We managed to get our hands on the Primal Flame from a dungeon that was equivalent to an expert dungeon for the best adventurers. Not only is the True Clay valuable, but more importantly the experience we got from successfully clearing a dungeon of this magnitude. With this item, we will be able to increase the quality of Luna’s equipment by another level. Although I wasn’t quite fond of the progress we made in that dungeon level-wise as only Phil managed to gain a level despite the fact that this special intermediate dungeon had earnt us a least a month-worth of experience if we remained in Flaregard.
Entering the blue vortex, we were returned to the entrance of the dungeon. In other words, back in the guild. The guild staff who were present at our arrival instructed us to wait as they rushed back to the offices, coming out not with the usual receptionist but an executive of the guild.
[How far did you make it? Please tell me that you’ve at least made it to the fourth floor. It’ll be a huge relief on us if you did since it’ll make the rest of the dungeon much easier once you return.] (Executive)
I knew that he wasn’t being disrespectful, I couldn’t help but feel offended by his words. Although it seems that we’re the only party be tasked to complete the request. The number of monsters in the dungeon was much higher than a usual dungeon which meant that a party’s resources would be used up much quicker. Even with Me and Phil leading the way, finishing each battle as efficiently as possible while relying on Luna’s Presence Detection to avoid any unnecessary battles, we still used up all our resources before reaching the end of the dungeon by being frugal. Such was the level of a dungeon similar to advanced dungeons.
[I’ll answer that question.] (Yuuya)
In response, I took out the Primal Flame from my magic bag.
Note: The flame itself is actually a lantern but I felt that it would be easier to just omit the lantern.
[I never thought that you would clear it in two days..] (Executive)
[It’s the opposite. I cleared it because I only had two days.] (Yuuya)
Since I didn’t have that much time to remain in Flaregard, we only had two days to finish the request to catch up with the caravan. Additionally life in an advanced dungeon was a stressful one. The only proof one needed was to witness how sluggish the girls aside from Phil were behaving right now at the end of the second day as they barely managed to clear the dungeon. Hence this was an irreplaceable experience for us to have right before breaking through the intermediate to advanced rank.
After listening to my response, the guild members found themselves tongue tied as they began to smile.
[Hahaha. I’m sorry. It seems that I’ve been misjudging you from the beginning. From the bottom of my heart, I’m sorry and thank you. Now then, let’s talk about the rewards for this request. FIrstly, you can keep the return stones. Truly thank you. As expected of the hero Leonard, only someone like him could introduce someone to become the new saviour of our city.] (Executive)
[Sorry..? Could you tell me the details?] (Yuuya)
Did I just hear something outrageous? The person who recommended us was Leonard?
[Didn’t you hear about this? Initially we had requested for the Hero’s party, Leonard to fulfill the request. However he gave me a counter proposal, stating that there was a party in the city that was capable enough of completing the request. And that if they were to fail, they could send another message and they would travel here to finish the request themselves. The rest happened as you’ve seen. Now that you’ve cleared the dungeon, there isn’t any reason for the hero’s party to step up. I hadn’t had any faith up until now but your party actually managed to clear the dungeon at your levels.] (Executive)
How much about us does Leonard actually know? I can’t figure out what’s his objective either. However this does answer some lingering questions I had towards the guild. Why wasn’t the guild surprised at the fact that we had five members in our party, why they hadn’t advised us on the riddle in the dungeon and most importantly, why did they delegate such an important request to a party that had relatively low levels to the dungeon itself.
[That was the situation. Even if you had failed to complete the mission, we would be able to rely on hero Leonard to complete the dungeon which was why I ordered the receptionist to hand you a Return Stone. Let’s head over there to settle your reward as well as the matter about your raptor carriage.] (Executive)
Frankly speaking, this situation doesn’t appear as appealing to be as before, but I won’t be complaining either. It was still a quest with an attractive reward, and I am about to receive that reward.
.. And I’ll be sure to send Leonard a letter myself. One of the services provided by the guild is to contact other adventurers after all. It’ll be difficult for adventurers themselves to locate other adventurers throughout the year since we had an extremely mobile lifestyle. However parties had to register themselves at a guild to complete or accept a request, and that information is being shared throughout the guild making it much easier for the organisation to contact a specific adventurer.
After obtaining the rewards, we proceeded towards the shopping district. I went around replenishing our supplies such as recovery potions while Til bought an accessory which originated from the dungeon, providing its user an increased resistance against stuns and improved concentration. Selene had went to the armorsmith to purchase a new set of armour rather than repair her old broken set. Her new set of armour was rather spectacular in performance as well. It was a set made of leather from a monster which was rather flexible and resistant against flames that covered the whole body. Not only is the leather strong against sharp weapons and attacks, even her vital spots were protected by another layer of magic metal which were rather lightweight and durable as well.
