Thank you to Ásgeir for supporting the translation on Patreon!
The people who were doing their procedures at the counter or chattering idly in the main lobby came around us. The other staffs at the back of the counter also put down their work and came around.
「What, Dean. Even though you were saying『I’m really close to Douglas Ford, we are real buddies』」
「Rather than being buddies, you weren’t even given company at all. That was all big talk I see, disappointing. 」
The staff that was conversing with me, his name is Dean. Even though I recognized his face, come to think of it, I never knew his name at all.
「Well, I had my suspicion from the start. Dean is always working aloofly. No way he can get trust from the adventurers like that. 」
Dean with his shocked face, looked at his colleague.
「No, we are really close! Right! Douglas-san, we are buddies right!? 」
Dean with a desperate face made me panic. Although Dean was only the one, I’ve seen in the guild. Isn’t that too forceful to label him as my buddy with just that?
Pairs of eyes looked at Dean with suspicion. Dean had a desperate expression as he was chased into a corner and spat out excuses panickily.
「When he was driven out of the guild too. He, came to me for help!! Hey, Cat sith! You saw that too right! 」
「But was treated like a baggage-nya」
「And you never explained properly about the reason about the license-nya. Because of that, the youngsters that came to know about it, made fun of him-nya. 」
Hearing that, the surroundings murmured.
「Ah!! I was there!? To think that was Douglas-san……. That Dean was really looking down on him, totally different than now! 」
「T-That was……That’s, actually……」
Dean face looked like he’s on the verge of crying.
「Wait up everyone. I was certainly failing quests at that time……」
I can’t let this progress any further. As I moved in to stop the situation worsening――.
「Dean, what’s wrong? 」
Probably hearing the fuss, the Guildmaster came out of the back room. It was same as the day my license was revoked. The moment he saw my figure, he was surprised and swallowed his breath. It’s been a while since I see him, but his face looks awfully fatigued.
「Ah! Nice timing, Guildmaster. Douglas-san has come to visit――」
「I can see that obviously. Why didn’t you call me! 」
Dean who was angrily yelled by the Guildmaster, was forced to shut his mouth awkwardly.
「Now, Douglas-san. Please come with me. You all, what are you doing slacking. Go back to your work quickly. 」
Guildmaster bellowed at the staffs before letting Ravi and I to the room in the back. It’s the office specially for the Guildmaster’s use.
「It’s nostalgic right? When you were still active in the guild, you’ve came to this room several times. 」
「Certainly there was those times. 」
If there’s any special request or quests, the Guildmaster had always called the adventurers to this room. Ravi seemed nervous, as she looked around every nook of the room. Entering the room, I was surprised at the difference between that of my memories.
The boxes that have documents in it is all over the ground. The place is messy as if it was in the middle of being tidied up. This is…….
The Guildmaster who seemed to notice my gaze, panickily stood in front of me as if hiding it.
「It became that I’m to be transferred to another guild. It’s the guild in Sutton. Do you know about it? 」
「Yeah. Just the name……」
「Just the name huh. Well, I guess that’s still better. Our staff here, probably no one would even know about the name……」
Sutton is a small town located in the southeast of the country. And it’s just a plain town, its scope is totally incomparable to what we have in Balzac. I can tell that it was a demotion without him saying anything.
「From the report of the guild in Addinton, the guild headquarters had contacted us. Saying that we might’ve made a mistake and revoked the license of the strongest adventurer ever. And at the same time, through the news, your feats had been spreading. 」
I waited for his next words while I had no words to reply with.
「So, the inspection council had sent their inquisitor. And it was decided that our decision wasn’t appropriate because that you’ve got some disease when we revoked your license. It’s said that we were protective of our benefits and drove out even our benefactor as a result. 」
「Yeah, but please don’t misunderstand. I admit that my judgment was wrong. To drive out someone like you from the guild. As the Guildmaster, it’s a given that I must take the responsibility. But, if you will return then I can……」
I have nothing to say. As I kept silent, he smiled bitterly and guided me to the sofa.
「Well it’s fine. Take a seat. You came for something, right? 」
「Yeah……. I’ve heard the rumor with the Hero party, I thought if it’s the Guildmaster, then you would know more about it. 」
「You want to know about Alan? 」
「That’s right. 」
「……Regarding what happened with Alan is, a confidential matter……. But it might be better that you know the truth. Alan is no longer the Alan we know. It’s evident that he had gotten mental issues. 」
It’s just as I heard from Laura.
「Is it because that the party members’ relationship? Or is it because of quests failure? 」
「I’m not sure but he seems to be afraid of something constantly. It is even to the degree that we can’t hold a normal conversation. However, he had never confessed what he’s been afraid of no matter what. But there’s one time that he murmured 『He will definitely come……』. 」
「He……? The Demon King? 」
「After conquering the eastern continent, the Demon King army had never showed movements. It’s hard to imagine they would move suddenly now. 」
Someone of a caliber that even the Hero will be afraid of. Is there possibly someone else other than the Demon King? But it’s just as the Guildmaster said, the Demon King army’s activity is dull right now. If that’s the case, then what in the world could Alan be afraid of.
「I don’t know if it’s because of that, his abilities had worsened evidently. The current him definitely wouldn’t be able to defeat the Demon King. That’s probably why he escaped. 」
「Did he really escaped? 」
「He just vanished suddenly. It’s unthinkable if it’s something else. 」
「Rather than talking about who had vanished, let’s talk about the Hero that returned. Douglas-san 」
「What is it……? 」
「Hey, it’s just as you see. Please forgive our guild’s mistake. Once again, please be an adventurer of the Balzac’s guild! We will definitely let you take a SS-rank quest so that you can get back your points! 」
The back of the head that was faced towards here troubled me. The reason that the Guildmaster would even kowtow desperately is easily imaginable.
「Even if I returned to the guild, completed a SS-rank quest, it isn’t guaranteed that your transfer would be cancelled though. 」
「……I don’t want to be moved to a countryside. Douglas-san, I beg of you. Please help me on our old relation. 」
With an expression full of sadness, the guildmaster took my hand and begged. Even so, I shook my head sideways.
「I’m really sorry, Guildmaster. Sorry but I can’t help your request. 」
「……Is it after all because that you resent me that I drove you out of the guild? 」
「No, not a single bit. My life is very content. That’s why I don’t resent you for a bit. I just want to enjoy life together with my daughter. I don’t feel like returning to the frontline as an adventurer, that’s all. 」
「You are denying to return to the guild just because of that……!? 」
「Yeah, just because of that. 」
It’s probably just a「Because of that」for other people. But for me, it’s something so important that I would protect no matter what.
「Don’t say such absurd things! Ah! You want to show a good role model to your daughter right!? 」
「Don’t use my daughter as an excuse. 」
「Hi-…….Y-you don’t have to look at me like that……! 」
「Listen, Douglas-san. You have become a hero for the people once more. You are not the loser dog already. Now, everyone is putting their hopes on you. It’s a sin for you to betray that! 」
「……I’m a hero you say」
「Yeah, that’s right! You’re the adventurer of Balzac, a hero……! 」
「I’m an adventure of Balzac? And a hero? ――No, that’s not right. 」
I said it straight to the Guildmaster.
「I’m a father that values his daughter more than anything. I’m not anyone other than that. 」
Towards the dazed Guildmaster, I bid my farewell and thanks, before leading Ravi by the hand and left without looking back.