Chapter 65. Mirror Copy

 


–It was about two weeks ago before the entire Black Maria was called up.

 

Labyrinth City Labyrinthos, one of the three cities near the Royal Capital.

 

A city with a great labyrinth, a legacy from the old days that is an ancient treasure house and a den of magical beasts.

 

The crucible of ambitious explorers in search of honor and treasure.

Underneath the surface, an incident was taking place.

 

“What about you, Zack?”

 

Inside an old mansion with more corpses lying around than one hand could count.

 

There was a group of people going through bookshelves and drawers, searching for something.

 

A few men and women, not much older than each other.

 

They were all armed and equipped differently, but they all wore the same necklace and emblem.

 

“…… It’s no use. The whole text is encrypted. If we don’t know what the keywords are or what they mean, there’s nothing we can do.”

 

“Well, we can’t do anything about that. This is different from dealing with a bunch of thugs who gathered together.”

 

Their name is Fafnir. A mercenary group.

There were only six of them in total, but they have been steadily expanding their fame through their remarkable achievements over the past few years.

 

“And yet, I never thought we would hit such a big fish with a request I casually accepted from the guild.”

 

A low, gravelly tone.

A young man with a sword, a corpse lay near his feet.

 

He cast a steely glance at the fallen leader of the Black Maria 7th Corps.

 

“The Wicker Man of a Thousand Slayings. He used to be a member of the same mercenary guild as us, with a high bounty of 30 gold coins.”

 

“He’s a crazy guy who likes to skin people he’s killed and then collected. To be honest, I was only half listening to the story……”

 

They frowned, remembering the time when they had entered what seemed to be this man’s private room during their house-hunting and had seen his “collection”.

 

A horrible scene that they couldn’t even look at directly. He was as crazy as they say, and as dangerous as his reputation.

 

It was no wonder that the bounty of thirty gold coins was one of the highest on the blacklist, which contained information on many wanted criminals.

 

“And it’s not just the Wicker Man. Red Boots, Tomb Raider, and …… nearly half of the people here have bounties of at least ten gold pieces and are well-known even to us. The total amount of bounty could easily exceed a hundred. ……?”

 

“Yeah, but we managed to beat those bounty hunters! Now Fafnir’s name will become even more famous! We might even get a few more requests due to our name alone! Hey, Zack!”

 

A skin headed young man carrying a battle axe as tall as he is.

 

With brand new bandages wrapped around his well-trained body, he was still shouting fiercely.

 

And the young man he had called Zack. The swordsman who, like his partner, had received several deep scars was the leader of the Fafnir mercenaries.

 

“….Yes, you’re right. I’m glad to hear that. If possible, I would have liked to have gotten information that would have led us to the leaders of these guys.  For now, let’s stay here for a while and see what happens. After what we have done here, they might approach us.”

 

“And then we shall strike back! My body is twitching in excitement!”

The Fafnir mercenary group had been following Black Maria’s trail for some time now.

 

The guild master personally asked them to do this after a prominent member of the mercenary guild was killed by them.

 

To destroy Black Maria.

 

“Anyway, there’s no reason to stay here any longer. Moving around is going to open up wounds. Let’s collect the materials and the dead bodies of the bounty hunters and leave this mansion.”

 

“Yeah. Hey, you guys, let’s get this over with!”

 

The skinhead’s furious voice raised a few sparse voices here and there in the relatively large mansion.

 

However, he was in good spirits, even though he was the most seriously injured among his friends.

 

About ten or fifteen minutes later, they were done with the cleanup.

 

After receiving Zack’s order, they gathered in front of the broken entrance.

 

“Oh! I’ve managed to collect some documents and stuff like that!”

 

A small, friendly-looking man jumped nimbly across the second floor stairwell. His left arm seemed to be broken and was held in place by an arm holder.

 

As if to affirm his words, a tall, thin man halfway up the stairs nodded quietly while tapping his fingertips on a bag full of papers.

 

The two men presented a stark contrast.

