|Author: Kobayashi Homare||Original Source: Syosetu||Word Count: 2038 characters|
|Translator: Nomad||English Source: Re:Library||Word Count: 980 words|
Once Luvias and Diaria left for the palace, I strolled into the city myself. The groups of one priest with one spy had already scattered and started entering the city from different parts, and our other allies had also started working on their roles. The priests’ only goal was to cast a huge spell over the entire city, so even if they found a demon they would only observe them. Only the members of the heroes’ parties would fight when the time came.
“Man, fighting is fun and all, but sometimes it’s nice to do things this way too.”
“Don’t be so loud, Bandit.”
“Be careful to not blow your cover now.”
“I know, I know. Ya watch out too.”
Bandit seemed to be enjoying himself as he walked into the crowd, dressed as a common adventurer. His sisters, Avenis and Epsilon, dressed themselves as street performers and would go investigate various pubs.
Annero stood out a lot, so instead of a disguise, he went straight to the adventurer’s guild under the pretext of wanting to learn about the demons that attacked before. He also stood out a lot as one of the heroes, so there was still the possibility one of the infiltrated demons would try attacking him instead. He looked quite strong himself, so even if that happened I knew he could defend himself.
Karin entered as a regular adventurer, while Ciel pretended to be a traveling scholar. Her staff usually stood out a lot, but many travelers held similar canes without magic powers, so if she used it properly no one would notice.
I took off the priest robes I usually wore when going out, and instead wore a full set of armor. Before coming here I had visited a weapons shop and had been lucky enough to find armor that fit me. Thanks to that, it was hard to tell whether I was a man or woman from my getup now. It was annoying hearing my armor rattle while I walked, but there were other people wearing similar armor around so at least I did not stand out. Either way I was going to fly in if I was needed somewhere urgently, so it did not matter much.
I walked around the city seeing how things were. The capital was far from the battlefield, and it was constantly visited by foreigners, so it did not seem like many people felt in danger or worried. I did notice an increased amount of knights and soldiers in the streets compared to other cities I visited, but that was about it.
“Alright…where to first?”
Annero was covering the adventurer’s guild, so there was no need to go there. The other places where people gathered often were inns, restaurants, and pubs. There were plenty of places like that in a big city like this, and I knew I would hear a few interesting stories if I visited them. We had plenty of people investigating the center of the city, so I decided to look for more isolated places, which were usually cheaper and dirtier. As I got further away from the center, the streets were less populated and I could see more dangerous looking people. There were piles of garbage in the corners, plenty of stray dogs, and my nose felt like it was about to fall off from the stink. I also saw women wearing barely any clothes, presumably harlots, on some of the corners. All in all, I had reached the slums.
(I doubt the demons would come all the way to these parts, but it might be worth investigating regardless.)
I found an inn that caught my eye, it was dark inside, with a bar and many tables past the entrance. Most of the guests were male, wearing worn and dirty leather armor and cheap swords and knives. I doubt any of them had an honest lifestyle. I felt all their eyes on me as I walked through the tables and went to the bar, the man behind which looked annoyed at me.
“I’d like to stay. Are there any empty rooms?”
If I lowered my voice as much as I could, I could barely pass as a young boy. He raised his eyebrow in suspicion hearing my voice, but he did not seem like he would pry.
“This ain’t a place for someone in squeaky clean shiny armor like you lad, the big street is where you wanna be.”
He did not seem like he wanted me there to begin with, or maybe he just served regulars. Either way, he wanted me gone before I could even ask for the prices. I knew this was a dangerous place, but I had not expected to be refused as a client like that, so I was left speechless for a bit. Clearing my throat, I tried again.
“But I bet it’s cheaper here. I don’t have much, so I’d prefer to stay here.”
“Is that helmet of yours too thick or what? This ain’t the place for you!”
Before I got a reply, one of the men sitting behind me stood up yelling. Other guests stood up after him, probably his companions. He took long strides approaching me, then leaned down close enough that I could feel his breath as he poked my armor.
“The old man told you to find another place, so get lost!”
“I know…but isn’t this supposed to be an inn?”
“You only get to stay if you’re with us, or we approve of you. Outsiders stay out!”
I knew the people in the slums like to form groups like that, but it was rare for them to be as strict as these guys. There had to be a reason why they acted that way, and I wanted to find out what it was.
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