A few days after I received information from Rauno-san.
Tanya-san dropped by the mansion. I was the one to keep her company, but there were only Damien’s automatons in the mansion, so I ended up having No. 2 prepare some tea.
Perhaps she had no interest in my own, personal tastes, as she put out a different tea than Monica. It was probably Damien’s preference.
Tanya-san sat on the sofa with proper posture. She hadn’t touched the tea. Her tone was even more indifferent than usual.
I used a Skill. The Sixth’s… Search… displayed Tanya-san’s reaction as yellow or red.
Perhaps she had some hesitation. In that case, it meant she did know the specifics. Tanya-san was a person of the Guild. As expected, she was to prioritize it.
“Lyle-kun, an urgent request has come up. Perhaps you’ve heard the rumors…”
“… If you’re aware, that makes matters fast. It’s about that Cartaffs; in recent times, there have been some turbulent movements. A request of one concerned in the country has reached its way to Beim, and we have determined it to be a request requiring ample urgency. So the Guild has decided to request this matter to you. As a reward for success, we promise fifty thousand in gold coins. The contents of the request are to rescue the captured queen.”
Just as an advance payment, several thousand gold coins were prepared.
They never intended to pay the completion fee, so they wanted to show a request with considerably favorable conditions.
From the Jewel, the Fifth let his voice.
『So a few thousand gold doesn’t hurt them at all? Good going, Adventurers’ Guild. It isn’t a bad sum to cover preparations.』
I looked over the document.
“That’s quite an extravagant preparatory sum. But our party is nothing but women, as I’m sure you’re aware. By the contents of the request, that’s totally out, isn’t it?”
Larc’s Skill was a powerful one against the opposite sex, or so it seems the report had been raised. And it seems it was a plan to separate me from my comrades.
The Seventh looked over it.
『As long as it separated you, they thought it’d work itself out. But this time around, the Guild should be using its trump cards… underestimate them, and it’ll be dangerous.』
In regards to the Seventh’s opinions, the Third laughed.
『And isn’t that why it’s fine? Larc, was it? Quite a pitiful kid over there. I doubt he’s aware of how he’s being used by us and the Guild, after all. Oh, right, Lyle… do it by the plan.』
Tanya-san had also considered the reasons I may pose for refusal.
“It has been determined that success is more than probable with you working alone. Also, nothing but women was a lie, wasn’t it? Maksim, Damien… the two of them are also registered as adventurers.”
So they planned to thoroughly crush us? Even Maksim’s name was coming up. I looked over the documents again.
“… I also have a request for Labyrinth Subjugation. Can this come after I’ve completed it?”
In a troubled manner, Tanya-san spoke.
“It’s an urgent one, so if possible, in the near future. Also, if it proves impossible, the Guild will dispatch reinforcements.”
Hearing that, I smiled. It was a case I had considered. And the adventurers dispatched would likely be in the mind to attack us.
“That’s a huge help. How about reinforcements for me?”
“As expected, that much is… however, Beim has already sent adventurers over to that side of the seas. We can arrange for them to cooperate with you.”
Hearing that, I tilted my head.
“Is that so? How strange. All the famous parties should be off on other requests. Was it a dispatch from somewhere besides the East Branch?”
Besides the dispatch-type East Branch, the only other adventurers to stray so far from Beim were the mercenaries of the south. As always, Tanya-san’s expression looked like a constructed one.
“That is simply how hurried we are. We will send more reinforcements to the Labyrinth.”
I nodded, and moved to sign the papers, but suddenly stopped my hand.
“Oh, right. There are a few misc. tasks I need to do as well, so could I leave them to an acquaintance of the East Branch? … I’d like to put in a request for them.”
Hearing that, Tanya-san thought a little, but eventually nodded with a smile.
“Go right ahead. However, sending it to ones too proficient will be troubling for us. And I doubt they’ll accept if you propose them a request for misc. tasks.”
I signed the paper.
“Oh, it’s alright. I’ve got a hunch on who’s likely to accept.”
I looked down, as I thought.
(Tanya-san, you’re being soft. Did you think it wouldn’t matter if you discarded an adventurer who would take on odd jobs?)
After Tanya-san left, I called Damien and Maksim-san- who had been in the mansion- to the room, to discuss.
It was about the Cartaffs request. And I also informed them of how horrid the present situation was.
Damien took off his glasses, and wiped off the lenses.
“Hmmm~, and so? You’ve something in mind, don’t you, Lyle?”
Maksim looked nervous. The opposite of Damien.
“This isn’t good. Not being able to receive financial support from Beim, no matter how you think of it, it will affect our objectives henceforth.”
It seems he thought I was going to keep receiving support from Beim… from the Trēs House. And it was on that plan that Adele-san was moving.
