Chapter 0271 Delegation to the Western Countries
The next day, Ryo visited the Adventurers’ Guild in the royal capital.
Reason being that he wanted to know more about Zeke, the capable priest, after what he learned about him yesterday.
As a golden rule, the guild doesn’t give out personal information, so he thought he’d ask Etho from ‘Room 10’, who seems to be acquainted with Zeke…but he didn’t even know where Etho lives….
Needless to say, he had no clue about Niels’ and Amon’s address either.
So he dropped by the guild to see if he could meet someone who does….
“Hey, you, what the hell are you doing?”
He probably noticed Ryo sneaking around.
As someone who had never been seen at the Adventurers’ Guild in the royal capital… he looked extremely suspicious.
And then being called out by some random belligerent adventurer was probably inevitable.
Since by all appearances, Ryo doesn’t exactly look strong …
Only one person was delighted by such a turn of events.
It was Ryo himself, obviously.
Yeah, finally! At long last!
The classic development in isekai reincarnation stories, a clash at the guild… he might get to experience it.
At long last, it’s finally here! Oh yeah, finally!
It’s been a long time coming!
No one could fault Ryo for breaking into a smile.
And if this suspicious character that was singled out were to have such a condescending look on his face, the belligerent adventurer would naturally lose it.
“You little shit, what’s so amusing!”
He said, raising his fist in the air….
“Hey, what are you doing!”
A sharp, intimidating voice echoed around the vicinity.
The voice belonged to Hugh McGrath.
The adventurer, who raised his fist, broke out in a cold sweat while sloppily making excuses.
“T-This guy was acting suspicious and making me look like a fool…”
His statement was lacking in any manner of sense, but it couldn’t be helped…the pressure from Hugh was that tremendous.
Hugh then shifted his gaze from the asshole adventurer to Ryo beside him.
And somehow got a read on the situation.
By observing how chagrined Ryo felt by how close he was.
“Ryo…could you please stop teasing him…”
Ryo and the adventurer spoke out in unison.
Both of them meant ‘how’…but their connotations seemed to be very different.
“Listen up, that guy is Ryo, a C-rank adventurer from Rune. And while he’s a C-ranker, the rank is just a sham.
Ryo was absolutely mortified. The grandmaster himself had called him out as a scam.
“Don’t mess with that guy. You’ve at least heard of Rune’s water-attribute magician, right? This guild will collapse. And not metaphorically, but physically. Now, if you like the idea of staying alive, you’d better steer clear of him.”
The grandmaster was never one to shy away from saying such things.
The surrounding stares were making Ryo uncomfortable….
“No, I wouldn’t go that far…”
“More importantly, why are you here? I mean, you’ve never been here before, have you?”
Hugh said, and walked into the back with Ryo.
Then the rest of the adventurers began chattering.
“I’ve heard of him, Rune’s water-attribute magician Ryo…”
“You’re talking about that rumor from a long time ago, right…where he froze a couple of A-rank adventurers back in the day…”
“That was just a rumor, wasn’t it?”
“It’s got to be true, right? For the grandmaster himself to have mentioned it?”
“His nickname, I believe, is Silver Duke…?”
“Or, Ice Fall…”
When Ryo got to the Grand Master’s office, he found that there were prior guests there.
They were the dandy B-rank adventurers, Niels, Amon and…
“Etho! Actually, I need to ask you something…”
Ryo found Priest Etho and immediately began asking him questions.
“It’s about Zeke, the priest from the Empire.”
“Zeke? How do you know him, Ryo?”
In response to Etho’s question, Ryo told him about what had happened at the ‘Cafe de Chocolat’ and in the audience chamber.
In a nutshell.
Conveniently omitting the duel part…in the audience chamber.
Niels, Amon, and even Etho were taken aback…but at the end, Ryo was slightly dissatisfied with the fact that they seemed to be convinced by the one statement, “That’s so typical of Ryo”, but…decided to let it go.
