The Green-Haired Man
After transcribing a few of the plant hunting requests, they entered the reference room – there was one in this guild as well – to study the local flora.
For collection of materials, there was no need to take the request beforehand. They could just go straight to the counter after gathering the required items.
It was only before noon, but they decided to leave tomorrow. They still had to buy bedding. Hikaru and Lavia were about to leave the Adventurers Guild when someone called out to them.
Wary, Hikaru turned around to see the green-haired guy.
「May I ask you something?」
He had long, straight hair tied at the back. Quite different from the blonde earlier, this guy had an intellectual air to him.
【Soul Board】League “Green Ogre” Rumania
Age: 19 Rank: 4
He appeared to be the scholarly type. Looking closely, the middle and ring fingers of his right hand had strange calluses, perhaps from making pottery.
「You expect me to answer? You’re with that blonde dude, right?」Hikaru said.
「Ah, I’m glad you remember. I thought for sure you didn’t care about strangers. I apologize for his rude behavior. He was sent to the academy basically so his family could get rid of him. He’s sensitive to words like “useless” and “good-for-nothing”. As a token of my apology, how about I treat you to something?」
「Do I look like I can’t afford food?」
「Not at all. You’re wearing such fine clothes. I can show you to a delicious restaurant. It’s a well-known place, and you can’t get in without a referral. Once they know you, you can come again any time.」
Hikaru didn’t like following others, but he did like delicious food.
「All right, we have a deal. Please follow me.」
「I didn’t even say we were coming.」
「I hope it suits your palate. Oh, may I know your name?」
Hikaru hadn’t met anyone who just carried on the conversation without a care like this guy. At least, since he arrived in this world.
I guess it’s fine. If there’s something sketchy, we can just get away with Group Obfuscation.
Hikaru didn’t think it would be more dangerous than the time they went to the underground dungeon.
「This guy is something else, Hikaru. He just keeps on talking and doesn’t budge an inch.」Lavia said.
「That’s a strange thing to be impressed about.」
「So your name is Hikaru. I’m League. I’m sure you don’t need to know my family name. You can just call me League.」the man barged into the conversation.
Strangely enough, Hikaru didn’t detest the guy. It could be because there wasn’t much emotion in the way he spoke, or that he didn’t care one bit about Lavia. Still, he remained cautious as he didn’t really know what League was after.
Walking down the streets with Mana Detection on, they entered the residential district. Each house was huge, like the noble’s mansions in Ponsonia’s capital. League stopped in front of one such house.
「It looks like a normal house to me.」
「That’s the best part. You can’t enter unless someone from Rumania invites you in.」
「Then I can’t come in afterwards. That’s not what you said earlier.」
「Sorry, I made a mistake.」League said as he clapped his hands. He then crouched down and clutched his head.
「Oh, no! What do I do? I don’t know any other restaurants. All right, I’ll just have to cook myself… Cooking is similar to doing pottery. I can do this. The numbers say everything’s fine. It’s pretty much like I have experience preparing a full dinner course.」
「Wait a sec. I think I just heard you say something unsettling.」
League quickly stood up.
「Let’s go somewhere else, then. To my apartment.」
「No way. You haven’t tried cooking before, have you?」
「What was that dead air just now? It feels everything but fine.」
「The numbers say…」
「There’s no numbers whatsoever involved. Fine. Let’s just eat here. I might not be able to come here alone later, but that’s okay. It’s still a fact that someone like you has to invite us in. The food is delicious, right?」
「Yes. Very. At least, that’s what the rumors say…」
「Whenever I eat, the ingredients used just come to mind. I can’t tell if a food is delicious or terrible.」
「And you wanted to cook for us?」
League led them into the residence, and butlers and maid came to greet them. Meals were offered in separate rooms. They were recommended a room on the second floor, but Hikaru insisted on one on the first floor instead. He requested for a room with a window, saying he didn’t like feeling locked up.
「I see. You’re thinking my invitation is some sort of a trap. A reasonable assumption. I wouldn’t even eat with a shady guy like me.」
「Don’t you feel sad saying that about yourself?」
「Not really. Apparently, I’m not as emotional as the average person.」
He’s a weird one, Hikaru thought.
「What’s wrong, Hikaru?」Lavia asked.
