TL Note: Please comment if you find any error in the grammar or in the spelling or something.
The Man Picked up by the Gods – Volume 5 Chapter 22
After returning to town through space magic, we split into two groups. Paying the magic jewel tax to the gatekeepers and reporting to the guild would take a lot of time, so the other group split off from us to bring the weakened to Nell’s inn.
Fortunately, Oslo-san wasn’t that weakened. He was up and running as soon as he got a drink of the potion Remiri-neesan gave me. He also personally asked to come as he was the leader of their group. I didn’t mind since I also preferred having someone who actually saw what happened come with me to explain.
Passing through the clamor and food of the many restaurants and stalls, against the flow of people coming back home from work, we headed to the adventurer’s guild. When we entered the guild, we saw a lot of people preparing to go home. It was that time of day.
I really don’t want to do this, but it’s an emergency. There’s a B Rank magical beast out there and at least 10 people still kept prisoners. I have to report this even by force.
But just as I resolved myself to do so, and stepped toward that line of people preparing to go home…
The young female receptionist raised her voice, and all eyes gathered on me and Oslo-san. Then that young woman left her pose to wade through the crowd of adventurers and reach us.
“Are you alright? Where are your members?” [Female Receptionist]
“We ran into some problems, but we’re all safe. We want to make an emergency report regarding what happened.” [Oslo]
“I understand, please make the report inside… And this is?” [Female Receptionist]
“He’s the one who saved us.” [Oslo]
“I see. Then please come together.” [Female Receptionist]
After being brought to the quest room, the supervisor in charge of the reception greeted us. We explained everything to him – from Oslo’s group being caught until the part where brought them back to town.
“I understand the situation. Please wait a moment.” [Supervisor]
The man left for a moment, but he came back in less than 5 minutes with a rolled up paper in his hands.
“There were some points that concerned me. That lich was situated in a fortress surrounded by walls of stone, you say?” [Supervisor]
“And the size of the fortress is about 2 or 3 normal-sized houses. The walls seemed particularly well built.” [Oslo]
Does he know something?
The man abruptly spread the paper over the desk. It was a map. The man pointed to a certain area.
“Is this the fortress you’re talking about?” [Supervisor]
Oslo-san answered after thinking about it.
“…Most likely. We were searching around that area when we were caught, and we shouldn’t have walked that much before reaching the fortress.” [Oslo]
Oslo-san circled his finger on the area where he and his group were searching. The area the man was pointing to was slightly deeper into the canyon from the center, while Oslo-san and his group were almost right at the center. That area is near the area I was frolicking in search of magic jewels… If so then the presence I felt then must have been that lich.
When I shared that experience with the other two men, they concluded that the supervisor’s hypothesis was probably correct.
“Did you know there was a fortress around here?” [Ryouma]
When I asked that, the man made a pensive face.
“Back when we just started to find large numbers of magic jewels, the feudal lord in charge of this region sent an expedition to investigate the area. It was then that we found out that there was a base nearby.”
“Was a base?” [Ryouma]
“An order was given to destroy that base so as to keep the undead from settling in it. I thought you might have been referring to a different place, so I wanted to confirm it.” [Supervisor]
The lich ran away as soon as its surprise attack failed. It won’t start thinking of using the people it’s caught to heal itself, right? The possibility is real though.
“Information on the enemy’s base is a huge help. Thank you. The guild shall inform the adventurers on this matter as soon as possible. Is there anything else I can help you with?” [Supervisor]
It’ll take some time to muster a force to help the prisoners. He probably won’t be able to answer even if I ask him how long it would take… Oh, right.
“I have something else to report. A matter aside from the lich.” [Ryouma]
“Let’s hear it then. Did something unusual occur?” [Supervisor]
“We stayed in the canyon for about a week. During that time I found five of the people in the ‘Missing Person List’ zombified. There’s nothing of particular note in the canyon aside from the unusually high number of undead. More interestingly, I found an odd fish during our stay in the canyon.” [Ryouma]
“The missing adventurers and a… fish? Those certainly are new information. Can you tell me the details?” [Supervisor]
“I don’t mind, but—” [Ryouma]
I took out the report on the fish and the missing people, and handed it to the supervisor.
