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Chapter 69.3 : Labyrinth Investigation

「Thank you for the praise, Reiji-sama. Come to think of it, we met with that male attendant before we arrived.」

「Male attendant?」

I had no idea who she was talking about.

「I don’t know about this male attendant. Do you know about this, Chiyuki?」

「I’ve no idea either, Reiji-kun. Maybe it’s just someone who got hired by Kyouka-san.」

Kyouka has been building her own company along with Kaya. That man might be someone hired by Kyouka during this time. Basically, she’d employed nothing but women so far, but it didn’t mean that she didn’t employ men at all.

「… Is that so? I heard that man is Shirone-sama’s old acquaintance though?」

Shizufae told us with a puzzled look on her face.

「Shirone?」

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「Yes. And he was accompanied by his wife.」

I became even more confused. I had no idea that Shirone was acquainted with a married man.

「I really don’t know about that nor that Shirone ever told us about that man.」

Reiji spoke with a slightly vexed tone.

I also had no idea regarding the man’s identity. Apparently Shizufae is saying that this “old acquaintance” was someone she knew from the Holy Republic of Lenaria? I mean, it hasn’t been that long since we came to this world and the Holy Republic of Lenaria was the first place we were summoned to and our base at the same time.

In the first place, when did she get acquainted with such a man? And a married one on top of that?

「Shizufae-san, do you by chance know that man’s name?」

I tried to ask Shizufae.

「My apologies. I never ask about his name… uhm…」

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Shizufae then looked at her comrades.

All of them shook their heads in response. It seems that no one’s ever heard of that man’s name.

「Well since no one knows his name, he might be just your average Joey. In the first place, that man might happened to have been hired by Kyouka.」

Reiji spoke bluntly.

Surely it must be just as Reiji said. That man must’ve just been someone who happened to have been hired by Kyouka.

It might be some sort of misunderstanding because Shizufae said that man was Shirone’s “old acquaintance.”

「Well, that might be the case. Anyway, let’s start the meeting.」

I decided to put the matter about the man out of my head.

「Well, as a start, I think we have to start by investigating every single participant in the last night’s banquet.」

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When I looked at everyone as I said that, Clasus and Dekius flashed a bitter smile on their faces.

That was natural. The number of participants at the banquet were simply far too many. It wasn’t just the guests we had to cross-examine, it was EVERYONE, including the guards and performers. That’s why we need many people to finish this as soon as possible.

「Well, it’ll be easier if we’ve some clues but… I guess we can leave the males participants to the soldiers, general Clasus and Decius-dono. Shizufae and co along with us will investigate the females one. Is that okay with you?」

Shizufae-san agreed with my idea. Most of the soldiers are men after all.

It was why I was asking Shizufae-san and co’s help since we’re lacking the manpower to investigate the females.

「Leave it to me!! I’ll investigate those fe-BUGYAAA!!」

Shizufae landed an elbow strike against Novis’ flank, preventing him from finishing whatever he wanted to say.

「My apologies. I’ll make sure to prevent this guy from recklessly trying to get himself killed again…」

Shizufae apologized to us for Novis.

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Come to think of it, I almost forgot about this guy. Well, he shouldn’t cause any problems as long as Shizufae’s keeping an eye on him… maybe.

「Ha~h. Well, that’s all and next is…」

Just as I was about to proceed to talk about the next plan, another person came in to inform us about the next visitor.

The name of the visitor was Midas. According to what I know, he’s the leader of a theater troupe.

「Midas-leader might have brought news relating to my sister. Please allow me to leave for while since this matter is related to me.」

When Decius was about to leave his seat, Reiji cut in.

「Wait a minute. This is related to that dancer called Sienna, right? Since she was literally present during that incident, I think we should know about this matter too.」

Reiji’s words reminded everyone of that fact.

Sure enough, she did perform during the Karkinos’ attack. As expected of Reiji, being able to remember a girl’s name even though he only saw her face once.

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But I have to ask the related person’s permission first.

「You’re right. So, Decius-dono, will you allow us to join you too?」

When I asked him, Decius nodded to me.

「… I understand. This way please.」

Decius agreed to our request, albeit with a slightly troubled face.

A man entered the room. A tall man.

「It’s nice to meet you, Hero-sama. My name is Midas, the leader of the Donkey’s Ear Troupe.」

Midas’ voice was… rather peculiar.

His voice sounds strange for a man. Even Reiji was knitting eyebrows as he detected that peculiarity.

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「Reiji-dono and Chiyuki-dono, Midas leader is an ardent devotee of Goddess Ishtar-sama.」

Having sensed my puzzlement, Decius explained to us.

「Aaah, no wonder…」

Now I understand where my discomfort came from.

The male ardent devotees of the Goddess of Love and Beauty, Ishtar, have to offer their genitals to the goddess in a sacred ritual.

After offering their genitals, the sacred ritual continued on with them singing, dancing, performing kata with sword and shield, and hitting drums for an entire night to show their devotion toward the goddess.

In short, the man called Midas castrated himself on his own will. Or should I say that “He” was treated as a woman in Ishtar faith.

And that was the nature of the peculiar air about “him”. Midas was a woman in a man’s body.

「Is there something that I can help you with, Midas-leader?」

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When Decius asked that question, Midas replied with a troubled face.

「Decius-sama. The truth is, Sienna has yet to go back after she went out last night.」

「SIENNA!!?」

Midas nodded.

