Chapter 122 – An Unexpected Reunion


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I went to the adventurer’s guild to gather any information concerning Rubia and Mia.
As usual, it’s crowded around the boards.
It gives off the feeling of a special sales day at a discount supermarket.

Walking past the congested boards, I head deeper inside to where the reception is.
I hoped that the reception would be a bit more empty than the boards, but… with this place being what it is, it, of course, was flooded with adventurers lining up to get their requests processed.
Choosing a relatively short line, I head over to the end and start waiting.
As I’m standing in line, Rollo, who’s on my shoulder, dives into the hood.
Looks like it’s nap time for her.
Isn’t it nice for you to have it that easygoing? How carefree.
As I continue to observe the adventurers joining the end of the line, everything naturally proceeds in an orderly fashion.
At last, it’s finally my turn once this next adventurer is done.
However, the guy standing in front of me… he’s taller than I am.
He appears to be 190 centimeters tall? He has his silver hair tied into a knot on the back of his head. Read this novel at the translator’s blog over at infinitenoveltranslations.net !
(T/N: Check: https://matome.naver.jp/odai/2142638433780183701)

On his back, he’s carrying a great sword, seemingly his main weapon, and two long swords, likely his sub-weapons. I can also see, affixed to his waist, a short sword sheathed within a conspicuous bone scabbard.
This adventurer… Going by what I can see from behind, he has the aura of a top-notch adventurer.
Given that he’s placing a blood-smeared rooster head onto the reception desk, I easily grasp that he’s only just returned from a monster subjugation.
Based on the size of the head, its torso must’ve been fairly large.
It has a sharp beak with a conspicuous steel-like metallic lustre; the state of its eyes is also quite peculiar.
They’re very mysterious, having extremely dark sclerae, as if the originally golden hue of the eyes had been enveloped by a black vortex.
They, without a doubt, look like demon eyes that’d appear to be able to summon the dead out of the netherworld.

Checking the remains of the large monster, the receptionist says,

“Amazing. It’s the head of one of the Savannah Cockatrices found in the A-rank great prairie, isn’t it? Did you bring it down by yourself?”

“Yeah.”

The adventurer replies in a low, refined male voice.

“Oh my, that’s really great.”

The receptionist stares at the adventurer while speaking with a voice as clear as a bell, befitting of a “young belle.”

Seems like that bird head is to that of a cockatrice’s. Moreover, it’s an A rank.
And so the female receptionist, who’s in a good mood, begins her work posthaste.
After her delightful remark, she does her job smartly and nimbly.

While observing her with a condescending attitude, the adventurer receives his reward and is given back his card by the receptionist.
Confirming the weight of the gold coins, his harsh look relaxes, transforming into an expression of joy.
His yellow, cat-like eyes are tinged with mana.
He puts away the coin purse into his pocket.
Just like that, he rotates around on his toes, turns on his heels, and leaves the reception area.
His gait is that of a first class warrior, after all. Cool!
Even the receptionist’s eyes are filled with hearts.

『Your Excellency, I couldn’t feel mana from anywhere but his eyes. He definitely has a remarkable ability…』 (Helme)

I bet. That means there are also strong people among the nameless adventurers.
Since he’s a refined, mature, blonde-haired man, I’m almost positive that he’s more popular with women than me.

Well then, now it’s my turn.
I step forward and address the young receptionist.

“Sorry, I’d like to ask about an adventurer acquaintance of mine.” (Shuuya)

“Okay. Firstly, please hand me your adventurer card.”

I present my card since it was demanded by the receptionist.

“… Okay, let me check then… it’s finished. So, since I will check for you, do you know the name of that person? Also, please tell me the clan or party name they belong to.”

The receptionist asks after she knows that I’m a proper adventurer by checking my card.
Anyhow, it appears that she’ll look it up for me.

“… Their names are Rubia and Mia. Both are female adventurers. Rubia has long, golden hair and blue eyes; I don’t know her combat occupation. Mia has long, black hair. Her combat occupation is magician. I know neither the names of their parties nor their clans.” (Shuuya)

“Rubia-san and Mia-san, correct? I will try to look them up.”