I gave an apology.
“Yeah, I should probably apologize beforehand. We’ll have to vacate this place too. Probably, or rather, in the near future, the Trēs House will make some moves, and we began building a foundation at the point we were going forward with Labyrinth Subjugation, so I’ll make that point our next base of operations.”
Damien sounded reluctant.
“Eh~ I had taken a liking to this place’s underground laboratory.”
“I’ll build a building to your liking over there. And wait, I do think there’ll be some full-blown moves.”
I spoke my mind to the two of them on the plan.
Of the anticipated adventurer attack in Cartaffs, and of how, through saving the Queen, we’d sell a favor, and have them glare at Bahnseim from the north for us.
Having heard that, Maksim.
“… If all goes well, it truly is a good deal. But there’s a high risk. And when we’re exposing milady to such danger, I can’t even be by her side.”
As I thought, he didn’t want to be taken off Adele-san’s side. To Damien, it seemed to be a pain.
“Three automatons. It’s true I can prepare golems, but just how does that stand war-potential-wise? Can we win? Adventurers that have polished their skill in the Labyrinth, to be blunt, they be monsters.”
To Damien and Maksim-san, I held confidence as I declared.
“We’ll win. If we lose here, then either way, we won’t win against the monster that is Celes. And also. There are movements in Beim to drive the Trēs House out. So I want to migrate them right to the land we’re developing. Damien, can you persuade old Letarta?”
Damien put his glasses on, taking a cup from his maid automaton No. 1, and sipping some tea.
“I think it’s possible. For better or worse, he’s a craftsman. As long as he has a place to be and work to do, isn’t it feasible? IT seems he doesn’t hate the boisterousness of Beim, but he did come from the countryside, and he did say he missed it. Also, he was enjoying modifying the Valkyries, and it felt like he didn’t want to abandon the work.”
So we could get old Letarta with us. In that case, perhaps I could call out to the craftsmen and merchants related to him, and give them an invite to the south.
Milleia-san spoke delightfully.
『Lyle, let’s have Eva-chan spread some rumors. That the land to the south is blessed or something!』
This person really was having fun.
There, Damien looked at me.
“… You’ll take in the merchants that’ve lost their value here? If it were you, Lyle, then if all went well, I’m sure you’d be able to kick it off with the merchants remaining in Beim.”
I shook my head.
“I’m sorry, but even like this, I’ve a strong sense of duty. After they’ve saved me so, I won’t betray them.”
There, Maksim-san turned me some eyes of doubt.
“… That’s a different definition of, ‘duty’ than the one I know.”
… How rude. I’m going to save the merchants that aided me from the collapse of Beim. That’s plenty dutiful, isn’t it?
Having dropped by the East Branch, I personally asked for Marianne-san’s room on the third floor.
Normally, there wouldn’t be a problem whoever the receptionist was, but this time alone, there was a need for me to get Marianne-san.
The Guild had a considerable amount of staff, and they couldn’t help but require receptionists who wouldn’t abandon their acquaintance adventurers.
No, I won’t say it was essential, but even so, I asked for her with the intent to use her.
When she saw me waiting in the room, Marianne-san smiled, as she brought in some paperwork. And she inspected my face.
“How rare for me to be called out like this. I feel I’m going to misunderstood, so if possible, could I hear the reason…?”
While she was joking around, her face turned serious as she looked at my expression.
“It doesn’t look like this is a matter to take in jest.”
Saying that, she lay the documents on the desk, poured a drink, and took a seat. After putting the drink to my mouth, I made my plea.
“It’s been decided I’m going off to Cartaffs. As for a boat, I’ll be using one of the Trēs House’s. While I was at it, I hired a party for odd jobs.”
Marianne-san’s expression didn’t change.
“Is that so. I do think you have it rough, but if it’s you, then you’ll definitely be able to complete the request…”
There, I made a smile. Making an exceptionally splendid smile, I grew to hate myself. This is the only thing I’ve really been improving in.
“So I’d like information on the adventurers who headed to Cartaffs. The detailed data safekept by the Guild… it exists, right?”
Marianne-san’s drooping eyes narrowed, as if glaring at me.
“Leakage of information is strictly prohibited. So what do you expect me to answer to that?”
“Even when my info’s going all over the place? A receptionist of your level should know what sort of situation I’m in, right? It seems you did take on newbie training as well, but you’re relatively knowledgeable about work in the Guild.”
Marianne-san stood from her seat, and moved to leave the room.
“… I’ll call another receptionist. And there’s nothing I have to say to you.”
I kept my smile, and informed her of the adventurer party I’d made a request to.
“This time, I sought help from Erhart’s party. They accepted it quite willingly. It was a large request, after all. Now that aside, Marianne-san, you got angry for their sake, didn’t you? Not letting them take a request where they might die, you caused a problem at the desk… I’m quite fond of kind people.”
