The next day after the kidnapping incident, Fleur came to visit the Guild Master of the Branka’s Adventurer’s Guild, Sandro.
“What’s the matter? You are off duty today, no?” (Sandro)
“Yes. I am sorry to bother you this early in the morning. I have something I would like to talk to you about.” (Fleur)
“Talk to me? Say it.” (Sandro)
“Actually, I have been contacted that my mother got a sudden illness and that I should return home. I am truly sorry, but please let me resign.” (That’s just a lie, though~ I am a newcomer so I don’t have to worry about being detained. I have to leave the town quickly.) Fleur
“Got it… is what I would like to say, but I can’t give you permission at this moment.” (Sandro)
“Eh? Why is that?” (Why!? Does he perhaps… not want to let go of me? Ufufufu.) Fleur
“We don’t have enough manpower.” (Sandro)
“Manpower? Did something happen?” (Rather than saying that, he should have been more honest about his feelings… well, I have no intentions of staying, though.) Fleur
“Actually, people of a Ducal family had been kidnapped. Gai and Duke’s son and daughter. You know them too, right?” (Sandro)
“!?” (No way…) Fleur
“Besides them, the whereabouts of orphan adventurers is also unknown. They have apparently accepted the same request as Gai’s group. They might have gotten kidnapped as well, so we are currently investigating.” (Sandro)
“… Have they really been kidnapped? Are there no other possibilities… like just meeting unexpected difficulties during the request?” (Surely not…)
“The request was babysitting. Moreover, the client’s address was a vacant house. After re-examining the request’s date of issue and address, we found traces of rewriting. Most likely, a request from the past was used. Do you understand what this means, Fleur?” (Sandro)
“… No.” (No way, no way…) Fleur
“There is someone using requests for their own benefit. The one who has control over the requests is the Guild. In other words, the Guild’s staff is involved in the kidnapping.” (Sandro)
“That can’t be!? Just who…” (They investigated too quickly!) Fleur
“That is still under investigation. Thanks to that, I don’t have enough hands to rely on.” (Sandro)
“Is that so… however-” (Hoh… they did not notice that it was me just yet. As I thought, I have to leave the town at once!) Fleur
“Guild Master! Excuse me!”
When the impatient Fleur was about to tell Sandro that she wasn’t involved, the Guild’s employee jumped into the room without knocking.
“What is it? Did something happen?” (Sandro)
“T, that’s! M, Miguel-sama from the Ducal Household came!”
“I will be there immediately. Fleur, you come with me.” (Sandro)
“Y, yes.” (Fleur)
Fleur followed Sandro with heavy steps.
The adventurers were watching Miguel from distance, but he stood there without minding.
Sandro who approached Miguel with quick steps called out to him.
“Miguel-sama, thank you for waiting.” (Sandro)
“Sorry for the sudden visit. Actually, I had something I wanted to tell you as soon as possible.” (Miguel)
“What might it be?” (Sandro)
“Yeah, my younger siblings had returned.” (Miguel)
“I am glad to hear that! However, what about the kidnapping then?” (Sandro)
“They were kidnapped. By the bandits that have been operating around this area recently. But, they returned on their own. With the captured bandits and other prisoners.” (Miguel)
“… On their own.” (Sandro)
“No way…” (Fleur)
While Miguel and Sandro were talking, Fleur who had her head hung down from the beginning suddenly raised her head up in disbelief.
After taking a glimpse of that, Miguel faced another direction and called out.
“Al, Feli, Gai, enter.” (Miguel)
“”Yess~”” (Feli & Albert)
“Good grief.” (Gai)
“As you can see, the three are safe and sound. Cancel the search.” (Miguel)
While the adventurers who found out the noble identity of Felice and Albert were making a ruckus, Fleur who’s face turned pale didn’t notice that she was being watched with cold eyes.
On the other side, the calm on the surface Nathan, who was eating breakfast at the Feudal Lord’s mansion had a visitor.
Nathan, who scanned over the letter the visitor handed him chuckled, so Zaran inquired curiously.
“Nathan-sama, did something good happen?” (Zaran)
“Yes, my younger siblings had returned.” (Nathan)
“… Eh?” (Zaran)
“They were apparently caught by the bandits that had been appearing around here recently, so they subjugated them.” (Nathan)
“… Hah?” (Zaran)
“Fortunately, there are no casualties as they dragged over everyone.” (Nathan)
“… Everyone.” (Zaran)
“They seem to be at the Adventurer’s Guild at the moment. Let’s go there immediately, Nathan. Thanks for the hospitality, Zaran.” (Austin)
“Much obligated. Excuse us.” (Nathan)
“… Y, yes.” (Zaran)
Leaving the blue-faced Zaran behind, Nathan and Austin made their way to the Adventurer’s Guild.
The people reunited in Sandro’s office where they took a breather.
“Haah~… was that all right?” (Sandro)
“I am sorry for making you go along with this farce, but can we have you keep up for a little longer?” (Miguel)
“I don’t mind. The Guild is not unrelated in this matter, after all.” (Sandro)
“And so, concerning the request?” (Miguel)
“I have no solid evidence, but from her state, it seems to be Fleur’s doing.” (Sandro)
“Indeed. What about you, Nathan?” (Miguel)
“Quite a few amusing things turned up, you know? Contracting bandits, secret accounts of the illegal slave trade, and also transactions with the priest from that very orphanage. The orphanage’s subsidy had been apparently embezzled, and orphans who grew up got sold off.” (Nathan)
“… I see. So there was evidence on the dealings with the orphanage’s people too.” (Miguel)
While the room was filled with disgust and grimaces, Sandro who was curious about something had to ask.
