As the morning sun shone on him, Rei opened his eyes in bed. But, the moment he tried to get up, he felt a dull pain in his head.
「What happened to me……no, when did I get into bed?」
While muttering, he looked around as he held his head. What Rei saw, without doubt, was his room in the Dusk Wheat Inn.
「What happened? I was sure that I went to the guild yesterday……」
Rei tried to recall his memories. And before long, he remembered that he had met Freon, the female warrior in her thirties, and the Brazos the Dwarf. At the same time, he remembered that although he had said he wasn’t too good with alcohol, he had continued to drink for several hours, unable to decline.
「That’s right, I was drank under the table. ……It’s a good thing I was in the guild bar. If I had been in a bar downtown, I would have been more likely to run into a robber or pickpocket.」
As he sighed, Rei scowled at the morning sun shining into the room from the clear autumn sky.
「This headache, I guess it’s a hangover. ……Should I take a day off?」
While frowning at the pain in his head, he poured some water from a jug into a cup to quench his thirst.
「I heard that it’s good to drink miso soup if you have a hangover. ……Well, there’s no miso soup in this world.」
After checking that he was feeling a bit better after drinking some water, he put on his Dragon Robe, and Shoes of Sleipnir, which had been taken off him without his permission, and checked that the Misty Ring and Bracelet of Magic Absorption were still tight around both his arms. ……He then realised that it would have been terrible if his magic items had been stolen.
「This……I should take some measures against that.」
While consolidating the image of the fire magic in his mind, he took the Death Scythe out and started to cast a spell.
『Fire, if one touches you against my will, give them scorching flames of regret.』
With those words, flames gathered around the blade of the Death Scythe……activating the magic the next moment.
『Flame of Regret.』
At the same time as the activation of the magic, the flames disappeared as if soaking into the Misty Ring.
Against his will……if someone tried to remove his Misty Ring while he was unconscious, like yesterday, the security effect of the magic would cause the offender to be baptised in fire. ……However, it wasn’t just as simple as preventing theft.
After that, he fixed up his appearance and went downstairs.
Perhaps peak hour had already gone by, there were hardly any guests in the dining room. There were only several people who were having late meals.
Rei took an empty seat as he looked around. As if waiting for that, Lana, the proprietress of the Dusk Wheat, appeared.
「Good morning. It seems you got helplessly drunk yesterday, are you okay?」
While asking about that, Lana placed a light breakfast onto the table. Maybe she understood he had a hangover, there was a lot of light foods with high moisture content.
「Was I yesterday?」
「Two people, the guild receptionists Lenora-san and Kenny-san brought you in. They carried you into your room.」
「……I will thank them when I go to the guild.」
「Yes, that would be good.」
Lana nodded with a smile and went back to work. Seeing her leave, Rei reached for his breakfast.
「Ah, Rei-san. Good morning. Are you okay?」
Lenora called out when she saw Rei enter the guild. She looked concerned, but Rei nodded, indicating he was fine.
「When I got up in the morning, the hangover was quite difficult, but it has become much better after eating breakfast.」
(Thanks to Zepairu’s knowledge.)
He would have never thought he would thank Zepairu over hangovers, but Rei seriously thanked him.
「So, you brought me back to the inn yesterday. Thank you very much.」
Rei gave a bow. He wanted to thank Kenny as well……but as he looked for her while thinking that, the figure of the catkin that was usually next to Lenora could not be found.
「Ah, she out until the afternoon. Some errands she has to run or something.」
「I see. Then, if she comes back in the afternoon, give her my thanks.」
「Eh. I understand. Then, I’ll do that. By the way, there’s actually a summons for you……」
Lenora spoke somewhat apologetically. It was an unusual attitude for Lenora, who usually did her work quite happily.
「A summons? I don’t remember being summoned by anyone though.」
「Eh, that is true. However, since it’s a summons from a person funding the guild administration, we can’t afford not to tell you……」
「What’s the reason?」
「Don’t know. The guild hasn’t been told anything. I’ve only been told to inform you.」
「Who is doing such a rude thing.」
At Rei’s words, Lenora frowned her eyebrows slightly.
However, she wasn’t frowning at Rei, but rather the person that she mentioned the next moment.
「It is the representative of the Azoth Firm, Bolton-sama.」
Azoth Firm. Bolton. He was naturally familiar with those two names. Afterall, he had just heard those names yesterday.
「I heard that that guy is running something like a weapons shop in this city?」
「Yes. That is right. That is, there are various rumors about him as well……Azoth Firm helps fund guild activities and has a hand in most weapons entering the city of Gimuru as well.」
「So, the great Azoth Firm wants something from a D rank adventurer like me.」
「It seems to be so. Of course, this is just a one sided demand from them, they have no right to force anything onto an adventurer registered with the guild. Therefore, it is up to your own judgement whether to respond to this summons.」
Despite saying that, Lenora’s expression blatantly showed that it would be better to respond to the call. Anyhow, it was a summons from a person with a lot of power in the city of Gimuru. If he refused, Lenora honestly didn’t know what harassment would happen to Rei.
Rei roughly guessed it from Lenora’s expression and nodded after a few seconds.
