Investigation and Possibility
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When investigating something, it would be basic to first search from a place that wasn’t visible. For example, when looking for something suspicious in a city, one would head to the back alley first.
If someone wanted to hide a tree, it would be in the forest. No matter how suspicious it was, it made sense that it would be difficult to notice if something was mixed up in something similar.
On the contrary, it was possible to leave it in a place where it stood out, but that would be too dangerous. If it didn’t appear no matter what people did, it wouldn’t appear at all, but it was also likely that it would appear. If someone wasn’t so confident for any reason, a certain measure couldn’t be taken.
That was the reason why Ingrid and others were walking around the back alley according to the basics, but–…
“Hmm… Should I say it’s surprising that we haven’t found anything. I thought it would be easy to find a clue…” (Soma)
“I honestly thought so, but apparently, it’s different. I thought that if we were with Ingrid, we would find something even if it was trouble…” (Hildegard)
“I’m sorry I’ve disappointed you, but as I said, my intuition isn’t something that happens frequently. It doesn’t happen conveniently.” (Ingrid)
In the first place, the starting point was a vague feeling that there was something. The other two seemed to appreciate it, but originally, it wasn’t something that they could rely on.
“Are you usually regarded as a patrol worker?” (Soma)
“Yes, but if anything, it’s because I have nothing else to do. It’s just that patrolling is the most useful task for me. Besides, as I said before, even though my intuition is correct, at best, it happens once every ten days. It’s not uncommon for me to think that something is suspicious, but nothing happened.” (Ingrid)
“…Is that true?” (Hildegard)
“There’s no point in lying, right?” (Soma)
For some reason, Hildegard had a suspicious look, but it wasn’t a mistake. Ingrid’s intuition was only useful once in a while. It was correct to say that the intuition was only useful for patrols, rather than her being entrusted with patrols.
“Hildegard…? Is there something strange?” (Soma)
“Speaking of intuition, hers is at the level of Special Rank. If it is at the Beginner Rank, I can still understand it, but… if it’s at Special Rank, she should be to understand whether it is due to the activation of the skill or not…” (Hildegard)
“Even if you say that… For me, that’s… Aah, except when I talked to you both yesterday, the other times were no different.” (Ingrid)
“Hmm… Isn’t it possible that the intuition skill is working only when you really think it strongly, and that you really somehow thought it at other times?” (Soma)
“It’s possible, but… Ingrid doesn’t think so, right?” (Hildegard)
“That was true at least for me until the time you had told me about it. Before this, I thought it was all the same to a certain extent. Well, perhaps, I’m just a blockhead.” (Ingrid)
Actually, the possibility that she was a blockhead was the highest. Although there was a difference, she just didn’t notice it.
If she said so, that was a convincing matter.
“Aren’t you a bit too demeaning yourself?” (Soma)
“That’s not the case. It’s just a fact, and there’s evidence.” (Ingrid)
“Evidence, you say?” (Hildegard)
“Yes. I’m alone because of this, you know? That’s the proof.” (Ingrid)
Ingrid shrugged at the appearance of the two people who said that they didn’t understand that was the proof. It was actually simple.
“Did you notice when you were looking around the city today? The Paladins are basically supposed to act in pairs.” (Ingrid)
“…When you say that, certainly, that’s true.” (Soma)
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“Certainly, everyone who you saw is like that… except one.” (Hildegard)
“Yes. I am the exception. After all, I’m blockhead, useless and unusable.” (Ingrid)
“…I don’t really get it, you know? Isn’t it good to be allowed to act alone?” (Hildegard)
“Not really? I’m proud with my decent swordsmanship, but that’s all about. And for those who can only get the intuition that is activated occasionally, it’s best to go around alone.” (Ingrid)
“I think you can do it in your own way, but… was Eleonora told you about that?” (Soma)
“She didn’t tell me to that extent. I’m not that fool that I can’t understand that. Of course, I’m happy when you said everything, but… it’s a complete misunderstanding. After all, I’m weak…” (Ingrid)
Yes, Ingrid was weak. If she was strong, that incident wouldn’t have happened. She should be forgiven, but…
‘–It means that…’
Suddenly, Ingrid tilted her head because of the thought. While thinking for herself, what exactly was that.
