Chapter 102: To the Principality of Vadenhaag, part 1


Translator: Denryuu; Editor: Ryunakama


Running like a well-oiled machine as usual, the gears of the guild grinded to a temporary halt when the sound of wheels was heard from outside. The pool of people who can or will pull up at the guild in a carriage is so small, however, I was almost certain that it was someone from the capital.

「I see that everyone’s hard at work」, commented Ta’uro the Guild Master as he strolled inside.

I already kind of knew what he had come here for — the overseas job posting that I had discussed with the king a while ago. My colleagues’ reaction to the Guild Master’s entrance was mixed. Those who knew who he was stiffened, while the others simply looked at him questioningly.

「Tally-ho, brother. What kinda wind blew ya here? Look at them muscles! Ya an aspiring adventurer, or –?」

To be fair, the Guild Master was once an adventurer too, so I can see how that mistake was made. Anyway, let’s wait for his response…

「Wait, isn’t he…?」

「Mhm. That’s the one…」

Those present began to murmur among themselves.

「And ya ain’t young neither. Ya could afford to be a lil’ more polite, can’t ya? Whassat swimmin’ round in that there noggin of yours, water?」

「Hahaha, sorry about that.」

「Ain’t no biggie as long as ya get the idea」, snorted Morley as if to say get a load of this guy.

「That careless tone of this…」

「This isn’t good! Someone get the Chief out, now!」

「Chief…!」

Amidst all the ruckus, a single girl stood undaunted, for she too had never seen the Guild Master’s face before.

「Oh, we have an aspiring adventurer. If you will, sir, please come to the counter~」, said Milia, turning around to look at me. 「Roland-san, we have a new one. I’ll leave this to you!」

Clearly having no intent to correct either of them, Ta’uro simply said hello to me.

「…Don’t use your subordinates for your own amusement, idiot」, I replied.

「Ahahaha.」

「Hm? Are you acquainted with Roland-san? If that’s the case, then all’s good~」, said Milia.

Still none the wiser, Morley spoke up again, looking ticked off.

「Acquainted with Roland, eh? Heck, neither ‘common sense’ nor ‘manners’ can be found in this here fella’s dictionary. Adventurer or employee, I don’t give a toot who ya are, greenhorn. Whatever ya gonna teach him, Roland, make sure it includes manners too.」

「Yes, I understand.」

「Ahaha. Roland, this Roland… ahaha! He’s getting angry!」

「It’s all because you’re playing around with my colleagues.」

「Lighten up, that expression of yours is scary.」

Iris finally came out of her office.

「Master –! How can we be of assistance toda — oh, I deeply apologise on behalf of my employees! They’re unaware of –」

「It’s fine, it’s fine. It’s more about Roland.」

Both Milia and Morley’s hearts skipped a beat. They suddenly sat upright and looked up at Ta’uro.

「Please relax, Chief. If he flies into a rage because of this, then all I can say is that the Guild Master’s tolerance doesn’t amount to much.」

Is that so, said the surprised branch chief.

「I’m so sorry!」, exclaimed Morley, leaping off the chair with surprising agility and adopting a full kowtow position.

「Uh, I apologise for my rudeness, too…」, muttered Milia, hanging her head low.

「It’s okay, you’re just being diligent in your duties. I hope to see that in the future as well.」

While that was aimed mainly at Milia, Morley looked up with a glint in his eye. His expression was astoundingly similar to that of Lyla’s blind devotee upon receiving praise.

「Follow me」, I said brusquely as I got up to show him to the drawing room.

「Employee Argan really doesn’t care about being rude to visitors, huh.」

「And neither should a visitor mess around with the employees」, I replied. 「Chief, can you follow us?」

「Eh, me? Sure…」

Her eyes widening, she followed the Guild Master and I into the drawing room. In typical fashion, Ta’uro plopped himself down on the sofa and sank into it.

「Where shall we begin?」

「How about we begin with the matter of Vadenhaag’s adventurers’ guild? King Randolph already told me about it.」

Still in the dark, Iris looked at us blankly.

「Oh, right. I’ve been maintaining letter correspondence with Queen Leyte for a while now. We eventually agreed to erase the Ferland-Vadenhaag border for adventurers. When that comes into effect, adventurers from Ferland will be able to receive quests in Vadenhaag, and vice versa. Of course, we have to get the guild up and running on that side before anything can happen.」

「Posting employees out… including Roland?」, inquired Iris, trying to get a grasp of the topic.

