Chapter 142.2 : Advice
「M-My apologize. Uhm, our master ordered us to secretly watch over Kouta-sama’s activities………….. At first we were waiting outside the building, but then I heard from Chloe that the adventurers had started to quarrel with Haruto-sama.」
Natalie explained the situation with a slightly awkward voice. The reason for their delayed appearance was because they hated standing out due to their uniforms, which was bound to happen the moment they entered the guild building.
「No, there’s no reason for you to apologize to me. I will be glad if you keep watch over him in that way……」
「W-We did not come in for that matter.」
Natalie shook her head flustered when Rio said so with a troubled face. And when the two of them were talking in such an intimate way――、
「Oi. It’s Chloe-chan. The daughter of Rebecca-san.」
「The one on her side is Natalie-san right? You should have been on the site at that time so why are you talking so intimately with him?」
「Eh？They…… Wear maid clothes? Who are they? 」
「You fool. Those two are the people who work in Liselotte-sama’s mansion.」
The surrounding adventurers started whispering to each other while looking at Rio-tachi. Natalie then fixed her gaze on the adventurers who were picking a fight with Rio and――、
「This personage is someone who was directly appointed as a noble by the king of our kingdom, moreover he’s also an extremely important guest to our master. Therefor, anyone who speaks unjustly of him to tarnish his honor will be heavily punished. That’s why I sincerely request of you to be careful with your statements about him.」
And so she told them. Right after that, the face of the men who had picked the fight with Rio turned pale. Amongst them, the man who first accused Rio was clearly the most panicked one.
「So, what were you quarreling about? 」
The man became even more flustered when Natalie asked him with a cold tone.
「Well, it’s nothing important. It’s just about him criticizing me for not enlisting myself during the demon raid using the pretext of me not being an adventurer. It seems he’s doubtful of whether I really am an adventurer or not.」
Rio shrugged his shoulders and replied instead of that man. He was trying to smooth over the matter with an unconcerned smile.
「…… I see. Is that what happened? 」
Natalie noticed the attempt at settling this delicate situation and asked the man to confirm. She had instantly understood the situation as she had also been under the wrong impression about Rio’s action during that time.
The man silently averted his eyes.
「This person did not run away and he’s also not an adventurer. The actions he took at that time were justified. Moreover, later on after he left, he saved the citizens of this city and single handedly slaughtered many of those unidentified demons. Our master, Liselotte-sama’s life was also saved by him. If we’re talking about the one with the most military exploits during that time, he would definitely be placed amongst the top 3.」
Natalie explained in order the events that followed Rio’s desertion to the surrounding people who were listening to her explanation.
The expressions of the men who had blamed Rio turned sour.
「What shall we do with these people, Haruto-sama? I’ll call the one responsible for this branch if you want to punish them.」
Natalie asked Rio.
「W-WAIT! There were a lot of people who abused him at that time! 」
The man who had blamed Rio shouted with a flustered voice.
「………….. So? 」
Natalie asked as she heaved a sigh.
「Why is it only us! ? Moreover, in the first place……..! 」
The man who was blaming Rio suddenly felt that he was being wronged. Though he looked like he was about to say something he stopped in the middle. He felt that continuing would be asking for more trouble and so he swallowed back the words that were about to leave his mouth. He might have wanted to say that there was a problem with Rio’s personality.
「It seems that you were jumping to conclusions without considering the consequences, but then, I have no intention of keeping you guys company since I simply have more important things to do. That’s why if you don’t further involve yourself with me, I’ll overlook today’s case.」
Rio said so while looking at the man and he said the last part to Natalie.
「……………………… Understood. We’ll do as you say but, what will all of you do now? 」
After bowing respectfully towards Rio, Natalie asked the men.
「M-My…………… Apologies. I lost my cool because many of my comrades were injured in that incident.」
The man who accused Rio obediently apologized. Following him, the others who had accused Rio also apologized to him.
