LS – Chapter 151: Escaping next

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“I see, so Chenias was also apprehended. They are doing good work.” 

After hearing that the baldy Robito got apprehended by Kuama soldiers followed by the hag Chenias, Bro Gestaf grinned as if it went exactly as planned. 

Bro didn’t tell Robito and Chenias about the existence of the man that was investigating the advisors. 

Not only that, he was creating openings to make it easier for that man to get rid of Robito and Chenias. 

He would spread handy information in places where it would be easier for people who came from outside to gather information, stealthily obstructed the work around Robito and Chenias, and increased the amount of work for the aforementioned people. 

The result was that the frequency that those two went outside increased and had no choice but to be active in a variety of facilities. 

As expected of Bro. He set those two up without taking a single step outside! 

“But Bro, won’t it be rough for us when we are taking away the country if Robito and Chenias have tapped out?” 

“Get this in your head, Haakudoku. Humans hold hands when there’s a common enemy, but the moment they know it wouldn’t hurt them to let go, they will easily do so. If we were to try and take 3 countries, the other countries would move, too. Dealing with several nations means there will be reinforcements coming. But in the case only a single nation were to be taken away in the middle of the invasion of the Scarlet Demon Lord, the other countries would all say together ‘Do something about your own nation yourself’.” (Gestaf)

“Is that how it works?” (Haaku)

“Bandits apparently formed an alliance in Taizu and went wild in it, but the neighboring countries showed no sign of helping out. That goes the same for when the Blue Demon Lord attacked the defensive walls. The clerics of the Yugura Church showed up because the Kuama King gets along with Archbishop Seraes, but the neighboring countries that heard the rumors of it stayed silent.” (Gestaf)

“Now that you mention it…” (Haaku)

“It is like this even when a Demon Lord attacked. It is close to improbable that other countries will get involved with the internal discord of a single foreign country. Also, the people that are preparing the means will concentrate on us.” (Gestaf)

I-I see. He not only got the better of Shunait and Morgana who have always been copycats, but thought this far too… I wouldn’t be able to imitate that. 

Or more like, I don’t even understand it that much.

“By the way Bro, I have heard a lot of suspicious stuff about Chenias, but the matter of Robito wasn’t a coincidence, right?” (Haaku)

“From what I heard, the companion of Robito got insulted and he raised his hand against a drunkard. But that drunkard and the companion are not in the country anymore. There’s an 80% chance all the people around were playing an act.” (Gestaf)

“But a companion that you would go as far as getting angry for when insulted being the instigator is just… Can that happen?” (Haaku)

“He must have skillfully slipped right into the bosom of Robito. They must have switched to this method from there. It seems they not only have acting skills but also good luck.” (Gestaf)

Uheh, just what kind of super flatterer is he if he can make that baldy get that invested in him?

No, wait. If that man is involved in this, he might have been able to analyze the likes of Robito, wouldn’t he? 

“Bro, that man felt like he excelled in analyzing the other party. Wasn’t it skills rather than luck that made him liked?” (Haaku)

“That man hasn’t arrived at Kuama for long. Even if the person disguised himself to make contact with Robito, it is hard to get someone like you when you haven’t met for long. Especially with Robito who hates people that lower themselves to flatter others. He would have been on guard if they were to interact with him with discretion to check his attitude.” (Gestaf)

“That’s true… But…” (Haaku)

“So hard to please. Is it your instincts speaking?” (Gestaf)

“You could say that…” (Haaku)

When Bro said ‘the person disguised himself’, I imagined that man making contact with Robito.

There’s a part of me that agrees that man can say things which can lead to Robito liking him from the very beginning.

“Meaning that that guy is a monster that excels in grasping human nature, huh. Alright, I will believe in your instincts. I will be wary of him as someone with that mettle.” (Gestaf)

“Y-Yes!” (Haaku)

“What I should be the most wary of is to not get dirt that might get me apprehended like Chenias.” (Gestaf)

“Right?!” (Haaku)

They acted out an incident when Robito went outside. But Bro has been avoiding going out since that day.