“I’m sure you’re busy with everything going on, so I’ve taken the time to write everything here.” [Ryouma]
“You’re well prepared. Thank you for taking the time to write a written report.” [Supervisor]
The man seemed surprised when he saw the written report. Most adventurers reported orally; very few reported in writing. In fact, I’ve never seen anyone hand a written report.
But then again, all I really did was submit the writings I used to organize my thoughts that also happened to be a report… Anyway, let’s go ahead and submit those fish I caught as samples.
I took out the box filled with that fish from my Dimension Home, and was about to hand them. But because the man screamed upon seeing them, the guards of the guild entered, and a commotion ensued.
He was just taken aback by how weird the fish was, so the commotion was settled not long after.
It will take a while to decide how much the reward will be, so I won’t get my reward until later.
After that we left the guild.
Or at least we were supposed to, but then the man stopped me and bowed deeply. Apparently, he wanted to thank me for saving Oslo’s group.
Oslo-san waited outside while I spoke with the man. We kept things short so as to not make Oslo-san wait too long. I found out that among the requests Oslo’s group had taken, some where from relatives who wanted to find their missing relatives but couldn’t because they didn’t know how to fight.
The request they’d posted were cheaper than other requests as they were mere search missions. Moreover, with the town brimming with magic jewels, there were lots of requests to dig out magic jewels that paid a lot, leaving low-paying search requests to rot on the postings.
This resulted in friction between those who wanted their relatives found and the adventurer’s guild. It was thanks to Oslo’s group that that issue was settled. If it weren’t for them, the guild would have suffered much losses.
“I’m also one of those people who posted a request. I am deeply grateful for their efforts.” [Supervisor]
So this man was one of their clients… After I thanked the man, I left the guild with Oslo-san.
Oslo-san led me to Nell-san’s inn. We’re supposed to meet Elia’s group anyway, and I’m also concerned about how the other members are doing. We walked briskly through the town, stopping at a house in the north-west part of town.
“Is this the inn?” [Ryouma]
The house was built in a similar fashion as those around it. The sort of fashion that made one wonder if it was built with the stones of Troll Canyon. It stood two-stories high and a sign was written above the door. It read: ‘Rufto Inn’. To the side of the door was another sign that indicated if there were rooms available. Now, I know this is rude, but frankly speaking, if it weren’t for the sign, I wouldn’t have been able to tell this house an inn. At most, I would’ve thought it a bigger house. There is an extension to the house, however. And a closer look shows that it’s longer than it appears, but that’s not something you can tell when looking at it from in front.
Opening the wooden door to enter the inn, an inverted L-shaped counter greeted us. There was no receptionist, so Oslo-san rang the small bell above the counter. I heard the sound of a door opening and closing from the stairs to the left of the counter. That must be an employee coming down to greet us.
It was then that it finally occurred to me. This inn was built much like a house. Even its interiors were decorated so, as the supposed reception area felt less like a hotel’s, and more the entryway of a simple house’s. I kept thinking of a hotel when I heard ‘inn’, but now that I’ve gone here, it feels a lot closer to a guesthouse. This is good too in its own way.
“Ah, Oslo-san. Sorry for making you wait.” [???]
While I was caught up with my thoughts on the inn’s design, a slender man called out to Oslo-san. His eyes opened wide upon seeing me, and he quickly climbed down the stairs to hold my hand.
“You must be the person who saved my wife. Thank you! Thank you so much!” [???]
The sudden turn of events left me mildly confused, but it didn’t take long for me to understand what was going on. Oslo-san further explained when I looked at him.
“I think you’ve figured it out already, but this man here is Nell’s husband.” [Oslo]
“Oh, pardon me. My name is Heckard, Nell’s husband. I believe you must be Takebayashi-sama? My wife and your friends have filled me in on the details. Truly, from the bottom of my heart, thank you, Takebayashi-sama.” [Heckard]
His smile was full of relief as he thanked me for the last time. The lich case was far from over, but seeing someone this happy, makes all that trouble of saving them worth it.
After that Olso-san went to the room his members were staying, while I met up with Elia’s group who had gone here ahead of me. We sat in a corner of the guest room that was also being used as a dining hall to exchange information.
