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I leave the blacksmith shop and head out to the investigation request.
I went back the way I came and walked to the gate to check out the stores around me.
“Fewer and fewer stores are open.” (Rook)
Even on the main street, there are more stores with their signs removed than before.
When I first came to this town, the main street was full of people and all the stores were open and busy. Now, however, the streets are sparsely populated, there are no horse-drawn carriages running, and the stores are closed.
I looked up at the sky and saw snow fluttering down.
I wondered if they were closed because it was getting colder.
“Well, that’s how it is in winter, right?” (Rook)
I changed my focus, left the gate, and headed for the abandoned mine.
Today, I went to Tunnel No. 4, which I had already checked before. I believe it was the same place where the dizzy mushrooms grow.
I proceeded, crunching through the snow that had turned to sleet as it melted.
After walking along such a path for a while, a little water seeps into my leather shoes.
“This… it might get dangerous if I don’t go home early.” (Rook)
The waterproofing of the shoes is not as good as modern Japanese shoes, and if I am not careful, I might get frostbite or something like that. This might be one of the reasons adventurers who can afford it don’t hunt in winter.
I entered the abandoned mine I was looking for in a bit of a hurry, and quickly checked the inside.
I’ve already been surveying abandoned mines many times, and I’ve surveyed this one before, so I proceeded without any problems – but at the back of the abandoned mine, I felt a reaction in the [Magi Location].
“…people, huh?” (Rook)
There are people who come to this cave to collect dizzy mushrooms because they grow here – I mean, I met John’s party last time, and I wouldn’t be surprised if I met people again this time.
“I’m just a little concerned that there’s only one person.” (Rook)
Even though it’s relatively close to the town, it’s an abandoned mine outside the city, and it’s dangerous for a person of a level who can only eat the dizzy mushrooms here to come alone. Normally, more than one person would come to collect them to be safe in case they encounter a monster. In other words, it is possible that it is not a person from the slums who has lost his food that is ahead of me. …Well, it could just be someone reckless.
“…What should I do?” (Rook)
I can either approach them with my presence hidden, or I can approach them in the open…
In such a case, it may be better to approach openly because the act of sneaking up itself may be considered a hostile action. But if there’s trouble, I might want to sneak up on them and see what happens.
“Well, this time, I’ll try to approach them while keeping my presence out of sight. I’ve got this, too—the darkness.” (Rook)
I dispelled [Light Source] and activated the effect of the Dark Robe.
In the darkness, I felt my body assimilate into the darkness around me, and I felt my presence fade away.
This Dark Robe, which was equipped by the King of Darkness, the boss of Aluppo’s dungeon, is highly efficient, and when the effect is activated in the darkness, it cuts off not only the figure but also sounds. I have already experienced its effectiveness in my fight with the King of Darkness.
However, the effect seems to diminish in bright places and is not so effective in daylight.
Using [Magi Location] like a 3D radar, I carefully walked toward the sign of a person.
It is not possible to completely eliminate the presence, so I try to make as little noise as possible.
After walking for a while, I saw a dim light from behind a corner.
I gripped my Mithril Alloy Cudgel and slowly approach, peeking around the corner with my face only.
There was the person. He was wearing a black robe and was working on something while crouched on the ground.
I watched him for a while.
The person was collecting a large number of dizzy mushrooms growing on the ground, looking at them from different angles to see if he was checking their quality, and then putting them in a bag.
He seemed to be a person who came to collect dizzy mushrooms. Just as I was about to be reassured that my reckless individual theory was correct, the person tilted his face slightly toward me and I saw a white mask attached to his face.
The white mask, illuminated by the light, floats in the darkness like a Noh mask.
What is that? A mask? Why do you need to wear such a thing?
Normally, a person would wear a mask to hide his true identity, but I can’t think of any reason why he would go to such lengths to hide his collection of dizzy mushrooms.
Let’s observe the person more closely.
