Vince carried a disgruntled expression until the end, but he wrote down on the scroll that he would help Canis move and give him a new identity. When considering that the power of a Superior magician was equal to that of a superior noble, Canis had an unquestionably strong backer.
After each of them signed the contract, Canis got up with a satisfied expression. "Okay, wait here a bit. It will take some time, so I'll probably be back when the sun goes down."
"Do you intend to start immediately?"
"Isn't time running out? From now on, your work is my job. If I fail, then I won't gain anything either. You can be confident that I will return after working diligently."
After telling them to wait, Canis ran out of the store. His movements were full of a vitality which couldn't be seen until now. He must feel good that he had managed to save his life. The two men left behind in the store without its owner were stunned for a moment, but they soon looked around.
Everything around them was an artifact.
"Take as much as you want. He made a mistake to say that." Vince laughed as he repeated Canis' words.
Canis would never have thought that Theodore could take all the things in the store. There were so many things that they wouldn't fit in his dimension pocket, but they were sufficient as meals for Gluttony.
The quality wasn't high, but the amount of magic power which could be absorbed from this amount of artifacts was considerable.
First of all, Theo approached the shelf containing the defective goods and raised his left hand.
"Then I will start."
Unlike genuine products which might have a hidden value, a defective product was useless. Their own value was to be eaten and converted into magic power. With a single command of 'Eat,' the tongue emerged from Theo's left hand and started sweeping through the store.
Woorururu… With a blunt sound, the various objects disappeared into Gluttony's mouth. Regardless of size, it swallowed everything into its mouth. The dozens of defective products disappeared, and the floor was quickly exposed.
Dozens of voices were heard until they were cut off after a few minutes.
[It will take approximately 31 minutes and 14 seconds to fully digest.]
With the release of the 3rd seal, Gluttony's abilities had improved. The previous digestion time which had been over an hour was now reduced to only 30 minutes. However, this meant it wasn't difficult to absorb all the things piled up in the store.
Vince let out a cry of admiration as Theo stood before an empty shelf. "…It is amazing when I think about it. Converting the artifact into the user's magic power is a really amazing feature."
"I don't know what the principle behind it is."
"If you find out, then the magic prowess of humanity will advance a few steps."
It was as Vince said. The grimoire was a foreign object to modern humans. How it worked and the reason why it existed was a mystery. This wasn't a problem for the two of them to worry about.
Theodore walked past the empty shelf to another corner filled with objects. This was just the beginning of Gluttony's meal time.
It was around four hours after Canis left the store when he returned. Like he'd said, he returned just as the sun was about to set.
As Canis entered with an exhausted expression, he was shocked to see that the interior of the store was different from how it had been just a few hours ago. To put it in a nicely, the store was tidy, but the bad thing was that it was bare.
Canis looked around the empty store several times before clicking his tongue. "Huh… I told you to take what you wanted, but I didn't think you would sweep them all away. How terrible."
"I wasn't allowed to?"
"No, you just followed my words. In any case, I can't carry any of this with me when I leave Bergen. They aren't my things, so consider this as a big advance payment."
Canis pretended to grumble, but Theo wasn't deceived by his appearance. Theo had seen how clever Canis was through his exchange with Vince.
There were probably goods which Canis had concealed for the purpose of converting into cash. It was likely that he had already abandoned all the things left behind in the store. So, Theo didn't feel any remorse about sweeping it all up.
As the two people stayed still, Canis shrugged and sat down on the chair. Then he took something out and laid it down on the table. It was a cloth much like a handkerchief, but there were strange pictures on the surface.
There were curved lines and straight lines, kind of like…
"A map?" Theo asked Canis, who smiled and nodded.
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"I can't read it, but you should be different. Now that you've looked at the picture, what do you think? Can you understand it?"
"Yes, this much is enough."
There was a slight feeling of roughness, but there was no problem in reading it. As Vince and Theo checked the condition of the map, Canis dipped a pen into a jar of red ink. Then he started to write something in the square marking on the map.
"I'm sorry, but I couldn't personally confirm the slaves. They are working with my organization, but the guys from Austen are thorough. The boss and some executives offered a few slaves, but they didn't bite."
"You couldn't dig deeper?"
"…I stroked their ego, so yes. The patrols are at a level that can be dismissed, but the guards are the real deal. I don't see any gaps in their abilities and the security they set up."
Theodore's and Vince's expressions turned grim at Canis' words.
