|Author: Ryuusen Hirotsugu||Original Source: Syosetu||Word Count: 3204 characters|
|Translator: Nomad||English Source: Re:Library||Word Count: 1402 words|
It was getting late at night already, only a few minutes left before the meeting began. Most of the main members were already in Sero’s room when Mira and the others arrived.
「It seems everyone is already here, perfect. There’s someone I’d like to introduce to you before the meeting starts.」
Soon after entering the room, Arlon gestured with his gaze to the person who followed him. Uzume was there, wearing a knee length skirt and shrine-maiden-like robes, covered by a coat with drawings of cats. She was a guest to their meeting.
「Nice to meet you, everyone from Écarlate Carillon. I’m Uzume, I guess you could call me the founder of the Fifty Bells.」
As everyone’s eyes focused on her, she spoke with a low but dignified voice. She followed with a deep bow, 「I’m very thankful for your cooperation.」
There were some gasps of surprise from Emera’s group. They were obviously shocked seeing the Fifty Bells’ commander randomly visit their meeting.
「I’m Écarlate Carillon’s leader, Sero. It’s my pleasure to be in your presence. Chimera Clauzen’s atrocities affect all of humanity, so any decent person would offer their help.」
Sero, representing all of Écarlate Carillon, responded with a calm demeanor. Emera’s group also calmed down and nodded, showing they supported their leader’s opinion. Once the two leaders had greeted each other, Emera and the others introduced themselves one after another. Once that was done, the meeting proper started.
「Let me start with reporting my findings.」
Mira raised her hand and was the first one to talk, telling everything she experienced after she left and went to Roseline to investigate the Graveyard of War Memorials.
She explained how the ruins were underneath a building owned by the Melville Trading Corporation, and how the alchemist Johann, the person who knew how to manufacture Black Mist Stones, had his family held hostage so he would continue working for Chimera, but now Mira had rescued his wife and daughter.
Then she related how she returned to Sentopolly, the incident in the rocky mountains, and how she captured Isaac who told her the truth about Sentopolly. With that, her report was over.
「That… can’t be…」
「Are you serious?」
Emera and Asbar raised their voices. Such a reaction was expected from anyone after hearing that Chimera Clauzen had built the entire city they were in. The others also looked surprised, but they had already had a few hunches, or rather, felt something was off, so it was easier for them to believe that.
「I see. I already felt like there were way too many corrupt government officials here, but that explains their background.」
Zef said that, looking slightly disgusted. He had been investigating underground deals, and found many people directly related to the government in those circles. Especially amongst middle level officials like Isaac, there were many involved with bribes and laundering money.
「I felt strong vestiges of spirit power in the ground here, so I thought this territory was especially loved by them. But I never expected it was because of…」
Fricca looked the most horrified.
There were times when spirits, the good neighbors of humans, would bless certain pieces of land. Their power would seep into the ground, which would lead to increased harvests, and many other benefits. The Three Gods’ Countries had been blessed like that in the past, and Fricca had felt a similar power in Sentopolly as there.
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All spellcasters could see spirits, but how much of their power was visible depended on each spellcaster’s affinity. But Fricca was slightly different, she could see the spirits’ presence very vividly regardless of her own power. Thanks to that she had noticed there was something slightly different in Sentopolly compared to the other countries, but only now she knew what it was.
Sentopolly was the opposite of those countries. It had never been blessed, Chimera Clauzen had forced spirits to imbue their power into the land. Fricca looked betrayed, though she already felt something was off, so she just clenched her fists tightly.
「I was already suspicious of the many Melville buildings near most state institutions, but this explains everything.」
Sero had been investigating the state institutions and their surroundings.
Armed with everything Mira had found out, he could see a clear connection between Chimera Clauzen, Sentopolly, and the Melville Trading Corporation. According to Sentopolly’s laws, only corporations with special permission could build establishments close to state institutions. The process of obtaining such permission was rigorous and difficult as well, but from what he had seen, Melville had an unnatural amount of buildings in such places.
That made more sense when accounting for the newly gained information. At the same time, everything Mira had found out aligned with their findings too, which gave them a clearer picture of their enemy.
「First off, no one can lie to me.」
After Mira was done, it was Uzume’s turn to talk. She began with an explanation of her skills. How she could hypnotize others, so they would reply to any question asked without lying.
With that out of the way, she began talking about the interrogation of the two prisoners.
Then she explained how most of the government officials in Sentopolly are just stand-ins, so even if threatened with force, they would know nothing. Chimera Clauzen’s actual top members rarely go out of the main base, so a frontal attack would be the only way to get them.
There are multiple entrances to the main base, but they are all hidden, so finding someone who knows an entrance would be the first step. Though even if they found an entrance, there was always the possibility it would be destroyed as soon as they found out they were compromised.
「I know this is important knowledge so I’d like to confirm it from another source, but…」
Done with what she had to say, Uzume’s words trailed off as she turned towards Mira. She nodded, and continued where Uzume left off.
「There’s this Sky Denizen I spoke to before. He has planned to storm a fort that controls many defense systems of the main base in seven days. If that attack is successful, infiltrating the main base should prove easier. There’s a small issue with this man though, we have a common enemy, but his objective is different, so I couldn’t recruit him to our ranks. So we’ll have to time our attack to his. So, in seven days, or more like six by now, we’ll have to determine the location of an entrance.」
Saying that, Mira looked slightly troubled. 「Apparently there’s someone he despises there, and I couldn’t convince him to wait」 she added, finishing her explanation.
After all these decades, this was the first time they obtained information about Chimera Clauzen’s main base, but now they only had six days to find an entrance. If they did not, it would not matter whether the Sky Denizen succeeded or failed, the main base’s defenses would be repaired and strengthened. Or in the worst case, they would close all entrances and seclude themselves for a long time.
So they could not allow themselves to miss the date.
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Sero muttered the remaining time to himself before pondering in silence for a while, then just said they would need to do what was needed. After all, Mira had already gotten enough information to deduce where many other entrances could be.
Mira and Uzume were done then, so now Arlon spoke of what he had learned about the main base’s defenses, the Stalward Dolls, and detailed what their minimum strengths and weaknesses were. Usually those dolls were only used for vigilance and defense, so no respectable person knew how to fight them. So in the rare cases someone actually fought them, it was common for even experienced warriors to fail miserably.
There was also the possibility that they were used to defend other places apart from the main base, so it was still good to know about them, just in case.
「Whew… soldiers that don’t feel pain huh. That sounds really tricky.」
Zef was used to fighting monsters by targeting their vital spots, so he found it difficult to fight those dolls that had no such spots. His face looked desolate just thinking about it.