「 Are you sure you want me to go with them?」
「 No problem. It’ll be easier for them to talk to the people there if there’s an adult around. They’ll need one, right?」
『 I was entrusted with that matter. Hurry up and get on, human. 』
「 O, ou…it sure is weird being able to talk to a dragon like this.」
After some discussion, Jess-san decided to go to Ladaria with the kids. He has no family in Amone, and only owns a rundown house. With no family and a ramshackle house with nothing left but the bare necessities, and he was basically living for the lives of the children.
「 But is it really okay? Letting someone like me to run an orphanage?」
「 It’s okay. I’ll leave it in your good hands.」
When I was working over there, Cielo asked me to be the manager of the orphanage. However, I think that Jess-san is the best person for the job because he puts the children’s needs first. He’s not prejudiced against beastmen, and I’m sure he’ll be able to care for them.
「 Then Jess-san, I leave everyone to you.」
「 O, ou!」
「 Ashia and the others, get along with the beastmen, okay?」
「「「 We will!!」」」
This time we watched as Jess and the kids left for Ladaria, and we headed back towards the city. We still had some unfinished business to attend to.
The Amone of today was about to reach the point of chaos.
First, the adventurers didn’t understand what was going on at all. The leader of the guild, Luceretze, suddenly disappeared. He was the person who controlled all the adventurers in the city. The adventurers were happy to follow the man who gave them sweet deals and prevented the merchants from taking advantage of them, so it was inevitable that they would turn into an annoying bunch when he disappeared.
On the other side, the large merchants were willing to use this opportunity to take back their influence over the city.
It all began several years before, when it was the merchants who were buying and selling materials from demons. The young merchants who succeeded them did the same, but it was quite unbearable for the adventurers.
Everyone was thinking of leaving the city, but then Luceretze took over as the guild master and silenced the big merchants, though I don’t know how he did it.
As a result, the merchants stopped haggling. And following that, they were able to sell them for a price much higher than before. Because of this, the adventurers were so pleased that they began to more actively hunt monsters in the dungeon.
However, what about the merchants? Since they started their business in Amone, they already made it into their base, and they couldn’t leave so easily. Even if they tried to charge a decent price, the guild would interfere and force them to trade at a premium price. So, most of the time, they could only hope to do business with the bare minimum, while feeling bitter about the results.
Now that the privileged relationship has been shattered by the incident of Luceretze being ousted as the head of the guild, the last thing remaining for them is their pride. The only reason for them to deal with it is because of their own pride about their work.
（ Now then, how should I shatter that pride……）
「 So, you’re the adventurers responsible for Luceretze’s disappearance?」
「 Yeah, that is so.」
「 Fumu……so, what do you desire?」
Aidle and the others were now in a conference room in a building where the great merchants of Amone gathered. What they were doing here was, of course, to discuss the future of this city. The merchants, acting on behalf of the merchants’ guild, had their network of information and knew that Luceretze’s disappearance was due to them.
Or rather, they found out about it when the adventurers who were watching the whole incident asked them for help.
Aidle then showed a sheet of paper to the big merchants.
「 We have come to ask for your seal here. If we can get it, we will leave the city quietly. If we don’t, we will do exactly what is written on this paper.」
I then handed them that piece of paper. When the big merchants read the paper, staring at it with greasy faces, they turned pale and approved it as if they were going to scream from the ridiculousness.
「 We, we understand!! We, we will definitely not get in your way!!!」
「 All right, let me see your seals.」
Aidle’s group was smiling cutely, but the content of the paper was ridiculously scary.
『 We shall follow the rule in Amone to which the purchase price of materials from adventurers will be at the same value as before. If this is not granted, Luceretze shall be recalled to serve as guild leader once again.』
Although they were thinking that they had finally gotten rid of an eyesore, they were baffled and couldn’t say anything after this. The merchants knew who Luceretze was. They also knew that they would be killed if they spoke about it. That’s why they’ve been holding back for so long, but this is not the way they want to end things.
The large merchants were forced to accept Aidle’s proposal, as that was something that they could not refuse, but on the other hand, they could run the city again on their own again and would not need to follow Luceretze’s ridiculous demands. After confirming the seal on the document, Aidle said goodbye and left.
「 Now let’s make it a safe and secure business♪ 」
「 Oi, what was that you were doing this morning…?」
「……What were you trying to do? 」
Along the road to the Adventurer’s Guild, Aidle drew a circle on the ground and stood inside it. Next to her, Arena and the others were putting up signs and were calling out people in.
「 If you defeat this adventurer, you get 1000 gold coins!!」
「 If you lose, you must sign this contract!!」
「 Even if you lose, you might still be able to get 100gold coins!!」
「 Come on in~♪ 」
It was similar to the business that Arena did. This time, however, the prize money was different. If you win, the prize money is one billion yen. Even if you lose, you might get 100 million yen if you could at least make me move out of the circle. It was a lot of money, more than enough for one to live on for the rest of their life peacefully, no matter which way you won. However, not everyone was blinded from the 『 Contract if you Lose 』 part.
「 What’s this contract you’re talking about? 」
「 It’s this 」
「 Okay……let me see 」
I took out a similar paper and we showed it to them in as we called them out. Similar but with Luceretze’s story left out, and some other parts changed.
「 You, You’re one of them, aren’t you!!!」
The adventurers instantly turned sour, but Aidle invited the men to join her with a provocative gesture.
