CHAPTER 57: ROLLED-UP GIRL, NOBLES, AND PROBLEMS
Since the girl was completely tied up from mouth to toe, I nearly got into a dispute when I tried to pass through the capital’s gates with her; but thanks to Viviana-san’s mediation, we were able to enter the capital.
Viviana-san herself also has a long line of men behind her, so that might have made the situation a bit easier to understand.
While I can’t tell if this is simply because we blend in with the crowd or if there are other reasons, as we entered the capital and attracted curious stares, we managed to reach Faneed-san’s place without any pestering along the way.
This was the place where we previously met.
While it doesn’t look particularly different to how it was before, there’s actually less people hidden right now.
I guess this is because, unlike last time, they didn’t have the time to prepare today.
As I entered the room where Faneed-san was, he looked absolutely displeased upon seeing me showing up without any hesitation.
Still, I am aware that he doesn’t want anything to do with me ever again, so I have no intention of complaining about that.
「It’s been a while.」
「Yup, I’m disappointed to see you looking quite well.」
「We’re the same in that regard, I didn’t want to see you as well.」
「Did our men start something again」
「There’s a chance of that being the case, which is why I came here.
But if I had to say, I came here to ask for information.
As I said so, I hauled the rolled-up girl forward.
And as she saw Faneed-san, far from being surprised, she actually scowled at him.
I see, it seems that she’s not one of his subordinates.
「She doesn’t really seem to be one of ours, does she」
「It seems so.
Incidentally, will this girl be useful at your place, Faneed-san」
「There’s roughly several definitions of what useful could mean, but we should be able to get some use out of her.」
「In that case, I’ll be handing this to you, so would you mind if I ask you several favors」
『So it isn’t “this girl” anymore, is it』
『Uhh, that was a slip of the tongue…』
『I don’t really mind that, you know That was aiming to kill us after all.
Moreover, it was spiteful against Song Princesses.
There no reason to forgive at all.』
Just as Ciel said, recalling what happened immediately after her capture, there’s no denying that this girl has some sort of spite against Song Princesses.
It’s only my opinion, but she might be the type of individual that sustains her ego using the assumption that a social class treated as the lowest of all, the Song Princesses, exist.
It’s as if she’s seeing the Song Princesses as similar to the outcast Eta or Hinin, but I suppose that’s not necessarily wrong.
Nevertheless, I don’t have the slightest intention of simply agreeing to that.
「To be frank, even if you hand that over to us, thinking of how to use it will be nothing but a headache but…… We probably have more ways of utilizing that than you would anyway, huh……
We’ll accept that troublesome thing.
I’ll also provide as much information as possible.
However, I’ll need you to answer my questions as well, got that」
「There’s probably no need to say this, but this event seems to be much bigger that it seems.」
「Well that’s for sure.
After all, that’s a protégé of a noble, you see 」
Faneed-san turns his head towards the roll girl.
Certainly, if nobles are involved, then it’s absolutely nothing short of troublesome.
At the same time, I have no idea why a noble would want us killed.
If it’s merely abduction, then I can still somewhat understand this, but there’s really no reason for nobles to have us dead.
「This is an assassination specialist」
「Don’t ask me.
Still, this certainly doesn’t feel like an abduction angle to me.」
Perhaps because we continued talking non-stop, this spring roll glared at me.
Doesn’t she get tired of this
「So, why were you being targeted」
That’s exactly what I want to ask myself, but I can somehow think of about three reasons why.
And one among those is something I seriously hope isn’t the case.
「Specifically, do you know what house said noble is from」
「It’s the House of Count Ortis, which the knight commander is a member of.」
Immediately feeling relief, I held my cheeks back as I nearly broke into a smile.
I was worried that Rispelgia’s name would pop up here, but I was luckily wrong.
If the Rispelgia household isn’t involved with this, then there are two reasons left.
「In that case, it might have been due to my Job, but what do you think」
I was talking to Faneed-san under the assumption that he already knows my Job, since he likely knows about it anyway.
On that day, there should have been a lot of hunters who heard that I’m a Song Princess.
It wouldn’t be strange if one of Faneed-san’s subordinates was among the crowd; on the contrary, there’s a very high probability of that being actually the case.
Even if it wasn’t, considering the fact that it took time to impose a gag order, it’s still very likely that this information was leaked outside.
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And it seems like that assumption was correct as Faneed-san shook his head in response.
「Your Job shouldn’t be the cause of this.
Now even if we assume someone wants you dead, the Count’s household wouldn’t do something like sending out an assassin unless they benefit from it, even if they have a personal grudge.
After all, they could get you kicked out of the capital just by spreading rumors about you.」
「I thought so.
Then in this case, it was probably because I implied the possibility of a stampede occurring.
