I also tled Person with Inferior Ability so this one took time. Enjoy!~~
Chapter 86: Playing Dead
The next day I came to the restaurant again with Zoe.
Again, a seat was conveniently available for us.
I laughed heartily at this, but I continued to listen to Alice’s song without showing any concern.
As the show went on and most of the audience was paying attention to Alice, I “connected” with Zoe.
[Can you hear me?]
[Yes, Master …… hmmm?]
Zoe turned to me and replied as usual.
But soon she notices something is wrong.
[Is this voice …… not yours?]
[No, you are right. The human voice sounds different inside your ears than it does to others.]
[Is that so? Ah, I hear it very clearly.]
Zoe looks around muttering so.
Inside the restaurant where Alice is singing, most of the voices have been drowned out by her singing, making it difficult to hear her.
In fact, when the waiter comes and asks for orders, he speaks louder than usual near my ear, halfway to the point of yelling.
Despite that, it seems strange that she can hear me clearly and normally.
[Have you ever played with a string phone]
[Yes, I have, but ……]
[Think of it as a transparent string phone through Fuwawa.]
Strictly speaking, it’s a bit more complicated than that, but I don’t need to explain that much.
[I see. …… Ah, Master’s mouth isn’t moving.]
[Only those who are connected by strings can hear each other, and I can speak without moving my mouth myself.]
[A secret conversation, right? As expected of Your Majesty.]
Zoe quickly understood the advantages of this method. And she also changed the way she addressed me.
That’s how it is.
Sound and voices are usually transmitted through the air.
They can also be transmitted on things, like a string telephone.
And this is also why we can hear distant sounds with our ears on the ground.
Using Fuwawa, the voice is transmitted only by invisible strings, eliminating the air, so it can only be heard between me and the people I connect to.
It’s a higher level of eavesdropping protection than soundproofing magic.
[Have you told them?]
[Yes. They looked very unhappy when I told them that His Majesty liked Alicia and was going to stay for a while.]
[Well, that’s good. Then it will be easier.]
Zoe usually nods her head, but she doesn’t do so because she is conscious that this is a secret conversation, and she conveys her wonder by just looking at you.
[If we don’t move, they’ll get impatient. Zoe, who do you think is more rushed in this matter?]
[Well, …… Your Majesty, …… you don’t have to rush, do you, ……?]
I had put up a question using the situation to nurture her, and she understood it beautifully.
[That’s right. The salt tax phenomenon is a chronic imperial disease, so to speak. If we don’t solve it now, things won’t move too far.]
[But the other side – as long as Your Majesty is here, they can’t do any trafficking.]
[Yes, threatening an entire city and turning it into a big show of change is not only expensive, but at the same time, it means a stop in revenues. If you consider that the entire salt tax from the Empire’s decrease went into their pockets, they would have lost at least 100,000 reens just by stopping for a day.]
[So much …….]
Zoe was stunned.
From a maid’s point of view, that’s a lot of money that would leave her speechless.
[That’s the reason why. If I don’t make a move, they’ll get impatient and make a move. That’s why I should just take it easy.]
[I see! As expected of Your Majesty!]
Smiling at Zoe, I took a sip of sake and a piece of snack in my mouth.
[But …… one hundred thousand ……. That much money cannot be allowed to go unchecked. After it all comes to light, he must be executed.]
I didn’t answer.
I know what Zoe is saying, and I understand her feelings.
But people are usually more useful alive than dead.
And if the people who have created the system capable of snatching so much tax money from the Empire can be successfully subdued, they can be useful …….
People are treasure and potential.
If only they could be persuaded.
With this in mind, I listened to the songs, had the drinks and eat the snacks, and pretended to be enjoying myself.
The waiter brings a new dish.
The moment I picked it up again and put it in my mouth…
Plopped down on the table like a puppet whose strings had been cut.
“Yo–Master!?” [TN: she was about to say, Your Majesty]
I hear Zoe’s scream-like voice from above my head.
My body is shaken, the tip of my nose, and my chest are touched one after another.
“Is he dead ……?”
Inside the store where all the customers had disappeared.
I was laid down on the floor.
I’m listening with my eyes closed.
“Is he dead?”
“Y-Yes. As you can see, his heart stopped.”
A man’s voice and a clerk’s voice I had never heard before.
The man’s ear was against my chest.
“You’re right, he’s dead. I should have done this as soon as possible.”
“Ah, sir. Our store is …….”
“Don’t worry, I won’t make it any worse. This store is going to close. I’ll give you a place on the other side of town that’s twice as big.”
“T-Thank you very much.”
I see, that’s the reward for poisoning me.
“You know, …….”
This time I heard Zoe’s voice.
“What is it? You want money?”
“No, I want you to let me take the master’s body.”
“I’ve been indebted to him for a long time. At least let me mourn him with my own hands.”
“Do as you please.”
The man snickered, and then I heard footsteps, which gradually moved away.
It seemed to have gone out of the store.
A little later, anxious footsteps followed, and then they too moved away.
The clerk seemed to have gone into the back of the store.
It seems that there are no more people around, then.
[You understand well]
[Because Your Majesty couldn’t possibly be poisoned.]
When I opened my eyes, I saw Zoe standing by my side with her eyes closed and her hands folded in a pose as if she were praying.
I see. This, combined with the fact that I can’t hear her voice, makes it look like she’s praying silently for me.
[Your majesty has an Apophis with you. The poison that is available to ordinary people would not have killed you.]
[Yeah, the poison was neutralized by Apophis.]
[Yes, ……, but how did your heart stop beating?]
[It’s also Fuwawa. She covered the work.]
[Yes, ……, Ah, the heartbeat]
[I made a temporary substitute for the heart there. My heart was stopped, but the blood is still flowing through it, so there’s nothing wrong with it.]
[That’s …… amazing, …… Your Majesty.]
Zoe looked really impressed.
[Your Majesty. What to do now?]
[You’ve done well, so let’s take advantage of that.]
[Yes. Take me to the crematorium and burn me.]
[…… Bahamut, right?]
[Yeah. Because of Bahamut, the flames of cremation will not harm me. I should be burned once to completely relax their vigilance.]
[As expected of you, Your Majesty. I understand.]
[After that you must leave the city.]
[I have to be away from the city, huh?]
Zoe was surprised.
[Yeah, it’s just an act to deceive the other side. Leave normally, but no need to go back. You can travel normally back to the city until I contact you.]
She nodded and left my side.
In the distance, I could hear Zoe asking the shopkeeper how to transport the body and where the crematorium was.
I continued to play dead.
Playing dead using Fuwawa is not that difficult.
It was more difficult to calm down Leviathan, who was about to lose his temper when he realized that my food had been poisoned.
Leviathan is still half-mad.
A mad and loyal dog, this fellow will not tolerate anyone who harms me.
If I had been even a little bit sloppy earlier, the head of the man who confirmed my death would have fallen off.
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