「Ah, you……you’re safe.」
A voice called out to Elena and the others when they left the dungeon.
Looking at where the voice came from, it was the same guild staff member as when they had entered the dungeon.
However, seeing that the number of people in Elena’s party had decreased, he shook his head slightly with an apologetic look.
「I’m sorry that some of your party members have died. ……Do you mind if I contact the guild to tell them you’ve come out?」
「Ah. I don’t mind. However, we have something we have to do as soon as possible. Please tell them that we don’t have enough time to go to the guild.」
「I understand. That is……what to say. Don’t be too discouraged. You entered the dungeon and stayed there overnight. You should think that you were lucky for not getting wiped out.」
「Thank you for your concern. If anything comes up urgently, you can come to our inn, I will handle it.」
Informing the guild staff member, Elena and the others left the place.
Originally, they had wanted to get to the inn as fast as they could. However, with Elena’s looks and Set, a Griffon, an A rank monster, they couldn’t stop attracting attention. But as there was only one such person and animal known around the area, although they gathered attention, panic did not spread into the surroundings.
If Rei had held his Death Scythe in his hands, they would have been even more conspicuous.
They walked quickly down the road for about 15 minutes and eventually arrived at the inn Elena had booked previously.
「Ah, everyone! You’re safe……no, that is.」
Linde, who had been employed by the inn for chores called out with a bright face when he saw Rei and Set. However, he immediately noticed that the number of people had decreased and began to talk vaguely.
Elena smiled at Linde and spoke to him while stroking his head.
「What, you don’t have to worry about it so much. Tell the innkeeper to get ready to send a letter off as soon as possible.」
When Elena, the most beautiful woman he had ever met in his life, said that to him, Linde ran to the inn in a hurry with his face dyed red. Rei stroked Set’s back and spoke up as he watched Linde go.
「I will take Set to the stables.」
「Ah. Because I have to write a letter about Vel’s matter to send to my father immediately, I’ll be busy for a while. In the meantime please relax yourself.」
Rei nodded at those words before heading to the stables with Set. Seeing him leave, Elena turned to Ara.
「Ara, you too. Because I’ll be busy for a while, take a break.」
「……Originally, I had wanted Elena-sama to take a break since you just finished the Inheritance ceremony.」
「What, after I send the letter, I will take a break as well.」
Saying that, she looked around to check if there was anyone nearby before continuing.
「Even though it’s not perfect, I inherited the power of the Ancient Dragon and immediately left the dungeon. As expected, I’m tired.」
「Still, the fact is that Elena-sama is still safe. ……Kuust should have also been here……」
The sound of grinding teeth could be heard in the surroundings.
Elena tapped Ara’s shoulder lightly to calm her down.
「That’s right. Mireana Kingdom……he will certainly receive his dues for betraying us. The reason while Viscount Sails’ house betrayed us in the first place was because they judged that the kingdom stood no chance in the next war. Then let’s show Vel that his judgement was wrong.」
「Yes. I will accompany you at that time.」
「……Well, even if I say that, he won’t necessarily appear on the front lines.」
Muttering, she remembered the story she had heard from Rei.
Vel had lost his left arm, had his face melted off by the liquid he had prepared himself and had his thigh stabbed by the poisoned needle they had found in the dungeon.
Still, if Vel’s state was as Rei had said, he would eventually appear again. However, they didn’t know how long it would be for his body to return to its original state.
「Now then, time is precious. I have to send a letter to my father at once. If we are lucky, we may be able to do something within the kingdom before the Viscount Sails’ house escapes.」
「I agree. Then, as soon as you finish writing the letter, I will bring it to a summoner or someone who has tamed birds to send it right away……」
「Yes, you can rest a bit. You’ve just returned from the dungeon, even if you have confidence in your physical strength, taking breaks is still necessary.」
At Elena’s words, she grasped the Power Axe in her hands.
