The information of Olfi was more useful than I thought.
First of all, it seems there’s no doubt that Olfi is a spy of the Astorn Republic. She hesitantly spoke about information that involves the deep parts of her country, but when I heard about it, I seriously thought if her country was ok.
What I got aside from that was the fact that there’s Empire spies in the personal maids of the heroes that are in the Erac side.
But it is not as if all the maids are spies, just a few of them -according to Olfi.
I honestly thought that Olfi was a spy from the Empire, so I didn’t go in depth in the investigation of the maids’ background. Saying I was leaving it for later would make it sound nice, but the result of that is this, so I can only laugh.
After obtaining a variety of information, and speculating, the result was a misunderstanding. Even though I have experienced many times in the past that assumptions are no good, why is it that I end up repeating those mistakes. Is it that stupidity cannot be cured till death?
…Okay, reflection time over!
However, who is it?
The most suspicious one is the personal maid of Yuichi, name is…Mishta.
Since she is a hero’s personal maid, her existence stands out in the castle, but her appearance is not one that stands out that much. She is a person that blends into the surroundings so well that, if she weren’t a personal maid, she wouldn’t leave an impression at all. I would say she has quite the appearance fit for espionage missions.
“…And so, I want you to investigate the background of the heroes’ personal maids.” (Makoto)
“I thought you had gone to his place, and yet, why did the topic end up in that?” (Caril)
Oops, I spoke without giving the context. Of course the Queen would be confused.
I am currently in the room of the Queen explaining the information I got while having tea.
“…Olfi was a spy from Astorn…and the bandits were also…” (Caril)
“Olfi was quite trusted in this country, huh.” (Makoto)
“Rather than calling it trust, we did a background check when doing the personnel selection of the knight division. At that time, there was no noteworthy problem, and her attitude at work and her way of living after didn’t show any problems either.” (Caril)
If you are a spy, that level of information control should be a piece of cake.
There’s no doubt the Bald Geezer was involved in this. He truly is a hopeless geezer.
“Well, standing out in your livelihood is a no for a spy, and even if you put people to tail her, if she knows she is being followed, there’s no way she would show her tail.” (Makoto)
“Captain Olfi is good with the people, and is popular between the maids as being a frank person. I have also spoken with her before, but I didn’t really feel anything out of place.” (Niva)
Niva-san should be more knowledgeable of the maids than the Queen, so what she said does sound firm. Even Niva-san, who is an intelligence specialist, was unable to notice her true identity. In that case, should I consider Olfi as being quite skilled? …Even with that performance she showed me?
“That must have been her acting as well… From what I gathered when talking to her, she gave me the impression that she is a vigilant one and doesn’t trust people much.” (Makoto)
“…You probably didn’t have a normal talk with her, right, Makoto-kun?” (Caril)
Oh my, saw right through me.
“And so, if it is about suspicious people that have connections with Erac, I would say the heroes’ personal maids.” (Makoto)
“…Right. Niva.” (Caril)
Being called by name, Niva-san went ‘Understood’, lowered her head, and left the room.
The Queen and I both looked at each other, but her expression was dark.
“…We managed to avoid a battle with the Empire, and now, there’s Astorn getting involved.” (Caril)
“According to Olfi, she said they would be pulling back from this country, so I don’t think there’s any need to worry though.” (Makoto)
“Even so, for the Astorn’s king…king Atone to use this kind of moves, he is quite sly.” (Caril)
Calling it sly is quite a mild way of putting it.
“The previous king was so great he was called the Wise King, so I can understand how expectations would fall on him as his legitimate child… But the one who crushed those expectations splendidly was the current king.” (Caril)
“The King Atone, right?” (Makoto)
“Yeah, he was enthroned five years ago and, if I remember correctly, is currently 22 years old.” (Caril)
He became king at age 17, huh. That is quite the young king.
