Translator: larvyde Editor: DCThanatos Proofreader(s): Merp-Merp
Note: Sorry for the late upload, and chapter 24 will most likely be uploaded between a few hours and tomorrow. Also there will only be one chapter per week as the regular until decided otherwise, many apologies.
After finishing his report to Richelieu, Shizuru obtained permission for the third squad to take a break from their activities.
Having done all he had needed to do, he walked back with cakes he bought in the Merchant’s Ward as a souvenir.
He suddenly looked up at the sky with a big sigh. There was not a single cloud, clear skies that made his eyes narrow.
But in contrast to the weather, one feeling filled Shizuru’s heart.
“‘Look for the killer’ … Richelieu sure makes it sound like it’s easy”
It had already been several days since the chopper’s crimes had been confirmed.
But despite that, far from being captured, there was not even a single clue to the killer’s identity.
Because Shizuru’s information network had some pull with the garrison, he knew the details of the situation.
Nobody ever saw them even though they killed every night, or they might have killed any and all witnesses.
It’s possible, they may even have value worth setting Richelieu’s eyes on.
“So I’m looking for someone I don’t know the name, the face, or even the gender of. I have to get on my feet for this one …”
Walking around town to look for chopper while the garrison and Guard Knights go on patrol
He became neurotic just thinking about it. Shizuru slumped his back and sighed.
“And even if I got Lady and Ludmila to help …”
The capital was ridiculously huge. Even just the East Ward was larger in scale than the typical city.
Regarding manpower, Casca wasn’t suited for this kind of work. She wasn’t even unsuited, she had zero capability for it.
And Elizabeth can’t leave her house in the West Ward the whole day, and to begin with, there’s a high risk that someone would see a student loitering around the high-crime East Ward, so that’s not a good plan.
So naturally, the job fell to Lady who had high mobility and detection ability, and Ludmila who had magic eyes that can see even at night.
And with Shizuru, that makes two people and one animal. That might be a good number, considering that bringing in more people would increase the risk of them getting found instead, but that said, they still had a long road ahead of them.
He would rather have the garrison capture them and make an excuse to Richelieu somehow.
But now that the order had come down, Shizuru had to go out. He breathed yet another sigh.
“Haah … ah, well, no use worrying about it alone. I should first tell the girls about the situation. A break’s going to bottle up Casca’s stress again …”
At any rate, this was going to be worrying for a while
Foreseeing the bleak future, Shizuru was about to breathe another sigh, but stopped himself
Shizuru got his stopped feet moving again
Having complete knowledge of the capital’s geography down to the back alleys, combined with the use of a stagecoach, travelling between wards did not take much time.
Boasting of a range that went beyond city limits, the capital’s transport system was extensive.
It was slightly costly, but they even had taxis using pegasi, monsters that easily got attached to people.
Though since the scent of Lady was strongly percolated onto him, they got scared and he didn’t use them.
Thus, Shizuru arrived back at the entrance of the East Ward, the slums, while the sun was still high.
Though he called it the entrance, there was no clear designation, he just thought of it that way.
And that was when he heard the uproar.
“Finally caught up to ya, y’shitty brat!!”
The voices of violent men.
The slight slurring of their speech was probably drunkenness, even though it was still light out
“Ya got the nerve to steal my lunch dontcha …!”
“Yer barking the wrong tree if ya think we’ll go easy on ya just ‘cuz yer a kid! Imma kill ya dead!”
There was the sound of wooden boxes and bottles breaking.
With yells that bordered on roaring, the mood turned murderous
Shizuru tried going towards the voice and saw the backs of several men
And beyond them, the small figure of a child.
— Judging by the conversation he overheard, they seem to be ganging up on a child who stole something.
Well, it’s nothing strange to see in the slums.
If he had to handle each and every one, the sun would have gone down when he finally made it to the hideout from here … that was probably an exaggeration though.
This would happen somewhere once every several days.
“Whatcha got to say for yersef, eh!?”
“… oh? Oi, she’s a girl. Whatcha gonna do?”
“Whaddya mean what, it’s not gettin up over a dirty brat. I’m just gonna hit ‘er till I’m satisfied”
“— Is something the matter?”
Now that he’s seen them, he couldn’t just ignore them.
After all, the men’s yelling had inevitably drawn quite a few stares.
Because of that, he needed to do it in order to maintain his good doctor image.
Thus, Shizuru talked to the men.
“Huuuh!? Outsiders stay out of i — ah, Mister Shizuru!?”
One of the men rudely tried to shoo away the sudden intruder in irritation.
But as he turned around he saw Shizuru and straightened his back.
The other three followed suit and did the same thing.
— The slums were primarily occupied by ruffians or people who had fallen to poverty.
In short, it was a gathering of the capital’s undesirables.
Therefore, whenever somebody fell ill in the slums, there were almost no doctors that would come to examine.
Shizuru was one of the few exceptions, and in addition, he was well known in the slums, the entire East Ward even.
At least to the extent that rough ruffians would bow down at him when they saw him
“Is something wrong? You were quite loud just now”
He knew even without asking, but Shizuru asked anyway.
He understood that he had the appearance and voice that would put others at ease.
He did it in order to calm the angry men down.
“Uh, ah, no … well, sorry fer bein loud. This kid, uh, took off with my lunch …”
“I’m not accusing you or anything. So that’s what happened?”
Looks like it’s just as he imagined. Shizuru wryly smiled.
He then took out his wallet and handed two silvers to the men.
“M-Mister Shizuru? This is …?”
“… The child probably had to do it because she had no other alternatives. I understand that you’re angry, but can you please forgive her for my sake?”
He knew how much the food a shabby looking slum dweller would carry with him.
To give a man two silvers would more than make it up.
Most of all, the one who requested it was Shizuru who controls even the unreachable Casca.
His influence in the slums was huge. The men forgot their earlier anger and repeatedly nodded.
The men went back in shame, so much that one might think he did too much.
After they did, Shizuru stood in front of the little person left behind and crouched to meet her eyes.
“Are you alright? You have to do these things well or not at all, you know?”
He said half jokingly in as gentle a voice as he could.
She was a girl of about twelve.
She wore tattered rags for clothes, her naked feet were coated in mud.
In fact, her whole body was coated in mud.
Only her ruffled hair was white.
And her slightly inhuman pupils bearing a light green shine drew the eye.
Then Shizuru noticed that the girl’s body was covered in light cuts and bruises.
“You’ve been having it hard, haven’t you. I can treat you if you like; come home with me?”
The young girl said nothing, she didn’t even budge an inch.
There was not the slightest bit of fear in her, she just seemed to be in a daze, staring intently at Shizuru’s face.