Editor: Thor’s Stone
It took us five hours to get back to the campsite, and we arrived there a little over 17:00 hours. It’s begun to get dark already, so we decided to procure some wild game for dinner first. Everyone’s spirits seemed bright, and peals of laughter rang out from different parts of the campsite from time to time.
The captured bandits were all dumped 50 meters away from the campsite on Captain Dalshim’s orders. They were all chained up securely and had five knights keeping an eye on them. All the bandits were injured to varying degrees, and they slumped down on the ground in dejection. It was probably because they no longer had any hopes of making an escape.
Cleria was surrounded by everyone else and looked like she was having a great time. The knights were eating happily while talking to her. They were probably talking about today’s events. I and the rest of the Shining Star party were gathered a short distance away from them to give them all some space.
“Oh, yeah. Hey, Elna. Why do some of the knights call Cleria ‘Your Royal Highness’ while some simply call her ‘Princess’?”
“Oh, that. Well, it’s the members of the Royal Guard who use the appellation ‘Your Highness’, while the members of the earl’s former forces call Cleria-sama ‘Princess’ instead.”
“What’s the reason for that though?”
“The men from the earl’s forces consider Cleria-sama as the rightful successor of the Ludvic House first and foremost.
For them, who have pledged their loyalty to the Ludvic House, the status of Cleria-sama as its heir is given more priority than her status as a member of the royal family.
However, it is undeniable that Cleria-sama is also the royal princess of the Starveek Kingdom. This would normally not be tolerated, but since Cleria-sama allowed it, they have continued to address her as ‘Princess’ till now.”
“…It’s quite complicated huh.”
“Cleria-sama swore to restore the Ludvic House to its former glory after all. One day, she will surely revive the Ludvic House as a branch of the royal family.
That’s why, in a sense, she truly is a princess of the Ludvic House.
Hasn’t Cleria-sama discussed branch families with you, Alan?”
“No, I don’t believe she did.”
“I see… She will probably discuss it with you one of these days.”
Well, Elna’s already given me a gist, so it’s not like I need to hear the details again anyway.
We then turned in for the night early and after deciding to leave first thing in the morning.
The next morning, we departed from the campsite as soon as daybreak came. We had a total of about 140 people traveling the road, including us Shining Star members and the captured bandits. We probably looked pretty strange to other travelers. It would probably be for the best if we sent some runners ahead whenever we encountered another group of travelers to explain about us.
In the afternoon, we did encounter a group of twenty people. They seemed like traveling merchants. However, there was no commotion raised due to the runners we sent out. That didn’t stop them from giving us puzzled gazes though…
As we neared Gantz, we encountered more and more groups, but since we were near a city already, at least they wouldn’t suspect us as bandits at first sighting. We had no trouble the rest of the way.
And at two o’clock in the afternoon, we finally reached Gantz.
“Hey, stop right there! Huh, aren’t you guys from Shining Star? What is up with those people chained up at the back?”
“These are the bandits we captured. There’s thirty-five of them. We caught them for a request made by the Commerce Guild.”
“The Commerce Guild… Wait, don’t tell me you guys managed to catch all thirty-five of them by yourselves?”
“No, not really. We had the help of the adventurers behind us. They are the members of the new Clan we’re founding.”
“You mean all the adventurers lined up over there will be your members!? I thought they seemed pretty organized, but… How many are they in total?”
“There are a hundred people all in all. We’d like to hand over the bandits first though…”
“W-Wait a moment! I’ll call some more men here. Just wait there for a bit.”
Of the two gate guards, one ran back to their station to report and fetch more guards. After a short while, he returned with ten more guards in tow.
“Hou, this is…… So you’re the rumored Shining Star?”
Someone who looked like the guard captain called out to us.
“That’s right. I’m the leader of Shining Star, Alan. It’s a pleasure to meet you, sir.”
“So I was told you managed to capture thirty-five bandits and brought a hundred members for your new Clan back with you as well. Is this true?”
“That’s right, sir.”
“I see. My name is Guido. I’m basically the leader of this lot here. Best regards.”