「 Are you not confident about yourself, Onii-chan?」
「 Haah!? Of course, I AM!! It’s just a pain dealing with something like this. Even with a contract like this, you never know when they’ll try to sell us off again.」
「 It will be already done when it comes to that. I’ve already got the paperwork signed by them too.」
「 What did you just!?」
The adventurers were truly surprised that the great merchants, with their known stubbornness, have approved the contents of this document. But Aidle proved it by showing them the stamped document.
「 That’s how it is. This still doesn’t make sense to you?」
The man who had been arguing finally drew his sword. The adventurers got excited and started cheering him on.
「 The rules are simple, a one on one fight against me, if you can beat me, you get 1000 gold coins. If you can get me out of the circle, you get 100 gold coins. On the other hand, if you can’t meet either of the requirements within a minute, you lose. No magic is allowed, but support tools are fine. If you get disqualified from the match, then it will count as a loss.」
Arena showed him the hourglass. The man checked it and nodded.
「 And this is the marker. Only one challenge per person. You only have today to do it. Also, you don’t need to ask someone else to take the challenge, since I’ll be asking every adventurer in the city to participate.」
With a thud, I put out a thousand gold coins on a desk that I prepared and smiled wryly.
Aidle is saying that she will win over all the adventurers in the city on this one condition, as the greatest provocation.
Naturally, the men who were easily provoked in such a way by a single little girl were blinded by rage, and they all declared.
「「「 I accept that challenge!!!」」」
And so the battle started.
I handle the first challenger’s uppercut with my sword and parry it. Of course, I didn’t do it seriously. If I swung it seriously, I’d smash him along with my sword into pieces. And I’m only using an ordinary iron sword. Ahh, I missed using a normal iron sword. I’m sure I’ll only be able to ruin a few of them this time.
「 What’s this, is that all you’ve got, you are not hitting anything, you know?」
「 Yo, you～～～!!」
A man, with his face turned red from my provocation, desperately struggled to hit me, and I jumped around to avoid him.
「 Not yet!! Take that!!」
He tried to kick me while I was still in midair. Hmm, but that’s a naive move to attempt. You can’t get me with only that. While in midair, I grabbed his ankle and twisted it with a little force.
「 It hurtsーーーー!!?」
「 Hey, look over here?」
「 Ah, gufu!!」
I swung the iron sword’s flat in the face of the man who was holding his ankle in pain. He rolled over and passed out after a dull thud, which was followed by Arena who grabbed him and untwisted his ankle and took him away to be recovered. She then came back after.
「 Alright, next!」
After that, more and more adventurers challenged them in rapid succession. Their strategy was to watch and try to find their weaknesses, and to tire Aidle out without giving her a break. At first, some of them tried to take the gold secretly, but Mika and La Veil silenced them by teaching them the fear of what a powerful being is like.
So they gave up trying to force it and tried to attack Aidle in succession…
「 Kuh, why isn’t it hitting at all!?」
「 Oops, watch out. Be sure to watch your feet, too?」
Aidle was dodging all the men’s attacks with tricky moves. And from time to time it looked like things were becoming very dangerous. That’s because I wanted them to think that they might be able to get a hit in. And so they did bite into it, and that’s why the adventurers keep trying and trying. And well, they also keep on losing.
Every method of attack had been tried, but with the skill and status of these men, no matter how hard they tried, they were no match for Aidle.
A few hours later, the last person to confront Aidle, who had fought through hundreds of corpses without losing a breath, did not point his…… sword at her, but signed the piece of paper from La Veil and quickly fled.
「 What a quick ending. Compared to the non-stop scorpion rampage, this is nothing. 」
「 That’s true indeed…」
The scorpions were much stronger than these adventurers, and there were far more of them steaming in continuously. A few hundred adventurers were nothing compared to the sheer number of scorpions that Aidle had to deal with by herself. She was a little disappointed that there wasn’t anyone to have a bone to pick with, though.
「 After that, I’ll give this document to the guild officials for them to handle it. This also falls under the category of a duel, and since we’re both agreeing to do it, it’ll be effectively applied.」
Aidle raised her voice to the moaning corpses (adventurers).
「 I’ve won. If you do not abide by the terms of this contract, this is what will happen to you, so be prepared……. Cover the world in ice, Ice Flower!!」
What she chanted was a spell that created 『 A flower of ice that could encompass an entire city 』 sprouting from her hand.
Some of them had witnessed it before. Especially those who were present during the martial arts tournament in the royal city of Galania, and that ice flower became a legend at that moment.
「……Peach from the land of Blooming Ice? Was that the person who won the martial arts tournament by defeating a hero?」
After hearing the words 『 The one who won by defeating the hero 』 the fallen adventurers all looked at Aidle at the same time. Aidle takes off her own hood and shows her face to the adventurers. Pink hair and rainbow eyes. A few of them screamed and immediately ran away, knowing that the features were a perfect match.
「 To think that, the one we’ve fought was the person who defeated a brave guy……」
「 P, please don’t kill me……」
「 Well, I’m not really going to do anything.」
Aidle put her hood back on and quickly returned to her usual routine.
「 We’re leaving the city, but we won’t do anything else as long as you promise that you won’t do anything else. So everyone, be nice to the merchants from now on. You lost to me, and if you don’t keep your word, I’ll make another one of that and seriously drop it on you…… got it?」
「 If you don’t answer, I’ll drop it. Do, you want me to drop it?」
「「「 We will obey everything you said!!!」」」
「……Is that so 」
She pointed upward, and in an instant, the giant ice flower turned into snow and began to fall silently throughout the city. The adventurers buzzed their heads in silence, and Aidle nodded as if satisfied, then turned back to Cielo and Mika.
「 Alright, we’re done here, time to move out!」