Although there were several battles after the Ogres, Kazane and the others safely reached the entrance of Blue Rifon Fort around evening. The adventurers on the surface already knew that the Baby Core's reaction had disappeared from the dungeon, so they cheered as they greeted the White Party, O-ring, and Sera.
◎ Blue Rifon Fort, Entrance, Guild Staff Camp
Kazane and the others headed for the Adventurers Guild campsite first. There they would report on the『Blue Rifon Fort Recapture』and then check the sales status of the entrusted materials.
「Here is the materials sales list. It already has my signature, so if you show this at the guild office in Crimiona, that amount will be paid.」
Emily peeked at it from behind. Then she said「Wow!」
「Why does it feel like everything we've earned so far has been pointless?」
「Well, it's because it's an Earth Core Dragon.」
Although Emily had a cramped expression due to the amount of money written on it, Lyle next to her made an uninterested response.
It seemed that Lyle was glowing with self-satisfaction from his activity inside the dungeon now that they had returned to the surface, so he was there in body, but not in spirit.
Well, he truly did play an active role. It started with the Earth Core Dragon, then the group of three defeated almost all of the monsters both on the way there and on the return trip, and although he didn't do anything remarkable in the Cyclops battle, Lyle defeated one of the Stone Minotaurs, even if he was supported by the Tatsuyoshi-kun mass production models. As one would expect, he understood that it wasn't due to his own power alone, but being in a merry mood was natural.
However, once they returned to Deer South, he would attend special training with Jinrai, so that cheerful feeling would soon disappear. He would become thoroughly-beaten-up-san. Naoki accurately predicted that future and thought (Have a nice dream for now, best friend...) as he looked at him with warm eyes.
In addition, most of the money listed came from the Earth Core Dragon materials. Dragons had overwhelmingly more useful material parts than other monsters, so their monetary value was generally high.
Although Earth Dragons were already sold for a considerable amount, the evolved Earth Core Dragons were like a mountain of treasure. The most valuable parts were the horns and fangs, which Kazane and the others kept for themselves, but even the remaining parts were worth a surprising amount of money. There was also the fact that Dragon Burial Soil had a steep price jump due to currently being bought up.
Then Kazane also handed over the materials they had obtained inside the dungeon and requested their additional sale. They were the materials from the monsters along the way, as well as the Stone Minotaur Corestone fragments and the Baby Core fragments. After about an hour, the appraisal was over, and Roy gave an additional list to Kazane, saying:
「The Stone Minotaur Corestone fragments were the most valuable. If the Baby Core were intact, the amount would be quite different, but fragments are only worth that much. I'm sorry.」
「Ah, well. That can't be helped.」
Roy didn't know why it was destroyed and his words held no ill will, but Kazane's mood fell as she looked at the additional list.
「By the way, Kazane-san. There's something I want to discuss with you for a bit.」
「What is it?」
As Roy continued talking with a serious atmosphere, Kazane once again shook off her heartbreak and asked back.
「It's about the『Rainbow Heart』that Kazane-san possesses.」
Kazane's shoulders twitched in shock at those sudden words. That also plainly showed on the faces of the three people behind her.
「Roy-san, that is...」
As Kazane tried to carefully choose her words, Roy raised his hand to stop her.
「No, I'm not looking for confirmation, so it's fine if you don't tell me. Rather, please don't tell me, because I don't want to become an information source.」
Kazane nodded after Roy's rejection.
「So, I'm telling you this based on the assumption that Kazane-san possesses a『Rainbow Heart』. Kazane-san possessing a『Rainbow Heart』has become the topic of conversation among the Outer in the area.」
Roy nodded after Kazane's surprised reaction.
「It's not that surprising, is it? You're the ones who defeated the Crystal Dragon, and it still hasn't shown up on the market. That means you sold it privately, entrusted it to someone, or currently possess it.」
It was a simple conjecture. In fact, Kazane currently possessed the Rainbow Heart.
Kazane had already heard that she could get enough money to happily live the rest of her life if she sold the Rainbow Heart, but she had no plans of selling it from the start. Kazane was thinking that she wasn't struggling financially, and above all, she thought she could do something that had never been seen before with such a rare material that people normally didn't handle.
「They're also saying you probably couldn't sell it because you obtained it in its original form. Well, an unbroken one hasn't appeared on the market in the last 50 years.」
Crystal Dragons very rarely appeared, and getting close to one was difficult due to its Crystal Breath. Obtaining the Core Rainbow Heart intact was considered next to impossible.
「Hmm. Perhaps us being followed in Crimiona was related to that?」
Kazane and the others were followed by more people than just the horse thieves.
「Maybe. Kazane-san is currently separated from the rest of the White Party, and it's possible targeting you in some place like Crimiona was considered easier than doing so in the capital, so maybe you should be careful?」
「Sure thing. Thank you.」
Roy shook his head and waved off Kazane's honest words of gratitude.
