Chapter 1-25 : Shards of Departure [Side A] (part 2)

 

「Actually, we went to Keema Shop before coming here to see the owner. He said that he didn’t know the kidnappers and insisted that he was framed by someone.」(captain)

「H, Huuh!?」(Kako)

That man! Was he trying to abandon his own subordinates?

「He obviously lied to you! Let me see him! I will know whether he’s the culprit or not if I hear his voice!」(Kako)

「Hmm… I’m not sure about that. Even if you can tell, your statement alone won’t be enough to be used as evidence. Besides… I don’t think things will go according to our expectations so easily…」(captain)

The captain lowered his gaze and clenched his fist for some reason.

「Umm… What do you mean…?」(Kako)

「…Our superiors told us to stop this investigation since we don’t have any strong proof.」(captain)

「Eh!?」(Kako)

Their superiors told them to stop? But they won’t be able to get any proof if they stop the investigation, right?

「I’m sorry, Captain-san, but I think that’s ridiculous!」(Kako)

「Yeah, I understand and I agree with you. The owner of Keema Shop is one of the wealthiest people in this town. This is just my speculation but he has probably bribed the higher officials to cover up his case.」(captain)

I see… It seems that there are some corrupted people who occupy high positions in the army.

What a mess… This is not looking good at all…

「A few days ago, the Wings of Steel members handed over two suspicious men who were trying to kidnap you in the forest.」(captain)

They did? I didn’t know anything about that.

Did it happen when I went to the forest with them to train how to fight monsters the other day?

「We put those men into the prison, but… They disappeared the next day before we knew it. It seems that they have collaborators in our internal organization. That’s why I think it will be difficult for us to investigate this case further.」(captain)

The captain gritted his teeth, looking frustrated.

If only we had evidence that is strong enough to make those corrupted superiors give up on backing that vile man up, we might be able to put him in jail.

Evidence, huh…? Evidence…

Aa! I think I have something useful!

「Captain-san, I have something I want to show you.」(Kako)

While saying that, I held my magic bag upside down above the table and started taking out various things from it.

「Hm? What are these things?」(captain)

「I told you I escaped the basement from the small hole in the storage room, right? But before that, there were many things covering the wall, so I had to clear my way first by putting those things in my magic bag. I used the large ones to slow the kidnappers down when they were chasing me in the forest, but I still have these small things here.」(Kako)

Seeing the random things such as small boxes, leather bags, and suspicious items that seemed to be magic tools, the captain put his thumb on his chin.

「I see… Guys, let’s inspect these things.」(captain)

The other guards nodded at their captain. They then took the things one by one and started inspecting them.

One of the guards who took a fancy-looking box opened his eyes wide when he saw its contents.

「Captain, there is expensive-looking jewelry in this box!」(guard A)

「Captain, I found a suspicious plant in this bag. I think it’s poisonous.」(guard B)

「I got some suspicious pills. I think we have to ask an alchemist what kind of medicine this is.」(guard C)

「I found a magic item. I don’t know what this is for but I think it’s quite expensive.」(guard D)

It seems that we have a lot of expensive items here, but I think those plants and medicines are the most suspicious ones.

「Hmm… There are a lot of suspicious items here… Something smells fishy… You, go see an alchemist and find out about those suspicious plants and medicine, and you, find out about those expensive-looking jewelry and magic items.」(captain)

「「Yes, sir!」」(guards)

Following the captain’s instructions, two of the guards left the inn.

Not long after they left, another guard entered and approached our table.

「Captain, I’ve searched the building that seemed to be their hideout in the forest.」(guard)

「Good work. Did you find something?」(captain)

「Actually…」(guard)

The guard who seemed to have just returned from the kidnappers’ hideout brought his face closer to the captain’s and whispered to him.

「What!? Illegal herbs, you say!?」(captain)

「Eh!?」(Kako)

I was surprised by the words he just said.

Illegal herbs…? Are they what I think they are…?

Noticing my reaction, the captain spontaneously covered his mouth with his hand and looked away.

He then moved to the other corner of the dining hall with the guard to talk with him without anyone else being able to hear.

After talking for a while, the guard left the inn while the captain returned to his seat.

「I’m sorry for leaving my seat.」(captain)

「Umm… Did you just say… Illegal herbs…?」(Kako)

「Ah… Umm… Yeah…」(captain)

The captain put his hand on his forehead and sighed. He looked troubled.

「I can’t tell you in detail, but a number of suspicious items including illegal herbs were found in the building that seemed to be the hideout of the people who kidnapped you. It seems that this case is bigger than we thought.」(captain)

「I see… Can we use these findings to put that evil man in jail?」(Kako)

「Honestly… I don’t know… If the higher-ups are involved, then it will be even more difficult for us to catch that man. After all, that man is probably the important source of income for those corrupted people. I feel like they would protect him at any cost… I can’t tolerate villains who kidnap children, but… I’m powerless…!」(captain)

「Captain…」(guard A)

「Khh…!!」(guard B)

The captain and the other guards looked so frustrated.

They are good people but the higher-ups who give them commands are not.

What a cruel world we live in…

Of course, I’m also frustrated. I want to put that evil man in jail so badly.

But… What can I do…?

While wondering, I rummaged through my magic bag to see if there was anything else I could use as evidence but all I found were the magic stones from the monsters Nyat hunted, my armor, my buckler, and… the dagger I got from Maitena-san.

That’s right! This dagger might be useful!

I took out the dagger and showed it to the captain.

「Captain-san, would you take a look at this dagger?」(Kako)

「Hm? A dagger?」(captain)

「I got it from my master. She told me to show it to the guards if I ever have any trouble.」(Kako)

「She told you to show it to me? Let me see…」(captain)

The captain grabbed the dagger and observed it closely.

「Hmm… It looks very expensive… It has a complicated and elegant engraving, meaning that it might belong to a noble, but… Hm!?」(captain)

The captain suddenly looked surprised when he inspected the engraving of the dagger.

Sweat began to run down the temple of his face.

「Is this dagger… for real…?」(captain)

「Captain-san…?」(Kako)

「Did the person who owned it really give it to you?」(captain)

「She did.」(Kako)

「Mind if I ask why?」(captain)

「Because… I’m her… umm… benefactor…?」(Kako)

「Her benefactor…?」(captain)

The captain kept looking at me and the dagger alternately.

He then thought for a moment and handed back the dagger to me with trembling hands.

「I, I see… Now that I’ve seen this, I can’t stop the investigation here. I promise you I will do my best to continue this investigation.」(captain)

「Eh? A, Alright…」(Kako)

「Well then, there’s a lot to do. Young lady, if you will excuse us.」(captain)

The captain then stood up and bowed to me. The other guards did the same, and then they left the inn.

I couldn’t help but see them off with my mouth wide open, wondering what just happened.

The captain looked like he had given up a moment ago, but then he changed after he saw the dagger.

「I don’t know what happened but do you think they will be able to solve this case?」(Kako)

「Beats me-nya.」(Nyat)

I felt like a weak fox borrowing the power of a tiger, but with this, we might be able to put the culprit in jail!

 

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One Comment

  1. Lol, they can use this excuses “you may be higher up, but person you are protecting from us actually kidnapped super important person than you are.” I assume hahaha

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