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Chapter 31

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Information
After we left the cafeteria, I went to a stall in the square and bought a newspaper with a large title that read, “The garrison increases patrols, but disappearances return.”
It was a detailed article about disappearances.

The first young woman to disappear had disappeared two weeks ago.
According to the testimony of the last person who had seen her, she had said that she was going to meet someone important.
She was popular for her pretty appearance and was selling flowers at the same place every day. Some people were upset about her disappearance, but according to the rumors, she wanted to elope, which actually calmed them down a little.

The next boy who disappeared was already gone when the family woke up at the inn where they were staying.
The town’s guards have been searching for him, but he has not been found.

As for the third vagrant, the only information about him is that he disappeared before anyone noticed.

The fourth, an elderly woman, had told an acquaintance a week ago that she felt someone was watching her. She said was on alert, but then disappeared three days later.
Since her disappearance, the three other cases have been treated as a series of disappearances.

It seems that the guards have increased their patrols, as the newspaper headlines said, but in the end another went missing.
This time, the missing person was a young sailor on a cargo ship.
He disappeared after having a drink with his friends.

“Five people had abnormally disappeared in a short period of time, huh.”
“Indeed.”

The street stall’s uncle responded to my monologue.

“Ah, sorry for talking to you all of sudden.”
“It’s nothing…”

He scratched his black hair, which was starting to turn gray, and looked troubled.

“Are you a tourist?”
“That’s correct.”
“I’m telling you this for your own good. Leave this town as soon as possible.”

I felt a sense of deja vu.
Because I was told something similar in the first village I arrived in after being exiled from my country.

“Why do you say that?”
“It’s written in the newspapers. The number of missing persons had increased.”
“Yeah, it looks like it.”
“I believe they are kidnappings. So you better get out of the town before you become a victim.”

A kidnapping. That’s what I was thinking, too.
“Ah.” I remembered the incident at the diner earlier and let out a small voice.

“Uncle, can I ask you something?”
“Yeah, sure.”

When I told him what the men in the cafeteria were talking about, he made a pondering expression. Then a bitter look came over his face.

“You have someone in mind, don’t you?”
“Yes, the new Captain of that big-ass freighter.”

When I looked in the direction he pointed, there was indeed a large freighter docked there.

“His name is Jacob.”
“What kind of person is he?”
“He’s an alcoholic and a womanizer, but I hear he’s good at his job.”

He seems to be a good-for-nothing as far as I’m concerned.
He’s better than Baptiste, though.

“I have only heard a few things about him in the tavern. If you want to know more about him, you should go there.”
“I see. Okay.”
“Hey! Are you really planning on asking about him?”
“No way. I’m just going for a drink.”

When I replied with a smile, a cramp showed on the uncle’s face.

“You better not do anything unnecessary…”
“I will bear that in mind.”

I thanked him for sharing his story with me and headed for the tavern.

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