You said that there’s a knight commander in the household after all, so if it becomes known that a stampede is to occur due to the abandonment of the forest, they’re unlikely to escape severe punishment.」
「Oi, did you just say a stampede」
Faneed-san reacted quickly.
I was surprised for a moment, but I guess an underground organization based in the capital would be concerned if something were to happen to it.
I imagined that an underground organization would be happy about the royal capital falling into chaos, but they only exist precisely thanks to the capital after all.
Considering that a stampede could wipe out the capital, then it’s understandable for the underground society to be worried about it.
「Based on my amateur judgment, it could happen within several years from now.
Currently, the Hunter Guild should be investigating the location, so please work hard on investigating as well.
It might not even be within several years after all.」
I guess that’s just the way things work……
Anyway, what’s the information that you want」
「The truth is, I wanted to ask you to find out who ordered for my assassination, but…」
「Likely the Count’s household, right.」
「With that said, please use this to keep the household’s eyes off of me, even if I ever get involved with them.
Also, if there’s something that can prove this one’s relation to the Count’s household among its belongings, then I’ll be taking it as well.」
「It can’t be helped.
Still, that might just run its mouth off on its own, you know」
「You can at least destroy its voice in a way that can’t be healed, right」
「Well you could say that.」
Hearing my words, Faneed-san casually replied.
Considering that the enemy is a noble, even with clear proof, this probably isn’t something that can be resolved by tomorrow.
Having something that can link this issue to the House of Ortis just to be sure, so that we can inform the Hunter Guild about this, should be good enough.
「By the way, did this have a knife or something」
「There were four or five knives…… but one had some sort of design on it.」
Among the inconspicuous knives, there was a vaguely expensive-looking one engraved with a crest mixed in.
That’s the crest of the Ortis household.」
In that case, this is the end of our business.
Thank you for everything.
This time, I pray we’ll never meet again.」
「That’s my line.」
Ending our friendly conversation, I left Faneed-san’s place.
Since it ended earlier than expected, we ordered lunch back at the inn.
Considering that they have no issue preparing meals as long as proper payment is provided, it really gives a feel of how high-class this inn is.
If this was any other cheap inn, it would either have nothing to serve or would only serve the breakfast leftovers, which generally isn’t worth the price.
Regarding Viviana-san, I’ve already informed the reception desk about her, so she should be led to this room upon arrival.
『Is it really alright to leave all of this to Faneed』
『Against a noble, even if we are in the right, things would likely just end up being bothersome for us.』
『But still, the guildmaster’s behind this, isn’t he』
The only people that know about the stampede crisis… would be the guild master, Tolt, and Chasse-san… and co.
Among them, the one that is most likely to have a connection with the count is the guildmaster, no question.
『Even if we expose the guildmaster’s scheme, I don’t think it’ll raise our rank, you see.
Besides, I don’t want any more trouble than what we already have right now.』
『Is it fine that Faneed knows about the Song Princess』
『Faneed is a member of the underground society, so it should be fine.
I have the impression of the underground society being a gathering of outcasts, and Song Princesses are undoubtedly outcasts, so he might even have favorable impression of us, you know』
At the very least, he probably doesn’t want to stir up trouble with us.
After all, we’re a Song Princess that’s also relatively capable in sorcery.
He also seems to understand how much trouble a Song Princess is; he’s much more trustworthy than some random members of normal society as well.
As I was deep in thought, there was then a knock on the door.
「Your guest has arrived.」
「Thank you, I’ll be opening the door now.」
As I carelessly opened the door, the receptionist and Viviana-san was there side by side, and for some reason, Viviana-san had a dumbfounded look on her face.
Still, it’ll be weird to bring that up while we’re standing by the door, so I first invited her in and had her sit down before bringing up that topic.
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「When I opened the door, you made a weird face, right」
「That’s the first thing you ask It just seemed somewhat careless of you considering your situation, that’s all.」
「It was you that brought me outside when I was planning to just spend the whole day inside my room, you know」
「That’s…… I had my own circumstances, okay.
I already told you that, didn’t I」
While it might have been a bit mean of me, it is the truth, so please don’t make it sound like I’m the bad guy here.
Still, it’s meaningless to continue arguing about this, 「That’s true.」 so I simply answered with a smile.
「So Viviana-san, how was it on your side」
「As expected, I suppose.
Or perhaps I should say, it was as utterly perplexing as I thought……
Have you been told about how Tolt has guided those with Disappointing Jobs」
「I can’t really remember.
Still, I can imagine that.
He secretly looked at their Jobs and gave them advice based on their Jobs, right」
「That’s roughly correct.
In other words, quite a lot of hunters are indebted to Tolt.
Among these hunters, there are some that have great admiration for him, and it seems that somebody accidentally spoke about the incident in front of them.