 

“Hmm. I’m sure we’ll get at least one clue from that stuff. How did it go with you, Kura?”

 

The satisfied skinhead turned his attention towards a woman with long hair, holding a distortedly shaped short spear.

 

Standing slightly hunched over, she shook her head slowly.

 

“We struck out. This was a living area, nothing important here.”

 

Even though they searched high and low for information, it was a waste of time.

 

She sighed in frustration and twirled her spear for comfort.

 

A beautiful circular motion. The sharp, constant sound of the wind.

Despite the fact that she looked like she had never been involved in any rough stuff, she seemed to be quite skilled at it.

 

“All I found was hazardous objects……I’m so tired……”

 

“Thanks, Kura. I’m sorry you had to go through that.”

 

Patting her shoulder lightly, suddenly Zack began to look around.

 

The girl who should have been with her was nowhere to be seen.

 

“….. What happened to Izuru?”

 

“Oh, Izuru, she went to the…….”

 

“Thanks for waiting.”

 

Zack turned at the sound of a female voice coming from behind him.

 

Apparently, she was coming up from the basement.

 

“Ugh, can’t you be a little faster and not waste time.”

 

“Shut up, you retarded baldie. There was a safe and I was ripping it open.”

 

A hefty-looking burlap sack was held in her slim arms.

 

The large amount of coins inside were shaking and making noise.

 

“Oh, you never miss anything like that, do you? That’s a good one, you’ve got a lot!”

 

“I don’t want you to talk about me like I’m a money hoarder. In the first place, I’m having a hard time because you guys can’t even manage to account for your own money.”

“…I don’t know what to say.”

 

Zack smiled, scratching his cheeks in embarrassment.

The others were also showing a similar expression.

 

In fact, until she joined, the Fafnir mercenary group’s financial management was a mess.

It was only natural since there was neither an accountant to tighten the purse strings nor a negotiator to extract the most favorable terms from the client.

 

“It’s heavy …… Hey Keith, don’t make me carry this thing around forever.”

“What! Why should I! You’re the one who wanted… Alright, don’t glare at me. I’ll carry it.”

 

She glared at him, and the skinhead changed his attitude and took the burlap sack.

 

The best way to describe it was that she was on his ass.(TL note: It means she has a certain amount of control on him XD)

 

“Um, speaking of which, weren’t the people in the place acting kind of strange?”

 

They were on their way home.

Suddenly, it was a woman with a mature impression who muttered something like that.

 

“I feel like some people were surprised when they saw Izuru”

 

“Hmmm…”

 

Zack made a thinking gesture at that statement.

He also felt the same way.

 

“Izuru”

 

“….I don’t have any idea what you’re talking about.?”

 

She shrugged her shoulders as she brushed the blood off her clothes.

 

“Maybe I might have met them before I joined you guys.”

“”Well…you still can’t remember anything?”

 

Zack asked with a mysterious look on his face, probably because he considered it a delicate issue.

 

On the other hand, Izuru nodded her head, not really bothered by it.

 

–She had lost almost all of her memories prior to four years ago when she was taken in by Fafnir.

Almost all of them had been lost.

 

“If I had anything to do with those people, I must have been a horrible person.”

 

“It doesn’t matter now, does it! You’re one of us now!”

 

The skinhead yelled at her to drown out her half-joking words.

 

Izuru looked puzzled and rolled her eyes at him.

 

“What are you getting all worked up about?”

 

“”Oh,……oh……no, sorry…….”

 

“You’re weird. But thanks, I liked what you said.”

 

Izuru chuckled.

 

The skinhead was stunned for a moment by her smile, which he rarely saw.

 

“Well, let’s get back to the inn. We have to calculate today’s share of the profit.”

 

With a quick, light step, she stepped in front of everyone and turned around.

 

She had long black hair, a rarity in the kingdom of Si Levant.

 

They wondered if it was a habit, unconsciously.

She gently stroked the three black spots under her left eye.