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Chapter 06: I carried out an investigation with a friend and former subordinate (part 4)
“…What’s amazing?” [Raven]
“Well, there are things that only you can do, and what you are capable of has amazed her.” [Youki]
“That was what I was asking. What is…” [Raven]
“Anyway, are you done already?” [Youki]
It would be pointless to keep this conversation going, so I changed the subject. At the very least, I would like to make my move tomorrow so it would be crucial to decide our objective now.
“…Yeah. After piecing together the information, I found that what you two have gathered are similar.” [Raven]
“…Good job.” [Happiness]
Happiness served Raven a cup of tea as a gesture of appreciation. She must have borrowed the inn’s kitchen to prepare it beforehand.
“T-Thank you…” [Raven]
Raven, my friend, you still have a long way to go if you were flustered by such a simple gesture. I wasn’t fazed at all when Cecilia brought me my tea. Of course, I hadn’t forgotten to thank her as well.
“More importantly, where’s mine?” [Youki]
*clink* An empty cup was placed on the desk in front of me, and she was ‘thoughtful’ enough to leave the teapot within my reach as well.
“So, are you telling me to pour it myself?” [Youki]
“Spot-on, my ass! Can’t you do the same for me since you’ve already carried the cup here?” [Youki]
All she needed to do was to pour in the tea, so why did it end up as ‘self-service’ halfway through?
“…I feel like it?” [Happiness]
She tilted her head to the side as she looked at me. That gesture of hers was sly seeing as she was usually expressionless, but putting on that cute look wouldn’t work on me. I’ve known her for a long time after all. Although, there was a certain swordsman beside her whose face had turned beet red.
“Well, whatever. I have already done it myself while we are having this conversation.” [Youki]
“…End of story.” [Happiness]
Such an exchange between us was nothing unusual. Raven must have wanted to have a conversation like this with Happiness, too. That was what I thought as I sipped my tea. Happiness’s tea tasted delicious as well, although, not as tasty as Cecilia’s one. Was there a trick in making it taste that good? I should try asking her the next time.
“…Can I continue?” [Raven]
Raven, whose face was still a little red, voiced out.
Come to think of it, it wasn’t a time for us to have a stand-up comedy routine like this. We must decide our objective and set our plan for tomorrow.
“My bad. Please, go on.” [Youki]
“This is my conjecture based on the information gathered by you two but, I think demons are probably involved in this case.” [Raven]
“Yes. When I piece together all the clues given by the crew members, I found one similar point. It seems that all of them had heard a beautiful voice singing, and they all lost their memories after that.” [Raven]
If I remember correctly, a large majority of the crew members did say that. A beautiful voice singing from the sea… it sounded surreal. This wasn’t a fairy tale from my past life.
“It shouldn’t be a mermaid, right?” [Youki]
“…As expected of you, Youki. That’s exactly what I have in mind, too.” [Raven]
“Eh? Are you for real?!” [Youki]
I didn’t know that a fantasy being like mermaids exist in this world.
I gaped at them with a foolish look on my face as the realisation dawned on me.
“…I don’t think it’s that surprising.” [Raven]
Mermaids were beings that only existed in the world of fairy tale in my past life. However, considering what I had experienced so far, which was far more fantasy-like, the existence of mermaids shouldn’t be that surprising now. The retort Happiness gave me was nothing unusual, but it was a little shocking to see the doubtful look on Raven’s face.
“…You know about mermaids, right? That’s how you suspected that they’re involved in this case, isn’t it?” [Raven]
“Well, I do somewhat know about them.” [Youki]
Unfortunately, the mermaids I knew about were not necessarily the same as the mermaids from this world so it wouldn’t be a good idea to proclaim that I knew very well about them.
“…I see. Can I ask you one thing? Why did you suspect that mermaids are involved in this?” [Raven]
Did he ask me that question because he had seen through my lie? It wouldn’t have mattered even if I really got them mixed up so I should probably tell him my real thoughts.
“You mentioned that they heard a beautiful voice singing, right? There are not many demons that can attract humans with their voices by singing, so the first thing that came to my mind when you say that was a mermaid.” [Youki]
I did not reveal much about what I knew about mermaids, but had, instead, given him a partial reply to his question. I should be able to gloss over it and clear his doubt with this.
“I can do without that sharp tongue of yours, thank you. Leaving that aside, is my answer good enough, Raven?” [Youki]
“…That’s just what I have expected of you. Even though it is only a speculation, you’ve realized the root of this problem as well.” [Raven]
It appeared that Raven had tried to look cool when he said that. He wasn’t usually the type who would utter such a corny line, but probably because Happiness was around, he started revealing more of his personality.
Happiness’s murmuring was soft so Raven couldn’t hear her. She was probably being considerate to Raven, who has a weak mind. That said, it seemed that she would not hesitate to hurl abusive language aloud when it was directed at me.
“…Actually, I’ve acquired quite a useful information a while ago. Apparently, someone saw a mermaid in a nearby cove.” [Raven]
“Tell me about in detail!” [Youki]
Raven had initially inched closer so he could explain it to me, but he withdrew when Happiness, whose interest seemed to be piqued as well, approached him, causing him to blush furiously. Is this what you would call ‘youth’? Somehow, saying so makes me feel old.
“So, fill me in about the mermaid.” [Youki]
A rom-com routine wouldn’t be a bad idea, but only after we settled this mission.
Raven, who was distancing himself from Happiness, seemed to assume an air of calm, but his face was still a little red. Don’t overdo it, Raven.
“…Actually, when the two of you were enquiring information from the crew members, a man had approached me. He claimed that he saw a mermaid with a pile of packages in the cove.” [Raven]
In a sense, the clue we wanted fell into our laps just like that. However, this development was evidently way too convenient.
“Isn’t it suspicious? It seems as if that person had anticipated that we would be gathering information before approaching us.” [Youki]
“… I understand where you’re coming from. But this is the only lead that we have. It should be worthwhile to look into it, right?” [Raven]
Raven looked 30% much cooler than usual. Even though he was normally passive, he actually became assertive this time. He was becoming a dependable man.