Larz’s Request


  「Please! Please…Lend me your strength, Sora!」


  In front of my home in Ishka.


  The moment Larz spoke out in a loud voice after he saw me, he bowed his head deeply without minding his surroundings.  


  Since he was bowing from a sitting position with his back against the wall, it looks like he’s prostrating from the side.  


  I couldn’t help but be confused by this all of a sudden.


  To be honest, I have no obligation to listen to his request.
However, it’s my first time seeing him being this frail, so I’m curious as to what happened.


  And speaking of curious, I’m curious about why he’s alone as well.


  Iria isn’t with him probably because she isn’t back from the village of Melte yet.
But why do I not see Miroslav with him either?


  In order to find out why, I invited Larz into my home.


  My home was quite dusty since we’ve been away for some time, but Larz did not care about that and just repeated his words from earlier while showing signs of frustration.


  I started to listen to him, and the situation that came up was more or less the following:


  Larz, Miroslav, and three other adventurers who joined them temporarily-This party of 5 went to Mount Skim after I headed to the village of Melte. 


  While I met priest Sarah at that village, Larz and them were diligently climbing the mountain. 


  Their objective was gryphon extermination.
The one who made the request was some house of Earl.


  Well, I knew about that even if he doesn’t tell me.
That’s because I received a report about it from Miroslav before.


  The problem is, what happened to those 5 after they went to Mount Skim? 


  ――If we were to start from the conclusion, Larz seemed to have turned back right before they entered the gryphons’ territory after they arrived at the mountain. 


  The reason was that he was injured.


  When he was on night guard duty with Miroslav together, he seems to have gotten ambushed by something and lost consciousness.  


  By the time he woke up, although he didn’t have any external injury, he lost an extreme amount of stamina and was in no condition to fight.


  Mount Skim is a nest for monsters that can be compared to the monsters of Titis forest.
He was probably hit by an「Energy Drain」from one of the undead monsters that were wandering in the mountain――Well, it’s not like only undeads could drain people’s stamina; other monsters or humans, especially, could do the same thing with their magic as well. 


  Anyway, Larz was stunned when he realized the situation.


  Not only did he lose his ability to fight with gryphons, but on top of that, he was being taken back to Ishka in a horse carriage.


  While he was unconscious, the other members took him down the mountain and headed back to Ishka――Everyone except for Miroslav, the only person who remained on the mountain. 


  I instinctively frowned.


  Larz looked at me and probably thought that I was going to criticize him for that, so he opened his mouth like he snapped.


    「I did tell them to go back right away! But……」


  Larz who had lost his temper immediately became dejected.  


  The 3 new members that joined them did not obey Larz, who was their leader. 


  But I mean, rather than calling those 3 people new members of『Falcon Sword』, they were more like people they hired for the gryphon extermination.


  Formally, their leader wasn’t Larz.
Miroslav’s order had the priority since she was the one who hired them.
In other words, her order to “Protect Larz and return him to Ishka”.  


  And Larz received a letter from them.


  「This is…that letter……」


  With that, Larz took a letter out of his pocket.


  The letter was in Miroslav’s handwriting.
She told him she was sorry for taking action selfishly, she didn’t want to put him in danger after he collapsed, and how she will definitely kill the gryphon, so she wants him to wait for her in Ishka.


  Larz was unable to stay still after he read that, and he tried to go back by himself, but he was stopped by the other members.


  The 3 people who received Miroslav’s orders forcefully brought Larz back to Ishka when he tried to go back to Mount Skim.


  It was a 1v3, and moreover, he was exhausted, so Larz couldn’t fight them and ended up being brought back to Ishka against his will.


  As soon as he returned to Ishka, the new members left Larz and quickly disappeared.
That’s probably because their agreement with Miroslav only lasted until they’re back in Ishka, so it doesn’t matter to them what Larz does after that.  


  Of course, Larz wanted to return to Mount Skim right away.


  However, since his body hasn’t recovered yet, he would have a hard time against even the monsters on the outskirts of Ishka.
It was impossible for him to go to Mount Skim again while in such condition. 


  He tried to recruit some allies to go with him, but it was a request from 『Falcon Sword』after their reputation had fallen, and the destination was the monster territory that is the top of Mount Skim; no adventurers would raise their hands voluntarily.


