She is wounded.rr
Toa was watching the monster sitting in front with a decently calm mind.
It must be because she has already seerrn several similar beings after all.
The experience is saving her here.
“Nice to meet you, Toa. I am happy that you answered my call. My name is Yue. I am currently a guest in Aion.”
“? Yeah.” rrr
“My apologies. The person our guild master told us to be careful of in this time’s journey was a lady called Alte Barrette, so I ended up asking again. If it is about your call, please don’t mind it. You had an official letter from the Kingdom, and you allowed the meeting place to be in the Adventurer Guild as we requested. We adventurers are rootless grass, we are free people, but it by no means equals us despising the rrrrcountries.” (Toa)
Toa answers smoothly the questions that were expected.
On the surface, the Alpine party whose leader is Toa has not accepted a request that involves the war.
Of course, it is a request that can also. be suspected as being involved.
Rembrandt is trying to create an advantage by dividing Aion and the adventurers.
How to use the Adventurer Guild in a war even though they are not tied down to any country and are in their country; in the end, the big countries chose not to use adventurers.
However, Tsige was thinking of ways to use them as much as possible.
They were thinking about how to use the difference in favorability the both sides have with the adventurers.
As for Alpine, the setting is that they are going to the dwarf and elf villages through the route of Aion, and also towards Rotsgard.
In the words of Rembrandt, they are sending the adventurer party that has been helping them out a lot to their homelands to take a rest.
They are acquainted to a degree that this kind of pretext would work.
This is actually a pretty rare relationship to have even within the world. You could even call it a unique strength of Tsige.
At every place they go, they would talk about the wasteland dream and the Tsige dream, but that can be taken as simply bragging about their home.
It is something that any adventurer does.
In the eyes of the Aion Kingdom, Tsige isn’t independent, so it is not like they are adventurers from a foreign country moving around as they wish.
Leaving aside the adventurers that are setting surprise attacks on the mounted troops and the infantry, no matter how much Toa’s group were to stand out, Aion can’t make a move on them directly.
As long as they can’t get proof that they are acting as a fighting force of the Tsige side, if they were to do anything, the Adventurer Guild would move against Aion for retribution and to purge them.
Purging sounds exaggerated, but the Adventurer Guild is an organization with a scale and power high enough to accomplish this.
Even if Aion were to manage to fight them back, they would end up becoming a country where adventurers wouldn’t approach.
It could even turn into a state where adventurers would only settle in the new Tsige.
“This is actually my first time experiencing a call from a country. I may be lacking the proper etiquette, but please be lenient with me. And so, Yue-san, what is it you wanted to talk about?” (Toa)
“Probing each other would be a waste of time. You people are the ace adventurers of Tsige; I am a guest of Aion. There’s no other talk to do aside from the war.” (Yue)
“War, huh. It is true that Tsige seems to be in a dispute with the country, but…it is not like the adventurers have control over the city. I would say it is more the merchants that are the most proactive in the administration of the city.” (Toa)
“I know.” (Yue)
“Then, if you want to have a talk about war, bring it to them. Alpine is telling this in good faith towards the Aion Kingdom, we have no intention at all of participating in this war as a fighting force of Tsige, and we won’t. Please confirm this later at the guild. We have told them that it is okay to disclose this matter of Alpine.” (Toa)
“…Are you seriously saying that?” (Yue)
“Of course. No matter who wins, it is not like the wasteland is going to disappear. So, honestly speaking, we don’t care about the war.” (Toa)
Toa says this with a dangerous tone that transmitted that she didn’t care about this power game between countries.
She had a powerful aura around herself that truly spoke of her abilities polished in the wasteland, but the woman that calls herself the guest of Aion, Yue, or Alte Barrette.
A meeting not in a private room but in a guild hall that gathers attention.
The table that Alpine and Yue were sitting at was gathering attention from the surroundings, and there was a strange tension going around.
“Is that…what an adventurer is?”
“Not all of them. If you are interested, you can try talking with the people around. It would be a fresh experience.” (Toa)
“The Aion Kingdom evaluates highly a number of parties that settled in Tsige, including Alpine. For example; if you were to join up with the kingdom’s army and cooperate in calming down the insurrection of Tsige…you will be promised a fitting amount of land in the reorganized Tsige.” (Yue)
“You have that authority, Yue-san?” (Toa)
It has already been seen through that it is just an alias for Alte Barrette, but Toa played along with that farce.
