Cooperation Born From The Worst Situation
「There is no way that’s true!」
I was trying to save people from labyrinth runaway, I denied his words that basically meant that.
The treatment to me and the townfolks was the countermeasure against labyrinth runaway?
There was no way I could accept that.
The anger from when I learned I was forbidden from accessing the labyrinth, I still remembered that feeling vividly.
And as if to vent the entirety of that feeling, I glared and shouted at the Branch Chief.
「Even if you tell me that to gloss the situation over now, I will not believe…」
However, my words lost momentum soon.
The strong anger was still smoldering in my chest.
But as I continued, I noticed,
……What he said made too much sense for it to be just an excuse.
I had always been skeptical about the guild.
Why did the guild prevent the selling of material to the townfolks, and why did they ban my party from entering and leaving the labyrinth despite being one of the most powerful adventurers in the city?
As the consequence, if the people and talented adventurers left the labyrinth city, the guild had only loss without any gain.
I even felt creepy from the guild’s movement that I couldn’t understand.
But, what if the guild didn’t do that with profit and loss in mind? What if it was just to drive me and the people away from the labyrinth city?
─“If you are dissatisfied, go to the capital.”
I remembered the words Hanzam said when I learned I was barred from accessing the labyrinth.
When Hanzam said that, I thought it was a taunt, but I could see now that it was a misunderstanding.
As the Branch Chief said, the labyrinth runaway might not be the reason.
Even so, there was no mistake, Hanzam was definitely acting like he was trying to drive me out from the labyrinth city.
He didn’t say that exactly, but it was clear from his attitude at that time.
If we leave the city when that happened…… such idea crossed my mind.
Then, Narsena wouldn’t need to be caught in this situation.
My muttering voice was so hoarse I couldn’t believe it came from myself.
The smile on my face when I handed the material to the townfolks.
Then, the sight of Marnell and the other adventurers interacting and laughing together with the townfolks, those images came to my mind.
It was supposed to be something I should be proud of until now.
However, that feeling was falling apart.
I didn’t know the Branch Chief’s intention for trying to get rid of us.
Maybe he had other intentions and labyrinth runaway occurring was just a coincidence, or they might have been planning to do something with the labyrinth runaway and we were just in the way.
But that didn’t change the fact that I did something unnecessary.
Because, whatever his intention was, the Branch Chief was trying to get us and townfolks out of the labyrinth city.
If I didn’t do what I did— neither the townfolks nor Narsena would be involved in the labyrinth runaway.
My mind went blank.
It was at that moment the Branch Chief spoke to me.
「About the city, It’s not your fault at all.」
The Branch Chief had a smile full of friendliness and kindness on his face.
That smile made me feel relieved without me noticing it.
And yet, that same smile also made me involuntarily took a step back.
「You didn’t do anything wrong. I should’ve told you more about the threats coming to this labyrinth city.」
The Branch Chief continued without worrying about my attitude.
To comfort me while knowing perfectly what was in my mind.
The Branch Chief’s words were just kind.
However, I instinctively understood.
I couldn’t rely on his kindness.
If I did, in the end, I would be at the mercy of the Branch Chief.
It was then Master stepped in front of me while still keeping the magic she partially invoked.
「Stop trying to win over my disciple.」
Without hiding her annoyance, Master glared at the Branch Chief.
However, the Branch Chief only laughed at Master who didn’t try to hide her displeasure.
「You saying that is wholly unexpected. I’m just trying to give you guys a proposal, after accepting it’s my fault.」
「Yes. The proposal will also benefit you.」
While Master’s face showing a puzzled expression, the Branch Chief gave her a friendly smile.
He opened his mouth with a smile plastered on his face as if he were talking to a friend.
「——How about we cooperate in this labyrinth city where the labyrinth runaway currently occurring?」
His words reminded me of the anger and discomfort inside me.
My hands naturally tightened the grip on my weapon.
Revealing my hostility, I said so to the Branch Chief.
「No thank you. If you feel guilty, can you stay away from us instead?」
It was true the Branch Chief was trying to get me and the rest of the city out from labyrinth city.
However, I didn’t believe that he tried to do that because he noticed the labyrinth runaway and wanted us to escape.
I didn’t know much about the branch chief of labyrinth city, the elf named Mist.
