The Guild housed quite a few people, but some way or another, they had a room for the three to sleep in . The party was relieved that their trip wasn’t in vain .
They were taken to a rest room and laid down on the beds . It definitely was better than sleeping outside .
“By the way, what are you going to do from now on?”
Arnold asked, whereupon Hiiro answered while closing his eyes .
“…It would be bad to just slip by the checkpoint, right?”
“Yeah, unless you have an official ≪Visa≫ . ”
“Yeah, for Muir and me . ”
“How did you get it?”
“Wait, you don’t even know that? How did you want to cross the border?”
“Talk my way through and if that doesn’t work… through force . ”
“Scary! Normally I would laugh at your stupidity, but now that I know of your magic, it only sounds scary!”
Arnold feared that he would cross the border by beating the clerks with his ≪Word Magic≫, because his power was more than able to .
“Listen, the ≪Visa≫ is issued at the Guild . Look . ”
Saying so, he showed him a piece of paper slightly bigger than a train ticket . Written on it were the issued and expiration date .
“Then I can just get one here…”
“No, even if you apply for one here, it takes quite some time until it’s approved, you know?”
“Seriously . Usually you get it from the Guild in the capital of the country . And even then, it takes around one week . In your case, you apply for it here, then the Guild in the capital verifies it and you only get your ≪Visa≫ once they approve . ”
First you applied for it, then your personal history and origins were investigated . Needless to say, you wouldn’t get an approval when you had a criminal record . But if there were no problems and a valid reason for crossing the border, the Guild Master gave his approval on the permit . That was the ≪Visa≫ .
“Oho, so the Guild Master in the capital is quite the big shot?”
“Come again? You were in the capital, right? How come you don’t know?”
“I had no interest . ”
“… . . Hah . Listen and remember this well, Hiiro . Do you know how many SSS rank adventurer are amongst the humans?”
“Three, I think?”
“Yeah and one of them is the Guild Master in the capital . ”
“Mm . ”
“Don’t give me a ‘mm’!”
That was Hiiro’s only reaction, since he had no interest in other people .
“He’s amazing, you know? Only people with superior strength and popularity are chosen for the position . They even say his physical ability is equal to a beastman . Truly a monster . ”
“I understand that this monster is lost in his status and prestige . ”
“H- Hey… It’s certainly said that the Guild Master has an equal power to the King in emergencies, but… aren’t you going too far?”
“Dun care . ”
“… . Haah . Anyway, his name is…”
“Mh? Oh, it’s been a while, Vale!”
“It has indeed been a while, Judom-sama . ”
The man that greeted Vale, the caption of the second division of the ≪Victorias≫ army, with a generous smile was Judom Lankars .
He wore a splendid white beard, but was only in his late 40s . His shortly trimmed white hair had other reasons than from old age .
His gentle expression gave off an aura that put even children at ease . But his abnormal figure became obvious when standing .
The height of his body was over two metre and his trained arms looked as hard and robust as steel .
His whole body was so muscular that you would think his clothes would rip on the slightest movement .
“Fuhaha . Stop with the sama . You’re a prominent captain yourself now!”
He clapped Vale on his back while laughing openhearted . But even though it should’ve been a light pat, it felt like a strike that gradually cut down his HP to Vale .
“*COUGH* I- I see that you have not changed, Judom-sama . ”
Vale showed a happy smile while rubbing his back .
“So, what’s up? It’s rare for you to come here . ”
“I came here to ask a favour of you, the Guild Master . ”
Currently they were inside the Guild, in the room of the Guild Master .
“Oho, something troublesome again? Forget it, I’m retired . Leave the frontlines to the youngsters . ”
“What are you talking about! Even now, no one is able to hold a candle to you as an adventurer!”
“Fuhaha! You’re giving me too much credit! Besides, I heard that the Heroes were summoned . …It’s their era now, right?”
Judom asked with a slightly sharp gaze, but Vale didn’t notice it .
“No, no, a strong person is always in demand . Especially someone as strong as you . ”
Hearing Vale’s answer, Judom clouded his expression a bit, but brightened it up again right away .
“And I tell you, my era is over . As I am right now, I am only a close match for a SS rank . I can’t move around like in my SSS rank days anymore . ”
Judom said kind of self-deprecating with an insightful expression .
“You are being too modest . …Just now you said to leave the front lines to the youngsters . ”
“Yeah, I did . ”
“I would like to ask you to train these youngsters for battle . ”
“… . . The Heroes?”
“Yes . ”
For a while, the two gazed at each other . Judom looked at Vale, who confronted him with an earnest look, and laughed faintly .
“The same look as back then, when you asked to become my disciple . ”
“Although you turned me down in the end . Back then you said to me: You’re not good enough to be my disciple . I only take in someone that can fight on the same level as me . ”
“Did I really say that?”
Judom smiling, reminiscing about his juvenility .
“And now people, who can fight on your level, have appeared . ”
“…… . Is that so . ”
Wiping off his smile, he answered Vale .
