Lubella rested the whole day. She wasnt able to sleep at all from constantly hiding and running around, so she needed as much rest as possible.
When it turned dark, Zich and Lubella went out of their lodging. After carrying Lubella out through the window and putting her down first, Zich went back inside the room and went out through the front door. To their good fortune, the moon and stars were covered by clouds, and Zich held Lubellas hands as they went through the darkness and headed towards the Mayors mansion.
“Its over there,” Lubella whispered while pointing towards a mansion.
As expected, the mansion was enormous. Expensive and exotic plants lined the yard and surrounded a three-floor structure. There were over a dozen windows in the mansion. As if to display the owners wealth, the mansion was expensive as it was picturesque.
Zich looked at the Mayors mansion. Prior to the day, Zich had surveyed the grounds nearby, so he had seen the mansion before.
“Wait a moment here.”
Zich left Lubella for a bit and jumped on a roof nearby; from there, he looked around the mansion. Seeing the sight in front of him, his eyes narrowed in suspicion.
Lamps were planted all around the yard; there was even a magic lamp, so the mansion shone brightly. Guards could also be seen in the yard. All of this was not strange. There was that recent incident with Lubella, and it was the Mayors house after all, so having guards to protect the mansion was not strange.
But there are too few guards. It also seems like there arent any guards who can control mana.
He also had the same suspicion when he saw the mansion during the day. Zich went down from the roof and told Lubella what he saw. Then he asked her, “Were there only a few guards from the start”
“I-I cant really remember.”
Lubella put down her head in remorse, but Zich did not blame her. As a candidate to become the next Saint, Lubella was just starting to gain experience in the outside world; it was unreasonable to expect her to remember the number of guards in a persons house. Zich only asked just in case.
“Lets first try going in.”
“Will it be alright Wasnt there something off”
“Well, it seems like a trap could be waiting for us.”
“T-then should we not go in”
Lubella was shocked at Zichs almost bored tone.
“Well, if we had a bit more leeway, we could step back and watch the situation a bit more and adjust our plans accordingly…but we dont have this leeway, right”
“Even if there is a trap, we have to go in anyway, right”
“…Yes, you are right.”
Lubellas eyes shook in nervousness. Fear and hesitation twisted and shook her heart. However, in the end, what took over her heart were firm determination and strong will.
Seeing her change in heart, Zich let out a small smile.
As expected, I can see glimpses of her future self.
Thinking back on it, the most bothersome and annoying figure in the Hero Party was Lubella.
In battle, you really have to kill the healer first.
But that was the end to Zichs recollection. Zich focused on the present and commented, “You dont have to worry too much. We are not going in recklessly.”
Zich patted Lubellas back to calm her down. When she seemed to calm down a bit, he lifted her over his shoulders.
About to let out a scream in shock, Lubella quickly clamped her mouth.
“W-what are you doing”
“Its because we are going to sneak into the mansion now. This is more comfortable.”
“But its like Im baggage!”
“You are baggage. At least for now.”
Lubella glared at Zich, but he ignored her. He moved through the darkness and trod towards the mansion.
With his light foot movements, his whole body soared. Lubella held onto Zichs neck tightly. Even though she experienced this every time they went in and out of their lodging, she was still not used to Zichs jumps. After Zich landed on a soft patch of grass while hardly making a sound, he looked around.
There are no guards around here, and theres not even a person checking out the window.
Without hesitation, Zich kept moving forward. He used the shrubs, trees, and statues to keep himself hidden from the constantly moving guards. Lubella watched Zich with surprise as he swiftly moved around. Finally, they reached one of the mansions windows; the wooden window was sealed tightly shut. With one hand, Zich adjusted the arm he was holding Lubella with, and he took out a dagger with the other hand. Then he pushed the dagger in through the window.
After a light cutting sound, the window eased open without further protest. Zich went inside the window, and after putting Lubella down, he closed the window again. He picked up a lock that had fallen, twisted it into a 90-degree angle, and used it to close the window as if he was sewing two frames together. The window was securely shut once more.
“I think you can rest easy for now. Nobody is near us.”
“When you told me that you lived a rough life, did it mean that you were a thief before”
“Why Did I sneak into the house too naturally”
“Yes. At this rate, I would believe it if you told me that you were a master thief.”
“I used to be a noble.”
“Please dont lie.”
Lubella made a straight face.
“The crime of impersonating a noble is worth the death penalty.”
“When we are done with all of this, try investigating Zich Steelwall from the Steelwall family. You will probably find some interesting information.”
Even Lubella knew about the Steelwall family. They were some of the most renowned aristocrats in the Kingdom.
And hes saying that he is Zich Steelwall
By using Steelwall as his last name, that meant he was one of the Lords family members. Thus, there was a high chance that Zich was directly related to the Count of Steelwall.
Moreover, the person who Lubella thought was a thief a moment ago had never revealed his last name so far. He also had the amazing skill of cutting a small table in half with a wooden spoon.
“Wait a moment! Are you really a noble And a Steelwall one at that”
“Thats why I told you to try investigating later on. There are more urgent matters right now.”
Zich lightly tapped Lubellas shoulders.
“Since we were able to enter the mansion successfully, now its your turn. Try to remember the location of the Mayors room.”
At Zichs words, Lubella shook herself back to reality. As Zich said, it was not time for her to satisfy her curiosity about small matters.
“Please follow me.”
Lubella began to lead Zich carefully. Since the hallways were thickly carpeted, their footsteps made almost no sound. If there were people nearby, Zich would sense their presence and carry Lubella to a nearby room until they disappeared. Zich could easily cut through all the door locks with his dagger, and after they made significant progress like this, Lubella stopped at a specific door.