Marianne-san turned around, and glared at me something awful. And she hung her head a while, which gave me enough answers in itself.
She surely knew. About my state, and what Beim was to do.
“So you knew everything. Yet you’ll still choose to go to Cartaffs; how stubborn you must be. From my point of view, it would be a huge help if you turned and fled.”
“There’s something important left in Beim. If it were to protect that, I thought an extent of my behavior would be permitted. Now then, there’s no huge profit in it for you, but won’t you listen to my request?”
Marianne-san returned, sat in her chair, and turned her eyes to me. Not with her usual atmosphere, she had a sort of threat to her.
She had gotten in various experience in her own way, and that had come to form this sort of air.
“… Information on adventurers, was it? As you’ve said, it truly is a talk with little merit to me. If I had to say, it’s nothing but demerits. But I shall prepare the information of the adventurers who went to Cartaffs for you. The info on the ones attacking your remaining comrades as well. In exchange.”
What Marianne-san sought in exchange…
“A guarantee for the lives of Erhart-kun’s party. No, return them to Beim unharmed. Once you enter Cartaffs, then everyone with you is supposed to be marked as a target. They won’t overlook it just because they’re there for odd jobs.”
I nodded, and confirmed how long it would take to get the info with her. It seems she could get it relatively fast, and I was impressed. Her abilities as a receptionist were surely high.
And after we’d gotten in order the means to accept the information, I asked her.
“You sure favor Erhart’s party quite a bit. Is it love?”
There, Marianne-san gave a laugh, as if to mock me. And she looked at me in sorrow.
“You’re half right. But to those boys… perhaps as cute younger brothers. Oblivious to the world, but earnest and hard-working… watching those sorts of children is the greatest joy of being a receptionist. Putting in steady work to mature, and happily reporting it all to us… Rather than a certain unlovable boy who perfectly pulls everything off from the start, I’d like to support those sorts of cute kids.”
There wasn’t really a problem if Marianne-san reported this matter to the Guild. The mansion was already vacated, and preparations were underway.
But having heard that, I confirmed that rather than Erhart’s party, I was definitely less interesting to the receptionists.
“On the contrary, you’ll help me for something of that extent?”
Marianne-san looked down, and let out her voice, bit by bit.
“… He resembles the adventurer I used to like. When I was still a beginner, I was relatively popular, so I got stuck up. So I had an earnest adventurer who’d come out from the countryside push himself for me.”
Hearing that, I got the just. And Marianne-san put the developments I’d expected to mouth.
“Because of that, he died. Even leaving his assets to me… he really was an idiot. From there on, I was the receptionist of the newbie desk. Though it turns out I really was better at training new recruits. Because it felt worth doing.”
I heard her story through from start to end, before standing.
“… I’ll definitely return Erhart’s party to Beim. I swear it.”
There, Marianne-san glared at me.
“If you don’t bring them back, I’ll curse you for life. After going so far for you, if even one of them is injured… I’ll teach you just what it means to make an enemy of a receptionist of the Guild.”
Her threat really did frighten me, but so as not to let those thoughts come out, I laughed. And after leaving the room, I pat my chest.
… The East Branch.
At the first floor desk, Rühe accepted some documents from Erhart.
And Erhart spoke to her.
“Sorry, it’s about the next job, but I’m going to have to pass.”
Hearing that, Rühe found it rare, as she confirmed it with him.
“What happened? You usually confirm your next requests, and plan them out while you’re here. Did someone’s health take a bad turn?”
Erhart denied it as he shook his head. He had calmed down even further as an adventurer, fulfilling requests, while protecting Marianne’s teachings.
“I’m going to help out in Cartaffs from the request of an acquaintance. Well, it’s just odd jobs, but the profits are nice, and it’ll be a long-term request, so other requests won’t be possible for a while.”
Hearing that, Rühe looked over Erhart.
“Even if it be from an acquaintance, being called out personally is a proof of your credibility. Looks like you guys are already splendid adventurers… right! I’ll be expecting a souvenir when you get back. And I’d love to hear what sort of adventures you had.”
There, Erhart let out a sigh.
“You were cuter when you were still asking for candy. Say the same thing to everyone, and you’ll go through some pain down the line. Well, we see each other relatively often, so I’ll at least buy a souvenir for you.”
Rühe averted her eyes a little, and spoke in a quiet voice.
“… I don’t say it to everyone.”
Erhart stood from his seat.
“What was that?”
“It’s nothing. I’m expecting something nice, Erhart-san.”
Seeing Rühe’s smile, Erhart made a bitter one. Perhaps thinking he had been fooled by Marianne, it seems he still had a trauma when it came to female receptionists…