Iria ①


You’re not going back? Are-are you serious?」


「Yeah, I’m not going back to the village.
Instead, I have to become stronger!」


After she saw her childhood friend say that with a serious face, Iria unintentionally raised her voice.


「”Instead”?! There’s an epidemic in our village and you’re saying that?! Our family lives there, you know?!」


Larz’s body fell back as if he got pushed back by Iria’s tone.


The way he was slightly looking down meant that he was probably feeling guilty from what he just said.

When Iria caught that, she was about to repeat herself to try to get Larz to take back what he said.


But at that moment, a red shadow suddenly interrupted her.

It was Miroslav.


「Please calm down, Iria.
Even if there’s an epidemic, the cause has already been discovered, and a special medicine for it was already in production.
Larz also knew that himself, that’s why there’s no need for him to return there right away」


「Just because there’s a special medicine for it it doesn’t mean that there won’t be any victims」


Iria gave Miroslav a sharp glare.

At this point, Iria was really fed up with her.

It wasn’t about anything else, it was about Larz.


Larz has clearly been feeling down after he lost Lunamaria to Sora in the bet.
As someone who hasn’t faced any real setbacks until now, the first one that hit him was way too big, it was something that he won’t ever be able to forget.


The amount of cold looks and mockery he was getting in the guild had also been increasing.


When Iria saw that he had clearly started to drink more alcohol, she tried many times to pump him up and get his motivation back, but it was Miroslav who got in her way every time.


Miroslav did not blame Larz for his weakness.
She just listened to his complaints and pampered him like a child.

From Iria’s point of view, she was just feeding a child candy.

The child would be happy, but it would not be good for the child’s health.
To make the child grow, one must steel their heart and take the candy away from him.
But Miroslav did not do that.


Even when Iria tried to point it out, Miroslav would just smile and say “Larz has it rough as well”.

Because of that, she and Iria have not been getting along recently.


At such times, an epidemic began in the Canaria kingdom.


The origin of the strange illness that started from the basin of the Kale river- the river that acts as the main source of water in Titis forest, was the king of snakes (basilisk) that had manifested in the forest.


To be exact, it was not the basilisk, it was the blight’s poison that came with the basilisk’s appearance.

If the blight was decaying the forest that is the water source, the river’s water would naturally be poisoned as well.


It was hard to completely get rid of all the blight that was in the depths of the forest, so, many towns and villages by the Kale river’s basin had become sick after drinking the river’s water.

And one of those villages was Larz and Iria’s home village.


Iria opened her mouth in anger to both Miroslav, who was in front of her, and Larz, who was behind her,


「So what if a special medicine was created? There isn’t enough for all of the sick people in this country.
The people with weak bodies might not be able to wait that long.
Moreover, even if the medicine makes it to them in time, it would still take them a very long period of time to recover.
During that period, who will do the farming? And not just farming, if there’s no one protecting the village, the village might become a target for demonic beasts or bandits」


「Yeah, that is a likely scenario」


「That’s right! That’s why we have to go back! Larz! Do you not worry about your family?!」


「Of course I do!」


「So let’s go!」


「But I can’t go back right now!」


This time it was Iria who threw her head back from Larz’s loud voice.


Larz had lashed out with emotions in the past, but he had rarely yelled at another person’s face.
At the very least, he had never yelled at Iria before, not even when they were kids.


As she looked at Larz who was breathing heavily, she frowned.


「…Why? Why can’t we go back?」


「Isn’t that obvious?! How can I leave Ishka when Luna got turned into a slave?! On top of that, I’m the big idiot who gambled away a party member that everyone is talking about behind my back.
I can’t leave this city like I’m running away from Sora!」


「Can’t leave this city, you say…T-this has nothing to do with Sora right now, no? We are going back to our home that’s under attack by the epidemic, aren’t we? No one would see that as you running awa–」


When Iria was going to finish her sentence, Miroslav interrupted her with a gentle voice.


「You can’t say that for sure.
That guy somehow got his hands on a wyvern, made a clan, and raised his reputation by taking down a gryphon and a scylla.
Rumors in the guild say that he had worked together with the slave merchant union to defeat the basilisk and create the special medicine.
The weight of his words is not the same as before.
If that guy were to spread rumors about Larz after he leaves Ishka…」


Larz bit his lip strongly.

And the red-haired magician continued,


「That person as well, he knows how badly we want to get Luna back.
I don’t think he’ll let the chance of getting rid of us slip by like that.
Like Larz says, we should not leave any openings for that guy right now」


「That’s exactly it, Iria」


Larz said and nodded as if Miroslav had said exactly what was in his mind.


「We shouldn’t move right now.
Auntie Sarah is in the village, isn’t she? I think she’ll be able to handle it somehow even without us」


「…Somehow? With mother alone, how can you think that she’ll be able to handle all the patients? There’s no guarantee that she wasn’t sick herself, right?!」


The one who had told Iria about the illness in her village was a merchant who she had never seen before.

