I walked steadily from the forward base and arrived back at Tricklis after two days.
It was now the next day and some of the returning soldiers were instructed to report to the castle.
It’s the castle of the Lord of Tricklis located in the centre of the city.
After returning to the city, I spent the night at the inn the Guild provided for all of the adventurers. In the morning, an official sent from the castle came to get a few of us. Now that I think about it, we were kind of forced into a carriage and we weren’t really allowed to decline. The other people that are here besides me are Gonzalez and the Dark Elf.
We were told, once we entered the carriage, that we were to receive a reward for our efforts in the previous battle.
It’s actually quite a relief to hear that. After being somewhat forced into the carriage, I was fully expecting to be sent to the frontlines once more. I can tell just by the atmosphere in the carriage that the other two are just as relieved as me to hear that.
It kind of feels like we’re on our way to receive diplomas at graduation.
After riding along on the bumpy road for a short time we arrived at the castle.
The official guided us into the castle. We turned left after entering, before turning right and walking west for a while. Eventually, we arrived at our destination. A pair of grand double doors.
I can assume the person that summoned us here is waiting behind these doors.
This isn’t good. The Lord here should be Ester-chan.
Just, so much has happened in such a short amount of time that I had completely forgotten. I’m not sure I can even force myself through the door. I could feel my body tense up from the uneasiness I’m feeling.
Gonzalez spoke up as if he noticed the change in me.
“It’s okay if you’re feeling nervous.”
“That’s, umm, how do I say it….”
How can I save face here?
But, I’m not even going to have time to think of anything.
The double doors opened slowly revealing the large empty hall before us. It’s a little narrower than the great hall in Kalis’ castle. However, the ceiling was just as high and the space was still impressive.
A lush, red carpet was spread out down the entire hall. It ended at the foot of a slightly raised platform where a splendid throne sat decorated with metal around the edges. In addition to this, there were many nobles, all wearing exquisite clothing, lined up on either side of the red carpet.
I scanned the room but didn’t see any sign of the blonde loli.
She doesn’t seem to be here.
The official beside us spoke.
We slowly advanced, step by step, before arriving a few metres in front of the throne. Due to the raised platform the throne is on, it gives the impression that whoever would be sitting there would be looming over us.
It’s similar to how the throne was set up in Kalis, so I’m not feeling too nervous about it. The person we’re meeting must be a high-ranking official in Ester-chan’s territory.
It’s like I’ve gone over to a friend’s place to play and I’m about to meet their mother.
It’s kind of scary when you go over on the weekend and the father’s gone to work.
“Thank you for coming, brave warriors.”
The throne remained vacant.
Instead, an ossan next to us spoke up.
This person must be in a similar position to Prime Minister. He’s slightly older than me. He’s balding terribly and is trying to cover it up with a horrendous comb-over. He has dark black hair but his eyes are light green. He looks either American or European.
This man’s belly is also inflated beyond belief. The fat from his face is starting to hang down and form jowls. This really gives him an evil and intense face.
This guy is working as the secretary of Ester-chan. It makes me imagine all of the erotic things he could do to her. I feel happy and also frustrated imagining that. It’s a very complicated feeling.
Ester-chan getting creampied repeatedly during her pregnancy training.
Then, that cute tsundere girl cherishing her child. I hate it and love it.
It’s so frustrating.
What can I do about this empty feeling?
This is the origin of all of the dark thoughts virgins feel. It’s a complicated feeling.
“Even though the forces of the Pussy Republic outnumbered our own soldiers ten-to-one, due to the valiant efforts of these three, we managed to completely crush the enemy and reestablish control over the area. The Viscount of the FitzClarence family and his daughter are extremely pleased with your efforts.”
Good. That means Ester-chan is safe.
That was my biggest concern.
I was really concerned about the throne being empty, but I guess Ester-chan has other matters to attend to. After all, she is the lord here now. I can understand her not having the time to reward a few soldiers for their efforts. Considering the country is at war, there’s probably much more important things for her to be doing.
“Therefore, to honour your efforts in this battle, as reserve fighters for the Penny Empire, we will increase your rank to Sergeant. On top of that, you will be allowed to have other adventurers fight under you. Of course, you will also earn even more rewards if you continue to perform as you have.”
I could hear the Dark Elf and Gonzalez gasp when the balding man spoke.
I’m not exactly sure what all of that meant. However, I was able to understand that it isn’t anything good based off of their reactions.
But I think that a promotion should be a good thing, right?
“There’s still no sign of the Republic of Pussy stopping their attacks on Tricklis. We are expecting more and more success from each of you. Once we’ve won this war, each of you will be given everything you need to live a life of luxury. Of course, we expect all of you to remain loyal to your duties.”
The balding man glanced at each of us, but his gaze seemed to linger on the Dark Elf.
I looked over at her to see her gritting her teeth. Today would not be the day to lose your temper. Perhaps she’s annoyed that she feels like she’s being looked down on. She really has a difficult personality to understand.
“This audience is over.”
This meeting was completely different than the one I had after the dragon extermination party. He was the only one to speak the entire time before dismissing us.
Not to mention how short this entire thing was, but I do feel like that was rather appropriate.
I was still feeling anxious as I wondered what that reward could mean.
After leaving the castle, we got back into the carriage and went to the Adventurer’s Guild.
After entering the Guild, the official that had been acting as our guide since this morning left us alone. It seems he’s gone off to speak with other officials of the Guild. He told us to wait for him before disappearing behind the counter.
Thanks to this, Gonzalez, the Dark Elf, and I were finally able to talk amongst one another. We sat down together at one of the tables.
