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Chapter 79

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“I found out the reason behind the negligence of the patrol guards.”

Two nights after we started guarding the back alleys, Giselle came to my room and informed me. As usual, she works fast.

“What is the cause?”
“The main reason was a big cut in their salary.”
“A salary cut?”
“Yes, apparently they have been neglecting their duties because they don’t want to work for less than original salary.”

I understand that they are complaining about the reduction of their salary, but it is not commendable to neglect their duties because of that.

“But it’s weird to suddenly have their salary cut.”
“Yes, it is. It’s weird to reduce the salary of the patrol guards in the first place.”

The Principality of Agreable pays the salaries of Arburn’s guards. It is also paid for by the taxes collected from the people. Unless there’s a major problem in the country, they would not suddenly reduce the salaries of the guards.

“Is someone embezzling the money paid to the patrol guards?”

If the country is in dire straits and the reduction in pay for the patrol guards is occurring, then the citizens should be suffering as well. At a glance, the standard of living of the people living here is not much different from the last time I visited. In other words, the country is not in crisis. The only thing I can think of is that one of the tax administrators is embezzling money.

“That is a possibility.”
“If that’s the case, then it’s out of our reach.”

There is no way that commoners from another country can solve the problem of embezzlement in a foreign country.
In addition, the guard’s salary has been reduced. Installing the magic tools as I wanted is now but a dream.

“There will never be peace in the back alleys if this continues.”
“The only thing we can do now is to motivate the guards.”
“Yeah.”

One day we’ll leave Arburn, and it’ll be nearly impossible to keep the alleyways safe. The best thing we can do is to get the guards motivated, but how to do that is the problem.
It would be easier if we could get the help of the Noble Consort, Margaery, but that’s not possible right now.

“For now, we should talk with the guards…”

Before I could say anything to try to convince her, Giselle covered my mouth.
I looked at her as she looked out the door and finally realized that someone was listening in.
She whispered, “I’ll check it out,” and I nodded.
There was no one on the other side of the door, which she opened with great force, the eavesdropper apparently escaped.
I made the mistake of letting them hear something they shouldn’t have.

“This was not the place to talk about it, huh…”
“I should have cast a soundproof barrier.”

It was late at night, so I had assumed that no one would come.
The only thing I could find out about the person I was listening to was the strength of their magical power, not their gender or age.
There was no way to catch them.

“I’m sorry, I should have realized it sooner.”
“It’s not your fault. I didn’t notice them either.”

But if neither I nor Giselle noticed it, then the other party was someone who was skilled in covert work. The person behind it was probably a nobleman or someone from a rich merchant association. I wonder if they found out that we were looking into the alleyways and the guards and sent to investigate us.

“I hope nothing bad happens.”

A bad premonition passed through my mind.

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