It was a seriously impressive set of armour, allowing its wearer to move around easily and fight much longer due to its lightweight. I’m sure you wouldn’t find anywhere else but Flaregard.
Thus, shortly after obtaining our rewards, we had already spent all of it. In fact, I even had to take a chunk out of my savings in order to supplement our shopping spree although it was fine since it was unusual for a single request to cover the cost of a full-body armour and a magic accessory.
Now that we were done with our shopping, we carried our exhausted bodies towards the hot springs where we ate a delicious meal.
[This is happiness~ Delicious food and hot springs. Luna wants to stay here forever~.] (Luna)
[Me too~. It’s like heaven here.] (Til)
The two girls seem to enjoy Flaregard as I smiled wryly.
[It’s true that their hot springs are the best. But if we travel around the world, we’ll be able to find other hot springs and even delicious food that you would never be able to find here. So long as we keep moving, we’ll be able to discover more blissful things in other towns.] (Yuuya)
[Luna looks forward to it! Luna, wants to find even more wonderful things!] (Luna)
[As expected, it was a great idea to escape from the village! Although they had plenty of amazing things there, there are even more amazing things outside of the forest! Speaking of which, if we ever come across my home village, I’ll be sure to introduce everyone to all the best food you’ll ever eat!] (Til)
[Til, there are delicious food there too? Luna is interested!] (Luna)
[Fufufu. They are many things that you’ll never find outside of an elf’s village. If we ever travel to an elven village, we’ll bring you plenty of delicious food! Well oneechan will!] (Til)
Til looked towards Phil with a smug look as she pushed the responsibility towards her sister.
Luna began sticking her body out towards Phil as she looks directly at her with drool flowing down her mouth.
[Looks like I don’t have a choice. If we come across our village, then I’ll be sure to prepare all sorts of elven dishes. Please look forward to it.] (Phil)
[That’s great! Since I specialise in eating.] (Til)
[Sigh, I wonder what will happen once I get a brother-in-law.] (Phil)
[No way, that will never happen. Our journey isn’t over yet! Until our adventures are over I’ll be by yours and nii-san’s side!] (Til)
[Luna too!] (Luna)
Are they freeloaders!? They seem so excited and frankly enjoying themselves like this. Although looking at this spectacle, Selene seemed to have a glint of loneliness around her.
[Selene, its too early for you to worry about the future.] (Yuuya)
[That’s true. But I can’t help but think that it’ll be great if this could go on and on without ending. Is that weird of me to think so?] (Selene)
[No. That isn’t weird in the slightest. At the very least I don’t think so.] (Yuuya)
Our current party was the most enjoyable party I have ever had. However even this would come to an end soon. At that moment, we’ll have to choose the option that will leave behind the least regrets..
On our way back towards the guild, it seems that there were several people following us from a distance. I’m surprised the children hadn’t noticed them, especially Luna who not only had the ability to detect nearby presences, but was also the sharpest naturally. However, it seems that they were still unable to fool Phil as Phil sent a glance towards me.
[Yuuya, once we return please brush Luna’s tail! Everytime you brush Luna’s tail, it becomes so light and fluffy!] (Luna)
[In that case I want a lap pillow!] (Til)
The two girls continued their rowdy requests ignorant of our guests as Phil sent subtle signs while continuing the conversation. According to her, it seems that the targets were Luna and Til. At this rate, it’ll be rather tiring to continue towards the guild while being mindful of their movements.
Perhaps displaying an opening here might be for the best.
[This way, I know a shortcut.] (Yuuya)
I deliberately led the girls towards a less crowded area as I wondered whether they would follow us. The answer to my question came quickly after as I felt their presence quickly approaching us. This person’s presence feels familiar.. Oh. It seems that my warning wasn’t sufficient then. The years must have been mellowing me out as I grabbed across Luna’s shoulder with my arm, rotating a full 180 degrees as I threw the dagger holstered under my armpit.
A scream came out as I turned around, the boss of the Crimson Hounds was standing there with a dagger imbedded into his hand, and another on the ground. The instant I turned around, he had already began rushing towards me, however, it was already too late.
I took a step forward as I pulled my sword out of its sheath and raised it. Before anybody realised what happened, a right hand could be seen flying through the air. Meanwhile his two lackeys who were behind him had began their escape.
[I thought I had already warned you. That the next time you try to lay a hand on any of my girls, I’ll kill you. It wasn’t an empty threat.] (Yuuya)
[HIIEEE. Stop it please, I ju- just want to talk.]
The boss began pleading as he held where his right arm should be.
