Oukoku e Tsuzuku Michi

Ofuro Ashitsubo

Chapter 238

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Chapter 238

Third Person POV–

Late at Night . New Mansion .

On a moonless night, a man and a woman covered in pitch black robes hide near Hardlett’s new mansion .

The two of them are climbing up a steep area on the side of the mansion where people didn’t think was possible to pa.s.s through .

The duo catch their breath after reaching the top and look at the wall of the mansion spread out before them…… they were getting ready to challenge that four meter tall obstacle .

「Drow, are you ready?」

「Of course . But still, that’s some incredible skill . As expected of Totipa, the cat leg?」

The small girl called Totipa furrowed her brow in response to the comments from the man of large build called Drow .

She adjusts the black eyepatch covering her left eye slightly .

「This isn’t the time for meaningless chatter . We’re sneaking into Hardlett’s mansion so a single mistake could result in us getting hanged . 」

The female whispers softly like the sound of rustling dry leaves and hands a large stone with a light gray rope attached to Drow .

「It’ll be fine, this new mansion isn’t being used yet so security will be pretty lax . How nice of the feudal lord, he’s practically giving his money to us by carrying such a huge mountain of gold here . 」

Drow twirls the large stone slowly so it doesn’t make any slicing wind sounds and then throws it over the wall surrounding the mansion .

The dull thud made by the stone as it hits the gra.s.s on the other side rang out clearly in the dead of the night .

The pair held their breaths and laid low for a while, raising their bodies only after confirming there was no response .

「Here I go . 」

Totipa grabs the rope and makes her way swiftly up the wall .

「Amazing acrobatics……」

The rock thrown over acting as the counterbalance couldn’t weigh dozens of kilograms .

Totipa was considered a small girl, but climbing up normally would inevitably cause the rock to s.h.i.+ft and drop down .

That’s why she hooked her feet on the slight gaps in the wall to lessen as much weight on the rock as possible when she climbed .

Anyone who saw her climbing could tell she was accustomed to doing so .

「Shh!」

At that moment, two guards holding torches came to make their rounds .

Drow once again laid low to the ground while Totipa hauled in the rope and stuck persistently to the wall .

「They’re gone……」

The two patrolling guards pa.s.s by while talking about where they would go during their next vacation .

With the rope dyed in the same color as the wall, pressing it against the surface made it difficult to notice at night .

「…… all clear . 」

Totipa tied the rope to a convenient log in the yard and softly signaled to her partner .

After acknowledging, Drow starts climbing the rope .

Being a muscular man, he could not rely just on the counterbalance stone to support his weight .

「Guh! Hmmf!」

Totipa sighs as she watches the man clumsily pull himself up with brute strength .

(Drow, you’re a complete enc.u.mbrance…… If you don’t do it well, we’ll be discovered . )

It was clear the man was not suited for covert operations .

However the small, light-weight girl consequently skilled at acrobatic maneuvers was too weak to throw the heavy rock used as a counterbalance over the wall after climbing the cliff-like slope and carrying the rope with her .

Of course Totipa initially proposed for Drow to remain on standby in front of the mansion while she was the only one to infiltrate……

「……you could have just waited over there . 」

「Hehehe, nice try but I’m not going to let you make off with all the loot . 」

Worried about her absconding with the money, Drow grumbled to come along .

They were not close friends, but rather fellow acquaintances of the underworld society who just paired up for this particular job .

Naturally, a level of trust was nonexistent between the two individuals so both had to remain vigilant that the other person would not get the jump on them .

Further, since their prey was a large amount of gold, the weak-armed girl could not carry everything by herself .

Without a strong man, the job would be a high risk, low reward .

「When we’re done here, jump into the drainage channel at the back . The city’s waterways lead outside the city . Run if you get found by guards on the way, unnecessary killing is out of the question . 」

「I’ve already heard that countless times . Let’s get this over with . 」

Drow acts imperiously, having successfully infiltrated the mansion .

It made Totipa’s head hurt as she knew that the hard part was yet to come, but she also knew that discord in their relations.h.i.+p could spell disaster .

