Commander Tesla welcomed them at the town lord's mansion.
Town of Vouka has three commanders, one for guard corps, one for a unit guarding town gates, and one for a unit protecting the town lord's mansion. Commander Tesla is the one in charge of the mansion.
Lecan and Eda were led inside the mansion while the Tree Wolves were menacingly growling 'baw baw'.
They were brought to a parlor furnished with first-class interiors instead of the lord's office.
They were told to sit on the sofa, so they did.
The town lord soon arrived. Along with his son, Agito.
"Hey there, Lecan. It's been a while."
"And you would be Eda then."
"To think it's such a lovely young girl. Make yourselves at home. You have done great during the bandit sweeping operation."
"Now then, Lecan. I'd like to recommend your promotion to gold rank adventurer. Would you accept it."
"Do I get some sort of responsibilities as a gold rank adventurer."
"There is no specific duty. You might get asked to do personal quests from me or this town's influential individuals, but you are free to refuse them. In other word, even though you may be a gold rank, your position as an adventurer will see no change."
"My apothecary training under Shira will be over this year. I plan to wander around all over the places after that. No concrete plan yet though."
"Is that so. That's unfortunate. But that doesn't mean you won't ever come back to this town, does it?"
"No idea. I might come back. I might not."
"That's fine then. Do show your face at this town once in a while. But the choice is ultimately yours."
"What's in it for you if I get to be this town's gold rank adventurer?"
"Fumu. Even the mere fact that a town has a gold rank adventurer will improve public order. It has the effect of deterring surrounding town lords and scheming fools from messing with the town. Furthermore, you're a special case."
"Special as in?"
"The best deterrent against outside forces a town can have is having an assembly of knights, however, our town hasn't reached that stage yet. Naturally, lords who rule over dungeon cities have their eyes set on such towns. Simply because they can hire high-ranking adventurers anytime they want. To town lords who have no access to either, gold rank adventurers fill the bill instead."
"However, you end Eda are gold rank adventurers as well as dungeon conquerors. Moreover, you're a rare kind of adventurers who has conquered two dungeons thrice. You, adventurers of our town. What would this be called besides special."
"There's no guarantee we will act in accordance to your will in the future. Is there a point in gold rank then."
"That's no problem at all. Or rather, if it ever comes to a point that I have to rely on your powers to brute force things, that signals my defeat as a politician. Deterrents have meaning only if they aren't used."
"Hmm? I don't really get difficult stuff. Anyway, it's fine if you profit from it as long as we aren't burdened with duties."
"I'm grateful to hear that. Pardon me, but I had prepared myself for a very difficult discussion from my impressions of you the last time we met."
"Shira told me."
"Shira-dono did? What is?"
"To concede everything I can concede in my talk with you."
"I see. Shira-dono said such things. To her, we're truly"
Truly what. The lord didn't continue.
<TLN: Catch the latest updates and edits at Sousetsuka .com >
After a moment of silence, Lecan spoke.
"If you're done with us, we're heading back."
"Ah, no, please wait a bit. There's something else I need to talk to you."
"First, I'd like to confirm something once again. You conquered Dungeon Golbul solo, didn't you."
"And twice at that."
"Does that mean you had already conquered the dungeon when you visited this mansion back then?"
Lecan tried to recall the time he came to this mansion.
"You mean that day I came back to this town after my first conquest. The day your son tore down the door to Shira's house and tried to arrest me."
"Please don't mention that again. We are truly sorry about it. But, right, then. That means you were already a dungeon conquerer back then. And yet my son and I didn't treat you with the respect you deserved. Please forgive us."
Vouka town lord lowered his head. His son next to him also bowed. Commander Tesla who was standing by the wall also did.
Lecan was filled with a sense of gratification for a second. However, an alarm rang in his head immediately after.
(The most powerful person in this town and his successor are bowing to me.)
(Giving me the pleasure of victory.)
(But something's wrong.)
(Is this really a victory to me?)
(On the contrary, isn't it bad for these guys to lower their head to me.)
It's not logic, it's instinct.
His instinct is telling Lecan that having these two bowing to him is like having a rope tied around his neck.
Suddenly, Lecan bowed his head.
Bowing with his head lower than even the town lord and his son.
"I have put shame on the lord and his successor. For that, I offer you my apologies."
"I-I can't believe Lecan would bow at someone else."
Eda next to him was surprised.
The town lord seems perplexed.
"In the future, please send a messenger if you have a business with me or Shira."
"Please don't say that, I too would like your permission to visit Shira-dono and Nike-dono in the future."
Lecan raised his head.
The town lord's son, Agito is looking straight at Lecan.
Next to him the town lord is frowning.
"As a successor of this town's lord, no one would bar you from visiting Shira, an inhabitant of this town. However, commoners have their own way to live as commoners, we have our own rules to follow. I'd like you to respect that if you could."
Lecan squeezed out those lines after racking his brain very hard. However, he himself couldn't really get the meaning of the words coming out of his mouth.
"But of course. I shall not do anything that would inconvenience Shira-dono and Nike-dono."
The town lord frowned even harder when he heard Agito.
What did he win, Lecan himself didn't understand, his instinct just told him so.