Chapter 266: The identity of the scent

TLN: No way I would leave the chapter like that! So here’s one more!
This will not count in the sponsor chapter count. Enjoy! …Is what I would want to say…

A thin layer of smoke hangs over the store’s interior.
As I thought, an unpleasant smell is spreading.
It is an atmosphere that makes me wince a little.
For now, I ignore the mostly negative gazes that were being poured on me and search for the two I came here for.
It is not a big store, so I was soon able to find the back figure of the familiar two.
But it looks like I will have to hurry.
As I approach the two in fast steps, the more I could tell the state of the two.
This is bad!
Akashi-san is trying to open a small bottle for Yuduki-san!
…She opened it!!
Damn it, I didn’t make it in time.
…Now that it has come to this, might as well…
Go with the plan I previously had in mind.
I mutter in a low voice and call for my habitual bow.
At that moment, a sense of touch was born from my left palm, and I grab it.
No arrow prepared.
Without giving time for the customers to panic, I take stance with my bow, enhance it with magic power, and pluck the string.
With me as the centre, the smoke and smell that was hanging over the place was blown away.
A whirling wind spread while leaving the store’s interior.
Looks like I managed to do it well.
Since the time at the Demon race territory, I haven’t held back much, so I didn’t know how much to hold back here. Well, as long as the result is fine, it is okay, I suppose.
The bottle that Akashi-san had in her hand fell and broke.
The liquid that was staining the wooden table made one long strand down and quickly evaporated in a thin smoke.
From what I can sense, there’s no ‘smell’ remaining there.
Of course, in the interior of this store as well, and of course, it disappeared from the ‘inside’ of these customers and employees too.
Good grief.
That guy is beginning quite the outrageous thing.
So he doesn’t care about my warning.
The matter with the guns, and now this.
I remember the insides of the bottle and the smell inside the store.
Leaving aside the concept of it, it is the dangerous type.
…That damn Tomoki.
“Hey there, Akashi-san, Yuduki-san, what a coincidence.” (Makoto)
Even I know there’s no coincidence in this.
But still, I thought that there was no choice but to do so in this place.
Smoothing things over is not in my list of skills, so please forgive me on that one.
Akashi-san had a dumbfounded face as she looked at me.
…After looking at what happened, it can’t be helped.
It seems like Yuduki-san is trying to hold back her agitation.
She is looking at me with a somewhat stern face.
Looking at her tightened lips, she probably has noticed something already.
“…Boss Raidou, why are you here?” (Akashi)
“Yeah. You can’t fool us with that coincidence talk. I heard that you would be busy with the labyrinth for a while.” (Yuduki)
“Yes. In truth, more than half of it can be called a coincidence though.” (Makoto)
“That means there’s a part that doesn’t apply in the coincidence, right?” (Yuduki)
Yuduki-san still has that stern face.
At present, I have become somewhat knowledgeable about things like medicines and magic medications.
However, just like how charms serve the same purpose as talismans and amulets—wait no, the comparison wasn’t that good there. Charms are mostly turned into amulets and talismans are—wait, why am a beginning a lecture here.
What’s important here is that the magic medication that Akashi-san had in her hands was not the type for medical treatment and it was a type I still wasn’t familiar with.
I can understand it roughly, and I know the objective of Tomoki, so as long as they don’t ask for a deep explanation about it, there’s no problem.
The problem is, how am I going to tell them.
On top of that…
I look around the establishment.
Everyone was making a face as if they had been tricked by a *fox or a racoon* as they were trying to grasp the situation. <fox and raccoons are seen as the scheming type that play dirty tricks on people>
Doesn’t seem to be a good place to continue our conversation.
It enters in the area of private talk, so…at this moment…that place would be best.
It would be two birds with one stone after all.
“Yeah. Looks like I will have to get involved in the trouble of the top brass. Now then, it is already this late, so how about you two accompany me to the labyrinth?” (Makoto)
I can protect the secret, and if there’s anyone following us, we can easily lose them.
And while at it, I can search for Beren and the others as well.
It should be okay to talk in the grand labyrinth.
“I see. A place suitable for private talks, right?” (Yuduki)
“Y-Yeah…” (Makoto)
Yuduki-san slightly widens her eyes and whispers as if impressed.
