09-51 Side Story 13: The Efforts of a Certain Quinta
‘Quinta’ seems to have originally been a Spanish word.
Its origin was during the Spanish Civil War, when a general of the anti-government army had broadcast the following on radio: ‘Our four columns of troops are heading to marching towards Madrid. In Madrid our fifth column (quinta columna) will begin to support our battle. ‘
In other words it had the meaning of a betrayer, a spy, or a covert operative behind the enemy lines.
Unconcerned with that, the Quinta were sent from Hourai Island as observers to various places.
“This is Deneb-20, I have just arrived at the base in the ruins of the eighth subdivision. No people are around”
“Hourai Island reads you. While gathering information of your surroundings, head towards the appointed area.”
Deneb-20 was an adult female type Automata. For her goals she looked just like a human from the outside.
She could freely change the color of her hair and eyes. Deneb-20 now had light brown hair and eyes. This was because it was deemed the most inconspicuous, being the most common colors in this world.
“I suppose I’ll prepare clothes first.”
For now she was wearing a commoner’s clothing, but they had been bought from the town of Port Rock in Elias Kingdom. And so the possibility was high that they weren’t customary here.
Deneb-20 headed to the town Laojin had instructed her to. She had been given ten thousand Torr to use.
The name of the town was Sasari. It was a medium-sized town near River Torres.
Anyone could freely come and go during the day. Despite that Deneb-20 was standing near the entrance, watching the clothes of the people going back and forth.
“I see, they should be clothes like that.”
She walked the streets while looking for a second hand store. Unexpectedly she found one quickly. There she bought the clothes she needed.
For now she bought a woolen skirt that reached all the way to her ankles. She also bought a fur vest and kept her blouse as it was.
Her skirt was bright light brown and the vest was gray. It looked like colors that weren’t too flashy were popular.
The total cost was 1200 Torr. Deneb-20 who had changed in the store completely fit in with the town.
“Now then, how should I go all the way to Kemai I wonder?”
Kemai was the area Deneb-20 was in charge of, and at the heart of it was a town. It was located to the southwest of Lake Azul.
The first question was how to cross River Torres and River Azul.
There were a few ways.
She could cross it on a boat like a normal person. This was impossible for Deneb-20 who had no identification papers.
The other choice was asking a black market trader to help her cross. Considering that Elsa and Mine had been attacked while taking this option and since it came with the risk of the possibility of her true nature being revealed, that was rejected.
“So it’s got to be swimming after all.”
Because the Quinta had been built to resemble a human exactly, they could barely float on water. But swimming on the surface of the water then had the concern of being spotted by a nightly patrol boat. It was preferable to swim to the destination under the surface.
“It should work out if I bring some weights with me.”
Thinking that it should be easy to proceed underwater if she carried a stone or something, that night Deneb-20 put the plan into action.
She took off all her clothes and securely packaged them. She then carried them on her back. She held a stone as a weight with both of her hands. If necessary, she could let go of the stone and double her swimming speed.
The water was still cold but Deneb-20 threw herself underwater without minding it.
Possessing nearly unlimited stamina, Deneb-20 was able to effortlessly swim across River Torres. Actually, more than half of the trip was done by walking at the bottom of the river.
Then a commotion arose once she got out of the water.
There was someone who noticed the naked Deneb-20 come out of the water. It was a soldier going on patrol around the river bed.
Since the river she crossed was at the side of the capital Esaia, the defenses were rather strict.
Deneb-20 had been careless as she hadn’t seen even the shadow of a soldier from the opposite side.
The soldier was taken aback seeing a naked woman get up from the river in the middle of the night.
“B-bastard, what do you think you’re doing!”
He shone a light on Deneb-20 with the Magi Lamp he had in his hand.
Her light brown hair was drenched and dripping with water. Her white skin was glossy as if it was repelling water, and her pair of bulging plump breasts were completely uncovered.
“I don’t think you were swimming at a place like this and at a time like this. You’re suspicious.”
The soldier licked his lips while talking.
“I’ll overlook this if you keep quiet and do what I say, got it?”
While saying so the soldier pointed his sword at the back of Deneb-20’s neck.
“…Soldier-san, are you alone?”
The soldier seemed to misunderstand the meaning of Deneb-20’s question.
“Ah, yeah. I’m alone. Aren’t you glad? Well, I’ll try to be as loving as possible, you know?”
Deneb-20 muttered something again, but the soldier didn’t seem to have heard her.
The soldier turned his ear towards her to hear her better, and this time he clearly heard her.
“What a vulgar fellow.”
Heaven and earth were reversed.
The soldier’s back hit a stone on the riverbed and he fainted.
The Quinta’s methods were the same as the SP’s. Although since the materials were different they couldn’t produce the same power they still were nearly five times as powerful as a human. They could also use martial arts quite well.
A soldier or two were no problem at all.
However, since it had been an unexpected situation she had decided to report to Laojin through her internal ManaCom and ask for instructions on how to deal with the situation.
“This is just a guess, but that soldier surely isn’t a very earnest person. And so it’s not a problem to leave him there as he is.”
Laojin’s instructions were simple.
“Instead leave the scene quickly. Make sure to not leave behind any evidence. And pay attention from now on.”
Deneb-20 followed the instructions and hurriedly wiped off her body, put on clothes, then left the spot at full speed.
In the middle of the night, Deneb-20 ran the100 kilometers to Lake Azul as fast as a horse, and no one noticed her.
A town on the shore of Lake Azul, Rok.
Since she couldn’t act without standing out during the day, she decided to gather information here at Rok. Although that was mostly just listening to gossip.
