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Julius introduced himself again, bowing politely and handing out a piece of paper, which at closer inspection turned out to be a business card. And surely enough, it mentioned Assistant Julius, Wolf Detective Bureau.

Mira politely took the business card, while also being slightly amused that business cards had become part of the culture of this fantasy world. The rear side of the business card also included the address of the detective bureau, as well as the various permits issued to them by Grimdart. Detectives and investigators relied heavily on being trustworthy, so business cards like that were important for them to prove their credentials. Faking permits was severely penalized by law, so no one would risk faking a business card like that.

(I see. So that’s also why he was talking so strangely earlier.)

Mira had a slightly warped perception of detectives, believing they all liked to talk in roundabout ways. Reaffirming that belief in her mind, she stored Julius’ business card inside her cute card holster. The first business card she had ever received in this world was also stored there, which she had obtained from Thedrick Dinowal together with a complimentary ticket.

「Hmm, a detective… And you’re an assistant with information about Fuzzy Dice?」

A detective and an elusive thief, that was a rather peculiar pairing that filled Mira with excitement.

「Yes, and I believe it’ll be of great use to you, which is why I came here.」

Julius said that, his voice sounding almost like he was trying to advertise something.

According to him, Chief Detective Wolf was the person most knowledgeable about the Phantom Thief Fuzzy Dice, as the first time a victim received a warning letter from the thief, they went to consult with Wolf.

Wolf had once been a skilled adventurer, and was incredibly smart as well. He had already garnered a lot of trust, so everyone believed he would be able to catch that thief that popped up out of nowhere.

But Fuzzy Dice turned out to be far harder to track down than anyone thought and remained at large, and now even garnered a positive reputation as a righteous thief.

Wolf never gave up though, and even with his continued failures he still kept chasing after Fuzzy Dice.

This time he had come up with a special plan that he hoped would be more effective, and was looking for people to help him carry it out.

「I’m sure the Chief Detective will greatly appreciate the help from someone of your caliber, Spirit Queen. But we’ll still offer information about Fuzzy Dice even if you decide not to go along with our plan, there’s nothing wrong with having more allies after all. What do you say?」

Julius was looking straight at Mira, he did not seem to have any ulterior motives, though it was clear he really wanted her to take the offer.

「Hmm, alright then. I’ll go meet that Chief Detective at least, I’ll decide on whether to help or not after I’ve heard more though.」

Mira did not really have a reason to refuse that offer. She had just arrived at the city and gathering information about Fuzzy Dice was her main priority.

She needed to know what kind of person she was up against to have an idea of whether she could win a fight or not. In the game she would have charged in blindly no matter what she was up against, and then come up with a plan on the fly. But that was in a game, with no stakes. Now that this world was reality, she needed to be a lot more careful, and make sure she knew her enemy and herself.

「I’d appreciate that. Let me guide you there then, follow me.」

Julius looked relieved for a moment, and after a short bow, he began walking towards the city.

Mira jumped into her wagon’s driver seat, then summoned Guardian Ash, the gray bear. Ash had already pulled the wagon so many times in the past that he seemed used to it, happily waddling in front of the wagon and skillfully affixing the harness onto himself. The soldiers watched that with dumbfounded looks.

「Sorry for causing all that commotion.」

After saying that to the soldiers, she followed Julius in the wagon. 「See you then, hopefully we get him this time,」 came the response of the soldier leader, and she just waved from the side of the wagon as she went away.

(I’ve really matured as well, huh.)

Mira thought back to the times when she would always act recklessly, while now she carefully gathered information like Solomon used to do. She really felt proud of herself.

Going through the gates of Haxthausen, Mira found herself surrounded by distant buildings.

There were four entrances to the city, facing each cardinal direction, and they all led to a semi-circular plaza, like the one Mira found herself in. They were quite large as well, leaving a space of around a hundred meters between the entrance and the nearest building.

According to Mira’s lore loving acquaintance, the city was arranged like that to have a strategic advantage in times of war, though there was no conflict in present times, and the city looked completely peaceful. There were plenty of open air stores, with merchants, adventurers, and regular people moving around and trading for items.

「Hm…there’s a lot of women wearing masks around here. Is it some sort of festival?」

Looking at the people in the plaza, Mira noticed that around half of the women were wearing masks that covered their upper face. There were various merchants selling masks too. It was almost like Mira had walked into Venice’s Carnival.

Mira knew better though, but even then she was really hoping that it was merely a part of the local culture, so she made that question to Julius.

But her hopes were dashed and the truth she did not want to accept was proven to be right. All of those women with masks were Fuzzy Dice’s fans.

「Though I guess for them it is some sort of festival.」

According to Julius, those women had somehow heard about Fuzzy Dice’s letter and came in droves to the city, hailing from all parts of the continent. Julius even joked that Fuzzy Dice’s fanclub could have more influence than an entire country if incited.

「I never thought it’d be like this…」

There were few things that made Mira’s stomach churn with disgust more than men who were excessively popular. But that aside, there was something else that she had to be worried about now.

She realized that even if she were to successfully catch Fuzzy Dice, all of those women would instantly turn against her and become her enemies.

They already seemed to know Julius was an assistant of the Wolf Detective Bureau, so they were looking at him with derision. But then Mira realized there were even more women looking at Julius, some more positively, probably because he had rather attractive features himself.

And then came the realization that some of the cold stares from earlier were not directed at Julius, but at Mira herself.

There was already a public popularity contest between the elusive Phantom Thief Fuzzy Dice and the Detective Assistant Julius, and now a young cute girl had appeared between them.

Mira quickly put all of that together, so she tried to distance herself from Julius a bit. But the driver’s seat of the wagon was rather narrow so she could not get too far, and since Julius was walking right next to Ash it was impossible to pretend she was not going with him.

(This is a rather bothersome situation…)

Mira had already gained a boost of popularity after she became known as the Spirit Queen, and if she managed to capture Fuzzy Dice everyone would know about her.

Julius had already mentioned how there were fans of Fuzzy Dice all over the continent, so if Mira came and dethroned their hero, she could only imagine how they would treat her.

(This really brings me back to when I heard about incidents surrounding idol groups…)

Mira shuddered as she thought back to various incidents surrounding popular idol groups she had heard about in her past world. She could easily see herself being stabbed in the back out of the blue. It really was not very hard to run up to someone with a dagger, even in crowded places.

Soon she felt like she already had a target painted on her back, with snipers hiding anywhere possible to take the shot, so she decided it was best to try finding a peaceful solution to her encounter with Fuzzy Dice.