Chapter 48: The Two Leaders
At the corner of a bar inside Flowtier.
I clinked glasses with a person I’m meeting for the first time.
We ordered some appetizers, and I grabbed a handful of mixed, spiced nuts, and sip my whiskey.
I’m not too big on whiskey in general, but this drink is particularly savory and good.
This was a brand of whiskey recommended by the man sitting in front of me - Mr. Lad.
Lad: “How do you like it? Isn’t it good?”
Henry: “Yes, you’re right. I typically only usually drink ales, but I really like this one.”
Lad: “Yeah? …...man, where is Gawain? He’s running late…”
Lad murmurs his complaint against his acquaintance with a glass of liquor in his hand.
Gawain was someone who Jend fought at the Casino Betting Matches. I didn’t know it at the time, but apparently, his main occupation is an Adventurer.
Henry: “He said he was going on an expedition today. You think he ran into some sort of trouble?” Lad: “No...knowing him, I would doubt that. He probably just lost track of time. I wouldn’t mind it so much if it was just me, but you’re here today too.”
Mr. Lad and Mr. Gawain have a long history together, and they seem to get along really well.
And as we spoke of Mr. Gawain, the doorbells to the bar’s entrance rang, and a giant of a man entered. It was a face I recognized. It was Mr. Gawain.
Mr. Lad raised his arm and called him over.
Mr. Gawain raised a hand toward us to acknowledge us, but also gestured to us to give him a moment. He gave a bag to the bartender and gave him some directions.
And he finally came to sit down next to us after that.
Gawain: “Sorry, got too carried away in the expedition and lost track of time.”
And Mr. Lad shrugs his shoulders and gives me a knowing look.
Lad: “You really should fix that bad habit of yours.”
Gawain: “I know. …...Mr. Henry, my apologies.”
Henry: “Oh no. Don’t worry about it. I’m also prone to losing track of time during expeditions.”
If this was 2 or 3 hours, that’s a different story, but we’re talking maybe 15 minutes here. There’s no reason to drag this on any further.
Gawain: “‘Excuse me. I’ll have the same drink as they are having.”
The waiter nods and brings over a glass of whiskey on the rocks.
Lad: “Well, let’s start shall we? Cheers.”
“ “ Cheers “ “
Mr. Gawain and I raise and clink our glasses together.
Mr. Lad and I have already started drinking, but we clink our glasses anyways. The clear, short <ting> of the glass cups ring in the air, and I take a sip of liquid that burns through my throat.
Lad: “Well, why don’t we start with introductions? I know we all know each other’s faces, but let’s introduce ourselves first.”
Mr. Lad leads the meeting.
Lad: “I’m Lad. I’m the leader of the Adventurer’s Group, the ‘Silver Fangs.’ I’m 31, and my preferred weapon is the single-handed sword. I can use the Kroseid Style Magecraft.”
It’s a very Adventurer-like introduction. You introduce briefly the skills you can use, and if it ever comes down to recruiting someone temporarily into your party or teaming up with them, this makes it easier to find the people you need.
Gawain: “I’m Gawain. I’m the leader of the party ‘Glow Lance,’ and the same age as Lad. I use the spear alone in the Leimbach Style.”
The Leimbach Style is one of the biggest, most well-known spear martial arts.
Because a wide-variety of people use it, using the style doesn’t mean you're automatically strong, but a lot of people have studied and refined the art and the moves. I have watched and learned from a fellow friend who used the Leimbach Style for my own spear studies as well.
Oh, it’s my turn now for introductions.
Henry: “My name is Henry. 22 years old. We don’t have a party name, but I am teamed up with Cyril, Jend, Teo, and Ferris, and I’m currently acting as the leader. I also use the spear and the Kroseid Style so I have commonality with each of you.”
I laugh to lighten the mood.
Gawain: “Hmph. Similar, you say, but looking at your spear skills at the Betting Matches, I don’t think I would even come close to your skills.”
Henry: “.......well, I know I don’t look it, but I am still a Heroic Warrior-class.”
I’m not used to being complimented directly, but I also don’t like false modesty and nodded to Mr. Gawain’s words. Being an Adventurer, understanding each other’s strengths is key to surviving.
But now I know. Mr. Gawain is addressing me as “Mr.” in respect of my skill I showed when I was fighting Jend at the Casino.
Lad: “The Gladiator’s Arena huh. You really like fighting there, Gawain. I wouldn’t want to swing my sword except during work and training.”
Gawain: “You’ll experience a tension that’s different from fighting Demonic Creatures, and it’s a bit of a thrill. I fought with Henry’s party member, Jend, the other day. He was young, but it was a good fight. That boy’s not even 20 so he’s got a bright future ahead of him.”
Lad: “Is that so…”
I’m leaning towards Mr. Lad’s opinion. I fought with Jend more out of not wanting to disappoint the crowd, but unlike Mr. Gawain, I don’t think I’ll be actively showing up to fight there.
Gawain: “Oh, let’s not get off track. Let’s go ahead and get the main goal of our meeting out of the way.”
Henry: “That’s true. I apologize that I couldn’t meet with you earlier.”
Lad: “No, we’ve been pretty busy too recently, so I’m sure you had your hands full trying to get a hold of us both. Don’t worry about that.”
The two leaders here lead the “Silver Fang” and the “Glow Lance.” These two parties are the only other Adventurer groups that are permitted to hunt in the Altohern Mountain.
In other words…
Lad: “Well, you’ll have to pay us back in return, but I’ll let you copy our maps, and where you should be careful around Altohern.”
Gawain: “......and we need to divide up the territories so we don’t overlap when collecting herbs.”
Henry: “Thank you very much.”
So we are here today to share information and make sure that we’re not stepping on each other’s toes.
