Chapter 13 : 1st Class Adventurer, Cradle④
When they were about to arrive at the 『Spirit’s Dusk』’s guild building, Fiona suddenly stopped walking. Lambert also halted, looking at the direction where Fiona’s line of sight lay.
A silver haired man was standing in front of the building. He was a gaudy man who was wearing a white robe embroidered with a splendid golden dragon pattern on it.
「I won’t beat around the bush here and get straight to the point. I am giving you a fair warning, you had better get them to move out from the 2nd floor of this building. This is certainly not a threat! 」
That gaudy man was talking to a middle-aged woman, who was wearing an apron over her neat dress. Lambert assumed she was the proprietor of『Fairy’s Furnace』.
「Oops, have you just returned, my Fiona?」
As soon as the gaudy man saw Fiona and the others, his expression warped. In spite of his expression, he spoke to Fiona with a softer tone. Lambert didn’t understand what was going on, so he glanced at the trio’s expression to discern it. As soon as he saw Fiona, Lily, and Lloyd’s expressions, he understood the situation somewhat.
「I don’t remember ever having THAT good a relationship with you.」
「His name is Cradle….. Member of the biggest guild of Ainsaz, the『Demon Gold’s Dragon』. Amongst the most hated guys list in our guild, that Cradle is the most annoying one. To put it simply, he’s a nasty stalker.」
Llyod said, almost cursing Cradle.
「Who are you calling a disgusting stalker?! I am just trying to invite Fiona due to her talents. You’ve got quite a nasty habit of gossiping about someone else’s matters, huh.」
The silver haired man, Cradle, walked briskly towards Lambert and the others.
「Moreover, I don’t have so much free time to care that much about a foolish woman. Your misunderstanding here really irked me, you know.」
「Ah？ In that case, what’s you and your group’s goals in doing this sort of thing?」
While they were confronting one another, Lambert was observing Cradle and Lloyd from the side.
「I see. You’re harassing us coz you got rejected by her huh. What a petty man.」
Cradle glared at Lloyd with a vexed expression before a creepy smile formed on his lips.
「Hahahaha, well, well, well, I’m just giving you a piece of advice you know. Even a small fry guild like yours should’ve heard the rumor about me having a connection with the Dark Guild 『Ghost’s Passage』, right? That’s why destroying a rundown bar like this one is just a simple matter for me! 」
As soon as he finished speaking, Cradle suddenly kicked the wall of the building, creating a loud thud that resounded loud and clear whilst leaving a dented wall on the spot that was kicked. Seeing that, the middle-aged woman who was quarelling with Cradle until just a while ago, raised a short scream.
「P-PLEASE STOP THIS ALREADY! Why are yo—-! 」
「Look, my foot just slipped you see. There’s no reason to blame me for that, right? This thin wall is the one at fault after all.」
He shrugged his shoulders, flashing an evil grin in front of them as he did so.
「YOU BASTARD! 」
Lloyd was about to rush in, hand already at the handle of his sword. But, Fiona held him back.
「Lloyd! I’m more than willing to fight if that is what you want! 」
「Whoops! Even though I just came to give you a kind “Reminder”, how did it suddenly turn into a fight? You really are the worst.」
「Y-You bastard, you are the one who started this!」
「We’re with the guard, YOU PEOPLE!! EXPLAIN! JUST WHAT’S HAPPENING HERE! 」
A man holding a spear came towards them, while shouting in a loud voice. It seems that some passerby, who saw Cradle pressuring his opponent, had gone and reported this matter to the patrolling guards. However, the guard’s face turned pale as soon as they saw Cradle’s face.
「Just right! I needed you… Look, guard-sa~n, these people were pointing their weapons at me, ri~ght? 」
「Eh…. AH, Y-Yes…..」
Different from before, this time the guard used honorifics when he spoke to Cradle. Anyway, while it’s unquestionable that Lloyd’s hand was still gripping the hilt of his sword, he had yet to actually draw his sword from its scabbard. He had regained his calm when Fiona interrupted him from drawing his sword after all.
However, the guard ignored that and just agreed with Cradle. Meanwhile, Cradle smirked when he got his reply. Then he leaped towards them, passing by Fiona and used his sheathed sword to land a hit on Lloyd’s face.
「GEFU! ? 」
A few of Lloyd’s teeth broke loose and blood spurted out from his mouth due to the hit. His body was also sent flying before he fell to the ground, rolling a few meters away.
「W-WHAT THE! 」
Lily hurriedly rushed over to Lloyd, helping him to stand up.
