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Vol 6: Chapter 7 (1)

A Hero of the Past And A Revolutionary Begin to Move

★ Valhalla, the capital of the Keith Gran Federation ★

The man in front of the two stern men was even more stern.

Looking back on his life as an adventurer, Dante has seen many large men.

The same is true for Joseph, who was next to Dante. His bald head was shiny today as well.

However–

(Gurgio… As one would expect of an adventurer who climbed to the Mithril-rank as a shield-bearer.)

The man was so tall that even Dante had to look up at him. And the thickness of his body was far from human.

His hair, which used to look like a bossy mane when he was an active adventurer, is now cleanly trimmed. The numerous scars on his face, and the glove on his left-hand prosthesis signified his experience as a veteran.

It was strange that he was wearing noble clothes instead of armor.

「——Good grief. It’s just one thing after another.」

Gurgio had Joseph and Dante sit on the sofa in the reception room.

This is an Adventurer’s guild in Valhalla. It was the guild master’s reception room.

Dante, an active gold-rank adventurer, and Joseph, a former gold-rank adventurer who has retired and now serving as a guild trainer, are both quite famous in a number of places. However, their fame is completely overshadowed by Gurgio’s.

Gurgio should be 20 years older than the two, but the presence he exudes is as if he is still fighting on the front lines.

「Let’s take a look at the report.」

Gurgio quickly looked over the paper presented by Joseph.

Although Joseph came here as a messenger of the Achenbach Dukedom’s Adventurer’s Guild, he had to wait a whole 10 days to meet with Gurgio. Gurgio was extremely busy.

He did not force Joseph to wait just to show off his position. As evidence, Gurgio was polite to both Joseph and Dante.

「I think the depletion of the Sixth Mine is a very important issue.」Joseph said.

「That’s right. But this isn’t a matter that can be handled by adventurers. The Duke’s army and the King’s knights should make the move.」Gurgio said.

「…………」

「You have a look which seems to say that that much force isn’t enough. I have never actually seen a dragon with my own two eyes. Is it really so threatening?」

If it was the dragon which attacked the city in Achenbach Dukedom, it may be possible for this superhuman guild master to subjugate it on his own.

Although there is a difference between active and retired adventurers, the magic of the half-elf Crysta-la-Crysta, who was the same Mithril-rank, was tremendous.

However, it is said that the size of the dragon in the depths of the Sixth Mine is several times larger than that which attacked the city in the past.

「To be frank, I don’t think you can beat it unless with a gathering of elites.」Joseph straightened his back and replied.

「Leaving aside the Duke’s army, King Geffert’s unit is no pushover. There are four-star knights within their ranks.」Gurgio said.

「But quality is more important than numbers when fighting a dragon.」

「Yeah, they might be wiped out. And if they’re wiped out.. then it’s finally my turn.」

Joseph’s spine froze when he saw Gurgio’s ferocious smile.

At this moment, he fully realized the difference between him and Gurgio.

The difference in power was so vast.

How long can Dante and Joseph last if they were to fight against Gurgio here and now?

A few minutes? Or perhaps — only a few seconds?

(I thought I was quite strong myself, but I still have a long way to go…)

Dante thought to himself.

The higher your skill, the more keenly you can sense the difference with a true master.

It is the same for adventurers. The higher your ability, the more clearly you can sense the difference with the adventurers ranked above you.

「…Is what I’d like to say, but I have to be on standby.」

「Wha? W-Why !?」

Joseph exclaimed at Gurgio’s response that seemed anticlimactic.

「That’s why I have been busy lately. Apparently there was a notice from the Church. To be prepared for the upcoming turmoil. From His Majesty’s point of view, the Sixth Mine is a temporary problem – in the first place, the mine has been inaccessible lately – and the Church’s prediction takes precedence.」

「…………」

「Hmm, looking at your faces, you seem to know what is going on?」

「Yes, I heard from Dante over here. I think his companion reported to the Church.」

「I see. If that’s the case, this should make it easier to understand. Bring all your friends to Valhalla. We should have as much force as possible.」

「But why? You are here after all, Gurgio-sama.」

Dante spoke, for the first time.

「Yes. Usually, I can protect it alone.」Gurgio responded.

「…Then we’ll go to another city’s defence.」Dante said.

Gurgio shook his head in response.

「If things are really dangerous as they sound, it’s out of the question to disperse our forces.」

Dante was surprised. Gurgio had already grasped the “fusion of the two worlds” crisis.

「What about the guild? How will the adventurers move?」Dante asked.

「The guild can’t do anything.」

「Nothing!? Why? You already seem to understand the impending danger.」

「Am I supposed to order them to stay in the city because something might happen in the future? Freedom is the creed of adventurers. They’re not the type to sit around quietly if there’s no money to be made.」

「Can’t you procure a budget?」Joseph said from the side.