Even so, Deneb-20 whose hearing was multiple times better than a human’s was able to gather some fairly useful information in a day.
1. The Unifiers’ influence is great on the shores of lake Azul.
2. The Unifiers appear to have even dug into the central figures of Celuroa Kingdom.
3. The Unifiers appear to be moving around excavating ancient ruins.
Numbers two and three weren’t really rumors, but since she had heard the same information from multiple sources their credibility seemed to be high.
Deneb-20 reported the information to Laojin.
“I see, very interesting news. We’ve also got something to tell you. First of all, we’ve established a way to recognize people who are under mental manipulation.”
Laojin continued his explanation.
“When detecting the Magic Energy pattern, in a normal condition it’s flat and in times of agitation the normal response is that the pattern peaks. But a mentally manipulated person’s pattern is constantly flat. However, it’s at the level of an agitated state.”
In other words, you could say a state of agitation is their usual state. Or perhaps it’s more accurate to say they’re in a constant state of agitation.
“Although that’s only limited to people who have Magic Energy.”
Since it was about Magic Energy patterns, people without Magic Energy couldn’t be distinguished. Although since there’s not much merit to mentally manipulating people without Magic Energy the method was practical enough.
This discovery was the achievement of a Quinta sent elsewhere.
“Understood. Thank you very much for the useful information.”
Deneb-20 immediately tried detecting the Magic Energy patterns of the townsfolk. In so doing she found out that two people –someone who appeared to be the town mayor and their assistant– were unmistakably being manipulated.
(Right, [Shock] magic is used to dispel it.)
At the ruins of Keuwan, when returning Rucall who had been affected by [Hypno] back to normal, it was said that a shock needed to be administered to him during a state of agitation. However, experiments afterwards showed that just the [Shock] magic was enough to dispel the affected person. That was also according to the report of a Quinta working in another area.
That night, Deneb-20 took the opportunity to visit the mayor and their assistant while they were sleeping and use the [Shock] magic on the two.
After doing that, to get to her assigned area of Kemai she once more got naked and swam across river Azul.
This time Deneb-20 crossed the river without being found out and arrived at Kemai that same night.
She then began real information gathering in Kemai.
During the days she listened attentively to gossip, and during the nights she snuck into the houses of suspicious people and used the [Shock] magic on those who were confirmed to be under mental manipulation.
She also listened behind the tavern during the nights. As you might expect, there was the possibility of someone seeing through that she is an Automata were she to enter the tavern, so she had to avoid that.
However, on the night of the third day. Two men stood in front of Deneb-20 who had been listening to gossip behind the tavern.
“Oi, oi, sister, whatcha doing in a place like this?”
“Didja drink too much and start feeling ill? If that’s the case then we’ll take care of you.”
The two seemed to be rather drunk. But on top of that Deneb-20 was detecting their specific Magic Energy patterns.
“Might you two know about the Unifiers?”
Deneb-20 tried asking. The attitude of the men became remarkably rougher.
“What? Why did that name come out now?”
This might be a hit, Deneb-20 felt and replied,
“I also want to join the Unifiers so I came to this town.”
The men then glared at Deneb-20 with eyes full of suspicion.
“Hmm, if that’s true, then it’s not impossible to tell you.”
“However, there’s a condition.”
“Condition, you say? Anything long as it’s something I can do.”
She had begun to grasp an important clue. Deneb-20 hung onto this critical moment.
But one of the men smirked, checked Deneb-20 out from head to toe with a repulsive and contemptuous look in his eyes, then,
“Keep us company all night tonight.”
He said. Deneb-20 wasn’t someone who didn’t understand what he meant.
“I see, how unfortunate. I don’t have a body that can do such a thing, you see.”
She said and quickly made the two men faint with the [Shock] magic. She then tied them up-
“Now then, these people doubtlessly have some information, but what should I do with them?”
Deneb-20 thought while looking down at the two tied-up men. At that moment.
“Deneb-20, there’s something to talk about.”
Laojin got in contact.
“We’re constructing a ‘submersible base’ in Lake Azul so go help.”
Laojin had decided to build an advance base in Lake Azul which was a central location to the group of small nations. The giant golem his master Jin had made could be sent out of it.
The Falcon VTOLs brought in materials for a Warp Gate. The location was a small peninsula on the southern shore.
Deneb-20 had confirmed that it wasn’t in sight of people.
The Warp Gate was established, and Smith golems came through it. Next was the materials for the submersible base. Then the underwater golems, Mermaids came.
All the materials were thrown to the water and the construction took place underwater.
The Mermaid golems assembled the parts of the structure while the Smith golems combined them with [Fusion].
Deneb-20 was on the lookout and would deal with any people if they came close. Deneb-21 and Deneb-19 were also there.
Because it was underwater, the construction continued all the same whether it was day or night. In a day the submersible base was mostly completed. It had a spherical shape. The interior was divided to the top and bottom parts, with the top half having space for a Warp Gate. The ceiling was able to open and close.
Various Magi Devices were stored in the lower half, but the vast majority was ballast (weights).
To sink the ballast portion took in water, and to rise to the surface it ejected water. The system resembled a submarine.
After seeing it finished, Deneb-20 reported to Laojin about the captured two.
“That is indeed a great feat. We’ll handle the questioning.”
Laojin praised Deneb-20 and collected the two prisoners. Having been left alone for over a day they were quite obedient.
They weren’t certain of just how to question them, but with this as the start surely the location of the Unifiers’ headquarters would soon become apparent.
Today and tomorrow too, Deneb-20, nay, all the Quinta continued collecting information for Jin’s sake.