—Excuse me? I’m right here? Hello?
There were roofs with wind vanes which made it confusing from a distance, but when he really checked them, there were only about twenty-three or so.
After finishing his check, Lakis jumped down from the top of the clock-tower. The next roof he moved to was a nearby cathedral. This time he climbed the bell tower and began to look for something in earnest.
However, what he wanted did not easily appear.
—Hey, are you going to keep ignoring me? I said I’m bored!
The thing Lakis was looking for right now was a mark. It was something like a trace used among people in the underworld, especially those who took requests and it was scattered all over the place. It was basically a communication network.
Generally, they had the habit of putting that mark on sacred places, the opposite of their roots in the shade. This was why Lakis had climbed the clock-tower to identify nearby cathedrals and sanctuaries. He was looking for a mark and was thinking of commissioning someone in the underworld.
But this time again, Lakis’ labors were in vain and he frowned.
He did find a few marks, but they weren’t what he was looking for. He wanted to make a request, but he wasn’t willing to waste his time with some half-baked random scrub.
After a while, he was once again on the roof of another building with a cross. And from where the paper dangled…
That moment, the voice which was been silent for a while perhaps due to Lakis’ continuous disregard, cried out sharply. But even if it didn’t, Lakis had also noticed the same thing.
His hand shot out at the speed of light, striking where his senses dictated. For an instant, the brief sound of something squealing rang out in the hollow area.
The next moment, Lakis’ sharp, chilly eyes were greeted with a black-feathered bird. As soon as it was caught in Lakis’ claws, it turned into smoke and disappeared.
—Eh, what the? The freaking bird just disappeared!
Lakis’ eyes gleamed sharply as he watched the black smoke scatter in the air.
‘It wasn’t an ordinary crow. I wonder if it got a proper image.’
Odin, also known as the Black Crow or the information dealer of the underworld.
Lakis had thought his mark was feathers but could it actually be a crow?
—Lakis! Is that crow what you’re looking for?
‘You’re so noisy. Be quiet, I need to think.’
The bug was excited to see Lakis react like this for the first time, so it babbled even more in his head.
Lakis ignored it and frowned. He stood on top of the bell tower, pondering for a moment. At this rate, he couldn’t be sure if his request had gone through or not. Because this was the first time requesting something from someone in the underworld in this manner.
Before, he either did it himself, or ordered his subordinates to do it and there was nothing he couldn’t accomplish with both methods…
Actually, it was still unknown whether the suspicious crow from earlier belonged to the Odin he was looking for. So Lakis decided to first check the marks of the remaining sanctuaries, and he jumped down to the side roof.
Then he moved swiftly, his footsteps not making a sound.
* * *
“Ugh, the hell.”
Meanwhile, at this time, Odin sensed that one of the marks he had left in the east had gone extinct. His pretty face distorted terribly.
“What bastard dared to mess with my mark…!”
As Lakis suspected, he hadn’t sent a request to Odin moments ago. Usually, in order to get a request through, a crow had to confirm a client’s face then they would be contacted separately.
However, the crow which Odin left as a mark got its neck crushed by Lakis’ hand and met an untimely death on the spot. Which was exactly why the crow turned into smoke and disappeared.
Of course, the crow Odin used as a mark wasn’t a real one but something closer to an illusion, but he couldn’t help but get angry.
He felt restless because he wanted to find out which ignorant bastard had gotten rid of his lovely crow immediately. However, he had already left the east. And on top of that, the killer of his crow was so quick and precise that he didn’t even see their hair tip, let alone their face.
Maybe this was done by that pretentious rookie aiming for his spot as an information dealer? After all, he was busy moving from place to place recently, getting information for Arachne.
Odin ground his teeth. That punk had already been somewhat getting on his nerves ever since he heard of him.
He made the flying flock of crows speed up even faster.
‘Dammit, if only that crow’s report wasn’t so suspicious.’
For now, the most important thing was Arachne’s request. So dealing with the missing marker was second priority. Of course, since he didn’t even consider just letting this pass, he planned on beating the bastard up after dealing with Arachne’s stuff.
His pink eyes resembling the setting sun flashed brilliantly among the flock of black crows.
And so, he flew towards the city of Carnot in the west, to personally confirm whether his crow’s report was in fact, true or not. As expected, he needed to finish up his work as soon as possible and go grind up that punk of a rookie.
Of course, from the standpoint of the person being misunderstood, it was an unfair matter, but for Odin right now, he had absolutely no idea it was a misunderstanding.
* * *
“See you later then, Ms. Yuri!”
Anne-Marie had briefly stopped by the coffeehouse after work, and as she smilingly waved to me, her figure gradually edged away from view.
And as I looked at her, my feet also turned in the opposite direction. I planned on just going straight ahead without stopping by my house. The auction was at 7:30 so I still had about an hour left.
I went to where Leo usually stayed, which was a place that was formerly a monastery. There was no one who came here anymore because it was now in ruins.
Once I got there, Leo ran to me with his tail wagging and greeted me happily.
“Hi, Leo. Is the thing I left with you okay?”
“Mn! Didn’t touch. It’s Yuri’s own.”
I patted Leo’s head then I headed for the monastery’s prayer room. There was something I had put there in advance. As soon as I ended the prayer room, I flung off my clothes.
I didn’t exactly feel ashamed to be nude in front of other people, so I felt no hesitation even if there was someone next to me. Besides, I didn’t even take off my underwear. But Leo who was following me, gasped upon seeing me like that and quickly turned around and covered his eyes.
I didn’t bother myself with Leo’s reaction and took off my clothes. Then I changed into the clothing I had prepared in advance. After which, I loosened my braided hair and tied it into one.
“Leo. Please take care of my clothes till I come back.”
Moments after I spoke, Leo peeked through his fingers and looked at me. Then he scuttled towards me with twinkling eyes.
“Wait, you’ll get fur on me.”
Leo, who was curiously rubbing him head on my leg and circling around me, grew slightly sulky at my words and retreated.
“I’ll get you melon candy when I come back. Behave well by yourself.”
Leaving Leo who was leaping with excitement at the sound of melon candy, I threw on a cloak and left the monastery.
* * *
The security at the secret auction was thorough. When someone in a black cloak approached the building, the gatekeeper at the door blocked their path.
“Can I see your I.D.?”
The identification they were talking about here was a small gold plaque inscribed with the mark of the auction.
The person who arrived at the auction house took it out at the gatekeeper’s request.
“Did you come alone with no servant?”
A neutral voice flowed out from under the dark cloak at the gatekeeper’s question.
“You’ll be provided with a guide. If you happen to need anything, tell him.”
Sometimes, customers came to the auction alone without servants, so the gatekeeper called for a guide without saying anything else.
“Welcome to the auction house. Allow me to guide you to the venue hall.”
A well-dressed guide came up to the customer and greeted them. Both the gatekeeper and the guide were covering their faces with masks. Before the guide directed the person to the venue where the auction would be held, he made a request:
“Before we do that, you have to take off your coat.”
The person under black cloak obediently lifted their hand and pulled down their helm.
“This way, please.”
The guide nodded after confirming their revealed attire then began to walk ahead.
Yuri followed behind him. She had already prepared a mask in advance because she knew she would be asked to take off her cloak before entering the venue. The mask she prepared was a white mask with no unique features so it wouldn’t leave any impression no matter who saw it.
“This seat is too far behind. Move me closer to the platform.”(?)
“I’m sorry. The front is already full.”
“If there’s no space, make one! Don’t you know who I am?”
The venue of the auction was very large. As Yuri followed her guide, she caught sight of someone arguing with another guide.
“Madam, excuse me but can you step aside for a moment?”
Upon hearing the voice coming from behind her, the woman wearing a gorgeous mask decorated with roses and jewels turned around irritably.
“Who are you to tell me to step…”
But she couldn’t finish her sentence.
Because of the person who was reflected in her eyes the next moment. All of their face was covered with a white mask, and unlike herself who wore a half-mask, not even their mouth could be seen.
 *sfx for happy yelping*