The receptionist repeats their names while blinking in surprise.
She moves further inside the guild in order to check.
… After a short time, she returns with a parchment in her hand.

“Thank you for waiting. Two adventurers with the name Rubia have registered here within this month. They are members of the clans 【Blue Wind】 and 【Basto】. Five people with the name Mia are registered, but only one of them is a magician. This person doesn’t belong to a clan, but is a member of the party 【Golem】.”

She has given me quite the detailed report.
It doesn’t seem to be overly related to personal information and the like though.
Well, this place is a labyrinth city. It might also be for the sake of fellow adventurers to have an easier time cooperating and partying up with each other.
There are two people with the name Rubia, huh?
This means one of them is correct, I guess, but in Mia’s case I might be totally wrong because of the assumption that she didn’t change her name, right?

“… Where do I have to go to meet with those clan and party members?” (Shuuya)

“The location of the headquarters of 【Basto】 is unknown, but it looks like 【Blue Wind】 has made the Bar of Newcomers, which is east from here, into its headquarters. It seems that the party with Mia-san in it, 【Golem】, is also acting with that bar as headquarters, so how about directly heading there?”

Let’s do that.
I suppose I will search starting with 【Blue Wind】.
I decide to go to the Bar of Newcomers located in the east.
Which reminds me… I happened to hear the name of that bar from Rebecca a little while ago.

“I’ll go with that then. Thank you.” (Shuuya)

“Okay. Since the place’s along the First Ring Road, it’s close. Next person please~.”

The receptionist swiftly shifted to the next customer.
Doesn’t she have a highly efficient, veteran-like work ethic, despite being young?
I leave the reception after sending the young, beautiful receptionist an admiring look.
As if getting off a full train at the station, I pass in front of the boards while walking right beside the adventurers lining up in the back.
The place in front of the boards is even more crowded than a little while ago.
I advance while trying to push my way through the adventurers that are choosing requests or passionately discussing topics related to the labyrinth with their friends.

… Phew, I safely left the guild.
Walk right east from here, was it?
I walk along the ring road.
After walking for a bit, I pretty much instantly arrive at the target building.
It was really close.
“Bar of Newcomers” has been engraved in black letters on an aged, wooden signboard.
It’s a two-storied building that is probably built with wood and mortar.
As it follows the circular form of the ring road, the entrance on the first floor has a slight trace of roundness, with a bit of a peculiar entrance door.
I head to the entrance door, a wooden double door.
A white-clothed curtain* is hanging on top of the double door, but the door itself is open.
(T/N: The author describes that curtain as 暖簾 (noren), which is a curtain with a sign on it hanging at the entrance doors of traditional Japanese restaurants, baths, etc.)

I pass through that cloth door at once and enter.
Upon entering—
My ears are hit by a humongous amount of noise, and the smell of booze and tobacco provokes my nose.
Looks like I’ll get drunk by just breathing in the air.
However, it’s not the same for the tobacco smoke…

I sniff with my nose like Rollo and inhale the scent.
Somehow, it has a fragrance that makes you feel relaxed.
I think, like herbs?
The smoking people are actually showing entranced expressions, apparently feeling very good.
The cigars, burning at the tips, are slightly bigger than Cuban cigars.
They breath out smoke from their mouths while making puffing sounds.
At that moment, female waitresses in matching clothes pass by each other.
They’re carrying food and booze to the tables where the guests are making merry.
There are only cute girls among the waitresses.
Their clothes, with an apron and frills attached to them, are cute as well.
It seems to be the uniform unique to this bar.
There’s a definite beauty in cute aprons worn by cute girls, isn’t there?
Even while my gaze is drawn to the adorable waitresses, I survey the relatively bright interior and begin heading towards the centre, since there’s a bar counter there.
Oh, wow, this counter is made out of some high-grade wood.
It seems that it was built by joining together four thick wood boards, creating a rectangle.
There are decorated beams supporting the ceiling at all four corners. The decorations on the beams depict a dragon, a bird, a turtle, and a tiger.
The kitchen is within the quadrilateral counter. A space for the employees has been reserved and plenty of ingredients and wine barrels have been stored there, clearly piled up on the floor and sorted by type. Four chefs are cooking in the kitchen, at a location visible to the guests.
Even now, they seem to be making a stir-fried vegetables-styled dish on top of a heated iron plate? The smell of an oil that resembles sesame oil is hanging in the air.
I swallow my saliva hard, on reflex.
As I look around while my throat audibly reacts to the appealing scent,

“Welcome. What will it be for ya?”