She is nodding, so it should be fine to take it as her accepting.
Akashi-san was looking alternately at Yuduki-san and I as if she was half asleep.
“Then, let’s go.” (Makoto)
“Understood. Akashi, we are going.” (Yuduki)
Yuduki-san had Akashi-san stand, and leaves the store as if dragging her.
I leave some change at the store and depart as well.
At any rate…that Tomoki, to think he would turn his charm into a drug.
What an outrageous thing to think of.
If Senpai learns of this, a war between hyumans might occur before the war with the demons ends.
Hibiki-senpai would probably try her damnedest to stop it after all.
However, it is an incredible idea.
If you are not at his side, the charm will have no effect to begin with, and if you know of its existence, there’s ways to go against it.
Of course, completely shutting it out will depend on a battle of strength though.
It is strong, but in a sense, it is an ability that has its restrictions. That’s how I thought.
But putting the charm ability in a tool and spread it around in that way will dramatically increase the effective range. Moreover, that tool is a perfume. It diffuses around the area like incense.
The compatibility with the charm is quite good.
For the side that tries to prevent it, that’s a lot worse than placing an accessory on the target.
You can’t just stop breathing, and you will have to take in mind the direction of the wind at all times.
In the first place, there’s quite a lot of spells that can control the wind.
That guy…seriously only has brains for the most hopeless stuff.
I am impressed.
Leaving aside the fight between Naoi and Kannaoi, and the competition between all the Osakabe; right now, the currently occurring fight of the Osakabe has Tomoki or the Empire involved in it.
In the end, it seems like I will have to get involved with this city.
My head is already hurting with matters of the 20th floor. Good grief.
Without being able to find a solution for it yet, I follow the two and enter the labyrinth.
Fourth floor of the grand labyrinth.
In the deepest place that the two bodyguards can go to, we take one big breath.
There’s no trace of Beren and the others.
At this rate, I can see that they are at a lower floor than this.
Just what in the world are they doing?
The three don’t seem like they needed to increase their level though.
Even in the floors after the tenth, they worked pretty well.
“Now then, if it’s around here, there should be no one to hear us. You two, it seems like you didn’t return to Iroha-chan’s place all day long. What were you two investigating?” (Makoto)
Leaving aside Yuduki-san, I am interested in what Akashi-san has to say.
The origin of that bottle.
I don’t thing Sairitz-san is involved in it, but I am interested in how far of the Osakabe household this has spread.
“…We were…investigating about a certain influential person that has the highest probability of aiming for Iroha-sama’s life.” (Yuduki)
“So, an opposing faction of Iroha-chan huh. I see. And who is this person?” (Makoto)
“How to say it, rather than calling it an opposing faction, it is more like that person is the one who holds the true authority at the Osakabe household at present. Iroha-sama doesn’t really hold that much authority.” (Yuduki)
Now that I think about it, I did hear that they are unrelated with the matter of the successor.
There’s already a political marriage settled.
She is being married off, so I thought she would be treated somewhat importantly, but it looks like that’s not the case.
And Yuduki-san, you are not going to tell me the name?
Well, if that person has that much authority, I can learn who it is by investigating, but…going through the trouble of doing that is a pain.
“And, who is it?” (Makoto)
“I would be grateful if you catch on that it is hard to speak of.” (Yuduki)
“Now now, it is Boss Raidou here, so isn’t it fine? The one that Yuduki was investigating was Tatsuki Kougetsu. He is one of the people serving long at a responsible position called chief minister in the Osakabe household. In words that a foreigner could understand…it is like a cabinet minister? Ah, Boss is a Wise, so maybe you understand it already?” (Akashi)
Chief minister…
I don’t know how much of it is the same chief minister I know of, but if it’s what I think of, I can tell that he has quite the authority.
However, he is not a person from the Osakabe household?
“Akashi!” (Yuduki)
“It seems like he saved us there in some way. We have to return the favor. There’s no need to be frugal about the information we currently hold.” (Akashi)
It is a saving that Akashi-san has a light mouth, in a good meaning,
It seems like Yuduki-san already doesn’t mind it much.
