A day after defeating the Dark Demonic Dragon. To receive the reward, I dropped by the office together with Ravi.
「Please wait in the innermost room on your right. The responsible officer will be with you in a moment. 」
I was guided by a female receptionist in glasses and headed to the said room. I opened the heavy door and there was already figures of the other quest participants in there.
「Yo, it’s been a while since yesterday. 」
「Yeah, good morning. 」
Ravi together with me gave a greeting. She hid herself behind me again immediately after saying that, she’s still shy as usual.
I met eyes with the bearded leader. He was silently bowed a little in a place little further away. I did the same. Ravi looked surprised after looking between me and the bearded leader, then waved her hand while peeking beside me. His eyes became wide and started stroking his beard with a troubled face.
(He’s also a single man like me)
I smiled wryly as I felt a camaraderie. Just at that time, the room’s door was opened, and two officer-like man entered. A man with an aquiline 1 nose came in front. He’s probably in the late fifties. He has a slightly tense face.
「Good job for the subjugation. To think that Dark Demonic Dragon would appear……. If you people weren’t there to exterminate it, the whole city might’ve been gone by now. I owe you one. ――Now, for the rewards. Self-Defense Corps Leader. 」
The bearded leader was summoned to the front. It was a bag that looked quite heavy that was handed out. He was prompted to check it and his eyes widened after looking into it.
「Oi, this is too much. 」
「It’s the total for subduing the Red-Eyed Dragon and also the Dark Demonic Dragon. Honestly, I wanted to give even more but……. I can’t possibly change the city’s budget allocated for emergency subjugation. 」
「It’s fine, won’t you get fired if you did that on your own accord! 」
The skinny man retorted, and everyone laughed with a ‘Gahahah―’.
The officer’s expression also loosened up.
The bearded leader received the bag and looked at his comrades. They all returned a nod while smiling.
He walked towards me and stood in front of me unexpectedly.
「This is all your stuff. You did it all without our help after all. Take it please. 」
He handed me the bag full of gold while saying that. I was so surprised my response was late by a beat. The others were also nodding satisfyingly. It looks like they’ve already decided this while I’m not around. But there’s no way I would take it like that.
「You can’t do that. It’s a quest everyone took part in. 」
Only those who performed outstandingly receives the reward. The party system would be meaningless if it’s like that.
Even more, I know fully well the helplessness for not performing well in a party. Of course, it’s not that I’m acknowledging the me at that time. But now that my position had switched, I wanted to be one that accepted my comrades, one that encouraged them.
「It just happened that I was the damage dealer. On top of that, I couldn’t have done it without you all act as the tank. 」
『Tank』refers to the most dangerous position holder who protects his allies, and distracts the enemies while taking hits. It’s a term used widely in between adventurers.
「No no, we didn’t even act like a tank!! 」
「That’s right! We were just being attacked one-sidedly!! 」
「And I was just standing there doing nothing……! 」
「Yeah, that’s just the worst. 」
For some reason, everyone started a furious debate about 『How Useless Yourself Were』. For the time being, I should wait them to cool down, and convince them again.
「When I was heading towards the Dark Demonic Dragon, the plan I thought of wasn’t to defeat it by myself. Because you all were there, I was able to formulate that plan there. That’s why we should split it up. It’s a victory attained by everyone. 」
I insisted that very strongly, and somehow convinced them to divide the rewards equally.
「Muhahahaha! You’re really just as I heard, such a bottomless good person! 」
It was a man with a curly hair behind the officer that let out a laugh manically. He’s wearing a really gaudy blue coat. Age is unknown. He looks young and old at the same time. He named himself the Guildmaster of the adventurer’s guild in Addinton.
I felt a slight pain in my abdomen from just hearing the word. Even though I know it’s pathetic after all that months had passed.
(Even so, why the Guildmaster……?)
The requests this time was from the city’s council, so it doesn’t relate to the guild in any way. As I was getting nervous waiting his next word…….
「Well a little, I was curious so I looked into you! Right after the incident with the orphanage. We have all kinds of contact in the guild after all. I wondered what rank you were. Then, Douglas Ford-san. I heard your license got revoked! 」
He’s saying it like it’s just another matter. Yeah that’s right. It’s not that I’m hiding it. But I didn’t know how to respond to that.
