Chapter 38 – Why You Were Born and What You Will Live For
“Yes, good morning.”
“Yeah, morning to you too, Ashley.”
Grace put on a smile after opening her eyes and looked at my face.
Maybe she woke up due to our voices. Ashley herself noticed the posture she had slept in, and then sat up straight, looking at me in surprise.
I smiled wryly at Ashley, whose shoulders were drawn in.
“It’s fine. Did you sleep well?”
Caduceus, who had been assigned to watch outside, returned.
Although the matters regarding the Cardiff House had been tidied up, there might have been some survivors. I intended to have Caduceus act as our night guard for a while.
“Caduceus’s matter will be entrusted to Theo. I’ll go make breakfast.”
“Grace-sama, allow me to help.”
Ashley followed Grace, and they hurried off to the kitchen.
I could hear their voices; they seemed to enjoy deciding on what they would make for breakfast today.
Grace too…I had come to notice that she had started to make a gentle expressions more often, compared to when we were at the Gartner residence.
Just as we approached the square near the Guild in a carriage, we met up with Sheila. Exchanging morning greetings, I headed off to the guild accompanied by four people. Perhaps I would be able to speak with Irmhild if her condition had improved. After we left the carriage at the stable and entered the Guild, I found Heather, who was arranging documents, at the counter like always.
Noticing me, we greeted each other, and she nodded slightly after I tried to ask about the issue regarding the Monsters.
“Understood. Please come this way. By the way, who is this?”
“Oh, I wonder what I should say. She’s currently being under consideration for becoming a party member.”
Well, whether she would be added as a party member or not, Sheila wouldn’t care about such a thing.
This wouldn’t be the last time we accompanied each other, so I decided to give a vague response that wouldn’t cause any issues, even if we were seen together in the future.
“I’m Sheila. It would be a pleasure to register as an Adventurer here.”
“Is that so? I’m called Heather. It will be a pleasure working with you, Sheila-san.”
Heather, who wasn’t really bothered by it, nodded and then guided us to a room within the Guild. According to her, this facility housed the injured.
If at all possible, I didn’t want to be too indebted.
After approaching the room, singing could be heard coming from inside.
…Mana was spreading with that song. Although this could easily become a Cursed Song, depending on the singer and their musical intervals…somehow this was similar to a popular children’s song. Mixing the voices of a Harpy and a Siren…was really impossible.
The singing stopped after I knocked on the door. The girls all looked at me after I entered. The three should be the ones over there? The female Monsters had been resting quietly on top of their beds. These were the people that Caduceus saw before.
All three of them seemed to have used a shape-shifting technique, and although they took on a form that was really close to human, the Harpy had feathers sticking out of her wings, and the Siren’s ears looked like the fins of a fish.
With that, perhaps the one that couldn’t be distinguished from a human at all was the Lamia, Irmhild.
“Umm, it’s nice to meet you, I guess. I’m Theodore Gartner.”
Surely, the ones who came were the girls that wanted to express their gratitude.
“Ooh, it’s a child. It’s a human child.”
“Is he the human who saved us?”
“Well, well, thanks for being polite. I’m Irmhild.”
After the Harpy and the Siren exchanged glances, they stared at me, and then Irmhild put on a smile and inclined her small head. Well…it was clear, judging from their reactions, that they had grown accustomed to human society.
From head to toe, Irmhild looked at me fondly, she had quite the gentle air around her. If I had to describe her, it was like she wasn’t a Monster, let alone a Lamia. The one who those two were teaching the children’s song to was probably Irmhild.
“Fufu, I’ll be the one to present our gratitude, Theodore-kun.”
“No, I just happened to be there after all. Umm, these two are Grace and Ashley.”
I introduced the two of them. It seemed the Harpy was called Dominique, and the Siren was called Eustia. The Harpy looked like a child with a freckled face, and the Siren was a beautiful woman with almond eyes and a mole beneath one eye.
…Sheila was a bit restless. It was like she was wandering without any particular location in mind.
“Wasn’t Heather-san still in the middle of work? We’re fine over here.”
“Is that so? Well, there’s no need to be rash since it’s Theodore-san, so I’ll leave this place to you.”
Heather inclined her small head after saying that, and left the room.
Unexpectedly, there seemed to be a lot of races that learned skills at the Thieves Guild and succeeded in life as Adventurers. Although I had a clear conscience, Sheila was self-conscious about it.
