A town where money and people gather, naturally there will be an entertainment district where all the people gather after their work. With a population of three hundred thousand people, the scale of the entertainment district in the capital, Gran is justified.
There’re more than hundreds of taverns in different scales of size located in the entertainment district that’s in the north of the capital’s new district.
It’s a fact that everyone in the capital knew that the taverns in the entertainment district can be categorized widely into two types, ones that are near the entrance of the district are mostly upstanding ones which runs dining hall and normal inns, and ones that are more further in the district can be said as brothels or gambling houses.
Those kinds of taverns are only opened during the night. For those that work as a dining hall, most of them are opened from lunchtime, for those that work as inn, most of them are opened throughout the entire day.
As for the taverns that opens throughout the days, there’re never a lack of scums of society there. Skipping their work and drinking alcohol, one can tell that they are exactly that with a glance.
Just because they have a little spare money, they would spend it all, scums that are mercenaries. Probably having drank all night yesterday, there’re several figures that are writhing in the effects of the hangover.
And in a tavern that is filled with such people, there is also one similar scum with delicate features who looked around with a cold gaze. But different than the others at the scene, waiting like this in the tavern is one of his job.
「Ou, Chezare. Thanks for your good info last time. 」
A person who came down from the second floor called out to the man who was drinking his fruit juice in front of the counter. The man who was called Chezare, stopped his hand that was holding the glass at his mouth, and replied without even looking back.
「Didn’t I said so? That was a piece worth way more than three silver. 」
「Yeah, that was some good stuff. Only that time. 」
The owner of the voice seemed to emphasize on that point. Since there was one time when Chezare’s information that was sold to him was treated as 「A waste of money」 by the owner of the voice.
Although Chezare thought it was a good piece of information. What matters for information are how fresh they are. It’s more crucial in that aspect than any kind of meats and vegetables or the fishes in the marketplace. It’s the norm for a piece of information that had worth become worthless in just a few moments.
When Chezare gave him the information, it was certainly when it still had its worth. It was his fault for not taking action quickly even after he received the information. Blaming Chezare for it is just an unfounded excuse for his own inability.
Albeit that, it’s not like Chezare was hoping for a mercenary to understand that. Results is everything for mercenaries. The result brought by the information, it’ll be good when it brings profit, and bad when it doesn’t.
In fact, Chezare thought that dealing with opponents like this is stupid but, mercenaries are the precious source of his information and also his buyer at the same time. He couldn’t act rudely because of that.
「Tell me if you got any good ones. 」
The mercenary man left those words before leaving the tavern.
On the other hand, Chezare didn’t bother to reply. He silently tilted the glass of fruit juice since he wasn’t nice enough to deal with someone that’s not a paying customer.
The time when the sun reached overhead, there is still not many people who entered. Furthermore, the number of people who talk to Chezare sitting at the counter is limited.
Even if there’s any, they’re either 『Ex-customers』, or 『Potential Customers』. The people who have matters with Chezare during lunchtime are all people who want to buy information from him. Chezare himself focuses on selling information during this period of time as well.
On the other hand, stocking in information is done during the night. Since mercenaries or peddlers that comes to the tavern during the night would drink and become loose mouthed, sometimes he might get some interesting news.
He would gather and sort the information he has obtained, splitting them up, and putting them with a price to those who needs it.
Chezare is exactly one would refer as an information broker.
It’s not like anyone can be an information broker. Depending on the what they know, they might get into trouble as well.
That is why he doesn’t move on the surface, and only gets information from the people’s chattering. Because of that, his net of information is very wide. By the way, the master operating this tavern is also in the same industry.
There’re many people who come to the tavern to get information. If they don’t need any detailed information, they would ask from the master here by giving some tips.
If there’re people who can’t get what they want with just that, then it’s the occasion of an information broker like Chezare to shine.
「Chezare, a customer. 」
The master behind the counter called out. Chezare turned around troublesomely. In front of the master at the counter, there was a young man who seemed like a mercenary.
Aged probably fourteen or fifteen. With a violet headband, and a light purple robe around his body. Black eyes and black hair, although his face seemed like a young adolescent, the way he stood was reminiscing of a skilled mercenary.
「You are the information broker? 」
「That’s right. 」
Having got the affirmation, the young man sat beside Chezare. Without even ordering, the master put out a glass of cider to the young man, and the young man took out three copper coins and put it on the counter.
Heeh, it doesn’t seem like he’s a runaway brat like he seems, Chezare judged. As the master received the copper coins with a satisfied face, he went away from Chezare and the young man.
Finally, Chezare opened his mouth.
「I’m the information broker, Chezare. 」
「……Well there. Isn’t it an ethic to introduce yourself when the opponent had done so? 」
「Do you want to know my name? 」
「Isn’t it only by naming ourselves, can we build a trustworthy relationship? 」
「If you want to know my name, I’m fine but……, how much are you paying for that? 」
Chezare’s eyes narrowed. It’s been a while since he met another mercenary who put a price on their own name.
「So, what kind of information are you looking for? 」
Chezare started the main topic as if nothing happened before.
「The woman that appeared near Thoria’s highway. 」
「Aah, about that……. I want to charge you for two silver but, I’ll settle with just five coppers. 」
The information that the young man wanted to know was the strange mercenary woman that appeared in Thoria recently.
