The knight who tried to enter the city was stopped by the guards who were protecting the city gate.
To enter Bendole, you need enter from the two gates at the east and the north. Every day, there would be a lot people lining up to enter the city. However, influential merchants, nobility, or knights who have a permit from the city lord can enter freely.
Therefore, it was uncommon for him to be stopped.
However, when the city garrison saw him, they stopped him to convey an order from the expedition captain, Jahl.
“Thanks. Captain Jahl of the expedition force is waiting for your report. He asks you to see him immediately as soon as you return.” The guard reported.
“I see. I understand.” He gave a short reply.
And then, he went to the barracks of Bendole.
Looking at his state, the guard said to himself.
“I thought you’d make a sarcastic remark or two, but you agreed really easily, huh?”
However, he didn’t bother thinking too deeply on that since he doesn’t have that much free time either. Before the people asking permission to enter the city start to make noise, he went back to his work as quickly as possible.
＊ ＊ ＊
After entering the city, he started to dig up the memories of the one he had transformed into.
(The bar at the western part of the city is where the adventurers gather, while the central square is where all the street vendors gather. The eastern part of city is where craftsman street is located, and the in the north is the place where wealthy merchants and nobles live. The barracks are also located there. The southern part of town is where the commoners live. There is also a slum area, but the scale isn’t very large.)
While remembering the rough layout of the city, he started to survey the town.
He was the doppelganger that Alrac created. His appearance was exactly the same as the adjutant of the commander of expedition force, Jahl. His voice and how he acts were also copied perfectly. However, because some time had passed from the time of his death, there was one important piece of information missing.
(Damn it! That guard from before… He should have called this guy’s name!)
He was cursing in his mind.
Unlike the golem, the doppelganger possesses certain pieces of knowledge prior to their birth. They have their own personalities, thoughts, and they can execute actions of their own free will outside of orders. Also, all doppelgangers take pride in their disguise skill. He wasn’t an exception.
That’s why, he was displeased with his current incomplete transformation.
(Oh well… This is only a temporary disguise until I can replace it with the next victim anyway.)
He headed towards the barrack while consoling himself.
On his way, he was worried that he might meet this body’s acquaintances, but for good or for bad, he didn’t meet any of them. On his way to the barracks, many people were ignoring him as he walked around the city. Some of them even frowned while others seemed to curse him inside their minds. Rather than saying that they hate this person as an individual, it was more of a feeling of distrust towards the knights who govern the city.
(Instead of respect and awe, it looks like their hatred comes first… What a peaceful place.)
While the doppelganger was thinking that, he decide to head towards his destination.
＊ ＊ ＊
When he arrived at the barracks, he immediately went to Jahl’s private room.
From the memories he got, he doesn’t seem like a good person. Because of that, it was the intention of his creators to use Jahl as the next replacement.
“Excuse me.” The doppelganger announced.
“So, you have returned… Well then, give your report quickly!” Jahl demanded.
While feeling a sense of disappointment from the man who yelled at him, the doppelganger started to give his report.
“There is a lot of treasure inside the Underground Labyrinth. The treasure that we have up until now is like chump change compared to that.”
“Hoooo? To be specific, how much was there?” Jahl was interested.
“This…” He removed the bag he got from Alrac, and revealed the contents.
When Jahl looked inside the bag, he swallowed down his saliva and snatched the bag to take out something that was wrapped carefully in cloth.
It’s a jewel, a fist sized diamond with a brilliant shine that was cut perfectly. Even dwarves would find it difficult to finish it this beautifully. His eyes started to turn cloudy as he looked at the jewel that doesn’t even have scratch on it.
Jahl placed it on the table. He was charmed by this beautiful jewel.
“There is still more.” The doppelganger stated.
When the doppelganger said this, Jahl hurriedly checked the bag. Certainly, there were more jewels inside it.
Ruby, Sapphire, Emerald, Topaz, Amethyst, Celestite, Eudialyte, and many more… There were different types of jewels and minerals that were beautifully cut to bring their beauty to the maximum. Their brilliant shine proved their value.
Jahl was fascinated by their shine.
“And, there are still more treasures inside the labyrinth which are so much more precious that they make these jewels and minerals look like pebbles on the side of the road.” The doppelganger spoke while observing his reaction.
