Early morning the next day, Snow and I offer prayers to the church. This was done in order to consume the experience we gathered yesterday. And as a result, I became level 16, and Snow level 17.
If everything goes as planned then the weapons for Snow and I will be done by tonight.
Without those weapons, any weapon used on the twenty-seventh floor would be rendered useless.
While wondering what to do until night, Snow and I return to the guild 『Epic Seeker』. However, I stop when I see a crowd had formed at the entrance.
I’m sure the guild didn’t have any job today…….
「Did something happen……?」
As the guild master, I called out to the group of people.
The eyes of the crowd move towards me.
And when our eyes meet, I was shocked at the level of the gathered people. I understood it even without 『Observe』. The quality of the magic power spilling out of their bodies told me of their capability.
With my level having gone up, the precision of dimension magic also went up, and because of that I felt like the level of my understanding of the magic power in the air had also increased.
From among that group of people, the man with the noticeably dense magic power steps forward.
「That appearance. Are you the guild master of 『Epic Seeker』?」
「Ha, haa, that’s right……」
「Let me introduce myself. I am the guild master of 『Supreme』. Elmillad Sidrik. I am pleased to make your acquaintance」
The man with the high magic power, Elmillad Sidrik, extends his hand towards me.
While gripping his hand in return, I 『Observe』 the man.
Name : Elmillad Sidrik HP200/201 MP299/299 Class : Knight
Level : 20
Strength4.79 Vitality2.81 Dexterity4.12 Agility7.29 Intelligence7.19 Magic18.09 Potential1.67
Innate Skills : Attribute Magic1.92
Acquired Skills: Magic Combat1.88 Swordsmanship0.89
An undisputed talent. He has attribute magic as an innate skill, and his magic towers above the rest.
Also, the fact that his level and skills are so high while he’s young shows the effort he put in.
He is a man with blonde hair that freely spills to his shoulders, and characteristic almond eyes. On top of that, he wears noble like clothing and behaves in an undaunted manner. The impression I get is that he never lets his guard down.
「Umm, I’m Aikawa Kanami. Although I am still a novice who can’t tell right from left, I look forward to working with you」
「Can’t tell right from left is it……. Well that’s fine…….」
After ending the handshake, Sidrik immediately moves away.
He looks a bit offended.
I might’ve done something rude without knowing. At any rate, I am a 『Foreigner』. There are many chances for me to make mistakes.
Questioning whether there was a problem with my etiquette, I turn to Snow.
What is there is Snow making a bitter face
「Lo, Lord Sidrik…… ?」
And then, Sidrik-san’s name is muttered.
Snow attached the honorific「Lord」. From that, I can guess that he’s a person with a fairly high status. (TL: lord = kyou)
「It’s been a long time, Snow. Just like in the academy, feel free to call me El」
「No, this isn’t a place of study so……」
「We get along don’t we Snow? There’s no problem」
From their conversation, I understood that the two of them were classmates at the academy.
Not knowing how to interact with this arrogant person, I decided to step back and let Snow handle it. Sidrik sees that without saying a thing. However, as I was stepping back, Snow pointed eyes full of criticism at me. I understood even without words. She’s saying 「Don’t run」.
I return 「Do your best」 with my own eyes, and make a radiant smile.
「So, Snow. I’ve come with a request for 『Epic Seeker』 today. Would you lend me your strength as friends from the same academy?」
Sidrik-san leaves me the guild master aside, and continues talking with Snow.
「Aah, from what I’ve heard, ever since you returned 『Epic Seeker’s』 activities have been remarkable. I’ve also heard that you have done too much and finished the jobs from the country in a single day. It is that you, that I want to cooperate with」
「N, no, I didn’t do――」
「I know that you are a modest woman. Different from those imbeciles, I can properly evaluate your strength. If not for you, then it’d be impossible for a guild to finish their work in a single day」
It looks like Sidrik-san has quite the eyes himself. He understands Snow’s strength.
「No, I really didn’t do a thing. Everything was thanks to Palinchlon Legacy, and the new guild master」
「Fumu……. Palinchon is, well, I understand. However, can that spiritless man be of any use?」
Ha, spiritless…… ?
I know that I’m being insulted, but I don’t know how to reply.
However, just as I was about to nod about being spiritless, Snow glares.
With her eyes she says 「Show some spirit right now. Spirit」. However, that’s not something I can just take out. I could only shake my head to that.