In Lorel, you first say the family name and then your first name, so…there’s a high chance that this Kougetsu-san is the one pulling the wires.
Hm? Kougetsu?
“Kougetsu…” (Makoto)
I mutter the name as a question pops in my mind.
Looking at my state, Yuduki-san sighs as if she gave up and speaks.
“He is the brother of Iroha-sama’s retainer, Shougetsu-sama. And then…it seems like he has his attention on the Kuzunoha Company as well. Be careful.” (Yuduki)
“Even us?” (Makoto)
“You entered the country with such an extravagant promissory note, so it most likely caught his eye. The name of Kahara-sama and power of influence reaches even Kannaoi plenty enough.” (Yuduki)
“The promissory note huh…” (Makoto)
I didn’t expect this to have power on the level of a *seal case*. <a reference to Koumon’s seal>
Speaking seriously, with that, I can walk around in joy inside the country even without a wallet.
I feel like it will turn into a big debt towards Sairitz-san, so I will never do it though.
So that made him lock onto us huh.
No, since there’s Tomoki, I can’t just assume that was the reason why.
Let’s tread carefully.
But the one that actually had the bottle was Akashi-san, so the chances of Kougetsu-san and Tomoki joining arms is a bit weak, probably.
“Akashi-san, who were you investigating, and…where did you obtain that perfume-like bottle from?” (Makoto)
“Me? To tell you the truth, I don’t remember well. A part of my memories are hazy.” (Akashi)
“Hah? Akashi, what are you saying? Didn’t you say that you had caught on a connection that would definitely overturn the current situation of Iroha-sama?” (Yuduki)
She doesn’t remember.
In other words, she had become a puppet of that incense in the middle.
“Eh? Did I say that? Or more like, Yuduki, having a meeting at such an establishment, you have bad taste.” (Akashi)
“I’m shocked. You said you had found a place that we could use as a safe hiding spot. Saying that, you brought me to that establishment.” (Yuduki)
“Eh?!” (Akashi)
Akashi-san’s memories have turned vague.
Is it because of the after-effects, or maybe self-defense?
If it’s the latter, I am sorry for this, but I will have her remember it in order.
With Yuduki-san’s cooperation, that should be possible.
“Yuduki-san, you remember that Akashi-san was the one who invited you to that establishment and entered it, right?” (Makoto)
In this cases, you shouldn’t think about opportune moments and just go straight for the jugular.
“Of course. It is true that it is a place that doesn’t have much people, but it also didn’t strike me as having a good clientele.” (Yuduki)
“You also remember the bottle?” (Makoto)
“Yeah. She said that it was some sort of symbolic incense somewhere and that there was the need to make copies of it for investigation.” (Yuduki)
“But Akashi-san doesn’t remember.” (Makoto)
“Y-Yeah… By the time I came to, Boss Raidou was calling to me……That’s certainly weird.” (Akashi)
The charm of Tomoki shouldn’t be able to alter the memories.
At the very least, that perfume and scent didn’t have such power.
Then, she should be able to remember.
“Yuduki-san, what were the plans for Akashi-san today?” (Makoto)
For now, I leave Akashi-san who is in confusion, and ask Yuduki-san.
The two were investigating as they contacted each other.
In that case, she would be able to know the actions of the other side.
“The major point was that she was going to create a connection with a certain someone. An incredibly important person for Iroha-sama and is currently—” (Yuduki)
“In short, who is it?” (Makoto)
“…The state of Akashi was certainly strange. It is certain that a turbulent movement is approaching us. It is not the time to be keeping secrets.” (Yuduki)
“I share the same sentiment.” (Makoto)
Maybe because of her character as an information gatherer, she has a principle of keeping secrets tightly.
But currently in this city, I don’t think there’s much meaning in keeping secrets from me.
Good grief. Trust is complicated.
“Haruka-sama; Iroha-sama’s mother.” (Yuduki)
“…That’s right. I…had caught on the whereabouts of Haruka-sama, and then…she invited me to the Kishimo temple.” (Akashi)
No, right now the priority is to have her remember her memories in order.
Let’s keep silent.
“What did you say?! You met madam?!” (Yuduki)
“Yeah… And then, I was led to a room with a nice scent. And I think there was also a chamberlain that had skills that that were not average…” (Akashi)
…Hey hey.