As long as she doesn’t introduce herself as the Apostle of the Goddess, there’s no problem in treating her as a guest of Aion.
The person herself is saying so after all.
“Yes, how about it? Will you discuss this with your comrades and cooperate with the kingdom?” (Yue)
“Are you telling us to collude with you?” (Louisa)
The elf Louisa, who was silent until now, cuts in with her face still sour. She is basically telling them to abandon her adventurer comrades of Tsige and switch sides.
“At this rate, the kingdom’s army will trample down Tsige. Your home won’t be coming out unscathed. But if it is now, you can suppress Tsige while reducing the damage to the minimum. In this situation where we can’t see what might happen with the fight against the demons, this is not the time for the four major powers to be shaking. Don’t you think so?” (Yue)
“I have a question here. Is that okay?” (Ranina)
The dwarf Ranina speaks after the words of Yue.
“Go ahead.” (Yue)
“If you think that way, why don’t you accept the independence of Tsige already? If you do, the battle itself would be gone.” (Ranina)
“Out of the question. The cession of territory is the beginning of a country’s decline. If they were to accept the independence of Tsige without doing anything, that in itself might cause Aion to fall from its standing as a major power.” (Yue)
“…But there was already a revolution and a civil war on the side. I heard that Tsige utilized that opening.” (Ranina)
“That’s just something fools, who are pulling their bows at a God and don’t know their place, are doing. It is because we already see a conclusion to that that the army is currently heading to Tsige.” (Yue)
“What?! The army is already on its way?! T-Then a big battle will occur soon between them and Tsige?!” (Hazal)
The only man in Alpine, who seems like someone who is the calmest and is the most intelligent, showed the most confusion as he asked for confirmation from Yue.
Yue was caught slightly off-guard at that gap in impressions, but she fixed her expression and nodded at Hazal.
It is in a hall that has practically no protection for secret talks.
She wanted to tell Hazal to lower his volume a bit, but she read the atmosphere and kept it in.
“Yes. I may be a guest, but I hold the same feelings as the kingdom. I wish for as many competent adventurers to be saved as possible.” (Yue)
Toa’s group held complicated emotions at the phrase ‘competent adventurers’ but it quickly disappeared.
“You’ve got me there. I don’t want to participate in a war as an adventurer. How about this? We will move around the cities just as we are doing now. We won’t take the side of either the kingdom or Tsige. How about taking that as our ‘cooperation’?” (Hazal)
“…How are you cooperating with that?” (Yue)
“In the part that we won’t be fighting on the side of Tsige. We are telling you that we won’t be the allies of the enemy, so don’t you think that’s ‘cooperation’?” (Hazal)
“Then, are you telling me that once the kingdom wins, to treat it as such?” (Yue)
“Of course. Pass the word, okay?!” (Hazal)
Hazal answers with a smile and without a single hint of hesitation.
The ability to answer without reading the mood is, in a sense, something that only he can pull off in Alpine.
Toa’s group already knows that he is purposely playing the clown here, but even they smiled bitterly at this.
Yue shook her head to the sides exasperated.
“Not even worth considering. In the first place, Toa, you know that thing, right? The shady merchant that’s gaining power in that city, Raidou of the Kuzunoha Company.” (Yue)
“Raidou-san? Of course. We are on the close side even within the merchants of Tsige. We are also friends, so it is displeasing that you call him as ‘that thing’, but…what about it?” (Toa)
Toa didn’t hide her disgust at the way Yue was putting her words as she looked straight at her.
Louisa, Ranina, and Hazal also throw cold gazes at Yue.
Alpine and the Kuzunoha Company are in a pretty close relationship.
Judging from their attitude, she confirms that the accuracy of her information is pretty high.
That’s why there’s meaning in speaking further.
About the secret movements of the Kuzunoha Company and the strangeness of them.
“If you are still having a close relationship with him even after knowing his true nature, that would mean I was mistaken. But…from the information I have, it seems like the Kuzunoha Company has made several moves towards Alpine that would make them a bad target for friendship, you know?” (Yue)
And then, Yue began to expose what could be called secret information that they themselves have grasped about the Kuzunoha Company to Toa and her group.
Conveniently speaking truths that no one knows of, putting it in a way that’s easy to understand and easy to swallow, and content that invites misunderstandings.