I was asked by an old chef who had just finished cooking.
The chef doesn’t wear a toque like the ones on Earth.
He’s a largely-build old man with a grim face and hair that has been combed into stripes over his bald spots. He’s wearing an adventurer-styled leather armor.
I guess I’ll grab a drink for starters.

“… Oh, one drink, a light one.” (Shuuya)

“— Sure. A honey liquor it is then. One small copper coin.”

The old man nimbly pours the booze into a wooden tankard from a wooden spigot that’s installed onto a beer barrel-like wine casket. Once he’s filled up the tankard, he powerfully places it onto the counter with a *thunk*.
The liquor spills over a bit.
Color-wise, it has a yellow tinge reminiscent of beer.
The liquid trickles down the tankard seductively.
After I put the money on the counter, I bring the overflowing-with-liquor tankard to my mouth and chug it down.
Puhaah, as expected of honey, its sweetness is intense.
I’m not overly fond of sweet things, but, oh well, it can’t be helped.
Should I try asking this old man while I’m at it?

“Old man, there’s something I’d like to ask. That fine with you?” (Shuuya)

“Mmh? Old man, ya say? Listen, ah got a great name. It’s Bronkos.” (Bronkos)

He talks to me with a scowl on his face.
Hm? Bronkos? It’s a name I feel I’ve heard somewhere before…
In addition, that grim face and his barcode-like hair style, somehow…

“… I see, Bronkos-san.” (Shuuya)

As I can’t remember, I just repeat his name with a plain smile.

“Stop it. Somethin’ like “-san” just don’t suit me. Keep it simple, young man. ah’m plenty fine with Bronkos… Hm? Oh? You…” (Bronkos)

His cheeks, laced with leftover stubble from shaving, become somewhat red.
Bah, I don’t want to see something like an old man tsundere.
I address him frankly without showing my thoughts.

“What’s wrong?” (Shuuya)

“Ah, ah remembered! We once met each other in Leften Kingdom, din’t we? Yer the man who asked the young’uns of mah caravan where ta find this place.” (Bronkos)

— Oh, right.

“That’s right. Yes, I remember, too.” (Shuuya)

“Hahaha, both of us have faces that’re easy to remember, so ah recalled it right away.” (Bronkos)

If I remember correctly, I do have a plain face, don’t I?

“I recall you saying that you managed a bar back then, but chef was your main job?” (Shuuya)

“It’s not mah main job, but les’ call it jack of all trades with an adventurer origin. Though ah haven’t been active as an adventurer recently, as ah’ve been busy with tha preparations for the Labyrinth Funeral Service. Putting that aside, it looks like ya became an adventurer, am ah right?” (Bronkos)

Bronkos asks with a bright smile.
I wonder what that labyrinth memorial service is about?
It lit my interest, but I guess I might as well confirm my status of adventurer.

“… Yeah. I’m a C-rank, close to B-rank.” (Shuuya)

“— Yer a quick one. You’ve just become an adventurer tha otha day. Havin’ said that, yer already beyond C, eh? That means ya always completed your requests successfully? That’s excellent… nice goin’ there. Well, at that time, you certainly boasted that ya are confident in yer own abilities.” (Bronkos)

Bronkos reacts by moving his eyebrows.

“Haha, I guess so.” (Shuuya)

“So, you coming here means that yer looking for some party or want tah recruit party members?” (Bronkos)

“… Nah, that’s not it. I’m looking for someone. Have you heard anything about the members of the clan 【Blue Wind】 and the party 【Golem】?” (Shuuya)

I speak about my first objective.