It might be the middle of the night but the number of guards was not small .

The light from many torches could be seen in the distance .

On the contrary, the flames gave away the position and amount of guards .

「Let’s go . 」

The female removes her eyepatch and opens her left eye .

The eye which was covered day and night three days prior with an eyepatch was able to see far away even on this dark, moonless evening .

Totipa runs smoothly in the night, making a beeline for the rear entrance of the mansion .

She was able to learn the rough structure of the mansion from a worker who was involved with the building in exchange for some alcohol .

There would obviously be guards at the back entrance…… but there was just one .

Despite housing the treasure storehouse, the security of the new mansion wasn’t that strict because the feudal lord isn’t living there yet .

It was exactly like the procured information told her .

She stops two steps in front of the area illuminated by the soldier’s torch and takes out a rat from her pocket .

She then throws the creature on the opposite side of where she was positioned .

As the rat hits the ground, it makes a squeak before running off and rustling some dry gra.s.s .

「Who’s there!?」

The soldier protecting the rear entrance brings his torch toward the area he heard the sound .

At the same time, Totipa runs forward .

She matches the timing of her footsteps with that of the soldier’s so she could move without being noticed even though her steps were not the quietest .

This was the reason why she was dubbed ‘cat leg’ .

The girl clings to the door and inserts a thin wire into the keyhole .

「I heard it come from over here…… d.a.m.n, it’s so dark . 」

As the soldier drags his feet along the gra.s.s, the rustling sounds mask Drow’s awkward run towards the door .

When the man reached the door, there was a clack sound and the door opened .

It didn’t take more than a few seconds for her to pick the lock .

「……tch, just a rat!」

By the time the guard cursed and returned to his post, the two thieves already broke into the mansion .

They change their shoes to cloth-made footwear so they can on the stone corridors without sound .

With n.o.body living in the mansion, the insides were bleak .

There appeared to be fewer guards on the inside than the outside as well .

「It’s as good as ours . 」

「……the treasure storehouse is the most formidable enemy . Everybody involved with its construction are famous so we couldn’t just count of alcohol to learn anything, we’ll have to wing it . 」

「It’ll be a cinch with your lockpicking skills . Besides, worse comes to worse, I can use my sword to destroy the door……」

Totipa sighs as she sees Drow draw his sword .

(What kind of idiot brings a sword with them when breaking into a house?)

In comparison, the female had a sharp knife on her hip that was light and small enough to not hinder her movements .

「So this is the treasure storage, guards…… there are four of them!」

The two of them unconsciously scowl .

(We can take down two with a surprise attack…… then one more from the delayed reaction but all four at once is probably impossible . )

If even one guard doesn’t get finished off and he sounds the alarm, soldiers will come running immediately .

「Let’s wait and see for now . If one of them goes to the toilet, that’ll be our chance……」

Totipa hides in a nearby room, waiting for a good opportunity to strike, but Drow wasn’t able to contain himself with the gold practically in front of his eyes .

「No, we can take out four no problem! I told you before that I was once a mercenary!」

「S-stupid!」

Drow runs out with his sword drawn .

Totipa tries to stop him but it was too late .

Left with no choice, the girl runs out with her body kept low to the ground .

「Hm……? W-who the h.e.l.l are you, gueh!」

Surprised by Totipa who appeared seemingly out of nowhere in the dark, the soldier frantically tries to draw his sword .

Before he could do so, Totipa kicks him in the crotch and he falls over holding his privates in pain .

「Thieves…… gyah!」

Drow punches the soldier and knocks him out before he could arm himself .

「You little-! Uwah!」

The third soldier drops his torch so he could draw his weapon .

However he was not able to get a lock on Totipa who pounced from the dark after his eyes got used to the light, getting hit with a roundhouse kick and fainting .

「s.h.i.+t! He got away!」

The fourth soldier turns the other way and runs as fast as he can .

Of course, he was shouting the whole time .

If left alone, soldiers all over the mansion will quickly converge .

