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≪1-11≫ – “Thank You.”

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Author: Kisasaki Suzume Original Source: Syosetu
Translator: Mui English Source: Re:Library
Editor(s): Deximus-Maximus

In the kitchen of the restored Rock Lizard Inn after the flooding, Viola prepared dinner.

With concerns still lingering about the distribution of supplies, including food, and the inability to hoard more than necessary, the menu consisted of the classic fish meatball soup and a fresh fish salad made from newly caught fish.

Since the dining hall was not usable, the meal was set up in an empty room on the second floor. Originally, they were supposed to accommodate evacuees today, but due to the recent incident, it had been postponed.

“I’ve been reflecting a bit too. It wasn’t a good move to just push Monica away without explaining what we were up to,” Viola said as she dipped her bread into the steaming soup.
“Yeah, you should reflect,” Monica said.
“Are you in any position to say that…” Wein retorted.

At Wein’s words, mixed with a wry smile, Monica’s expression paled slightly. However, she didn’t particularly argue.

“Hey… How are the people in this party connected?”

Monica’s demeanor was still somewhat tense towards Tim and Wein. But that was only natural. For her, Tim and Wein were still unfamiliar individuals. Yet, she was taking a step forward herself, trying to understand the situation.

“In fact, now that I think about it, I haven’t heard it either.”
“Oh, right, I hadn’t told you either, Lucella…”
“Since you became our companion, we’ve been so busy that we haven’t had the chance to talk properly.”
“Well, yes… I learned about Viola in the last moment too.”
“I’m sorry, truly sorry. Please don’t hold it against me.”

Tim tried to play it off, taking a big bite of the tough bread, but it seemed to make his mouth even drier, so he quickly washed it down with milk. He took a deep breath, almost as if replacing it with a sigh.

“I was originally from the capital, and I started out as an adventurer over there. I was part of a party called Night-Crying Drizzle. Back then, I had some notable achievements and caught the attention of His Majesty. So, they approached me with the idea of taking care of Viola. Initially… I thought it was some kind of joke, of course.”
“Yeah, normally, it sounds like that.”
“But there were proper reasons for the selection. Born locally, with a strong background, capable, trustworthy in character… and most importantly, no ties to nobility,” Viola added.
“That’s right. Handling Viola was based on a delicate balance, and it was difficult to assign someone of high status as her guardian. So, I was chosen.”

I see, Lucella thought to herself.

Lucella, having worked as the manager of the Seventh Dice in this town, was familiar with Tim’s background as the leader of the town’s top party. Even before he formed Golden Helmet and moved to Kugutfulm, he had been a renowned adventurer in the capital city. While adventurers were often looked down upon as lawless, those who achieved fame were trusted by royalty and aristocrats. Both in terms of skill and character.

And if that’s the case, it wouldn’t be implausible for him to receive a summons from the king.

“I thought it was an impossible story, but the more I thought about it the more tempting it sounded. I was just, well, not quite in sync with the pace of Night-Crying Drizzle.”
“And what do you mean by that?”
“I had too much talent for my own good,” Tim sighed.

It was a story Lucella had heard often, so she just accepted it quietly.

Adventurer parties often formed between newcomers and aspirants who got to know each other through the Guild. However, the presence or absence of talent eventually manifested as a significant difference in growth speed. Differences that were initially unnoticeable became glaringly apparent over time.

As a result, it was quite common for those who became burdensome to step back or be expelled from the party. However, the opposite was also true.

Adventurers worked as a team. Even if an adventurer possessed exceptional talent, they couldn’t handle top-tier jobs if their companions couldn’t keep up with them. If they wanted to maintain the party… they had to take on lower-ranked tasks that matched the pace of their companions.

“I was fine with it, really. All of them were friends who had been with me since our first jobs as adventurers. But you know… the clients only had eyes for me. Everyone else was just an afterthought. That’s not good. I thought they all still had room to grow, and they actually did. Yet no one…” Tim paused.

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No one was at fault. However, without a villain, it would perhaps not lead to a peaceful end.

“So, I talked it out and left Night-Crying Drizzle. I thought that being Viola’s guardian was the best job for me, so yeah…” Tim concluded the story.

