Wednesday, 28 January 2015

Konjiki no Wordmaster Chapter 17

Chapter 17: Guild Master

The Guild housed quite a few people, but some way or another, they had a room for the three to sleep in. The party was relieved that their trip wasn’t in vain.
They were taken to a rest room and laid down on the beds. It definitely was better than sleeping outside.
“By the way, what are you going to do from now on?”
Arnold asked, whereupon Hiiro answered while closing his eyes.
“…It would be bad to just slip by the checkpoint, right?”
“Yeah, unless you have an official ≪Visa≫.”
“Do you?”
“Yeah, for Muir and me.”
“How did you get it?”
“Wait, you don’t even know that? How did you want to cross the border?”
“Talk my way through and if that doesn’t work… through force.”
“Scary! Normally I would laugh at your stupidity, but now that I know of your magic, it only sounds scary!”
Arnold feared that he would cross the border by beating the clerks with his ≪Word Magic≫, because his power was more than able to.
“Listen, the ≪Visa≫ is issued at the Guild. Look.”
Saying so, he showed him a piece of paper slightly bigger than a train ticket. Written on it were the issued and expiration date.
“Then I can just get one here…”
“No, even if you apply for one here, it takes quite some time until it’s approved, you know?”
“…Seriously?”
“Seriously. Usually you get it from the Guild in the capital of the country. And even then, it takes around one week. In your case, you apply for it here, then the Guild in the capital verifies it and you only get your ≪Visa≫ once they approve.”
First you applied for it, then your personal history and origins were investigated. Needless to say, you wouldn’t get an approval when you had a criminal record. But if there were no problems and a valid reason for crossing the border, the Guild Master gave his approval on the permit. That was the ≪Visa≫.
“Oho, so the Guild Master in the capital is quite the big shot?”
“Come again? You were in the capital, right? How come you don’t know?”
“I had no interest.”
“…..Hah. Listen and remember this well, Hiiro. Do you know how many SSS rank adventurer are amongst the humans?”
“Three, I think?”
“Yeah and one of them is the Guild Master in the capital.”
“Mm.”
“Don’t give me a ‘mm’!”
That was Hiiro’s only reaction, since he had no interest in other people.
“He’s amazing, you know? Only people with superior strength and popularity are chosen for the position. They even say his physical ability is equal to a beastman. Truly a monster.”
“I understand that this monster is lost in his status and prestige.”
“H- Hey… It’s certainly said that the Guild Master has an equal power to the King in emergencies, but… aren’t you going too far?”
“Dun care.”
“….Haah. Anyway, his name is…”


