Ara was stunned for several seconds after seeing Rei, but soon spoke up after calming down.
「It has been a while, Rei-dono. Thank you for taking care of me last time.」
Ara gave a knight-like bow while smiling with embarrassment.
Her manners were different from the last time they met, but that was probably because Soleil and his bodyguards were around. Rei didn’t care about that as much.
「Ah, it’s been a long time. But why are you here Ara? If I remembered correctly, weren’t you Elena’s bodyguard?」
「Yes. Following Elena-sama’s orders, I am taking Baron Soleil to Anessis, in the Kerebel Dukedom.」
「It’s a city that could be called the base of Elena’s father, Liberty Kerebel. In order to oppose the Bestir Empire, I came to pick up Baron Soleil to do research for us……that is, then he heard about the epidemic in Baar that shouldn’t have been possible. ……So, why is Rei-dono here?」
「In the beginning, I came here in order to deliver the ingredients for the medicine required to fight the spread of Magic Fever. ……As for why I’m in the city right now. Now that I’ve come to this city, I guess I can’t leave until I can confirm that I’ve not been infected?」
At Rei’s words, Ara stopped moving.
Like that, she turned her eyes towards Soleil with dull movements similar to that of a broken toy doll.
「Ah, that seems to be so. Unfortunately, it will take some time for me to go back to Anessis.」
「……Baron Soleil. You knew already, right? Rather, can he really not leave here?」
Ara turned to Rei again, but Rei nodded it agreement.
「That’s right. Although if you use your title as a noble, you might be able to force your way out, there’s a danger that you might end up spreading Magic Fever to even the city of Anessis. ……Or rather. Once Magic Fever became an issue, the guards should have closed off all the entrances to the city. You’ve managed to get in quite easily though.」
「Ahh, that, I’m sorry. Soleil-sama forced his way in with his authority at the city lord.」
Comish replied along with an troubled sigh. Ara nodded as well with a sigh.
「Although Baron Soleil has entered the city, since Elena-sama asked me to bring him back, I can’t just leave things as they are.
(Ah, so she’s still devoted to Elena I see.)
While thinking like, Rei nodded in understanding.
「Fortunately or not, I can leave in about 5 days. So please do your best.」
Ara looked at Rei with an expression complaining that he was playing dirty, but either way, they had entered a city where an epidemic has spread. An inconvenience to that extent was unavoidable.
Even for Ara, she didn’t intend to spread Magic Fever to the city where Elena was and nodded reluctantly.
「Anyhow, I didn’t know you two knew each other. As Rei said, I’ll be staying in this city for a while, so don’t worry. In that case, there must be a lot stories to tell if you haven’t seen each other for so long. Why don’t you take some time to talk?」
Ara looked at Soleil somewhat worriedly. As soon as she took her eyes off him he might disappear into the city of Baar somewhere, so it was no wonder she was worried.
「Don’t worry. There are various things I want to investigate in the city, so I won’t disappear selfishly. Well, that’s how things are. I will head over to the eastern storage facility again. Perhaps there will be a fragment of the dungeon core left over.」
「Ah, Soleil-sama, are you serious? Since you force marched yourself all the way here, aren’t you going to take a break first? To be exact, you’ll be leaving here in a week.」
Comish asked unenthusiastically, but naturally, Soleil refused to hear such words.
「Don’t say such stupid things, idiot. There’s a possibility that I can get my hands on a fragment of a dungeon core. I don’t have time to rest while I’m in the city. Come on, let’s go. Come quickly. You will be my bodyguard.」
Answering with a strange sigh, he immediately left the room with Soleil and his other bodyguards.
Seeing them off, by the time they realised it, Rei and Ara were the only two people left in the room.
「……A dungeon core, was it?」
Ara muttered unintentionally.
Considering the incident that had happened in the dungeon, it was no wonder that her expression stiffened.
「There was a dungeon core here?」
「Ah. To be exact, it was something not quite a dungeon core.」
While replying to Ara’s question, Rei sat down on the sofa in the empty room.
「Then, the cause of Magic Fever was……」
「……Is that so.」
While sighing deeply, Ara took off the Power Axe from her back and sat down on the sofa opposite Rei.
「Even so, I guess I didn’t expect to see you in such a place. ……It’s a good thing that you’ve seemed to familiarised yourself with the Power Axe. 」
「Yes. Since it was a gift from Elena-sama, I’m using it with great care.」
「Is Elena doing well?」
「Yes. Her skill with the power of the Ancient Dragon isn’t perfect, but she’s beggining to master it. Training is essential. Ah, pardon me.」
Ara apologised as she poured tea into two cups on the table and passed one to Rei.
Receiving it gently with a thank you, Rei brought the cup to his mouth.
When he had headed for the dungeon, he had had the opportunity to drink some tea that Ara had brewed. Rei continued talking while thinking that her skill hadn’t declined.
「By the way, may I ask you what happened to Vel?」
「……His entire family fled to the Bestir Empire. Liberty-sama, Elena-sama’s father, pursued after them but about 40% of them managed to escape to the Bestir Empire’s territory. As expected, we couldn’t just attack them inside the Bestir Empire’s territory.……」
「What about Vel?」
「I have no information about that at all. I think they are also being cautious about it.」
(Is that the case? Seeing his true nature then, I had thought he would gladly reveal himself to provoke us……the only thing I can think of is that the injuries he suffered were severe and he is still being treated.)
