Souta and co. went to the caravan that the old man Jared prepared. They immediately departed as soon as they got inside the caravan.
Souta looked at the old man Jared who was driving this caravan. He had a lot of questions about the Fersch Dukedom and right now was the perfect time to question the old man Jared.
"Old man, can you tell me more about the Fersch Dukedom?" Souta asked the old man Jared.
Jared looked back at Souta. He slowly opened his mouth and asked Souta, "What do you want to know?"
"Hmm... Let's see." Souta rubbed his chin as he pondered what he should ask, "How about you tell me about your Duke?"
Old man Jared sighed before he began to tell everything he knew about his lord to Souta.
Caedmon Freindinjer II was the name of the Duke of the Fersch Dukedom. He was a benevolent and kind lord to his subjects. He treated everyone with a smile on his face and he was the one who personally trained his soldiers. He was also the most powerful person in their whole Dukedom. Even with the killings started in their Dukedom, Caedmon was still the same.
Old man Jared started to become suspicious of his lord when Caedmon didn't let the adventurers from the guild take any quest regarding the incident. He shut down any information regarding the incident and he personally took action to investigate the killings in their Dukedom. The result was the Duke couldn't find the perpetrator of the incident.
It's very suspicious. Why would the Duke shut down all the quest related to the incident? Anyone would find it strange why the Duke stopped all the quest related to the killings that were happening in their land.
There's nothing strange when Souta couldn't remember this quest. After all, millions of players were doing quest every day in the game so it was impossible for him to know every quest that they do. There were a lot of things that he didn't know in this world.
"Is it possible that the Duke is handling things because he doesn't want his subject to be involved in his situation?" Lumilia opened her mouth and asked.
Her questions gathered everyone's attention.
"What made you think so?" Souta asked her. He then added, "It's okay to tell your opinion. Maybe, we could guess the reason behind it if we all think together."
"I'll pass. It's making my head hurts." Bryan shook his head while waving his hands at the same time.
Lumilia nodded at Souta before she said, "If the Duke is really kind just like what Sir Jared said then there's a possibility that he's facing some kind of trouble. If he told anyone about it maybe the one who knew the truth will be forcefully involved in his problem. Let's just take a look at the adventurers that died. If I'm not wrong, I recall that Sir Jared said that thirty of them died?"
Old man Jared nodded at her words indicating that Lumilia was correct. Thirty adventurers died after they accepted the quest about the killings in their land.
Lumilia then looked at old man Jared and asked, "Sir, can you tell us what the Guildmaster did after he issued that quest?"
"The Guildmaster?" Old man Jared glanced at Lumilia before he answered her question. "I think that he left the Dukedom saying that he will try to contact the main guild to send some high-level adventurers."
"I see... I understand what you are trying to say, class rep." Souta nodded and said to Lumilia. He realized that something was happening in the dark and the Guildmaster also realized it after the adventurers that he sent died.
Normally, if the Adventurers Guild was facing some kind of trouble, the Guildmaster wouldn't leave the guild at all. He will stay there and sent out a messenger to the neighboring guild to ask for help.
It seems that the Guildmaster already sent out the messenger but all of them died so the Guildmaster decided to depart and asked assistance from the other Adventurers Guild from the neighboring nations or cities.
"There are also other possibilities that could happen," Lumilia said to him.
"And what's that?" Souta looked at her and asked.
"The Guildmaster got involved and got to know the perpetrator behind the killings. After knowing that, he realized that the problem was something he couldn't handle so he departed." Lumilia paused for a few moments before he added, "Also, there is a possibility that he perished after discovering the truth. The news about him departing is false and maybe the Duke is the one who spread this news so that people wouldn't start panicking by the sudden death of one of the most powerful people in their land."
Souta smiled and was glad that he brought her in his party. She was a noble lineage so she undergo intense training when she was still a child. There were some things that she could do that he couldn't.
'From all the information that we have, let's see the extent of her knowledge.' Souta said inwardly. He looked at Brando and Bryan and gestured them to listen.
Brando nodded his head while Bryan just looked outside the caravan. He was thinking about how strong the Duke.
Souta then looked at Lumilia and asked her, "Then, where do you think we should start our investigation?"
"First, before we reach the Fersch Dukedom we should split up with Sir Jared," Lumilia said, and before Souta could ask why she said her reason for suggesting this action.
"The Duke probably knew that his subjects are suspicious of him so anyone that entered the Fersch Dukedom with adventurers could easily guess the reason why. The Duke have many subordinates and he must have asked them to monitor all the people that will enter his territory, especially to those unknown people like us.
"So we'll enter from the different gate to avoid such suspicion. We'll also spread the words from our fellow adventurers in that land our goals. We will tell them that we're only passing by in that place as we plan to head to the other country. That way, we could give everyone an impression that we'll immediately leave that place.
"After that, one of us will fake a sickness so we could stay there for a few more days. We also couldn't do that and say that we're going to rest in that place for a few days. There are lot of things that we could do but that's the most effective way that I could think of right now.
"Then, we'll start gathering information from our fellow adventurers that stayed there. About the people that died, we have to get their information as we could discover one or two things about the perpetrator.
"About the Guildmaster, we have to act quickly and contact the people who are close to him, especially his assistant. And lastly, we'll have to investigate the Duke's mansion."
Souta raised up his hand and signaled her to stop. He rubbed his chin as he processed all the information that he received from her.
After a few seconds, Souta looked at her and said, "Okay, we'll follow your suggestion. If you have something in your mind you can tell me."
Lumilia sighed in relief when she saw that Souta was listening to her. She took a deep breath before she said, "I think that we should investigate it and you, Souta, should be the one to do it. You're the most capable person among us so I think that you could do it. It would begin once we found what the Duke is hiding. We wouldn't need to gather information from other people once we learn the Duke's secret."
"Yeah, that's what I was thinking from the beginning." Souta looked at her and smirked.
It's true that the shortcut to all of this was investigating the Duke's mansion and finding his secret. They wouldn't need to trouble themselves from gathering information.
But that's the hardest part of this quest.
"Then, what should we do?" Brando suddenly asked.
"Be prepared as a fight could break out anytime," Souta answered him without hesitation. He wouldn't forget to tell them those words.
"Um... Souta..." Lumilia called him while looking at him with hesitation in her eyes.
"What's wrong, class rep?" Souta asked her and thought that she have something in her mind that could help their quest.
"Can you please stop calling me 'class rep' when we're not in the institute?" Lumilia asked him as she lowered her head.
"Huh? What's wrong with that class rep? You're our class rep so it's natural that we called you class rep." Bryan looked at her and said.
"This... It's different. I'm not technically your class rep when in our party, plus Souta is the leader of our party." Lumilia said as she looked down at her feet.
"Okay, I'll call you Lumilia outside the institute." Souta smiled and said. He then glanced at Bryan wondering why this guy was an airhead.