After returning to the office, I found my documents scattered around the empty space.
Because of that truant, the office had become a space that was only wide. No desk or chairs. That’s why the floor was the only place for my papers. As it was, there was no where I could sit.
… I guess I’ll clean up.
But even if I say that, cleaning it all was troublesome, so I just secured enough space for me to take a seat, lowering myself there, and restarting my investigations.
As long as I couldn’t stay at the hotel, I thought it best I find one nearby to stay, and the result of me checking all around the place…
‘My apologies, our hotel is already fully booked.’
I would only get those unsympathetic replies. I decided I would be heading for the site tomorrow.
… And I’d be back by the end of the day.
Westminster Hotel wasn’t so far from the office. By tram, just around two hours.
… But if I wanted a proper investigation, it would be better the more time I had.
That in my mind, I ended the day’s investigations there. Looking out the office, the air was clear with the letup of the rain, and because of the evening sun, the sky was dyed a shade or red.
The sunset clearer than usual dazzled my eyes. I picked up the papers littered around the office floor one by one.
With the documents I’d investigated in the library, the material had gone up quite a bit. Within that, there was a photo of what was probably Westminster Hotel’s exterior.
Looking at the exterior alone, the hotel looked like a robust old castle. Its walls lain out of black brick conveyed a sense of the many years they’d protected that castle.
… I’m sure they purposely designed it like that.
But no matter how much they smoother over its appearance, what it contained was a sightseeing hotel with the latest in security systems, and various forms of entertainment facilities.
I put the necessary papers in my bag, and returned to my room.
I felt terribly tired today. On my return, the clock in the room still displayed seven o’clock, but I collapse onto the bed, and fell asleep at once.
The next day. Waking up before my alarm clock could go off, I took a shower, put on my suit, and headed to the site, my bag in hand.
The early morning tram was empty. Sitting in a seat, it took around two hours of sway to reach the destination station.
I stepped onto the platform, and by the time I had passed through the automated ticket barrier, my bag had begun to shake.
… What’s this?
I wondered for a moment if a bomb had been planted, but come to think of it, I recalled I kept my own satellite phone in my bag so Jessica could reach me. I hurriedly pulled it out.
‘Good morning! Mr. Daniel!’
I could hear a bit of static mixed in, but the voice through the speaker was clear enough. Though that may just be because Jessica’s voice was ridiculously loud…
“Good morning. Where are you now?”
‘Well, you see, truth is I’ve already arrived at the airport, and I’m about to set off for the Dark Forest, but…’
Her phrasing was full of hidden implication.
… What? I had a bad feeling about this.
‘E-ehehehe, please listen without getting angry. Truth is, after that, made for the airport at once.’
‘E-ehehe. S-so you see, with the airplane ticket in hand, I went right onto the plane, but…’
“What is it, did you forget your passport?”
When I said that, ‘That one’s fine. What I forgot was my wallet.’ She gave a cheerful reply.
“Mr. Daniel. I haven’t eaten a thing since yesterday. I’m starving. What do I do?”
… Calm down. This is actually a good thing, isn’t it? That it’s only a problem of this level?
Let’s be optimistic. The situation isn’t as bad as I thought.
I frantically held down the broiling feeling in my gut. Anyways, let’s resolve the problem.
“Understood. For now, I’ll send some money, so wait right there. Stand by near the airport’s teller window.”
Form the satellite phone, I could hear a pitiful voice of, ‘I’m hungry…’ before I hung up.
I went to the bank in front of the station, and filled out the form to send money overseas. Well, I’m sure she’ll be fine with fifty thousand G. After converting it to Sadom’s currency, I sent it.
While I was doing all that, it had already become noon.
… That idiot. She needlessly ate away my time.
It seems I would have to take a bus to get to the hotel, so as I waited at the stop for my transportation to arrive, I received another call from Jessica. I instantly picked up after one ring.
‘Mr. Daniel! The money came! Thank you!’
I could hear the sound of her chewing something. She was already eating.
… Did I make a mistake in my personnel seiection? That doubt would never dissapear.
‘But Mr. Daniel. When I accepted it, they took 2000S away as commission, is that alright?’
“Haha, don’t mind it.”
I spoke. And I thought… I won’t take this from your reward. It’s a necessary expense.
“More importantly, I switched to the main topic. “Do you know where the Dark Forest is?”
‘Yes! I’ve got it down perfectly! The mister manning the shop told me all sorts of things! Eh? Beer? Yes, I’ll have some!’
“Oy, don’t get any friendlier with that shop-keep geezer. Do your job.”
Jessica let out a despondent voice. ‘I’m sorry.’
“As long as you understand. Once you’ve eaten, get a start on your work.”
‘Yes! See you later, Mr. Daniel!’
“… Yeah, see you soon.
The bus came just as the call cut off. Letting off a pssssssh of pressurized air before my eyes, the doors opened up.
… I should go.
I boarded the bus, and set way for the site.