Chapter 3: Takatsuki Makoto arrives at the Great Labyrinth
“Hey, why are we leaving? Aren’t you two acquaintances? Why don’t you meet him and talk?”
Lucy asked me.
“We’re not that close at all. And I think they’ve already forgotten about me.”
We quickly left the Sun Knight Orders place behind. It is true that I am not that close to Light Hero, Sakurai-Kun. But there’s another reason why I didn’t talk to him. I saw an unpleasant face near Sakurai-kun.
Princess Sophia Eir Roses, who is also the Water Oracle.
–The woman who took one glance at me and decided that I had no talent.
But to think even the Princess of Water Nation had come. Maybe it’s really a big matter.
“Hey, hey, did you see? There were a lot of big shots there. Even the princess was there!”
I responded in an uninterested tone.
“You don’t sound interested though. The first in line to the throne of the Sun Country, Princess Noel Altena Highland. She had quite the aura.”
“Eh? There was someone like that?”
“What are you saying? She stood out like a sore thumb.”
Hooh, well that Water Oracle caught my attention. Speaking of which, there was a woman in an extravagant dress nearby. But why are there two princesses in such a small city?
“Oh well, it doesn’t matter. It’s none of our business. Let’s go to the tavern where we’re meeting!”
“Why don’t we go back to the guild and gather some information first?”
“No, not now! I’m starving here!”
” Yeah, yeah. Sure let’s go.”
I’m also in the mood for a drink. Let’s meet up with Fuji-yan.
We soon found the “Hero’s Bar”.
Rather than being a bar, it was more of a huge beer garden.
There were tables and chairs scattered here and there in the open space. What a rough bar.
Adventurers were drinking all over the place. Some of them were sitting on the ground, probably because there were not enough chairs. This looks like a lot of fun! I’m getting excited!
“Takatsuki-sama~! Lucy-sama~! Over here~.”
Nina-sans long ears flicked from side to side as she waved her hand.
“I’ve heard that you defeated the Minotaur right away! As expected.”
The table Fujiyan had set for us was already lined with a mountain of food.
“The speed you’re getting information is as swift as ever,” wasn’t that only a few hours ago?
“Waah, this is delicious!”
Lucy was biting into a huge piece of bread and bacon.
I ordered an ale and took a seat.
“What were you doing, Fuji-yan?”
“I was negotiating with the guild for a scheduled flight service for the airship.”
“Oh, did it work out well?”
“Of course it did. We’re planning to connect Makkaren, the Great Labyrinth, the capital of the Water Nation, and the capital of the Sun Nation.”
“Makkaren seems to be out of the place within those.”
It’s as Lucy said. It’s like Osaka, Tokyo, and Tottori.
“It was the strong push of Christiana-dono.”
Now I understand, it’s the wish of the daughter of the Lord of Makkarenn.
“You can’t go against your sponsor, huh.” It’s hard.
“Ah, by the way, I heard that Sakurai-dono has come to this city.”
Fuji-yan says that while munching on a big piece of meat.
“I saw him a while ago. He was with the Sun Knight Order.”
“Ooh! That’s the rumored ‘Light Hero’ sama! Master and Takatsuki-sama are acquainted with him, aren’t they?”
Even Nina-san’s eyes are glittering.
I don’t know why everyone loves the heroes so much.
“Takki-dono. It is true that Hero skill is popular, but Sakurai-dono is famous because he is the Light Hero.”
“Is “Light Hero” any different from other heroes?”
I drank the slightly lukewarm ale and asked.
“Makoto, are you seriously asking that?”
“Takatsuki-sama, you’re quite a bit uninformed in common knowledge.”
The two women retorted to me.
Huh? I am the weird one here?
“The ones who hold the Skill of Hero are normally affiliated under the country. The “Glacial Hero” of the Water Nation, the ” Blazing Hero” of the Fire Nation, and the “Wind Tree Hero” of the Wood Nation are the most famous.”
“There’s in general at least one hero in each country, and they get the best treatment.”
“Fuh, that’s enviable.”
“But you see, there had only been one person in history who possessed the Light Hero skill.”
“Eh? Only one?”
Like, ……, really? I thought it was a famous skill.
It is a Skill even I know.
“The Savior Abel. Only he had this skill. That’s the Light Hero.”
“And now, just over a year ago, there was the second person in history to possess it.”
