This is a bonus chapter because 8/20 is the author’s birthday! Happy birthday Seno-sensei! Everyone, if you enjoy this story, please say something for Seno-sensei~
ED: clover, eristol
At the time when Lindis Magic Academy was celebrating All Souls Day, there was an outbreak of young women from distinguished families being spirited away.
In the bustle, the dead body which flowed to the riverbank was that of one of the students who was spirited away, it was Erica Aurelia.
The heroine, Chloe, searched for the truth of the case with her redheaded classmate Harold.
This was the rough plot of the third scenario ‘All Souls Day’s Spirited Away Case.’
Now then, what kind of person is Harold Nibelheim who was the capture target?
Burning red hair tied into a ponytail, dark green eyes.
Among the capture targets, he was tall enough to compete for being the tallest one.
The protruding tooth that looked like a fang and the scar on his right cheek gave the viewer a wild impression.
An outlaw with a bad atmosphere and a cynical view against the world.
Harold entered as a King’s Scholar, a scholarship system for civilians.
But, originally he should have been a nobleman who was the successor of Earl Nibelheim.
This was a point in common with Chloe who enrolled as a King’s Scholar while being a duke’s daughter.
It was also a few points of contact for Chloe regarding Harold’s secretiveness.
Harold is a western noble, but the blood of Visitor’s Clan is diluted inside him.
He is the descendant of the indigenous people who dominated the mountainous region of north-west before the Visitor’s Clan arrived in this place.
Although the indigenous people were in harmony with the Visitor’s Clan, they didn’t lose their identity and still maintained their cultures and pedigrees.
This is why there are more red hair than blonde in the north-western part of the continent.
Although it is not as good as the four royal houses, Harold had a good life as the son of an old noble family.
His fate, which was originally supposed to lead him to having a stable life, will change completely on a certain day.
The cause was that his father, Earl Nibelheim, was found guilty of a silver vein fraud.
Immediately after that, as an additional blow, the market price of silver had abnormal fluctuations due to the fine silver circulating from other territories.
Through these two incidents, the production of silverware, which is the main industry of the territory of Nibelheim, was hit hard.
Even though he was struggling to prevent the inevitable destruction somehow, it was all in vain, and the Earl Nibelheim went bankrupt.
Earl Nibelheim gave up his peerage together with the territory which he couldn’t rule anymore.
Due to being overwhelmed by the mental and physical stress resulting from this case, Harold’s father died of illness in despair.
Ruined, Harold, who became a shell of his former self, enrolled in Lindis as a scholarship student after the hardship.
That is where my knowledge of the game ends.
I wasn’t aware of the truth of the case because I was killed in the middle of playing through the third scenario.
What is the thing related to Harold that might become the cause of my death?
If it is the usual, after his downfall, Harold will unleash some type of monstro.
Then, I guess the one who will be murdered first is me.
Anyway, drowning seems to be tremendously painful so I really want to avoid it.
It is too much to drink plenty of cold river water in autumn and float to the riverbank.
Aside from that.
The County of Nibelheim is a land bordering Lucanrant.
It is far from the Duchy of Aurelia and it will be difficult to always keep an eye for the fraud.
However, just working directly on the capture target doesn’t immediately mean death flag avoidance.
The Trade City of Knot Reed where the launching ceremony will be held is adjacent to that Nibelheim territory.
It is my opportunity to destroy the death flag.
On this occasion, we will collect information on the fraud while we are in Knot Reed, and prevent the downfall of the Nibelheim family.
The main plan this time is to catch the con artist.
Of course, I am also going to check out the local phantom beast which is likely to be the direct cause of my death.
Under the gray sky.
A pure white sail was billowing as it was being blown by a strong wind.
It was the first time for me to travel by boat, so my heart was beating fast indiscreetly.
While drawing a white wake on the dark green surface of sea, the large merchant ship owned by the Duke of Aurelia headed north to the north-western coast of Knot Reed.
This route is said to be an old route of history which has been used since the opening port of Knot Reed.
The required number of days from departure until arrival was about ten days.
It took a few days to bypass the waters where the flock of krakens existing in Knot Reed’s ocean are living.
Still, routes that diverge largely via the open sea are favored by safety-conscious traders.
I was walking on the deck with the phantom beasts disguised as a cat and a small golem.
In this case, amidst the howling of the wind and waves, the creaking sounds of the hull and the yelling of the sailors, our conversation wouldn’t be heard unless we are approached.
Thinking that way, we dared to stand in an open place like this for our secret conversation.
“In other words, don’t let Earl Nibelheim get scammed, so that he won’t fall into ruin.
