NBAA Vol. 2 Chapter 4 Part 1
After arriving in Lunot, Reito stopped the carriage in front of the Adventurers’ Guild, to entrust Shuu and Gaida to the authorities.
There was a small commotion in the guild, as an F rank adventurer had returned with a carriage and two pro empire faction members in tow, but the receptionist took care of the necessary procedures quickly and efficiently.
Reito was told to wait in the guest room, as Bal would meet him.
The guildmaster entered the room and addressed him with a sigh.
“Honestly…you’re always bringing me trouble, aren’t you.”
“Well, this time you pulled off quite the feat, though. Catching pro empire faction members is really impressive.”
Bal gave a small bag to Reito. Shuu and Gaida were wanted criminals, so their capture would be rewarded.
Reito took the bag and Bal continued.
“Those two are bottom tier lackeys in the faction, but they were definitely behind the recent armed Goblins’ attacks. The royal army will owe us one.”
“Is my rank going to increase?”
“You don’t waste time, do you…here, your new card.”
Bal took out a guild card and gave it to Reito.
On the surface, Reito’s name and the words “Rank E” were engraved. Thanks to his feat, Reito was promoted to rank E without having to take the exam.
“Ooh…thank you very much.”
“This is a special exception, though. Normally, beginners can’t be promoted in the first two months after their registration. You’ll have to take the exam next time.”
“Understood. By the way, about the Ymir coal mines…”
“You found some Goblin corpses and a dead Demon there, by chance, right? We’ve sent a search team. Why in the world would you go to a place like that, though? Did you hope to find Mithril?”
“Hahaha, yes, something like that.”
Reito had reported to the guild about the Ymir coal mine too, just in case.
According to Bal, the search would take time, so the pro empire faction might have erased any evidence from there already.
Reito had collected the gear used by the Goblins, so he submitted it to the guild. He remembered Basil’s features, so he drew a portrait and showed it to Bal.
She seemed to have seen that face before.
“This is Basil…a Monster Tamer, but they called him Basil the Beast Trainer. If you ask me, he’s more of a beast himself than the monsters he used…”
“Was he a wanted criminal?”
“Yup, and he had a hefty bounty on his head too, 10 gold coins. I heard he was caught some years ago and shipped over to the Prison City, though…I’ll have to check about that later.”
“Ten gold coins…maybe I messed up this time…”
“Hm? Did you say something?”
Reito did not report the whole truth about the events in the Ymir coal mine: he simply said he happened to find Basil’s corpse.
Airis had insisted on that point, urging Reito to keep the truth to himself. It was dangerous to get too involved, so Reito acted as if he had nothing to do with it.
“What’s going to happen now?”
“Who can say…the kingdom is going to handle the rest. Those two will probably get the death sentence, but they earned it. If they have valuable information, they might just end up in prison, though…it’s unthinkable that they planned the Goblin attacks just by themselves, so the royal army will likely increase their patrols.”
“I see…by the way, there is something I’d like to ask…do you know of a man called Gain?”
The moment Reito uttered the words, Bal’s expression twisted.
“…what did you say?”
Her change was so stark Reito was shocked. Bal grabbed his arm and started questioning him.
“Where have you heard that name? Do you know something?”
“No, I…I just heard that from one of the Tamers…”
“Is that so…which means, he was involved in these events too…”
Bal reached for the cup on her desk and clenched it so hard it almost cracked. She then downed the contents in one gulp, seeming to calm her nerves.
As she resumed speaking, her tone was tinged in anger.
“This isn’t something E rank adventurers should get involved in. Leave the rest to us and go back to your regular adventuring business.”
Bal said nothing else and left the room.
Reito, mystified by her change in attitude, contacted Airis.
『Hmm, I should have warned you in advance, never to mention Gain’s name to Bal…』
『Why is that?』
『They are acquainted with each other, actually. Their relationship was not good by any means, however: it is marked by a series of murders.』
『Twenty years ago, Gain killed Bal’s parents. They met again after she became an adventurer: at that time, Gain lost one eye at her hands, but killed her adventurer companions at the time.』
Reito had thus inadvertently touched on Bar’s thirst for revenge.
