Magi Craft Meister 441 13 Stronghold Enhancement Arc 13-29 Struggle     “J-Jin... What are we going to do?”   Her face turned pale, Saki asked with a trembling voice.   “We...


53 Part 2

I think it would be better if they went out of business now.

“I’m pretty sure the Order of Divine are high ranking adventurers.”

“Yes, they will certainly fulfill our request. However, it will cause tremendous damage to the surrounding area.”

“What exactly?”

“In order to defeat a demon that was attacking a livestock pen, they would use a series of fire magic to reduce the livestock to ashes.”

“…Huh?”

“They drive the demons that appear on the streets towards travelers and caravans, causing more victims.”

“…Huh.”

“They basically leave their seriously injured comrades behind. As a result, I’ve heard that wherever they’ve completed their quests, there are either dead bodies or seriously injured people lying around. I’ve heard that there are more than dozens of party members, and that they are constantly being replaced, except for the top ones. And because of their extremely high combat skills, they dominate the most difficult quests.”

“Why does the Adventurer’s Guild allow it?”

“They voluntarily pay 30% of their rewards to the guild. They are not a bad party for the Adventurer’s Guild. Furthermore, all they are doing are quests of high difficulty. Compared to leaving the demons alone, some damage is unavoidable. I guess …that’s how it is.”

The Adventurer’s Guild of Irgafa is still going down. Or rather, take a lesson from the Commoners’ Guild run by Aine.

That’s why the Order of Divine, a black company, is doing whatever it wants.

Like they did with Rafilia, they forcefully recruit people into their party and take them on difficult missions, making them disposable. And then they’d again forcibly recruit people to the party to make up for the loss.

The question is why the disposable members are putting up with such a situation, but it’s more likely that they’re being forced to because of ‘Contract’.

The guild is very grateful for the money they receive.

…It’s really annoying me.

“All right. I’ll take Iris’s request.”

I said.

Either way, the conditions are not bad. As an employer, Iris Hoffimier is trustworthy.

She has always paid me well, and I’ve even received an inventory of gifts.

This quest is just to get rid of the demons in the dungeon. Apparently it’s enough to keep them safe until Iris can strengthen the wards.

…But, I still wanted to stay at home a little longer.

But now that the Adventurer’s Guild is not functioning, there is little chance of getting a decent job. There might be some low-level quests, but the Adventurer’s Guild has the Order of Divine. To be honest, I don’t want to get involved. I also don’t want to be spotted.

That’s why we don’t have the option of turning down the work of Iris Hoffimier – a valuable “trustworthy partner”. Also, I can understand why Iris doesn’t want to get involved with those guys.

“In other words, if the Order of Divine get involved, the sacred land of the sea dragon will be damaged. That’s why you want us to do it, right?”

At my line, Iris nodded with a look of relief on her face.

Iris doesn’t want that place to be trampled by those kinds of people.

“Okay. I want you to tell me more about the holy land. Also, if the wards have ever been weakened before, I want a list of the demons that appeared at that time.”

“Of course. I’ll give you the map and materials later.”

“Iris is quick and helpful.”

“Of course. We are friends, aren’t we?

Then Iris smiled, somewhat embarrassed.

“I’m glad I can be of help to you, Souma. It somehow makes me feel happy?”

Iris clapped her hands as if she had a good idea.

“How about you take me with your party to the dungeon?”

“Iris?”

“Yes. Either way, after we get rid of the demon, I will have to go inside and perform a ritual to strengthen the wards.”

Then Iris puffed out her chest, “Ahem.”

Originally, the holy ground was warded to avoid demons. It borrowed some of the power of the sea dragon, and only Iris can control the wards. After the demons are driven away, a ritual to strengthen the wards can be performed at the far end of the dungeon. That’s how it seems.

“The one who knows the structure of the Sea Dragon Dungeon best is me. I used to guide the Adventurer’s Guild every year when we did our research. If there are no demons, it will take about an hour and a half to reach the center. It’s no problem at all. It’s an annual event.”

She was only the priestess, but she was incredibly persuasive.

A yearly event. I guess… I can’t help it then.

“It is also the duty of the Shrine Maiden to make sure that the sacred ground is kept clean. Failure to do so may incur the wrath of the Sea Dragon Kerukatoru.”

A shaman’s duty? Then…

“Besides, Iris is the only one who can go to the center and reinforce the wards. See, it’s perfectly fine, isn’t it?”

Only Iris can reinforce the wards, then.

“No, wait a minute, that’s not logical.”

I was about to be inadvertently convinced.

“If you want to reinforce the wards, we can do it after we’ve wiped out the demons, right?”

“No, I must understand what kind of monsters have entered and why the barrier has loosened. To do that, I must accompany Souma.”

“I will report on the types of monsters, and I should calm down and confirm the reason why the barrier has loosened.”

Souma.

Iris looked at me resentfully.

She was in tears.

Her small hands clutched the hem of her dress.

“A girl is trying to be brave and go on an adventure, you know? Don’t you think you should be the brave one and take her out?

“I don’t think so.”

“Why? Why?”

“What are you doing taking a Shrine Maiden with you when you’re investigating to ensure her safety? Also, I’m not a hero in the first place.”

Uh-oh.

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