Sorry for the delay >< this chapter was hard to translate…
ED: eristol, xtostos
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My hypothesis is very simple.
In order to control the entire All Souls Day’s spirited away case, it is necessary to control the movements of the rebels and Harlan himself.
The movement of the rebels can be controlled by, for example, Citrouille if he infiltrates the group.
It seems that only Harlan himself can control Harlan, but if one devised the timing for leaking the information about the vampire, they might have been able to control his movement to an extent.
Under Harlan Lucanrant’s instructions, Citrouille fuelled the rebellion.
Jack Citrouille manipulated information about Harlan and invited him to visit at that time.
These two patterns are conceivable if there is a mastermind in the All Souls Day’s spirited away case.
Unfortunately, I have no idea what their purpose or motive for doing that.
Why did they need to do such a farce?
To eradicate the rebels?
But doing something like this is too risky, and the damage that Harlan and Citrouille actually suffered was also considerable.
Perhaps they wanted Beatrice’s talent in looking into the past and future?
But then I don’t understand why they returned her to us that easily.
Let alone gaining an advantage, it seems like the person who could be the mastermind suffered a loss instead.
Or maybe they did gain something and I just don’t know what it is?
For this reason, let’s examine each part of this case that has been on my mind.
First of all, I’m curious about from whom Jan received the instruction.
But he no longer remembers the person.
One thing is certain.
The person who Jan met is a person who can prepare drugs to erase memories.
So I asked Harold, who has a wide information network, to investigate.
One week after the festival, I went to his workshop.
“Oh, you’re just in time. I just received a report from Sergei-ossan last night.”
I received a bunch of documents from Harold while sitting on the sofa.
A list of chemicals and materials that were delivered from Knot Reed to the Margrave of Urs.
A list of chemicals and materials delivered to the academy while Citrouille was working as an insurance healer.
And what kind of medicine can be made from those materials.
Sergei seems to have sent us the samples of the materials as well.
Harold arranged potions and small boxes containing the samples while referring to the list.
“As expected, Harold. You work fast.”
“Yeah, well. Sergei-ossan is the fast one~”
I looked at the names of the lined up drugs and their effects/materials on the list.
The materials purchased by Harlan and the materials purchased by Citrouille were almost identical.
Anesthetic with magical effect.
Strong truth serum.
Strength tonic that is burdensome on the body.
I wonder if this has any correlation to this incident.
Hallucinogens and some of the listed sleeping pills and hypnotic drugs seem to involve memory, it feels suspicious.
However, when I read the explanation carefully, it seems that whichever you take will make your memory clearer.
Did I guess it wrong?
While reviewing the list over and over, I noticed that Harlan’s list included one type of material that was not used in any drug.
The material that has unknown usage is dried bog moss.
“It is a cushioning material for packaging but it seems like it is only produced in a rather specific location. It may not be relevant, but it was mentioned just in case.”
For Knot Reed, dried white clover is the mainstream material for cushioning.
That’s why Sergei may have been curious.
“I see. So where is the production area?”
“In the northern part of Lindis. There are about 14 different types of bog moss all in all.”
Bog moss in the northern part of Lindis.
I feel like I’ve heard something like that before, but what was it?
“He said that even he doesn’t know everything about this type of moss.”
“A type that even Sergei-san doesn’t know, huh…”
This seems worth checking out.
“Can I have this sample?”
“Sure, if it helps you.”
Receiving the small box full of moss, I stood up.
As far as I know, the person most familiar with unusual organisms is Actorius-sensei.
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That day, Actorius-sensei was in the aviary.
I called out to Actorius-sensei, who was moving the carrier owls from their birdcages to a larger cage.
“Actorius-sensei! I have a request.”
“Oh, please tell me if there is anything that I can do.”
Actorius-sensei said with a gentle smile on his face.
“Humm, so you want me to check the type and medicinal properties of this bog moss?”
