As Tsutomu followed the man past the appraisal room, he couldn’t help but feel excited at going somewhere for the first time.
“Here. Continue where you left off.”
After knocking, the receptionist opened the door and invited Tsutomu in. Tsutomu entered discreetly.
The interior of the room had a desk placed between high-quality sofas and strangely sparking foliage placed on the sides. A woman sitting formally on the sofa turned around and looked at the three who entered with upturned ears.
She wore a white shirt and black clothes, much like a suit, and gave off a certain atmosphere. Her big and fluffy tail, placed on the sofa, had a luster much like it was well-maintained.
“I’ve brought three people here. I’ll take my leave.”
She sent off the receptionist, who then left the room. While Tsutomu considered whether or not he should sit down, Amy promptly sat on the sofa and started drinking cold tea on the desk. The tanuki-woman turned her gaze on Amy.
Garm signaled that he would sit in the middle of the couch with his eyes and then sat next to Amy. Tsutomu sat beside him.
“So, who are you? I’ve heard about someone like you from Solit.”
“Y-yes! Nice to meet you! I’m that person!”
The Hayato woman swayed the large brown tail on the side of the sofa, took out business cards, and placed them on the desk. Tsutomu saw a business card, written on clean white paper.
“My name is Mille, from Solit~. Nice to meet you~. First of all, congratulations on your breakthrough to the 50th floor.”
Mille bowed while smiling. She bowed, and Tsutomu tried his best to look away from her ample cleavage.
Amy became engrossed in what Mille was saying and drank some tea.
“You’re late to this interview, aren’t you?”
“That’s because the guild kept it confidential. The Solit company knew that we were in a dungeon, but they couldn’t enter due to the guild.”
“Hm~. So why did you come today?”
“It was because the fight against the shell crab was shown as the 9th rank. So, we were finally accepted for this interview.”
“Huh!? You were in the single digits! I didn’t know!”
9th. Tsutomu remembered that camera and made a cup of tea and drank it. He saw Mille, eyes shining while trying to make a strong tea with a deep feeling to it.
“Yes~! Everyone was impressed when they saw those two due to the mad dog Garm-sama and the dancer Amy-sama have joined you~. They should belong to a clan that competes in the highest rank. Two aces! They’re together in a party now! It was so great that I didn’t realize you were at the 9th rank.”
“The mad dog…?”
Mille’s eyes narrowed, and she tilted her head.
“Maybe you don’t know? Two years ago, we were left for dead by a vicious criminal clan-”
“I don’t care about those old stories. How about we move on?”
“Awawa! I’m sorry!”
When Garm crossed his arms unpleasantly, Mille crumpled the paper she was holding. When Garm removed his gaze, she settled down, put her hands on her plump breasts, and began to take a deep breath.
“So, Solit is very much excited by the return of you two. The people are delighted.”
“No, it wasn’t a return.”
“Eh!? Is that so? People have been looking forward to your return. Of course, the rest of Solit and I have been your fans for a long time!”
“Oh, is that so? Wanna shake hands?”
“Is that okay? Yes, please!”
Mille leaped and grabbed Amy’s extended hand. Elsewhere, Tsutomu pondered how much Amy’s smile resembled a businessman’s.
[Solit Company, huh?]
A newspaper article that was one of the reasons why Tsutomu is now called Lucky Boy was written by Solit, the oldest and most influential newspaper company.
He didn’t know who wrote it, but Tsutomu did not put much trust in Solit. However, since the person they were facing was acting childlike, Tsutomu only responded with a smile.
“Thank you~. Now I can boast to my family~. Uh, Garm-sama, if you’re okay…”
“…Maybe next time.”
“Oh, alright. I’m sorry. Well, I’d like to ask you more in the interview about the beach and whether you will be returning to dungeoneering. I want to take some more photos too~”
“…I see. How long will it take?”
Tsutomu glared at Mille as if to signal “what the hell are you saying,” but Mille immediately responded.
“About 3 hours. I think it’ll take time to carry in and set up the photographing magic tool.”
“Is that so?”
Three hours. Tsutomu thought about how much experience and magic stones they could earn in that time, and he felt that he wouldn’t be able to get those hours back, sighing internally. Solit had a significant influence in this labyrinthine city. It wasn’t like Tsutomu could decline the interview.
Tsutomu asked the two people beside him if being interviewed would be okay.
“I’m okay with it if you are, Tsutomu!”
“I don’t mind.”
After their answers, Tsutomu told Mille, who was smiling like the Buddha, that being interviewed would be okay.
“I see~. Thank you~. Well then, let’s begin questioning you two~”
Mille’s interview lasted about two hours.
