Act 49: Contracts Imposed with Confrontation
“What the hell do you want? Perhaps, you came here to get caught?”
“Don’t worry, I don’t have such praiseworthy feelings.”
“Praiseworthy? I don’t think you’re even normal.”
“That’s a shame.”
Ghost had appeared from the shadows and had little presence, but tension ran down Cordelia’s back.
(Even though it’s like he’s a mirage…)
The pressure that Ghost was lightly giving off was intense, and it took all she had to remain calm.
(I should have waited for Ronnie.)
If I had, then we might have caught Ghost. She thought, but Ghost might not have appeared had Ronnie been here. I know that he’s wary and quick at escaping.
(But, that means it’s unnatural for him to show up in the royal castle where it is closely guarded.)
If he came to the castle for something, then he wouldn’t act in a way that would reveal himself. If he didn’t need anything, then he wouldn’t come to the castle.
(And even during the Flora Silk incident, Ghost hadn’t been directly involved, as he just enjoyed the events as a spectator.)
If I think that way, then it’s hard to imagine that he came here to harm me, and if he wanted to hurt me then he would have attacked me before showing himself. However, he hadn’t. If there is a reason for him to come into contact with me then…
“Did you come here because you had something to say to me?”
“I’m glad you’re quick-witted. I heard that you could come to the castle, and thought of it as a chance, so I was waiting for you.”
Cordelia was rarely without a guard whenever she went out, so although she didn’t want to admit it, he was correct. Moreover, Cordelia, herself, thought of the castle as a safe place and hadn’t thought of any other dangerous elements except for the Prince.
“Even so, the security of the castle is amazing. I used a ridiculous amount of magic to erase my presence, but this is the only place I can sneak into. Jeez, I could probably take a lot of jobs if they loosen their guard a little. I could even come here to play.”
“If you want, I could call the guards here now?”
Judging from how guarded the castle was, if Cordelia were to use magic here, then the guards would immediately come flying here just from the magic reaction. However, Ghost could get away in the meantime. Cordelia didn’t want to let Ghost escape yet.
(I don’t think I can create a chance to catch him, but I want to get some information out of him.)
Cordelia thought as she examined his attitude.
Ghost was smiling wryly underneath his hood.
“Don’t look at me with such a scary face. I only came here to give you information.”
“Yup. In conclusion, I thought I should tell you that a certain man is trying to kidnap a kid. Don’t you feel like capturing the kidnappers?”
Ghost shrugged towards Cordelia, who didn’t hide her expression before she spoke.
“Is it weird that I’m doing something righteous? Well, I don’t want to do something troublesome, but it can’t be helped. Unfortunately, it would be a nuisance for me if she were to be brought to Dulaus.”
“To the north? Are people in Dulaus trying to kidnap a child?”
I know that his headquarters were in Dulaus Kingdom to the north, but is it possible for kidnappers from that Kingdom to cross the border to target a specific child? But with that in mind, Cordelia gulped. Ghost laughed in satisfaction.
“It seems like you know who I’m talking about. Rumours about the 『Dreamer Girl』have also reached the north a little. The mastermind behind the kidnapping wants to raise his own position…. No, he wants her power to overthrow the nation. That’s why he also hired kidnappers.”
She frowned when she heard those words.
“To overthrow the nation… Some people think ridiculous things.”
The Heroine in the game used the knowledge she had gained in dreams to solve incidents and people’s problems. However, the game never showed that she lent a hand to those filled with selfish desires, and there were no mentions of her being kidnapped at a young age.
But, gossip about her reached the fortune-telling lover Hazel two years ago, and it also reached Vernoux and Gille, so it wasn’t strange if the rumours about her spread further. Still, Cordelia never predicted that kidnappers from foreign kingdoms would aim for her, and desperately suppressed her confusion.
(I have to calm down. He won’t tell me if I panic.)
She told herself, but she was agitated because the Heroine’s existence was told to her at an unexpected place.
“I’m doubtful about whether she has the power to shake the nation from what I’ve heard. But, if her powers are real, and Dulaus is thrown into chaos because it’s passed to that man, then I’d be troubled.”
“You’re worried even though you look down on kingdoms that are being destroyed from a high place? That’s surprising.”
“I don’t think it would be easy to see, but I can imagine that man would be suppressed by the royal family. However, I like their famous alcohol. If the battle affects the fields, then I’d be troubled. It would be a hindrance to my lifestyle, right?”
Even if he was looking for approval, Cordelia couldn’t agree.
“Why me? Do you think I would believe you and help out?”
“Even if you don’t want to cooperate with me, you’re the type who can’t leave an unfortunate person alone, right? And you’re careful, so you won’t be able to leave it alone even if you’re suspicious.”
Ghost said and laughed.
“I can get rid of my worries even if I kill the dreamer girl. But it seemed more interesting to leave it to you, and it seems like it would be a bad omen to kill the dreamer power. That’s why I’m leaving it to you.”
