Magi Craft Meister 505
15 Showdown With The Demons Arc
15-18 The Frantz Kingdom and Loroon Town
On the other side of the stone gate, there was another checkpoint, where some border guards of the Frantz Kingdom were stationed.
The guards stared at the carriage as it came to a stop.
Jin was thinking about getting off the carriage, but Elsa stopped him and had Edgar present the exit permit given by the border guards of the Klein Kingdom to the soldiers.
“I’ll confirm this. Please wait a moment.”
After one of the guards in charge received the permit, they were led to a small building in the back of the checkpoint.
Steward was instructed to park the carriage on a designated spot.
“Huh? These horses… are golems?”
“I’ve never seen a carriage like this before.”
The soldiers there were rudely touching the carriage with their hands. Reiko seemed angered by this, but Jin gently tapped her shoulder to calm her down.
Three or four minutes later, an official who seemed to be in charge arrived, and checked the carriage and crew.
“Hm, So, Knight of the Shouro Empire, Jin Nidou, his sister Elsa Nidou, and his friends Shion and Lucas. The Automatas Reiko and Edgar. And the coachman Steward. Is this correct?”
At that moment, Elsa handed something small to the official.
“Thank you for your hard work.”
The official tried to see what Elsa had given him, but…
“Okay, you may pass.”
…He quickly gave them his permission instead.
Soon after, the carriage was already speeding up on the highway after leaving the checkpoint.
“What did you do, Elsa?”
Jin had a hunch, but he still asked Elsa directly just to be sure.
“I slipped 2 gold coins into his hand.”
In short, she had bribed the guard. Jin was slightly surprised that Elsa was aware of –and willing to do– such a trick.
“…I learned that from Brother Rei.”
Since they were going to the Frantz Kingdom, Reinhardt had given her all sorts of pointers for the trip the night before.
“He also told me it would be better if I didn’t have to resort to such tactics. He was probably right. That was not knightly of us at all.”
“Yeah, you’re right. He told me to be careful as well.”
After hearing their conversation, Shion looked at them with an apologetic expression on her face.
“I’m sorry. It seems that you two ended up doing something risky for my sake.”
But Jin turned towards her and smiled.
“Don’t worry about it. Actually, I’ve been meaning to come to the Frantz Kingdom at some point, so we probably would have had to do that either way. But if you’re really feeling bad about this, why don’t you repay me by telling me more about you guys?”
“…What do you want to know about?”
“Well, things like why did your sister come all the way to the Frantz Kingdom, and why were those Hecatoncheires chasing you…”
“Did you say Hecatoncheires?”
Jin told them what he had learned from Laojun.
And it seemed to have been quite effective.
“The Hecatoncheires were probably sent by the Puppeteer clan to chase after us.”
“Ah, so there was an entire clan with that ability after all.”
“…Right. The Puppeteer clan specializes in Enslavement Magic. They can turn most monsters into their servants.
Jin nodded. This was consistent with Laojun’s hypothesis about Alciel. Then, he asked about something he had been curious about for some time.
“Does that ability work on other demons or humans?”
“No, normally Enslavement Magic wouldn’t work on Lucas or me. Most demons are naturally resilient to mental attacks. As for humans… I don’t know. I haven’t seen anyone trying to use it on a human.”
Upon hearing that, it occurred to Jin that the reason why “Transinfo” hadn’t worked with them was because of their innate resistance to mental attacks. And thinking back on Marchosias’ case, it was possible that Enslavement Magic did work against humans after all.
“I didn’t even know that my sister had come here. She might have been dispatched separately shortly after we left.”
“Hmm, so it seems that they sent them here just in case you failed?”
It seemed that they had not only sent people to the Klein Kingdom to negotiate food aid, but to the Frantz Kingdom as well. It was an understandable choice from a topographic perspective.
Seen from the Great Isthmus of Pazdext, the Kingdom of Klein was a little closer, but there was a steep mountain range on the way. On the other hand, although the Frantz Kingdom of Franz was a little farther away and there were still some mountains on the way, they weren’t nearly as high.
“I see. Your sister was really unlucky…”
Shion cast her eyes downward, perhaps plagued with concern for her sister.
However, Jin thought that either Shion or her sister had been sent as a decoy against the radical demons so that the other one could escape safely. And considering that the Hecatoncheires were chasing Shion and Lucas, it was clear who were the decoys.
That also explained why someone like Lucas, who wasn’t really suitable for negotiations, came with Shion as her guard.
