88. Fran the Assassin
『Alright, let’s go.』
It was two in the morning. Everyone was asleep, and even the drunks had gone home.
It didn’t take long for us to arrive at the slave traders’ hideout. We made use of Urushi’s Dark Magic, Espionage and Presence Concealment in order to hide ourselves. They shouldn’t be able to locate us, but I prepared Fran a mask just in case they did.
The hideout was fairly close to the port itself. Its first floor was supposedly said to be a warehouse, and the second, a sort of living quarters. The building was guarded, but only by a single person.
『We’ll probably get noticed if we take it too slowly.』
Fran made her move. She used Silence to dampen the sounds made by her movements and cut the guard down before he was able to so much as react. In fact, he probably didn’t even get to see her shadow before losing his life. I immediately put his corpse in my dimensional storage, and we moved on.
『Alright, why don’t we start from the top?』
There was no point in doing something as stupid as kicking down the front door.
Fran infiltrated the building by leaping onto its roof, cutting one of the windows open, and climbing inside. Naturally, she continued to keep quiet through the use of Silence.
We immediately stumbled across a bed with someone inside of it, but luckily, he didn’t wake up. Appraising him informed us that he was one of the slave traders.
『He’s an enemy.』
Fran casually thrusted me through his chest and impaled him right through the heart.
The man woke up in response, his body throbbing in pain, but he wasn’t able to so much as make a noise. Silence made sure of that. I put the corpse away before he even managed to start leaking blood, and as a result, not even the slightest speck of evidence was left behind. We had just pulled off the perfect assassination.
『It looks like they’re probably keeping the slaves underground, in a basement or something.』
「Clean up first.」
『Yeah. It’ll be easier to free the slaves if we do.』
We decided to do the world a favour and “disinfect” the floor in its entirety. And so, we acted in the same manner as would most other assassins, we murdered every single slave merchant we came across in cold blood. Most of them were stronger than that Gyuran guy we killed in Alessa, not that we had even the slightest bit of difficulty given that they were all asleep.
Chances were, we probably wouldn’t have had any trouble with them head on either, especially given how much stronger we got through the exploration of the Lich’s dungeon. We only bothered with stealth because it would prevent any alarms from being raised.
『This should be the last room.』
It took us five minutes to clear out the entire second floor, a single room outstanding. All in all, we killed six different slave merchants.
The room before us, however, was unlike the rest; its lights were still on, and I could sense a single presence within it.
『Would you mind, Urushi?』
『Make sure you stay quiet.』
Urushi eliminated the target and came back after 10 or so seconds. He was as quiet as I’d expected.
『It seems to feel a bit different from all the other rooms.』
The room’s interior design reminded me of a study. A single blue cat was lying dead on the room’s desk. His clothing was relatively fancy, it seemed like he was an executive of sorts.
『I’m going to rummage through his desk real quick.』
I fished around a bit and went through most of the documents they had. The only thing of interest I could find was a note detailing the number of slaves sold to the Kingdom of Reidos.
I’d like to hand this over to the proper authorities if possible, so I decided to hold onto it for the time being.
After looking around a bit, I noticed that there was a safe in the room’s corner. It was made of iron, and it looked like the type of strongbox in which you’d put your valuables. Searching the man’s corpse allowed me to quickly find the key. The safe itself wasn’t radiating any magical energy, so it probably wasn’t a trap.
Fran opened the safe as I awaited the results with bated breath.
The safe contained about 100k Golde alongside a bunch of jewelry and the like. I guess you could say the safe was, in a way, a sort of treasure box. I didn’t really mind stealing from criminals, so we grabbed every single last bit and shoved it all inside of my dimensional storage.
『There isn’t anyone else in the second floor.』
The next thing we had to do was tidy up the first floor. There were a tonne of people there though, and they all seemed to be awake. Given that it was a warehouse, there probably wouldn’t really be many places to hide either. We’d be put in a really bad spot if someone managed to escape after seeing Fran’s face. Ideally, I’d prefer them not to even see her figure. I didn’t want them realizing that it was a child that raided the place.
There were a few slaves mixed into the crowd, so we couldn’t just blast our AOEs and wipe everyone out. They also seemed to have an underground escape route for emergencies, so a few would probably manage to get away if we made a big fuss. We used infrared vision, echolocation and presence detection in tandem to learn as much as we could before initiating. It seemed that the most troublesome part of this whole thing would be the one room with five different people inside of it. We decided to save that for last and clean out the rooms with only one or two people in them first.
We did the same for the first floor as we did for the second; we eliminated all noise by using silence before cutting open window and climbing in. I used silence again once we entered each room, and Urushi immediately moved to kill the man that tried to raise an alarm in response to our sudden intrusion.
We quickly did the same for two other rooms, one with one person in it, and the other with two.
「Room filled with stuff.」
『Yeah, it kinda reminds me of Jean’s lab.』
There were a bunch of raw materials laying around along side the equipment needed to process them. It seemed like they were making a bunch of different things, as the shelves contained life potions, vials of poison, and a fair number of medicinal products.
『This stuff looks pretty useful.』
『Hmmm, that seems like a pretty good idea. We could probably use it to make potions and stuff while traveling.』
We plundered so much stuff that it almost seemed like we’d forgotten our initial purpose in coming here.
