Translator: Kell | Editor: Weasalopes
A Blue Reunion…?
In the reception room of Ponsonia’s Adventurers Guild, the submaster was at wits’ end.
「Sir, I’ve called for the Four Stars of the East.」Aurora said.
The submaster took out a pill from his pocket and tossed it into his mouth. He then picked up a glass of water to wash it down. The Four Stars’ leader, Selyse, entered first, regarding the submaster.
「What’s wrong, Sir? You look worn out.」
「Only superhumans can keep their calm at a time like this.」The submaster gestured them to sit.
「Sophie, can you please heal the submaster?」Selyse asked.
「Uh, y-you don’t have—」
「This service is free. We won’t ask for payment, so you can relax.」
The submaster, who was about to get up, returned to his seat. Sophie went behind him, placed her hand on his shoulders, and started chanting.
「W-Wow… What incredible skill. My stomachache’s gone.」
「I can’t restore fatigue, so make sure you get plenty of sleep.」
Sophie smiled before returning to Selyse’s side. The submaster now understood why she was called a Saint.
He once stole a job from them, the one that involved escorting Count Morgstad’s daughter to the capital. The Four Stars had not forgotten about that, but they’d gotten along better now. Most of it was because of the ongoing civil war, which also caused the submaster’s incessant stomachache.
「So what did you want from us?」
「Did Hikaru fail the quest?!」Selica blurted out.
Nine days had past since Hikaru left Pond. There was only one day left until the deadline.
「No, that’s not it. Actually, Hikaru’s already in Agiapole. The Adventurers Guild over there contacted me.」
「I knew he could do it!」
Selica was not surprised at all. Her three friends, however, were astonished. The submaster didn’t tell them that Hikaru arrived two days ago, though.
Aurora poured them tea. Selyse waited for her to finish before speaking again.
「If this is not about Hikaru, then is it about protecting Pond?」
「That’s not it either. This concerns you ladies.」
The submaster nodded, taking a sip to moisten his lips.「Einbeast’s king, Gerhardt Vatex Anchor, has sent a message through the guild, inviting you to the royal palace.」
The Four Stars of the East borrowed a private room in a restaurant to discuss whether or not to accept King Gerhardt’s invitation.
「First, let’s sort out the details.」Selyse began.
· The Adventurers Guild received a message from King Gerhardt who invited the Four Stars of the East to his palace as visitors.
· Visitors were three levels lower than a state guest, although it’s usually how nobles from foreign countries are designated. This guarantees the Four Stars’ safety.
· The purpose of the invitation is to “gain knowledge from exceptional adventurers”. The Adventurers Guild suspected this might have something to do with the civil war, since Einbeast itself is involved in it. However, the king promised that while the Four Stars were in Hopestadt, his troops would be on standby.
· There’s no reward for the invitation. This is to show that no one was bought, or no one bought anyone, for that matter.
「The question is why does the king want us in his palace.」Sarah said as she tossed candies into her mouth.
「I want to hear your unbiased opinions on this. Sophie?」
「I heard the Beastman King extremely despises underhanded tricks. So I don’t think this summons have anything to do with the civil war. Perhaps he knows that we’re leaving Ponsonia and wants us to work in Einbeast.」
「I see. What about you, Sarah?」
「Let’s see… He wants more wives?」
「The king has more than a dozen wives already, but that’s still not enough. Maybe he’s looking for beautiful women who can fight, like us?」
「…Hmm, yes. Selica, any thoughts?」
Selica had her arms crossed and eyes closed.
「I don’t know why he wants us there, but I think we should go anyway!」
「You just jumped straight to the conclusion, huh? But why do you say that?」
「There will be ceasefire if we go! As long as there’s no progress, the prince’s side will have a harder time maintaining its forces. The only place under their control is Leather Elka.」
「Yes. They shouldn’t have a lot of supplies left. It only became a trade point because of commerce between Ponsonia and Einbeast.」
If Ponsonia stopped trade, the prince would have to procure supplies from Einbeast. It was unknown how far Einbeast would help Austrin, but his request for an arbitration meant he was low on funds and resources.
