DAR Vol. 3 Chapter 10 Part 5

After she left Roa, Cornelia went inside town. Other than the large gate, there were smaller ones for the residents to use. With proof of residency, it was possible to pass the inspections of identity and possessions much quicker, so Cornelia and the others used it too. They were residing in the city long term, so they had temporary residency permits.

Cornelia entered the city and headed towards the industrial district: she was going to pick up the weapons Bruno made for them. As soon as she did, she would hop on a horse carriage and rush to regroup with the rest of Nostalgia.

She was chosen for this task because she was the most skilled at handling horses and, being the lightest of the group, she would be able to travel the fastest…or at least so they said, but the real reason was different. The actual reason was that they could not trust anyone else with picking up the weapons.

Magic users were not suited for fighting on their own, so Bernhart could not be left alone. Kristoff had run everywhere to get permission to enter the Citadel Dungeon, so he was at his limits. Lastly, sending Dietrich alone to Bruno’s workshop was unthinkable.

Thus the only option left was Cornelia. She had just started walking towards the industrial district, when the ground rumbled. She thought it was a quake at first, but no tremors came and the rumbling sounds quickly ceased. She found it curious, but continuing on her way to the industrial district.

She sort of recalled the time when Roa’s group faced the giant slime, but she hoped that a monster like that wouldn’t appear anymore.

Cornelia had a very bad feeling about it, but quickly walked to the industrial district. Once she arrived, however, the rumbling had become a hot topic.

“They say the Adventurers’ Guild collapsed!” “Since yesterday there was a lot of loud rattling, so everyone took shelter and there weren’t any casualties.” “It crumbled on itself without damaging the surrounding buildings” “Which workshop built it anyway!?” and other loud voices crossed in the streets.

The rumors probably reached the industrial district first, since it was a construction-related incident and they were connected to when the building was erected and they would probably be requested to fix it later.

Cornelia had too many suspicions about the commotion, so she acted as normal as possible to avoid attracting any attention and headed towards Bruno’s workshop.

Her head was full of curses towards the culprit of the collapse, Grandpa Gry. She didn’t know how it managed to make the guild crumble with a delay, but it was definitely the doing of that nasty gryphon. It kept the promise with Roa not to cause any deaths, but despite the fact that it hadn’t been actually hurt, the retribution was simply excessive.

The damage could not be limited to the building. The Adventurers’ Guild could not function for the time being, which would cause massive damage to the city itself, which would then affect the whole country.

Feeling devastated while imagining the scale of damage caused, Cornelia just desperately repeat to herself that she didn’t have anything to do with any of it.

“Hey there, missy! I got’em all ready! What, you’re alone today? You’re looking awfully pale too?”

Cornelia flung herself in the workshop, to avoid the town’s commotion, and Bruno greeted her. His huge body was as intimidating as ever, but today he was fully wearing his work gear, maybe because he was not forging weapons at the moment.

“Thank you very much. Yes, today it’s only me. I am all right.”

Cornelia was slightly scared by Bruno’s animal-like white smile emerging from his bristly beard, but she managed to reply with a polite smile. She looked around the workshop but could not find the first disciple, Sofia. Maybe she was working in the back, but at least she wasn’t around now. Much to Cornelia’s relief.

Several young girls with black hair and slanted eyes like Sofia were busily running around. Bruno gestured an order and two of them brought a wooden box. Inside there were three swords and one knife.

“Three swords and one knife, everything as ordered, with mithril lines and all. Check them for yourself.”

“Yes.”

The swords in the box all had different size and thickness. They were probably crafted with the wielder’s physique as basis. Cornelia took the shortest, probably the one meant for her, and unsheathed it.

“….so beautiful…”

The blade was more beautiful than any Cornelia ever saw. It was mainly in steel, but it shone like a mirror, without the smallest cloud, and a line of mithril run through it from the hilt. It was welded together with the steel, but there was no curve or imperfection: it ran straight and dazzling from the hilt to the tip.

