Departure from the kingdom
There are going to be rude, intrusive people no matter what kind of village or settlement you try to live in.
However, that is fine with me. Since I’m moving to a village far away, normal people there would not recognize me or know of my fame.
If they don’t know about me, then I will just be buried as an ordinary man who knew a little something about swords.
My reputation of being a dragon slayer is only spreading within big countries and the adventurer’s guild, after all. I wouldn’t need to worry, as there is no branch office of the adventurer’s guild in Nordende.
「It’s across the neighboring country, Vespania, located in the deep far west of the kingdom, Slypheed」
「That’s extremely far away. Wouldn’t it take at least a month and a half to get there on horse carriages? 」
Kiel muttered in shock as I told them about the approximate location of Nordende.
I will be heading across the big country of Vespania, going through various cities and villages, probably camping out in the open here and there. They’re things I’m already used to in my long life of being an adventurer. The last time I went there, I was by myself as well, you know.
「But, I do think that unless leader were to live in such a far place, there’s no way he can live in peace」
「Elliot, I’m no longer your leader」
「Sorry, it’s a habit from calling you that all these years. Then, uh, Aldo」
I lightly reproved his mistake and Elliot called me by my name with a refreshing smile. Since Aldred was long to say, people close to me just call me Aldo[i].
「I’ve been calling you leader all this time, so even from now on, I’ll keep on calling you that」
「Ah, I know what you mean!」
I have no idea what they were talking about, but the rest of them insisted on calling me “leader” still.
To me, I feel a bit lonely because only one person here calls me by my name, but it’s not so bad when I see the carefree smiles on their faces when they call me leader.
「If we’re talking about countryside villages that are far from here, there are many of them. Why did leader choose Nordende of the Slypheed kingdom?」
Kiel inquired as he sat cross-legged on his chair.
He is being fidgety as usual, with movements just like a monkey’s. He even matches them unnecessarily with his excessively monkey-looking face.
「Yeah. Why there? 」
Kurune asked while tilting her head slightly, and Elliot also seems wanting to know from the way he’s looking at me.
「… There was something there when I was there by myself around nine years ago. It was the scene of beautiful fields of flowers along the calm and relaxing village that I could not completely forget, even to this day」
I told them honestly the reason why I’m going to Nordende, but Kiel, Kurune, and Elliot are all staring at me silently with their eyes wide open.
What? Why are you all so shocked?
「Why the silence? 」
「….No, it’s nothing. Leader did say just now that he couldn’t forget the scenery of beautiful flowers…right? 」
When I asked Kiel, the person who was sitting the closest to me, he replied in a puzzled tone.
「That’s right.. for lead.. I mean..Aldo, who was only devoted to the sword, to like flowers… That’s unexpected… right, Elliot? 」
「Erm, you’re asking if that has also surprised me?…Nah, well actually… to be honest, it doesn’t seem to suit Aldo at all」
Elliot said some harsh things after he fumbled for words.
Yeah, I know. Who wouldn’t be surprised after hearing from a grown man with the title of a dragon slayer like me, who was interested in nothing but swords, to say that he liked fields of flowers? It doesn’t match me. However, just let me be! I really like the flowers and the nature there.
「Well, that is why I am moving to Nordende! 」
Like that, I declared it very clearly. However, Kiel and the others had an expression as if I said something hard to understand, as though they were still doubtful of me.
「….Un, are there actually some evil monsters residing in Nordende, or are you going to seclude yourself in the mountains there to do some secret training? 」
Both Kurune and Elliot nodded to Kiel’s words in agreement.
So even now I’m still being suspected of being someone who’s only interested in the sword… I guess it couldn’t be helped.
「I no longer have the desire to pursue strength anymore. You guys are the ones who’ve been with me the longest; can’t you tell that I mean it? 」
I am not someone who would disband the party with some half-hearted feelings. I spoke with serious eyes while having those thoughts in mind.
「That’s how it is, I guess…」
「I got it now」
They all nodded. Did they finally understand how I feel?