The commander’s jaw dropped to the floor as he imagined the treasure inside of the labyrinth.
“However, because there is a lot of treasure inside the labyrinth, it wasn’t possible for me and my subordinates to bring all of them back.” The doppelganger continued.
“Fumu….” Jahl folded his arms after hearing his adjutant’s words. “If I have this much treasure, I will not be confined to just this small city. The imperial capital… No, if I am able to use it skilfully, I will even be welcomed in the Saint Kingdom!”
“Uu. That’s right.” The adjutant followed up.
Jahl was used to see this bootlicking figure, and didn’t think much of it. However, because it was the doppelganger posing as his adjutant, the doppelganger wasn’t able to understand the meaning of being welcomed by the Saint Kingdom.
The expedition commander continued to think about using the treasure and turned his defenceless back to face him. Not wanting to waste a good opportunity, the doppelganger approached him carefully so that he would not notice.
(I should kill him in a single blow and eat his brain.)
He placed his hand on the sword on his waist while thinking that.
It wasn’t the original sword that the adjutant had, but a magic sword which was given to him by Halva. It had the ability to make people who have never touched a sword before become a first class swordsman. Once this sword is unsheathed, it will not be possible to sheath it back unless you have killed your opponent.
When there was only one step before Jahl entered his attack range, he was interrupted.
“Jahl! Are you there?!” Someone yelled.
The door was opened without any knocking, making Jahl look back in surprise.
Upon seeing that his opportunity was taken away, the doppelganger clicked his tongue inside his mind. However, he pretended to look surprised looking at the sudden visitor on the surface.
A man with an evil looking tattoo on his head slowly walked inside. He had a shaved head, and looked to be around thirty years old. He had a big build and a loud voice. Whenever he moves, you can see the movement of his muscles as well. However, it doesn’t seem like all those muscles were the result of training.
Looking at the crest that was carved on his armour, he seemed to have the same rank as Jahl. There were also several men who looked like his bodyguards behind him.
“Well, well, well, Herreken-dono. Did you finish your inspection already?”
The doppelganger’s thoughts were interrupted when Jahl pushed him aside and bowed to Herreken. When he heard the name, he remembered that he had heard of this name from his creator.
(Herreken… Is this guy the Commander of the Inspection Force?)
The doppelganger suspected.
In the past, when Derito talked about the people with influence in the city of Bendole, he explained that there were three commanders who were the hands and feet of the city lord, Orudorin.
Expedition Force commander, Jahl.
Defence Corps, Hyudo.
Inspection Corps, Herreken.
Herreken was the commander of the Inspection Corps travelling between the villages and the city. He was the second son of the city lord, but his character wasn’t praiseworthy.
While listening to their discussion, the doppelganger remained confused as to why a person of such a calibre would suddenly show up here.
“No, it was different. It wasn’t like that!” Jahl hurriedly explained.
“Then, how were you able to do that?” The other man demanded.
Even though they were of the same rank, Jahl needed to show respect because Herreken was the son of the city lord. Of course, it wasn’t sincere, but only flattery.
[TL: I have strong urge to change the respect with face]
However, Jahl noticed that there was something different with Herreken, so he toned down his voice a little bit to be cautious.
“The princess who we guarded was kidnapped! …If this continues, it will become my responsibility. That is why, please lend me your power.” Herreken explained.
Jahl was troubled upon hearing his words.
Listening to such a troublesome problem made his good mood from before disappear. But, he can’t ignore it as well.
On other hand, the doppelganger who heard their conversation sighed because of their lack of loyalty. He decided to leave it as it is as he thought of what might have happened.
“The kidnapping… Even though she’s from a small country, who the hell would want to kidnap a Ferian princess?” Jahl sighed.
“I don’t understand it too. But, I know that it was done by a knight clad in azure armour.” Herreken shared his information.
The doppelganger was familiar with that appearance. Of course, he wasn’t stupid enough to announce that.
“A-Anyway! … Please tell me all the details.” Jahl requested.
“Aah, the story goes back quite some time before. So, please listen to it silently. It was like this…” Herreken started to talk about how it all started.