Tl/n (CSV): Regular Chapter. I did say that I’ll post more regularly after the vacation. Next Chapter will be up sometimes Tuesday or Wednesday Pacific Time depending on how the editing process goes.
A highly skilled druid could even shapeshift into animals and plants.
And even then, it was hard to find a druid at that level.
This situation was due to the war between humans and elves five hundred years ago.
On the other hand, the elves settled in the Grain Mountains that bisected the continent and lived harmoniously with nature.
The elves who cherished each and every single tree and blade of grass and were content with their lives.
The humans invaded the elves of the Grain Mountain Range to control the entire continent and the elves fought back against the humans who laid waste to the forests, mountains, and rivers.
The humans were incensed by the druids' betrayal.
< Once the war ends, all traitors shall be condemned! >
Their rage did not easily subside.
And in the end, the war ended with the humans' triumph.
The humans celebrated, and from that point on, the continent's history became the human’s' history.
And the druids who barely managed to escape or hide lived their lives while hiding their identities.
Like that, four hundred years passed by and the druids no longer showed themselves.
But then, the thin-eyed young man, Clay, suddenly introduced himself as a druid.
"Did he say a druid?"
The faces of the Janis information agency's executives as well as the members of the Amaranth troop were colored in surprise.
Cheerily smiling, Clay looked at the Janis information agency's executives.
'Me revealing my identity means……'
His heart trembled.
'I shall go out into the world.'
His grandfather, who returned to the earth when Clay was young, and his father lived their lives by concealing their identities.
Although the people's enmity towards the druids had long faded, they said that the historical truth of their betrayal and the stigma of traitor weren't easily erased.
Clay didn't want that kind of life.
But instead of having their choice be respected, they were thrown away by both the humans and the elves and were persecuted.
'If I can become a hero known throughout this world……'
At that time, the people's view of the druids will thoroughly change.
'When that happens, the druids who still live in hiding will come to me.'
That too would become another part of his strength, his base, and his power.
This was the reason Clay was looking for someone to serve.
Everything was for his rise to power and to heal the painful scar of druids in history.
'I must become someone whom anyone can look up to.'
If it looked like he would rise to a vague position or merely be a mediocre person, he wouldn't have even planned to start.
'If it's Sir Baron Tale, at least……'
He may be a big step or a coadjutor to Clay's success.
'Or he may truly be a person whom I'll dedicate my life to follow.'
That was Clay's evaluation.
With a cough, he pointed at the Janis information agency's executives.
"Now, then. Let us quickly finish our work."
As soon as Clay said those words, the soldiers of Amaranth troop, who were standing there with dazed expressions, quickly moved.
They were simply no match for the members of the Amaranth troop in terms of strength.
Looking at the executives lying flat on the floor, Clay faintly smiled. 1
'With this, my first success has been made.'
Victory after victory.
'I will always win.'
He vowed to succeed one after another and spread his name.
Once he had decided, his ambition soared.
But at the very least, Roan was right now an absolutely necessary existence to Clay.
Clay became baffled.
When Roan attacked the Janis information agency's headquarters, Clay had borrowed a separate unit of Amaranth troop and completely blocked off the four secret passages.
Amongst them, Baba was also included.
'Hooke isn't there?'
For some reason, the Janis information agency's master, Hooke, who they absolutely had to capture, couldn't be found.
The Amaranth troop had thoroughly looked and scoured the entire underground maze, but he wasn't seen anywhere.
'So there's another secret path that only Hooke knows about.'
At that moment, he heard Austin's voice.
"For now, we sent a scout unit to the castle's four main gates.'
Since this was the capital, they couldn't close the gates as they wished.
But even so, they couldn't only rely on the scout unit.
"We will search for the secret passage for now."
Everyone nodded at Roan's words.
At that instant, Clay, who was sitting down with a confused look on his face, suddenly stood up.
"You will, Mr. Clay?"
Clay immediately nodded.
With calm eyes, Roan stared into Clay's eyes.
The confused look was now long gone.
'Druid, he said……'
As expected, Roan had received the report that Clay was a druid.
'I never met a druid even once in the last life.'
Even for Roan who was living a second life, druids were an unfamiliar existence.
'At the very least, I did see elves several times in the past.'
The elves, who had hidden deep in the vast forest in the continent's south, began to slowly show themselves about ten years from now.
As the entire continent was swept away by the flames of war, the elves had revealed themselves to protect the forest and their lives as a consequence.
'The Great Warring Era became even more fierce after the elves had appeared.'
The fight between the humans had spread to a fight between races.
Roan organized his thoughts and nodded toward Clay.
Made out of oak, it was a type of a wand used by the druids.
Clay held the wooden wand in his right hand and used his left hand to cover-up his right hand.
That sound was almost like an animal's cry.
A moment later.
