|Author: Kisasaki Suzume
|Original Source: Syosetu
|English Source: Re:Library
On their way back from the guard station to the Rock Lizard Inn, someone called out to Lucella from an unexpected height.
Looking up, Lucella saw Monica on the rooftop of an inn by the roadside, pointing a box-shaped object toward her.
With a light leap, Lucella reached the awning of the inn’s second-floor window, then jumped again to land on the roof of the three-story inn.
“Oh, you didn’t have to climb up. I was going to come over there.”
“Wait, what were you just… using? A Chrome Shooter?”
“Yes, exactly. Look, here’s your face.”
Monica directed the peephole of the box-shaped object toward Lucella.
Peering through the small window of the small box, oddly enough, Lucella and Tim’s figures looking up at the rooftop of the inn became visible.
This Chrome Shooter seemed to have a function to ‘replay’ the captured scenery. The one Lucella had borrowed from the Guild for work before required an external playback device called a Peek Box. However, the one Monica had seemed to be a slightly higher-quality version of the Chrome Shooter.
“The owner of this inn has a hobby of collecting Chrome Shooters, you know. I got him to show me how to use it.”
“Seriously, sister treats me like a child, saying something like ‘I’m busy, so I’ll leave you with someone and give you a toy.’”
She was wondering how it all came about, but apparently, Viola had entrusted Monica to this inn until the cleaning and security preparations were finished. In reality, the inn smelled so bad to an unhealthy degree, so it would have been cruel to make her wait inside the Rock Lizard Inn.
If she could be allowed to play with the Chrome Shooter she wanted to use, it would serve as a good change of pace. It seemed likely that Wein or his grandmother had convinced the owner, who had Chrome Shooters, to let Monica play with one.
Despite saying she was being treated like a child, Monica seemed to be thoroughly enjoying herself.
“Have you figured out the culprit behind the prank?”
“I see. Well, do your best then. I’ll be having fun… I’ll show you the photos I took later, so tell me your thoughts.”
“Yes, I’m looking forward to it.”
Monica started taking pictures of the surroundings from the rooftop, and Lucella leaped down from there.
Tim, who had been waiting on the ground, greeted Lucella with a wry smile.
“You’re quite agile. …Did Monica take refuge here? We should make sure she can sleep at the inn by evening.”
“Yeah… well, the cleaning is done, so after Viola and I use magic to deodorize the place together, it should be manageable…”
Lucella searched her mind to see if there were any good magic items that could be easily obtained nearby. She knew that handling everything “manually” wasn’t ideal if there was a possibility for improvement.
However, for now, the priority was ensuring they could sleep there, so despite its inefficiency, using magic might be necessary.
“Oh, hey, Lucella?”
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Lucella looked up when her name was called and saw a man with white hair wearing a white coat approaching. He carried a large leather bag. It was Dr. Cherles Reiner, the former attending physician of Giselle.
“Doctor Reiner! Does that bag mean you’re resuming work?”
“Well, I’m making house calls to the evacuation center. People who have been convalescing during a long stay can sometimes experience changes in their health just from a change in their environment. I was asked by an acquaintance to help out.”
Smiling, Dr. Reiner chuckled, almost as if making an excuse.
Kugutfulm was known for its therapeutic baths, a place where those with weak bodies could recuperate. Even under normal circumstances, there was a high demand for doctors, but in times of disasters or upheavals, this demand was even greater. Some medical facilities might have suffered flood damage, and they would have to attend to patients whose health was deteriorating due to the change in their environment. The situation was such that no matter how many doctors there were, it was still not enough.
Understanding this, Charles was visiting the evacuation centers. Hearing about this, Lucella had an idea.
“Um, I have a favor to ask, if you wouldn’t mind…”
“I’ll listen to anything you ask. So, what’s the matter?””
Around the Rock Lizard Inn, surveillance crystal orbs were set up. The building had been cleaned and deodorized, and it was nearing the end of a long summer day. Charles, having completed his house calls, visited Golden Helmet with a collection of rumors he had gathered during his rounds.
“I’ve collected rumors from everyone I’ve seen during my rounds, as well as from people I’ve treated. Well, given the current situation, everyone is sensitive to outsiders, and there are some who say crazy things, but even considering that, it seems like there are suspicious characters around.”
Meticulously, Charles handed over a memo, much like a medical record… It contained rumors from the visitors staying in the city.
Given that it was shortly after the battle with Maltgartz, the city of Kugutfulm was on high alert. Entry screening was stricter than usual, and the designation and management of lodgings for residents were more meticulously carried out.
Even so, they needed people who could contribute to the recovery efforts and merchants who could provide what was lacking, so they were still accepting outsiders. The perpetrator of this incident had likely entered the city disguised among them.
After all, many inns had suffered flood damage, so lodging options were limited… Staying secretly in an underground inn would also be difficult. If that was the case, someone somewhere should be keeping an eye out for suspicious individuals.
Lucella had entrusted Charles with gathering such rumors.
“The most suspicious person I encountered came from elsewhere for work and fell ill on the same day, claiming to need rest. The boss of the job apparently suggested calling a doctor, but the person declined, saying they dislike doctors.”
“That sounds incredibly suspicious.”
“If they’re resting from work, they could still move around discreetly during the day, right?”
Lucella hadn’t expected results to come out overnight, but the memo already contained some promising information.
Everyone’s faces were marked with wry smiles.
“I’m sorry I couldn’t get clearer information… I only managed to gather this much.”
“No, this helps a lot. I’ll make sure this information gets to the guard squad.”
“I’ll talk to you again after tomorrow. If I find out anything, I’ll get in touch.”
“Yeah. Then all we can do is… wait.”
Even with promising information, it wasn’t as though they had identified the culprit. Moreover, as adventurers of Golden Helmet, they didn’t have the authority to conduct criminal investigations on their own. They could only provide information to the investigative authorities and remain vigilant.
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“It would be helpful if the culprit is found soon, but considering the guard squad is already busy, we can’t ask for too much,” Tim concluded.
“Well, let’s take it easy. It’s a lot better than lying in ambush for monsters,” Wein added.
“Anyway, since preparations are done, I’ll go fetch Monica,” Viola said.
“Oh, in that case, I’ll come too,” Lucella joined in.
Although she said she was going to fetch Monica, Viola headed not for the entrance but toward the back of the inn. Seeing Lucella’s puzzled expression, she turned back.
“…We are going to fetch her, right?”
“I set up a teleportation circle that leads directly from the other inn to here. I thought it would be better for Monica not to walk through the city.”
Teleportation magic was generally advanced. However, if you pre-laid teleportation circles at both the entrance and exit, you could stabilize the spell. Additionally, with Viola’s level of skill, it would likely be easy to teleport someone else along with her.
It seemed she had used this method to send Monica.
“I’m sure Monica has been taught how to use the Chrome Shooter… I’m just a bit worried, you know. Can Monica really have a proper conversation with someone she doesn’t know when they’re alone?”
“On my way back from the guard station, I happened to pass by the inn where Monica is staying. She was taking photos from the rooftop.”
Casually mentioning this, Lucella’s words caused Viola to freeze in motion, like the gears of a misaligned clockwork puppet.
Hearing the rigidness in Viola’s voice, Lucella finally realized.
To avoid anyone around knowing Monica’s location, Viola had used a teleportation circle. It was hard to believe that Monica wouldn’t have understood Viola’s intention in doing so.
So, under these circumstances, why did Monica reveal herself…?