Relying on the map that Lenora had given him, Rei walked through the city of Gilm. Basically, if he was in the area around the guild, where all the adventurers gathered, he wouldn’t get lost. However, Rei was now heading towards where all the big merchants, the rich people and the nobles lived. You could call it the upperclass area.
「Come to think of it, this is my first time coming to this area.」
Rei muttered as he walked around the streets with his map.
As expected of the upperclass, unlike other roads where dirt was exposed, it was all paved with stone here. There was hardly any litter around either. Occasionally, he would find random garbage that had been thrown onto the ground, but here, people were professionally hired to clean that up.
In addition, the roadsides that were not paved with stone had all sorts of trees planted. It was completely different from the guild area, which could be called simple and robust.
There were no street stalls, and although it wasn’t a substitute, several soldiers could be seen standing guard as gatekeepers in front of each house. Or rather, since they were nobles and merchants, they were probably their own private guards.
(……The guard may even be tighter than the one around Margrave Rowlock’s residence.)
While watching the private guards patrolling, Rei thought to himself.
But that wasn’t just for show. Gilm was a frontier city and there were many adventurers. And as the number of adventurers increases, so does the number of malicious ones. It wasn’t common for some to group with others to become bandits, it wasn’t unusual either. It wasn’t a strange scene to see wealthy people hire their own guards to counter that.
With Daska governing the city of Gilm, as it wasn’t bad enough that it was necessary to send soldiers and knights to guard the upperclass areas, there was a tacit consent that they could hire private soldiers as guards.
As Rei walked into the area wearing his robe, he didn’t attract too much attention as it was clear he was an adventurer.
「Boy, do you have any business here?」
The first person to call out to him was a man in his twenties, wearing a light leather armour which had been dyed green. A long sword hung at his waist and he looked to be in his late twenties.
Behind the man who called out, there were several more men, all of them wearing the same green dyed armour.
Perhaps they were all hired by the same noble or rich person.
Rei showed them the map that Lenora had given him.
「I was invited to meet the president of Azoth Firm. If you know where this place on the map is, please tell me.」
Maybe it was because he asked that confidently, the men’s wariness of him lessened somewhat. If they had just come over to see who he was and he had ran away, they might have thought he panicked because he had done something.
「This is……Bolton-san’s mansion. Go straight along this street and you will see it on your right. The roof is completely gold, so you should see it at first glance.」
At the man’s words, Rei unintentionally asked.
Several houses could be seen from where he was now, but most of them had plain coloured roofs. There was a gold one? He wondered to himself.
Guessing what Rei was thinking, the man gave a strained laugh.
「Well, that’s right. When someone gets rich, they look at things differently than us.」
At the man’s remark, Rei nodded in agreement.
Maybe the man expected that reaction, He patted Rei’s head, that was covered by his robe.
「Let’s just say that. Well, anyway, you will reach that mansion if you go straight along this road. We have to leave because we’re patrolling, don’t make a fuss around here. It will become troublesome if that happens.」
Seeing the man wave his hand lightly as he left, Rei gave a sigh and continued down the street as the man had told him.
「……This certainly is the upperclass area.」
Building on both sides of the street were built excellently and most of them were bigger than the Dusk Wheat inn, which Rei was staying in. Even if it was just a mansion, the further down he walked, the more expensive they became. For example, on the walls around the mansion that Rei had just walked past were all engraved with a complex wind pattern. Further back behind it, similar designs were built into every building.
Rei continued walking for another 20 minutes. If anything, the mansion was built at the farthest end of the upperclass area.
Rei spoke those word unintentionally as he looked at the roof of the mansion.
The residences around it looked quite normal, so the mansion with the golden roof stood out all the more. However, it only stood out in a bad way.
And in front of the gate leading to the mansion, there was a gatekeeper standing there with a spear, similar to the other mansions.
(Well, there’s no use just looking. I should just go and finish this up quickly.)
Thinking to himself, he walked towards the gate.
Before long, the guard noticed Rei and looked at him suspiciously as he came closer.
As they looked at each other, Rei went closer……and stopped before the gatekeeper.
「Is this the mansion of the president of Azoth Firm, Bolton?」
「……That’s right, what business do you have little kid? Bolton-sama is busy. He has no time to care about people like you.」
When the man standing to the right of the gate said that, the man standing to the left of the gate also spoke up.
「From your age, you’re having difficulty working as an adventurer and have come here to see if Azoth Firm would hire you, right? But Azoth Firm is a place where the elite gather. The door isn’t wide enough to hire children like you.」
At those words, Rei’s cheeks started to twitch, but in the end, he still spoke out.
「I have received a summons from the president of Azoth Firm, is this your attitude towards visitors?」
「Ahh? A brat like you was summoned by Bolton-san? That’s a joke I can’t even laugh at.」
The man in metal armour standing to the right of the gate directed the tip of his spear at Rei while speaking crankily.
On the left side, the other armoured man clicked his tongue at his fellow gatekeeper’s sudden action, but he still pointed his spear at Rei before speaking out.