Ryo is someone who can take a hint!
But gathering information was the priority.
“Zeke is the same age as me, twenty-one this year. I’m about six months older than him. And as you know Ryo, he hails from the Empire, but what’s even more unusual is, he’s from the Imperial Temple of the Empire.”
“Is that unusual?”
“Yeah, very much so. The Empire has a national training institution for healers. There, you can learn healing magic such as heal and cure, so very few people enter the temple. Originally, the number of people who can use healing magic, in other words, light-attribute magic, itself is small compared to that of wind, fire, earth, and water, but since they are admitted to the training institution, the number of people who enter the Imperial Temple is even smaller.”
This was the first time Ryo would learn about the situation of priests in the Empire.
“When I left the Central Temple after becoming an adventurer, we were only together for about six months, I guess? Zeke is of course a highly capable priest, but he also seemed to know martial arts and was trained in staff techniques alongside the monks.”
Monks are the armed monks of the Central Temple.
They dedicate themselves to the Goddess of Light and are capable of fighting endlessly.
They are the vanguard who fight with their holy blessed staffs, exposing themselves to the front line of battle.
Ryo also remembered fighting alongside them in defending the underground tombs during the royal capital disturbance.
Ryo nodded several times as he said this and reconciled it with some of his memories.
That’s when it happened.
A commotion erupted at the guild entrance.
“What now? Has another Ryo walked in or what?”
Hugh peeked toward the guild entrance with a skeptical look.
Ryo, who had suffered damage to his reputation, hung his head down… looking back on the failure of his classic development which was so close to realization.
“Goddamn it, I was so close!”, he said.
But the ruckus at the entrance seemed different this time.
It quieted down immediately.
Then, the receptionist brought in the visitor.
“Grand Master, His Majesty the King is here to see you.”
“His Majesty? Oh, His Majesty the King. King… Abel.”
The receptionist announced the visitor, and Hugh identified him.
Then Abel I, former A-rank adventurer and current king of the Kingdom of Knightley, appeared.
“Grandmaster, sorry for the sudden…hmm? Niels, Etho, and Amon? Been quite a while, guys.”
Niels exclaimed, and the three of them got down on one knee and bowed.
“How rare…it’s quite unusual seeing Your Majesty come to the guild.”
Hugh said, and took a bow on one knee, albeit a little lackadaisical.
“You’re skipping work again, Abel…”
Ryo said, shaking his head repeatedly in the same position, shrugging his shoulders with an expression that seemed to be saying, good grief.
Of course, he didn’t take a bow….
“What are you doing here, Ryo?”
Abel asked Ryo.
It’s very unusual for Abel to visit the guild, but it’s also unusual for Ryo to be in the royal capital Adventurers’ Guild.
For the most part, he is either lounging on the sofa in Abel’s room or eating cakes at the Cafe de Chocolat…since that’s the impression he portrays….
“Well, I’ll have you know that I’m an active C-rank adventurer. It’s only natural to find me in the guild.”
“…I’m speechless at how you’re able to say something that no one is likely to believe, so brazenly.”
Abel said, shaking his head slightly.
“How is that hard to believe…?”
“Well, probably because of your daily routine…”
Ryo’s despairing muttering was overshadowed by Niels’ confident muttering.
“Grandmaster, although this is still yet to be decided…”
Abel cut to the chase as soon as his coffee arrived.
With Ryo and the three from ‘Room 10’ still in the room, listening to Abel.
On the condition to keep their mouths shut and not leak any information out of this room, of course.
“I would like Grandmaster to head the delegation from our kingdom.”
Abel said, and Hugh muttered softly.
After thinking for a while, Hugh glanced at Ryo and then opened his mouth.
“Wouldn’t it be better to have the Premier Duke there as the head rather than me? I believe it will also boost his reputation.”
“Unfortunately, Ryo doesn’t have much experience negotiating with royalty or high-ranking nobles…”
Ryo nodded his head repeatedly as Abel explained this to him.
