Chapter 5 – “Night Sky’s Silver Rabbit”
As I continued to pat the girl’s head, she appeared to have stopped crying sometime along the way, and started staring at me with moist eyes.
I ended up rudely touching your head.”
Promptly letting go of my patting hand, I hear a lonely “ah…” from the girl.
“Ah, umm, for coming to rescue me, thank you very much…!”
The girl bows deeply.
“I, thought it was all over, so I had half given up… So, ah… when you came to help me, I, I was so happy…!”
The girl blushes and says with a smile.
Her well-proportioned face coupled with her youthful looks results in a very cute expression.
(…? Magic beasts are approaching.
This feeling… a goblin troop? Since she’s only just been attacked by magic beasts, for now we should avoid fighting.)
Feeling the signs of magic beasts, I immediately decide on the future course of action.
“It was by coincidence that I arrived here, but I’m glad I was able to help.
Well, let’s leave together.”
After standing up, I reach out a hand to the girl who grabs on while saying “thank, thank you very much”.
Like that, I pull her up to help her stand, and briefly check her condition.
I had already cast [Heal] earlier, and it looks like she has no problems walking.
We return to the entrance of the 7th floor, and the party that had been there earlier is already gone.
(In the end, they were a bunch of cold-hearted guys.
Though I say that, even if they had remained, it would’ve turned out troublesome, so maybe it was better they left.)
Continuing on, we hold our Guild cards over the crystal, and transfer to the labyrinth entrance.
Well, since we’ve returned safely to the surface, my escort mission ends here.
The sun hasn’t completely set yet.
She should be alright by herself from here.
“Now that we’re here, even if you’re alone–“
Just as I was about to suggest we part ways, the girl interrupts me with a loud voice.
“So, sorry, for suddenly shouting…”
“No, that’s alright, but what’s wrong?”
“Ah, once again, thank you very much for coming to rescue me!”
The girl bows deeply and thanks me again.
(――Huh? I hadn’t noticed until now, but that attire, the emblem on her mantle…)
The girl wears a primarily blue dress and black knee socks.
Over her dress, she is cloaked in a mantle coloured mostly black, her attire is highly appropriate of a Magician.
And that mantle has an emblem with a lunar theme.
“-Ah! By, by the way, I haven’t introduced myself yet.
My name is Sophia Claudel.”
That outfit, red hair, and “Claudel”…
“It was my bad too, for not giving my name.
My name is Orn Doula.”
“Orn, what a wonderful name…”
Sophia murmurs softly.
She was probably talking to herself, but unfortunately I could hear her perfectly…
Although I think it’s a pretty mundane name.
Well, it’s alright, I’d rather have my name praised instead of mocked.
“Th, then Orn! I apologise for not having something better to express my gratitude towards you…”
“It wasn’t the case that I helped you because I wanted some reward.
I’ve already received your words of thanks.
I don’t need anything else.”
“I can’t leave it like that! At least let me treat you to dinner! B, but it won’t be home-made though…”
……Is it okay to just have dinner? Certainly, if I were in the opposite position, I would feel uncomfortable if I couldn’t do something more to express my thanks.
As expected though, I can’t let someone younger treat me, so one way or another I’ll foot the bill.
Well I wonder whose treat it’ll be.
So when’s good? For me, I don’t have plans any time soon, so I should be alright anytime.”
“Th, then, it’s sudden but how about today? I, from tomorrow on, I might not be available…”
If that’s so, shall we go now? Have you got somewhere in mind? If not yet, I can recommend a place?
“I, I’ve already decided.
It’s a cheap store but… the food is really delicious!”
“I’m not bothered about the price.
As long as it’s good.
I’m looking forward to it.”
From the entrance of the labyrinth, I walk around the city with Sophia for a while.
“We, we’re here!”
(……As I suspected, a subsidiary of the Rabbit)
I was guided to a public restaurant managed by the major Clan, “Night Sky’s Silver Rabbit”.
To put it simply, a Clan is an organisation that has explorers.
Different Clans each have their own individual policies, but fundamentally, Clans process and sell the materials explorers retrieve from the labyrinth
Then using these proceeds, they equip their explorers with better equipment so that they can explore even more lower layers of the labyrinth and obtain better materials – they are organisations that foster this positive feedback loop.
Other than that, some of them also managed restaurants like this one or general stores.
Because of these needs, other than explorers, blacksmiths, magic tool engineers, merchants and the like can also be employed with Clans.
There are many Clans in the country, but among them, “Night Sky’s Silver Rabbit” is one of the best.
The biggest reason is that of the only three S Rank parties in the country, one belonged to them.
But that isn’t all.
Besides that, they also have a large number of members in the Clan, several times higher than the average.
Their huge success in using these members to develop various businesses is also another big factor.
I’ve heard that in the last year, they’ve had some big internal issues, leading to a massive organisational shakeup.
Still, from the fact that the public’s evaluation of them were unchanged, you can tell that their executives are excellent.
The emblem on Sophia’s mantle is “Night Sky’s Silver Rabbit’s”.
From that, I can understand that Sophia is an explorer belonging to “Night Sky’s Silver Rabbit”.
But if that’s so, she should be partying with people from the same Clan.
Why was Sophia partying with a random party?
……You can’t blame me for not being able to come up with an answer.
I enter the store with Sophia.
The interior is stylish and many of the customers are young.
Even though there are many people, the atmosphere isn’t rowdy, and I find it to be a cozy store.
“Eh…? Sister, why are you here?”
Looking around the store, Sophia seems to have found an acquaintance and called out to that person.
Surprised, I follow Sophia’s line of sight, and as I had thought – a woman I know, eating by herself.
I had a meeting nearby today.
The timing happened to work out, so I decided to grab dinner here.
Anyway Sophia, you’ve already got a boyfriend? As expected, I think it’s still a bit too early for you, but… “
The person called by Sophia also looked over, and was probably trying to tease her for being with a man.
However, when she catches me in her line of sight, the air around her tenses up.
“That’s not it! Today, I was saved by this person, so I just wanted to return the favour… Ah, I’ll introduce you two, this person is…..
Sophia took her sister’s teasing seriously, and was desperately trying to refute her.
After that, as she was trying to introduce me, she became perplexed by the change in her sister’s mood.
“It’s been a while, Orn Doula.”
“Yeah, it’s been a while.
I know this person very well.
This person is, in some sense, the one who caused me to be expelled from the Hero Party.
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