Volume 4 Chapter 18
Once we were back on the surface, negotiations resumed.
The vice-commander, who had been waiting at the fort, was furious to learn of what had transpired in the dungeon. Initially, he looked like he had forgotten to breathe and was at any moment going to burst, and then he protested that there was no way that a preposterous agreement like that could be met. His mind was soon swayed when Char explained, 「This will mean that your country’s dishonor will be made known to all countries. I will also require the Kingdom to pay the damage reparations in lump sum as opposed to the agreed installments」.
The amount they were currently paying for the Lunette Empire reparations was a mere trifle. If they were made to cough it up in a single payment it would cripple their nation’s operating funds.
The vice-commander, no doubt will be placed with blame.
The knights from the dungeon had already been seized and escorted away.
「Co, compensation will be made as agreed……」
The vice-commander was completely out of options. There was nothing he could do; fighting was out of the question, seeing as I’m stronger than the Hero, Larx. Not to mention, Natalie is also present.
He did underestimate her at first, but when one of the knights confided in him Natalie’s true identity, his attitude instantly changed. If you pay attention to his legs, you could see that they were shaking.
Perhaps he has first-hand experience of Natalie’s power from previous wars.
In the end they agreed to pay the 500 million gils in full, not forgetting the reparations.
With this amount of money, they must want all this put to rest.
It is an increase of 300 million over the original deal.
Of course, they did not have this large amount of money on hand. It was to be brought later on, by an envoy.
Three contracts were to be drawn up and split between the Lunette Empire, Generate Kingdom, and the Commerce Guild in the Ciffancy Empire.
The Ciffancy Empire is largely responsible for handling agreements like this one between nations. It is where the Commerce Guild headquarters is located.
If one of the parties breaks the contract, the Commerce Guild headquarters has the power to step in as the mediator.
The Ciffancy Empire is mainly controlled by the Commerce Guild and the Mercenaries Guild, with the Commerce Guild having branches in various countries which act as intermediaries where contracts are involved. Every arrangement made at the Commerce Guild branch will be forwarded to the headquarters in the Ciffancy Empire.
Although there is a reasonable fee to be charged for its services, the compensation to be received is more than enough to cover it and then some.
The contracts were signed in the Generate Kingdom tent, with me, Char and Liese signing on behalf of the Lunette Empire, and the vice-commander and Larx on behalf of the Generate Kingdom.
This was a firm request from us. Even though they are not the country’s nobles and did not need to sign their names, the fact that Larx is the Hero made it an exception.
If the Generate Kingdom decides to back-pedal on the deal, the name of the Hero will be invoked.
His name is a precautionary measure.
They had tried to refuse, but when the condition of holding Larx in custody until payment was completed was put on the table, they obliged.
After all, the Generate Kingdom would be helpless if the Hero, their most powerful piece, is locked away. Furthermore, Larx’s indoctrination of the “evil” Lunette Empire might be dispelled when he gets to witness life in the said country. Worst of all, he might even defect to the Lunette Empire.
The vice-commander looked defeated as he watched Larx sign his name.
After receiving the two copies of the contract we left the tent.
「Finally, it’s over…….」
Those with me smiled and nodded, sharing my sentiment.
「—– I never got to take a break in the end」
I whispered to myself.
The prime reason for visiting this place was so I could have a vacation, but instead I had to conquer and even fight the Hero. Including the negotiations…… I feel like I have done more work than if I didn’t come here.
However, if I hadn’t come, the damage caused by the dungeon flooding might have been much worse. I had been greeted by injured adventurers when I arrived.
So many lives would have been lost if I hadn’t come.
Guess the trip wasn’t entirely pointless.
「Shall we go back now and take a bath? 」
「Good idea. And get some rest」
「But I must have something sweet first! 」
Natalie, as usual, is the one with the sweet-tooth.
「Yes, yes, got it. I’ll give you a special treat, just for today 」
「That’s not fair! I want some too! 」
By the time we arrived at our camp I had promised all of them confections. Sweets might be an allure for all women, I think.
I knew the ladies missed their baths. So we stayed in the guild house for a day after returning from the dungeon.
「At last I feel refreshed」
The girls emerged in the living room, while wiping their hair.
I immediately looked away as I caught the sight of them.
「Why are you dressed like that!? 」
They had taken a bath together and came out wearing only oversized shirts.
「We were too lazy to put on clothes after the refreshing bath. It’s all right since it’s only Touya-sama here 」
No, even if I’m the only one here……
「To be honest, I’m a little embarrassed looking like this……. 」
Liese was the only one bashful, apparently. Char probably suggested she put it on. I let out a sigh.
「Look, don’t dress like that, hurry up and change. I’m preparing food 」
「Nooo! Why can’t we tease Touya-sama a little? 」
Char was puffing her cheeks and sulking. But this is neither the time nor place to be dressed like that.