Apparently, their troubles had increased by one.
After confirmation of the sales list and their other business was finished, Kazane and the others left the guild campsite, and preparations for celebrating were already underway. As one would expect, it wouldn't be as grand as the party at the Rock Hold market after the Black Rock Dragon defeat, but nonetheless, it seemed adventurers liked to celebrate and drink at such times.
After Naoki said「This is the life」with a self-satisfied look, Kazane kicked him. Since it was annoying.
And the merrymaking continued past midnight. Kazane made a Cottage right in the middle of the drunken uproar, staggered inside, and went to sleep. All the adventurers were stunned as they watched that situation, but a short time later, a Mayim Mayim dance started around the Cottage for some reason. Probably because everyone was drunk.
◎ Blue Rifon Fort, Entrance, Night
「Is this the third time?」
「What are you talking about?」
Ori responded to Naoki's words after their reunion toast.
「York, Lyle, and now you. I've recently been celebrating reunions and exchanging toasts like this.」
Ori replied with a slightly surprised expression after Naoki's words. Ori didn't know that Naoki went to Minshiana for a while. Fundamentally, most adventurers were permanent residents of one city, although there were also many high rank adventurers that didn't stay in one place because they moved around due to nominated requests.
The quest to recapture Blue Rifon Fort this time was a nominated request for Ori's group, since they were the most superior party of adventurers in the area. Since Naoki's group were also a fairly well known party, they also moved from city to city for various requests.
Therefore, this was their first reunion in half a year, so Ori wasn't aware of what Naoki had been doing.
「Minor business..... or, well, there should be no problem with telling you? I heard about a player-like person, so I went to Minshiana alone for a while.」
「I see. That's how you reunited with your sister.」
Ori guessed and replied. Actually, Naoki was looking for Yuuko-nee instead of Kazane, but he thought reuniting with his sister was more momentous, so he replied「That's right.」
「It seems the circumstances have greatly improved, haven't they? You heard she discovered a method to return to your original world?」
「That is from... Aneki, isn't it? When did you hear about that?」
Naoki didn't remember telling Ori about that. That being the case, the possible sources of that information was limited. The tone of Naoki's voice lowered.
「Yesterday, in the middle of the night. We had the chance to talk for a little while.」
Ori had a confused expression, but he responded normally to Naoki's strangely threatening behavior.
「Is that so? In the middle of the night... in the middle of the night, huh?」
「Hey. Naoki, is something wrong?」
「No, it's nothing.」
Naoki feigned calm as he replied to Ori, who had a worried expression. Naoki restrained himself with an iron will. At least, that was his intention.
「So what else did you and Aneki talk about?」
「Ah, that is... how should I put this... your face is really strange. Are you okay?」
「I'm okay. More importantly, I would like to hear about yesterday night. Talk. Or die.」
Ori thought Naoki was too drunk and didn't seem to understand what he was saying, but he timidly told Naoki everything he had talked about with Kazane last night. As a result, Naoki judged that it was fine considering the circumstances and overlooked Ori's actions. It ended without him killing his friend.
Name: Yuihama Kazane
Occupation: Magic Swordswoman
Title: Ogre Killer, Dragon Slayer, High Beast Summoner
Equipment: Staff 『White Blaze』, Two Handed Sword『Black Fang』, Adhesion Sword『Gum』, Spell Dagger, Dragonscale Breastplate, Drake Gauntlets, Silver Sheep Clothes, Sylphyn Skirt, Plasma Pants, Dragon Ogre Greaves, Indestructible Cloak, Mysterious Pouch, Crimson Saint Coffin, Heroic Spirit Summoning Ring, Circlet of Wisdom, Aim Bracelet, Magic Accumulator, White Magic Accumulator
Level : 31
Magic Power: 205+420
Wisdom : 62
Dexterity : 39
Spell : 『Fly』『Torch』『Fire』『Heal』『Firestorm』『Healer Ray』『High Heal』
Skill : 『Warrior's Memory』『Night Vision』『Crushing Blow』『Dog’s Sense of Smell』『Golem Maker: Lv3』『Rush』『Fire Principle: Third Chapter』『Healing Principle: Fourth Chapter』『Air Jump: Lv2』『Killing Leg: Lv3』『Fear Voice』『Invisible』『Tiger Eye』『Wall Walking』『Intuition』『Cheat Death』『Nimble』『Charge』『Material Shield』『Information Link』『Optical Camouflage』『Dash』『Bloodsucking Blade』『Dragonization「Dragon」』『Regenerate』『Soul Breaking Blade』『Stealthy Placement』『Thunder Chariot』『Sturdier Teeth「Dragon」』『Crystallization「Dragon」』『Fabricated Coercion』『Stone Minotaur』『Mega Beam』『Space Expansion』
Yumika:「There should have also been a quest reward for the Earth Core Dragon. Immediately using it all is forbidden.」
Kazane:「I absolutely refuse!!」