The way to open up the cage – Part 5
The streets of the slums were commonly noisier compared to the upper layers of the city.
As midnight approached, the angry roars and cackling of people within a certain bar reached the outside of the building, the same one Takumi was going to enter with a firm pace.
“Welcome! I can’t take you to a table, but feel free to take a seat wherever… Oh, Takumi?”
The girl who was moving around while holding a tray stopped to face him.
“Sorry for bothering you when you’re this busy, Lilia. I’ll sit with the others.”
“Yeah, feel free to~! But know that I’ll make you pay for the seat~!”
She showed him a broad grin and he replied with a wry one before entering in the inner part of the bar.
“Mhh? Finahhy Hakumi’sh here!”
“You sure took your sweet time. I was growing tired of waiting.”
Kunon and Karin looked at him at the same time while sitting in front of a plain table.
“I had a few things do to. Kunon, are you better now?”
“Auu behher now heh I’m eahing!”
“I can’t understand a word, but I guess you’re doing fine.”
Seeing Kunon stuffing her face, her hands full of beef skewers, Karin let out a deep sigh.
“Can we get down to business? We don’t have to worry about the bug anymore.”
“I find ironic that the slums are the most relaxing place of the whole city.”
Takumi sat an empty chair nearby and rested his elbows on the table.
“First, great job, girls.”
When he smiled, the demi-humans smiled back and nodded.
“We’ve now confirmed that the information was leaked successfully.”
“Good grief… I feel sorry for Lise. She devoted herself to studying magic and carefully explained it to us, but it has been hard to suppress my yawns.”
“Even I had to endure losing against the Captain! But she was quite strong, so I didn’t have to act much.”
Takumi nodded placidly at their words.
They had already started executing their plan.
Seven years had passed since they joined Suzuran, and saying that they spent half of that time researching magic wasn’t an exaggeration.
Magic was the most dangerous power in the world. It was inaccessible to Takumi and was also the natural enemy of demi-humans like Kunon and Karin.
That’s why they had to prepare a way to deal with it beforehand.
Of course, Richtert’s Magic was no exception.
Still, they had to let Kiad know a few things to win the match: they were searching for a way to counter magic, since not even Kunon’s strength could deal with it, and Karin knew little of it, so she had to deepen her knowledge to cope with it.
Furthermore, Takumi didn’t have any magic power in him.
“Who’d have expecteded that magic tools have a mirroring magic integrated into their law formulas?”
“…Please, spare us. You suspected that from the start.”
“Well, obvious. In two years, a single holy knight, who then became Fortesea’s guest, reformed all the magic tools. Who wouldn’t become suspicious?”
He lightly tapped on his temple.
“Also, even though I’d have acted differently, they did things my way, so I could guess what they had in mind and noticed that some stuff was out of place.”
His information network was made by the slaves he sold.
As he gathered information from them, he monitored Fortesea’s movements and noticed that they were too accurate.
He then started to think about the reason why Lise would’ve had reformed the magic tools, and concluded that Fortesea wanted to use them to spy people.
“Asking Zeiss was the right choice. He really has an eye for tools.”
“Speaking of him, didn’t he become the disciple of a traveling merchant? Are they back yet?”
“Yeah, but they departed again. Kunon said that something felt off about magic tools, so I asked him to check if something was out of place, and he immediately noticed that there was a strange material within them.”
“Great job for remembering something that vague…”
“Information constitute one’s fortune. There’s no worthless information in the world.”
The elf was impressed to see him tapping on his temple again.
“And you learned quite a lot by prying on Lise, right, Karin?”
“Yes. Well, your guess about her situation was quite right.”
She flipped through the pages of her notebook with shining eyes.
“Fortesea holds her mother hostage, and they threatened Lise by showing her their authority, then forced her to apply a law formula on a human… This must be quite hard to bear for an eleven years old girl.”
“That just means that Lise is essential for Kiad. Binding her with collar and chains wasn’t enough for him, so he closed her away in a cage.”
“…But that doesn’t justify their choice to kill people indirectly.”
Seeing Karin so annoyed to repeatedly tap her finger on the table was a rare sight.
“I can’t believe they wrote a law formula that makes someone’s magic power go on a rampage intentionally. Also, burying in that same body the core part of a magic tool that could draw said power and crystallize it to raise its level… it’s just crazy. Honestly, the strange thing is how Lise wasn’t crushed by this.”
“Yeah… this is some serious shit.”
Remembering the child who never smiled, Takumi’s face warped… into an expression that showed clearly his intent to kill someone who wasn’t there.
“Anyway, we’ve finished our preparation. Just focus on what is waiting for you now.”
Then, he faced the wolf.
“Kunon, do you remember the match against Elsa?”
“Gulp. Yes, perfectly! Now I can also distinct stuff!”
“Good. Feel free to eat whatever you want, then.”
“Really?! Yaaay! Lilia, bring a wagon of meat!”
Her eyes sparkled like stars, and she trotted to the door while screaming before making the doorbell ring repeatedly. That hungry girl alone drowned the noise of the entire bar out.
“What about you, Karin? Is there something you want? I’ll have Gaitsu get it for you.”
“Let’s see… since I can’t use a rifle, I’d need to use Aigle’s bow or something like that.”
“…Do you want to bring that?”
“What? I’m an elf, so why can’t I use a bow?”
“No, I mean… how can I put it… you are showy for the strangest things.”
“Perhaps I was influenced by the flashy puppeteer who is my Master.”
Takumi shrugged his shoulders at her titter.
“I believe in your abilities, no matter how you use them. Nothing will change what you can do.”
His voice was calm and majestic as he mouthed the next words.
“Kill magic in front of everyone.”