The smell of cooked food in the room stimulated the appetite of the unconscious Murt, who woke up at that. As he reached out for the bottle of wine, Brazos spoke in amazement.
「Even as went went through the city, there were a lot of other nice smells from the stores around.」
「No, that’s not the problem here.」
Freon gave a sigh in exasperation as she saw Brazos pour a glass of wine for himself.
Next to Freon, Rei brought some of the food on the tray to Murt.
「Here, eat this for now to restore your strength. Even though your injuries have been cured with the potion, you’ll need to recover your blood loss and stamina on your own.」
「Ah? Ahh……uh, Rei!? Ah, that’s right. I was looking for you Rei, I heard where you were from an acquaintance……」
Murt, who was a little disoriented after waking up, gradually recalled what he had been doing before falling unconscious.
「You came into the workshop with injuries all over your body.」
「-? That’s right! Where are those guys who were chasing me!? I saw one of them get taken down by your tamed monster……」
「They ran away once they realised there was no chance of winning. ……It seems it will be better if I ask about the situation before you start eating. What happened?」
「That……actually, it seems that even after you threatened him, Bolton couldn’t give up on your magic items and Griffon. He was making various preparations in secret.」
Murt said that as brought the cup of water that Rei gave him to his mouth.
Hearing Murt’s words, Rei nodded as he passed over the tripe and bean stew.
「I thought so. I heard about it from the Pamidor, the blacksmith. It seems he has told the weapon shops not to do business with me. That includes blacksmiths that sell weapons on their own. If a blacksmith did business with me, weapons shops wouldn’t accept weapons crafted by them either. Because of that, blacksmiths in the area would also avoid doing business with me.」
Rei said that as if it wasn’t his problem.
He didn’t have any sad feelings or expression about not being able to trade at weapon shops. Rather, he brought a spoonful of the stew to his mouth, enjoying the taste of trip and beans as if it was more important to him right now.
The tripe had a unique chewy texture. Not only that, it was cooked just right that tripe would break apart just as he bit into each piece. In addition, the beans cooked along with the fat had a delicious taste and he kept moving the spoon to his mouth without stopping, one after another.
「So, why were you looking for me?」
Murt stopped as he was about to tell Rei before deciding that it would be best to come out with everything. Eventually he spoke up.
「Did Rei reject Bolton’s offer and go on a rampage?」
At that blunt answer, Freon and Brazos looked at Rei with startled eyes.
Brazos, who had just drank some wine, almost spat it out in surprise and kept it in by clasping his hand over his mouth.
The two of them had heard at the Margrave’s residence that Bolton had ordered Rei to hand over his magic items and Set, but they hadn’t expected that he had gone on a rampage after refusing.
(No, it actually seems reasonable when you consider Rei’s temperament.)
Brazos aside, who had choked on his wine and was coughing, Freon recovered from her temporary shock in understanding.
Nevertheless, against the president of Azoth Firm, who controlled the weapons trade in Gimuru, they couldn’t believe what he had done. Rather, even though they knew Rei, Freon could only accept it because Rei couldn’t be understood by common sense.
「……Galahat-san suffered a serious injury from your attack but manage to escape death thanks to healing magic and potions.」
「No, he pushed himself after taking my attack, so in a sense it’s his own fault.」
Like that, blue veins appeared on Murt’s forehead and he tried to shout at Rei, who looked like he didn’t really care, as he thought of how his respected senior had ended up. But after remembering he had to ask Rei for something, he calmed his anger down somehow.
「Well, moving on. After that……after he regained consciousness, Galahat-san gave me some orders regarding Azoth Firm」
「Who is Galahat?」
After recovering from choking, Brazos asked as poured and drank another cup wine.
「He’s an adventurer who came to bring me there when Bolton summoned me to Azoth Firm. The first time I went, I was driven away by the gatekeepers. The next day, Murt and Galahat came to bring me there. He seems to be a B rank adventurer, you don’t know him?」
「He certainly is a veteran adventurer, but it’s not like I remember all the high ranking adventurers.」
「Even so, for someone hired by Azoth Firm, he has a very nice personality, he’s even more famous for his looks.」
At Rei’s words, from the bed, Murt shook his head.
「Think about Bolton’s character. Although he’s only half related by blood, do you think he would let Galahat be praised and become famous?」
「……Ah, I understand. That’s right. If the rumors I’ve heard about Bolton are even half true, then that could happen.」
As she gave a sigh, Freon spoke in amazement, Rei understood her meaning and shrugged his eyes.
Seeing the two of them like that, Murt gave a sigh as well.
「Even if Galahat-san made some great achievements, Bolton would change the story so that his loyal subordinates would take the credit.」
「……Does the guild permit such things?」
At Rei’s natural question, Murt shook his head.
「Of course you normally wouldn’t be able to get away with such things. But Galahat-san would never say anything about his own achievements. The guild would only make a move if there were complaints from the person in question.」
During his exchange with Bolton, Rei remembered Galahat standing in his way. Indeed, at that time, Galahat had desperately wanted to save Bolton’s life, even at the cost of his own.
