Rumor was going around that part of the army had been obliterated, and their force had become sparse.
Even though Loren didn’t want to hear about such rumors, he had no means to stop the talk from reaching his ears.
He was sitting in a corner of a tavern that belonged to the Adventurer Guild, and the group of adventurers near him were chatting about it; he couldn’t help but overheard their conversation.
According to the rumor, the soldiers that had participated in the almost-war skirmish between Vargenburg and Schoembrin had all disappeared. The skirmish hadn’t been that bad, and the number of killed-in-action hadn’t been that high either. And yet, soldiers had disappeared, from not just one but both factions, and at about the same time. The adventurers were quite interested in what on earth could have happened there.
“Swallow! Swallow before you speak!”
Gula, who was sitting opposite to Loren with a grilled chicken drumstick in each hand, tried to speak around mouthful. Loren couldn’t understand her at all, so he shouted at her to swallow first.
Gula proceeded to try to chew the meat in her mouth with all her might. Meanwhile, Lapis, who was sitting next to Loren in her priest robe, rocked the glass of wine in her hand.
“I think I know the reason somehow.”
“I don’t want to hear it, so you don’t need to tell me.”
To be honest, Loren also knew. It was their previous mission.
It had started with a request from an adventurer named Klaus to escort some goods to some village. Then one thing had led to another, and in the end, they had encountered Luxuria, the Evil God of Lust, a macho Loren didn’t really want to think about.
Villagers from the neighboring areas and the soldiers fighting nearby fell under the influence of that Evil God’s power and had been entranced. Shortly after a sort of ‘festival’ with actions that couldn’t be put into words had unfolded.
The situation had been resolved somehow, but the consequence of it was the platinum blond girl, who was enthusiastically gnawing on chicken bones in front of Loren: Gula had decided to accompany them.
Gula was the Evil God of Gluttony, but she had become interested in Loren and Lapis for some reason, and had followed them to Kapha city.
“They won’t have the heart to fight the men they got laid with yesterday, right?”
Gula said with no reservation after chewing and swallowing the meat in her mouth.
Loren’s and Lapis’ faces noticeably darkened at her remark. Loren gave Gula a disgusting look and said with a somewhat sullen tone:
“I said I don’t want to hear about it, didn’t I?”
“But you said it to Lapis-chan.”
Gula gave him a glare that meant ‘You didn’t tell me so it’s alright’.
“And who do you think is going to pay for all the meat you’ve just eaten?”
Gula had been sealed as an Evil God for a long time, so of course she didn’t have any money. Or rather, she didn’t possess anything valuable. Naturally, Loren and Lapis paid for her lodging expenses in Kapha, and it was not an insignificant amount.
Moreover, as if to live up to her title as the Evil God of Gluttony, Gula really could eat a lot. She ate so much that others could get heartburns and lose appetite just by watching her. Any diners that were unlucky enough to have Gula as their customer would have to close their business for the day, as she could devour enough food to put them out of stock in a blink on an eye. And she would still look unsatisfied.
She ate like that for exactly three times a day, and it was unbearable for Loren and Lapis, who paid for her meal.
“We’ll need gold coins to pay for your meals soon, won’t we?”
“Ah, ahahahahaha. I’m probably too hungry after such a long sleep, and human food is too delicious.”
For a moment, Loren thought that maybe she was not being unreasonable.
A little while ago, Loren had taken up a mission at an adventurers’ training facility in a certain city that had been the place where the Evil God of Sloth had been sealed. If the stories he had heard there had been true, then Gula had probably been sealed for hundreds of years, and hadn’t been able to eat anything during that time. She seemed to have eaten various common as well as strange things after waking up, but all had been a far cry from a decent human diet.
When he thought about that, he felt a little pity for her, and wasn’t able to condemn her too hard.
“I’ll work hard too, so bear with me.”
“We came here today to get ready for that.”
Gula didn’t have any proof of identity to use in a human town. They had questioned how she could have gotten into any town, but once that problem had been put aside, the issue of her social status was still hanging above their head. There was no doubt that it would become troublesome if something happened.
For that reason, they had planned to register Gula as a member of their party at the Adventurer Guild. She would be able to receive an identification tag and have her social status established thanks to this.
Gula had suggested filling their stomachs before going though, and they had had no choice but to come to a diner first. Loren and Lapis had nursed their glasses of wine while Gula had started attacking a large plate of chicken drumsticks with both hands as soon as it had been brought out.
“But are we really going to register her as a Copper rank adventurer? What a joke.”
“I feel the same, but we can’t really explain her situation and have her started with a higher rank.”