「I accept your apology. Well then, you may leav….—- No, wait a minute. I should be the one leaving I guess. Please leave after you finish your business, I’ll be waiting outside.」
Rio sent a sidelong glance towards Kouta while saying so with a slightly loud voice and then left the guild building. Natalie and Chloe chased after him in panic. When they were outside――,
「If I’m not wrong, Chloe-san’s house is an inn right? 」
Rio suddenly asked such a question of Chloe.
Chloe nodded timidly.
「If it’s okay with you, will you let Kouta-san to stay at your inn? Wouldn’t that make your duty far easier by having him stay where you can easily observe him? 」
「I see, there’s that way too……….」
Natalie had also just realized it after Rio pointed it out.
「Uhm, I don’t, or rather I should say that it’ll save us from a lot of hassle.」
Chloe also nodded in approval.
「Well, let’s do that then. I’ll be the side that makes the recommendation.」
Thus, without the person himself realizing it, they had decided on which inn Kouta would be staying at.
◇ ◇ ◇
Kouta left the guild building a few minutes later and rushed over as soon as he found Rio.
「Uhm, Haruto-kun! 」
「How was your registration? 」
Rio asked so to the overly enthusiastic Kouta.
「Yeah. I did it, but…………」
Kouta suddenly became less spirited.
「I’m glad then.」
「Yeah. I felt the same way………….. But that’s not what I mean. Sorry for what happened a while ago! Because you came with me………..」
Kouta apologized to Rio with an ashamed face.
「……… Don’t worry, things might have become even more troublesome if Kouta-san suddenly intervened there, moreover it is not a matter which Kouta-san should feel responsible for.」
Rio snapped from his bewilderment and said so with an apologetic smile.
Kouta’s mixed emotions showed up on his face.
「………… Kouta-san. Being an adventurer means that you shouldn’t act recklessly like meddling into another person’s problem which you can’t solve. This might sound heartless but, you might call it one of the secrets of success in life or the secret to living a long life. Because if you live as an adventurer, there’ll come a time when you’ll do a commission which you can’t do alone you know? 」
After heaving a sigh, Rio gave words of wisdom to Kouta with a troubled face.
「Because as long as you’re working as an adventurer, there’ll come a time when you will incur enmity like that from someone, which leads me to worry that you might become such a cheeky adventurer. Well, to be honest I’m happy that you wanted to help me but…………… My apologies. It sounded like I was preaching to you right?」
Rio apologized to Kouta with a smile on his face after seeing Kouta’s depressed face.
「………… No, you’re right. I learnt a new lesson. I have a lot of things to learn……….. Or rather, It seems I need to etch this point of reflection into my heart.」
Kouta smiled wryly as he heaved a sigh with a mixed expression.
「I’m glad then. By the way, the two over here are the chamberlains working for Liselotte-sama.」
In order to change the depressing atmosphere, Rio introduced Natalie and Chloe who had stayed by his side.
「Yeah. I saw the two of you a while ago.」
「My name is Natalie. It’s pleasure to meet you.」
「My name is Chloe. It’s pleasure to meet you.」
After Kouta nodded at them, Natalie and Chloe introduced themselves.
「I-It’s my pleasure to meet you too.」
「The truth is, Chloe-san’s family manages an inn, thus I thought suggesting her family’s inn as your staying place, what do you think about it, Kouta-san? 」
Rio suddenly asked such a question of Kouta who had greeted those two beauties with an anxious voice.
「Yeah. Since you said what I was think about……….. It would be my pleasure I guess.」
Kouta nodded timidly.
「It’s decided then. Let’s go there immediately and make arrangements before all the rooms are filled. We’ll leave the shopping for later. Will you become our guide then, Chloe-san? 」
「Y-Yes, this way please! 」
After Rio turned the conversation to her, Chloe replied with a lively voice. Thus, they headed towards the inn run by Chloe’s family.
Later, after finishing the shopping, Rio also stayed for one night to finish another matter with Chloe’s mother. And by the next morning, Rio left Almond with Kouta seeing him off and departed towards the Proxia kingdom to the north.