「Don’t! Drow!!」

「d.a.m.n b.a.s.t.a.r.d!」

Drow tries to grab the soldier but misses, so he instead raises his sword and slashes the soldier’s back .

「Gyaaaaaah!!」

The blade left a deep cut into his shoulder and the soldier let out a dying cry before collapsing to the ground .

It was clearly a fatal wound .

「Why did you kill him!?」

「Shaddup! Hurry and unlock the door!」

The ringing shout alerted sentries from outside the mansion and all the soldiers start making their way noisily towards the source .

It was such a sudden scream that happened just once though so the soldiers couldn’t pinpoint the exact location it originated from .

「Open it already! Or do you want to leave empty-handed and end up as a fugitive!?」

「……I shouldn’t have taken you with me!」

Totipa bites back while sticking the wire inside the lock of the treasure storehouse .

Drow paces around anxiously to the side .

「You’re not done yet!?」

「Don’t compare this with the lock at the backdoor! This is…… a spring type, ten-pin double cylinder, it’ll take some time!」

「The scream didn’t come from the inside!?」

「Impossible, there were no abnormalities at the entrances!」

「Look! There’s a rope here! Thieves got inside!!」

The duo become more panicked as they hear the sound of soldiers rus.h.i.+ng through the backdoor .

「Hurry it up!!」

「Don’t rush me! The first one is open! Now for the second……」

Totipa’s face warps as soon as she pokes the wire into the lock .

(The structure is totally different from the first one! It’s made for a completely different type of key!)

The sound of footsteps running down the corridor urges Totipa to hurry more .

They infiltrated the feudal lord’s mansion and killed a soldier .

If they got captured, they wouldn’t die a swift death .

「No good, I won’t make it in time! Let’s run away . 」

「Don’t be ridiculous! We’ve already came this far……」

「Thieves, huh?」

Drow, who was just about to yell, suddenly disappeared before Totipa’s eyes .

「Eh?」

Her eyes try to chase after the frame of the nearly 190cm man who got sent flying easily to the end of the corridor .

「Nonna, Carla, stay behind me . 」

「「Right!」」

「Fueh?」

What stood in front of the girl was a ma.s.s of muscle .

The height of the person wasn’t too different from Drow’s but the density of muscles was different .

To Totipa, who was barely 140cm, it was equivalent to a wall of muscle .

More noticeably…… .

「N-naked?」

The man wasn’t simply bare-handed, he was completely naked .

It looks like Drow took a single punch and was sent to the other end of the corridor .

Looking behind the naked man, there were two women who were half naked and the door of the room next to the treasure storehouse was opened .

Apparently, they came because of the fuss .

「Kuh!」

However that had nothing to do with her own fate .

Totipa pulls her knife out but the man in front of her doesn’t flinch .

(This guy’s strong…… I can’t win if I attack head-on!)

Even so, Totipa still believed she had a chance of winning .

(Muscular guys are powerful but their movements should be slow . It was the same with Drow . I can threaten him and then run after breaking through the window . It’s two meters high…… but I should be able to come out of this unscathed!)

Her battle plan was decided .

「Yaah!」

Totipa raises her voice and gets ready to swing with her knife, then darts abruptly towards the window .

Then she b.u.mps into a wall of muscle and gets knocked over .

「W-why!?」

She didn’t screw up .

She jumped as quick as she could .

But it seemed the man was even quicker .

「……you’re not only a thief but a murderer . 」

The man looks at the fallen soldier and shrugs his shoulders .

Totipa readjusted the grip of her knife so the blade was pointing in the opposite direction .

(I’ll stab his leg, then escape through the window . Fortunately, the opponent is a large unarmed man, so the most he can hit me with is a kick if I crouch down . Plus, he’s naked so even a small knife can pierce his skin . )

「Stop resisting . If you don’t be good, even if you’re a woman, I’ll have to hurt……」

「Haaa!」

Totipa charges forward in a low stance accompanied by a yell filled with fighting spirit .

And then, the surroundings darken .