“Its here. Bellus statue was stored here.”
Zich glared at the door. There was no human presence inside the room. However…
“There is an annoying feeling about this room.”
To prove that Karuwiman and Bellid's followers were like oil and water, Lubella uncharacteristically remarked in a cynical voice, “Well, all Bellid people are annoying.”
Zich opened the door. The light from the hallway slowly seeped in through the door and into the room. And with the brightness,that thing appeared. Its face resembled that of a fish and had two sets of horns on the sides of its face, top and bottom, totaling to four horns. The body was muscular, and there were webs on the statues hands and feet. Its long, piercing eyes gave off the atmosphere of a starving beast, and they dared anyone to come inside to be slaughtered in an instant.
“Bellid looks like a stupid fish head as usual.”
“Yes. Stupid Bellid people worship a stupid god like themselves.”
Lubella added on her own insults to Zichs mockery. Since Bellid was the evil god of water, many parts of his appearance manifested it. So, a nickname that stuck with him was fish head. Of course, the followers of Bellid despised this nickname.
Zich approached the statue. Since Zich did not have holy powers like Lubella, he did not have the ability to recognize if the dirty aura of Bellu was on the statue right away. However, if he directly touched the statue, he could find the information he wanted.
Zich put his hands on the statue and lightly imbued it with his mana. The statue reacted, and Zichs body shivered.
Its a horrifying feeling no matter many times I feel it.”
It felt something like touching a fish that had been rotting for several days or swimming in a filthy pool.
Zich let go of the statue and said, “It feels so dirty. It would actually be better if it was scary or dangerous instead. I feel like Im rolling around in a rotting trash can.”
“Ahah! Thats a great expression!”
Lubellas eyes sparkled. It seemed as if the best way to gain this future Saints trust was not only to perform acts of kindness but verbally attack followers of Bellid without mercy.
“But anyway, with this, we can now be sure that followers of Bellid are a part of this.”
“You didnt believe me”
“Im just making sure. There is a possibility that you could have been tricked.”
“I wont ever mistake Bellids aura.”
Lubella sullenly replied to Zichs statement.
“Lets go look for the Mayor first. It seems like this is the main statue for the ritual; it would have been possible to cancel the ritual early on, but its now impossible to do so without a great amount of force. The only way we can stop the ritual is to destroy the catalyst.”
“…Yes. Alright, I understand.”
They left the room. But Lubella looked regretful that they could not destroy the statue right away, and her eyes were glued to the statue for a long time.
They began sneaking around the mansion again. In the same way that they found the room with Bellids statue, they soon reached the Mayors room. The Mayors door was red and enormous with elaborate decorations. Anyone could have seen that it was the Mayors room.
“This is it.”
“Yeah, it looks like it. The carpet is new.”
It seemed like they had changed the blood-soaked carpets with new ones.
“Will he be inside”
“I can feel a presence inside.”
Zich and Lubellas eyes met and they nodded together.
Zich took out his sword, and Lubella fixed her grip on her staff.
Zich opened the door and entered the room first. Lubella followed right behind him. A small number of candle lights lit up the room, but their few lights were nowhere near enough to brighten up the whole room. Rather than brightening up the room, the shimmering and shivering light only made the atmosphere more ominous.
The room looked as if it was built to be used as an office and a reception space. In one corner of the room, there was an expensive table and chair used for business; and on another side of the room, there was a big wooden table and comfortable looking chairs around it. There were also many fancy decorations on the walls.
From the right side of the entrance, there was another door on the wall—that seemed to lead to the Mayors bedroom. However, they didnt need to bother going into the Mayors bedroom and find him there.
Because there was a person looking at Zich and Lubella with an arrogant attitude from his seat. He was dressed in fancy clothing and was severely overweight.
“He is the Ma…!”
Zich acted faster than Lubellas warnings.
His swings were really like the wind. Zich cut through the room at a moments notice. He climbed up the table and pointed his sword at the Mayors neck and stopped there. It took him less time to do all this than for someone to blink their eyes.
Even before Lubella finished her sentence, the situation was already over. Her words disappeared into thin air with no real purpose.
“Are you the Mayor The main leader of Bellids followers” Zich asked, and the Mayors glass-like eyes began to move towards him.
“Dont give him time! If he speaks, the undead will come to us in hoards!”
Lubella ran to where Zich was and urged him to punish the Mayor. However, Zich didnt move his sword, and he made eye contact with the Mayor.
After letting out a sigh, Zich got up from the table and removed his sword from the Mayors neck.
“What are you doing!” Lubella shouted out in surprise. Zich shook his head in refusal.
“We got the wrong person.”
“This human is not the cause for these happenings.”
Zich lightly swung his sword and cut off the Mayors head. The Mayors body began to grow limp. At this frightening sight, Lubella closed her eyes for a few moments, but she soon opened her eyes and stared at Zich—the words he had said could not be ignored.
“What do you mean we got the wrong person What does that mean…!”
Zich suddenly moved. He moved as if he was the light, but his movements were as fluid as water as he cut through the air.
A light cutting sound could be heard, and it was at that moment—
It was a terrifying scream that sounded as if it came straight from hell, full of resentment and hate. Lubella closed her ears with her hands, but this was not very helpful. The scream sounded like it was right inside her head. But even at this moment, Lubella did not close her eyes. She saw something fly past in a jiff, and thisthing went past Lubella and headed towards the rooms entrance.
A man popped out from nowhere and grabbed the flying object. Then, Lubella saw the man frown and looked at the object in his hands.
Lubellas eyes widened in surprise. The man was someone she knew from before.
“Mr. Deputy Mayor”