Chapter 30 – Warrior Luka and Old Man Wizard
Luka called me and led me behind the newly built storage shack.
Because it was newly built, it still had the fragrance of pine and cedar, freshly cut.
「Um, what words would you have with me, fair warrior lady?」
「Cut the goofy tone, Al.」
「What do you mean by Al? My name happens to be Rall, miss.」
「I don’t like being made a fool of, so just cut that shit out, okay?」
「Ah, okay. Sorry.」
Luka took a long sigh and stared at me.
「Luka, when did you notice?」
「When Cruz got ready to dispatch your little friend, your beard almost fell off. Then I knew it was you.」
「Whoa! I almost got away with it!」
It seems I had almost fooled her.
「What do you expect?! Your voice was different and you had a beard!」
「So…how is your knee holding up?」
「It’s pretty good actually. There’s a lot of hot springs here in Mulg Village. They’re healing me.」
「Well, I’m glad to hear that.」
「You were worried about me, huh? Thanks.」
「What?! Why would I worry about YOU?!」
Luka’s face was red. She tried to sound angry, but I knew she was relieved.
「I know I fled without saying anything…so how is the capital holding up?」
「Hey, buddy. Do you know how much TROUBLE you’ve caused me?!」
Luka really was pissed.
So I apologized.
Luka sighed a long sigh again.
Any time a party member messed up, she flipped her lid.
But if you apologized, she quickly accepted it.
Then, she would blab about this and that while she cleaned up the mess you made.
「I covered up the quest order for Mulg that you made at the guild.」
「Whoa, thank you!」
Even though I signed the order at the guild, no one had said anything since then.
Luka had followed up and made sure my tracks were covered.
「You really went out of your way.」
「Well, with you and that damn knee of yours, you’d only hinder a party, right?」
I don’t think that would be the case. I could fight as well as anyone.
However, it would be tough roughing it with a bunch of adventurers.
「I don’t think that’s the case, but thanks for your concern.」
「Well, since I became the guild manager of the capital district, I’ve had to make a lot of considerations.」
I was a bit taken aback.
The capital district guild manager was a position responsible to oversee the capital and about ten cities in the surrounding areas.
「You’ve really made it in the world!」
「Well, I AM an S rank adventurer. Of course, right?」
「Hey, the Guild Master came to me with a bunch of jobs nearby too.」
「In your case, he was paying for the experience and strategy, right? The capital guild manager is more of an honorary title, I guess.」
「Is that so?」
「Yeah, all the local guild masters do the work. That’s why I can skip off into the country like this.」
Luka was very strong and still young. Using her as office decoration with no ability to climb ranks was a waste of talent.
If they did, then they’d quickly have to put her in an important office that matched her ability.
Because of that, I understood the decision of the upper ranks of the guild in giving her an honorary title as guild manager.
「Even though it’s just an honorary title, I’m still very high up. It was easy for me to hide all information about where you ran off to.」
「Well, of course, Luka, you knew that I had come here, right?」
She still took a while to figure out it was me. I didn’t say anything about it though.
She had taken care of me. So considerate of her.
「I’ll say this though, I didn’t come to Mulg Village just to meet you, you know.」
「I know…the dragon, right?」
「Yeah. There’s no way I can let a zombified Great Dragon just run around the countryside.」
「I heard the Great Dragon was created by some necromancer left behind by the Demon Lord, right?」
「Yeah, who told you?」
Just like usual, Luka had a sharp tongue.
Cruz still didn’t know that I was Alfred. She thought that I was just another villager.
…who she talked about a zombie Great Dragon with
…and a necromancer of the Demon Lord.
…that was supposed to be secret information.
Either way, Cruz was exceptionally strong and a kind girl.
But when it came to keeping secrets she had no brains. Unsafe at any speed.
「I HAVE to give her a piece of my mind about that later.」
「Not too much, though, okay?」
「A dragon zombie…and a GREAT DRAGON. With a bunch of lessers too. What a nuisance. I’ll have to ask your help, Alfred.」
「Well, about those dragons…」
I showed Luka the inside of the storage shack. And all of the things the defeated dragons left behind.
「I already killed all of them.」
「Sorry…I know you came a long way.」
She looked over all the bones and fangs of the dragon zombies.
「There were about 20 lesser dragons or so?」
「You’ve got quite an eye.」
「Even with how strong you are, Alfred…it was a tough battle, right?」
「Nah, Vi-Vi and Femm…a magic wolf king helped me.」
「A sub boss of the Demon Lord doing clean up…」
She said, and then seemed to be thinking about something.
「Luka?! Where are you?」
Just then, Cruz peeked into the storage shack.
「Well, Cruz, it seems our work is done.」
As she said this, Luka showed Cruz the bones.
「Whoaaaa! Holy crap!」
Cruz’ mouth dropped in surprise.
Since Luka knew who I was, there was no reason to hide myself any longer.
「Cruz…it’s been a while.」
And saying that, I took off my beard.
「Wait, is that you Al?」
It seems that Cruz really didn’t know it was me. She was genuinely shocked.
It made you worry about how easily she was fooled. The world isn’t filled with good people.
「Sorry for hiding myself.」
「Don’t worry about it. But more important, why are you all the way out here? I thought you were fighting battles all over the country!」
Luka had to explain the situation.
And it seemed that Luka had to explain to Cruz all the lies she’d been telling her. Like that I was running around the country and fighting a bunch of battles.
「Luka, why did you lie to her?」
I asked, and Luka glared at me.
「If you knew that Alfred was in Mulg Village taking a break and recovering, then you’d come here to see him, right?」
「Of course! If Al’s there, then I’ll follow!」
Cruz agreed quickly with what Luka said.
Why would a hero like Cruz want to be around me all the time?
I wanted her to act a little more like a hero, on her own volition.
「Because there’d be a lot of people that would have problems if you’d abandon your work to come live in the country!」
「That’s not true…」
Luka shouted and Cruz refused happily.
I guess she just didn’t realize how important she is.
「Well, I have to heel this knee of mine…You don’t have to follow me Cruz. I really don’t have any big jobs to do, anyway.」
Cruz tilted her head in confusion, as she looked over the zombie dragon bones again.
「Um…well…I guess I had some big work lately…just not usually.」
「Is that so? Well, I’m pretty impressed that you took care of that dragon, though.」
Cruz thought it over, and,
「Maybe I can move to Mulg too?」
「What the hell?」
「I mean, I can get instruction from you and become even stronger.」
「I don’t think that’s a good idea.」
Luka suddenly chided Cruz.
「Stop all this! Cruz! You have work to be done!」
「Whaaaa? But I…」
It seemed that Cruz doesn’t want to give up moving to Mulg.
「With the hero away from the capital, everyone will go nuts! People will worry! You can come anytime you want and visit, okay?」
「…if Al asks me to, I will. I understand.」
It seems Cruz finally agreed.
「Well, Cruz and Luka, you can stay over tonight.」Millet said.
「Yeah, and tell me everything that’s going on in the capital too.」
As we talked, we walked to the gate, and,
「Ah! My flipping house was burned down!」
The charred, fallen remains of my house stood there before me.