|Author: Tsunose Bun||Original Source: Syosetu||Word Count: 3024 characters|
|Translator: Jiro||English Source: Re:Library||Word Count: 1684 words|
The mansion of Count Fonan appeared to have been freshly remodeled or built in a fashionable style from the start.
The house itself was massive, with numerous chambers visible from the outside. The Count’s vast territory allowed for such a large structure to be built, as opposed to the higher houses that the nobility preferred.
They arrived at a gate with guards on both sides, which was still quite a distance from the mansion.
Visitors were greeted by a large garden that had been meticulously arranged with various trees and flowers. Count Fonan, who ruled the territory around the City of Logholt, wielded great influence, as the scenery showed.
“Fufu, what do you think?”
With a proud smile on his face, the Count, who was viewing the area around the house from the carriage window, inquired. In reply Merc turned towards him and smiled brightly.
“It’s a beautiful garden. It truly is spectacular.”
“Hahaha. If we have time I’ll show you around. But first, let’s have you rest in one of my guest rooms. They are my pride and joy. We’re here. Let’s get off.”
The Count was the first to exit the carriage when it arrived in front of the mansion’s entrance, followed by Merc. They took a few steps before being welcomed by about ten maids.
“Welcome back, Master.”
“Were there any changes while I was gone?”
The Count, followed by the Merc, moved quickly among the maids, who bowed their heads in respect. When he casually inquired for confirmation, the maids exchanged strange glances.
“Hm? Is something wrong?”
“This letter arrived for you, Master…”
One of the maids withdrew an envelope from her pocket and presented it to the Count, who examined the back of the envelope with a puzzled expression.
“No sender… Who’s this letter from?”
“We don’t know. We discovered it in front of the mansion’s entrance. However, according to the guards, no one has come to visit.”
“What? You can’t come here unless you first pass by the entrance gate. Just how in the world did a letter get here?”
Seeing the maid’s alarm, the Count quickly took the letter out from the envelope.
His expression stiffened as his gaze rested on the letter, and he turned to face the maid.
“Did you show this to Porto?”
“Y-Yes. When the head butler saw the letter, he hurriedly gathered his servants and left. He told us to tell you that he’d be back soon and that you should wait for him, Master…”
“I see. When he comes back, tell him to come to my room.”
The Count turned to leave after saying this, but then remembered that Merc was still there and turned to face her. His eyes were clearly agitated. Despite this, he smiled and added a quick nod.
“You’ll have to excuse me, Zera. Some things popped up. For the time being, wait for me in the guestroom. Someone! Take this lady to one of the guest rooms.”
“Right away, Master. Miss, please, come this way.”
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One of the maids said, and Merc was escorted away.
To avoid appearing suspicious, Merc made a puzzled expression and quietly followed the maid. Merc discreetly observed the Count entering one of the nearby rooms as he looked to his left and right in alarm, and smiled without anybody seeing.
The plan was going smoothly.
“I apologize for this, Miss. Please wait here for the Master until he is finished with his business.”
Merc was escorted into an elaborately decorated guest room and was invited to sit in a lavish chair, which she readily accepted. The maid, who had served as her guide, bowed deeply towards Merc as she apologized.
However, Merc, who had known since last night that she would have to wait due to a plan, nodded with a calm expression on her face.
“That’s okay. However, just waiting is no fun. Would you care to chat with me? Please, come sit near me.”
D-Did that sound right I wonder…
Merc smiled at the maid, still preoccupied with her ladylike conduct. When the maid saw Merc’s smile, she blushed and moved in closer.
“I-If you’re fine with me.”
Even if the maid had no intention of doing so, the smile beaming from Merc’s stunning looks was enough to make other ladies blush. The maid approached Merc, her face flushed1.
Merc maintained her smile and spoke to the maid who approached her.
“Could you please bend down so that I can see your eyes?”
“What? That is…”
“Please. I find it difficult to speak to people if I don’t look them in the eyes.”
The maid, half-persuaded by Merc’s remarks, held her skirt down and squatted. She then lowered her eyes to Merc’s eye level, revealing her blushed cheeks and bewildered, moist eyes.
“I-Is this fine?”
“Perfect. Thank you.”
They were so near they could practically feel each other’s breath. The maid was too shy to stare Merc in the eyes, so she made only a momentary eye contact before immediately moving her gaze away from Merc.
