Maken no Daydreamer Chapter 54-56
Chapter 54-56 – Encounter with ‘Blue Justice’
It’s almost been a month since the ‘flower town’ incident.
Since then, mine and Elk’s lifestyles underwent some major changes.
Sherry-san has joined in on our morning training, and the special text called ‘Grimoire’, simply reading of which could make you learn Magic (depending on your affinity, of course), has appeared inside Necronomicon, and by reading that Alba’s Magic repertoire increased in one go yet again, and by applying the Gravity Magic he learned from there on me, he also helped me with my training.
And as we spent such days, we finally reached today – the day before the ‘Joint Training’.
“…So then, what brings you to the market this early in the morning? Is there something you want to buy?”
“I’m going to buy the things I will be bringing to the joint training, naturally.”
“? Didn’t the Guild say that they would provide everything needed so there was no need to bring anything yourself?”
“No need to, yes, but you can. Preparing things in advance can come in handy later on.”
“Are you talking about things like snacks and medicine? Is that really allowed?”
I wonder if there’s any rule that disallows bringing things? For example, something like a field trip or club activities, where they confiscate things you arbitrarily decide to bring.
Rather, it seems we’ll be staying there for several days, so it’s more like a training camp.
“There is no such rule. After all, this is a ‘training’ to measure and improve your comprehensiveness as an Adventurer. And preparing in advance also adds to your ‘ability’. As such, they wouldn’t really say anything regardless of what, how and how many you bring. Moreover… it is quite possible to get pillaged during the training.”
“Pillage… are they even letting the participants scramble for them!?” Elk was startled to hear that. However, Sherry-san behind her was quite amused.
Oh just why are these two so contrastive with their reactions… No, well, I think it’s quite clear which of the two was being weird here.
“It happens sometimes…”
“Well, depending on the instructor in charge… ah, naturally, they are an Adventurer from the Guild… but sometimes, they impersonate the robbers and steal other people’s items during sleep. They return it later, of course, and if you catch them in the act and defend yourself, that’s also fine.”
“Sounds quite disturbing…”
This training camp has quite demonic instructors, huh… Were it the present-day Japan, it wouldn’t end on simply getting sued for it.
But well, there is no use thinking about all that, so let’s just focus on the preparations.
According to Zally, while it varies every year it’s still quite severe, so I should ignore that this is a training camp and prepare equipment and items so I could deal with everything they throw at me.
Food, water, lighting fuel, my shuriken, etc… I was in the middle of buying all the necessities.
I was currently at a bar, Sherry-san’s favourite store.
As I was rolling my eyes out at how she was trying to buy alcohol from barrels, I suddenly heard what seems to be yells of dispute from across the street.
Taking a look, there was even a crowd forming there. Did a fight break out, I wonder?
Sherry-san seemed to be taking her time probing alcohol in barrels one by one, so Me, Elk, Zally, and Alba headed there to take a look.
There… from the gaps of the crowd, there was a scene, one you could tell was bad at a glance, spread out… or rather, unfolding right now.
To sum it up in a few words, there was a crouching, shabbily-dressed child, and a well-dressed adult who was continuing to kick her. Moreover, the adult was throwing lowly and vulgar swears at her.
However, that in return made me understand the whole picture.
It appeared that this kid, who was grinding his teeth and bearing the kicking she was getting, was an orphan from Volka’s slums (This town actually had one?).
I asked Elk, and she told me that she knew about its existence itself.
It was a district where the poor who couldn’t even eat their daily fill gathered, and it was quite isolated from the main streets. I see, that explains why I didn’t know.
There seemed to be many among them who worked as day labourers, and sometimes even turn into crimes. It had a bad public order and was overall a lawless area.
And, even if the people from there game to the main street, people would only turn a cold shoulder to them, so they mostly stayed inside there. And it’s not exactly because of that, but if people got lost and headed into the slums, they would rob them and do all kinds of things.
However, it seems that this kid who was being kicked know tried to steal something from the neatly-dressed man but failed.
