90. Isn’t it pretty easy to accidentally ingest the poison you keep in your molars?
We were provided an extravagant meal despite the fact that we arrived in the middle of the night. We, as guests, were presented with a rich, seafood soup, loads of soft buttered breads, and a massive chicken steak. And to top it all off, they prepared it so quickly that it was ready by the time Fran finished with her bath. Naturally, the children we rescued were also provided the exact same treatment.
Being subjected to all this really ingrained in me the fact that the inn was truly high class than anything else we’d ever experienced.
As a former middle aged man myself, I couldn’t help but think the meal to be a bit on the heavy side, but it seemed like it ended up being just right given how hungry the children were. They actually started out rather hesitant, but soon began to eat with as much vigour.
The twins continued to show their concerns throughout the meal. They asked each kid in turn if they had a place to call home. If the answer was a yes, they would promise to make arrangements for their safe return. If the answer was a no, they would promise to make sure that nothing bad would happen to them going forward. I honestly had a hard time believing that they were only 13 years old. They were way too mature for their ages.
What’s more was that both ended up lowering their heads to Fran in appreciation without so much as the slightest bit of unwillingness. Seeing the two of them act in the exact same manner at the exact same time really reinforced the idea that they were twins.
Immediately afterwards, the two introduced themselves in further detail. The prince was named Flut, and the princess Satia.
Fran seemed to take a liking to both of them, and happily answered all their questions, albeit in her usual, curt manner. Seeing her act like that put a smile on my face. To my knowledge, this was pretty much the first time Fran had ever gotten along with anyone else in her age group. And as far as my opinion went, that alone was more than enough to make this whole ordeal well worth it.
Fran’s room was a large and luxurious one bedroom suite the likes of which I’d never seen in person, not even in my past life. The chamber was decorated with a glamorous chandelier, a huge canopy, and even a ridiculously soft carpet. Seeing all these luxuries in person really made me wonder how much a night here would cost.
Oh what the hell! Both Fran and Urushi immediately dived straight into the bed! If we damaged or dirtied it, we’d probably end up paying compensation out the ass. In fact, I couldn’t even fathom its price.
Though, I do get where they were coming from. Even I wanted to try sleeping in it.
And this is Master here, reporting in from the super luxurious inn’s attic in order to bring you details directly from the scene of the crime.
A single individual had infiltrated the premises, and was creeping around atop the building whilst concealing his presence. The assassin was dressed in all black. It didn’t look like he’d noticed me as of yet.
I cast Silence before knocking him unconscious with a bit of wind magic. I then captured him alive and brought him back over to Fran’s room.
『So I caught this assassin dude sneaking around on the rooftop.』
『Well, first, we should probably find out who he’s working for. We’ll hand him over to the prince after I guess.』
The assassin we captured was human, so he probably didn’t have anything to do with the underground slave traders we busted earlier in the night. Oh well, whatever. We decided to hear what he had to say in either case. He might actually have something to do with the slave traders despite not being a member of the blue cat tribe.
Fran smacked the man in the face a few times to wake him up.
「W-What!? What did you do to me!?」
「Knocked out. Tied up.」
「Few things to ask. Honest answers, less pain.」
「Growl growl growl.」
The man was currently stuck in a situation where he was bound by magic thread with a sword pointed to his face. To make matters worse, there was even a giant wolf staring him down.
He probably immediately understood that there was nothing he could do given his current circumstances.
『Woah! He just poisoned himself.』
He must’ve had some poison hidden away in one of his molars. You know, isn’t keeping poison in your teeth kind of dangerous? I imagine it’d be pretty easy to swallow on accident. Or do they like go out of their way to practice not swallowing it or something?
Oh well, in either case, the man’s status changed. He was now badly poisoned, so it looked like he drank something pretty potent.
But all his effort went to waste. We had the perfect way to counteract his attempted suicide, and so we executed it. We rid his body of poison while restoring his HP back up to full.
「Too bad. Won’t work.」
「Impossible…! You managed to completely nullify my deadly poison!?」
「Good at healing.」
He didn’t give up and immediately bit his tongue off.
In the end, the assassin told us everything he knew. It looked like he was prepared to die, but getting tortured ad infinitum was far outside what he could handle.
It turned out that he wasn’t connected to the slave traders in any which way. He was a freelance assassin who’d accepted a request to end both the prince and princess. He didn’t know who the request came from, but he was provided a set of instructions on how he could best infiltrate the inn.