Vice-Guild Master Oswald knew that those who provided information regarding the kidnapping incident were connected to the people around me. These people seemed to be a bit familiar with the members of the Thieves Guild.
That was why it was probably better for Sheila to avoid being seen acting friendly with people involved in the kidnapping incident in front of Guild members. Even if the Adventurer’s Guild thought it over, the Thieves Guild might be strict, and maintaining face was necessary.
“Irmhild, are you fine?”
“Yeah, the Guild brought in rabbits and sent them to us. Sheila-chan came in directly today.”
“Theodore helped me.”
Sheila and Irmhild seemed to be happy about each other’s safety, so for now I would hold off on talking with them and try speaking with Dominique and Eustia instead.
“Where were the two of you before you came here?”
“Even if I told you where, and whether I was summoned or not, humans wouldn’t know the land where I was born, and without knowing why, I was dragged out of there with Magic and put inside a prison.”
“Me too. I was suddenly caught by a Demon, you know.”
“So you were suddenly brought inside Boundary City from the place you were at?”
…Was this the outcome of Demon Lynette’s research? Although it turned out to be a Forced Summon from outside the city, surely there were various restrictions on Summoning Magic within the city, since there were repercussions to it.
Generally, other than the summoning of Monsters who formed contracts with you, stray Monsters couldn’t enter the city, and it would be strange for a Demon, who could already speak in the first place, to be inside of the city.
The likely result was to first keep in mind the removal of the Demon, and then trapping them.
In other words, Lynette took advantage of the effect and entered. By now, whether it was the Shrine or the Palace, this was probably causing the higher ups to be at their wits’ end.
If that was the case, then these girls’ position might be unexpectedly safe. As for Sheila, this would probably be good news to her.
Although they were valuable witnesses that had interacted with the Demon, as long as the Monsters were friendly and cooperated with the Adventurer’s Guild, there was no reason to treat them badly, going as far as to make people lose their positive impression of the Adventurers assigned here.
Whether or not they distrusted the humans who were capable of catching them, it seemed that these girls were aware that they had been caught by a Demon.
“I’m a Monster born in the Labyrinth. I lived in Boundary City from the start.”
Well…this was just like what I heard from Sheila.
“Can I ask about the time you lived inside the Labyrinth?”
“Hmm, talking about that is fine, but do you have an interest in such a thing?”
Irmhild put a finger on her lips and inclined her head.
“Yeah, I’m curious about what’s similar and what’s different between normal Monsters and those from the Labyrinth.”
For example, the reason why I was here might be in Boundary City.
The Labyrinth was rumoured to be connected to the spirit world. If that was so, then it wouldn’t be strange for there to be a boundary between Earth and that spirit world.
I didn’t give a shit about knowing the secrets behind my birth or my backstory though.
As long as I was alive, I had to live on and think about what I would do until I died.
Knowing my backstory just wasn’t for guys like me; rather, how many humans truly understood theirs?
Although Kagehisa had created various backstories for Theodore…like Mom fighting Demons, such information hadn’t been established yet. My life belonged to me, and Mom’s life belonged to her.
“…I too want to know that.”
Irmhild wore a smile, but somehow she seemed troubled.
Didn’t she say that she couldn’t return to the Labyrinth, and that she had met with Snakebite, requesting them to produce a map?
Did she want to return to the place where she was born, or want to know why she was born?
“I vaguely remember that I was with everyone inside the Labyrinth. We created a place similar to a village inside the Labyrinth, and I lived there.”
“A village, huh?”
No matter how I thought about it…it was an unfamiliar area. Perhaps it was a gathering area for friendly Monsters?
“I wonder if it’s okay to say this. At that time, I saw a dream…all of us were sent into a passage and lived a life where we could make our own decisions.”
Sent into a passage where they could make their own decisions, huh?
I was under the impression that other hostile Monsters bore the roles of antagonist who eliminated foreigners that tried to invade the Labyrinth. I also felt like these girls’ Village was akin to an NPC village.
“I was always comfortable and didn’t feel hungry when I was in the Labyrinth. There wasn’t anything to be anxious about.”
“Then, why come outside?”
“I don’t really remember…my past. But I was already outside by the time I realized it.
At that moment, as if the world had changed colors, I noticed it for the first time. In exchange, I ended up being cast out from the Labyrinth.”
…Perhaps it could be viewed as the Labyrinth putting them to work and controlling them.
Irmhild, who gave such a monologue, didn’t seem to be faking it.