“Audience with the Demon King? You. What the hell is happening?”
I had wanted to learn more from the man first, but that wasn’t going to happen now.
I gave him a murderous look, and then his silhouette began to blur.
He looked like he would melt and disappear, and so I slapped him.
But instead of hitting something solid, my hand felt like it had been thrust into some kind of sticky fluid.
“What the…? It’s sticky.”
As for the man…he went flying into the wall, where he was now stuck. He was spread out like an amoeba. It was quite disgusting.
“Sir Golan. That is a Gelman.”
“Huh? I’ve never heard of that. What kind of race are they?”
It seemed like I was learning about a lot of rare races today.
“I heard that while they do have a proper shape, they can use their special ability to change into others.”
“they must be a relative to the Slimes. …So that face he was using earlier was the result of his special ability.”
If he had a special ability that allowed him to shapeshift, it was no wonder they were good at detective work.
Long ago, I had read a comic book about a man with seven faces, but these guys were able to do it without using anything.
“They say that normal attacks don’t do much damage to them.”
“It looks pretty effective to me.”
Surely he was unconscious now?
“There must have been mana in that attack. Regardless, what was this man trying to do?”
“He told me that he was searching for a tactician called Seitry. A Nanakei of this country. And I was supposed to assassinate this person based on the information.”
“A tactician. I have also heard rumors… Well, there are rumors in the army as well. But I’ve never heard of anyone actually seeing this tactician.”
“They’re probably leaking rumors and half-truths on purpose. Anyway, I still want to question this guy. But how can I bind him?”
“There are all kinds of binding tools to restrain people at the guard house. In this case, perhaps you should put him in a basin and tie him up? Even though he can shapeshift, there must be a limit.”
“Well, I’m only going to question him, so perhaps that will do. I’ll go and ask the innkeeper for something.”
The Gelman was still stuck on the wall, and hadn’t even twitched.
And so I went downstairs and asked for a basin.
The old innkeeper practically flew out to the back and grabbed one of the basins that was used for washing.
I took it up to the second floor and then peeled the thing off of the wall.
“It’s so disgusting… There was a rope among our belongings, wasn’t there? Bring it to me.”
I tied the rope over the basin so that it looked like the top area was divided into eight.
“Is this good enough?”
“I think it is. I doubt he’ll be able to escape from the gaps. And if he tries to resist, you can just attack him while unleashing mana.”
“I see. …Alright then.”
I tried hitting him with just a little bit of mana and he started muttering, ‘hmm. I’ll have seconds.’ How predictable.
I hit him again. This time with a little more mana, and he woke up.
“There you are.”
“You! What is this! Hey! Why am I tied up!”
“Aye, and you’ll stay that way for now. And be careful. You don’t want to know what I’ll do to you if you try and escape.”
“You! So you’re a traitor then. Why? Don’t you know that you’ll be targeted for life? Traitors all meet a brutal death eventually.”
He was finally up and now he wouldn’t stop talking.
“I’m no traitor. I never had anything to do with you all. It’s you who just made a mistake.”
“Huh? A mistake…no, that’s ridiculous! You had the bag hanging upside down!”
“That’s not mine. Our baggage carriers used them to carry food. I just washed and dried them because they were dirty.”
“And what about you being an outsider?”
“I have my own reasons for being in this country. I’m in this town to meet the Demon King. It has nothing to do with your assassinations.”
“Th-then…why did you say you were a merchant? How did you know the secret word? It doesn’t make any sense.”
“Well, you should have thought of a better secret word then. It was just a coincidence. I don’t start fights, but I don’t shy away from a challenge.”
“Now, it’s time for me to ask the questions. Such as your origins, your plans, and how you contact Nehyor.”
“As-as if I would tell you!”
“We’ll see about that.”
This would be good practice for controlling how much mana is included in my attacks.
After about a hundred hits, he was more than willing to talk. Well, he seemed like the kind of person who loved to talk anyway.
His name was Embrio. He made a living by accepting jobs involving information.
Embrio even told me about the country and town he lived in, as well as information about his comrades. Of course, there was no way for me to tell if it was true.
And then there was the current plan.
Nehyor had given the order to search for the Nanakei, and once he was able to make a full report, he had been ordered to move ahead with the assassination plan.
The new job was to contact a shadow mercenary, give him the information, and support him in the assassination.
“I had only been told the town and password, and didn’t think that such a coincidence was possible.”
So, who was the person that he was supposed to talk to? I had an idea.
It was likely the Shadow Ape I had knocked out with a punch to the stomach.
He was sleeping in his room now. So I would be able to ask him about it later.
If he was here to contact a client, then he wouldn’t run away just yet.
Now, as for why they were doing this kind of shadow work…
They were those who either as individuals or as a group, were seen as too violent, or incapable of obeying orders, and were therefore declared unfit to be soldiers.
Combat races were specialized for fighting.
Most of them didn’t know how to live outside of the battlefield.
Once the army said they didn’t need them, they would eat through their savings very quickly.
Of course, that meant they would have to take from others. But they couldn’t be too open about it, or the military would notice them.
To put it simply, they abducted, robbed and assassinated. They started making a living through accepting jobs that were against the law.
As for the important part, which was Nehyor’s location.
“I don’t know. Honest. As if someone like me would be able to contact Lord Nehyor. He just appears out of nowhere, tells me what to do, and then disappears.”
That’s what he said.
Apparently, even if I waited in the Gelman settlement, I was unlikely to be able to meet him.
“I see… Well, I heard what I needed to hear. Stomel.”
“What is it, Sir Golan?”
“Would you mind running an errand for me?”
“To the guard house, sir?”
“Yes, if you don’t mind.”
“…Very well. I will go again.”
‘You heartless fiend!’ echoed from the basin, so I punched him again.