|Author: Ryuusen Hirotsugu||Original Source: Syosetu||Word Count: 2579 characters|
|Translator: Nomad||English Source: Re:Library||Word Count: 1204 words|
Someone who resembled the Saint Wiseman, Artesia, seemed to be involved with that orphanage. Solomon had repeated the information Mira had first obtained when she learned about that place, mentioning it was somewhere in the mountains of northeastern Grimdart.
Solomon had already sent various people to search for an unnamed village in those areas, but either they were still lacking some important information, or the village was concealed by a barrier, as they had been unable to locate anything that matched the description.
「I actually have a bit of an idea about that.」
Mira proudly announced that she had a way to find a hidden village that not even a king with all his resources was able to locate.
『Oh, that’s incredible. What are you planning?』
Solomon’s voice raised in pitch slightly, indicating his curiosity had been piqued. So Mira decided to tempt him more, asking 「Hmm, you want to know then?」
『Yes I do! I want to know!』
「Well, I guess I have no choice then.」
Solomon’s excited and curious response only inflated Mira’s ego further, as her voice took an even more self-important tone as she detailed her plan. Even though it was ridden with failure points and assumptions, she still sounded completely confident about it.
Mira’s plan revolved around capturing the Phantom Thief Fuzzy Dice.
From what she had heard, Fuzzy Dice often made donations to orphanages, so maybe he also knew that orphanage in the unnamed village. It was actually a rather straightforward plan.
『Hmm, I see, I see. That doesn’t sound too bad.』
But shockingly enough, Solomon’s reaction was rather positive. The reason for that was that he had been unable to find anything at all about the orphanage.
In Grimdart, most of the orphanages were managed by the Three Gods Church. Then there were another few which were sponsored and managed by nobles, and a handful which were run independently by a local municipality.
Due to Grimdart’s strict rules, all orphanages had to be registered with the general government as well, regardless if they had been founded by the church, nobles, or local cities.
That meant that by checking Grimdart’s records, they should be able to find any orphanage in that territory. But there was not a single trace of it, which could only be explained if the orphanage had never been registered to begin with.
Anyone funding an orphanage also had to report it to the government, and usually obtained various benefits in exchange. There were only a few reasons why someone would choose not to do that. Either someone involved had a past they wanted to keep quiet, or there was some other form of irregularity in the orphanage’s funding.
Artesia might come to mind as someone with a secret past, but anyone who knew her would know that could not be the case. She was extremely fond of children, so she would never do anything that could put them under scrutiny or suspicion.
So maybe there was something involving the funding received by the orphanage that could not be made public. According to the rumors, the orphanage in the unnamed village had taken in more than a hundred children, so sustaining them would require considerable funds. Even if Artesia was there, there was only so much she could earn as a Saint healer. And if she tried to monetize her other Saint Arts, word of her superior ability would spread like wildfire and Solomon would have heard at least something.
『Apparently, orphanages managed by the church have a limit to how much funding they can receive, and the limit is even lower for remote areas, as there’s no guarantee there’s actually a church in there. Public donations are also unlikely to reach such places. But if they really had to house more than a hundred children, I honestly can’t see a way for them to operate within the law, but if the money comes from some mysterious thief, then they’d be way better off by not registering the orphanage with the government or the church. Your idea is actually quite plausible, which is quite the achievement for you.』
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Mira had just randomly assumed the Phantom Thief Fuzzy Dice could know the orphanage. But Solomon quickly thought of various supporting arguments, settling on the idea being the most plausible scenario.
「I know, I know!」
That response just put Mira in an even better mood. She did not even seem to understand what the last portion of his sentence implied, and simply relished the praise. Solomon went along with her, adding 『You’re really incredible,』 to which she smugly replied, 「I just needed to think for a second and I figured it all out!」
『So about catching the thief, do you actually know where to search for him?』
After hyping up Mira for a bit, Solomon finally reeled in the conversation again. The Phantom Thief Fuzzy Dice always seemed to appear out of nowhere, and then vanished without trace. No one knew if he had some sort of hidden base or house. So how was Mira planning on catching someone like that?
Mira had an ace under her hand though, the rumors she had overheard recently.
「As a matter of fact, I do. I heard there’s a company in Haxthausen that received a warning from him. It’ll be easier to just wait for him and capture him, instead of trying to sniff out his hideout, right?」
Mira replied almost instantly, still recovering from her earlier outburst of joy. While it was possible to try revealing Fuzzy Dice’s real identity or his hideout, if she knew when and where he would appear, it was easier to set up an ambush. At least that was Mira’s current idea.
『Oh, he sent an advance notice?! Yes, going there and waiting is definitely the best way. And then you’ll face him… There have been many well-known adventurers who were tasked with capturing him, but so far none were able to even touch him. I really wonder how it’ll go for you, will you be able to capture him?』
Solomon’s voice was giddy with excitement, looking forward to the result of Mira’s attempt at capturing the Phantom Thief Fuzzy Dice. Meanwhile Mira’s response was, 「Isn’t it obvious? I’ll obviously capture him,」 sounding perfectly firm and filled with confidence.
『Oh, do you have a plan then?』
「Of course. And it’ll be infallible, infallible I tell you.」
Solomon tried to prod a little more, and Mira’s voice sounded even more pleased.
『Ohhh, that’s incredible. Tell me what you’ll do!』
「That’s a secret. Soon enough the hot news that I just captured the Phantom Thief will reach you, that’s how you’ll learn my plan!」
Mira’s infallible plan to catch the Phantom Thief was standing right next to her, but she decided to keep it a secret with a smug grin instead.
In reality there were other ways to track down the orphanage’s location, like searching for rumors, purchase records from merchants, or tailing people, but Mira’s mind was set on capturing the Phantom Thief and would not allow other ideas in.