He’s aware of his lack of experience on the subject, as well as his distaste for it.
“I don’t like it either…”
“But you’re a better choice.”
“Yeah, Mr. Hugh will do fine.”
To Hugh’s lament, Abel irresponsibly assured him, likewise Ryo.
“Uh, I’m having a baby and…”
“Lady Frederica, right? Don’t worry, the royal family will be responsible for taking good care of your wife.”
“If the grandmaster were to be absent from the guild for an extended period of time…”
“We have thought of that as well. Don’t worry, I will arrange for a perfect substitute for the interim.”
Abel debunked Hugh’s complaints one by one.
After repeating the same dance a couple of times…Hugh finally gave up.
“Fine…. I’ll take up the role.”
“I see! I knew I could count on you, grandmaster. With this, we won’t have to worry about whoever is representing both the Empire and the Union!”
Abel said in high spirits.
Ryo, who was listening next to him, was also pleased.
The three from Room 10 didn’t exactly know what was going on, they just sat there drinking their coffee.
But whether or not they thought they would soon be looped in….
“So, listen Niels, you guys were asked to stay behind because you’ll probably be coming along.”
“Us? Yeah absolutely, if Mr. Abel, I mean, His Majesty wills it, we’ll even go to the end of the world!”
Niels answered enthusiastically.
Both Etho and Amon chuckled, but basically they were unlikely to turn it down.
“I see! I’m so relieved to hear you say that! Because you’ll be taking a trip to the Western Countries.”
Abel’s words made the three of them exclaim.
Although they had said, “Even to the ends of the world”, they had no idea that they would really be going to the far West….
Later, after getting briefed about the delegation, its scale, and the explanation that the Kingdom would not be the only one participating and that many adventurers and knights would join in, the three from Room 10 were able to calm down.
As one would expect, there is a difference in the sense of security between a couple of kids going to the Western Countries on their lonesome, and going with several hundred people.
“By the way, Your Majesty…”
Hugh cut in when the conversation seemed to be almost over.
“What about the Premier Duke and C-rank adventurer over here?”
Hugh’s gaze turned to Ryo, who was drinking his second cup of coffee and already wondering in his mind what the golem of the west would be like.
It was only with these words and his gaze that Ryo realized for the first time.
His part had not yet been officially decided.
“Eh…well, I’m going too, obviously? I am going, right? I mean he just said something about it boosting my reputation or whatnot, right? Well, I’m going just so you know!”
“Uh~, Ryo is a valuable asset to the country, and it’ll be a little inconvenient if that asset were to leave the country…”
“I’m definitely going! I don’t care what you say, Abel, I’m going!”
Ryo stood up and shouted with half-teary eyes at Abel’s words.
“But you know…”
“Fine. Today, as of this moment, the Rondo Dukedom, will secede from the Kingdom of Knightley, and I will head to the western countries! If the Kingdom tries to stop me by force, I will muster the full strength of the dukedom against her!”
“Hey, knock it off, you blockhead.”
Abel said somewhat impatiently to Ryo, who wiped away his tears and tried to declare his independence.
He knew it was impossible to stop Ryo from going anyway.
He was just being a little mean.
That would have been something if Ryo became independent because of that.
“Fine, I’ll include you in the delegation too. You’ll be going as a C-rank adventurer and escort personnel, and not the Premier Duke.”
“Wow, I knew I could trust your judgment, Abel! Now, the monsters of the Rondo Forest won’t need to attack the Kingdom anymore.”
“Yes, and you’re going to keep it that way.”
Abel shook his head slightly, imagining a distressing scene of griffons, wyverns, or behemoths attacking the Kingdom.
Although he didn’t think that Ryo could order those monsters at will… he had a feeling that Ryo could be inclined to strike up a bargain with them using meat, for instance… which as a matter of fact, was something he was already doing….