Nirfut thought of running into the opposite direction for a moment, but he steeled himself and held his ground instead. Doing that would only expose his presence to Jinga.
He crouched down on the spot, took his wand and cast <Concealment> on himself. Very swiftly. The recitation spell was so low in volume it's like a curtain swaying breeze. A skill he's honed to perfection.
Then he held his breath and waited for Jinga to pass. He could just escape after Jinga went in Prado's room.
Yet Jinga wouldn't go past him. He's slowly and carefully closing in as if he knows someone is lurking.
Nirfut's eyes remained closed. There are times where <Concealment> would wear thin when his eyes met someone else's. This is something he found out from years of experience. He also found that making even the slightest movement would thin the <Concealment>.
His heart is beating like crazy. Nirfut never knew his heart was so noisy until this moment.
But, it's all right.
No one has ever found Nirfut when he crouched down, cast his eyes down and had advanced level <Concealment> on like this.
Or so it should be.
Nirfut knows that's the spell to activate <Shield of Wolkan>.
As he cursed in his head, Nirfut leaped out forward. He threw a poisonous needle straight at Jinga who had set up his shield as he drew near. A small but sharp metal sound echoed, the needle had been blocked by the shield.
Nirfut tried running past Jinga's side, Jinga slashed his sword at him. He failed to perform an evasive maneuver and got the top of his right shoulder gouged out.
However, he kept running frantically without slowing down. Fortunately, Jinga didn't try to chase him or throw his sword.
Nirfut went to hide under the shadow outside, used <Concealment> and drank a red potion to stop the bleeding. A little blood spilled out, nothing he could do about that.
His sweat ran down profusely.
That was a close one. But he did it. Prado can't be saved anymore. Now he's just gotta bury the evidence.
He buried the poison and needle under a tree in the garden. Even if it gets discovered, they have no way to prove its owner.
He sneaked around the guesthouse's back, and climbed to the second floor, in through a window.
As he was thinking that they would likely put the guests under a strict watch soon, Hyubert came back.
And now there's nothing to worry about. They just have to feign ignorance now. Doesn't matter how suspicious they are, Goncourt can't just accuse Boldrin envoys as criminals. And as there are many other family members staying tonight, pining down the culprit should be impossible.
Yet, nothing happened.
The main building should be in chaos since the family head had just been murdered, and all the guests should be checked, yet none of that transpired.
<TLN: Catch the latest updates and edits at Sousetsuka .com >
(Every single thing has been weird this time.)
(And how smoothly that council proceeded.)
(That was not by Prado's hands.)
(It didn't match Kanner's style either.)
(Just who's been taking helm of Goncourt Family?)
The eerie night lapsed, and dawn came.
Boldrin people were told not to leave their rooms since the next head of Goncourt was going to pay them a visit.
As told, Norma really came visiting Nirfut's and Hyubert's room. Along with Jinga and Kanner. And many soldiers behind them.
Jinga is glaring hard observing Nirfut's face closely.
Nirfut felt like his heart almost stopped working.
"This man here."
"I see. Attendant-dono. Your name?"
"M-ma'am. I am called Nirfut."
The alarm inside Nirfut's head rang abuzz loudly despite him feigning composure outwardly.
(How'd they know?)
(Could Jinga really remember me?)
(From 25 years ago?)
At this time, Nirfut took himself too lightly.
A man as skilled as Jinga can distinguish those with skills. Even if not so, the fact that Nirfut is an extremely skilled spy or assassin is obvious when you inspect him closely, which Jinga is capable of. And Jinga is not someone who would forget the presence of a hostile involved in a standoff with him last night. Nirfut had already failed the moment he chose to stand helplessly before Jinga.
"Nirfut-san. You are under arrest."
"I-I'm an attendant of Boldrin House, you know? That is simply outrageous."
"I'll throw that word back at you."
"What are you talking about?"
"The head of Goncourt had been stabbed with a poisonous needle last night."
"P-poisonous needle? That is simply absurd. It's a groundless charge."
"Treating that was quite tough just so you know."
Nirfut's whole body froze over.
"Treating that, tough?"
"Yes. He's completely back on his feet, he's having breakfast right about now."
While he was dumbfounded, Nirfut was made to turn around and got a shackle put on his hands.
Then he got blindfolded and gagged before getting dragged away.
Looks like Nirfut is the only one arrested.
Afterward, he was thrown in a locked room.
The shackle was well made, even Nirfut's skill could not undo it.
Quite some time has passed before he was taken out and put on a wagon.
They got down at the destination, his blindfold was removed.
It's the temple.
There's a priest standing in front of him.
"Go up the stairs."
He's still shackled with a soldier holding a rope tied to his shackle behind him. At a glance, the rope seems to be made of Spider material, not something an ordinary blade can cut.
After going up the stairs, he got blindfolded once again and was made to go round and round inside the building.
Then he was made to sit in a room before getting tied around his chair.
His blindfold was taken off, affording him to see an object placed on a desk in front of him.
A moment later, Nirfut realized what that object was.
He made a desperate effort to struggle and break out of his restraint, but the chair didn't even budge.
(That's the <Bell of Truth>!)
(No, they can't be!)
<Bells of Truth> are magic tools that can see through lies, distributed to every town lords by the king, placed under custody of the temple.
Once tolled, it cannot be used again for one year. It's normally employed by the temple or the town lord themselves. Many town lords even paid a huge sum of money to secure the right to use it every year. It's not an object even a noble house the likes of Goncourt can deploy as they wish. They will have to pay an absurd amount of money to the temple on top of acquiring permission from the town lord, which is next to impossible. Just how in the world Goncourt managed to gain the right to use such a valuable object.
In any case, the real thing is there right in front of him. Nirfut has misjudged House of Goncourt's power and resolution.
(Forgive me for failing to meet your expectations.)
(May you're blessed with good health always.)
Nirfut attempted to commit suicide.
However, he had been stripped of all his tools, and they would heal him when he bit his tongue. The interrogation was carried out mercilessly, bringing Boldrin's ploy to light.