After receiving their payment and finishing their paperwork, survivors left Fishermen and went to Tianna’s apartment.
After confirming that everyone was inside, Nick locked the door, carefully closed the curtains, and listened closely to make sure there was no one in the attic or in the room next to Tianna’s.
“Are you an idiot?”
He yelled at Bond.
“W-What!? It is fine is it not?”
“What if someone finds out what you are?”
“I-It is no reason to be so upset.”
“No, you could’ve picked a better name… Not that I’ve ever seen a sword that can take human form, but try not to raise suspicions…”
“A completely unrelated name would be inconvenient. Names are important.”
“Well, it can’t be helped.”
Interjected Tianna, while shrugging her shoulders.
“Magic items with wills of their own are bound to their names, and if you name them something too far removed from their nature, it will have an effect on their features. For example, if you name a sword ‘mop’, its features will become closer to a mop.”
“…A sacred sword mop is interesting in its own way.”
“In any case, I cannot carelessly be named something strange. You will have to excuse me, but it all went according to plan anyway.”
“Alright then… Sorry for getting mad all of a sudden.”
“No worries. It was not unreasonable of you to feel in such a way.”
Nick and the others did two things to conceal the Sword of Bonds.
First, they delivered a Sword of Bonds with limited features.
Second, they used a feature of the Sword of Bonds called 《parallel》.
This allowed the Sword of Bonds to read its user’s data, and create a human body based on it. It wasn’t quite human, and it was function similar in concept to a golem, but it was indiscernible from a real human without magic that could analyse it in detail. Nick was technically its owner, so it turned into a cute boy, or girl, with facial features that resembled Nick’s.
“That’s right. Are you a boy or a girl?”
“Neither. I cannot create children, regardless of my appearance. As far as my conscience goes, either is fine… Ah, but I do want to try wearing adorable clothes, so if I could take my face and general appearance in a cuter direction…”
Sem strongly opposed.
“Absolutely no lolis.”
Sem looked at Bond with hollow eyes, who backed down after feeling this strange pressure.
“Isn’t that a reproduction of my body anyways?”
“It would be trivial to change my body a little bit. I think a girl would be cuter, do you not?”
“It really is just your own interest isn’t it?”
“Cuter is better is it not?”
Bond peeked at Sem, who made an X with his hands.
“I think he’s traumatized, so leave it at that.”
Added Nick, and Bond sighed.
“Anyway, congratulations on completing the quest. Good job everyone… Is what I’d like to say, but we still have to discuss how to deal with bond.”
“Like who’s going to take care of you. You need food and a place to sleep right?”
“Yes, this human body consumes energy, so I need sleep and replenishment. There are things that I am looking forward to, now that I am in this world.
“But you don’t have any money, so first, we need to decide who takes care of you…”
“I have some reservations about being treated like a lost dog, but that leads me to another question. Why do you all live separately if you are all the same party?
Said Bond with a confused expression.
“Why… I don’t know, I’ve never thought about it.”
“I see, so as the times change, so does the lifestyle of adventurers. From what I heard, adventurers were like a family, eating together and sleeping under the same roof.”
“No, most are like that, we’re the exception.”
Tianna let out an annoyed sigh.
“I know we came here to talk in secret, but my room is too small for five people. Don’t any of you live somewhere more spacious?”
“I live in a cheap 1500 dinnar a day room…”
“What’s that supposed to mean?”
Nick complained about Tianna’s obvious shock.
“No, I mean… Isn’t that too cheap?”
“It’s small but convenient. It doesn’t have any magic items, but the well water is free. What about you two?”
“Mine costs 2000 dinnar, but I often sleep in hostess bars or love hotels.”
Said Sem in a very matter-of-fact way.
“I-I see. That’s amazing.”
“H-How’s your wallet doing?”
Politely responded Nick and Tianna, even though they were clearly taken aback.
“There’s no limit to how long I can stay, and a lot of places are more flexible when I become a regular. I even go out to have breakfast with the male employees sometimes.”
“But I feel bad because when we have breakfast together… they sincerely try to comfort me by saying things like ‘you can’t go on living like this’ or ‘did something painful happen to you’.
“I don’t know what to say either…”
After looking at Sem with a mixture of respect and shock, Nick turned to Karan.
“What kind of room do you live in Karan?”
“500 dinnar per day.”
Everyone was surprised.
500 dinnar was too cheap in the current market.
“C-Cheap is good…”
“You could only buy one or two cups of coffee with that money… By the way, where is it?”
“The east branch.”
“You live over there!?”
“What is the east branch?”
Tianna asked a very surprised Nick.
“…That place is right next to the outer walls that protect the city from monsters, and a place where wagons are kept. It’s used to be a post town for people working there but…”
“When the outer walls were completed and the wagons were moved, there was no work left. Now it’s a complete slum, filled with failed adventurers, old men running away from debt, old men selling strange herbs, and old men that take strange herbs.”
“Yes, now that you mention it, there were old men dancing around naked since noon.”
Said Karan casually, much to the horror of the other three.
“You need to move right now you idiot!”
“Stop it! Stop it! That’s no place for a young girl like you to live!”
“Karan, I know I have no right to say this, but you need to pay more attention to your own safety…”
“B-But it’s cheap! Almost all the old men there are weaker than me anyway!”
“That’s not the issue!”
“B-But we had a rule to not interfere in each other’s private matters!”
“I know, let’s take a vote! All in favor of Karan improving her living environment, raise your hand!”
“I also agree.”
“T-That’s not fair!”
A big ruckus started, and beside it…
“W-What about my problem…?”
“We’ll deal with it later. You’re staying here for now!”
“Good grief, so halfhearted.”
Bond shrugged his shoulders.
In the confusion, no one could guess Bond’s inner thoughts.
[Well… I made it out of the labyrinth. That is good enough for now.]
Bond did not lie to Nick and the others.
He was deceived by the guild and locked inside the labyrinth, and felt sad about not being wielded by a swordsman. None of this was a lie.
But he also did not tell the truth.
[The evil presence is getting stronger… The seal of the demon god may have been broken. I apologize father, for being safely stuck here.]
The demon god was something that appeared every thousand years, or every few hundred years. It was such a long period of time, that even though it was told about in legends, people forgot its danger, scoffed at it, and started conflicts among themselves.
The last war in particular was fierce enough to threaten to bring an end to civilization. The plan given to the Sword of bonds, who survived the war, was to preserve its freedom as much as possible, and to watch over the world of humans from outside of a position of power.
This was part of the reason why the Sword of Bonds meddled with the labyrinth’s security, led the adventurers in, and had them take it outside. It was for the sake of the plan.
[I hope I did not really feel the presence of the demon god, and it was just my imagination… But if that is not the case, these four will have to become heroes…]
Thought the Sword of Bonds, while nonchalantly looking on at the confusion before it.
“You’ll need to at least move into a 1500 dinnar a day place like Tianna!”
“Come on. I’ll buy you something tasty!”
“I know what’s tasty better than you!”
As the Sword of Bonds watched over the argument spew back and forth, it did wonder if those four really were alright, but it most certainly wasn’t unhappy. They weren’t frantically after a sacred sword out of greed, and sympathized with it after hearing about its circumstances. The Sword of Bonds thought [I will have to watch over them] like a guardian. In reality, it was them who were taking care of the Sword of Bonds.
[Well, this liveliness is not bad.]
After living so long… Perhaps it was not so bad to be picked up by this adventurer party.