「For the sake of convenience, the Principality of Vadenhaag requested that we make this into a large-scale quest and let Roland preside over the matter alone. Both King Randolph and I agreed to it.」

「So you’re turning ‘establishing and operating a guild system’ into a quest and pushing the job to me. I see how it is.」

「Ahahaha. Don’t put it like that. Only you can handle it, though. There’s also a union known as the ‘Roland Group’ now.」

「Huh?」

…What on earth is that?

「You’re not aware of it? If I’m not wrong, it consists of the adventurers who regularly receive quests from you as well as those who have you to thank for passing the examination.」

「That’s right」, said Iris matter-of-factly as she nodded.

Had she known about this all along?

「…What’s with that lame name?」

I felt a headache coming. ‘Roland Group’…? Will the new guild specialise in construction, then?

「They’re willing to assemble anywhere if you reach out to them. That’s how effective your guidance was.」

「Mhm, that’s right.」

That union most likely had that duo of half-adventurer, half-street thugs at its core.

Now that the important things had been said, Milia came in to serve the tea. Making a polite gesture, she gracefully left as quickly as she had come.

「Milia-chan… her simplicity is cute in itself…」

「Girls like that have always been your type.」

「Wait, what if Milia’s also already –」

「Do not guess at this low-born scum’s intentions.」

Iris giggled.

「Iris… is Roland popular here too?」

「Yeah.」

「Hm, I see, I see. He’s been like that since his days in the army. The girls of the Magical Regiment all said that they were in love with you at some point. There was also the rumour that a different girl snuck into your bivouac every night… how many did you do it with in total?」

I responded by kicking him in the shin.

「Ow!?」

「Remember where you are, idiot. There’s a woman present.」

「So, how many? Ten?」

「About half of the entire regiment.」

「Haa –!? I wasn’t able to snag a single one!」

「So not only are you loud and unrefined in your ways, but a dirty old man too.」

Half of the girls able to use magic are blue-blooded. As such, being a mage adds to one’s status. With that elevation of status in mind, many noble families will provide elite education for the girls from a young age. However, many of those who end up in the army are far behind in the line of succession. What I heard after the war was that people such as exemplary knights, other mages and military officers with significant contributions were matched with those girls for marriage.

「Oh, and here you go. The Plant Master certification.」

He took out a badge in a by-the-way manner and placed it on the table. It was the same one that Morley wore.

「You have it on you because you forgot to send it over, didn’t you?」

「Very few people get this badge, and it takes some time to make it too. Anyway, we’ll leave you in charge to choose who will undertake the large-scale quest. Queen Leyte and her Highness will also give you their fullest cooperation over there.」

…Her Highness? Oh, he means Meiri.

As I donned the badge, Ta’uro chased Iris out of the room on the pretext that there would only be small talk from this point onward. Wasn’t that distasteful conversation held right in her audience too, I wondered to myself.

The Guild Master had fallen silent, looking as if he was searching for a presence outside. As Iris’s footsteps became softer and softer, the hustle and bustle of the guild could be heard again.

「…Roland」, whispered Ta’uro, leaning over the table.

I took the cue and moved my ear closer.

「I’ve visited Vadenhaag a few times, and… I saw that person…」

Is this a joke, I thought. Looking at his face (out of reflex by now), however, he didn’t look like he was joking.

「You’re probably mistaken. I doubt someone like you would recognise her.」

「That’s what I thought… the woman I fear… but might as well be a mother to you.」

「She might not even be there anymore.」

「True.」

「Why do you bring it up now?」

「There is still chaos within Vadenhaag. Although there’s talk of creating a national assembly, it seems like the current king’s power may trickle down to one person even with the new system. There’s just so many people who are planning to take advantage of this to do shady things.」

The letter we found at my childhood home suddenly came to mind.

「The large-scale quest I’m being put in charge of is to oversee the establishment and operation of a guild, correct?」

「Well, I’ll be glad if my eyes did deceive me」, he replied, sidestepping the rhetorical question. 「There are also rumours of an underground guild in Vadenhaag, although I’m not sure when it was established.」

「That doesn’t have good implications.」

「They’re the polar opposite of us. They do things like theft, abduction, poaching, black market operations and last but not least… assassination.」

「…And that’s why you suspect that the Master you saw wasn’t the real deal?」

「Ah. I wouldn’t have told you about this if I had only caught a glimpse of her. Although I hope what I saw wasn’t related…」

「For all your flaws, there’s one redeeming quality that you have, and that’s the unsettling accuracy of your intuition.」

「For that reason, it has to be you overseeing the large-scale quest…」

「Let one do what he does best…」, I said as Lyla had back at the old house.

What will be will be, said Ta’uro, his expression darkening. He got up without another word, thumped my shoulder, and left.



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