Ch. 173: Collecting Intel
We were in one of Alvenia Kingdom’s Four Corner Cities - South Gaia.
Ashley’s Party, the Shining Swords had just completed their expedition for the day and were call it a day when we ran into them.
Ashley was anxious to get home, but I pressed him to stay and invited him over to the Grandes Church Tavern.
The other two members of the Shining Swords were celebrating their expedition’s success and were still sitting at a table when we came in.
“Hey! It’s been a while, Henry. Have you been well?” “Hello, Henry. You told us you were coming by letter, but it took you a while to get here.”
Henry: “Hey, it’s been a while, Paul, Forte. Yeah, we had some delays.”
Ah, Paul and Forte were sitting at a table for four. There were…..no other large tables available at the moment.
Henry: “Ohー here, I’ll gather the information, so just eat and drink what you like while you wait.”
Cyril: “Okayー hehehe, let’s see how good this Church’s parfait is.”
Jend: “If that’s the case, I’ll go find us an inn. Brother Ashley, you know of any good inns around here?” Compared to Cyril who was only thinking about food, I appreciated Jend’s initiative. Ashley gave him a few recommendations and headed off with a trot.
Henry: “Don’t mind if I join you guys.”
And Ashley sat down with me at Paul and Forte’s table.
Henry: “Excuse me, can I have some ale?” Ashley: “I’ll have ice tea.”
We called over a waitress to give her our order. ……and for whatever reason, Ashley passed on the alcohol.
Henry: “Ashley, you’re not drinking?”
Ashley: “....Karen is waiting for me at home. So sorry, as soon as we’re done talking, I need to head home.”
Karen……? Oh, I remember hearing her name before.
It was Ashley’s girlfriend’s name. It was because they were getting married, that Ashley finally decided to come visit Flowtier to tell his family.
Henry: “Ohh, so you’re married now? Congratulations.”
Ashley: “Yeah, thanks.”
…….and it wouldn’t be good to hold up a newly wed.
Henry: “Yeah, in that case, let’s get this over with.”
Paul: “Alrighty. Well, I already know what this is about.”
I nod once to Paul and get right to business.
Henry: “Well, if you can tell me how things have been in Ligaleo, anything you know will help. If things have changed since I left, I need to rethink our plan.” For instance…..it’s not a pleasant thought, but if the Demon Kingdom decided to perform a large-scale invasion. We would have to think about whether we want to try accomplishing something big, or if the risk is too high, hang around here to see how things develop. That kind of decision making.
Paul: “I don’t mind telling you……let’s see.”
Paul glanced my way, and the Forte spoke up.
Forte: “We don’t collect intel for a living, so we don’t know anything too specific. But let’s see. I’m sure with a drink, that will help jog our memory.”
…….and Forte did not beat around the bush.
I let out a sigh.
Henry: “I know, I know……here, I’l buy the next round of drinks. Just, nothing too expensive, alright?” What Ashley and his Party knows is things we can find out if we took the time.
But since they’re saving us that time, we need to offer something in return. So a drink is usually a fair price.
Forte: “Okay, okay. Don’t worry. They don’t serve expensive drinks here anyways.”
Paul immediately drained his cup and called the waitress over. Forte followed and hurriedly finished his drink as they ordered an unfamiliar name.
Henry: “......you two….isn’t Krau・Rozzo a really expensive whiskey?” Just to make sure, I looked through the menu…….and it made the edges of my forced smile twitch.
Paul: “Hm? Really? It’s 200 Zeniths…..if we really wanted something expensive, there’s another drink that’s 10 times that price.”
Forte: “Yes, I really wanted to try this once.”
The two had no remorse in their choice!
And well, they chose a drink that was just high enough where it was borderline permissible.
Ashley: “Oh, in that case, I’ll order one too. I was curious about that brand. It was a little too pricey to pay with my own money.”
Hey! Aren’t you a newlywed?!
Henry: “Fine! Do as you like. Sheesh.”
And in return, I’m going to drag out everything you guys know!
They understood, and I drank half my ale as soon as it came.
Forte: “So, it doesn’t look like the news here hasn’t traveled too far north…….in the last one or two months, the situation in Ligaleo has changed quite a bit.”
Forte was sipping the Krau・Rozzo whiskey slowly as he began sharing what he knew.
Henry: “......it’s about Lana’s invention, and how the Magecraft Barriers now work, right?”
Paul: “Yeah, that’s it. Ugh, what a waste. I should have asked her out when I had the chance.”
Paul snapped his finger in regret. But he was obviously joking.
Forte: “I never would have imagined that a daughter of an innkeeper would be an academic genius…..and thanks to her, Southgaia had experienced a drastic decrease in the number of Demonic Creatures that gets past Ligaleo, and our expeditions have become safer.”
The Isthmus of Bifrest is a naturally defensible terrain, and Ligaleo sat right on top of it. The majority of Demonic Creatures are taken down here, but there are a few who get through the defensive lines.
That’s why in a nearby large city like Southgaia, the military is here year-round to take care of those stragglers. Many strong Adventurers base their living here for that reason too. It’s dangerous, but if you have the skills, then you can make a decent fortune.
Ashley: “We definitely make less, but I’m married now and wanted to take less risks, so….all in all, it worked out for me.”
Forte: “Yes, I saved up quite a bit of money too, so I was thinking about starting up a business.”
Paul: “Yeah, in that case, what should I do……..well, I guess it’ll be a different Party or go back to my home city.”