She did something that she thought was like that…
“Hmm… I don’t think she will forgive herself… in many ways.” (Hildegard)
“Hmm, you’re right. It’s also a bit inconsistent with yesterday’s situation, and how she accepted the suggestions obediently. Just because she thinks so… hmm, Ingrid?” (Soma)
“Yes? What is it? Aah, no, sorry. I was thinking a little bit.” (Ingrid)
“…Are you alright?” (Soma)
“Thank you for worrying, but there’s no problem. No matter how blockhead am I, I’m still a Paladin–…” (Ingrid)
At that moment, Ingrid stopped her foot and turned to her side.
Although less than two years had passed since she became a Paladin in the Holy City, she patrolled the Holy City almost every day. She had walked most of the city, and she naturally knew what was ahead.
The correct answer was nothing. It was just a back alley that she was walking now, and if she dared to say, there was a vacant lot. It seemed that there was some kind of building originally, but it was destroyed as if it had burned. Since nothing was built after that, it was now a vacant lot.
She didn’t know the details because it happened before she came to the Holy City, but it was more than two years ago. Although there was nothing that could be done after that, it was probably because the alley was so narrow.
The Holy City wasn’t as vacant as it might be but there was some vacant land. The Holy Doctrine believers visited the Holy City, but rarely lived here, so there were few people live here. She didn’t have to do anything with the land in the back alley.
Anyhow, that was why there really wasn’t anything there. Although Ingrid had been there occasionally, there had never been anything. Despite that, she was… somehow bothered.
Somehow, she felt like there was something.
“Hmm…? Does it finally…?” (Soma)
“…As I said earlier, this is more likely because of my mind. Anyhow, I just went there two days ago. At least, there was nothing at that time.” (Ingrid)
“Rather, I think it’s because it’s a place you’ve been to recently.” (Hildegard)
“Are you unexpectedly saying that she chose such a place? Well, it’s certainly quite possible. It wouldn’t be too difficult to do that.” (Soma)
In Soma’s way of saying, it was as if someone caused this incident, but… that wasn’t the case now. Since Ingrid also thought so, they were conducting investigation in this way. She didn’t think anyone could manipulate the Devil or something, but otherwise, the frequency of the Devil occurrence wasn’t unlikely.
On the contrary, Soma… no, Soma and Hildegard seemed to know what it was. Again, it was natural. It was said that the two became collaborators rather than Eleonora’s guests. And now, there was no reason why Eleonora wanted collaborators like Soma and Hildegard.
But even though Ingrid was able to sense that, she didn’t ask anything because she thought that she was just a mere Paladin. If anything was there, she would be informed, and conversely, if she wasn’t informed, she didn’t need to know.
What Ingrid should do at the moment was not to know it, but to get some clues. It should be enough to understand that.
The purpose of Soma and Hildegard was the same for the time being… Apparently, Ingrid intended to believe the ambiguous feeling she had. She didn’t even believe herself, but that wasn’t the case for the other two people.
Ingrid started walking according to her own intuition, as if it was pushing her back. Then, she arrived at a familiar vacant lot that she was two days ago.
“Hmm… It looks like it’s a hit.” (Soma)
“Yeah. However, I don’t feel anything in particular, but… since it’s placed in a glorious way, it’s not really irrelevant.” (Hildegard)
What was spreading there wasn’t the same scene as it was two days ago. No, it was just almost the same. There was only one different part.
It was at the central part of the vacant lot. As Hildegard said, it was glorious, as something was placed there casually.
It was a dull, not-so-large dagger.
“Dagger, is it? If anything, it’s a type used for self-defense. Or maybe, for ceremonies?” (Soma)
“But as I said, I don’t feel anything from that… If I dare say, it’s more like a ritual, but it looks like it’s showing something more than that.” (Hildegard)
As Soma said, the dagger couldn’t be used in combat, and even if it could be used at best, it would be for self-defense. If someone tried to do something with that, it would be… yes, if anyone wanted to kill something with that dagger, that person had to stab it over and over again.
Ingrid recognized that kind of dagger.
“Hmm, it seems that you’re staring at the dagger… Ingrid?” (Soma)
“Hmm? You’re just staring at the dagger… What’s wrong?” (Hildegard)
Ingrid knew that they were talking to her, but she couldn’t react to it. Somehow, she couldn’t react.
“How can it be… why this thing is here…” (Ingrid)
There was no mistake. It was definitely…. the dagger that Ingrid used when she stabbed her parents to death.
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