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Chapter 77

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The perpetrators of the bug incident were people who owned and lived in a store in the back alley.
According to them, they commit this kind of crime to keep the alleyways peaceful instead of the security guards who were not doing their job well.
There have been a lot of incidents of theft and women being attacked in the back alleys lately. However, when they talked to the security forces, they didn’t take it seriously.
If they didn’t do something, there was a possibility of a major incident. They wanted to bring peace to the alleyways somehow, so they thought of a way to scare the troublemakers away.
What they finally came up with was the use of insects that emit light when on the verge of death.
The insects, the eerie blue light, and the meaningful letters had an extraordinary effect on the people who were fooling around in the back alleys, and the damage was greatly reduced. This was also in Giselle’s report.
Since each of them had their own jobs, the frequency of the crimes was once every few days, considering the fact that had to collect the insects.
In other words, the display of dead insects on the back alley wall was not a harassment, but part of the back alley security.
All the residents of the back alleys were accomplices, except for the children. I finally understood why I hadn’t been able to get any information during the day.

“I understand the situation. However, this is too much.”

When I glared at the men sitting in front of me, they looked away uncomfortably.
It seems that they feel guilty.

“If you’re only guarding at night, why don’t you collect the bugs before dawn? Some people get scared when they see them during the day.”

If it was only for night security, it would make sense. I feel that they shouldn’t be doing this, though. At least I realized that they were not criminals who took delight in other people’s misfortunes.

“Not so long ago, we used to collect bugs in the morning, but lately some people do stupid things in the daytime as well.”
“Even if they did, you could give it more thought.”
“B, but, the guards don’t do a very good job of patrolling! They won’t come to help us!”

It’s not that I don’t understand what the men were trying so hard to tell me. I just don’t think they should use bugs.
Moreover, they chose the morally reprehensible method of catching the bugs from outside and killing them.
Children would be sad if they knew of this.

“I understand that the patrol guards are doing a bad job, but do you really think that scaring innocent people is a good thing?”
“Do you think it will not affect the sales of the stores in the back alleys if rumors are spread like this spread around?”

Jed and Giselle, who didn’t seem to be on the same page, accused the men breathlessly. They were right on the money.
A decrease in crime does not necessarily mean that the results will be good.
Probably feeling bad, they choked on their words.

“I think if the patrol guards did their job well, they wouldn’t be doing anything stupid like this… but what do we do?”

Giselle asked me, which made me ponder.
All we have to do is force the patrol guards to work diligently. However, even if they do their job at first, there is a risk that they will gradually become lazy. That would not be a fundamental solution.
Suddenly, I saw the sign of a darkened store.

“Ah, of course. How about setting up an image recorder magic tool for surveillance?”

As the name implies, an image recorder is a magic tool that can record images. There are some that can instantly send the recorded image to a remote location.
Crime can be deterred just by installing one. In addition, if the image is sent to the patrol guard station, they will be able to immediately respond to any incidents that may occur. Even if they are unwilling to do anything, they can’t ignore an incident that happens right in front of their eyes.
I think that’s a much smarter idea than using bugs.

“Magic tools are expensive. Even if everyone cooperated, we wouldn’t be able to buy many of them.”

That is a fundamental problem. I’d like to give them some money, but I’m afraid I don’t have that kind of money.

“Miss Elle, how about having the patrol guards sponsor them?”
“I don’t think they would be willing to go that far.”

I wish I had a better idea, but I can’t think of one.
Well, what should we do?
I could have helped them if I was still a Duke’s daughter.
I feel ashamed of my helplessness.

“Elle, we can only persuade the patrol guards.”
“Yeah…”

I don’t know if they will do anything about this. I just don’t want to end up doing nothing.

“I’ll negotiate with the guards about the magic tools, and I’ll take care of the night security until they’re installed, so please don’t use bugs in the future.”

The men looked at each other in surprise at my words.

“We don’t need you to go that far for us!”
“I hate bugs. I can’t stand the idea of bugs decorating every alleyway I go to, so I want to do something about it.”

They looked apologetic as they heard me say the words without any falsehoods. However, they didn’t seem to be convinced and said, “Forcing you alone to do everything…”
It was Giselle who helped me out.

“There’s something every can do as well.”
“Huh?”
“Get a petition signed from everyone who lives in these alleyways to install the magic tools. With all the signatures, the patrol guards won’t be able to ignore it.”

I see, collecting signatures is a good idea.
As expected of Giselle.

“B, but…”
“As for the security until the magic tools are installed, Miss Ellen and I will…”
“I will help out, too.”
… And this man will also help, so you don’t need to worry about anything. We might look like this, but we are magicians with combat experience.”

Giselle and Jed are both excellent magicians. They’re not the kind of people that would lose to hoodlums.
With the three of us guarding the alley, we shouldn’t have much trouble.
The guilty men looked reluctant, but when they realized that we weren’t going to give in, they gave a small nod.

“Alright, we will take you up on your offer. Let us thank you if this works out.”

I breathed a sigh of relief that the things seemed to be coming together.
Now I won’t have to see so many bugs.

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