A black cloud drifted through the sky, it wouldn’t be strange if rain started to fall. Still, the remaining heat from summer kept the weather warm. Ranga, the captain of the guards in the city of Gimuru, looked up to the sky.
「Seriously, I’m sick of this weather. If it’s going to fall, why can’t it just fall quickly.」
Hearing those words, one of Ranga’s subordinates spoke in amazement.
「Even though you say that, doesn’t the captain say that you want it to be sunny as soon as it rains?」
Because the point said by his subordinate hit the bulls eye, Ranga scratched his head with a bitter smile on his stern face.
At this time, another subordinate suddenly called out.
「Captain, I spotted a carriage. It’s heading towards us.」
「Well, this is unusual. It’s probably not bandits then. Do you recognise the carriage driver?」
It was currently past noon, just into the afternoon. There were still quite a few more hours before dark, when adventurers would finish their requests and merchants and travelers would enter the city to avoid getting attacked by monsters. Basically, it was unusual for people to come to the city at this time of the day.
Well, although it was unusual, there would still be several such people everyday.
「The carriage driver……um, I’ve certainly seen him before. It’s an adventurer who has worked in the city of Gimuru before. However, he should have gone to the dungeon recently.」
「Ahh, I see. If he came from the dungeon, then it’s not surprising that he’s come back at this time. ……That reminds me, what happened about the story of merchant convoys heading for and leaving from the dungeon being attacked?」
「I haven’t heard about that recently. Um……look, it’s the Griffon that follows the adventurer that captain is in charge of. Was his name Rei? After he left with those nobles, I haven’t heard anything about him……ah.」
At the stunned look of his subordinate, Ranga turned to look.
「What’s going on?」
「I was just talking about it, but the noble’s carriage. Isn’t it that carriage?」
At the end of his line of sight, he could see the carriage. Although the carriage was still quite far, as a guard that protected the gates of Gimuru, it wasn’t difficult for Ranga to identify carriages.
But in this case, he could only see the carriage, it was a different matter when he tried to identify it.
This was because the Elena’s carriage had been given a magic effect to make it less conspicuous, making it harder to identify.
「Is that so? But back then, it wasn’t an adventurer. The driver should have been a subordinate of that absurdly beautiful noblewoman.」
As soon as he spoke the words beauty, most of the people around him gave a sigh of admiration as they recalled Elena’s appearance.
「……Beautiful, wasn’t she.」
「Ah. It was a level of beauty that you absolutely wouldn’t see in this city.」
As he watched the approaching carriage, he remembered Elena’s beauty.
「There were rumors that that beauty was the General Princess……is that true?」
「Well, I wonder. She certainly had the looks, figure and demeanour. You could convince me that she was the General Princess……however, why would such a famous noble come here to the frontier?」
「They headed for the dungeon so I guess there must have been something they wanted there.」
While listening to the discussion between his subordinates, Ranga unintentionally smiled as he watched the carriage.
Because he was the captain of the guards, although he knew, he was forbidden by Margrave Rowlocks to mention Duke Kerebel’s daughter, Elena. Because of that, he kept quiet when the topic of the General Princess came up in their discussion. But although he was not allowed to say anything, it did not take much time for rumors about her to spread around.
「Hey, both of you. The carriage will arrive soon, quit your idle talk. If you were a noble riding that carriage, you know what would happen if they heard what you were talking about right?」
「Ah, that’s right. I’m sorry.」
A few minutes after they stopped their idle talk, the carriage arrived at the main gate. At the same time, as the Griffon appeared from behind the carriage, the guards nodded in satisfaction that their guesses hadn’t been wrong.
Before arriving at the main gate of Gimuru, Set had stayed in the shadow of the carriage, wary of any enemies or bandits that might attack. He gave a happy cry upon seeing the familiar figure of Ranga among the guards. Ranga involuntarily smiled as he stroked Set’s head.
「Hey Set. It’s been a while. Have you been well?」
As he stroked Set’s head, Ranga’s subordinates received and checked the guild card of the adventurer at the driver’s seat. Rang knocked on the door of the carriage lightly. When the door opened, as he was expecting, Rei came out.
「Hey, Rei-kun. It seems that the request had been completed successfully.」
「Ah, well, I guess you could say it has been safely completed……」
At those rare words from Rei, he thought if the request had failed somehow, but when he saw Elena come out of the carriage, he tilted his head slightly.
He had heard from Margrave Rowlocks that the request had been to escort the General Princess. Seeing that the person he was meant to escort didn’t seem to have any injuries in particular, it could be said that the request had been successfully completed, couldn’t it.
「The request itself has been successfully completed, but we lost a few party members.」
Even if it was Rei, as expected, he wouldn’t leak the story that one of Elena’s followers had defected to the Bestir Empire to a friend.
However, it was a fact that they had lost Kuust and Rei’s bitter feelings were unchanged.
「Is that so. My condolences. But as a guard of the city of Gimuru, we welcome your safe return, Rei-kun. ……-, sorry for wasting your time here. Your guild card.」
Nodding at Ranga’s words, he handed over his guild card.