And that man turned out to be a merchant, and what the kid tried to steal was one of his goods.
And then, after getting kicked many times, the kid’s tightly grasped hand loosened… and a little gem of some sorts tumbled down from there.
The merchant didn’t waste time and quickly rushed towards it and took it back. Then he leaked a relieved sigh. I see, so that was the stolen goods.
Meanwhile, the crouching kid was neglected completely.
However, not a single person around him tried to help him.
This was not anything strange. In this morally hazardous world, few would save such children even if they witnessed this scene.
That said, it’s not like people were generally cold and cruel at hearts… but in this world and industry, ‘getting your just deserts’ was a thoroughly rooted value.
It’s not that the onlookers did not pity the child, but what they truly thought deep down was, ‘that kid tried to steal, so he is kinda getting what he deserved’. And it ended there.
While they did not approve of the violence, what the kid did was a big crime too.
If the adult was kicking the kid for selfish and unreasonable reasons, the outcome might have been different… however, sadly it may be, cases like today are quite a common sight.
And in these cases, the merchant is mostly in the ‘right’. That’s why, if someone got unnecessarily involved, they might invite trouble to themselves.
They rarely lead to death, so based on this world’s senses of values, people would either leave it alone, or (if they did meddle) at most, call the guard over and let them mediate. Nee-san also said that to me before.
Thus, after throwing a few more jeers, the merchant with his goods in hand left the place…tried to, it would’ve been good if he did, but the crouching kid suddenly grasped the edge of his foot.
Does he really want that red gem(?) so much? He isn’t giving up even after all he was put through.
The merchant seemed to have gotten annoyed by his behaviour, and he once again cursed him and kicked him with the leg he was holding on to. Uh oh, no mercy towards a kid…
Even so, the kid did not let go. Okay, what is really going on here?
He’s really going to die at this rate… the moment I thought that…
“Hold it! What the hell are you doing!”
Along with the shout, a single young man rushed towards them from the crowd of onlookers.
Everyone around seemed to have been taken aback from that.
The person that pushed his way through the opposite crown from us, was a man of around my age, looking be somewhere between a ‘boy’ and a ‘young man’.
If I had to say, his face looked somewhat childish (though not as much as mine) and a bit oval. He belonged to the category that people would call handsome.
He had blue hair, around shoulder-length, and had all but part of his bangs tied behind his head.
His clothes and armour were coloured in blue and white, and he had a single sword hanging on his waist. Putting it in a good way, you could say he looked elegant in them, but saying it in a bad way, he looked too “pretty”. Also, even his mantle was in the same colours.
And that young man—he looked older than me, so let’s call him that for now—rushed towards the little boy in question, lifted him up and called out to him in worry.
The boy reacted to him a little, meaning that he was somewhat safe as he still clung to his consciousness. That made the young man’s expression to momentarily loosen in relief, but the following moment, he directed a sharp glare towards the merchant responsible for the boy’s current state.
“What the hell are you doing!? Beating up such a small, nonresistant kid… aren’t you ashamed of it as an adult!?”
“Wh…Who the fuck are you!? Why did you stick your nose here… this has nothing to do with you!”
“Even if it doesn’t, I can’t just pretend I didn’t see it! Don’t you pity this child!”
“…You catch sight of these kinds of people, nowadays. These rare, sincere individuals who rush for the rescue…” Elk muttered next to me. Ah, so it really is rare, huh?
The praiseworthy yet too eccentric meddlesome nature of that young man.
The ethically exemplary, commendable people who willingly stick their noses in trouble…stepping forward to save a boy, not minding that everyone around chose to ignore it.
“Yeah, he could put up a decent fight against you.”
“…Huh, you mean I’m the same? Is that how you see me, Elk?”
“Try to remember what you did 2 months ago. Though your way of thinking itself is praiseworthy enough.”
Hey, that’s harsh!
While we were chatting, the two continued to argue in the middle of the street.
The merchant seemed to be in the middle of explaining the situation to the blue-haired young man protecting the kid… about how that kid was a criminal who stole his goods.
