Chapter 18

My【Repair】Skill Became an Almighty Cheat Skill, so I Thought I’d Open up a Weapon Shop

「The hero Falcon and his party have been classified as “Unrepatriated”. We, the Silver Wing Knights, have been entrusted to investigate the reason for that,」Felix announced.

「Really?」I thought, feeling a bit shocked. But at the same time, I also thought, 「Of course that happened.」

The hero had overcome most of the dangerous situations through his skills.

On the other hand, I could imagine that his carelessness and pride would trip him up over the stupidest of reasons.

The hero Falcon was just that sort of person.

「Unrepatriated… is it? Did you guys find their corpses?」

「No. Let me explain in order. First, Luke-dono, do you know what the biggest difference between a hero and an adventurer is?」

I nodded back at Felix, but Silvia looked a bit lost, so I decided to add in some details in my answer.

「Anyone who wants to become an adventurer would register with the adventurer’s guild, which is a private organization. However, a person can only become a hero if a member of the royal family or titled nobility appoints them.」

「Yes, it is exactly as you said. The hero, Falcon, was appointed following the recommendation of the kingdom’s cabinet minister.」

It could be said that adventurers and heroes have different reasons for challenging dungeons as well.

Heroes would clear dungeons that are a threat to the country, while adventurers cleared them for personal profit.

However, this is not the biggest difference between them.

There are heroes out there who fight demon lords because they want a nice reward, and rich adventurers who fought demon lords to gain honor.

「Also, there is another thing we’d like to ask. How much of the hero’s objectives and schedule was explained to you before entering the dungeon?」

「I know that the target was the demon race that worshiped a demon lord. The trip was planned to last for two weeks, and we were supposed to return home even if we did not succeed. Since I was only hired to do odd-jobs, the party only told me that.」

In other words, the hero’s party was supposed to return to the surface a few days before I escaped from the labyrinth.

Also, my abilities were obviously not taken account of for battles, so they didn’t tell me anything regarding that.

If everything had gone according to plan and we successfully reached our target, then I was supposed to hide in a corner and wait for the battle to finish.

「Thank you for telling us. Now, let me continue with my explanation.」

— The hero’s party has not returned, despite it being over two weeks already.

— The kingdom decided to prepare for the worst, and waited a little longer, assuming there might have been a change in plans that delayed the party’s return.

— However, another week had passed, and there was still no contact from the hero’s party. The kingdom believed then that something bad must have happened to them.

「However, the situation changed once we received a written protest from the adventurer’s guild.」

「Written protest?」

「It was about the adventurer that the party had hired from the guild… in other words, you. It stated that you were unfairly treated and abandoned, leaving you in a dangerous situation. That was when the kingdom learned that you were the only one from that party who returned to the surface.」

「…And that was when the guild learned that the hero’s party had not returned yet.」

Since heroes receive their status from the kingdom, they were not affiliated with the adventurer’s guild.

Therefore, they didn’t need to know what happened to the hero’s party that ditched me.

「Originally, we were planning to speak to you as soon as we found out about this. However, a certain noble… more specifically, the cabinet minister who recommended Falcon to become a hero, along with his faction, disagreed.」

Felix paused for a moment, and then slowly and clearly, announced the verdict.

「They made claims saying that Luke of White Wolf Forest must have betrayed the hero and caused his death. They also said that we should not share information with a criminal.」

「Wha–?!」

「Luke-san would never do something like that!」

Silvia raised her voice at Felix, while I sat there almost speechless.

「Please calm down, miss. At the very least, please listen to the very end.」

「But…!」

「Silvia, let’s listen to the entire story first before objecting, okay?」

「……Okay.」

Once Felix confirmed that Silvia had reluctantly backed down, he continued his explanation.

— Due to the faction’s interference, the adventurer’s guild refused to cooperate and did not give out any further information. That severely delayed the kingdom’s investigation.

— Meanwhile, I opened up my weapon shop in Greenhollow Town while unaware of everything that was happening. I gathered my customers by announcing I had a weapon which was used to kill a dragon with.

(The reason the guild did not notify me of their dispute with the kingdom was probably because they were looking out for me. I was still mentally unstable at the time, so if I found out about all this, I probably would’ve lost it.)

— The cabinet minister then thought, 『Luke must have stolen the hero’s weapon.』He then ordered the Silver Wing Knights to retrieve the sword without being seen by the adventurer’s guild.

「I believe there were two men who came to buy said sword with a lot of money. Actually… Bradford, please take off your helmet.」

The large knight that stood behind Felix removed his helmet.

When I saw the knight’s face, I realized he was the one who had accompanied the blonde aloof man from before.

Silvia’s eyes widened, while I frowned in shame.

This meant that the blonde man was related to the knights in some way.

「The cabinet minister was working behind the scenes, huh… No wonder you had ten big cold coins at your disposal.」

「Based on the results we found after analyzing the sword, the cabinet minster’s hypothesis was proven to be incorrect. However, we also found out something that was completely unexpected.」

Felix’s tone increased in seriousness.

「According to the alchemist who analyzed the sword, he discovered that the composition of the sword included mithril within it.」

「W-wha… Did you say mithril?!」

「Mithril? Um, Luke-san, what is mithril…?」

Although Silvia was calm now, she ended up getting confused, so I decided to explain it to her.

「Mithril is a valuable metal that has a tremendous amount of affinity with mana. Every process involving mithril requires the permission of the kingdom, from gathering to sales. Doing anything with mithril without permission would, in the worst case scenario, lead to a death penalty.」

「Death…?!」

Mithril, also known as divine silver, is a legendary metal that is mentioned in several ancient folklore.