“No problems, right?”

Cornelia looked fascinated at her sword, as Bruno looked at her with satisfaction in his eyes.

“So, about the price….”

“Yes…eh?”

Bruno moved too quick for Cornelia to follow. The same moment he talked, he had swiped the magic bag on her shoulder. She hadn’t even noticed his hands moving and only when she saw the bag in Bruno’s hands did she realize that he had snatched it from her.

After being surprised by the speed, Cornelia felt fear. She understood that if Bruno was hostile, he could have killed her before she realized. As a warrior, she felt humiliated.

“I’ll take this as a reward, then.”

Without noticing Cornelia’s frozen expression, Bruno put a hand in the magic bag and took out a magic potion. Cornelia looked at the potion and realized that Bruno swiped the bag that Roa had given to her.

“…er…what’s that?”

“What? It’s in your bag and you don’t know what it is? This is a Super Grade Magic Recovery Potion. One that restores lost limbs. You’ve got three of them in here, so I can take one, right?”

Bruno replied completely casually, but Cornelia was rendered speechless.

“There’s a kid in the orphanage I look after that got both legs chopped off, ya see? I was wondering if I could do something for them. As expected of my disciple, he got as far as making Super potions!”

“Whaaat…?”

Bruno grinned and roughly shook the potion. Cornelia couldn’t keep up with what he said and simply stared at the trembling liquid.

“Don’t like it? I guess swords and knives aren’t enough…”

Bruno looked at Cornelia, too shocked to speak, and misjudged the reason behind her reaction.

“Guess it can’t be helped, gotta give ya a bonus then. Hey!”

Bruno called to one of the small black-haired slant-eyed girls. She nodded and ran off to the back of the workshop. After a while, three of them returned with a large wooden box.

“Here’s the bonus. Take a look.”

“……”

Cornelia opened the box and looked at the contents. They were a giant warhammer, about as tall as she was, and an assassin knife.

“I had my disciples do these as an exercise. They should be the right size for you and the playboy guy. They’re nothing exceptional, but they should be useful enough. Take’em with ya. Still not enough in exchange for a super grade potion, though…let’s see…is there anything you want? All we can give you is stuff made of metal though.”

Cornelia finally managed to comprehend her present situation.

“Ehm, I…”

“Got it! Want me to refurbish your plate armor? My disciple left so much mithril here that it’ll be a cinch to remake your armor, missy!”

“N-no!! I don’t need something that could become a national treasure!!”

Cornelia couldn’t help but shout in protest. She had never seen anyone fight in a mithril armor. At most she had seen one on display in a noble’s mansion. It would certainly have incredible defensive power, but it would stand out too much and would make it seem like she wanted to flaunt her riches.

“What, you don’t want it? I could even plate it properly with another metal, you know. I can make you something that would look perfect, missy.”

“Eh? Really?…no, no no! That magic potion is Roa’s, I can’t use it as payment!”

What did you put in the bag!? And three of them to boot!!

She was rather late, but Cornelia mentally expressed her anger towards Roa. He did tell her that there were magic potions and holy water in the bag, but she would never expect that it contained such “explosive” contents.

If she knew that there were Super Grade Magic Recovery Potions in the bag, she would have definitely refused to accept it. Because of Roa, her view of magic potions was changing drastically, but not enough to accept Super Grade Magic Recovery Potions just like that.

“My disciple gave these to you, right? Aren’t they yours, then? Don’t you dare give them back! For us craftsmen, there’s nothing worse than having our creations returned without being used. He’s gonna cry if you do!”

Maybe he wouldn’t cry, but he would definitely be saddened.

“But…!”

“Don’t ya worry. What’s the problem if you exchanged one with my weapons? You haven’t checked this bag’s contents, have ya missy? There’s a total of 30 Super Grade Magic Recovery Potions in here! You can get your limbs chopped, get poisoned to hell and back, get all the lethal sickness you want with these! Missy, he loves you guys!”

