Opening his mouth wide, Gustav lets out an impressive yawn.
The leader of the Rank 5 party, the『Iron Demon Brigade』is currently in Iskia village. To be more precise, he is reclining on a seat in the Adventurers’ Guild bar.
Adventurers are rolling around on the floor near his feet. The stench of alcohol and their moans of pain fill the room – in other words, they have drunk themselves unconscious.
The other seats of the guild bar are all empty and the whole room is covered from end to end in the remains of food and snacks. Glasses are scattered all over the floor.
「What, it’s already mornin’...?」
Gustav murmurs as the piercing, bright light of the morning sun reaches him from the window.
「Normally, they’d be openin’ for business around now.」
It is clear to see from this disastrous scene that Gustav held a large party here last night.
A day passed since he picked a fight with the First Prince of Avalon who was rumored to be a Rank 5 adventurer. A large amount of alcohol finally arrived so they began drinking to forget about their failure in hunting the Greed-Gore.
It was a lavish feast where even the other adventurers in the bar were showered in ale. Gustav was as bold as he was rumored to be. And now things are in this state.
「Mmm, nobody is listening to you, boss.」
Gustav, the only one in his seat, is vastly outnumbered by the amount of patrons lying on the floor. The one who replied to his meaningless remark about opening for business is the captivating voice of a woman – no, the deep voice of a man.
「In these kinda situations, appearances’re import’nt.」
「You sure are honest when it comes to the weirdest things. But I don’t dislike that part about you, you know that boss?」
In response to the giggle and wink, Gustav’s ogre-like face is twisted in an expression of disgust.
「Don’t be showin’ me somethin’ so disgustin’ when I have’n had any sleep all night...」
It is unsurprising that he is feeling a nausea that is not caused by the alcohol.
Anyone would feel the same, hearing a feminine tone and receiving a wink from the muscular, two-meter-tall Minotaur (♂).
「I do dislike how you don’t have any delicacy. You’ll hurt my maiden’s heart!」
It is questionable whether there is this “maiden’s heart” buried behind the huge chest muscles covered in reddish-brown bristles.
His body is covered in an armor of muscle even more solid than those of a wild Minotaur and two masculine horns sprout from his head, which is exactly like a bull’s.
If he was as kind and masculine as Gustav, he would have been popular among the Minotaurs (♀).
However, what he is wearing is not clumsy armor or plain clothes, but a dazzling, shocking-pink, frilled dress. It is obvious that he is one of those types.
He has been this way for as long as Gustav has known him. It is his inborn nature.
「Ah~ sorry, I’m sorry, s’all my fault, forgive me, Douglalas.」
「If you’re really sorry, call me “Lala”, please.」
「Can’t do that, I’d feel sorry for all the “Lala-chans” across Pandora.」
「Boss, you baka!」
It could easily be assumed that the name written on his guild card, “Douglalas”, is a spelling error. But his true name is, in fact, Douglalas. Nobody calls him by the nickname “Lala”, so that is nothing more than a self-chosen nickname.
Like a typical female, he walks angrily away. But as he leaves the bar, his movements have the force of a raging bull. He is likely heading to the room in the guild that he is staying in.
Deciding to leave the maiden whose feelings he hurt alone for now, Gustav turns his gaze towards another one of his party members.
「Oh, Gon, ya awake?」
The huge body with gray skin lying on the opposite table looks like a statue.
However, he is certainly a living creature. He is in fact a person, which he proves by suddenly opening his eyes wide and beginning to speak through his large mouth.
「I-I, want to, eat, breakfast.」
「We can’t order it yet, so you should wait in your room as well. I’ll order some fer us later.」
「Hey, boss, thank you.」
And so the Cyclops Gon stands up. His body is even larger than Gustav’s, particularly in width. He moves it sluggishly towards his room.
Even Douglalas would have his mind taken off things if he is tending to Gon. Douglalas is as helpful a man as Gustav is, though he would rather call himself a woman.
「Now then, I guess I’ll go an’ walk my drunkenness off with a little mornin’ stroll.」
With a loud creak, Gustav raises his large, red body off the chair.
「Zedra, if yer awake, help out with the cleanin’ up. If yer too drunk, I don’t mind sharin’ a potion with ya.」
「Roger that, Head.」
An immediate reply comes from behind Gustav.
