This was the sole place where Mercenary Guild and Magic Guild members were allowed to fight with one another. Becoming a High Ranker in the individual or team matches was what they considered to be one of the highest honors they could achieve.
For those who were dissatisfied by their guild rank which never saw their strength firsthand, only distinguishing them by their particularly notable achievements, this place was ideal in that they could show off their power.
Moreover, it wasn’t just fighters that would receive benefits from it.
For the blacksmiths sponsoring others with their armor and weapons, the Industry Guild that created things such as targets and obstacles, and the Commerce Guild that sold food and drinks to the audience, the arena was a cash cow.
It was also a good source of income for both the Lord as the arena’s owner and the Association Guild that was entrusted with its management. And lastly, for the spectators that came to watch the blood-boiling, thrilling fights from a safe position, it was a great form of stress relief.
On the other hand, it did cause some problems.
The main problem with the arena in Orbwight Kingdom’s capital was that it was rife with fixed matches due to the country’s nobles.
Although the underground gambling that was carried out in unspoken agreement was deemed as a good source of income for Orbwight’s nobility, there were those who did not approve of it… through whistle blowing carried out by the spies of the opposing noble faction, the fixed matches came to light.
It wasn’t publicly announced, but as a mouth isn’t something that can be silenced so easily, the matter of the fixed matches spread through the population in no time at all.
Although the number of people coming to watch the matches decreased dramatically due to the whole incident, it wasn’t so bad that they would have to close down.
What had become the final blow was the following arrest of guild members brought about by the prosecuted nobles.
The nobles who were behind the fixed matches were being cornered by their opposing faction as they were trying to expose their greed. However, the nobles fixing the matches weren’t so foolish. By getting dirt on the fighters that participated in the fixed matches that could be used against them, they made it so that their victory was certain before it even started.
In the end, the opposing faction was unable to acquire anything on the fighters they assumed had taken part in the fixed matches. But then the prosecuted nobles wanted to rush to their success and had any fighter with a previous offense, no matter what the offense was, go and perform the reckless action of arresting guild members.
As a result, the nobles—and consequently the administration of Orbwight Kingdom itself—lost much of the confidence placed in it. Falling into the situation of being opposed by guilds and guild members abstaining from the area, Orbwight’s arena was soon closed down.
Although the story of that sort of arena wasn’t irrelevant to the Association’s personnel, it was simply other people’s matters to the Lunéville branch.
“The general meeting decided that an arena is to be built in Lunéville.”
At least, it was until Frank said that.
Going back in time, just a few days had passed since the game tournaments’ completion.[Anything abnormal? Not really~. I mean, Miko Nee-chan, it’s not like you’re sensing anything right~?] [Yeah. However, aren’t you more sensitive to changes in the air than me?]
Sylph laughed, it was high-pitched.
Taking the appearance of a normal-sized, energetic young girl, it might be better to call her Sylphid. Nevertheless, be it in the form of a male or female, the Great Spirit’s androgynous impression hadn’t changed. [Even if Unmotivated Nee-chan praises me…~] [Sylph! What are you saying to Miko-sama—]
Although their discussion got interrupted by Gnome’s intrusion, in the end, it turned out that Sylph hadn’t felt any changes.
Not long after that, Nina and Elias returned to the Archipelago Countries Association as though they were urged on by Sylph, who hated Gnome’s sermons.
Rondéville’s climate was a bit chilly, turning back into its usual winter.
And, almost like he was returning to change out with them, Frank came back.
“Oh, Frank-san, did you go somewhere?”
“Claude, I don’t have any souvenirs for you.”
“I was so lonely, Frank-saaan!”
“There there, Cynthia.”
As expected, the mood in the branch softened with Frank back.
Ilya, looking at the pleasant situation, saw Frank turn towards her.
“I’m back, Ilya, Haku.”
Petting Haku, Frank enjoyed the feeling of the baby dragon’s fur and held out a bag.
His figure overlapped with the figure of her previous life’s father coming home from a business trip. It was like he brought something back to curry her favor.
Was he afraid of being forgotten? Ilya immediately denied that after thinking it. Seeing what just happened a moment ago as he returned, it could be considered that he understood he was cared for.
Placing that disagreeable feeling into the back of her mind, she used [God’s Eyes] and felt relieved that there were no problems with the bag’s contents.
“They’re sweets made with Gilderport’s special nuts and mangoes. They only recently started making them, so I don’t think even you’ve seen them before.”
“Thank you for the concern. However, what is best is that you were able to return safely.”
Seeing Frank be so obviously shaken, Ilya was convinced.
He was definitely hiding something.
And, as though to escape from her gaze, Frank turned his attention toward the shift schedule.
“You’ll be at reception after this, Ilya?”
“I’ll be going over to Hector-san’s. I’ll be back in the evening, please come to my room when I get back.”
The room he just mentioned was referring to his office, not his private room.
The staff all knew that, so nothing would be left to impure imaginations.
“I can’t overlook that.”
Right. All of the staff knew.
Everyone’s gaze fell on the man who suddenly appeared in the office. Even so, the only person surprised by it was Frank, as he had never seen him before. The man introduced himself to Frank, who was unable to understand what was happening.
“I am an Elder of Fountain Village, Ilya’s fiance and—”
“You’re still here? Please, hurry and return.”
Even though he was interrupted, Elder Reginald froze, unable to say even a single complaint.
Really, hurry up and go home. You’re interrupting my happy time!
That being Ilya’s wish, it didn’t come true. The Elder simply smiled back with useless elegance.
“To have me wait many more years…? Don’t say something so cruel, I would die of loneliness.”
I’d be great if you died. Even though she didn’t actually say it, the adult well into his years just seemed like a small animal trying to pull on her. She felt that even a no-good person should be able to have someone they liked, though.
Having said that, she didn’t have the time to keep focusing on the Jiji. 
Ilya turned back towards Frank.
“What will you be doing for dinner?”
“Eh? I’ll get some here. Right… could I have some of that curry I ate before I left?”
“Understood. I’ll be preparing some for tomorrow as well, so I’ll make it now.”
“Ah, Frank-san’s sly! Me too!”
With Rachelle saying that, Ilya ended up having several people’s worth of curry reserved.
It might have been due to its publicity during the Snow Festival, but the curry was now a popular item even with its weekend-only limitation. Even if they stock up on a lot of it, it ends up being sold out by noon the next day.
There were no incentives related to meals, so most of the staff couldn’t get the curry.
“Got it. I’ll make some for everyone, but only this once, alright?”
The amount Ilya herself made was limited, so it had a higher rarity. The reason was simple. The ingredients were scarce.
Even though she could easily increase them if she used skills, she would have to deceive the merchants if she did that, and above all, she had a responsibility to uphold what she told Partia.
For now, she decided to make the usefulness of the spices needed more commonly known, thinking it’d be nice if it reached the point that farmers would mass produce it themselves.
“Now then everyone, please get back to work.”
“”” Okay~ “””
With Frank’s reminder, everyone returned to their jobs.
Still ignoring the elder who was in the corner of her vision, Ilya led Haku along and went to the reception desk.
- Note that it appears as though the Great Spirits’ names change when they change appearances into their Ilya-preferred girl versions. Specifically, the last phonetic in their male name goes to the “-i (ee)” version with a “do (doe)” tacked on at the end. I then localize the “do” to a “d” sound. Ex: Sylph -> Sylphid & Gnome -> Gnomid. Return
- Jiji = Geezer Return