Chapter 13 – Fight With Yourself
After getting up, Euphie dropped comfortably into the chair that Mailey had been sitting in. She then stretched her arms towards the ceiling and arched her back like a cat.
The movement accentuated her figure, as slim as it was, but Tor took no note of it.
“How much did you hear through your thought sharing with Mailey?”
“That it’s all but certain that the method of smuggling is hiding the gold in wood’s metal. The problem is, how we will gather evidence.”
“When things are this smooth, it doesn’t feel like I’m talking to a different person.”
While it saved Tor the hassle of explaining everything again, it also confused him a little. And the fact that they were identical twins just added to the confusion.
Euphie briefly looked through the notes that Mailey had left her before sleeping, and then she dipped her pen into the inkpot.
She then began to scribble something on the other side of the sheet of paper.
“About the magitec arm you picked up, Mr. Tor. The money was hidden in the palm and forearm parts?”
“Aye, there is no mistake.”
“It must have been weak, because it was handmade by Magic Centipede. If they ordered it at a workshop, there would have to be differences in the thickness of plates between the arm and the plans, so their trick would be exposed.”
Euphie had drawn an illustration of the magitec arm, and she added arrows that pointed to the palm and forearm.
“It will be possible to reveal them if we stopped them at Durande’s gates and used fire magic on all of their magitec arms.”
“I don’t think that’s a good idea.”
Tor couldn’t help but interject.
Euphie looked at him with suspicion, and so he explained.
“Users move their magitec arms by sending magic energy into them. If this is done many times over, the arm will adapt to that magic energy, and its resistance to other types of magic energy will increase. If they are using these magitec arms daily, then your average fire magic will not be enough to make the temperature rise.”
Apparently, Euphie was hearing this for the first time. She lifted her face from her writing with a curious expression, and stared at Tor.
“The requirement for rising to a B-Rank Adventurer is enchanting your armor and weapons, yes? Is that the reason?”
“Aye. In order to block the magic of powerful monsters, or at the very least, prevent your equipment from being destroyed, it must have some resistance to magic energy. That is why it’s a requirement for B-Rank promotion. While it’s possible to get by with strengthening your own body, you will have to retreat if your equipment is destroyed.”
“Has that ever happened to you, Mr. Tor?”
“Thankfully, it has not. But I do get injured often.”
He had been reckless many times, in order to find ways to return to earth. Tor laughed as the memories came back to him.
But they must return to the subject at hand. And so Tor shook the past from his mind and opened his mouth.
“And so if you wish to heat up the magitec arms, you must use a different method.”
“Hot water. Though, if we only need to apply heat, we can make a fire under an empty pot and just throw the magitec arms inside.”
“An empty pot would be best. Boiling water would take too much time. And using fire magic in water will result in a lot of steam. It will be difficult to see through it, and they might escape.”
Euphie agreed with Tor, and she jotted down ‘heat pot’ onto the sheet of paper.
“It’s like writing a cooking recipe.”
“There is money inside. Much like a Christmas pudding.”
“A what? I do know what Christmas is.”
Tor asked, as he did not know how the two words connected to money.
Euphie looked at him oddly.
“You’re from earth, and yet you don’t know?”
“I lived in Japan, and it’s not exactly culturally Christian. Though, we did eat Christmas cake.”
“Ah, now that you mention it, there are many religions there as well.”
“Yes, and the discord from it is a serious matter. There is no neatly round solution.”
“That’s unfortunate, since the earth is quite round.”
“I’m not joking.”
Tor regretted getting off track again, and quickly corrected the course.
“So, we’ll get evidence of the gold smuggling by throwing the magitec arms in a heated pot at the gates. That is all fine, but how will you suggest this method to the officials at the gate?”
The watchful officials at the gate had already noticed that the Ubaz company was involved in the smuggling of gold.
And the twins were related to the company. And so they might be suspicious of any suggestions they made.
If anything, they might suspect that they were using Magic Centipede to set a trap, and they might not act at all.
“Indeed. Haran will be cautious after we went out tonight. And so Magic Centipede may depart ahead of schedule. We do not want to waste time dealing with the officials.”
Euphie added to her notes that one must not breathe in the fumes when heating the magitec arms. She then glanced towards Tor.
“Do you have a method of contact, Mr. Tor?”
“The Adventurers Guild. I can contact the Durande manager, yes. We have an agreement.”
“That is what I thought. I think he will visit again tomorrow, but you should contact him immediately. Tell him how we mean to expose them.”
She finished writing and then handed the sheet to Tor. Then Euphie smiled broadly at him.
Framed by her golden hair, Euphie’s smile was like a glorious sunflower. Most would have praised her beauty…but Tor narrowed his eyes as if seeing something suspicious.
“You meant for me to pass the message from the beginning, didn’t you? I thought it was strange that you told me of the smuggling methods and what you meant to do.”
“Don’t be so upset. We are relying on you, you know?”
“You’re relying on a method of contact, and the manager. Give me that paper. I’ll send it to him. By the way, is the manager married?”
“He is. They get along so well that they even fight.”
“That’s good to hear. I can pretend this is a love letter. And then we can see just how close they are.”
“Please don’t do that. What if he refuses to help?”
“I was joking.”
Tor shrugged his shoulders and took out a thin iron disk from his pocket.
He folded the paper from Euphie and then inserted it into the disk. Then he opened the window a little so that no one would notice from outside.
“In that area…”
He squinted through the darkness of the night, and then aimed at the inn where the contact man was hiding.
Then he used ‘body strengthen’ on his wrist, hid his hand and activated the magic. The disk shot through the streets and towards a room at the inn.
Euphie had been watching him from the side, but it happened so quickly that she didn’t even see it leave his hand.
He then closed the window without making a sound. It was only then that Euphie realized that he wasn’t carrying the metal disk. And she grabbed Tor’s arm and looked into the sleeve as if suspecting a trick.
“I didn’t see anything.”
“I’m not going to be seen by someone who hasn’t even strengthened their body. I am a B-Ranker, after all.”
They turned to look out the window, towards the inn. The light in the room blinked twice, probably through switching a magitec lantern on and off. That meant the letter had been received.
“Now it’s up to how Magic Centipede will react.”
“Yes. But the night is still long. How about a board game? As Mailey is asleep, it will be a true one on one battle.”
Without waiting for Tor to reply, Euphie pulled out the board game.
“You seem very happy?”
“Because of our ability to share thoughts, it is always two against one when we are both awake. So this is a rare opportunity.”
“Ah, it’s not all positives then.”
Euphie lined up the pieces enthusiastically.
“Fine, I’ll play.”
Tor would have liked to get some sleep in preparation for tomorrow, but after seeing Euphie’s face, he felt that he could at least play one game with her.
It reminded him of how he felt when going on school trips with his old friends.
“This is a serious game. I will not hold back.”
“Very well. But don’t regret it.”
Tor said with a grin. And then he lined his own pieces with practiced speed.
Euphie narrowed her eyebrows.
“Regret… Are you that confident?”
“Quite the opposite. You will feel guilty because I am so terrible. However, a serious battle is really a battle against yourself. And you must win.”
“I am supposed to be fighting you, but I will fight myself!?”