Squeak! Squeak squeak! Squeak!
Through the small gaps in the doors and the holes at the corners of the maze, jet-black rats began to show up.
Squeaking quietly, they circled round and round around Clay.
Clay suddenly opened his eyes.
But in the slightly slitted places, the irides shining in green could definitely be seen.
'Are those the eyes of a druid?'
Roan didn't miss that sight.
Then, one of the rats climbed up onto Clay's hand.
Squeak! Squeak squeak! Squeak!
Staring into each other's eyes, Clay and the rat whispered as if they were conversing with each other.
And when Clay put the rat down on the ground a moment later, it shook its head and tail at its friends and soon ran quickly through the maze.
Squeak! Squeak squeak!
That was same for the other rats.
Clay took one glance at that scene and turned to Roan.
"If you would please wait just a moment, I will have found the secret passage by then."
"That's quite an amazing ability."
Roan nodded with an amazed look on his face.
Clay faintly smiled and answered.
"This is one of the basic abilities of a druid."
At those words, Roan asked in a quiet voice.
"Is the reason you knew about the Janis information agency's inner circumstances also thanks to the ability of the druids?"
"A part of it, yes, but that's not all."
Clay shook his head.
Systemically shaking the oaken stick back and forth, he continued to speak.
"Although it is correct that I found out about the Janis information agency's agents and their conversations using animals and plants, I found out about the inner structure of the headquarters and secret passages through another method."
"By another method, what……"
When Roan was about to continue his question, Clay's wooden stick that he was shaking suddenly stopped.
Clay looked at Roan and cheerfully smiled.
"It seems we have found the secret passage."
Then, he turned his body and began to walk.
Following the sound of the rats within his head, Clay busily moved his feet.
Once they followed deeper into the maze, a dead-end soon showed itself.
Squeak! Squeak squeak! Squeak!
At a solid wall that extended on one side of the space.
Without any words, Clay turned to Roan.
The rest was Roan's job.
'The ability of the druids is truly amazing."
Roan inwardly exclaimed as he walked up to the wall.
If he had ordered the troops to search, they would have barely found it only after multiple days.
Roan extended his hand and swiped at the wall, but there wasn't any device or a hole that could be felt.
Scrunching his nose, he took a step back.
"Everyone move back."
At his short command, Austin and the Amaranth troop stepped far away.
And the rats that were lining the wall moved back as well.
Using the Flamdor Mana Technique, he pulled mana into his right hand.
The muscles expanded tautly and shook as if they would burst.
The tough fist touched the wall.
With an explosion of sound, Roan's fist pierced into the wall.
Clay and the Amaranth troop widely opened their eyes.
Putting strength into his right arm, Roan cautiously pulled his fist out of the wall.
The wall, which was barely standing, fell down.
It was a small and narrow path enough for one person to barely move through.
Roan glanced at the path and walked straight in without any hesitation.
"Ah! Lord! Let us lead the way!"
Austin quickly followed behind a moment later, but Roan had already stepped deep into the passage.
Once he had walked through the twisted and continuous path for a long time, a dead end soon appeared.
Carefully, Roan pushed up the space above his head with his two hands.
With a sound of wood rubbing against another piece of wood, an exit big enough for one person to pass through appeared.
Roan lightly flexed his feet and jumped out of the passage.
Pulling up mana just in case of an unexpected event, Roan quickly searched around himself.
Various household items and piles of trash were randomly spread around.
'An abandoned hut……'
A great number of spiderwebs were spread between the walls and the ceiling.
Furthermore, the right wall and the wall behind him was halfway crumbled down, letting him see the entire street outside through the hole.
"Uuugh. Small. So small."
"Why is it so dark?"
The members of the Amaranth troop that followed Roan through the secret passage complained on and on.
Without minding it one bit, Roan took a step forward ahead of them.
'I don't see any sight of Hooke.'
Most likely, he had already ran away to someplace else.
Opening a door that didn't quite look like a door, a familiar smell hit his nose.
It was a stench that, although had weakened quite a bit, still remained pungent.
'Is this perhaps……?'
Passing through the maze-like alleyways that continued in front of the house, Roan headed towards a large alley outside.
A familiar scene spread out before his eyes.
"This is Aran Alley."
The place that Hooke's secret passage was connected to.
That was Aran Alley, the Miller Castle's slum where Roan and the Amaranth troop had stayed for a while.
"This looks like Aran Alley."
Austin and Harrison, who followed him out a moment later, shook their heads with looks of dismay.
They sighed as they stared at the sea of people that completely filled the alley.
"It won't be easy to find Hooke here."
A place where countless number of the poor residents and the crowded buildings were chaotically spread around.
There was no place better than the Aran Alley for a runaway to hide in.
'So he built a path towards the slum that's easy to hide in since it's hard to make the path all the way outside the castle.'