“Makoto. No one had possessed the Light Hero skill for a thousand years, since the Savior Abel defeated the Great Demon King.”
“Huh. …… I see.”
So that’s why it gets so much attention. It’s a legendary skill that no one has had for a thousand years.
Moreover, it was the skill of the savior who saved the world.
“Originally, when we came into the other world, the Water Nation claimed ownership of the Light Hero. They were the first to shelter him after all. And so, they say that the Sun Nation pressured them to transfer his ownership.”
“Hoh, I didn’t know that was going on behind the scenes.”
I didn’t know that. Sakurai-Kun, you’re very popular even in the other world!
“How do you know so much about it, Fuji-yan?”
“It was something I learned later after I became a merchant. The Water Nation, in exchange for giving up the Sun Warrior, got the right to scout the rest of the Otherworlders on a priority basis.”
The person in charge of this is the Water Oracle Sophia, huh? She certainly was judging us carefully with that icy gaze. I recall it, and now it pissed me off.
“By the way, it is said that the position of the “Lightning Hero” in the Sun Nation has been weakened.”
“And now, Sakurai-sama, the Light Hero, is engaged to Princess Noel.”
So that’s what’s been happening with Sakurai-Kun.
“And it is also rumored that he was engaged with Sophia-sama, the Water Oracle.”
What is that? Two princesses from two different countries are pursuing him.
This should be the reason why there are two princesses in this place.
“Haah! The main character in this world is Sakurai-kun, I see.”
I gulped down my second cup of ale.
“But it’s not all sunshine and rainbows, it seems.”
Fuji-yan laughed bitterly.
“I heard that the Highland Princes are gunning for his life. That’s the rumor floating around.”
“Princess Noel became the first heir to the throne of the Sun Nation when she became the fiancée of the “Light Hero”.”
“Previously, her brother was supposed to be crowned as the next King.”
“Aah, I see. Well, that sounds like a power struggle in a major country with deep darkness…….”
“It seems that our classmates, Yokoyama-shi and Kawamoto-shi, are also having it hard too.”
Sakurai-Kun’s surrounding girls.
With their rivals being princesses, it must be tough.
“It is rumored that this time the Taboo Dragon subjugation is also a conspiracy of the Anti-Light Hero faction.”
“Where do you hear such rumors?” Lucy questioned.
His information network is astounding. After that, we talked about how we fought the Minotaur in the Great Labyrinth. I’ve heard that Nina-san went to the middle level of the Great Labyrinth a long time ago. In fact, the liquor at the Hero’s Tavern is sold in large quantities by Fujiwara Store. We chatted about such things.
While getting carried away by the atmosphere around us, we drank a lot.
We were quite a good time for a while.
Did I drink a little too much? I thought as I was sipping water and then.
“Do you mind if I sit here?”
That guy appeared out of nowhere. His voice was as fresh as a spring breeze.
Lucy and Nina-san were taken aback.
“This is surprising,” Fuji-yan said, rolling his eyes.
“We were just talking about you,” I said.
“It’s been a long time, Takatsuki-kun, Fujiwara-kun.”
The one who showed up was the center of attention of the whole continent, Sakurai Ryosuke, the Light Hero.
Sakurai sat down in an empty seat without our approval.
He was dressed in simple clothes like that of a commoner, unlike the previous time.
However, his elegant attire, without a single crease, stood out in this tavern full of dirty adventurers.
Lucy was about to shout out, so I hurriedly covered her mouth.
“N-Nice to meet you,…….I am honored to meet you.”
Nina-san was letting out a rare nervous whisper in her voice.
“I am surprised you found out we were here.”
Fuji-yan asked the obvious question.
“I had a report that the owner of Fujiwara Store had brought a large amount of supplies to our Knight Order.”
“Fuji-yan, you were even doing that?”
“It was simply a bribe. The Sun Knight Order is the largest army on the continent. There is no harm in getting along with them.”
Don’t go laughing saying bribes ……
I wonder if Fuji-yan is actually the same age as me.
“The Macallan Whiskey is very popular among the members. Thanks for the gifts.”
Sakurai-kun smiled refreshingly.
“But to even think Takatsuki-Kun is there, too! It was worth taking the time to come.”
“Y-Yeah, It’s been a while. You’re looking good.”
