Rei was suddenly attacked when he entered the lord’s room. Guessing the identity of his assailant, he fought back in the lord’s room to show his ability and was about to deal a fatal blow. At that point, Margrave Rowlocks, the lord of the city of Gilm, called out to him.
Flying through the air, the man that was hit by the handle of the Death Scythe made a defensive fall to to the floor. However…….
At any rate, even though he was wearing armour, he was still hit with the handle of the Death Scythe, which weighed over 100kg. Moreover, Rei had struck with his full strength. Being able to break the armour was enough proof of its power. The man who landed on the floor crouched down, holding his side in pain from the impact of landing.
「Kuust-dono, call someone who can use healing magic at once.」
「No, it’s not necessary.」
The man, who was called Kuust, removed his helmet, revealing a someone in his twenties with a handsome face and orange hair. He declined Margrave Rowlocks’ words as his focused his mind while holding his side.
『Water, show mercy and heal my wounds.』
Blue light gathered in his hand……
Completing the healing magic, the light was drawn into Kuust’s side. Kuust maintained this position for several seconds but stood up before long.
「I showed you a disgraceful scene. I’m fine now.」
「Hoh~. You can use water healing magic. Should I say, as expected.」
「Now that I am that person’s guard, healing magic is indispensable.」
「I see. Oh, I almost forgot. I am the lord of this city of Gilm.」
Nodding at Kuust’s words, Margrave Rowlocks introduced himself to Rei.
Rei wasn’t quite accustomed with what to do and gave a bow as he spoke.
「I’m Rei, a D rank adventurer. I was called here for an appointment today. Anyhow, as I grew up in the mountain depths, I hope you can overlook my impolite wording.」
「Ahh, you don’t need to mind that. Rather than that, take a seat. From here on, I’ll give a detailed description about the request.」
Rei’s consciousness was that of Saiki Reiji, a Japanese who was brought up and lived in Tohoku. If anything, it was basically near the heart of the mountains. Of course, his words were appropriate but not quite adequate for nobles……fortunately, as he was a former soldier, Margrave Rowlocks’ character didn’t seem to be one who was worried over the details of etiquette.
……However, on the other hand, Kuust turned his eyes at Rei with some suspicion.
「No, don’t sit down on that sofa. Please wait a moment.」
When Margrave Rowlocks looked at the backrest of the sofa which had been split in two by Rei’s Death Scythe, he said that while ringing a bell that was put on the desk.
As soon as he did so, there was a knock on the door and a person that looked like a butler entered the room.
「Did you call?」
「Umu~. The sofa isn’t of any use anymore. Replace it with something that can be used.」
The butler gave a quick bow before leaving. A few minutes later, three workers took out the sofa that Rei had destroyed and brought in a new one.
After that, they gave a bow and silently left the room.
Margrave Rowlocks saw them off and spoke to Kuust and Rei again.
「Well then, I’ll explain the request immediately. But first, introductions. Though I said this earlier, I’m the lord of the city of Gilm, Daska Rowlocks.」
Margrave Daska Rowlocks introduced himself while moving to a luxurious desk, which seemed to be his work table.
In response, Kuust spoke up.
「Kuust Brassin. I serve as the commander of Elena-sama’s military escort.」
(I see, a surname. In other words, this man, Kuust, is a noble.)
You’re next, Kuust seemed to say as he looked at Rei.
Seeing that, Rei spoke up similarly.
「I’m a rank D adventurer. Rei.」
Unlike the other two, Rei no title and made a brief self-introduction.
「So, as for the important matter of the request……Kuust-dono, the details.」
Nodding at Daska’s words, Kuust turned to Rei.
「Listen up, this is an extremely simple request. We will be taking Elena-sama, Duke Kerebel’s daughter, to a dungeon in the vicinity of Gilm. We have to take her to a place called the Altar of Inheritance, which we have been told is in the lowest layers of the dungeon.」
「……Altar of Inheritance? That is?」
Though he didn’t remember hearing about the Altar of Inheritance before and asked about it, Kuust gave a scornful laugh.
