How to Survive as a Genius Spy in the Game Chapter 3 - I Want to Live (2)
The nobleman spoke, handing money to the two men.
Since he was a nobleman and had paid them, there was no problem. I quietly followed behind the nobleman.
‘Do I have to like this or dislike it?’
Honestly, I had some idea why the nobleman was taking me with him.
Nobles in this world generally had some knowledge of magic or swordsmanship, so they must have sensed that I was using Winds.
A talented orphan.
To the upper class, they were convenient disposable assets. If you provided them with meals on time and give them reasonable compensation, they became loyal.
It meant they were suitable to be taken in and raised. Especially since such a person had fallen into their lap.
From the nobleman’s perspective, I must have seemed like a stroke of luck.
I’d encountered similar situations when playing the game.
Sometimes I was recruited as a commoner, and other times I took in orphans and raised them.
At those times, I could see the character’s traits.
When I saw a talented orphan, it felt like discovering a treasure chest. I could raise them as knights or use them as secret agents.
‘Although I’ve been hit in the back of the head quite hard sometimes.’
Anyway, I didn’t question his reason too much.
Perhaps because of that, I felt the middle-aged nobleman scrutinizing me discreetly.
It was like an evaluating gaze.
It was natural. That person couldn’t see my traits or skills like in a game.
“What’s your name?”
“Where are you from?”
“I’ve always lived here… sir.”
The man frowned slightly, and the brief question and answer ended there.
The nobleman seemed to be thinking about something, and I didn’t feel the need to speak further. My head was spinning.
Even though the situation of catching the nobleman’s eye seemed good, it wasn’t necessarily the case.
The problem was that I had chosen my values toward Stratagem.
Valhǫll, which had no separate attributes, focused on raising the value system level as the core of growth.
And to raise value system experience points, you had to act according to the chosen value system.
Once you reached a certain level, you could gain value system traits or skills, making it an essential task.
It was a system similar to leveling up in other games, with only the names being different.
‘But I’m meaningless in terms of combat…’
As an orphan who chose the Stratagem value system, it was best to attract the attention of espionage organizations.
But if the nobleman intended to use me as a combatant, my progress would be hindered.
I don’t know what to do. I couldn’t escape right away anyway.
I’d follow for now and take action when I got a chance.
Now that I was actually in the game, some level of growth was essential. I never knew when a crisis would arise.
In fact, I had started with good traits before and died at the hands of a robber within five minutes.
I was really angry back then.
Hmm. Now that I thought about it, this might actually be a good thing.
I could just learn combat from that nobleman and then run away.
After a short walk, a huge mansion came into view. It looked more like a small castle than a mansion.
‘He doesn’t seem like an ordinary noble.’
The guards protecting the mansion saluted with discipline. Their straight gaze didn’t linger on me at all.
As I passed the guards, a maid who appeared to be around thirty approached with graceful steps.
“Duke, have you arrived?”
“Yes. Is everything fine?”
“Yes, my lord.”
A duke? That person was a duke?
For a similar reason as before, I couldn’t grasp whether I should like or dislike this situation. The maid’s gaze lingered on me.
“This child is…”
“I found him on the way. He needs to clean up first. The stench is quite unpleasant.”
His brow furrowed. It wasn’t an untrue statement. Even I felt dirty and unpleasant in my current state.
No, it wasn’t just that. I was enduring a feeling of nausea as well.
It felt like insects were crawling all over my body, even inside my mouth.
Aside from that, it was unpleasant to have someone curse at me right in front of me.
‘Ugh. He’s a duke, so I, an orphan, have to endure it.’
Come to think of it, there was something strange.
Even if it was a dirtier situation than usual, the intensity of discomfort was beyond imagination.
It hadn’t been a year since I left the military.
I had rolled around in muddy water before, but now I wanted to bite my tongue immediately.
It was a feeling of wanting to die because it was too filthy. Or should I say, a feeling of wanting to die from it?
Even though I was a weak orphan with a feeble body, this was an emotion I couldn’t understand myself.
With those words, the duke continued walking briskly. I didn’t follow and discreetly glanced at the maid.
She turned her body.
I was following behind without a word, but the maid didn’t turn her head and said.
“In front of the duke, don’t frown. He’s being lenient because it’s your first time.”
I replied promptly and realized my mistake. I wasn’t my modern self, so I needed to be cautious about minor actions.
If an orphan behaved improperly, they could end up with a noose around their neck at the hands of a noble.
“You can call me Lena.”
Considering that I was an orphan, it was a warmer reception than I expected. Although we hadn’t known each other for long, she didn’t seem like a bad person.
The bathroom I arrived at following her guidance was surprisingly clean and luxurious.
‘It’s quite nice to see a touch of modern style.’
Since I couldn’t confirm the bathroom in the game, I was quite satisfied. There was a shower and a bathtub.
Lena, who had followed me, gave strict instructions.
“You need to clean yourself thoroughly, even if it takes time, as you’ll meet the Duke again later. If it’s not up to standard, you’ll have to do it again.”
Well, as someone who lived in modern times, I had confidence in cleaning myself better than anyone else.
I nodded confidently, and Lena couldn’t help but show a slightly uneasy expression before turning and leaving the room.