We should also make sure that Harold doesn’t make contact with the phantom beast even in the worst case.”
『Erica, I feel like you are making a sloppy strategy the same as last time.』
He pointed out my sore spot.
Certainly I am a little sloppy, and there is a part in the plan where it is too optimistic.
“In order not to be too late, this time we will take countermeasures against the phantom beast from an early stage, so it will be fine.”
『Umu. That is fine.
I feel uneasy that we have no guide who is familiar with the lore of the north-western land.』
On the Island of Messenger, thanks to Auguste, I could manage things with ease.
However, since I don’t have any acquaintance in Knot Reed, it won’t proceed that smoothly.
In any case, I have no choice but to investigate on our own.
“There is no choice but to do a literature research and a field study steadily.”
『Then, I should handle the field survey as a light muscle workout for my feet after all.』
“Sorry, Palug. Even though I already asked you to substitute for me.”
It seems that I will be asking for a rather tough job for the wounded Palug.
She will be my substitute during daytime and survey the surrounding areas at night.
『Don’t mind it. Because it is my wish to help my master.
Besides, because there is something I want to investigate, it is better for me to be free to move around.』
『It’s about the altar of Ignitia, huh.』
The altars for Ignitia’s rituals gather magical powers derived from the faith of their God’s believers in the surrounding.
The collected magical power is converted into power exclusively for the phantom beasts who have been transformed into angels and distributed evenly.
It almost seems like a system.
It is said that the power of faith obtained from the altar has gradually decreased in recent decades.
When Palug was on the Island of Messenger, she was presuming that it might have been caused by the waning of people’s belief in their only God and angels.
She also had no way to confirm it because her contact with other angels dispatched to various places had also stopped.
With loneliness and anxiety building up, she was convinced that she was gradually being forgotten.
However, in fact that is not the case.
The people’s beliefs in their only God and angels are still strong as ever.
『In the vicinity of Ignitia, there is no outright decline in faith and the altar is well maintained.
Within the range confirmed in the last few months, there are no problems around Spring Palace and Autumn Palace as well.
Then there is a possibility that an important altar in a remote place has been destroyed.』
“Destroying the altar of the religion of the religious country, Ignitia……if that is true, then it seems politically problematic.”
『Well, it is not urgent because my existence is stable with the power I receive from you now.
If I can make a light investigation during my stay, that is enough for me.』
I nodded to Palug’s opinion.
If it isn’t something impossible, I have no reason to object.
If she has free time, that can be a way for Palug to spend it.
Now then, back to the topic in hand.
I will summarize the key points of our schedule of actions again during our stay in Knot Reed.
“There are two priority action targets.
First is to find the fraudster and stop the downfall of Earl Nibelheim.
The other is to investigate the local beast in the north-western part and if possible, negotiate whether we can settle this peacefully.”
『What if the phantom beast is hostile?』
“First of all we will regroup. The policy will be forcing it to accept our demand with force.”
『It’s our turn……is what I want to say, but now that we are weakened, I feel uneasy depending on the identity of our opponent.
The wands that you have will be damaged or consumed, is that fine?』
Certainly, I think that it will be necessary for me to cover Tirnanog and Palug’s blind spots with wands.
However, a lot of my supplies have decreased during the two consecutive warfare of the Ruins of Visitor and the Island of Messenger.
For that matter, I am thinking about the measures for the time being.
“I plan to charge the wands and purchase some materials in the city of Knot Reed.
There seems to be many skilled wandmakers over there.”
Actually, I am secretly looking forward to shop for alchemy-related things.
According to the information I got beforehand, it seems that it is a city with a fine selection of goods.
Suddenly the hull shook, Palug turned her head towards the end of the sea.
Tirnanog also climbed onto the railing and stared at the same direction.
『Ah, are we almost there? It smells of people and metal.』
『Certainly, the smell of human activities is drifting through the wind. I’m used to this, this is the smell of alchemy.』
“I only smell the tide……”
Since they are phantom beasts, both of them have an amazing sense of smell.
When the two of them were directing their line of sights in that direction, a small shadow emerged from the horizon.
Sea birds cried in the distance.
As the ship approached, the shadow became bigger and the shape of the land gradually appeared clearly.
Within the canals that spread out like a mesh, numerous merchant ships and cargo ships were coming and going.
Beyond the fog which was covering the city a little, the fire of many lighthouses were flashing.
The Trade City of Knot Reed.
The only wide area river located at the mouth of the Varnalis River, the oldest port on the western coast of the Ichthyes continent.
If it is a legitimate item, it is said that there is nothing you can’t buy here, this is the center of logistics.