I said as my foot went in. But there was no one there. Uh, this was embarrassing…
“…The master will be here shortly.”
“Ah…of course. Thank you.”
The maid said from behind me. Right. This was the waiting room. They could have told me that in advance. Embarrassment that could have easily been avoided was somehow worse.
The door closed and I was left alone in the room. Presence Detection told me that the maid was walking away while the butler remained in front of the door. As for the surrounding rooms, yes, there were people inside. Being in such a house for the first time had made me nervous, but I did think that I had a decent ability for adapting. And now that I felt accustomed to the place, I could perform as usual. That was when I noticed it.
“I’m being monitored.”
“Oh, you noticed then.”
Someone entered my detection range out of nowhere. I frantically turned around to see someone peeking at me through a crack in the door. A woman with red hair. Elves tended to have eye-catching hair color in this world…but this person had human ears.
“Are you the Adventurer who accepted the request?”
“Yes. I’m Asagi Kamiyashiro. It’s a pleasure to meet you.”
“I am Camila Dee Carteraza. The one who hired you. Oh, hmm… Hehe. Is this really a coincidence?”
The person who opened the door and walked in was about as typical a noblewoman as I could think of. But not necessarily in a bad way. She just looked like a woman who was raised with a lot of money and had a good education. She was now looking at me and laughing. So…this young noblewoman had a Presence Block skill that outranked my Presence Detection…?
She slowly approached and then sat down in a chair before gesturing for me to do the same. I obeyed and sat on the opposite of the table.
“Yes, we’ve met before. A short while ago.”
“Yes. At the auction house.”
I didn’t remember seeing a woman with red hair like hers… It seemed like the kind of thing that I would remember.
“Well, I was disguised. So you probably didn’t notice.”
That explained it. And this person had a high-level skill. The disguise would have been very advanced as well.
“Well, this request of mine is actually related to the auction…”
“What do you mean?”
“Due to buying that item of yours, I’ve been attracting some unwanted attention.”
“What? You’re talking about…”
The item I had put up for auction was the Automata.
“Yes. Excuse me.”
Miss Camila gave the order, and a different maid from before walked into the room. No, this one wasn’t human. In fact, it was the Automata I had unearthed in the ancient elven ruins.
“Of course, it is. It runs on magic.”
That was true. However, I never did give it a try. I put it for sale first. That would have been harder to do if I got attached to it. Well, I was also scared about what would happen if it did move.
So, this was the reason for the request. I suppose it was related to me in a way. But I still wasn’t responsible.
“Of course, it is a coincidence that you’re here. Don’t look so mortified.”
“…I’m sorry. I’m sort of dreading what you’re going to say next.”
“Hehe. It is quite simple. Thieves are trying to steal her from me. I want you to capture or kill them.”
Kill them? How dark.
“I didn’t accept an assassination request.”
“Well, I did say, ‘or.’ It’s not like that is my preference, you know.”
Still, there was an intensity in her eyes. I had taken this request half out of boredom, and it had taken a less than desirable turn.
Miss Camila then gave me the details. From what she said, people started roaming the area around her house, shortly after she had bought the Automata. And there were quite a few of them too. It was as if they were taking turns to monitor the house. She had then determined that they were after the Automata, and so she sent out the request.
“Seems pretty reckless to mess with one of the eight Great Houses of the city.”
“It is not a surprise, since they are also nobles.”
“Nobles can be thieves too. It is they who were not able to buy it that are now roaming around my house.”
“Ah, I see…”
Yes, the bidding had been quite enthusiastic. It was a matter of thousands of pieces of gold. The people who weren’t able to buy it would have been very angry. And so, they were scouting about her house and planning to steal it…
“Obviously, things become complicated when dealing with other nobles… And so I thought of a plan. I can just hire an Adventurer.”
“We’re not disposable tools, us Adventurers.”
“Oh, of course, you aren’t. We nobles see Adventurers as brilliant tools.”
I was a little taken aback, but it was just the way they saw things, I suppose. Well, she was certainly different from the people I was used to dealing with. It was stimulating in a way.
“Alright. I will do what I can.”
“Hehe. I’m counting on you. Here is an advance payment.”
She snapped her fingers and the Automata placed a leather pouch right next to me. I could tell it was gold from the sound it made. It looked hefty too. But it was probably pocket money for a noble.
“I will pay you double that amount if you catch them. If you kill them, I will pay even more for your silence. Are we in agreement?”
“I’m not going to kill anyone. I’ll return tonight.”
“Don’t disappoint me, Silvergreen.”
I accepted the money and got to my feet. On my way out, I glanced over to the Automata. Then the butler led me to the entrance.
Boredom and curiosity had brought me here, and the results were very unexpected. A scheme involving one of the Great Houses. A quest relating to the Automata.
How was I going to explain this to Daniela…
Cover for the manga which is being released tomorrow: