Chapter 8 – [side Selma] Anguish
“And then!? He appeared right in front of my eyes, and in an instant the entire group of Orcs was defeated!”
After the meal, we parted from Orn at the restaurant, and now the two of us are heading towards our own lodgings in “Night Sky’s Silver Rabbit’s” headquarters.
Shy by nature, Sophia can’t speak well in front of people she meets for the first time, so as soon as Orn wasn’t there, she started to become very talkative about the things that had happened today.
Even so, this may be the first time in a while that I’ve seen Sophia in such a good mood.
“Well, for that guy, even if there had been dozens of Orcs, the result would probably have been the same.”
“Just as I thought.
No matter what, he’s an explorer that was part of the Hero Party.
That amount would be no problem!”
“…I can do that too? Even against a hundred Orcs I would be unscathed!”
Sister is the number one amazing Enchanter, I remember!”
I have mixed feelings.
I know that people call me the best Enchanter on the continent, and until recently, I was proud of that.
However, when I saw Orn fighting, that confidence had been shattered into pieces.
Moreover, my party hasn’t been able to explore the deep layers for the past year.
If Orn joins my party, will I be able to overcome our current situation?
Cheer up, faint-hearted me.
In front of Sophia, there’s no way I can whine weakly like this.
I want to continue being a respected older sister to my younger sister.
“Ah, of course.
From now on too, I will continue to stay as the best Enchanter.”
This is also a vow to myself.
The ideal figure I saw last month.
In order to get closer to that, I will continue my efforts.
“Even if only just one day sooner, I will do my best to become an explorer who can stand shoulder to shoulder next to sister!”
“Yes, but you can’t go into labyrinths by yourself anymore, okay?
“I, I know…”
Speaking of that, how should I treat the party that abandoned Sophia?
A member of my Clan, and what’s more, my cute little sister.
If you abandon someone, then you’ve prepared yourself to be retaliated against, right?
I’ve already heard the names of those party members, and I could handle them right away, but for now, I should concentrate on the guided exploration.
As the two of us chatted, we arrived at the Clan headquarters in no time.
“I have a little errand so, Sophia, you can return to your room.
I don’t mind if you head to bed first.”
“Will you be late?”
“No, I don’t think it’ll take that long.”
“Then, I’ll stay up and wait! Good luck with your work!”
Sophia said with a smile, and walked towards her room.
Ah, my sister is the cutest in the world!
In the headquarters, I arrive in front of the room I needed to go to.
Take a breath, then knock on the door
“…Please come in.”
After waiting for the voice from inside the room, I open the door and enter.
I’m sorry for bothering you this late at night.”
The inside of the room is like a study, and there is a desk in the centre of the room, where a man is doing paperwork.
His name is Vince Briars.
Over 30 years old with brown hair and black eyes.
He is the head of “Night Sky’s Silver Rabbit” and is called President by the members.
It was only just last year that the President took the top position, but when the Clan had faced its most turbulent period, it was the President’s skillful abilities that allowed the Clan to be restored, so because of that, the Clan members have the utmost trust in him.
Is there anything?”
“There are about two things I would like to report.”
The President stops his hands from moving, and shifts his gaze from his paperwork to me.
“The first has to do with the Hero Party.
After hearing the phrase Hero Party, an extraordinary pressure was released from the President, making me swallow my breath.
I did not expect the topic to be about that Hero party.
“Yes, it seems that the Hero Party Enchanter, Orn Doula, has left the party.”
“………It’s not that I’m doubting you, but is that true?”
The President asks for confirmation with a sceptical expression.
If I had heard it from a third party, I would have also found it hard to believe.
“Yes it’s true.
Earlier, I happened to meet the person in question by coincidence, and I heard it straight from his mouth.”
“…If it’s the actual person himself saying it, then it is probably true.
There would be no reason to lie about something that could be investigated so easily.”
I nod my head at the President’s muttering, and continue speaking.
“With this, the Hero Party is without a doubt, weaker.
That party, with Orn missing, let alone S Rank — they should no longer be able to reach the deep layers.
If so, we can think that the chances of ‘Night Sky’s Silver Rabbit’ returning to the forefront are greatly increased.”
Putting aside Orn, the members of the Hero party are also certainly highly trained, and there is nothing to criticise about their cooperation.
However, if you ask me if all of them have the strength comparable to those in the S Rank, I would find it difficult to answer “yes” with confidence.