If they are going for the same methods, they would take the same one they took with the hag Chenias. 

But well, it should be fine on that front! 

“You are checking the people that have been coming and going from this residence, right?” (Gestaf)

“Yessu! I am always checking to get a rough idea about what intentions they have come with.” (Haaku)

The people who come to this residence have to enter my detection magic. 

From familiar merchants that bring food to even grannies that have come to deliver letters. I have not missed a single person who holds hostility towards Bro. 

“Tell me at once when you find any weird ones.” (Gestaf)

“Understood! Aah, also, I have been using detection magic 10-100 times every hour in the whole residence, so the countermeasures for intruders is perfect, too!” (Haaku)

I activate detection magic when I feel like it in the time I am in this residence -to the point of being an annoyance. 

I not only perceive the people that have touched my detection magic. I can also feel the shape of the mana I have deployed.

It means that, if I set detection magic on the whole residence, I can even tell the position of the furniture.

If things increase, move on their own, or any such weird stuff, Instinct-sama would tell me something’s off. 

And so, I won’t miss even a single piece of laundry moving by itself! 

Well, it is pretty sad when I detect the laundry I aired has fallen though. 

Ah, my underwear has fallen on the ground. I have to put it back later. 

Also, this is a special skill of mine I can’t really brag about, but I can use detection magic unconsciously even while sleeping. 

There’s a hassle of a step I have to do before sleeping in order to do this, but it is because I have this ability that I can take all-night turns and still sleep. 

“You were using it that much. I barely felt it.” (Gestaf)

“I have excluded only the study where you are in. Even if my detection is hard to perceive, if I use it too much, it would get annoying.” (Haaku)

“Don’t try to bring unnecessary consideration here. Go all out as if you were trying to check my health.” (Gestaf)

“Ah, okay. Sorry!” (Haaku)

Then, let’s do that at once… Hm? 

“Bro, there’s Kuama soldiers gathering at the entrance.” (Haaku)

“What? Do you know what they came here for?” (Gestaf)

“It seems like they are trying to investigate this house after receiving an order of some sort.” (Haaku)

“Do you sense any trap?” (Gestaf)

“No, I don’t feel such intentions from the Kuama soldiers.” (Haaku)

“Has King Zenotta gotten hasty and sent soldiers? It is not impossible, but…fine, we still have no fault they can take advantage of. We just have to drive them away from the front.” (Gestaf)

The moment Bro was about to put a hand on the door of the study, Instinct-sama reacted. 

This reaction…is a familiar one. 

I immediately grab the sleeve of Bro.

“Please wait. Instinct-sama told me something just now.” (Haaku)

“What did it tell you?” (Gestaf)

“Danger approaching you.” (Haaku)

“Your instincts told you I am in danger?” (Gestaf)

“Yes. It is not often, but it does sometimes work like this. It is the same as ‘that day’.” (Haaku)

“…I see. Then I have no choice but to follow that.” (Gestaf)

At the day when Bro picked me up…at the day when Bro decided to pick me up, Instinct-sama gave me this reaction. 

I lived by digging through trash when I was an orphan. I feel like vomiting whenever I try to remember those days. 

Well, leaving that aside, I met Bro, who vomited after drinking too much, at the time when I was heading to the back of a tavern to dig through the trash. 

“What’s with you, brat? Your appetite will just go away if you watch me vomit, you know? Ueh…” (Gestaf)

I had business with what lay below where he was vomiting though. I was glaring at him begrudgingly in that fashion and Bro guessed a variety of things from this. 

He put a hand inside his pocket and threw me a pouch filled with coins. 

