The young, suntanned girl glues herself to me. If this happened 20 years ago, or actually even 15 years ago, I would have been very happy indeed.
“Hi there…… Mora. It’s been a while. I didn’t imagine I’d get to see you again so soon.”
With my appearance being in the forties, and my real self also being in the forties, this is just a kid getting attached to an adult. The reason why there was that short pause is because I remembered addressing her with the –san suffix. Fortunately, she does not seem particularly displeased with the fact that I’d dropped it. Feeling relieved, I rub her brown head round and round while gentlemanly extricating myself.
“Cus! Gio-san, even after destroying the Shadow Demon nest, you never came back! And you also had the knights deliver our stolen cargo…… Could it be that you don’t want to see me anymore, is what I thought……”
“There’s no way that’s true. I’m indebted to you, plus I also have business with Irudo-shi.”
“Oh please don’t say that, I’m the one who is indebted to you…… “
That may be true from an objective point of view, but the way I see it, she is the first person that I’ve gotten to know in this world (I believe I am justified in not counting Jyagul and his cronies), and I have not forgotten the joy I felt when I finally got her to trust me.
“Great Wizard-sama…… How can we ever repay you……”
“Ojou-sama expected you to arrive any day, so she always made a detour here whenever she went out.”
The two gentle-looking man and woman keeping position behind Mora deeply lower their heads to me. From their demeanor, they must be servants currently accompanying Mora.
“It was no trouble at all. Mind it not.”
“Our house is in the direction of Commerce Avenue! Father is also waiting to see you! Let’s go!”
Mora starts pulling my arm like it’s the most natural thing to do, but a figure moves to stand in front of us.
“…… Mora? I’m sorry, but we have business to take care of. Right now.”
“Oh, is that so? I hope it goes well. In the meantime, Gio-san has to come this way.”
“I said ‘we,’ did I not?!”
Claura grabs my other arm and also starts pulling.
What is this.
Is a beautiful girl and a beautiful young girl currently fighting over me?
Mora’s goodwill towards me is, at best, that of a teenager towards a reliable adult, such as an uncle or teacher. As for Claura, she is merely acting on her sense of duty as a member of the Magician’s Guild. Well, if I am to be really generous with myself, maybe I can bring myself to hope that she also thinks of me as a friend at least a little bit.
I know of several pathetic creatures (middle-aged men) who misunderstood this kind of situation as being popular with the ladies and stepped onto the wrong path in life.
“Ahh, Mora. I’m sorry, but I have kept the Magician’s Guild waiting for quite a while already. I will first take care of the troublesome things, then I’ll stop by your house. How does that sound?”
Even I am not so indecisive as to mistake the order of priority here.
“Ah…… S-, sorry. It must be something really difficult to do, right?”
“Well, something like that. I will definitely come by after I’m done, so please also give Irudo-shi my regards.”
“Hai, understood! Our place is the biggest store on Commerce Avenue, so you will be able to tell at a glance! We’ll be waiting!”
Mora gives me one last bow before leaving with a smile on her face. Her happy-looking servants also lower their heads several times before following her.
The crowd that surrounded us has already thinned out quite considerably, and in the end was dispersed altogether by the considerate city guard.
He too left to go back to his own post, but not before telling me “the feats of Great Wizard-sama are already being sung of in heroic poems composed by the minstrels!” That is a piece of trivia that I did not need to know……
“I really do not want to stand out any more than this…… But to think that we would bump into Mora again so soon. What were the chances, right?”
“Yes, wasn’t it just great?”
“L-, Let’s go! Onward to Magician’s Guild!”
Noticing the pulsing of the vein on Claura’s forehead reach dangerous levels, I immediately start walking forward at a brisk pace.
Lelis’s avenues, at least, are clean and agreeable.
The stone paving is even decorated with mosaic designs here and there. The people going back and forth are all wearing colorfully dyed clothes, and there is almost nobody going about barefooted. Although fashion looks quite simple in general, the richer people also sport hats, shawls, mantles, or even girdles.
The people in the avenue do not notice me, but there are quite a few who wave at Claura or bow to her, so she must be relatively well-known.
A lot of the buildings are constructed out of wood and stone, and almost all of them are at least 3 stories high. As the whole city is encircled by walls, the densely packed buildings have no room to grow but up. This part is exactly like how it’s told in fantasy TRPGs.
After walking behind Claura for a while, a sudden thought causes me to look upwards.
“What are you getting all restless about?”
Noticing me walking while looking at the windows of the tall buildings, Claura questions me.
“Nah, it’s just…… Before, I heard that in large cities, people throw excretion out of the window……”
Turns out, Lelis and all cities above a certain size are all serviced by a sewer system. This is especially true for Lelis which, blessed with the water source that is Lake Liuus, even has a drinking water system in a portion of the city.
“What kind of Roman empire is this supposed to be……”
Well anyways, it was a mistake expecting things in the reality I know…… no, things in the medieval era of my previous world to be the same as in Sedia. [He] did say that this is a light novel style other world, after all……
“Speaking of which, what is the estimated population of this city?”
“If I remember correctly, they checked the register a few years back and counted about 25,000 people. If we include those without citizenship, there might be thirty to forty thousand in total.”
Forty thousand! If I remember correctly, Paris was the biggest city in all Europe during the Middle Ages, boasting of at least 200,000 in population, which makes this almost a metropolis. If there are metropoles of this size every here and there, then this world’s cultural development is much farther ahead than medieval Europe.
(T/N: Yes, the statistic on Paris is correct. So even I don’t understand the logic behind this comparison.)
…… Then does this mean that there was a Shadow Demon nest only a few days’ march from such a metropolis? That was a close one.
And so goes our conversation, until we find ourselves in front of a huge building slightly behind the Central Plaza. Clearly paying zero heed to its surroundings, it is a black mansion surrounded by walls of its own. It looks so imposing that it can almost be called a fort in its own right.
Above its main entrance is a crest composed of 4 staves arranged in a geometric design.
This is the Magician’s Guild, Lelis branch.
“I am the 5th Seat, Claura Andel.”
“Yes, ma’am! We have awaited your return!”
Upon hearing Claura’s name, these door guards that are wearing different armor than those at the city gates immediately open the doors for us and accompany us, with utmost deference, into the building and to a guest room. Judging from the attitude of the guards, as well as the servants tasked with showing us the way, it appears that they already know about me.
Claura leaves first to report about me to the brass of the Guild, but I did not have to wait long in the guest room before she came back.
“Are you listening, Margils…… Gio?”
“From now on, I will bring you before this branch’s Guildmaster and top echelons. I have already told them about you, both just now and in a letter that I sent before us, but all of that was merely what I saw with my own eyes.”
Nn? Does that mean that she did not tell her superiors about the workings of wizardry that I had explained to her? Isn’t it bad if she doesn’t complete the hou-ren-sou cycle?
(T/N: Hou-ren-sou: A Japanese business mnemonic of hougoku (to report), renraku (to inform), and soudan (to consult). It is used as a basic tool in businesses to facilitate smooth business communication.)
“Personally speaking, I am praying that you and the Magician’s Guild will build a positive relationship. However…… I do not know how they will treat you. I believe they are not people who will make fun of you, but……”
While opening the door of the guest room, she turns around and looks at me.
“I shall stand outside and wait for the length of time it would take to count to thirty. After I step out, I will no longer be an adventurer nor a noble…… and not even a friend. It would serve you well to think of me as a single magician belonging to the Magician’s Guild.”
The door closes behind her.