CH117: long-term business trip
Tenth squad… <The day after Dusk Moonbow was promoted to the third squad.
I was on my way to the reception room.
Apparently, Lazareth Eddington, a major sponsor of the Silver Rabbit, has something he’d like to discuss with me.
Lazareth Eddington is that old man who was the first to arrive when the Silver Hare reached the ninety-third level.
I hope it’s not too much trouble.
When I arrive at the front of the reception room I take a breath and knock on the door and say my name.
The door opens and there stands a woman in a maid’s uniform.
“We have been expecting you, Master Orn. Master Lazareth is waiting for you inside. Please, come in.
The woman led me into the room where old Eddington was enjoying a cup of tea.
“Master Lazareth, I’m very sorry for keeping you waiting.”
“No, no, you’re busier being the hero who saved the city than this old man with nothing better to do. I don’t mind that at all.”
The old man replies with a good-natured air.
I still can’t read his expression.
“Thank you for your concern. So, what can I do for you today?
“Yes. I have a proposition for you, Orn. I wanted you to hear me out on it.”
A proposal, sir?
“It’s not much to ask, so I’ll conclude by inviting Mr. Orn to visit our family’s lordship in the realm of Regulif for a bit of comfort. I’d like you to come, if you would?”
Legriff’s Domain is the northwesternmost territory of the Kingdom of Nochtant.
Tutrail where we are now is a city located a little south of the center of the kingdom so it’s quite a distance away.
That’s a bit sudden, though.
And it’s hard to believe that you’d go to the trouble of inviting a Clan explorer to your territory just for the sake of comfort, no matter how many Clans you’ve funded.
There’s always a flip side to this story.
The reason you’re calling me to your domain… I can’t think of one off the top of my head.
“It’s a great honor to hear this, but I also have the ninety-third layer to conquer…”
“Oh, that won’t be a problem. Actually, we’re going to invite Wilkes and Lucretia too. They’ll be staying in different places. And I have Vince’s permission.”
Will and Lecrae are invited, and the President’s okay with this?
What do you want with three men from the First Division in your territory?
I’ve given a lot of thought to the old man’s purpose, but I haven’t been able to come to a satisfactory conclusion with the information I have.
(Should I stall for time for a reply here? (Should we stall for time for a reply?) No, since the President has given his consent, there’s no point in stalling.
“Well, I appreciate your caution. It’s good that you don’t take me up on my offer. It’s hard to trust you when you’re so open to it.
While I’m thinking about this and that, the old man sounds satisfied.
“If you say so, does that mean you have other reasons for inviting us to your territory besides comfort?”
“Yes, that’s right. I’m not supposed to tell you this yet, but there are three new labyrinths in Regulif’s territory. I need you to investigate them.
It is not that unusual for a labyrinth to appear suddenly.
The odds of all three labyrinths being in close proximity at the same time are ridiculously low.
“Yes. If I had only one thing to do I would have asked the explorers working in our territory to investigate it, but three places are too much for me to handle. I thought it would be best to ask the trustworthy First Squad of the Night Sky Silver Rabbit to complete the investigation as soon as possible.”
“…. I see.”
“I’d really like to have the entire first squad come, but I know you and Selma will be working as clan leaders, and I think Orn is better suited to investigate the labyrinth since he’s a Grantmaster in the heroes’ party and the ace of the pack here. Of course, I’ll make sure you have food and clothing for the time you’re there.
If this is the reason, then it makes sense for them to call us into their territory.
When a labyrinth appears in your territory, it is normal to ask the explorer you are helping to investigate it.
I understand. Will it be me, Wilkes, and Lucretia who will be invited?”
“Yes, that’s the plan. I want you and Wilkes and Lucretia to investigate one labyrinth each.
Each labyrinth has different contents, so the difficulty level of each labyrinth is different.
However, not many of them are as difficult as the lower levels, let alone the deeper levels of the Grand Labyrinth.
I can handle most of this on my own.
It’s a pain in the ass, but it seems that the decision has already been made, and I don’t think I can refuse.
Then let’s make the most of this opportunity.
I understand. I don’t think there will be any problem with just the three of us investigating the labyrinth. For that reason, in order to take all possible precautions and to ensure that the investigation proceeds efficiently, we would like to have a party of explorers other than the first party accompany us.
“Hmm. So we’ll have one party for each of us?”
“Yes, sir. Too many will cause trouble for you, so I’m thinking one pair at a time.”
“You don’t have to be so modest since I’m the one asking you. But I appreciate the thoughtfulness. So that’s the three of us from the first group, plus two parties of explorers from the Silver Rabbit of the Night Sky. Yeah, that won’t be a problem.”
“Thank you for your attention.”
