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Chapter 06: I carried out an investigation with a friend and former subordinate (part 3)
I had planned to be the reliable one this time, but I gave up. I decided to leave the follow-up to Raven.
Raven grabbed hold of the musclehead’s shoulder and shoved a piece of paper at him.
“Oh, I see. So you need information from me, right? My bad, my bad. I’ve derailed the conversation. You guys have accepted this mission for our sake, isn’t it?” [Masa]
“No, not really to that extent.” [Youki]
“Now that the goods are missing, we’ve been treated as criminals. Our reputation plummeted as well. At this rate, all the men of the sea will be seen as nothing but a bunch of cheap bandits.” [Masa]
Even though he was talking to us in a high-spirited manner a while ago, the moment we raised this topic, his expression became lonely, and a sorrowful atmosphere permeated the air
Based on what I heard from the guildmaster of the merchant guild, all the crew members were suspected at the moment.
It seemed that they were aware of it as well.
“…Are you worried? Thank you, young lady. It’s a miserable story coming from a man of the sea, but everyone… is a bundle of nerves now. However, I didn’t steal the goods! My comrades are innocent as well! That is why everyone is working hard now.” [Masa]
It seemed that all the crew members have a lot on their mind. They worked hard on their jobs even though they knew very well that they were wrongly accused. I thought he was just a musclehead, but I might have to change my impression of him.
The expressions on Happiness and Raven’s faces changed as well after hearing his story. They should have adopted this serious attitude from the start! Although, considering how things normally was, it wasn’t my place to say it out.
“…Sorry, I ended up getting emotional. It’s no good, for a man of the sea like me to be like this.” [Masa]
“Happiness is right. I don’t think so as well. Anyone will feel upset or emotional if they are wrongly accused. Don’t you think so too, Raven?” [Youki]
Raven nodded strongly.
“Kiddo, you all… thank you. If it’s you guys, I believe you will be able to bring a resolution to this turmoil. You want more information, right? We’ll do our best to provide whatever assistance we can.” [Masa]
“It would be of great help. Shall we start now?” [Youki]
“Yes, of course. Hey, you all! Time for a break! Our saviours are here-!” [Masa]
In response, the other crew members stopped their work and gathered. Although, that was an overstatement. We haven’t even done anything yet, so how could we be their so-called saviours?
“Hey, calling us saviours is…” [Youki]
“Listen here, all! These people are the saviours who will clear our names. As men of the sea, we must do our best to cooperate. You must tell them everything you know, regardless of how minor or trivial it might seem!” [Masa]
The voices of the crew members reverberated through the port – albeit not as lively probably due to the incident.
…Just how did it come to this?
Happiness, being the only woman among us group of men, had a bitter look on her face, while Raven… was just as usual. I supposed knights were used to being around a group of men like this.
However, just when I came to that conclusion, Raven called out to me softly.
“What’s wrong?” [Youki]
“…I don’t think I can do it.” [Raven]
“Why are you giving up here!? Don’t worry. It’ll be okay. If you were to play an active role here, you’ll…” [Youki]
“I’m… already out of paper.” [Raven]
He showed me the contents of his bag; the compartment where he usually kept his papers was empty. All that was left was crumpled paper that had been scribbled on before and couldn’t be used anymore.
“…For the time being, Happiness and I will manage it from here. Could you wait for us until we’re done? We’ll then go through all the information gathered back at the inn.” [Youki]
He lowered his head towards me, seemingly really apologetic.
Yeah… there’s no helping it. But, as Duke had said, it would be inconvenient if he couldn’t speak up in public by himself. This situation was unavoidable, but it might not be a bad idea to put Raven through a little training after this.
Well, the purpose was to bring the two of them closer this trip. I had to complete this mission fast not only so they could go on dates, but also for the sake of these crew members.
I then asked Raven to wait nearby as Happiness and I gathered the information. However, when the crew member started asking me about the ‘swords bro’, I couldn’t bring myself to tell him that Raven couldn’t speak because he ran out of paper.
“Ah, he’s resting. It seems that he’s not feeling well after arriving since he’s not yet accustomed to this place.” [Youki]
“Seriously!? From my observation, swords bro should be someone who has tempered his body through a lot of training. Was I mistaken?” [Masa]
He seemed disappointed as Raven had projected the image of a swordsman; he didn’t expect him to have a weak body.
“Hahaha… Happiness and I will be getting all the information from you guys, so don’t worry about it.” [Youki]
“I see. I notice that swords bro hasn’t spoken much earlier. I hope to have a conversation with him, if possible.” [Masa]
That was natural because the said person couldn’t convey his thoughts verbally at all. Apparently, he didn’t realize that Raven had been communicating through written notes. Even Raven’s agitated attempt at waving the ‘PLEASE CALM DOWN’ note earlier appeared to have gone unnoticed.
After that, Happiness and I went around acquiring the details we needed; with Happiness covering 30% of the crew members, and me, the remaining 70%.
When I told the crew members that we would be returning to the inn, we were given a celebratory send-off. Raven looked crestfallen, probably because he felt that he hadn’t contributed at all. Happiness, on the other hand, waved at them with an indifferent expression. However, cheers seemed to erupt each time she waved. Was it because she is viewed as an idol? It made me wonder what kind of answer I would get if I were to ask the person in question. Although, I supposed that the most fitting answer would be: that’s what happens when there is a rose among the thorns.
“…So, we came back to the inn at once, but…” [Youki]
“I didn’t expect that it’ll be this late by the time we’re done.” [Youki]
I guessed it couldn’t be help considering the time we reached Frimaire. However, taking both of their free time into account, I’d like to take action right away tomorrow.
“…I’m really sorry.” [Raven]
“Like I said, you don’t need to apologize! You’ll be the one to piece together the information, right?” [Youki]
“…No need apologize.” [Happiness]
“You hear that? Happiness is of the same opinion. All you need to do, is to do what you can, alright?” [Youki]
“…Is that so? But, I still can’t accept it.” [Raven]
That said, he did not neglect to write down all the information he acquired from us. It left us feeling dumbstruck, though, when we saw him taking down all the details at a tremendous speed. It was probably a skill he had picked up from his daily job at the knight headquarters. Even as he was talking to us, his hand was moving at a constant speed.