“Sorry about that. My puke took away your meal of the day. That’s the money I was thinking about using all of today. I have gotten weaker to alcohol with age, so I can’t use any more than this. Sorry, but get rid of that money when you’ve got the chance.” (Gestaf)

I picked up the pouch and simply looked at Bro without even saying a single word of gratitude. 

Instinct-sama was telling me he is not a dangerous person, but I was excessively wary at the sensation I was feeling for the first time. 

Now that I think about it, I was a really uncharming brat. 

Bro snorted with a calm expression and tried to leave the place. 

But Instinct-sama told me at that time.

—That person will die at this rate.

What should I have said to make it easier? 

The reality is that that intuition simply tells me about it. Basically, it is as if telling me it is not about me, so just do as you please for the rest.

However, I unconsciously grabbed the sleeve of Bro after receiving that warning from Instinct-sama. 

“Woah. What? I have no more money, you know?” (Gestaf)

Bro made a troubled face, but I didn’t let go despite that. 

I only knew that I shouldn’t let him go as it is. 

Me and Bro looked at each other, and time passed by for a bit. 

It seems like Bro thought my eyes were trying to communicate something to him at first, but after seeing that I wasn’t saying anything, he sighed and tried to shake me off. 

“The food I left behind is going to get cold. I want to get back already, so can you please let go? Hey—” (Gestaf)

At that moment, a loud sound rang from the tavern. 

Drunkards went wild on the second floor, making the floor give out and falling down on a table on the first floor. 

One of the support beams of the 2nd floor had stabbed right through a chair. 

The chair that Bro was sitting on.

It is because of this day that Bro picked me up. My life changed from a shitty one where everyone alienated me to a life where there’s someone who needs me. 

◇◇

One of the servants received the guard chief and the many Kuama soldiers at the study of Gestaf. 

“Gestaf-sama is currently occupied. I have been told to substitute him.” 

“Lord Heriodora is in this house, right?” 

“I haven’t heard of any plans to go out, but he is a busy person, so I don’t know where in the house he is.” 

“Fine. We had a report about how Lord Heriodora is smuggling weapons in Kuama, so we have come to investigate that.” 

“Weapons, huh. There’s several subordinates of Gestaf-sama who use weapons. It is only natural for there to be a decent degree of weapons in this residence in order to supply them…” 

“We are of course aware of that. But what was smuggled were weapons provided to the soldiers of Kuama. According to the testimony of a person checking the armory, a great deal of weapons has been stolen.” 

“Are you implying that we are the ones who stole them?” 

“It is not in our intention to make assumptions, but that’s the information we were provided. Even if it is not certain, we have to confirm just in case. Guide us to your armory.” 

The servant and the soldiers move to the armory in the residence.

There was a decent amount of armor and weapons lined up in the armory, and the soldiers divided to inspect them. 

“All of them seem to be normal weapons.” 

“Of course. There’s no reason to go out of our way to steal the weapons from the armory of the nation.” 

“They are of good quality, so it is not like there’s no reason to. Allow us to have a rough check of the other rooms.” 

The soldiers check around the various rooms together with the servant. 

They entered the respective rooms, and checked scrutinously below the beds and the drawers. 

“This is…the food storage, huh. The inside of this wooden box has…fresh vegetables.” 

“It is food that was brought here this morning after all. Please don’t make too much of a mess, okay?” 

“We know. But we have checked the whole residence and we haven’t seen Lord Heriodora. Is he really here?” 

“Gestaf-sama himself was the one who left me to receive you all. Wouldn’t your comrades at the entrance see him if he were to go out?” 

“That’s true. What’s left is to check this wooden box below here…?” 

The guard chief was about to lower the wooden box filled with food, and he stopped moving cleanly. 

His gaze was directed at the wooden box he was carrying. 

“Is something the matter?” 

“I just thought this wooden box is strangely heavy. The vegetables inside of it shouldn’t be that heavy… Oi, you guys! Take out the vegetables from inside this wooden box.” 