“That brat tried to steal my merchandise! I have every right to give a thief like him a good beating!”
“I… I understand that what he did was not commendable. But even so, that doesn’t justify you beating him to this point! This is a little kid we are talking about here, you know!?”
“That’s because he ignored what I said! Damn dirty brat was trying to steal MY merchandise… He should just stay in the slums and keep begging for money or whatever!”
“Hah, looks like both your actions and words are just as dirty.”
“I couldn’t have said it better! What are you saying to a child!”
((They grew in number!?))
Mine and Elk’s thoughts overlapped…I think.
From the crown where the blue-haired man came from… another two people appeared.
One of them was a man with an almost back, blue ruffled haired and a sharp look in his eyes. He was one head taller than me and carried a long sword on his back, which means he was a warrior.
Another one was a woman with shoulder-length hair and masculine features. She was about the same height as me and seemed to be a strong-willed girl. She had a wand in her hand. I suppose she was a magician?
The two that seemed to be the blue-haired youth’s friends got involved in the quarrel.
And their long quarrel continued on. They threw phrases like “He is just a child”, “But he stole from me”, “Even, so you are an adult” and so on, without an end.
Sherry-san (who seemed to have bought the alcohol) and Zally overheard them and joined our group. While we were explaining the situation to them, there was a change in the quarrel of those four.
Or to be more concrete… it was the thief kid, who was crouching in pain next to them, who acted.
He rushed towards the merchant who took back his merchandise—the red gem thing that I’m still not sure what it is—and, perhaps you could only call this a willpower, tried to steal from him again. He leapt towards his hand that was grasping the gem.
The place was momentarily filled with surprise, but the next moment the merchant’s face was once again dyed with anger.
As he naturally swung his foot, the kid ended up easily kicked flying… and by some chance, that ended up being towards me.
And, by another chance, he plunged straight through the stall next to me. Ugh, this could be bad.
And unluckily for him… that stall ended up being one that sold ironware. Among which were a bunch of sharp and dangerous goods like scissors and drills.
With the crash all those scattered around… and rained down upon the kid, some of them even reaching us.
The blue-haired youth stared in shock… but the next moment, after a slight delay in judgement, suddenly opened his hands wide and rushed towards us.
Wait…doesn’t this look just like that scene? The one where people push the kid out of the way and get trucked in their place? The so-called self-sacrifice.
He is clearly rushing towards here to push someone away… actually, could it be that he plans to save us too? Or better put, isn’t he trying to fling us away?
Well, we are all in a danger zone, so I understand why he would make that judgement.
But, there’s really no need to do that, really… and all this would serve is him needlessly getting injured…
“You are in dangeeeeer!!”
“No, you are the one in danger.”
Hop!! ↑ The youth makes a jump to save me and the kid who are in the danger zone.
Slam!! ↑ He falls down beautifully after failing to budge me from the place.
Shupapapapa!! ↑ I catch every edged tool in midair.
Clap clap clap…
The surrounding crowd applauded me with a voice mixed with surprise and admiration. Thank you, thank you.
After my thousand-armed Kannon catch that somehow settled down the atmosphere of the place, understanding that nothing was to be gained by causing any more ruckus, the old merchant took back his merchandise and the situation settled down.
The thief kid fainted as he crashed through the shelves and remained that way to the very end. Well, everything got settled with the merchant, so no problems with that.
Moreover, the ones who ‘negotiated’ with the merchant were the blue-haired youth and the other two. Moreover, they were the ones who willingly offered it.
Good grief… just how good-natured were they… or should I just say a job well done?
Rather, the ashen-haired girl and the guy with ruffled hair standing behind him were directing overbearing gazes at them. And quite blatantly too.
In the end, it felt more like the merchant accepted it because he found the whole situation bothersome, rather than actually forgiving the kid.
During that process…I got to hear their…the meddlesome trio’s names.
The blue-haired youth was Lute. The girl was Annie and the black-haired guy was Gid.