At Altohern, there’s plenty of information concerning the foot of the mountain because the Flowtier Army patrols that area frequently. But if you start going up to the mid-part of the mountain, only these two parties have really done expeditions in that area. ……..of course, the Church retains records of past Adventurer parties who have explored that area, but nothing beats information provided by current Adventurers.
And although there is not as much, there are rare herbs and ores around the Altohern area, and I didn’t want to fight over material rights with the other parties either so we decided on who gets what at the meeting as well.
Henry: “Thank you both for your cooperation.”
I take out a notebook and take notes.
…..I guess I’ll have to hold off on drink refills until we’re done.
Lad: “A Frost Ogre at the foot of the mountain? …...that is very strange. Hey, Gawain, did you know about this?”
Gawain: “No. …..my party has been doing expeditions on Altohern for a couple of years now, but I have never heard of an Ogre descending that far down the mountain.”
After I got as much information as I can afford from Mr. Lad and Mr. Gawain, I offered them some info to balance the scales a little.
………….but by doing so, surprising concerns were raised.
Henry: “Have the number of Ogres you encounter and defeat been lower than usual?”
Gawain: “No, that hasn’t changed at all.” Lad: “Our party would take down around 10 a week give or take a few. That pace hasn’t changed at all.”
So what’s going on here?
The foot of the mountain’s density of magical corruption is far too less for the Ogres to live there. They wouldn’t come down the mountain unless there was some sort of compelling reason.
If it was one stray, then it may have been an odd Ogre that just took a different path than its peers, but……..there were two. Were they a pair? I wouldn’t be able to tell the difference between males and females.
Lad: “Sounds like we should be more wary around the foot of the mountains. Typically, we only encounter Winter Wolves and Slimes, so we’re not as careful around that area.”
Henry: “......Slimes? I heard that you can encounter them, but we haven’t come across any. How often do they appear?” Lad: “About 2 or 3 times in any given month. If you do see one, just blast it with Magecraft from a distance.”
Slimes. They are a special kind of Demonic Creature, and they are one of the rare creatures without any tiers or classes.
They surround their core with some type of liquid, and look like a jellyfish, but depending on the liquid that surrounds their body, the danger they pose can drastically change.
Most of them are made up of water, but on a very rare occasion, there’s some that would explode on impact, and some very dangerous ones that could dissolve metals and armor. It’s not unheard of to hear stories about Adventurers who took no precautions and ended up dying from the Slime’s explosion.
Lad: “Well, there’s no use speculating any further. You already reported it to the Flowtier Army, right?”
Henry: “Of course.”
Lad: “Then let’s just keep communication open and alive between our parties, and if anything happens, we’ll help each other out. That should be fine, right?”
Mr. Gawain nods at Mr. Lad’s suggestion.
Lad: “Alright, that about wraps up everything we need to discuss. We received some valuable intel too, so you can just pay for our drinks tonight, and we’ll call it even. I’ll handle the payout to my own party members.”
Gawain: “I’m fine with that as well.”
Henry: “.......but this isn’t a cheap restaurant, but...o～kay, fine. It’s a deal.”
It’s quite the expense to my wallet, but I just saved all my money on the frontlines and didn’t do anything with it, so I do have quite a bit saved up. This won’t be a problem at all.
Gawain: “So as a sign of our new friendship, I brought something.”
Mr. Gawain turns toward the bartender and raises a hand to him in a gesture.
The bartender acknowledges Mr. Gawain and begins cooking something.
Lad: “? Oh yeah, you did give that bartender something before you came in. What was that?” Gawain: “Yeah, I got lucky today, and an Ice Boar dropped some meat.”
There are some Demonic Creatures who will drop edible meat, but that’s a pretty rare thing to happen.
And they are a bit of an acquired taste, but it is prohibited by law to sell it. There is some magic corruption left over in the meat, and if your not physically tough and with enough magic power, you can lose to the magic corruption and get very sick.
So, because of that, you’ll either have to go through the Church to find chef’s with special licenses who can cook the meat, or you will have Adventurers who’ll just consume the meat themselves. The latter is the most common scenario.
Of course, the bartender doesn’t have any such skills or license, so he just cooks it regularly and brings over the steaks.
“Here are your Ice Boar Steaks.”
“Thank you, bartender.”
“Don’t mention it. It’s nice to be able to cook with such rare ingredients.”
Mr. Gawain seems to know the bartender well as he thanks him.
The meat is sizzling on the platter and sounds and looks delicious. Unlike beef or pork, there is a distinct odor. I’ve only been snacking on nuts here, so my stomach growls at the site.
……..well, since he’s offered to let us eat such rare steaks, why not go all out? Henry: “Excuse me, could you bring us a bottle of Forz’moa?”
“Right away, sir.”
Forz’moa. It’s a brand of whiskey and is relatively pricey.
Lad: “Oh, you okay with that?”
Henry: “Of course. I’d like to do something as well as a show of good faith.”
Well, that’s a lie. Honestly, I just wanted to drink some right now.
The bottle of whiskey was brought quickly over, and I pour the drink into the glasses that was brought over at the same time.
Henry: “This is to our adventuring and success.”
Lad: “For riches and glory.” Gawain: “.....for our safety and well-being.”
“ “ “ Cheers! “ “ “
We clink our raised glasses together.
I was dragged around by two drunk men as we visited several taverns and bars and ended up in a brothel at the end.
………..I came back with a completely emptied wallet, and returning in the morning, I felt a slightly colder stare from Lana, but it must’ve been my imagination.
But that Mr. Gawain. He looks and acts super serious, but he let loose after a few drinks.
……….I’ll have to be more careful when I’m drinking with them next time.
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Semi-retired Adventurer Lives Leisurely
Written by Hisagushien
Translated by: ChonkyTranslator
Book 4: Further Leaps and Bounds