(I’ve got it, the woman in the back dropped her torch out of shock! I have the advantage now . )

The man seems to lose sight of Totipa for a split second .

Using the fortunate opening given to her, she circles around to the right and aims at the man’s thigh…… .

She could hear the blade pierce the man’s flesh, then she felt a blow to her head .

(I’m hit! But he couldn’t have raised his……leg……)

Losing consciousness briefly due to the counter, Totipa stumbles and crashes into the wall .

The women hiding behind the man take the opportunity to rush out .

「I’ve got the knife! Nonna, get on top!」

「T-there!」

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The knife was kicked away and two women are pinning the intruder from above .

「And I have one more duty for all of you . 」

Their expressions sink as they hear there was something else .

「This girl, she infiltrated my mansion and cut a soldier so naturally she should be given the death penalty . 」

The soldiers nod while Totipa hangs her head .

Only Myla and Celia sigh .

「But this girl Totipa seems to be a famous thief . To prevent future break-ins, I’m sure all of you have something to gain from her . 」

The best way to prevent thieves is to ask the best thief .

Not seeing where I’m going with the conversation, the soldiers look at each other .

「I would feel saddened if I left you with just a decrease in salary…… look, she’s small but fairly pretty, right?」

「Eh?」

Totipa lets out a hysteric voice as the unexpected situation develops .

Alright, now I’ll say it .

「I will now announce your sentence! During the three months before spring, you will become the wife of all twenty soldiers here and entertain them at night!」

「Haaaaah!?」

The soldiers and the girl both seem taken aback .

But as soon as the meaning becomes clear, the soldiers’ faces become dyed with l.u.s.t, while Totipa turns pale .

「Normally you would get executed, so isn’t this better?」

「That’s true! But a wife!?」

「A wife means…… we’re free to do a lot of different things, right?」「This little girl for all of us…… will it be alright?」

「It’s her fault that we got a pay cut . We have to punish her……」「Deuf, so you’re finally going to graduate from being a virgin too……」

The twenty people were looking at the girl as if licking her all over, causing Totipa to shrink in fear, but couldn’t really do so because of her foot cuffs .

「Except! You will be punished if you punch, kick or break her . You will ultimately treat her like you would a wife and love her . 」

「「「Yessir!」」」

「Wait a second! Love!? There are twenty people here though! It’s impossible, impossible!」

「Now take her away with you . Don’t forget to pick up some thief secrets from her in bed . 」

Totipa was lifted up on the shoulders of the soldiers and led away .

「Waaaaah! Why did it turn out like this!?」

「It’s better than the death penalty, no?」「I’m a virgin, so teach me lots . 」「I’ll make you cry with the same techniques I used to conquer fifteen prost.i.tutes . 」「This is revenge for kicking me in the b.a.l.l.s . I’ll impregnate you!」「Please…… step on me . 」

「That should be good . 」

「It’s not good, geez…… you’re always too lenient on girls . 」

Myla and Celia criticize me with their eyes .

It can’t be helped, I don’t want to kill any girls if possible even if I’m acting as the villain .

「Besides, I think her skill is interesting . 」

The guards were not really fooling around or slacking off .

She was able to slip past twenty guards and get all the way to the treasure storehouse, which is pretty impressive .

On top of that, she was able to pick the lock of one of the locks on the treasure storehouse door .

「The soldiers didn’t really have a big lapse or anything . It would have the opposite effect if you’re too harsh on them . 」

You often hear of stories from other territories about soldiers joining hands with thieves because of their desire for money .

「Is it really okay? The soldiers won’t ever go up against Aegir-sama . Call it loyalty…… ot call it fear . If they hear your rumors or achievements in battle, they just-……」

I don’t remember ever treating the soldiers badly .

Well, we were able to complete the sentence of Totipa, the punishment of the soldiers and the betterment of the mansion security all at once, so isn’t that great?

There is one more thing that worries me though .

「The other man who broke in still can’t be found? The soldiers said they lost sight of him after he jumped down a hole . 」

「「Aah…… about that . 」」

Myla and Celia look at each other, then whisper something in each other’s ears .