  He asked the guild for help, but even the guild was slow to act.


  That’s because Miroslav chose to remain there of her own will even though she could have left if she wanted to.


  Every adventurer knows that if you weren’t attacked by a monster and chose to remain behind of your own will, you are responsible for your own life.


  Still, receptionists like Parfait and Lidelle who Larz was familiar with were trying to help, but they weren’t making much progress.


  The time required for Larz to return to Ishka from Mount Skim was 4 days.
If we were to include the extra time it took for his party to take him down the mountain and all the other things after he returned to Ishka, Larz has been apart from Miroslav for nearly ten days. 


  Since she was left there by herself for that long, Larz was going crazy as his impatience grew.


  At that moment, he heard that I came back from the royal capital.


  Since I can’t hide Clau Soras, people would talk about my return even if I didn’t want them to.


  After Larz caught wind of that, he said that he “sucked it up” and came to my house.




  Larz’s request was “Bring me to Mount Skim with your wyvern” just as I expected.


  His aim is to rescue Miroslav.


  I thought maybe he wants me to lend him a hand in exterminating the gryphon as well, but he didn’t go that far.


  I tried to test the water slightly, but Larz shook his head in low spirits.


  This incident happened because of his decision to insist on clearing his name――Larz said that and bit his lip in regret.


  When I saw him like that, I narrowed my eyes slightly.


  He’s probably thinking that Miroslav remained on the mountain because she wanted to be useful to him.


  It’s not weird for him to think that.
Anyone would think that if they see how Miroslav sticks to him and acts around him.


  ――However, is that really the case?


  I have no intention to declare something like “Miroslav’s heart is no longer with you.
She likes me now!” to him.


  I have no idea what Miroslav is really thinking inside.
Everything she has done so far has been convenient for me, but it’s quite possible that she’s laying the foundation to take me down in the future.  


  However, even if I take that into consideration, I couldn’t help but think that her action this time was unnatural.


  How will she take down a gryphon by herself? Even if she could do it, how will she take the gryphon’s corpse back?


  The purpose of the extermination is to make a stuffed gryphon, so damaging the gryphon’s face or having the gryphon’s corpse rot would greatly affect whether the quest will succeed or fail.
Even if she took one down, everything could be in vain.


  And what is she doing about food and water?


  Furthermore, the underlying problem is that Larz’s bad reputation will not be cleared up even if she finished the quest by herself.


  『Falcon Sword』’s reputation might go back up, but Larz’s reputation will probably drop even further since he had left Miroslav behind by herself and came back to Ishka.


  If we assume that her objective was to “Help Larz”, it would be hard to imagine that she didn’t think of this problem.   


  ――But if her objective was to make Larz’s reputation drop even further, then everything would make sense.


  In that regard, it can be said that Miroslav’s aim had already been achieved.


  That’s why there’s no problem even if I refuse Larz’s request here and call it a wrap.
I’ve said it just now that I have no obligation to listen to his request.
If anything, I should want to point at him and laugh.


  ……However, some words suddenly surfaced in my mind.


  『H-hey, you, would you like to join our party?』


  Larz’s voice when I first met him.


  The moment I recalled that memory, the mocking laughs that were in my throat naturally stopped coming out.


  I’m indebted to him for inviting me to 『Falcon Sword』.


  It’s a simple debt that I don’t need to worry about anymore since our fallout after I came back from the king of flies’ nest, but honestly, it hasn’t left my mind.
It’s like a loan of money that he never demanded back.


  That’s why I was wondering if I should return that debt with this chance.


  Of course, I have no intention to just naively bring Larz to Mount Skim.


  In the first place, he probably couldn’t stand flying on a wyvern with the way he is right now.
Riding on Clau Soras takes quite a bit of stamina after all.


  That’s why I will go there by myself.
Larz probably wouldn’t like it, but his goal right now is not to exterminate the gryphon, but to rescue Miroslav.
It’s not like he’ll complain if she can return safely.


  Rather, I don’t give a crap even if he complains.


  I’m going to see what Miroslav is really up to while I’m there and clarify what our relationship will be from here on out.


  With such thoughts in my mind, I slowly opened my mouth.


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