Chapter 130 Infiltration and investigation (Part 1)
After that, I started to investigate the east. Not by carriage, but by horse. It was faster, after all.
I don’t know if it was because of how much of a rush I was in when heading to the capital or just because I had grown used to it, this time my behind didn’t ache nearly as much.
Needless to say, I had disguised myself with Tanya’s skills. Even the people in the city didn’t recognize me initially.
Other than that, Ryle had also disguised himself.
Even though we really couldn’t put makeup on him, we still changed his hair color, put glasses on him, and made him take off the armor that he wears all the time.
Not counting the resting time when we changed horses, it would be less than a day before we reached the biggest city in the east.
Anyways, we needed to get there as soon as possible. If we set out before the sun rose, we’d be able to get there before sundown.
Because we didn’t know how long we could stay here, we needed to act quick. Ryle and I figured out first where we were going to be staying, and then went to check on the situation of the city’s offices.
At the same time, I had Dean go around the city to obtain information.
“Just from looking around, there doesn’t seem to be much difference from the past…but I don’t know why, somehow it has this heavy atmosphere?”
Just as in the past, what we saw first was the energetic people and the bright streets.
Yet somehow the air felt heavy.
“Yes, it feels like there’s a line of vision watching us, piercing through us like needles. Hostility…no, someone is watching us from somewhere.”
Ryle’s expression was quite fearful as he said this. Perhaps it was because of how alert he was toward everything around us.
Trying our best to ignore the eyes that were “piercing through us like needles”, Ryle and I walked into one of the relatively larger offices of the city.
From the entrance we could see the window. This was where discussions and procedures of the city were carried out. It was the same kind of structure as it would have been in any other city.
Many local residents were coming in. The employees of the office were walking to and fro frantically.
“…Is anything wrong?”
Just as I was about to try and figure out what was going on inside, a woman spoke to me.
“Me and my sister are considering moving here. The folks at the merchants’ guild said that this was the best place to come to confirm our paperwork.”
Ryle walked between us and told her this.
“I understand. I’ll call you two when it’s your turn. Please come here and take a wooden plaque.”
She brought us to several seats and we sat down. It’s worth saying that we had decided our “situation” before coming here: that we were planning to come here and settle down.
“Sorry for the wait. Please sit down over there. I’ll be the one serving you two today.”
The woman from earlier came out. It seemed like she would be the one answering our questions.
First off, she asked us a few things. Ryle answered her with the responses we had come up with beforehand.
Her answers to our questions were like a guidebook, clear and straightforward. Of course this was meaningful, as answering us like that left quite the good impression.
“Well, then, do you folks have any final questions?”
“On our way here, we heard some rumors,” said Ryle. “It seems like the streets here aren’t as safe as they used to be. Is there any truth behind that?”
The woman seemed to have something she couldn’t quite say. Her expression turned awkward for a moment.
“No, as a matter of fact…although it’s embarrassing for the city, it’s the truth. What you might call unlawful individuals and their organizations seem to have gotten into some kind of conflict that affected the city.”
“Is that so…”
“Even so, please don’t worry about it. Just as you know, Duke Armenia has sent out trained guards to various lands. As for all this, we’ve already reported it to them. Before long things should calm down.”
“Oh…so the offices have reported this to the guards,” Ryle said.
“Yes, a while ago. The people on that side said that they were busy at the moment and couldn’t leave right away, but they should be here to handle things shortly.”
“If that’s the case, then I’m not worried anymore. Thank you again,” said Ryle.
After that, we returned to the place we were staying.
“…So now that we’ve understood the basic standard of performance for base-level workers and heard that they have reported things to the guard, I guess we could say it’s been a fruitful day. But…Ryle, do you understand what’s going on?”
“No, not at all. A case of this size should be reported to me. But…”
“Which means that the guards stationed here didn’t report it. If the current situation were made public, even without the help of the office, the guards should’ve reported this to you on their own.”
“I don’t want to suspect internal people, but…tomorrow I’ll visit the guards stationed here.”
“All right. After that we’ll have to wait on Dean’s report.”
“Milady, I’m back late.”
Tanya walked in as we were speaking.
“Perfect timing, Tanya. How are things on your side?”
“Good. Tanya, right now is there any more possibility to change my outward appearance?”
“I had guessed that you would ask. I brought the wig you used in the past. On top of that, I’ll be able to do any kind of makeup for any kind of look you want.”
“That’s good. According to what we’ve decided, we’re going to infiltrate the office tomorrow.”
“…What is it, Dean?”
“Although I can’t report anything for certain yet…I feel that something is wrong.”
“Wrong? How so?”
“On the streets I’ve heard rumors of the Boltique family, and seen the people who are actually causing trouble on the streets…the impression they give are very different.”
“You saw them? The people causing all the trouble?”
“Yes. They’re just as terrible as expected.”
“What on earth did they actually do?”
“They’re stifling commodities…imports. Some merchant guilds run the businesses behind those specific products. These people say that they’ll invest all while demanding a higher price from the guilds.”
“I see…so that’s what’s going on. If under these circumstances us leaders didn’t act, the people would begin to mistrust us. If paired with rumors, the people of the east would think that we were stripping them of their rights. That’s exactly the kind of opportunity these people are aiming to take advantage of.”
“Rather than saying they planned out the whole riot from the beginning, it’s probably more likely that they used the riot that was already happening as fodder against us. That’s what I think. If Dawson ran into the place that Dida and those people are in, it’ll be a loss for us no matter what.”
“Exactly. It’s best if we share information with Tanya, and then have her hurry to find where Dida is hiding.”
“I agree. Tanya, can you do that?”
“Well, then, Dean. According to plan, you and I are going to the office tomorrow.”
Just like that, our first day in the east ended.