「That reminds me.」
Unexpectedly, Ara changed the topic.
「I heard that the knight captain of Duke Kerebel’s knights complimenting you……have you met before?」
「No, definitely not. I’ve never met with such an important person.」
Actually, they had met in Bolton’s mansion, but of course, Rei hadn’t known the identity of his opponent.
While hearing Rei’s words, Ara gave a sigh with an expression of agreement.
「That’s true. But, such a rumor has been spreading around the knights. So because of that, I thought that it was probably because the knight captain went to Gilm to deal with matters back then. ……Then did he hear about it from Elena-sama?」
「No, I wouldn’t know about that.」
After this unexpected meeting, Rei continued the conversation with Ara without any trouble.
If possible, he had wanted to convey information about the Bestir Empire agents he had encountered at Bolton’s residence. But as Daska had told him it was an important matter, he didn’t mention it for now.
Talking with each other about their current situations, Ara was surprised on hearing that Rei had defeated a Gamelion rare species. Ara also talked about the time she challenged a knight, who had tried to criticise Kuust, the duel finishing with Ara’s Power Axe against the knight’s neck. Suddenly, there was a knock at the door.
When Ara gave permission to enter the room, a girl in her teens, clad in a maid uniform, entered the room. She had impressive blue hair, trimmed into a bobcut.
「Pardon me. Diarog-sama has called you Rei.」
「Yes. That is, he wants to talk about Soleil-sama.」
「……I understand. I’m sorry but it looks like I’ll have to get going. I’ll be staying in this city for about a week. Let’s talk again if we have the opportunity. I would like to hear what Elena has been up to.」
「Yes. Certainly. Since I was able to meet with Rei-dono here, I would also like to tell Elena-sama about this.」
「If anything comes up, come to the inn I’m staying at. ……I think Diarog will know where it is if you ask him.」
After saying that, Rei left the room for Diarog’s office, guided by a maid.
「Oh, you’ve come. I was surprised to hear that you were brought from the inn to Baron Soleil. ……However, it seems that nothing has happened in particular.」
「Yes. He just wanted to hear about the dungeon core.」
「……Really, that person is still the same as before. But because of that, it was possible for me to control the position of city lord over other nobles. 」
Although he sighed, his complexion was good. People who had contracted Magic Fever were gradually returning to their daily lives as more medicine was made. In addition, though it turned out that the dungeon core was the reason why Magic Fever had spread so virulently, it had already been destroyed. Since there was little chance that more troublesome events would occur, it was natural that he was in a good mood as the representative lord.
「So, I’ve called you here for several reasons. First of all, the purple fog that appeared yesterday. Those who touched it got paralyzed, but as for its effect duration, everyone seems to be able to move again after a night. Well, with regards to that, doctors say there shouldn’t be any lingering effects, but they’re not sure of the cause of paralysis. For now, we’re going to keep watching them.」
「Is that so. I hope there aren’t any aftereffects. Though that said, it hasn’t had any effect on me or Set even though we breathed it in directly.」
To be exact, Rei and Set had come into the most contact with the purple fog inside the city. They had basically been at the location the fog had appeared from.
「It’s basically harmless for those above a certain level of magic power, so onto the second thing. That Seis woke up early this morning. It seems he fainted because he used magic power beyond his limits using the Necklace of Resonance.」
「Is that so. It’s good that he’s awake now……is there anything else?」
Anything more? Rei asked Diarog, who was still looking at him.
At Rei’s question, Diarog nodded with a sigh.
「Ah. A side effect from using the Necklace of Resonance is that it seems he can’t control his magic power at all right now. That is what Seis said, as a top class mage.」
(An item that can direct magic power to others. It isn’t surprising for it to have side effects of that level.)
Rei remembered that Seis himself had said there would be some side effects on the receiver’s side of the necklace.
「Do you think the guild master knew the necklace would have this effect?」
「I guess so. Fortunately, this incident has come to a close. When I asked him about it, he said he should be able to use magic again in about 3 months. ……That is the sole relief. The city of Baar will need his magic after this.」
「That’s the silver lining. But since the people in this city are excellent, you should be able to deal with things until the guild master recovers.」
「Oh well. We never did leave everything to Seis. We’ll manage somehow until he recovers.」
Muttering that with a smile, he eventually looked back at Rei after gathering his thoughts.
「Changing the subject, you’ll have to remain in the city for nearly a week. You do understand right?」
「Yes. I’ll have to wait until any Magic Fever dies off.」
「Ah. I’m sorry for all the constraints, but please endure it. ……Of course, the dungeon core incident was an exception, you are forbidden to fly directly out of the city with Set.」
「I expected that so I understand. It was the same in Gilm. In the end, yesterday was an emergency.」
「I see. I hope you understand. That’s all. You can go back. ……Please let me know if Baron Soleil bothers you again. I don’t know if I’ll be able to do anything, but I’ll do what I can.」
Finally, Rei left the office.
Though he asked the maid about Ara, he heard that she had gone after Soleil, so he left the lord’s residence and returned to his inn.
Thus, for approximately the next week, Rei walked the streets with Set, helping with reconstruction or sparring with Ara, spending his time busily.