|Author: Kaburagi Haruka||Original Source: Syosetu||Word Count: 2579 characters|
|Translator: Aurum||English Source: Re:Library||Word Count: 1150 words|
Chapter 82 – Coincidental Discovery
The time was around 2 AM.
I taught Cloud how to fight as an adventurer.
He’ll eventually have to leave the orphanage. There are bound to be times this will be useful for him.
And since he’s being bullied it’s possible he’ll die before he becomes an adult. Moreso since he’s a half-demon, you often hear talk about such investigations being buried in the darkness.
I started heading home two hours later while avoiding the public’s view.
My height is about as short as a gnome’s and since I’m hiding my face and hair, anybody who sees me out this late at night will definitely be suspicious of me.
Of course, it was so late that only a few houses still had lights on and the odds of passing by other people were low.
Even so, there were guards patrolling around, so it’s not like it’d be impossible to get caught.
Thus, I ran along the rooftops instead of the roads to make sure and avoid everyone’s gazes and as a bit of training.
I was working up a good sweat and the night breeze felt great. However, if I went to bed like this I’d stink of sweat, so I’ll have to wipe myself down before that.
As I was thinking this while running along the roofs, I suddenly heard a small scream.
I suddenly hit the breaks by wrapping thread around the chimney jutting up from the roof.
I manipulate several steel threads together and use their elasticity to gently catch myself.
There’s nobody in my line of sight. Considering the time and that I’m on a rooftop, there’s no way anyone would be looking this way unless they were specifically intending to.
Then… is it the chimney where I wrapped the threads?
“Is it coming from here?”
Listening carefully I can make out the sound of something being struck. What’s more, it doesn’t sound like cloth or wood being hit, that’s the sound of flesh being struck.
In the meantime, a small moan echoed. I felt like I heard it somewhere before.
I dove into the chimney.
It’s a small chimney, so it’s a bit narrow, but fortunately, my own body is in the running for the minimal size.
I was able to deftly climb down using the soot stuck inside as footholds.
It seems that the lower part was connected to the fireplace, and thin smoke was still hanging over the cinders from the firewood.
If I let my hair or scarf droop down, there’s a high possibility I’ll be found out. To fix this I tightly wrapped it around my face, this also lowers the odds of me choking on the smoke.
“Still, how long we gotta keep her alive?”
“We gotta be sure to keep her alive until the transaction’s done. Otherwise ain’t no telling what Horton’s likely to do.”
“Man, what a drag. Forget returning her, how ‘bout we just sell her off to a slave trader and be done with it?”
“You idiot! We’re negotiating. If we say we’ll return her, we’ll return her.”
“Oh, as expected of Boss. So honest, so diligent!”
“But I never said anything about returning her alive!”
“Gahahaha, so evil!”
I could hear such a conversation, followed by the sound of flesh being struck and soft moans.
However, after that, there was no screaming, only the occasional moan. It’s likely the girl has passed out.
The moans seem to be an automatic response when trying to breathe thanks to the strikes to her abdomen.
“Keep the girl alive until the deal’s done, and so she doesn’t run away before then, Klon, Setz, and Joey keep watch over her in 3 shifts ‘round the clock.”
“Balde will come with me to the negotiations with Horton tomorrow. So I’m going to lay down for now.”
I hear the sound of footsteps leaving followed by a door opening and shutting afterward.
“Balde’s bro is gonna head to sleep now huh? Must be nice.”
“You wanna join Gale, Setz?”
“Whoa now, I’ll have to give that a pass. Just being ‘round Gale is scary as heck.”
“I know right?”
With that, another set of footsteps walked away.
Once the door closed, the man named Setz muttered, “Aww, if only you were just 5 years older, there’d be better ways to have fun with you.”
“I’m not saying you should indulge yourself, but it’s not like I don’t know how you feel.”
“Wait. Maybe it can be done?”
“Yo, you serious? You’ve reached a new level of degeneracy.”
“Don’t knock it till you try it!!”
“Stop it, if you make a wrong move she could die, which means we’ll all be killed.”
“Gyahahaha, that’s right! I give up!”
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Vulgar laughter filled the room.
The voice was getting on my nerves, I felt my bloodlust rising up inside me.
This feeling was something I’d grown used to in my previous life, right before I’d act impulsively.
The moans were from a little girl and Horton’s name kept coming up during the conversation.
By some twist of fate, it seems I somehow found the headquarters of the group that kidnapped Matisse.
I chose an isolated path on the way back. In other words, since that bunch would also be avoiding public scrutiny they’d likely take similar paths.
Of course, the coincidence factor is large. If she hadn’t screamed in pain at the exact moment I happened to pass by, I would’ve undeniably gone past.
In the first place, if it wasn’t me who happened to be passing by, there’s a chance their conversation wouldn’t have aroused any suspicion.
Problem is, what do I do from here?
Common sense would tell me to report it to Cortina or Maxwell and have them raid the hideout first thing in the morning to gain total control.
But how do I explain it?
Do I honestly report that after spending the night training some strange boy I happened to discover their hideout on the way back home?
Like hell I can tell them that.
However, Matisse isn’t in a situation where she can be left alone for long.
That guy, the man named Gale, had said he’d kill Matisse once the negotiations were complete.
And I had already said I’d go back to the Horton company tomorrow, well today, to keep negotiating.
It’s possible it’ll already be too late if we wait until the morning to catch these guys.
“Damn it’s chilly today, the fire in the fireplace has already gone out, right?”
Hearing that, I hauled 𝓪𝓼𝓼 up the chimney. If I stayed around I’d be smoked out.
While crawling up the chimney I decided to prepare myself.
“It seems… the assassin Reid’s turn has come once more after all this time.”
I started taking action as soon as I crawled out of the chimney.