Oukoku e Tsuzuku Michi

Ofuro Ashitsubo

Chapter 276

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Chapter 276

–Aegir POV–

Early in the morning, a meeting is being held in the mansion .

Surrounding me are Leopolt, Myla, Celia, Irijina, and Melissa who is also worried .

Sitting beside me is Kroll, who is wearing a dark expression .

「Leopolt, report your findings . 」

I order him in an austere manner while pointing at the map of the capital spread out on the table in front of us .

「Understood . 」

He replies in his usual monotone voice, letting out a sigh before he starts to talk .

「First I will report on the target’s movements from yesterday . After shopping at a miscellaneous goods store, he roamed around the capital, then spent one hour talking in the park . 」

I start tapping my foot out of irritation .

「When it got darker, he went to a restaurant to eat…… at this store . 」

I reach the limits of my patience .

「It’s not like you to ramble on with all this useless information . The important part is how far he put it in . Just the tip? Or all the way to the root? And also, whether he came inside or not . 」

「Uwaaaa……」

Kroll lets out a pathetic voice but he can’t turn his eyes away from reality .

If you don’t get a grasp of your situation first, you can’t win .

Leopolt’s gaze seems to gradually grow cold . Celia doesn’t seem to have any interest in the matter either .

On the other hand, Irijina is enthralled and would have probably made a mess of things if I used her in the operation instead .

「……from what I saw, he did not go that far . After dinner, he only gave her a tiny kiss before heading back home, and while the man invited her to an inn, he was rejected . 」

Oh yeah, when I got home yesterday after eating dinner with Count Monas.h.i.+, Alma was already there .

So he didn’t reach that critical stage even after getting to eat with her . What a worthless man . In that case, Kroll’s chances of winning may still be pretty high .

「Uuuuuu…… Alma…… kissed……」

Kroll is still making pathetic sounds . I thought that just now was a pretty promising report .

Leopolt continues without paying attention to Kroll’s groan . It looks like he wants to get this over and done with .

「After that, I followed the man until he reached his residence . As I reported last night in haste, the mansion belonged to a mid-level merchant family though his standing is unknown . The guards were alerted so we retreated to avoid being detected . 」

「My apologies . I was the one who made that blunder . 」

Gido lowers his head . Going by his expression, he doesn’t seem satisfied with himself .

It can’t be helped . The escort squad is not geared for covert operations . Sneaking around and doing investigations is not their strong suit .

「I’m not concerned with his background . Getting Gerald’s name and address is plenty . 」

I place several letters on top of the map .

Those are from Rebecca . I commissioned her to do a private investigation for me last night .

As expected of the capital’s proud lead information officer, she completely exposed this guy in one night .

I’m glad I wrote ‘urgent matter’ . One day, I want to completely expose Rebecca too .

「Gerald is the second son of Geissler, who is a middle-cla.s.s weapons dealer . Because he doesn’t have to succeed his family business, he seems to be living as he pleases . 」

Celia was disinterested at first, but seeing Myla nonchalantly move beside me, she quickly begun reading the doc.u.ments in my place as usual .

「The second son of a merchant family…… I have a bad impression of them so you should be careful around him . 」

Melissa speaks in a worried tone .

I agree . On top of not having the responsibility of succeeding the business, they have a large pool of funds at their disposal so the second sons of merchant families tend to be problematic .

「Er, let’s see here…… he appears to have three lovers at the moment . In the past he has often also gotten women, mostly employees, pregnant before abandoning them . 」

「……the worst . 」「What a disgraceful guy!」

Myla and Irijina are upset .

What a stupid man . He just needed to make all the women he’s made pregnant belong to him, what a waste .

The more women you have, the better .

「He takes money from his family and spends it wildly . Apparently, he is the leader…… of a group of youngsters he gathered from around the city . 」

「In other words, he flaunts his money to get delinquents to follow him and then acts like their boss . 」

This guy is getting more worthless by the minute .

If he has the money to throw at idiots, he should use it to play with prost.i.tutes instead .

「He solves most of his problems with money, and is nothing but a small fry unrelated to any larger criminal organization . 」

Celia goes on to mention Geissler’s family structure and main clients, even reading the name of the partners the head of the family is cheating with .

「Finding out all of this in such a short time…… how reliable and frightening at the same time . 」

「She is dangerous . We must not let our guards down . 」

Myla and Leopolt’s faces become cloudy .

