Translator: Silver Editor: Namorax
「Disturbance in Lanbaltic」 Part 3
A crowd had gathered at the harbor.
The slave trader ship with the broken mast was towed to the pier and quite a few people had been found locked up inside the cargo hold. The majority of the captured people were refugees, but there were also young women from the city mixed in with them. As for the captain and the crew, they were taken away by the guards.
“You’ll only cause trouble if you do this sort of thing without consulting with me first.”
Ariane was staring at me when Gio admonished me by saying that line with a wry smile and a troubled look in his eyes. I could even see wrinkles forming on his forehead.
He was quite angry. Since arresting criminals is the duty of the territory’s knights and guards, it was only natural that outsiders like us would receive this rebuke.
However, for some reason Ariane was giving Gio a questioning look.
“They’re all criminals, right? What’s wrong with capturing them?”
“It’s the role of humans to police humans! ……No, for your assistance in capturing these criminals I thank you on behalf of the Knight corps.”
After his outburst, Gio looked a little embarrassed and stopped speaking, then lowered his head and thanked us before walking off.
Ariane narrowed her eyes at this before moving closer to whisper into my ear without Gio noticing.
『Arc, something’s off about that man. When we split from him before, the number of trackers increased by one. He could have been following us in secret.』
I immediately turned towards Gio.
That was weird, wasn’t it? Though he was appointed as the guide to an enigmatic duo, he was quick to separate from us and act on his own. It was possible that he had someone keeping an eye on us from the shadows.
However, if he had been tailing us, then a knight like him should have been able to rush in when we were attacked in the warehouse district. It might be reasonable to assume that the additional tracker had been a subordinate, but if that person was under Gio’s command it would mean that he knew about the attack beforehand.
However, this was mere speculation and it wouldn’t amount to anything if there was no definitive evidence.
I quickly looked away from Gio and looked over the slave trader crew that was being hauled away by the guards.
“Although the illegal slave traders have been captured, the person we’re searching for has yet to be found.”
I spoke in a level tone while folding my arms, Ariane’s golden eyes squinted beneath her hood as she nodded and scouted the area.
“Arc, I found another suspicious ship.”
Ariane pulls on my arm as she said and started to walk away, I followed along as my interest had peaked.
“Is there really a suspicious ship?”
“Yes, some men near it have been watching the situation unfold for a while now.”
“However, we have no evidence or testimony this time, and I’m hesitant to draw as much attention as before……”
“There should be conclusive evidence from the people being held captive, right? It’ll be alright.”
She was expressing a strange amount of confidence as we made our way through the harbor and approached a black ship at the end of the pier. The merchant ship was larger than the slave trader’s and I could see many sailors aboard the ship who all showed open wariness when they saw us approaching.
By the time we reached the merchant ship, a wall of ten crewmen was already blocking our path.
“Do you have any business on our ship?”
A half-naked, burly man made the mistake of demanding our purpose here. The man had a multitude of sword scars on his arms and snorted as he seemed to look down at us.
However, Ariane didn’t bother to answer him. Instead, she sighed before whispering something into her hand, creating a light that disappeared just as instantly as it had appeared. Only after that did Ariane turn towards the burly man and addressed him.
“This ship is suspicious, so we’re checking it out. We have no business with you.”
“If you have no purpose, then get out of here! Don’t interfere with our work!! You too, Mr. Knight.”
Faced with Ariane’s nonchalant behavior in the face of his intimidating manner, the burly man’s eyebrows rose and he was about to raise his voice for another threat when the sudden appearance of a flashily dressed merchant parted the human wall.
“Let’s see, let’s see… Is there anything this humble vessel of the Deoin Company can help you with?”
The flashy man’s smile and slimy glaze focused on us as he asked why we were here.
“We have no business yet.”
Ariane’s comment from beneath her hood caused the merchant to narrow his eyes in confusion and he gave us a questioning smile.
It was a familiar voice that broke the tension.
“Please wait a moment! Ariane-sama, Arc-dono.”
Looking back, I saw a single man approaching us. It was none other than the Lanbaltic territory’s knight vice-captain Gio.
“Vitsio-dono, is something wrong?”
“Ah, Gio-sama, nothing’s wrong, it’s just that these two seem to have some business on our ship.”
The merchant Gio called Vitsio, made a nonchalant gesture and shrugged his shoulders, now flaunting a vulgar smile.
“Ariane-sama, this ship belongs to the Deoin trading company, the firm headed by Earl Orunato of the Nozan Kingdom. It’s impossible for this ship to be related to the case as it has already undergone proper inspection.”
There was a hint of criticism in Gio’s voice, but Ariane paid him no mind as she focused in on something else.
Gio took that chance to step between her and Vitsio.
Apparently we wouldn’t be able to just meddle with this ship. If it was working under a foreign noble, then we couldn’t act without evidence.
While the two of them glared at one another, the light that had disappeared suddenly returned to Ariane’s side. While I had been directly staring at the light, the people around us suddenly grimaced and covered their eyes as if it were brighter than I thought.
When the light vanished, Ariane ignored the flow of the previous conversation and called out to the merchant all of the sudden.
“Can you explain why there are people held captive on the ship?”
“What are you talking about? As it’s already been said, this ship belongs to Nozan Kingdom’s──”
The merchant gave us a wry smile at her question and tried to repeat the name of his backer, however, he was cut off when Ariane removed the hood hanging in front of her eyes.
Her lilac skin and pointy ears must have clued everyone in on her race as her reveal caused many of the people around us to stir.
“I am Ariane Glenys Maple, an elf of Great Canada Forest. Is this Earl Orunato of the Nozan Kingdom willing to cause strife with the elves because of your actions here?”
