TLN: Double Chapter today! Don’t forget the next chapter button!
The head of the Adventurer Guild, Falz (Root), sighed heavily.
The guards, secretary, and the guild manager of the area opened their eyes wide at that rare state of his.
There’s a hole in front of them.
A hole that’s big enough that several people can line up.
It is something that should by no means be there, and they were there to investigate exactly because of that, but the number one most distinguished person here, Root, was not breaking his serious demeanor.
“Falz-sama, this certainly is something that mustn’t happen, but with 3 days, we could finish mending it.”
“…You don’t understand.” (Root)
The secretary that has the easiest time talking to Root speaks out the feelings of everyone there.
But the response was words of disappointment.
“Where’s this place?” (Root)
“The Golden Highway.”
“That’s right. The distribution path that the world prides in, and just like its name states, it is the place where gold…where money continues flowing.” (Root)
“The major powers of that time, the influential merchants, and the Adventurer Guild made a decision that surpassed the borders, and consolidated on it…that’s an outstanding feat that remains in history.” (Root)
“Yes, even in the present, as long as you pay the fee, anyone can safely travel through it without being controlled by any country as per agreement. Whether it is pricey or not would be perceived differently between each person though.”
For adventurers and regular people, the travelling fee for the Golden Highway is high.
It sees the most use from merchants that want to safely transport large amounts of goods.
Judging from how the secretary is speaking, the passage fee must be expensive for her.
The guards also nodded lightly.
It is the price for security, but for adventurers who have the ability to protect themselves to a certain degree, it must be normal to feel the price is too steep.
“Since our very far past ancestors, putting a hand on this place means that…they are basically picking a fight with the Adventurer Guild. Do you understand?” (Root)
He closed his eyes, lowered his head, and then looked at everyone in the place.
It was a sight of him rarer than him sighing; a Root with visible anger.
“Does that woman think anything can be forgiven just because she is the Apostle of the Goddess?” (Root)
“…Falz-sama, the damage done to the Golden Highway was unfortunately the handiwork of adventurers from Aion. The involvement of this person called the Goddess’s Apostle has not been confirmed.”
“Correction: adventurers hired by Aion under the orders of the Apostle. If you don’t have an accurate grasp of the truth, one mistake will just lead to the other, you know?” (Root)
“But the whereabouts of the people themselves is unknown, and the wanted posters are out, but it would require time. Regarding this being under orders and its details, we would have to capture them and interrogate them first before we can have definite information about it…”
“They should be dead already. As if they would be left alive after showing up in the report of them attacking Alpine. They are not so soft and don’t have the leisure to spare them… That Alte, using a dirty move like setting adventurers to make it certain that her first lightning strike would hit Toa and her party…” (Root)
Root’s anger was not lowering.
The cold coming out from his eyes were freezing the surroundings, and even the skilled guards were trembling at that suffocating anger.
The Golden Highway is a nonaggression zone.
This rule has been kept for several centuries, and it has already become common sense in this world that doesn’t even need to be explained anymore.
Even the demons that have spread around the world and move in the shadows after their grand invasion haven’t put a hand on the Golden Highway.
And yet, the Goddess’s Apostle did exactly that for the sake of something like attacking Toa.
You could say it is an aggressive and bold surprise attack, but in the standing of Root, it is a challenge to the Adventurer Guild that is one end of the world’s order.
Of course he wouldn’t find it amusing.
The Golden Highway that he was involved in greatly and made possible in the long past, as well as its history, has been made a mockery of after all.
Of course, no one here knows that the Golden Highway wasn’t the achievement of some ancestor they are not familiar with but Root himself.
“U-Uhm, Falz-sama, I understand that you are angry, but…uhm, don’t tell me you are going to get retribution from the Aion Kingdom?”
The Adventurer Guild is neutral.
More accurately speaking, it is an organization for the sake of adventurers.
Where there’s adventurers, there’s guilds.
Their main objective is to support the activities of adventurers, and they don’t involve themselves in the wars of nations.
Even in the war between hyumans and demons, they haven’t publicly announced what side they would be taking.
Of course, even in the civil war between Tsige and Aion, they must maintain their neutrality, and no matter how angry Falz is, if he were to act by emotions, it would be extremely troubling as an organization.
The worry of the secretary was natural.
“Like maybe…side with Tsige?” (Root)
“You must not! The adventurers cooperating with one side or the other is their own freedom, but the guild itself clearly supporting one side is against the policies of the guild!”
“…I obviously wouldn’t do something like that.” (Root)
“Phew, right. I am sorry. Your face was showing so much anger that I was unsure for a second there.”
“I will get retribution. Having the Adventurer Guild mocked and belittled is not a wish of ours after all. ‘Cooperation is decided by the individual’, this action of theirs that was as if getting back at us has led to this unsightly result… It is not amusing.” (Root)
“Uuh…that’s…true. But when you say retribution…what exactly do you plan on doing?”
“First, I will do this.” (Root)
Root places a hand on top of the big hole opened in the Golden Highway.
At the time when everyone’s attention was gathered around the actions of Root, magic power gathered in his hand, and light exploded.
A tremor and an explosive sound.
What the secretary saw when she opened her eyes was the moment a part of the Golden Highway collapsed.
Their faces were clearly stiffened by this.
Root did this.
Him, the person that assures the inviolable state of this highway, has destroyed a part of the Golden Highway.
The secretary looked at Root who she now thought looked calm but must have actually gone insane.
He is always calm and has a smile on his face that is hard to read what he is thinking.
His appearance is shockingly the same as he usually is.
That in itself was scary.