Seeing that, Snow’s cheeks puff out a bit, and she turns back to Sidrik-san.
「…… Kanami is an excellent guild master. No doubt」
「No doubt? What a surprise. It has been a long time since I’ve last seen the careful you assert something. If it’s to that extent, are you saying that this man is capable」
「Eeh, he is our 『Epic Seeker’s』 guild master……. Above all, he is the only partner I acknowledge」
Snow clearly said I’m her partner.
It’s my first time hearing those words from the taciturn Snow. Embarrassed, I scratch my cheeks. Looking closer, it feels like Snow’s face is also a bit red.
Sidrik-san sees that, and makes a displeased expression.
「…… Okay. If Snow says that much, then he is a person worth testing. It also works in my desire to cooperate for this occasion」
「Desire to cooperate…… ?」
「Aah, a vacancy opened up in Lauravia’s plan that is scheduled for today. In order to fill it, I came to request the famed guild 『Epic Seeker』」
「Please tell us the details of the plan」
「The plan is simple. Laruavia will service the 『Correct Path』 of the tenth and twentieth floors that became nothing but a simple room not too long ago by their own hands」
「Construction on the 『Correct Path』 is it……. With the Guardian’s gone, the rooms have lost their magic power and now need a new barrier affixed……」
「As expected of Snow. A fine conjecture」
Because the rampaging flames were a nuisance before, the 『Correct Path』 was made with the minimum effort that it required. If I’m correct, the ninth and eleventh floor were only connected by a thin 『Line』.
And in order to fix it, a monster warding barrier needs to be constructed.
The guild 『Supreme』 desires to cooperate in that job.
「I will confirm it with Master」
「…… Aah, I understand」
Snow backs away and approaches me, and pulling my hand―― we move even further back. And then, after confirming that our voice won’t reach Sidrik-san, my foot was stepped on.
「…… Kanami. Why did you leave me behind?」
「Well, because you’re academy friends? I was trying to be helpful?」
「I see, that was unneeded meddling. Then next. Why, didn’t you say anything?」
「The thing about being spiritless? Something like that isn’t worth replying to. I know I’m being looked down on, but I don’t really think anything of it. Also, it’s true that I’m spiritless」
「…… Kanami definitely has spirit!」
「N, no, I don’t think I do…… ?」
Ever since I was born, I’ve never been told I had spirit. This is the first time I’ve been told this.
「Either way, it’d be bad to be looked down on. Because Kanami is our representative, say something back」
「That isn’t in my principles. Saying something back because you’re being looked down on, or being vain simply for face, I think it’s a little different. …… People will naturally come to understand through our activities. That’s the type of guild master I want to be」
「Naive again. Anyway, I can’t handle Kanami being looked down on」
「Th, thank you. But, it’d only end with them getting back wouldn’t it?」
Snow hears of my principle, and becomes silent. It wasn’t because she lost her words.
I could understand through her face alone that she doesn’t agree. In fact, Snow is dissatisfied with my peace seeking way of thinking. But, it’s probably just that she gave up on persuading me.
「―― Snow, not yet?」
Sidrik-san looks at us who were having a long conversation.
Snow sighs deeply, and calms herself.
「…… Haa. Then Kanami. What will you do about the 『Correct Path』 construction work?」
「We’ll cooperate as much as we can. That is our duty as a guild of Lauravia」
「Is that so」
After hearing my answer, Snow returns to Sidrik-san.
「Master accepts the call for cooperation」
「That’s a relief. Thank you, Snow」
「…… You should thank Master instead」
Snow returns her words in a worn-out state. Her tone also returned to its usual slovenliness.
「Of course. I am grateful to 『Epic Seeker’s』 guild master and its members. Then, I will begin explaining the details of the plan right away. Time is limited」
「…… Yes. Then let’s discuss it inside of 『Epic Seeker』」
Snow guides the Sidrik-san group inside.
While looking at that, I began thinking of something different.
It seems that when that VIP is here, Snow won’t skip out on work. Is there anyway to make use of that in the labyrinth search…… as I’m thinking of such things, Snow calls out to me in a loud voice.
In a panic I move towards 『Epic Seeker』 and enter in order to catch up.
The conversation with the guild 『Supreme』 ended quickly. To begin with, there is the fact that the plan was already perfected, but our guild 『Epic Seeker』 also doesn’t have the authority to interfere. And the 『Correct Path』 maintenance that Lauravia is in charge of is scheduled to start within the day.
