༺ The Hero of Sodomora (3) ༻
I left Schizo, Pluto’s Holy Warrior, alone in the underground prison since he didn’t speak anymore no matter what I did. Having left him there, I went up to the neat first-floor lobby of the Minerva Guild.
Then Actaeon, who was waiting for me at the entrance of the basement, spoke out.
“Did you get any information from him, friend?”
“You could say that, but it’s a little bit complicated—”
The things I heard from Schizo were so puzzling that I had no choice but to relay what I heard from him to Actaeon word by word.
I told him everything; from the moment Schizo suddenly started spewing out blood to when he relayed a bizarre prophecy of sorts to me.
This pervert, who had been listening for a while to my words, hummed while crossing his arms.
Honestly, I wondered if there was any use in telling this guy about anything, but I decided to put my trust in the gold necklace that was glittering between those great thoracic muscles of his.
“‘The Son of Death’— this is the first time I’ve heard of Pluto having a son. I’ve never even heard of the god of wealth, Pluto, having a wife in the first place. Pluto is famous for being a loner, after all.”
“Is that so?”
However, back on Earth, the story about the god of the underworld’s wife was well-known even in the countries where people didn’t have much knowledge about mythology.
So, I asked in a low voice, just to make sure.
“Don’t you know about Persephone?”
“What is that? Is that also something Pluto’s Holy Warrior said to you?”
I spoke about Persephone because I thought it would be helpful, but Actaeon asked me back in such a manner as though he didn’t have the faintest clue about what I was telling him.
Although this world resembled the ancient Greco-Roman worldview I was familiar with, some things were still different. So, expectedly, my marginal knowledge of mythology didn’t offer much help in this case.
The gods’ names also differed somewhat from the ones I knew about.
Again, I had mentioned that detail to him, just in case, but I think it would be best for me to stay quiet as I’d always been. I didn’t really want to be treated weirdly.
“Anyway, it will be a big problem if Pluto really has a son. Also, if his son has his eyes set on the lands above, something really huge is about to transpire on these lands.”
The Son of God—
For a moment, I glanced to my side and stared at Luna, who was simply blinking and quietly listening to our conversation.
Luna asked why I was looking at her like that. It was slightly crazy, but this girl was actually a Daughter of Goddess. However, she was more like a pink chikorita than anything else.
Of course, while the pink chikorita may be very cute and have cult-like popularity due to its rarity, its overall performance would undoubtedly never be able to surpass the limitations of a Chikorita.
Therefore, I figured that it wouldn’t be a big deal, even if someone claimed to be Pluto’s son.
Looking at the stupid and clumsy appearance of the Pluto cultists, it seemed that their leader, the god Pluto, would also be an unrefined individual, and his son would probably be like a fool or an imbecile. If not… then, never mind…
“Would he be a big problem in the future?”
However, Actaeon’s thought seemed to be a little different from mine.
“Like Jupiter, Pluto is also a descendant of the ancient ruler Saturn. Although Jupiter is ranked higher than Pluto, Pluto is actually the ruler’s foe. His immense power is so great that he is even called the Jupiter of the underworld.”
Actaeon, who was rambling on and on, stopped talking momentarily, all of a sudden and glanced around with his slender eyes.
We were currently inside the large hall of the Minerva guild. After staring at the people walking around us and brooding in silence for a while, he murmured in a voice so low that only I could barely hear his words.
“It’s the foe of the foe. He is not a typical dangerous opponent. I’m not sure why the great Olympus is so silent at a time like this. Just as ants cannot understand humans, it is difficult for us humans to grasp the will of the gods–”
Olympus was the name of a high mountain located somewhere on this continent. Wasn’t it said to be the place where the palaces of the gods were built?
It was common knowledge in this world that the gods living above decided to silently watch over the mankind without interfering after some point.
Of course, I’d already met some gods, so even if I heard such a story, I would just think something along the lines of, “Oh, I see.”
“Anyway, we have managed to capture one of the key personnel of the cultists. Also, since we still have quite some time to prepare for the future, we should have some hope. It’s the hope that you’ve created, Samaritan friend. So, we prepared a special reward for you.”
Luna shouted in surprise, in my stead, at the mention of the word ‘reward.’ Of course, I was also quite stunned by Actaeon’s words.
Actually, I was secretly looking forward to this, but I felt it was impolite and inappropriate to ask, “Aren’t you going to reward me something?” first, so I just kept silent about it.