Why worry, Rebecca won’t become our enemy .

Celia continues reading .

「Uu……, a-ahem! According to the testimonies of the girls he abandoned, Gerald has a small d.i.c.k…… And it appears Geissler has lent some gold to Viscount Binbo yesterday . 」

So he took out another loan ……I’m not going to shoulder your debt again, you hear .

「It’s a good thing he’s small . With the both of you being small, you can fight on even terms, Kroll . 」

I pat Kroll’s shoulder, though he doesn’t seem too happy .

「I have to save Alma…… from that worthless sc.u.m of a man…… I have to do something……」

「That’s right, I’ll support you but it has to be you who sees it through to the end . 」

Kroll looks at me and nods .

「Saving a girl from a villain! I’m getting all fired up!!」

Irijina is pumped .

Celia hands me back Rebecca’s letters with a pouting face .

「Read the last part yourself . I don’t want to look at it . 」

「Hm? ……fufufu, what a cutie . 」

Written at the end of the letter is an informal note saying “I mobilized 20 officers for this investigation . I did it for you because I owed you, but please refrain from making anymore personal requests” .

Also at the end is a simple drawing of what appears to be Rebecca’s face…… I guess Celia got jealous over that .

「Umm…… what is everyone doing?」

A voice suddenly calls out to us from behind . It’s Alma .

The early-rising girl has woken up .

「Uooh!」

「Ugyaa!!」

In order to distract Alma from looking at the map and doc.u.ments on the table, I threw Kroll forward on instinct .

However Leopolt moves calmly to hide them from sight, resulting in Kroll’s pain becoming for nothing .

「Kroll was being scolded for a mistake he made . 」

Nice follow, Myla .

「Is that so…… it’s still early for breakfast but since everybody is up, shall I make something?」

「It’s fine . Everyone will be going out for an important business today . Alma can take the day off . 」

「Eh? Even though I rested from noon yesterday as well?」

I insist it’s fine for Alma to take a break by giving her some allowance .

If she’s going to meet Gerald again, that will be our time to settle things .

「W-wait Alma . I have something to ask you!」

The writhing Kroll who was unnecessarily slammed into the floor recovers .

「……What is it?」

「You met up with a friend yesterday, right? With who…… and what did you do?」

After staying silent briefly, Alma looks down at the floor .

「It has nothing to do with Kroll . I just went out shopping for a bit . 」

While staggering to get up, Kroll continues asking .

「……did you have fun?」

「……yeah . 」

Alma’s cheeks turn a pale red .

She runs off, saying she has to wash her face .

「K-kissing that guy…… was fun? Uuu, Alma’s going to be stolen at this rate……」

Kroll falls to his knees . Then I realized a change .

「Kroll, your crotch……」

「What?」

「No, it’s nothing . 」

I thought I saw something bulge out from his crotch, maybe that was my imagination .

Kroll has been impotent for so long after all . I’m sure it was my mistake .

「We have all the information . We just have to wait for Alma to go out before we start our operation . 」

When I use a more forceful tone, Celia and the others straighten their postures and salute .

「Celia, pick a few members from the escort squad who are quick on their feet and form a scouting unit . I’ll leave the reconnaissance and tracking to you . You’re in charge . 」

「Right!」

「Myla, organize a support group for Celia . If you see that she needs help, don’t be afraid to jump in . 」

「Yessir!」

「Irijina, choose a few members with a nice build and form the a.s.sault squad . However, don’t make any moves unless you get an order from me . 」

「Got it!」

Alright, this is good .

「Leopolt will stay by my side and take command of the whole operation . 」

「……」

Leopolt stares at me through slightly narrower eyes than usual . He didn’t give me any response .

「Each and every one of them are idiots . 」

He just woke up…… no, Tristan’s probably going back to sleep .

Be quiet . I’m not taking you anyways .

「There’s something I’m curious about so I’ll stay in the mansion . I think this matter is much more important . 」

A disloyal person like Tristan needs to be punished .

I’ll get a mountain of those green peas he hates to be piled on his plate for dinner .

After that, all of us hid in the storage closet, pretending to go out, and waited until Alma left before commencing the operation .

「We received a message from the scouting unit! The target has arrived at Geissler’s shop and met up with a man . 」

「She’s here!」

I am using the second floor of a certain brothel as headquarters .

I am acquainted with both the shop owner and the prost.i.tutes, and as long as I’m renting a room, I won’t attract any attention .