“Yeah, sure. If it’s 【Blue Wind】, they seem ta be in good shape recently. After hirin’ a new priest warrior called Soothing Rubia, their earnings in tha labyrinth have jumped up. Tha party, 【Golem】, frequently shows up here as well. These days they’ve graduated from tha first floor, and it looks like they’re earning a nice sum of money after havin’ changed the second floor into tha main battlefield.” (Bronkos)

Ooh, Soothing Rubia.
It’s the Rubia I know after all.
She probably got this nickname after using chantless healing magic.

“… Oh, is that so? So, around when do 【Blue Wind】 and 【Golem】 come to this bar?” (Shuuya)

“Hm? Is tha other party this? A lover or somethin’?” (Bronkos)

Bronkos holds up his pinky finger while giving me a cheeky grin.
Old man, you know, that’s a really old expression.

“No, not at all. An old acquaintance apparently belongs to that clan.” (Shuuya)

“Ah see, ah see. If it’s 【Blue Wind】, they come ta this bar once every four days. Just like ah said before, they seem ta be doing well recently. I hear’ that their frequency of entering tha labyrinth has gone up as well. And, since yesta’day they haven’t shown up. That’s why ah believe that they won’t come today. Ah think they’ll likely come here the day afta tomorrow. 【Golem】 seems tah be recruiting membahs recently? These days, they come here every day ta hang from evenin’ til’ night.” (Bronkos)

So, 【Blue Wind】 after tomorrow, huh?
If it’s Golem, I’ll meet them if I wait here.
Guess I will kill some time until then.

“… I see. Bronkos, thanks for the information—” (Shuuya)

I drink a little bit of the liquor and set the tankard down.

“Told ya, don’t mind it. Ah guess ah’ll go in the back for a bit then.” (Bronkos)

“Alright.” (Shuuya)

Saying that, Bronkos starts to fiddle around with the kitchen utensils he’s holding, and steps away to search for cooking ingredients.

“Nn, nya.”

Rollo wakes up while releasing a throaty purr.
She moves from the hood to my shoulder.
She checks the surroundings’ scent by sniffing with her nose.
Did she become hungry?
Rollo places her forepaws on top of the counter and stretches herself. After a big yawn, she walks on top of the counter, and approaches another drinking guest.

“Rollo, come here. Behave yourself, okay?” (Shuuya)

“Nn.”

Once Rollo replies by purring with a quiet throaty voice and hitting the counter with a plop of her tail, she turns around.
She stares at me with her red eyes.
I tap the table with a finger and order her to “come here.”

“Nyao.”

After replying with a purr as if to say 『Understood nya』, Rollo obediently comes to the place I indicated to with my finger and starts acting like a spoiled little kitty cat.

Oh shit, her showing her soft-looking tummy is too cute.
I ruffle her fluffy pelt.
I kill time by flirting with Rollo in such manner.
Nevertheless, that’s not the reason why I came here.
Even while gently caressing Rollo’s belly, I don’t forget to observe the bar.
The seat I’m currently sitting at is at the center of the counter.
The spaces on the left and right of the bar are dotted with round tables all over. There’s also a mini stage that seems to be for dancers.
Though there are no such dancers at the moment.
Adventurers, who are surrounding the round tables set up in such an unconventional manner, meetup and chat pleasantly with each other while chowing down on food and drinking booze.
I return my gaze to the counter seats in front of me.
I guess it’s possible to enjoy the atmosphere in such a way, too.
At that point, I order booze and side dishes from Bronkos as he’s cooking.
I start enjoying booze and side dishes, and continue to play around with Rollo.
It’s not bad to spend time idly while drinking some alcohol from time to time.
I pass my time waiting while observing the humans, err, rather the adventurers.
I think I might have gotten slightly tipsy.
Once I realize that, the setting sun shines through the window.
At that time, the deep voice of Bronkos reaches my ears.

“Ah, the guys from 【Golem】 I told you about earlier have returned.” (Bronkos)

“Let’s have a look—” (Shuuya)

Saying that, I follow the eyes of Bronkos, who glanced their way.
Three women? I wonder, is Mia with them?
Oooh, you’re kidding?
It’s not Mia, but there’s the face of a woman I know.