“Yeah. Well, this is a service to you who would take care of this. Those who have the 『Dreamer Power』in the past seem to lose that power in the end. They self-destruct because their dreams don’t come true and have negative effects on those around them. I’m not religious, but I don’t want to get close to it.”
Was there such a thing?
At least in my memories, I never heard about that happening in the game. Of course, he could be lying, but he doesn’t need to go out of his way to tell such a lie.
(I didn’t know that Ghost wants to avoid the Heroine whom I’ve never met before. And, I didn’t know if the dreamer power has a background like that.)
Because the game was told from the Heroine’s perspective, I knew about this power… so I didn’t research its predecessor, the『Saint』. I need to quickly investigate this for my own sake too.
“You looked into it a lot.”
“I can’t say for sure, but I can also guess why they lose their power. But, well, I’m actually more interested in seeing how you will find the kidnappers instead of omens.”
“You have bad hobbies.”
“It’s a difference in perception. But I’ll take that as a compliment.”
Ghost said, then took a step backwards.
“Ah, it won’t be fun for me if you don’t act, so act, okay? That is the information provision fee, a contract.”
“I’m looking forward to seeing how you will act. If you act, then I won’t complain even if it’s not amusing. Don’t do anything unnecessary. The goal is to get the kidnappers while keeping my information a secret. Good luck, Cordelia-san.”
The next moment, Ghost’s figure was far and small. She couldn’t even trace his presence.
“He got away… I couldn’t get any information about Ghost, himself, in the end.”
It was hard for Cordelia to catch up to someone who even Cyrus had failed to capture. The words she had uttered in this situation was more bitter and frustrated than she had imagined.
The Flora Silk incident.
He appeared in front of her today.
And, pushing the Heroine onto Cordelia.
Those things made her even more frustrated. But she had to hold that down for now.
(According to the game scenario, the Heroine should be taken in by the Clydereine House soon.)
If that happens, then I don’t have to worry about her getting kidnapped. Like the Pameradia House, the Clydereine House also employed talented magicians from the Magic Academy. If she isn’t kidnapped before then, then the kidnapper’s plans will surely fail.
(I can’t wait that long. I don’t know when she would be taken in by the Clydereine House.)
I don’t want to get involved. I shouldn’t get involved.
Cordelia strongly rejected the Heroine just like she did the Prince.
However, there’s no guarantee that the Heroine would live peacefully until she’s taken in by the Earl. Aren’t I living a different life from the game scenario?
(And… I can’t leave this alone since I already know about it.)
Some people tried to kidnap the Heroine in the game.
I don’t want to get involved, as much as possible, since she’s one of the people who control my fate. But I don’t have the nerve to leave this alone, since I know that she’ll be kidnapped.
She’s an ominous person to me, but she’s also a girl who is living a peaceful life in the royal capital. I could never permit her life to get shaken just because of other’s expectations. Even if it’s someone I want to avoid, I will regret it if I let them get thrown into a hopeless situation. I don’t know what kind of person the Heroine is, but I’m sure she’s not the type of person who wants to be thrown into a dangerous situation. If it’s about wanting to lead a peaceful life… then I won’t lose to anyone.
(Then, her situation takes priority until the situation is solved.)
And, it wouldn’t just be my problem if what Ghost said is correct and people want to kidnap her because they want to make use of her dreamer power.
“That’s right, this isn’t just for me.”
Cordelia whispered. I feel like my resolution would weaken if I didn’t put it into words. Ghost may have told a lie to kill time and tease me.
(But, he isn’t the type of person who would come here to satisfy himself just to tease me.)
Even if it is a lie, I have to confirm this.
(This is something I absolutely have to talk to Otou-sama about.)
However, Ghost said this was a 『Contract』. He might kill the Dreamer Girl just to make me regret breaking the contract.
Two years ago, I didn’t forget the amused expression he had made while others despaired and how he didn’t hesitate to murder.
(I have no choice but to proceed.)
The only conditions he gave me were 『Keep the information Ghost gave me a secret』and『I have to act』.
It shouldn’t break the rules if I gave the information to Otou-sama and Onii-samas after I’ve investigated this.
If so, then I have to quickly gather evidence and put a target on the kidnappers. If I can do this, then I can keep the Heroine safe.
She quickly left after she made her decision.
This was Cordelia’s current plan.
(Watch. I’m sure you wanted to take advantage of me this time, but I’ll definitely catch your tail too.)
When Cordelia spat this out in her mind, she heard the sound of footsteps approaching from far away.
“Oh, Ojou-sama! So you were here. Argh, don’t move around by yourself.”
Ronnie said while looking relaxed, “It’s beautiful here too.”
Cordelia gulped a little and looked up at the smiling Ronnie.
“Say, Ronnie. Can we take a detour before going to Witch-sensei’s place?”
“Okay, but where do you want to go?”
“I want to see the church. I read in a book that the stained glass is beautiful.”
“… That’s rare.”
He noticed something. It might have been convenient for her to interpret his voice like that, but she was relieved that he hadn’t objected.