Where the Responsibility Lies
「…Master, is it alright to let him do as he wishes?」
While feeling the fatigue in my body, I asked Master after we left the Branch Chief’s secret chamber.
The branch chief Mist and Hanzam weren’t with us.
The moment we left the room, they told us there was something they had to do to survive the labyrinth runaway, and disappeared.
Even so, Master only complained a little bit and didn’t try to stop him.
I questioned her attitude.
「Letting those two dangerous people running loose like that…」
That elf, the branch chief Mist, was more cunning than I thought.
Fortunately, it didn’t devolve into a fight, I didn’t have the chance to find out his true ability, but his wisdom alone was enough to be a threat.
I couldn’t hide my dissatisfaction over Master’s decision to allow such an uncertain factor loose.
However, contrary to me, there was no hint of anxiety on Master’s face.
「There is no need to be that sensitive about it. I don’t know about that man called Hanzam, but Mist won’t do anything harmful to us in this situation. Besides, in this situation where he doesn’t take the lead, he has the freedom to do anything he wants. 」
Seeing the confusion on my face, Master explained further.
「I told you already, didn’t I? Mist has lived for 600 years. He has more knowledge than we have. There is no way we can’t take advantage of that..」
Listening to her words, I was also convinced.
That Mist had something that I would be convinced of if I was told he trained Master.
That something was certainly something that he couldn’t demonstrate if we took away his freedom to monitor him.
If he could show us his wisdom, the situation would surely change significantly.
That’s right, as long as we have the assurance that he will use it for us……
「Ohh, having said that, don’t let down your guard toward him. If you’re not careful, you’ll be taken in before you know it.」
Master’s warning was said with plain disgust on her face.
Looking at that expression, I noticed,
Master hated the Branch Chief, but at the same time, she also trusted him.
She did not doubt that the Branch Chief would use his wisdom for our sake and asserted he wouldn’t harm us in this situation.
It showed there was a strong relationship of trust between Master and Mist.
Enough that I was convinced that Mist was Master’s master.
A feeling of distrust arose in me who understood that.
However, I never pointed that out to Master.
「Listen to me. Never let your guard down against Mist while you are in the Labyrinth City.」
Master who kept reminding me of the danger of Mist.
While nodding to her warning, I was convinced the trust Master had toward Mist was subconscious.
Besides, Master’s dislike toward Mist didn’t seem to be an act.
Pointing out the contradiction might only confuse Master.
Therefore, I pushed the question that arose into the depth of my mind.
Hopefully, when things settled down a bit more, I would be able to ask Master what the hell happened with Mist, I thought.
……Little did I know that the peace I wanted was still way ahead.
「What!? War God’s Greatsword run away with the adventurers?」
……Waiting for me in the guild was a report that I never imagined I would hear.
My surprise was transmitted to people around me, Marnell and the other adventurers distorted their faces, while the face of the captured adventurers was stiffening.
And Narsena, the one who informed me about that news, distorted her face so much that she looked like she was about to cry and lowered her head.
「I’m sorry, Onii-san. To lose so much manpower in such a situation… if only I were more careful…」
「Narsena, raise your head. This is not your fault, Narsena…… Rather, you should be proud to be able to stop this many adventurers.」
I shook my head at Narsena, looking bitter.
Looking to the side, I saw adventurers tied in an unusual number of ropes.
There were several hundreds of them.
From what I heard, those adventurers were captured by Narsena and the others when they tried to escape.
No one could criticize Narsena and the others for stopping this many adventurers.
Even so, I said to Narsena, which from the look on her face, still couldn’t get over it, while looking regretful myself.
「Rather, it’s me who should be blamed…… I was the only one who could have imagined that War God’s Greatsword would resort to such measures.」
That they would stop at nothing or how they detested me because of their self-centeredness.
In fact, I knew they were shallow enough to challenge me to a fight.
Despite this, I was careless, thinking that there was no way they would escape from the labyrinth city with so much fighting potential in the middle of labyrinth runaway.