“Thank you. We’re looking forward to working with you all as well.”
“We’ll need to borrow the chain cuffs you used to secure these bandits for now. We’ll return them to the inn you’re staying at after we bring these guys to the holding cells.”
“Understood. Well then, can you please deliver them back to the Home previously used by the Great Storm Clan?”
“Hou, so you managed to get that place for yourselves huh… Understood. Oi! Take them away!”
The guards took the bandits off our hands.
“Captain! Please take a look at this guy’s face!”
A guard suddenly called out to the captain. I also tagged along to see what the fuss was about.
“Hou, that sure is a familiar mug. Oi! Somebody get me the bounty poster!”
A guard ran back to the station and brought the bounty poster with him when he returned. Captain Guido took the poster from the guard and brought it near the face of one of the bandits.
“You’re the Black Wolf Kuntz, aren’t you?”
The bandit looked down on the ground and kept silent.
“Fine. We’ll pry your mouth open eventually. Take them away, boys!”
The guards finally led the thirty-five captured bandits away.
“So you’re called Alan, right? I have good news for you. That was a high-ranked bounty target you got. The rest of them are probably Black Wolf members as well. You caught quite a big fish.”
“I see. So they were a pretty infamous bandit group huh. So, how much are we getting?”
“Guys like him have plenty of people after his head. I’d have to check the current bounty amount, so I can’t say for sure right here.”
I see. So it’s that kind of system huh. Man, bandit hunting really is profitable. Come to think of it, we made quite a lot of money out of the first group of bandits we captured a while back as well.
“You managed to nab quite a lot of them too, so we need about five days or so to settle everything and calculate the final amount.”
“I understand. I’ll pay you a visit after five days then.”
Since it would take quite some time for the guards to check everyone out, I entered the city first to finish some of our business.
“I’ll go ahead to the Commerce Guild first. I’ll leave everyone to you, guys.”
I left the task of leading our new members back to our Home to the girls and headed straight for the Commerce Guild.
In order to complete the request, we first need to hand over the captured bandits to the city garrison and then report to the Commerce Guild. The Guild will then confirm with the garrison, and if everything checks out, the reward will be paid.
I arrived at the Commerce Guild building and headed for the counter the staff told me to go to.
“What is your business with us for today?”
“I’m here to report a request taken by Shining Star.”
“Alan-sama, correct? Perfect timing. Karina-sama is also here at the moment. Please wait while I get her.”
The staff disappeared to the back office and Karina came out to greet me a few moments after.
“Good afternoon, Alan-sama.”
“Sorry for bothering you, Karina-san. I actually came here to report since we managed to complete the designated request.”
“Is that right!? I was actually a bit worried since you took up such a difficult request, Alan-sama.”
“Thank you for your concern. Fortunately, we managed to fulfill the request without suffering any injuries. We just handed the bandits over to the city guards earlier.”
“Understood. We will confirm it with the guard station later. How many did you manage to capture, by the way?”
“……Thirty-five, is it? It should have been quite hard on you all.”
“No, it wasn’t, actually. It was fortunate that we managed to meet up with the new members of the Clan who were coming over along the road. We managed to safely accomplish the request through their help.”
“Ah! The ones you told us were coming over to Gantz. That really was fortunate. So, I take it that you managed to meet all fifty-eight of them?”
“No. There were actually a lot more of them than we first expected. A hundred, to be exact.”
“……A hundred, is it. …Yes, it’s a lot more than what you told us.”
“It’s great that we managed to secure a Home with enough space to accommodate them all. Oh, right! We also managed to secure a lot of loot from the bandit lair. I was thinking of selling them off, so could you please introduce me to a reliable channel, Karina-san? Would that be possible?”
“If it’s alright with you, our Commerce Guild can purchase them ourselves. They would be bought at the market price though.”
“Oh, then please go ahead. The market price is fine as well.”
“Alright. I will bring an assessor over to sort them all out. Would it be fine if we come over at ten tomorrow morning?”
“Sure, go ahead. There is two carriages worth of loot by the way.”
“Understood. We’ll see you tomorrow then.”