Though he didn’t say anything to Shion, Jin found it ironic that while the demons’ intended negotiator failed, their decoy had actually succeeded in negotiating for food.
As a result of traveling along the highway at a slightly faster speed, they managed to arrive at Loroon Town in the early afternoon.
Foreigners weren’t allowed to drive their carriages into the town, so they were asked to leave the carriage in a parking spot at the entrance of the town. Of course, there was a fee involved.
“Let’s find some place to stay for the night and gather some information.”
Neither Shion nor Lucas objected to Jin’s suggestion.
“Well, where can we find a good inn? …Huh?”
After stepping down from the carriage, Jin gasped as he found himself before a scenery he had never seen in any of the other towns and cities he had visited so far.
It was a bizarre sight to behold.
The stone buildings were very similar to those found in the Klein Kingdom. But the inhabitants were completely different.
There were two types of citizens: the rich and the poor. The huge difference between them could be easily seen at a glance.
The rich walked magnificently down the street, dressed in very fine clothes. Most of them seemed to be obese to some extent.
The poor, however, walked on the edges of the street, dressed in rags over their thin, pale bodies.
“To think that the difference would be so abysmal.”
“…Humans also discriminate against each other after all…”
Shion nodded to herself.
“That’s right. There are many kinds of humans. Good people and bad people. Honest people and wicked people. Powerful people and oppressed people. …It’s very saddening.”
Lucas was scowling at them the entire time as if he was realizing that human nature wasn’t something set in stone.
“…Sir? Excuse me, Sir!”
At that moment, a voice called out to Jin.
“Are you perhaps looking for a place to stay? I know of a good place. If you come from abroad, I’m sure you’ll love it!”
The man, who would fall under the “poor” category, still had a better appearance than most of his peers, and drew close to Jin and the others while laughing in a flattering manner.
He was probably in his late 20s or early 30s. Though he was still thin, he was rather well built, and there was still some strength left on his tense eyes.
Reiko and Edgar immediately prepared themselves for battle. Lucas lagged a bit behind them.
But the man didn’t seem to notice –or care about– their hostility, and continued his incessant chatter.
“My name is Fernand, and I run an information business in this town. If you need any information about things aside from inns, please let me know!”
It seems that he had heard Jin talk about wanting to gather some information as he was getting off the carriage. He appeared to be quite savvy.
“Well, can you show us where the inn is first?”
That was Jin’s answer. He had decided to evaluate this man who called himself Fernand depending on the inn he recommended.
“Hehe, then please follow me!”
Fernand took the lead and started walking. Jin and his friends followed behind him. Reiko and Edgar were still on alert.
They walked straight ahead in the middle of the road, and turned right at an intersection. There were lots of luxurious houses and a large park on the north side of the town.
And next to that large park, there was a huge hotel.
“Here we are. This is Hotel Lunor.”
“Alright, give me a moment…”
Jin took out a silver coin from his pocket and handed it to Fernand. After that, all of them went into the hotel.
The hotel recommended by Fernand had been a good choice.
It cost 10,000 tolls for one night with two meals and room service. Of course, that price would be multiplied by four. (There was no charge for Automatas as they were considered luggage.)
Jin was prepared to pay up to 100,000 tolls for the four of them, so it was cheaper than anticipated. He had expected to find really high prices and no decent place to stay unless he was willing to fork over at least twice as much as he had.
After checking in and leaving their luggage in their rooms, Jin left 2 of his Covert Units in his room just in case, and then went back outside to the park where Fernand was waiting for them.
“Hehe, what do you think? It’s a nice hotel, right?”
“Yeah, it’ll do. So, do you know anything about the boy and girl that were captured in Enak a few days ago?
It was quite the long shot, but Jin figured there was no harm in asking anyway.
“Oh, rumors do spread quite far, huh? I’ve heard they are demon soldiers.”
“Yes, I’ve heard the same. I’d like to learn as much as possible about them.”
Fernand thought hard for a moment, and then spoke.
“…For 10 gold coins, I can find a tidbit or two. Let’s meet here tomorrow at noon again. Ah, do you think you can pay some of it in advance?”
Jin whispered something in Reiko’s ear, and she handed him 5 gold coins.
“Okay, tomorrow at noon it is. I’ll leave you to it then.”
“Hehehe, yes, leave it to me.”
After receiving his money, Fernand quickly walked away from the park and vanished.