Ability-wise, an Evil God like Gula shouldn’t have been a Copper rank adventurer. She should be a Silver rank at the very least. Well, there would be no questions if she was actually ranked higher.
However, they couldn’t just naively tell the Adventurer Guild that Gula was an Evil God. If they didn’t stick to their story and registered her as an ordinary adventurer they had partnered with by coincidence, there was no telling what kind of uproar would happen.
“But didn’t we report to the Guild about her before?”
Loren had first met Gula in a fairy village. It had been during the fight with the fairies, who had become ferocious under the influence of her power.
As an adventurer, he had roughly reported the incident to the Guild, and the Guild had passed on the information to Vargenburg.
“If you register with the name Gula, it will cause a commotion, won’t it?”
“That… But it’s not like there is no one else named Gula.”
Loren didn’t think it was a rare name, but he couldn’t say that it was a common name either. He thought there would be no other way but for Gula to use a false name, but she immediately refused.
“Names are important. I am Gluttony exactly because I am Gula. If I use a false name, even just temporarily…”
“What will happen?”
If she lost her power as Gluttony because of it, then of course she shouldn’t use a false name. But this explanation wasn’t quite accurate, and Gula’s answer was not what Loren had expected.
“I won’t be able to control the power of Gluttony.”
“Let’s use your real name then… And pray that we won’t get caught.”
When Gula’s seal had just broken, she had fused with the chief of a fairy village. As a result, all creatures in the neighborhood had had their appetite increased abnormally, causing themselves to become ferocious. If such an incident happened in Kapha, what kind of turmoil could it cause? Not to mention, Loren wasn’t sure if it could even be resolved.
They just had to take the risk and let Gula register with her real name. And so, they should think about what to do if she was suspected to be an Evil God.
“Well, she won’t get caught if she only introduces her name.”
Lapis took a small sip from her glass and replied to Loren’s worry.
“The Adventurer Guild doesn’t have any magical instrument to reveal registrants’ identities. They’ll probably find it strange at most, and that I think we can handle.”
Lapis’ words were strangely credible, as she herself still hadn’t been caught yet.
Lapis appeared to be a priest and acted like an ordinary human, but she was actually a demon coming from a region surrounded by rocky mountains in the center of the continent. Her race was much more powerful than humans.
She had been half-expelled to the human world by her parents in order to gain life experiences. To hide her demonic heritage, both of her eyes had been gouged out and all four of her limbs had been cut off to suppress her power. Moreover, her dismembered body parts had been hidden throughout the human realm. She had had a rather sad upbringing.
Lapis had successfully retrieved both arms since she had started working with Loren, and now she was more powerful than when they had first met, with more demonic abilities. Even so, the Adventurer Guild still hadn’t suspected anything.
Loren himself was also sheltering the soul of a girl who had been made into the highest ranking undead, the King of Death, inside his own soul. This had happened during one of his earlier missions. Strictly speaking, he couldn’t be considered an ordinary human either. But the Guild also hadn’t seemed to notice anything.
Considering Lapis’ and his own case, Loren thought maybe they would also manage to make it work with Gula’s case somehow.
“Well, maybe you’re right. Ah, Gula, do something about your eyes.”
Her hair and skin were not that odd, but there was one thing about her that was greatly different from humans: her eyes.
It was the same for demons. Loren suspected that Evil Gods were actually from the demon race, but he couldn’t get an answer from Lapis, and hadn’t really talked to Gula about it.
“What do you mean by something?”
“I mean the color. Can you change the color of your eyes?”
“Loren, please look at Gula’s eyes carefully.”
Following Lapis’ words, Loren looked straight into Gula’s eyes.
Gula looked back at him blankly for a moment. But a short time later, she cupped her cheeks with her hands and wiggled her body.
“Woaa, now you’re staring at me like that.”
Loren wordlessly touched the greatsword on his back. Seeing his movement, Gula hurriedly leaned over the table, her expression turned serious.
“I was joking. Well, look at me.”
Taking his hand away from the sword’s handle, Loren looked into Gula’s eyes again.
What set Evil Gods and demons apart from humans were their purple irises. That eye color didn’t present in humans.
But Gula’s eyes didn’t have that shade of purple now; they were a shade of beautiful, clear red.
“The color of your eyes…”
“Remove a bit of the blue and they’ll become red.”
“We’re not talking about paints here…”
“Isn’t it all the same?”
Gula spoke about it so simply, but it was not that simple to change one’s eyes color. Loren wondered if it was one of the powers of Evil Gods.
He wouldn’t know no matter how hard he thought about it though, so for now, Loren decided to content himself with the relief that Gula wouldn’t be suspected because of her eyes.