Not a Problem
… The room granted to Rauno in Rhuvenns castle.
【Rauno Bandelphia】sat over the sofa, removing his coat, tossing it over the sofa’s back, and loosening the collar of his shirt. He had been officially recognized as a knight, but it’s true there was some part of it he couldn’t accept.
The most irritating part was how he assisted in apprehending the ones moving suspiciously through Rhuvenns Castle. The assistance itself was all well and good. However, knowing it would be used like this made it a different story. Innis in the room hung her head near the wall.
Covering his face with both hands, Rauno on the sofa called out to her.
“… Why did you move on your own? It’s true I had a lingering attachment to knighthood. But now that they know about your Skill, they’ll definitely…”
Holding the Skill 【Information】 that let her carry out future predictions, she had a Skill in demand not only from those in authority. As based on her information, it was truly able to tell the future in every bit of detail, Rauno had concealed her Skill.
Innis looked down.
“I-I know. But having you become a knight was my dream as well.”
Hearing that, it was difficult for Rauno to refute. For he had told Innis about his lingering knight attachments in his own complaints. He had done so because even if he didn’t tell her, she would be able to learn it from whatever information she had on hand.
Rauno worried for her.
“… In palaces and castles and places like that, when the power struggles get intense, people change. Do you think the current them will be the same in ten years’ time? They’ll definitely move forward. Miranda’s the same. As a client, she pays well. While she gives jobs of high difficulty, she pays enough for it. As an individual, she’s a good person. But… she’ll definitely stick her hands into shady dealings. That’s just the one we know. Thinking of what’s to come…”
Rauno’s forecast was on the mark. If Lyle took Bahnseim down, it would usher in an era of his rule. From there, problems of succession would come, and what awaited was a power struggle among the female camp.
If Innis requested Novem’s help, Rauno was on Novem’s side. No matter how you looked at it, it would mean Rauno had Novem’s backing.
And that meant he would be dragged into power struggles and faction wars. Innis sounded apologetic.
“Even so, she’s a person who honors promises. And she isn’t one who’d take the initiative to start a war…”
“It isn’t so simple! The world isn’t so naïve where doing nothing means you won’t be dragged into a war!”
While he didn’t show it on his face, having witnessed such power struggles himself, Rauno felt terrible. And he knew Novem was a woman who came through when push came to shove.
That in mind, when the time came, who would be requesting his services? It was an elementary calculation.
“It’s true she won’t move on her own. But you know what happened in this case, right? The moment the Count gathered allies, she immediately ordered their disposal. Rather than making use of them, she thought of what was to come, and cut them off. Without consulting Lyle, even. She’s a person who’d do that much. If those around her begin to move, she’ll use whatever means.”
After saying that much, Rauno cut off his words. And he turned to Innis.
“… Sorry. You did your best for me. But please, don’t do this sort of thing again. Your Skill is too dangerous. And Lyle’s already made use of it, right?”
Innis made a dubious expression as she nodded.
“… Two times, huh. What sort of things did he have you predict?”
On Rauno’s words, Innis first said something decent. But after that…
“When will Bahnseim attack, and… how can I avoid the marital pandemonium to come.”
Rauno raised his face, making a dubious expression himself.
“… Bahnseim’s a problem, but pandemonium is serious business as well. If it’s already come to that, the faction and power struggles are already on their way!”
Rauno held his head…
… South Beim.
The Guild at the Labyrinth’s entrance was a little more in order than it was before.
Newbie adventurers were beginning to come out, and as the first-rate party had moved their home back to North Beim, Erhart’s adventurer party had become the greatest adventurer party in South Beim.
Their numbers were twice that of before, and including new recruits, they had grown to almost fifteen in number. Showing his face at the Guild counter, Erhart headed to receptionist Rühe’s desk. Of course, that was the only receptions desk, so there was nowhere else to go.
Turning to Rühe as she waved her hand, Erhart awkwardly waved back. Looking around, the newbie adventurers were glaring at him. As Rühe was a cute-type receptionist, she naturally had high popularity among the adventurers.
She had once taken on newbie rearing at Beim’s east branch, and she was used to her work by this point. She dealt with adventurers skillfully, and was the admiration of the new recruits.
“Y-yo. Sorry, but could I confirm a few things? Entering the Labyrinth is fine and all, but it’s about time requests to go outside came in.”
As Erhart wasn’t particularly a specialist in collecting Magic Stones and materials in the Labyrinth, he wanted to turn an eye to the requests of South Beim’s surroundings and the nearby villages.