As for Elena, she had received some documents from Margrave Rowlocks prior to departure. Because of that, she could pass through the gates with no problems. After checking Rei and the hired adventurer’s guild cards, a Necklace of Subservient Monster was given to Set and they entered the city.
「So, where should we go?」
After entering the city of Gimuru, the hired adventurer called into the carriage.
Although he was frightened by Set when he was first hired, as expected, after traveling and camping together for several days, he had become less wary. He could now even stroke Set. The adventurer was also grateful that that he didn’t need to always stay on guard. Most monsters had low intelligence and would be taken care of by Set when they attacked. To the adventurer, who was hired as both a carriage driver and guard, it was a godsend.
At that man’s voice, Rei opened the carriage door to speak to him.
「Towards the Margrave’s residence.」
「……Wow, as expected of nobles.」
For an ordinary adventurer, they wouldn’t be able to head to a lord’s residence so easily. Only people who had received nominated request from a lord, like Rei’s situation, would be able to do so.
「Unfortunately I’m not a noble.」
「I know, you also handed a guild card over at the gate. You don’t feel like a noble either.」
「……I don’t feel like a noble?」
The adventurer murmured as he drove the carriage towards the lord’s residence.
「Ah. The manner from being brought up that way, even in silence, that atmosphere would seep out.」
「That is probably true.」
Rei unintentionally gave a wry smile at the adventurer’s words.
The environment that a person grew up in would give the person an atmosphere around them. In Japan, Rei had grown up freely in a rural town, northeast of the mountains. It was absolutely impossible for him to produce the atmosphere of a noble.
「Ahhhhh-! Set-chan is here!」
As he thought about it, he suddenly heard the cry of a child.
Looking towards the direction of the voice, he saw several children approaching Set, who was walking alongside the carriage, to stroke his back and give him food such as dried meat and sandwiches.
And hearing Set’s name being called out, one, two, then more residents came out to watch.
Most were young children, but there were also teenagers, adults and elderly peop
「……What is this?」
The adventurer muttered dumbfounded.
To him, Set was a monster which wouldn’t normally be in such a place. It wasn’t an ordinary monster, but an A rank monster that most adventurers would be unable to contain. But with that said, the eyes of the residents and the 10 or so children around Set were like there were looking at an adorable puppy or kitten.
「Ahh, as I expected. I thought so after seeing your reaction when you saw Set, you haven’t been back to Gimuru for a while have you?」
「No, well, still……」
「Making it short, Set is a mascot in the city of Gimuru.」
At the words Rei said, the adventurer looked back in disbelief. However, with the evidence presented in front of him, he couldn’t not believe. He turned to look and the carriage, then Set and then the residents, before turning back to Rei.
「Ah, fine. I understand that he’s a mascot. But do something about this or else we can’t move.」
「That is true.」
Nodding at his words, Rei jumped off the carriage and walked to where Set was.
「I’m sorry but we have to go to Margrave Rowlock’s residence soon, so please leave Set alone for now. Because I’ll staying here again from tomorrow, I would like to ask you all to come back tomorrow.」
「Ehh. I haven’t met Set-chan in a long time though.」
「Yes, yes, just a bit longer?」
「He, you shouldn’t annoy Rei-kun that much.」
A middle-aged woman, who was watching the children close to Set, told them off.
The children looked dissatisfied, but reluctantly left after scratching Set’s head.
「Onii-chan, it’s a promise! Please let us play with Set-chan tomorrow!」
「I know, I will probably be at the usual place in the guild tomorrow, so you can play with him at that time.」
「Yes, I understand!」
Responding vigorously, the residents who had gathered around Set took the opportunity to return to their work.
「Alright. Let’s go to the Margrave’s residence.」
「……O-Okay. Even so, the Griffon is a mascot. This city had changed quite a bit since I left to live at the dungeon.」
「Well, you’ll get used to it.」
「Getting used to a Griffon, should I say, as expected of a frontier city like Gimuru?」
「At the very least, although I haven’t been here for long, the residents of the city have gotten used to Set.」
After speaking with the adventurer, Rei re-entered the carriage.
「……Seems like it’s been hard on you.」
Ara called out as she smiled. Next to her, Elena was also smiling.
「Ah. I didn’t think Set was this popular.」
「It’s understandable though. Set is friendly.」
Elena had also played around with Set in the dungeon. Because she had also been helped by Set’s friendliness and abilities, she looked satisfied as she walked to the carriage window see Set walk beside them.
After the activity around Set had settled down, the carriage continued on to Margrave Rowlocks residence without any further issues.
「No matter how many times I see it, it gives off the atmosphere of a fortress rather than a noble’s residence.」
Ara murmured unintentionally as she saw it’s ruggedness from the window.
Next to her, Elena agreed as she also turned to look at the residence.
「That’s right. However, there is no guarantee that nothing unforeseen would happen at the frontier. In such a case, it would be necessary to accommodate as many residents as possible in the case of a siege.」
「Thinking about the residents living in this city, the residents hold a very good view of the Margrave. Although there is only one city here and it is on the frontier, the residents understand why Margrave Rowlocks is pouring all his effort into developing the city.」
Rei’s words could be heard in the carriage as several knights came out form the mansion to greet them.