[Yo, welcome, Hibiki-kun]
Sitting in a chair while smiling in front of me was Gillen, the Welburg City lord .
Since he’s just sitting there without saying anything, I gradually lost my patience .
[Wha, what is it? Ah, right . Want some tea?]
Gillen then ordered the servant standing by outside to prepare some tea .
[Gillen-san, do you have anything important to tell me?]
[Do I? I’m not really sure about that?]
The alraune Wicky said that she escaped from a nearby city . As one may have guessed, this city is the closest to our village .
If Gillen is even a tiny bit competent as a lord, then he should know something .
Let’s try shaking things up a little .
[Recently, I encountered a monster that normally doesn’t appear around here]
Gillen visibly twitched a little, but quickly regained his calm .
[It’s intruding into my village, and I had to deal with it myself since it’s taking over my land]
[Tha, that was a disaster]
[Yeah, I’m a busy person . Damn that insignificant creature]
Of course, I’m just bluffing, although it’s not completely a lie .
[You should’ve brought the monster here for investigation . Otherwise, how could I find and apprehend the perpetrator if I have no evidence?]
Gillen shook his head vigorously .
[Is that so? Then I’ll just go and find the culprit myself . I’ll be sure to be thorough]
[Now, now, why the hurry? I guess there is no helping it . Pardon me . ]
He finally gave in in the end . Now I can start asking for the truth .
[In any case, I don’t really know about it that much, but apparently, the smuggling was done by some alchemist guild]
The appearance of the demon king had caused a ripple to the economy, making the price of potions and medical supplies to start rising .
Only a few alchemist guilds could handle that large amount of chemical materials, and even then there will be embezzlement and corruption .
However, due to the standardization done by the guild branch manager Frank, it became difficult to procure regular stock . And thus they resorted to capturing Wicky .
[Why didn’t you just say so earlier?]
[Showing your worse side to other took some courage, okay?]
[What if, I’ll let you return to your work peacefully if you help me one more time?]
He was stunned by that remark .
[No, please stop that . That girl’s stare scares me]
Amy-san is truly scary .
After hearing the general circumstance from Gillen, the next person I have to talk to is obviously the alchemist guild branch manager Frank .
I was attacked by thieves several times along the way .
[Is this city’s security really this bad?]
[Well, it’s definitely not zero, but very very close to it . ]
As I finished dealing with the fifth attack today, someone familiar approached me .
[Ah, Frei? How are you?]
Frei was the escort knight working under that demon-possessed noble lady .
Although we kinda got along well, I didn’t really remember him aside from that he lives in Welburg to better accommodate his lady .
[Hibiki, you should’ve contacted me when you return . Really now?]
I went ahead and asked him about the current situation of the City .
[Indeed . The three guilds, adventurers guild, alchemists guild, and magicians guild are still active . New people also pouring in and out of the city like crazy . Thanks to that, the number of shady persons in this city is also increasing . ]
Was it these newcomers who attacked us just now?
[That’s right . Who would be foolish enough to mess with you guys if they’ve stayed in this city before Milady’s case?]
[People like you?]
Frei, reminded of our first meeting, could only laugh wryly .
But apparently, Frei had also been attacked by thieves several times recently .
The situation might be more serious than I thought .
When I arrived at the alchemist guild, I saw two groups of people gathered around the counter .
I saw a familiar face among those groups of people .
He’s the leader of 『Scorch』adventurer party, Feryu .
[Hibiki, you’ve returned? Come over here]
I was forcefully dragged into his group .
[Feryu, what’s going on here? I want to have a talk with Frank-san]
[Thank goodness . Of course, Hibiki is on branch manager’s side]
When I checked the other group, I noticed that they consisted of the less savory looking people .
Apparently, that other side was with the vice branch manager .
[There is vice branch manager now?]
[There’s always been one . Apparently, even those who have lived in this city for some time wouldn’t necessarily know]
So it would seem that the vice manager who never showed his face before suddenly gained leverage and had been gathering adventurers without permission to gain profit and power .
But Feryu just had to drop a bomb that made me unable to extricate myself .
[Listen, you lot!! This guy right here was the man who ended the『One Night Nightmare』!!]
The opposing group was stunned . Feryu went even further with his boasting .
[In addition to that he’s also the one who is known as the 『The Seal of Sobbing』]
Well, I couldn’t really say anything now . The reaction was even bigger now .
Apparently, the rumour about 『The Seal of Sobbing』had gone a long way .
No adventurers in this city could handle the 『The Seal of Sobbing』 . So, Feryu immediately took the chance to boast even more .
[Moreover, this person also has the 『Blessing』]
That was too much information . Next time I should really refrain from leaking my important information to Feryu .
I resolved myself to take the bullet, but it seemed that the bluff worked . The vice branch manager fled alongside his henchmen .
Feryu thanked me, but I really didn’t do anything just now, so I had trouble responding to it .
That aside, I told the receptionist that I would like to meet Frank-san, and was told to wait for 5 minutes .
[Hey there, Hibiki-kun . Welcome . Amy-san too . ]
Frank-san arrived in the reception room whilst laughing weakly .
[Is something wrong? We got entangled with the vice manager back at the receptionist . Is it something related to that?]
Amy asked with concern .
