That day, town lord's mansion was as hectic and lively as ever.
The town lord had to deal with an unending flow of visitors who kept coming despite his need to listen to reports and give orders for the highway maintenance project.
Envoys from other territories, merchants, craftsmen just kept coming in, trying to sell themselves, making a deal or looking for directions.
Agito has been sent to Vantaroy along with Commander Tesla. Once he's done there, he is to survey and supervise the highway maintenance sites.
All of the town lord's subordinates are running around everywhere to accomplish the duty given to them. Right now, the town lord's mansion is awash with those related to construction works.
Presently the town lord is using the time for applicant interviews to survey the guest house's construction site. Bringing the three applicants with him, surveying while listening to them.
He's been visiting the site three times a day as he can't settle down until he's ascertained the construction progress himself. Seeing the steady progress made on the guest house is the one thing that would calm him down during these unbelievably hectic days.
A man came out of a cover.
Crimus Ulban turned around at him thinking it was another applicant, but he was shocked to see the man holding a dagger.
He's got to get away. He doesn't even have a guard with him now.
That was when Crimus noticed.
The cold eyes of the three applicants standing like they were encircling him.
The town lord opened his mouth in an attempt to shout out.
"<Fire Arrow>! <Fire Arrow>!"
Lecan's voice resounded as two fire arrows landed on the assassin.
One on the hand holding a weapon.
Another on the leg.
The dagger was blown away, the man fell down.
And then Lecan knocked out the three men encircling the town lord with <Lightning>.
A properly adjusted <Lighting> hit the assassin man who tried to get up, knocking him out as well.
Lecan is standing under a giant tree in the garden.
There's no way anyone could have missed Lecan standing there, yet he was undetected until just now. No wonder the town lord sounded bewildered.
Lecan knocked out the fifth man hiding in a bush some distance away.
"Phew. They finally showed themselves up. This <Concealment> magic is handy and all but using it like this sure puts a lot of strains on your body. I'm never doing this again."
"L-Lecan. Just what is"
"Assassination. Though not Shira as the target. It's you."
"Ah. Where do you think you're going, Lecan! Please wait a minute. Tell me what's going on."
"I'll have lunch prepared right away."
Lecan was tired and hungry, yet he was filled with a sense of fulfillment.
These four assassins were clearly more skilled than Dovor and Gido. He managed to beat all four so easily.
It feels as if he finally paid back the disgrace he tasted due to his carelessness back then.
<TLN: Catch the latest updates and edits at Sousetsuka .com >
"So you mean to say that the one spreading the rumor was Kogurus itself."
"That's what Shira figured."
"I see. If you think about it, they'd have never dispatched external parties. Zack Zaikaz would definitely order his own subordinates. That could never leak outside. And I didn't even notice that."
The enemy's target has always been Vouka town lord, Crimus Ulban.
And they purposely spread rumors about Shira being their target.
After hearing that intel, Crimus panicked.
That might have been part of the enemy's plan.
As he couldn't allow the person guide Skalabel is coming for dead, naturally he would dispatch guards to her. Ordinarily, that is.
There would be less guards around Crimus, heightening the success rate of his assassination.
Or so Zack Zaikaz thought.
But in reality, Crimus couldn't dispatch guards because Shira is living in such a hard to reach place. In the meantime, the situation around the town lord got so hectic he had to sent out all of his employees all over the place, not leaving even a single guard for him.
The enemy who had infiltrated this town early on waited for guards to show up around Shira. And yet, there was no sign of any guard getting stationed near Shira all the while they watched her. Thus they abandoned having her as a decoy and proceeded toward their original goal, the town lord's assassination.
As the town lord would only speak to his longtime servants, slipping in among them proved difficult. They could have met him easily if they disguised themselves as visitors, but there would always be some employees present during an interview, and only so many people could attack in a room. No telling what kind of contraptions hidden inside the mansion either.
On top of that, there's a high chance the two officials from Prime Minister Office would be present. Getting them involved is out of question, neither is carrying out the assassination in front of them. And more importantly, the two officials have skilled knights as their escorts. As well as subordinate knights.
That town lord would visit the guest house construction site three times a day. Without a guard, virtually defenseless. A prime opportunity for the deed.
Though to begin with, it's not like Lecan had foreseen the enemy's plan. He simply detected a suspicious man lurking near the guest house and monitored him.
But this man would barely make any move at all. Lecan could have caught the man then and there, but he knew there were four suspicious individuals around Shira's house that day.
Catching one carelessly would just make him lose tails of the other three.
As such Lecan kept watching over the man.
The man would lurk around the same spot for a period of time during daytime. As he just wouldn't carry out the assassination even when the town lord came, there was nothing Lecan do.
Lecan thought of tailing the man once he withdrew, but he didn't have the necessary skill to accomplish that without the man noticing him.
In the end, he had to keep watch on the man for three days before he made an attempt along with his comrades. A fifth man was hiding himself superbly in some distance away. This man had probably been tasked to watch over the assassination and report the result to Kogurus.