Chapter 181. The Pushover, the Saintess, and the Mysterious Thief (12)

After arriving near the archbishop's room through the ventilation shaft, we examined the situation through a gap in the ventilation shaft.

"There's a lot of security around here,” said Lisbon.

I looked at the map I bought from the Big Mama Information Agency. "It must be because it's near the archbishop's room."

"There's no passageway into the archbishop's room, is there?" Hillis asked.

I nodded. "The spaces where the great temple’s key figures stay for extended periods don’t have large enough openings to accommodate people; this includes people like the archbishop and the cardinal."

It wasn't like this when I visited in the past. It seems to have changed a lot since then.

"Then we have to go into the archbishop's room from around here."

Hillis nodded as Lisbon sighed. "It looks like we’ll need to make a plan."

"Hmm..." I spread the map in front of the two in silence, making a weak light with magic to illuminate the map.

"Huh? You can use magic too?”

I just shrugged at the surprised Hillis. "Something of this level is basic these days. The civil service training center teaches us everything."

Among the compulsory subjects of the training center, magic was included. Of course, just because it was taught did not mean everyone could use magic. However, for magic of this level, most civil servants could do this unless they were utterly devoid of aptitude.

"And I also learned magic when I was in my hometown."

"I see."

Looking at Hillis and Lisbon nodding their heads, I pointed out the entrance to the archbishop's room and the nearest vent. 

"There are two methods. The first method is to go down through here and go to the archbishop's room while suppressing the security along the way. The downside of this approach is that there is a high possibility that there will be a commotion when the suppressed guards wake up," I said.

Hillis stroked her chin. "The advantage is that we can move swiftly before the archbishop finishes his prayer meeting?"

"That's right," I affirmed Hillis’s deduction. 

At that time, Lisbon raised an objection, "Wait, I don't think the archbishop's room will be open. How will we get in?”

I was sincerely surprised by Lisbon's point. My goodness, for Lisbon to have pointed out something so accurate was shocking. I might have been viewing the pushover as too stupid all this time.

At the same time, Hillis and I raised our hands.

“I know how to pick a lock.” 

“I know how to pick a lock.”

At the same time, Hillis and I looked at each other as she said, "No, why does a civil servant know how to pick locks?"

"You're one to talk. Why does a clergywoman know how to pick locks?"

Hillis smiled and said, "This is a basic skill in this tough world."

I sympathized with Hillis. "That's right. This much is basic knowledge."

Lisbon alternated between Hillis and me, giving an uncertain look. "Hey, don't you both think your basic knowledge is weird?”

At the same time, Hillis and I shook our heads.

"No."

"No way."

Lisbon says some strange things. Isn’t this much basic knowledge?.

This time I pointed out the entrance to the vent some distance away from the archbishop's room. "Another way is to go out the window, grab the window frame and drain pipe, and move along outside. The advantage with this method is that you don't have to worry about the guards."

Hillis’s expression became dark at my explanation. "The downside is the time."

Lisbon didn’t seem to understand what Hillis said.

I nodded lightly to affirm her words. "If it's Lisbon or me, it'd be okay to move like this, but I'm afraid it’ll be too difficult for you."

It was a very physically demanding way to move, so it was too much for Hillis, who hadn’t trained her body. Of course, it’d be no problem if we flew in the sky. However, as soon as a priest started flying, it would also inform Lisbon that the person was at least a bishop. [1] I didn't want to recommend this to Hillis, as she didn't want to let others know that she was the saintess.

"Then let's use the first route."

Hillis and Lisbon nodded at my suggestion.

"Sorry, it’s because of me,” Hillis said.

"It’s fine. If you're going to be sorry, you should apologize for dragging me out when I should have been comfortably sleeping in bed right now."

“I'm not really sorry about that?” Hillis smiled playfully.

"Once the direction is set, we’ll move quickly. If possible, I will detect the guards’ presence and move, but there will be a guard in front of the archbishop's room. Lisbon will suppress him and hide the guard in the bathroom."

I pointed out exactly where to hide him on the map.

"Okay,” Lisbon said.

"Hillis will come with me to the archbishop's room and search it."

"Sounds good."

I tied the goddess statue to my back with rope. I wanted to put it in my pocket space, but for some reason, it still would not go in. However, even if it would go in, I couldn’t deposit it in front of Lisbon and Hillis, so it was all the same.

"Come on, let's go."

We each wore our masks that I handed out and went down the vent. Landing on the floor, we quickly ran to the archbishop's room. Fortunately, there weren’t any guards skilled enough to deceive my senses, so we didn’t encounter any guards on the way.

When we arrived in front of the archbishop's room, before the guard in front of the door could respond, Lisbon quickly hit him in the solar plexus and knocked him out before saying, "I'll be back after hiding him."

"Please take off the guard's clothes, wear them, and keep watch at the door."

"Okay."

Lisbon dragged the unconscious guard to the bathroom I had pointed out, and I quickly opened the archbishop's door with a universal wire.

"Wow, you're faster than me.”

I raised my thumb to the admiring Hillis and went into the archbishop's room. The archbishop's room was full of theology books.

"You should check the desk. I'll check the bookshelf."

Hillis nodded at my instructions and began to search the desk.