「Although I don’t know what it’s for yet, there’s no reason to decline. There are various rumors, but it’s impossible for me to say anything without meeting the person himself. I understand, I’ll go……can you tell me where Bolton’s merchant house is?」
「Ah, yes. Have this.」
She had probably planned to talk to Rei about this when he came in. A map to Bolton’s mansion had already been prepared.
Looking down to read it, he realised it was Lenora’s handwriting on the map after reading it a few times.
「Sorry about this.」
「No, not at all! Normally, it would be impossible to call an adventurer to their house through the guild without a nominated request. That is……please be careful. There are always bad rumors about him as a person.」
「Ah, I heard from the two members of Crushing Warriors yesterday. ……That reminds me, what did those two do after yesterday?」
「What happened……after Rei-san got helplessly drunk, I think they went out for a request?」
「Yes. Well, there are a few people who go drinking before taking a request. Nevertheless, most people still only go drinking after a request for financial reasons.」
With no words to say, he gave a sigh before pulling himself together and shaking his head.
「Anyhow, thanks for the map. I’ll be leaving now.」
「Yes. Please take care. Ah, please wait a bit longer for the request for stripping materials.」
As Lenora gave a bow, she still felt uneasy about Rei.
(……I can’t tell Kenny about this.)
She thought to herself. Anyhow, Kenny seemed to be strangely attached to Rei recently. If she heard that he had been directly summoned by the president of the Azoth Firm, which had a bad reputation, it could cause various outbursts.
(Well, I understand those feelings though.)
Certainly, Azoth Firm had made large contributions to the guild. However, she cannot help but feel unpleasant that they were being used like a shield. But in the end, the sad point was that after donating funds for guild activities for so long, they had to listen to his demands up to a certain point.
She hoped strange problems wouldn’t occur between Rei and Azoth Firm. Lenora could only pray in her mind.
Leaving the adventurer guild, Rei went to pick up Set, who should be waiting at the carriage spaces as usual. However……
「Set-chan, you’re looking lovely today. Here, eat this as well.」
He also saw Milein, stroking Set’s head and back, while holding a large amount of sandwiches and meat skewers that she had bought from the nearby food stalls.
「Milein……you, you’ve come to see Set quite often recently, did Scorching Wind break up?」
Usually, Milein would take a while to realise Rei was here when she was with Set. But this time, she threw a meat, cheese and lettuce sandwich to Rei.
Rei took it while being careful not to crush it and bit down where sauce was starting to drip out.
The outside was baked fragrantly while the meat inside was juicy, blending together and delighting Rei’s taste buds.
「You, can you not say something so unlucky? We’ve been busy lately, so we decided to take a weekend off. And don’t just eat that without asking. It’s a popular food.」
Without caring for Milein’s reproachful look, Rei quickly ate the sandwich.
「Then don’t throw it. I had dodged it, it would have fallen to the ground or it might have been crushed when I caught it.」
While muttering in amazement, Rei quickly finished the Sandwich.
「So, did you pick a request Rei?」
He shook his head slightly at Milein while stroking Set’s back with a smile.
「About that. It’s not a request……but I got a summons from the president of Azoth Firm.」
「……You, did you do something?」
「No, nothing that I know of. It’s just that……there seem to be rumors about me recently. I think he just wants to see who I am with his own eyes?」
「……Is that okay? Azoth Firm doesn’t have a good reputation you know?」
「It seems to be so. Some adventurers I met yesterday said the same thing. ……So, Set. What will you do? Would you like to come with me?」
When Rei asked Set, who was eating a sandwich, Set naturally tried to get up……
「Could you not take Set-chan along with you?」
Milein stopped them while saying that.
「Why? The rumors that the other party would have heard would include me and Set, that’s probably the reason I was summoned.」
「I know. That might certainly be the case, but thinking about that……there’s also the possibility he wants to do something to Set.」
Milein frowned her eyes slightly. From that, it was obvious that Milein didn’t have a good impression of Azoth Firm.
Maybe he felt uneasy seeing Milien like this, Set gave a cry as if asking if she was okay.
「Will that happen? Set right now is a rather famous person in the city of Gimuru. No, he’s not a person. If he tried to do something to Set, he would just turn the city’s residents into his enemies right?」
「That is true. I think so as well. ……But, Azoth Firm will do it without hesitation……or rather, Bolton will.」
Milein spoke up again while giving a small sigh.
「A few years ago, some adventurer had a dispute with Azoth Firm. It seems it started due to a mistake in communication about an escort request and the adventurer’s friend was killed by a monster. .……Then, Azoth Firm applied some pressure behind the scenes by preventing anyone from selling weapons to him. You know how important weapons are to adventurers? The adventurer couldn’t do anything and gave up……it seems he ended up leaving the city.」
Rei unintentionally muttered that at Milein’s words.
Preventing weapons from being sold to adventurers. In essence, that meant stopping the adventurer from taking requests. If the adventurer was a mage, they would be able to manage somehow. But for a warrior who would need to repair their weapons often……
「That’s right, you shouldn’t bring Set-chan alone to stop him from getting involved with that place.」
「……That’s true. Set, I’m sorry, but could you wait for me here?」
While watching Rei anxiously, Set nodded.