Still, when I clearly heard the word ‘reward’ coming out of his mouth I felt butterflies in my stomach, making my mood pleasant and jubilant…
“Well, if it’s a reward, what’s it—?”
Was it a bag full of gold coins?
I was looking forward to receiving something incredibly good, but Actaeon pushed my back with his hands instead and spoke.
“I’ll explain it slowly over a meal. It’s your first time in the Minerva Guild, right? The indoor restaurant here has some really delicious items.”
* * * * * * * * * *
“What the fuck is all this—!?”
If possible, I didn’t want to use swear words in front of Luna.
However, after seeing such a fantastic sight, my mouth overflowed with swear words without showing any signs of restraint.
“Hassan, I don’t know what I’m looking at right now—!”
Luna, too, stuck her tongue out in surprise like she couldn’t believe what she was seeing.
In front of our eyes were long tables covered in white tablecloths while various plates, full of items, were placed on top.
On top of a particular wide plate placed on the table were plenty of simple vegetables, meat, and unidentified foods.
The view reminded me of the buffets and the salad bars from the time when I was still enjoying the sweet life of modern civilization.
I thought I wouldn’t be able to see this kind of scenery ever again. Holy shit, I didn’t know that in a world where food was a scarce and precious commodity, there would be a place where the very same food was piled up like this, waiting to be eaten.
When Luna and I were just dazedly looking at the bowls of food, Actaeon, who led us to the restaurant, started speaking.
“Our honorable adventures start the day with a good meal. That’s why Minerva Guild puts great effort into running this restaurant.”
“Do you eat like this every day?”
“Yes, bronze-tier adventurers in the Minerva Guild can enjoy eating in the restaurant for ten coppers daily.”
“What the fuck!”
“Hmm? Is there any problem, my friend?”
Was there any problem, he says? Of course, there was a big problem here.
Holy shit! I just realized that I had picked the wrong guild to join!
I should have joined the Minerva Guild, even if it meant saving up a little more money!
It made me really upset to think that I missed the buffet I could eat at a low price every day due to a single wrong choice.
Anyways, after taking the corner seat, we decided to bring enough food for ourselves and moved busily in all directions with that specific reason in mind.
“Holy shh! Look at this! It’s a swamp snail! It’s hard to buy this even at the market! We are so lucky today!”
Luna put the steamed dish that looked like a conch into her bowl.
She hummed and glanced around, eventually opening the multipurpose leather bag she was carrying around her waist, and started secretly stuffing various food items into it.
“Hey… What are you doing—!?”
In the world I lived in before, packing buffet food was considered very rude and even illegal in some places. So I couldn’t help but feel restless and baffled by Luna’s behavior.
However, why did Luna look at me in a way that looked like it was a given to do something like this?
“Hassan, you, too. Quickly stuff them into your bag—! By doing this, we won’t have to worry about our meals for three to four days at least!”
“It does sound like a good idea—!”
Luna and I were always dealing with starvation in our day-to-day life, so we could no longer care about abiding by the law.
For us, who daily ate only tasteless street food or hard bread from the inn, the abundance before us was simply too dazzling!
So I put a lot of conchs all over my pocket, whether it was a swampy snail or something that I had no clue of.
Hehe, damn! This felt really good!
It wasn’t until we filled our pockets to the brim that Luna and I finally started eating.
Honestly, the taste wasn’t up to par, as it was akin to mass-produced food and had the typical uneven seasoning style of this world’s cuisine, but it was still edible.
Moreover, it still had a sense of flavor to it that made me feel like the biscuits, bread, and bits of meat I usually ate were just animal feed in comparison.
“Hassan, these are so delicious!!”
Of course, Luna filled her stomach with so many things that it seemed like it was her first time eating such delicious food.
She looked determined to eat as much of the food as possible for her because who knew when she might have the opportunity to try them again. She did not want to regret missing out on such a chance later on.
As already mentioned, since starving street cats never knew when they would be able to eat again, they stuffed every food they could have into their stomachs at once.
So, we ate without any hesitation when given the chance.
Furthermore, Luna and I, who didn’t even have a caring cat mom, stuffed our stomachs like we were gonna eat until we dropped dead.
“It feels good to see you two eat so well. I rented the entire restaurant for today, so eat as much as you want.”
“Holy Shit! Bro, it turns out you are such a nice person!”
