Enjoy the chapter!
ED: clover, xtostos, eristol
When we reached the window of my room, Palug, who had turned into me, returned.
Just then, a servant was bringing the dinner into the room, so to avoid being spotted we waited for a while.
“Sorry to keep both of you waiting. It’s okay now.”
Entering the room from the window Palug had opened for us, I removed my town girl-style disguise.
Not long after that, my stomach rumbled.
While eating, I will share about today’s events and tomorrow’s schedule.
There were dishes for dinner on the table.
Palug returned to her cat form and Tirnanog was also taking off his armor and relaxing.
I also sat down on the chair.
I squeezed a cold meat and cheese into sliced rye bread and turned it into an instant sandwich.
I cut it in half and gave one to Tirnanog.
“Because of various things, I’m going to change our schedule for tomorrow.”
『Oh my, did any problem arise?』
“In the case of Harold, some problems have occurred.
The fraud has already been committed. Earl Nibelheim is not alright at all.”
『Umu, the situation is pretty bad. It feels like everybody is being manipulated by someone.』
I gave tea to Tirnanog who was immersed in his sandwich.
Palug seemed to be thinking back upon today’s events while poking a piece of meat.
『Speaking of which, when Ernst and Earl Nibelheim were talking, their complexions suddenly changed.
I was in a place a little far away from them at that time, so I don’t know what they were specifically talking about.』
“What did Otou-sama do after that?”
『Ernst exchanged two or three words with Earl Nibelheim in low voices and then he suddenly suspended their meeting.
He told me to go back to the room and then called out the stewards of the property management.』
『Since it would be troubling if the room was completely empty, I made a stuffing in the bed, put on a disguise and watched over the situation.
It seemed like he ordered the stewards to do some secret investigations.
After that, wearing the same attire, he pretended to be relaxing in the hall.』
『His facial expression was as usual, but he was feeling very nervous and he seemed to be listening to other people’s conversations.
He was spoken to by some people, but they were just talking about unrelated things and they seemed to have passed his test.』
As expected, father seems to be keeping the matter of the fraud a secret in consideration of Earl Nibelheim.
It is likely that he was confirming how the current Argene territory is being managed by making use of the stewards.
Even while acting like usual so that no suspicions would occur, he was trying to gather information on his own.
I told Palug the detailed information on fraud which I have found out today.
『Oh no, it’s a much bigger fraud than I thought!
Then it’s not only the collapse of one noble house, but it also seems to have a big impact on the merchants who are rooted in this city, right?』
“Speaking of impact, some days ago, the merchant on the side who sold the mining rights seems to have disappeared suddenly along with his family and employees.”
『That merchant’s family, they are not alive anymore, are they?』
Tirnanog added a conjecture that I couldn’t say even if I wanted to say it.
Palug also narrowed her eyes and nodded.
『I agree with the snake.
There is no reason for increasing the risk of finding trouble by escaping with the servants.』
『Perhaps the real culprit who set up the fraud cut down that merchant and his family.
Just like cutting off a lizard’s tail.』
When I listened to the story for the first time, I also slightly felt it was like that.
They were not escaping, it is highly likely that they were murdered.
This case has a much more dangerous smell than just a fraud.
『Erica, compared to the oracle of ruin, how is the current state?』
“Perhaps, this fraud case will be the impetus for Harold to bear a grudge against me.”
Since I didn’t know the spoiler of the original game’s third scenario, I have no choice but to guess.
However, as long as this situation proceeds, the cause is almost definite.
Harold would be under the impression that I was the one who triggered the destruction of his family.
He would resent me enough that he would feel that I should die.
『With the current course of events, the present Harold will be a comrade of Erica.
I wonder if we can we assume that the fate of the oracle can be avoided?』
『In any case, Erica. Is this not the time to quit?
If you are involved any further than this, you might get caught up in extra danger.』
“Yes, that’s true, but……”
What the two of them have pointed out is right.
I have a feeling that it will be a mistake if I get involved in this.
But, I want to help Harold if possible.
No matter how many times I shake it off, Harold’s crying face always comes to my mind.