From what the merchant told her, her mother, Sarah, was still healthy when he left the village, but it’s possible that she might have become sick after the merchant left.


Iria pointed that out, but Larz was as optimistic as he can be…or he was just stubborn.


「It’ll be alright.
Auntie Sarah is even higher level than us, no? She can use recovery magic, so she won’t lose to the epidemic so easily! Moreover, the guild offered us a good quest earlier.
It was a quest from a noble to exterminate a gryphon.
Parfait-san said that since another party failed the quest before, she’ll do us a favor and offer it to us.『Falcon Sword』’s reputation will recover if we are successful at it.
Since we’ll be able to connect to nobles from that quest, we could also get the special medicine firs-」




Iria glared at Larz and yelled in anger when he spoke so nonchalantly.

Larz’s shoulders jumped from her voice.


「While my mother takes all the burden by herself, you want to go fight a gryphon that we don’t even know if we could beat?! Our family and friends might all be suffering right now, you know?! This isn’t the time to go all-in on a gamble!」


「But, if we succeed, the special medicine will-」


「If we succeed?! Do you really think that we can defeat a gryphon right now without Luna?!」


「W-we can! Sora did it by himself! If the three of us work together, we will definitely win!」


「Even if we go right away, it will take us four days to get to Mount Skim! Then it will take us two, no, three days to get to the top where the gryphons live.
Even if we beat the gryphon, how many days do you think it’ll take us to come back with the beast’s head?!」




「Will it be a month before we get the medicine to the village? Or will it be two months?  Can you guarantee that nothing will happen to the village before that?」


「I-I can’t, but…I can’t run from hereeeee!」


When Iria sees that Larz still tried to remain in Ishka no matter what, she became even angrier and was about to really scream.


At that moment, Miroslav put her hand on Iria’s shoulder.


「Please calm down, Iria.
I know you’re worried about your mother, but raising your voice here won’t solve anything」




「I know.
The situation of the epidemic might be time-sensitive.
I have a suggestion」


「…A suggestion?」


First, please return to your home village right away, Iria.
Your mother will also feel more relieved if she sees you safe.
On top of that, you could help your mother out since you know recovery magic.
Oh, and I will also use my family name of Sauzar to at least get you one portion of the special medicine.
If by chance your mother became sick, we would still be able to at least avoid the worst possible outcome」


「…Is that possible? I heard that it didn’t matter how much money people have right now since there aren’t enough to go around 」


「I will do something about it.
Times like this are when the investments I made in the past will come in handy.
And Larz-」




「The gryphon extermination quest that you received.
I’m thinking we should do that at the same time」


When Miroslav said that, both Iria and Larz looked at her in disbelief.

Larz then opened his mouth in a hurry,


「What? Just us two?」


「No, that would definitely be reckless.
Unlike the epidemic, defeating the gryphon isn’t time-sensitive, so we could recruit temporary members.
I have a plan for that too…but I’ll tell you afterward.
Right now, securing the special medicine is our first priority.
Iria should prepare to leave immediately as well」


After Iria heard that, her gaze shifted to Larz.


Larz noticed it, but he did not meet her eyes and looked away from her.


…Iria let out a small sigh and looked at Miroslav.


I’m counting on you, Miro」


「Please leave it to me」


After Miroslav’s reply, Iria got up from her seat right away and left the room.

She believed that if she remained in the room, she would have started yelling again.

Because of that, she will not know about what Miroslav was going to tell Larz.


「…Say, Miro.
In the end, would it be better if I just go back to the village…? No, I should go back.
Iria seems angry too」


「You’re right.
From her point of view, she probably thought that you were cold-hearted.
Of course, I won’t stop you if you want to go back there, but…」


「But, but what?」


「It’s about Sora.
He will definitely spread bad rumors about you.
Also, if we just randomly abandon the quest and head back to the village, in the worst-case scenario, we could be fined by the noble」


「Then I will go decline the quest right n-」


「It’s a quest from a noble after all.
Given Parfait-san’s personality, she must have already let the other party know that we have already accepted the quest.
Once we decline a quest that we have already accepted, the other party will not be happy.
If that happens, rather than worrying about if we’ll get the special medicine, we might have to even worry about them getting in our way」


I guess I accepted the quest too quickly」


「I know how you feel, Larz.
When you heard about that guy’s recent achievements, you wanted to do something too, right? Getting a wyvern, taking down a gryphon and a scylla, everything was so hard to believe.
And their name, 『Blood Spraying Sword』, is so similar to our party’s name…He’s such an irritating person」


「Seriously! And he has other members too! That girl called Ciel must be suffering in his hands too…!」


We have to get him to release those two.
The only one who’ll be able to make him do that is you, Larz.
That’s why we cannot back down from the gryphon quest.
Your decision to not return home right now isn’t wrong.
Don’t worry, Iria will understand in time too.
She was just a bit fired up because she was worried about her mother」


「…Really? Will she really understand?」


「Yes, I’m sure she will.
That’s why just stay true to what you’ve set out to do right now.
It’ll be alright.
Everything will be cleared up in the end…」

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