I stood in front of the mirror. It was the first time I saw this face, but I let out a small admiration.
Although it was a bit conceited, I had a quite handsome face.
Even though I was dirty, this face was better than my original self. The physique itself wasn’t bad for an orphan.
Suddenly, a frightening thought crossed my mind.
‘Could it be that the Duke is a pervert?’
Usually, the discovery of a pervert with abnormal sexual desires in random events was related to animals, same-sex attraction, or a fixation on pretty children.
Hmm, no way.
It was an excessive concern. It was not good to think about bad things. Although the Duke did scrutinize me, it was not that kind of desire but something else.
I dismissed the idea. The discomfort caused by the orphan’s dirty body had reached its limit.
* * *
The Duke of Haisen sat in the reception room, tapping his fingers on the desk. His thoughts were quite complicated.
The orphan he had brought had some peculiar aspects.
Despite having a money pouch next to him, the child had attempted to grab confidential documents. At first, he thought the child might be a spy sent from elsewhere.
However, the likelihood of that was low.
Firstly, the strength the child possessed was far too feeble compared to his skills. Pickpocketing was a physical skill that relied on one’s body. Naturally, it tended to favor those with physical talents.
The hands that dig into his own body were undoubtedly a realm of innate talent, upon further reflection.
With that level of talent, it would be much more advantageous to use the child as a combatant or assassin.
Moreover, what kind of insane espionage organization would send such an inexperienced spy to a chief of intelligence of the kingdom?
Of course, it was possible that the child was a mentally armed agent sent by a hostile faction. The child claimed to have lived here, but whether it was true or not was uncertain.
The habit of constant, deliberate suspicion tormented the Duke, but he inwardly shook his head.
‘It can’t be true.’
Apart from the child’s talent, there was one clear piece of evidence. The Duke vividly remembered the winds that wrapped around his own hands.
The effect of magic was extremely weak.
It meant that it was not magic but an inherent power. The implication was clear.
Even on this vast continent, those with mystic abilities were extremely rare.
‘The possibility of a child manifesting mystic abilities…’
It couldn’t be denied entirely, but it was close to impossible. Nobles who had used magic for generations found it difficult to break through the barriers of mystic abilities.
It was unimaginable that someone who possessed mystic abilities would exploit a child like this.
In that sense, the orphan was an exceptionally rare gem. It was too precious, too valuable to be in the clutches of the little rats plaguing the city.
And for such a gem to roll into his possession was an unparalleled stroke of luck.
Even though he did not believe in God, he was so lucky that he doubted that God had arranged it for Heisen.
“Carlyn, was it?”
As soon as the thought of the child dropping the documents entered his mind, the Duke also recalled the rare talent the orphan possessed.
Being able to sense threats was crucial for a spy.
Despite feeling good, he also felt a bit annoyed. When was it that he had managed to capture the little rats of this city?
The fact that there had been no reports of such a gem’s existence was a matter that needed to be addressed.
Aside from that, an investigation was necessary.
Not all orphans had deceased parents. There was a possibility of unnecessary trouble arising later on.
Even if they were a street orphan, with the spy master’s resources, something should come up.
If their parents were already deceased, at the very least, their original personality or behavior should be known.
That too was a valuable asset.
Information was the foundation when it came to winning people’s hearts.
“As quickly as possible, gather all the information, no matter how insignificant.”
“Yes, Your Grace.”
A young man emerged smoothly from the darkness of the study and bowed his head.
The Duke added a remark.
“Also, crack down on those little rats. It’s a big disappointment.”
Having observed the situation from a distance, following the Duke, there was no need for further words.
The young man, pondering how to catch all the scattered rats in the city, disappeared once again into the darkness as if blending in.
* * *
As I entered the bathtub, where I had thoroughly cleaned myself and sprinkled bath salts, I once again realized how grateful I was for the scent of modernity.
I knew very little about the medieval era, but if it were truly the Middle Ages, one could not enjoy such luxuries.
Thanks to this, the discomfort that had been overwhelming me to an abnormal extent dissipated.
Although I still felt exhausted, my mind became calm, and I felt that my thoughts were flowing more smoothly than before.
There were some clear and faint memories. Basic knowledge of the language, culture, and the geography of this place.
I wondered if it was the consideration of the entity that sent me here.
‘Hmm, the Duke of Haisen…’
The Haisen Kingdom I currently found myself in was a quiet country that had been oppressed by the Empire before the main storyline began. It was a flow that the player couldn’t stop.
Simply put, from the player’s perspective, it was a place where no matter how much effort they put in, they would gain no advantage.
Naturally, not much remained in my memories either.
Although the Haisen Kingdom was connected to an important character, the princess, she didn’t even pay much attention to the kingdom.
No, she had intentionally distanced herself, fleeing the empire’s power struggle.
‘I have no idea what time it is right now.’
I thought it might be around the same time as the starting point of the game, but I couldn’t be sure.
However, one thing was certain: it was a problem regardless of which scenario it was.
Could I prevent the downfall of the Haisen Kingdom? It seemed impossible, considering that I had played the game.
And if it had already fallen, the setting was not favorable for me to do anything.
‘Hmm, what should I do?’
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