「……That guy is overdoing it, but it’s our job to keep out people like you. Anyway, Azoth Firm is a pretty big company in the city of Gilm and we deal with almost all the weapons trade here. We can’t let any suspicious people through. Can you just go home?」
「Hey, Sakant. You’re too kind. Every time we talk to these guys, as long as we show a gap, they will try to get in. Your kindness is unnecessary.」
「Fader, you’re too noisy. You that a terrible time in your previous job because you kept making a mess didn’t you? You can cause a commotion if you want, but at least do it without dragging me into it.」
When the man called Sankant told Fader, Fader clicked his tongue and glared at Rei.
「Heard that, brat? You have until I count down from 10 to leave, otherwise my spear will taste blood.」
At those threatening words, Rei sighed.
「I get it, you want me to go home right? Then I’ll leave.」
Saying that, Rei turned to walk back the way he came. He said that in a regretful tone, but he had a bright smile as he walked away.
(At the very least, I went to Bolton’s mansion. Since I was sent away, even if I am blamed for it, I can give an excuse. ……Well, although I heard it from Freon yesterday and Milein today, I wouldn’t have thought it was like this unless I came here. Anyway, it would be good if he could just forget about me……he might cause a fuss though.)
Rei left the upperclass area as he muttered to himself.
Sakant breathed a sigh of relief as he saw that it didn’t become a big issue. Fader, on the other hand, was displeased at the disappearance of a suitable person to vent his violent impulses on.
「You know. If you caused a commotion, I would be collateral you know? You shouldn’t get so excited over fighting a kid.」
「I know already. However, I just did that on reflex when I saw that brat’s eyes.」
「……Fader, you don’t possibly have some strange disease or something do you?」
「What do you mean by that!」
Sakant took a step back as Fader shouted back.
Time flowed on into night. The seasons had already changed to autumn and the sun set quickly. For that reason, the city of Gilm was already covered in darkness although the 6pm bell had just rang. Although lamps started to come on here and there, even so, it was only a slight resistance against the overwhelming darkness.
However, there were several places in the city of Gilm where the lights lit up brightly. One was the lord’s residence in the heart of Gilm. Another was the bars where adventurers celebrated the day’s work. There was also the brothels, where men gathered, seeking warmth from a lover for the night. ……And then, there was the upperclass area, where the lights shone brightly, as if to show that they were different from the poor commoners.
Among the mansions in that area, a shouting voice echoed through a secluded area in one of the mansions.
「Ehh! Why hasn’t that adventurer called Rei obeyed my orders! I should have told him through the guild to show his face here today!」
A cup was thrown against a wall in anger. The cup that shattered and liquor that was inside fell onto the high class carpet.
Whether it was the carpet, the thrown cup or the amber liquor, their worth enough for a commoner couple to live for several years. But the man who threw it didn’t care about that as he irritably placed his weight on a chair.
The backrest of the chair took his weight with a creaking sound, but the man’s irritation still didn’t settle.
The man, who could almost be referred to as an elder, didn’t look like the president of a company. Despite having reached his sixties, there was an energetic light in his eyes and he had an arrogant looking face. He believed from the bottom of his heart that it was only natural that people did what he told them to do.
This man was Bolton, the president of Azoth Firm, which was the sole distributor of weapons in the city of Gilm.
Several maids who were in the room avoided his gaze as they cleaned up the cup and liquor that had shattered and spilled onto the walls and floor. Bolton watched them in irritation before giving a snort and pouring more liquor into a new glass, drinking it in a single gulp.
「Hey! It seems like that adventurer Rei doesn’t move easily. Take some people and bring him to me! Fine, you’re just an adventurer……does a D rank adventurer think that he can ignore my orders. Drag him here to teach him a lesson!」
Perhaps seeing he was drunk, the butler beside him spoke to Bolton, who was shouting with a red face.
「Master-sama. I heard that the adventurer called Rei has a Griffon. Speaking of Griffons, I heard that it is an A rank monster. At most, the adventurers hired by Azoth Firm are only B rank. I don’t think they will be able to oppose a Griffon.」
「Ahh!? What’s that? It’s fine to keep licking the shoes of a D rank adventurer!?」
「I didn’t say that. According to rumors I heard, Rei had received a nominated request from Margrave Rowlocks. Naturally, he has some relations with the lord. You should refrain from doing anything too violent……」
「Tch, I see. So there’s a possibility of him sticking his hand in.」
He clicked his tongue and slammed the cup in his hand against the table like a brick before pouring more liquor into the empty cup.
It was a pricey liquor that most ordinary people couldn’t afford, but Bolton didn’t seem to care as he poured it down his throat like water.
「Though I summoned him through the guild, he ignored me……it can’t be helped. Hey, get some adventurers we hired to look for Rei tomorrow. Since there’s a Griffon……no, wait. That’s right, if he doesn’t come tomorrow, tell him he won’t be able to buy weapons in Gilm.」
「Master-sama……as I said earlier, as long as he has a connection with the lord, openly threatening him like that……」
「Tch, there’s no choice. Just do enough to make him feel it.」
「Certainly, I understand. I’ll give the orders.」
After the butler gave a bow and left the room, Bolton gulped down more liquor in frustration.