「Of course we can’t, moron. Even the Sixth Mine is in a dire state.」

「Well, so why doesn’t the headquarters–」

「The guild doesn’t have enough money. So I asked the nobles here and there, but it’s no good.」

Dante and Joseph finally learned why Gurgio was busy.

He was asking the nobles to contribute funds.

To protect the city using adventurers.

「This whole thing stinks of danger. More than any monster I’ve ever faced.」

Gurgio, who sensed the impending crisis with a supernatural “premonition”, and the nobles, who live in a cozy environment, have a completely different way of responding to the crisis.

(Does that mean the Adventurer’s Guild is not going to take any measures?)

Actually, Dante had already expected this outcome before he brought this matter to the Adventurer’s Guild.

It is difficult to bind an adventurer.

Unless you have money to make a “request” or there is a huge dragon attacking, it is difficult to gather adventurers.

「…Gurgio-sama. I have a suggestion.」

「Hmm?」

Gurgio turned his gaze towards Dante, who raised his hand modestly.

「We can somewhat work out a certain schedule for the fusion of the world. The problem is the invasion of monsters that will occur after that.」

「Yeah, so? It may only be a few days at most, but do you know how much it will cost to retain all the adventurers for a few days in the Adventurers Guild?」Gurgio said.

「Hmm, unfortunately I don’t know, but there is someone who has calculated the approximate numbers.」

Dante recalled a brilliant boy who is also a member of his party.

When Dante stated the approximated number to Gurgio — genuine surprise showed on his face for the first time.

「Hou… it’s not so off from the numbers I had my staff calculate for three days and three nights. How did you calculate it?」

「Hahaha. I asked the same question, but I just couldn’t understand it.」Dante said.

The calculation done by Reiji is the so-called “Fermi estimation”.

For those who do not know the real numbers or the actual situation, you can guess based on some clues. On the contrary, the adventurer guild took a long time because they had to calculate the actual numbers only after collecting the information on the number of guilds, the number of adventurers, and their ranks.

On the other hand, Reiji only needed to grasp the rough numbers, so it did not take him long to calculate.

On a side note, the amount of money that was calculated was comparable to the budget to run a small country for half a year. Reiji had already discussed these before parting ways with Dante.

「In any case, the person who made the calculation says, “There are many ways to retain adventurers”.」Dante said.

「That sounds like an exaggeration.」Gurgio said.

「No. Because we have spent too much time as adventurers, we are bound by the idea that it would be difficult to retain “free” adventurers, but we can guarantee their help with money through “request”.」

「Hmm… we, who should be “free”, are “bound” by an idea, huh. I suppose you can look at it that way.」Gurgio said, while touching his chin.

Dante was impressed by Gurgio, who can still recognize his mistakes and shortcomings even at his position and age. Due to that, Dante thought that Gurgio would be able to do it. To retain the adventurers and fight an unknown disaster. Dante saw “hope”.

「Then, let’s hear it. What kind of proposal is the “many ways” suggested by that person?」Gurgio asked.

「Yes. Actually–」

Dante then told Gurgio about the many ways that Reiji had proposed.

Their discussions continued until late at night—Gurgio decided to cancel all remaining appointments on that day.

It was only a few days after that that the Adventurer’s Guild started to make big moves centered around Gurgio.

**

A bell rang.

The meeting was temporarily paused. I felt my stiff body loosen up a bit. The Pope and the Cardinal had to consult with each other, so I was released from my escort duty. I walked alone through the corridor of the castle towards the waiting room.

「Reiji-kun!」

The first thing I noticed was Mimino-san, and next to her was Non-san. Both of them were headed toward me in the corridor.

「What’s wrong, you two?」I asked.

「We were worried since you had returned to your black hair. So we wanted to check up on you during this break time…」Mimino-san said.

I was happy that they were worried for me, but I also felt kind of uneasy.

I talked about what happened earlier. When Non-san heard that Her Holiness the Pope would guarantee my identity, she gasped deeply. …Is it truly that significant?

「——Oh, there you are. Reiji-kun.」

A voice called from behind. As I turned around, a smiling face came into view.

「R-Representative Holiday!?」

It was Representative Holiday, who pointed me out earlier as the “Child of Disaster”.

Mimino-san and Non-san both slid in front of me.

「Oh, you don’t have to be so on guard. I just want to talk to you.」he said.

「…Talk?」

「First of all, let’s reduce that hostility, okay? I am not going to harm you. The proof of that is that I am standing alone in front of you.」

It was true that representative Holiday was standing in front of us alone.

「But there are a total of 12 people hiding in the back of the corridor and outside the windows, though?」

Holiday was startled when I pointed that out.