42-Episode 42 Shadow

 Led by Reetz, we were visiting Tavern Tremps.
 The Tremps is a fairly large building, and the inside seems to be spacious.

'Come to think of it, how did Rietz get to know The Shadow?
'Well, when I was a mercenary. The mercenary group I belonged to was moving from one place to another all over Mythian, and I just had a chance to come here. That's when the leader of my mercenary group asked the leader of the Shadow for a job, and that's when we got to know each other.
'A group of mercenaries asking a group of mercenaries for a job?'
'Yes. 'It's a different job than the Shadow. Shadows do things like intelligence gathering, crafting, and assassinations. The job of the mercenary corps I belonged to was to fight in wars. If a mercenary group sides with the losing side in a battle, they lose a lot of money, with more casualties and almost no rewards for their members. In some cases, they can be destroyed. For that reason, I asked them to gather information to see if they could win, asked them to craft for me to make it easier for me to win the battle, and they were very helpful to me in many ways.
I see, there's a lot to be said for a mercenary group.
''Well, in the end, the mercenary group I was a part of was destroyed. The reason for the destruction was that the leader got a little greedy...''

 Rietz seemed to remember a bit of the past. It wasn't a good memory, of course, since it was the past where his friends had died. I didn't want to delve too deeply into it.

 After our conversation, we walked into Tremps.

 Tremps seemed to be a popular speakeasy and the restaurant was quite busy.
 It's a large bar, but there are hardly any empty seats.
 It's still high in the day, so maybe there are more people there at night.

This place is as popular as ever.

 It sounds like it's always been popular.

The Shadow was introduced to me by the owner of this store, so we should talk to him.

 Rietz said, and began to walk through the store and head down to the owner.

 Walking through the store, he attracted quite a bit of attention.

 First of all, Rietz, who is a Marka but is dressed in gorgeous clothes.
 Charlotte, who is a woman but dressed like a magical soldier.
 And then there's me and Lysia dressed as nobles, and so on, so it can't be helped since they're full of elements that stand out.

''Something about the gaze is depressing. Can I burn it down?

 Charlotte said something outrageous with a sullen look on her face.
 Charlotte, whose face was well-proportioned, seemed to attract the gazes of the men.

'Of course not. Leave me alone enough to be seen. If you get the vibe that he's going to harm you, I'll allow you to fight him.

 Charlotte responded with an annoyed look.
 I thought she was basically mild-mannered when she was in the mansion, but she has a more dangerous side than I thought. Maybe I just happen to be in the wrong place for a bug today.

 Although it attracted a lot of attention, no one was particularly interested in harming me.

 Then I reach the owner.

'It's been a while. Alex-san.

 Rietz spoke to a muscular, middle-aged man with a fine beard.

 So that man is the owner of the shop.
 The shopkeeper, called Alex, looked at Rietz suspiciously.

''Marka........is it Rietz? I was in the Climento Mercenaries.
Yes, I do.
'You're alive. I heard the Climento guys are almost all dead and disbanded.
'The Climento Mercenaries have indeed been disbanded, but I'm still alive. I'm now a vassal of the Loebent family.
'A vassal? House Loebent is the House of Lambert. Why would the.........wait for it? I hear there's a terribly powerful Marcan vassal in Llanberk, but is that you?
Maybe so.
I see. If it was you, you would have heard about it. I've heard it said that there aren't many people stronger than you in Clymena. 
 Let's see, is there a current head of Rovent behind you, by any chance? As I recall, the previous head of the family died and his children took over.
I am Ars Loebent. I am the head of House Loebent and master of the Rietz.
Oh, hi. Nice to meet you. I'm Alex Tremps. Tavern owner.

 Alex bowed his head in greeting.

'So, what is it today?'
I've come to ask The Shadow for a job.

 When Rietz said that.

'Oh, well...'

 Alex gave him a troubled look.

'What's wrong?'
No. Climento's old Shadow Commander retired about two years ago, you know, when he got a job.

 Rietz is surprised.

'Wasn't he the kind of guy who had a job life? Have you been injured, sir?
'No, I retired because I got a wife. I can't do this dangerous work anymore.
Well, that's a problem...
No, the leader is retired, but The Shadow is still around. Well, the leader's retirement triggered the loss of several members, so it's a different story.
Is the new shadow a good arm?
That's a few steps up from the old Shadow.
'A few steps up...? Um, The Shadow was an incredibly skilled mercenary group, but more than that?

 Rietz asks, looking half-believing.

'Yeah, there's a guy who's the leader of the Shadow now, but he's a real genius. That genius is also a good one to teach others and the level of the group's members is high. I haven't heard of any failed requests since he became the Commander.
Not really.
It's just that he's a more unusual guy than the previous Commander, and I have no idea what the criteria are for accepting or not accepting a request. Without meeting him, I can't guarantee that he'll accept it or not.
Would you mind if I met the Commander?
Yeah, I'll take a finder's fee. And I can't see you right now. I'll see you tonight.
Do they come here at night?
'No, actually, I'm still here at the shop. I have this weird obsession with not taking a job as a Shadow until it's nighttime. I can't tell you who the Commander is until nighttime, but I might as well try to find out. I don't think we'll know first.

 Well, with so many people in the room, you wouldn't normally know.

 However, in my case, I have appraisal skills.
 Being considered a real genius means that my status would naturally be high.
 At the very least, my martial prowess is likely to transcend ordinary people.

 The fact that he wouldn't receive a request until nighttime meant that there was no point in looking for him, but since he would be free until nighttime, it would be a good idea to look for him while he was here.

'Then I'll have to wait in this shop until night falls.
Hey, I get it. I'd appreciate it if you could have something to eat or drink while you wait. The liquor may be a little early, but I've got some juice to help you out.
All right, I'll do it.

 I pay the brokerage fee.
 After that, I ordered juice, fruit, and other desserts, and then we sat down at the table, all eating and waiting for the night to end.

 I appraised the people in the restaurant, trying to find out who was the Commander of the Shadow.

 There were a lot of people in the restaurant. I went through them from one side to the other, but there was no one with that kind of status.

 I finished examining almost everyone who was in the store, but there were none. Maybe I was wrong in my belief that they should have high military prowess.
 I don't have the ability to gather information or anything like that from my appraisal.

 I'm starting to get a little tired and I'm ready to give up.
 I was getting thirsty, so I called out to a nearby clerk to get some water.

'Water, sir. 'Yes, sir.'

 Water is plentiful around here, so you can drink it for a cheap price.

 Come to think of it, this clerk didn't appraise it.
 She's still a young girl, a year or two older than me, the shopkeeper.
 A ponytail with black hair. Her appearance isn't outstandingly beautiful, but it's on the level of being a beautiful girl in general.

 There's no way such a girl can be the leader of the Shadow.

 I'm not going to do an appraisal, but I did try one.


 Mazak Find, 22 years old and male.
 Leadership 33/44
 Valor 91/92
 Knowledge 87/90
 Politics 22/23
 Ambition 45.
 Infantry A
 Cavalry C
 Archers S
 Magician A
 Fortress C
 Weapons A
 Navy D
 Air Force C
 Plan B
 The status was full of surprises.