“Lime Latte huh. What a problem that guy is as well.”
At the time when Misumi Makoto was strangely beginning to feel the appeal of the thin banana juice, at a high class restaurant in the central section of Tsige.
A meeting was taking place inside this store where you can’t enter unless you have an invitation; a place that commoners cannot be seen entering.
There were no others aside from them, it was completely reserved.
There were four hyumans old to young of varying ages. They were continuing their talk without giving a single impression about the food that was being brought out.
A man mutters with an expression as if he had bitten a bitter bug.
Within that conversation, the name of Lime Latte came out.
He is currently the man that has the highest rank and level in the Adventurer Guild of Tsige.
“Even if we are to eliminate him, there’s no substitute for him. The only thing we can do is tolerate it.”
The only woman in the group that seemed to be in her thirties made a bitter smile as she nodded.
But well, she is the youngest within the group.
From the other three, one is at his late thirties, and the remaining two are over fifty years old.
“But the decision of the Merchant Guild this time affects the adventurers heavily. Even if they are at a higher position, in the end, adventurers are the ones who are actually working out on the field, so it can’t be helped that they are against it.”
“Gathering requests that are not sent to the Adventurer Guild but rather the Merchant Guild. For Lime and the other adventurers who raise adventurers, it is basically like stealing their jobs, or so they say…”
The second youngest in the group nodded at the words of the old man that has a white beard.
No one was showing a bright expression.
It was clear that it wasn’t a fun topic.
“But it is certainly a necessary thing to do in order to have a stable way to supply those materials at a low price. It is true that this does mean taking away the job of a certain part of the adventurers.”
“Even though this decision has practically nothing to do with Lime Latte. Complaints have come from a problematic place.”
“There’s people that are voicing out if there’s a need for low level adventurers here in the first place. High level adventurers gather here from the whole world with the wasteland as their objective. Shouldn’t Tsige be fine with that kind of image?”
“If there’s small requests that can be bought with money without the need of going through the Adventurer Guild…it would be more convenient that way. For us, the low level adventurers are also important customers, but if this means that the low level standard decreases and more higher level ones come, there’s no problem.”
“In other words, it is quite the logical and efficient plan, and that’s exactly why it was accepted. As a result of this, even the bunch that are weeded out have gotten referrals to neighboring towns! Just what are they displeased about?!”
“Really, everyone profits from this. It is a splendid plan fitting of that personage.”
The moment the word ‘that personage’ had come out, a small instant of silence happened, and the bearded man gives his agreement.
“And yet, that man and the adventurers that got influenced by him have ignored close to half of the wasteland requests, moreover, the requests centering the Rembrandt Company, that are the center of this time’s plan, are being completely ignored.”
“If that were all there is to it, it wouldn’t warrant us to gather though…”
It was as if he were saying ‘we would have been able to overlook it’.
“They have gone crazy. To even go as far as joining hands with who-knows-who and using a curse disease. Moreover, it is a sleep curse disease that even the church can’t do anything about.”
“…I wonder about that. That’s what Rembrandt-sama publicly stated but, is it really true? If it were a curse disease of that level, there’s no way the church wouldn’t be able to treat it.”
“No one has seen his wife and daughters since then after all. There’s the possibility that it is a curse disease that affects the outward appearance. In that case, I would be able to understand why he lied with the future in consideration. He has two daughters in their teens after all.”
“As usual, there’s no detailed information huh.”
“Yeah. All the people that are taking care of them are extremely loyal employees. How envying.”
“What about the mage?”
“No good. It has been long since traces of him have been cut off. So the Rembrandt Company has already captured him huh… he might have died already.”
“If it is the latter, it is bad. If they have captured the mage, and yet, the situation has not been resolved, things are serious.”
The conversation continues with a heavy mood exactly as the word ‘serious’ depicts.
The dessert had been served just recently and the food course was already done.
The tea cup had steam coming out from it, and it was at least giving a nice scent to the place.
Sadly, the conversation didn’t reach anything close to a big turnabout though.
“At any rate, the elimination of Lime is basically a set fact. If adventurers that can replace him are raised, we can immediately inact that. If the time comes and there’s no replacement, it might be necessary though.”
“Understood. There’s actually a party we can expect great things from that have just returned from the wasteland. The wait might not be long.”
