Chapter 120: To the capital

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Author: Kobayashi Homare Original Source: Syosetu Word Count: 2912 characters
Translator: Nomad English Source: Re:Library Word Count: 1394 words
Editor(s): Deximus_Maximus

–––Ciel’s viewpoint

Karin and I took our decoy role seriously, attracting attention to ourselves, basically causing disturbances everywhere we went, while heading towards the capital. First we went to the city closest to Surfour, where we saw a group that looked like they were Stied’s men, and beat them up. They obviously started chasing us, but they could never reach us as I used Flight Magic. Only nobles had access to magic communication devices, and they would never use them for lowly criminals like us, so we had an easy time as distractions.

“I think that should attract plenty of attention.”
“Yeah. After everything we did they’ll be desperate to catch us, it’s their pride on the line after all.”

In the next city, we rented a room in an inn and lied down. Karin lazily took her equipment off, and spoke with a satisfied voice. I replied while I took mine off as well, and calculated our distance from the capital.

It would take two weeks to get there if we walked on the regular land route. A horse carriage would halve that. Just riding a horse would bring it down to around four or five days. We were halfway there between Surfour and the capital, and it took us three days to get here, so it was still too early for the criminal warrants to get here. But that aided us by making the enemy feel confused, unable to find us where they expected us to be.

“But Ciel, what’s the actual plan? Just beating people up on our way to the capital won’t tell us anything about Prince Magna’s location.”
“Well, that’s true… But I can’t think of anything better.”

Lapis had told us to investigate only if we could, but I felt like she was expecting some results at least. We also wanted to be helpful to them, though beating people up was not too different from being highway bandits. We really wanted to find out anything regarding Prince Magna, but we also could not think of a way.

Not to mention that many soldiers and knights were looking for him, not just in the capital but in the entire country. So what were the chances amateurs like us could find him sooner? No matter how much I thought about it there was no favorable outcome, which just made me feel gloomy.

But I had my trustworthy partner Karin with me. She did not have much in that head of hers, but unlike me that constantly overthinks stuff, she sometimes has random strokes of genius that no one else would think of.

“We should just use some unorthodox method, right? That’s also what Lapis told us.”
“Now that you mention it…”

She was right. Before we left, Lapis had said that they would search through the proper ways, but that we should cover any weird or illegal way we could think of. I was worrying so much I completely forgot that. I scratched my head condemning myself for my own stupidity, and tried to think of a new plan. Illegal ways… there were many options that sprung to mind, but what would be best?

“Do you have any suggestions, Karin?”
“Hmmm…what if we try sneaking somewhere? I’m not good at thinking though, so that’s all I have.”

Karin quickly gave up on thinking, and threw everything back at me. I was the one left in charge of thinking here anyway, so I had to meet those expectations.

“Well, if there’s some building that could give us info, sneaking in makes sense. Other than that…ah.”
“What? Did you think of something?”

Karin turned to look at me full of expectation. I just smiled awkwardly, whether it was because of her, or the stupid thought that just floated in my mind.

“How about…this?”

The idea I just came up…using criminals. Prince Magna had a good hiding place, and that was one of the reasons why he had not been found yet. But I thought there was another reason as well, their searching methods were wrong. Patrolling the city and interrogating anyone suspicious trying to obtain information, that was a well organized and usually effective way to find someone. But that only worked when looking for regular criminals. If someone hid in a noble’s territory, or disguised themselves as a completely different person, that method would not work.

That was why I thought of employing criminals. Essentially setting a thief to catch a thief. Those in the dark side of society had their own networks of information, and there was a chance that they had obtained information that the main government had not gotten yet. Though I had no proof of it…

It was also far more peaceful than Lapis’ suggestion of beating up nobles until they spoke. I was going to save that for a last ditch effort.

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“Trying to contact bandits living out in the wild might be out of the question, but maybe we can interact with those in jail or sneaking around the city. The capital is a pretty large place, so I’m sure it must be crawling with them. We can always coerce them with money or violence, but their help might be key to finding Prince Magna.”
“I…don’t know what to say, but that’s quite an amazing idea.”

Karin’s eyes were round with surprise, but she quickly tilted her head in doubt.

“How are we going to find them though?”
“So…I was thinking we could try running into them and making them talk no matter what, or helping them escape from jail under the condition they talk…”

Karin of all people was speechless. But what choice did I have! There was no other way I could think of!

“Let’s just…keep that as an option then. It could be a viable plan anyway. I’m sure something will come of it!”
“I hope so…”
“Anyway, let’s just rest now! We still have a long way to go.”

Being able to switch topics easily was Karin’s virtue. I imitated her and slipped inside my bed. The plan could hardly be called one, but I would get nowhere by thinking about it more. Deciding that, I closed my eyes.

§ § §

Early the next morning we left the inn and went to the next city with Flight Magic. First we walked along the main road, gathering information from the shops around. It was not to find Prince Magna though, but rather to know if Stied’s men were doing anything here too. We asked if anyone had gotten hurt, or if they knew where they were staying. We quickly learned about two of them, and beat them up to the point where they would never be able to stand straight again. Then we escaped the city and went to the next. We repeated that from one city to the next until we reached the capital.

“They really have a tight guard here.”
“I wonder how long it takes just to get inside…”

The city entrance had a long line of people. We could see many of them had built simple tents to wait the sleep through the night, and even merchants had set up camp nearby to offer their wares to the people waiting. The people living in the city and merchants could easily go in and out through a separate gate.

But slowing down the influx of people would only make the city’s economy worse, so I could not tell what Stied was thinking.

“What should we do? Line up too?”

Hearing Karin’s question I just shook my head. If we lined up with them, it would take an eternity to get in. While we waited, the reports of our actions in all the other cities would arrive here, and they could detain us in the line. That left only one option.

“Let’s wait until it’s dark and go inside with magic. It’s impossible to watch over every part of such a large city, so I’m sure we’ll find a place to land.”
“Let’s go hide somewhere in the meantime then. It could be bad if someone sees us before its time.”

In the end, we had to go a distance away from the capital, even though we had just gotten there. Eventually we would return with Flight Magic.


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