“F-Falz-san, this is definitely bad.”
There were two bodyguards there, but one of them had his mouth wide open and was spacing out, while the other one was breaking heavy amounts of cold sweat as he objected to the rash action of this guild master.
“Aah, those hired adventurers. What an outrageous thing they have done.” (Root)
“I didn’t imagine they would cause this much damage. You.” (Root)
“…Eh? Ah, yes?!”
Falz spoke in monotone, and then, he suddenly looked at the guild manager of this area’s branch.
He had only been following from behind due to the standings, so being suddenly called completely caught him off-guard.
“Make a special urgent mission for high ranked adventurers…let’s see, B+ and higher. In the time until the repairs of the Golden Highway are finished, I will have them protect this place without taking any requests. Headquarters will be shouldering all costs, so don’t worry.” (Root)
“Y-Y-Yes! Uhm, around how many parties should we gather?”
“All of them.” (Root)
“The relay town of before, the city you live in, all the way to the national borders of Aion; I want all B+ adventurers from all of those places. I will have the Golden Highway operate even in the reparation periods. Of course, I won’t let a single person crossing the highway get injured. No matter how many people there are.” (Root)
“But if you make an urgent mission like that to gather that amount of people, all the skilled adventurers in those locations will be gone!”
This kind of urgent calls have fitting punishments if refused, so they have quite the effect.
“Right, if something were to happen in that time, it might be terrible -for the Aion Kingdom.” (Root)
“Doing something like that knowing full well… I may be overstepping my boundaries here, but please reconsider it. If you were to cause unnecessary chaos in the country in the current state, who knows what would happen? There’s still the smokes of the rebel army.”
“Rebel army? It is the revolutionary army, right? We of the Adventurer Guild shouldn’t be getting involved in the internal strife of either side, right? If there’s no convenient adventurers at hand for them to use, can’t they just use their army to work those problems?” (Root)
“No, Falz-sama, that’s…”
‘Unreasonable’, is what he tried to say, but the slender man in front of him was speaking seriously.
“Of course, if the adventurers refuse the call, it can’t be helped. They will be penalized, but that’s all there is to it. I am not asking here, I am ordering you.” (Root)
“Or maybe you have an awesome idea? If that’s the case, I am all ears. An idea that will teach the Aion Kingdom to never turn the Adventurer Guild into their enemies in the future, and at the same time, serve as a convincing explanation that can work that’s not retribution against them. Now, speak.” (Root)
“No need to be reserved. I am honestly aware that I am a bit heated up here. That’s why…if there’s a better suggestion, I do intend to consider it. I plan on making my decision today, so I am sorry if I am hurrying you here. Now, go ahead.” (Root)
“…I-I have none.”
“I see. Then, make it your highest priority to issue this mission. Listen well, the Adventurer Guild doesn’t yield to any political power. It is an organization that supports adventurers. Breaking this rule just because they are a major power is impossible. If it is to accomplish our meaning, not even the number one major power’s king or the merchant with the most wealth in the world will be allowed to interfere. We must not allow them to forget that putting a hand on us means the end for them.” (Root)
Root admonishes him as he speaks about the resolve they should have.
There was no agreement from anyone there.
But Root wasn’t bothered by that.
“If they try to put a hand on our independence and our neutrality, even if it is a god, we will fight. For the sake of all the adventurers, that is. The destructive action done to the Golden Highway is an unforgivable act. Having adventurers perform that act is also sinful. If we get punched and leave it at that, we will be looked down by others. There’s only one answer.” (Root)
“And is Tsige, who made a wall so close to the Golden Highway, okay? They are also putting their hands on the Golden Highway.”
One of the bodyguards asks the question that popped up in his mind.
“…That can be considered in the gray zone. It is annoying though. But it is instead reinforcing the functions of the Golden Highway. There’s also no soldiers posted. Not only that, when I warned him about it, he laughed and said that there’s no merchant so foolish as to do war on the Golden Highway.” (Root)
Root answered the question with a complicated expression.
“There’s a merchant that can take that attitude with you?”
“There’s a number of them who do in that place. That’s why I am simply keeping an eye on them. If there’s no damage done, there’s no need to deal retribution after all.” (Root)
“I feel like Tsige was the one who began using the Golden Highway in the war though.”
“Correct. In a ‘legal’ way or in other words, a method that’s quite gray. But the one who created damage to the guild and the highway first was Aion.” (Root)
“…I honestly can’t bring myself to like either.”
“There will definitely be people who say that. Bia-chi is also that type.” (Root)
“Talking to myself there. Well then, let’s go back. There’s a lot of work now after all.” (Root)
By mentioning a familiar person of his in a really low voice, he returned to a somewhat gentle expression.
At the time when he received a report that Ginebia, who had been made to cooperate with Tsige partially just the other day, had disappeared, Root laughed and said that it was expected.
If it were the old Tsige where the liveliness of adventurers swirled around, Ginebia would have liked the place, but there’s also a lot of merchants.
They are actually the ones managing the city.
People who know them would be able to tell that Ginebia and Rembrandt have terrible affinity with each other.
Root heard that report and laughed while feeling slight sadness, but still felt that it was miraculous that he even managed to meet her again, so it couldn’t be helped.
“I don’t think that even Rembrandt would have been able to predict that this would happen to the Golden Highway, but…this will definitely become a tailwind for him, too. The independence of the city, declaring that they will become a nation; at first, I completely thought that this was set by Makoto-kun. Damn it, this is an unbelievable spark that flew my way.” (Root)
That monologue of Root wasn’t heard by anyone and disappeared into the wind.