By the way, Lute was now… pressing on the bump he got when he rammed at me to throw me aside but failed miserably.
I mean, that was given, right?
The fact that I didn’t budge when he charged at me… was the same as him willingly plunging at a pillar or something. And head-first at that.
It seems that the girl, Annie, couldn’t stomach that fact and glared at me, implying, It was my fault for not letting myself be swept aside that he got injured.
No, well, I feel bad about that… but even so, that hostility she directed at me was something else. It seems she was really pissed about his injury.
“Indeed. Well, I’m with you with being displeased about that man… but it is also a fact that he saved Lute. So don’t be so noisy now.”
The third guy, black-haired Gid…ah, so he doesn’t like me either, huh.
“…Can I ask you something? Your name was…Minato, right?”
Lute suddenly addressed me.
This is the first time we meet but he addressed me quite casually (not to mention, I don’t remember ever giving him my name… oh, right, he probably heard when Elk called me) but I don’t really mind that. Those types of people exist everywhere.
Anyway, that Lute seemed like he was having difficulty speaking his mind, but at the same time, he thought he had to say it… so with a difficult expression, he finally opened his mouth.
“After seeing how you handled that earlier, and by how sturdy you turned out to be after I crashed at you, I was thinking… Minato, you are actually crazy strong, right?”
…Huh, what’s with that random question. What’s his aim?
“Oh well, it’s not something to boast about… but well, I’m in this business so I do have some confidence in my ability.”
“I thought so…”
“And, what about it?”
Hearing my answer, Lute paused for a second and then continued.
“Please tell me. Why didn’t you try to save that child?”
Uhh, by “that child” he should mean that kid the merchant was beating, right?
“That’s right. Given your strength, you could’ve easily saved him, right? And possibly… more skillfully and faster than someone like me. So, why didn’t you do it then?” while asking me that, his eyes appeared to be full of sincerity.
…Rather, they were a bit too sincere.
He asked me while directing that gaze at me.
“Uhhh, let’s see… to put it bluntly… because it seemed like it would invite trouble, I guess?”
As I replied with that, Lute was taken aback, as if he tasted a shock, and Annie behind him, too, gave me a scorning glare for some reason… as if saying “just like I thought”.
Then, after he recovered from his shock, Lute replied in a sullen mood.
“Why didn’t you save him!? Even though you have enough power to do so… why!?”
“Huh, h-hey, what got to you all of a sudden!?”
“What do you mean what got to me! A child was being bullied before your eyes, and you had enough power to save him, so why didn’t you do anything! That’s not right, is it!?”
He suddenly drew his face, or rather his entire body closer to me and declared that in a loud voice, his eyes full of… righteous indignation? …or something like that. Coupled with a strong will.
He then continued his speech.
It seemed he was of the opinion that the thief kid was certainly to blame. He even tried to (attempt to) steal the look one again after Lute intervened, after all.
But even so, he believed that it was not right for an adult to beat an immature kid with a weak body like that, and if he wanted to condemn the kid for stealing, he could’ve gone differently about it.
He could understand the man getting forceful when it came to capturing him, but he should’ve started to persuade the kid instead of starting to beat him so violently without warning.
I see, it mostly makes sense.
There were parts in his speech that you couldn’t help but call naive, but it was also true that, given how weak the kid looked, he could easily get seriously injured if an adult beat him.
…And so, why did he direct those objections not at the merchant in question, but at me?
Ah, no, he was doing exactly that just a while ago. And quite properly, too.
So when I asked him, the one who answered wasn’t Lute who was making me more and more impressed with his awful honesty and fervent speech… but instead Annie, who had taken a very overbearing attitude behind him.
“Huh!? Do I have to spell out something so obvious! If there is a child bullied before your eyes, you have to save him! Rather, why didn’t you people do anything!?” As she suddenly barked at me with those words, I couldn’t help but feel overpowered. She was just as unpredictable as Lute…
“The bullies are bad, but the ones who overlook their actions are just as bad, haven’t you heard of that!? Seeing a suffering child and not doing anything to help goes against common sense!”