The groups who will participate in the plan gather in front of the labyrinth, and with Sidrik-san’s shout they all quickly enter.
The amount of people participating in this plan are few. One government officials sent by the country, and three magic engineers in charge of reinforcing the 『Correct Path』. The guards are only a few people from the very top of each guild.
Each of the participating guilds are Lauravia’s main force. The chosen elites all have high abilities, and the one standing at the summit, is Sidrik-san.
Influence, individual strength, and social standing, the guild 『Supreme』 is top class in all of them.
To run the search himself is only natural to him.
Not even the government official sent by the country can match up to Sidrik-san.
From what I’ve heard, the Sidrik house is of royal lineage, and they are influential novels even among the five countries of the Allied Nations.
「Hee, that’s amazing. In other words, he’s royalty? No, can he be called a prince?」
「Kanami-kun, you didn’t even know that?」
While progressing through the labyrinth’s 『Correct Path』, besides me Teiri-san was astonished.
The members participating from the guild 『Epic Seeker』 are me, Snow, and Teiri-san. In truth I wanted to take Wolzak-san along, but since it was so sudden, he couldn’t make it in time.
Walking at the back of the line, I chat with Teiri-san.
I chat with Teiri-san at the back of the group.
「Sorry. I came from the countryside so……」
「Then there’s no helping it. It’s for that reason that Wolzak and I are here. If there’s anything you don’t know, feel free to ask」
「True. It looks like we’ll have a lot of free time today, so there are many things I’d like to hear」
「Free time……. This is, still the labrynth……」
「But with all theses strong members, we should have free time until the twentieth floor?」
「Even then since this is the labyrinth, if we act poorly there can be deaths」
「I am always keeping watch. It’s fine. No one will die」
「No one you say……. There’s no need to save the people from the other guilds. These types of things are their own responsibility」
「I understand that but……. If someone is about to die, I’m sure my body will move on its own. Even if, it’s someone not from 『Epic Seeker』……」
「Haa……. How naive. If you do something like that, no amount of lives would be enough?」
「That’s true……. I’ve been told by Snow……」
However, it’s fine like that. If I don’t save what is within my reach, I’m sure I will be crushed by regrets. As I was born in a different world, I have to live with those values. If there is someone who needs to be saved, I will save them as long as they can be saved. I’ve already resolved myself.
――The instant I thought that, I felt an odd discomfort.
A feeling that I’m mistaking something at my roots.
…… The resolve I made, was it really that resolve?
The answer doesn’t come. While holding some unease, I continue walking through the labyrinth.
It was easy since the people at the front defeated the monsters that came out. The job was mostly walking.
By the way, Snow was invited by Sidrik-san to the front. I understood with 《Dimension》 that she was in distress as she couldn’t refuse the instructions from a VIP.
「So, What kind of things do you want to hear Kanami-kun?」
「Let’s see. I want to hear more on nobles. Before I met Sidrik-san today, I didn’t even know of such amazing people so……. It was a bit embarrassing」
「That’s true. Not knowing of the Sidrik house is a problem. Then, I’ll teach you starting from the top」
Like this, Teiri-san’s lecture on the nobles of a different world begin.
Clearing her throat, Teiri-san begins speaking like a teacher.
「First, the royal family. Lately the authority of the royalty has fallen, but they are still at the very top. But, only the church of Whoseyards is higher. It’s only towards Whoseyards that the power of royalty is weak. That place is special because of its system. When going there, instead of royalty, be more cautious of the church」
「I understand. So the cultures between the countries are different」
「Next are the nobles. Though I say that, the only ones with power are the higher nobles. If it’s the nobles from the middle and below, there are even cases where their position is lower than merchants」
「Eeh, so there are various types of nobles」
「And, if there’s someone to be careful of among them, it’d be the Sidrik-house you mentioned before. It’s commonly called one of the four great nobles. Right now, the Hellvilleshine, Sidrik, Walker, and Araith, these four are the ones you should lower your head to」
「I will remember it. I can’t oppose those four names」
「That’s right. Then on that note, be a bit more kind to Snow 『Walker』」
「Eh, but I am being kind?」
「At times like just now, you should’ve protected Snow more. That child, even like that she is still a proper girl」
「Proper, I am still protecting her with 《Dimension》 at this very moment so it’s fine」
「No, not that……. Haa, it’s fine. Let’s move on. I will teach you about dangerous nobles and families, and influential merchants…….」
Teiri-san was most likely implying to keep Snow away from Sidrik-san.
