When we came out of the dungeon, some kind of commotion was going on.
And just when I looked in the direction, wondering what was happening, “…Sayla!? What happened to you? What’s with those clothes of yours!?”
A middle-aged dude with a really amazing body build rushed over to us.
“Father!? W-Why are you here!?”
Okay, going by his outfit, he definitely looks like a clergyman. So he was Sayla’s father, huh?
“T-These clothes, that’s…I got a bit dirty, so I borrowed these.”
“Dirty!? What happened? …Don’t tell me, you went into the dungeon!?”
Sayla shrunk away.
Since it looked like things would become annoying, I exchanged a look with Sword, and we tried to casually leave the scene.
But, we were spotted.
“…Did you people take Sayla out!?!”
Sword lifted an eyebrow, “Took out? Don’t babble such bullshit. We’ve repeatedly turned her down, but she clung to us like a leech. Moreover, with an awfully condescendin’ attitude. She knew that an escort would cost her money if she asked a bigger guild, and because she was skimpin’ on the cash, she called out to some random adventurers who happened to pass by. So, we allowed her to come along since we couldn’t stop her from doin’ so, but she was a friggin’ burden on all accounts. An undead dungeon is the perfect huntin’ ground for priests, and yet she only trembled ’round while glued to the girl over here. Well, she should have learned her lesson with this.”
“What did you say!? How conceited for the likes of an adventurer!!”
I tilted my head in confusion, “It’s okay for adventurers to be conceited, you know? It’d be better for you to correct that view of yours.”
“What was that, brat!?”
“Elderly people tend to get excited very easily. Since all old people get quickly upset, I always end up worried that they might kick the bucket all of a sudden.”
Sword guffawed. It looks like he’s totally hyping it. But, he’s the only one having a blast.
The middle-aged dude’s face has become so red that he might burst at any moment.
“Wouldn’t it be better for you to take ten deep breaths? If your blood pressure shoots up too quickly, you could collapse.”
“Shut up! You damn, cheeky commoner! I’ll have you pay for the crime of having cheated my daughter!”
“Do you think that I stole her virginity?”
He froze up.
“……W-What did you say?”
“I’ll apologize for having made her pee. I didn’t expect that she’d get frightened to such a degree. …Ah! I got it! Is that holy water of yours possibly her urine? I see. So that’s how it was. It was the right choice to not have bought it.”
“Woah! Any more of this would be bad! It’s too much of a bad influence on a young girl like her!” Sword commented.
The coot in a priest’s garb flapped his mouth open and shut like a fish. By the way, Sayla had become bright red and was covering her face.
“Hey, are you alright? That’s why I told you to take some deep breaths…”
That dude suddenly flared up in rage and came at me, trying to grab me, but Sword blocked his way. He tried to punch Sword, but Sword easily clasped his hand, and used his other hand to thrust his adventurer card into his face.
“You understand, don’t you?”
“… You think you’ll be able to silence me with something like that?” He snorted scornfully.
“Then I’ll make you shut up. You might believe that the church is outside all laws, but should I prove to you that it’s not the case after you pick a fight with me? I’ll gladly accept your challenge. I don’t know what kind of false charges you plan to come up with, but don’t look down on an S-Rank, you piece of shit. If you really believe the likes of a church priest can do anythin’ ‘gainst me, feel free to give it a try.”
Once Sword declared so with a freezing voice, the old dude ground his teeth in vexation, “……You blasphemous criminal!”
I’m going to say it once more then.
“He’d be blasphemous if he didn’t respect god, not if he doesn’t respect a priest like you. You aren’t god, so don’t misunderstand. Or, are you pretending to be god?”
The old man became petrified.
“Are you more esteemed than god?” I further pressed on with my questioning.
In response, the old man exhaled, and answered solemnly, “God has created the humans. The humans are God’s children. Blathering such nonsense like you being more esteemed than God would only lead to drawing divine punishment to yourself.”
“I think so as well. Assuming god created the humans, then god would be angry if his creations believed themselves to be greater than himself. He might destroy all of humanity while claiming that it had been a mistake to create such creatures.”
For some reason, he ended up silent while cold sweat became visible on his forehead.
“Well, in reality, I don’t know whether this world came to be as 【Miniature Garden Created by a God】, or if something, which was created through a huge amount of energy, evolved and became suitable for the life-forms on this planet, but no matter how much you struggle, right now it’s impossible to fly off this planet. Though, dragons might know about the furthest reaches of this world… …And thus, priest, you don’t need to worry as we didn’t steal your daughter’s virginity. We just admired her being scared and frightened. Thanks to this, things didn’t end in a disappointing way for the Dungeon Core by having an old guy and a girl showing no reactions while slaughtering the monsters, which were doing their best to scare us. Anyway, it’s time to go. Farewell.”