“Ah, I see. Well, I get where you are coming from, but…”
“You said it. I’m not sure what all these people were thinking when they didn’t even lift a finger when they saw it.” Even Gid, who stood imposingly next to her joined in.
Huh, what is this now? I feel like this has escalated in a weird direction.
It appears that…these three couldn’t stomach the fact that I didn’t do anything even though I saw a child being bullied before my eyes. Annie and Gid were especially hostile about it.
I mean, it’s not like I was enjoying what I saw, and I did consider doing something, you know? It’s not like I didn’t care at all about it.
Moreover, even if the outcome was too extreme, the blame lay in the kid, so I hesitated to get rolled up in something so troublesome.
So yeah, when I was thinking whether I should call the guards and let them handle it, those three appeared.
I certainly didn’t approve of him continuing to beat up the kid like that…
But it seemed that my answer still didn’t sit well with the three (especially the two in the back) and they preached me about how vicious of an act it was to overlook unreasonable violence happening before my eyes. I fear that they are even ignoring the lost and troubled expression that’s slowly appearing on my face.
As expected, all that jeering and one-sided moral lectures seemed to have finally gotten our smooth talker, Elk, pissed off and she stepped forward.
“But wouldn’t it be a disaster if that got us involved in trouble too? Even if we assume what you say is reasonable, if you think about it that way, don’t you think it needs a more discreet approach?”
She was the most short-tempered one out of us all, so I guess it’s no wonder she got triggered after seeing their jeers turning into moral lectures.
Annie was the one to respond. She snorted and replied to Elk.
“What was that? So you should just keep ourselves safe? Even if you see innocent children being abused before you, everything’s good as long as you don’t get hurt, is that what you are saying? You are the worst.”
“I didn’t go that far, did I? I just said that telling us to assertively intervene while knowing it would invite trouble is kinda unreasonable.”
“Just what is unreasonable, huh? How can you say that after that stunt he displayed? Besides, isn’t a common knowledge that doing the right thing comes with some headwind? Lute always says that. But he still saves the weak regardless.”
“That’s right. It would be one thing if you couldn’t do that because you lacked power, but you have that power but aren’t doing a thing… you are nothing but cowards. Learn from Lute’s example. Not even once has he fled from it.”
With Gid included, they praised Lute’s actions and at the same time blames us.
When it came to the person in question, he had a little complex expression on his face, but he was still looking directly at me without averting his eyes as if saying he didn’t feel embarrassed about a thing.
“…He’s quite upstanding.”
“That’s right. The likes of you will never even reach his feet. Aren’t you envious?”
“Not really. We have our own morals we follow. I don’t plan to deny your leader’s morals, but we have no plan to change ours either.”
“Kh…You still don’t get it after all we’ve said!? How long do you plan to keep turning your backs on people in need of help with that egoistic way of thinking!?”
“That doesn’t mean we can act like philanthropists with every trouble we stumble on our way, right? Let me ask one thing. Can you persuade someone else to adapt your senses of values and do voluntary service, clearly knowing that they would be at a disadvantage?”
“Isn’t that given!? It’s only natural for people to offer each other a helping hand. Rather than such weird modesty, you should be courageous and ask the person next to you to do the same. If you properly explain what is truly important, a lot more people can be saved… that’s why we don’t hesitate to do that.”
“…That so. Then, what if those people didn’t want to get involved in it, and moreover, they had some property they wished to use for something else, but getting involved in that “important” voluntary service you speak of would mean damaging that something, hence making it clear to you that they won’t…would you still try it?”
“How many times are you going to make me say it!? Of course we would persuade them! Be it your time or money, if you don’t use them for proper goals that would just make you harm your dignity. Why can’t you understand that there’s nothing more important than being a philanthropist and helping others?”
Anni was making a fervent speed as if it was only natural to help those in need even if it meant you suffering from it. It seems that she didn’t even intend to lend her year to what Elk was saying.
