Chapter 94 – Turmoil in the holy city – Part fourteen

“Miss Mia, we must prepare for the advent festival.
Would it be all right if we returned?”

Says Dan early in the morning while bowing.

A saint doesn’t really have a lot of work to do during the advent festival, besides attend the ceremony.
The festival is led by the head of the church.

That’s why Mia was supposed to stay here until the day before the festival, but apparently there was a change of plans.

Mia looks at me like she wants to say something, but then bows, and gets in a wagon with Dan.

“There they go, master.”

Says Hikari.

“Yes, but you’ll see her again.
We’ll say goodbye when it’s really time for us to leave.”

I get the feeling that Mia thought she was being selfish, and went back to doing as she is told.

“I’m worried about our big sister.
She didn’t come back last night.”

Yor whispers during this busy morning.

There shouldn’t have been any reason why she couldn’t come back, but she didn’t even contact them.

“It might be best to go to the guild.”

Talia is also looking out the window with an anxious look on her face.

We can’t see it from here, but preparations for the advent festival are almost complete.
It seems less noisy than the average festival, but there’s definitely an enthusiastic feeling in the air.

It’s very clearly different from when I arrived.
There are more believers around, and people who came from other places will be staying in churches or inns related to the church.
Of course, that still won’t be enough, and many people are going to be staying in regular inns.

I’m really grateful to Yor for inviting us to stay here, because it really looks like it would’ve been hard to find an inn.

“Master, what are we going to do?”

Asks Hikari.

“Let’s go with them.
I want to know what happened too.”

The word that Sera said before crosses through the back of my mind.

We eat quickly, get ready in a hurry, and head to the adventurer guild.

On the way there, I notice again that the mood is completely different than before.
People seem excited, and I get the feeling that more of them are smiling as they walk around.

That mood is completely reversed when we step inside the adventurer guild.
There’s a heavy mood in the air.
Normally there are always people hanging out in the tavern, but no one’s there today.

The air around is so tense it’s almost prickly, and even the usually noisy adventurers are all gathered in one place, completely silent.

It reminds me of when they were calling for adventurers to hunt orcs.

After a while, some people come out from a room in the back.
Hn? There’s Leila, and some people have bags under their eyes.

“Thank you for answering my call so early in the morning.”

Is that the guildmaster? And we weren’t called, were we? I look over at Yor, and she shakes her head.

Does that mean everyone here is A rank or higher? It doesn’t feel that way, judging by their equipment.
And their levels contradict that too.
Maybe they’ve gathered adventurers that mainly work for this guild.

“There have been many reports lately of adventurers accepting quests only to find there are no monsters when they reach their destinations.

And so, we have been putting out quests for adventurers to investigate nearby forest and wasteland, and as a result, confirmed that there are groups of monsters there.”

He brings out a board with a map and markings.

There is a forest northeast of the holy city, and an area further than its center is emphasized in red.

“Guildmaster, are the monsters gathering all the same species? Or…”

“It’s as we suspected.
Various types of monsters are coming together.”

The guildmaster answers immediately, and the murmurs around the room stop.
All I hear is someone gulping.

“Why did it take this long to notice that? I’m sure there were hunting quests around that area.
And even if there weren’t, it should have been somewhat explored.”

Someone yells.

“I don’t know a lot about it, but there are traces of concealment magic being used.”

“How do you know that, if you say you don’t know a lot?”

People are upset because the guildmaster’s explanation seems vague.

“I’ll explain that.”

A gaudy looking man stands up next to the guildmaster.

Is he famous? The room gets quiet again when he speaks.

“Our scouts found this gathering of monsters, and got visual confirmation.
What’s important to note is that until the scouts got close, they didn’t see any monsters, even though there were so many they were impossible to miss.”

It’s possible that large-scale magic was used to hide all the monsters, or concealment magic that hid the whole area.
That doesn’t matter, what matters is that we know the monsters are there.”

“So what should we do?”

Oh… Everyone’s eyes are focused on a stern looking old man.
It’s like he asked what everyone is thinking.

“We are putting out an urgent quest.
All adventurers D ranked and up are to join.”

“Did you contact the church?”

“We have sent a messenger earlier, but it will be difficult to coordinate with them.
I’m sure there won’t be a problem with the guards.”

This kingdom doesn’t actually have a king.
The leader of the church leads the country, and cardinals stand below him.
Aside from the cardinals there are also departments that run the government, and an army organization that’s kind of like crusaders.

This army has a very strong sense of individuality, so they almost never fight alongside others.
They cooperate with soldiers guarding the city, but the guildmaster is thinking it would be difficult to coordinate with them.

“Big sister.
What’s going on?”

Leila walks away from a group that’s heating up and walks towards us.
It looks like she just noticed we’re here.

And Yor runs up to her while asking that question.

“It is as the guildmaster explained.
We don’t know the exact number, but it’s estimated there are over five hundred of them.”

“But why did you take part in that discussion, big sister?”

“Apparently they heard about our adventure with the orcs.
Mister Locke was called too.”

“So what should we do?”

Asks Talia, sounding worried.

“…Yor’s family is here, so I want to do everything in my power.
What do you all think?”

“Yes, I want to help Yor.”

When a friend is in need, you have to help her.”

“And Yor is always helping us too.”

“If Yor’s family is here, we have to defend this city.”

“You girls…”

I know there’s a moving scene going on, but what should I do? And concealment magic? Is it in any way related to that building? I just don’t have enough information.

“So guildmaster, are you going to tell the civilians about this?”

“That’s up to the church.
If we make it public, we will just invite unnecessary confusion.
We will do what we can.”

Something related to monsters seems exactly like the sort of thing the adventurer guild should announce, but I guess something is binding them.

I don’t know if they feel attached to this place, or if the guildmaster is just that popular, but people rush to the counters to accept the quest.

Leila and her party also get in line to accept the quest, and the rest of us go back to the mansion, because we’ll just get in the way.


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