“And as for the schedule… the carriage we’ve arranged for you will arrive in five days’ time. I want you to ride in that carriage to Regulif’s territory. I’ll provide an escort. It depends on the weather but it should arrive in about two weeks.”
Not only food, clothing, and shelter… but an escort transport as well.
… But that’s how seriously Count Eddington’s taking this labyrinth investigation.
I’m very grateful to you for doing this for me.
“I have some unfinished business in town, so you’ll have to go on your own first, but this, my son… The lord will take the lead on this. You’ll investigate the labyrinth.”
After I finished my conversation with old man Lazareth, Will and Lecrae said he called them, too.
Since there was a sudden change of plans for the future, everyone gathered in the first squad’s operations room just as Will and the others finished their conversation with the old man.
Selma opens her mouth when we’re all here.
“I heard from the Chief that Orn, Will and Leclerc are going to be out for a long time.”
“What, at this point in time?”
Ms. Lane, who was the only one who had not been told about the incident, is surprised by Selma’s comment.
“Hey. At this point? I know… We’re about to start the 93rd level! Just when we’re about to conquer the 93rd level… I honestly think we should’ve just left the labyrinth investigation to the second party. Why us?
I can certainly understand Leclerc’s opinion.
All of the parties in our 2nd Squad are excellent parties. I’m sure they could’ve handled the old man’s request without any problems.
With the loss of the heroes’ party, the Silver Rabbit of the Night Sky is now the top explorer in the Great Southern Labyrinth.
But this is due to the self-destruction of a heroic party.
If we can reach the ninety-fourth level like the heroic party here, we can get rid of that image and can proudly say that we are the top of the class.
That’s why I think it’s best for the clan to focus on the ninety-third level now.
“Labyrinth investigation? You mean there’s a labyrinth somewhere and the three of us are going to investigate it?”
“Something like that. Three labyrinths have appeared in Regulif’s territory. It’s a real pain in the ass…”
Will answers Lane’s question.
Apparently, neither Will nor Lecrae are on board with this.
Well, I can’t speak for anyone else.
“I heard that you also asked Lazareth-sama if he could send a member of the Second Squad to help us. but he didn’t seem to be receptive to the idea. We’re in Lazareth’s debt. He said that he was offered this opportunity and that’s why he agreed to these terms.”
“I see. If we have to investigate the labyrinth, will it take at least half a year?”
I don’t know how big the labyrinth is, but wouldn’t it take that long to investigate it in detail?
The main things to do in the labyrinth investigation is to check the types and distribution of the monsters and materials that inhabit the labyrinth, as well as mapping the labyrinth.
There are many other things to do, such as choosing a relatively safe route.
I don’t know what level Count Eddington’s looking for, but if he’s summoning us here to do a full-scale investigation, I’d estimate six months or more.
“Well, I’ll be back as soon as I can. I’d appreciate it if Orn could negotiate and bring a party. Thank you, Orn.
You’re welcome. I don’t like to investigate labyrinths alone either, and I’ve got a party I’d like to bring along.”
Is that Sophia and the others?
“Yes, as of yesterday I was promoted to the third squad, <Moonbow of Dusk>. I’m sure you’ll get a lot out of this experience of investigating labyrinths in your early days as an explorer, and with me and Luna here you’ll be able to deal with even the most extreme situations. So Selma-san, I haven’t told the girls yet, but if they want to go with us, please allow me to take Sophie with me. I’ll do my best to protect her.”
“Hmph, did you think I’d object? Sophia’s already an official explorer of the Silver Rabbit of the Night Sky. If she wants to go, I won’t stop her.
“Thank you, Selma.”
“Luna of the heroes’ party…. I didn’t think she’d join the Silver Rabbit of the Night Sky too. No, I’m happy for her, but what about joining the party of the third squad?”
“I’m not sure I’d fit in a B-rank party, but we don’t have a party with any vacancies at the moment. If anything, Carol and the others have three in their party, so I guess I have to agree with their placement. And then there’s Orn’s push.”
I can’t deny that it was a push, so I can only laugh it off.
So the rear guard of the second squad forcefully knocked off the talk of joining a thin party…
But I don’t regret my actions.
<The moonbow in the twilight will come up soon, and it won’t be a problem.
“Will and the others are taking a second troop party?”
I’m going to change the subject somewhat aggressively.
“That’s the plan. I’ll notify the second squad tomorrow and we’ll choose from the party that requested it.”
Well, what can I do now that the decision’s been made? Don’t neglect your training. We’ll start attacking the ninety-third layer as soon as we’re done investigating the labyrinth.”
Okay. Yes! Yes.”” Okay.””
I’m going on a long trip in a few days.
I’d better get home as soon as possible and start attacking the ninety-third layer.
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