The knight captain looked like he was just struck in the head with a hammer. "I guess that does make sense.”
"Yes, the horn found in the director's stomach poisons you as soon as you consume it. However, there's a way to slow down that toxicity."
"What method is that?"
"The most basic process is to wrap the poison with a thin film to delay contact with the stomach, but this wouldn’t work if you wanted the director to consume it without knowing,” I said.
"When people eat, unless they purposely swallow their food whole, they usually chew. If that happened, the thin film would break and render itself useless. However, for horn, there's a way to temporarily reduce the toxicity and slow down the effects using a special process, but this doesn't last long. That means if we find someone who can use that method within a day, we can track the culprit or someone who's been in contact with him."
The knight captain still appeared doubtful. "Do you even know the number of people in the capital who are aware of this method?"
I smiled at the remark. "Do you know of the Big Mama Information Agency?"
The knight captain looked at me with surprise.
* * *
In the end, I was released on parole for one day under the condition that I’d be accompanied by a knight. This made it easier to run away if I wasn’t able to apprehend the criminal. Of course, I was definitely going to capture the criminal. After I catch him, I’m going to stick a hergamorphin in his butt. For bothering me, I'll make him crap until his anus becomes raw.
However, there was no need to limit me to only one option idiotically. Life didn’t always go the way you wanted. If things were to go wrong, I'd run away without looking back. Running was the best tactic.
"What are you so deep in thought about?" The somewhat rambling voice shook me awake from my various thoughts.
"I was thinking about how to catch the criminal," I said.
The knight assigned by the knight captain nodded. He looked like a gangster, but in fact, he was the vice-captain of the White Deer knight division.
"So what are you going to do?" He asked.
"First of all, let's go to the Big Mama Information Agency."
The vice-captain sighed, indicating that he saw this as a bother, and asked, "Do you know where the Big Mama Information Agency is?"
Of course, I knew. When I arrived at the capital, I came across an external branch by chance. Additionally, they told me to find them if I needed information and gave me a map with a contact method.
There was one thing that bothered me about visiting the Big Mama Information Agency. That one thing was the knight attached to me, but I had no choice in the matter.
"I know where it is, so please follow me." As I started forward, the vice-captain followed me with an air of annoyance.
I headed towards the market, recalling the map of the capital and the external branch's location in my head. When I arrived at the market, I followed along its streets then went into a back alley.
Come to think of it; it was around here that I saw Director Pelgrant last night. I wonder if the director also stopped by the Big Mama Information Agency. It was a ridiculous notion, but if by chance he did, it would help me find the culprit if I knew the reason for Pelgrant’s visit.
"How much longer do we have to go?"
Upon the vice-captain’s question, I answered with my own, "Don't you know the location?”
The vice-captain spoke proudly, "How would I know the location of such an illegal information organization?”
Excuse me? You should at least know where in the capital the base of such a criminal organization was located.
The fact that this guy was the vice-captain of the division charged with the capital’s security made me worried for the capital. Either way, whether the capital’s security was good or not, it didn’t have anything to do with me.
"We're almost there."
Then we entered a bar in the corner of the back alley. The inside of the bar had liquor bottles rolling about, making it feel like a sacred site for all the gangsters. Yet, there was no stale smell that you would expect from places like these. Well, whether a person was looking for alcohol or information, I don’t think they’d want to come to a place that smelled. That was a relief. It seems we came to the right place.
As I walked in, the gangsters in the bar rose from their seats and became vigilant. I was momentarily confused before I realized that their eyes were not on me but behind me. The vice-captain looked like a bully, but he was actually a knight.
"Could you leave for a minute?” I said this because it would be annoying for all the gangsters to have their guards up against me, but the vice-captain looked at me as if I was joking. I clicked my tongue in my mind. This guy was a total burden.
This was why being suspected was so annoying. With no choice, I took the burden with me and headed directly to the bartender.
"What would you like?" Wary of the burden behind me, the bartender didn’t even make eye contact with me as he spoke.
“Give me a drink,” I said.
“So, what do you want to drink?” When the bartender bluntly asked this, I thought of the passcode. What was it?
"Give me Mother's Blessing?" I couldn't remember if this was the passcode for the Big Mama Information Agency in the capital or a branch office in a city near the capital.
Hearing my order, the bartender suddenly looked at me. Then he looked at me with conflicted eyes and asked, "What would you like to eat?"
He suddenly changed to honorifics. Fortunately, it seemed my passcode was correct.
"Cook the back meat moistly,” I answered.
“The back meat will have a strong smell,” the bartender responded.
“Then let's eat somewhere else.”
