“Oh my, students of Rotsgard.” (Sofia)
By the time the night deepened…
The Rotsgard students were touring the night of Tsige with the mood as if they were in a night safari.
After the lively lunch, and a snack, and another snack, and more snacks, eating between meals, and dinner, the group that finished their work from the orphanage had gone into the night city.
Even so, it is not like they can each go as far as exploring their separate ways.
They themselves have already had their carefreeness of going around the night of this remote city wiped out from them after all.
“If I remember correctly…Jin-kun. You are right. I am not Miranda or Onee-san, but Sofia.” (Sofia)
The one who answered Jin in a way that only the two would understand was Sofia.
She is an exemplary adventurer of the Adventurer Guild, and is a woman that went around the world making achievements under the orders of her father.
She looks around the same age as the students.
But in terms of ability and experience, she is literally on a whole other level, an existence above the clouds.
“Looks like not everyone is here today. Uhm, the Rembrandt ladies and the sticky fingers boy with a wife and child aren’t here?” (Sofia)
They have at least seen each other once in the Adventurer Guild.
The students think they didn’t give a good impression thanks to the sticky fingers boy with a wife and a child, Daena.
You could see some spite in the way Sofia was remembering them.
By the way, Sif, Yuno, and Daena are in the Rembrandt estate.
Daena, who had been hit by the character of Patrick Rembrandt during the daytime, had excused himself into the Rembrandt Company one step faster, and he will be staying over as a guest for tonight.
It is not Daena but the boyfriend of Yuno, Misura, who should have gone. Judging from the invitation of allowing one person to accompany them that had come from the Rembrandt Company, there’s no doubt that’s what his intentions were.
Misura imagined the environment that is the residence of his girlfriend and was on the verge of collapsing with a pale face, so he withdrew, and Daena immediately volunteered himself.
That chaotic situation unfolded just recently.
In other words, the ones who will be enjoying the night of Tsige are the part-time duo of Jin and Amelia, Izumo who is from the Lorel Union and has become a construction maniac, and the still slightly pale face Misura.
“Do you have work at this time of the night, Sofia-san?” (Amelia)
Jin was silent, not knowing what to say, so Amelia continued the conversation in his stead.
“That’s right. Do you know what’s ahead of here?” (Sofia)
“What’s ahead… If I remember correctly, the gate leading to the wasteland.” (Amelia)
“Yup, good. Normally, people go into the wasteland in the daytime, but depending on your objective, there’s cases where you would have to depart at this hour. However, there’s also fellows who would use the darkness of the night to do unsavory things. Meaning…” (Sofia)
“Surveillance and confirming?” (Amelia)
“That’s right…” (Sofia)
“? Is something the matter?” (Amelia)
“Since we are here, how about going together? The wasteland at night…just a little bit.” (Sofia)
“P-Please stop the joking!” (Amelia)
Tension ran through everyone with what Sofia said.
When talking about Tsige, you think of the wasteland.
When talking of the wasteland, you think of Tsige.
There’s no way the students wouldn’t be interested in the wasteland after coming from Rotsgard to this city.
They have already seen the many alluring products in Tsige.
If that’s only a mere fraction of what the wasteland is, there’s no doubt the place is a treasure trove.
“Hmm, it is not a joke. Father told me to keep you people in mind. You are the students of Raidou-sensei after all. I will notify Sensei tomorrow.” (Sofia)
That demeanor of Sofia that was different from the serious side of hers in the Adventurer Guild and was more fitting of her age had certainly lowered the caution of Amelia.
However, Amelia is a woman in love.
She soon shook her head to the sides and endured her curiosity.
If it had just been her reasoning holding her back here, it might have been difficult, but with love serving as the stopper here, it wasn’t that difficult.
“No thanks. We shouldn’t be getting in the way of your work, and we have also been prohibited by Sensei from entering the wasteland in our free time.” (Amelia)
In order to avoid her comrades from nodding, she glared at them before avoiding the temptation.
And in reality, it was blatantly clear that the heart of Jin was shaken by this, and he averted his gaze as if feeling guilt.
“Hmm…you are…Amelia-chan?” (Sofia)
“The girl that wants to enter the Kuzunoha Company has her feet properly on the ground, huh.” (Sofia)
Sofia erased her friendly smile from her face, and she nodded repeatedly with only her eyes smiling.
“The other ones were pretty dangerous. Oh well, I will deem everyone safe for your sake!” (Sofia)
“E-Excuse me?” (Amelia)
“There’s no way I would take you there. If you had nodded there, you would have been forcefully returned by tomorrow.” (Sofia)
Sofia suddenly made a cold face and said something stern.
There were no signs of her joking here at all.
“Cause you know, you people just smell like trouble -including the incident at the guild. You have way too little self-awareness as to how much those uniforms, Raidou-sensei, and Shiki-san are saving you all here. In the first place—” (Sofia)
The sudden shout of Jin made Sofia choke on her words.