Her golden eyes narrowed as she stared down the merchant Vitsio. Her tone was so provocative it upset the man to the point where he was scowling and twitched uncontrollably.
“If you have nothing to hide, there should be no problem with letting us on board.”
Ariane’s constant provocations caused Vitsio’s face to turn deep red as well as loosing up his lips.
“A lowly barbaric elf has the audacity to insult a human such as I!?”
The men surrounding us started to emit a dangerous aura at Vitsio’s shout. Normally, it was the unknown people that would be driven away in this scene.
However, Ariane wasn’t in any state of mind to do that. She faintly smiled before running towards the man with the scars and lightly jumped on his head and over the human wall.
The person showed a bit of surprise that quickly turned into anger as Ariane ran towards the ship. Vitsio was dumbfounded for a moment before he started shrieking.
“Catch that elf!! Quickly!! This is not what was agreed upon!! What’s going on, Gio!! Our ship shouldn’t be required to undergo an on-the-spot inspection!!”
Faint blue veins appeared on Vitsio’s temple and vice-captain Gio’s face had turned pale at the sudden change.
Gio started to panic as he recovered and unintentionally stepped back while looking around.
“Hoo, Gio-dono you’re aware of some unknown circumstances?”
When I questioned him, Gio grew impatient and started fast-talking.
“A-Arc-dono you have to stop her!! This could lead to problems between the Nozan Kingdom and our territory!! We have to avoid that situation at all cost!!”
Hearing Vitsio’s words and looking at Gio’s reaction revealed everything to me. However, it may be interesting to see them trip over themselves.
“Understood! I’ll stop Ariane-dono!”
I started running towards the ship after saying that. The crew was already chasing after her and the guards stationed at the harbor began to gather as they noticed the uproar.
Ariane was prancing around like an acrobat aboard the ship while her pursuers roared in irritation. There were already people who had passed out in exhaustion and even a few of them had been knocked into the water.
I stepped into the middle of the hectic chase on the ship’s deck under the pretext of trying to catch Ariane.
“♩♩Uoooh〜 Ariane-dono〜 You have to behave yourself〜♪!”
When I pretended to pounce at Ariane while speaking in a singsong manner, she lightly jumped onto the anchor’s capstan to avoid the telegraphed strike.
With the momentum of my pounce, I hammered my fist into the floor board with everything I had.
The supposedly thick upper deck was easily split open and the force from the blow didn’t stop until penetrating the cargo hold.
“OMy ur shippp〜〜〜!!”
I heard Vitsio’s feeble scream as I fell into the large hole I had opened up.
After landing, Ponta uncoiled herself from my neck and seemingly rolled her eyes and shook her head before jumping to the floor.
I fixed my helmet that had started to slip off and looked around the dim interior of the ship. There were bundles of thick rope laying around that seemed to be used as some sort of foothold. There was a relatively large cabin as well.
Since Ariane believed that there were people captive inside the ship, I will believe her and start searching the ship to find them.
“I came to help! If there’s any kidnapped people down here, speak up!!”
The air stirred when I shouted down the hole before several of the crew members drew their weapons and attacked.
Even if I suddenly yelled that I was here to help, the ones held captive would probably think it’s a trap and were too scared to speak up. I looked around for the captives while simultaneously knocking away the attacking crew members and called out again.
“Lady Teresa sent us to help! Furani Markham, answer if you’re here!!”
Just as I started to consider seizing the ship and searching every nook and cranny someone replied.
“Lady Teresa really sent help?! I’m over here! I’m Furani Markham!!”
When I looked in the back of the cabin I saw an entrance to the cargo hold that was covered by a metal grating. Fingers seeped through gaps as a sole woman’s voice rose from behind it. The other captives must have been convinced that help was coming since I could hear them talk amongst themselves.
Anyway, it seems I found our target. Brushing aside the two that were standing watch, an avalanche of people poured out of the hold once I cut the padlock off the door.
Among the freed people, I immediately spotted the maid Furani Markham.
I singled her out thanks to the maid uniform I saw in the castle and because her brunette hair was held in a chignon with a hairpin. Her large black eyes reflected fear when she looked up at me.
“I’m Furani Markham…… Are you the knight Lady Teresa sent to rescue me?”
“My name is Arc. I’m an adventurer responding to Lady Teresa’s request, not a knight.”
I give a self-introduction in an attempt to ease her noh mask, but she looked like she didn’t believe me when I said I was an adventurer.
“It’s unnecessary to stay here any longer. Everyone follow me.”
I said so while placing Furani behind me for safety, before I kicked the door down and led us outside. Occasionally,when some of the remaining crew members tried to attack us, I’d either lightly punch them through the wall, or stick their ass in a barrel so they were no longer an obstacle.
When our group finally made it above deck we found the crew members sprawled along the ground and Ariane standing tall amongst their bodies.
Many of the people behind me looked at the scene in a state of shock.
“That was impressive, Arc, creating such a large hole in the ship without magic. Did you find who we were looking for?”
There wasn’t a single wound on Ariane’s lilac skin and she was attracting a lot of attention as she started to laugh while her white hair was blown by the sea breeze.
I could hear drunk-like sighs of admiration coming from behind me.
“Ah, this is Furani the woman that Teresa sent us to find.”
When I stepped aside to reveal Furani to Ariane, Furani rushed to lower her head and offer a proper greeting.
“So, we were able to safely fulfill her the request.”
Ariane looked pleased and breathe a sigh of relief.
After Ariane explained the situation to the city guards gathered on the ship’s deck, they quickly arrested the crew while Ariane and I simply looked on from the sidelines.