「It’s okay. If I have this Power Axe, I won’t run out of stamina!」
「Relying on magic items to recover your strength is actually forcibly restoring your stamina. I won’t say it’s bad for your body, but I can’t tell if it’s a good thing or not. Besides that Power Axe was borrowed from Rei. Don’t forget that we have to return it eventually.」
Hearing Elena’s words, Ara was surprised before she calmed down and turned to look at the Power Axe in her hands.
Because it had felt so familiar in her hands, it seemed that she had forgotten that she had only been borrowing it.
「……Now that you say it, this was borrowed wasn’t it.」
At that, Elena smiled at Ara, who was looking like a child holding onto her favourite toy.
「What, if you like it, I can negotiate with Rei to give it to us. Naturally, for such an item, compensation is necessary. Looking at you, you seem to have forgotten that you had borrowed it.」
「Yes, please ask if possible.」
The commander and subordinate nodded at each other and headed into the inn.
At that time, Rei and Set were near the stables behind the inn.
Behind the stables, they relaxed themselves beside a tree as they did absolutely nothing.
Set lay down on the grass that grew around the trees while Rei leaned against Set and and closed his eyes while stroking Set’s head.
「Well, this request, somehow we completed it……should I say.」
As he closed his eyes, he muttered quietly.
The contents of the request were that he had to escort the only daughter of Duke Kerebel, Elena, who was renowned as the General Princess. He could say that at the very least, his escort request had been completed.
But there had been a traitor in the party. He hadn’t been close with the traitor, to be exact the traitor had just treated him as a necessary existance, but it had cause a party member to die.
(Stronger……I must get stronger.)
Murmuring in his mind, his consciousness was swallowed up by darkness due to his drowsiness and fatigue.
「Okay, this letter is fine.」
Elena muttered and reread the letter one last time before placing it into an envelope.
「As for Ara……ah, as expected.」
Ara had insisted on waiting until Elena had finished writing her letter. However, as expected, it was difficult for her to resist the fatigue from the dungeon. Her hands had let go of her important Power Axe and she had fallen asleep on the bed while unconsciously smiling.
She was a subordinate and friend who had followed her through many ups and downs. There was no doubt that Elena appreciated Ara greatly. For Elena, who was a Duke’s daughter, Ara was a precious person to her.
(……Kuust, I will definitely avenge you with these hands. That is what I should do as your commander.)
To be honest, it was sometime frustrating when she felt Kuust’s similar feelings of adoration towards her. However, it was evidence that he admired her greatly. He was a typical noble who wouldn’t place others in his eyes if they weren’t nobles as well, which cause various problems. But nevertheless, in a place like this……moreover, by a fellow companion he had spent time with, he had been manipulated and killed.
「No, this is not the time to immerse myself in sentiment. I have to send this letter as soon as possible.」
Muttering, she paid the owner of the inn 5 gold coins and asked him to give it to a summoner.
In this era, aside from the magic items that connected the guilds, most correspondence was done mainly through letters. For that reason, in most high class inns, they often had a person who could use summoning magic in order to deliver letters speedily.
This inn was in a village that was built around a dungeon, a village that was almost the size of a town. Because of this, it was sometimes necessary for big merchants and nobles who visited the dungeon for goods to make urgent contact with someone. In such a case, monsters that could fly or birds of prey that had been summoned or tamed would be tasked to deliver the letters. Of course, because this serviced required a mage that could send out a monster, it was quite an expensive service that ordinary adventurers couldn’t use.
Still, most of the time, it would cost one gold coin at most. However, this time, Elena paid five gold coins. It was because she had requested a high level summoner to deliver it urgently that she had paid such an absurd amount.
「Now then, the letter, which was the largest problem, is done. If that’s the case, I should rest for a little while as well……hmm?」
While stretching, she suddenly saw the figures of a person and an animal as she looked out the window. She immediately realised who it was. They had worked with each other for some time. Although she hadn’t completed the Inheritance Ceremony perfectly, she had still inherited the power of the Ancient Dragon. Naturally, her eyesight was much sharper than before.