“You really look way too alike. Do you really have no recollection of the name Miranda? Maybe you have a sister, or cousins?” (Jin)
“…Listen here…” (Sofia)
For Sofia, this is a question that has been asked countless times already.
She seems to not even have a clue about it, so it was already getting annoying for her.
“Now now, let’s keep it at that. Let’s just think it is going in a better direction than loitering around the red-light district.”
“…You are the one from Alpine. They really are blessed in their interpersonal connections.” (Sofia)
“You let them go for her sake, so how about letting us go here for my sake?”
“Got it, but in exchange, properly guide them back to their dwellings. Is that okay, Hazal-dono?” (Sofia)
“Yes, I would be glad to, Sofia-dono.” (Hazal)
The third party that cut into the conversation is a thin man called Hazal, and after doing a short exchange, Sofia disappeared into the direction of the gate that leads to the wasteland together with her companion.
Everyone followed her back figure with their eyes, and then returned their gazes back to Hazal.
To their benefactor that managed to skillfully wrap up the conversation with Sofia who was annoyed by the tactless question of Jin.
“T-Thank you very much.” (Jin)
Therefore, it was natural that the first one to thank him was Jin.
“Even without the intention to, it can’t be helped getting spoken to when walking around at this late of a time, students.” (Hazal)
“It was careless of me. There was the presence of people gathering, so I was curious…” (Jin)
“The nickname of this place is the sleepless city, the never ending night castle, and so on. If you were to chase after the presence of people, who knows what troubles you will get caught up in. Be careful. This is the warning of your lacking senior.” (Hazal)
“Uhm, calling yourself lacking when an adventurer like Sofia-san shows consideration towards you… You are a whole lot better than us.” (Jin)
“Isn’t that obvious? Just how many times do you think I have come and gone from the wasteland? I have pride in my achievements until now. I won’t call myself lacking in the times when I became a member of Alpine. I was saying I am lacking because of my past self, at the time when I was still attending the Rotsgard Academy.” (Hazal)
“…Eh? Rots—?” (Jin)
“Now now, Lime-san has asked me to look after you guys if I can. I will be accompanying you guys a bit to kill some time, Jin-kun, Amelia-san, Misura-kun, Izumo-kun.” (Hazal)
“Could it be that you were tailing us?!”
“Even the timing, no matter how you see it…”
“The names and faces matched, but it is not like I have that much free time on my hands. It was pure coincidence. In the first place, it was originally planned to have me meet you all tomorrow.” (Hazal)
“I-Is that so.”
“I strained my eyes there wondering if there was some sort of lecture going on, and there were faces I saw just recently -is how it basically happened.” (Hazal)
Hazal seemed somewhat aloof.
Rather than calling it unreliable, it is more like the composure that comes from surviving countless life or death situations.
Leaving aside whether he intended to do that, from as far as the students have seen, Hazal certainly seems like a mysterious strong individual.
Their ability to grasp people is good.
“However…it would be pitiful if you were to immediately go back to your dwellings after having come to the night city.” (Hazal)
“No, we have enjoyed it plenty enough.” (Amelia)
Amelia answered Hazal without missing a beat.
She must have judged that it would be safer to just go back now.
However, not only her face but the face of everyone was telling about how it still isn’t enough.
“Your faces are saying otherwise, you know~. Right, how about drinking for a bit in the store I frequent. If we talk too much here, we will run out of things to talk about tomorrow, so just for a bit with alcohol as company, okay? Yeah, let’s do that, let’s do that.” (Hazal)
“Aah, I don’t set traps like that, so don’t worry. Right, how about a shopping guide? It is the usual that the people that are new to this city and most adventurers would have their wallets emptied, but there’s a whole lot of things that they want to buy but only tears come out. I don’t mind giving you recommendations and introducing you to stores that fit your strength, you know?” (Hazal)
The words of Hazal had a perfect effect on them.
There aren’t any more hard hitting words than those for them in the current situation.
The words that they all have ignored as a result were from their sensei Raidou -Makoto- in regards to the money they used.
It is an unbelievable city where they wanted this and that to an irresistible degree.
It is an endless city of treasures that attract warriors, mages, and scholars.
It is vexing that there’s no end to it if they were to look up.
It is best when you get equipment and tools that suit you, but there’s things that surpass that falling into their eyes.
In front of these people, who have been thrown into what would be somewhat of a hell, an active adventurer that uses this city as his base is offering to guide them.
There was no need for doubts.
““We will be under your care!””
Those 4 hearts became one and that figure of theirs bowing all at the same time was beautiful.
“Then, let’s go. It is not a place that operates till morning, but their alcohol and the taste are nice. The oden menu that originates from Lorel has been modified into Tsige style, you see.” (Hazal)
Izumo, who had been reminded of a nostalgic taste, had his excitement rise, and ended up repeating the name of the dish.
And in this way, an encounter that Makoto and the others didn’t have in their plans had occurred again.