“Being sly must have been a necessary factor to survive the greedy zombies that are in the imperial court.” (Makoto)
“…No, his way of being a king has not changed since long before.” (Caril)
“Seriously? Then it is plenty possible that he can think of stuff like sacrificing his own people, huh.” (Makoto)
“Right. For him, a king is all about money and power, and everything aside from that is worthless, so even if he were to sacrifice his own people, he wouldn’t mind it at all.” (Caril)
“Could it be that he was doing that as countermeasure for the infectious diseases of the poor crops and the livestock?” (Makoto)
“A royal order had been invoked, and he has been doing a lot of things in name. However, the reality is that all of them are showing poor results. —He is not providing proper budget after all, so even if told to show results, it would be impossible with the foundation provided, don’t you think?” (Caril)
“…A classic foolish king.” (Makoto)
He has one irritating attitude, that King of Astorn.
There must be a lot of people who would hate this kind of people. It is the type that I would never want as a friend after all.
…Ah, now that I think about it.
There was one in the Five Grand Ministers <Sacred Beasts> that hated this kind of people…wait.
Infectious disease in the crops and the livestock…the Five Grand Ministers might be involved in this, but it is nothing of hurry, so let’s confirm that at a later time.
“But I heard that Motoyasu is providing assistance though?” (Makoto)
“Emergency food is send there, however, it is not as if our country has much of that in store either.” (Caril)
Astorn Republic is originally a country that prospers in agriculture and animal husbandry, so they must have been exporting it to other countries and gaining profits from it. It is in a current state where both of those points have received a hit and they must rely on the support of other countries. I don’t understand the reason why they are trying to meddle with other countries.
…Ah, I see.
I overlooked one possibility.
“…Hey, is the Astorn King deeply infatuated with a princess?” (Makoto)
“No, he has a fiancée. However…because the state of the country is unstable, it has been delayed.” (Caril)
If they were to hold a big wedding, there would be roars of blame flying around after all.
“Because they were in such a situation, there was a period of time where a marriage proposal was sent to Prim as well, but Prim refused profusely.” (Caril)
“The Princess refused?” (Makoto)
“Yeah, she said ‘I definitely don’t want to marry a man with such a bad personality’. The other side obediently pulled back, but one wrong step and it would have been dangerous in many ways.” (Caril)
International problem kind of thing, huh.
Seems like they have a lot going on with Astorn, and the Empire as well. I thought that the only place they don’t have problems with was Ushtolma, but they did reject assistance with the matter of the king.
“They sound like they have unnecessarily high pride, so there’s the possibility of revenge.” (Makoto)
“Can’t say there’s no possibility of it which is sad.” (Caril)
“You got it tough.” (Makoto)
A sigh that’s filled with emotions was let out.
“Leaving aside the Empire and Astorn for now, what do we do about the problem close by?” (Makoto)
“Yeah, I have received testimony of Olfi that the ghost incident was done by the sixth knight division under the orders of Erac, and I also heard that Erac suspended it.” (Makoto)
“I am happy that it has been resolved, but it is truly a problematic matter.” (Caril)
What was used in the ghost incident was, as expected, the barrier magic tool that was stolen from the inner palace. And it seems like this was modified by Dyudyurad to be a perception disruption magic tool. However, because the Bald Geezer used it while it was still a prototype, the effects were questionable, is what Olfi stated.
“Even so, with this, we have narrowed down a lot of things.” (Makoto)
“…It can also be said that the problematic ones are left.” (Caril)
“We can prove that poison was used, but it is pointless if we can’t prove it was Makirus’s doing. Regarding Erac, he will most likely show movement tomorrow on… Once the retreat of the Empire’s army enters his ears, that is.” (Makoto)
“Right. I have told Gallahart to maintain the highest of cautions, but being on high alert daily can affect the morale of the knights.” (Caril)
There’s no way a human can maintain high alert for long terms of time, and it must also be tough on the knights to be on alert for a rebellion that who knows when it will happen.
