Rockwall Lou – V2 Chapter 7

𝐂𝐡𝐚𝐩𝐭𝐞𝐫 𝟕

(7)

Recently, the meals of the “Star Guardian” have become more luxurious. What was once a bland soup with few ingredients now contains plenty of meat and organs, with an increased saltiness. The bread is soft, made from good wheat, and even comes with butter. A meal that was once considered a monthly treat is now available daily.

“This is all thanks to Luo.”

At dinner, Crozet emphasized.

The red tent serves as a dining area. Everyone sits around the central round table. All members of the “Star Guardian” were present: the representative Theresa, father Gangi, mother Maasa, transport team members Bekios, Chara, Bon, Totom, organ managers Sumi, Nura, Morin, and the accountant, Hamaji.

“If he wishes, I believe we should renew the contract.”

The “Star Guardian” is a secretive organization. The resistance against the outsider Luo is strong. Especially the representative, Theresa, suspects Luo is a spy sent by the Bureau of Magic to monitor the “Star Guardian.” Every time, she inquires about the boy’s condition. Crozet has always defended Luo, but her excessive defense has unintentionally weakened her persuasiveness, something she hasn’t realized.

“Luo has excellent eyesight. He never misses even the distant smoke signals. Other dismantlers would not let such an excellent lookout go.”

Crozet subtly warned that he might be poached once his contract expires, but Gangi swiftly countered her argument.

“There’s no need to worry. No one would willingly hire a wizard.”

Regrettably, his opinion hit the mark. Theresa made a gesture with her fingertips, signifying agreement.

“Is that okay?”

A kind-looking elderly gentleman, Hamaji, raised his hand to speak.

“As the person in charge of the books, I believe it would be a loss to let him go.”

Originally a member of the transport team, after a work-related accident injured his knee, he has since managed all the finances for the “Star Guardian.”

“As everyone knows, some of our tools have already reached their lifespan. We’ve managed with them so far, but they’re nearing their limits. Additionally, the wheels and metal parts of our carts are deteriorating. If we don’t replace them soon and an accident happens during transportation, it will be a major problem.”

This was a much-needed reinforcement. Hamaji, the calm elder, is deeply trusted by Theresa.

“However, he remains a mystery.”

Gangi unnecessarily voiced his suspicion.

“No matter how much the revenue of the “Star Guardian” increases, we can’t just trust him unconditionally.”

Theresa nodded emphatically.

“Well, about that. . . . . .”

Bekios from the transport team spoke with a stern expression.

“I also doubted the boy. . . . . .I subtly tried to get some information from him while he was on watch.”

Apparently, he had climbed the outer wall to chat.

“He said he just came from a rural village.”

Chara chimed in with a playful tone.

“Heh. I also grilled him thoroughly. Eventually, he confessed. He seems to have been a moss collector in the village where he was born and raised.”

 ㅤ

Bon slammed the table.

“Oh, I heard it too. No matter how much he plays dumb, he can’t deceive my eyes. That lad, he just came to this city and seems to be living alone. Seriously, isn’t he hardly eating?”

With his arms crossed, Totom sleepily said.

“Ah, at least he isn’t lying, right? After all, he didn’t even know about the postman. I purposely told him to gain his trust.”

Crozet gritted her teeth, wondering why everyone was so suspicious.

Gangi was even more indifferent.

“Either way, it’s just something a child is saying. There’s a questionable part regarding its credibility. Can’t rule out the possibility that he’s been told to say it.”

The elderly frowned in unison.

Theresa urged to continue.

“If the contract period passes as is, it might not be good enough. Depending on the situation, I think there might be a need for an inquiry.”

“That’s harsh!”

Crozet stood up without thinking. She had thought her father was stubborn, but she believed in him. Yet, to suspect such an innocent and straightforward boy.

“Fine. If everyone says so.”

Overwhelmed, Crozet made a bold declaration.

“I’ll prove Luo’s innocence!”

The transport team deploys only once a day.

If Luo spots a signal smoke early in the morning, the transport team might finish their task by midday. While Gangi takes care of Pii and Mii and the seniors maintain the tools, Luo, after receiving his pay from Hamaji, returns inside the wall from the northern gate.

“Kuro-chan, Kuro-chan. That kid has gone.”

While observing from the shadow of a tent, Sumi signaled.

“I’m sorry.”

There’s still some division work left. But the old women, who adore Crozet like a granddaughter, happily let her go.

“That kid is definitely not bad.”

“Go now, before you lose sight.”

Nura and Morin urged.

“Thank you.”

 ㅤ

Crozet also followed Luo to the northern gate.

Suddenly, she lost sight of him.

Right inside the “wall”, on a deserted path along the wall.

Strange. It was supposed to be a straight road.

As she wandered nearby, she heard light footsteps.

Reflexively, she hid in the shadows.

It was Luo.

The boy now carried a large backpack. Had he hidden it somewhere?

Determined not to lose him again, Crozet began to discreetly follow him.

It wasn’t something to be proud of, but she reassured herself it was all for Luo. To prove his innocence, she needed to secretly observe his actions and report back to everyone.

Hiding in the shadows, Crozet was anxious. Luo seemed unfamiliar with the city. As his guardian, she felt she should guide him, but she couldn’t just jump out now.

Luo headed to the post office.

Come to think of it, Totom from the transport team mentioned at dinner that he had introduced Luo to the post office because he didn’t know about it.

It seemed Luo was there to send a letter.

Clearly unfamiliar with the place, a kind female staff, who was quite beautiful, approached the boy and politely explained how to send the letter. Luo thanked her, his face blushing, and she smiled patting his head.

“If he had asked me, I would have told him.”

Something felt off.

But where was he sending the letter to? Surely not notifying someone about the “Star Guardian”?

After leaving the post office, Luo headed to the central market, the most crowded place in the city. Just when she thought he might be buying groceries or daily necessities, Luo stopped at a suspicious stall on the edge of the market. Enticed by the flashy-dressed vendor, Luo bought a silver-colored object made, apparently, by carving stone. It wasn’t real silver, likely some imitation mineral.

An absolute waste of money.

“Selling such junk to an unknowing child!”

As she followed Luo, Crozet shot the stall owner a glare.

After that, Luo headed back towards the northern gate.

Using the circulating carriages in the city would have made his travels easier. Perhaps he didn’t know how to use them.

“Huh?”

In an alley near the outer wall, Crozet once again lost sight of Luo.

Strange. It was supposed to be a straight road.

She walked the path where she lost him.

It was a dead end.

On the left and right were tall stone walls, and in front was an outer wall. Decayed wood and broken bricks were scattered about. It was a sunless, desolate place; not somewhere she wanted to stay for long.

“Crozet-oneechan.”

Startled, she turned around to see the boy sitting on top of the stone wall.

It was Luo.

With his large backpack, it seemed impossible for him to have climbed such a height.

The boy carelessly jumped off and landed silently.

For a moment, the ground seemed to shimmer in rainbow colors.

He must have used that magic again.

 ㅤ

“What are you doing?”

Without any visible sign of anger, the boy asked curiously.

Deep down, Crozet was shaken.

She couldn’t say she had been following him.

“I came to visit Luo’s house.”

“Really?”

The lie she spontaneously came up with and the innocent surprise on the boy’s face slowly made her feel guilty.

“Welcome.”

The small wizard’s home was inside the wall.

Advanced Chapters

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *