~ KAY ~
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After I laid Ashley on the bed, I decided to head back to the lobby to hand over the dead guards and assassins. As I walked through the corridor, a thought crossed my mind… How would I actually hand them over? Do I have to disclose my secret in regard to the Gift Boxes? I needed to find a better method… Before I could solve this problem, I’d arrived back in the lobby. Volker was waiting for me.
“Did you wait long?”
“Not at all. Let’s head to the warehouse now.”
Following the sight of Volker’s long silver hair, we headed to the warehouse just outside the mansion. The Duke had several warehouses on the premises. We entered a particularly large warehouse that could probably hold several carriages.
“Please put the bodies, and everything else, here. We will mourn for the guards here then investigate the assassins.”
“Understood. If possible, could I be left alone here for a while? I stored the bodies and luggage inside a peculiar magic tool with certain special circumstances. I wish to keep it a secret.”
“As you wish. Please alert me when you’re done.”
Now alone, I activated the TSS and brought out the Continental from the Garage. How nice that the warehouse was large enough… I walked to the back of the continental and opened the rear hatch. This vehicle actually had the ability to carry another vehicle in a rear compartment. As long as the vehicle wasn’t too big; like a coupe. At least, that was what was written in the catalog.
I opened the door and looked inside… There were a washing machine and a dryer. No, no. It’s not the time to question why those items were inside. Anyways, the compartment was big enough to fit 3 Gift Boxes. So, I took out the gift boxes, and with that, preparations were completed. When asked, I’ll just say that the boxes were part of the Continental’s features.
When I exited the warehouse to call Colker, readily appeared along with other servants, mostly male, a wagon, and caskets.
“Preparations are complete. Inside the warehouse is a particularly large magical tool. It’s a very valuable item that’s been entrusted to me – so refrain from touching it carelessly. Also, what everyone sees inside must be kept a secret until the tool is officially released.”
“As you wish, but I will need to inform these people first.”
“Alright then, let’s begin.”
When the servants entered the warehouse, their eyes naturally went wide at the sight of the Continental. I first took out the luggage from the gift box so the female servants could take it back to the residence. And next, I took out the bodies of the dead guards. Since these bodies had already been wrapped with cloth, the male servants just carefully placed them inside the caskets.
Finally, I dumped the bodies of the assassins and lined them on the floor. I wondered whether it was alright to dirty the floor. However, Volker immediately chanted a spell that caused the blood to be deposited inside some jars… It reminded me of how convenient magic was in this world. Lastly, the weapons were the last to be taken out- –
“Shaft-sama, did this short sword belong to one of the assassins?”
In Volker’s hand was a short sword one of the assassins used. He looked over the weapon quietly, just like how appraiser Resmond-san did when he appraised my weapon back in Barga.
“That did belong to one of them. What of it?”
“This short sword is a magical weapon called “Shadow Edge”. I could see its performance because of my <Analyze> skill. The owner should be a member of the dark guild ‘Cactus’. Which person is it?”
“Oh, the one that looks the worst.”
I pointed at the corpse that was in the worst condition. His head had been severed horizontally, and his face was beyond recognition. Volker took some strands of hair, then frowned. He looked back and forth to the corpse. Afterward, he showed me the strand of hair. It was a lustrous brown – a shine unbefitting someone who worked as an assassin.
After Volker finished his inspection, he left to report the results to the duke. I was left alone inside the warehouse. The corpses had been moved to another place. With no one around, I returned the Continental back to the garage.
Leaving the warehouse, I spied a spring pond in the Duke’s courtyard. I once heard the servants talking about delicious spring water.
When I returned to the waiting room, I found Ashley sitting on the bed while looking out the window. It was almost evening, so the sky was dyed red outside.
“So, you are awake.”
“Welcome back. I slept the whole time, so I can’t help but be awake.”
“That’s fine. I borrowed a tea set from the kitchen. I’ll prepare some.”
“Thank you. I’ll be waiting for it.”
When I saw the spring water pond in the courtyard, the first thing that crossed my mind was I wanted to try brewing tea with it. Freshwater was the best for brewing black tea. I boiled it, then transferred it to a prewarmed teapot. The duke had a wide collection of tea leaves. All of them had a mellow scent and were known as the finest leaves on the continent; nothing less for a rich family.
After I checked the size of the leaves, I decided to choose one that resembled a broken orange pekoe. I also didn’t forget to consult the chef and servants to find what I wanted exactly. Thus, I borrowed a tea set with some milk before returning to the waiting room. I put the milk in a dish that appeared similar to a milk pitcher. I left it there to bring it up to room temperature. Then I put the tea leaves into the warm teapot before preparing two cups for me and Ashley.
I poured the boiling water into the pot then put on the lid to keep the steam in. After three minutes, the leaves should experience a movement caused by convection called Jumping. The leaves are probably dancing around inside the pot at the moment… It was about time and I brought the set into the bedroom, I placed the cups on the table in between the beds.
“I picked a leaf with a particularly strong aroma.”
I also made sure that the teacups were pre-warmed before I poured the freshly brewed tea. Its color was a dark reddish-brown, and a mellow scent wafted out as I poured. The smell filled the room with its aroma.
“Here you go.”
“Thank you — Schwartz.”
“Right now, it’s Shaft.”
“Un, I know that. But I wanted to thank you properly. You know… For helping me out.”
“No need to feel bothered with that… I, I just helped because I wanted to – just like back in the goblin nest. Nothing’s changed since then, I guess.”
I removed the mask, laying it on the bed next to me. The face of Schwartz was now out in the open.
“Drink while it’s still warm, otherwise, the flavor will be lost. But be careful not to burn your tongue.”
“Thanks… It’s delicious…”
Yeah… It certainly was delicious This taste… I might never forget it.