༺ The Empire’s Future (4) ༻
I roughly pushed Leonard aside and entered the room.
As expected, his room was smaller and more cramped compared to the instructors’ or students’ rooms. However, it was still better than the tent I used to live in during my time as a low-ranking soldier.
After a quick glance, I noticed there was nothing particularly eye-catching inside the room.
However, Leonard’s reaction clearly indicated that he didn’t want anyone in the room. It wasn’t hard to guess that something must be hidden inside.
If he was bought by a terrorist organization, he must have kept evidence in case of emergencies. Insurance against the possibility of being silenced by the organization would be necessary.
He wouldn’t keep the evidence in easily discoverable places, like drawers or under the bed. As I thought about that, I looked up at the ceiling and found one of the tiles had a deeper groove than the others.
That one seems like it can be opened.
As I thought, I reached out and touched the tile, and sure enough, the ceiling opened. Leonard screamed and widened his eyes in horror.
“No, don’t do that! You can’t!”
Would an Imperial policeman stop just because the suspect asked? Although I wasn’t an Imperial policeman.
Ignoring Leonard’s plea, I lifted the tile and looked inside, finding something with my hand.
I took it out and checked its contents; it was a document detailing Leonard’s contacts with the ‘Empire’s Future.’
When and where they met, how much money was exchanged, what they received in return… Honestly, the information wasn’t very important. However, this document was undeniable, clear evidence that Leonard was involved with the terrorist organization.
I spoke coldly as I checked the document.
“Are you still going to deny everything?”
Leonard fell to the floor, kneeling with his head down, as if he knew everything was over.
“I-I’m sorry… But I had no choice! My mother was sick and I suddenly needed a lot of money, and there was no way to get that much money from my security job-“
My voice, filled with murderous intent, made Leonard close his mouth.
His intention to save his mother might have been noble. However, it was an undeniable fact that his actions put the students at the academy in danger and caused a riot in the 8th district, injuring many people.
Considering his frightened reaction when I tried to enter the room earlier, this man must have known the consequences of his actions to some extent.
I didn’t want to hear or be curious about the detailed story of such a despicable criminal.
I tucked the evidence document under my arm and asked Leonard.
“This isn’t everything, is it?”
“Yes, yes? What do you mean by that…?”
“I’m talking about the means to contact the terrorist organization.”
The evidence here was just a document. However, considering that the information about Titania’s whereabouts was immediately transmitted, it was clear that this man had the means to communicate with the ‘Empire’s Future’ instantly.
I was starting to get irritated, and we had wasted enough time already.
I stared coldly into Leonard’s eyes, my murderous intent becoming genuine.
“Gah! Gah, ah…!”
Leonard’s face contorted in pain as if he couldn’t breathe due to the overwhelming murderous aura.
I withdrew my murderous intent before Leonard’s breath was cut off.
Barely escaping the murderous intent, Leonard took a deep breath and desperately clutched at his throat. It seemed as if he had experienced an illusion of his neck being severed.
For people of a lower level, it was much faster and more convenient to shoot murderous intent directly at them rather than resorting to body searches or torture. There’s nothing quite as effective as the fear of death.
“Don’t make me say it twice.”
I took a threatening step forward. Even at that simple motion, Leonard jerked back in surprise, his face pale with fear, pulling something out of his pocket.
“I, I have it! I have it! I have it with me! I’ll give it to you now!”
The object Leonard hastily handed me was a scroll to summon Juggler.
Juggler was a commonly used name for an artificial spirit in the Western world. When you tear the scroll, Juggler appears, and if you gave him a letter and told him where you want it delivered, it was a very convenient magic that delivers the letter for you.
“Where’s the destination?”
“I, I don’t know exactly. The destination was preset, so once the letter was attached, it would fly off on its own. The only clue I have is this scroll. I swear…!”
“Did you see the face of the organization member who contacted you?”
“He, he was a man I met at the bar… I was so drunk then… I didn’t have any contact with the organization member when we regularly exchanged money and scrolls, I just received the items.”
So the only immediate clue was this scroll to summon Juggler.
I had everything I needed.
Leonard, sweating coldly, asked cautiously.
“Um, Captain. What will happen to me now…?”
“You’ll either be taken by the Imperial police, or most likely turned over to the intelligence department.”
There were many rumors about the intelligence department, but the most famous one was that criminals taken there never came out in one piece.
Perhaps sensing his terrible future, Leonard burst into tears, clutching his head and screaming in despair.
Such is usually the case with rebels who collaborated with a terrorist organization. There was no room for sympathy.
He had done what he could to save his mother, but as a result, he would never be able to see her again for the rest of his life.
Having no further business with Leonard, I left his room and exited the living quarters.
I was heading towards my destination when I heard footsteps chasing after me from behind.
“Wait! Just wait a moment!”
The man running after me from the entrance of the living quarters was a face I hadn’t seen before, but he was dressed similar to a guard. He was dressed in a uniform that was more decorated than the other guards.
He was probably the captain of the guards. He must have received a report about the commotion in one of his subordinate’s rooms, and hurried over to find out what was happening.
He was panting heavily from running and said,
“Huff, huff… You’re dressed like an instructor, but you cause a ruckus in the dormitory and then just leave without a word? You have to explain what happened!”
I sighed briefly.
I didn’t have time to be held up explaining the situation, I was in a hurry. At any moment, the ‘Future of the Empire’ could be targeting Titania, I didn’t know what they could be up to.
But I didn’t think that man would be satisfied if I just left without any explanation.
“I was investigating a terrorist organization targeting my student.”
“What? Why were you investigating that here?”
“One of your guards was in collusion with the organization.”
At those words, the color drained from the captain’s face. He looked completely shocked when I mentioned the term “collusion.”
Then I realized it. He had no connection to Leonard Bane’s collusion. The captain of the guards might have been incompetent in not noticing his subordinate’s collusion, but he seemed to have nothing to do with this case.
The captain asked, his voice trembling from shock.
“E, evidence? Did you find any evidence? Oh, no… Have you found any evidence?”
“Yes. I found records of him exchanging items with the terrorist organization.”
Upon hearing that the evidence was solid, the captain’s mouth gaped open in shock.
Perhaps in his mind, he was imagining being hanged on the gallows for treason due to the terrorism charges.
“If you’re satisfied, I’ll be on my way.”
“Wait! Wait a minute! That, that evidence…! You can’t just take it away like that!”
What nonsense was this?
Despite my icy stare, the captain wouldn’t back down, as if his life depended on this issue.
“If a member of our security team committed a crime, isn’t it my responsibility? I should be the one to solve it! If you hand over the evidence, I’ll investigate thoroughly and handle everything so that you won’t be bothered.”
“…Not even worth listening to.”
In truth, all I needed was the Juggler Scroll, which would lead me to the enemy’s hideout, so it wouldn’t matter if I didn’t have the evidence of collusion.
However, I could clearly see that if I handed the evidence over to him, it would be covered up internally. Knowing this, there was no reason to give the documents to the captain.
Ignoring the captain’s words, I turned my back without hesitation. But he couldn’t let it go, dropping to his knees and clinging to my leg, begging.
“Ouch! This won’t do! Then at least let me help you with something! You must say that this Captain Herman has nothing to do with this case and is not involved in any treason! I have a family too, and I can’t be hanged on the gallows just yet…!”
I felt a surge of disgust at the sensation of my pants being pulled.
If it were a monster, I could just cut it down and move on like in a war, but since it was a human, I couldn’t do that.
Anyway, he wanted me to let him help with something.
A good idea came to mind.
Since he wanted to do something so badly, it would be nice to give him a task.
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