「Well then, let’s call it a day. I don’t plan on returning to this kingdom, but if you guys have spare time in the future, come pay me a visit me in Nordende. I’ll always welcome you」
To disperse this tense atmosphere created from the upcoming separation, I put in some cheerful words.
「Yeah. It might be interesting to see what leader will look like when he’s working as a villager」
「I cannot imagine it at all」
Kiel showed a full smile showing his white teeth, and Elliot replied with a bitter smile.
Please don’t treat me as an exhibition animal or something.
「Yeah, well… I don’t know if I’ll be able to have such long vacation days to come visit, but I’ll make something happen」
Even though we’re all walking down our own paths, the bonds we have created from being in the same party will never be severed. A warm feeling spread throughout my chest as I had those thoughts.
◆ ◆ ◆
We disbanded our party promptly afterwards. We finished it up with a fun last meal together in a tavern, where we reminisced and talked about the memories we had, and the times of us questing together; like the time when somebody did something during a quest, and a bunch of monsters came out and how a certain someone got so scared, to the point of almost pissing their pants thinking they were going to die.
Anyways, various stories were brought up and we had some good laughs.
From this point on, there will be way fewer opportunities for us to get together again with all of us present, but I think it’s all good if each one of us can follow our desires and find our own happiness, since we no longer need to fight with our lives on the line anymore.
Kurune broke down in tears at the end, which almost made me do the same as well, but I endured it somehow. It wouldn’t be a good closure if the leader, who declared the disbandment of the party, also breaks down in tears from the break up.
At the end, we did our team huddle, praising each other for the good fights, and parted with a smile saying “until next time”.
Like that, the kingdom of Abalonia’s A-ranked adventurers party, 『Black Silver』, officially disbanded today.
The next day after the party disbanded.
I quickly packed up my luggage in the inn, then covered my whole body with a hooded robe and left.
It’s best if I leave this country quickly while keeping it on the down-low.
I left the detailed procedures you had to complete at the adventurer’s guild for our party’s disbandment to Kiel and the others. I would have definitely made a scene if I were to walk in there myself to do them.
All the guild’s staff, royalty, and nobles would have tried to stop me.
Normally, it’s only the leader of the party who can disband the party. But, with enough party member approvals, it is allowed for party members to start the procedures to disband the party by majority votes as well.
That is something which is written in the guild’s rules, so there are no problems at all.
It is bad manners for me to not show up in person, but it’s for the sake of my peaceful life. I have made enormous contributions to the guild up till now, so I’m sure they can forgive me for being selfish just this once.
The horse-drawn carriages stopped near the city capital’s gate, and along with our pay together, some villagers and I got on the carriages with our luggage. The kingdom’s capital is crowded with people from the celebrations of the dragon-slaying right now, so the security inspections for carriages leaving the kingdom is rather loose. As there are countless men who have black eyes and black hair, I got out without anyone suspecting a thing.
No one will know that you’re a dragon-slaying adventurer if you don’t wear any adventurer equipment, after all.
If words leaked out beforehand, I thought of donating all my money to the poorest people in the slums before leaving, but everything seems fine right now.
After getting out of the kingdom, the rocking carriage proceeded through the bumpy roads.
The procedures to be done in the guild are to be carried out a bit later in the day, so everything should be okay.
Eventually, they will send someone to me for an interview, and personnel dispatched from the guild should show up one day.
Kiel is good at the kind of stuff like deceiving and stalling the guild, but it would only be a matter of time before they find out the truth.
I have to get to somewhere far before the commotion starts.
I turn my sight away from the small ramparts of the kingdom.
Then, I closed my eyes, imagining the scenery of Nordende.
[i] Aldred in katakana is アルドレッド, arudoreddo. So it’s long to say if you say it in Japanese. Therefore, they shorten it to アルド, Arudo, which could be interpreted as Ald/Aldo. I chose Aldo here because it sounds the closest to the Japanese phonetics and sounds better than Ald imo.