However, from the exchange so far, I knew he wasn’t a person I could trust.
To be honest, I would be more inclined to believe this guy if he told me there was some kind of conspiracy and that he was trying to get me and the rest of the city out of the labyrinth city.
I had no doubt the Branch Chief, at least, had the ability to take advantage of the labyrinth runaway.
I told the Branch Chief clearly about it.
「I can’t trust you at all and have no intention of doing so.」
In response to my words, Hanzam glared at me.
I could feel his bloodlust on my skin, for better or worse, Hanzam was faithful to the Branch Chief’s words.
Knowing that through our previous interaction, I ignored him and spoke to Master.
「Isn’t that right, Master?」
At that time, I did not doubt that Master had the same opinion as me.
For someone who is more cautious of the Branch Chief than me, she must understand the horror of having him on our side more than I do.
That means, there is no way she would agree to the Branch Chief’s invitation.
I was thinking so.
「…Alright. Mist, I will accept your proposal. I will cooperate with you guys.」
——That was why I couldn’t believe what Master said to the Branch Chief.
Her face as she accepted the proposal looked bitter, indicating she was reluctant to accept.
And yet, there was no hesitation in her voice when she accepted the proposal.
While I was stunned by Master’s unexpected answer, Master and the Branch Chief exchanged a few words.
「Wise decision, Ralma.」
「Shut up. Keep in mind that we’re only cooperating. Betray us and I’ll kill you first.」
Hearing the conversation, I finally understood.
In all seriousness, Master was trying to get help from the Branch Chief.
「…What does this mean?」
Confused, I turned to Master and asked a question.
Why are you trying to do something extremely dangerous, such as having the Branch Chief on your side?
It seemed to me that having the Branch Chief on our side was riskier than being hostile to the Branch Chief.
……It was then I noticed something strange about Master.
Master’s face was filled with intense frustration and tension.
In fact, looking closer, I also noticed her complexion turned pale.
It was worse than when she told me that our winning chance was only 30% before entering the room.
While I was at a loss for words, Master whispered.
「I’m sorry. Apparently, my theory was wrong…… Mist probably really doesn’t have the escape route.」
Her words which completely denied our purpose to come here in the first place shocked me a little.
However, as I had expected this to some extent from the Branch Chief’s attitude, I didn’t lose my composure.
The proof was while he offered to cooperate with us, he never talked about the escape route.
At least, even if there was one, it must take some time or effort.
Otherwise, there was no reason for the Branch Chief to approach us.
It was just a matter of running away without saying anything.
So, even after Master said that, I was more concerned about whether I agreed to work with the Branch Chief.
As if she understood my inner feeling, Master opened her mouth.
「I know. I don’t trust Mist in the slightest. I also understand the danger of having him on our side. Despite that, if we don’t cooperate, we will die in a few days.」
It was then I recalled the danger of labyrinth runaway that I had forgotten because of our interaction with the Branch Chief.
……Only now that I recognized the danger of the labyrinth runaway now that we were left with no escape route.
Still, I couldn’t approve of having the Branch Chief on our side, so I opened my mouth to Master.
「But, the risk is…」
「Maybe the way I said it is not clear enough?」
However, Master didn’t let me finish my words.
「…The current situation is one where we need to rely on him, even with the risk.」
Her face was full of intense frustration as she said that.
That was when I finally realized the horror of labyrinth runaway.
Feeling blood drained from my face, I cursed my bad luck inwardly.
After Hydra and Phoenix, why must I be involved with such a troublesome event…
When we return, I must explain to everyone that the Branch Chief, who should’ve been considered our enemy, was now our ally instead.
Recognizing the troublesome future, I grimaced.
「At the very least, I hope there is nothing more after this…」
I didn’t know that when I muttered my prayer,
……That something was already happening and made things worse.
Late again, not to mention this is the chapter that should’ve been released last month…
Alright, I don’t plan on translating anything until 10th, I will play Rimworld all the time that time, I might be able to translate some sentences while playing, but I doubt I can release any chapter at all, I plan to do banished healer chapter 36 first btw, then focus myself to translate re-summoned hero until near the end of the month, next month I will focus on releasing 5 chapters of banished healer, from 37 to 41, as closeby as possible and use the leftover time for re-summoned hero
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