Bruno’s grin grew wider and wider.

Cornelia’s shock peaked and she started shaking. Not even the king of a whole country could get their hands on so many Super Grade Magic Recovery Potions. They weren’t something you just needed money to buy, after all.

“Oh, there are potions to prevent sudden death too. If you’re going to a place with undead, you have to drink this. Look, my disciple’s specialty, the recovery candies too. Can I take some of these too? They’re a blessing for blacksmithing work. Ah, by the way, don’t worry, I’m not going to blabber about anything that might cause trouble for my disciple, this *weird water* included”

Bruno did not notice or care how pale Cornelia became and took out some recovery candies from the bag. He took a large fistful, so it was clear that there were many more inside.

“If you have this bag, you can survive pretty much anywhere. As long as you’re an adventurer, you’ll definitely find it useful. Just shut up and take it. And let me have some of its contents, I can make you weapons in exchange. Deal?”

Bruno laughed loudly and lightly tapped Cornelia’s shoulders. At least he meant to, but to Cornelia it felt like being tackled by a beast: she managed somehow not to be blown away and coughed loudly. As she waited for her cough to settle, a slew of questions formed in her mind.

It looked like Bruno knew many things he wasn’t supposed to. How did he know what the magic bag contained? Did he meet with Roa when Nostalgia’s members weren’t around and heard about it? And also…

“Why is Roa so kind to us…?”

Too many questions filled Cornelia’s head, but the first one to escape her lips was this. It was a simple question, which made Bruno furrowed his brows.

“Because you’re like family, seems obvious to me.”

Bruno’s tone seemed to make fun of Cornelia for asking something so silly.

“Family…?”

“You’re like family, aren’t ya? You’re comrades with the lackey of Roa’s servant beasts. ”

Cornelia expected Bruno to say something about friendship, but was surprised to hear the word lackey instead. The words “lackey of Roa’s servant beasts” made her think about Grandpa Gry first and foremost. The gryphon trained them, that was true, but they never became its lackeys.

Bernhart was maybe close to such a position, but they were more like disciple and master. In any case, Bruno never even met Bernhart, so there was no way for him to know about his relationship with Grandpa Gry.

“The big dumbass who came with you the other day…your leader is the twins’ lackey, isn’t he?”

“Whaaaattt!!?!”

Cornelia couldn’t help but shout in reaction to such unexpected words. Because of this, she couldn’t hear Bruno whisper “what, the twins didn’t tell you?”.

“He’s got their paw marks on his thighs, right? For magic beasts, that’s the mark of being a lackey. It doesn’t have any magic effects, it’s just a mark. I taught them to put it on people they don’t like.”

“…..”

“That’s the reason why I agreed to make weapons for you, ya know? If you’re like family for my disciple, you’re like family for me. Ya gotta thank the twins next time.”

The shocking truth forced Cornelia to crumble. She recalled what happened one week before.

Dietrich tried punching Bruno, was punched instead and knocked out. Bruno then tried removing his pants and underwear to throw him out in such a shameful look, but then noticed the twins’ paw marks on his thighs. He then suddenly burst into laughter and started treating them much more kindly.

Bruno noticed the “lackey marks” and recognized Nostalgia as family for Roa, so he changed his attitude towards them. Cornelia felt the blood drain from her face and her head spin, but managed to somehow resist.

“You’re the party members of the lackey of my disciple’s servant beasts, so I’m at the top of the ladder and you guys are the bottom! Let’s get along, all right?”

Cornelia felt hammered down again: this time she couldn’t resist and collapsed, knees and palms on the ground. One of the little girls in the surroundings could not bear looking at her so down and gently caressed her head.

The shocking revelation had blown away all suspicion about Bruno from Cornelia’s mind.

𑁋

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