「If a talk is needed to end the war, then that would be best!」
「What is it?!」
「I just didn’t expect you to actually give a sound opinion.」
「I can do it if I try!」Selica puffed proudly.
「Great job.」Sarah said as she patted Selica’s head.
「Einbeast’s Adventurers Guild is the biggest in the whole continent. I’m sure the king will pay the proper respect to us. Selica’s right. I think we should go. Sophie? Sarah?」
「I don’t mind.」Sophie said.
「Then off we go. To Hopestadt.」
The submaster was surprised to learn that the Four Stars accepted the invitation. Ponsonians must be wondering why they were to such a dangerous country filled witch demi-humans. But the temporary ceasefire gave the submaster a huge relief.
The ladies didn’t feel worried at all about going to Einbeast. Adventurers like them crossed national borders a lot, and an invitation from a king was a great honor.
Selica, however, had a lot on her mind.
It feels strange.
Selica didn’t have a point on Instinct. But the moment she got transported in this world, she went through a lot trying to survive. In the midst of it all, she learned Spirits’ Affection. Sometimes, Selica—who was loved by the invisible beings known as Spirits—had these types of hunches.
But I don’t think the king will give up if we rejected the invitation. In that case, we’ll take the initiative, Selica thought as she listened to the silent spirits. I’m sure Hikaru would do the same. Even her.
The images of her brethren who was in the same situation as her, and her best friend flashed in her mind.
The Adventurers Guild in Agiapole had a training ground. Unlike a small town like Pond where there was plenty of ground outside, going out of a huge city like Agiapole would be too much effort. As such, a training ground—although small—was built next to the guild.
Hikaru was loosing up his muscles there. With no other adventurers around, he had the place all to himself. He was reviewing the lessons about footwork that Professor Mille taught him.
When Lavia was kidnapped during the Un el Portan crisis, Hikaru increased his Power Burst to five points. With only a point on Strength, the balance was awful, so he’d been training every day, figuring out how to use his Power Burst without putting much stress on his muscles.
「I think I’m getting better at this.」
Hikaru’s foot bored into the ground, dirt flying behind him with each step. Such traces were all over the training ground. His technique of drawing near a target with Stealth on had improved a lot. Wiping his sweat, Hikaru sat on the bench to rest.
「The Adventurers Guild doesn’t even know how to maintain their facilities?」
Voices came from the entrance to the training ground. Uninvited guests, Hikaru thought. He knew that just because he sent Gelop back didn’t mean the Church would just give up. He was always sure, like a hunch, that fighters would come next.
As expected, temple knights armed to the teeth entered the training ground.
I’m glad I didn’t bring Lavia and Paula with me.
Hikaru told the hotel he was headed to the Adventurers Guild, so it shouldn’t be too hard to find him.
Depending on the how the discussion went, there could be more trouble. Lavia would be fine, but Paula looked like she belonged to the Gray Deacons. In order to not make things more complicated, Hikaru told the girls to take a stroll in the city. He also asked them to find the library. Information, after all, was the lifeline of adventurers.
「Lady Conia, over there!」
Conia? Hikaru wondered. Then a woman appeared from among the temple knights. She left her purple hair untied today, letting it hang over her blue breastplate. Her calm demeanor made her seem like a grown-up, but open closer look, she didn’t seem to be that much older from Hikaru.
Blue cloak fluttering in the wind, she made her way towards Hikaru.
For a moment, Hikaru couldn’t say a word. The Blue Knight looked just like someone he knew.
In an early afternoon, a girl stood there by the window with her back against the light, smiling, and said…
People say you’re arrogant, don’t they?
His feelings were too immature to be called love. But it still remained in his heart, like words that couldn’t be erased by any eraser.