It’s Mysty, the younger sister of Sol Gustav.
She’s hiding her characteristic forehead crest with a bandana.
Back then, I casually recommended, “How about becoming an adventurer as well?” and bid her farewell after telling her that we will meet again, but by no means did I really expect her to actually become an adventurer… yesterday’s abyss is today’s height*, huh?
(T/N: A Japanese proverb depicting that everything changes constantly knowing no bounds)

Her two companions are women I don’t know.
Mysty hasn’t noticed me.
She leads her friends to one of the round tables and sits down.
I’ll meet with Rubia sooner or later. But until then, I suppose I’ll go greet Mysty.
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“I’ll go say hi for a bit. Rollo, wait here. You can eat the side dishes, if you want.” (Shuuya)

“Nya.”

Leaving Rollo behind on the counter, I intrude upon the table where Mysty is sitting.

“Yo, Mysty. It’s been a while.” (Shuuya)

“— Who? An acquaintance of teacher?”

Teacher? The girl, who sat at the round table as a party member of 【Golem】, is surprised and asks a question, looking as if to make fun of me, and calls Mysty teacher.
Mysty herself is surprised as well. After all, her mouth flaps are opening and closing incessantly.

“A-Aaaaah! Shuuya, you came to this city as well!” (Mysty)

“Indeed, I did. Above all, I’m happy to see you doing so well.” (Shuuya)

“We were really, really able to reunite— leaving that aside, thank you for back then. For the current me to be here is all thanks to you.” (Mysty)

Mysty gets up from her seat and bows her head to me.

“Stop it, please raise your head. I only gave you a little push, right? However, I’m happy that we could meet in good health. You’ve become a proper adventurer, haven’t you?” (Shuuya)

Tears are welling up in Mysty’s eyes.

“Y-Yea. … Ah, let me introduce them. These two are Mia and Ell, with whom I’m in a party right now.” (Mysty)

After being introduced, I’m lightly greeted by the two.

“Thanks, best regards. My name is Shuuya. I’m a C-rank adventurer.”

“Yes. Please treat us favorably. I’m Mia, who is in the same party as Mysty-sensei. My adventurer rank is still F.”

“Ell. Likewise F-rank.”

Both of them look young, don’t they? F-rank, huh?
The girl called Mia is, as expected, not the Mia I know of.
This child has a kind face, so she’s a different person after all.

“You two got to know Mysty in this city?” (Shuuya)

“Yes, that’s right. Ell and I are students of the Magic Academy Ronbelju, but believing that it would be good to actually gain some experience, we had Mysty-sensei, who is a temporary lecturer, form a party with us. That way we can also earn some money.” (Mia)

Mysty is a lecturer?
How did she masquerade herself for things to turn out this way? Did she use the magic crest on her forehead?
Though it’s great that she was able to find employment.
Once I look suspiciously in Mysty’s direction, she puts her hands together as if praying and does a lovely wink.
She pleads for me to stay silent.
Haha, there’s no way for me to hinder her fresh start, is there?

“As I was worried about Mia, I went together with her.” (Ell)

The other young girl states such while looking bashful.
These children are students, eh?
They’re wearing coats with hoods attached.
The coats seem to be for summer usage as they use a thin fabric and are open at the chest.
I was able to grasp the uniform they appear to be wearing below.
Which reminds me, didn’t the Mia I know wear a similar uniform as well?
However, going by their physique, they remind me of Hog○rts or Tris○in Academy of Magic.
(T/N: The first one should be easy, the second one is about a commoner that gets summoned to another world by accident and lives in that academy together with a tsundere) (ED: He means Familiar of Zero. It’s awesome, 11/10 should watch.)

“… So you were students? As you are challenging the labyrinth, you must have confidence in your abilities.” (Shuuya)

“Yes. Just as you say— If it’s magic, I’m confident.”

“I’m good at magic, too.”

The two stretch out their arms from within their robes with nice, lively movements.
In their slender hands, they hold wooden, twisted wands.
At the tips of their wands, a red magic gem and a blue magic gem has been installed.

“A wand. So your combat occupation is related to magic, huh?” (Shuuya)

“Yes.”

“Of course.”

While I’m looking at the two of them, Mysty stares intently at me.

“Say…” (Mysty)

She looks as if she’s expecting something.