The soldiers divided the work in taking out the vegetables and moved it to the floor. 

The inside of the box was emptied and they peeked at the bottom of the wooden box. 

“There’s nothing.” 

“…No, this is…” 

The guard chief drew his sword and swung his sword down at the wooden box. 

The wooden box was broken and splinters flew. 

And then, several swords showed up from inside the wooden box.

“Wa… This is…” 

“Looks like there was a fake bottom. I see. So they had the weapons hidden at the bottom of the wooden boxes for miscellaneous goods. The crest of the Kuama country is shown there. Check the other boxes too!” 

The soldiers take out the things inside the wooden boxes and check the bottom of those boxes. 

This time they are not as careful as before when placing the things on the floor and just scattered them haphazardly. 

Weapons with the crest of the Kuama nation were showing up one after the other. 

The gaze of the guard chief was directed at the servant, but the servant shook his head to the sides with a face that says he doesn’t know what’s going on either. 

“I-I know nothing about this! This was carried here by a trustworthy merchant!” 

“Looks like we will have to seize this merchant, too. But there’s the need to speak in more detail with Lord Heriodora. All units, search for Lord Heriodora!” 

◇◇

We activated the mechanism of the study, and checked the state of the surroundings with Bro. 

Or more like, this basement could listen in on the sounds of other rooms, too? 

No, more importantly…

“W-What’s the meaning of this?! That food was brought in by an acquainted merchant of ours, Stowe-san! Could it be that Stowe-san set us up?! But my detection magic…” 

No, that’s impossible. I checked Stowe-san with my detection magic when he brought the food this morning. 

I couldn’t feel a shred of animosity or evil intent from him at that time. 

In the first place, that old man is not someone who can smuggle weapons! 

“Calm down, Haakudoku. There wasn’t any reaction from your detection magic when you used it on Stowe, right?” 

“That’s right.” (Haaku)

“…I see, so that’s how it is.” (Gestaf)

“What does it mean?!” (Haaku)

“Stowe has nothing to do with this. They used Stowe and messed with the wooden boxes. Stowe makes the boxes feel lighter with magic when carrying them. The weight of just 10 weapons increasing in the wooden box would just be around the weight of a single dog -that would just be brushed off as a small variable.” (Gestaf)

I see. Stowe-san is a merchant that delves in transportation of goods. One that even offers the service of delivering your purchase to your residence as one of his services. 

But it is not like Stowe-san is toned. He always uses magic in order to reduce the weight of the big deliveries so it is easier to carry. 

That man investigated this, finished tinkering with the goods to be delivered, and made the completely oblivious Stowe-san carry it here! 

My detection magic can’t investigate completely if the bottom of the wooden box is completely airtight. It doesn’t have such a function like detecting double bottoms! 

Oi oi, won’t Stowe-san be apprehended afterwards?! He was talking about how happy he was to be able to see the face of his grandchild recently, you know?! Isn’t that man way too inhumane?! 

“W-What should we do, Bro?! We are going to be arrested at this rate! Aah, but it was simply brought here, so we might be able to explain it away…!” (Haaku)

“Don’t get hasty. Now that proof has shown up, we can’t avoid being apprehended even if we manage to explain it. We will most likely be kept in a cell until the fight against the Scarlet Demon Lord finishes.” (Gestaf)

“T-Then, what should we do?!” (Haaku)

“I told you not to get hasty. We are running away. Our public reputation will worsen, but we should be able to manage somehow as long as we can still move.” (Gestaf)

“R-Right! Then, let’s ru—no good! The soldiers have the house completely surrounded!” (Haaku)

I expanded the detection magic to not only the whole residence, but also the surroundings of it, and there were around 120 soldiers! 

Moreover, there’s even Ekdoik and Girista! 

