"So… What was the point of all that?" I asked as soon as we got out of the Discussion room.
Emilia stretched her arms contentedly, "Nnnggh! Didn't that feel good? Instead of just killing him, I made sure his life would be completely horrible from today onwards~
"That's cool, but… That still doesn't answer my question though?"
She turned to look at me, "What do you mean?"
I veered my throat, "I mean… You said you actually have people loyal to you within the Undertown right? So why couldn't we just ask them to help us with that Merrick guy instead of doing all this ourselves? They could have also helped us find the Grey Powder and the stuff he stole from us which would have eliminated the need for us to swim there ourselves?"
"Ehehehe~ Lady Aster is really cute~ Isn't Lady Aster cute, Miss Odeta?"
The Amrap huffed, "That goes without saying! Of course sister Aster is the cutest!"
Eh? Umm… I don't know where that came from but… Thanks?
Emilia then shook her head at me, "There's a few reasons, Lady Aster. I will admit that I was most definitely not entirely truthful with my exchange with that little traitor. I do have people who are supposed to be loyal to me amongst the Deepsea Merfolk, but they aren't as numerous as you might think. Not to mention the fact that I don't really know who to trust now since this little bastard had betrayed me so for all I know, all of them might have gone over to his side."
"Eh? But in that case, wouldn't he be able to figure out your ruse pretty easily? Since he would be able to ask around about it?"
"Ohohoho~ Normally he might, but his people must have no doubt received news how he was beaten up in his own home that even his most staunchest of followers might start to doubt if he is a good leader to follow~ One thing for certain in the underworld is that pretty much everyone only cares about themselves. If the leader is shown to be weak, then they would believe that following another leader is the best choice for them."
She then gestured that we should walk and started leading us away from the Guild building before continuing.
"As you know, there's a price on my head now. As much as I would like to say that my reputation would protect me from all but the most determined of them, the money is still a huge motivational factor for them to try, nevertheless. But now that I've shown I took down their head so easily, most of the people in the traitors group would consider joining me instead to avoid a similar fate. After all, I also have a name of starting a very successful business and helping my followers get rich~"
Damn, as expected of a shrewd businesswoman, she thought so many steps ahead and had plans ahead of other plans too…
And I have to admit that I'm also experiencing the get rich part of her companionship too, not that it's the reason why I'm following her, mind you.
"Oh and before I forget," Emilia continued. "I can get those people to gather the sweets that the traitor had failed to deliver to you."
AHHH!! I love you Emilia!! You're the best!! I'll follow you to the ends of the World!
Emilia continued to lead us deeper into the town, "Anyway, now that that's settled, We'll need to go and get the Grey Powder before the buyer gets them so that I can make them pissed off at that little traitor. Then I'll need to find one of those smaller smuggler groups and arrange for them to take over this operation."
Huh… It seems like her claim that she has multiple smuggler groups under her control was also somewhat of a lie.
"Do we have to swim again?" Odeta whined, already a little upset that she had to change her clothes because of our swim earlier.
Emilia shook her head, "Thankfully, if I am right, the exchange point should be in a cavern at the edge of town. There's both an entrance from the sea and from land so it's a spot we use to do these kinds of trades. I doubt he found or made another place to do these trades himself."
The Nekomata led the three of us out of the town and followed a small winding path that led towards the sea on the other side of the island.
Eventually, we came across a slope that led down to a cave entrance and we descended into it cautiously.
The path led us to a cavern with a pool of water in its centre which I assume led to the sea, its layout rather similar to the cavern that we first found the Sirens in.
And sure enough, arranged neatly in a pile inside the cave were the boxes of Grey Powder that we were already quite familiar with. The best part was that the cavern was empty so it looked like we managed to get here before the supposed buyer did.
What made it even better was the fact that the stolen loot we claimed from the smuggler group we eradicated was also here, I guess Merrick decided to dump everything he got from us on this buyer too.
Emilia clapped her hands together, "Alright, let's just take all of this and get out of here. Unfortunately, we'll have to hold on to these boxes for a while before we can sell them off in case this group of buyers realise we were behind it, so it might take a while before we can get the money from this sale."
The three of us got to work stuffing everything into my Pack of Folding, all of the crates disappearing into my bag within minutes and leaving the cavern empty. It sure is helpful to have a bag that can store almost anything.
With that done, we were just preparing to leave when a large group of people suddenly appeared at the entrance of the cavern, all of them armed to the teeth and definitely not here to sightsee.
Judging by the way they were dressed, they should be pirates or smugglers as well. Needless to say, these must be the people that were here to pick up the goods.
The good thing was that from where we were, there was a small rock outcropping that was preventing them from seeing us, but they have already started looking around for the promised goods and they would find us very soon.
Well… No big deal, we'll just need to beat them up and then run away from here.
Just as I was cracking my knuckles and taking a step forward, a hand reached out and pulled my arm back.
"Don't fight them," Emilia whispered, completely derailing my plan. "We need them to be pissed at that stupid traitor, not us. If we were to fight them here and they know we're responsible, they'll come after us instead and make this whole plan pointless."
Great… Then how are we supposed to get out of this? They were already closing in on us and we'll be spotted within the next few minutes!
Emilia leaned towards me and whispered, "I don't suppose you have some kind of spell that allows us to run away from them unseen?"
Hmm… In actual fact… I do.
"You can cast [Shadow Wall] right?" I asked Emilia.
She nodded, "But that's only for myself, what are we going to do for Miss Odeta?"
The two of us turned to look at the Amrap who seemed to be trying to make herself as small as possible right now by tucking in her shoulders. It's obvious she was worried that we would consider her a burden.
"Leave it to me," I assure her. "I should be able to cast it on the both of us. We'll cover ourselves and dive into the water and I'll use [Air Pocket] on us again to swim out of here."
The Nekomata raised an eyebrow at me, "You have another artefact that lets you do that? Alright then, let's go with that."
Emilia started whispering her spell chant while I dug through my Pack of Folding to pretend to retrieve the 'artefact'.
With the preparations done, all three of us cloaked ourselves in darkness and ran towards the water's edge.
And just because things can't be that easy for us…
I turned to look and standing there was a Nekomata who could clearly see through our cloak spell.
I let loose a quick cast of [Light Flash] to blind everyone before grabbing both Emilia and Odeta's hands and rushed towards the pool of water, jumping into it while casting [Air Pocket] on all three of us as we plunged into its watery depths.
I quickly realised that the underwater part of the cavern consisted of several tunnels that went off in different directions, giving me no clues as to which ones might lead out to the open sea.
Already, I could hear shouting from above the water, no doubt those people above have already recovered from my [Light Flash] and found us missing, which would lead them to conclude that we had obviously escaped into the water.
But surely they won't be able to catch us down here right?
And just because I had to think of that, someone started shouting at the others, "Dive after them! Quickly! Stop them!!"
Great… They must have Aeromancers with them as well if they weren't even hesitating on jumping in after us…
pαпdα-ňᴏνêι·сóМNow the problem is where do we go? If we were to pick the wrong tunnel and end up at a dead end, they might catch up and trap us inside the tunnel anyway.
I turned to look at the other two for help but they looked just as lost as I was, even Emilia didn't seem like she knew where we should go.
And here I was expecting her to show me the way too… I guess I shouldn't have expected her to know the way since she didn't have the ability to swim through these tunnels without drowning on her own in the first place.
Just as I was deciding to just pick a random tunnel and go with it, an unexpected figure appeared from one of the tunnels to beckon at us.
Delmare?! What are you doing here?! Didn't you leave with your sisters already?
Oh whatever, questions can come later! Let's just follow her for now!