「I won’t say anything if it’s the other troupe’s member. Sienna always tells me whenever she might come late. She has yet to go back after she left last night. That’s why I started to look for her when she didn’t show herself this morning. That’s why I think that I need to to inform Decius-dono about this matter…」

The male camp, safe for Decius, made a rather peculiar look on their face when Midas said those words.

「That Sienna hasn’t… come back… could it be…」

After thinking for a while, Decius took something from his back pocket.

It was something long and narrow, wrapped in cloth.

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「What’s that?」

「This is something she entrusted to me before she left and said to open in case something happen.」

Decius replied to Clasus.

「Do you know the content, Decius-dono?」

「I don’t know, Chiyuki-dono. Sienna told me to not see the content unless something happens after all… But, this thing might be related to Sienna’s disappearance. Now let see what’s the content.」

Thus, Decius unfolded the cloth with a troubled face.

And the thing wrapped inside that cloth was a long pipe.

「T-THIS IS!!!」

Midas let out a surprised voice.

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Everyone’s eyes focused on Midas.

「Is something the matter, Decius?」

「N-no, it’s nothing…」

But, Midas’ face paled as she said that.

「This is a flute. But the most intriguing fact about this flute is the fact that it has an inscription on it. Can you check this, Chiyuki-dono?」

Decius handed over the flute to me.

Reiji, who sat by my side, was also looking at the flute in my hand with a curious look on my face.

「Sure enough, it’s magician’s crest.」

Just as Reiji had said. There was a pentagram, a magician’s crest, crafted on the surface of the flute.

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The pentagram was the holy crest of Totona, Goddess of Book and Knowledge, and also crest of magician association.

So the magicians in this world were also using a pentagram as their crest huh. Even back in Japan, the pentagram has been used as the crest of curse or magic, they called it Seimei crest.

But, the one drawn on this flute was different.

「I think it’s not a magician’s crest, Reiji-kun. Looking at the direction of the letter, this part should be place on top.」

I shook my head and then reversed the direction of the flute.

Thus, the pentagram became a reverse pentagram.

「Reverse pentagram… black goat head’s crest… the demon king’s worshipper.」

The one who muttered was the magician called Madi. It was natural for her, a magician, to know about this crest.

I also agree with her.

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The reverse pentagram, or widely known as black goat head’s crest, was the crest of the evil god, Loughas Satanakia, a subordinate of the demon king.

Though the person himself didn’t show up when we invaded Nargol, we fought many of his subordinates, the lesser demons who held the banner with this crest.

In addition, it wasn’t just the worshipper of that evil god, many worshipers of the demon king amongst the humans used this crest. In short, the one who held this flute might be the worshipper of the demon king.

「IMPOSSIBLE!! WHY DID SIENNA HAVE THIS KIND OF THING!??」

Decius raised his voice as he stood up from his chair.

「Calm down Decius-dono. Can you explain what kind of thing this is to us… Chiyuki-dono?」

Clasus asked me for an explanation.

「I feel a magical power from this flute. In addition, it seems to be a tool to control something… Maybe, it’s possible to control the Karkinos with this flute at the banquet last night.」

After I examined the flute using magical power perception and explained my finding to everyone, they made a surprised look on their face.

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「How did Decius-dono’s little sister-kun come to have this kind of thing? Could it be that she was the culprit of last night’s incident?」

「GENERAL CLASUS!!! SIENNA ISN’T THE CULPRIT!!!」

Decius denied Clasus immediately.

「I agree with him. If she really is the culprit, there’s no way she will let her big brother, knight of law, keep such an important item. Maybe she found this flute on that place and gave it to her brother.」

Reiji has the same opinion as Decius.

Reiji’s deduction could rival that of a famous detective when it comes to protecting women.

「It’s still too soon to decide whether she’s the culprit or not, but I think she has the key related to the Karkinos incident. This flute aside, could it be that the man who disguised as satyr is the culprit of this incident?」

I looked at the flute.

This flute was one of the clues about Karkinos’ incident. Since the player needs to inflate their cheeks when they blow this flute, their face must be funny when they do that.

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Therefore, many nobles choose to play harp as their hobby. That’s why the majority of the flute players were performers.

And those said performer was none other than the one who performed during last night’s banquet.

Could it be that this flute was played during that incident?

「Indeed… the satyrs did play their flute during that incident.」

Clasus agreed too.

「If I’m not wrong, the satyrs during that incident is…」

I looked at Midas. I remember that Sienna said that one of the satyr was a fellow member of Midas’ troupe.

「… The satyrs should be the member of our troupe…」

Midas spoke helplessly.

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「I see, she found out that the culprit is the one who blew this flute. But she tried to resolve this incident on her own to protect the troupe. And leave this flute as insurance in case something happened to her, right?」

Reiji made a guess.

「THEN, SIENNA MUST BE IN DANGER RIGHT NOW!!! LET’S HURRY UP TO SAVE HER!!!」

「Please calm yourself, Decius-dono. It’s still too soon to say that she is in danger.」

I understand his feelings since I was the same as him. I wouldn’t be able to keep my cool if I knew that my comrade was in danger. But, we couldn’t lose our cool right now.

「Midas leader. Can you give us the permission to conduct an investigation in your troupe?」

I asked Midas.

「Sure… I’ve no other choice anyway.」

Midas agreed to my request.

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「I guess we don’t need to cross-examine everyone anymore.」

I looked at everyone in this place. Though I feel bad for Decius, it was a good thing that we could cut the time we needed to cross-examine every participant.

Thus, we went to investigate Midas’ troupe.

===

TN : Will it become another hazard chapter? find out next week!

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