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Vol 5: Chapter 30

The Red Gate problem has been solved for the time being. Some shadows were occasionally visible beyond the crack, but they could no longer interfere with this world.

The mediator was the only problem left after that. Grenjido-sama and the tall knight – who seemed to be the supreme commander of the Saint Knight Kingdom’s army – defeated the mediator. The mediator disappeared without any further provocations, leaving behind only his Mithril armor on the spot.

End Fang took its last breath.

When I examined the giant’s body later, its muscles were torn here and there, blood vessels were ruptured, and internal organs were severely damaged. The mediator had squeezed the giant’s life out of it.

I relayed that information to everyone, the day after the battle.

「Well, I guess things have settled down for now.」Dante-san said, with a troubled expression.

I was currently in Lulusha-san’s tent, where Silver Balance were also staying.

「Yes, and I was released too.」

Lulusha-san who was previously arrested for making a “false report” on discovering “Heroic Gears” has been released.

It was evident that Silver Balance was able to significantly reduce the damage caused by End Fang with the practical use of “Heroic Gears”. The Heroic Gears were proved to be the same as the ones discovered and reported by Lulusha-san’s team.

Silver Balance reported that they had found the Heroic Gears at a facility managed by Labyrinth Capture Division 1. After interrogating the thugs who were guarding the Heroic Gears, it was discovered that the head of Capture Division 1 and the head clerk of Rororo Company instructed the heist. The two of them were then arrested and currently under investigation.

「Man, everything was solved while I was asleep.」

Muge-san said, while scratching his head. He was hit in the head and dropped unconscious during the Heroic Gear theft. After that, he underwent medical treatment under the supervision of the Empire and had finally recovered.

「What will happen to the Heroic Gears?」I asked.

「As per my proposal, it will be lent to the Kruvan Holy Kingdom, the Saint Knight Kingdom, and the Keith Gran Federation, who cooperated with this expedition. But… there are disputes over who gets which Heroic Gear.」Lulusha-san answered, with a bitter smile.

As far as I have gathered, “Reflective Mirror”, which seems to completely reflect any impact, no longer has a catalyst or an energy source.

“Twilight Cloak”, which has the effect of optical camouflage, was still functional.

“Quagmire How Tough”, which increases the weight of the target, was damaged.

All three of them seem to be unreproducible with the current magic, and their value was tremendous. But since “Quagmire How Tough” was broken, it makes sense that people will be fighting for the other two.

「In any case, with the lending of “Heroic Gears”, the Empire will not have to offer much else.」

All three countries did not dispatch troops without compensation. That was natural.

Originally, it would have been enough to hand over a few magic airships, but… it seems that there are almost none left.

Most were destroyed by End Fang’s magic.

If you think about it, a lot of people were killed.

「Reiji-kun, don’t make that face.」Non-san said.

Perhaps I had a dark expression on my face.

「The people who died in the fight put their lives on the line to restore peace to this country. Everyone knows that.」Non-san added.

「……Yes.」

「That’s right, Reiji. You and I, we did our best. Rather, you did way more than your best. I’m not saying don’t worry about the dead, but you’re worrying too much. Even right now, some guy somewhere just died. You don’t have to worry too much about that.」Dante-san said.

「Father, that doesn’t sound like a comforting argument.」

「Heh, I don’t really get the complicated stuff.」

Dante-san said, folding his arms and turning away in a huff.

It looked so strange that I burst out laughing despite myself.

「Thank you, Dante-san, Non-san. The damage to the city is so great that I felt a little depressed.」

The Red Gate was sealed, but the city destroyed by the monsters remained the same.

A large number of dead bodies and destroyed buildings and homes.

Only less than hall the cityscape was left intact. Maybe we should count ourselves lucky that at least half was left intact?

「From now on, the Empire must make a big change in policy.」Lulusha-san said.

「Indeed. I’m sure they will have more exchanges with other countries from now on. Peddling will surely flourish!」Muge-san said.

「Oh, Muge-san, are you still going to continue your peddling business? Didn’t you obtain a large amount of money from the Rororo Company?」I asked.

「O-Oh, about that…」Muge-san started being evasive.

