Volume 1 – Intermission
Sword of Lightning IV
「Bitch! Looking from the top just because you have a little bit of talent! Sarveria, if we sell this fucker to the slaver we should get enough to buy complete sets of equipment.」
「She has quite a face and skill, I think her price will be quite high. Also, underground organizations that will hire us as a first-class adventurer party are……」
While directing their scorning eyes to Armia, such conversation happened as Armia fell to the ground, unconscious.
「…Seriously, there is no helping those people.」
……Hearing that conversation, I muttered those words.
Next to me who muttered those in anger, Zieg called up to me worriedly.
We were currently lurking in the alley near Margulus and Sarveria, if we made too much noise then we might get found out by them.
However, even knowing that, the anger inside me couldn’t calm down.
—— I know this is a shameless request, but Leader and Sarveria-san is still my comrade.
I recalled Armia’s request as she lowered her head.
When she lowered her head, she felt extremely embarrassed, and yet, she still did it for Margulus and Sarveria’s sake.
……However, when I remembered a sense of impending crisis I felt from them, I asked for interest on their debt even after seeing Armia’s current state.
It was not an interest for Sword of Lightning, the condition was that Armia must be the one paying it.
—— Thank you very much!
Even so, Armia smiled when she heard my condition.
Without knowing how long it would take for Sword of Lightning to repay their debt would also mean the interest would uncontrollably increase the debt.
Even when she understood that, Armia still took the money without hesitation.
As long as Sword of Lightning can be saved, even at the expense of myself, she said.
…And yet, Margulus and Sarveria betrayed Armia’s feeling.
「… I’m sorry Zieg. I can’t stand it anymore.」
The scene in front of me told me the outcome loud enough, and I couldn’t suppress my anger anymore.
It was harder for me because I got an expectation that maybe, Sword of Lightning would reborn when I saw Armia’s figure.
After I said those words, leaving the agitated Zieg, I left the alley and walked toward Margulus and Sarveria.
「What’s wrong Laila?」
「Actually, Armia is falling…」
Margulus and Sarveria were shaken for a moment when they saw me appeared out of nowhere.
However the next moment, they concealed the wound on Armia’s head and talked to me with an innocent look on their face.
Their acting was completely wasted on me.
After all, I saw everything from the start.
「You guys are-!」
Along with my words of anger, I started running and swung down my staff toward Sarveria’s head.
My attack wasn’t strengthened by skill.
And then, maybe it hit a bad spot, but Sarveria fainted from that one blow.
At that time, Margulus realized that I was aware of what they tried to do.
And then, abandoning Sarveria, Margulus tried to run away.
……However, even before he took the first step, Zieg knocked him down.
Apparently, Zieg moved closer in anticipation of danger that might befall me.
When I realized that, I thanked Zieg, then I turned my sight to Margulus and Sarveria who had lost their consciousness.
These two were attached to their title of the first-class adventurer, discarded their comrade, and in the end, they tried to join the underground organization.
「…If you work hard together with Armia, you would become a first-class party again.」
However, if they put everything on Armia’s shoulder, then the possibility to become a first-class party again would also vanish.
After another glance filled with neither pity nor disgust at Margulus and Sarveria who threw their responsibility away, I cut them off from my mind and walked toward Armia.
◆ ◆ ◇
「I think they should be reported as kidnappers in the capital city’s guild instead of in the labyrinth city’s one.」
Said Zieg as he looked at Margulus and Sarveria with disgust while I recovered Armia.
「If we reported them in the capital city, no doubt they would become a mine slaves for the rest of their life as their punishment. These guys have physical strengthening skill, so no doubt they would be welcomed.」
Mine slave, it was the end-of-the-line for people who committed crimes, it was famous for its poor treatment.
Margulus and Sarveria would meet a fate worse than death, and they would die after a few years anyway.
Even with physical strengthening skill, the life of mine slave was harsh enough their future in a few years was already decided.
Although, I had no sympathy whatsoever toward them.
…If Armia is sold as a slave, she might face a more miserable future compared to being a mine slave.
While thinking so, I glared at Margulus and Sarveria as I felt my anger rising again
「…Hey Laila, can I take a bit of your time?」
「Hm? Yeah, it’s fine.」
However, along the way, suddenly Zieg talked to me in a formal way which startled me.
I was a little surprised by the sudden change in Zieg’s atmosphere.
「…Do you really want to put this kid into our party?」
……But, when I heard what he said next, I understood his concern and put up a serious expression myself.
When I told Zieg I wanted to put Armia into our party, I also told him what kind of person she was.
Yes, including what she did to a certain healer.
And because he knew that, he might feel a bit anxious, which was understandable.
「It will be fine.」
However, when I understood his concern, I laughed.
It was to tell him there wouldn’t be any problem at all.
「It’s true this girl had committed a mistake, by no means we can call her wise.」
Indeed, Armia was foolish.
She made a big mistake because she wasn’t doubting the words of the person she idolized
Not only that, even her current action that still trusted Sword of Lightning couldn’t be called smart either.
「But, Armia will surely change. Also, the feeling of wanting to be considered comrade by her itself is worth to put her into the party.」
Although, even considering that, Armia has a suitable character to join this party, or so I judged.
Besides, if it was Armia who was trying desperately to guide Margulus and Sarveria, surely she could be trusted.
……And that was why, Margulus and Sarveria actions were even more unforgivable.
Despite what I told him, the feeling of worry still didn’t disappear from Zieg’s face.
I wonder why Zieg is so stubborn.
「…She is probably, have a big wound on her heart.」
…My question was answered with Zieg’s next remark.
It was not her personality that Zieg was worried about.
Armia bore a big wound on her heart and he was worried I might get affected.
When I realized that I was almost laughing.
Seriously, why are you so awkward.
But, I smiled at that awkwardness.
「Precisely because that we have to support her. At the very least, Armia is not another stranger anymore for me.」
While I persuade Zieg, I have another thought in my mind.
If I’m alone, I might be worried.
But now with Zieg along, I’m not concerned at all.
「Hahhh~ If you say so, I guess it can’t be helped then.」
Seeing my self-confidence-filled gaze, Zieg sighed.
However, until the end, he never said he was opposed to getting Armia into the party.
「…What an awkward person.」
Looking at the situation, it seemed Zieg was also worried about Armia, when I noticed that I muttered that with a smile on my face.
「…And because you’re like that, I’m-」
However, I who muttered that at the time didn’t notice that Zieg who had turned his back toward me, also muttered a similar thing to me……
If you don’t catch what Zieg is muttering at the end there, he calls Laila an awkward person too.
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