He slapped me on the shoulder like an American and celebrated our reunion. His gestures are really something. You haven’t changed at all, this charming guy.
“I heard that you came to subjugate the ‘Taboo Dragon’?”
Yeah, that’s right. Because I’m a novice knight, I’ve been thrust into a lot of trouble.”
This Light Hero gave a slightly troubled smile.
“Should it be easy for you, Sakurai-kun?” I asked with mild sarcasm.
“It’s not like that. I just came here today. Right! If you’re familiar with the Laberintos, perhaps you could guide us around?”
“Alright! We’ll do i …… Mghh!:
Lucy was about to make a move, so I covered her mouth again.
“We also got here today. I am sorry, but I don’t think we could be of any help.”
“I see, that’s a shame.”
There’s no way he was really going to ask us to guide him, though.
After that, we listened to Sakurai talk a little bit about the hardships of being a Herp, and Fuji-yan and Nina gave him some advice and praise. It lasted for about fifteen minutes.
At the end, he went away saying, “Well, I have something to do, see you later.”
Anyway, why did he come here?
He didn’t take a single sip. Did he just come here to have a casual talk?
“That was quite nerve-wracking.”
Nina-san, who was stiff with nerves, opened her mouth.
“What’s that about not remembering you! You were super friendly with each other!”
Lucy was very excited.
“Well now, that was surprising!”
“Were you close with Sakurai-kun, Fuji-yan?”
“No, not at all. Isn’t he close to you, Takki-dono?”
“There’s no way.”
We never talked in class.
“Makoto! Why did you refuse to guide him through Laberintos! What a waste.”
“Are you an idiot! Their goal is to slay the dragon in the Lower Floors. There’s no way we can guide them. Don’t take it seriously.”
“Sakurai-dono seemed to be serious, though.”
“When it comes from Master, it’s very convincing.”
It’s not like Nina-san knows that he can read minds.
But I see. Sakurai-kun, you were serious? What were you thinking ……?
“Oh well, I don’t understand, but let’s go back to drinking.”
I took a bite of my fries. It was already cold.
“Why are you so calm……”
Lucy looked dumbfounded, but then again, we used to see each other every day when we were classmates.
I can’t bring myself to make a fuss as Lucy did.
“Ah, shoot. We haven’t decided where we’re going to stay today.”
“Don’t worry about it, then. I’ve already booked a place for the two of you to stay.”
“Thanks as always” He really is thoughtful.
Fuji-yan had reserved a room at the inn where the merchants were staying. The fluffy bedding was filled with feathers. I didn’t know there were feather bedding in other worlds. It’s so fluffy!
The following day, Fuji-yan said he had a business meeting and went somewhere with Nina-san.
We decided to continue where we left off. Our goal was to go deeper into the Great Labyrinth. The second day of dungeon exploration.
“What’s today’s route?” Lucy asks me.
“Now now, look at this.”
I showed her the map of the Upper Floor.
“The Grand Waterfall of Laberintos?”
“I heard it’s one of the best waterfalls in the Great Labyrinth.”
“Hoooh……..It’s also popular with couples. I heard that the Adventurer’s Guild offers tours of the Great Waterfall. …… Is this place really a dungeon?”
It is true that it looks like just a tourist attraction.
“I heard there are not many visitors these days because of the monsters.”
“Hmm, a couple, huh……..”
“Lucy, what’s the matter?”
“Eh? Nothing, nothing! If Makoto insists on going there, I got no choice but to follow!”
She agreed. We went through the water cave again. This was the second time, so we were familiar with it.
There was always the possibility of Minotaurs wandering around, so we had to be careful.
The entire Water Cave was dimly lit, but there were glow stones everywhere, illuminating the cave itself in blue. The deeper we went into the cave, the more bluish it was, and the more fantastic space became.
(Dungeons are nice)
The demons that appeared were weak, so we were able to explore at a leisurely pace.
Perhaps it was because the Minotaur had appeared in the upper Floor yesterday, but there were few adventurers to be seen in the Water Cave.
We slowly made our way through the cave, keeping an eye out for enemies.
It wasn’t until we were a little further in that I felt something strange.
Something that wasn’t a demon was following us closely.
Whenever we changed our pace, it would imitate us at the same speed.
(This is ……)
“Lucy,” I whispered.
“We’re being followed.”
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