「Even the guild staff were aware of it, so disregarding his recorded achievements, they let him take the rank up test. Thanks to that, Galahat-san made it to rank B……」
「On the other hand, maybe he was allowed to do that so they could use his status as a rank B adventurer hired by Azoth Firm.」
Rei muttered as he remembered his interaction when Galahat and Murt had come to escort him.
Murt gave a sigh at Rei’s words and nodded.
「Ah. It seems that that touched on Bolton’s sore spot as well. Although he’s a rank B adventurer, he was forced to more trivial work than prominent requests. He was only used to show off the fact that Azoth Firm had a B rank adventurer.」
Murt spat out bitterly. Disregarding that, Rei tilted his head in puzzlement.
「Even when I tried to kill Bolton, why did Galahat back Bolton that much……or rather, why does he still provide one sided support? Even though Bolton hates him that much. It can’t possibly be just because they’re related by blood right?」
At Rei’s question, Murt went quiet.
Seeing that, Rei, Freon and Brazos looked silently back at Murt.
The silence continued for several minutes. Eventually, Murt spoke.
「At that time, I think Rei also heard it……Galahat and Bolton are only half related by blood. You know, the reason is because Bolton’s father had laid his hands on Galahat’s mother well after he had already become a grandfather. Even if he is the president of Azoth Firm and controls all the weapons business in Gimuru, status wise, he’s pretty much a commoner and not a noble. ……Because Margrave Rowlocks rules this frontier city, nobles don’t have an absolute privilege……still, the viewpoints of nobles and commoners are different. As a noble, you would still have some respect even if you had a mistress aside from your real wife, but if a commoner did that, they would be looked upon coldly. ……Galahat-san’s case was even worse, Bolton’s father was in charge of Azoth Firm. All the side effects of his business went to Galahat-san’s mother. At the same time, it was also directed towards Galahat-san, who was his son. Regarding Azoth Firm, it seems he still used the same old aggressive tactics back then. As a result, it should be easy to guess that all the resentment went towards Galahat-san right?」
The other three frowned at the terrible story, and Brazos eventually spoke.
「Then, Bolton’s father knew that he wasn’t a noble……and yet he still took a mistress so shamelessly? From your story Galahat must have received a lot of terrible treatment.」
「I guess. Azoth Firm is still to blame in the end. It’s a business built on aggressive and unfair trading. As for the people on the receiving end each time, it seems that Galahat-san and her mother were suitable target for retribution. As a result, he ended up living like a fugitive ever since he was born. Bolton’s father was also his father, and whether it just got too annoying or not, he finally paid their living expenses……even so, he only paid enough for the parent and child to barely manage.」
「……After experiencing all that, why would Galahat still obediently follow Bolton?」
「This, I heard this when Galahat-san got drunk……when Galahat’s mother fell ill, I don’t know for what reason but Bolton seemed to have exerted some power and obtained some medicine.」
At Murt’s words, the other three were dumbfounded.
After a minute long silence, Rei spoke.
Next to Rei, Brazos and Freon just nodded in agreement.
Towards the three of them, Murt gave a bitter smile.
「I wonder. I also thought the same thing the first time I heard it. But it seems to be true. At the very least, there’s no doubt that Galahat-san believes it.」
「It was Galahat’s mother that fell sick? Not Galahat himself?」
Rei questioned whether it had actually been Galahat himself who had fallen ill and had been delirious due to his sickness but Murt nodded naturally.
「There’s no mistake. After I heard the story, I checked it with Galahat-san several times.」
「In that case……after becoming the president of Azoth Firm, did his personality change or something like that?」
Rei asked that suspiciously but Brazos denied it.
「No, before Bolton become the president of Azoth Firm in Gimuru, he worked as an adventurer. From that time, his reputation was already the worst.」
「If so, he would have shunned Galahat……no, why would Bolton help Galahat if he hated him?」
Although Rei had responded unintentionally to Brazos’ words, no one here could answer the obvious question.
Even Murt, who had thought about this question several times after hearing the story from Galahat, could not find an answer.
Although Rei couldn’t believe it, Murt shook his head and continued his story.
「Anyhow, Galahat-san felt greatly indebted to Bolton because of that matter. In addition, the impression was even stronger because he was just a kid back then. Although Galahat’s mother eventually died, since then, no matter how bad Bolton was, Galahat considered him as a blood related brother and his only relative.」
Hearing those words, a certain thought came up in Rei’s mind……but judging that wasn’t possible, he shook his head as he spoke.
「It’s not unusual for a strong impression or experience as a kid to affect a person’s behaviour even after they grow up. 」
A childhood experience could strongly influence a person’s personality after they became an adult. In Rei’s previous world, the impact from a childhood experience to this extent would be considered unlikely but not negligible.
Rei thought about it but brought himself back to reality at the sound of a clap of hands.
「Although the story has gone a bit off topic, I now understand more about Galahat as a person. So you said Galahat gave you orders regarding Azoth Firm, but what were they?」
At Freon’s words, Murt also felt that he had gone off topic. As soon as he was about to continue on……
Rei’s voice stopped him.
「What’s the matter?」
Freon and Brazos asked him but Rei just closed his eyes and listened with his ears……
「It seems we have visitors downstairs.」
Was what he told them.