Its appearance resembles silver, but unlike real silver, mithril is an excellent material when made into a weapon or armor. When used together with mana, the item’s performance would increase.

You cannot gather them from a regular mine, and can only be found very rarely in a dungeon.

その貴重さから取り扱いには国王の許可が必要とされ、悪質な違反者には重罪が科されることになっているのだ。

The value of mithril was derived from those factors, so one requires the permission of the king to do anything with them. Anybody that tries to do it illegally would be heavily punished.

「Due to the illegal production and sales of an article with mithril in it, the cabinet minister used that as a front to force the investigation through. The adventurer’s guild compromised, but said, 『We will entrust the Silver Wing Knights to perform the investigation on Luke from White Wolf Forest. 』」

「…And that’s why you guys decided to visit me today.」

I never would’ve imagined that transaction would lead to this. I pressed my hand against my forehead, trying to soothe a slight headache.

This must be another reason why the adventurer’s guild decided not to tell me anything.

「I don’t want any misunderstandings between us, so allow me to tell you  this. His Majesty supports the adventurer’s guild, and our brigade belongs to the royal family. Therefore, we are able to oppose said cabinet minister…」

「So the reason the knights are in charge of the investigation was to make the cabinet minister and the guild conciliate… I guess.」

I had absolutely no idea that the powder was mithril… though I guess that’s kind of a lie.

These were the labyrinth walls inside the dungeon 『Hade’s Millenium Corridor』that we were talking about. I had unknowingly【dismantled】and 【synthesized】the mithril into the sword.

However, at this rate, the conversation was going to lead to them asking me how much mithril existed inside the labyrinth.

「As of now, the opposing faction is accusing you of 『eliminating the hero in order to monopolize the mithril found inside the dungeon.』 Based on the information from the guild though, it seems impossible given your ability…」

Well, I understood why they would think that way. I was the weakest member in the party and yet I was the only one who survived, after all.

「Felix-san, I’ll just get straight to the point. How can I prove my innocence?」

That was my only concern at the moment.

I had stopped caring about the hero’s party’s well-being long ago.

「Luckily, the cabinet minister was warned by His Majesty for excessively interfering with the investigation, so he vowed to never interfere again if it turns out that his accusation towards you regarding the mithril is incorrect.」

「In other words, if I can prove my innocence on that, then he’ll stop suspecting me so much.」

「That is correct. In order to do that, we would like you to tell us exactly how you managed to obtain the mithril.」

I crossed my arms and pondered.

Based on our conversation so far, it felt like Felix was also trying to prove that I was not the reason that the hero’s party was unrepatriated.

Otherwise, he wouldn’t have explained everything so politely to us.

Even if he was doing this to indirectly attack the cabinet minister and the opposing faction, it worked out for me.

「If we decide that the production and sale of the mithril was done 『unknowingly』, then you will not be charged. Therefore, we need you to disclose the method used to obtain the mithril in order for you to prove your innocence.」

There were many cases where charges against adventurers were dropped after they had accidentally sold mithril, thinking it was silver.

The points used for dropping the charges include,『Nobody else knew that mithril could be gathered there』, or,『It was sold for an unbelievably low price for mithril.』

In the former case as well, if the person sold something so expensive for an incredibly cheap price, anyone could see that『the person did not realize they were selling mithril themselves.』

「Felix-san, can you please explain one more thing for me? Why is it that the small knight who was with you two so hostile towards me? Does he also think I killed the hero and is holding a grudge?」

「Oh no, Garnet strongly dislikes those who illegally trade mithril, but for a personal reason. The hostility has nothing to do with the hero. 」

I see, that attitude was due to the illegal trading of mithril.

It seems like among the knights, nobody thinks I killed the hero.

「…Alright, I’ll tell you everything. To tell you the truth, though, even I don’t really believe it happened myself…」

I made up my mind and explained everything that had happened until now.

Felix looked surprised at some parts, but not once did he interrupt me while I was explaining.

「It’ll be hard to believe so suddenly, but if you can prove what you did, it’ll be a very strong evidence for you. Do you mind showing us how you collected the mithril? We don’t mind if you wish to do it at a later date.」

「At this time, I don’t want to go near the dungeon, but I guess I really have no choice now… Alright, I’ll do it.」

I made a promise to do the inspection of the dungeon, and Felix and Bradford left politely.

I think I heard Garnet complaining outside of the shop, but his voice faded away quickly.

「Sigh… I never thought things would end up this way. Nobody would ever think that the walls in the dungeon were made of mithril… Does【Analysis】not work against things I have never seen before…?」

But that was just a hypothesis.

To think that something I did a month ago would come back at me like this.

「That hero… He ditched me so they could continue on their exploration, yet he didn’t even come back himself… I really resent him.」

~A TL;DR, Since This Chapter was Long ~

Kingdom「The hero hasn’t returned… what happened to him?」

Guild「Hey, your hero ditched one of our adventurers!」

Kingdom「Eh?」

Minister「That adventurer must have killed the hero! That dragon-killing sword he’s selling must be the hero’s sword!」

Guild「Obviously not, what kind of bad joke is that?」

Alchemist「It’s not the hero’s sword, but it is made out of mithril.」

Minister「Oh, so he’s illegally selling a restricted good! He must have killed the hero to steal all the mithril! Shut up, guild!」

His Majesty「Hey, minister. You’re interfering with the investigation too much, stop it.」

Minister「F-fine, I’ll back down if it turns out that I’m wrong…」

Felix「And so we came here to find evidence that proves your innocence.」

Luke「Give me a break…」

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