Leaving Sayla and her father behind, both dumbstruck, Sword and I quickly went back to the guild.
“Your really good at confusin’ others by sayin’ so much complicated stuff.”
How rude. I just corrected the flow of the conversation at the end as I thought that it got derailed.
When I looked sullen, Sword stroked my head with a smile.
“Don’t misunderstand me. I want to tell you that it was a big help. With the matter of that priest, and also his daughter. Somehow…I got what you wanted to say. I mean, you act like an old man, but in the end your still a kid, and thus you can perceive adventures like that, I s’pose.” Sword cast his eyes downwards a bit, his look becoming distant. “In the beginning…I felt just like you ’bout this, if I remember correctly. The girl from earlier called out to us and treated us with such a condescendin’ attitude probably because she knew about me bein’ an S-Rank. Even if she had asked the guild, anyone would have regarded her as a burden, I’m sure, and with her arrogant attitude, it’d have actually been impossible since anyone would have turned her down. Yet, you didn’t consider her a burden at all. Sayin’ that she’d be in charge of addin’ some excitement, you enjoyed yourself watchin’ her reactions. That really requires a flexible mind, doesn’t it?”
“…So you finally understood something so obvious?”
Sword laughed dryly.
“All kinds of stuff happened until I became an S-Rank. Folks believin’ it’s only natural to get rescued asked for my help without any concern for my own circumstances. Me as well. Because I couldn’t afford to not help ’em as I’ve got the necessary abilities to do so, I had to save ’em. Even when I wanted to have some fun, my surroundings didn’t allow for it, claimin’ that I gotta do my best since I got the ability to back it. …Somehow, one way or ‘nother, I became an S-Rank like that.”
He recited while looking into the distance, but…somehow it totally sounded like the the thinking of a tragic hero.
I rolled my eyes, “You worry too much about those around you. Now listen, helping other people is something where your body moves without you explicitly thinking that you must save them, you know? Don’t think, but feel! And, even if others bicker about you doing whatever you want to do, ignore it. Just tell them that this is what you wanted to do, and be done with it. Some people might not be satisfied with such an explanation, sure. But, who cares? If it gnaws at you, this would be the perfect reason to go to a bar and have someone listen to your whining about how evil the world is.”
Sword exploded into laughter. Afterwards he leaned on me. Heavy…
“Yeah, you’re goin’ to be in charge of that job from now on.”
“…I don’t really mind, but if you’re going to complain about stuff resulting from us having partnered up, I’d be the main target of it, wouldn’t I?”
Haven’t you been terribly unhappy with me so far as well?
“At this point, the S-Rank adventurer, Sir Sword, can’t simply go to a bar to bitch ’round. Pretendin’ as if nothin’ happened. Besides, I don’t feel like goin’ there since the booze and snack taste shitty.”
“Ale is a no go as well? Ale is being produced in this world, right? I heard that it’s a common drink in any bar.”
Beer doesn’t exist, but it seems like ale does. Beer is made out of hops, isn’t it?
Well, since I haven’t seen the genuine articles, I can’t tell which of them uses hops. Hops aren’t used in this world either, or rather, sour ale without any bitterness is commonplace here.
“Your booze is cool, bitter, and doesn’t have any sourness. It tastes awesome if you drink it when thirsty. Once you get used to drinkin’ that stuff, you can’t go back to the normal stuff anymore.”
While listening to Sword, I felt…somewhat sorry. I might be at fault for Sword gradually becoming more and more of a loner.
In the past, when he went to bars and treated folks to the liquor he had on him, he was apparently told, 「You’re just bragging around by treating us to expensive booze you bought with the money you ripped off adventurers who got turned into slaves」.
…Sword might have a slight tendency to be visited by misfortune.
“…Let’s see, maybe I should open a stall where you can drink and eat on site at the times when you feel like wanting to go drink at a bar. I have absolutely no clue about the necessary formalities, though! That’d be the perfect opportunity to flash around your authority as an S-Rank. I could run a stall at some suitable place, allowing you to drink with everyone. If it’s cheap, nasty liquor, I can brew it even while we’re on the move. I’d just need to sell it as liquor catered towards adventurers, right?”
As might be expected, our current stock is too small for using it to treat everyone to liquor.
Sword laughed happily. Then he ruffled up my hair.
“That sounds like a really great idea. But, you don’t need to worry so much ’bout me. Still since I’m kinda interested in that 『cheap, nasty liquor』 of yours, please make it by all means.”
In the end it’s all about the alcohol, huh?