It’s not strange for men to enter and leave frequently either so the messengers reporting to me don’t look suspicious .

「The scouting unit will continue to tail the target, only retreating if cover is blown and will pa.s.s off the mission to the support group . Support unit will, on the a.s.sumption that the scouting unit will scatter, cover a wide area around them and prepare to provide backup without delay . 」

Leopolt gives out the instructions .

His expression is exactly the same as if he were ordering soldiers on the battlefield, though there is a tinge of fatigue in his eyes .

「The a.s.sault squad requests permission to head out!」

「Denied . Be good and stay still . 」

What does Irijina intend to do by charging forward all of a sudden?

Rus.h.i.+ng in and beating up Gerald would make us look like bullies .

「The target has entered the Grupp bar . 」

Grupp, huh…… I’ve been in there once and thought it was a place where no-good punks hang out .

I didn’t think the son of a wealthy merchant would take a girl to a place like this for a date .

「Have the scouting unit enter the bar . Split up and take different tables so it doesn’t look suspicious . Support unit, surround the building and monitor both the front and back entrances . a.s.sault unit will stay on standby in a nearby bar until new orders are given . 」

Leopolt’s orders are precise .

「But it’s frustrating . I want to be on the frontlines too . 」

「Lord Hardlett stands out too much . Everything we’ve done will be wasted if you’re discovered . 」

I don’t sense any intentions from him to stop me .

Honestly, it feels like he doesn’t care whether the plan is ruined .

「I won’t screw up . I’ll be in disguise . Kroll, you come too since you’re the main actor . 」

「Right!」「Do whatever you want . 」

I put on a hood to cover my face .

Next I wrap myself in a cloak to hide my body and try to walk while looking down as much as possible .

I’ll immediately find a spot nearby when I get into the bar and watch the events unfold .

As Kroll and I enter the bar, Celia beckons us to sit next to her .

「That appearance…… did you get stopped by the guards?」

Celia asks worriedly .

I did . But I asked them to overlook it this time . I’ll have to apologize to Erich later .

「So where’s Alma?」

「She’s using the toilet right now . Over there is that guy called Gerald . 」

「Him……」

I look to where Celia points and see a man propping his feet up on the table while chugging alcohol vulgarly .

His face is the same as what I saw before but the effeminate feeling I got from him yesterday is gone . He’s a proper delinquent now .

Not long later, a group of boorish punks who were drinking nearby approached Gerald with nasty grins .

「Gerald-san . That girl, is she feeling up to doing it yet?」

「She’s got a pretty face…… but her body is lacking . 」

「Heh, doing a flat girl once in a while isn’t too bad . Besides, she’s remaining chaste despite being in love with me . Forcefully pus.h.i.+ng her down and f.u.c.king that kind of girl really gets you going, doesn’t it?」

「You never change Gerald-san, you’re terrible . So, you’re gonna pa.s.s her around to the guys after you’re done with her, right?」

「Yeah, wait how many people are here? If everyone gang bangs her, she’ll break after one round . 」

Looking around, I see all the punks grinning .

So this place is the hangout for the hoodlums who obey Gerald .

「That’s nothing, if I really try to seduce her I’m sure she’ll quickly spread her legs . If she still refuses…… I’ll just hold her down and f.u.c.k her on the spot . Doing her on the table might be amusing . 」

「Hehehe, the bartender is also Ruth’s brother . He’ll pretend not to see anything . It looks like there are customers here besides us but there are more than ten of us . We’ll find a way to deceive them . 」

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Gerald and his buddies laugh vulgarly .

Kroll stands up abruptly and punches Gerald in the face .

Letting his guard down, Gerald took the full brunt of the fist, bouncing back into the table before rolling to the floor .

「I’m going to protect Alma! I’m definitely going to protect her!!」

Kroll stands in front of Alma . He’s got a black eye, a cut on his forehead and blood covering his face .

Even still, he hasn’t lost his fighting spirit .

「……kill him . 」

Gerald stumbles as he slowly gets up, his pretty face is swollen up horribly and he had to spit out a broken tooth .

「No, killing is a bit too much……」「I’d rather not live in a jail . 」

His buddies waver, not having the resolve to go that far .

Gerald shouts again in a loud voice .

「I told you to kill him!! I’ll get my father to erase the record of you killing some d.a.m.n brat!! You guys want more money to play with, right!?」

Feeling left with no choice, the punks take out knives from their pockets .