「Even if you are a person that Margrave Rowlocks recommended, a mere adventurer can’t just ask things. You should just handle the work you have been given in silence.」
Though Rei frowned his eyebrows slightly, he continued to listen as Margrave Rowlocks was here.
「In other words, I should think along the lines of being a literal guard?」
「That’s right. Other than that, you don’t need to do anything else. ……Moreover, I don’t think you’ll be needed as a guard for Elena-sama as me and the rest of the guards will be there. It’s only because Margrave Rowlocks said so that you, who isn’t a noble, can follow us. ……Listen up, don’t have any misunderstandings. You are merely an addition, you do not need to take unnecessary action. If you follow us quietly, you will receive the request reward. There will be no complaints.」
「……Kuust-dono, isn’t that a bit unfair? In the first place, didn’t Duke Kerebel tell me to only prepare adventurers of rank D?」
「No, that I know. But, couldn’t you have at least prepared an adventurer from the nobility.」
Reproving Daska’s words, Kuust answered vehemently, showing his dissatisfaction.
However, Daska shook his head.
「I’m sorry, but Kuust-dono, as you know, this is the frontier. Therefore, an adventurer’s family social standing is disregarded, only their ability is important.」
「Margrave Rowlocks! You are not allowed to disregard nobility!」
Daska shook his head again while telling Kuust that there was no merit in nobility.
「Calm down, Kuus-dono. There are certainly capable nobles in the Imperial Capital, and a noble might occasionally work as an adventurer. But as I said, this is the frontier. In the first place, the number of nobles here is small, and from those nobles, the ones with ability are even fewer. Then you have to think about their actual combat power. Can Kuust-dono, who serves Duke Kerebel, a central figure in the Nobles faction, not understand?」
「That is……yes, I understand.」
「What is necessary for an adventurer in the end is their ability. You have tasted Rei’s abilities the hard way just before.」
「And finally, this person is followed by a Griffon, an A rank monster. Do you still have any complaints?」
「No. I will gratefully receive Margrave Rowlocks’ kindness. Then, I apologise, but I must leave here to ready preparations to meet Elena-sama tomorrow. .……Hey, Rei. It is necessary for you to meet the other members and Elena-sama. Come down to the front gate when the 9 AM bell sounds. ……Come with your Griffon. However, I will not permit you to be rude to Elena-sama.」
Glancing at Rei, as if looking down on him, Kuust said that before leaving the room.
Although Margrave Rowlocks had given instructions as the lord of this city, Kuust couldn’t stand that he, who was a noble, had to act together with Rei.
(Damn, why must I take care of this commoner. But a Margrave is a Margrave. To bring a person of unknown birth near Elena-sama……what is he thinking? Does he intend to do what Vel was concerned about and use this opportunity to chip away at the power and strength of the Nobles faction?)
A story that he had heard before leaving for the city of Gilm from his colleague, Vel, passed through his mind.
In other words, Margrave Rowlocks may be plotting something against Elena this time. Therefore, consulting with Duke Kerebel, they requested a D rank adventurer to accompany Elena in the case that there was an emergency situation……
(His combat strength cannot be considered D rank. In terms of ability, he’s rank B……no, it wouldn’t be strange to call him rank A. On top of that, he’s accompanied by a Griffon, an A rank monster. ……It’s dangerous. It would be best for Vel to take Elena-sama back after she arrives.)
Kuust remembered the figure of his colleague, who was familiar with underhanded work, in his mind.
Originally, it was planned for his subordinates to arrive ahead of Elena rather than he, who was the commander. However, Kuust was ordered to go ahead first to show his sincerity to take care of Elena for the near future.
Though at first, he felt that it was a blow to his prestige to have to leave Elena’s side, he now knew from personal experience that this city of Gilm was a dangerous place. It was probably a good thing that he kept this in his mind rather that saying that out.
Seeing Kuust disappear from the room, Daska gave a brief apology to Rei.
Though most nobles would rarely apologise to commoners due to the difference in social standing, Margrave Daska Rowlocks had a different nature and did so without a second though. However, it was because he was such a person he was endeared to everyone in the city of Gilm.