He was paid fully in advance, and as a result, he didn’t know much about the person who made the request.
『Well, none of that information really pertained to us at all.』
『Let’s hand him over to Salrut.』
「Urushi, keep watch.」
Fran quickly called Salrut over. Though it was almost dawn, the knight yet to go to sleep. It looked like he’d been keeping watch all night.
「So this man is the assassin of which you speak?」
Salrut questioned the assassin some more. The man already completely given up, so he pretty much answered every question he could. He didn’t bother lying either.
「Hm… I can see that you seem to be speaking the truth, which leaves me to question the culprit’s identity.」
Salrut sank into a momentary bout of silence as he contemplated the assassin’s words. Chances were, he was probably considering a bunch of possible culprits, most of which we’d probably never even heard of.
「There is still much for me to consider, and as such, I will be taking this man into custody.」
「I shall discuss this topic with you in more detail some time tomorrow. I will further ensure that you are appropriate compensated for your actions. Please do look forward to it.」
「More interested in breakfast.」
「Hahaha! In that case, please enjoy it to your heart’s content.」
Fran quickly went to bed and didn’t wake up until sometime in the afternoon, after which she promptly to began the ever so difficult endeavor of eating both breakfast and lunch at the same time. Everyone that caught sight of the act was left with an expression of nothing but pure shock. She stuffed her cheeks with so much food that it almost made her seem more like a squirrel or hamster than a cat.
In fact, she ate so fast that it almost seemed like she was stuffing food into her dimensional storage as opposed to her throat. Witnessing her in the act made Salrut so surprised that his eyes turned as round as could be.
「So, Fran, did you happen to have any sort of schedule in mind?」
「Were you headed to any sort of particular destination?」
「Um… I apologize. I’ll wait until you’ve finished your meal.」
All in all, Fran managed to devour about ten people’s worth of food, a truly impressive amount. The prince seemed rather surprised, but he promptly spoke up again the moment she finished eating.
「I remember you saying you were on a journey, but I don’t really think you told me any more than just that. Are you planning to go somewhere specific?」
「By ship, I presume?」
「Nn. Via Barbra.」
「I see… So have you already arranged for boat tickets? I’m fairly certain that they’re all sold out by now given the number of people heading over for the Lunar Banquet.」
「Yeah. Barbra’s Lunar Festival is one of Kranzel’s biggest.」
「It gets even livelier there than it does in the capital.」
The princess interjected with a knowing smile.
Huh, I had no idea. I guess that means we probably won’t be able to head to Barbra for a few days. I really should’ve figured that out ahead of time though, especially after seeing how flooded all the inns were. Man, I really wanted to have Fran be a part of it too. It was one of the country’s biggest festivals, so I really didn’t want her to miss out.
「Well, there is a way for you to find yourself a ship though.」
「We’d like to offer you a position as a guard, at least until we reach Barbra.」
「Naturally, we’ll pay you for your work. We’re planning on attending the banquet ourselves, so it goes without saying that we will arrive on time.」
We probably wouldn’t be able to find ourselves any decent ships if we went looking this late, and it’d be quite pitiable for Fran to have to part with her newfound friends after spending so little time with them. Besides, the prince’s ship was bound to be fairly luxurious, so all in all, I’d say we were offered a pretty sweet deal.
「Our biggest concern are the magic beasts we may encounter on our way.」
「Even with the knights?」
Apparently, a large magic beast had recently been spotted near the coast. Normally, the prince wouldn’t be concerned over magic beasts and the like, the one described in the reports was so enormous that it rendered him anxious.
And thus, he decided that more guards were necessary, and what better candidate was there than Fran? She was stronger than Salrut, and felt no fear even in the face of an assassin.
「Your highness, with all due respect, I’d like to request that you rescind your prior request! I simply cannot acknowledge you hiring her, we know nothing of her background!」
The prince’s chamberlain, Serid, couldn’t seem to stand for the thought of being in Fran’s presence for much longer, as he immediately raised his voice and began to furiously protest the prince’s decision.
But in the end, he was silenced. The prince glared at him, so he was given no choice but to sit his ass down and bear with his frustrations. That said, it didn’t take long for him to begin peering over in our direction with a threatening look in his eyes.
Sweet! Looks like Fran’s pretty eager to do this.
『Why not? We get our boat tickets, so I see no problems.』
「Nn. Job accepted.」
「Many thanks. We’ll be counting on you.」
And so, we ended up deciding to escort the prince and princess to their destination.