「Stop this! How did things turn out like this!? Kroll, run away!」

Kroll gets into a stance as he hears Alma scream .

Even in the face of blades, he doesn’t look willing to back away and expose the girl behind him .

「You pa.s.s, Kroll . 」

I stand up and Celia dispatches the messenger .

「If you’re going to hate someone, hate Gerald-san…… now die!」

One of the men thrusts out a knife from the hip aimed at Kroll . At first glance, it looked like Kroll’s body was bent and he got stabbed in the chest .

A few drops of blood splattered on Alma’s face, eliciting a short squeal before making her faint .

But I’m no longer panicking .

Kroll didn’t get killed . The knife only caught the side of his body .

「He saw through it . 」

Kroll delivers a counter punch, smas.h.i.+ng the man’s nose .

Seeing that, the rest of the men charge forward with their weapons .

「Kill him! Kill himmm! Killl hiiiiimm!」

Gerald shouts maniacally .

As one would expect, fighting all of them at once is difficult for Kroll . However there is no need for him to do so .

「Time to rush in!!」

Irijina destroys the door of the shop and bursts in .

She’s leading some of the most muscular-looking and burly guys from the escort squad .

None of them wore armor to remain inconspicuous in the city, but the air of intimidation given off even while unarmed was worlds apart from the pathetic punks in the store .

「W-who are you guys!?」「Interrupting us all of a-…… guwah!」

The a.s.sault squad led by Irijina pounce on the surprised men .

「Wahahahaha! Victory goes to the one who strikes first!」

Irijina and company don’t waste time asking questions and punch the delinquents . She’s certainly right that striking first is part of the basics…… well, whatever .

As the melee commences, the escort squad don’t falter to the knife-wielding amateurs .

Rather, it was a one-sided sweep .

「Uwaaah!」

「Aah, Christoph got hit!」

Christoph was the only one who got punched, hit a chair and was knocked unconscious . There were no problems other than that .

Kroll felt relieved when we jumped in, falling forward to protect Alma .

I approach him in the middle of all the chaos and prop him up .

「You did well . You’re a splendid man now even though your d.i.c.k still isn’t big . 」

When I look back, Gerald already ran away .

Running away by himself even though he’s similarly small, what a worthless guy .

Our objective was never to defeat him so I guess it’s fine to let him go .

「b.a.s.t.a.r.d! You’re on his side too!?」

One man jumps out of the crowd to attack me .

But he’s totally amateurish and his movements are slow, so I easily grab his weapon-holding hand with my left hand .

「Too slow, plus you’re as weak as a woman . 」

「H-hiih……」

The man tries to pull away from me to no avail .

He frantically tries to rip my hand away but couldn’t even budge me .

「You guys ganged up on some unarmed kid, and even had the gall to pull out knives . How spineless . 」

These ill-mannered idiots need to be taught a lesson .

I squeeze the man’s wrist .

The more I do so, the more cracking sounds I hear until I finally feel something come loose in his hand .

「Gugyaah――!!」

The man lets out a pained scream and p.i.s.ses his pants before pa.s.sing out .

Irijina and the others have pretty much beat up the rest of them too .

「Wahahahaha! Victory, victory!!」

「Everything went as planned . 」

And then I hear a whistling sound coming from outside .

Not good, we caused too much of a fuss and now the guards are coming in full force .

If they catch me, Erich is going to get terribly angry .

If I run away, they’ll probably think of this as nothing but a random brawl .

It’s not uncommon for drunk customers to break out into fights at a bar, and the guards shouldn’t investigate too deeply into the incident .

「Myla-san is keeping them at bat! Let’s make our escape quickly!」

While carrying Kroll, I kick down the back entrance and run back to the mansion .

Protagonist: Aegir Hardlett . 24 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 .

Elf Mediator .

Citizens: 176,000 . Refugees: 2400

Major Cities – Rafen: 27,000 . Lintbloom: 5000 . Vandolea Special Town: 9000 .

Kroll (man), Alma (reflecting), Irijina (victory), Tristan (scheming)

Army: 7500 men

Infantry: 4500, Cavalry: 1000, Archers: 600, Bow Cavalry: 900, Temporary Refugee Guards: 500

Reserve Army: 2500

Cannons: 20, Large Cannons: 15, Dwarven Cannons: 16

a.s.sets: 18,449 gold

s.e.xual Partners: 427, children who have been born: 55 + 555 fish

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