When we returned to the surface, we were very well received by the inhabitants.
No one was killed, and the damage was minimal.
At best, one of the people we rescued fell hard on their ass.
It seems that no one liked that the statue of the Lord was smashed, but all things will break one day. Also, many abandoned the idea that we were responsible after we returned with the citizens and the Lord's daughter.
When we returned to the mansion, we were welcomed by the Lord, Count Roane.
He has a slim but toned body and a sincere look. However, he also emanates a lot of dignity.
At the entrance to the mansion, father and daughter hugged each other tightly and were happy to be reunited.
"Toru-sama is amazing! He defeated one of the Demon King's servants with ease."
"A servant of the Demon King? Are you sure?"
"He was one of the six generals. It seems that he was the weakest, but he was still one of the most important."
"I see... So they are starting to move…”
To be honest, he was too weak. How strong do you have to be to be one of the 6 generals?
Suddenly, my stomach began to growl.
Come to think of it, I haven't had lunch today. After all that exercise, I feel even hungrier than usual.
The count set his sights on us.
"You are the adventurer who saved my daughter's life. I would like to express my deepest gratitude once again, not once, but twice. Thank you."
"Thank you... I'm glad that Marianne is well."
"It's true. I can't imagine what would have happened if Toru-sama hadn't arrived on time."
I guess this time we got lucky.
All this happened because I met her on the road, and that way I was able to stay with her.
It makes you wonder... if all this happened because of a series of unfortunate events. Otherwise, she wouldn't be alive right now.
"Father, please, we have to give Toru-Sama a grand reward. Allowing him to simply stay in the mansion does not make me feel comfortable, and the citizens will not accept it either."
"Of course. I will make sure that my daughter's saviors are well rewarded, and so will my people, but... I am not sure what would please Toru-Dono."
"I think a mansion and a knighthood would be more appropriate."
"My Lord, forgive my intrusion.”
Urara interrupts the Count, and then looks at me.
"Was the demon you defeated truly one of the six generals? If so, then that changes things completely. Toru-Sama, do you plan to go to the capital?"
"Yes... Why do you ask?"
"I see... Let's write a letter right now."
Hmm? A letter? What, what's going on?
Urara also approaches Marianne and speaks to her privately. After listening to her, she looked at me and smiled.
As for me, I don't want a knighthood or a mansion.
I want to travel around the world without rushing and I don't like the idea of staying in one place.
I'll be happy even if I don't get a reward.
"Toru-Dono, you can stay as long as you want. I'm going to let Marianne continue to guide you through the city. Now, if you'll excuse me, I have some business to attend to.”
The Count re-entered the mansion very quickly.
Dinner that night was a great feast.
And the table was full of a variety of dishes. The highlight was a steak, and a mountain of fruit.
I had never had such a thick, rich soup before.
It's amazing how well a chef can make something so delicious with pumpkins.
"Look, you've got a little bit near your mouth."
I wiped the sauce off Kaede's cheek with my finger and then licked it off.
Her face turned deep red.
"Um, thank you.”
She's grown a lot, and now she's strong. But she's still a child.
Sometimes I wonder if she has recovered from her illness, and I even have doubts if she is uncomfortable with this trip with me.
"Toru-Sama, what are you going to do tomorrow? If you plan to continue with tourism, I can help you."
Marianne's words make me stop and think about my options.
After all, I'm a little curious.
"I was wondering if I might have permission to explore the subway ruins.”
"Why are you interested in such a place?"
"As an adventurer, I am curious. It's like an unexplored dungeon. The ruins in this city are big and interesting. But, I would like to explore the subterranean ones that are still intact."
A subterranean ruin left behind by a great race of mysterious people.
No matter how you look at it, it's full of mystery, which tickles a man's curiosity.
And like any adventurer, I am also interested in treasure.
"I see. In that case, it would be useless to stop you. Then I will accompany you, it is the only way I can accept your request."
"You are also coming with me."
Urara, who had been waiting nearby, reacted in a rather confused manner.
That is something I can understand. Your beloved lady is about to go to a dangerous place from which she was just rescued. As her bodyguard, it is natural to want to stop her.
As for me, I would prefer not to go with Marianne, but the subterranean ruins are under the control of the count, and normally no one is allowed to enter without permission.
I have no choice but to accept her conditions if I want to explore the ruins.
Kaede, however, seems to be against it. It wouldn't be the first time.
In other words, it's a sign that you're trying to do something dangerous.
But I have no other choice.
"I accept, Marianne. But there's something we have to clear up, you'll be protected by Kaede and Urara at all times. I will take care of any problems that come up during the exploration. And if a situation arises in which your life is in danger, we will withdraw immediately, do you agree with that?”
"Yes, I agree."
"My lady... I hope you know what you're doing.”
In the end, Urara seems to disagree.
Marianne seems to be the kind of person who does not listen to wise advice.
That is what Urara's words imply.
When the sun came up, we were in front of the mansion. Everyone was preparing and ready to leave.
Urara was wearing a black suit instead of her maid uniform.
And Marianne was wearing a full piece of armor.
"Why are you dressed like that?"
"When I told my father about today, he said, 'I know you will be safe with Toru-Dono, but just in case, take this with you.”
"The Count is overprotective in a strange way."
I thought that the Count would be demanding and would not allow her to accompany us. In that case I was planning to talk to the Count directly.
When someone offers you his daughter so easily, you begin to wonder if there is more to it than meets the eye.
No, no, no. To doubt someone is not a good thing.
"I know Count Roane won't like hearing this from me, but that armor is no good. In an emergency, you'd have to run on your own, and that's when it will be a hindrance rather than a help."
"I see, then I'll take it off."
Nodding in disappointment, Marianne entered the mansion.
She appeared later, dressed in light armor.
At her waist was a thin sword, and she wore a hooded cape.
It looks like a pretty good outfit.
If she had something like that, I would have liked her to come with it from the beginning.
I'm sure it was hard to say no to her father.
We arrived at a closed staircase near the center of town.
It seems that it was true that you can't go down without permission. If I had come down on my own, I would have been caught.
Marianne took out the key and opened the door.
By the way, the large hole that remains in place of the stone statue is being restored at a rapid pace, and it is not possible to get near it.
Above all, I hesitated to go down that height with Marianne in my arms.
So this time, we will use the stairs, which is the safest way.
"Come on! Let the adventure begin!"
She makes it seem like she wanted to explore that place.
It is what expresses the look of happiness on her face.
We were walking down a long flight of stairs when I thought I heard a familiar sound.