There are many ways an Adventurer retires from fighting.
And it’s quite rare where all the Party members agree on disbanding the Party.
It looks like this Party won’t disband with too much fighting or bitterness…..but we’re getting off topic.
Henry: “Soー what’s happened since?”
Forte: “Sorry, sorry. And so, even the Adventurers who were working around the clock could finally take a break. The night raids by Demonic Creatures only happen about once a week, and there might be some weeks without any raids.”
Really? It’s gotten a whole lot better since talking to Ms. Beatriz.
Pa: “Of course, the number of Demonic Creatures that attack Ligaleo hasn’t changed at all, so it’s still an extremely dangerous area to work. But if there are a lot less creatures getting through….you know what that means, right?”
As Paul said, I didn’t need it to be explained. There's less Demonic Creatures getting past Ligaleo. That means the road that ties Ligaleo and Southgaia and other southern towns have become significantly safer.
Forte: “I think you already know this, but selling luxury goods in Ligaleo is high risk, high return. You would need to hire Adventurers to guard your travel there and back, and even after doing everything you can to make the journey safe……the death rate was between 10 to 20 percent.”
Henry: “Yeah, of course. I’ve done guard quests many times.”
At least for me, I haven’t let any one of the merchants I guarded die!
…..but there were times when we had to completely abandon the cargo.
Forte: “So now, there’s only a minimal risk to take goods there. Of course, that means you’ll make less of a profit, but Adventurers in Ligaleo have plenty of money to spend. The keen merchants are already on the move in securing their market, and Southgaia, which serves as a midpoint between the main cities and Ligaleo, has significantly prospered from the situation.”
……well yeah, there’s a lot of guys with money in Ligaleo. They’re fighting Demonic Creatures around the clock, and besides their gear, there’s……really nothing else to spend your money on.
But since the roads are safer, merchants are charging to sell them anything and everything they’ll buy. That would mean that the food shouldn’t be so bad. That’s good to hear.
Ashley: “And around here, rumors of Ligaleo’s situation reached fastest here, so many more Adventurers have moved there. If this was a year ago, we would have gone too……but I’m married now.”
Henry: “......I see….” Crap. I’ve been trying to get my Party to expect the worst, but the situation has drastically improved since I left.
We really have to thank Lana for this good fortune.
……actually, she did far more than to just be thanked.
Forte: “Well, as for recent developments, that’s about it…..but if you like to know more, it’ll cost you another drink.”
And Forte pulled out a small notebook, and tipped his glasses with a finger.
Henry: “.......I thought you didn’t deal in information?” Forte: “I don’t do it professionally, but collecting rumors from all kinds of people is my hobby. A 10 year old Krau・Rozzo will get you all the information I have on the Heroes of Legend, the most notable Heroic Warriors, and what the Knights Orders are planning.”
……..that’s twice as expensive as a regular Krau・Rozzo…
But I know the Heroes of Legend well, and I know the majority of the big players for Heroic Warriors and Knights. Getting an update on their situations would be really helpful.
Henry: “.......ah, sorry. I’ll only buy the drink for you, Forte.” Paul: “Yeah, of course. That’s intel Forte collected on his own. I don’t plan on piggy backing on that.”
Ashley: “Me neither. …….yeah, you can get the rest of the info from forte. I need to head home.”
Ashley sipped the last bit of his whiskey and stood up.
Henry: “Yeah, give my regards to your wife.”
Forte: “The next expedition is in 2 days. Please don’t forget.”
Ashley: “Got it. See you all later.”
Ashley said his farewells to his Party and left the tavern.
…..before he was out the door, Jend came in. They exchanged a few words, and Ashley was finally able to leave the church.
Jend: “Henry, I was able to find us inns. We got 2 rooms.”
Henry: “Yeah, thanks for doing that. ….well, in that case, come sit down with us. You want ale?” I welcomed Jend who came back from running an errand for the Party, and he sat where Ashley was moments ago.
…..and looking over, the girls were having fun. Cyril was scarfing down a parfait, and Teo and Ferris were drinking ales.
In that case, the men should be having some fun too. Yes, most definitely.
Forte: “I don’t mind you drinking so much, but please don’t make me repeat myself tomorrow.”
Henry: “I know, I know.”
I was already finishing my 3rd ale.
Since I got to Southgaia quite a bit during my days in Ligaleo, I drank the ale here quite often. The taste of the ale was nostalgic compared to Flowtier Ale, and I was drinking it down much faster than expected.
Yes, today, my job is to listen. I need to take it easy. Yeah, definitely.
………and that decision got left behind somewhere as the ales kept coming.
The next day, I suffered a severe hangover.
But…..I remember everything Forte said, so let’s say mission accomplished.
Semi-retired Adventurer Lives Leisurely
Written by Hisagushien
Translated by: ChonkyTranslator
Book 11 Preparation for the Journey
Ch. 119 - 135
Book 12 The Mages Tower
Ch. 136 - 155
Book 13 - Before Departure
Ch. 156 - 171
Book 14 - Ligaleo
Ch. 172 - 184
Book 15 - The Strong Ones
Ch. 185 - 199
Book 16 - The Shift
Ch. 200 - 217
Book 17 - The Days in Ligaleo
Ch. 218 - 229
Book 18 - The Longest Day in Ligaleo
Ch. 230 - 248
Book 19 - Temporary Peace
Ch. 249 - 267
Book 20 - Striking Back
Ch. 268 - 294