Chapter 335

“Are you finished writing your report?”

“Can you not tell? I’m still working on it.”

Gus did not even bother glancing back towards Scylla as he answered curtly. The two of them had joined Jody to serve the Pendragon Duchy. They received treatment equal to that of squires, and they carried out important tasks as the hands and feet of Vincent. Their most important duty was to collect information.

“Let’s see…”

Scylla grinned before walking towards Gus’s back. She stuck her head over his shoulder and stole a gaze.

“Pff! Even a harpy would do a better job writing than you. What is this? Scribble, scrabble, blah blah….”

“Oh, shut up! It does not matter as long as it’s legible.”

Gus’s face turned slightly red. He bumped Scylla’s chin with his shoulder, then covered the piece of paper with his body before resuming his crooked writing. Scylla gazed at him with a smile, then spoke.

“Still, how great. Learning how to write at that age. Oh, bububu! I’m so proud of you, my baby goose. Mommy’s so proud. So proud of you.”

“You really…”

Gus turned his head and stared at Scylla with a frown. However, he soon turned back with a deep sigh.

“What can I do? I need to learn how to write if I want to be a proper information agent. That way, I will be able to receive promotions and succeed in life.”

“Promotions! Oh my! Are you really Gus? The same Mister Gus who said he would spend his entire life wandering around like a lone wolf looking for adventures? The one who would come and go with the wind? What happened to you? Don’t tell me you are planning to bury your bones here.”

“No, I…”

Scylla pretended to be surprised. Gus turned his head with an annoyed look, but then quickly turned back with an awkward look on his face.

“They don’t treat me too badly. His Excellency the Duke and Sir Vincent too. All of them recognize me for who I am. And now that I’ve become a bit older, maybe it is not such a bad idea to settle down in a place and…”

“What? Are you serious?”

Scylla was a little surprised. It had been nearly a year since she, Gus, and Jody became members of the Pendragon Duchy. However, unlike herself and Jody, who decided to work for the duchy for their remaining lives and bury their bones here, Gus always complained whenever he had the chance, reminiscing about his ‘old days’.

In fact, it was almost natural. Gus was a free-spirited man, and it would have been a struggle for him to be bound to a single organization. He could not speak and act as he pleased.

When he worked as a mercenary, he could leave a place after he completed a request. Every time the trio took on a new request, Gus had been the one who was most excited. It was a miracle that he managed to stay in a single place for almost a year.

Although the nature of their missions allowed them to travel from place to place to acquire information, it would have been a little frustrating for Gus, who did not like to be tied up.

“What is going on? Ah! Don’t tell me…?”

Scylla shook her head with her tongue sticking out. She suddenly clapped her hands and spoke.

“Do you happen to have a girl in mind?”

“W, what are you saying?”

Gus became surprised and hastily denied her words.

Scylla’s smile deepened at his rebuttal. 

“Hmm? I think I was on the dot. I’m right, aren’t I? So who is it? Ah, is it that lady who works in the kitchen? The name was… That’s right. Medell. It was Medell, was it not?”

“No! Stop talking nonsense, you loud, nosy girl!”

“Strong denial is strong affirmation. Well, it’s quite understandable since she always laughs and responds to your lame jokes. All right! Master Scylla here will help out our little baby goose! All you know how to do is to poke around everywhere and blabber. Everyone in the world knows you’re a sucker when it comes to women. First of all, at tonight’s dinner, go to Medell and…”

“I, I said that’s not it! Dammit!”

Eventually, Gus burst into anger.

Scylla flinched and squinted her eyes.

“Or not. Why are you yelling at me? I’m only trying to help you out, but…”

“No, that’s… Tsk! Why do I even bother? Fuck…”

Gus was about to say something, then paused before turning his head while muttering.

“Huh…?”

Scylla closed her mouth.

Normally, he would have thrown a tantrum or responded with a ridiculous joke, but his reaction was quite strange today.

“.....”

An awkward silence followed.

Gus kept writing without saying a word, and Scylla, who could think of nothing to say, licked her lips from behind him.

Gus stood up from his chair.

Holding the piece of paper, Gus walked towards the door without making eye contact with Scylla. Just before he passed her, he held out the paper held in his hand.

“Hand it in to Sir Vincent in my stead. I’m leaving.”

“What, what? Huh? Hey, hey!”

Scylla hurriedly called out. Gus had opened the door and left without waiting for an answer, as if he were angry. But he walked down the stairs without looking back.

“What’s wrong with him today? Did he wake up on the wrong side of the bed? It’s not like he’s having one of those days like women…”

Scylla pouted and read the report given to her by Gus.

“Buwah, I can barely make it out. His writing is truly… Hmm?”

Her eyes grew slightly larger as she continued reading the report while clicking her tongue. The bottom half of the report was a little strange. The beginning of the report was written so poorly that it was almost unrecognizable, but the bottom portion of the report was much better. It was obvious that he had put a lot of effort into it.

“Don’t do anything stupid or reckless. Stop flirting with any guy you meet on the road. Do you know how angry I get every time I see it? I only did that with Medell because of you…”

Scylla’s expression changed little by little as she read the report out aloud.

“I will practice harder and write a proper letter. And I bought a small house at the entrance of the village with the money I saved up from the monthly salary. I need a woman to cook for me. But I cook better than you, so there is nothing you can do for me. Honestly, you have no merit except for being pretty and being in shape. What the…?”

Scylla frowned and stared at the door where Gus had exited just a little while ago. But soon, her expression loosened. 

“Even his confession is in this shape. What did I expect from a stupid goose…?”