“Imagine there is a person in need before you, and you have enough power to save that someone, be it physical or monetary. Then it is quite natural to help them, isn’t it? Even if I end up losing something, that would mean the other person would be saved. Thinking normally, that’s something a proper and ethical person should do!”
Seeing how Elk leaked a sigh, Annie started grinning, thinking that she won the argument.
But Elk’s sigh did not come from the frustration of losing an argument, but from being exasperated and giving up on explaining to her, but Annie did not even consider any of that.
Even after that, they stuck with their morals and senses, and kept nagging on how we were wrong and how we should have followed their example of a proper human being. But neither me nor Elk were nodding our heads in agreement, and we continued quarrelling on and on until Zally finally judged that this was going nowhere and found a middle ground and broke us up for the day.
A few minutes later, Zally told us just “what kind of people” were those three. And generously enough, he did it for free.
“Blue Justice? What’s up with that name…? It sounds like they tried to come up with something cool but failed miserably.”
“Yeah, well, I think that’s because of their naming sense… but well, that’s the name of the party those three belong to… or better put, the party those three made. I just remembered about them.”
“So they really were a team, huh?”said Sherry-san as if expecting it. Me and Elk were more or less on the same page too.
Guessing from what happened, Lute must be the leader. How should I put it… those two looked like Lute was their cornerstone.
Moving on, According to Zally… they were starting to become famous in more than one way.
After he summed up his impressions, he pulled out a notebook from his pocket and started reading it out loud. Not sure where he obtained it from, but it was the information about those three.
“Anyway, I think you already guessed it, but their leader is Lute Fangoal-kun, a B rank. And the two from before… were his party members. The C rank Annie Levias-chan and the B rank Gid Tajack-kun. As a team of three, they are known to be quite strong, but…”
Well, I think I know what.
“As you saw earlier, all three of them, centred around Lute, have an excessive sense of justice. It would be one thing if they were simply helping the weak, but they even pick fights with various people in various places all the time, so they are infamous for that.”
“Fights huh… Yeah, they seemed like they would pick a fight with anyone and everyone.”
“Just recently, when a merchant group approached some poor village, they suggested whether they could share some emergency food and materials with the village. Another time, they saw a slave trader… oh, and I mean a legal one, okay? And so, they flared up at him to release the slaves because they pitied them. So in the business circle, they are known as the moral justice warriors and are partly blacklisted.”
“…Nee-san, does hearing their name ring any bells?”
“I think it does! Among the business partners of Malrus Association, the slave traders were also present… but it could be that Malrus itself was told something. Basically, those three were pressing their ideology of “If you have money, then use some for those without” to people around them.”
Hearing it makes you think like they are just good-natured people, but after experiencing it myself, I can understand how troublesome and pain in the ass they can be. That’s why I can’t really laugh about it.
Certainly, if you thought about it from the perspectives of merchants with varying senses of values and profit motives… those three with their “volunteering = moral way of life” way of thinking couldn’t be any more annoying.
The merchants that were in for the profit and those three who put saving others above all were even more incompatible than water and oil.
The troublesome part though, was that neither side could be blamed… It was natural for a merchant to pursue profit, so you can’t complain about it. After all, they worked hard to earn that profit.
Moreover, Lute’s party’s actions—though their attitudes were a problem—were, too, helping the misfortunate people, so there were many they actually saved.
However…the problem was that they advocated that what they were doing was natural and anything but that was wrong, pressing it to others and even asking them to suffer losses for other people.
Volunteering is nice and all, but there is a limit to everything… and if they continued what they do while ignoring that fact, then their actions would one day come back to bite them in the ass and it would be the end of them.
At any rate… it would be better if we don’t get involved with them any further. For both of our sakes.
And finally, the day of the ‘Joint Training’ has come.
When our party…the usual four people + one bird, arrived at the location designated by the Guild, there were already dozens of Adventurers there.
Among them, there were both tough and weak-looking ones.
Even their weapons were varied – swords, staffs, even axes and spears.
