☆☆ ★★ ★★ ★★ ☆☆
The curtains of the night were about to fall, and light began to enter the window.
The sky that was covered in dusk was going to be dyed in darkness soon. Below such a sky, there’s the people that talk about their work as they head to bars, and there’s also the people that hurry to their homes, making the streets lively.
Looking at these people from the side, the Grand Bear man had cleaned up his cart and was hurrying to his house.
“Today was a good day.”
Even when he was making the dangos he was so proud of, the days he didn’t sell anything continued.
It was the continuous chore of making dangos and then throwing them away. He was thinking of stopping this job, but his dango got sold after so long. It was only a pair of customers, but the Grand Bear man, Lorongo, was satisfied.
That’s because what the male customer had given him was a new path of cooking.
He was taught a new possibility and, unable to hold in the excitement of ‘I want to try making this’, he closed sooner than usual.
He would be returning now, finishing the preparations for tomorrow, and will be challenging the making of new dishes.
How long has it been since his heart has danced this feistily.
With that unbearable excitement inside his heart, Lorongo went to the side of the main street, and pressed forward in a dim sidestreet.
“He was an interesting boy.” (Lorongo)
The black haired boy he met today -Makoto.
His way of speaking was a bit on the rude side, but it by no means sounded like it was malicious. He was a mysterious boy that had a rustic simplicity like that of a lovable child. The kobold girl that was together with him seemed to be emotionally attached to him, and it is because Lorongo knows that kobolds were recently accepted as beastkin that he saw the relationship of those two as incredibly heartwarming.
He then remembered his wife and child, and sadness began to accumulate in his heart.
Close to the national borders of Ushtolma and Motoyasu, there’s a small town where Lorongo had an eatery.
At the time when he was opening up the store, Lorongo had gotten a loan from a close friend of his, but the store was doing well, and so, in his life together with his wife and daughter, he had enough money to clear up the debt.
However, one day, an influential person had visited the place of Lorongo, and had proposed him if he wanted to make his store bigger. But Lorongo liked the store, and he was getting enough earnings in a way that wouldn’t trouble their everyday life, so he respectfully refused.
Even so, the situation made a complete turnover at the next day.
The customers coming to Lorongo’s store were visibly decreasing. Even though he could get enough earnings to live by till now, in just one week, there were even days when the sales would be zero.
Just what in the world happened.
The residents in the area that were his regular customers were not coming anymore, ill-natured people were beginning to gather at the front of his store and inside of it, and it had become a blatant disruption of business. And then, in one month, not a single customer was coming anymore.
With one month passing, he already had an idea of what was happening. No, it wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that he had an idea of what was going on since way back. It is just that, he didn’t want to believe it.
The influential person that visited him one month ago was a childhood friend of his, and they got along well enough to know each other well. That’s why Lorongo couldn’t doubt him.
But reality is unfeeling.
The origin of everything was his childhood friend, and his aim was the plot of land that the store of Lorongo is in.
Three months after, his short savings had finally dried up, and with customers being cut off, managing the store became difficult, and thus, went out of business. Even when Lorongo let go of his store and had lost his home that he was used to living in, Lorongo was unable to clear off the debt, and with the interest rising, he ended up shouldering an enormous debt.
And so, Lorongo left his homeland, and in order to clear the debt, he entered the Motoyasu Kingdom to gain money.
It has been three months since then.
His daily earnings were disappearing in order to repay the debt, and recently, he has been having difficulties with obtaining the ingredients. Even when he was shouting out for customers, none came, and when he was thinking about calling it quits, today’s encounter happened.
If this is destiny, Lorongo’s future should be bright.
A faint light shone in the street where dark extended, and it was approaching without making a sound. He was in wonder for a moment, but he thought ‘they are probably on their way to the bar’ and continued pushing his cart. However, he suddenly remembered the happenings of last night, and his face cramped and feet stopped.
…Could it be…a ghost?
An instant after, a hot pain attacked his abdomen, and after one breath, Lorongo fearfully looked down.
In his vision, there was an horizontal cut running in his fat stomach, and with his palm holding that place, something warm was wetting his hand, and then, the consciousness of Lorongo was dragged into the depths of darkness.
With those feelings of his that didn’t reach anyone, the big body of Lorongo slowly tilted forward, and fell on the food cart as collateral damage, creating a loud sound that interrupted the silence of the night.
This sound prompted residents in the area to peek out from their house, and so they found him, and the surroundings grew noisy. The silhouette of someone was gazing at this uproar from the shadows, and slowly turned around, once again disappearing into the darkness.
☆☆ ☆☆ ★ ☆☆ ☆☆
Waking up in the morning, eating my meal, and space-out.
With time passing by, when it was about to be noon…
“What to do…” (Makoto)
I activate the map with [Akashic Library], and was watching the actions of the people that were tagged with [Marker], but nothing is happening for now.
