Chapter 132

It was deep into the night. Most of the lights coming from the houses had disappeared until only the security guards’ torches lit up the city. However, the luxurious mansion where aristocrats gathered still had some lights radiating out from it. Fires lit up parts of the yard, and rays of light from the room of those who were still awake seeped out to the streets. There were even some places where the sound of laughter drifted through the wind as if there was a party.  

On the other hand, quiet darkness blanketed the Windpool mansion, where the bare minimum of lights was maintained. Some of the lights came from rooms, making it seem like some people were still not asleep yet. And there was Zich, staring at the Windpool mansion on top of a temple’s bell tower. There was a considerable distance between the temple and the estate, but that didn’t matter to Zich.

‘…Should I infiltrate the place again?’

For the past three days, Zich had been moving in and out of the Windpool mansion. It was a dangerous mission, but thanks to Zich’s advanced spying abilities and Lyla’s artifact, everything was going along well. At the same time, Zich couldn’t say that the result of his infiltration had been fruitful.

‘I didn’t find out much.’

The Windpool mansion appeared to be a normal aristocratic mansion. Servants worked hard while aristocrats played, looked over their businesses, or took a short trip outside. There was nothing to be suspicious about.

‘All I found out was that Marquess Windpool was absent…’

Currently, the only one in the mansion was the Windpool heir and Evelyn’s fiancé, Albus Windpool.

‘Did something happen to the Marquess?’

But that was the only useful information that Zich found out.

‘And intruding more than this will be dangerous.’

Even the artifact that Lyla gave him only had one use left to hide his presence and make him invisible.

‘Although there’s a possibility that the Windpool family might have no relation to Evelyn’s incident…’

But Zich also couldn’t finalize his decision after observing them for only a couple of days.

‘Maybe I have to be a bit more aggressive.’

Zich made a resolution and stood up. The bell tower was quite high, so the winds were rough. The robe Zich was wearing fluttered around, but his body remained firmly on the floor.

Clank!

The sword he hung on his waist shook from the wind, and Zich’s attention went towards it.

‘Windur.’

Windur was the mysterious sword that he found by accident. Its branch-like shape was its unique characteristic, but the sword currently possessed no special features and hung on his waist. Its size was also much smaller than before. Normally, Zich would have carried it around on his back like a shield.

‘But I can’t believe it also had an ability like this.’

It was almost unfair. Windur now looked like a dagger with no distinct characteristics. After it transformed its appearance into an ordinary sword, Zich later muttered that he wanted the sword to be easier to carry, and Windur transformed once more to a smaller size.

‘It was also easy for me to change its appearance back to a long sword.’

After Zich saw Windur shrink into a dagger, he muttered that a long sword was more fitting for battle. Amazingly, Windur lengthened again and went back to being a long sword. Everyone, including Zich and Lyla, stared at the sword like they couldn’t believe their eyes.

‘Well, this is better for me anyways.’

It made the sword more comfortable to carry, and Zich thought that he might be able to decipher Windur’s identity if he uncovered its skills like this one by one. Then, Zich jumped off the bell tower and headed towards the mansion.

*    *    *

Zich skillfully intruded the mansion. He had already figured out the layout of the building in the past three days and carefully walked through the mansion. He didn’t need to wander off since he had a specific destination in mind. He soon arrived in front of a door.

‘No one’s here.’

Maybe the owner of the room was busy with some business, but Zich quietly went inside the room. It was a bedroom without a single light source.

‘Where’s a good spot?’

Zich knew the location was important for matters like this and searched around the room.

‘Hm, this seems okay.’

Zich eyed an area that was located in a blind spot; it was hidden from view, and a window was nearby in case of an emergency.

“Good. This place seems good.”

After choosing his spot, Zich slowly scanned the entire room. He didn’t know when the owner of this room would return, so he had some free time until the owner came back. Even considering that this room was one of the rooms in the Marquess’ mansion, this room was very fancy.

‘I can see this room owner’s taste.’

It was clear that the owner was extravagant, and most people like that were also exhibitionists. But Zich ended his judgment there. Lavishness was not a crime, and although exhibitionists made the people around them feel bad, it also wasn’t evil to be one. Moreover, there were plenty of good people with this characteristic, and there was also a possibility that the room might not have been decorated according to the owner’s personal preferences.

‘I can’t make quick judgments about people.’

At the same time, he might be able to find more about the owner based on the traces he left behind. Zich expanded his search around the room. Yet in the end, he didn’t find any significant clues about the owner of the room. Then, he suddenly felt someone approach the room with his senses. Zich quickly walked to the spot he eyed before, scanned his body to check for any awkward areas, and pulled his robe closer to him. Then, he tried making a small sound.

He applied pressure to his throat, and a cracked voice leaked out. His preparation was complete. Zich clasped his mouth shut and stood still, waiting.

*     *     *

Albus Windpool finished his busy schedule like usual and came back to his residence. After inquiring and making deals with other aristocrats who had come to the capital for the king’s birthday, time passed by quickly. And once he arrived back at his family’s mansion, he also had to look over his family matters. Thanks to his regular training, he didn’t feel physically tired, but he was mentally exhausted.

