「I did think about it when were were climbing the mountain……but it really is Set.」
Freon said that as they walked along the highway. After walking down the mountain, they continued walking without stopping for breaks. The city of Gimuru was already in sight.
It was still around 3-4 in the afternoon and there shouldn’t be any problems even if they asked for a meeting with the Margrave now.
After taking up the request and heading for the mountain, they had traveled while preserving their stamina in order to climb the mountain to attack the Harpies at night. However, Brazos opinion was that they should return back to the city of Gimuru as quickly as possible this time. Because they traveled at the effective pace of a military forced march, the 10 hour journey was cut to 6-7 hours.
「Well then, should we go to the guild first after getting back to the city? Or the Margrave’s residence?」
Rei asked Brazos, who was walking along side him on the highway.
At that question, Brazos thought for a little while before speaking.
「That’s right. We should report to the Margrave first. If we report to the guild first, we might not be able to meet the Margrave if something unexpected comes up.」
「I agree with that. We won’t have anything to worry about if we report the request completion to the guild afterwards.」
At their words, Rei had no particular objections and gave a small nod in agreement.
As they talked as they continued on, they soon arrived at the main gate to the city of Gimuru. After finishing the procedures with Ranga as usual, they entered the city.
「Well then, we’ll be relying on you Rei since you are the one acquainted with the Margrave……should we go?」
He nodded at Freon’s words and walked along the path he had been through several times before towards the Margrave’s residence.
On the way, they met several knights who were patrolling. But whether it was because Set had already become Rei’s identifier or not, they reached the Margrave’s residence without any particular issues.
As they came closer to the main gate, as expected, the two gatekeepers started to watch him. However, Rei didn’t mind them as he approached.
Behind him, Freon and Brazos both looked somewhat uncomfortable.
Although he was a veteran adventurer, he was still rank C. If they were were rank B or A adventurers, it wouldn’t be strange for them to receive a nominated request from a lord or someone similar. However, the two of them had no such experience. No, rather, Rei who caught Daska’s eye and received a nominated request from him when he was still rank D was the abnormal one.
While feeling puzzled at why they looked uncomfortable, Rei called out to one of the gatekeepers.
「I’m Rei, a D rank adventurer. There’s something I need to consult with Margrave Rowlocks urgently. I would like to request a meeting.」
「……I know about you. There is no way I wouldn’t recognise that Griffon. However, to meet Daska-sama, the lord of this city, it will be difficult for me to say yes, you understand right?」
At the gatekeepers words, Freon and Brazos both gave a sigh.
They had some expectations for Rei’s connection with Margrave Rowlocks, but it seems those expectations were just a false hope.
However, Rei ignored the two behind him and took out the Flame Crystal, that Brazos had mined in the cave, from the Misty Ring..
Even for the gatekeeper, it was an unexpected event. Raising a voice of surprise, he took several steps back before speaking.
「As you can see, it’s Flame Crystal. Just before, I went with these two other people to subjugate some Harpies that had built a nest……have you heard about that?」
「Ah, ahh. That mine has made great contributions to the city of Gimuru. Of course I know about it.」
He naturally knew about it as a person who served Margrave Rowlocks. The gatekeeper nodded. Rei smiled as the gatekeeper turned to look at the crystal.
「We found a huge amount of crystals in the Harpies’ nesting place. This Flame Crystal also came from there. For that reason, I thought it would be best to report this as soon as possible……」
As expected, although a person came bringing items that directly related to the profit of the territory……in the end, their job was to stop people from meeting with the Margrave whenever they wanted. The gatekeeper that was talking with Rei received the Flame Crystal from Rei and handed it over to his fellow gatekeeper before speaking again.
「I’m sorry, but can I report this to my captain first?」
Giving a small nod, one gatekeeper stayed behind to talk with Rei while the other entered the residence with the Flame Crystal.
「My apologies, please wait here until I get a reply. If it’s such a serious matter, even our captain might not be able to decide lightly.」
「Ah. Sorry for being so unreasonable.」
Replying to the gatekeeper, Rei turned to look at Freon and Brazos, who were looking restless.
