「By the way Laura, the hero party, do you know where they are now? 」
「Eh. ……You’re going to meet them? 」
Laura’s expression turned a little cloudy.
「Ah! No. It’s not that I want to return to their party. 」
I panickily added on, and Laura’s eyes became round and laughed lightly.
「I didn’t think that’s the case! Douglas-san, you had a really refreshed expression than when you left the town. After all, you’ve gotten the matter about the hero party blown from your mind, right? 」
「Yeah. I guess so……」
I gave a vague response. The wish to return to the party, I had already stopped thinking about it back then.
The problem is the curse that was probably cast on me by Alan. I’ve always postponed thinking about that matter. That is why, I haven’t prepared my emotions to face it yet.
「Unn, it was unfortunate. You just missed each other. They were still in Balzac a few days ago! But then they went somewhere. 」
「Did they head out to subjugate the Demon King? 」
「The possibility of that is low. You see, the guild hasn’t given out quest to subjugate the Demon King. 」
It would be impossible that they went to subjugate the Demon King without receiving a quest.
「That’s why when they disappeared suddenly, the townsfolks were talking like they’ve ran away. But for me, I felt refreshed because they went away! 」
「Refreshed……? What do you mean? 」
「I mean, there were all kinds of troubles. 」
Laura shrugged her shoulders and sighed.
「After Douglas-san left the town. Dario from the Hero party had been haggling excessively, getting tabs from stores in the town. He just became a bad customer in general. That really annoyed merchants like us. 」
「That was unexpected. Were they lacking funds or something? 」
The rewards for any quests the hero party receive should be very high. It would be unthinkable for that to happen under normal circumstances.
「Well, the thing is, they’ve been failing quests consecutively recently. And their items they use are pretty expensive right? That’s why, it’s a big loss for them every time. 」
「……Why did they become failing in quests? 」
「The reason’s probably because of the members. That party is on the brink of collapsing. 」
「What did you say!? 」
Even though everyone there was bound together with the purpose of defeating the demon king……
「It’s because of the vanguard, Dario. He’s always pretending to be the leader, saying and deciding all kinds of things by himself, he’s trying to turn the party into an offensive specific party. 」
The Hero, Alan’s party consist of Alan himself as the Warrior, Edmond as the Sage, Dario as the Vanguard, and Fanny as the Healer. When I was still in there, together with me, the Warrior and Vanguard have the role of dealing damage. And at the back, the Sage and the Healer supports us.
A normal party consists of three to five people. If there’s too many members in a party, the quest reward would have to be split amongst all of them, that’s why there’s such an unwritten rule. Even because of my withdrawal from the party, the party balance shouldn’t be disturbed much.
「Turning it into an offensive specific party, did he suggest to recruit more people that have an offensive occupation. 」
「On the contrary, he wanted Edmond and Fanny to leave the party, and he suggested that to Alan it seems. Especially Fanny that’s specialized in healing and can’t even support in attacking. 」
Certainly, there were such precedence of idiocy from Dario. And the words that I’ve told him many times naturally came to mouth.
「Even so, those people are necessary for a party to function. 」
「It’s just as Douglas-san said. But in the end, in the bar while drunk, Dario yelled angrily complaining that Fanny is just a baggage for the party. And because of that, Alan’s patience ran out, and expelled him on the spot! 」
It was serious enough for Alan to get angry. It must’ve been a scene of carnage.
「……But Laura, how do you know so much details. 」
「It’s not just something I know. Every single person in Balzac knows about it. The expelled Dario was so angry that he grabbed Alan and caused a scene. It was such a big carnage that crowds formed in front of the bar. 」
「Talking about Dario, didn’t he laugh and chased out Douglas-san! But when he got the same treatment, he just took his anger out. When Douglas-san left the party, even though you said your gratitude to everyone. What a big difference!! 」
I became speechless. It was almost enough for me to feel dizzy. When I was still in the party, they were able to do well together even if there were hardships.
「Why did their relationship devolve to such degree? 」
When I muttered out my question, Laura furrowed her brows and shrugged.
「A party definitely needs someone that acts as a mediator for the members. And driving out such an important existence out of the party. Even if they were well together at first, their relations would surely crumble as time passes. 」
「Such an existence, did they drove out Fanny following me? 」
「Since Fanny is always kind and gentle……」
「What are you saying, Douglas-san, I meant you! 」
Me!? Laura laughed at me with a pair of amazed eyes while looking at me.
Laura put her hands on her hips, and snorted.