「Muge-san offered to provide a large amount of funding for the reconstruction of the Empire.」

A slender Lev, who appeared at the entrance, said.

……Who is this? He seems to be biting on a toothpick even.

「Fufu, that is Abba. The deputy director of the Foreign Affairs Bureau.」

「EH?」

Eeeeeh!? The fat Lev who was always sucking on syrup!?

「Looking at your surprised face, I wonder how you viewed me until now.」

Abba-san said while frowning, and took the toothpick from his mouth.

「Many companies, not just Muge-san, have offered to fund the Empire’s reconstruction. We will be importing a lot of materials from neighboring countries to recreate the city. …Even so, there are many Levs who don’t want to return.」

I heard that the Kruvan Holy Kingdom accepted Lev refugees.

That country must be easier for Levs to live in rather than the Keith Gran Federation, which is based on the supremacy of the human race, and the Saint Knight Kingdom, where the human race is the majority even if there is no prejudice.

「Well, that’s why I’m going back to peddling with my partner! Rather, there are no more new labyrinth expeditions, so it’s more profitable to peddle than to develop technology in the Empire! Ahahaha!」Muge-san said, and laughed heartily.

It seems that the government will return the provided funds with interest after the reconstruction, which is a kind of “investment”.

It is like a bet you wouldn’t lose. However, if the Empire collapses during this period, the funds will not be returned. Moreover, Muge-san said that he is going to peddle for the Empire. Perhaps he intends to revive the Empire with all his heart.

「I would like to help out too!」I said.

「Thank you, Reiji-san. But the Empire is still greatly indebted to you. Please let us do our best to repay it.」Lulusha-san said.

「No… there is no need for that.」

「There is a need for that. Beginning with the capture of the labyrinth, you helped with the subjugation of the giant sea anemone and saved the air carrier, Sky Harvest, from crashing. And you even saved Her Highness Anastasia, right? As soon as you returned, you fought against the giant monster called End Fang, and then you used the dragons to block the Red Gate. Our debt to you is continuously piling up.」

「N-Not at all… I wasn’t the only one who was fighting, right?」

I simply did the best I could.

「It is exactly as Lulusha-dono says. Of course, not only you, but we are also indebted to Silver Balance, and the Black Sky Pirate. That is why I came to call you guys. His Majesty has told me that he will reward you to celebrate the blockade of the Red Gate.」Abba-san said.

「Well, that is quite soon.」

Dante-san said, raising an eyebrow. It would make more sense if the compensation was paid after the situation has settled down, so rewards right on the heels of yesterday’s battle certainly seems too soon.

「That’s because you are adventurers. If we don’t do it as soon as possible, you would pack up and leave somewhere. And it may also have something to do with the fact that I told the director it would bring shame to the Empire if we allowed our benefactors to leave without rewarding them.」Abba said, grinning broadly.

……That grin looked creepy when he was fat, but it looks pretty good on him now. Maintaining a healthy figure is important, after all.

「I see. You heard him, Mimino. Are you ready?」

Dante-san called out to Mimino-san, who had been working silently in the back of the tent until now.

「Yeah, yeah! Okay, I am done!」

Mimino-san stood up. What she held in her hands was my clothes.

「I fixed it to fit Reiji-kun’s current height!」

I returned the Saint Knight Kingdom’s uniform, and was wearing shabby clothes. So Mimino-san asked for my old clothes which I wore in the past and fixed it up for me.

I went on to change my clothes out of view.

「Yup, it looks good on you!」Mimino-san said.

There were flashy embroideries on the sleeves, perhaps it was Halfling fashion. The cloth felt soft and the comfort was outstanding.

Above all, I was happy to see Mimino-san, who handmade it, being all smiles.

「I-Is that so?」I asked.

「Reiji-kun has always been a handsome man. You look good no matter what you wear.」

「Ah, umm… Thank you, Mimino-san.」

「Ehehehe~」

Mimino-san, who was now a little shorter than me, puffed her chest with pride. So cute! It makes me want to stroke her head, but that’s probably not the reaction that Mimino-san wants. Rather, Mimino-san is the one who wants to stroke my head all the time.

「Alright, then, Shall we go? I wonder what kind of reward we will get.」

We stood up in response to Dante-san’s words.