People of all ages were jumbled together (though the younger ones were more in number), Adventurers of around F, E and D ranks… wishing to reach new heights.
It seems like there were a few C ranks mixed in… but there didn’t seem to be any A or B ones.
And that was expected… This ‘Joint Training’ was simply meant to be for beginners, so E, F and D if you pushed it, was the appropriate range.
Frankly speaking, there was nothing A or B ranks could learn here.
And because of that… even in the ‘physical power measurement’ test that was on the beginning training programme, our results were nonsensical, to say the least.
To put it bluntly, it was at the level where people would think we were here to make fun of them.
Strength, Stamina, Agility, Magic Power – in all of those, our results were far from average.
Even in the combat training the next day, the four of us were clearly above everyone else. At most, they were at a level that they could barely match Elk in close combat.
Honestly, I wondered whether the training camp would end without us learning a thing… that is, up until the final day.
The third day of the training.
I marked this day as ‘the final day’, but that’s not really the case.
To explain what I mean…
This day was certainly the last if we talk in terms of ‘complete’ training, but there was also special training regimen beyond this that the formed ‘groups’ could receive as part of a larger training compilation. Depending on the situation, two or three ‘groups’ tended to form.
By the way, if you wanted to make a ‘group’, you could do by choosing your own members, or leave that part to the management.
And so, each of those ‘groups’ were supervised by active one or two Adventurers, and beyond normal assessment, they even provided advice depending on the situation.
In that state, they had to complete a guild-chosen request and they would be finished.
The said request was either a simple subjugation request that could be completed in a day… or even something like an escort mission that could span for a few. The guild chose it based on the problem the group was facing.
If it was a team that was facing a problem in battle coordination, it would be a subjugation request that demanded cooperation.
And if the problem was more in the investigation department, they’d get something like the exploration of ruins and information gathering… It was something like that.
And now, the four of us were waiting for the inspector who’d be joining us for the final day’s programme.
After hearing how it worked from Zally, I went ahead and put together our team so it wouldn’t fall apart.
However, while we were waiting like this… I guess it’s pretty late, but there’s something that bothered me.
“…Why are we made to wait in a place like this?”
I said it earlier, but (a few days starting from) today, the mop-up exams or tests, based on the quests that the guild chose, were under the management of the Adventurer who acted as the inspector. However, most of the adventurers were waiting for their inspectors near their respective lodging houses… but that wasn’t the same for us.
We were now in a place a little separated from the place we stayed at.
From the impression I got, it looked more like a ruin, a little unsuitable for a place of appointment.
It was the sort of place where it wouldn’t be weird to see it as a lair of bandits who couldn’t enter the urban areas.
It was not as worn out as that place where I fought with Elk’s corrupted moneylenders, and if you could endure living in them, some buildings looked usable.
And we were now gathered in an open space—perhaps what used to be a plaza when it was still an urban area—in such a place.
This place was quite vast. Though it was stone-paved, it was around the same size as a sports field… At any rate, it was a place where you could notice anyone approaching.
“Could there be some kind of meaning in all this? The fact that we were told to gather here.”
“I don’t know… but I don’t think they’d have called us here if there wasn’t. Going by how it usually happens to us… there might be some kind of indecent that makes the best use of this place.” Zally smiled wryly, having a bad premonition.
Ah, right… wasn’t this ‘training’ a lawless area where, depending on the instructor, could have such crazy training programmes as if they were normal?
Thinking about it that way, the current silence… is instead making me uneasy.
“Could it be that some hired thugs are suddenly going to attack us from the shadows? Or are they planning to set monsters at us…”
“Why do you look so happy while imagining such dangerous things?”
I wasn’t sure how to feel about Sherry-san and Elk’s conversation, but there didn’t seem to be any indication to any of that. There was no particular smell of beasts, either.
In the first place, this open place seems quite unsuitable for surprise tactics that employed monsters and thugs… Just as I was thinking that…
“Yeah, yeah, there’s nothing of the sort, don’t worry. Relax, you all.”
