Part 4: Chapter 6 – Change of Method
After Riskinan Barrow left, the guild worker hesitantly came down from the second floor.
“I-I’m sorry. I did not think that Mr. Riskinan would come here directly.”
“It is fine, as we were able to avoid getting involved in troublesome affairs. But more importantly, is this what you meant when you said the position of the Barrow house would become more complicated?”
He asked, while recalling Riskinan’s suggestion, and the guild worker nodded.
“The Barrow house is for coexistence, and were reluctant to go to the guild for help. They are the only reason that the accommodationists maintain their power, in spite of the damage to livestock.”
“That is bad news for anyone who would accept the job. Of course, it has nothing to do with us. Though, I’m also worried about what Riskinan said before leaving. It seems like it would be best for us to act quickly.”
If they were to take his advice seriously, they could not expect the accommodationists to help them.
It was preferable to ignorantly joining one side and getting caught up in a political power struggle, but it might also make the investigation more difficult.
Euphie and Mailey looked out from the windows on the second floor, and informed the others that no one was watching them.
“It’s fine. You can go out now.”
“Also, about the livestock that were killed. Is there an autopsy record?”
“Not in the guild, as they are not monsters. The Crambarrow government is in charge of that, so I can write you an introduction, if you like?”
“No, that will not be necessary. While we won’t join the Accommodationists, we won’t join the Expulsionists either.”
After they saw the guild worker leave the magitec car, Euphie and Mailey turned to look at Tor.
“Well, shall we go then?”
Tor nodded as he sat in the driver’s seat, and stepped on the pedal.
As the vehicle moved smoothly, Euphie and Mailey started to talk to Tor.
“About the autopsy report for the monsters that the guild worker brought. Don’t you think it is strange?”
“That’s an understatement.”
Tor chuckled as he thought about it.
It had started fifteen years ago, every year for six months, they would find a monster that had been drained of blood. It could be taken as the work of a vampire.
However, things had changed suddenly during the past two years. And these deaths were clearly different.
“Do vampires eat the organs as well?”
Mailey asked, pinpointing what exactly was strange about it.
The deaths in the last two years had monsters not only being drained of blood, but having their hearts and other organs removed as well.
Tor replied, but reminded them that it was merely what he had heard from the beastkin elder.
“Apparently, they do eat hearts on occasion. However, it is only done as part of a ritual, in order to honor a powerful opponent they have defeated in battle. It is not something they would do against a mere monster. Especially not to livestock.”
If they were going to look into the matter of the livestock, then the first thing to check was the state of their organs.
Euphie sat in the passenger seat, and Mailey began to write something in the back.
“In your opinion, Mr. Tor, are vampires involved in the current incident?”
“To be honest, I do not know. But it is quite unlikely that the same person, or group, is responsible for the deaths fifteen years ago, and the more recent ones.”
“In that case, are there multiple culprits or groups?”
“It is likely. With the death fifteen years ago, there were no bite marks, and they were bled by cutting the veins above the heart with precision. There was skill in the work, and you would need some knowledge of monster anatomy in order to do it.”
However, all of the targets were powerful monsters. It could just be an experienced Adventurer, as you could not determine it was a vampire just by the way they were bled.
“On the other hand, the targets in recent years have been large, weak monsters. Though, methods still involve some skill…”
“So you think that it is different?”
“My intuition tells me so. However, even if you remove the organs, there is nothing you can use them for. And they will just rot. In that case, it is more practical to skin them.”
Even though the targets and methods had changed, the purpose was still vague. That was probably one of the reasons that people assumed it was the work of a vampire.
“So, what do you two think?”
“We are mostly in agreement. It is not as if we know much about vampires, and so we cannot speculate much based on the way they live and their culture. However, the removal of organs, especially the heart…”
Euphie suddenly closed her mouth and looked out of the window, towards the shops. She watched the scene pass by the magitec car, and then turned her head back to the front and closed her eyes.
Apparently, she had had time to think of something. When he looked in the back mirror, he saw that Mailey had also stopped writing and was deep in thought. Perhaps the twins were sharing opinions?
Tor then thought about the rows of shops. There had been restaurants, butcheries, as well as pottery stores.
But he didn’t know what it was that had caught their attention.
However, not wanting to disturb them, Tor focused on driving safely. And since they were in the city, he lowered the speed a little.
They arrived at the city office shortly past midday, and he parked the magitec car in a nearby lot. Then he called to the twins, who were still thinking.
“We’re here. Are you coming?”
“Yes. We must have information more than anything.”
And the twins coolly stepped out of the car. The scarves around their necks fluttered in the wind.
When they entered the office and stated their business at the reception desk, they were looked at with suspicion.
Well, the young Adventurer and twins made an odd trio, and they were asking to look at records for livestock deaths.
However, as there was no rule preventing them some seeing it, they were briskly taken to the resource room.
“You may not take anything out of this room.”
They were told under a suspicious glare. And they then checked the records of livestock deaths during the past two years.
They found what they were looking for immediately.
“It’s been removed.”
“Blood and guts.”
“So the purpose of the crimes really is just the blood and organs. Or did they want to create confusion?”
It didn’t seem too unlikely that someone had done it to hurt the Barrow family.
After examining the records, they confirmed that there were indeed no human victims, and then they left office behind them.
They got into the magitec car while wondering where they should go next. It was then that Euphie and Mailey spoke to Tor at the same time.
“By the way, Mr. Tor.”
“We happen to be a little anemic.”
“I see. Well, it cannot be helped. It is difficult to get sufficient iron and vitamins when on the road.”
Having a magitec card meant that the journey to Crambarrow had been quite easy, but most of the food had lacked taste.
The twins now put their hands together and looked at Tor.
“By the way, we happened to see a restaurant menu from the window earlier.”
“Oh? Is there something you want to eat?”
“Precisely. It is the Cramborrow delicacy, beloved food of vampires, the blood sausage!”
“Why the hell… You do know they have a strong smell?”
“And beef tenderloin in red wine stew, as well as every type of bird monster meat skewers.”
“Alright. We’ll go there for dinner. Don’t forget the place.”
The twins high-fived each other.