(Is this Guildmaster trying to mess with me?)
Really, I can’t grasp what he’s thinking.
The guildmaster who saw me being quiet looked a little surprised.
「Ah! Wait wait. Don’t misunderstand. Really, it’s my bad habit to ask in an unmannered way! It’s not that I’m making fun of you! 」
He stretched out his both hands suddenly with his pinky raised up and insisted desperately.
「Rather I don’t understand the meaning!『Haa!? What you mean!? 』, and I asked for more information. All I got from Balzac’s guild who revoked your license was a letter of『Lacking ability』, it’s impossible right! With the Dark Demonic Dragon yesterday, and also the witnesses were there! 」
Those that participated in the quests flicked up their thumbs suddenly.
「It’s not only that he performed well in battle, because of the soup that he offered around also increased the troops’ morale. Of course, his solo combat power, leadership in quests or party are also, far above mine. 」
The bearded man said such in a strong tone. As I was still trying to grasp the situation, the Guildmaster’s gaze had already returned to me.
「In other words. The letter of reissuing for your license will be offered by the Addinton’s guild. You’ll be needed to retake the exam before that but, with your level of ability, it’s a piece of cake. 」
「To deprive someone of their license like you who can subdue a Dark Demonic Dragon, I can’t fathom what Balzac’s guild was thinking. I really can’t get it at all. Was there some kind of situation? Should I request an investigation from the guild’s inspection council? 」
「No no, wait a bit!」
My thoughts finally caught up. They are trying to help me get back my license out of their good will. But it seems that they’re misunderstanding something, so I ought to correct that.
「Balzac’s decision wasn’t in the wrong. At that time, I was in fact a baggage that couldn’t even clear a quest. 」
「But weren’t you the guild’s top ranker? 」
「I-I had dropped hard……」
「A 『dropped hard』 adventurer can deal with a SS-rank dragon?」
The Guildmaster looked at me suspiciously while narrowing his eyes.
「I was…… that time, gotten some kind of disease……」
「Even so, that isn’t natural. If it were a recoverable disease, at most you’ve only gotten your license suspended. 」
(……I guess I must tell the truth)
「I thought it was because of a disease and my physical degradation, but turns out that I was cursed. So, for me to be getting my abilities back, there wasn’t anyone who thought that at that time. 」
He was speechless after hearing my explanation.
「And there’s also a bunch of complicated circumstances surrounding that, so please don’t ask any further. 」
「I-I see……. Well, everyone had their own shares of hardships……. But leaving that aside, rest assure that we will help you get back your license! 」
To be getting back my license. I haven’t thought of that.
(……What I’m supposed to do?)
Getting back my license and return to being an adventurer. I’m sure it wouldn’t be difficult like last time.
It’s strange but I don’t feel any passion when I heard I would be getting back my license.
(Even though I was so obsessed back then)
The days when I was active in the frontline, and the pathetic days I spent desperately clinging onto it. To compare with it, I feel like I’m more suited to the life I’m having now.
Also, I’m currently escorting Ravi. There’s also the exam for getting the license, then lectures and trainings that’s compulsory if I were to get accepted again.
「Now, don’t hold back! 」
Once again, he stuck out his both hands with his pinky standing and hurried me. I smiled wryly and shook my head sideways.
「No, it’s better not to after all.」
「You’re rejecting it!? Won’t your life get better if you had the license!? 」
The faces in the scene looked surprised and voiced out. Their momentum was overwhelming but, my feelings won’t change after all.
「I’ve recently started to think my life isn’t so bad now. But, I appreciate all of your concerns. 」
I lowered my head and denied it, then there was a somewhat disappointed look on everyone’s face. But even so, they seemed to acknowledge my feelings in the end.
「Since I’m indebted to you in various ways, I wanted to repay something to Addinton as well but……. The strongest traveler that doesn’t belong to the Guild sounds cool too. 」
「And also with a child.」
The bearded leader added those words while snickering. Everyone agreed, and a bright laughter was resounded. I looked at Ravi and we both laughed too. To think that knowing someone in this unfamiliar city, and able to be laughing together like this. It was something I couldn’t even imagine when I was still an adventurer, obsessing over the license.
(But this is nice)
I thought that in my heart.