「It’s just that you’re not joining the conversation. You looked pissed when I was talking to that musclehead.」
「Now that you mention it, I don’t really mind it. Wait, was I really that angry?」
「Ah, what do I do? Am I possessive? I’ve never thought about it before.」
「Being possessive is just a part of love. That’s the prevailing view, at least.」League, a not-so-emotional person, cut in.
「Love? I, uhh.. That’s…」Lavia was getting flustered.
She’s so cute when embarrassed, Hikaru thought.
Their meal soon arrived – cheese fondue, a local cuisine from Rumania where League was from. It was made by melting cheese, thinning it out with white wine, and then mixing ingredients in it.
「Well? Quite rare, don’t you think?」League said proudly.
「Let me just confirm this. Your hometown is located on top of a grassland plateau where stock-farming and the dairy industry is thriving. Your people sell cheap dairy products like soft and hard cheese. You could also give a mass of cheese as collateral for a loan. Is that correct?」
「You did your homework. I’m impressed. You’re exactly right!」
Maybe some reincarnated soul taught them…
「I see… Did this culture see rapid spread at a certain point in time?」
「Yes. There’s a founder of the dairy industry…」
Their name wasn’t Japanese, French, or Italian, but one from this world. I wonder if they were not from here.
Now and then someone would get reincarnated or transported to this world and exert some sort of influence on it. But they didn’t produce huge impacts, like maybe inventing the steam engine or discovering penicillin. Why was that?
Hikaru assumed it was because this world had magic, gods, and their job class that provided benefits to the populace. People who were reincarnated or transported didn’t possess some kind of broken abilities, like Hikaru’s Soul Board. Selica Tanoue seemed to be a skilled adventurer, but she was stuck at rank B. Although, it was possible she was staying at that rank on purpose. Whether she was world-famous, though…
「I have one more question. Do you know an adventurer named Selica Tanoue?」
「Hmm? I don’t. Are they famous?」
「It’s fine if you don’t know them. Thanks, League.」
…she was clearly not.
In a world with magic and job classes, there was no need for technological advancement. It was an understandable sentiment. Rather than developing medicine, it would be much faster to just figure out how to use healing magic more efficiently.
Then again, there are plenty of people who’d think of ways to earn money. If they brought culture from Earth to here, they could start a huge business. Like gunpower, guns, revolvers… Wait a sec.
Hikaru realized something. There was no doubt that there was a person not from this world during the ancient Poelnxinia dynasty. He or she tried to turn the clock’s hand forward quickly. But someone was against that so they sent a giant to destroy their civilization.
Assuming it was a god would be jumping to conclusions. We can’t eliminate the possibility that some persecuted clan used forbidden sorcery… or perhaps a different reincarnated being created the giant.
League laughed as Hikaru was deep in thought.
「“Thanks, League”? I assume you calling me by name means you’re warming up to me?」
「Shut up. Don’t get too carried away.」
「It’s completely fine. You don’t need to hide your embarrassment. I can tell you’re a very kind-hearted person.」
Bastard just can’t keep his mouth shut, Hikaru thought, but he knew the real reason why League said those words.
The people serving them had refined movements, were well-mannered, and treated League with utmost respect. There was no doubt that he was a very important man back in his hometown, and Hikaru was being rude to him. League thought the servants might act recklessly, causing some kind of an “accident”.
「You’re quite the thoughtful guy, League.」
「Thank you for your kind words. You’re a wise person as well, the best among all the people I’ve met so far.」
「Of course.」Lavia interjected with pride.
「How’s the food, Miss Lavia?」
「It seems aromatic, high-quality white wine was used to erase the smell of the cheese, but its strong taste actually affects the cheese’s flavor. I think we can savor the cheesy flavor more if you used cheaper wine.」
「I see you’re something else as well, Miss Lavia. The chef must’ve considered the fact that you weren’t from Rumania. Our cheese is a tad bit strong, so he must’ve adjusted the taste. We should’ve checked before serving it.」League said.「Please tell that to the chef.」
「Certainly, Sir.」a servant said, bowing deeply, and left. Now there were only three of them in the room.
「I have a favor to ask of you, Hikaru.」
About time, Hikaru thought. There was no way he’d invite them to a meal without some kind of purpose. It would’ve been much easier if he went straight to the point.
「I ask that you take a request.」
「Please gather some leaves of the Drakon Kidney Flower. If you succeed, I’ll pay you the same amount as the guild’s reward as well.」