BBYW Vol. 4 Chapter 34 (WN)

Chapter 34 – The (Brother) Spy Fails

After the victory at the third fort, House Sphinx — from a state of nearly assured destruction — gained new life and began its counterattack.

More than half of the “Terror Armies” creatures that had invaded the western province had gathered at the fort, while the others were spread throughout the province haphazardly, looking for prey.

Now that the enemy’s main force had been taken down, the House Sphinx soldiers, together with the adventurers at my command and the reinforcements sent by House Thunderbird, proceeded to locate and eliminate the remaining undead.

The territories invaded by the mummies were taken back one by one, as the frontline was pushed back west.

“If those creatures had any notion of strategy, it wouldn’t have been so easy. They are nothing but a bunch of braindead, dried up monsters after all.”

Sitting comfortably on a sofa, I lazily said to myself.

I was back in the capital of Thebes, in the mansion borrowed from House Sphinx.

The fighting had calmed down considerably, so I had time to return to Thebes for some rest, which I was doing in the mansion that became my temporary lodging.

A map of the western province was spread on the table before me. Countless black and white stones dotted the map: the white ones stood for our allies, the black ones the “Terror Armies”.

Two weeks had passed since the battle at the third fort. The “Terror Armies”, which had previously taken over roughly half of House Sphinx’ domain, had been pushed back to a rather limited area to the west.

On the map, the black stones were concentrated tightly near the western border: most of the province was covered by white dots.

“It appears the emergency is over, Young Master!  I suppose we are not needed anymore, right?”

Such words were spoken by the man sitting on the other side of the table — the “Fangs of Steel” spy Oboro.

I shrugged my shoulders in response and tapped the fortress drawn on the western border of the map.

“I guess so. As soon as this point — Fort Giza is taken back, we can put the lid back on the desert, and prevent any more mummies from coming in. Victory is close.”

“Why do you look so glum, then? What worries you, Young Master?”

Oboro looked at me, puzzled. I ruminated on the question for a moment, then expressed my thoughts, as my brow furrowed.

“There’s nothing concrete, but…I have a bad feeling about this. Like it’s not going to end so easily.”

“…Young Master’s hunches end up coming true rather often. If possible, I would like you to not say anything unnecessary.”

“Like that’s possible…by the way, Oboro. What about the mission I gave you?”

I recalled the orders I had given Oboro — to investigate the noble families hostile to House Sphinx — and urged him to make his report.

“In regards to that, several native noble clans are showing suspicious movements. The most prominent is a man called Viscount Massab: my subordinates have spotted suspicious men coming in and out of his residence.”

“Viscount Massab…? Never heard the name before.”

“He is a sort of leader for the native nobles. Some time ago, House Sphinx petitioned him for reinforcements, but he refused.”

“Hmm, a mere vassal dared to oppose their Margrave, is that it?”

I smirked.

He probably expected House Sphinx to fall because of the “Terror Armies”’ invasion. There would be no retribution to fear for refusing their orders, or so this Viscount must have thought — which meant that he had to be sitting on pins and needles right now.

“So, who are those suspicious people going in and out of the Massab residence? You have them identified, right?”

“Well, er…actually…”

Unusually enough, Oboro reacted to my question by looking elsewhere, his mouth twisted in a grimace.

“Hey now, don’t tell me you failed…?”

“Gh…ashamedly, that is so. The subordinate I assigned to the task tailed the man, but eventually lost sight of him.”

“What? This is definitely not something I would expect from the famed Fangs of Steel. Not only were you found out, they even managed to lose you?”

“Mgh…I have no excuses.”

The rebuked Oboro looked down, forlornly.

I scratched my head with a sigh, then decided to ask for more details from my sulking subordinate.

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