Chapter 39 – Invitation to the Palace
“However, even if they were taken away from there, the Monsters who leave the Labyrinth are completely different from everyone in the Village, you know.”
“So, that means?”
“Everyone realized that each of them had different personalities and had their own tastes. Rather than being Monsters in the Labyrinth…If I were to compare everyone in my memories with Monsters, they wouldn’t be similar at all. Even so, it would be strange to think about fighting, right?”
Hmm. So they didn’t “suddenly appear”, but were born in the Labyrinth instead.
Irmhild certainly said that everyone lived together.
“I don’t really understand, but were your parents there?”
Irmhild naturally nodded and then laughed, as if she was feeling nostalgic.
“We had rules in the village, such as not being allowed to head outside or to let anyone enter.”
To my knowledge, I had never met Monsters who were friendly with humans or showed friendly behaviour to them inside the Labyrinth.
Even if they were being controlled, due to leaving voluntarily, they were making a living?
Hmm. If I were to describe it in one word, then perhaps it would be…isolation, or sheltering? Then, who were they? Why were they doing it?
“Speaking of rules, who decided them?”
“Well, I didn’t think of questioning it too much. Now that I think about it, who was it? I wonder about that myself.”
Irmhild placed a finger on her lips and tilted her head.
“Irmhild is such a child.”
…Speaking of not being under someone’s control…she might just have a carefree attitude.
“Well, anywho, I don’t think there is such a village on the earlier floors, right?”
“Is that so?”
“From what I gathered about the Labyrinth, I have never heard of a floor with a Monster Village. Even if I try to consider the Village’s situation or purpose, it seems like you’ve said that they don’t want to get invaded or the residents don’t want to head outside.”
“Hmm…until now, it was probably impossible to search for it.”
Irmhild let out a ‘Hou’ as she sighed.
At that moment, we heard a knock. Heather appeared.
“Someone came, and wants to meet and talk with Theodore-san.”
“Understood. I’ll head there immediately.”
“Eh? Oh, well, please…wait for a moment.”
Although Heather replied with that, she looked behind her and appeared to be keeping someone back.
“I’m very sorry. Like I said earlier, please wait in the lobby. He’s in the middle of a visit.”
“Well, I don’t really care. I’m in a hurry.”
“Please wait for a moment, Chester-san.”
They were arguing about something.
Well…that really wasn’t alright.
When I looked at Sheila, she was furrowing her brows in discomfort. That’s right. She was rather cautious about having me meet with Irmhild.
In urban areas, especially here at Termuilles, people were quite open-minded to the first of the foreign races, the Elves and the Dwarves. Such a foundation was related to accepting friendly, harmless Monsters. The Adventurer’s Guild should have detailed facts about the present condition of Monsters.
However, they were just open-minded. I wasn’t saying that there wasn’t any discrimination or oppression.
Grace was also in a similar situation. Her blood-sucking impulses wouldn’t cause her any real damage if she had her Cursed Artifact equipped, and that was unrelated to items with appearances that I didn’t know. If it weren’t for that, even if she was a mixed blood, she would have probably received the same treatment as normal vampires. That was why I could understand Sheila’s feelings of worry.
For now, perhaps it was correct to be cautious if it was someone I didn’t know. I couldn’t force my way through the room to leave. When I looked at the person next to Heather, I saw a brown-haired man. He was wearing a surcoat with a crest on it and was armed with a sword.
Judging from his appearance, he was a member of the Knights. He seemed to be around 20 years old.
Although he had an invigorating smile on first glance, his current impression on me wasn’t that great. I still couldn’t tell whether that was intentional or if this was his natural personality.
“Yo, are you the rumored Magician-kun?”
“It’s Theodore Gartner.”
“My name is Chester Grenbell. I’ve brought an invitation letter to an evening banquet that is being held at the Palace. Well, I went to your house yesterday, but you appeared to be absent, so that ended in failure. After investigating, I heard that you had gone into the Labyrinth.
“Is that so?”
“Well, it’s fine since I made it in time. It will take place five days from now. Although it’s a social event being held by the Palace, they took the lead and wanted to invite you, who defeated a Demon, to attend it. An invitation letter was arranged for Hurry-kun.”
(TL: Hurry-kun refers to Theo seeming to always being in a hurry and never being around.)
“A social event, you say?”
“It’s nothing special. His Majesty also has plans to attend it.”
…Five days from now, huh? That didn’t seem to be in a hurry at all. Rather than calling it a summons from the Palace, I felt that they were summoning the rumored person as a ‘Surprise Guest’.
However, why would a Knight bring an invitation letter to me?
Well, I won’t ask him. It would be troublesome to retort to him poorly and end up having to have a long talk together.
The Palace Magicians and Knights didn’t get along with each other, so it was probably not a good setting to be in.
“Understood. If that’s the case, then it’s impossible for me to not make an appearance.”
“Yeah, well then, it’s certain that I’ve delivered it now?”
Chester quickly withdrew and left. What was that for?
“I’m sorry, Theodore-san. I even told him to wait in the lobby.”
“It can’t be helped that he entered on his own. Rather, who is he?”
“He’s someone who recently made a name for himself among the Knights. It’s rumored that he has a fair amount of skills. Umm, he said it was a social event five days from now, right? It’s probably a banquet being hosted by the Knights. Since he said that His Majesty is also attending it this year, they probably…had plans to make it grand. It’s still going according to schedule despite there being a Demon disturbance, you know.”
A Knight came because it was being hosted by Knights, huh? Well, the reason was easy to understand.
“Umm, by saying this to me with this kind of timing…will they have me be present so that they can congratulate me for my win against the Demon?”
“Yeah, that appears to be so…”
Heather subtly furrowed her eyebrows at my words.
Although some of the soldiers had passed away, the preparations they had done until now would be wasted if they practiced self-control.
Being held at the Palace and having the King himself make an appearance…they probably didn’t want to simply cancel it.
That was why, by summoning me, it would be more along the lines of hosting a banquet to celebrate my victory, or to honor the brave soldiers who fell.
If that was the case, then my attendance was necessary. Although he said it was an invitation letter, I would play an essential role, and they wanted me to attend it no matter what.
That was why he called it a social event rather than a banquet.
By quickly giving me an invitation letter, they probably wanted my consent, since they were the ones who wanted to host it, and by sending a famous Knight, they probably wanted to create a situation where I would be regarded as someone important and appeal to me, or make it so that I couldn’t refuse.
One look at my attitude said that I was a fine young man.
Although he immediately withdrew, since I quickly gave my consent, it was possible that he wouldn’t have approved of me and would refuse to stand down.
…Well, the person they chose was completely wrong though.
Although I didn’t know Chester’s personality well, if that was how he naturally was, as long as he had his military arts, he wasn’t suited to be a messenger at all. If this was done on purpose, I could imagine the discomfort within his heart at becoming a lackey for the higher ups.
“Will you attend it?”
“Unfortunately, I’ve already received the invitation letter.”
As for me, I thought that the story of me defeating a Demon would be brought up sooner or later.
I still wanted to go into the Labyrinth for the time being. Having them freely decide my background while I was absent would be troublesome though.
I would attend it if I couldn’t unable to escape, and there was definitely no way that I could smoothly come to an agreement with the higher ups by talking about the situation and my thoughts.
Later on, I want to investigate the information Lynette obtained and what that will lead to.