Ch. 69: A Run-Down Tavern
I slip my left hand into my shirt.
Then, Hati began writing letters with her finger against the palm of my hand.
Werner: “Of what?” Barely moving my lips, I whisper the words quietly towards myself.
Even if others heard, they would only think I’m talking to myself.
It’s not unusual to run into someone with a habit of mumbling to themselves.
Apparently, Hati smelled blood.
Werner: “Who’s?” [A・T・T・A・C・K・E・R]
Hati slowly and carefully formed each letter.
Once she finished, she pinched my stomach, and wrote againーー
And wrote the same word twice.
If Hati is writing “Attacker”, then she must be referring to the one who attacked my sister.
The one who attacked my sister was a Mage.
The Mage attacked my sister with Attack Spells, and after receiving damage from my Spell, they left a trail of blood and escaped from the scene.
I had Hati confirm the smell of blood I took from the blood sample.
Hati has already confirmed how good her sense of smell is by locating this tavern.
Werner: “From where?” Hati: “W・O・M・A・N”
In this place, the only woman around is the waitress.
I looked around the tavern with bored amusement as I observed the waitress.
The waitress's clothes are extremely dirty.
But even so, contrary to her appearance, she did not reek of any horrible smell that a person could detect.
If you make a living as an assassin, there’s no way you would not pay attention to your own smell.
Hati, who has a keener sense of smell than humans, was able to pick up the attacker’s scent of blood from the waitress.
I’m certain that the waitress is the one who attacked my sister.
But right now, the problem is figuring out where I am and who the waitress is.
Is it merely a hideout of a group of outlaws that received a request from the Knights of Lumen?
Is it a base of operations for the Knights of Lumen? Or is it a secret spy operation from the Galatea Empire? Werner: “..............” I think quietly to myself.
In the first place, we arrived here following a scent of bread Hati smelled on the Magecraft Artifacts.
Those Artifacts were used by the former Academy President and Head of Research.
In that case, it would be unlikely that this is just a hideout for common outlaws who operate in the shadows.
It’s more likely that this is a base of operations for the Knights of Lumen that was overlooked by the Royal Magecraft Knights and the Marquis Family.
But it could also be the Galatea Empire’s underground spy operation.
If that is indeed the case, the store owner is most likely part of that operation, and the customers dining here are most likely part of that group.
As I think about this, the waitress brought out a dried piece of bread and cheap beer.
Apparently, the bread they didn’t sell during the day was served as a snack here.
I have heard about public taverns from my Master several times.
But it’s the first time I’ve heard of serving bread along with beer.
Werner: “Thank you.”
“Yeah.” The waitress did not even bother to smile as she returned back to the other side of the counter.
I tried to observe my surroundings without blatantly looking around and was about to sip the beer.
At that instant, Hati pinched my stomach.
I stopped myself from drinking and slipped my left hand into my shirt again.
Hati detected poison inside the drink I was served.
They may have already known my identity when I stepped into the establishment.
Or….they planned to kill anyone no matter who they were.
No, there are non-lethal poisons as well. It could be a paralyzing or sleeping poison.
With these thoughts crossing my mind, I was reminded of something else.
When they placed alcohol in Hati’s drink, they put a Magecraft Artifact around her neck to control her.
When she was speaking to me about this, she must have thought that the alcohol was poison.
And right now, in my mug is beer ー in other words, there’s alcohol inside.
If Hati thinks alcohol is poison, then she might have mistaken plain beer for poison.
I wasn’t sure if Hati had a correct understanding about alcohol.
I have not explained that to her yet.
But Hati has been exploring on her own for a while now.
She may have acquired the correct knowledge about alcohol while on one of her adventures.
Just in case, I acted as though I sipped the drink by tipping the mug upwards to my face.
As I did so, I calmly confirmed my surroundings.
The tavern owner and customers were all checking on me with side glances.
.It was as if they were making sure that I drank the poison.
Werner: (Looks like Hati was right about the poison.)
With that thought crossing my mind, I continued to act as though I drank the beer.
I had to be careful about the bread as well.
Werner: (Even if I act like I took the poison, I don’t know what poison it is, so it’s hard to keep up the act.)
Is it fatal? A paralyzing poison? Or maybe it will put me to sleep? I think it’s unlikely to be fatal.
If I were them, I would want to draw out some information before killing me.
Then……a sleep medication?
A paralyzing poison can be detected by the person who drinks it before the poison takes effect.
If I were to fight them before the poison kicked in, that would be troublesome for them.
From that perspective, sleeping medications are harder to notice.
No one would feel it’s odd to feel sleepy ー that can happen on any day.
They might just think it’s the alcohol or maybe they’re just more tired than usual.
While they ponder about that, the medication will take hold, and they’ll fall unconscious.
Then, I’ll just act like I’m sleepy.
Even without the medication inside, it’s not unusual to become sleepy while drinking.
On the off chance that they did not put anything in my drink, it will look less suspicious.
I let out an exaggerated yawn, blinked several times, and acted like I would fall asleep at any moment now.
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A Non-Combat Magecraft Artifact Researcher ー actually was an extraordinary S-Rank Mage～ Though he worked overtime without compensation and contributed greatly, he was labeled as incompetent and was fired
Written by: Ezo Gingitsune
Illustrations by Tomozero
Translated by: ChonkyTL
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