Willy and Marcus were a sorcerer and swordsman pair, and they were regulars in the adventurer guild fishermen. They had been adventurers for seven years at that were currently D rank, which put them among the strongest regulars in Fishermen. They used to be a four member party, but the other two members got married and retired from adventuring, so their party was pretty much over, and they made their living helping other parties.
Since they moved around so much and between so many parties, they had sharp ears for information. They had to sell their services to parties that were in a tight spot because they needed more members.
“Hey Marcus, about that party.”
“You know, that one. The one that doesn’t stick around to have a drink and leaves right away.”
“Ah, Survivors. What about them Willy?”
“They conquered the Labyrinth of Bonds.”
“Hn? That’s been conquered a long time ago. There’s even a map of the last floor.”
“That’s not what I mean Marcus, there was a hidden path. I even heard they found the legendary Sword of Bonds. When they came out of the labyrinth and told the employees what happened the place went nuts.”
“Seriously? They found a secret path? You gotta respect that, but…”
“…If they got the Sword of Bonds, does that mean they’re an adventurer party with the ideal teamwork?”
“I dunno about that, maybe it’s just some fake legend. It doesn’t really matter.”
“So that’s it uh…”
“And their leader’s a nice guy.”
“Hn? You know him Willy?”
“Yes. The other day I saw him here and bumped into him at a live event, and we became friends… Speak of the devil.”
Willy turned his attention to the entrance of Fishermen, as five people were coming in.
Willy waved, and Nick waved back.
“Hey captain. Thanks for the penlight.”
“It’s fine, I had a lot. And only call me that when we’re in Agete’s live events, call me Willy here.
“So I heard you got the Sword of Bonds.”
“Word travels quick huh? We finished the exploration yesterday, and now we’re going to deliver it to the old woman. Do you want to see it?”
Nick carefully unwrapped the cloth he was holding, and inside it was a sword handle without a blade.
“So this is a magic sword… This is an aura blade that makes a blade of magic energy jump out. It’s really useful, it barely needs any maintenance and it’s good against spirit type monsters.”
“You got all that just by looking at it Willy?”
“An adventurer has to be a good appraiser… Still, it doesn’t really live up to the legend does it? Is it the real one?”
“I-It should be. We found it on the last floor.”
“I see… Anyway, congratulations. I see I need to learn from you.”
“No, it’s not a big…”
“Come on Nick, this is where you brag and say your party’s awesome. Humility is for when you do a good job on your own.”
Nick looked like he was caught off guard, but immediately said.
“That’s right, my party’s awesome.”
“You got that right.”
“Thanks, see you later Willy.”
Willy waved to Nick and the others as they left.
After they left, Marcus asked.
“Willy, I’m curious about something.”
“Hn? You too? It looks like they got themselves a new member. That kid looks like a swordsman, but he seems pretty good. There’s not an opening in his movements.”
“No, that’s not it. You’re the captain of one of those idol groupies?”
“Yeah, live events are fun.”
Nick and the others were sitting across from Wilma, the receptionist in Fishermen’s meeting room.
“Not bad. I’m amazed that you actually finished that quest.”
“Here’s the Sword of Bonds.”
Nick unwrapped the cloth and showed the sword handle to Wilma.
“Hohou… So this is the Sword of Bonds. Did you try using it?”
“Yes, it wasn’t not that hard to use.”
“Hou! Show me.”
Nick got up and grabbed the sword.
And then, a shining blade appeared from the sword handle.
“Beautiful magic energy is flowing… It’s not as powerful as I expected, but it is an artifact.”
“I can control its length at will, but it has a two meter limit.
“Does it have any more characteristics?”
“It looks like the more party members there are the more powerful it gets, but I don’t know how much,”
“I see, so that’s the power of the Sword of Bonds… Alright, quest complete. We’ll pay you for completing the quest but your reward for finding the artifact will only be paid after we appraise it thoroughly. See you in about a week.”
“We went through a lot of trouble, it better be worth a lot.”
“That’s up to the appraiser… By the way…”
Wilma turned her attention to behind Nick, and the person at the end of her gaze asked.
“What is it?”
“I’m Wilma, a receptionist. Little girl… Or boy? In any case, did you just join survivors?
“Yes, that is correct. My gender is… Neither… Let us say I am a boy, for convenience sake.”
“Hm…? S-So you’re new. You have to submit a registration.”
“Yes, that is why I am here.”
The cute boy(?) with the old-fashioned way of speaking stepped forward.
His white hair stood out, but his facial features resembled Nick’s. They looked like brothers… Or brother and sister.
“…You two look so much alike. Are you related?”
“W-We’re not… Well, some stuff happened and now I’m taking care of him.”
“Hmm, so what’s your name?”
“Idiot. That’s too direct…”
Nick whispered, but Wilma didn’t hear it.
“What a coincidence, it’s the same name as the sword. You be good.”
“Yes, do not worry about me!”
The white haired boy(?) puffed out his chest at Wilma’s usual encouragement.