Seeing the burden behind me, the bartender stopped the well-flowing conversation. “Wait a minute. I'll go check if there's any back meat."
The bartender entered the staff lounge behind him, but him saying that he would check for the back meat wasn't in the passcode. Strange.
Then the burden behind me poked me in the back and asked with a suspicious look, "Is this the right place?"
"Maybe. I don't know for sure because I found this place by chance."
"You don't know? You've never been here before?"
"This is my first visit,” I said as I shrugged my shoulders. The burden behind me frowned like he had a problem with something.
The burden was going to say something to me, but the bartender came out of the lounge and guided us to the back door.
"There was indeed back meat. I'll show you to your seat. The person behind you... can also follow me."
I followed the bartender without any qualms while the burden accompanied me with a distrusting look. As I followed him through the back door, I saw a staircase leading to the basement. When I went straight down the stairs, there was a door with a handle for opening outwards.
I thought this door would be a sliding door rather than an outwards opening door, but when the bartender knocked on the door with a unique rhythm, the door slid to the side and opened.
"What is this?!” The burden behind me was greatly surprised to see the sliding door, acting as if he was seeing a sliding door for the first time or something. I looked at him in a way akin to a city person glaring at a country bumpkin, then went inside.
Wow! In Granwell, there were only tables and chairs in an apartment-sized room, but perhaps because this was the capital, it was a spacious room with luxurious decorations on the walls. Still, aside from the big picture on the wall, there were all kinds of magic placed, and I could feel the presence of people. Based on that, this office was not much different from the one in Granwell.
"You can sit here."
I felt like I was visiting some rich person’s place when a woman sitting in the middle of the room pointed to a seat across the table in front of her. Wasn’t this girl the one I met at Granwell? Perhaps she got a promotion during the time I hadn’t seen her, but I did not expect her in the capital.
I sat down comfortably in the chair, thinking that moving from such a tiny room in Granwell to this luxurious room was definitely a promotion.
"Welcome to the Big Mama Information Agency. You're both new, right?” Sounding out of place for an informant, she spoke with a lowered voice.
However, I felt an intimate feeling from her voice. It was an inordinately familiar voice that I had heard half a year ago.
"Yes, I'm here because I have some information I want to buy." Well, whether her voice was familiar or not, the important topic was to find evidence of the criminal.
"I’m looking for any information regarding places that deal with horn and a record of Pelgrant von Bologeno’s movements for the past month. In addition, I want all the information that Pelgrant von Bologneo has bought here."
The burden sitting next to me and the informant was surprised. Actually, the last request was something I just threw out there. Director Pelgrant's behavior last night was suspicious, so I prodded just in case. I wasn’t expecting anything, but it seemed I unexpectedly hooked a large fish.
"What do you-"
I looked at the informant, cutting off the question the burden was about to ask.
The informant pondered and said interestedly, "This is unexpected. I thought he wasn’t raising a successor, especially trainees."
What the hell is she saying? More importantly, she seemed to know that I was a civil servant trainee. Let's settle my business first.
"I'm sure you know, but Director Pelgrant almost got poisoned today." If it was an information agency, I figured they would know about it even if the incident happened only a few hours ago.
"Yes, and you were arrested as a suspect, Mr. Den von Mark."
What, you also know my name? Yet, seeing that they didn’t know my real name, I felt proud. If they had suddenly said my real name here, I would have run away from the capital and gone to another country.
"Alright, I'll give you all the information you asked for." The informant moved on coolly. As I was about to start admiring her reaction, she took out an abacus and started to move the abacus pieces. This wasn't free, of course.
"Let's see. It’ll just be two gold coins."
For your information, six gold coins were a month's budget for a small territory.
I looked at the burden and said, "That's the cost."
"What? I don't have that kind of money!" The burden looked at me with bewildered eyes.
The burden was a burden to the end. I looked at the informant again and said, "Let's put it under the name of the White Deer knight division."
"Hey!" The burden shouted urgently, but unfortunately, the informant saved him.
"I'm sorry, but credit is not allowed,” she said.
"Whew~!" The burden breathed a sigh of relief. Tch, that's too bad.
I pretended to search in my breast pocket and took out two gold coins from my pocket space. The expense wouldn’t matter as the money would be taken from Director Pelgrant and the criminal later with interest. If they refused to cough it up, then I would just have to make a friendly visit.
When I took out the money with ease, the burden sitting next to me looked at me in surprise while the informant simply received the money from me as if she had expected it.
Something felt off. Why was that informant not surprised and just acted as if everything was normal when I presented such a large sum of money? I'll have to pry into the Big Mama Information Agency later. I definitely felt like something was up.Previous Chapter Next Chapter