Dream Life Vol 3 Chapter 7.1: “Rawcliffe City”

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 It is just before 7:00 p.m. on July 7, 317 in the Tria calendar.



 After wasting time with the bandit attack and subsequent correspondence with the deputies of Rawcliffe, we were finally able to enter the inn at this time.



 The city of Rawcliffe is a standard fortified city in the Caelum Empire, surrounded by a wall one kilometer on each side. Tall towers stand at the four corners of the wall, and near the southern gate is the residence of the deputy who serves the castle and the garrison filling station.



 There are no gates on the northern wall, and there are only three gates, in the east, west, and south, which are used for the Aurella Road, which runs from east to west, and the Northern Road, which runs from Netherton, the main city in the center of the Caelum Empire, to Rawcliffe.



 The center of the city is a commercial district with stores and inns at the intersection of the Aurella Road, which runs from the west gate to the east gate, and the northern road to the south gate.


 Our inn was in the commercial district.



 My brother Rodrick’s wedding was scheduled for July 20, and since it was only 50 kilometers from Rawcliffe to Welburn, the central city of the Frontier Count Roswell Territory, we had no need to hurry for two days would be enough time to reach Welburn.



 According to the advance notice, my brother will pick us up here in Rawcliffe tomorrow, July 8, and I will rest here for a day tomorrow.



 At the moment, my mother Tanya, my younger brother Theophilus, younger sisters Seraphine, and Sophia, who are not used to traveling, don’t seem to be feeling tired, so there is no need to take a rest at Rawcliffe.


 However, the mastermind behind the use of the bandits is still unknown, and my father seems to have given priority to joining up with my brother Rodrick, who is scheduled to lead his own platoon and serve as an escort.



 Rawcliffe is a major transportation hub and a very rich city, where goods from the commercial city of Aurella to the west and the Caelum Empire to the south are concentrated. In contrast to the dangerous Aurella Road, the city is safe and well-governed.


 I spoke to the innkeeper,



“Sir Boyette took over about seven or eight years ago. Contrary to his appearance, he really understands business owners like us…” (Innkeeper)



 Since Boyette’s arrival, he has implemented a series of measures to revitalize commerce, such as simplifying taxes and eliminating criminals.



“That person is not what he looks to be. He’s a very timid man. Well, for us, he’s much better than the knight he is acting as… No, I’m not talking about Lord Lockhart.” (Innkeeper)



 The innkeeper was in a hurry to fix his words, but he told me that the previous deputy was a typical military man and that the town’s economy had gone to thew gutter for a time.



(I thought he was a petty pretentious man, but he’s a competent city governor, I guess. He knows the ins and outs of the city’s economy and understands its connection to security. The sanitary condition of the city is not a problem, and he seems to be paying attention to such details in a surprising way. Above all, the people of the city are cheerful. The innkeeper also seems to think highly of Boyette. …This makes Boyette’s thoughts and actions more and more difficult to understand…) (Zack) [T/N: Blackmail Zack.]



 The action taken earlier by the knight Armand Boyette, the deputy of the city of Rawcliffe, had stuck with me.



 If Boyette is connected to the people who tried to assassinate and kidnap us, the Lockhart family, then we need to deal with the bandit leader, Maddock, as soon as possible.


 In fact, Maddock had testified that the Rawcliffe deputies were supposed to facilitate this, so if he was taken to Welburn, the Frontier Count Roswell would summon Boyette for questioning.



 If harm is done to the Lockhart family, and word gets out that it was carried out or guided by someone from the Count’s territory, the relationship between the Count, who is the governor of the northern part of the Caelum Empire, and the Blacksmith’s Guild could deteriorate. If the situation were not handled properly, it could affect the entire empire.


 If this were to happen, the possibility cannot be denied that it could develop into an issue of responsibility for the Northern Governor of the empire. In other words, the Frontier Count needs to settle the Lockhart family attack as soon as possible and minimize its impact.



 If the highest authority in northern Caelum were to do everything in his power to resolve the situation, a timid person like Boyette would not be able to withstand it.


 Unless he is too stupid to realize it at this stage, a good politician cannot fail to see how dangerous this situation is.



 It is easy to imagine that Boyette will try to do something about the situation.


 The fact that Boyette had so quietly handed Maddock over to us was a sticking point.