“Those guys, they plan to crush us all in one go….”
Gonzalez was the first to speak.
“Seriously, they’re nothing but a joke….”
The Dark Elf nodded in agreement.
They both seem to feel the same way.
While I have no idea why they feel this way. We were able to increase our rank in the army and got other rewards as well so I don’t understand why it’s bad.
“Is that true?”
I asked this to clear up my confusion.
And Gonzalez quickly replied.
“Isn’t it obvious? They just plan on sending their best fighters to the front until we die, and then they’ll just get someone to take our places. Even though we were promoted to sergeant, we’ll basically be acting as chaperones to the new recruits sent into battle. Do you understand? In other words, any knights and other military officials will be sent in after us.”
“Eh, well, certainly….”
“Do you think those guys want to sacrifice soldiers from their own army first? Even those that didn’t come with us today realize this just after seeing how the last battle went. They just come in and kill the few enemies left after we’ve been fighting and dying for hours. They use us to weaken the enemy because we mean absolutely nothing to them.”
“Isn’t it possible that you’re reading too much into it? The war is a major concern for this country and especially this city.”
“That just makes it even clearer. This battle was taking place so close to the city and yet the main forces of the army didn’t arrive until long after the battle was won. The soldiers that fought for the majority of the battle were all adventurers. Almost all of the few knights and lower-ranking officers that were sent with us died but that guy showed hardly any concern over their deaths. Does he not intend to honour those that gave their lives to protect this country?”
“…I can understand that.”
“And why wasn’t Henry Sensei called here as well? Even if you’re a foreigner, you should be able to understand how strange this seems. Well, in this case, I’m actually glad Henry Sensei wasn’t summoned. This way, he’ll be able to live longer.”
After hearing Gonzalez’s explanation I felt like I sort of understood what he meant.
It’s like the employees of a subsidiary of a much larger company being forced into working overtime to make up for the larger company’s lack of effort.
“If the regular soldiers from Tricklis’ army were sent to battle, we wouldn’t have had nearly as much trouble, and if we lost that battle, the Pussy Republic would’ve gone on to pillage the surrounding towns, resulting in countless casualties. So, why wouldn’t the Empire want to stop the enemy right then and there?”
“I’m starting to doubt it as well now.”
It’s definitely a strange situation.
“I wanted to speak with the new lord today but she wasn’t even there. I heard she was involved in slaying a dragon, but she seems more concerned with politics right now than the war right on our doorstep. If things stay like this, I really don’t know what will happen to Tricklis in the future.”
“W-Well, what do you mean by that?”
“I’m afraid of what trouble this new lord may cause here. She was given this territory without any input from the people of Tricklis. I’m afraid that she won’t have the support of the people and who knows what that could lead to.”
Ester-chan is probably trying to gather the support of other nobles and politicians at the same time she’s trying to deal with this war.
And Ester-chan doesn’t seem like a very suitable commander.
It’s got me feeling very uneasy.
I think she’d be useful in battle considering her magic is rather formidable.
But that’s it.
Now, I know I can’t return to the capital until this conflict is over.
“Anyway, the rank of Sergeant was just given to us so the higher-ups will have less work for themselves. But it doesn’t matter. As long I’m alive, as long as I’m still breathing, I’ll keep fighting.”
It seems that I’ve been put in a much harsher environment than I originally thought.
“How many Adventurers Guilds are there in this country?”
“Well, there’s probably one in every major city.”
It’s just like any fantasy world really.
I really don’t know the basics of this world, so the information Gonzalez is giving me is invaluable.
By the way, the Dark Elf is staying mostly silent.
She’s as gloomy as usual.
“Sorry, I’m really not familiar with this country. Please tell me, are the Guilds limited to this country or are there other Guilds in the surrounding countries?”
After asking, Gonzalez spoke softly then looked lost in thought.
“The places known as ‘Guilds’ are not only found in this country. They’re similar to blacksmiths or tailors. They’re available throughout any other country and, although occasionally these guilds will work together, more often than not each guild operates independently of any other.”
“I see. They’re similar to a private company.”
“If two countries have good relationships with each other, it’s more than likely that a Guild member from one country would be able to find accommodations at any guildhall in the other country. And it would be the exact opposite if the two countries were enemies. By the way, the Pussy Republic and the Penny Empire were considered to be quite close not too long ago.”
“That was very helpful. Sorry for asking such a strange question.”
“What are you saying? This is nothing. After all, you saved my life more than once.”
“Thank you very much.”
“Is there anything else you’d like to ask? I don’t mind answering any questions you may have. You should take the time to learn as much as you can now. I want you to live a long life.”
“Umm, then I’ll take you up on your offer….”
Gonzalez showed me a bright smile. I could tell he was a good person. This was a great chance for me to learn various things about this world. Things such as financing, how goods are distributed across the country, the transportation available in this world, and finally, how large this country actually is and how many countries are on this continent. For most adults in this world, much, if not all, of this information would be considered common knowledge. The questions I’ve had about this world ever since I first woke up and grabbed Mercedes-chan’s poop have finally been answered for me.
I have a lot of people to thank for getting me this far in this world. But I’d never be able to ask these questions of the noble mage, Sophia-chan, Allen, or any of my other companions.
It would be quite strange to not know how many countries there are on this continent yet I somehow know how to create a medicine that can cure a mysterious illness affecting the princess that has been resistant to all other cures.
But Gonzalez seemed happy to answer any and all questions I had.
His face is definitely scary, but there’s no doubt that he’s a good person.