Due to that, these so-called Tolt faction hunters independently decided to attack you.」
「It really doesn’t sound like an accident at that point, but they decided it on their own」
「From their perspective, they were merely trying to save their saviour Tolt from the evil Cielmer, it seems.
Obviously they’re going to be penalized for this, but their penalty still isn’t decided yet.
And so, they’re behind bars for now.」
From this I can imagine that Tolt might have become conceited after all the admiration from these hunters.
Still, that doesn’t excuse him from the trouble he caused us.
While this case was unique, being attacked in of itself isn’t anything new, so we’re already used to it.
「What about on your side, then」
「For now, I think you’ll understand after seeing this.」
To answer Viviana-san’s inquiry, I showed her that certain knife.
Upon receiving the knife, Viviana-san stares at it closely before putting her hand over her head.
「Really… that guildmaster’s done it again.」
「Will you need a explanation」
「Please do so, just to be sure.」
Even though she already put two and two together, there are details that are left unknown unless given a proper explanation.
If this was a conversation between nobles, then an explanation might be unnecessary; but since this is a discussion between hunters, it can be said that asking for a clear explanation is a natural course of action.
I didn’t feel it was necessary to keep this a secret, so I shared everything, including the part about Faneed-san.
When Faneed-san’s name came up, Viviana-san’s expression clouded once again.
Somehow, I feel that Viviana-san is regularly in charge of troublesome work.
Lucy-san seemed like she regularly causes trouble after all.
「Cielmer, why do you of all people have connections with the underground’s top when you’ve only arrived here at the capital a few days ago」
「For the same reason I was able to stay here.
I got attacked, so I beat them and marched into their place.」
「Even the underground’s top was been taken by surprise, it seems.」
「In any case, that’s what happened.
I’ll be leaving tomorrow, so it’ll be great if the guild understands that I was nearly killed by a noble of this country.」
「Right, there’s really not much time, is there」
Hearing all of this, Viviana-san let out a heavy sigh.
「Anyways, we were talking about my compensation, right」
「Yes, that’s right.
That’s exactly why I hurried here after all.」
Viviana-san was then suddenly reenergized.
For some reason, I can feel Carol-san in her.
Though I shouldn’t be surprised about that anymore.
「Since I might need it when I go to Central, I would like to ask for protection from your family.」
「Oh, that’s right.
Since it’s you, you’ll likely reach B-rank sometime soon.
And having someone backing you would, in a sense, make it easier for you to move around after all.
Still, what do you mean by ‘might need it’」
「I already have someone else that might protect me, so it’s for insurance.」
Carol-san probably has a great influence even in Central.
She has a moniker after all.
「Being treated as an insurance is quite rude, don’t you think」
「I’d rather be safe than be polite.
Besides, I had a hunch that you wouldn’t get mad from something like that.」
「Well that’s true.
Still, it’s not something I can decide for on my own, and even if I back you myself, I’m not a legitimate heir, so it won’t really amount to much anyhow.
So instead, would you mind settling with an introduction to the house If there’s anything else, then I’ll consider them as well.」
「In that case, could you write me a letter of introduction I can’t be sure when I’ll reach B-rank after all, and there’s also no assurance that I’ll be able to contact you when that time comes.」
Viviana-san pondered for a while before giving a nod.
A letter of introduction can be misused after all, so I understand her concern.
Still, I’m glad that she agreed with having that as the payment for her request.
It’ll be best if we wouldn’t need to use it, but it’s better to have something prepared.
「Also, please keep whatever we talk about here a secret.」
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With Viviana-san’s agreement, I decided to discuss her issue.
Heya~! Our man Faneed comes back to the surface world once again, and it’s pretty nice, actually.
We need more civil people in this series, lol.
Anyway, first of all, Ain did not care at all, lol.
I mean, look at her, casually trying to get in the capital with a girl wrapped like a shawarma and all, which understandably alerted the gatekeeper, lol.
Then next she enters boss man Faneed’s office like she owns the place.
And Faneed was like “Oh God, what happened this time now”, just absolutely exhausted the moment Ain came in, which is, again, understandable.
Still, Ain was pretty pissed this time, Ciel as well.
The girl was just a random spring roll by the end of the first half.
But yeah, it seems like it wasn’t only the guildmaster that messed up and forgot his duties, but the knights as well.
As for the second half, Viviana once again~! While even Ain feels the Carol Sorcery Nut Aura ™ from her, Viviana really differentiates here.
I really like how Viviana and AinCiel interacts.
It’s much closer to Perla and Ain’s master-disciple relationship, while also leaning on Carol and Ain’s equal peer relationship.
Viviana respects Ain as someone better in sorcery, while also seeing her as someone younger than her.
Well, in short, she doesn’t have Carol’s socialization issues, lol.
But yeah, as usual, Ain is a meanie, lol.