「It’s quite cheap huh. 」
「Well, it had a worth of two silver before. But now it doesn’t really worth that much. 」
Chezare judged that the young man probably wants to challenge the mercenary woman.
But according to the information that Chezare had gotten, it’s supposed that the woman mercenary had already stopped appearing on the highway since a while ago. After getting invited to Sir Thoria’s mansion, there’s no reappearance of the woman mercenary on the highway as far as he knew.
「Got it, let’s have that. 」
The young man put the copper coins from his pocket onto the counter, and Chezare started talking about the mercenary woman.
The period when and where the mercenary woman started appeared. Her appearance and her battle style, and her result of no loss, the information of people who challenged her. The fact that no one knows what her purpose was. And the countless hypothesis rumor regarding the woman’s real identity.
It was the information he sold to many mercenaries about a month ago. But, since the woman had not shown his appearance already, it’s already considered a dead information. Chezare thought it wasn’t even worth one silver now.
「In the end, the woman stopped appearing about a month ago. 」
After ending his talk there, Chezare felt strange at the young man’s expression. He thought that the young man’s face would spell that it was a waste of money for what he’d heard but, the young man had an expression as if he saw it coming.
Rather than that, it felt like the young man wasn’t interested at all. But it couldn’t possibly be true that someone who wouldn’t be interested in the information he paid to hear exists.
「Then, what about the whereabouts of the woman after that? 」
The young man requested even more information.
「It’ll cost extra. 」
「How much? 」
「Hmm……, five silvers. 」
It seems that the young man had even more of a lingering with the mercenary woman than other mercenaries. Chezare who judged that priced it higher. The young man who heard about the price raised his eyebrows but put up the amount on the counter anyways.
「About half a month ago, there was apparently a fuss about the appearance of a Grinder on the western grasslands of Thoria. ……Do you know about Grinder? 」
「Yeah, I know about them. 」
「Is that so. And regarding this Grinder, Thoria’s territorial army sent out a subjugation team swiftly and eliminated it. Apparently the mercenary woman had taken part in that subjugation. On top of that, she contributed greatly. 」
The young man gestured to continue with his gaze.
「From here on is my own information, it’s not even known by other information broker. 」
Chezare smiled and said in a soft voice purposely.
「It seems that the mercenary woman. She had a rough incident with the Thoria soldiers about five days ago, and since then, she disappeared. 」
「Is it not known where she had gone? 」
「Well that’s……. In the first place, the rough incident itself, the credibility is really suspected―― 」
Chezare who said so felt suspicious. Normally, someone who heard his story for the first time would realize and asked 『What was the rough incident』. It could be that the young man is only interested on the whereabouts of the woman, and doesn’t care about what had happened in between.
Certainly, even if the young man wanted to know more about the incident, it’s not like Chezare know any further.
What he knows is only that the lord of Thoria had issued a detain warrant for the woman, and the basis of that is the crime of harming the soldiers and kidnapping of young children, and the failure of the detain resulting in the woman’s missing whereabouts, then a young man who has black hair and black eyes who always accompanied her.
Thinking until there, Chezare unintentionally swallowed his breath.
Chezare shut his eyes to hide his shaking mind. It was as if to hide them from the young man with black eyes and black hair in front of him.
「What’s the matter? 」
The young man asked at Chezare who stopped talking suddenly.
「……No, it’s just that I thought I should organize and verify the information before I tell you, can you give me one day? 」
「You don’t have to do that much though. 」
「It’s not a matter that I can simply let it slide. Please let me properly provide information that worth five silvers. I shall complete the verification by tomorrow morning. 」
「Got it. I will wait here in the morning tomorrow. 」
While saying that, the young man headed upstairs. After a few minutes when he appeared again, he called out to the master.
「I will be back by night. 」
「Alright. The dinner is after the night bell rung. Make sure you’ll be back before midnight, if not, it’ll be extra charge. 」
「Got it. 」
The young man exited the tavern after lightly waving his hand.
「That guest, is he staying in a room upstairs? 」
There is an inn on the second floor in this tavern, it’s something everyone knows.
「Yeah, what about it? 」
「Do you have his name? 」
Of course, the inn records should have the young man’s name.
It’ll be a breach of trust if the master leaked the information of guests to someone else other than the inn management originally. But Cheraze had known that the master is someone who would not care as long as there is profit.
The master said his price after a short silence in the tavern.
「Isn’t that too pricy? 」
「It’s a name that an information broker wants to know specifically. Then wouldn’t that mean it has the value? 」
「Good grace, it’s not good for an amateur in this business to show his desires. Six copper. 」
「Who’s effort was it that you got a customer today? Eight copper. 」
「If you say that, then I have no choice. Shall we settle at seven copper? 」
「Alright, deal. 」
Receiving the money from Chezare, the master immediately shoved it in his pocket.
「So? What is the respected guest’s name? 」
「Wait for a bit……」
The master retrieved the inn records, and opened to the page of the people who checked in today. After staring at it for a little while, the master pointed at the name that the black-haired young man checked in with.
「Uhh……. Teoris, it seems. 」