We advanced through the ruins with the members of [The Flame Axe Gang].
Lord Scotchell positioned himself in the center, and we, the Manyu Brigade, took charge of the rearguard.
We were walking through a dimly lit passage that felt like it went on forever.
Orlos, who is in the lead, continues to light the way with his lantern.
"It is a miracle to have met you. I was about to lose my beloved granddaughter."
"Is the poison she's afflicted with really that deadly?"
"Does the poison of a gargoyle sound familiar?"
I understood immediately and nodded.
Gargoyle: a humanoid monster that looks like a demon. Its epidermis is hard as stone and its claws are equipped with a deadly poison that turns a person stiff as stone before eventually killing them.
There are three forms of detoxification.
The first is to use an ability that can eliminate the poison.
The second is to use a scroll that can counteract the poison.
The third is to use a high-grade antidote.
On rare occasions, some survive the poison, but if they are exposed, they will almost certainly die.
"My family has no money. We couldn't afford medicine or scrolls. Besides, the skill of detoxification is so rare that it doesn't exist in this country nowadays."
"So, with your last bit of hope, you decided to come to the ruins..."
"Yes, and look how well things turned out."
The old man smiles.
His kind nature and good heart were reflected in him.
There was an atmosphere about him that made me think, "I want to be this kind of old man when I get old".
"By the way, Manyu Brigade, how well do you all fair in combat?"
Orlos' question comes like daggers aiming at key points in my body.
"Pretty much okay, I think."
"Don't lie to me. There's no way anyone who doesn't have great strength or have a special ability would be given the title of hero. What's your real story, have you ever slayed a dragon?"
"Only a Red Dragon."
The members of the Orlos party were surprised.
This is an understandable reaction.
Red dragons are ridiculously strong, but they also have something that defines them.
It is usually the red dragons that attack cities and towns.
It is a symbol of fear, so to speak.
At the same time, it is the number one monster that adventurers want to defeat.
Kaede leaned close to me and whispered.
"Was that when you gave me that medicine?"
"Yes, you had a hamburger that day too."
"Ah, that's right, it was delicious."
I almost drooled remembering the taste of dragon steak.
I should have saved more meat.
"Wow, I've never seen a fairy before, nya!"
"Fufu, Frau is more than just cute, she's also soft."
"What's that white stuff, nya?"
"This is Panda. He's Frau's servant."
Lynn and Frau seemed to be enjoying a lively conversation.
Panda, on the other hand, seemed to be angry.
"Why do you add a [Nya] at the end of every word?
"Because the boys like it, nya."
"It's not a problem for me, nya～, men drool over me every time I talk, nya～."
"Kuuuuh, what is this feeling of defeat?"
But Lynn is right.
For some reason, men like cat girls, and even more so if you add that characteristic word to the end of their sentences.
I wonder why... It's a mystery.
After spending a full day underground, we breathed in the fresh air and soaked up the warmth of the morning sun.
"What a nice feeling, I feel like a new man."
"There was a lot of dust in the ruins."
"I really want to take a quick bath. My body is sticky."
The entrance to the ruins was deep in the forest.
The leaning stone statues were adorned with ivy and some of them were covered with lush moss.
The ground, where the cobblestones would have been, is grassy, with rotting stone pillars lined up in two parallel rows.
"Let's take a break here, Lord Scotchell."
"No, I have to hurry home. I don't have time to rest."
"But we're reaching the limits of our strength."
Panta appears in front of Lord Scotchel.
His oval shape further expands until it becomes sufficient to carry one person.
"Panda is a beast that can carry people and items. I'll send him to your home, so feel free to use him."
"Thank you for your help."
GUNYON, the old man rolls his eyes as he climbs up.
He was surprised to feel it for the first time.
Panda is soft, fluffy and a little warm.
"It's ......interesting to see what kind of creatures these animals are."
"Don't rub it too much, he doesn't like it."
Be very careful while rubbing Panda, Lord Scotchell.
Indeed, Panda's eye expresses his anger at such an act.
We left the ruins and began to advance towards the royal capital of Grigit.
"That's my home."
"It's a small mansion for a former hero and a baron."
"I don't like big things. Just enough to be able to live."
"I very much agree with that thought."
Lord Scotchell's mansion was a two-story building facing the main street.
Its width is so wide that it looks like there are two houses.
It has a fashionable appearance and makes a nice impression.
I wonder if it's his wife's hobby.
"We have arrived."
"Thank you for going out of your way to bring me to my home. This is my way of thanking you."
"Invite your friends over to eat something really delicious."
"Thank you, master!"
The Flame Axe gang gave us a slight wave before leaving.
"Orlos is my disciple. He is now even stronger than me. He was a brat many years ago, now he has grown into a great man."
Master and disciple... I like that.
In my case, I learned the basics from my father, but he died when I was young, and since then I have been mostly self-taught with respect to fighting. There is no one I can properly call a teacher.
I envy Orlos.
The old man invited us into his house.
"Father, did you find anything in the ruins?"
"I had no luck."
As soon as you enter the house, a middle-aged woman comes running out of the back.
Probably the mother of his granddaughter, she was kneeling on the floor.
"Instead, some people I met in the ruins gave me a high-grade antidote. This will help Anna."
"Woaaaah! Is this the guy who gave it to you!?"
"Yes, now prepare the cups, we have to give our guests a warm welcome."
The mother who received the jar thanked us before going upstairs.
This will help your daughter.
I was invited into the dining room and sat in a chair.
"I'll go make some tea, please wait for a moment."
"Don't worry, it's not necessary."
"Don't be silly, you just saved my lovely granddaughter's life, I can't just let you sit there quietly."
Lord Scotchell went to the kitchen.
Never before had a nobleman made me a cup of tea.
It is unbelievable that someone like him would treat a commoner like me this way.
Freshly brewed tea is placed on the table and Lord Scotchell sits down.
"Thank you so much for what you have done. I can't tell you how much it means to me.
"That's okay. I happened to have an extra antidote."
"For you it may be, but not for me. I owe you a debt I can't repay, and I don't know how to shape this feeling."
He pounded his fist into the palm of his hand saying; "I got it!"
He ran out of the room, the sound of his footsteps echoing throughout the house.
He is a very energetic old man.
I didn't know he had the energy to keep running when he was so exhausted before.
When he returned, he placed a box on the table.
"Pay close attention to what I have in my hands!"
"What is it?"
"Fufu, do you want to know? Do you really want to?"
"Don't get so mysterious now."
In his hands was a rectangular box made of wood.
At first glance, I don't know what's in it.
But that size... It looks familiar.
Lord Scotchell opened the box and there was something wrapped in cloth.
The fabric is lifted and what was underneath is exposed.
"Yes, this is a beast egg."
In his hands he held a pale blue beast egg.