An even worse presentiment surfaced in my mind.
“Where?! Which Kishimo temple?!” (Yuduki)
“Uhm… At a place of the Osakabe branch family where there’s several houses, in a place that was being used as a family temple. The one that’s at the Silkwork street, right, it was there.” (Akashi)
“Akashi! Well done! You are a genius!! With this, Iroha-sama will be happy as well! I see, so that scent was the symbol of that place!!” (Yuduki)

This is bad.
This is incredibly bad.
A bad presentiment is steadily growing.
It is like the time when I saw the wife of Rembrandt and his daughters. It felt as if that melancholic feeling would overflow through my throat.
If possible, I felt like running away from this place.
“And so, I was told…by Haruka-sama. She said that there’s something she wanted to give to Iroha-sama and that she was asking of me to do it. And then, she entrusted me a small bottle. That’s why, I…for the sake of master, I thought that I had to tell Yuduki as well. Wait, who is master?” (Akashi)
“Akashi?” (Yuduki)

There’s no doubt that the source of the charm incense is the Empire.
Even if we still don’t know where and how far it has been spread to.
In that case, the reason for the dispute in the household, and the puppets of Tomoki I killed; the reason they escaped from the treatment in the middle of it as well, maybe it has something to do with that incense.
If a patient for drug poisoning is given the drug once more even if only a little, it is clear that it would be as certain as the sun rising that the treatment wouldn’t progress properly.
And then, this incense is currently, at the very least, invading the mother of Iroha-chan.
From what I have heard of Akashi-san, there’s no doubt that the spreading side is also affected by it.
From what I see, I think Akashi-san is somewhat safe.
But that Haruka person, it sounds like bad news.
The word ‘too late’ surfaced in my mind.
“What a disgusting feeling. I feel like I might puke out all my happy memories.” (Makoto)
After recalling my memories for a while, Akashi-san who had an ashen face was muttering contradicting words as she staggered to a wall.
And then, an expected sound rang out.
But it probably won’t end with just that.
She will probably have a hangover with self-disgust added to it, and will taste what will probably make even a three day hangover look cute.
But it is probably a blessing that she was spared with ‘only that much’.
“Kugh… Raidou-dono, did anything come to mind?” (Yuduki)
“Yeah, a number of things. First of all, that bottle Akashi-san had and the scent that was hanging over that store was a scent that had a charm power packed in it. Smoke and perfume, to make it easy, let’s call it charm incense.” (Makoto)
“Charm incense…” (Yuduki)
“It seems like it was packed with a strong charm power that makes anyone who smelled it into a slave of a certain man.” (Makoto)
“Could it be that was the reason why Akashi said something as foolish as master?! I see, Kougetsu!!” (Yuduki)
“No, he is not the one the charm incense enslaves you to.” (Makoto)
“…Eh?” (Yuduki)
“Iwahashi Tomoki; the Empire’s hero. The charm incense is…a tool to create his slaves.” (Makoto)
“Hero?! T-Then, are you saying this matter was not a simple dispute of the household?! Is that what you are saying, Raidou-dono?!” (Yuduki)
“Probably. I still don’t know what he is planning though.” (Makoto)
“I remembered one other thing…” (Akashi)
Akashi-san returns to the conversation still with her ashened expression.
If it’s information about that temple, anything would be fine.
It would help out.
“At that place, I think…there was Kougetsu-sama and a number of the princesses as well. Ugh…” (Akashi)
Don’t you have any information that might change the situation for the better?
At the lower floors, there’s a girl that hates me lying in wait.
And above ground, the charm of Tomoki has become the seed of strife.
What a time to come to Kannaoi.
I wonder if I can go with everyone to the grand labyrinth in the morning.
Maybe I should just call Lime or the Forest Onis as well?
Even if I call them, it doesn’t mean that it will erase the fact that it is already too late, and in the end, things will turn out as they will.
At the very least, we can stop the victims from expanding.
Hah… what a loser’s thought.
Tomoki, and Sofia; they just do unnecessary things all the time!
Especially Tomoki!
Doing something as stupid as charming people you don’t even know. I’m impressed he even thought of it.
AAAH, my head is hurting!

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