After having defeated the shell crab, Tsutomu eventually finished his leveling, reaching as high as level 28, and learned how to fly.
Impatient and wanting to see how flying would feel like, Tsutomu tried to fly across the ocean, leading to him plummeting from an outstanding height face-first into the water.
As he surfaced from the water, he began to tell off Amy, who was laughing heartily while flying overhead.
Amy happily screamed as she soared through the air. Tsutomu, getting out of the water, gave Garm the Fly skill.
“It’s a little difficult still.”
Garm began to fly and was initially very conscious of maintaining his balance, then he began to look like he was getting used to it. Tsutomu again activated Fly, before eventually turning upside down and plummeting back towards the water.
Tsutomu continued practicing for a while but still couldn’t get used to it. Each time, he would squeeze the water out of his robes while looking across the horizon, where Amy and Garm were flying happily.
“You can do it! Just don’t think about it and do it quickly!”
While listening to the advice Amy and Garm had to offer, Tsutomu was finally able to keep a decent balance while in the air. As he reached into his belt for a blue potion, however, he slipped and began to fall again. Amy burst into laughter, almost losing balance herself, as Garm returned a frown.
“Huh, why’s the sky so blue?”
“Oh no, Tsutomu’s gone crazy.”
“Why are you two able to get the hang of it right away? You guys are so good.”
“Maybe it’s a difference in dexterity levels. Amy is B, and I’m a C+, but you’re just a D+.”
“Oh, I see. Since I can’t fly as well as you guys during a fight, I’ll just have to make sure I don’t fall and die. Anyways, there are magic equipment I can use to break my fall. Should we start clearing the valley now? Maybe it’s a good idea to even practice dying.”
“Yeah, you should learn how to handle the pain.”
Adventurers should never be afraid of pain or death. Although it’s best to be cautious in the outskirt dungeons, inside the dungeons monitored by the gods, if there is an order that may cause great pain or even death, one must complete it nonetheless.
Tsutomu had even tried jumping off a cliff earlier at Garm’s suggestion. Garm and Amy can easily give up their lives at any time, without worrying about a shock after respawning outside the dungeon. However, this is not the case with Tsutomu.
He had tried searching for any medicine that could relieve any fear or pain, but his efforts were futile in the end, so he finished up his practice and headed for the guild.
The 3 returned promptly and uneventfully to the guild, where they split up. At the receptionist’s desk, Tsutomu checked the amount transferred by Solit Newspapers. His account had been credited with 300,000G.
Since he only had to stay for 3 hours, he was quite satisfied with the amount of money he made. The water gem from defeating the shell crab was worth just 700,000G. Just from listening to stories and answering questions, he made nearly half what defeating the shell crab gave him.
He began to consider using interviews as an alternative method to gain income. It certainly paid well. And you could also get praised a lot even if you speak only 2 or 3 words.
If you receive sponsorships alongside interviews from big companies, you might even be able to buy a clan house.
As Tsutomu tried to leave the guild, 3 unfamiliar men stood in front of him.
“Hey, is that Lucky Boy?”
Tsutomu was quite surprised since it had been a long time since he’d been bothered about this.
“What do you want? If you try something here, the guild staff will catch you.”
“As usual. A classy comeback. Typical of an orphan.”
“If you don’t have Garm, you should be scared of us.”
Tsutomu’s chest was grabbed by one of the thugs, although his expression was unchanged since he knew there were severe penalties for causing violence in the guild.
The thug released Tsutomu, who calmly unfolded his crumpled robes.
“Hey, you’re just gonna leave?”
“Better watch out tomorrow!”
Thugs had come up to him before threatening violence despite Garm’s deterrence. Tsutomu wondered if they were actually going to follow through with their promise for tomorrow, but since he was too tired to think about it, he just went straight to sleep after reaching the inn.
When Tsutomu awoke, he realized that his door was being banged on from the other side. He left the comfort of his slime bed and approached the door with great caution.
“Tsutomu! You’re awake!”