The black robe he is wearing is clean without any tears, and he is wearing black gloves. He does not look like a slum dweller.
Now, what to do?
The man is not doing anything wrong. I’m sure there’s nothing wrong with collecting dizzy mushrooms. Even if the mushrooms are a bit dangerous to eat, they are legal in this world. There are no laws against dangerous drugs. In other words, there is no reason to complain even if that person is collecting those mushrooms while dressed in a suspicious manner.
That said, I don’t want to be in contact with that person here.
That doesn’t seem like a good idea…
“Excuse me, I have a report for the request.” (Rook)
“Oh the investigation request. How did it go?” (Receptionist)
“I’m sorry, can I talk to you alone about that?” (Rook)
“…I understand.” (Receptionist)
The receptionist left the desk to another employee behind her, and came out from the counter to show me to a conference room on the second floor.
“Is there a problem?” (Receptionist)
“Not so much a problem, but I saw a suspicious person in the abandoned mine…” (Rook)
“A suspicious person, huh?” (Receptionist)
I explained to her in detail what I had seen in the cave.
Of course, I don’t tell her about the Dark Robe or anything like that.
“Certainly, that sounds a bit suspicious… So, did you make contact with that person?” (Receptionist)
“No, I don’t think he’s noticed.” (Rook)
“I think that’s fine. This is an investigation request.” (Receptionist)
The original promise was to eliminate any monsters that could be dealt with, but to give priority to bringing back information without bumping into anyone who seemed dangerous. So, this seemed to be the right thing to do.
The receptionist wrote down some things on a piece of paper in her hand, then got up from her chair.
“I understand. I will report this to the top. I will contact you again depending on the situation.” (Receptionist)
“I understand.” (Rook)
I left the Adventurers’ Guild and looked up at the sky.
The sun was still high in the sky and there was still time before the sun sets.
“Right, let’s go to church.” (Rook)
I was a little worried about John and the kids from the orphanage who were going in and out of that abandoned mine for dizzy mushrooms if there were such strange people there. I might as well warn them just in case.
With that in mind, I headed for the church.
I walked through the snowy streets, not paying any attention to the half-naked, sniffling people, as if it were a matter of course, and entered the church and called out to the priest.
“Oh, are you praying today as well?” (Priest)
I prayed as usual and donated a few silver coins.
“We are always grateful for your help.” (Priest)
“By the way, about the abandoned mine where you can get dizzy mushrooms–” (Rook)
I told him about the suspicious man I saw in the abandoned mine.
“Hmm… A suspicious person?” (Priest)
The priest looked thoughtful for a moment, then continued.
“Was there anything unusual about the suspicious person other than the mask and robe?” (Priest)
“Yes. For example, accessories and weapons.” (Priest)
I tried to recall, but the suspicious person’s whole body was covered by the robe, and I could not see any other possessions.
“No, I didn’t see anything else because everything was hidden by the robe.” (Rook)
“What about a lamp, then? If he was in an abandoned mine, he would have needed light, so there must have been a lamp. Did they have any distinctive shapes or emblems engraved on them?” (Priest)
That being said, yes. I think about it again.
The suspicious person was working on the ground, bending down, and the light that illuminated his hand was—
“Oh, I think it was on the ceiling–I think it was the spell, Light Source.” (Rook)
“Light Source spell, is it? It wasn’t a lamp, was it?” (Priest)
The priest thought for a moment and continued, “I understand.”
I was a little curious, so I asked him.
“If the light is a lamp, is there something there?” (Rook)
“Hmmm, yes. For example, you can guess the owner’s status by the shape and decoration, and depending on the object, you may be able to identify the craftsman. If it has a coat of arms, you may be able to tell which family it belongs to.” (Priest)
“That’s amazing reasoning power…” (Rook)
“Hoho… If you live long enough, you will learn various things.” (Priest)
T/N: The old priest seems to be quite the shrewd man.
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