After watching the opera at the indoor theater, we prepared to return as my embarrassment lingered. A sudden call from the guard outside was heard.
“Shaft, there are people here who want to see you.”
The guest room door opened slightly as the guard peeked in. Someone wanted to see me? Within the capital, the only other person I knew here was Marida. This was Duke Balga’s room, should I leave this to him? If I tell them I have a quest, they’ll probably let me see them. Though, right now, I’m supposed to be Laptiricia-sama’s escort. Just to confirm, I asked her and the duke if it were alright.
They both agreed with me – nodding slightly – so I left Ashley in charge for a short while before I headed out into the hallway. When I walked out, I saw a man in a black tailcoat. He looked like a white barrel with that much belly fat…
“Ooh! Are you the one known as Black Shaft?”
“That’s right. So you need something?”
“That was rude of me. I’m Frank, the director of the First Theater.”
The reason why Frank, the director, had come to see me was probably just to give a polite greeting. Maybe talk of the protagonist and the theatrical transformation. In this world, things like copyright and portrait rights seems immature. The names of the characters in tonight’s play were not pseudonyms, but their real names. However, this didn’t particularly affect me, as I was not of this world. For those who lived here and within the kingdom, it was a great honor to have their story told in a play.
Also, Frank didn’t ask for permission, but to continue the play. Please do your best! That’s how the whole story went…
The next day was a rest day. Lapitiricia-sama spent the day slowly and would be leaving for the capital tomorrow morning to head towards Veneer. As for me… I am also free with nothing to do. I am an escort, so I couldn’t leave her. I couldn’t go anywhere aside from my room, the living room, or the waiting room. While there are things I want to do, I just can’t.
Aiming was different for each person. I felt that if I couldn’t practice every day, especially after three, my abilities would drop. I felt dull for three days and even if I mentioned it, there was no way for me to open fire in the mansion. VMB was able to move a player from their space into a private range to practice. Even if I activate the TSS and move to the private range, I couldn’t use up my ammo.
It couldn’t be helped. I asked Ashley, who was in her room, to tell Laptiricia-sama that I’d be going to look around the mansion.
The mansion was surrounded by greenery with some of the gardens home to tall trees. That was where I was headed off to. As I walked outside, I zoomed in on the map on my screen to look for anything suspicious nearby. I also looked for a spot where the trees would create a blind spot to the mansion. Luckily, I found a place, but I had another problem. I didn’t have a target. There was no way I could shoot the trees on the property.
I activated the TSS and searched my inventory. I then pulled out a bulletproof vest type 2. This was the one adopted by the Japan Ground and Air Self Defense Forces. The latest was the type 3, but for now, I took out the type 2 and hung its green coloring on a fallen tree branch and positioned it so.
Now, I only had to shoot. I took out the Welrod and its reticle appeared over the small protruding piece of metal that was its equivalent ironsight. I relaxed my posture and pointed the pistol downward, aiming. Hold, release, hold release, and repeated over and over again. I made sure that I could require the target easily. Next was the actual live-fire. Teaching the body to adapt to the recoil, how the crosshairs spread, and their characteristics. And after an hour, I ended my shooting practice.
For tomorrow, I’ll have to focus more.
I didn’t know how the Dark Guild assassins would move. If they’d attack before we left the capital or after, or even before we left the mansion. There were many possible attack points. I considered using the T-UGs I’d installed around the mansion grounds in Veneer as I recovered them.
The next day, there were four carriages including Duke Balga’s carriage. His own guards were escorting us to the east of the Capital where the road to Veneer was located. It took five days by carriage to reach our destination. The route followed the highway with its rest areas. The soldiers themselves would escort us and the servants to the city. From there, I would be the escort. The duke also had a village in the city, but he wouldn’t be accompanying us, so we wouldn’t be using it. Instead, we would have a different but still luxurious place.
The schedule was to depart from the capital, travel five days to Veneer. We’d stay for three days, participate in a few events. From there, we’d make the five-day journey back. And then the most important time. The banquet at the Royal Castle. For the first time, we’d see the third prince of the kingdom.
After confirming the schedule without our escort, we moved onward.
After five days, we hadn’t encountered any problems. At the end of the highway, we saw the entertainment city of Veneer… However, the scenery of the city was a completely different atmosphere from that of the Royal Capital. There were no labyrinths around here, the reason was unknown, or maybe it was just a coincidence. Well, it was a fact that there were no labyrinths around the city. Although there seemed to be several to the east and north, the city hadn’t been attacked by monsters for a long time. So they were probably far off.
The city lacked a large defensive wall, and you could see a short fence erected to protect the city. Around that, we entered the residential area where houses were lined up. Although, I wasn’t sure if they were really houses. The slums were so bad that you couldn’t even see the roads properly.
Veneer started off as an outpost, but nobles discovered that it rarely suffered monster attacks. They started to build villas and dance halls one after another, then luxurious hotels for other nobles to stay at. One after another, amusement facilities were established to lure more nobles and merchants. Veneer never had any specialty to start out with. Over time, it became a playground for the rich and the poor alike. The Lord of Veneer who governed it, despite the widening disparity between the rich and poor, pursued his policies which resulted in what the city looked like today.
On the main street that led towards the city center, there were stone walls and gates, lower than that in the capital, but robust at that. From here onwards, we’d be in this so-called city of happiness that drowned in money.