140. Chapter 140
The ceremony celebrating the birth of the conqueror was estimated to be on the scale of an entire city. Merchants from the surrounding cities gathered for the aristocrats and wealthy people who attended the ceremony. The merchants who had their stores in the city also livened up the streets every day, praising the Conqueror. The merchant mentioned their name just because one of the conquerors once visited the shop, what a strong merchant spirit they had.
The Trimagitack party members had less and less time to meet, as they were busy with the guests who came incessantly. But perhaps that was why they used their little free time to meet.
“That vice-guild leader said that Walm was a contract holder so he could only participate from the spectator seats. When I heard that, I thought of throwing him out the window.”
“That makes me happy, but there are also internal regulations within the guild. It would be unhealthy for such an organization to be so flexible, and keep making exceptions again and again.”
If exceptions were always made, discontent would build up within the organization. Walm, who used to belong to an organized society in his previous life, knew this firsthand. Bending the rules, as long as they produced results, could lead to disaster.
“Walm, why are you so cold about these things?”
Even if Merrill was angry at what appeared to be unfair treatment, after seeing that Walm, who was the concerned party, didn’t really mind, her anger withered away.
“Still, are you sure? It’s a great honor, you know?”
Said Hari, as if to remind Walm.
“It doesn’t suit me. The Adventurer’s Guild also wants to highlight the people of Belgana. Besides, I’ve got nice food and a bed for a while. So, no complaints.”
“You’re stubborn in a strange way.”
Marianthe, who was resting her cheeks on her hand as if to say she was already used to it, let out these words.
“Well, it’s not like he can’t attend at all. More than that, Walm’s armor, which has turned into “iron scraps”, seems like, will be ready in time for the ceremony.”
“Can’t believe there was a guy who received such a request to finish it in such a short period of time.”
“It’s the armor of one of the Conquerors. I’m sure anyone would be fired up. But well, thanks to those dwarves for their kindness I guess.”
Speaking of dwarves, there were few among Walm’s acquaintances. It was one of the few groups that came in and out beyond the 30th floor. It was a group of 4 dwarves and a beastman, sent by the Aleinard Forest Alliance, who were able to be true to themselves regardless of location.
“Since the material is, you know it. Apparently, they can’t leave it to others. The dwarves looked so enthusiastic about participating in the iron striking. Not only fighting, but they’re also good at blacksmithing work. Hard to believe that those insensitive dwarves are actually so dexterous.”
Said Merrill, while recalling a personal dissatisfaction. Behind the dynamism with which they split the monster’s head with a battle axe was the sensitivity and dedication inherent to craftsmen.
Nevertheless, Walm wasn’t dissatisfied. The armor that had gone out of shape in the battle with the Undead Dragon would be revived with a small amount of mithril and the ashes of the Undead Dragon. In addition, Walm’s intention to adopt the design of his old armor was accepted. So it would be finished without changing the basic design, but there would certainly be some differences.
“And Hari, how about it?”
Merrill asked Hari about his progress.
“Well, it’s an old acquaintance. So, it’s quite difficult.”
The two talked about the method of taking the crimson grass. Hari had gathered information from people he knew when he was in the church, but he was afraid that a strange rumor would spread, so he couldn’t proceed at will, and so progress wasn’t that great. After all, it was a treasure that was said to be able to cure all kinds of diseases. For those who didn’t have much time to live, it was an item they wanted so much that they would die for it.
“At first, I was going to look for it by myself. I’m saved.”
The only person who came to Walm’s mind was the healing mage on the border, Kopetsk City. However, even if the healing magician possessed a rare drug, it didn’t mean that the healing magician knew the solution. Moreover, Walm was told about the existence of the crimson grass, which was called the Hidden Treasures of Healing, so that he wouldn’t give up in despair, since the healing magician couldn’t give him a permanent cure.
“We aren’t strangers you know. We’re comrade-in-arms who’ve dived to the bottom. This much is nothing.”
Said Hari in a voice that sounded a little bland. But hearing that, Walm was at a loss for words. He couldn’t even bring himself to thank Hari sincerely after that, and ended up giving only a vague answer.
“It’s really troublesome. Only scandals continue.”
The Vice-Guild Leader of the Adventurer’s Guild Belgana Branch, Raffaele, struggled under pressure from the Marquis family because of the slump in iron production from the Labyrinth. In recent years, the export of meat resources from the low-rank floors had been doing well, but the production of iron materials from the mid-rank floors onward had been declining. This was because the guild wasn’t fostering enough mid-rank or higher adventurers for the job.
Groups of promising adventurers were blocked by the wall of “difficulty jump” in the mid-rank and high-rank floors, and often had to endure the grief of destruction. Of course, Raffaele hadn’t simply remained idle. He promoted the promising adventurers to the guild staff and asked their opinions. They were also tasked to give lectures on practical skills and theoretical lectures. In addition, even highly paid healing magicians were stationed nearby in an effort to improve survivability.
When a rumor about the Manhunt, which was frowned upon, was circulating, there was no evidence in the search, so the guild concluded that the adventurer’s skills were lacking in general.
