Karan’s older sister.
Everyone was surprised, but thought it made sense.
“I’ve heard you’ve been through a lot… Go back to the village. If you think you’re still too immature, you know that’s what you should do.”
Karan frowned hard at this sudden proposition.
“…That has nothing to do with you.”
“What did you say?”
“I don’t get why you’re showing up all of a sudden and said that. If you want to go back, go back alone.”
Said Karan before turning away, something which Suisen did not look too happy about.
Everyone around them was confused about this sudden discussion, and Nick stood up.
“Wait, I don’t understand. This is all too sudden…”
“This is a family matter. I’m going to need you to stay out of it…”
“Be that as it may, Karan is still a member of our party, and the only person that can decide if she wants to quit is her. If anyone else here had the right to make her quit, that would be the leader, me. Can you convince me first?”
The feeling of enmity turned into bloodlust.
The situation was very volatile. Suisen’s hands were that of a dragon person, hard, strong, and sharp.
She clenched her fists, and was just about to move her arm when…
Bellocchio’s voice echoed, and Suisen loosened her fist.
“…I’m sorry Bellocchio.”
“Nick was it? You too.”
“I’m sorry for flaring up.”
Nick said as he sat back down.
“Still… You two have completely different origins. Why are you together?”
Nick said as he looked at both Suisen and Bellocchio.
Bellocchio answered with a wry smile.
“Obviously, because we were both searching for Survivors. Neither of us could find our way around Labyrinth City, so it was lucky that we just happened to be looking for the same group of people.”
Nick decided to continue the discussion from there. It turned out that they had actually visited New Beads first. When they asked about the people they were looking for, they heard they joined a party known as Survivors and started looking for them. Bellocchio smiled as he explained.
“Tianna, my business here is not much different than Suisen’s.”
“Hum, so… Do you want me to return to school?”
“Yes, although not a school in this country.”
“The magic empire of Shembad has been looking for people to teach magic. Will you be my assistant?”
Tianna’s face was frozen as she heard something completely unexpected.
Bellocchio was not looking to pressure her to make a decision on the spot, so they decided to talk again later.
The atmosphere was tense, and it seemed as though Karan and her sister could start brawling at any moment, but Bellocchio stopped Suisen with ‘skill’ similar to that of an animal tamer. His expression showed that he was used to dealing with hot-blooded younglings as he casually left Fishermen.
Survivors also left, and gathered in Tianna’s apartment.
“I-I’m so tired…”
The two girls put their arms and heads on the table.
“This is turning into something really confusing for me.”
Nick got up, poured some water from a jug into two cups, and placed them in front of the two girls.
Sem and Bond started cleaning the room, not really saying anything.
Tianna had the bad habit of leaving trash around. She would make sure to not leave raw garbage lying around, as it would attract ‘dangerous beasts’, but would leave packaging and wrappings of books and magic items she bought rolling around her room.
It had become a habit to clean Tianna’s apartment before starting to talk.
“Ah, sorry. I don’t have the energy to do that today.”
“It’s fine… I guess I’ll have to ask. What do you want to do?”
“I’m not going! No way!”
Karan’s answer to Nick’s question was a strong no.
“Ah… Don’t you two get along?”
“That’s not it… I don’t think so…”
Karan tilted her head, seemingly having difficulty putting her thoughts into words.
Nick and the others waited for her to speak without rushing her.
“…My sister got married and abandoned our hometown, so it’s kind of a problem that she showed up telling me to go back with her.”
“Abandoned your hometown?”
“She eloped with a traveler. She’s strong, smart, and beautiful, but she didn’t become a warrior or an adventurer. She used to always tell me not to think about those bothersome things. I didn’t know she was in the Labyrinth City…”
“So… It’s not like she left the village with a specific purpose in mind like you?”
“She always treats me like a kid, even though she does whatever she wants… Like how she’s telling me to go back with her now.”
Nick somehow sympathized with this. He understood Karan’s dilemma of not wanting to go back all too well.
However, at the same time, he thought such a cold and brusque attitude was not right. He looked over at Sem, who quietly nodded.
“I think you two should calm down and try to talk again before turning this into a fight. Maybe there’s something going on with her that we don’t know about, or maybe she’s misunderstanding our situation. If there is something that needs to be said, you should say it before you say yes or no.”
The problem was not solved, but Karan nodded in agreement.
Nick felt relieved, and focused his attention on Tianna.
“What about you Tianna?”
“I can’t just suddenly leave everything and go just because he says so. I really enjoy what I’m currently doing.”
Tianna whispered with some gloom in her eyes.
Nick noticed her refusal was not as resolute as Karan’s.
“So it’s not something you want to refuse right away, and want to mull it over?”
Tianna stood up and glared at Nick.
“I’m not complaining or anything, I just want to hear what you have to say. Are you mad? Happy? Confused? What is it?”
Tianna was going to yell something, but stopped, sat back down, and started speaking.
“I feel guilty… I guess.”
“It’s partly my fault that he was expelled in the first place… I still feel guilty about what happened.”
Tianna was expelled from a school for nobles, and Bellocchio suffered the same fate.
This situation was caused by her former fiancee and his lover.
As if confirming her own feelings, Tianna revealed that she felt she was responsible, and that her teacher would not have been expelled if she noticed their trap sooner.
“So you want to atone?”
“I do but…”
Tianna stood up and rolled on the ground. While lying face up, she once again started speaking to no one in particular.
“I don’t feel like following master Bellocchio will be enough to atone.”
“But I also feel like that’s just an excuse for me not to go to the magic empire. I have all these conflicting ideas in my head. I’m like that sometimes, you know?”
“So, does that mean you two don’t want to go?”
Sem asked directly.
Said Karan and Tianna with no doubt on their faces.
“Wait. We need to be sure, if we’re going to help.”
Tianna and Karan opened their eyes wide.
“…Are you sure?”
Nick had no idea what they were getting at, and both sighed in response.
“Do you remember what you said when we formed this party?”
And then Nick remembered what he once said.
“…We’re not going to interfere with each other’s private lives.”
“You’re the one who said it, how could you forget!? And here I was feeling bad for getting you involved!”
“Yes yes! And…”
Karan mumbled, before her voice got almost too quiet to hear.
“I was worried that if I started talking about private problems you’d say it was against the rules…”
“Ahh Nick, you’re really mean! Poor Karan.”
“I think this is a good time to apologize, Nick.”
“How awful. You are a disgrace to all sacred sword holders.”
“What’s with all of you!? Why are you piling in on it too, Sem and Bond!?”
Said Nick with a sigh while scratching his head with both hands.
“…I’m going to take this opportunity to say that if you find something like a goal in life that takes precedence over this, and you want to willingly quit, I won’t stop you. No one ever knows when their adventurer party might end.”
Said Nick in an uncharacteristically plain manner, as everyone else looked at him with solemn expressions.
“But, if something or someone is forcing you to quit against your will, that’s a different story. Adventurers should be free, and I won’t accept anyone trying to ruin that.”