Chapter 5 Episode 4
Although its ambitions for conquests had been put to a halt starting with the death of Gaies, but for the commoners, it was still the same as usual.
Evening in the imperial capital. Prostitutes and drunken people were walking around…
(Damn… I’m a bit late…)
Because the work in the imperial palace took more time than expected, the appointed hour had already passed since a long time ago, thus the man immediately headed towards the red district on the northern part of the capital.
“Hey Onii-san over there… How about spending some time with me for a bit ? You can do it with 100 baht.”
“How about me ? 75 baht is okay… How about some service ?”
Ignoring the prostitutes who smell the money in him, the man accelerates his steps further.
Although he didn’t have to hurry since he already told the other side that there’s the possibility of being late. However, the men’s legs didn’t stop walking fast because of his innate serious personality.
Maybe because of feeling irritated by the man’s cold attitude, the women began to forcefully grab hold of his cloak.
The man intentionally frowned from the prostitute vulgar fragrance mixed with the smell of sweat and tobacco.
Although comparing prostitutes with normal citizens was not wrong, but for Japanese people who are used to bathing every day, doing such low-class prostitutes was out of mind.
To be honest, not all men are fine with any woman.
After the man forcefully shook off the woman’s hand, he advances his feet without looking back. The booing voice of a woman can be heard as the man kept walking.
Due to the man forcefully shaking off the woman, she almost tripped over.
(In a way, this is because I could not use a horse… But well, I’ve told that person that I’m going to be late beforehand, but…)
Regrettably, despite that it could solve all of his troubles, no matter what status one had, one cannot use horse-drawn carriages or a horse in the red-light district north of the capital.
It was similar to the red-light district during Edo period, with the exception of doctors, they could not use normal transportation at the time.
(Geez… Every time I come here, I can’t feel calm down…)
He did not mind the liveliness and the hustle-bustle, but that also depends on the degree of how much.
Up until now, he felt irritated by how lively it was. However, because he understands that the place was the best spot for his meetings with his colleagues, he didn’t mind about it.
After all, it would be drawing too much attention if they met at the normal places.
Before long he saw a mansion with an impressive gate that could be mistaken as something belonging to some noble.
This house, protected by a high fence and a strong gatekeeper was the home of the finest prostitute in the imperial capital.
“Excuse me, dear customer. We would like to confirm your membership card. Or has someone introduced you to this place?”
Noticing the man, the gatekeeper greeted the man.
No matter what position one had, everyone received the same treatment, and the gatekeeper seemed to have gone through a proper education.
“Is this fine?”
The man handed over a card to the gatekeeper as usual.
This was an interaction that had already been repeated many times.
And, the gatekeeper should not have forgotten the face of the man who was a member of the same organization. Although it was not a bad thing to use a face recognition, it was never bad to emphasize on security, considering the importance of this mansion.
At least such a cautious attitude was the most important since many secrets needed to be kept hidden here.
“Yes, with this you may enter. Please enjoy your time here…”
After confirming the number and names written on the surface, the guard inserts the card to the equipment placed inside the station.
After confirming the information displayed on the crystal he nodded lightly to his comrade.
Then the metal gate opened slowly inward while making a heavy noise.
“Everyone has been waiting. Saitou-sama…”
He replied to those words with a small nod and Saitou immediately entered the mansion.
The man’s name was Saitou Eimei. It was the same man who was the aide of the first princess of the Ortomea Empire, and the vice commander of the Succubus Night chivalric order.
Saitou who entered the mansion was guided by the maid, and went up the stairs after passing the hall illuminated with glittering chandeliers.
“I’m sorry for being late…”
He was on the third floor of the building. Entering one of the secluded rooms, Saitou lowered his head immediately after he saw the men sitting on the sofa.
Two men were sitting on the sofa.
There was no problem with one of them. Because Saitou visited this place to meet him.
However, after he saw an unexpected face, cold sweat ran down his spine.
“It’s fine, also no need for the greetings… Now then, since we are all already gathered, shall we begin the talks ?”
Around the late twenties to mid-thirties. One might wonder if he was the same age as Saitou. Trimmed short black hair with sunburn skin. Compared to Saitou, he possessed a body physique twice larger. The man sits on the sofa showing a refreshing smile towards Saitou.
“Carter-san… What’s going on here ?”
While sitting down on the sofa, Saitou spoke to the white blonde man sitting next to him.
“Saitou-kun. It’s fine…”
Being gazed with a sharp gaze, Saitou instinctively swallowed the words that were about to come out.
‘Sit silently.’ As if his eyes told him those words. the person was James Carter the owner of this mansion and also the leader of an information network stretching around the Empire… Saitou fell silent obeying the man who was rumored to be a former member of the United Kingdom of Great Britain’s intelligence department. <TLN: WTF? A former member of MI6?>
(What’s going on here… As expected, he’s here because of the invasion of the Zalda Kingdom… But, I never expected that director Kikukawa would show up…)
An unspeakable uneasiness started to appears inside Saitou’s heart. As his body remembers how he had been reprimanded by him, Saitou could not calm down. However, if he was going to get banished, there was no need for this man to inform Saitou personally.
(It can’t be… Exiled… No, wait…)
It was a feeling of fear greater than when he had an audience with the Emperor.
“No need to be that tense. Saitou-kun… I didn’t come here to reprimand you…”
“Haa, but, then, why?”
Looking at the smiling Kikukawa, Saitou felt doubtful.