Merc nevertheless managed to pinpoint the exact moment when their gazes met, and pushed her right index and middle fingers to the maid’s forehead quickly and lightly.
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The maid’s eyes closed without struggle as the magic words rippled into her ears like a song, and she began to descend lifelessly towards the seated Merc.
“Here we go.”
Merc carefully supported the unconscious maid and sat her in the chair she had previously occupied. The chair’s armrests made it hard to tumble out of it. That was unless one was a really bad sleeper.
“Phew. Talking like a lady really isn’t for me.”
Now that the maid was unconscious, Merc could speak in her natural tone without fear of being overheard.
Her mouth hurt from trying to speak in a way she wasn’t used to. Furthermore, she couldn’t keep up this manner of speech for long, and it would be a major issue if any of the members of Gust of Wind heard her. They’d surely burst out laughing, and Merc wouldn’t be able to bear such humiliation.
Everything’s going according to plan. I infiltrated the Count’s mansion without being found out.
Sleep was the difficult spell that Merc had just cast. It functioned by placing a hand on the forehead of someone whose eyes were locked with the caster’s. As a result, the effect was so powerful that the victim fell asleep almost immediately and was assured a comfortable night’s rest. In other words, Merc was now free to move around.
Merc neared the guest room’s entrance, examined for signs of life, and after making sure no one was nearby, she rummaged through her chest. From in between the stuffing she took out a small Transmission Magic Stone.
Let’s see if the Count took the bait.
Merc poured Mana into the Magic Stone and held it close to her ear, holding her breath so she could hear what was going on. From the Magic Stone, she heard faint human voices.
“Butler… is back. Would you like me to invite him… here?”
“No, I’ll go to my room right away. Tell Porto to come there as well.”
Merc surmised that the people speaking were most probably the Count and one of the maids. Furthermore, it seemed like the head butler Porto had come back as well. Following that, there was a sound of the opening and closing of a door, indicating that the Count had moved to another room.
This is useful. I can track the Count using this…
The ability to use the Magic Stone to follow the sound of footsteps truly amazed Merc.
The Magic Stone Merc was holding onto was given to her by Astard for the sake of the mission. It was linked to a Magic Stone that had secretly been hidden in the Count’s pocket. Furthermore, the Magic Stone in the Count’s pocket already had Mana imbued into it. Therefore, even if the Count didn’t imbue any Mana himself, his voice would be relayed to Merc.
Merc had slipped in the Magic Stone as the Count was holding her in his arms.
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“I see you’re back.”
“Yes. I apologize for acting without permission.”
Merc heard a door open again, followed by this exchange. She deduced that the Count had arrived at his chambers where he’d met Porto.
The man, presumably Porto, apologized in a husky tone, making him appear older than the Count.
“That’s fine… What’s this letter?”
“I don’t know either… Just who would send such a letter?”
“‘Harm Doctor Glodel, and I’ll expose all of your wrongdoings.’ How outrageous! Which b̲a̲s̲t̲a̲r̲d̲ dares write such b̲u̲l̲l̲s̲h̲i̲t̲!”
“Do you suppose someone leaked information regarding the doctor’s kidnapping?”
“I don’t know. Only the Great Sage comes to mind. But I can’t be careless when dealing with him. I’ve lost way too many men to him.”
The Count sounded so enraged that Merc almost burst out laughing but immediately stopped herself. Because she had infused Mana into the Magic Stone, they would be able to hear her as well. She had to be careful.
The Count will probably flip out once he finds that it’s the Great Sage that wrote that. Fufufu. How amusing.
“It claims that it will expose all of your wrongdoings… Did you look through the accounting books and documents?”
“I did. They are safe. There were no signs of robbery. Nevertheless, we must exercise caution. The Duke might just get involved if we don’t act quickly…”
“You have a point, Master…”
“So? You went out to check out on that b̲a̲s̲t̲a̲r̲d̲, didn’t you? How did it go? Were there any signs that someone was attempting to dig him out?”
“No, nothing. The professor is definitely still there…”
…?! Dig out? Still there? You’ve got to be kidding me!
The unsettling words coming from the Magic Stone rendered Merc dumbstruck. After all, this implied that…
“Tsk! You idiots! If only you fools hadn’t let the doctor die to begin with… You f̲u̲c̲k̲i̲n̲g morons2!”
The Count yelled, confirming Doctor Glodel’s death.