“The hero group is…oh, they are finally moving huh.” (Makoto)
The heroes that were scheduled to be returning yesterday have finally begun to move from the Selection Forest.
I don’t know what happened, but it is most likely not because of an unexpected incident. I had a spirit contact me if something happened, so the fact that it is not serving much purpose is proof that they are doing well.
When I was thinking about who I should be confirming next, the sound of a doorknock reverberated in the room.
“Makoto-sama, it is Niva.”
“You can come in.” (Makoto)
Is it trouble again?
“Excuse my intrusion.” (Niva)
“Did something happen again?” (Makoto)
“Please don’t make a look of ‘problems have arrived’ after seeing my face.” (Niva)
Oya, was I making such a face?
“…You are not wrong though.” (Niva)
“So I am not wrong, oi. And so, what is it?” (Makoto)
“Ohi-sama proposed to have lunch together.” (Niva)
“Lunch, huh…” (Makoto)
It is most likely not my imagination that I feel it won’t end with just that. It may be a pain, but I have no choice but to go.
Leaving the room, we were heading to the Queen’s room. Let’s make some casual talk.
“By the way, when is it that the archbishop will be returning?” (Makoto)
“We have received a report that he is currently staying at the Grand Temple.” (Niva)
“I see…” (Makoto)
Makirus and Erac didn’t have the Loroad Virus. In that case, the ones who have a chance of having it are the people that are involved with Makirus.
“How is the investigation on that part?” (Makoto)
“There’s no progress. Makoto-sama would most likely be faster.” (Niva)
Niva-san is in the intelligence area, so asking for the help of someone else in that regard must be incredibly vexing. But in this current state of affairs where time is limited, she is prioritizing the result rather than pride.
“Later, I will go play a bit at the temple.” (Makoto)
“…Is that so. Please try not to create an uproar.” (Niva)
My execution is perfect, you know? …Close to perfect.
“We have arrived. Ohi-sama, I have brought Makoto-sama.” (Niva)
I heard the voice of the Queen at the other side of the door, and we were allowed into the room, but aside from the Queen, there’s also the princess, Filmina, and for some reason, also Erin.
Looks like this will be quite the lively lunch…
☆☆ ☆☆ ☆☆ ☆☆ ☆☆
After finishing lunch, we had one round of tea.
They do say that a gathering of girls is noisy, but it really feels like their conversation topics don’t run out. Watching those girls, I sip my coffee little by little, and while I was giving half-hearted responses, Erin and Niva had finished cleaning up the tableware, and returned.
“We have returned.” (Niva)
“Thanks for the hard work.” (Makoto)
Niva-san stands at the back of the Queen, and Erin stands at the back of mine. I thought the chatting would begin again, but the one who broke the moment of silence was Niva-san.
“Ohi-sama, there’s a report from the Guarders.” (Niva)
“Yes. We got ear that last night an intruder had appeared at the area near the castle and people got injured.” (Niva)
So the ‘ghost’ appeared yesterday too, huh.
“The ones that got injured were a man that was coming back from a bar, a bar waiter, a prostitute, a male Grand Bear, and also two knights who were heavily injured.” (Niva)
“!! What’s the condition of the knights?” (Caril)
“One of them had their right arm cut off, and the other had his chest cut. Their lives were saved somehow, but they are still unconscious.” (Niva)
There weren’t any people with such heavy injuries in the first night. I heard they were mostly scratches, but the one of last night has turned quite dangerous.
“Are the other ones okay?” (Caril)
“Yes. Aside from the male Grand Bear, the others were minor injuries. The Grand Bear man had his abdomen cut, but fortunately it was shallow. The injury when he fell on his food cart was on his head, but this one was apparently not that big of a deal.” (Niva)
“I see… At any rate, just what in the world is going on?” (Caril)
The Queen closes her eyes in deliberation, and the Princess was showing clear anger at the insolent person that is causing harm to the people. While watching this, there was one part of Niva-san’s report that bothered me.
Who would have thought something like this would happen from yesterday to today…
“Hey, Niva-san, I want to confirm something.” (Makoto)
“What is it?” (Niva)
“That Grand Bear man, isn’t his name Lorongo?” (Makoto)
“Y-Yeah…that’s right. Where did you learn that—Could it be…yesterday’s dangos were from him?” (Niva)
I had given dangos to Niva-san yesterday. At that time, I spoke with O-san for a little bit.
Who would have thought that the Grand Bear old man that I coincidentally met would become a victim. The world is a small one.
“There’s no danger to the old man’s life, right?” (Makoto)
“That’s right. He is conscious, so there’s no problem. Just that his cart has been damaged, so he can’t work, which I heard that he is mourning about.” (Niva)
“Ah, that must be quite troubling.” (Makoto)
That old man really does trip in life quite hard.