He could not just obediently believe that he had no reasons for being here.
Although they both were the same age, Kikukawa was one of the top ten inside the organization. Saitou himself had the authority as the head of the operation element, but that rank was only around intermediate rank within the organization.
If one was to compare to the situation in a company, the difference in rank between them was like a board director meeting with a section chief.
The fact that such a man appears here meant a state emergency.
However, despite Saitou’s concerns, Kikukawa opened his mouth with a calm expression.
“No no, because now that I’ve been appointed as the contact point within the Empire side, I’ve been positioned in the imperial capital for now…”
Kikukawa smiled as if he got a stroke of luck.
(I see… If that is the case then it is normal for him to be here, but…)
Privileged to conduct direct dealings with the country. They were merchants with huge influence and capital power, that could influence the administration of a country.
Remembering that Kikukawa was an influential merchant with certain political ties, Saitou found himself unable to relax.
However, if what he said was true then Kikukawa should’ve been in the imperial capital for a few years.
(But, why suddenly…)
Maybe because he could feel Saitou’s questioning gaze, Kikukawa shrugged his shoulders.
“Nothing really important, I was just simply in the imperial capital, and as a result, I had been ordered to deliver a message of appreciation from everyone… The business people also having a free time, because the invasion troops had returned home…”
Saitou felt like he needed to respond with something, but was unable to say anything, thus he showed an awkward expression.
While looking happy at Saitou’s expression, Kikukawa continued speaking.
“First of all, I would like to express my appreciation for your work. Especially you, Saitou-kun, I would like to thank you very much. Because you managed to control that Princess Sardina, our plan could proceed well…”
No matter how much Ortomea Empire lost or won, the war could have ended easily.
However, for the organization who tried to make a profit out of the war, such situation was not convenient.
To keep a subtle balance, Saitou had intentionally leaked the marching route of the troops to delay the Ortomean invasion. It was not easy for Saitou to do that as someone who was among the central people in the war with the Zalda Kingdom. Had he been suspected, his head would have rolled on the ground.
“Well, it must be hard to be the partner of that wild horse princess, no ? After all, that blitzkrieg strategy, it was her who came up with it…”
Princess Sardina was not stupid.
Although she didn’t leave any impressive result as of late, it was her strategy and planning capabilities that defeated General Belharres, who was known as the Guardian God of the Notiz plain.
Had Saitou not leaked the information properly, the Zalda Kingdom would’ve disappeared a year ago.
“No… after all, they didn’t know that the magic arts of submission placed on me had been lifted…”
In response to Kikukawa’s question, Saitou shakes his head.
Magic art of submission. It was the magic art performed upon the human summoned to this world. Or it may be better to call it a curse instead…
By using such magic art, they forced the terrified people from another world into the middle of a war.
“Certainly. They won’t doubt you unless they found out that the submission magic has been lifted… And of course, that is our intention from the start as well…”
Saying those words, Kikukawa lifted his lips and laughed.
Normally, there were no magic arts capable of unlocking such technique arbitrarily. To begin with, people summoned from another world such as Saitou and the others, they were being regarded as human-shaped monsters. At the very least, their appreciation was that the people from another world were not fellow humans with the same status.
Of course, there were some open-minded people with a different thought.
However, most people in this world thought of the humans from another world as a convenient tool, that they can exchange words with.
Thus from the beginning, they had no choice such as freedom.
That was why, unlike the usual magic art for slaves, the ones used to control otherworlders was a powerful magic art that needs catalysts to perform.
A spell that causes pain if one were to have a rebellious thought, and might kill if one were to make a rebellious movement. Magic arts that guaranteed safety for the summoner.
Such magic arts was the reason why Ortomea Empire can easily give authority to people like Sudou and Saitou.
It was a carrot and stick policy. However, no matter how great the magic arts were, there will be always a gap to break.
“But still, they would still suspect you if you wander too much… Furthermore, despite having the chance to murder those guys to get your revenge, you managed to control yourself, your performance is worthy of respect. Judging from that point of view, you’ve done well.”
When a beast was freed from its shackles, usually they would immediately bare their fangs. And people were also the same.
Even if one knows that one might die…
That was why people like Saitou was necessary.
“Because nothing would change with only two people dead…”
Sweet thoughts of revenge. There were only a few people who can endure such temptations
His ability to keep leaking information to the Zalda Kingdom without the others finding out was excellent.
In his eyes, dwelled murderous intent and hatred.
The darkness that was hidden inside Saitou appeared a little bit.
“I know what had happened to your lover, I also feel sorry. However, please be more patient. With the war this time, we have managed to gather an amount close enough to our target.”
Hearing Kikukawa words, Saitou lowered his head in silence.
Even if one gets words of comforts, the things that had been lost won’t return…
(Preservation, huh? But until when…)
For almost ten years, Saitou had been crying blood and drinking mud. It was all for the sake of one wish.
Maybe because he felt such feelings from Saitou, Kikukawa continued his talk.
“With the successful result this time, we managed to obtain a considerable amount of money. So, the other day, the committee decided to set out a new strategy.”
There Kikukawa stopped talking and stared at Saitou.
It was a big turning point even for Kikukawa. No, it was a big turning point for everyone within the organization.
“I want you to take a new job…”
The deep voice reached Saitou’s ears.
“That’s right, the crown prince and Sardina. I want you to set those two against each others…”
Realizing the meaning of those words, Saitou expression turns ugly and distorted.