A voice that lacked all kinds of tension came from behind us.
Just as we turned around, sensing a giant presence from behind… was Ms.legend who tended to appear all the time without anyone expecting her.
She tended to erase her presence and sneak inside rooms, riding dragons and swooping down on the ‘Flower Valley’… The whimsical Guildmaster, Irene-san had appeared before us once again, without any warning.
No, wait, why!? Why is she here!? What is she planning!?
“Ah! Irene-san!? Why are you…?”
“Oh my, while it was unexpected, isn’t that response a bit too cold? Can you not look at me like I’m some kind of a monster?”
“Oh come on, you are concerned about that now… wait, that’s not the point here. Why are you here?” answered Zally.
Yeah, that. We can’t not mind it.
It’s not like this is the first time she has appeared out of nowhere.
Rather than that, the question here is “why” she is here.
The identification of Alba’s species, or the investigation of the battle with the ‘Diabolos’… Whenever she acted and came in touch with us, there were always reasons for her actions.
Thinking about it that way means that today, she also came here because it’s related to our ‘training’, I guess?
“Eh? Could it be that… you are our inspector, Guildmaster?”
“Hehe, sorry but that’s not it.”
Oh, it’s not? Even I thought that was the case for a second.
But well, thinking rationally about it, there’s no way the chief executive of the Guild would come all the way here just because there were two A rankers here.
“Oh, really? Aww, too bad. And here I got excited thinking I would be able to train with a legend.”
“Oh come on, you just wanted to fight.”
“…I don’t deny that… but Elk-chan, haven’t you been a bit harsh towards me? Did I do something?” pouted Sherry-san, but before Elk could answer her, Irene-san interjected.
“The inspector came with me though… And she’s the same as me In terms of being an OG of Adventurers Guild instead of being an active adventurer.”
The inspector came with her?
And an OG… or, Old Girl. Meaning, it’s a retired adventurer, right? And a woman.
“I came here today as something like an escort… of her. I might just stay and watch, throwing in some jokes and jeers here and there… but she is basically the one who I entrusted with your guidance.”
With those words, she pointed behind her.
As we followed her finger…
Standing there was someone we never expected.
Faced with our dumbfounded and Irene-san’s amused expressions, my sister, with just her tone staying the same as always, declared towards extremely matter-of-factly.
Great Heavenly Flame.
That was the nickname of a certain outstanding adventurer who was famous around a hundred years ago.
With the combination of her brilliant sword, so fast that eyes couldn’t follow, and her scorching flames, so hot they reduced everything to ashes, she managed to slay a dragon by herself.
She had reached S rank in the blink of an eye, and in the end, she was even famed as the continent’s strongest swordsman.
Her power that only a few active Adventurers of that time could match, drew in invitations from many countries and large organizations, however, it is said that she refused them all and continued enjoying her freedom as an Adventurer.
Afterwards, the rumours gradually vanished… and she left the stage without anyone knowing when she retired or whether she was alive now.
Although people did wonder about that for some time, Adventurer was an occupation where more and more promising newbies tended to show up and the generation switched fast, so before long, ‘Great Heavenly Flame’ disappeared from people’s memories… and unnoticed, she was reduced to false rumours such as “retired in reluctance” or “died during a quest”.
…That was the testimony from Irene-san, who knew the truth behind it.
And as we faced against that Great Heavenly Flame, aka, Noel-neesan… we were made to realize just how extraordinarily strong she was.
After suddenly appearing, she asked for a sham battle as a ‘tryout’… but she didn’t even use weapons and obtained a flawless victory against the trio of Elk, Sherry-san and Zally.
Furthermore, in a one-on-one battle after that, she showed me the power that she polished for over a hundred years.
Our battle itself resulted in a draw, but she didn’t seem to be serious at all, and she was just using a fake sword of a sham battle.
And during that fight, it seems that she put together the assignments and training plans for us inside her head.
And then, as our inspection, she commenced our final day of training without delay.