“Yes. Sorry to ask this of you when you’re busy, but it would be very helpful if you can investigate it.”
“Of course, that’s a piece of cake.”
Actorius-sensei agreed while being surrounded by owls.
But why are there so many owls here?
Some cages are already full of carrier owls and are quite overcrowded.
“By the way, have the owls increased?”
“Yes, the owls from the previous case that were taken into custody are going to be bred here.”
So these are the carrier owls of the Military Order of Útför that were preserved in that cave castle, huh.
Certainly, if I look closely, there are two types of owls here: the friendly owls and the wary owls.
“It has increased by about twenty owls.”
“Then, since the number of owls has increased, getting in touch with others must have become easier, right?”
“But that is not the case here.”
Actorius-sensei had a troubled smile on his face.
“It is not definite, but these children seem to have received a special training. It is troubling.”
“They don’t seem to accept instructions from anyone but their specific partner. It’s not a system currently in use; it is a system that was abolished about a hundred years ago and was only passed on to Ignitian beast-tamers.”
It seems overwriting the old communication setting of the carrier owls of the Military Order of Útför’s would be difficult.
Even though Actorius-sensei instructed the owls to send a letter to Eduard-oniisama, none of them flew.
“Seems like it would be difficult for anyone other than the one controlling them to rescind this setting…”
“I’m troubled because the animal trainer from Ignitia who had cooperated with the investigation couldn’t do anything.”
It is certainly troubling.
“In addition to the system itself being difficult to overwrite, it seems they were being trained by someone who possesses a strong telepathic ability. But—”
Actorius-sensei patted the Military Order of Útför’s owl with a sad expression.
“To think they will never soar through the sky again…”
The owl in question seemed to hate being touched, it pecked him with its beak and scratched him with its claws, but Actorius-sensei didn’t seem to mind it.
As expected, its vigilance is high.
Carrier owls whose settings can’t be overwritten.
Since even people are used like a tool, so I guess for them animals are also disposable.
Oh, but, maybe this can be used?
If I pursue the destination of the carrier owls, I might be able to find the contact network of knights who caused the incident.
“Would anyone with extraordinarily strong telepathic ability be able to make them carry a letter?”
“Yes, that’s right. But, it’s quite difficult to find such a powerful telepath…”
“For example, what about His Highness Auguste?”
“…I see, there is that option!”
Actorius-sensei clapped his hands.
“Although, I wonder if it’s fine to request such a thing from the crown prince of the whole country who is currently recuperating, what a dilemma…”
“Uu, that’s right…”
To begin with, I was the one who recently overworked Auguste and caused him to collapse.
I should avoid making any more unreasonable requests, even if he is recovering greatly.
“I know the perfect person. He has a very strong telepathic ability, but he is rather difficult to ask a favor from…”
Actorius-sensei cut off his words but continued hesitantly.
Somehow, I knew who he was about to talk about.
“Certainly, it’s difficult to ask Clochydd-sensei.”
“He used to be so honest and kind in the past…”
Although I’m not familiar with him, my feeling of guilt is somewhat less than if I ask Auguste.
This time I will rely on that teacher.
I borrowed a carrier owl along with its birdcage and left the aviary.
“Then I’ll tell you about the results of the investigation of the bog moss as soon as I find the answer.”
“Thank you, Actorius-sensei!”
Brad’s room was still full of interesting materials.
When I was looking at the material on the desk, Brad rushed to put away the material into the drawer.
Geez, he even locked the drawer. He didn’t need to be that wary.
If I remember correctly, for some reason there was the word “Hell” written on it, so I might not even want to read it.
Because it may become a new death flag.
“Let’s see…so you were trying to find the true culprit by retraining the carrier owl.”
Brad returned to the real issue at hand, as if trying to hide something.
A wrinkle appeared between his brows, creating a frown.
“It’s a good idea—but, why are you sticking your nose into such a matter again?”
He glared at me with chilly gaze.
While recalling the sunlight of spring, I smiled.