It was quite the shocking story .

「……he became bones when he was found?」

「There were scattered bones in the corner of the hole…… then they weren’t there by evening, and the shape of the bones looked like they belonged to a large man . The servants were freaked out so they kept it a secret . 」

That’s the right move, though turning into white bones after jumping down a hole is eerie .

Hmm, what a mystery .

「That’s the gist, so have you seen anything Mirumi?」

I peek into the hole in the mansion and chat with Mirumi the mermaid .

The girls’ lake and this hole is connected by the aqueduct so she could have seen something when going back and forth quite frequently .

Mirumi smiles as usual and is surrounded by several dozen mermaid children .

All of them were born from my seed so I guess they can be called my children .

「I don’t know~ But if it wasn’t a bad person, then maybe you don’t have to worry . 」

「Don’t worry~」「Don’t~」「Don’t, don’t~」

The children who mimic Mirumi seem to have grown bigger since the last time I saw them .

I can see some whose b.r.e.a.s.t.s are starting to grow bigger .

It seems mermaids grow up quickly .

「You say I don’t have to worry if they’re not a bad person?」

「That’s right~ It’ll be fine if that person isn’t bad enough to put a blade against me and take me as hostage . 」

「Be fine~」「Fine~」「Fine~」

I see, that may be true if the girls in the hole say it .

「Alright, thanks . By the way, we’re having pork steak today . Would you like to eat some?」

Apparently mermaids like Mirumi and her kids like meat so I thought I could share some with her .

「Hmm, I’m not hungry today . Maybe next time . 」

「Belly is full~」「Ate meat~」「Ate lots~」「Ate a bad person~」

Oh I see, next time then .

I guess the mystery will remain unsolved .

Protagonist: Aegir Hardlett . 23 years old . Winter .

Status: Goldonia Kingdom Margrave . Great Feudal Lord of Eastern Area . Mountain Legend . Friend of the Dwarves . Friend of the King of Aless . Dragon Slayer Hero .

Citizens: 174,000 . Major Cities – Rafen: 25,000 . Lintbloom: 5000 . Vandolea Special Town: 9000 .

Family: Nonna (normal Nonna), Carla (concubine), Mel (concubine), Miti (concubine, expecting), Maria (concubine, expecting)

Catherine (concubine, expecting), Kuu (lover), Ruu (lover), Mireille (lover), Leah (lover)

Casie (ghost), Rita (head maid), Yoguri (playwright), Pipi (lover), Alice (magical girl)

Marceline (pregnant lover), Daughters – Stephanie (step daughter), Bridget (step daughter), Felicie (step daughter)

Sebastian (butler), Dorothea (lover, in the capital), Melissa (lover, left for the capital), Alma (left for the capital)

Children: Sue, Miu, Ekaterina, Amata, Anastasia (daughters); Antonio, Claude, Gilbard, Reiner, Bartolome (sons); Rose (foster daughter)

Non-humans: Lammy (snake lover), Mirumi (mermaid, full stomach), Alraune (growing)

Subordinates (temporary): Celia (adjutant), Gido (escort unit), Kroll (mendicant monk), Irijina (commander), Luna (commander), Ruby

Myla (security officer), Polte (training supervisor), Gretel (domestic affairs trainee)

Leopolt (staff officer), Adolph (domestic affairs official), Tristan (staff officer B)

Claire & Laurie (official merchant), Schwartz (horse), Lilian (actress), Totipa (everyone’s wife)

Army: 7000 men

Infantry: 1200, Cavalry: 800, Archers: 500, Bow Cavalry: 900, Light Infantry (Inadequately Equipped): 3600

(Bow Cavalry and Reserve Army Dismissed)

Reserve Army: 3000 (Incompletely Armed)

Cannons: 10, Large Cannons: 16

a.s.sets: 35,840 gold (salary reduction x3 months +140)

s.e.xual Partners: 288, children who have been born: 54 + 555 fish

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