「Oi, what’s wrong?」
「No, what are you doing? Do you understand, this is the Margrave’s residence!? In other words, he’s a noble!? How can you be so calm!」
Although Freon shouted quietly so that the gatekeeper couldn’t hear her, Rei received it calmly.
Any how, he had grown up in a world where he never had to deal with nobility, so even if he was dealing with a noble, he didn’t have a sense of respect towards them.
And above all, he had become acquainted with Daska and Elena, who were both unlike most nobles. Kuust could be considered the typical noble while Elena was the daughter of Duke Kerebel, a central figure in the Nobles Faction. As for Ara, because she was so devoted to Elena, she didn’t give off the impression of being a noble.
「I’ve been here several times before. It’s because of that.」
For the time being, Rei replied as such.
While continuing to talk with the gatekeeper and stroking Set, the other gatekeeper eventually came back from the residence.
「You all, it seems that Daska-sama will see you. Please come inside.」
「Sorry for troubling you.」
Saying thanks and giving a small bow, Rei entered the residence followed by Freon and Brazos, who both looked a little nervous.
As for Set, Rei asked one of the gatekeepers to take him to the stables.
「……Hey, Rei. Is this okay?」
Freon asked as she saw Set led away behind them. Rei nodded casually.
「Ahh, there won’t be any problems. Set has come here with me before as well.」
「If you say so then it’s okay.」
As they entered the residence, a butler, who looked to be in his fifties, was waiting for them.
「I will guide you to my master. Thank you for following.」
Following the elegant butler, they eventually arrived at the office which Rei had visited several times.
Rei gave a wry laugh as he saw Freon and Brazos fascinated by the sculpted door that could be called a work of art.
The butler used the knocker next to the door as he smiled.
「Daska-sama, I’ve brought Rei-sama and his party.」
「Ahh, that’s good. Come in.」
Hearing that, the butler opened the door. Rei entered the room and gave a bow towards Daska, who was looking at him as he sat at his desk.
「It’s been a while Daska-sama.」
「Ah, it’s been a while. ……Even so, you haven’t brought up a lot of disturbances recently. However, the disturbance this time is greatly welcomed.」
Daska looked towards the Flame Crystal, that had been placed on the table for guests. with a grin.
While expressing complaints with this words, he had a pleasant expression.
It was no wonder. He was already in a good mood that the Harpies that had been stopping the mine from being used had been exterminated A huge Flame Crystal that he had never seen before had also been presented to him.
「Sit down and have some tea first.」
「Yes, please excuse me.」
The three of them sat down on the sofa for guests after being prompted by Daska. The butler that guided them here then entered the room, as if he had been waiting, and placed a cup of tea before Rei.
Saying a quick thanks, Rei brought the cup of tea to his mouth. Daska eventually spoke up after seeing that Brazos and Freon had settled down.
「So I heard that this Flame Crystal was found in the cave the Harpies were nesting in……is this true?」
Rei turned towards Brazos at Daska’s words. However, Brazos glanced away when he heard that.
Rei spoke up with a small sigh.
「It’s slightly different. Due to the effect of the fire magic I used during our attack last night, it reacted with some of the crystals inside the cave to form Flame Crystals……to be exact on what happened.」
「Yes. However, this seems to be due to an extraordinary number of coincidences to happen for this to occur. So, it would be difficult to create a similar Flame Crystal again……or rather, it would be impossible.」
「I see. If Flame Crystals could be reliably produced, the city of Gimuru would become a little richer. So, did you hear that explanation about the Flame Crystals from that Dwarf over there?」
Daska looked towards Brazos. Deciding that he couldn’t avoid it any longer, Brazos placed his cup on his saucer and spoke up.
「Pardon me,but as a Dwarf, I’m not that good with talking with nobles. I will be grateful if you can overlook that.」
「It’s fine. I personally don’t mind ignoring etiquette that much. It will do as long you give the basic minimum courtesy.」
Feeling better at Daska’s words, Brazos started to explain calmly.