“Yes. If there is no mastermind, the owl can just fly around and return.”
“If there is no mastermind, is it…you know that it’s dangerous if the true culprit is currently on the loose.”
If I think about it, for the time being, only Harlan and Citrouille are suspicious.
If there is another person who is the true culprit and that person has not been arrested yet, this would only be poking the snake inside the bush, huh.
Brad heaved a long sigh, and the wrinkle between his brows deepened.
He took out the borrowed owl from its birdcage.
The owl, which was rebellious to Actorius-sensei, was docile towards Brad.
“I’ve heard rumors that the Margrave of Urs locked the owls’ mind to maintain confidentiality…”
Brad closed his eyes while stroking the owl.
A dragon appeared from the sleeve of his robe, watching the owl.
“A round trip between two points in a particular place…and each place has a person associated with it.”
“What do you mean?”
“It seems to have been used for direct communication between the knights of the military order. If I dive a little deeper…there is evidence that another place or person has been specified in the same way many times.”
So it’s like a hotline, huh.
Without using magic, a line of personal carrier owls was connected like a mesh to create a communication network.
It would have been easier to identify if there was one person who acted as a network hub where information was gathered.
“In other words…there is no correspondent who gathers all the information?”
“No…there’s a shadow of one person in a deeply closed area…maybe it’s the person who trained the owls…”
“W-who is it?!”
That could be the true culprit in this case!
Brad furrowed his eyebrows with his eyes closed.
After waiting for a while, Brad took a big breath and opened his eyes.
Brad gently returned the owl, who seems to have fallen asleep, to the birdcage.
“If I continue any more than this, it will break the owl’s mind. Unfortunately, that’s it for today.”
Brad is kind and humane as always.
It is a big difference from the Military Order of Útför who treats the owls as objects.
“If we think about it normally, that person should be Harlan Slayson. It’s natural to think that the settings for seizing information in case of an emergency were hidden in the depths where ordinary telepaths could not dive into.”
I suppose so.
While nodding in agreement, I feel like something was caught in my memory.
I feel like there is another trainer for the owls in addition to Harlan.
“I’ll share this with your brother just in case.”
“It’s only natural. You pried into the truth of a finished case just to satisfy your curiosity.”
Oops, so my guardian is going to be contacted.
But, I guess it’s a matter of course.
“Then, I’ll keep this owl.”
“Eh…what does that mean?”
“I’ve told you that this is it for today. I’ll let you know when it can fly to the true culprit, as you had hoped.”
So it is possible but it takes time, huh.
As expected, there are things that can only be done by a Theurge.
“Thank you very much.”
“It’s because you siblings are very similar; the more the truth is being kept away from you, the more interested you guys are in it. This is for your own safety. Investigations like this should be accompanied by a guardian.”
I feel like I will soon have all the pieces.
With just a few more steps, I might be able to drag the person who was pulling the strings from behind.
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About two weeks after the festival.
It was a cold and windy day for autumn.
Jack Citrouille was back at school.
He returned to the school as an insurance healer with a grim expression.
How did he come back?
And, my brother should have inferred the allegations regarding Citrouille more profoundly than me.
Did he escape my brother’s pursuit?
Or, is he not able to pursue him for some reason?
After school on the day that Citrouille returned.
I went to the infirmary to meet him.
I knocked and entered the infirmary.
The infirmary was empty with no patient in sight.
Citrouille was sitting on a chair at the back of the room and seemed to be sleeping.
Or maybe, he is pretending to sleep.
“Citrouille-san, you came back.”
“Yes, as promised.”
It was a promise made at the cave castle.
It seems that his memory was not erased after all.
My suspicion towards Citrouille deepened even further.
“It’s all thanks to help from various sources. I am able to move more freely than I thought.”
With his eyes closed, Citrouille answered.
“The position has changed, but I can stay here a little while longer.”
He said so with a tired atmosphere.
