Chapter 68 : Sublime Smile And The Firm President’s Past
Inside a certain inn in Gladdstone, a figure slept peacefully on a bed. Between her voluptuous breasts lay a cat. Those two were Stella and Tama.
Every now and then Stella’s soft and sleepy voice could be heard as she mumbled whatever happened in her dream.
「Ufufufu~… Tama is mi~ne…」
Some time had passed since they sold the labyrinth materials to Reis’s store. Aria and co, after receiving their payment, found a well-established inn and decided to rest until evening.
Stella took the opportunity to collect her payment in Tama Hugs which Aria had promised her.
Tama had planned to refuse since Aria didn’t ask for his permission when she made the deal with Stella. However, the moment he tried to escape her grasp Stella began to cry. He had no other choice but to sacrifice his body to calm her down.
It was his fault for being too kind. As a kind knight, there was no way he would abandon a crying girl, even if she was a former monster.
Stella really wanted to hug Tama.
That desire might come from wanting to imitate Aria but, despite being a former monster, she hugged Tama with great care. Her loving gesture continued even after they climbed into bed and she brushed his fur.
The image made Aria lower her vigilance slightly.
(It seems she isn’t going after Tama’s seed anymore.)
And so, Aria laid down on the bed next to those two and slept peacefully. Faeri the Dryad slept right next to Aria on the bed while Lily the Pixie made herself comfortable atop Aria’s breasts.
It seemed like they also felt sleepy after seeing everyone lie down. Their faces looked very innocent and childlike while they were asleep.
They apparently felt safe sleeping beside Saintly Aria and her deadly twin melons.
Once they caught up with their sleep, Aria and co left their room on the evening of that same day. Their destination was the inn bar, in search of something to eat.
Right then, a voice called out from a corner of the bar.
「Oh, if it isn’t Aria and the others! 」
「Good evening, Joey-san. It seems that you just got back from the labyrinth.」
It was the same party they met on their way back to the city. The leader, Joey, had a flushed face from drinking. Looking at his party members, he wasn’t the only one.
Everyone at that party looked very satisfied.
They hauled in a lot of treasure, but not as much as Aria and co.
「As we promised you before, will you come and enjoy a meal with us?」
「Then allow us to intrude on your merry celebration.」
Normally, Aria would’ve rejected such an offer. But since their party had a female and Joey didn’t give Aria any unpleasant glances, she judged it was okay to accept the invitation.
Tama nodded in satisfaction at the sight of his master drinking juice.
(I’m glad she chose a non-alcoholic drink. Even with her love for liquor, my master isn’t completely unguarded. That’s another weight off my shoulders.)
Once everyone was seated, the food was served. Lily and Faeri tasted human food for the first time and couldn’t help but exclaim in delight at the taste.
「Uwa! What is thi~s!」
「It’s so sweet, fluffy, and delicio~us!」
On the table, before them, there was a pancake covered in cream and swimming in honey. Aria ordered it for the fairies since they preferred sweets over meat and vegetables.
Both fairies’ faces were glowing with happiness. Faeri touched her stuffed cheeks with her tiny hands, while Lily fluttered around with a blissful expression.
Beside them was Tama, who was bent over a plate eating the steak that his master diced for him. There was also Stella, heartily chowing down the meat stick to the bone.
「Nya~! (I can’t get enough of this!)」
「Yup, MEAT IS DA BEST! 」
According to the waitress, that was the specialty dish of the bar, pickled in a special sauce made from fruit and spices. Its flavor was by no means inferior to the food at the inn of Labyrinth City.
As she enjoyed her meal, Aria made small talk with Joey.
「Aria-san, the guild staff told me they have no memories of you and your party selling your harvested materials through them. Are you selling directly to President Reis’s firm?」
「Yes, we received an escort commission from him and he offered to buy our harvested materials immediately. Which reminds me… I’m worried about Reis-san. His state a while ago was rather… strange.」
「President Reis acting strange… Maybe it has something to do with his past?」
「His past? Can you tell me about it, Joey-san?」
「Uhm… Yeah, I think it’s best if you know since you’re staying in this city… No one dares to speak about this but everyone knows that 〝Earl Gladdstone〟, the lord of this city, is an extremely annoying piece of sh#t. He’ll kidnap any beautiful girl who manages to catch his interest to fulfill his lust in any way he can.」
Joey surveyed the area as he spoke to her in a very low voice.
Aria was shocked by what she was told.
「Why is that Lord allowed to do that!?」
「It’s not like we’re allowing him to do as he pleases. The Earl is a man with a very glib tongue. We have no evidence of his evil deeds and if we dare say something about it, he’ll use his authority to crush us.」
「Why did such a person become the Lord… Moreover, what’s the relation of this story with Reis-san?」
「I don’t know the details because I heard it from another person. Apparently a long time ago the Lord kidnapped his fiancee. When she returned to President Reis a few days after her disappearance… She was a mutilated corpse.」
Joey finished the story, and Aria didn’t ask for more details. Even Tama had long stopped eating to listen to Joey. To think Reis could smile so brightly while having such a past…
Noticing how the mood if the table had dropped, Joey ordered more liquor to liven up the atmosphere.
「Sorry for telling you such a gloomy story, let’s drink! Today is our treat!」
Although Aria was smiling at his words, it was only to meet Joey’s expectations. After hearing such a tragic story, her heart couldn’t really enjoy the party anymore.
In a secluded room of a certain firm, the moonlight illuminated a man’s figure. He laughed alone as he held two magical items in his hands.
One was a silver-colored bell-like object while the other was a blood-colored small arrow, respectively held in his right and left hands.
「Fufufufu… After so many years, I finally obtained these items. The corpse of the Earth Dragon was outside my expectations, but for a Pixie and a Dryad to appear right in front of me… The timing is perfect.」
Reis watched quietly as the Earth Dragon skeleton was carried inside his firm’s building.
A warped smile appeared on his face, in complete contrast to his usual bright disposition.
「That’s right… I’m so close… Wait for me…」
He paused and muttered a girl’s name as if referring a goddess.