“Is that all?”
“Do you want some other information?”
“I don’t make any judgments. I simply report on what I’ve heard. If you think that’s all you need to tell me, you can end it there. So, I will ask you again. Is that all?”
‘They made him into a perfect tool.’
It was incredible that the person in front of him was such a perfect tool that he was unable to even judge when to end the conversation. It almost made Windpool wonder if they really had to go this far, but most of all, it made him fear the organization that was able to transform a person into a living tool.
“But I should do everything thoroughly.” Albus sipped the water that had been prepared for him in a corner of his room. “Do you want a drink?”
There was no answer. Albus finished drinking his cup and sat on the bed again. “The plan is almost complete. Like I said before, Evelyn is head over heels in love with me. So, I was able to easily manipulate her and leave the ‘evidence’ in her room at the Rouge mansion. All I need to do now is reveal the evidence at the right time.” Albus smirked. Just the thought of it made him laugh.
“And our Windpool family will be one step closer to obtaining the duke title.”
“Is that so?”
“Is that all?”
“Feel free to think however you want. If you deliver my words exactly as I said to the organization, they will take care of the rest.”
“Is there anyone who might hinder your plans?”
“There’s no one right now since you guys planned to control the Rouge family members, who are the biggest hindrances to this plan.” Then, Albus asked curiously, “But what did you all exactly do? I heard that bandits were making a mess in their estate.”
“I don’t know. I wasn’t given access to that information.”
“As expected.” As if he hadn’t actually expected a proper answer, Albus quickly gave up on his question.
“Yes, that’s all.”
“I see.” The intruder marched towards the window.
“The door is over there.” Albus pointed at the room’s door.
“If other people find me, will you make excuses for me?”
“That will be your problem. Ah, also, if you get caught, I trust that my name will never come out of your lips.”
“Don’t worry.” The intruder slightly opened the window and said, “The only thing that my capturers will gain from me is my dead body.”
“How trustworthy.” Albus smiled with satisfaction. Then he added, “Ah, one more thing. I don’t know how you guys managed to do it, but please send my gratitude for finishing off my father.”
“…I will definitely pass this message on.” With those words, the intruder disappeared from Albus’ room.
Albus broke out in cold sweat. He regarded himself as a pretty strong individual, but as soon as the intruder disappeared from his window, Albus couldn’t feel any presence at all.
‘If he had targeted my life…’ Albus thought he would have died without a scream. ‘That person from before was also far stronger than me, but his subordinate is also around that level.’
At the same time, this information reassured him.
‘I am receiving support from people like them.’
It made him feel more confident, and Albus strengthened his resolve in anticipation of the near, exciting future.
* * *
The intruder carefully moved out of the Windpool mansion to not get caught, but he was terrifyingly fast.
In a blink of an eye, the intruder arrived at a temple’s bell tower and took off his robe. It was Zich. After placing his dingy robe into his magic box, he looked down at the Windpool mansion from afar.
‘I found out much more than I expected to.’
After Zich failed to make much progress even after he searched the entire Windpool mansion, he made a bold, almost insane plan: it was to act as the ‘robed figures.’ Zich thought that if Albus was involved in Evelyn’s corruption, there was a high chance that he would also have some connection with the robed figures. Thus, Zich had pretended to be one of the robed figures and successfully tricked Albus.
For now, Zich was certain that the robed figures were involved in this case, and Albus was the main plotter behind Evelyn’s corruption. He also knew a bit more about their scheme now.
‘Thank goodness Albus is involved in this plot. If that weren’t the case, I would have been running away by now.’
If Albus had no connection with the robed figures, Zich would have just been a suspicious intruder.
‘It really was the right decision to act as an obedient and curt character.’
Zich knew too little about Albus’ plan to act as a talkative and sneaky character who could proactively extract information from their target. In the first place, since Zich wasn’t even sure that Albus was involved in corrupting Evelyn, it would’ve been a better choice for him to take on an opposite character and play the attitude of, ‘I only do what I am told. I don’t know anything else.’ Of course, he needed at least something that would make Albus trust him—such as the common knowledge they shared like ‘Evelyn Rouge’ or ‘unknown variable.’
‘But in the end, I didn’t find out what his scheme was.’
The incident at the lake and what was happening to the Windpool and Rouge family were both evidently connected to the scheme. However, Zich didn’t know what exactly connected these events together.
‘If I tried to dive deeper, I would have been found out. What a pity.’
Zich felt regretful, but he soon recollected his thoughts.
‘Well, it doesn’t matter. I was able to find the next clue.’
Albus said that he had left something in Evelyn’s room that could be used as ‘evidence,’ so Zich planned to search for a suspicious object in Evelyn’s room.
‘It also bothers me that he used the word manipulate.’
At first, when Albus said that Evelyn was head over heels in love with him, Zich thought he was just saying that Evelyn was deeply in love; but as Zich listened to him more, that didn’t seem to be the case.
‘At Porti, the Bellid guys transformed the Mayor to manipulate him.’ But Zich decided to pause his thoughts for now. ‘I will find out more. I have a prepared guarantee anyways.’
Zich stared at the Windpool mansion, specifically where Albus Windpool was.
‘Even if I fail to uncover their plans, I’m sure something will work out if I kill him.’
