Chapter 9 – A Delicious Development
The twins seemed to have done their research beforehand, and so they headed straight towards Magic Centipede’s inn after leaving the restaurant.
It was to the southwest of Durande.
As it was an establishment capable of taking in a party with as much personnel as Magic Centipede, the building was quite large. It was three stories high and in the shape of a ‘C,’ with a courtyard in the middle. In spite of this, the fee was not that high.
Since they had no intention of talking to employees, they decided to circle the building and start the investigation. That was when a man with shaggy hair appeared from the shadows.
“Guhehe. You two shouldn’t be out here so late at night…guheh!?”
Just as he tried to approach them, Tor launched him into the air and then chased him towards the wall.
“Old man, there’s something we want to ask you. Hey, don’t try and run away. Just listen. It won’t take too long.”
As the man tried to escape, Tor pressed his hand into the wall right in front of the man’s face, blocking his path. Then he grabbed the man’s collar and pushed him into the wall.
Right now, he probably looked like he was trying to pull a badger game. But he tried not to think about it.
“I got him.”
He turned to look at the twins.
They were covering their mouths with expressions of shock.
“So this is Japan’s ‘kabe-don’!”
“It seems so different from when we tried it!”
“Wait, was it called a ‘katsu-don’?”
“Isn’t there some saying about being able to eat three bowls of rice with it?”
“In other words, it’s related to bowls!”
“So he is doing a katsu-don!”
“Um, what kind of sad person do you think I am? As if I would do that to a vagrant like this. I won’t let you call this a kabe-don, alright? Now if you want to ask him something, hurry up and do it.”
In the first place, if their source of information was books, then why did they know about internet slang? Perhaps they read it in a gaming book.
Regardless, Tor pointed to the vagrant with his jaw, and the now very excited twins began to address him.
“Well then, we have a few questions for you. Your reward will be one silver coin, so please answer truthfully.”
And so the twins and Tor went around and questioned three different vagrants and handed them a silver before releasing them.
While the vagrants were quite frightened at first, they quickly regained their calm at the mention of silver, and they became very talkative when questioned.
By the time that the moon was at its peak, the three were on their way back to the Ubaz company.
“There was no notable information.”
The vagrants generally told them the same thing.
Magic Centipede had been using that inn for three years now, and since there were a lot of leftovers, it became a favorite spot for the vagrants. Still, it was unlikely that they were working together and purposely telling lies to any who asked.
Tor felt that it had been a waste of time, but the twins seemed to have seen something that he hadn’t.
“It was rather interesting.”
“Really? I feel that all your sniffing around succeeded in doing was to reveal to Magic Centipede what you are up to.”
He was talking about the vagrants. They would surely try to profit from this by informing on them to Magic Centipede.
The twins wagged their fingers.
“We’ve already declared war on them the moment that we hired you, Mister Tor. There is no point in worrying about what Haran or Magic Centipede think of us now.”
“Besides, we heard something that was so much more interesting than that. It was about how much firewood they used.”
One of the things that all of the vagrants said was that on the days that Magic Centipede arrive and on the days they leave, the amount of firewood that is used rises enormously.
However, this was not particularly odd to Tor.
“They have to wash the dirt off their bodies after traveling, no? Twenty people bathing will mean that a lot of water has to be boiled. So of course, they will use more firewood. It’s the same with their departure. You would want to bathe thoroughly if you knew that it would be the last time in a long while.”
“Mister Tor, have you ever used water magic?”
“Water magic, eh? Not really. Besides, doesn’t it disappear right away? You can’t boil it in time… Oh, but if they only have firewood…”
Twenty Adventurers were going to take a bath. While they would require firewood, they would also need a lot of water.
“There is surely a well behind the inn?”
“But not enough to wash the bodies of twenty people.”
Well, that was true. Tor had to agree with them.
The agriculture in Durande was rich, and there were plenty of water sources, so the wells would not dry up. However, wells in the city would have limits when it came to use.
“So, what do they use the firewood for?”
“They must use it to boil water. Or else people will get suspicious.”
“…But didn’t you just say that there wasn’t enough water?”
“We said that there isn’t enough for them to all bathe, not that they don’t boil water at all.”
“Well, I suppose. So, why do they boil water?”
But to this, the twins shook their heads.
“We cannot say for sure yet.”
“I think you mean that you don’t know at all.”
“Hehe. You’re very perceptive.”
They seemed to want to change the subject.
When they turned the corner, they entered a familiar alley.
It was the same spot that he had been attacked that morning, by a member of Magic Centipede when on his way back to the inn.
You’re going to pass through here? Tor seemed to say as he looked around.
“Is something wrong?”
“Early this morning, I picked up a magictec arm here. It belonged to one of Magic Centipedes cronies.”
“Well, that’s quite a thing to lose. Do people tend to forget their arms when they are very drunk?”
“Hardly. Besides, he came back as soon as I picked it up. So he must have realized it after a minute or two?”
“I would think it more natural to realize it immediately.”
Well, she wasn’t wrong. Wouldn’t there be a loud noise when the metal arm hit the ground? It was strange that it was not the case, and that there was enough time for Tor to pick it up.
“So, you think he left it here on purpose?”
It was possible that it was quietly left here so that someone else could pick it up later.
The twins smiled just a little.
“It’s too bad that we can’t see the real thing, but something tells me that we’ll soon discover something very interesting.”