“Garm? Is that you?”
Tsutomu dropped the baton he had been holding in self-defense and rushed to open the door. He invited Garm in, before rapidly closing it straight after.
“What’s wrong? It’s so early in the morning. Are you excited for the valley?”
“Check out this article.”
Garm handed him a crumpled newspaper, which had the 3 members of his party plastered on its front page. Tsutomu read it as he rubbed his eyes.
Did Lucky Boy blackmail Amy into joining his party?
Lucky Boy has a contract with his guild allowing him to receive Amy and Garm as his party members. This was confirmed by the guild’s official documents.
However, when I interviewed the trio, Amy seemed to be happy and content with Lucky Boy. Suspicious of this, I began to investigate, and that’s when the surprising facts emerged.
According to the information I received from an Adventurer, Amy had been scolding Lucky Boy, but he refused to take her advice and brushed her off. This is in complete disagreement with their contract, which says all members must be treated equally.
After receiving reports from other clans at Solit that Amy had been begging Lucky Boy not to abandon her, and he was simply ignoring her and turning a blind eye, I began to dig deeper. After interviewing about a hundred adventurers, and I was able to discern that Lucky Boy, otherwise known as Kyoutani Tsutomu, is holding blackmail against Amy.
Solit Newspapers will continue to investigate to discover what knowledge Tsutomu is holding against Amy. Until then, any trivial information will be much appreciated.
Could this be the doing of the thugs he met yesterday? Tsutomu broke into a nervous laugh.
“I’m sorry, I didn’t think it could have been twisted like this. I should have done something in the dungeon instead when I got angry.”
Garm glanced once more at the newspaper.
“What’s wrong? Why are you laughing so much?”
“Well, since there’s nothing else to do but laugh.”
“For now, we must remove Amy from the part, at least until all this turmoil subsides. If this news gets around, our party will be finished.”
“Right now, there’s nothing we can do. Our only hope is to negotiate with Solit and ask them to put up a correction in the next newspaper.”
Tsutomu folded up the newspaper and changed into his everyday clothes. Thinking about it now, he realized that the Mirrul fellow was acting strangely after the interview.
“So have you come to escort me to the guild?”
“Yes, I was ordered by the guild master. There are also a few guards on the way.”
“I understand. I’ll wash my face and be right out.”
“Tsutomu, why are you so calm?”
Garm followed Tsutomu towards the sink.
“I’ll go immediately towards Solit and begin the negotiations.”
“Huh? Isn’t it a little distasteful to do it so soon?”
“I knew you’d say that. If we don’t show any outrage early on, people might start fully believing in the article.”
Garm grabbed the newspaper with both hands and threw it into the trash bin. Tsutomu laughed a little as he cleaned his face with a towel.
“No, no, it’s fine. You don’t have to do that for me.”
“Listen, Tsutomu. I know I was just following orders at the start, and I never thought that you’d grow on me, but when we got through the swamp together, I began to think of you as an equal.”
“Same to you.”
Tsutomu felt weird in the solemn atmosphere and turned towards Garm and gave him a smile.
“You should be appreciated too, Tsutomu. It was only because of you that we were able to reach more than 50 levels.”
Garm clenched his fists tighter.
“Tsutomu, you’ve been such a good companion thus far. Please, leave it to me. You don’t have to stay so calm. We CAN do something about this.”
[I’m ashamed to say… I don’t think so Garm…]
His friends back in Japan had never shown this much affection towards him, so he felt sort of uncomfortable. They were always caught up in their own work and interests.
Tsutomu felt a weird kind of embarrassment that he was able to build this sort of friendship so quickly.
“I understand your thoughts about this situation, but I have some of my own.”
“I still don’t think we should get angry with them. I’ll talk to Solit without starting any fights. If it doesn’t work out, I’ll ask you to do it instead.”
“All right! No problem if that’s the way you want to do it.”
“Well, then. Are you going to the guild?”
The 2 friends smiled at each other and laughed merrily as they made their way towards the guild.