「To be frank, I genuinely felt they were just reaping the seeds they sowed. Towards Douglas-san, weren’t they just too much. To return favor with ill! 」
「Those people, were mean towards daddy……? 」
Ravi who was listening to our conversation quietly, had a sour face as she said that. Her cheeks were inflated, and her mouth was pouting like a squid’s. I smiled wryly, and patted her head lightly. There’s two people here that’s angry for my sake. That’s really lucky of me to have that.
「And just now you’ve said that other various things happened」
「That’s right! Other than the matter with their relations, there’s still a mountain of other problems. I heard that something happened with Hero Alan. 」
「There’s too much rumor regarding that, so the truth about it is really fuzzy. They said he contracted a disease or having a mental issue. In any case, his face was really pale, and his eyes were always not in focus, it was really obvious something is wrong. 」
「Because of his state, the guild had delayed the expedition for the Demon King, that’s why they’ve been late to depart. 」
「And then their whereabouts is unknown after that? 」
「Yeah. The guild might know something about it though. Even though they’ve let the infighting in the party slide, it feels like they are awfully tight mouthed about Alan’s situation. 」
If it’s just a few days of distance apart, I can catch up if I hurry. But there’s too much inconsistent rumor about Alan. I really need some more information. I thanked Laura, before taking Ravi together with me towards the adventurer guild.
Looking up at the adventurer guild building, I swallowed my breath. It’s been a few months since I last visited……. I recalled the bitterness of the day my license was revoked. But getting tensed up here doesn’t help.
I took a deep breath, before going through the large double door together with Ravi. After finding the cat sith at the reception counter, I headed towards there while leading Ravi by the hand. The guild is crowded with adventurers as usual.
Even though it’s been considered much when I was still in here, now it’s more than twice the amount of people. I took my queue number and sat on the bench with Ravi waiting for our turn.
And soon after that――.
「Number one two seven, please come to the counter here―」
Finally, my turn came.
「Well Ravi, let’s go. 」
The one who called me to the counter, was the employee that had been responsible on my last day. Discovering me, his expression seemed a little surprised. Looking at my disguised self, he scanned from top to bottom.
He probably thought that an old man with a weird outfit came. I would think that if I were in his shoes…….
But at the very least, he still faced me with a friendly smile. I locked my gaze firmly with him.
「Uhm―, is it regarding a quest? 」
He had totally not realized that I’m indeed Douglas Ford. This flashy disguise, even if it looks unfortunate, it’s effective.
「It’s not about a quest. I have something to ask. 」
I smiled bitterly as I removed my disguise. Ripping off the fake moustache, and the silk hat, finally, the blonde wig. And what welcomed me was a pair of eyes dazed and stunned.
「You are……!! Douglas-san……!? 」
The surprised employee exclaimed, and the surrounding adventurers turned here all at once.
「That Douglas!? 」
「Amazing! It was true that he came from this guild!? 」
「He’s the legendary adventurer!! 」
And it became a big fuss in a short time again. It’s bad. Was it a mistake to take off my disguise in such a crowd? Since I wasn’t used to be making such crowds, it’s a blunder of mine.
「You’ve returned to the guild……!! We all have been waiting for Douglas-san’s return!! 」
The employee behind the counter leaned out enthusiastically and asked for a handshake. As I was puzzled by his friendly behavior, my hand was forcefully grabbed and waved around.
「Your feats from all around is audible even here! Well really, you’re amazing! Of course, your license revocation is lifted. If you return to us here, we would even promote you to be an honorary adventurer! 」
「O-oi. Calm down a little. 」
「Of course I can’t calm down. Our guild had been laughed by everyone!! To let such a precious talent slip pass our guild!! And even the guild in Addinton criticized us! 」
「If it’s Douglas-san, the reward would be twice……No, thrice would be no problem is what the Guildmaster said!! 」
Hearing that, the surrounding adventurers gaped.
「Such preferential treatment, I never heard about it before!? 」
「It’s that Douglas. Even that much would mean all profit for the guild. 」
「Right!? Douglas-san is overjoyed too right!? Didn’t that day, you wanted us to not revoke your license, to give you a chance right!! 」
That’s right. Come to think of it, I have certainly said such things. But…….
「Can you please be an adventurer of our guild again! 」
「Sorry, but I’m not going to.」
「As you see, I’m busy in child-raising. I don’t have such time for that. 」
The employee responded with a gaping mouth.
「She’s my lovely daughter. Isn’t she adorable? 」
Ravi showed a shy smile. For the me now, she’s above all. I wrapped her small hand in my own. Even the adventurer license, the guild of Balzac, I have no lingering attachments anymore. I can raise my face with a refreshed feeling.