Certainly, it was a job he could handle on his own, and it required top-tier skills and trust. Of course, entrusting a girl who could still be considered young to a single man would typically raise concerns about an entirely different set of issues…

However, first-rate adventurers had a certain social standing (often described as the watchful eyes of the public), and considering the straightforward nature of this man, there probably wasn’t much to worry about.

Alternatively, Duke Foster might have thought that it would be fine even if something happened. But delving into the political intricacies surrounding that would only sour Lucella’s mood, so she abandoned the thought.

“Alright then, how about Wein?”
“For Viola’s first job, Wein, who was a novice back then, joined too. It’s weird how quickly they clicked. By the time we finished the quest, they’d end up playfully hitting each other.”
“You say that so casually… Seriously, consider how I felt when I found out about Viola’s true identity. I was bedridden for three days and had the worst stomach ache ever! Most humans out there are more delicate than you!”

For those not involved, it was a comedy. In response to Wein’s earnest protests, Tim merely scratched his head.

“…But, we actually formed a party only when I reached the fourth rank. Until then, I had some involvement with both of them, but I was mostly solo and doing jobs like a migratory bird.”
“While it was just me and Viola, we were technically operating under the framework of Golden Helmet.”

Adventurers other than soloists were typically managed by the Guild as part of a party. Even for Viola, who engaged in adventurer activities under the guise of warrior training, and Tim, her guardian, the two-person team formed a party in terms of structure.

In other words, Golden Helmet originally started as nothing more than that framework.

“I decided to pull in Wein and truly form Golden Helmet as a proper party because Viola’s growth exceeded my expectations. That was a happy miscalculation.”
“Miscalculation? Among nobles, talented people usually marry each other. So, to put it bluntly, aren’t they more like pedigreed breeds, while we’re just sudden mutations?”
“Just having talent doesn’t mean you’ll automatically excel… It’s about hard work and determination,” Tim responded.
“Basically, you thought Viola might hit a wall somewhere, huh? Haha, that’s a masterpiece,” Wein teased in a mocking tone.

Caught off guard, Tim ambiguously chuckled and nibbled on his bread.

“Can I become strong too?”

Monica, who had been quietly listening, unexpectedly chimed in. This took everyone by surprise. Viola looked slightly concerned.

“Well, if you train, you’ll definitely improve from where you are now.”
“Then I’ll do it. I don’t want to go through something like that again.”
“But let me say this first. Trying to solve everything on your own, even things that are beyond your control, can lead to a dire situation. Those who become strong often feel like they can handle anything and end up failing instead. It’s good to become strong, but don’t forget to rely on others. Remember that.”

Tim was serious. Being an adventurer meant that you could see familiar faces die. As a veteran, he probably carried regrets corresponding to the years of experience he had accumulated.

Monica simply lowered her head.

“But… I never even considered relying on anyone, and I couldn’t. Not for a long time.”
“Isn’t that different now?”

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In response to Tim’s straightforward words, Monica’s cheeks turned slightly red, whether from the positive or negative implications.

“You’re being quite self-important.”

Even after being scolded for her retort, Monica turned her head away, sulking. However, almost as if on a whim, she whispered to Lucella, who was sitting next to her.

“Hey, Lucella.”
“If it happens again… would you really raze the castle to the ground?”

Those were the words Lucella used to threaten the man who had attacked Monica.

“If it’s necessary,” Lucella replied frankly. At that moment, she had spoken in a fit of anger, but she had given it more thought afterward—whether it was feasible. As a result, Lucella believed it was possible. “I hope it never comes to that, for many reasons.”

It was a worst-case scenario. She wanted to avoid a situation that would necessitate such drastic action, as it could be a point of no return in her relationship with the human world.

Because it wasn’t a pipe dream or mere bravado, and she knew she could—and likely would—follow through if needed, Lucella spoke with caution.

“I see.” Monica murmured quietly, her thoughts hidden. Then she scooped up the carrots from the soup and tossed them onto Lucella’s plate.

“I’ll give you carrots.”
“Do you happen to hate them?”
“I loathe them.”

With no other choice, Lucella ate the slightly bitter carrots soaked in fish stock.


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