BBYW Vol. 3 Chapter 44 (WN)
Chapter 44 – Plotting in the Dark
That night, I visited the mansion designated by the old man.
The building, located on the outskirts of the town, was completely dark: no lights were on, as if it was deserted.
I had Sue and Sakuya return to the ship first: if anything happened, they were to leave me and escape from the port.
I knocked on the backdoor five times, as the old man requested.
“I have been expecting you. Please, this way.”
The door was opened by the same old man I met earlier that day, now dressed like a butler.
I followed him through the dark corridor, with only his lamp as a source of light.
“Is this a wake or something? Why so dark?”
“Keep your voice down, please. My master shall explain.”
I shrugged at the old man’s rebuke and observed the corridor.
There were vases and paintings decorating the walls, but, even in the faint light, the dust was visibly piled on them.
It looked like the mansion hadn’t been used in years, so it was hard to believe someone lived there.
(Which is the reason why we are meeting here now, I guess.)
“Please wait in this room. Master will arrive soon.”
I stepped inside the room and noticed that there were already several people inside.
Feeling their eyes on me, I raised my hand in a greeting.
“Good evening, ladies and gents.”
Most of the guests did not deign to reply: the only one came from a young man with a cigarette in his mouth.
His left hand was in his pocket, while with the right he deftly struck a match and lit his cigarette.
“Such bad manners, right? I wonder why assassins have to be so broody all the time.”
“What? These guys are all assassins?”
“Oh? You mean you aren’t?”
The young man reacted with surprise, then stretched a hand towards me.
“The name’s Jack, by the way. I doubt we’ll see each other much, but pleased to meet you nonetheless.”
I looked at the young man’s right hand and scoffed.
A man’s hand, and a foul-smelling one at that. I didn’t feel like returning the courtesy at all.
“If you want me to shake your hand, get rid of that nasty smell of gunpowder first. I’m choking here.”
“Hmm…nice intuition you have.”
The young man took his left hand out of his pocket.
In its palm was a round ceramic object, with a fuse sticking out of it.
“An explosive? Why are you even carrying something so dangerous?”
“Haha, who even calls them like that? This here is a frag grenade, friend.”
The young man laughed as he juggled the bomb.
A spark from the cigarette could have caused a disaster, but he seemed to be unaffected by the thrill.
“Again, my name is Jack. In the underworld, they know me as Jack the Bomber.”
“Name’s Dyngir. I’m a pirate at the moment.”
As we exchanged introductions, a well-dressed man entered the room.
The middle-aged man — probably in his fifties — looked at the dangerous characters in the room, one by one, then opened his mouth.
“You have my gratitude for gathering here tonight. I am Samuel Lauros, minister of the Garnet Kingdom.”
“We all know you, man. Samuel Lauros the ‘Traitor’, right?”
So Jack jeered the newcomer.
Samuel glanced back at him, but continued as if nothing had happened.
“As you have surely heard from the mediator, what I wish to request you is the assassination of Captain Drake, the governor sent to rule this country.”
“All of you here tonight are either assassins well-known in the underworld, mercenaries, or people of similar ilk. I ask you to get rid of that inhuman monster, no matter what you have to do.”
“How much is the reward?”
One of the assassins who had remained silent until then finally spoke.
“Everything I own. My fortunes, my title, my honor. I am ready to pay everything it takes.”
“For real? If I ask for your daughter’s hand in return, you’ll take me as your son-in-law? You’d even take a criminal in your family?”
Jack probably meant to make fun of the man, but Samuel answered flatly.
“I have no daughter. She was sent to a monastery some years ago, but Drake destroyed it. All the sisters were killed.”
Hearing Samuel speak of such a tragedy without a drop of emotion in his voice, even Jack was reduced to silence, and scratched his head awkwardly.
In his stead, I took the opportunity to speak.
“So is this revenge for your daughter? That’s a daring gamble for someone who betrayed his own country.”
“This is nothing grand like revenge. I have abandoned my daughter — not only that, but even looking at the corpses of the sisters, I could not find her. I am a despicable father.”
Samuel continued, in a self-deprecating tone. Then he turned towards me, and I could see some emotion in them for the first time.
“I have heard you paid respects to the sisters’ corpses. I am truly thankful.”
“If your daughter’s so important to you, couldn’t you have done something about those corpses yourself? Why were they left like that?”
I glared at Samuel. The man shook his head, slowly, sadly.
“I am Drake’s subordinate, at least in public. I cannot oppose his orders.”
“That doesn’t seem enough of a reason to leave your daughter’s body out as bird feed.”
“…indeed. There is nothing I can say to that.”
Samuel fell silent. I sighed and looked out of the window.
The night sky was covered in clouds, hiding the moon and stars. My somber mood sank even further.