「No way! How could Onii-san, who was with Branch Chief and not in this place, need to be held responsible!」
Seeing my apparent regret, Narsena desperately tried to convince me so.
However, I couldn’t help but feel responsible now that nearly 500 adventurers and many influential people had escaped.
It was true that among the adventurers who fled, none could match us.
……Even so, in an unprecedented situation like this, we needed the number.
For example, say there were 100 mutated hobgoblins, at our level, we wouldn’t take casualties.
Never mind casualties, annihilating them without taking a single scratch was not impossible.
However, it took a lot of time to defeat them all.
It would take longer the more leeway we gave to ourselves.
In the current situation where labyrinth runaway was happening, by the time we took down all the hobgoblins, the labyrinth city would be overrun by the monsters.
The townfolks wouldn’t get away with it.
Also, it didn’t matter how many hobgoblins there were, if we were attacked while we were fighting against mutated ogre or mutated super-high difficulty monsters, even we could be fatally injured that way.
Under such circumstances, we needed the manpower to deal with that so we could focus on fighting the stronger monsters.
And yet, I had let those important manpower escape.
I bit my lip at what I had committed.
At the very least, as I was trying to open my mouth to apologize, I was interrupted by someone putting their hands on Narsena’s and my shoulder, then they forced me to stop apologizing.
「Having a strong sense of responsibility is good, but it’s not your fault.」
「It’s pretty simple, really. the one at fault is not the victim who took no preventative measure, but the perpetrator. Isn’t that obvious?」
Having said that, Ronaldo-san laughed, then he turned his narrowed eyes toward the captured adventurers and opened his mouth.
「You know you’re responsible, right? Warrior and Healer from War God’s Greatsword?」
At the end of Ronaldo-san’s gaze was the warrior and the healer of War God’s Greatsword that Narsena incapacitated.
The warrior wasn’t the leader of that party, but his face was certainly one I had seen among the members of War God’s Greatsword.
Their faces were tense with nervousness as Ronaldo-san stared at them.
Currently, Ronaldo-san wasn’t intimidating them, it was just the usual him.
This attitude, in turn, might have instilled a sense of unease in the adventurers.
Or maybe, they were just intimidated by Ronaldo-san’s position as a world-class adventurer.
Even so, being first-class adventurers, the two didn’t just stay quiet about it.
「Take responsibility? That’s rich coming from fellow adventurers!」
The warrior responded to Ronaldo-san with a desperate shout, but it was clear that it was only a bluff.
In contrast to the warrior, the healer, sneering, opened his mouth.
「Aren’t you getting carried away just because you are a world-class adventurer? I don’t think it’s the right choice to hold us accountable.」
He continued, but not toward Ronaldo-san, but toward Marnell, the adventurers around, and the townfolks.
「Think carefully. Is it really fine to punish us, first-class adventurers? We could be the key to dealing with labyrinth runaway!」
His words didn’t change the grim countenance of Marnell and his peers, but anxiety started to show on the faces of the rest of the adventurers and the townfolks.
Seeing this and understanding what the healer was trying to do, I couldn’t help but let out a few words.
Now that the unprecedented situation that was labyrinth runaway occurred, there was anxiety in the heart of the adventurers and the townfolks.
And the healer was trying to take advantage of this so that they could survive.
……Even though it’s them who make the situation even worse.
This gave rise to the anger in my heart.
In the first place, no matter how strong they are, if they’re pardoned after committing such a crime in this situation, there will be people who start disregarding rules popping up one after another.
The healer’s words are just sophistry, it’s not something that will ever be tolerated.
And so, I tried to shout at the healer of War God’s Greatsword, but before I could, Ronaldo-san opened his mouth.
「Is that all you want to say?」
Ronaldo-san’s expression and atmosphere were the same as before the warrior and the healer of War God’s Greatsword tried to defend themselves.
With that calm expression on his face, Ronaldo-san laughed as if he was troubled—and then he pulled out the magic sword on his back.
「I’m sorry, but is that argument even worth considering?」
The next moment, the face of the healer who had been desperately trying to keep himself look calm, turned pale in an instant.
It’s been a while, sorry for the late update
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