Another one thanks to the Patrons, enjoy~
Chapter 4 – Strategy Meeting
As originally planned, Lusha and I took a room at the falling star pavilion. This is an inn that I have been a guest at before, and Freutz and the others are using it as a base. We spent the first day without any incident and the next day. When Lusha and I went to the adventurer’s guild, Lusha told me that there was a message addressed to “Hiroki”.
“It says the sender is Ruri. and it says to come to Sumomo’s tavern this evening.” [T/n: in vol 1, I write it as “Plum Tavern.” but since it’s written with Katakana (English), I’ll just use it as it is. Sumomo = Japanese plum.]
It would be noticeable if Ruri and the others were in open contact with me, so we try to make this kind of contact on the adventurer’s guild bulletin board. To the king and the others, I only give my surname as “Sakurai”, so if it’s a dummy, I can easily recognize it.
“So, it’s at the Sumomo in the evening. Is that okay with you, Lusha?”
It was decided this evening.
◆ ◆ ◆
Sumomo is a wooden two-story tavern that adventurers love to frequent. When I walk in, it’s busy and full of drunken people. Several glasses of ale are brought in flying around, and their happy laughter can be heard even from outside.
As I walked in, I saw Ruri at the far end of the table.
“Hurry up, Hiroki. Ruri’s waiting.”
I told the waitress that I’m meeting someone, ordered a drink and sat down.
“Sorry, did we keep you waiting?”
“I just came in, too. It’s okay.”
When I called out to Ruri, she looked at me and smiled. The first thing I wondered about when I took my seat was that Ren wasn’t there…? That seemed to be what Lusha also thought, and she asked while tilting her head.
“Is Ruri alone?”
“Ren is training with the knights at their request”.
“So that’s it. As expected from a hero, he’s very popular.”
We made idle chit-chat until our drinks and food were brought to us, and when I started to feel a little hungry, I tried to get to the point―but before that.
“Didn’t the king say anything to you? Like something about defeating the demon king.”
I asked Ruri about what they had been up to since they went to the royal castle. Then she starts talking with a bitter smile.
“Ren told the king that the demons are good people and there’s no need to defeat them…”
Hearing Ruri’s words, I couldn’t help but put my hand on my head in disbelief. There’s no way that the king would accept such a story so easily. He doesn’t listen to a story from us, so there is no way he would believe a story he has heard, which is inconvenient for him.
When I held my head up, Ruri told me the rest of the story.
“I haven’t heard directly from the king, but… apparently, there was something with the demons in the past. That seems to be the main reason for the hatred. Of course, it could also be that they want to expand their territory as a country, or they don’t like having a different race next to them… Although I’m not so sure. ”
“What’s that, hey…”
It seems that Ruri doesn’t know the details either. There were wars on Earth and, of course, even in Japan in the past. This world’s civilization is behind Japan’s, so it’s not surprising that there was a war. Well, it’s not a good sentiment.
“Ren became even stronger after going to the apricot continent, so the new soldiers looked at him with admiration. And with that personality, they’ll probably even take care of him if he asks them to.”
Because of that, he is adored by the soldiers and has established a certain status. The more people who are willing to stand by Ren, the better.
“I hope the soldiers will stand by Ren’s side no matter what happens.”
I nodded at Lusha’s words, and then we started talking about the bracelet.
“Lusha and I have asked about it, and it looks like it would be difficult to cancel the contracted bracelet unilaterally. I’ve also checked with the old dwarf who works as a blacksmith, so I think the possibility is low.”
When I said that, Ruri nodded. Apparently, she looked it up in the library and heard it from people too.
“I was also taught that by a noble, so I’m sure there’s no mistake. If it comes to this, we’ll have to take the negotiation directly to the king, but…”
But would that king have a place to negotiate with us? Aside from me, if it was about Ren and Ruri, he’d probably listen to them for now, but…
“What if we just grab his weakness and threaten him?”
“Hey, wait, Hiroki…! He’s a king, you know?”
“Ara, that’s good.”
When Ruri gets on board with my words, Lusha hurriedly shakes her head, saying that this is indeed too much.
“I can’t believe you would say that given our position! Sure, Ren is indeed a hero, but…”
Isn’t the king in a better position? I say anxiously. Lusha seems to be worried if something happened to us.
“I think the best thing we could do would be to make an exchange. It’s not a good idea to displease the king too much.”
“Make an exchange, huh…”
Ruri’s suggestion is somewhat safe, but I wonder if there’s anything we can offer to him. Since the condition of defeating the demon king is impossible, it would be something like collecting rare items in a dungeon, for example. Since we are a hero party, it would be considered reasonable to fight for the country. Then, they would need to prepare something other than strength.
“Some rare item or something? I feel like we could get something by going around the dungeon, but…”
“Oh, if it’s a dungeon, then leave it to me! We can hang on until we get something good.”
When I suggested it, Lusha was quick to jump on board. As expected of a tomboy.
“But since the king won’t agree to negotiate unless it’s an item he wants… I feel like it will be a very long process.”
“Muh, you’re right… It seems like the king can have anything he wants. I can’t help but be jealous.”
When I tell her that it won’t be so easy, Lusha shrugs her shoulders.
Come to think of it; the kings wore a lot of gems and other jewellery. I remember being dumbfounded that, before asking for help from the heroes, why didn’t they try to do their best on their own first.
Ruri, who was listening to our exchange, said, “Leave that to me,” and deepened her smile. It seems that she has some sort of good plan.
“Sure, getting items in the dungeon is nice, but… it might be a good idea to ask about it.
“Eh, to the king?”
That may be true, but how absurd it would be… As I was horrified, Ruri shook her head quietly.
“As expected, even I wouldn’t do something so reckless.”
“Naturally… But who are you going to ask? Not many people know the king, right?”
“That’s fine. I’ve got a couple of connections, so let’s get going now.”
At Ruri’s words, Lusha and I look at each other. I didn’t think it would turn out this way. But good things must come in a hurry, as Ruri stood up and told us to go.