Canis had been spotted quickly by the two people, but Vince and Theo were special cases. If they hadn't been vigilant, they might not have noticed Canis following them as it was also hard to spot him.
However, the security was at a level where Canis had been noticed? There was something strange.
"Now, it was roughly like this." Canis pointed to the map and explained, "There are two barracks installed on the outskirts of the camp, with guards around the prison barracks containing a total of four slaves. Their positions don't change, and they don't leave. As I said before, the four guards standing at the entrance to the barracks are at a higher level than the patrols. In particular, there are 10 people surrounding the large barracks."
"Do you know the interval and number of patrols?"
"I drew it on the map. The interval is one to one and a half hours, and they patrol in pairs, with an average of five patrols running at one time."
Vince looked at Canis with new eyes. He had thought Canis was just a rat, but with this level of information collecting ability, it was enough to work as an intelligence agent within the military. Maybe he was a human who had left such a world.
If all the information was correct, it was worth the price he'd paid in advance.
Vince asked his disciple who was closely gazing at the map, "Theo, what do you think?"
"…We should strike from two directions. If we don't surround them, then they may escape with the slaves. So Master, I should save the four slaves on the outskirts first."
"That is true. Should we strike tonight?"
"Yes, I think so as well."
The information collected by Canis might change after today. The possibility of a fluctuation tomorrow was high, so it was better to chase the chickens tonight. Since they'd received a breakthrough, they should strike at full speed. They had enough power, so breaking through the front was the most efficient method.
At that time, Canis, who had been listening to them talk, interrupted, "Wait a minute, my story still isn't over yet."
"There is still more?" Vince looked at him with a strange expression.
The patrol route, guards, slave positions, and number of enemies… that was all they had asked Canis to find out. Vince hadn't expected that a thief from the dark side of the world would do more than that.
However, Canis soaked his thumb in red ink and stamped a point on the cloth.
Night in the Nadun Mountain Ranges was as cold as ever, while strong winds blew in the densely populated city of Bergen. At first glance, it sounded like the wind was whistling above Theo's head. He was hiding among bushes, so grass and twigs tickled his skin.
Rustle! He looked down at the cloth in his hand and recalled the decision he'd made after discussing it with Vince.
Theo would free the four slaves from the two barracks on the outskirts and leave with them. It was possible to enter quickly and discreetly. Meanwhile, Canis had been sent away with Veronica's certificate to gather the lord's army.
A strange feeling emerged in Theo's settled heart. 'Is this my first time killing a person?'
The boat might have already sailed as Theodore had cut down hundreds of monsters and undead before. However, he had never killed a living human. Therefore, this battle would involve his first murder.
Theodore didn't have any exhilaration about such a thing. He looked down at his own hands and arms with a qualitative eye.
His hands weren't shaking at all. Rather, his fingers were wriggling toward the target. Alfred's experiences and memories naturally sharpened his nerves. Theo could shoot and kill at any time. It was no different from being a living weapon.
'A person who killed one thousand people was considered a hero.' As the saying went, every hero was forced to become insensitive to murder or be accustomed to carrying the weight of the blood. Alfred was no exception, and Theo, who had received his experience instead of just knowledge, was no different.
Additionally, his opponents were trash who considered living beings as commodities, so they deserved to die. The fact that there was no hesitation in Theo's fingers might be natural.
At that moment, a red light shone from far away. 'The signal.'
It was a magic light which only someone who was using View Mana Force could see, and it was the signal agreed on by Vince and Theodore. Simultaneously, two men on patrol appeared near the bush where Theo was hiding.
Their skin was dark, and they spoke a language which Theo couldn't understand. At their waists, they carried strangely curved swords. These were swords which Vince had explained were shamshirs, which were used by warriors of Austen. The two men were the trash from [Shackler].
Their balanced gait and firm arm muscles revealed underneath folded sleeves showed that they were warriors. Then the moment they passed by Theo's bush…
Light emerged from his index finger pointing out from the bush. Magic Bullet passed through the back of the warrior walking on the right and out of him without making a noise. A hole was formed in the flesh within seconds.
The other warrior walked walked two steps ahead before realizing his colleague wasn't following, but Theodore's hand then moved in a flash and struck his neck.
Bakak. The blow was as hard as granite due to Battle Song. The warrior's trachea and neck bones were broken, and his body collapsed just like his colleague had done.
The two patrolling warriors were wiped out in an instant. Theo buried the two bodies roughly and looked at his hands. They weren't shaking at all.
Theo ignored the fact that he didn't feel anything and headed for the barracks without any hesitation.