Gustav turns to see a Golem with a single, shining red eye.
There are large rabbit-like ears attached to his head; this fact combined with his short, wide frame causes him to resemble a Punpun. His steel body is painted black and white. From his appearance, someone who is knowledgeable about monsters would notice that he is designed after the rare black-and-white subspecies of Punpun.
Until now, the Golem called Zedra has been sitting like an inanimate object in the corner of the bar, but at his boss’s command he has now booted up.
「Well then, I’m countin’ on ya.」
Patting Zedra’s wine-barrel-shaped body, Gustav leaves his party member behind as he begins his walk.
As he steps outside, he is met with a peaceful sight that one would see in any countryside farm village.
Thin white clouds float across the sky while a dazzling sun shines down on the villagers of Iskia that are walking about.
「Ah, the Greed-Gore, what’ll I do about it...」
As Gustav lumbers around Iskia village on this refreshing morning, he frowns as he voices his concerns regarding the Greed-Gore.
The reason Gustav has not returned to his base in Spada is the monster that he mentioned.
Should he stock up on food supplies and head out to the Iskia Hills once more? Or give up completely and return to Spada? He is worrying while trying to decide.
Gustav is not good at worrying, or that is to say, thinking. He is the type to rely on his instinct to make quick decisions.
During important moments, that decisiveness is always a benefit. However; careful consideration, comparing the advantages and disadvantages of an option, thoroughly taking into account other various factors and deriving the best outcome – Doing this is not just difficult for Gustav, but impossible.
An idiot’s ideas may as well be coming from someone who is asleep*. Douglalas and Gon are even more muscle-headed than Gustav, so it is meaningless to consult them.
As Gustav reaches the conclusion that it is best to leave the decision to Zedra, the most intellectual of them –
The loud ringing of a bell echoes throughout the village.
「An emergency evacuation?!」
It is the sound that signals an emergency situation. Any citizen of Spada would recognize it, and Gustav is no exception.
The peaceful morning abruptly becomes noisy.
The villagers who were heading out to work in the fields, farming tools in their hands, are now running around in chaos. The merchants who were beginning to prepare for the opening of their stores have now dashed inside them. A pair of young brothers who were carrying goods under their arms, perhaps helping their parents, hold hands and begin sprinting.
The sound of the bell continues to echo, as if signaling the end of their peaceful lifestyle.
「Whatever, I don’t care what kinda monster or person’s arrived, I’m gonna smash ‘em!」
Gustav has no way of knowing what exactly is going on, but his expectations are simple.
The most common reason for the bell that signals an emergency evacuation would be an unexpected monster attack; this fact is common sense across the entire continent of Pandora.
Iskia Village is on the Fauren-side of Spada, the neighboring allied country, while Daidalos is on the opposite side of Spada. Considering the village’s location, it is hard to imagine that this is the beginning of an invasion.
Therefore, there is no doubt that the threat closing in on the village is a group of monsters.
It can also be assumed that the monsters are invading from the nearby dungeon, the Iskia Hills.
Gustav uses his intuition to figure this out and moves his huge, red body quickly towards the village’s west gate, his loud footsteps echoing behind him.
「Hmm, what kinda monsters would come here? Centaurs? Orcs, Goblins?」
At the west gate, a knight of Spada wearing armor and a helmet as well as all of the members of the vigilante corps have already assembled.
Several adventurers who made the same guess about the situation as Gustav have also gathered here.
Gustav opens his mouth and asks the knight of Spada what is going on in a loud voice.
Their answer –
「It’s all of them.」
The knights of Spada are normally fearlessly brave, but his face is pale as he gives such a reply.
「What d’you mean by “all of them”?」
Gustav was thinking that perhaps this knight is a new member and is simply nervous at the prospect of facing his first real battle. However, seeing the face of a man well into the prime years of his life, Gustav can quickly tell that this is not the case.
「The monsters living in the Iskia Hills, all of them are heading for the village!」
“What kind of nonsense is –?” wonder the ones here who do not know the situation.
「Ugh, you’re kiddin’ me...」
However, beyond the gate, on the highway that continues towards Fauren, Gustav sees the shadow of a large army, kicking up a dense cloud of dust as it approaches.