“Urgh, my head…”
“Oh, finally awake, sir”
“H-hello, young Shiro.
That is a delicious-looking steak youre having.
Ngh… hmm What in the… um, excuse me, young Poer Why am I tied up with a rope”
“Please dont worry about it, sir.
It was juuust a little prank.”
I said casually to Polco, then untied him.
As disappointing as it is, we actually won against him without any difficulty.
Still, his arcane energy was definitely threatening.
If Polco had been in his right mind, I dont know what would have happened.
After the fight, we had taken Polco, Ferris, and Mumyou back to the Adams house, told Guile and the others what had happened, and then waited for Polco to wake up.
And now that the leading man was up, we all exited his room, heading to the guard station.
Inside, I had restrained Mumyou – hands and knees on the ground style – with my boundary craft.
While I was away, Guile and his security force had been surrounding him, staring him down.
Bright is currently within the mansion, accompanying the unconscious Ferris, albeit with reluctance.
And accompanying him are Chappie, a few security guards, and June, who had teleported here from Brunnera.
Leon is sleeping quietly in the same room, too.
Guile and I explained to Polco the things that had happened so far, after which he took a chair and placed it in front of Mumyou, and then quietly sat down on it.
All of us stood beside Polco, keeping an eye on what he would do next…
…And what he did was smash Mumyous right middle finger with the sharper tip of his staff.
“Ouch! That looks painful, sir!”
My God, that was scary.
…We sure Polco isnt still out of control
I glanced at Polcos face and saw that he was calm – so calm that he looked even scarier than when he had been berserk.
“So, you are called Mumyou, hmm It seems to me that you possess some impressive power – who exactly are you”
“…Hmph, eat **, old man- mmmph!”
This time it was the ring finger.
Pochi completely covered her eyes with her paws, while Guile and I only watched over Polcos interrogation procedure.
“Ha ha ha, looks like youre in quite a lot of pain.”
The pain YOU inflicted, Im sure.
“Never have I thought thatJettea would be an impostor all along… The size of your body is quite different from when I last saw you, too.
It is quite a unique ability you possess… but enough of that.
Considering this skill of yours, and the language of your name… I can only guess that the Reformist Faction has bought your clan out in the East.”
For a moment, Mumyou held his breath.
That makes sense – I could already tell that he likely originated in Toued, and certain clans and tribes over there would naturally have special abilities I dont know about.
“Now then, I would like to know who you work for.
State their name.”
“…So you expect me to just tell you, huh”
Mumyou glared at Polco and muttered in a trembling voice.
“Of course not – not that easily, at least.
And I dont like to prolong conversations that lack substance.”
Polco said bluntly, and started drawing a Circle.
The movements of his fingers are as refined as they get – oh, hey, its a Craft Circle.
And its formula is… oh, I see.
The head of the Adams household is a dreadful man, indeed.
Its quite a heavily-loaded formula, and its name is…
The Craft Circle stamped on Mumyous ċhėst, then faded as if it was entering his body, prompting his expression to freeze over.
Curse-Word Explosion… A powerful form of magecraft that had once been applied to Maüs, the leader of the Laughing Foxes.
From my experience, it certainly is THE magecraft to use when one wants answers.
“You seem to have good instincts, Mumyou.
Surely you can guess what this magecraft does, hmm”
“Heres hoping you dont make the wrong choices, young Mumyou.
My magecraft formula incorporates the clausethe telling of lies in response to my questions is forbidden.
If you dont answer truthfully, you will be blown apart from the neck up, and Id rather not subject our houses maids to the cleaning afterward.
They are very much capable, young, and have bright futures to look forward to – wouldnt want to traumatize them.”
Hes gonna have the maids clean up a dead body… Man, he sure is a dreadful employer.
“But that would not come to pass if you were to speak with full honesty.
Oh, by the way… you have ten seconds to answer.
Please understand – I dont want any blood on my hands, either.”
Polco said, grinning all through his statements, when in the corner of my eye, I caught Pochi preparing to jump out the window.
Andddddd of course shes the first to bail, huh Damn it, she even winked at me…!
“Now, time to answer some questions… Has this incident been instigated by the Reformist Faction”
Staring off by targeting not just the Douglas household specifically, but the larger Faction that encompasses it as well, I see.
If the answer turns out to beno, then itd mean that theres another organization in play… but I think thats very unlikely.
Now, how will you answer, Mumyou
“You have five more seconds.”
Mumyous shoulders twitched.
“Now, a few questions about the Reformist Faction, young Mumyou.
Your employers… I think they are the same ones as those who targeted House Fulbright before, but one point raises a suspicion – as Ive heard from young Poer, they have hired a skilled mage from the north, and then theres you, a master infiltrator.
I dont believethat House possesses the financial ability to hire such capable personnel.
So tell me, young Mumyou, how does your employer manage to pay you”
Another specific question.
According to what June told me,that House in question, Douglas, is a minor noble household.
One thing worth keeping in mind is that even the Holy Emperors right-hand man, Polco, is guarded by people of an average level of just 120 to 130, as Ive seen from Guile and his security force.
That, and the Fulbright household didnt even have a bodyguard.
But its a different case for the Douglas household – they did have guards, and not to mention Chiquiata.
Mumyou is almost as powerful as the latter, so they must have a lot of money to hire him.
If they were looking to gain favors with the Empress, they wouldnt be able to just ask for help from another household, either.
He just… chuckled Which would mean-
“I dont know.”
“I just do exactly what Im told to – dont care where my employers gold comes from.
You know what, Id like to ask you one thing about this…”
“Oh-ho Whatever could it be”
“So, whats with mage over there…”
“Hes a ridiculously powerful mage – too good to be babysitting the Adams and Fulbrights little heirs, really – so just how much are you paying him As far as I know, hes been working for you for at least a year now.
Thats strange as hell, you being able to keep him for so long.”
“Ha ha ha ha, I can understand why you would be curious.”
Polco glanced at me and grinned.
Not knowing what emotion hid under that smile, I kept myself quiet.
Still… my wages, huh
Ive been getting paid quite a hefty amount, I think… Is the Adams household even doing all right financially, after all these months
I shall reveal to you the exact number of Poers monetary compensation of the previous month.”
A questionable action, coming from a noble households leading man, but whatever.
Now wait a second… how much did I get last month It should be a hundred and fifty thousand, I think
Thats quite a lot of money, considering I could use it to pay for my tuition at the Magic University fifteen times over.
And considering that it amounts to about twenty dangerous missions for an adventurer, this job is much more lucrative.
Hehehe… I sure have been blessed with a good employer.
“A hundred and fifty thousand Gold.”
Hah, got em! Even Guile looks surprised!
“W-what the- Poer, man… Seriously…”
Hehehehe, hows that You jelly, fava bean man
Im not sharing a coin of that, yeah Ive got a greedy, gluttonous partner to maintain, and man, what a beast she is…
“WHAT THE FUCK! That guys power should be over level 180! Thats way too damn low, even for a one-time gig!”
“Y-yeah, what he said.
Someone like you should be earning as much as fifteen million a month, man.”
“Listen well, young Mumyou – just as many things are not as simple as they seem, my relationship with Poer here is not so simple, either.”
And whatever could that mean, Polco, hmm
“L-lemme guess, youve been blackmailing him too…”
Polco sat back in his chair, rested his elbows on his knees, leaned forward, and lowered the tone of his voice,
“Its calledfriendly pricing, young man.”