Chapter 153 – Suspect
Shamus Glass, Director of the Bureau for Inappropriate Use of Magic.
He was known as a professional who had risen through the ranks by solving case after case, and was not only the vice-captain of the 2nd unit, but also the right-hand man of Captain Chris.
An Adamantite-Rank magician, and a likely candidate for Magus-Rank promotion.
(The director would hear from me directly…that was the power of Captain Vicente’s name!)
I smiled as I remembered the beautiful person with long, flowing hair.
Even though I felt like a fox who was acting like a tiger, Mr. Shamus welcomed me warmly.
“I heard all about it. Hey, someone get something for this lady.”
And then one of his subordinates prepared some tea.
While quenching my thirst with the cold tea, I explained the circumstances.
“Captain Vicente told me about it. That you were quite brilliant, and we should allow you to cooperate.”
“He-he is too kind.”
“However, we are currently in a difficult position. There is someone within the Royal Magicians Order who is stealing information from our investigation, and using it in foul ways.”
Said Mr. Shamus.
“There are at least two people. And judging by traces left on the machinery, they must be from the 3rd unit.”
“The 3rd unit? It must be some mistake…”
I could not believe it.
As I looked stunned, Shamus continued.
“I knew you would say that. You are one of them, after all.”
That was when my vision started to shake.
And my consciousness faded.
My head felt heavy.
I collapsed on the sofa.
The strength left my body
And everything went dark.
“You will tell us everything now. Noelle Springfield.”
When I came to, I was in a room I had never seen before.
But I could not think clearly.
My consciousness was muddy.
I was bound to a chair with handcuffs.
The handcuffs were made of anti-magic stone, commonly used with magic crime.
And on the other side of the desk, Mr. Shamus was staring at me.
“Answer me, Noelle Springfield. You came here to steal information in the guise of cooperating with us. Is that not right.”
“…That is incorrect.”
“You are cooperating with someone from the outside.”
“…I am not.”
“Lying is futile. At this moment, you are under the observation of the first-class relic ‘Scales of Judgment,’ which can discern truth from falsehood.”
Mr. Shamus said in an emotionless voice.
“It will be better for you to speak truthfully. Your answers now will affect the kind of punishment you will receive. If you are not cooperative, then your punishment will be that much harsher.”
While he spoke calmly, the words had the chilling ring of a sharp blade.
“But I am not lying! It is the truth!”
“Well, we’ll let the relic determine that.”
Mr. Shamus turned to the woman next to him.
She was likely a magician from the 2nd unit. And she was controlling the scale by charging it with mana.
“What are the results?”
She stared hard at the scale and replied.
“She is not lying.”
There was a long silence.
It was so long, that I thought a whole civilization could be destroyed and rebuilt, and there would still be time left.
Finally, Mr. Shamus frowned and said,
“…Is it really possible that a helper from the 3rd unit would come at this very time, and not be an informer?”
“It is possible.”
“Well, check again.”
She adjusted the scale and checked once again.
However, the results were the same.
Mr. Shamus held his head irritably.
“I am sorry. It seems like we have made a mistake. I do not know what to say.”
They removed the handcuffs.
I shook my freed hands and replied.
“I don’t need words, if that’s what you’re asking. How about some sort of gift?”
“I know, you can treat me to the most delicious and expensive meal. Like a luxury steak house.”
“Fine. It shall be done.”
I mentally raised my fist into the air with triumph.
I had made a promise to myself, never to let a chance slip by when I could manipulate my seniors into buying me some food.
“Still, why did you suspect me?”
“Because you are very close with the other suspects.”
“We currently believe they are Leticia Resettestone and Luke Waldstein.”
I was stunned by Mr. Shamus’s words.
“It must be some misunderstanding! Ms. Leticia would never do that! She is definitely innocent of any wrongdoing! Luke is probably guilty though!”
“You think that about Waldstein?”
“Yes, he definitely would. Luke is definitely your culprit. I can tell.”
He was someone who would do anything to accomplish his goals.
“Waldstein had a history of intercepting the cases we were pursuing. He is a most formidable nemesis that we must be wary of.”
“Yes, I’ve heard something about that.”
“It even happened at the opera house. And since you are his buddy, it was impossible to not be suspicious of you as well.”
“I am so sorry. I shall scold him very harshly, you can be sure of that.”
I apologized for him.
“But how can you be suspicious of Ms. Leticia?”
“During her time in the 1st unit, she had been accused of using illegal means to acquire investigation information. Besides, she seemed to have a great obsession towards investigating the nobles. I was working with her at the time, and she frightened me. Of course, that was when she had that icy reputation. The woman of iron.”
“But she really is not scary at all.”
“Well, she has changed quite a lot. Or she is just good at hiding her true nature.”
This was all very surprising to me. But I did not think that Mr. Shamus was lying to me.
“Um, and this noble she was investigating?”
“He is one of the influential figures overseeing the High Court. Count Wilhelm. He holds a firm position in the northern region of the kingdom and has earned strong support from the residents there.”
“Ah, I’ve heard of him. He is supposed to be very honorable.”
I recalled that I had seen articles about him in newspapers back when I was a student.
He upheld the principle of equality under the law and stood as one of the most influential figures within the High Court, where nobles served as judicial officers.
Both popular and famous, many of my classmates supported him.
“Count Wilhelm controls all the local newspapers. While manipulating publications to write favorable articles, he criticized His Majesty the King’s tax reform, creating an image of himself as a righteous individual who is fighting against an oppressive power.”
“And what is the truth?”
“Oh, he is a hopeless villain, of course. I would need more than my two hands to count all of the crimes he is suspected of being involved in. Of course, he is sly, and we have not been able to grasp any real evidence. He has deep connections with various business magnates and clergy members, and uses the power of the High Court to preserve their aristocratic privileges.”
I had seen the darkness.
In rural areas, there was a strong perception that the newspaper companies were right, leading everyone to be easily manipulated.
“We have planned to conduct a forced investigation tonight at Count Wilhelm’s mansion located in the royal capital. And we want you to participate in the operation.”
“So you found some evidence?”
“Aye. It is quite likely that he is deeply involved in the assassination attempt on His Highness the prince.”
“Then you must hurry.”
“Yes, this may be our only chance.”
No matter what, Count Wilhelm must be exposed, so we could acquire information on the magic formula that was tormenting the prince.
“Can I have some time first?”
“What are you going to do?”
“I need as much information as I can get. And while Luke is too far away, Ms. Leticia is nearby.”
I said as I looked up at Mr. Shamus.
“I want to speak to her, just in case. If she really is investigating on her own, based on information from the 2nd unit, then she might know something.”