The Hero Party, due to Orn’s support magic, has had all their members raised to a higher stage.
Because of that, it is more convincing to say that he is the one who achieved the feat of reaching the 94th floor.
“I heard about Orn Doula last month too.
However, are you sure about him? Other than you, there is no one else who has evaluated him highly.”
“Enchanters are difficult to evaluate.
The evidence is in how despite there being many excellent Enchanters in our Clan, the world’s attention is only concentrated on me.”
“For you to say that makes my ears hurt… It will be a pity if I do not think a bit more about how we can promote our Enchanters.”
“No, I have no intention of criticizing anyone.
It’s just a fact.
I’ve also been considering ways to publicise, but nothing really comes to mind.”
“This is something we need to gradually tackle….
Returning to what you have said, even if the Hero Party can no longer progress in their capture of the Great Labyrinth, it is impossible for the current ‘Night Sky’s Silver Rabbit’ to reach the 94th floor… definitely.
Therefore, it is unlikely for us to be able to catch up to them.”
“…It’s as you say.
So that brings me to my second point, for the guided exploration being conducted from the day after tomorrow, Orn will be joining us.”
“..What did you offer him?”
It was just luck that the conversation proceeded there.
We’ll be paying him compensation, but I don’t think the amount will be too exorbitant.
I wasn’t able to talk specifics with him outside, so tomorrow night, he’ll be coming to the Clan headquarters, and we’ll work out the details then.
It’s just that there’s a possibility he might have already grasped the situation of our Clan from when I requested him.”
“The issue with the sponsors?”
”Night Sky’s Silver Rabbit” has received a large amount of funding from aristocratic sponsors.
Although we have had success in expanding our business activities, even with that, our current financial situation is dominated by more than half of our Clan’s income coming from sponsorships, making it difficult for us to cut off their support.
Until a year ago, “Night Sky’s Silver Rabbit” had the most progress made in the labyrinth among active explorers and was more than a match for the Hero party, but after our party experienced the departure of our Absolute Ace, we were now separated by two floors.
The sponsors took offence, and it became a situation where we didn’t want to make any more unnecessary waves.
This current guided exploration also involves the sponsors’ requests for obtaining more resources from the middle layers, and so we were instructed to embark on this kind of sloppy plan by them.
Therefore, behind-the-scenes of this matter, we did not want to further provoke the anger of our sponsors, and also because there are merits that can be obtained, so we reluctantly agreed.
“…I do not think there is a need to be vigilant if he has already left the Hero party, but just in case.
I will also be there tomorrow.”
“Then, the guided exploration has the other objective of selecting one of the escorting explorers for promotion into the 1st Unit, are you considering making Orn Doula the fifth member of the 1st Unit?”
The 1st Unit is the party that I am the leader of.
Currently, we have reached the 92nd floor.
The ultimate goal of the 1st Unit is, of course, to clear the Southern Great Labyrinth.
In other words, defeating the Floor Boss of the 100th floor.
Other than us, in “Night Sky’s Silver Rabbit”, there are many explorers in various other parties.
They are divided and grouped by rank – the A Rank party is the 2nd Unit, and the B Rank party is the 3rd Unit.
“I’m also thinking that as one option.”
“Orn Doula is an excellent explorer, I understand that very well, but is he not an Enchanter? The 1st Unit already has a widely recognized, excellent Enchanter in you.
Last year, we mourned the loss of our Absolute Ace Vanguard Attacker.
I just cannot really imagine that adding another Enchanter will be connected in any way to success.
Considering the balance of the party, I cannnot grant you permission.”
The President’s words are fair.
If Orn is included as the fifth member, it would end up being four people in the Rearguard and one Vanguard.
Challenging the labyrinth with this composition can’t be done.
In the end, as planned from the start, is it more realistic to promote one of the accompanying Officers to the 1st Unit?
In the first place, I don’t even know if he might join “Night Sky’s SIlver Rabbit”.
If we were to entertain the possibility, I think the chances of him not joining are higher.
“I say that, but there is no problem in just having him follow on the guided exploration.
As a member of the Hero Party, he should be experienced with undergoing through numerous difficulties.”
That’s all for the report.
Please excuse me.”
I leave the President’s office.
……All paths are blocked.
Even though the Hero Party is self-destructing, we ourselves haven’t been able to take even a single step forward for the past year.
How can we overcome this situation…
“Haa… For now, I want to be spoiled by Sophia.”
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