We decided to accept Heckard’s offer to stay at the inn, then we started to discuss our course of action regarding the lich.
“Obviously, we need to get rid of that lich as soon as possible.” [Shiva]
“I agree. We can’t leave a lich that’s using a curse of obedience walking around. All the more so when there are yet people under its control.” [Remiri]
The former knight-commander and a former royal court magician, both currently S Rank adventurers. But though they’ve long retired from their duties, the missions they took still focused on altruism than profit. I figured they wouldn’t let that lich off. Looks like I was right.
I turned to Rheinbach-sama and Sebasu-san next.
“Let me come too. We managed to save Oslo’s group just now thanks to the food and water we had, but they were definitely weakened. What more those people who are yet under the lich’s grasp? We need to save them before it’s too late. Let me come, I’ll be plenty of help.” [Rheinbach]
“Sorry for the trouble.” [Shiva]
“It’s fine.” [Rheinbach]
Rheinbach-sama and Shiva-san seemed to have some sort of tacit understanding.
“How about you, Ryouma-chan?” [Remiri]
“Of course, I’ll come.” [Ryouma]
If the four of them are going, then I’ll go too… Putting it that way might seem like I can’t think for myself, but there’s a reason behind it. The lich can use the spell, Hide, to erase its presence. Moreover, it has at the very least 10 people under its control. With those cards under its sleeves, attacking alone is foolish. After all, a surprise attack followed by a curse of obedience would be game over right there and then.
The grave slimes can’t absorb those humans the lich has control of either. The risk is really too high for me to go by myself.
…That being said though, we definitely can’t take Elia and the other girls with us.
We all turned our gazes to the young girls. They all tacitly understood what it was we were saying, and they all nodded. Although it was only for a short time, they did also face the lich, so it seems they could come to terms with it. It’s vexing, but there’s nothing else to it when you lack the strength.
Then the time for supper came, and other guests started arriving. Eyes started to gather on Remiri-neesan and Shiva-san, so we put off supper for another time.
“Ryouma-chan, can I have a moment with you?” [Remiri]
“Yes, what is it?” [Ryouma]
I was planning on passing the time feeding the shadow slimes, but then Remiri-neesan called out to me in front of the stairs. She invited me to her room. Looks like she wants to talk about something that can’t be said to others, so I put up a sound-concealing barrier too.
“You can talk now.” [Ryouma]
“Thank you, Ryouma-chan. Do you have the anti-curse magic tool with you?” [Remiri]
I still have the magic tool for Return Curse that I bought back when I started learning about curses in my Item Box, but…
“From your face, I suppose you have it but haven’t been using it lately, huh.” [Remiri]
“Right. It was fine back when I first bought it, but nowadays, it’s just better for me to use my own magic.” [Ryouma]
“I know. I saw you cast it myself.” [Remiri]
“Then let’s get to the point… Would you be interested in a powerful magic tool?” [Remiri]
“A powerful magic tool? Considering who we’ll be fighting, of course I want one, but can we even procure such a tool?” [Ryouma]
Only a handful of magic tool artisans can create an anti-curse magic tool. On top of that, the nobles are constantly fighting for those few products, leading to exorbitant prices.
Even the magic tool I have was ordered by Serge-san, and while it’s effects were only somewhat on the high side, the price still reached 700,000 suits. There’s no way we could easily get something better than… Wait.
“You have one, don’t you?” [Ryouma]
“Nope. But there’s a chance to get one. With the five of us, that is.” [Remiri]
“You’re not thinking of something dangerous, right? Like something illegal…” [Ryouma]
“No worries on that end. But it will be a bit troublesome if the nobles or the magic tool artisans catches wind of what we’re doing. And besides, it’s not guaranteed that we actually could get one.” [Remiri]
“…In other words, it’s fine as long as keep it a secret, huh.” [Ryouma]
“Yes~ It’ll be fine as long as no one finds out.” [Remiri]
I’d rather not get involved with anything annoying, but if procuring such a tool means lowering the mission’s risk, then…
“So, what’s the plan?” [Ryouma]
Her response was…