46-Episode 46   Reason

I'm glad you're here.

 I went to see Pham, accompanied by Reetz, Charlotte and the rest of the guards. This time Roselle was not there.

'Was the request successful?'
Absolutely. You'll have to give me some money up front before I give you the information.

 I paid the remaining seven silver coins.

'Every time.'
By the way, I was wondering, are there any other members of the group besides you?
Yes, I am. But I'm the Master of the Order, so I'm the one who has to deal with my client.

 So there are some of the group, but can we meet them? Well, why bother having them all meet with my client?

'Well, let me explain to you why Perena County is not on the side of the Clan. First of all, I've done some light digging, and it turns out that Perena County Mayor Luke Dolan owes Basamark a debt of gratitude.
A favor?
'Oh, the Dolans were an upstart, and I became Mayor of Perena County, but I had an overture from Basamark. I owe him a debt of gratitude for that.
So you're siding with your brother?
It's not that simple. No matter how much you owe them, they don't choose to let their homes be destroyed so easily.
You mean there's another reason?
'Yes. I looked deeper and got some interesting stuff.

 Pham handed me a rolled up letter.

'This is....'
Read it.

 I read the contents.

 I was astonished to see it.
 The letter was a pledge issued by Basamark. It was signed and stamped by the nobles on the Basamark's side.
 In addition to the counties to the east and north attached to the Basamark's side, it was also signed and stamped by the county of Perena.
 It seemed that all of the houses that signed this confederation were in possession of it.
 That's as far as it went, but some of those signatures and seals were from Massa County, a large city to the west.

''This is........''
"Masa County will side with Master Basamark.........?

 Reetz, who saw the contents of the letter with me, could not hide his surprise.

I'm sure you'll be able to find a way to make it work for you," he said. Basamark must have sent out this letter thinking that the mayor of Perena County, to whom he owes a debt of gratitude, would have followed him. Perena County must have decided not to follow the Clan's side after deciding that they would ultimately be on the losing side if they followed the Clan.
'Is this real? How did you get it? You can't fetch something this important so easily.

 I can't determine if the mark of another family is genuine, so I don't know if the letter of this one is genuine either.

'I can't tell you how. The only thing I won't tell you is how to do your job, no matter how trustworthy you are. They are the only people who know. All I can tell you is that I'm pretty sure this came from Castle Perena, where the chief family of Perena County lives.

 Can you tell me how you got it? Well, even if you ask me how, there's no way to know for sure that it's real. He could lie about it.
 There's no point in asking him to do the job if you don't trust what he's saying in the first place.
 Lemayle would have corresponded with other families, so he would be familiar with the markings. He would know for sure if this was real or not if he could show it to him.

'The information was a bit unbelievable, which made me suspicious. I'm sorry if I offended you.
I don't see why not. That's all I have to tell you. Come back to me if you have any more questions.
All right. Thank you for the information. Can I bring this with me?
Do what you want.

 We left Tremps with the letter.

 After we left Tremps, we rented an inn and discussed what we were going to do.

''But it's going to be a hell of a mess. If this letter is genuine, Lord Clan will be at a great disadvantage in the war.

 Rietz looked at the letter he had received from Pham again, thinking about something.

'This letter is a bit suspicious.

 Rietz said after studying the letter carefully.

'Can't you trust the fam?'
'No, that's not what I meant. I believe this was stolen from Perena Castle, but the problem is this signature and seal of the Massa County. It is possible that this is not the real thing.
What do you mean?
'In other words, this could be a ruse by Master Basamark. He showed the confederation letter, falsely signed and stamped by the Mayor of Massa County, to the Mayor of Perena County and had it signed and sealed.
Can you do that? I'm sure County Manager Perena has at least seen Massa's authentic signature and seal, right?
I think it's not impossible to forge signatures and seals. I have heard that there are people who make so much money that they are mistaken for the real thing.
Hmm ... but what makes you think it's a fake?
Because it seems unnatural that the only person invited to make a pact is the Mayor of Perena County.
Really? Didn't County Manager Perena say he owed Lord Bassamark a debt of gratitude? Then it wouldn't be strange to go and recruit the Perena county manager, as it's more likely to be attached to us. If he refuses, he might divulge some information.
'Would it be a disadvantage to Master Basamark to have the information leaked? I think many counties in the west have decided that if the Massa County Mayor is going to be on the side of the Master Clan, then they too will be on the side of the Master Clan. If Massa county is on their side, they will not hide it, they will just advertise it and more counties will be on Master Basamark's side. It's an advantage, but not a disadvantage.
''Hm ... that's certainly true. However, even if this pact is a fake, I think it would be better to talk to the head of Canale County.
'If you do too much, it could be exposed as a lie. If it's a fake, you can ask Masa County and they'll know it's a lie. If that happens, the operation will be a failure. So we believe that this was sent only to the Mayor of Perena County, who owes us and probably has some kind of connection to us.
I see...
''If you take it to Lemayl-sama and ask the Masa County chief, you might be able to find out how it is. .........No, if it's real, if it's real, then Massa County had some kind of ruse to keep it quiet, so I'm not sure it's honestly real.......well, the letter is now. It would be better to put it in Master Lemayre's eyes.
Yes. All right, then, let's get to Canale Castle as soon as possible.

 It's not good manners to visit at night, but it's important information, so it's not a problem this time.
 We headed to Canale Castle.