“We need them to work hard for a bit longer.” (Makoto)
I honestly want to eliminate Erac and the others at once, but the healing of the wound will be slow if there’s still pus remaining. Cleaning the wound completely is how it can actually heal. Drawing a line was indeed a difficult task.
“Ohi-sama, excuse my intrusion.”
Without waiting for a response, Niva-san enters with rough breathing.
“Niva? What’s wrong?” (Caril)
“I am sorry. I have something you must hear at once.” (Niva)
The usual Niva-san wouldn’t do something so rude. She walks towards the Queen with fast steps, and with her ragged breath still there, she speaks.
“A Guarder has been wounded.” (Niva)
“Wounded? What happened?” (Caril)
“In the middle of pursuing Makirus-sama, she was attacked by her.” (Niva)
Bloodshed inside the castle is not peaceful… Wait, the one pursuing Makirus was the ceiling person, right?
“How bad was the wound?” (Makoto)
“Fortunately, the wound was shallow, but she said that she was made to drink something like medicine.” (Niva)
Medicine from Makirus is dangerous.
“It seems she was forcefully made to ingest a black pill, but it didn’t look like there was any noteworthy change in her.” (Niva)
“But it is worrying…” (Caril)
The Queen slowly directs her gaze over here, and Niva-san looks my way as if following. I understood the meaning of those clinging eyes of theirs, and I sigh lowly.
“Where is she?” (Makoto)
“Thank you, Makoto-kun.” (Caril)
No, that’s not the answer to my question.
“No need for thanks.” (Makoto)
“But at least allow me to.” (Caril)
“Got it. So, where is she?” (Makoto)
It would be never ending if I go through the Queen, so I turn my eyes to Niva-san.
“After receiving treatment in the medical office, she has returned to her room.” (Niva)
“Then, it would be best to go quickly.” (Makoto)
“We may be troubling you, but we will be counting on you.” (Niva)
The Queen bid farewell to me, and then Niva-san lowered her head and said ‘I will be guiding you’, and so we left with her guiding the way.
Lodging house of the Queen’s personal maids.
In a room there, a maid was brushing gently the injury in her arm that she had received recently, and was regretting the fact that she messed up.
Currently, the people that are of caution: Primer Minister Erac, and Magic Division Leader Makirus. The surveillance of these two has become most of their work lately, and this time around, her job was with Makirus.
She has a variety of rumors about her going around, but she thought that she wasn’t the kind of person to attack someone in the castle where there’s the eyes of people around. Because of this, she showed a pathetic performance, and ended up getting injured, but what’s worrying her more than the injury is the pill that she had been made to ingest.
“If it is something that person made…”
Thinking unnecessary things will increase the uneasiness. Dispersing those vile thoughts, she lies down on her bed.
She suddenly noticed rashes spreading around her whole body, and many bruises were beginning to appear in her arms and legs. Touching them wasn’t really painful, but it was strangely hot. The places that she touched had a strangely disgusting squishy feeling to it, and she hurriedly stopped touching.
“…W-What is this?”
The first thing that came to mind was the unknown pill.
An indescribable fear attacked her whole body, and her vision began to darken. She understands plenty well that fault lies in her as well for messing up, but her fear of not understanding what is going on was mixing with it, and it doesn’t seem like she can take any composed decisions. However, the fact that she is still trying to maintain composure even with that is because she knows of something scarier.
The scolding of the head personal maid, Niva. —Those are really something.
She is probably the one who has been scolded the most within the personal maids, which she feels pathetic for, but she feels like it would be nice if she were a bit nicer.
“Mitoho, I am coming in.” (Niva)
Speaking of the devil.
Hearing the voice of the head personal maid that is scarier than an ogre from the other side of the door, she hurriedly stood up and was going to head to open the door, but she suddenly felt pain in her whole body, and her vision drastically warped. Her consciousness grew faint and she fell on her knees.