Soon afterward, Zich’s figure completely disappeared from the bell tower.
* * *
The Rouge’s mansion was magnificent. The Rouge family was one of the few high-ranking noble families in the Kingdom. Their estate was massive, and they exported a large supply of goods. As expected of their wealth and status, their mansion was extravagant and enormous. In this magnificent mansion, a carriage stopped in front of it. The carriage passed the large garden and stopped in front of the entrance door.
The carriage door opened, and Zich and Lyla came out.
An old maid walked towards them. “Welcome, dear guests. My lady is waiting for both of you.”
The maid escorted them into the lounge.
“Welcome!” Evelyn was waiting for them in the lounge.
Zich and Lyla bowed towards her.
Zich greeted her first. “Thank you for inviting us, Lady Rouge.”
Lyla also said, “Thank you.”
“You’re welcome. I’m the one who should be grateful because I really enjoy talking to you two.” Then Evelyn made them sit down. “I’m very happy that Mr. Zich also came here today.”
Zich replied, “I didn’t want to interrupt the conversation between two beautiful ladies, but it’s been too long since I’ve seen Lady Rouge’s beautiful face.”
“Yes, you say that, but haven’t you constantly rejected my invitations?”
“It was a very painful and difficult decision, but I had matters to take care of.”
“I understand, Mr. Zich. You were being considerate towards me since I find men difficult.”
Zich smiled. His smile seemed like he wanted to agree with Evelyn’s words, but he was too polite to say it out loud. But the reality was completely different.
‘I have no reason to deny her words since it’s favorable for me.’
The three of them made small talk. Even though Evelyn really did seem glad to see Zich, the conversation felt strained since Evelyn feared men. However, she had gotten very close to Lyla in the past few days, and Lyla’s presence made her feel comfortable. Moreover, Zich carried the conversation with perfect poise and manners. After a while, Evelyn was able to join the conversation with ease and happily talked on. Of course, Zich desperately tried to repress the horror he felt while talking to Evelyn, who was completely different from what he was used to.
It was difficult to ascertain how much time passed. Zich got up with the excuse that he needed to use the restroom, and a maid escorted him to an extremely elaborate door. It would be impossible for commoners to think that this was a bathroom door.
“When you come back, please use the same pathway we used to come here. I’m just adding this for your information, but all other paths are blocked by guards. I hope that a minor mistake from my lady’s guest will not end up as an unnecessary quarrel.”
After the maid gave her warning, she went back to the lounge. Zich went inside the bathroom. The bathroom was bigger than a peasant’s entire house with some space left, but it was not the bathroom that Zich was interested in.
‘Should I start moving?’
He knew the location. Lyla had gone there a few times, so she explained where it was and how it looked.
‘There’s probably no one with high-level skills in this mansion.’
Of course, this was only based on Zich’s standards, but it was also true that no one in this mansion was capable of stopping him. Zich quietly went out of the bathroom; he masked his presence and began moving.
The place he reached was Evelyn’s room. Zich went there to find the ‘evidence’ that Albus Windpool had planted.
‘Should I do a quick search?’
There was not much time. If he took too long in the bathroom, people would be suspicious of him. But there was no need for him to hurry either.
‘I don’t have to find it right now.’
Since Evelyn had invited him today, he just came to explore the room in advance. Even if he didn’t find the ‘evidence’ today, he could return to the mansion whenever Evelyn was not at home or when she was sleeping.
‘But I should start looking in places that she usually doesn’t look at.’
Zich searched the bed. He needed to first look at places that were hard to move around when Evelyn was sleeping. He carefully searched around the bed to make sure that nothing was out of place, and his eyes quickly scanned the area around the bed.
‘Since Evelyn’s fiancé said he hid the ‘evidence’ here, it must not be in an obvious place. But if he hid it in a very difficult place, he might not be able to find it again when he wants to reveal it.’
Thus, Albus probably didn’t hide it in a conspicuous spot or a place that was impossible to find. There was nothing much on top of the bed or under it.
‘The most suspicious places would be a hidden floor or wall.’
Zich put his hand under the bed and lightly poured mana into his hands.
‘There’s nothing much under there.’
Zich came out from underneath the bed.
‘Since I don’t know what the evidence is, the search is going to be difficult.’
Zich tried stepping on different places on top of the carpet and tried tapping the table.
‘Is it time for me to go?’
He could still excuse himself by saying that he needed to take care of a big one. But if he took longer than this, he would only gain suspicion.
‘I should search around the dressing table and then go.’
Zich opened the biggest shelf on the dressing table. It was filled with items that looked like cosmetics and accessories. There was nothing that looked suspicious. Zich lightly pushed his mana under the shelves.
A completely different sound came out, making Zich’s eyes sparkle.
‘I found it!’
* * *
Ever since Zich left the area, Lyla and Evelyn had continued their conversation. However, they moved onto a different topic. Unfortunately, it was a topic that Lyla was most uncomfortable with.
Evelyn asked, “Is your relationship with Mr. Zich still the same?”
Lyla didn’t know if it was because Zich, a man, was gone, or because they moved on to a topic of great personal interest, but Evelyn now looked a lot more animated. Every time this topic was mentioned, Lyla became extremely awkward. She could only react with a complicated expression on her face as Zich told her to voice her true feelings.Previous Chapter Next Chapter