According to the Big Mama Information Agency’s information, it said to check the bookcase for things relevant to slush funds. When I requested the exact location, they asked for a platinum coin, so I could only spit. Either way, all I had to do was look for places with magic cast on them, so for Milpia to ask for a platinum coin, it was daylight robbery.

"Huh? This?"

I took a document woven like a book from the bookcase; it was named Prophecy of the Holy Tribe. The documents looked worn out, as if they were hundreds of years old.

I think I've heard the title of this document somewhere. It looks rare, so let's put it in the pocket space for now. Continuing to look at the bookshelf, I pulled out a book where mana was particularly concentrated.

Grrrrrng-

Then the bookcase moved sideways, and a narrow staircase appeared.

"Bingo."

"What? How did you find this?"

Hillis was searching the desk when the bookcase moved, and she came to me with a grimy bible and a bunch of papers.

"I was gifted with great intuition. But what are those bunch of papers?" The documents Hillis was holding were full of unknown numbers and characters.

"This one? It's written in the code of the holy book, so I took it. I think it's a record of a conversation with someone."

"If it's bible code, is it code written from pages of the holy book?"

"Yeah, in some cases, there are many variations such as gospel, footnote, and reverse order, but it's not that difficult to decipher if you have a specific holy book."

Clearly, with the specific holy book, it was just a simple menial task. Of course, it was a matter of whether or not the holy book in Hillis's hands matched the holy book that the code was derived from.

"Anyways, let’s hurry and go down!" Hillis glanced with bright eyes like a mischievous child who found an interesting secret base.

“All right, let’s go down.” I took the lead, and Hillis followed me down.

The secret area we came across at the end of the stairs was quite spacious. A lot of documents were piled up in one corner of the secret area. In the other corner, there was a magic vault large enough for a person to enter.

“Hmm, it looks like it’ll be hard to open this.” Hillis looked at the safe and shook her head. 

That safe was a model about a decade behind the vaults in the treasury department's inner palace building. It seemed much easier to open, but I pretended to acknowledge her as I turned to the papers. Some of the documents were evidence of slush funds linked to the archbishop and some nobles, while others were evidence of embezzlement of donations from the temple.

As expected, as much as his outer appearance seemed righteous and upright, he was just as corrupt behind the scenes. This was nothing short of science. A man with an overly good face was a bad guy; it was like nature's law.

"Huh? What, look at this bastard.”

I found something pretty interesting in the archbishop’s documents. I looked back to show the document to Hillis, but suddenly, a loud emergency sounded.

Ehhhhhng-!

Behind me, Hillis was panicking and touching the safe.

"You..."

“No! I was just trying to open it somehow!”

Aigoo, what a pain. I felt a headache coming on. I moved Hillis aside and turned off the noise from the safe. "Tch, we’re too late.”

People were rushing toward the archbishop's room because of the emergency sound from the safe.

"Sorry."

Hillis apologized sullenly, and I ruffled up Hillis's hair. "It's okay. Now that it’s like this, we have to escape. I'll get the papers, so you head up first."

"Okay, got it."

I gave the gloomy Hillis a slight slap on the back. "Cheer up."

Looking at Hillis going up, I stuffed all the documents into my pocket space. Now that it’s become like this, I decided to rob the vault.

The vault was filled with mithril and gold bars. It seems they weren’t charging a platinum coin for the information for no reason. Just the mithril inside the vault was enough to be worth hundreds of platinum coins.

Tch, I wanted cash rather than annoying things like gold bars that needed to be exchanged. No big deal. I'll ask Milpia to exchange it for money even though there’s a fee. Even if I didn’t exchange it for money, it’d be good for me to use it myself as mithril, along with platinum, was known as a complete magic metal. [2]

I swept everything in the vault into my pocket space and climbed up the stairs.

Kwang! Kwang!

"Open the door! You abominable thief!"

They were banging on the door from outside as if to break it down, and Lisbon and Hillis were blocking the door with desks. Perhaps because of Lupin's previous visit, hostility toward thieves had increased a lot.

"Den, what do we do?"

When Lisbon asked with a panicked expression, I sighed. "Call me Conan Doyle, K*d." 

"Huh?"

Although Lisbon didn't seem to comprehend what I was saying in this urgent situation, Hillis nodded as if she understood at once. "Okay, Conan Doyle."

"Oh! I see."

Only then did he realize why I had given names out in advance and nodded. In this situation, if we recklessly referred to each other by our true names, it could provide hints about our identity.

"K*d, N*tty. Get out of the way, both of you!"

Despite finding it strange, the two moved out of the way at my instruction. Shortly after that, a shower of magic bullets burst through from the other side of the door. Furious priests stormed through the completely destroyed door.

Lisbon looked for his sword at his waist out of habit but realized he left his sword behind to enter the great temple, and so he picked up a metal hanger instead. I also pulled the goddess statue from my back. The priests faltered in confusion when I wielded the goddess statue like a weapon.

Now, it's time to give them a taste of the Goddess’s wrath again.


1. Previously, it was mentioned that those in the temple can’t use flying magic unless they were of a high rank

2. Previously it was said that other lower grade metals don’t conduct mana/magic as well.

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