Chapter 69 – The Man in the Tailcoat
Shockingly, Noelle did not wake up once until the first act had ended.
She really was in a comfortable deep sleep.
Really, why had she come here?
(…Well, from my point of view, it has not been a bad time.)
If anything, I felt rather content.
Even if there was some trouble, and the rest of the performance had to be canceled, I would still be able to leave the theater with a feeling of happiness.
There was a short interval before the second act started.
As Luke stretched his stiffened body, he suddenly noticed that someone was looking at him from behind.
When he turned, he saw Gawain waving at him with an amused expression.
Next to him, Leticia stood, looking exasperated.
Apparently, they had been watching him.
“Why…are they here…!”
Luke felt his face grow hot as he walked towards them.
◇ ◇ ◇
When I woke up, I saw that I was in a gorgeous hall.
Where am I? I thought with suspicion as I looked around. And then I remembered that Luke had invited me to the opera.
Apparently, we were resting now.
And so Luke had left his seat.
I stretched my limbs and then headed to the powder room outside.
As I massaged my sore limbs and walked, I crashed into one of the floor staff while rounding a corner.
“I’m very sorry.”
It was a man in a tailcoat who had jumped out as if in a hurry.
He quickly apologized and turned away from me.
I wonder what happened? I thought with a tilt of my head.
And then the scent of something like bergamot entered my nostrils.
Powdered bicorn horn, witchgrass, mandragora roots, magic crystal and bergamot. When combining all of these, you could create…a transformation potion.
I had studied the creation of it once, because I had wanted to look more mature and glamorous. And then it came to me.
This was surely connected to the blackmarket trade.
The man’s back was moving farther away.
He was in such a hurry.
And so as he started to fade into the crowds, I rushed after him.
I would have liked to make a report to Luke or the others, but right now, it was more important to not lose him.
I needed to find out who this person is.
The man in the tailcoat continued to walk briskly towards the back of the theater, where there were fewer people.
I cast a veil of magic that would make me invisible to those around me, as I followed after him.
Up ahead, there was a sign that forbade any outsiders from entering.
And when I turned the corner, I saw the man disappear into the wall.
I approached and inspected it.
It was a hidden passage that was disguised as a wall.
And since it was made with a dungeon relic, the quality and accuracy was shockingly high.
It would have been nearly impossible to discover it without a hint of some kind.
As for the passage, it continued underground.
Why was there such a space in the opera house? But then I remembered something.
Yes, there were rather troubling suspicions regarding the manager here.
It was when I had been organizing some documents in the office. I had seen an investigation record.
Michael Bellclover was the 12th general manager of Theater Ardenfeld.
He had risen to fame as a director in an opera house up north, and later came to this kingdom as a manager. However, he was being investigated for possible ties to important individuals of the underworld.
And so I kept my guard up as I followed the man with the tailcoat into the hidden passage.
I kept enough distance between us so that I would not be noticed, and entered the subterranean facility.
It was vast and sturdy.
The walls were of special make, and had been enchanted for durability and to be soundproof.
In the far back, there was a place where materials were being kept, and it was there that the man with the tailcoat was talking to someone.
But due to the distance, I could not hear what they were saying.
And so I gave up trying to eavesdrop and turned my eyes to my surroundings.
What was being stacked here?
I looked through the gaps of the cloth that covered them to see what was inside… And then I became speechless.
The smell of banned potions wafted in the air.
There were piles of illegal magic devices.
‘We do not know why the opera house has been chosen. However, the chief believes that the organization’s base must be close by.’
It wasn’t just close by, it was right here.
I felt dizzy by the shocking realization.
In-in any case, I must inform the others!
It was just as I was about to turn on my heels and return.
“Where is this rat who wandered in?”
“Right over there.”
They knew I was here.
As I stood there in horror, the members of the criminal organization blocked the exit and surrounded me with illegal weapons in hand.
Thi-this was what they called a desperate situation indeed…
I have no choice then!
I made up my mind and activated the magic.
And so the battle in the enemy base began.