They did go back to their rooms and changed while I continued cooking.
After the meal was prepared and laid out on the table, the five of them returned once they were decent.
I took a bottle of wine from Dimensional Storage when we were all gathered around the table.
「Thank you all for you hard work. We managed to obtain the Dungeon Core, so the dungeon matter should be settled 」
The dungeon will take a month or so to spawn a new Dungeon Core.
For a while, the monsters will be inactive and pose no threat. In addition, no new monsters will be spawned.
There used to be cases where adventurers hunted monsters in the dungeon at the time like this because they believed it would be a breeze. However, when new monsters are spawned, they are more vicious, and now the Adventurers Guild has prohibited anyone from entering dungeons during the time when the Dungeon Core is re-spawning.
This is a strict regulation by every Adventurers Guild branch in cooperation with the respective countries. The reason for this tight control is simple:
There is a written history of a country that once was decimated by monsters because of monster hunting in the dormant dungeon. It was flooded by newly spawned vicious monsters.
The joint effort between Adventurers’ Guild and the neighboring country’s military, exterminated the monsters, re-conquered the dungeon, and calmed the situation down.
Since then the Adventurers’ Guild and the countries have reached an understanding and settled on the regulation as it stands now.
「It certainly has. Now Arland is safe 」
「I hope so, but now we just have to see how…… Generate Kingdom responds……… 」
When Al mentioned “Generate Kingdom”, the room went silent for a moment.
「……. So that was the Hero we’ve heard so much about…… 」
The Lunette Empire has suffered a massive loss just because of him, Larx, the Hero. Al’s father, the Kingsguard commander, was put to death, with Char and Al only being saved because they escaped to Salandir Kingdom. Liese also had fled from the city and her parents were executed. Bringing up Generate Kingdom opened wounds that have yet to heal.
「Thankfully now the Lunette Empire has Touya-sama, who exceeds the power of the Hero. There will no more attacks from the Generate Kingdom 」
「That’s for sure. The Lunette Empire can’t be underestimated with Touya around 」
…….. Both Char and Liese are mistaken. I’m not going to be part of any war. I can lend a hand wherever I can, but I have no intention of being used as a soldier or anything like that.
The rescuing of the Imperial family and the recapturing of the Imperial Capital, was only done as a request……. As an adventurer.
I am only a noble, a Marquis just to avoid being controlled by other nobles as suggested by Al’s grandfather, Gaulus. But if I take a minute to think about it, that means I also have obligations as a noble.
His Majesty, the Emperor, told me that I don’t have to perform any routine duties. Although, I don’t think I can overlook a war when it is in front of me, can I?
The matter of fact is that the Generate Kingdom can’t afford to go into another war. They still have a huge debt of the reparations hanging over their heads for the next 10 years. I would like to think that they won’t do anything stupid.
「I really hope there is no war. ….. 」
My mind drifted off to Saya and the children at the orphanage, who I met when I was in Salandir Kingdom.
Those children were sent to that place because their parents had perished as adventurers or soldiers.
I had secretly left some money for their immediate needs, and made a request to Alice to provide for them. I would like them to live without any problems. But that place is a slum.
Saya is still far too young, it would be careless to wait until something happened to her. I have asked that Lumina look out for her, but I can’t sit on my hands, I think I will take a visit there one of these days. It would be soothing to see the faces of the beaming children.
「………… Touya-sama, are you listening? 」
I was brought back to the present by a voice calling my name. I had zoned out and reminisced about my time in Salandir.
「I’m sorry. My mind was somewhere else 」
Even though I apologized, Char slightly puffed her cheeks out, and reiterated.
「Tomorrow, we will return to Arland to hold a meeting about future plans. I have sent word to my father that we will return to Imperial Capital as soon as the matter in the city is settled. We will report to him about the compensation to be paid by Generate Kingdom then 」
I still had to go back to the Imperial Capital at some point, didn’t I? I rather deal with monsters than the balck-hearted nobles………
「Touya if it is fine with you, you can stay in Arland for as long as you want 」
Liese spoke with a slight blush on her cheeks. Myra put her hand over her mouth as she held back her laughter.
………. Am I missing something?
I hear Liese’s suggestion, but my fiancée, Char, will not allow it. Since I played a role against the Hero, I am obligated to report to His Majesty.
「Yes, I had planned to, but I have to go to the capital and explain everything to His Majesty…….. 」
My vacation…….. never happened.
After the meal, everyone was putting their feet up in the living room.
「Tomorrow after breakfast we leave. Everyone rest up in your rooms 」
We all disbanded after Char ordered. I went to my room, called out Ferris, had her lock the door, and crawled into bed.
Sleep soon came.