“Sigh~!” He sighed once and opened the windows. He missed his bed. Without even lighting up a candle, Albus tried to crawl into his bed.

“Albus Windpool.”

And he would have succeeded if it wasn’t for the voice that suddenly came out in his room.

Twitch!

Dazed from fatigue, Albus’ eyes immediately became sharp and attentive. He turned his body around as fast as the wind and clenched his fist. From the darkness, he saw someone standing in front of him. The figure wore all black and blended in with the surrounding darkness. 

A person had infiltrated his room. Under ordinary circumstances, Albus had to immediately act. He would’ve cried loudly to bring in the guards and run away or at least find a weapon to fight off the intruder.

However, Albus let out a sigh of relief instead. “Shit, you surprised me.”

Albus clutched his chest in shock, but that was all the emotion he showed. He glared at the intruder once and lit up the candle next to him. As light entered his room, the intruder’s appearance came into view. The intruder was wearing all black and he looked extremely suspicious. But after seeing the man’s appearance, Albus looked even more relieved.

“Why did you come here again? You told me that you wouldn’t contact me unless there was a problem with the plan. Is there a problem with the plan?”

“No. Not yet.”

Haphazardly lying down on the bed, Albus squinted his eyes. He slowly rose up. “…Who are you?”

The man in front of him had a different voice than the one who first made the deal with him. When the man first called out his name, he was so shocked that he didn’t realize it was a different person. But now that he was calmer, the man’s voice was unfamiliar. Moreover, the man’s voice sounded as if it had been artificially changed. It sounded rough and unnatural, and this made him even more suspicious.

“I received an order to come here. I’ve been told to come here and listen to how the plan is progressing.”

“By who?”

“By the person who first made the deal with you.”

Albus frowned again. “Why didn’t he come here himself?”

“He is busy. This is not the only plan he is in charge of.”

“So he suddenly sent me a person I’ve never seen before?” This was too suspicious. Wariness filled Albus’ eyes. “What if I don’t want to talk?”

“It doesn’t matter.”

“…Even though you received an order, it doesn’t matter?”

“I’m only a messenger. I just have to report that you refused.”

“Do you think I will just let you peacefully leave like this?”

“It doesn’t matter.”

“…What if I lie?”

“It doesn’t matter.”

No matter what Albus said, he was told, ‘It doesn’t matter.’ It really did seem like this man had only been ordered to listen to how Albus’ plan was progressing.

‘This guy is just like a doll.’

However, if he really was just a messenger, a person like this was most reliable—they would just relay the message as is without adding any judgments or personal bias. Albus fell into deep contemplation. Even though the person in front of him was extremely suspicious, he wore the same clothes as the person who first made the deal with him. Moreover, he also knew about the existence of Albus’ plan.

“…You said ‘not yet’ before. Then are there any signs that something is going wrong with the plan? If you tell me that, I will trust you.”

“…Strange things are hanging around Evelyn Rouge.”

“Ah, you are talking about that.”

The man in front of him already knew this information. A little bit of trust sprung in Albus’ heart.

“But did you really come here for such a small reason? Because you think those strange people will interfere with the plan?”

“We hate variables.”

“Shit, you say the same things as your commander.”

Variable, variable—that was the word that the man who first made a deal with Albus constantly repeated. Albus completely dropped his guard and sat back down on the bed.

“Okay, so what would you like to hear first?” Albus lowered his level of honorifics.

“I don’t know. I was only ordered to listen to you and send a report.”

“Ah, damn it! Even though you’re just a doll that sends messages, they must have given you at least some basic information.” Albus scratched the back of his head and let out his frustration. 

Even though Albus’ words were rude, the intruder maintained his silence and patiently waited for him to reply.

‘But I’m a bit jealous.’ Albus thought the intruder was a very skilled and useful tool. Moreover, a tool that realized it was a tool and maintained its composure was rare. 

“Fine, I will begin by talking about Evelyn.” Since the man had come because of a variable with Evelyn, Albus thought it would be a good idea to start talking about her.

“Honestly, I haven't seen her since she came to the capital. I just heard that she met some people at the lake, and she was getting close to them. But I don’t think she will change from something so insignificant.” Albus smirked. His smile looked extremely malicious and evil. 

“Thanks to the information you guys gave me, I made her completely fall in love with me.” As if he were bragging about a difficult conspiracy he performed, he talked with enormous confidence. 

However, the intruder didn’t react at all. Albus felt disappointed and lost his energy to brag. He clicked his tongue and calmly continued his explanation, “So that’s why you don’t have to worry about this plan at all. It seems like she’s meeting a couple of lowly commoners because she’s curious, but people don’t change so easily. Since I do have to meet her at least once sooner or later, I’ll go and see how she’s doing.”

Albus was very pleased with himself.

“Since she quickly came back from the damned lake just like what you guys predicted, I can spend a lot of time with her.”

Then he let out a sigh. “Why the hell does she like that lake so much anyways? She goes and visits that lake every time she comes up to the capital. If you guys hadn’t intervened, she probably would have played around in that lake for an annoyingly long time. Anyways, she’s stuck in her mansion now, so I can control her whenever I want. Really, you don’t have to worry about anything.”

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