Dream Life Vol II Chapter 37.1: “Informant Sai Furman”
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Originally, I was supposed to be a retired adventurer.
Five years ago, when I was 30 years old, I had a screw-up in the mountains. At that time, I lost a toe on my right foot and most of my strength as a swordsman.
Outside of this city and Doctus, I might become a self-sustaining bar owner at best, or by my wife at worst. Or, even worse, my wife could have left me to die in the street.
But I, Sai Furman, am still alive as an adventurer in this city of Doctus.
Why do you care about being an adventurer?
I am often asked this question.
But the answer is simple. Adventurers pay low taxes. Since taxes are deducted from their remuneration, in effect, the client pays the taxes.
Younger people may say, “It’s just taxes,” but don’t be fooled.
So, what happens after you retire?
If you start a bar, you have to pay taxes on the bar, and if you have children, you have to pay per capita taxes. Somehow, more than half of my annual income is taken away by taxes.
As long as they ask, most people realize that being an adventurer is a lucrative business.
And my job as an informant is even more lucrative.
I get paid between 50 and 100 Crona (=50,000 to 100,000 yen) for each job. I get four or five requests a month, so I earn at least 200 C.
With this kind of income, it is not much different from a novice at the seventh rank or lower, but my work does not cost money for weapons and armor. I have to spend a little bit of money when I interview people, but I take home almost the full amount of my income.
Especially when it comes from the professors at the Academy, the pay is good and there are no deadlines, so it’s a very lucrative job. The work for Professor Elbein, an old friend of Lydiane’s, Kitley Elvine—has a job at the Merchant Guild. The reward is good for the simple job of just listening to their story.
On the morning of September 24, I was told that there was a request at the guild for an introduction to this Professor Elvine.
I asked about it at the reception desk and was told that it was a request from a student at the Tyria Magic Academy, and that I should ask the student for details.
I became interested in that student, Zacharias Lockhart.
Before going to him for more information, I did some research on the client. I always do this when the client is new to me. If I don’t know them, I don’t know what they might want.
First of all, the name Zacharias Lockhart sounded familiar. Professor Elvine had told me that Zacharias Lockhart was the top student admitted to the Academy this year, and that Professor Lionel Ruspede had praised him highly.
That’s not much to go on, but I didn’t have much time. Tina, the receptionist, had told him that I was at the guild every morning, so I would be at the client’s place in the morning.
I hurried to gather information.
I talked to a few people involved with the academy and learned that he was from the village of Rathmore, a remote area of the Caelum Empire, that he was childhood friends with Sharon Jakes, the first runner up, and that his level in magic was already over 20, higher than that of the practical instructors.
However, this does not tell us anything about his personality. The most important thing to know in a situation like this is the personality of the client. If I knew that, it would be easier to find out what information they really wanted to know.
I left the academy and went to see Professor Elvine. There, I was told that he was a student of Lydiane Dupré, an old friend of the professor, and that he was a very talented magician.
According to Professor Elvine.
“He’s amazing. He has all the attributes, but he’s not conceited at all. And his comprehension is astonishing as if he learns ten things when he hears one. I can see why Professor Ruspede would want him as an assistant.” (Kitley)
“So, what does this genius want me to find out?” (Sai)
The professor said, “You’ll have to ask him,” but when I said I wanted to know first, she simply told me the story of how she introduced me to him.
“That boy and the girl named Sharon; they’re being bullied in class. It’s probably being led by Councilor Wagman’s son. But that’s not all. I heard that their teacher, Mr. Bennett, is also involved in it.” (Kitley)
I let out a disappointed sigh, “Bullying?” Because, of course, it is. It’s not surprising that a story about bullying by a child would be considered trivial.
However, hearing my sigh-like words, the professor laughed a little and said,
“Disappointed? But you’d be surprised what he comes up. I wonder how he can think so much without much information…” (Kitley)
The professor’s story went like this.
The inference was that it was not their classmates who were trying to get rid of them, but the forces that were trying to oust Councilor Wagman, the leading candidate for the next Chairman, and that the two of them were being used as a tool.
The reasoning was logical, and although there was no evidence at all, it was convincing enough that anyone who heard it would have to be convinced.
I couldn’t help but ask, “Is it true that this story was thought up by a 10-year-old?” I asked.
After I said it out loud, I felt bad, but I quickly reassured myself that it was something that had to be done.
A ten-year-old child calmly analyzed the dirtiest part of politics. What is even more frightening is that he also showed a ruthless, almost ruthless, view of their own position in the world.
It is not surprising that a child of that age would think he or she is the center of the world. But he went on to say that as long as they didn’t get involved in politics, it wouldn’t be a big problem for them. On top of that, he planned to ask me to gather information for him, just to make sure his reasoning was correct.
Professor Elvine heard my muttering and said, “It’s normal for you to think that. I thought so too when we first met,” she laughed.
“This is also my request to you. It would be a great loss for the Academy to lose him now. I need your help to make sure he stays at the Academy.” (Kitley)
I was a little confused. I wondered if I could help such a genius.
“What could I do to help? I think he already has most of the answers.” (Sai)
The professor smiled at my lack of confidence and said,
“You think so, too, don’t you? I thought so too. But you know what? He is different. He wants to make sure that his theory is correct and then take some further steps. So, I want you to find out as much as you can about what he wants to know.” (Kitley)
I left the professor’s lab and further canvassed the neighborhood near his house.
When I talked to the neighbors, I learned that they often went into the woods and were very reputable for sharing the meat of the monsters they caught in the woods.
The lady of the house next door, named Hannah Novello, said,
“Ever since they moved here, they’ve come to greet me politely. And even if I just told him a little thing like how good someone’s bread was or when the market was open, he would thank me for it. At first, I was quite nervous. My neighbor, Mr. Litorf, who works at the Magic Academy, told me a little bit about Zack, and I was worried about how arrogant he could be since I heard that he was born into a knight’s family and that he passed the academy at the top of his class. After all, we have three little girls… Oh, I have an interesting story to tell you…” (Hannah)
She was a talker, and I got sidetracked a few times along the way, but I couldn’t believe my ears when she told me about the time he rented the house.
McLeod is a real estate agent with a lot of experience. I know him because I know a lot of people in the Merchant Guild, and I’ve heard that he’s very serious about his business. It was hard to believe that he would give away a rather expensive table to a child for free in order to receive a lesson.
I don’t know what it was about, but he went to McLeod’s store to teach, so it must have been something really useful. I looked it up later and found that it was a sophisticated business calculation, but it was too difficult for me to understand.
I could understand his personality to some extent. However, I was still quite confused. The more I listened to him, the more I couldn’t believe he was a 10-year-old kid.
Although Lydiane, his guardian, may have thought of greeting the neighbors, I could not understand how a child of the nobility could be so polite toward a commoner. From what Mrs. Novello had told me, it sounded like she was asking about a successful merchant.
I headed for his house, trying to clear my mind in turmoil.
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