『I shouldn’t have said that, right…?』
『I believe that’s an understatement. Bal is going to die at this rate.』
Reito was shocked by the unexpected prediction.
Airis explained that Reito’s words caused a dramatic change in Bal’s fate.
『Bal will leave the Adventurers’ Guild to act on her own. She will eventually discover Gain’s whereabouts and attempt to kill him, but she will fall into a trap and be killed instead.』
『That can’t be…all because of me!?』
『Well…if you didn’t ask about Gain, she would not have done something so reckless, that is true. Gain will not survive unscathed, however: he will die too, due to the wounds inflicted by Bal.』
『Can it be stopped?』
『It would be quite difficult. If you do not do anything, they will definitely die, but if you get involved without the proper preparations another serious problem will arise.』
『I do not have the ability to see your future. As I said before, I can see everything related to the creatures born in this world. Since your soul came from another world, however, I cannot see anything related to you. Moreover, it is also difficult to see the future of those involved with you.』
Reito realized that Airis was not in favor of rescuing Bal.
『If you do not get involved any further, Bal and Gain will both die. If you do, however, I will not be able to predict the outcome. It might be possible to save Bal, but it might also mean that Gain will survive too. There is also the possibility that both will die, but you will too, Reito.』
『In other words, you won’t be able to give me advice as you have until now.』
『I can tell you the whereabouts of Bal and Gain, as well as their abilities. But I cannot see their future when you’re involved. Thus personally, I am not in favor of getting involved with this…what will you do?』
Airis sighed, as she knew what Reito was going to say from the start.
Reito apologized for causing her trouble with his decision, then they started talking about his plans.
『If I get involved any further, Bal’s future will change…which means, now that I’m not involved yet, can you see what’s going to happen to her?』
『That is correct. Before you take any meaningful actions, I can see her future. She will find Gain’s hideout five days from now and go on the attack by herself. She will defeat Gain’s subordinates, but will be struck by a poisoned arrow before fighting Gain, partially paralyzing her body. She will exert the last of her strength to deliver a fatal blow to Gain, but she will eventually die from the poison.』
『So the direct cause of her death is poison?』
『Exactly. Gain himself is an accomplished swordsman too, though. His skills are equal to an A rank adventurer.』
『I see, if I fought him directly, I’d be at a disadvantage.』
Knowing about the enemy’s skills with the sword reminded Reito of his weakness.
His current skills were far inferior to Bal’s, but naturally he could not compete with Gain either.
According to Airis’ predictions, if Reito were to fight against Gain now, his chances of victory would be zero. If he didn’t do something within five days, however, Bal would be killed.
In order to save her life, it was necessary either to convince her not to track Gain, or to make sure they did not meet.
Her resolve was already firm, however. Reito knew that to convince her not to go, or lead her to another objective would be next to impossible.
『How far is Gain’s hideout from here?』
『If Ullr pulls the carriage, it will take about half a day. In other words, you have about four days of leeway before the fateful day.』
『To improve my sword skills enough to match an accomplished swordsman in four days…is impossible, isn’t it?』
『It is. No matter how you train, there is no way to match Gain in four days. You should then use a different strategy.』
『A different strategy…』
『Fortunately enough, Gain possesses only the Swordsman and Martial Artist jobs. In other words, he cannot use magic. You therefore have the advantage in this case: if you can create a situation in which magic is an advantage over other forms of fighting…』
『You mean fight with magic?』
『Not exactly. I mean to use magic as a means of battle. Simply speaking, to blend magic and sword in your fighting style.』
For the current Reito, matching Gain with his sword was simply unthinkable.
If he could use abilities that Gain couldn’t, however, he might have a chance. Reito found a glimmer of hope in the possibilities suggested by Airis.