“Ara? This is my first time hearing of this.”
“It is apparently a party with a dark thief called Toa as their leader. Just the other day, they came with an outrageous amount of valuable materials and sold them generously. They are also active in completing requests, and for now, there’s nothing to complain about them.”
“Then, in the near future, the countermeasure for the Lime in question… If we were to go with the straightforward method, there’s no doubt that our side will receive heavy damage.”
“Even if we were to use the best assassins we have at hand, it would be tough to assassinate him in the wasteland. Even so, if we were to try eliminating him in town, who knows how much groundwork and preparations we would need to do. It really gives me a headache.”
“If it is about that, I have some interesting info. I was keeping an eye on the money movements of Lime Latte, and there has been a place where he has been sending quite an amount of money with pretty high caution.”
“Oh? Where is it? If it is a financial organization, he could have them store the money. If it is a woman or an illegitimate child, we might be able to take them hostage. If we can find a weakness, the methods we can take will increase.”
“The place is…”
The woman stopped her words for a moment, and then, she showed the best and worst smile as she continued.
“The Wades orphanage.”
The moment the name of the establishment was voiced out by her, everyone made that same smile.
The man that was left on his own had let out a heavy sigh.
(Who knows how many times we have had meetings like this. Seriously, a hidden face is not something nice to have. Specially the kind that takes away the lives of others. It is like something heavy accumulates deep inside one’s stomach. It accumulates, accumulates, and doesn’t disappear. The Goddess probably won’t forgive me for the things I have done.)
It is one of the four, from within the two fifty years old, the one without the beard.
Different from the other three, he didn’t leave the store even when business was over.
No, there was no need to leave.
Because it is the store he owns after all.
“Did the talk not go well?”
The woman that served alcohol to the man spoke to him.
At some point in time, two women with the same face were standing at both sides of him.
The ones who were bringing out the food were also these two women.
For him, they are also people who know about his behind-the-scenes face and can share his secrets with.
“No. The topic of dealing with Lime has progressed.”
“…Is that so. Congratulations.”
“Jona Faren was the one who sniffed out that information. The fact that he is sending a big amount of money to the Wades Orphanage. He was cautious about it, but it looks like he couldn’t escape from the information network of that woman. It happens all the time, but it is still impressive.”
While praising the woman called Jona, he also felt fear towards the person behind the truth of the curse disease attacking Rembrandt’s wife and daughters that not even she could catch information of.
“…That’s the place where I picked you girls up, right? I will ask before there’s any obstacles. Did you know about this?”
The man spoke clearly.
There was no condemning in his tone.
“No. We didn’t know at all that Lime Latte and the Wades Orphanage had some sort of relationship, but…”
He urges a response.
“I did hear a rumor that a wealthy person was sending big donations regularly.”
“Donations to an orphanage huh. It is truly something that doesn’t fit him. I see. So the identity of that wealthy person is Lime.”
The two twins went silent.
There’s no doubt that the wealthy person is Lime.
It was a complicated feeling, but there were no objections voiced out in regards to the elimination of Lime, in other words, the assassination of Lime.
“I adopted you both from that orphanage. I was only thinking of bringing Keema, but as consideration of your clinging and crying to me, I also took your sister Carol under my wing as well. Looks like that decision was a big success.”
Because both of them ended up being incredibly competent in their jobs.
For the man, this was a welcome happening.
“Yes. We are truly grateful for that, Bilky-sama.”
“But the one who saved you girls before me and had allowed you to live longer was Lime who was donating to the orphanage. That’s what has been made clear. Even with that, will you two still be able to serve under me with gratitude? Even when you will be receiving work that could be called the scummiest of scums, even when it will mean dirtying those hands of yours…” (Bilky)
“Bilky-sama has also properly taught us to do surface work. Also, just as we have said, since the day we were adopted, you have provided us with clothes, food, a dwelling; all of those without uncomfortableness. Our boss and father is Bilky-sama.”
“…I see. Understood. You can take your leave.” (Bilky)
“Excuse me then.”
Her sister Carol didn’t say a single word and simply showed the same attitude and expressions as her little sister and left.
They have been acquainted for long.
Bilky was sure that there were no lies or hesitation from them.
The uneasiness that had appeared in him at first has now disappeared.