Erin was also surprised hearing the name of Lorongo coming out, but she was relieved to hear that he was okay.
“Even so, the area near the castle has suddenly become dangerous.” (Makoto)
“Right. In this time when the king is currently in sickbed and the anxiousness of the people is accumulating, an incident where a dangerous individual is running rampant has occurred… If we lose the initiative in dealing with this matter, it could fan the doubts towards the royal family.” (Caril)
“Have incidents like this not occurred while the king was sick?” (Makoto)
“None. This is the first one. It has been half a year since the king has fallen ill… The volume of the voices worrying for the king that doesn’t show any signs of getting better has been increasing day by day.” (Caril)
“Then, this might be the scheme of the bald geezer?” (Makoto)
“…Most likely. A person in this country that would benefit from doing something like this would be him.” (Caril)
Only in terms of evil, that bald geezer truly is aggressive.
“I can’t say for sure, but the only one I can think of is that Bald Geezer…however, there’s also the possibility of it being the Old Hag too, which makes this difficult to pinpoint.” (Makoto)
“Old hag, you say… Are you talking about the magic division leader?” (Caril)
“Who else would it be?” (Makoto)
The only old hag I know of is her.
The Queen laughs with a complicated expression as she looked at me. Looks like talk about age is taboo with women in this world as well.
“Now that we talk about it, is the testimony of the knight that said he saw that Oba-san trustworthy?” (Makoto)
“He said that he saw her for a second in the darkness though… In the first place, at that time, it was confirmed that Makirus was in her residence. That’s why it is certain that it wasn’t Makirus.” (Caril)
Ara, so one suspect has fallen off the list.
“I see… Then, I am asking this while at it, but…does Oba-san have any specialty magic? If not, then a specialized element?” (Makoto)
“She doesn’t have any specialized element, but she also doesn’t have an element she is not good at. She can utilize all four basic elements at their high tier spells. She is also good in sorcery, so it is thought that she can utilize dozens of spells.” (Caril)
“Sorcery as well, huh…Meaning she is also knowledgeable in necromancy and spirit magic?” (Makoto)
“Yes. She doesn’t discriminate in terms of magic, so she has learned a variety of things.” (Caril)
Niva-san made an exasperated expression at this and shrugged her shoulders lightly, and it seems the others also understood this sentiment as everyone aside from Erin had bitter smiles.
Anyways, looks like even when she is rotten, she is indeed the magic division leader.
Don’t know if to call it ambitious or indiscriminate. It may only be that she is loyal to her desires though.
“From what I have heard of this, if the ghost that has appeared at the area near the castle is a real ghost, Oba-san would be the number one suspect.” (Makoto)
“She certainly is suspicious, but as Ohi-sama has stated just now, regarding last night and the first instance of its appearance, it was confirmed that Makirus has been cooped in her residence’s room, so it is not necromancy.” (Niva)
“I see… So the line of thought that it might be the Bald Geezer is the most thick one.” (Makoto)
The work of the Guarders is quite thorough. Even so, those guys really can’t stay docile for a moment.
This is troubling.
It is hard to hold back so to not kill them, and if I do a half-assed job, it would end up fanning the motivation of the other party…
“At any rate, I will be leaving that part to you guys.” (Makoto)
“What are you planning on doing, Makoto-kun?” (Caril)
“I was thinking of checking out the temple.” (Makoto)
“…Please try not to cause an uproar, okay?” (Caril)
Ohi-sama is also telling me the same thing as Niva-san.
“I won’t mess up in such a way. I will only be searching for something.” (Makoto)
“Even if you say that…for some reason, I feel as if an uproar will occur when Makoto-kun moves.” (Caril)
That’s not actually wrong.
In the world where I was summoned as a psychic, I was called the ‘Harbinger of Misfortune’. This is influenced by my psychic ability, [Gambler], but in the other worlds I was in, it was pretty similar, so I forgot about it. Getting used to things is scary huh.
“Why are you averting your gaze, Makoto-kun?” (Caril)
“Who knows.” (Makoto)
Why is it. The moment I got self-aware of it, I felt as if something will happen…
[The numbers of destiny have changed.]
This is bad.
The normally lazy and unwilling [Gambler] is working. A probability change at this kind of time…seriously, give me a break.
What is going to happen?
There’s the choice of not going to the temple, but if I don’t choose the choice of ‘going to the temple’, my bad luck will probably increase. Once that happens, the damage to my surroundings would be big, and there would be the chance of the Queen and the others turning hostile towards me. This had become the reason that divided my comrades in the past after all. It normally is harmless, but when it shows its ability, it is truly a troublesome psychic power.
…I suppose I have to go.
Receiving a few words of advice from the exasperated Queen, I give my farewells as if escaping and left the room.