|Author: Ryuusen Hirotsugu||Original Source: Syosetu||Word Count: 2651 characters|
|Translator: Nomad||English Source: Re:Library||Word Count: 1092 words|
Mira had also noticed the difference. She surveyed the area with Life Sensing as much as she could, but there was no trace of the guards they saw when they came the first time. It was the same even when they reached the building, there was not even a shadow.
It was a really odd situation, the guards were supposed to be watching Johann, but they were completely gone. As carefully as possible, they opened the front door and entered the mansion. The entrance still looked the same, shrouded in an eerie darkness.
「I don’t understand. Even Johann’s presence is gone.」
Mira activated Life Sensing again, checking every corner of the building she could, and then frowned while rubbing her chin.
「Hmm, he said he would gather documents to give us, yes?」
「That’s what he said, yeah. Do you think he had more things elsewhere and that he went to pick it up?」
Remembering his last words, Sasori mentioned the possibility that they had returned too quickly. If the documents he wanted were in a different place, then Johann would try going there, and the guards would follow him to fulfill their duties. It was not too far-fetched to think that.
「Umm… my husband mentioned documents you say?」
As Mira and Sasori convinced themselves of their theory, Angelique spoke up.
「Yeah, documents detailing his deals with the Melville Trading Corporation. He said he would give that to us if we rescued you and your daughter.」
「I see. I’m pretty sure he keeps all his important documents in the basement, he has this magical shelf where he stores anything important.」
Hearing Sasori’s response, Angelique tilted her head slightly as she recalled her husband’s mannerisms, then looked towards a corner of the entrance. It was too dark to see anything there, but according to her there was a passage underground there.
Rather than going to a separate building, Johann had probably gone underground. A basement also had very sturdy walls, which would explain why Life Sensing was unable to read him down there. The only issue was that now they had no way of explaining the disappearance of the guards.
「Maybe we should go look.」
It was best to check everything before forming conclusions. Thinking that, Mira went closer to Sasori and grasped her tail, wanting her to guide them.
「Miraaa, please stop touching my tail.」
With a grievous cry, Sasori slapped Mira’s hand off before holding it with her hand, and walked towards the stairs leading down. Angelique followed them after holding onto Worthramble’s hand. Luckily for them, there were small lights next to the stairs, clearly outlining the steps to make sure they would not fall.
「Seems like Johann did come down here.」
There was a switch to turn the lights on which was flipped, probably by Johann when he went down there. But as they descended the stairs Mira still could not find any Life Sensing readings. 「It’s all very odd,」 she added, glaring into the darkness.
「There are traces though, so someone must have been here recently.」
Focusing all her senses, Sasori also examined the place, reaching a similar conclusion as Mira. Going downstairs had been the correct choice, but Johann was not there either.
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If he went for the documents, then he would have taken them out and waited for Sasori and Mira to return. But there was no sign of him upstairs, so he should still be down there, though his presence was gone.
It was impossible to imagine he would have tried to escape without making sure his family was safe first. Everything was starting to indicate that something went wrong, so Mira and Sasori continued going downstairs.
They found a door at the end of the stairs, a room with stone walls inside. A lamp hung from the ceiling casting some light and revealing a messy scene. Many shelves were thrown over and papers Johann was presumably gathering were scattered on the floor. But there were little traces of actual destruction.
「It seems something happened here…」
That was obviously not a mess that happened normally, so Mira frowned while trying to keep her thoughts from assuming the worst. But at least they knew someone had disarranged the basement on purpose.
「Mira, look at this.」
Sasori quickly looked through the room, then leaned down while pointing at a bloodstain under some papers in a corner of the room.
「Hmm, it’s still fresh」
Mira looked where Sasori was leaning down, muttering that in a low voice. The blood had not dried yet, and they could see it had stained some of the papers too. They had no way of knowing whose blood that was for sure, but their first thought was obviously Johann. He was the main piece missing in the mansion.
The issue was how it ended that way. That he was attacked there meant that somehow Chimera had gotten wind of his treason, so they attacked him while he was trying to gather the documents. It was also easy to imagine one of the guards had done it.
Still, there was the issue of how they had found out. Mira and Sasori had been under the effect of Complete Suppression for their entire stay with Johann. There was no way they had been overheard through that unfair power. But that did not change reality. Johann was gone, and there was a bloodstain on the basement that could be his.
「Could that…be… Johann’s?」
As the two girls observed the bloodstain, Angelique timidly approached them, her face contorted in fear, before collapsing on the ground amongst the papers once she saw the blood.
「Don’t worry, it might look bad, but it wasn’t a lot of blood. Not to mention his skills are essential for them, so they would never put his life in danger.」
Mira put her hand on Angelique’s shoulder, forcing her to look into her eyes as she spoke with a firm voice.
「Yeah, it’s like Mira said. I promise we’ll rescue him like we did with you and Anne.」
Sasori smiled broadly trying to make her feel at ease. She was not just trying to comfort her, but truly believed her own words.
「Thank you very much. I’ll do anything you ask of me, so please save my husband.」
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Being comforted by two girls far younger than her, Angelique composed herself and forced a smile before bowing to the two.