“Calm down. Explain the situation briefly.” (Gestaf)

“U-Uhm, there’s 20 people in the house, 20 at the entrance, and 120 surrounding the outside of the house. Ekdoik and Girista are mixed in that group. Also, there’s a female cleric of the Yugura Church…?” (Haaku)

“You are not being clear at all.” (Gestaf)

“It is as if she has weird mixed mana… Is it similar to Ekdoik? She is most likely strong.” (Haaku)

“I see. Are those all their numbers?” (Gestaf)

“No. When I expanded it even further, it made contact with a magic seal stone and it was dispelled. However, judging from the faint mana I could feel at that time…there’s most likely the female knight that was by the side of that man.” (Haaku)

“So it is not that human in question. Is there anyone in our group who can fight?” (Gestaf)

“That won’t work. They would all be defeated in a second. Ah, but I can last 1 minute!” (Haaku)

I would most likely break into tears at the end and be sliced down though! 

Speaking of which, that man is not here. I should use detection magic again just in case. 

If I remember correctly, that woman had a magic seal stone embedded on her sword. If the scabbard is at that position, the location I should put outside the range is around here… Alright. 

I activate detection magic. The female knight certainly is there. Looks like she is observing the situation while watching the Kuama soldiers trying to rush in. 

By her side was…that man. It really was his fault. I knew it. 

Even though he should only feel like a weakling from the result of the detection magic, what is Instinct-sama feeling so much danger for? 

And deeper in… What’s…this…?

“Oi, what’s the matter, Haakudoku?!” (Gestaf)

“Eh, ah, yeah, I am okay…” (Haaku)

“You don’t look okay. That man showed up?” (Gestaf)

“He is indeed there, but I am okay as long as I don’t look directly at him. However…Yugura is behind the female knight.” (Haaku)

“…Did you go crazy?” (Gestaf)

“N-No! Uhm…the outward appearance is that of a female demi-human. But the quality of the mana is without doubt…the same as the one I saw in the Hero Index!” (Haaku)

The Hero Index in Kuama is something that was prepared to let a portion of Yugura’s strength be known for posterity. 

Anyone who learns how to fight has touched this stone monument and has been reminded of how high the peak is. 

There was a time when I aimed to become the strongest in the world. I have grown frustrated about it a long time ago though. 

To think there was someone like this in the present… The world is coming to its end! 

“…Looks like they are targeting us seriously.” (Gestaf)

“There’s also one more who was holding magic seal stones. She seems to be an adventurer, but she is strangely well mannered, or like…giving the vibes of royalty.” (Haaku)

“I have an idea of who this woman is. An adventurer of Morgana, Mix Taizu.” (Gestaf)

“…No way.” (Haaku)

I also know that name. Girista is decently famous with the people of Riodo, but it is harder to find an adventurer in Morgana who doesn’t know Mix Taizu.

She is the related party in that incident after all…

“There’s 45 of our people excluding us within the residence. They will resist on their own if the Kuama soldiers move… There were a number of people at the side of the entrance here. Call them here first.” (Gestaf)

“What’s the point of gathering them in the basement?! Ah, we are barricading ourselves?!” (Haaku)

“You idiot. I told you we are running. —This house has other tricks too.” (Gestaf)

Bro said this and grabbed a candlestick set on the wall, and placed his weight on it. 

Wait, if you do that, the candlestick will break! -is what I thought, but the candlestick went down as if it were a lever, and a part of the wall in the basement opened to the sides. 

There’s a tunnel leading deeper in, the magic stones set on the tunnel lit up one after the other, illuminating the path. 

“…S-So cool!” (Haaku)

“Right? I myself used it several times and was smacked by my dad. This leads to the basement of a vacant house we own. We are escaping through here.” (Gestaf)

If this weren’t an emergency, this secret escape route would be exhilarating, but right now’s not the time for that.

I sent the mana of detection magic into the opened tunnel. 

There’s quite a good amount of distance. It is also pretty wide. 

We should be able to escape with this. As expected of Bro, he can escape even in this despairing situation! 

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