「It’s just self-defense since that guy was about to draw his sword to hurt me. Besides, even though he was about to draw his sword to attack me, I just hit him with my sheathed sword. Am I not kind enough already? 」
But Cradle attacked Lloyd even after Fiona had stopped Lloyd from drawing his sword. Lloyd himself had never attacked.
Cradle’s reasoning was a blatant lie. Yet…the guard just stood there in his spot with a vexed expression.
「You’re not going to do anything despite what you saw just now? 」
When Lambert asked the guards, they lowered their spear while shaking their head lightly.
「You really don’t understand anything about us, huh. About our, 『Demon Gold’s Dragon』 position in this city.」
Cradle said as he made a fool of Lambert.
「You lunatic bastard…..」
Fiona was glaring at Cradle.
「Quite cruel of you, to falsely accuse me like that…I just didn’t want to resort to violence to deal with you. After all, violence is not the be all and end all you know? I prefer to end things peacefully. I mean, you guys were the ones who started all this. And, though I wanted to end this peacefully, that fool over there almost pointed his sword at me. Won’t it make me look weaker than him if I didn’t at least retaliate? Besides, with a guild as weak as yours, the one at fault for pointing their weapons at me is you yourself. You should know that already, don’t you? Moreover, I will lose my pride if I let something of that level be.」
「Y… You bastard! 」
Lloyd shouted at Cradle, blood still dripping out from his lips. Cradle himself was just looking at Lloyd with a scornful look in his eyes.
「A loser dog like you should just roll aside. How unsightly. Well, that might include the entirety of your weak guild. Moreover, you don’t even deserve to have pride. I mean, you’re just a weakling who can’t even dodge an attack that came from the front. If I was in your position, I would die from embarrassment alone.」
「The hell are you talking about! We’re the ones who were creating problems with you?! You’re just being a jerk because you were rejected by Fiona!」
「Haah? I’m just being kind to her! As one of the kind members from 『Demon Gold’s Dragon』’s guild, inviting her to join us instead of letting her stay here is a great thing! And, what do you mean by rejected? Aren’t you ashamed of talking big without knowing anything? 」
Cradle spoke with a condescending demeanor, keeping his extremely annoying attitude from the beginning until the end.
Though Lambert himself knew from the very beginning of his observation of the guy that Cradle wasn’t an exemplary human being, he came to deeply understand that he was in fact someone that couldn’t be reasoned with. His rotten nature was at a level that even Lambert, who had fought in the Eight Kingdom Unification War and had met with various rotten people, rarely met someone like Cradle.
「That’s why, as long as you withdraw your previous statement and let Fiona move to my guild, I will spare the guild from being destroyed by the dark guild. I mean, it just felt wrong to have guilds destroying each other, you know. So, what do you think? Don’t you think that I’m kind enough already? 」
「It’s you bastard who instigated all of this! ! 」
「On what basis are you saying that? Really, you’re getting on my nerves. On top of being weak, you also turn out to be an idiot with a nasty personality. You really are beyond saving. Don’t tell me that everyone in your guild is similar to you?」
「…… I understand. I’ll move to your guild so stop this farce already. 」
Fiona’s words put a stop to Lloyd and Cradle’s quarrel.
「F-FIONA! DON”T! 」
「This guy won’t be satisfied with just that you know! Do you even understand what you are doing right now!? 」
「…. There’ll be no end of trouble if I reject his invitation. This kind of harassment will continue in the future if I reject him this time too…」
「That’s enough. You sure are slow in making that decision. If only you had agreed from the beginning, that guy over there wouldn’t have had to lose his teeth you know. I mean, he keeps blabbering nonsense that makes me embarrassed after all. Well, whatever. I guess that make use even, I’m a nice guy after all.」
While all this was happening, Lambert was contemplating on what he should do in this situation. Cradle was clearly the one in the wrong, but one wrong move, and this situation might have turned for the worse.
Moreover, the guard, whose job was to protect the public order, was clearly turning a blind eye to Cradle’s brutish ways. Besides, if he had to kill Cradle, he preferred to do it when he was alone with no witnesses. After all, killing Cradle in this place would only create more trouble for Fiona and her guild.
「What a miserable fellow. Blaming others just because you failed to catch a woman’s attention. Then you turned to harassings her friends…now look, you’re shaming yourself.」
「…. HAH? 」
So, the answer he arrived at to break through this situation was a frontal provocation. From observing the previous exchanges, he had grasped Cradle’s personality. Cradle was someone with a high pride. So, as long as he attacked his pride, Lambert thought, he might be able to prevent Cradle from harassing Fiona and her guild from now on.