Translator: Silver Editor: Namorax
「Leibnitz Incident」Part 1
Early morning the next day, we left Kesseck through its northern gate and traveled down the highway Chiome pointed out with 【Dimensional Step】.
Chiome was surprised at first, and her expression remained blank for a while, but after a few transfers, she started to look excited as the scenery changed with every step.
She had already seen 【Transfer Gate】, which allowed me to instantly travel to any place I could remember, so it might have been easier for her to accept 【Dimensional Step】. Well, I suppose magic like this would be quite useful to a ninja.
The mountains on the western side of the highway, with the forest at its base, were called the Shiana mountains.
We saw a lot of cultivated land around the outskirts of the forest.
Just before noon, our destination became visible from the highway.
The city and its walls were slightly larger than Kesseck and its walls. There was a large fort beside the city where carriages were constantly coming and going from.
“I never imaged we could make it here so quickly. I went from Calcutta directly to Kesseck, yet I’m amazed I managed to catch up to you.”
Chiome muttered such a thing while I was looking at Leibnitz’s cityscape.
Since we took a little side trip after parting with her, our meeting could have been due to her luck. It also could have been because of the guidance we received from the spirits, but Ariane looked down for some reason when I said that.
We entered Leibnitz through its southern gate.
Chiome simply walked up to the guards, showed them something, spoke a few word and then we were let in the city without much issue.
She must have prepared some passports before hand as part of her preparations.
After passing through the southern gate, the abundance of people on the main road immediately caught my attention. There was an elevated section of the city along the eastern side of the city walls that was gated off by its own wall. Perhaps that eastern district was the old town and everything beyond the wall was part of the new city. The wall was smaller than the new outer wall, maybe it served as the original city wall in the past, but now it was only used as the divide between the old and new town.
Chiome headed deeper into the city and went through the gate leading into the old city district.
“Since this might be a prolonged investigation, we should secure an inn first. Most of them are located in the old city district due to the relative safety over the new city district, and its easier for people like us to act in a place such as that.”
I nodded at Chiome’s explanation while looking at the crowded new city district. The streets were narrower in the old city district, but people naturally gave way for a two-meter tall knight wearing a cloak, so we weren’t that inconvenienced.
After walking the crowded streets of the old city district, we reserved a room in a small nearby inn.
“Let’s separate here to collect information.”
The moment after we reserved an inn room Chiome made that suggestion.
“Considering that this is my first time performing an infiltration in Leibnitz, I believe it’s best to be properly prepared. Even though I heard some stories from my village elders, let’s err on the side of caution.”
“I don’t have any objections to that. However, the two of us aren’t that great at intelligence gathering.”
While I approved of Chiome’s suggestion, I had to sigh and admit our lack of ability.
“Wait, are you including me in that statement?”
Ariane stopped rubbing Ponta’s fur and protested at my statement.
“We need to accept the facts.”
Ariane scowled and puffed out her cheeks when I said that.
Everyone had their strong and their weak points and we were simply unsuited for this. I couldn’t remove my helmet or armor, my appearance scared away the rogues and thugs that could sell information, and caused the general populace to avoid making eye contact. All of which raised the difficulty of gathering information.
In Ariane’s case, she had to completely cover herself with her cloak in order to hide her pointed ears, lilac skin and golden eyes. As a result, anyone would be suspicious of her when she tried to gain information. She could potentially loosen the lips of horny men by taking advantage of her voluptuous body and womanly charms, but she seemed to lack any skill in seduction.
Since Chiome was basically indistinguishable from a regular human when she hid her tail and wore a hat over her ears, she didn’t intimidate or raise suspicion in people like the two of us did.
There was an obvious difference between the information gathering abilities of the three of us. If there’s an expert in a certain field around, there’s no shame in borrowing their strength.
When I painstakingly and exhaustively explained everything to Ariane, her ears reddened a little and she turned away from me.
“Shall we meet up in this inn tonight then?”
We nodded at Chiome’s suggestion and left the inn.
Once Chiome disappeared in the hustle and bustle of the crowd, I glanced at Ariane.
“Then what should we do now……”
Ariane shrugged her shoulders and made a large nod when I asked her for suggestions.
“I just can’t sit back and leave everything to Chiome-chan.”
For some reason, Ponta was highly motivated as she wagged happily her tail while Ariane carried her. However, the familiar grumbling from her stomach indicated that she was expecting to find some delicious food in this city.
“Let’s pick up some snacks for Ponta while we look around the old city district.”
Chiome had gone to the new city district, so we should explore the old district. Leaving the dividing wall, we traveled the main road that connected to the city’s market.
Various stalls lined the streets and I took a quick look around as I waited for Ponta to react to something.
“People do avoid us, just as I thought.”
“Isn’t that because of how intimidating you are, Arc? Why don’t you try slouching as you walk?”
When I started to complain about the surrounding people, Ariane made a brusque suggestion. But even if I did that, a suspicious duo would still be suspicious.
However, I did come up with another idea.
“Ariane-dono can’t you eavesdrop on people using wind spirit magic? Something similar to what you did in Lanbaltic?”