「No, I don’t mind it as that attitude is probably normal among……nobles」
「Kukuku~. You seem to be very poor in etiquette.」
Daska smiled and didn’t bother to rephrase Rei’s words. However, he soon put on a serious expression and spoke up.
「However, since you’ve reached D rank, there may be a possibility your acquaintances in nobility will increase. If we just talk about your abilities, it is already B or A rank. You should become familiar with our etiquette before it is too late.」
「……Yes. However, even if I’m capable, isn’t it dangerous for two people to meet like that for the first time?」
「That wasn’t my idea, although it might be better for you to think that way……well, something like that. Anyhow, I’m not so good with words myself. So, what was it. Though this was a dangerous way to meet each other……you probably noticed?」
Daska glanced at the door, ceiling and floor that connected to the neighbouring rooms, subtly directing Rei .
With that, Rei felt signs of life from those places, looking at him as if they wanted to kill him.
「After all, D rank isn’t the right evaluation for you. Even Kuust-dono, who leads Miss Elena’s escort, should have noticed.」
Daska saw Rei’s looks and gave a wry smile.
「So, right. Now that Kuust-dono has gone, I’ll get straight to the main subject of the request. As Kuust-dono said earlier, it appears to be true that Miss Elena’s goal is the area called the Altar of Inheritance that is near the lowest layers of the dungeon.」
「……Why would someone called the General Princess bother to go to a dungeon?」
「Well, not even I know the details. However, to come all the way from the Imperial Capital to the frontier to go to a dungeon, there must be some reason for them to head for the area known as the Altar of Inheritance. So, the problem is that the area know as the Altar of Inheritance is near the lowest layers. In other words, to reach there, you have to keep clearing through the dungeon……Rei, do you have any knowledge about dungeons?」
Being asked that, Rei recalled the contents of the book about dungeons that he had read recently.
「It is created for some reason when magic power gathers and forms a physical nucleus. The monster that gains power from the nucleus becomes a boss monster and the dungeon will slowly expand until the boss monster is defeated. The expansion of a dungeon will stop if the boss monster is defeated. Finally, the dungeon will collapse if the nucleus is destroyed. However, it was written in the book that materials, ore and valuable items will no longer be found in the dungeon if the nucleus was destroyed.」
「Ahh, that’s more or less correct. So, the boss monster in the dungeon that Miss Elena is heading for hasn’t been subjugated yet, it’s the reason it’s a so called ‘living dungeon’. Because that, there are many dangers. That’s why I nominated you to support the escort.」
「……Are there any maps of the dungeon?」
If it was the upper layers, dungeon maps for them were normally sold in the guild. However, for maps of lower layers where monsters with profitable materials, high quality ore or valuable medical herbs could be found, the people who knew would often monopolise the information. It wasn’t possible for low ranking adventurers to know about them.
「They have prepared for that here. Though as expected, there are no maps for the lowest layers regarding the Altar of Inheritance, they are prepared for down to the middle layers. However, information is valuable. Only one map has been prepared and because of that, Miss Elena, who is the leader of this search, will have it rather than you.」
「I understand. A map will help us to some extent.」
「……I’m relying on you. Honestly, there are too many unclear factors in this request. Even if she’s called the General Princess, the fact is that Miss Elena only has experience on the battlefield. Yet the escort only has a few people and the only adventurers I can send have to be rank D. This is too blatant to be doing something behind our backs. ……However, if by any chance Miss Elena dies during this request, I will not be able to escape responsibility.」
「But, hasn’t the other side made an unreasonable demand? That is, I wouldn’t think there would be a problem if made Axe of the Thunder God go with them……」
「It’s impossible to do that, I am in a position below the Duke. ……Honestly, even if I say that I trust your combat strength, I feel that this is a harsh request to give you even though you’ve just been promoted to rank D. However, I have to rely on you. It’s neither for your sake or for mine. It’s for the sake of not letting the Nobles faction interfere with the city of Gilm. I want you to succeed in this request although it will be difficult.」
Daska bowed his head again.
「Please raise your head. Because it would be a problem for me if strangers meddled with the city, I will do my best.」
In this way, Rei was irresistibly caught up in the troubles of the nobles.