For inexperienced as they were, Erhart’s party was the number one party in South Beim.
South Beim’s Guild and Merchants, those higher ups were assertively petitioning him to do so as well. Meaning such orders had come from Lyle. Erhart hadn’t been called out by name, but as there were only new recruits around, in the end, Erhart’s party had to be the one doing the requests.
Scratching his head, he ignored surrounding eyes as he talked to Rühe. But he could still here them. It was a small Guild compared to Beim’s. It was only natural for sound to travel.
“What’s with that tank top dastard?”
“He’s the number one adventurer in South Beim… because there’s no one better.”
“I’ll surpass a guy like him in no time, and then Rühe-chan will…”
Hearing those voices, Erhart felt somewhat embarrassed for some reason.
(… Dammit Lyle, he watched over my outbursts with such warm eyes. So this is why. That guy definitely has a terrible personality.)
Having calmed down a bit and managing to look at what was around him, Erhart recalled his past self and felt embarrassed.
“For outside requests, we have the pre-highway-maintenance cleanup. During the actual work, they’ll have soldiers and guards, but they’ve made a request for the Guild to sweep away the area’s monsters beforehand. But I feel a bit anxious leaving it to the other parties.”
From the request’s contents, in South Beim loaded with newbies, Erhart’s party was about the only one capable of fulfilling it. Erhart nodded.
“We’ve taken a few newcomers on, and we’re training them, but it’ll be some time before they start to take shape. Even if I put them on odd jobs, they’ll grow lax without anyone to watch them, so it’ll be some time before they can stand on their own. And wait, I’m little more than a newbie myself.”
There, Rühe frantically started complimenting him.
“What are you saying!? When the first-rate Labyrinth specialists were here, you volunteered for odd jobs, and taught everyone all about them, didn’t you? I think someone who can do something like that is… a-amazing.”
Seeing Rühe’s face turn a little red, Erhart could only say, “R-right.”
(… Why is it? Why is it that women are noticing me now? They used to run away even if I tried chasing.)
Filled with conflicted feelings, Erhart let out a sigh as he received the form and confirmed its contents. How many to take, who to take along, and who to let rest. While he thought over various things, a voice called over from behind.
A group of some around the same age as Erhart. Freshly recruited adventurers had formed a party, wearing a confident attitude.
“Hey, Rühe-chan, could you give that request to us? I think we’re just about capable enough to do it. If we’re stuck on cleaning and odd jobs forever, it’ll build up stress, or rather…”
He wanted to take on the request going to Erhart. But Rühe gave a serious reply.
“Please say something like that after you’ve gotten at least a 【C】 evaluation on an odd jobs request. And your equipment isn’t adequate for the request. You have to get together at least the bare minimum equipment before you go into battle.”
As the newbie adventurers stood vexed, eyes gathered on Erhart.
“B-but just look at how this guy’s dressed, and his party is…”
He started complaining about Erhart, but as those around watched, their evaluation of the new adventurers only dropped. Regardless of how they wanted to show off their good sides to Rühe, seeing them move so fruitlessly made Erhart so embarrassed he felt his face would burst into flames.
It was at that moment. Worrying for Erhart who had yet to return, one of his party members entered the guild.
… A female adventurer.
“Erhart, are you done going over the requests? Then come shopping with me. Remembered how a new shop opened on the way? I wanted to check it out.”
An adventurer once charmed through Skill by an adventurer of Cartaffs named Larc. On the appearance of that talented and beautiful woman, Rühe stared at her jealously.
“Erhart-san is in the middle of confirming his request. If you’re going shopping, why not do it on your own? Interfering with your leader’s job, what does that make you as an adventurer?”
On Rühe’s thorny words, Erhart’s heart began racing. The newbie adventurers were also troubled.
The female adventurer spoke.
“I’m not trying to get in the way. If he’s in the middle of it, then I’ll just wait. Isn’t that fine? And this a problem within the party, so I don’t want a receptionist inserting herself into it.”
(Damn, why didn’t they keep her away? They should’ve known I was going to the Guild.)
‘They’ were the youths from the same village as he, accompanying him as adventurers from his earlier days. They had come to Beim with Erhart, and were the ones who raised problems with Lyle after becoming adventurers. He had told his comrades to keep the female adventurers away.
But the result was as he could see, it was getting on in the Guild.