『Alright, with that out of the way, why don’t we go wipe the rest of them out?』
I didn’t know how many people there were left in the basement, but the only room on the first floor that remained was the one with five people in it.
The plan was to infiltrate using silence before having Urushi use one of his dark magics, Black Veil. The spell would deprive our targets of their vision so we could kill them all in one fell swoop before they got so much as a chance to run away.
And it worked. Fran had the ability to search sense enemy presences, and Urushi could detect any and all life forms, so the two were able to easily wipe out all five slave traders without any issue.
『That’s both the first and second floors down.』
『Based on what they said yesterday, the organisation should be made up of 24 people in total, so at most, there should be four more of them.』
We went down the stairs as stealthily as would a group of ninjas. The basement we descended upon turned out not to be a basement at all. It was a dungeon. There were two guards at its entrance, but we killed them instantly. They weren’t even really paying attention in the first place; they were lazily facing off against each other in a game of cards instead of doing their jobs.
『Alright, why don’t we save the slaves now?』
According to the documents we grabbed from upstairs, there were currently seven different children trapped here. They were all already wearing slave collars.
「Who… are you?」
Fran’s sudden entrance left the children in the basement in a state of surprise. It took them a bit to recover, but after a few moments, the one who appeared to be the group’s eldest, a boy, timidly looked towards and called out to us. He seemed to give off the kind of air you’d expect from nobility despite his current status as a slave. The contrasting combination made him seem a bit like a cheeky brat, but whatever. One of the girls standing behind him seemed to look a lot like him. The two were probably twins.
「Came to help.」
「But what about the kidnappers? They should be up there…」
The imprisoned children look at each other in turn. Well, I guess it only makes sense for them not to believe what Fran was saying. They couldn’t believe that a girl that looked even younger than them could’ve defeated twenty odd criminals.
「Back off from cage. Dangerous.」
A loud swish resounded throughout the room; Fran swung me and instantly cut the cage’s bars to pieces.
The children stared blankly as the cage collapsed. They didn’t understand how they were supposed to react.
The female twin’s leg seemed to have an injury on it. There was a cloth wrapped around it, but it hadn’t really gone through any other sort of treatment. She was likely to get infected, at this rate.
「Huh? It’s better now?」
「Woah, are you a mage?」
The children started to ask Fran a bunch of different questions, but she didn’t respond.
「Nn. Someone came.」
We felt someone enter the building. It was probably an enemy. Shit, we have to get rid of them before they catch on.
Fran had suddenly gone silent whilst looking up at the ceiling, so the children began feeling anxious.
「Stay inside. Hide.」
「Don’t leave. Wait for me.」
Fran pushed the children back towards the prison before grabbing me and heading up the staircase.
『Looks like he’s wandering around on the first floor.』
「Searching for something?」
『Yeah, he’s probably trying to figure out what happened to the other slave traders. Make sure you put on your mask.』
We climbed the stairs whilst erasing our presences. The enemy that’d arrived was a decently strong looking man. He was fully armed, and not too bad at concealing his presence either. We were only able to detect him because we had a whole bunch of different skills working in tandem with each other. If not for that, we probably wouldn’t have noticed him at all.
Name: Salrut O’Randy.
Job: Dark Knight
Status Level: 51/99
Dark Resistance: Lv 6
Assassination: Lv 4
Intimidation: Lv 5
Espionage: Lv 3
Presence Isolation: Lv 3
Divine Sword Techniques: Lv 1
Sword Techniques: MAX
Divine Sword Arts: Lv 2
Sword Arts: MAX
Court Etiquette: Lv 3
Shield Arts: Lv 8
Shield Techniques: Lv 7
Interrogation: Lv 4
Poison Resistance: Lv 4
Poison Magic: Lv 3
Storm Resistance: Lv 6
Detainment: Lv 5
Paralysis Resistance: Lv 4
Dark Magic: Lv 7
Automatic HP Recovery
Lesser Strength Boost
High Quality Dark Mithril Longsword
Blackened Mithril Shield
Blackened Mithril Armour
Black Heavenly Tiger’s Mantle
Bracelet of Magic Resist
Ring of Bonds
Holy shit, he’s strong! And he looks like he’s an enemy, especially since he’s apparently a Dark Knight instead of a regular one. I mean, his skills all seem to be inclined towards darkness, and his title clearly says that he breaks his oaths.
And on top of that, he seems like he’s in some sort of weird frenzy.
『Be careful Fran, he’s pretty strong.』
『Urushi, make sure you hide in Fran’s shadow until you find a good opportunity to sneak attack him.』
He lived up to his stats. He noticed Fran the moment she jumped out at him, and immediately got ready for combat.
Fran didn’t reply to his question.
「Kuh! Name yourself you coward!」
Fran ignored his words and continued to attack, but he managed to skillfully repel her strikes using his sword and shield.
He even managed to retaliate. Fran’s Divine Sword Arts were a higher level than his, but his shield rendered defenses solid. It was fairly obvious that he had way more combat experience than her too. It wasn’t someone she’d be able to completely smash.
It seems like we ran into a formidable opponent in a place that we never would’ve thought it. We would probably be able to beat him without much issue if either Urushi or I launched any sort of surprise attack, but I’d prefer to keep him alive if possible. He was pretty skilled, so I was pretty sure we wouldn’t lose out completely by keeping him alive. At the very least, we could use him to gain more information.
『Fran, try not to kill him if you can.』