The person who had looked at the rising black smoke and turned on his heels was a middle-aged man.
He was dressed like any other citizen there.
And while he was probably doing his best to hide it, I could see it clearly from above.
He was starting to walk faster and there was a franticness in his movements.
“Well, better chase after him then.”
I had my target now, and so I melted into the shadows.
As I followed him in the shadows, the man entered a narrow alley.
Then he stopped at a corner and looked around.
It was still a little early to be night time, but it would be dark very soon.
The man turned and walked back several times and always picked narrow streets to walk through.
I continued to follow him silently.
It wasn’t until the sun was gone completely and there were barely any people on the streets, that the man finally started to slow down.
It had been a whole hour now.
He was being very careful.
He now walked with the kind of casual air as if he was going out for a drink. He was headed in the direction of the shopping district.
Then he stopped partway and entered a back alley, looked carefully around, and then entered a house.
“So, that’s where he lives.”
It was a small two-story building.
He sat down on a chair and drank some water.
In the meantime, I went to the second floor and searched the two rooms.
As the man was downstairs, I could not act too boldly, but I was able to look at the documents that were on his desk.
The papers suggested the likelihood that this man was from Makoku.
“He could have bought this stuff here.”
There were some small items that were clearly from Makoku.
But as they were insignificant items of little value, they were not things that a merchant would bother to bring.
And so they were likely just personal possessions.
This wasn’t very wise. And so I was doubtful someone like him would be carrying any important secrets. However, I at least knew where he lived now.
Perhaps he had finished resting. The man left the house again.
He still hadn’t noticed that he was being followed.
He started to walk on the outskirts of the residential district, where there were fewer people around.
It was a lonely area with just a few houses that were far apart.
Then he entered a house that was surrounded by trees.
From what I could tell, he didn’t even suspect that someone could be following him.
However, the same could not be said for the others in the house.
When he was inside, he quickly went up the stairs.
I could sense the presence of four people on the second floor. So there were five in all.
This must be their base.
The sound of someone standing could be heard just before the man reached the second floor.
“What is it?”
The others stood up as well.
“…He’s been followed.”
A man muttered. Then all of them turned to the man who had just arrived.
“N-no, I couldn’t have… I wouldn’t have made such a mistake…”
“No, there is someone here! Below!”
At the same time, I heard the sound of the second-floor window opening.
So, they really had noticed me.