After thinking for several seconds, she gave a small smile before walking out with just a cloak instead of her armour.
As she walked towards the, maybe he heard a sound, Set opened his eyes slightly.
However, seeing that it was Elena who was coming over, he went back to sleep.
Seeing that, she felt delighted at knowing that Set trusted her to a certain extent as she sat down several steps away from Set and Rei.
(The wind is cool. It’s already autumn……)
The summer heat was changing to the cool autumn. As her golden hair swayed in the wind, she turned to look at Rei, who was sleeping as he leaned against Set.
Although he was younger than her by 5 years, his strength was something that couldn’t be measured by common sense.
Murmuring in her heart, she gently approached the sleeping Rei,
The hood of his robe had been taken off to stop it from getting in the way as he slept. Red……his hair, that could only called a fiery red, was clearly visible.
His now close eyes were a pure blue, like azure, strongly contrasting the colour of his hair.
Still, if you just considered his face, it wasn’t something that clearly attracted her eyes as Elena had become used to such things after interacting with nobles for so long.
With a small murmur, she gently stretched out her hands and stroked Rei’s crimson hair as he slept.
As Rei slept, wrapped up by Set’s silky fur, he felt someone gently stroking him and woke up.
He thought it felt a bit strange for Set to stroke him with his wings and he opened his eyes……and in front of him was Elena’s beautiful face.
「Oh, I’m sorry. You’ve woken up.」
「I don’t mind but……」
While muttering, Rei was surprised that Set hadn’t done anything even after she had come so close.
TLN: Attaboy Set XD
He got up as he leaned against Set and looked at the surroundings.
Should he say fortunately or unfortunately, there was no one other than Elena nearby. Because of that, he understood why Set hadn’t been particularly cautious.
「No, what about the letter? You told me that you had to send a letter to Duke Kerebel.」
At Rei’s question, Elena nodded as she stroked Set’s silky fur.
「Ah. I’ve already sent that to my father. One of the things this inn boasts of is that they can summon a bird with four wings to promptly deliver letters. ……Although it isn’t that much colder, it will be autumn soon. If you sleep outside like this, you will catch a cold.」
「My body isn’t that weak that I will catch a cold from this, there’s also Set.」
「It’s certainly true that Set’s body temperature and fur coat are wonderful……ah, that’s right. Changing the subject, but remember the magic item, the Power Axe, that you lent to Ara? It seems that she likes it greatly. If possible, could you give it to us……how about it?」
「How about it? Even if you say that. In the first place, I’m not an axe wielder. And because there’s no one else in my party, I don’t mind if you want it. But as expected, I can’t just hand it to you for free?」
Elena nodded with a wry smile at Rei’s words.
「Of course. I didn’t mean that you had to just hand it over. Naturally, I will pay accordingly. How about two platinum coins?」
Rei thought for a few seconds at Elena’s words.
Talking about two platinum coins, it was a large sum of money to adventurers.
With that much money, it was probably enough to buy higher quality magic items.
「Isn’t that a bit too much?」
「This time, a lot of things happened. I don’t want to see Ara being too depressed. In addition, because Ara and I have received a lot of help from you, consider it to be a gift.」
「……Well, in that case, I don’t mind.」
Originally, he had won it from the Claws of the Hawk, it was a weapon that he had completely forgotten that he had stored into the Misty Ring until now. He nodded as there were no particular problems even if he gave it away.
「I see. Thank you.」
With a bright smile, Elena handed him two platinum coins from her pouch. As he held his hand out to receive them……the next moment, Elena grasped his hand and looked at his palm.
「What happened to my hand?」
「It’s the same as my hand. ……I can’t believe that this hand is the hand of an artificial body at all.」
At the words Elena murmured, Rei had an expression of unexpected surprise.