Still, he appeared to have had his burden lifted somehow.
“By the way, can I ask one thing?”
I asked Citrouille.
“Yes, as much as I can answer.”
“On the day I was conducting the golem’s field investigation, were you collecting näcken—the moss magical beast, at the northern part of the school?”
“Oh, you’re sharp.”
“What did you make with that moss?”
Citrouille slowly opened his eyes and glanced at me.
His eyes were blue like a calm lake.
“It was to make a medicine for remembering sadness and hatred. I use it to maintain a fresh and strong will.”
With that said, Citrouille smiled with an unfathomable expression.
“But it has a troublesome side effect, so I haven’t used it recently.”
“That’s good. In that case, I will not let you take it, Citrouille-san.”
“I’ve been found out, huh. Yes, this is the drug that erases memories. Those who take them will be reminded of the vivid memories of the past, which will hinder short-term memories. In return of not being able to move on with their lives, one does not lose oneself. It’s such a drug.”
Did he use it on Jan Carlson on the first day of All Souls Day Festival?
I faintly smiled without saying anything.
He is confirmed to have directly instructed Jan to abduct Beatrice.
On that evening, I entrusted a letter to an owl to be sent.
It was a quiet night.
I took Chloe to the reference room of the 〈Association of Mysterious Story Collectors〉.
It is to meet the person who I had called out using the owl.
I chose this place because this place was his destination.
The absence of Dolores in the reference room means that someone has violated the law.
Who did something like that?
The answer is him.
Perhaps his purpose is information about monstro that have been accumulated in this place.
Maybe he accessed the reference room with a key different from ours.
If my guess is correct, there are four keys to the reference room.
Bort, Eléonore, Sigríður, and Dolores; each of them should have the keys.
He probably got one of those keys using some way.
The door of the reference room opened.
In the center of the room, a masked man dressed in a white knight uniform with a luxurious cloak made of silver fox fur stood alone.
Chloe stood in a position to protect me, with her hand in a position as if she was about to pull out her sword.
Tirnanog and Palug seemed nervous and were prepared to move at a moment’s notice.
“Well, well, not only Bort’s daughter, but Chloe-sama is here as well. I render my humble greetings to the Princess, and offer my humble self in delight.”
Harlan smiled and bowed politely.
He didn’t seem to mind Chloe’s vigilance and didn’t put himself on guard.
“Margrave of Urs, Harlan Slayson…or should I say, Citrouille-san?”
When I called him, Harlan slowly took off his mask.
The faceless man finally exposed his bare face in front of us.
Appearing from under the mask was the face of Jack Citrouille.
As expected, Harlan and Citrouille were the same person.
This explains why he had access to all the owls and knew how to make drugs that can erase memory.
Most likely, the Harlan who came on the night of All Souls Day was a body-double.
“Haha, I’ve been found out, huh. Really, I can’t beat you two.”
The man who was infamous for being the most fierce and cruel man in the North, was shaking his head in lamentation.
The voice that had a fierce impression sounded gentle as usual.
As Chloe’s gaze towards Harlan cooled down, she gave him a sidelong glance.
She probably understood the truth of the incident.
“You were the one who gave the instructions in detail for the abduction incident, right?”
“Yes, it was me. I’m sure you know my purpose.”
“You incited the rebels to recapture Chloe-san to smoke out the hidden rebels and wipe them out…”
When I answered, Harlan laughed.
“That was a wonderful job, young ladies. I’m impressed.”
He must be happy that all the inconvenient personnels had been removed in one fell swoop.
But, to do something like that to the subordinates he had nurtured himself, isn’t that a bit much?
“But that was only a cover for your true objective. Your real purpose is different.”
The fearless smile disappeared from Harlan’s expression.
His gaze went back and forth between me and Chloe as if he had nostalgic memories.
“Really, you both look a lot like them.”
Harlan hung his head and grumbled as if groaning.
“This is troubling, although I didn’t want to see those faces again, I can’t help but miss them now.”