It is like skillfully mixing 80% truths and 20% lies; a poisonous seed of doubt.
There’s been actual cases of this succeeding.
The Kuzunoha Company is an organization of the Mist Town, and their top is connected to the revolutionary army.
That’s the kind of malicious rumor spread widely around Tisge.
But the mistake of Yue is that Alpine and the Kuzunoha Company don’t have a normal relationship of adventurer and merchant, and it is far deeper than that of the residents.
Not even the skilled spies of Aion were able to grasp all the information of them with the Kuzunoha Company.
You could say it was slightly optimistic of her to think that, just because it worked with the city, it would work with them too.
On top of that…the current Toa is in possession of the first outstanding ninja job.
Her eyes that now have a high modifier on them make it easier for her to discern lies and deceptions.
They were also given advice and were told a variety of truths before departing.
Without taking much time and without much hesitation, Toa’s decision was made.
“Is that so… There’s those kinds of rumors about the Kuzunoha Company. I didn’t know.” (Toa)
“There’s no need to feel any sense of duty towards them. As the children of the Goddess, as the blessed hyuman race, please save Tsige from their blinded greed.” (Yue)
“We refuse.” (Toa)
Toa speaks out words with clear determination.
The plans of Yue failing were already a settled fate the moment both sides met.
“What did you say?” (Yue)
“Yue-san…no, Yue, what you said about the Kuzunoha Company just now, around 80-90% might be true, but the remaining is just convenient speculation and lies that filled in the holes.” (Toa)
“! What’s your basis?” (Yue)
“While at it, your name is also a lie. Well, that’s convenient for us as well in that regard, so that’s fine. We simply want to talk to the guest of the Aion Kingdom, Yue. We haven’t spoken a single word with the Goddess’s Apostle, Alte Barrette.” (Toa)
“Come back to deceive people after investigating them more properly. I don’t know what 3rd rate strategist made this plan, but…” (Toa)
Toa put a pause in her words for a moment, and confirmed the words that came after with the other members.
Everyone knew what was coming, they all assented powerfully.
“Raidou-san is our benefactor – our life savior. No matter how anyone distorts this, this is an unchanging fact. And…even if we were to betray Tsige, we would never betray the Kuzunoha Company. While at it, who would want to save a country that generalizes all adventurers as ruffians who move depending on coin… At least show some decency there.” (Toa)
In an instant…the Adventurer Guild was overflowed with the anger and killing intent of Toa and her group.
The aura of hyumans that have stepped into the inhyuman level hit the artisans and adventurers there. Some lost consciousness, some fell on their butts, and some reflexively tried to take out their weapons but noticed that they couldn’t move their bodies out of sheer fear.
Yue was being bathed by that fierce aura, and her expressionless face was twitching slightly as she stayed in her seat.
What she was feeling wasn’t fear, but anger as well.
She is in front of others, so she is barely enduring it, but it is a deep and fierce anger.
It is proof that Yue…no, Alte Barrette is also a powerful individual.
“Sorry, but the negotiation has failed. Our lady-killer here is going back to his homeland, you see. We don’t have time to waste here. Give my regards to the King…Yue.” (Toa)
Toa was aware of the ability of Alte Barrette to a certain degree with her discerning eye.
She knows she is a dangerous opponent to face.
It is questionable whether they would even win in a situation where she is injured while everyone in her party is in full condition.
The presence is similar to that of the two dangerous women of the Kuzunoha Company; a specially dangerous individual.
(…Fufu, what am I thinking? With this, it is 50-50 whether she will attack us, but…even though the opponent is an Apostle of the Goddess, I am thinking whether we will be a match or not. I am comparing her to Tomoe-san and Mio-san. It would be one thing if we were to fight head on, but I am thinking that it might be possible to escape. I am doing quite the outrageous thing here…) (Toa)
Toa was originally just one adventurer in the bunch.
But now, she is being seen as a key figure in this war, and is in a position where she is being spoken to by a person that could be called a central figure of the world.
The search for the Apostle of the Goddess that Rembrandt had asked them to do in secret after giving them the request…
However, Toa had obtained enough strength to even consider testing out the ability of the Apostle for a bit and report about it.
Even though powerhouses would back away at that prospect.
Both sides understood that a fight won’t break out in the Adventurer Guild.
Then, what will happen from here on?
Alpine had become adventurers in the truest sense of the word as they left the guild, Yue still trembling in anger.