 Moreover, judging from the way Boyette was distraught earlier, he did not doubt the success of Maddock and his team. It was certainly a raid with a high success rate, but even so, there should be no absolutes in this kind of operation. Even though he was a military amateur, he must have had reason to believe that the raid would be a success.



 The most likely explanation is that he knew the person who had arranged the raid very well and thought it was impossible for that person to fail, or that even if he failed, he thought he could do something about it.



 When I think about it, something comes to mind.


 At the time of the raid, Maddock was in the rear throughout. In other words, even if the raid had ended in failure, there is a strong possibility that only Maddock could have escaped safely.



 Although I have not heard details from the other bandits, perhaps the only one who negotiated with the man named Harold was the bandit who commanded the separate unit, that attacked the front of the merchant caravan at the same time as Maddock.


 The story of Boyette’s scheming as Rawcliffe’s deputy would naturally be kept secret, so it is unlikely that Boyette would be discovered to be an accomplice.



(It’s not so much a plan that has a loose end, but a plan made by someone who would think it would go according to the scenario. If failure is not expected… Then it was either a brilliant but inexperienced person or, more likely, an overconfident person. Did the person come up with it… Or did they have to come up with a plan thinking that it would go according to the plan… There is too little information right now… In any case, there’s a high possibility that they’ll end up trying to silence Maddock…) (Zack)



 Now that they can no longer legally get rid of Maddock, there is a possibility that our enemies will resort to illegal means. And I told my father about it.



“…In other words, there is a high possibility that they will come to shut Maddock up. It is the same here at Rawcliffe, but depending on how much strength the other party has, there is a possibility that they will come to shut up Maddock at Welburn as well.” (Zack)



 My father gave a small nod and asked unsurely, “Yes, that’s true. Of course, we will be vigilant, but what exactly should we do?”


 Unlike the encampment in the forest, this is a guard duty in an unfamiliar city, so even my father seems to be unable to give specific instructions.



“First of all, someone will have to stay awake. Then, give them only the food we have arranged for them. That way, they won’t be poisoned.” (Zack)



 We decided to form a shift around fourteen people: the six of us, Guy, Byron, Enos, and the five patrol youths. As for food, I always have emergency rations in my magical storage inventory, so we will be able to secure safe meals.


 Water would also be no problem if I could magically produce it, and this would avoid the danger of poisoning.



 When he heard the word poison, my father asked, “Speaking of poison, don’t you need to prepare for us?” looking a little worried.



“Don’t worry. It would be meaningless to annihilate us here. Besides, if you don’t die instantly, I will be able to heal you.” (Zack)



 My father seemed a little relieved when I jokingly replied.



 In reality, I did not know what they were thinking. In other words, the danger of assassination had not disappeared. I assured him that there was no danger of assassination because there was no need to worry about my mother and younger brother and sisters, let alone my father.



(If they wanted to assassinate him, they could have done more. However, as long as we don’t know what they are thinking, there are no absolutes. So far, I’m concerned about the fact that the other party’s ideas are not quite consistent. If they are not logical, if they are just attacking us on impulse, they will continue to try to kill us. That and the possibility that my mother and siblings will be targeted… This is something that only the five of us, Liddy, Beatrice, Guy, and Byron need to know…) (Zack)



 That night, we take our sleepless nights, but in the end, nothing happens and morning comes.


 I rubbed my sleepy eyes,



(As expected, they weren’t prepared to raid us in the city. If they had enough people to sneak into the inn, they would have had them participate in the daytime raid. Maybe I was worrying a little too much…) (Zack)



 Although I think so, I can’t relax until the interrogation in Welburn is over.



 That day was a free day, and my father and my mother were to pay a courtesy visit to Boyette, the deputy. Even though they had met each other yesterday, they were told that it is a ceremonial necessity for a knight to greet the ruler of the land, the lord, the deputy, the person in charge of the fort, and so on.



 And so, my brother Theophilus, and my sisters Seraphine, and Sophia decided to take a stroll through the city.


 Guy objects to letting my siblings go out into the city, saying that it is dangerous.



“If it’s what Master Zack thinks, wouldn’t they be targeting Master Theo and the Misses? It’s not easy to protect them in a city full of people.” (Guy)



 But I have a different opinion.



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