That said, compared to several decades ago when the guild thought they had fulfilled their role by sending users into the black hole after having intensive appointments with the civil officials, the current management system had improved dramatically―― supposedly.
The unbelievable news was that there was a clear report of a manhunt appearing within the Labyrinth.
Who would have believed that the party, which had the oldest member of the guild and who also acted as an instructor, was actually a criminal? Although it was dismissed as a false alarm and Fausto managed to escape, two of his party members were dead and brought back to the guild. Moreover, the one who had reported it was the Trimagitack. Of course, Raffaele couldn’t just ignore it.
“Now and then, people have broken the taboo in the Labyrinth, but I’ve never thought that the oldest member has been hunting people.”
The exemplary rebellion of Fausto, who spared no effort in cooperating with the guild, was enough to shake the guild’s management system. Raffaele was also busy dealing with it, and he couldn’t even take a good rest.
“Even so, it’s convenient that his true identity has been exposed.”
Roggo, Raffaele’s assistant and guard, guessed the current situation. Originally an excellent scout in the Labyrinth, Roggo was favorable to the elimination of manhunts. Calling it pus discharge might sound good, but from the point of view of those who had taken the responsibility and had to do the hard work every day, it meant nothing but trouble.
“That bastard Fausto seems to have harvested parties that had reached a certain level. I mean, he hunts his own juniors, you know? As if he’s breeding livestock… Think about the manpower and cost for the aftermath! There’s even an accusation that we’ve been neglecting the manhunts for many years on purpose.”
It ended up with a silly conspiracy theory that the guild was using a manhunt to gather profits.
Still, Raffaele couldn’t help but hold strong anger at the adventurer’s excessive gossip.
“If only, that wanderer had died quietly, it wouldn’t have taken so much trouble. And Fausto is old. Being a Manhunt isn’t a good match for his age. Bet, he would soon wither and rot in the Labyrinth, or, we can just wait for his retirement…”
Raffaele pursued Roggo, who seemed to have something to say, as he was acting like a stranger.
“Hmph, stop pretending to be a good person. This Labyrinth city isn’t a clear stream. In the stream where the crowd has swelled up to the point where it’s difficult to manage, spies from other countries, criminals, and necromancers must be lurking around, and human desires and conspiracy are also swirling. This is such a city. A balance between pure and impurity should be maintained, or it won’t work.”
The Adventurer’s Guild had removed the impurity together with the Marquis’ guards. But there was no end to it. It was like clearing the fog with one’s hands.
“The same goes for the brothel district and the slums. The Marquis attempted to take full control, but even the investigations failed. That’s the result of dealing with an opponent you don’t know. Worsening the security of the city by the end. In the first place, is it possible to completely control such places from inside the wall? In the end, it would be easier to handle by selecting some of the ruffians and making them official workers. At worst, just treat them like a crowd who likes to cross the line.”
“Now, now, rather we should look forward to the next meeting.”
Roggo mentioned an upcoming event.
“It’s just an inspection. I wonder if their business is doing well… But really, what a profit… Hahaha, looks like you’re being humble with your face and mouth, but always honest with your needs.”
Raffaele, looking from Roggo’s face to his lower body, snorted.
“I thought that mercenary would cause more trouble, but conquering the Labyrinth with the Trimagitack? Even the world couldn’t understand why that happened. But, with this, even with that manhunt incident, the profit will still be great at last. Even the displeased Marquis-sama, would be pleased. Above all, besides the regular inspection, to think that those ruffians invited us to the brothel to celebrate the conquest of the Labyrinth. How touching.”
In order to benefit from the advantages that the conqueror brought, those who were quick, acted swiftly indeed. And it was Raphael’s way to give “sweets” to those who behaved obediently. Roggo, his protégé, was one of them.
“Well then, Vice-Guild Leader, have fun.”
In the course of their conversation, Raffaele arrived at his desired brothel. Thus, ending his complaints.
“Hah, you too. It’s going to be a good night.”
Raffaele parted ways with Roggo at the fork in the long passage.
Raffaele was led by a dull red-haired woman. Although she had a shadowy, unattractive face, she was by no means bad-looking. She clearly had a moderate amount of flesh in the right place, probably because she moved those parts on a daily basis.
“You look good.”
Raffaele’s vision was obstructed by the darkness and the wafting incense smell, but because of his profession, he had absolute confidence in his memory.
“It was specially prepared, only for Raffaele-sama, to enjoy this day to the fullest.”
The woman who had lured Raffaele into the room entwined her long limbs and whispered in his ear.
“Alraune’s incense, it brings a sense of happiness, and eases your mood. Please forget about your daily hard work, everything else, and, just relax.”
The woman was good at putting people at ease. There was nothing wrong with that, even if it was nothing more than blatant flattery.
The woman expressed that she would gladly put on a farce without a cooling-off period.
And so, Raffaele generously accepted the sweet invitation.
“Now, now, who should I entertain, I wonder?”
Along with the snuggling woman, Raffaele overlapped his shadows with hers on the bed. The sweet scent corroded and numbed Raffaele’s mind and body.
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