“Hm?” (Shuuya)

“Shuuya, have you joined a party?” (Mysty)

“It still hasn’t been officially registered, but there’s someone I plan to form one with.” (Shuuya)

Hearing those words, Mysty drops her shoulders while obviously looking disappointed.

“… Damn, I see, how regrettable. Even though I wondered whether I should invite you to my party…” (Mysty)

“I’m sorry. Which reminds me, they say that you’re gathering members? I heard from the bar’s old man over there.” (Shuuya)

“Yes, indeed. Aah, damn, damn, damn! Even though I hoped I might become a comrade with that lancer after seeing you after such a long time, Shuuya… geeze, the joy lasted only for an instant.” (Mysty)

Even after becoming a lecturer, she hasn’t gotten rid of her favorite saying “Damn, damn,” huh?

“… But, I think my party will still grow, so if you like, how about joining next time?” (Shuuya)

“Eh? That’s okay?” (Mysty)

“Yeah, it’ll be my pleasure.” (Shuuya)

“I’m happy… but currently I’m a teacher, therefore I think that it will take a bit time until… I enter your party, Shuuya.” (Mysty)

“No problem. Let me tell you what inn I’m staying at.” (Shuuya)

Telling her the location and name of Lodging Moon of the Labyrinth, I continue catching up with Mysty.

“… Shuuya-san, you are a lancer?”

Mia, the student of the magic academy, asked me.
She probably considered it strange after seeing me possessing no weapon.

“I am.” (Shuuya)

“I think even you will be startled once you see it, Mia. After all Shuuya is extremely strong. Ah, come to think of it, what about Rollo-chan?” (Mysty)

“She’s over there— She’s eating the liquor’s side dishes.” (Shuuya)

Once I point at the counter while saying so, Rollo’s ears stand up erect, in response to my words.
Stopping momentarily as she eats a small fish, she looks this way.

“— How cute. She’s looking at us with her red and black eyes.”

“Want me to call her?” (Shuuya)

“No, it’s alright. Let her enjoy her meal.” (Mysty)

“You sure? Alright then. So, Mysty, you guys are currently meeting up with party members you’re planning to recruit?” (Shuuya)

“Probably. There’s a decorative flag on this table. This green flag is a symbol telling others that we are recruiting party members, that’s why I think they will gather here sooner or later. Besides, since Mia’s friends have said that they want to enter as well, we will go hunt on the first and second floor as soon as those children gather here.” (Mysty)

Certainly, a green-clothed flag has been placed on top of the table.
Besides the green flag, there were also white, red, blue and black flags in the surroundings.
It seems like all of them have their respective meanings, but for now it’s fine to not know, I guess.
I couldn’t meet with Mia and Rubia, but instead I was able to reunite with Mysty.
Let’s leave soon.

“I see. So your member gathering is going well, right? Then I’ll leave this place now, since I also have other business to take care of.” (Shuuya)

“You are going already? There’s still much more I’d like to tell you though.” (Mysty)

“Haha, your students are watching. Don’t you have to properly do your work as lecturer? Come to my inn once you’re free. You might not be able to meet me, as I’m also diving into the labyrinth, but it’ll be fine as long as you leave a message for me with the inn’s landlady or staff. Well then, the two of you better take care of your beautiful teacher Mysty—” (Shuuya)

The two schoolgirls nod with smiling faces.
“Yes” and “Understood” were their answers.
After finishing my farewell and smiling at Mysty at the end, I stand up from my chair and head to the counter seat where Rollo is waiting.
Did she already finish eating the small fish? Once I come back, she leaps onto my shoulder.
Her mouth smells a bit like fish.

Well then, guess I’ll go now.

“Bronkos, I’ll be leaving for now. See you later.” (Shuuya)

“Roger.” (Bronkos)

I bid farewell to the old man and turn on my heels.
The coming and going of adventurers is intense, just like in a stylish club. I head towards the bar’s exit and go outside.

It will soon be night.

Well then, I suppose it’s about time to pay 【Owl’s Fangs】 ‘s headquarters a visit.

 


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  1. Pingback: The Spearmaster and the Black Cat – Chapter 122: An Unexpected Reunion – Infinite Novel Translations

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