This place is the slum quarters on the outskirts of the Royal Capital.
In front of the entrance of a shabby building that at a glance looks abandoned are standing two brawny men.
Claire-sama, Lily-sama, and I are observing that place from a distance.
“… After all, shall we stop?”
“What are you saying after coming this far”
“Tha, that’s right. After expressly having the disguise prepared”
It’s as Lily-sama says, we’re not in the usual school uniforms.
If we walked in the slum quarters like that, it’s as good as asking to be attacked.
Of course, even if we were attacked, if it’s us there’s no worry about suffering damage, but creating an uproar would make Resistance cautious.
That’s why we’re dressed in commoners’ clothes – moreover, in quite ragged ones.
To hide that all of us are women, we’re also wearing hoods covering our eyes.
“Then, shall we go”
“Wait, Rei! … Jeez”
“Le, let’s go, Claire-sama”
We readied ourselves and approached the building.
When I called out to them, gatekeepers made strange faces.
On a closer look, one is tall and wears a sword on his waist, while the other is short and stout with a hatchet in his hand.
At a glance it’s obvious they’re used to fighting.
“What. This ain’t a place for brats”
“We came to meet with your leader. Show us in”
“As I said, this ain’t a place for brats. Get out”
The taller person said menacingly.
After all, entering straightforwardly is impossible.
“Are Luster siblings doing well?”
“!? You… How do you know that name”
My few words changed gatekeepers’ complexions.
“Won’t you let us meet Arla-sama?”
“Hey, why do those guys know leader’s name――”
“Shut up. Guard those guys so they don’t escape. I’ll go ask leader”
Saying so, the taller gatekeeper went inside the building.
“Hey, Rei, what does this mean. Are you acquainted with people here?”
“No, I’m not”
“Then, why did you speak the name so smoothly”
“Claire-sama, women have their secrets”
“Look, this is not a place to be jok――”
“Bastards, shut it”
While I was whispering with Claire-sama, the gatekeeper came back.
“Leader will meet you. Come”
The tall gatekeeper opened the door and with his chin urged us to enter.
As we entered, the door was locked.
“Claire-sama, it’s fine”
“Please trust me”
“… I understand”
Claire-sama seemed disgruntled, but for now seemed to listen to me.
Be that as it may, it feels like it won’t be funny when she explodes.
I have to be careful in various ways.
Different from what could be imagined from the outward appearance, the building’s interior was put in order, it even had a sense of cleanliness.
There’s only a minimum amount of furnishing, but it looks to be at commoner district standards.
We followed the gatekeeper down the hallway and were led into the innermost room.
“Leader, I brought them in”
The person called leader was a tall woman.
Her dark blonde hair was casually tied in a bundle behind, on her face – no, perhaps on her whole body were burn marks.
“Now then, there are many things I want to ask, but would you take off those hoods first”
The woman with burns – Arla Luster asked with a faint smile on her lips.
Only her lips are smiling.
Her eyes are coldly fixed at us.
Even the strong-willed Claire-sama had a clouded expression like she was overpowered.
As we obediently exposed our faces, Arla’s expression shook just a little.
“… Do you understand what this place is?”
“The main organization behind the commoners’ movement. Resistance’s headquarters, according to my understanding”
“Hou… Where did you hear that?”
Arla continued asking as if she found something interesting.
“Nowhere. Please rest assured, there’s no traitor among your ranks”
“Can I believe those words?”
“You have no choice but to believe – Arla Manuel-san”
The instant I spoke that name I felt a light pain on my neck.
Both stood up taking out their magic wands and readied them.
Before I noticed, a sword was thrust in front my throat.
It was a lightning fast action.
I couldn’t see the sword being drawn at all.
“You bastard… How do you know my family name”
Unlike before, there was discomposure on leader’s face.
Arla Luster is a false name.
Her true family name is Manuel.
Of course I know it from the game.
“I can’t reveal the source. But, I know almost everything about you. What you are doing now, and what you will be trying to do next”
“Do you think I’ll let you return alive when you know so much? Do you have a death wish?”
“No. We want to do business with you”
“… What business?”
“Could you lower the sword first. It’s hard to talk like this”
When I said that, Arla glared at me with vigilance for a while, but eventually she let out a large breath and lowered her sword.
“… I will only listen. I’ll judge whether you can return alive afterwards”
For the time being, I’ve succeeded in bringing Arla to negotiating table.
However, the real thing starts here.
“Right now, you should be lacking funds to continue operating. Accordingly, I will offer you two million gold”
“… Hou? Where will you get such large amount of money?”
“The source doesn’t matter, right. In return for these funds, we would like to be taught where the evidence of Prime Minister Salas’s and late Queen Lulu’s infidelity is”
“… Really, who are you…? How much do you know?”
“As I said, almost everything”
Arla’s usual vigilant air didn’t weaken.
Because I know whole Arla’s hand.
“Fa, Father’s affair with the late Queen!? What are you saying, Rei-san!?”
Perhaps shaken up, Lily-sama blurted out.
“Hou, so this girl is Cardinal Lily, huh. And you are Rei Taylor?”
Arla grinned meaningfully.
It’s the expression that says gotcha.
“Stop with that poor act. You must’ve known who we are from the moment we took off our hoods”
This is Arla’s bluff.
We’ve been exposed from the beginning.
Thus, we didn’t intend to hide our identity.
Arla clicked her tongue a little.
“And, Lily-sama. Salas-sama had an affair with the late Queen. As a result, Sein-sama was born”
That is to say, the rumor about Sein-sama is true.
He isn’t a true child of the current king His Majesty Rousseau.
Sein-sama being Salas-sama’s and late Queen Lulu’s child makes him Lily-sama’s older half-brother.
Salas-sama, Sein-sama, and Lily-sama all share silver hair and red eyes.
“You’ve figured this much, yet you don’t possess evidence?”
“Yes. Arla-san knows the location of said evidence, right?”
“Why do you think so”
“The rumor spreading on the streets about Sein-sama was started by Arla-san”
“… It really seems you know everything”
Arla smiled bitterly and raised her hands in resignation.
“So that means you naturally know who I am?”
“Try saying it”
Arla said as if to verify me.
“Eldest daughter of Count Manuel who was Salas-sama’s former close associate, Arla Manuel”
When I said that, a cynical smile appeared on Arla’s face.