|Author: Tsunose Bun||Original Source: Syosetu||Word Count: 3024 characters|
|Translator: Jiro||English Source: Re:Library||Word Count: 1372 words|
Damn it… This is a mess. They’ve already killed the professor…
Merc couldn’t stop her killing urge from spilling as she clutched her fist firmly at the information she received from the Magic Stone.
She had never actually met Doctor Glodel. However, she acknowledged him as a brilliant researcher who had dedicated his life to the study of Mana. His most recent studies had involved looking into the Falgaro’s rise and prevention. When he learned that the Chester Empire1 intended to misuse the knowledge, he defected to the Lezau Duchy, an adversary, and opted to work with Astard, demonstrating that he was a man of character.
He was certainly a brilliant researcher who was essential to the world. However, such a person, had in the end, been kidnapped and killed for selfish reasons. Merc couldn’t possibly forgive this.
“If you fools had kept him alive none of this would have happened! Damn it!”
“If I may. You, Master, were the one that told us to use any means in order to make him speak2. I’m sure those that tortured him didn’t anticipate this outcome…”
“Enough of your excuses! We’d finally found the doctor before the Empire did, and now we’re in this mess… On top of not being able to analyze his research, we can’t even get the Great Sage to help us… Our hands are tied!”
Listening to the Count and Porto, the head butler, converse, it appeared that Doctor Glodel’s death was an accident even for them. Although this did not mean Merc could forgive them, she sensed the Count was growing impatient.
“The Fonan family will be ruined if the Duke finds out about our theft of guild tax or our connections to the Empire… Although I doubt the Duke will act without concrete evidence.”
Porto murmured something ominous in a slightly icy tone, but he quickly followed up with another sentence to smooth things over. In response, the Count clicked his tongue irritably.
“However, the fact that I received this letter indicates that someone is aware of the situation. It’s only a matter of time before the Duke gets involved. The only option now is to offer the research to the Empire and flee the Lezau Duchy.”
“You can’t do that! Are you trying to betray the Duchy?!”
Porto’s voice was harsh, implying that he couldn’t accept the Count’s choice. Merc had to pull the Magic Stone away from her ear since his loud voice echoed in it.
“Keep quiet. Even though this room is soundproof, if you scream like that it might be heard outside.”
“Besides, why are you bringing this up after all this time? The tax evasion, the interactions with the Empire. All of this has been done behind the Duchy’s back. If these are discovered, we will once again be forced to flee to the Empire.”
“They are not the same thing! I cannot allow the long-standing Fonan family, which even survived the Kingdom of Egelmun’s collapse, desert to the Chester Empire, which is hostile to the Duchy!”
Porto appeared to have an unwavering dedication as the Fonan family’s head butler, as he strove to chastise his master, Count Fonan, without backing down. Even Count Fonan couldn’t stomach bickering with the head butler, who had been his servant for so long.
“O-Okay… Just calm down. That option is our last resort. In any case, we must do everything we can to decode Doctor Glodel’s research before the Duke discovers our misdeeds and the Empire learns that we have taken Doctor Glodel away.”
Count Fonan said in a pained tone, returning to the topic at hand. This served to ultimately satisfy Porto.
“You’re right. I’ll tell the researchers to hurry up.”
Porto said to the Count after a short pause.
I’d like to hear a bit more but I can’t miss this golden opportunity. It’s time I move.
Merc cut her Mana from the Magic Stone after hearing the exchange up to that point. She couldn’t hear the Count and Porto’s discussion any longer, but neither could they hear her.
Merc scanned the area for any indications of life, and when she was certain it was quiet, she immediately opened the guest room’s door and stepped out into the hallway.
She then went to the room where the Count had been prior to Porto’s arrival. That room would almost certainly hold evidence of the Count’s wrongdoings. Merc discreetly entered the room near the mansion’s entrance after checking to make sure no one was nearby.
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The interior of the room was simple, like a typical study. The room was small, and the few documents and books scattered around indicated that it was not utilized on a regular basis. Its placement near the entryway was most likely done on purpose to give the impression that it was unimportant.
If the Count hadn’t first entered this room after reading Astard’s letter, even Merc would have dismissed it as a mere study. The Count, on the other hand, must have come to this room to ensure the security of those confidential files. Merc was certain that there was something here.
“At first glance, it appears as if there’s nothing here…”
Merc examined the bookshelf, work desk, and chair in the back of the room with caution. They didn’t look particularly unique, and the bookshelf was small, with only a few books. The desk was well-built, but it appeared to have been placed there more as a piece of expensive furniture than as a workspace. A cut envelope, its contents, and a letter opener were placed on the desk, perhaps to appear natural. The confidence with which they were positioned seemed to imply that there was nothing sinister going on.
There don’t appear to be any hidden mechanisms in the furniture or other items in the room. Which means…
Merc concentrated her Mana into her eyes and looked at the walls. She noticed a faint trace of Mana on the rear wall, the wall behind the desk and chair. The traces had been so carefully disguised that even a skilled magician might not have been able to detect them.
However, they underestimated their opponent this time.
Merc had been trained to detect Mana traces since she was a child. Furthermore, she was also an elf. A race which was considered to be skilled in magic. It was no surprise that she could see right through the cover.
Merc climbed over the desk and chair and to the back wall of the room with a single leap. She then began tapping lightly on the wall.
Where is it…
Merc realized that a section of the wall near her eye level was thin and virtually hollow after patiently tapping on it.
Here… But how do I open it?
The Count’s documents were almost certainly hidden there. Merc, on the other hand, had no idea how to get them out without destroying the wall.
This wall, like Astard’s house, almost certainly had some kind of barrier placed on it. It was most likely a mechanism designed so that only Count Fonan could use it to retrieve the items behind the wall. As a result, no matter how hard Merc scraped at the wall, the documents wouldn’t appear.
Damn it. If I don’t act fast the Count will find me…
If the Count decided to return here just to be sure or went to see Zera, who was waiting in the guest room, the plan would fail. The scheme would most certainly be exposed if the Count discovered the maid sleeping in the chair without Merc present.
As a result, Merc had to collect the documents as quickly as possible.
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It can’t be helped. I’m breaking it.
Of course, destroying the wall would signal to the Count that his documents had been stolen. If he didn’t notice it until Merc left, however, the operation would still be a success. Merc had no choice but to destroy the wall, betting that no one would enter the room while she stayed in the mansion. However, before doing so, Merc turned around to see whether anyone was close to the room.
It was then that her gaze was drawn to the letter opener.
- TLN: Although the author referred to it as the Chester Empire I believe that this is in fact the Chulice Empire and that the author has made a mistake. Since Doctor Glodel escape from the Chulice Empire and not the Chester Empire. If we had a map this really would have helped….
- Robinxen: I don’t think dead people speak!