Only a slight fear remained.
It was slight, but it was a prickle that wasn’t disappearing.
“Morris, huh. The butler of Patrick Rembrandt and also the person in charge of the company’s darkness. Rembrandt is a compassionate man, but there’s no way he would be able to raise a company that big with only that. There must be dirty work and darkness proportional to it, and that Morris is the one who is managing this. He was originally a skilled assassin. As always, he is someone who I can’t see his depths.” (Bilky)
Bilky muttered the name of the one who made the request this time.
This is not the first time that he has had a connection with Morris.
Not only that. Before Bilky had entered the current work style of his, Morris had been an existence that had guided him by practice as a senior in that area.
Bilky couldn’t refuse if the request was from him.
“No, it is not only me. The ‘eldest’, Kuuma, seemed like he had something in his mind when the name of Rembrandt was mentioned. He had a positive reception in regards to the plan about the materials from the very beginning. We are talking about him here. Before he had opened his own store, he was an employee of the Rembrandt Company after all.” (Bilky)
In that case, since the moment this request had been brought by the Morris of the Rembrandt Company, there was no choice of refusing for him either.
As a result, the acceptance of the request proceeded smoothly.
“In the first place, the one who saw through the talent of Keena and Carol was Morris.” (Bilky)
In the past, he was under his care, and yet, when he is in a place where the person in question is not there, he calls Morris without any honorifics.
This is an unconscious behaviour of him out of envy due to the achievements that Morris produced in his active days…and also fear. On top of that, there was disgust mixed in it as well.
‘If I had to choose between one or the other, it would be Keena, but the two of them have quite the talent as assassins. If I were still in my main occupation, I would like to polish those gems’, is what he whispered to Bilky, and told him about the existence of the talented pro-assassins to be.
But even with that, Bilky didn’t want to be too deeply involved with Morris.
Since the time he got a high class restaurant of exclusive members in the surface world, he has been thinking of something, and lately, he has been even more sure of it.
That Morris could use those two as scapegoats, and that he could get enough money with his other job even without the need of relying in assassinations anymore.
The part about the scapegoats is true, but the reason why it weighed so heavily in Bilky was mainly because of what has been accumulating in his heart.
What funded this restaurant was the income from the behind-the-scenes work.
But if asked whether he would be able to eat with only that income…
The word ‘retirement’ has surfaced inside of Bilky’s heart quite a lot lately.
He couldn’t take it anymore.
This wasn’t a world that someone could stay long in.
That’s why he taught those sisters techniques that would allow them to properly live normal lives for the day they begin to think in the same way as him.
It was a sort of atonement for him.
The existence that destroys that thinking of his from the very foundations is Morris.
There’s no doubt that he is exemplary as a butler, and at times, he would even take the place of his master in negotiations. He supports the Rembrandt household both in the public and private fronts.
It is said that a certain percent of the profitable investments of the Rembrandt Company are proposals of Morris.
On top of that, he also contributes in many establishments with his own funds.
He doesn’t publicly announce those things, but it is not as if he is being secretive in that area like Lime was.
The ones that prove to be an hindrance to the company and his master, he would secretly crush them no matter if in legal, illegal, inhuman, or cruel ways.
He is trying to crush one at present.
This is not the first time he has made a behind-the-scenes request like this.
Morris is all those points amalgamated and that’s his natural state. That fact made Bilky tremble.
The part about him knowing about those raw assassin gems was apparently something he had learned while he was donating to them.
He was supposed to be donating to save the unfortunate children, and yet, he at the same time told Bilky about the assassins he had gotten an eye on.
When he asked how he learned about them, he naturally responded with ‘it was when I was called there to thank me for the donation’.
He is hard to comprehend.
Those kind of existences are most likely the kind of people that can live as perpetual monsters in the dark side of the world.
His heart had reached an understanding about it.
“Lime Latte is a fool. It would be one thing if it were just a simple big company. But you have picked a fight with an opponent that you should never pick a fight with. The Shadowless Morris still lives on even at present huh…” (Bilky)
In the past, in the days when Morris was still active, there were rumors he had a job called shadowless, which gave him that nickname.
Bilky pitied Lime, and feared Morris.
After pouring what remained of the glass deep down his throat all at once, he left his seat.