Idle Talk: It Doesn’t matter, but the Shadow Smiles
As I saw the carriage going further away, I unpleasantly recalled anew the way they fooled me.
No matter how hard I tried to investigate the things they were talking about in the carriage, I couldn’t make a breakthrough due to the security network she employed.
…To be that cautious meant they were still hiding something; that’s what it illustrated.
I pivoted my heels and went back to the mansion. There was nothing more to be gained by staying there any longer.
On my way back, my mind went back in time, to the night with that damned girl.
To make good use of it for next time. For the protection of my master.
It was a night of the crescent moon. There was little to no moonlight; a perfect time for night time activities after the new moon.
The investigation on the people my Master had invited to the Duke family’s tea party would soon be over.
Three people were done without a hitch, and the two remaining ones would take some time, but everything should be clear by tonight.
I felt uncomfortable that the men I sent to Rururia Talbot’s mansion didn’t get in well, but I was warier of Sara Wale, who was on her way here.
No matter how much I investigated, there was nothing suspicious about her.
She was a sickly lady, rarely showed her face to the public, and had mediocre grades. There was nothing noteworthy about her.
The men I sent to the Wale family simultaneously as the ones I sent to the Talbot’s have disappeared. They were gone without a trace.
They might have been erased… After losing competent subordinates, I gathered more frustration towards myself.
But, who could’ve gotten rid of my men?
The head of the family, the Earl of Wale, was an honest knight who professed to be active for life and was not the type of person who would do such underhanded tricks.
His wife rarely went out of her territory, and her consumption of lace was unusual, so she was also not the one.
…So that means it was the brother? Although he was reasonably talented, he must be currently in school. I don’t see him as someone capable of extending his reach to their other house in the Royal Capital.
I would know about it if I looked into the place myself. I could just go to Rururia Talbot’s mansion thereafter.
…What was the meaning of this?
There was nothing out of the ordinary anywhere. We infiltrated the mansion, but there was no response, nor any security measure.
While she was sleeping in the room we broke into; the daughter showed no signs of waking up.
No… There was just one room where I felt slight discomfort.
Though there seemed to be some lax security, it felt as if we were being lured in… that uncomfortable feeling of contradiction. It was a bad feeling.
I left my men behind and went in myself. I was moving unbeknownst to my master. I couldn’t afford to lose any more men.
Besides, based on my previous experiences, a chilling sensation in my neck when I ignored it leads to undesirable situations. That was why I couldn’t disregard it this time as well.
I concealed myself, then opened the door.
There she was, the woman subject for the investigation that shouldn’t have been there.
“Good day, Nameless Shadow. It’s a beautiful crescent moon tonight.”
I was speechless at the woman who laughed like as cold as a nightmare.
Why is Sara Wale in here!?
“Oh, were you surprised? Thank goodness, it was worth it to set this all up.”
I unconsciously let out my voice and presence. At that moment, I realized her men surrounded me.
She clasped her hands in happiness and looked as if she was successful in her prank. But behind that was something of an unknown nature.
How many years had it been since I’ve been in a cold sweat?
“Oh, but still…”
Her appearance dramatically changed at the height of her emotion.
I couldn’t even think of her as merely a girl, not even hypothetically.
“For a top-notch agent like you to show your face to this little girl…”
She looked at me with feverish eyes as if admiring me, but I could only see her sneering as I fell for this trap like a loser.
“What do you think? How does it feel to fail like a kid trying to run away?”
She uttered candidly, in a joyous way, as if to agitate me.
…Do you want me to kill you, you witch?
Unable to bear it anymore, my killing intent leaked out, but the witch in front of me didn’t waver a bit.
“So, you’ve waited this long just to ridicule me?”
“I am not going to ridicule you.”
The witch overdramatically faced her palm upward.
…This is an act to shake us up. Endure it, endure it.
“Though your weak point (Irene) is in plain sight, you try to protect her. But when you do, you who are loyal to your master (Irene) can’t move freely. Ridiculing such people is full of restrictions; that’s something I can’t do.”
This witch knew exactly what my weakness was.
At this rate, if I were to kill this witch, I had no idea what could happen to my master, and that hesitation was within her calculations? Damn it!
“…What do you want?”
“Fufufu. Is that how you’re going to settle this?”
As she laughed, the witch looked at me intently.
“Don’t mess with Rururia Talbot. If you lay a finger on her…”
Our eyes met. The witch’s eyes were black, dark as a deep valley, and seemed as if I were into the abyss of death.
“I wonder what I shall do about your master?”
Ah, this witch made me think that no matter how we strengthened our security, she would still be able to do something to my master.
…For that purpose, to say these things, to prove your abilities, you deliberately dragged us out!? You witch!
“I take your silence as a yes. Ah, thank goodness! Well, since you’re here, how about some tea?”
…While saying that, the entrapment net that the witch had set up loosened just enough for my men to save me.
I’m done with you; you could go home, I suppose.
We disappeared without answering. Under no circumstances would I further confront that witch and give out more information about ourselves!
I hurried to the pavilion to retrieve my men and shamefully escape from her.
…But then again, who in the world was Rururia Talbot that was being protected by that witch? I thought.
As I wrapped my head around it, I arrived at the mansion, and in front of the gate were the men whom I had sent to that witch’s mansion that had supposedly disappeared, wrapped ever so carefully.
After fishing their pockets, I found a piece of paper mixed in.
A sentence is written in maliciously clean handwriting.
“Come again soon, Squire.”
As I fastened my tie, I hurried to Ojou-sama’s side.
To her, who taught me the concept of humanity.
I want to protect her from everything. However, I might’ve lost to that witch because of this feeling.
But I just couldn’t stop protecting Ojou-sama. I could never handle losing this feeling.
…I clearly understood that the witch’s weakness was that “Rururia-jou”.
It was not going to be so easy from now on.
But, who in the world is Rururia?
I couldn’t imagine how much time and effort it would take for even the best intelligence officer to get such valuable information…
Ah, this isn’t good. I have to hurry to where Ojou-sama is.
To comfort the grieving Ojou-sama, I make her a cup of calming green tea.
I further accelerated and hurried toward my master.
Squire: “Isn’t the witch the one who destroyed this country?”
Brother: “No, no, no. Surely it’s the demon king who rules over all demons, right?”
Rururia: “It’s the old evil dark Dragon. There are no doubts about it!”
Sara: “…Are there any other better analogies than those?”