“Still, you did well gathering so much evidence.” (Sandro)
“That’s because that incompetent fellow went to sleep without taking any measures even though people of the family he had kidnapped came to visit. I searched slowly and carefully.” (Nathan)
“Were there no lookouts?” (Sandro)
“They were here, but even so, they were irrelevant. I vanished from sight by using a magic tool.” (Nathan)
“Magic tool?” (Sandro)
“Yep, a magic tool that completely erases one’s figure that Feli made. That thing was convenient, indeed~ They really did not notice me at all.” (Nathan)
“Thanks to that, we found the evidence of the priest’s involvement too.” (Austin)
“Well, that’s also because there must have been no Beastmen like me. They would notice your scent or sounds.” (Blake)
“As I thought, the sound and smell is the problem, huh~ is it necessary to upgrade it? It went well this time, but it would be dangerous if you got exposed by scent as Blake-san said.” (Felice)
“But, what would you bestow it with?” (Albert)
“Hmm~… Deodorization and Silence?” (Felice)
“That might be good. Luckily, you are still visible to your comrades and there are no problems with using telepathy or the communication magic tool too.” (Albert)
“If I am not mistaken, the effect of Stealth is also protected against magical power detection, right? All that’s left would be a skill that sees through another’s thoughts or similar magic, but there aren’t many who have these abilities. Ain’t this the perfect tool for assassination?” (Gai)
Seeing Felice and others nod to Gai’s words, Sandro’s mouth flapped open and closed.
“Wa, wait up! Not, wait a moment please! I have never heard of a magic toot like that! Moreover, she made it!? That child did!?” (Sandro)
“Why are you so surprised? Do you perhaps want it?” (Albert)
“That’s not it!” (Sandro)
“It would take Feli only a few minutes to make, but we can’t hand it to just anyone.” (Gai)
“Naturally! A national treasure like that… I might desire a little… no, I don’t want it! That’s not it!” (Sandro)
“Wha! Do you perhaps… I won’t be assassinating anybody!” (Felice)
“I know! But, I didn’t mean that either!” (Sandro)
“””Ehh~””” (Felice, Albert & Gai)
“Eh? Am I the weird one here?” (Sandro)
Felice was replying seriously, but Albert and Gai were obviously amused by Sandro’s reactions.
Blake who found him pitiful clapped his hand on Sandro’s shoulder and shook his head to him.
“Don’t think too deeply. You are normal. It’s fine, you will get used to it in due time.” (Blake)
“… I don’t want to get used to it.” (Sandro)
“Sandro, in life, it’s also important to know when to surrender.” (Blake)
Hearing Blake’s words, Sandro lowered his head in defeat.
Despite that, Felice and others were confirming the future course of actions.
“Miguel Oniisama, do we now just wait for the guards from the Capital to come?” (Felice)
“Normally, the people involved would be investigated in the place where the crime occurred, but there is someone else involved with them, after all.” (Miguel)
“Regretfully, we do not have the authority. Yes, it’s truly regretful.” (Nathan)
“You said it twice. Even if you say we don’t have the authority, Claude made the bandits spit out nearly everything back in their hideout.” (Gai)
“Tousama was so lively then~… he slowly savored their despair as they were on the brink of death and life while crushing their hope.” (Albert)
When Albert started talking about Claude, Gai had a bad feeling so he promptly blocked Felice’s ears.
To confirm, Austin asked while frowning.
“Oy, oy, he didn’t do that in front of Feli, did he?” (Austin)
“It’s fine, Austin. Feli was engrossed with fluff at that time.” (Gai)
“… That bastard furball.” (Albert)
“Why are you covering my ears? Gai~” (Felice)
“Sorry, sorry. And so, the Feudal Lord’s will become the gathering place of officials when the guards arrive, right?” (Gai)
Austin replied exhaustedly to the jovial Gai who separated his hands from Felice’s ears.
“It will have to. He will be taken to the Capital where he will get judged after confessing to the evidence we have on him.” (Austin)
“We will do lots of stuff to him at his home then. Lots.” (Nathan)
“It will be fine, Uncle. We will squeeze it out from everyone.” (Miguel)
“Miguel… “ (Austin)
“I will take part in it too.” (Albert)
“Me too~ Feli, you go play with V in the meanwhile.” (Gai)
“Is that alright! Yaay~!” (Felice)
“I think I am good, actually. I will stay with Feli.” (Albert)
“Pupu… y, you have no composure…” (Gai)
“So you want to mofumofu too, Al!” (Felice)
“Y, yeah……… that shitty furball.” (Albert)
At the same time Albert whispered, the fur of Wilhelm who was instructed by Gai to wait in a different place was dozing off suddenly stood up, so Zoe who was staying in the nearby shade of a tree called out to him.
“Is something wrong?” (Zoe)
“No… it seems that I dozed off and dreamed for a little.” (Wilhelm)
“Yeah, it was a dream of someone ominous plucking off my fur. Hah~ I am glad it was just a dream.” (Wilhelm)
“… A dream, huh… I wish that dream won’t come true then…” (Zoe)
Zoe’s last words as she recalled Albert’s appearances when Felice was buried in Wilhelm’s fur didn’t reach him.
A short time later, Miguel was contacted and Felice and others headed to the Feudal Lord’s mansion with the people in the incident involved.