The fact that Snow is weak with Sidrik-san, is something understandable at a glance. In truth she wanted to skip out, but with him as the other party she couldn’t even consider it. It’d be fine to say their compatibility is the worst.
However, I think this is also for Snow’s sake. That’s why, as long as something big doesn’t happen, I won’t lend a hand in this matter.
I think it’d be better to improve Snow’s habit of skipping out.
And so, while talking with Teiri-san, the group moves past a floor.
Since we’re progressing on the 『Correct Path』, there aren’t many battles. However, because there are a greater number of people than usual, it does attract more monsters.
I notice monsters approaching with 《Dimension》. However, there is no need for me to debut for lower rank monster when the people here are close to level 20.
I only watch from afar, making sure that no accidents occur.
On the other hand, Sidrik-san is constantly giving out orders. It seems like he has a confident personality that always wants to be in control. Snow should be the opposite type of person, but for some reason he is greatly interested in Snow.
A question comes up, and I casually ask Teiri-san.
「―― That’s because Snow’s lineage is good but she is a weak child. Because Snow can’t assert herself. To him, a woman who is easy to manage and from a respectable family like Snow is ideal」
「Snow is weak…… ? But she’s always saying selfish things with me…… ?」
「Is that so? Snow, she doesn’t use her all, but she should be the type who silently does the minimum?」
「No, she always pushes the documents onto me. And she’s always complaining?」
「Hee, that’s something……. She must be pleased with you. It must be the same feeling she has with her older brother Glen-kun」
「Is that how it is…… ?」
「How nostalgic. In the past, when Glen-kun was in 『Epic Seeker』, I was at the lowest position in the guild. But, even now I can still remember that scene. Always accompanying the excellent but timid Glen-kun was Snow right behind him constantly scolding him」
「Hee, they got along didn’t they. And Snow said they didn’t get along, she must’ve been hiding her embarrassment」
「Nnn, they were on good terms in the past. But, if I were to describe it now then it’d be complex. Glen-kun and Snow, people change from certain incidents. I’m sure, they don’t get along as they did in the past」
「Certain incident……? What happened…… ?」
「You should hear that from the person herself. As for myself, I don’t want to pour water on the exciting drama between Kanami-kun and Snow」
I thought that Teiri-san was one of the serious ones in 『Epic Seeker』, but there’s no longer any doubt that she is also a member of 『Epic Seeker』. It’s like they’re watching a dream, they are all strange.
「That story is something very important. In exchange, I will tell you something more interesting. Before, you asked about why Elmillad Sidrik is interested in Snow. In truth, it is something more simple」
「Amazingly, the two are engaged!!」
Teiri-san pleasantly conveys a new truth to me.
No, isn’t it that, that I should be hearing from the person herself……?
「He, hee……. They’re engaged……」
「Ara, you aren’t surprised. And I thought you’d be more surprised or panicked……」
It seems like she wasn’t pleased with my reaction. I faintly understood it. This person, she wants me and Snow to be the Hero and Princess in a story.
「No, it’s something that fits with what I’ve been hearing. The two are part of the four great nobles and their ages are close, they were also together in the academy. From what I can see from Sidrik-san’s behavior, it isn’t something unbelievable」
「Aah, I see. And? Now that you heard that the two are engaged, what do you think? Can you tell Onee-san? Please」
「No, nothing in particular. I think it’s a fitting marriage…… ?」
「Eh, Eehー……. Are you serious, Kanami-kun……」
「One way or another, I think their interests align. And from what I could see, it doesn’t look like Sidrik-san is a bad person. People like that are strict towards enemies, but kind towards family. He’s overflowing with talent, and he has high ambition, Snow’s future will surely be peaceful」
「…… U, uuun. You really are, a bit strange」
「Eh, eeh? Did my answer just now have anything strange about it? Even if it did, I don’t want Teiri-san saying anything about it」
I objectively spoke of my evaluation of the marriage between the two, but now I was worrying with a stiff face.
However, I don’t want to hear it from Teiri-san who is watching a dream at that age.