I actually don’t want to get involved too deep in this, but Frank-san was a great help in selling the『White Porclaine』 .
It’ll also damage us if he were to fall here .
[It’s embarrassing to admit . But due to my incompetence, the alchemist guild is currently split into two factions . ]
Of course, as alchemists, they couldn’t simply kill each other to settle the matter .
But firstly, just what kind of guy the vice manager is?
Unlike the sociable Frank-san, that guy is an alchemist through and through . Biased and selfish . Also, it appeared that he’s kinda socially impaired .
[How come that kind of person can become the vice manager?]
[Because his talent in alchemy is top notch]
Apparently, the vice manager is responsible for all the potion created in this branch .
There must be someone else who instigated such a simple person to rebel .
Like saying 『Why the best person in alchemy in this branch became the vice manager instead of branch manager？』
The vice manager, bedazzled by those words of embezzlement, finally decided to revolt .
His wealth and track record as the vice manager couldn’t be easily ignored .
And with the conflict intensified, Frank-san inevitably hired some escort, with Feryu being one of them .
[A track record that couldn’t be ignored?]
[That guy, is trying to make a certain 『Item』]
And for that, he started to divert and smuggled the materials that he needs . That’s the story .
[Do you have any idea what kind of item he’s working on?]
[Well, it seems to be put on hold recently, but . . ]
Alchemists usually made items like magic potions that give special effects .
From how Frank-san spoke about it, apparently, it hasn’t finished yet…
And the ingredient he required, was a certain magical material that only Alraune could produce .
I got this far and only realized just now . Why Frank-san bothered to tell me the whole story?
[Frank-san, why did you willingly tell us this much information?]
Amy seemed to have arrived at the same conclusion . So I also gave Frank-san a stare .
[Pardon me for my incompetence, but I have no one else to rely on . Feryu is managing fine, but he’s not proficient in alchemy at all . ]
In that respect, we do have Amy .
[What do you want us to do?]
[As I said earlier, our vice manager won’t do that kind of thing on his own accord . There must be someone else who is the real mastermind behind him]
Simply put, he wanted us to find this mastermind .
[Of course, I’ve prepared a reward]
Frank-san asked with a bow before us .
Amy’s eyes were glittering when I sneaked a peek at her . She then whispered to me .
[Very well . We will cooperate and do what we can]
[Ah, yes . Thank you, thank you so much . ]
Frank-san shook my hand and swung it vigorously .
I decided to hold a negotiation with Frank regarding the terms and conditions .
Since it’s an opportunity, I’m thinking about giving this job to our newer members .
[And so, that’s why I came back immediately so that we can start working soon]
After returning back to the village, I held a meeting with everyone .
The participants were Ayla, Amy, Zir, and Sai who had Yaku to sit on her lap . Apparently finding it unique, Leelan also imitated it by sitting on my lap .
Other than them, there were also the centaur couple, Shiron and Horon, Slave warrior Gina, and Brigit who had already started to doze off .
And finally, the lizardmen that could be counted as our customer, Gelbu tribe princess Pinot and her servant Yatelko .
In the kitchen, Frei who had tagged along with us was preparing dinner with the half-demon maid Latia .
[For now, I’ve asked the adventurers guild to compile a list of the newcomers in the city . ]
People don’t have much protection on their personal information in this world, unlike the world where I came from . It’s evident from how Feryu could easily disclose my deeds .
Among these newcomers, 3 people stood out .
The leader of 『Raging Bull』 adventurer party, Jim Dashbull .
Stray folks coordinator, John .
『Former Hero Candidate』, 『Slaughterer Zero』。
Those three are the most suspicious .
[What is this, the last one is a『Former Hero Candidate』?
Sai asked in a serious face, a direct opposite to Yaku who sat on her lap .
[He did become a hero candidate once, but his title was stripped away after he murdered not only the monster but also the entire member of a church . ]
Apparently, Zero boasted about it as though it was a heroic deed .
[Then isn’t it obvious already?]
Shiron quipped with a disgusted face . But I felt that we still need to investigate further .
Moreover, this 『Raging Bull』leader Jim also had a bounty on his name .
And John had the most subordinates among the three .
Meanwhile Zero mostly do his things alone .
[Truly, there are various kinds of humans]
Pinot seemed to be impressed for some reason .
The lizardmen tribes are similarly quite varying as well, so I don’t really understand why she’s only convinced by now .
[In any case, this will be the first job for the newcomers . Make sure that you succeed!]
After assigning 3 people as supervisors, I dissolved the gathering .
[Milord is really pushing it]
Said Zir who remained in the room after dissolution .
[Anyways, do I have to send my ghost to observe them?]
[Zir, my husband surely has put everyone’s capability and safety into consideration]
Amy rebuked Zir .
[Of course . Husband has always been kind to his family]
Ayla also added in .
[That’s already a well-known fact at this point]
This is a fairly complex situation we had here .
When I tried to appease those three, they simply came upon a conclusion that I am 『gentle in everyday actions, but not as much while in bed』 . So I just had to prove it to them before dinner come .
Then let’s be gentle for once . But when I tried to please them with a gentler touch, they ended up saying 『not gentle at all』 with a disappointed look .
The ‘verification’ would have to wait after dinner is over .
So, I asked Latia to prepare something that could increase my stamina for dinner .