I gazed at Tirnanog and Palug alternatingly.
“Please. After all it is worrisome.”
The phantom beasts glanced at each other.
Their serious-looking faces broke in the blink of an eye.
『Kukuku, it can’t be helped since you have said that much.
Whatever Erica chooses, I will try to fulfill my role as your guardian.』
『Fufufu, I was just teasing you.
I have taken your good-naturedness into consideration.』
They both laughed while looking at me.
“What, both of you are mean people!”
『Hahahaha, what are you saying, my friend? We are not people, remember? Right, cat?』
『Ufufufu, only at times like this I feel like we are of the same mind!』
A somewhat prideful yet poor response was given.
I filled my mouth with the sandwich that I was unable to eat with all the talking just now.
By the way, my head was so full of fraud that I skipped lunch.
The saying ‘hunger is the best seasoning’ is true.
While chewing the food, the two monstro carried on with their conversation.
『Because of that, tomorrow we will have a very tight schedule.
From early in the morning we will head to the mine, investigate it and we will be back here by noon.
Then Erica will change places with you and participate in the launching ceremony……that’s the situation.』
『My, my……the schedule is very tight, huh.』
It might be better to think up a contingency plan in case we don’t make it back in time for the launching ceremony.
Because Tirnanog will be there, I think it would be all right as long as a Palug-class equivalent phantom beast doesn’t come out.
“If it seems like we might return late, Palug, you should just depart for the launching ceremony.
You can see Auguste from a good seat.”
『You will be able to meet the person you wanted to see, but do not leave your seat.
Because that golden dragon has a good intuition.』
『Yes, yes, I’ll do it perfectly. Yesterday and today, I did it perfectly, didn’t I?』
Palug’s mimicry is high-level, in fact, father didn’t even notice it.
While it is a good thing, for some reason I feel remorse that I did something bad to father.
“Aah, that’s right, I remember Auguste’s story.
There are some good news for Palug.”
I told her that I met Auguste and Professor in the city.
When she heard that the two dragons, Briar and Blumbell, have hatched from their eggs, Palug became tearful.
『So……so that’s how it is. I’m glad, Auguste……』
She never sheds a tear for herself, but when it comes to Auguste, she cries easily.
When the story shifted to the dubious magic that was put on the Chalice, her expression changed completely and her anger was revealed.
『No way……of all things, such magic was put on the Chalice……?』
“It seems that a dream magic which blocks telepathy was applied.”
『As long as it was in a place I could invade, I would have torn off such dirty magic.』
『It seems that they aimed for a place where your protection is thin.』
When Tirnanog pointed it out, Palug bit her lips bitterly.
It is said that the room where the Chalice is placed is beyond the door which never opens except for someone from the royal family.
She was an angel who faithfully abided by the rules of humans.
In other words, it was the only room in Island of Messenger that Palug couldn’t reach.
『Just, who did it? To be able to hide from my eyes.』
“There seems to be a possibility that the people of Lindis were involved in this case.
In this case, it must have been tinkered with before the Chalice was brought in.”
『Lindis……that old school, huh.
I am worried, but I cannot step into that building.』
『It’s fine, this life-and-death situation is more imminent.
But, either way……I will definitely catch the tail of the criminal!』
Palug bristled, abruptly she glared at the direction of the window.
But, that direction is the south.
Lindis should be about southeast from here.
When I finished eating, drowsiness hit me.
They looked at me and urged me to take a rest again.
After I finished brushing my teeth with toothpaste, caring for my skin and others, Palug also finished mimicking the appearance of Severe King Jean.
“I’m going to work overnight~”
“Palug, don’t work too hard, okay?”
“I know. We have many things to do tomorrow, so I will do it in moderation and return home.”
『Even if you make a mistake and return home late, do not fall asleep while you are in Erica’s form.』
“The snake over there, how about I make you sleep forever?”
After quarreling with Tirnanog as usual, Palug turned towards the other side of the window.
After sending off the shadow with the fluttering cloak who vanished into the night streets, I went to sleep.