“Mitoho? …Mitoho, I am coming in.” (Niva)
Within her fading consciousness, she heard the agitated voice of the person that opened the door, and while thinking something out-of-place like ‘she will be scolded again’, she fell into the darkness…
☆☆ ☆☆ ★ ☆☆ ☆☆
Niva-san knocked on the door, and slightly after receiving a strange response, a sound as if something had fallen rang in the room. Niva-san and I looked at each other and opened the door.
Stopping Niva-san who was about to rush to the ceiling person that’s collapsed at the side of the bed, real name Mitoho-san, I first perform a Vital Scan on her.
“It might be dangerous to thoughtlessly touch her. I will go first.” (Makoto)
“I have a body that’s resistant to most poisons and diseases, so there’s no need to worry.” (Makoto)
I part from Niva-san who looks worried, and confirm the state of Mitoho-san first.
She seems to have lost consciousness, but her breathing is stable. However, the complexion of her skin is strangely bad with a number of bruises visible here and there, and there’s some sort of pus overflowing from her lacerations.
“…Oi oi.” (Makoto)
While I was doing this checking, the Vital Scan gave me a Yellow Zone report that is closing in to the Red Zone.
[Corresponding symptoms — Result of the scan: Decomposition Death Virus.]
Oi, wait a mloment. That Granny, what did she do?!
“Mitoho-san was attacked just recently, right?” (Makoto)
“Yes. Around 30 minutes ago.” (Niva)
In just 30 minutes? I was told that the people that were affected at the city had a time of one day or more before their symptoms worsened, and yet, her symptoms have worsened to this extent in only 30 minutes…
“And so, Makoto-sama…the state of Mitoho…” (Niva)
“She is suffering from the Decomposition Death Virus.” (Makoto)
Leaving aside Niva-san who froze from the surprise, I begin to think about a way to break through this current situation.
There’s no doubt this was done by Makirus. The pill that Mitoho-san was made to ingest is most definitely the cause. It was most likely a pill with concentrated solution. I do have questions as if just that can change the effects as dramatically as this, but this is not the time to be wondering about that.
“Niva-san, capture Makirus at once. Please secure the pills!” (Makoto)
“…Y-Yes! —Ah, Mitoho…” (Niva)
“There’s the need to take Mitoho-san to an isolated place. The progress of the disease is going at a frightening pace, so…if it is not treated in some way as soon as possible, it might end up in the worst case scenario.” (Makoto)
The situation is bad to that degree.
Decomposition Death Virus.
A venom that was mixed and distilled with the Detorishta Bulb and the Atomos Titan’s Meat.
After ingesting, it will increase heat, cause muscle pain, and form rashes. After that, the necrosis in the body will progress, and turn the affected into a rotten ghoul.
Has the same creation method as the Loroad Virus, and uses everything aside from the Paralysis Lizard’s Liver.
The rashes have already spread through her body, her skin is showing blue bruises, and pus is overflowing from her lacerations. No matter how I see it, the symptoms are reaching the last stages.
In this current situation where there’s no knowing when she could become a Rotten Ghoul, there’s the need for the highest of cautions.
“Understood. I will relay this at once. —I am sorry, but I will leave Mitoho in your hands, Makoto-sama.” (Niva)
“Well then…” (Niva)
After giving her farewells with her head lowered, Niva-san runs out of the room, and I turn my eyes towards Mitoho-san who still hasn’t regained consciousness.
I will save you no matter what happens.
For the sake of that, there’s the need to capture Makirus quickly. To save the other infected as well. If the ingredients are difficult to obtain, that pill is the only hope we have.
“For now, the number one priority is to slow the progress of the disease.” (Makoto)
If we can capture the Granny that has finally shown her tail, a variety of things can be resolved.
“Multiple Activation of Spell Formations: [Aseptic Room] and [Delay Step], target: Decomposition Death Virus.” (Makoto)
I form a barrier, and begin the treatment of the lacerations…