“Please teach them! It is for the sake of the future of us ‘Humas’!”
“For the future of ‘Humas’, huh…”
Vale looked at him with determined eyes, with straightforward eyes . Judom took out his pipe and lighted it . Then he slowly blew out some smoke .
“Hey, Vale . ”
“Do you know why I became the Guild Master?”
“That’s… No, I do not . ”
“Because the Guild Master can give commands with the same authority as the King in emergencies . ”
“When I was an adventurer, I always wondered why this country, no, this continent keeps waging war . ”
“Every day I prayed that someone would bring peace to the world . Salvation by faith, so to speak . But the dispute between races escalated and spread to this country too . Of course I took up arms, because there were things I wanted to protect . But what do you think the then Guild Master did at that time?”
“… . . ”
As he knew the answer, Vale looked shameful .
“The Guild Master went far away . He abandoned the country . Abusing his authority as a Guild Master, he escaped for his own good . Due to that, the command chain of the adventurer broke down and many lives that could’ve been saved were lost . ”
“The King had appointed that Guild Master . ”
Vale kept silent on his words . The King had been responsible for appointing that Guild Master . Judom was angry at himself too for not being able to see his true character .
“So I desperately grew stronger and aimed to be the Guild Master . Then I asked the King for authorities to command during emergencies . And thus the Guild Master became another King for the county . ”
“I aimed for the one and only position that could correct the King’s mistakes . That was the best I could do as an adventurer . But…”
Judom clenched his fist frustrated . Vale widened his eyes from seeing this . Even now, the King’s orders were absolute . But the Guild Master had the right to decide about all emergencies regarding adventurers .
Judom gave Vale a quiet and cold look .
“The King then committed another mistake . ”
“Wha! How can you say that!”
Vale was shocked about the sudden criticism of the King . Going any further would be defamation .
“The Kind sacrificed three people for what? Wait, one’s still barely alive, I guess . ”
Then he threw a glance at Vale, telling him to answer .
“The Hero Summoning… Sure, our country is in danger . But I advised the King that there other things to do before summoning Heroes . ”
“You did such a thing…?”
Vale didn’t know that, so he frowned at him .
“Why did we reject the peace treaty?”
“Peace… treaty? What are you talking about?”
“Mhm, I guess you weren’t informed . Well, naturally . ”
Judom shook his head wearily .
“Ex- Explain yourself, Judom-sama!”
“A few years ago, there should have been a peace treaty from the ‘Evila’ . ”
“Impossible! I never heard of such a thing!”
“The top brass must have swept it under the carpet . ”
While blowing out some smoke, Judom said so .
“B- But still! Even if such a letter came from the ‘Evila’, we cannot trust it!”
“Why didn’t we seek a dialogue?”
“You don’t know the outcome unless you try it . ”
Vale understood very well that it was a sound argument, so he couldn’t object .
“I know how you feel . I also know how they betrayed us on previous meetings initiated through letters . But there should be other methods before sacrificing your own daughters, no?”
“H- His Majesty was grieving about that as well . ”
“One does not simply grieve over your daughters’ deaths!”
His earlier gentle expression changed completely, turning into dreadful intensive one . Vale broke sweat on his whole body . That was the spirit of an retired adventurer…
Judom sighed while shaking his head .
“Either way, if he had just consulted me, I would have come along to wherever the meeting would have been . Youn like many others, may not know, but there are good guys amongst the ‘Gabranth’ and ‘Evila’ too . ”
“Th- That certainly is true, but it’s likewise a fact that the ‘Evila’ king tries to destroy us ‘Humas’ . ”
“Then do you know about this? The ‘Evila’ King has changed . ”
“When a King changes, so does the policy . The letter was sent by the new King as well . Nevertheless, the King ignored my advise and called strangers from another world . ”
“Calling them strangers… For our sake, the Heroes are—”
“risking their lives…?”
“I don’t know what world they came from, but I don’t think they care enough about our world to risk their lives for it . If I were in their shoes and suddenly brought here against my will, I would leave everything behind and go on a trip . ”
That was exactly what Hiiro did, but Vale was shocked from Judom’s words and froze up .
“B- But the Heroes seriously are…”
“They just haven’t faced a life-or-death situation . Not many recover after tasting despair . ”
“… . . ”
“They’ve a home too, right? As the one who called them here, the King has to make sure they are returned alive… hasn’t he?”
Vale looked downward and closed his eyes .
“From what I heard, another guy was summoned, but he left as he had no reason to comply?”
“Ah, yes . ”
“I can trust that guy more than the Heroes . ”
“Wh- What do you mean!?”
“That you don’t understand it shows how inexperienced you still are, Vale . ”
Then Judom showed a gentle expression again, placing his pipe on the desk .
“We’re done here, Vale . ”
“Think it over once more about what you have to do . It’s your turn to advise the King now . ”
“I could never…”
“How can someone save the world, when the advice from friends or retainers goes unheeded?”
After that Judom didn’t say another word and Vale left the room astonished .