Roan deeply inhaled and bit his lips.
Looking at Aran Alley that was full of people, he let out a sigh.
"If Hooke had run away to Aran Alley, it'll take quite a long time to find him even if we use the druids' skills."
It might have been possible if they were to search a enclosed space, but the size of Aran Alley was simply too big.
Roan slightly creased his forehead.
'If he led his escape path here, that must mean he had also prepared a method to escape to someplace else.'
They may lose Hooke for good.
'We have to search even if we have to use all the troops.'
When he thought up to that point and was about to order them.
Roan's expression turned odd.
When Roan and the Amaranth troop who greatly helped them showed up, they showed elated expressions but didn't dare to casually get close to them.
And all the while, they awkwardly circled around the same place.
He felt a strange sense of dysphoria.
At that moment, a quiet exclaim leaked out of Roan's mouth.
Simultaneously, a bright light flashed in his two eyes.
Roan faintly smiled and moved his feet.
His steps were that of someone who knew where to go.
'Why do these guys keep glancing at me so ominously?'
Pulling at the piece of a straw mat he wore over his head, Hooke creased his forehead.
His hair was scruffy and his skin looked filthy-black from rubbing on ash.
It was the same appearance as that of the Aran Alley's residents that hit his shoulder and passed by this way and that.
Busily moving his feet, Hooke headed towards the safe house deep in Aran Alley.
A place that not even Baba and the Janis information agency's executives knew of.
'Damn it. It doesn't make sense.'
Once he turned out from the narrow alleyway and arrived in front of the safe house, Hooke gritted his teeth.
'Even if he did find out the headquarters' location……'
When he thought about it, there were more than one or two weird points.
'Even though I ordered Baba to spy on Baron Tale and to meticulously check the traps in the hunting grounds……'
It was hard to accept that nobody noticed the works Roan and the Amaranth troop had done in response.
'But no report about seeing odd signs came up.'
Because of that, they had gathered the executives and were leisurely having a meeting at the time.
The light in Hooke's eyes calmed down.
'There's only one reason why my eyes and ears had gone dark.'
His face completely twisted.
'There was a traitor amongst us.'
His heart began to beat quickly.
From his rage, his eyes and lips rapidly twitched.
'No, no. This isn't the time to be angry.'
Hooke knew how to control his anger.
Thankfully, he couldn't feel any presences in the house.
Hooke threw himself into the house and sat down at a corner deep inside the house.
'For now, I have to get out of Miller Castle.'
If he could get out, he was confident that he could raise the information agency once more.
Currently, most of the highest leveled information amongst the special level information was in his chest.
'If I sell this to the nobles and the rich……'
He could get quite a large sum of money.
It was quite annoying to start over again from the very beginning, but it wasn't such a hard thing to do.
'After all, I myself am the Janis information agency.' 2
A smile hung from his lips.
He also had the means to get out of Miller Castle.
'I've been feeding bribes to the guards and the castle's managers just in preparation for this kind of situation.'
And if things didn't go well, he could use his connections to a wealthy acquaintance and hide amongst goods. 3
There were countless number of ways to get out of the castle.
Hooke grinded his teeth.
'Roan Tale. I will most definitely not leave you alone.'
Roan's face passed through his eyes.
He shall start his revenge.
'I won't be able to directly take him on myself, but……'
He was confident that he could take down Roan if he took away other noble’s fortunes and made them fight. 5
"Roan Tale. Wait just a bit."
His voice shook from rage.
"I will most definitely make you kne……"
When he had spoke up to that point.
The safe house's door that was tightly closed opened.
Suddenly, Hooke's eyes opened wide.
At the absolutely unimaginable place, at the completely unimaginable moment, a person he absolutely didn't want to meet had appeared.
"Ba, Baron Roan Tale……?"
The person who open and appeared through the safe house's door.
Roan brightly smiled and casually walked close.
"Janis information agency's master, Hooke."
He gazed straight into Hooke's eyes.
"For the crime of instigating a murder of Rinse Kingdom's noble, you are under arrest."
A cold voice hit Hooke's ears.
< A Good Person (9) > End.
Translator : CSV
Proofreader: st8_lupe.for those who are confused, the executives went http://i.imgur.com/12VTop0.jpg and then the soldiers went http://i.imgur.com/7VX2HDb.jpg ↩ Basically, Hooke juste claimed that the entire agency itself was Hooke himself. ↩ For those who don't get the image, his backup plan is to find a wealthy friend he has connections to, hide in his cart of goods (like hiding in a box, for example), and pass through the castle's gate along with the cart of goods. ↩ For those who are confused, 'he' here refers to Hooke. ↩ so basically, he believes he should be able to control other nobles' wealth once his information agency revives, and he plans on threatening the nobles into fighting Roan by holding the nobles' wealth hostage ↩