that until after we get in the empire. We're on top of a river separating national borders right now.』
Alma started to run toward the other side of the river bank in a hurry.
Even if this place lacks surveillance, stopping for a long time on top of a river with a good view would still risk us getting discovered by the enemy.
If a soldier simply passed by the path next to the river, they'd see us.
...Well, I'm constantly looking out for any suspicious mana reaction close to us, so it's not actually a problem.
Thus we managed to slip through the imperial soldier's surveillance network, and arrived at Saihill Empire.
『I can see a town... But I don't see anything like an outer wall around it?』
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『It's a town in a rural area after all. I think it's called Ecial or something.』
I approach the town.
Currently, we're using magic to trick people's eyes, so they won't find us.
...If we're up against demons, they would instantly see through this level of camouflage... but they're probably not around these parts.
After all, it feels like this entire town is treated like a disposable tool.
While thinking that, we managed to get into the town.
『Will this camouflage do the job all right?』
『Considering the atmosphere here, no one would notice us unless we open the door to their house.』
The magic we're using erased our presence, but it did not apply to the presence of things around us.
Thus, if we open a door or something, it would look like the door opened by itself without anyone around.
Aside from that, vibrations and air flows produced from us stepping the ground and moving would still be there, so someone skilled enough could still notice us... but well, I don't sense anyone that good around here.
The stuff about war seem to not have been circulated among the civilians, atmosphere in the town feels laid-back.
...If Eis Kingdom launched a counteroffensive, this town would be the very first to fall victim, and the people here probably are not informed even that.
『Monster Outbreak Warning?』
While we were walking around the town, Alma looked at a paper posted on a private house and made a puzzled voice.
Here's what written on the paper.
Presently we have acquired information about outbreak of monsters around Ecial.
Knights of Kinisis House have been dispatched to exterminate these monsters, civilians are to refrain from going outside the town as much as possible.
The parts around Eis Kingdom are especially highly dangerous, citizens are barred from entering.
『...Wait, were there monsters in the area around Eis Kingdom?』
『There were, but not in great numbers... It's undoubtedly a pretext to deploy this 『Knights of Kinisis House』.』
Looks like the ploy even extends to the knights.
I have no idea about this 『Knights of Kinisis House』, but judging from the name, it's probably a band of knights that belongs to an empire's noble.
That noble must be cooperating with the demons.
Not sure if they're being used unknowingly or knowingly, either way, we should assume that this Kinisis House is hostile.
While thinking such, the four of us walked around the town while collected information (mainly mana reactions and stuff).
The dollmaster seems to be quite careless, we gathered some interesting important magical info.
And about 30 minutes after we entered the town.
『We've got enough. Let's go storming in there.』
『Err, to the blue warehouse in the suburbs right?』
『I think that was way too obvious, maybe it's a trap?』
Alma and Ruli asked me when I said that.
This blue warehouse is exactly the place we're going to raid, but I never actually mentioned anything about it while we were walking around the town.
Ruli is one thing, but the mana camouflage on this blue warehouse is so bad that even Alma who's not that familiar with magic tools noticed.
...Or rather, feels like they never have any intention to hide it.