After eating with Lety, Raiz returned to his guild.
Merck happily greeted him.
“Wait, where’s Lety?”
Since they went out together, the man thought it was strange that she wasn’t with him.
“She said she’d return to the inn.”
“Ohh… I see.”
He didn’t look surprised.
“Is that fine? Weren’t you supposed to bring me back with you?”
“Well, yeah, but we can’t really force you to.”
The man seemed to deeply respect his friend’s choice.
“Is it true that the current general told you to not let me join the army again?”
Even though Merck was acting like that, Raiz knew what his real mission was.
“Who told you that? Lety?”
His voice’s tone rose slightly.
No one would’ve noticed it, but Raiz, who was used to read the expression and behavior of monsters, couldn’t miss it.
“A friend. He said there are people who don’t want me to come back.”
“Oh, is there someone who thinks so dearly of you?”
The man tried to act cool, but deep within he was in turmoil.
So, a spy of Mard was hiding in General Frida’s faction…? This is bad… What do I do now?
He was bewildered. If the army knew what he was ordered to do, once he got back he was probably going to be harassed by the old veterans, even though the tamer didn’t want to return in the first place.
To pick a fight with Raiz, some guys even put lots of frogs in his room once…
But the tamer reassured him.
“Don’t worry, Merck. I won’t come back in the army. I’ll just live here from now on.”
“…R-Really?! That’s good to hear!”
Said the other without thinking.
“By the way, the spy we seized the other day was from Serga, right?”
“Y-Yeah. I made him fall asleep and turned him in. Why are you asking?”
He knew what Raiz was going to say, so he started to become pale.
“The poison you took from him looked like the one you create.”
“W-What are you saying?!”
He was right. It would’ve been bad if he confirmed it, so Merck racked his brain to think about a way to cover it, but Raiz didn’t stop talking.
“Also, why would a country send only one spy?”
That was spot-on. He didn’t think about it.
After all, Merck was just a knight, not a tactician or a member of some special unit.
He was also young, so that detail totally slipped his mind.
“As soon as I seized the rest of them, they all decided to talk. Why would they bring poison with them if they came to recruit me?”
“Don’t you think it’s careless to believe them like that?! They were our enemies, Raiz!”
He honestly believed in his own words.
Trusting someone you were at war with for ten years was beyond naive.
Then, Raiz took a bottle from his breast pocket.
“What do you think this is?”
“T-The poison I took from that spy? Did you take it from my inn’s room?!”
Merck was starting to lose his composure as he raised his eyebrows in shock.
“Calm down, I didn’t do anything like that.”
The tamer snapped his fingers and a loud thud came from outside the hut… rather, since the building had no walls, it wasn’t possible to say the sound came from outside…
Merck turned his head and saw some guys in black clothes piled on the ground.
None of them was moving a finger, they were likely unconscious.
Still, the black clothes they wore were different from the ones seized by the shadow unit.
“Who are these guys?”
He wondered if they were from the neighboring country.
“They are part of the special unit of this country. They came to observe you.”
At first, he didn’t understand what Raiz said.
He was that shocked.
“I guess they came to see if you were doing your work properly. One of them had this.”
Thanks to Cat sith’s information network, Arachne’s threads and Dragon’s sporadic sightings of them when he went to thin monsters out in the forest, Raiz understood that they were from his own country.
He decided to ignore them at first, but after the situation degenerated, he asked his monsters to seize them.
“General Frida didn’t trust me…?”
His superior was incompetent, and he didn’t even trust him.
Merck couldn’t keep up with the situation and was now driven into a corner.
As a noble and a knight, I thought I had to obey my superiors to live peacefully in the army… but if Raiz was to come back, he wouldn’t find a warm welcome. Of course, he wouldn’t like that.
Thinking about it was useless now.
He still had to follow his general’s orders.
“Hey Merck, do you want to make a deal?”
Raiz broke the silence first.
What was he talking about?
“I’ll give you these guys, and in your report, you’ll say that you secured them as they tried to negotiate with me.”
“E-Eeeh?! W-What do you mean?!”
Merck was baffled. He was the only one going to benefit from that.
“I don’t want to return to the army, and they don’t want me to return either. That means we share the same point of view on the matter.”
“Still, these spies told me to join theirs. That’s bad for you guys, right?”
“Yes, pretty bad.”
The former General Mard was especially worried about that.
“Then, let the army defend me so that I can’t be targeted by other countries.”
He stared at his friend in wonder.
“I’ll forget about the poison. Also, since the army doesn’t want me and I don’t want to join another country’s, you can only protect me, right?”
“This won’t work! General Frida won’t accept something like that!”
If Raiz was fired because of the maintenance costs, why would the general use that much money and manpower just for him?
If Merck offered such a proposal to his superior, he would be degraded for sure.
“I’ve already tarnished our special unit’s reputation. This means that, in the end, no one can assassinate me. Do you get what I mean?”
Finally, Merck understood what he was saying.
Even if General Frida sends more spies, they’d just get destroyed. That would also mean that Raiz might move to another country and become our enemy. Furthermore, the General is going against the King and the General’s concession, so he would be ruined. Is that what who provided information to Raiz aimed at?!
The tamer could prepare his escape in twenty-four hours. He just had to gather his monsters, put them on Dragon’s back, and wait for the night to arrive.
Reaching someone who could fly was impossible even for high-skilled assassins or special units.
If things took that direction, the actual general would have been replaced.
I also have to decide for my future…
“Okay. I accept your proposal. I will support you as much as I can.”
He could use this information to blackmail the general and become his close aide.
These spies are proof that there’s someone who leaked information. I’ll report that their life was spared thanks to my actions and that they won’t bother Raiz again. This will be a huge profit for me, and if I become the vice-general, it’s probable that I will get become general after Frida retires! Raiz will also gain from this situation!
Merck didn’t have any ideals, he only thought about living peacefully.
That’s why he got closer to Raiz, who was a source of profit, and accepted to follow his inept general’s orders.
He was an opportunist to his core.
“Now, let’s have a toast to commemorate this deal! It’s on me!”
“No thanks, I just had lunch.”
Raiz immediately turned down the merry Merck’s invitation.