|Author: Ryuusen Hirotsugu||Original Source: Syosetu||Word Count: 2896 characters|
|Translator: Nomad||English Source: Re:Library||Word Count: 1338 words|
『By the way, what was the name of the company that received that warning? I’m pretty sure that region is chock full of different companies.』
「Ah, what was it again…umm… I think it was something like Doles Company.」
After Solomon asked that, Mira mumbled in thought for a moment and somehow managed to wring out the name from her hazy memory.
『I see, Doles Company, huh…』
「Oh, you know of it?」
『I guess you can say that. Or rather, I looked into it during the whole Chimera Clauzen incident, and it kept showing up in the reports. It’s a cesspool of corruption.』
Solomon had also investigated the Doles Company, and had uncovered countless counts of fraud, trading of illegal substances, collusion with bandit gangs, and even the assassination of business rivals. They had essentially committed every crime possible while somehow keeping it under wraps.
『I guess Fuzzy Dice really is a chivalrous thief.』
According to Solomon’s reports, the Phantom Thief Fuzzy Dice always targeted people with plenty of skeletons in their closets. Mira had also gathered as much from the stories and rumors she heard. Fuzzy Dice seemed to always act on behalf of the greater good.
And then Mira thought of something else.
「By the way, all of Fuzzy Dice’s past targets also must’ve done various stuff, right?」
Mira had gotten curious about that. She wanted to know what kind of atrocities someone had to commit to fall in the radar of a righteous thief like that. It seemed like Solomon had also been curious about that before.
『I’m pretty sure they did really bad things. Wait a little, I swear I put those reports around here… Okay, I got them, so…』
Solomon had kept the results of his investigations nearby, and he read them aloud.
So far there were fourteen people targeted by Fuzzy Dice. Most of them were merchants, but there were a few adventurers, workers of the guild, or even nobles amongst them as well. Their crimes were also severe, with counts that usually included murder.
「That’s a lot of scum, though there’s one attack that seems rather plain…」
『Yeah, looking at it again I can see what you mean.』
Out of the fourteen victims, if they really could be called that, there was one name that caught Mira and Solomon’s attention.
His name was Gerhard Helmann, a noble who governed over a remote region of Grimdart. It was also that attack which made Fuzzy Dice’s name spread and become known throughout the world.
In the present day, Fuzzy Dice’s name was synonymous with an advance notice, followed by a perfectly executed heist which generated even more acclaim from the public. But according to the reports, there had been no advance notice for that first attack.
「That one looks far less glamorous to the latest attacks.」
『It almost feels like he hadn’t fully developed his identity yet.』
The report included the first person Fuzzy Dice targeted. Apparently Fuzzy Dice’s main objective there had been to steal proof of the noble’s crimes, exposing them for the entire world to see, while leaving his wealth untouched.
『I guess that means his main objective has always been to expose his target’s crimes first.』
「Or he simply couldn’t forgive his crimes.」
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Fuzzy Dice’s attack had revealed Gerhard’s crime, human trafficking. That was a heinous crime, and even if Fuzzy Dice’s next targets had committed multiple other crimes, Gerhard’s was multiple steps worse.
But there was another important detail in the report. The people Baron Gerhard captured and sold off were all war orphans.
『It seems like there was quite an uproar when this was brought to light.』
The report included a detailed account of everything that happened, which Solomon read out loud with intrigue. Grimdart’s reaction to the incident was also described there.
Even if someone was a noble, they were not allowed to participate in heinous acts. But nobles were also in a position that allowed them to sweep evidence under the rug, as long as it was something minor. Gerhard had also utilized his authority that way, appearing like a lawful lord on the outside, while sullying his hands trafficking humans behind closed doors.
Human trafficking or owning slaves was not permitted in Grimdart. So if everything came to light, the baron would not be let off easy. But whenever any form of investigation was launched, someone with connections to the baron would take over the investigation and sabotage it. There was actually a long list of failed investigations into his actions.
And that was when Fuzzy Dice made his gallant entrance. He would not yield to a noble’s machinations, skillfully digging up undeniable proof, and then making everything public. That was how Gerhard’s true face was exposed to the world.
After that, there was no way for the noble to try hiding everything again, and the full weight of the law fell upon him.
『The whole country’s management was mobilized, and their secret service were able to locate many orphans who had already been sold as slaves.』
That all had happened nine years in the past. Once judgment was passed on the baron, the public raised their concerns for the victims of his actions. This was shortly after the Defense of the Three Gods’ Countries, so its effects could still be felt, everyone having to endure harsh living conditions. The news of a noble trying to make a fortune out of the misery of so many poor children made everyone’s heart ache, and the news spread quickly to neighboring countries.
It was a world torn apart by a great war, people struggled just by keeping themselves alive. Few people had the resources necessary to even think of someone else’s children, even if they were orphans left behind by the war.
But children were also the light of the future. There were people who firmly believed that. The news that an evil noble had been brought to justice was like a ray of sunlight amidst the gloom.
And so the world celebrated and supported Fuzzy Dice’s feat. The resulting clamor demanding help for those poor children affected also spread through the entire country.
While the treasury’s coffers were already stretched thin, if they ignored those pleas, public unrest would just keep growing. So the government was forced to act.
『They rescued the orphans who had been sold off. That was likely also part of the plan of the mysterious thief.』
Tracking the various channels orphans had been sold through was an enormous task for a lone thief, but he succeeded in forcing the government to do it for him. At that point, Solomon could not stop himself from grumbling about someone manipulating public opinion to force the government though.
「Somehow it seems like orphans were at the heart of everything now.」
Mira had suspected Artesia had built and funded an orphanage. Fuzzy Dice seemed to be a big sponsor of orphanages, and his first heist had culminated in the rescue of war orphans caught by a human trafficking ring. That was certainly an intriguing connection.
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「Wait, could it be that Fuzzy Dice’s identity is actually Artesia?」
『No way. That definitely sounds like an overreaching…though actually…』
She would do anything if it helped a child. That was the main impression both had of Artesia.
『But that was only the first heist, there’s a lot of other targets who were not involved with children. And sending warning letters before stealing doesn’t sound like her at all.』
After a short debate, they stopped trying to connect Fuzzy Dice and Artesia. Apart from her behavior towards children, Artesia had always been of calm demeanor, like a motherly figure. Nothing at all like the Fuzzy Dice rumors described.
「Well, whichever the case, I’ll be able to ask Fuzzy Dice directly once my plan plays out.」
『Yeah, that’s true. That might be for the best.』