“Ah, certainly. Just wait a second……”
When Ariane nodded at my suggestion, I placed Ponta in her usual spot atop my head while she started whispering into her hand. Some lights immediately started to gather in her hand
The pale light began to flicker in her hand as she continued to whisper.
Ariane suddenly looked up and asked me a question.
“Can you see anyone talking around here?”
I scanned the surrounding area and focused in on a pair of middle-aged men talking at a stale on the opposite side of the street.
“Will they do?”
Ariane followed my line of sight and honed in on the pair as she whispered in her hand and waved her hand causing the lights to disappear without a sound.
After a while, a breeze surrounded Ariane before she called out to me.
“Arc, can you hear me?”
When I nodded yes, she brought her a glowing finger to her lips in the silence gesture and I returned the same gesture to her.
When the lights started to flicker in her hand, I began to hear a conversation out of nowhere.
“Haven’t the soldiers been really active at the fort recently?”
“The monster activity around the border has been on the rise, I even heard that the soldiers have been sent to Kesseck to deal with it.
“I know, but you know how these days, whenever someone approaches the fort, a soldier comes out and sends them away?”
“Ah, I heard that strange cries have been coming from the fort recently.”
“You do know that you live longer if you don’t stick your head where it doesn’t belong, right?”
Before long the conversation ended and the pale lights faded away.
If I heard it correctly, the security around the fort has become harsh recently. People were usually barred from entering military institutions, so I don’t know how useful that information would be.
“This method is ideal for collecting information in cities.”
“But it’s quite troublesome……”
Ariane complained as she repeatedly invoked the spirit magic so we could listen in on the people walking the streets and hung around the back allies.
Whenever Ariane heard comments about someone wanting to grab her breasts or stroke her large ass from the men that checked her out, I had to struggle to soothe her anger and convince her to return to eavesdropping.
However, most of the residents’ chatter didn’t offer very useful information and there was a limit to how long she could keep the magic active.
To ensure that this trip wasn’t a complete waste, we decided to check out some of the stalls.
The town square was lined with a variety of stalls and it was connected to multiple roads of various sizes. A mansion wall was visible just west of the town square from here.
“The feudal is probably in there. How about we take a quick look.”
As we headed towards the feudal lord’s castle, we passed by a huge building that bore the Hiruku religion’s symbol along the main street.
It was larger than the church in Kesseck and the bell towers built in the four corners of the church were taller than the castle walls.
Many people were entering and leaving the church and I caught sight of a priest wearing clergy-like clothing that I could swear I’ve seen before.
Ariane and I quickly jogged past the place to avoid that group of people and walked into the southwestern section of the old city district where the castle was.
The nearly empty, paved streets were lined with large buildings and the small cobbled waterways contributed to the peaceful atmosphere with the sound of flowing water they produced.
It was a beautiful residential area, to say the least. However, the ambiance was ruined by the man who suddenly blocked our path.
He was rather tall, and coupled with his exotic clothing he looked different from everyone else we’ve seen so far in this town.
His black hair was twisted into dreadlocks and was complimented by a stubbly beard. A large tattoo could be seen peeking out from beneath his clothing.
The man had his lecherous eyes on Ariane, and it was clear from his unsteady walk and red cheeks that he was drunk.
“Hehehe, hey there pretty lady! You got a fine body don ‘cha? How ‘bout you keep me a little company.”
His appearance and manner of speech made him out to be a mere thug, but the clothes he wore seemed well made. Could he be a noble or one of their vassals maybe?
Even though he was wearing loose fitting pants he couldn’t completely hide the bulge that had undoubtedly] drawn him to Ariane.
“Don’t approach me.”
Ariane scowled at the man as she fanned away the smell of liquor that clung to him. However, the man paid no heed to her attitude and only proceeded to pursue her more forcefully.
“Hehe, A feisty one〜 I like those too. How about we go get ourselves some good liquor!?”
When the man tried to wrap his arm around Ariane I grabbed it before she could knock it away and twisted it behind his back.
“AAAAH!! What are you doing bastard!? Do you know who I am!?”
“Sober up next time you try to hit on women.”
Spit flew everywhere as the man shouted and desperately struggled to free himself. Because I could snap bones by applying too much pressure in my holds, I tried to restrain him without using too much force, unfortunately, the drunkard continued to recklessly flail about.
The guards would immediately be summoned when commotion came up in the center of town.
“Hey, cut it out!”
When I lightly hit the man in the stomach he went stiff for a moment before vomiting and passing out on the spot.
I felt a little bit of relief that he hadn’t coughed up blood and guts.
“Hum〜, he finally quieted down……”
I shrugged in relief before taking a quick look around.
“……I guess I owe you one, thanks Arc. Well, …… what now?”
Ariane asked that while looking down at the passed out man.
The man was laying in his own vomit with his eyes rolled over. Probably interested in his unique hairstyle, Ponta approached the man and started playing with one of the dreadlocks.
“Don’t touch that nasty thing.”
Ariane shrieked as she picked Ponta up and moved away from the unconscious man.
Apparently Ponta wanted to play with the dreadlocks some more.
Since the man was dressed in good attire, we would only court trouble if we stayed here, so it’d be for best if we left.
“We should leave before more trouble drops into our laps.”
Ariane immediately agreed with my suggestion and we left the area, leaving the man in a pool of his own vomit.