「That Flame Crystal, as soon as anyone familiar with crystals sees it, they will understand it hasn’t been long since it was created. And this Flame Crystal was found in the Harpies’ nest. Knowing that, it wouldn’t be that hard to find out who had taken the Harpy subjugation request at the guild. Especially if it’s Margrave Rowlocks, the lord of the city of Gimuru. Because of that, we thought it would be better to tell you directly instead of reporting to the guild first and having the information twisted by the time it reached Margrave-sama. ……Fortunately, Rei is acquainted with Margrave-sama.」
「……I see. Did you think Rei might be taken advantage of because he made the Flame Crystals?」
「Yes. After all, this is the first time he has ever created Flame Crystals. Those who don’t know anything will think that a second time is possible if a first time occurs. Fortunately, Margrave-sama understand the situation. I’m relieved.」
At Brazos’ words, Daska put his hands to his chin as he thought. Before long, he spoke again.
「Was it really a coincidence that this Flame Crystal was created?」
「Yes. I will affirm it as a Dwarf.」
「……I understand. I will promise not to mention Rei anymore as far as this matter is concerned. So then, how much Flame Crystal was created in the cave?」
At Daska’s question, Brazos replied after a few seconds……no, after about ten seconds.
「Almost the entire entrance of the cave……is.」
「Rei threw his fire magic from the entrance to the cave. Almost everything there has turned into Flame Crystal. It’s probably a considerable amount. In particular, alchemists and blacksmiths would go into a frenzy if they saw them. In addition……」
What came out was an unbelievable amount of Flame Crystal. While talking about its value, Brazos continued.
「In addition? Is there still something else?」
「Yes. At the back of the cave. There is a large quantity of Windstone Crystals hanging down like stalactites where the Harpies nested. There’s also Emerest Crystals.」
「……Is that confirmed?」
「Not just me, I’ve confirmed it with Rei and Freon as well so there’s no mistake. That amount of magic metal, I cannot imagine how much it is worth. The Flame Crystals as well. Because of that, we came to visit Margrave-sama in a hurry.」
「……I see. I understand completely. I will send someone familiar with that place to investigate the cave tomorrow along with a group of knights. This matter has not been disclosed to anyone else?」
The three of them, Rei, Brazos and Freon silently nodded at Daska.
「Yes, we have not told anyone else.」
「I see. ……Thank you. As you know, Gimuru is a city at the frontier. This is a great development.」
Saying that, the Margrave gave Rei a bow.
「I will manage this moving forward. If you don’t want to get caught in any unnecessary disturbances, it would be best not to talk about it.」
The three of them quietly nodded at Daska’s words. Seeing that, Daska spoke again.
「Now then, is there anything else? If not, I will get some people to prepare to head for the mine right away.」
「……There’s just a small matter, is that fine?」
Rei stopped Daska when he tried to wrap up the meeting.
Although Brazos and Freon looked at Rei, who had just interrupted a noble words, Rei continued speaking anyway.
「It has nothing to do with this case. Actually, I was recently told by a man named Bolton, the president of Azoth Firm, to hand over all my magic items and Set as well. Have you heard anything about that?」
「……No. I don’t know about it at all. Is that true? No matter what the president of Azoth Firm says, he cannot forcibly take away magic items or tamed monsters from adventurers as they would be considered the property of the adventurer.」
「Yes. I heard about that in the guild. I’ve also heard various bad rumors about him. ……Although I’ve refused him for now, there’s the possibility he won’t give up and will try to do something. In that case, there might be a huge uproar in the streets of Gimuru.」
Daska frowned his eyes at Rei’s words. Even Daska had heard about the bad rumors around Bolton. However, he couldn’t remove Bolton carelessly due to the taxes he paid. Bolton was like a tumor and could lead Gimuru to its ruin if he didn’t deal with it somehow.
「I understand. I will use my authority as the Margrave to tell Azoth Firm. If they continue to take aggressive actions without caring, you’re free to act as you want. Fortunately, Bolton has a good younger brother. There’s no need to worry about a successor.」
Rei realised the implications of Daska’s suggestion and his expression tightened as he nodded.