[Let me understand your intentions then. Rushing towards someone’s back with a knife in their hand is your way of starting a conversation? In that case, let me give you my greetings.] (Yuuya)
[No.. please. I don’t want to die.. Someone save me.]
[I’m a naive person. However I’m not stupid. Once I get bitten, I’m twice as shy.] (Yuuya)
It seemed that he reached his limit as he tried to escape..
But he couldn’t even take a step as his waist was separated from his torso.
[Is everyone okay?] (Yuuya)
[Luna is okay.] (luna)
[I’m alright too, Yuuya-niisan.] (Til)
Although their words said one thing, their faces showed another as I hugged both of them tightly and began stroking their heads. The shock of having someone cut down in front of them must have been difficult.
[Yuuya-ojisama. Shouldn’t he be arrested right now? Why did he even consider attacking you despite the gap he should have experienced in the dungeon. He knew that he couldn’t win.] (Selene)
[By paying a large sum of money, you could be released on parole. And I’m sure you know what was on his mind.] (Yuuya)
I let out a huge sigh.
As a veteran who has led numerous adventurers, I believed that everyone made mistakes. That was what made them human, which was why I believed that they could learn from their mistakes as well. However, people like him were the reason I decided that one chance was all they would get. Rather than learn from his mistake and changing his ways, he fell even further, becoming hellbent on revenge. Hence paying what he could afford to be placed on bail and tried to retaliate against me who had humiliated him. He understood the difference between us from the previous battle and decided to aim for a hostage instead, aiming for Luna. Ideally he was waiting for the moment when Luna was alone in order to defeat her with numbers, however he realised that it was never going to happen and decided to attack.
[I’m sorry, Luna and Til. For not settling matters properly, and having to show you something like this.] (Yuuya)
[Yuuya doesn’t need to apologise. Yuuya protected Luna.] (Luna)
[We’re adventurers too. We should be used to this sort of things. We don’t mind.] (Til)
Although their words made me happy, this was an incident that shouldn’t have happened in front of them.
[.. Thank you. In any case, let’s head back to our room in the guild. I’ll report to the guild about what happened today. Although something unexpected happened today, let’s rest well tonight and prepare for our departure tomorrow.] (Yuuya)
Being conscious of my tone, I lightened up my tone as everyone continued walking to the guild.
Even now, I hoped that my policy of second chances was right.. I don’t want to change it as it was what I believed in. However, if I have to go against that policy to keep these girls safe, then I’ll do it to avoid any unnecessary risk. I would never be able to forgive myself otherwise.
The next day, I received news from the guild regarding the incident with the Crimson Hound’s boss and it seems that my actions were deemed as self-defense as he didn’t actually pay the bail, but escaped from the authorities. The Crimson Hounds had attacked his envoy as he was being transferred somewhere. The envoy was critically wounded and thus a bounty was placed. Through a surprising chain of events, we unexpectedly earned ourselves an extra reward. For this reward, I intend to use it solely for Luna and Til considering what they witnessed yesterday. Regarding his lackeys, it seems that they had turned themselves in and confessed to everything. After I made my last report to the guild about our departure, they told me that arrangements had been made in our next stop as a consolation about this entire incident. Free of charge of course.
Thus, we entered our carriage and finally left Flaregard.
[Yuuya, the carriage is so much faster than the caravan!] (Luna)
[Yuuya-niisan, the wind feels incredibly good yo~.] (Til)
Luna and Til stuck their heads out the window of the carriage and narrowed their eyes.
[We should make it to the next city quite quickly with the carriage. So I’ll take this time to explain to everyone what we’ll be doing at the next city.] (Yuuya)
The two girls energetically returned their heads to the carriage as I began my briefing. Our next destination was a city in the southern area of the Laluzulu Kingdom. However, with our carriage the distance between that city and the capital is quite short. In this town, I won’t be raising our levels but rather focus on teaching everything I know to Selene and whatever time remaining will be spent making our journey an enjoyable one. Our journey together will be one remembered with laughter even as we part.
<End of Chapter>
I’m quite rusty on this so do let me know if there is anything that could be improved on.
Just to clarify Luna’s speech patterns, she typically speaks in third person, “Luna looks forward to it” however there are instances where she speaks in first person, “I look forward to it”. This is because in Japanese they often omit the noun and just mention their actions/ thoughts. Eg: 頑張る! (I will do my best). I thought that adding the first person noun here would be more accurate as compared to “Do my best!”. Luna does this often but the times where she does refer to herself, she does it with her name.
There are probably other things that I should clarify (if you read the raws) but I did this as direct translating certain aspects of the novel is awkward in english (such as above). So if there is anything you find unsatisfying. Do let me know!