Editor: Thor’s Stone
(Oi, oi, is it really okay to choose that person to cooperate with? Or are you saying that was merely a rumor and the truth of the matter is otherwise?)
『No, it’s probably true. Actually, he seems to advocate a rather high-handed approach when it comes to collecting donations from some believers and practically extorts considerable sums from them.』
(Un, I see. So he’s a guy who moves for money huh. But still……)
『Even so, he seems to be rather respected by those close to him and treated as a virtuous clergyman.』
(And why’s that?)
『He spends most of the church’s earnings as well as his own personal wealth to support orphans. He is the actual owner of all the orphanages scattered around the royal capital and the neighboring cities.』
(Hou, so that’s how it is huh.)
The money was mostly earned through unsavory means, but if most of that money was used to support orphans, then that painted a different picture. For people like me who weren’t so into religion, he might certainly appear to be more virtuous compared to your typical clergyman.
Hmm. But if he really was a devout believer of the church, then how could he bear to make use of it for his own personal ends, even if the goal does seem to be noble?
There’s a possibility that he really wasn’t such a devout believer after all and was just conveniently taking advantage of the church’s established system.
I guess he thinks the end justifies the means.
(I understand. I’ll try to get in contact with this person then.)
It’s decided. My plan for tomorrow is to walk around the royal capital.
*Baron Volker’s POV
I went to the castle at exactly 10 in the morning, and I was allowed to enter inside as soon as I told the castle guards that I was summoned by Marquis Burke. It looks like they were already informed of my visit. The chamberlain met up with me as soon as I stepped inside and led me to the marquis’ office.
It seems that the marquis was in the middle of a meeting with two men who were unfamiliar to me. The moment I was shown inside, the two men immediately excused themselves and left the room.
I knelt in front of the marquis and bowed my head down.
“Volker huh. You seem to have returned last night.”
“Yes. I was safely escorted back to the royal capital by Alan-dono and his Clan, Shining Star.”
“That seems to be the case. So how was it? Did you succeed?”
“Unfortunately, the negotiations regarding the dragon’s magic stone fell through. I am truly sorry for my failure.”
“Hmph. He seems to be acting rather high and mighty for a mere adventurer. So, which territory did he choose in the end?”
“Alan-dono seemed to be rather interested in the Great Demon Forest, so I tried to recommend granting it as his territory.
When I did so, he seemed to be really taken with the idea, so we reached a deal with the condition that he will be able to expand his lands without limit as long as he is able to lay claim to the land through his own strength.
In exchange for allowing him to expand technically without limit, he agreed to give us both dragon fangs in return.”
“………The Great Demon Forest, you say!? Well now! This certainly is a masterpiece! To think he’d actually choose that damned forest! As I thought, uneducated commoners really just amount to this much. Pah. A forest! And that forest to boot! Fuhahahaha!”
Hmph. If you really underestimate Alan-dono as someone uneducated and without sense, he will probably pull the rug from under you when you least expect it.
A leader who managed to assemble such a formidable force under him cannot be a mere lucky fool.
The trust and loyalty of his men toward Alan-dono were quite considerable. But if the rumors about Alan-dono were all true, then that really wasn’t so surprising.
The story I related to the marquis earlier was something Alan-dono came up with. He strongly insisted that I give my report in this manner.
To be honest, I have no idea about what Alan-dono is actually thinking. Why go through all this trouble to lower his worth in the eyes of others……?
It’s possible that he may just be doing this as a favor to me, but I do not think he is a man who would purposefully lower his standing just to sell a favor.
I could not fathom his intentions no matter how I thought about it, but I will gladly follow his instructions for Rina’s sake.
“However, Volker, I did not think you would be such a capable man. It seems I have misunderstood you. Well done.”
“I thank you for your praise, My Lord.”
“As promised, I shall let the matter regarding Rina slide. However, do not think for one moment that you are now considered a part of our clan with this. I merely acknowledge you as Rina’s partner and nothing more. Understood?”
“Yes. I understand.”
“Very well. I now feel like meeting that man called Alan myself. Have him come see me tomorrow morning. I shall prepare the contract with the conditions you agreed upon, so have him bring the dragon fangs with him as well.”
“Certainly, My Lord. ……Um, what about the matter of Alan-dono taming a dragon?”
“Ah, yes, I have heard of it. However, I have only heard of such a story through unreliable rumors.”
“When I conducted an investigation in Gantz, I was able to find many witnesses who claimed that they personally witnessed a dragon carrying another dragon and dropping it near the city.”
“That seems to be the case. But the words of mere commoners are simply too unreliable. I have already sent my men to gather intelligence, and they will be returning soon. Do you have anything else to report?”
“No more, My Lord.”
“Then you may go. Ah, and take this with you.”
The marquis took a leather bag from the drawer and threw it to me. Judging from its weight, it seems to contain quite a number of gold coins. It was rather surprising for me to receive this much as a reward for my services, especially coming from the marquis.
“I truly thank you for your kindness, My Lord! I shall be excusing myself.”
I left the office immediately in order to avoid offending the marquis.
Haah. It’s finally over. I’m sure Rina will be quite happy. Oh, right. I’ll buy Rina a bunch of her favorite lily flowers before going home.
Just as I decided last night, I will proceed with walking around the royal capital today. We’ll be staying here for quite a while, so it would be better to get an adequate grasp of the lay of the land before anything else.
Cleria and the others said they would be shopping today, so we decided to split up. First, I need to pay a visit to Katolle’s uncle together with him and his merchant team.
Katolle seems to have visited the royal capital three times in the past already, and he seems to have a good handle on the place. Katolle’s uncle who was living here was actually Tarus-san’s younger brother. He was apparently five years younger than Tarus-san.
“This is my uncle’s shop.”
“Hou, he has quite the big establishment. I already anticipated it wouldn’t be a small shop, but this is more than I expected.”
“It’s a specialty store that mainly handles grains. If it’s limited to trading grains, my uncle’s store would be able to compete for the number one or two spot in the royal capital.”
“Hou, that sounds pretty amazing.”
We promptly entered the building, and Katolle announced the purpose of our visit. We were then guided to what seemed to be a consultation room. It looks like the employees were rather familiar with Katolle and treated him appropriately as their boss’s relative.
Before long, a man in his forties who looked a lot like Tarus-san entered the room.
“What’s going on, Katolle? ……And, pardon me for asking, but who is this person?”
“This person is Shining Star’s Clan leader, Alan-sama.”
“Ooh, so this is him! My name is Turner, Katolle’s uncle. I’m very pleased to meet you.”
“I’m Alan. I’m glad to meet you as well. We’ve really been in your care yesterday. Thank you.”
“It wasn’t much. Please do not hesitate to consult me about anything at any time. You are looking after Katolle as well after all. And if it’s for you, the vaunted Bandit Hunter, Alan-sama, I would be willing to go the extra mile no matter the request.”
We were served some tea and started to chat. He seems to be really interested in the rumors surrounding Shining Star that were circulating in the royal capital.
It looks like we’ve really become the talk of the town. However, it seems that rather than Shining Star’s accomplishments, what they were particularly interested in more was our earnings.
Well, the merchants who participated in the auction should all have a rough idea about how much money we managed to earn for ourselves.
If you go to a bar in the capital, it seems that this topic was the most popular one.
After chatting with Turner-san for an hour or so, we decided to leave so as not to disturb his business further.
When I told him I would be visiting the church, Katolle displayed a complicated expression and said he would be collecting information about the royal capital in his uncle’s store instead, together with the rest of the merchant team. It looks like Katolle and the others weren’t exactly devout believers huh.