At that time, a familiar voice echoed from behind.
“Sir Harlan, please refrain from soliciting my little sister with such typical lines.”
The one who appeared was Eduard-oniisama.
He slipped his body between me and Harlan as if to break us apart.
“Please don’t say ‘soliciting’, it’s improper. I’m just a senile old man.”
“You look too young to be called a senile old man.”
“Oh dear, that was not my intention at all. I wanted to be able to spend my old age without having to use physical enhancement.”
Harlan and my brother exchanged a gruelling conversation.
“How is the postoperative course? Until the tissue of the inner ear adapts itself, your sense of hearing and parallel sensation would go amiss and it would feel painful.”
“Thanks to you, there are no aftereffects now. Lucanrant’s torture is really sophisticated, isn’t it?”
“I apologize for the rude actions of my subordinates at that time.”
“No, it’s fine, I’ve forgotten about it because of your treatment, so I can’t even confirm how true that statement is.”
I heard some terrible conversation.
—What happened to my brother’s inner ear? I mean, he also got his memories erased!?
Harlan asked my brother before I could utter a sound.
“Now then…have you come to punish me, Sir Eduard?”
Harlan raised his face and smiled.
My brother didn’t smile back and replied with a serious expression.
“No, I’m here as a member of the 〈Association of Mysterious Story Collectors〉—to hear the story you’ve always been carrying alone.”
“Haha…you got me…saying that you pardon me, what a harsh person you are.”
Laughing listlessly, Harlan sat down on the sofa as if resigning himself.
Harlan then told us the story of what he went through.
Join the discord chat to discuss the novel~
6 thoughts on “Chapter 156: The Identity of the Faceless Man (part three)”
Oh shoot, I’m ready to hear more, but aaagghhhh the chapter has already ended T^T
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Wahaha! I remember getting my eyes crossed in earlier chapters regarding old Harlan… fufufufu! lets find out more next chapter! invested 😀
Lil sis… your bro has been tortured… he did mention that… what will you do? will you find those that dared touch your Onii sama so cruelly? I look forward to it!
Erica really has an eye for obscure off the cuff remarks… she has done that before, she has a brain that takes in random noise and makes it her focus… isn’t that odd?… I mean who would even bother to remember what he was doing in the swamp over some random bit of moss… wouldn’t you just assume that any excuse he said was BS? but to take that as a clue… just what kind of brain do you have Erica?… you’re utterly clueless regarding those 2 fanbois of yours… yet this… this you decide has your brain working to reveal the mastermind…
Ask him about those 4 women… I am sure he was part of their group… In fact I am positive now… what is up Harlan, give us the dirt! we want the tea!
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*sigh* Her brain is wired against any romance towards herself so she subconsciously ignores such romantic stimuli… a state of denial for self-preservation 😭
But that cliff!!! Ughh!!! Guess we’re hanging on til next chapter 🙏 thanks in advance!
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After all she has endured and has accomplished, you would think she is confident within herself to be able to deal with mere stalkers, the woman she was in her previous life has little bearing on the one she is now.
She is able to deal with a very old and powerful vampire, has 2 powerful beings as her side kicks and companions, has 2 very handsome damsels in her harem, a very talented Partner that is very creative in making whatever she desires, a siscon brother who would protect her with his life or someone else’s life, she is vigilant as always, manages to make friends without difficulty, has a very loving family, is so prepared against potential risks that I think she can afford to take a break and have a kit kat, maybe even a date or 2 😛
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Whew! Just when i though Citroile character was interesting enough,he ended up as Harlan Slayson! Holy guacamoly!
And Edward was a member of the story colector asociation as well.
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They hinted at that in earlier chapters, well… at least Erica did… I think there is more to his story and I don’t think it will be quite what they expect 😀 I really look forward to what will be revealed 😀 I hope very much that all the threads of information collected so far, will lead to a satisfying conclusion 😛
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