Now that I thought about it clearly, Actaeon’s cloak and underwear also looked very frugal and modest. Was it an innovative outfit to conceal his wealth?
By the time the plates were piled up in front of us.
Luna was frowning slightly as she stuffed food into her stomach to the point where her stomach bulged out.
“…Hey, a-are you okay?”
“I need to eat more—”
Saying so, Luna trudged off to get another plate, waddling and wobbling like a fat penguin on the way.
I couldn’t believe Luna was so greedy for food. But who could speak ill of her?
Luna, who used to eat the tree bark and graze due to her hunger, was pushing her limits so that she did not leave regrets on a day like today.
However, I stopped eating because there was no more place to fill in my stomach. If I ate any longer, everything I had eaten would come out the way it went down.
“By the way, Mr. Actaeon, what is my reward exactly?”
So I talked to Actaeon, who was eating a pudding-like dessert, to lighten the mood surrounding us. I directed a smile full of curiosity toward him.
“Ah, right, your reward. Although it was only for a short time, we had a lot of discussions about it. The countess said that she would give you about ten gold coins. Of course, I turned it down because I knew that you’re not doing this for money.”
They were about to give me ten gold coins as a reward, but Actaeon rejected it? I was feeling so emotional for a moment that I almost grabbed this jerk by the collar without realizing it.
I didn’t fight him right now only because I knew I would lose. This motherfucker! Who are you to refuse my money in my stead?
Hell no, fuck, it was ten gold coins dammit—!
Ten gold coins was a lot of money. For that amount of money, I could also buy over the site next to the land Luna had bought.
If it were exchanged into silver, it would be a thousand silvers; if we compared it to copper, it was a lot of money that I couldn’t even calculate with my piss-poor brain.
“Y-You turned it down—?”
“Yes, it’s such a small amount of money for you, right, my friend? Because you don’t work as an adventurer just for money.”
Then what else would I be working as a damn adventurer for, you motherfucker!?
I was so angry that my face turned red from the agony I was feeling right now. But Actaeon smiled like he was very happy to see the change in my facial expression.
“You’re blushing out of embarrassment, aren’t you? How could you also be so modest? You are indeed a very virtuous adventurer. Yeah, that’s why you also didn’t accept the things in the deer’s den. If you had just sold them at that time, you would have made ten gold coins at the minimum quite easily.”
What? The stuff in that fucking deer’s den had such a high value? I thought it was just a bunch of junk. That was why I turned it down, but goddamnit, they were actually so fucking expensive?
I felt like I was going to faint right now. If it was going to be like this I’d rather not know about their true value.
I wanted to return to the past and beat myself to death. If I had accepted those junk items, wouldn’t Luna and I have been able to avoid all the hardships we were facing currently?
I was so very angry, but the big reward had already disappeared from my grasp, so there was no use in venting my anger. I was going to find that past Hassan and beat him up for good later.
“I was in a deep dilemma. You, my friend, don’t seem materialistic, but I can’t just reward you with things that have no value, right? Honoring you with contributions alone is not enough, as you have done a huge thing for the city. So I made a hard decision. I’m sure you will be pleased with it.”
Then, Actaeon clapped his hand twice.
Soon, twin women with sky blue pigtails, wearing black dresses and white aprons, appeared with something like a bright red cushion in their hands.
I couldn’t help but feel very surprised to see the object on the cushion.
It was because the thing was something I could have never expected. No way, I couldn’t believe he actually gave me this as a reward.
“You must be so surprised that you can’t even speak, right?”
“T-That’s true. Holy shit, this is—”
I picked up the stuff laid on the cushion.
It was a wooden stick.
The stick was about 50cm in length.
It was quite thick, so calling it a short-staff or baseball bat would be better. The shape was really similar to a bat, but there were twigs branching out here and there from the body of the stick and it was much heavier than expected.
“What a nice stick. So where’s my real reward? I don’t like this kind of prank.”
Where was the real reward?
Did he hide it under the table?
No, maybe these twin women were my reward?
While thinking, maybe if I just lifted the skirts of those reserved ladies, I would see the hidden reward underneath, then—
“Aren’t you picking it up already, my friend? The club is the best weapon for Samaritans. You look really good holding onto it like that. You now officially look like a caveman in that outfit.”
“Damn, that’s fucking great, but— I’m afraid it’s too much for me. I’d like to have it in the form of gold coins, please.”
“M friend, there is no need to be so humble and modest between us.”
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