「I also don’t want to say it. …… Hey, could it be that you don’t like Snow, Kanami-kun?」
「I’m still not sure about that. We only recently met」
「Even then you should have some like or dislike? So, does our Snow interest you? Does she not interest you?」
「No, I don’t have the leisure to think of such things……. I’m working hard for the sake of my sister……」
「For your sister to come out at that point, you must be a siscon like Palinchlon said……」
「Why did it become like that……」
「If you don’t acknowledge that you’re a siscon, then I’ll have you answer honestly right now! Well!」
With a serious expression, Teiri-san begins interrogating me.
It’s my first time seeing Teiri-san so serious. As I thought, everyone in 『Epic Seeker』 is strange. The places they do their best in are weird.
Honestly, I don’t think I’d have a problem being acknowledged as a siscon.
In fact, the most important person to me in the world is my sister. There’s no questioning that.
But, I better answer here in order to appease Teiri-san’s feelings.
「Let’s see. I like Snow. She is a pretty kid」
「For some reason, I don’t like it when you say it so easily……」
「Then what should I do……」
「Uuun, was Kanami-kun this dry…… ?」
「Eh, I’m dry…… ?」
I tilt my head at those rare words.
I don’t think of myself as someone dry. Rather, I should be the more emotional type. ―― I should, but thinking back, it might be true that the conversation just now was a little dry. It was cold towards Snow.
Was I such an indifferent, rational person…… ?
Like this it’s like――
I suppress a pain in my head, and force a laugh towards Teiri-san. I somehow managed to avoid exposing it to her.
After that, we kill time with trivial conversations.
And so, with no incident, the group reaches the tenth floor.
Of course, the time it took was twice as long as a usual searcher.
Finding free time, I approach the 《Connection》 in the corner of the room. Since it’s covered in an inconspicuous cloth, and because of the labrynth’s darkness, the others don’t notice it.
Since the construction work is mainly being done in the center of the room, there weren’t any people going to the corners of the room. In relief I enter the napping group, and cast my eyes down when I hear a voice.
Before I knew it, Snow sat next to me in a completely exhausted state.
「What is it?」
「…… I’m tired. Really tired. Very tired」
「That’s what work is. Good job」
While showing my gratitude, I take out a beverage from 『Items』 and hand it over.
「…… Come with me to the front. Please」
While taking the beverage, Snow pleads in a frail voice.
「Me? But, I don’t think Sidrik-san would agree?」
「…… That doesn’t matter. I’ll be fine together with Kanami」
「Isn’t that, just you wanting to push the work on me so you can have it easy? This isn’t a job among our organization. You can’t forcefully change positions with such a reason」
「I, it’s not like I want to make it easier」
「Even if that’s true, it doesn’t change the fact that you would be acting selfishly. Can’t you endure it for today 」
「Sorry, even then I want you there. I’ll be fine by Kanami’s side. It’s fine if you’re by my side」
Snow is being stubborn about me accompanying her. With a suspicion, I ask Snow in a quiet voice.
「Ehー, ahー, do you hate Sidrik-san that much?」
「…… It’s a little different from hate. It’s a pain」
「If it’s a pain, then you should act the same as always. It’s because you’re strangely forcing yourself that it became like that. I’m sure he’ll understand」
「I have to be like that. Even if it doesn’t anger him, it’ll anger the people from my house. If it’s like that, it’ll be even more of a pain」
It seems like it’s connected to her house’s circumstances. As the engagement had been decided, disrespecting him might be shameful for the house.
「Even if I’m there, the fact that it’s a pain won’t change will it?」
「Being a pain won’t change, but I’ll be calm. I can relax」
「Well, if I’m there, you can be at peace when fighting but……」
With an earnest expression, she continues pleading.
With her being so desperate, I couldn’t do anything but agree.
「Okay. If you say that much, I’ll do it」
「…… Thank goodness」
Once she sees me agree, Snow shuts her eyes. And so, she begins sleeping, and leans on me.
Thinking it’d be bad if others see this, I take out a blanket from 『Items』 and make a pillow for Snow.
I separate a little from Snow and take a break myself.
It looks like Snow was quite exhausted.
If possible, I wanted Snow to climb over this herself, but it didn’t go so well. In a state of total exhaustion, she came back with a broken heart. In other words, she appears bold, but is in fact a person with a weak heart.
―― Once that’s learned, there’s no helping it.
Deciding to help Snow, I resume my nap.
Closing my eyes, I save up strength in order to help Snow.