After the interview and photoshoot, Amy was happy, and Garm was a little hungry. While she made final adjustments to the article, Mille whispered in a friendly way to Amy while holding the pen.
“I definitely recommend Uozumi Restaurant! I’ll introduce you!”
While struggling with Amy, who still felt energetic, Tsutomu stretched his arms forward to relieve the stiffness of his body. A refreshing cracking sound resonated.
The interview was centered on Garum and Amy. Tsutomu was only able to speak a word or two. Tsutomu, who was turned into a figurine, was relieved at the end of the interview.
After the interview, it was time to level. Amy suddenly considered grinding at the beach as she tried to reach the level needed to learn to fly.
“Speaking of the interview, didn’t Tsutomu get interviewed less? Even though he’s the party leader and all.”
For some reason, Amy seemed to be the sensible one. After she recognized Tsutomu’s skill as a healer, her attitude softened, which could cause trouble for him. Mille listened to Amy’s words on Tsutomu.
Although it was not as obvious as towards the paparazzi, Mille saw a harsh presence in her line of right. Mille lost her gaze as Tsutomu made her uncomfortable.
“Yes, but he’s a white mage even if you say he’s party leader. I don’t think there’s much to ask.”
“Tsk tsk. Mille. Our white mage is a little different from the others, isn’t he?”
“And who embarrassed herself by not knowing that?”
Garm reacted to Amy’s words as if he was bitten. Mille cast a puzzled look at them.
“His heals. They’re projectiles! Pew!”
Mille continued to listen to Amy’s story with a slightly fuzzy smile, who explained with gestures similar to a child holding a toy car.
“Even if you are injured while fighting monsters, Tsutomu will heal you immediately! Your buffs will always be applied and will not expire!”
“As for Garm, Tsutomu also came up with the idea to use him as a tank! Thanks to that, I can attack more!”
“T-That’s right~. Tsutomu is amazing~”
Tsutomu had a sinking feeling that these words were sugarcoated. Amy continued to talk, unaware of how Mille felt.
“That’s why you should interview Tsutomu!”
“Hmm. But there is almost no space for articles anymore. Would it be possible to ask again in the future?”
“Eh!? Then leave out Garm’s part!”
Garm tries to butt into Amy’s speech, while she was innocently pointing at the interview, but he stopped. Mille closed her eyes as if Amy’s offer was embarrassing.
“…To be honest, you can sell Garm-sama’s articles more than Tsutomu articles. Garm-sama is more popular with women and children, so he usually attracts people who don’t buy newspapers. So, removing Garm-sama’s article is a bit…”
“Well, why’s he popular?”
“I can see why he’s so popular. He has sharp eyes that complement his slender height! However, contrary to his appearance, he’s a gentleman! Moreover, the security guards are esteemed due to their role in maintaining security! “
After listening to Mille and seeing her gaze warmly at him, Garm hid his face with his large black tail. Amy crossed her arms when she listened to Mille’s words.
“Well, you can’t help sales. Then, can I remove my article?”
“That…! It’s ridiculous to scrape Amy-sama’s article!”
In response to Amy’s offer, Mille clasped her hands and raised her tail from the side of the sofa. Tsutomu couldn’t see what was going on, so he looked from the side.
“So the article is fine as it is. We need to go into the dungeon again, so can we wrap this up?”
“Oh, yes~. The time’s up~. Thank you~”
After considering the offer about Tsutomu, Mille began to put her paper and pens back into the bag. As Amy looked at Mille, she approached Tsutomu while her mouth bent into a smile.
“Eh, Tsutomu, what now? If your achievements don’t appear in Solit’s newspaper… we might have to leave the party, wouldn’t we?”
Tsutomu was delighted to hear that, and as he was lower on the perceived social ladder, he was confused about how to respond. Then, he looked at Amy as Garm looked down.
“Huh. Surely, if you disappear, you’ll have no reason to follow me.”
“…wait! Forget that! It was nothing! Nothing!”
“I understand. Even if you disappear, it’s okay to stay in the party.”
Amy brought her hands to her chest as Tsutomu smiled a smile that never changed. Mille, who was listening to the conversation behind her, shouted with a lively voice.
“Well then, sorry for the trouble. Thank you for your cooperation today. I’ll transfer the money to the guild.”
“Oh, yeah! Thanks for the hard work, Mille!”
“Yes. I’ll do my best for Amy-sama’s sake.”
Tsutomu, now free from Mille, rested his back on the comfortable sofa. He thought about taking a break today, but jumped up from the sofa to go leveling.
“Now then, let’s go to the beach.”
“Yeah! Aim for the shell crab!”
“Maybe not that far up.”
After trying to hold down Amy’s raised fist, Tsutomu left the drawing room.