Scylla smiled brightly before lowering her eyes once more. Gus’s handwriting captured her attention. It was clear that he tried his best. When she thought about how he had flinched before writing the note, she burst out laughing.

“Kieek! What a cute guy. Let’s see how much better you can write next time, shall we?”

She looked down at the piece of paper with adoration. However, she smacked her forehead with realization.

“Ah! But I have to give this to Sir Vincent, don’t I? This stupid little goose!”

Scylla vented her anger at Gus again, but her expression was brighter than ever.

*** 

“Hmm? What is wrong with the report?”

“What? Ah, well… I, I spilled some wine on the report, and I tore it out because it looked rather bad. Ho, hohoho!”

Vincent squinted his eyes as he looked up at Scylla. She laughed awkwardly.

“Oh, it’s hot today…”

Scylla avoided his gaze, and Vincent frowned as if finding the situation unusual. He drew his attention back to the report.

“Anyways, this is strange.”

“Hmm? What, what do you mean?”

Scya stammere in spite of herself. Vincent continued while pointing and shifting his gaze towards a map that was spread out on his desk.

“The mysterious phenomenon known as the divine punishment. According to the report, after it occurred in Hoffman, a town in the Seyrod territory, it has not recurred anywhere else.”

“Uh, is that not a good thing? It would be troublesome if it started happening in our duchy.”

Scylla asked back, relieved that they had moved onto another topic.

“Hmm. I wonder. I do not know whether we could label it good or bad… But it is evident that all the villages on the way from the coast to our duchy experienced the phenomenon. It is very strange that it would have suddenly stopped in front of our territory.”

“That is true.”

Scylla pondered as well. The mysterious phenomenon was already a hot topic in the Pendragon Duchy as well. It was known that entire villages would become afflicted with the phenomenon and be sick for a few days. It was only natural since people feared the plague as much as war.

Fortunately, however, the divine punishment disappeared just as suddenly as it had appeared. The atmosphere had loosened slightly recently due to its disappearance.

“It would be nice if it ended like this, but… Hmm…”

Vincent mumbled while stroking his chin, then raised his head.

“Anyways, Sir Jody should be returning from Bellint Gate with a report soon, so we can mull it over when that happens.”

“Yes. The harpy will be here this evening at the latest.”

Scylla answered and grinned.

Vincent’s expression changed as he observed her smile.

“Did something nice happen? You seem to be in a good mood today.”

“What? Oh, no, nothing at all! Nothing happened…”

Scylla hurriedly wiped the smile off her face and shook her head.

“Hmm, is that so…?”

However, Vincent maintained his unique smile, the same expression that earned him the nickname of ‘raccoon mask’.

‘He really is like a ghost when it comes to these things…’

Scylla anxiously tried to hide her thoughts. Vincent continued.

“I saw Mister Gus heading out the gate with a red face. He seemed a little upset. Did you make fun of him today as well, Miss Scylla?”

“What? Oh, yeah! Yeah! I did that. Ho, ho ho!”

Vincent’s sly smile deepened at Scylla’s awkward laugh.

“I see. But this…”

He raised the report in his hand before continuing.

“You said you had to rip a portion of the report because you spilled some wine on it, but it seems you did not spill a single drop on the remainder of the report. It was a little odd that Mister Gus kept grinning, considering that he was supposed to be angry.”

‘Heuk!’

Scylla exhaled sharply involuntarily. She hurriedly tried to explain.

“Uh, well, that’s…”

But she could not think of an excuse.

“.....”

A brief silence.

Vincent lowered the report while maintaining his smile.

“Well, sometimes things like that could happen miraculously. Anyways, thank you for the report. You can take your leave now.”

“Yes! Then bye!”

Scylla turned around without hesitation and began walking lightning fast. She was like a helpless prey who miraculously escaped after being caught by a predator.

“Oh, by the way, did you know? Mister Gus bought a house with the money he saved up.”

“.....!”

Scylla froze on the spot.

“I heard he was drunk in the pub yesterday. Apparently, he was saying something along the lines of… ‘I already bought a house, so all I need is Scylla now.’ All of the guests at the pub heard it.”

“.....”

Scylla stiffened, then turned around in rigid movements like a wooden doll.

“I am in charge of intelligence and information for a reason. I had to find out such important information at once.”

Scylla’s face turned deathly white as the smile of the Pendragon Duchy’s Raccoon Mask became even deeper.

‘You’re dead meat, you fucking goose!”

*** 

Clop! Clop!

A carriage pulled by several horses passed Lowpool’s road, which led straight to Conrad Castle. Originally, it was forbidden for horses or carriages to exceed a certain speed on this road. Even the knights of carriages of the Pendragon Duchy abided by the law.

Residents of Lowpool frowned as they saw the carriage flitting by, then soon nodded with understanding. It was the soldiers of the Pendragon Duchy who were riding on the carriage and escorting it. It meant that the situation was urgent, or that the person in the carriage was very important.

With that in mind, the residents continued on their way.

Suddenly, a man trembled.

“Oh, what’s wrong?”

When the lady, who was walking by his side, asked with widened eyes, the man responded with a puzzled expression.

“Well, I got the chills all of a sudden. Did I catch a cold or something?”

“Bwah! It’s because you sleep with all the windows open. I knew this was bound to happen.”

“Is that right? Hmm.”

“So stop drinking so much before you come home. I’m always telling you! Stop drinking so much!”

The man resumed walking while listening to his wife’s nagging.

But he did not know.

Quite a few passersby who were walking on the road had just experienced the same thing as himself.


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