“In the first place, Erhart-san is the number one adventurer in South Beim. Because of that, he has to concentrate on his work. Since you girls are so skilled, why don’t you make a new party or something, and take on a few requests yourselves?”
On Rühe’s words, the female adventurer spoke.
“I caused some problems in Cartaffs. Erhart was assigned to watch me, and with the party’s interest in mind, it’s unthinkable to divide our fighting power. That’s why it’s said that receptionists can only see their own circumstance. We’ve got quite a few troubles of our own. Enough that we’d even want some more hands.”
In such a rowdy Guild. From the stairs in the depths of the Guild, Marianne descended with a bundle of papers in her hands.
“Oh, another fight? Rühe, could you leave your little tiff there? If you don’t work the receptions desk, you’ll trouble our dear adventurers.”
Marianne cautioned Rühe. There, Erhart awkwardly looked at Marianne, scratching his hair as he awkwardly gave his greetings.
“… Yes, it’s been a while. Erhart-kun. I’ve heard you’re working hard. I’m happy for you.”
She smiled as she responded, but there was a peculiar air between the two. Seeing it form, Rühe puffed out her cheeks, while the female adventurer touched her chest to Erhart’s back as she spoke.
“Hey, confirm the request already.”
“I-I will! So get away from my back.”
Erhart hurriedly turned his eyes back to the papers. The newbie adventurers watched with their mouths stuck open…
Inside Rhuvenns Castle.
Jumping up and down nearby, Shannon tried to make a meal of the pudding I held out of her reach.
“Hey, give it back! That’s my flan!”
“Bullocks! No matter how you think about it, this is mine. And wait, you’ve already eaten two, haven’t you! The empty plates are proof enough!”
When I left the office and headed to a dining hall separate from the general one, I found Shannon eating. Eating the flan left on the table.
There was only one flan left… no matter how you looked at it, that was my flan.
“You’re a man, so show some self-control! And they said I could eat anything that was left over!”
“And I’m right here, so it won’t be a leftover! Even I like sweet things. Rather, you already ate two, why don’t you show some self-control!? No, restraint!”
Realizing she couldn’t get steal it with her height, she grabbed my clothing and began to shake me down.
“Today’s flan was especially good! I couldn’t eat any desserts these days, you hear!”
“That’s because you kept making mistakes in your work. They’re your mistakes! It’s your fault for dazing out!”
The dining hall… even if it was called that, our dining hall could only be used by a select few. Only me and those related to me. For that sake, there wasn’t anyone around besides Shannon and me. So we could shout as much as we wanted.
“Stingy! Stingy Lyle!”
“Greedy! Greedy Shannon!”
I think the stress from work had flipped a strange switch. As we were acting up, the door to the room opened. The dining hall had been set for four. One was probably Lianne, but I didn’t know the other.
The moment my attention was taken, Shannon pulled down my arm, causing the flan to fly through the air as I pulled it back.
The flan continued on its trajectory towards the woman with red hair… Aria’s face. The scene played back to me as if in slow motion.
The flan’s form fell apart, sticking and splattering across Aria’s face before falling limply to the ground. Aria stayed silent for a while, but…
“… You can understand what I want to say, right?”
“N-no! That was Shannon!”
Shannon violently shook her hand to deny it.
“That’s wrong. Lyle did it!”
Licking the flan stuck to her face, Aria’s eyes gradually grew sharper… looking at the table, she noticed there was no flan left.
“Where’s my flannn!!?”
Saying that, Shannon raced out of the room, and a little delayed, I leapt out of the room as well.
“Oy, don’t kid me! Why are you running away alone!? This is all your fault, you hear!”
Catching up to Shannon, who was only quick on her feet when it came to things like this, as we ran through the hallway, a red blur of something passed through the space between us and manifested before us.
Shannon stopped in her tracks.
“H-how unfair! Using a Skill is unfair!”
Aria looked at Shannon.
“You’re one to talk! I heard you used your Skill to mess with Miranda in various ways. Anyways, who’s the one who stole away my enjoyment?”
As Aria cricked the fingers of her hand, I pointed at Shannon.
“Y-you sold me out, Lyle!”
“No, you’re the one who ate it. What’s more you ate a second one too, right? This is definitely your fault, I’m telling you. You angered poor Aria.”
As I said that and laughed, Aria placed a hand on my shoulder.
“Then Lyle will have to repent for smacking me with his flan. I did see that one.”
… Yep, I knew it would come to that. That’s why I ran.