“Mh? Oh, it’s been a while, Vale!”
“It has indeed been a while, Judom-sama.”
The man that greeted Vale, the caption of the second division of the ≪Victorias≫ army, with a generous smile was Judom Lankars.
He wore a splendid white beard, but was only in his late 40s. His shortly trimmed white hair had other reasons than from old age.
His gentle expression gave off an aura that put even children at ease. But his abnormal figure became obvious when standing.
The height of his body was over two metre and his trained arms looked as hard and robust as steel.
His whole body was so muscular that you would think his clothes would rip on the slightest movement.
“Fuhaha. Stop with the sama. You’re a prominent captain yourself now!”
He clapped Vale on his back while laughing openhearted. But even though it should’ve been a light pat, it felt like a strike that gradually cut down his HP to Vale.
“*COUGH* I- I see that you have not changed, Judom-sama.”
Vale showed a happy smile while rubbing his back.
“So, what’s up? It’s rare for you to come here.”
“I came here to ask a favour of you, the Guild Master.”
Currently they were inside the Guild, in the room of the Guild Master.
“Oho, something troublesome again? Forget it, I’m retired. Leave the frontlines to the youngsters.”
“What are you talking about! Even now, no one is able to hold a candle to you as an adventurer!”
“Fuhaha! You’re giving me too much credit! Besides, I heard that the Heroes were summoned. …It’s their era now, right?”
Judom asked with a slightly sharp gaze, but Vale didn’t notice it.
“No, no, a strong person is always in demand. Especially someone as strong as you.”
Hearing Vale’s answer, Judom clouded his expression a bit, but brightened it up again right away.
“And I tell you, my era is over. As I am right now, I am only a close match for a SS rank. I can’t move around like in my SSS rank days anymore.”
Judom said kind of self-deprecating with an insightful expression.
“You are being too modest. …Just now you said to leave the front lines to the youngsters.”
“Yeah, I did.”
“I would like to ask you to train these youngsters for battle.”
“…..The Heroes?”
“Yes.”
For a while, the two gazed at each other. Judom looked at Vale, who confronted him with an earnest look, and laughed faintly.
“The same look as back then, when you asked to become my disciple.”
“Although you turned me down in the end. Back then you said to me: You’re not good enough to be my disciple. I only take in someone that can fight on the same level as me.”
“Did I really say that?”
Judom smiling, reminiscing about his juvenility.
“And now people, who can fight on your level, have appeared.”
“…….Is that so.”
Wiping off his smile, he answered Vale.
“Please teach them! It is for the sake of the future of us ‘Humas’!”
“For the future of ‘Humas’, huh…”
Vale looked at him with determined eyes, with straightforward eyes. Judom took out his pipe and lighted it. Then he slowly blew out some smoke.
“Hey, Vale.”
“Yes?”
“Do you know why I became the Guild Master?”
“That’s… No, I do not.”
“Because the Guild Master can give commands with the same authority as the King in emergencies.”
“Judom-sama…?”
“When I was an adventurer, I always wondered why this country, no, this continent keeps waging war.”
“…”
“Every day I prayed that someone would bring peace to the world. Salvation by faith, so to speak. But the dispute between races escalated and spread to this country too. Of course I took up arms, because there were things I wanted to protect. But what do you think the then Guild Master did at that time?”
“…..”
As he knew the answer, Vale looked shameful.
“The Guild Master went far away. He abandoned the country. Abusing his authority as a Guild Master, he escaped for his own good. Due to that, the command chain of the adventurer broke down and many lives that could’ve been saved were lost.”
“Judom-sama…”
“The King had appointed that Guild Master.”
Vale kept silent on his words. The King had been responsible for appointing that Guild Master. Judom was angry at himself too for not being able to see his true character.
“So I desperately grew stronger and aimed to be the Guild Master. Then I asked the King for authorities to command during emergencies. And thus the Guild Master became another King for the county.”
“…”
“I aimed for the one and only position that could correct the King’s mistakes. That was the best I could do as an adventurer. But…”
Judom clenched his fist frustrated. Vale widened his eyes from seeing this. Even now, the King’s orders were absolute. But the Guild Master had the right to decide about all emergencies regarding adventurers.
Judom gave Vale a quiet and cold look.
“The King then committed another mistake.”
“Wha! How can you say that!”
Vale was shocked about the sudden criticism of the King. Going any further would be defamation.
“The Kind sacrificed three people for what? Wait, one’s still barely alive, I guess.”
Then he threw a glance at Vale, telling him to answer.
“Th- That’s…”
“The Hero Summoning… Sure, our country is in danger. But I advised the King that there other things to do before summoning Heroes.”
“You did such a thing…?”
Vale didn’t know that, so he frowned at him.
“Why did we reject the peace treaty?”
“Peace… treaty? What are you talking about?”
“Mhm, I guess you weren’t informed. Well, naturally.”
Judom shook his head wearily.
“Ex- Explain yourself, Judom-sama!”
“A few years ago, there should have been a peace treaty from the ‘Evila’.”
“Impossible! I never heard of such a thing!”
“The top brass must have swept it under the carpet.”
While blowing out some smoke, Judom said so.
“B- But still! Even if such a letter came from the ‘Evila’, we cannot trust it!”
“Why didn’t we seek a dialogue?”
“…”
“You don’t know the outcome unless you try it.”
“That’s…”
Vale understood very well that it was a sound argument, so he couldn’t object.
“I know how you feel. I also know how they betrayed us on previous meetings initiated through letters. But there should be other methods before sacrificing your own daughters, no?”
“H- His Majesty was grieving about that as well.”
“One does not simply grieve over your daughters’ deaths!”
His earlier gentle expression changed completely, turning into dreadful intensive one. Vale broke sweat on his whole body. That was the spirit of an retired adventurer…
Judom sighed while shaking his head.
“Either way, if he had just consulted me, I would have come along to wherever the meeting would have been. Youn like many others, may not know, but there are good guys amongst the ‘Gabranth’ and ‘Evila’ too.”
“Th- That certainly is true, but it’s likewise a fact that the ‘Evila’ king tries to destroy us ‘Humas’.”
“A fact?”
“Yes!”
“Then do you know about this? The ‘Evila’ King has changed.”
“…Eh?”
“When a King changes, so does the policy. The letter was sent by the new King as well. Nevertheless, the King ignored my advise and called strangers from another world.”
“Calling them strangers… For our sake, the Heroes are—”
“risking their lives…?”
“…”
“I don’t know what world they came from, but I don’t think they care enough about our world to risk their lives for it. If I were in their shoes and suddenly brought here against my will, I would leave everything behind and go on a trip.”
That was exactly what Hiiro did, but Vale was shocked from Judom’s words and froze up.
“B- But the Heroes seriously are…”
“They just haven’t faced a life-or-death situation. Not many recover after tasting despair.”
“…..”
“They’ve a home too, right? As the one who called them here, the King has to make sure they are returned alive… hasn’t he?”
Vale looked downward and closed his eyes.
“From what I heard, another guy was summoned, but he left as he had no reason to comply?”
“Ah, yes.”
“I can trust that guy more than the Heroes.”
“Wh- What do you mean!?”
“That you don’t understand it shows how inexperienced you still are, Vale.”
“Judom-sama…”
Then Judom showed a gentle expression again, placing his pipe on the desk.
“We’re done here, Vale.”
“B- But!”
“Think it over once more about what you have to do. It’s your turn to advise the King now.”
“I could never…”
“How can someone save the world, when the advice from friends or retainers goes unheeded?”
After that Judom didn’t say another word and Vale left the room astonished.

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