Seeing Ilya bow to her as she spoke, Helly panicked.
“Not at all! Just, she didn’t say it outright, but Siren-sama was hoping to be able to see you…”
She didn’t appear to be over-embellishing.
Ilya felt that the most peaceful way to use the Crystal Pillar of Wind sealed in her room that she’d gotten from Nina and the others as the reward’s compensation was to put it to use on Mermaid Island, which had no barrier. She’d intended to have it delivered, but it might be better for her to take it there herself at some point.
Thinking about that, she paid attention to not promise something she couldn’t do.
“I’d love to listen to all of you sing again.”
“We’d love to!”
Helly brought her face closer to Ilya’s. Her eyes were scary.
Pulling back a little, Ilya handed an envelope over to her.
“Sorry, but could you please deliver this letter to Siren instead?”
“C-certainly! Even if it costs my life, I’ll—“
“Please prioritize your life.”
She felt that her thoughts hadn’t been conveyed properly.
Nodding, Helly felt slightly discouraged, but managing to pull herself back together right after, she looked up to Partia and the others and bowed to them respectfully.
“Then, again, everyone. I am Helly, please allow me to guide you on your way to Bahamut.”
“Please treat me well.”
“I’ll be relying on you.”
Their unexpectedly dispirited responses made her anxious.
However, not showing her anxiety in the same way as Ilya did, Helly smiled at the three of them.
“No no, I should be saying that to you all, please treat me well on the way to Bahamut. I’ll be returning directly to my home after bringing you all to Bahamut, so I cannot accompany you on your return trip, my apologies.”
“… Could I have a moment?”
Once everyone nodded to show their consent, Ilya spoke.
She wanted to tell them to not say Bahamut over and over, but her purpose for speaking was different.
“Partia, Gabriel, please escort Helly.”
“Helly, even if you made it here, it should have exhausted you considerably.”
As for what was exhausted, it wasn’t just mana, but her vitality and endurance as well.
Although mental fatigue wasn’t a status, it was an important factor related to concentration.
“Even if Bahamut were safe, Siren would grieve if anything were to happen to you.”
“Ilya-sama… but, the island…”
“Please, don’t worry about that. As you can see, Partia is a fairy and came from the country of fairies. Gabriel knows the island where the demon god lives.”
Both of those areas were concealed, separated from the rest of the world.
They were the same as Mermaid Island.
Realizing that, Helly smiled in understanding.
“Could I presume upon your offer, then?”
Seeing Helly bow, Gabriel and Partia nodded back.
“No helping it~”
Partia shrugged her shoulders.
“Before we leave, do you have any questions?”
Seeing no one come forth with a question, Helly nodded and turned back to Ilya.
“Well then, Ilya-sama, I must be off.”
“Alright. Take care of yourself.”
Just before Partia and Gabriel turned to leave, Ilya stopped them. Helly was already somewhat away from them, so it should be alright to tell them already. What she was about to tell them was something she didn’t want Helly to hear.
“About you being her escort, I’ve already transferred the money into your accounts, so you do not need to return to report it.”
“” Eh? “”
“If you are asked about payment for escorting her to the island, please respond by saying that you did it of your own will.”
Naturally, the look of bewilderment didn’t leave the two’s faces.
They’d been effectively told [You don’t need to come back] even though they hadn’t gotten their original goal of a hint on the slate’s location, so it wasn’t unreasonable.
Although it would have been fine for Ilya to tell them everything here and now, she surmised that all of the two’s efforts would have gone to waste if she didn’t have them be acknowledged by Siren without her own involvement.
If she realized, Helly and the others would feel anxious about Partia and Gabriel and stop them outside the gate.
Although she thought that they would understand she held no malice, she patted Partia and smiled to try and erase a tiny bit of their worrying.
“I’m not saying that you can’t come back to Lunéville, so please don’t think into it so much.”
“Yeah. Partia, let’s give it our best and finish this commission right away.”
Ilya didn’t know if Gabriel understood her intention, but he gave his consent, causing Partia to as well.
They were both skilled, so it should be settled without any other problems popping up.
Concluding as such to herself, Ilya saw them off.
“I truly do wish for your safety in completing the commission.”
A few days after Helly and the others’ departure.
Just like how not every day in Lunéville was an eventful one, the four’s journey went smoothly.
If things continued how they’d been, they would manage to arrive within Divine Beast Bahamut’s cognitive range by the following morning.
Thinking about that, Ilya continued her everyday routine.
“Maaan, it’s crazy! Isn’t it even cooler than Orbwight’s old arena!?”
“Right!? Like, it stands out, but it’s not showy at all~”
Conversations similar to this one playing our at a nearby table were occurring throughout the town.
The arena was completed just the day before, so it wasn’t surprising.
“But you know, it feels a bit like the branch here.”
“Ah, I get what you mean dude. Like it’s calm or something?”
Being inspired by the branch’s construction—a method that had been borrowed from Ilya’s previous life—was a miscalculation.
Although it was natural for a receptionist to see it, she stayed away from the completed arena so that she would have nothing to do with it at all.
(I never thought they’d go with the Colosseum…)
It appeared that they adopted the Gothic style for its interior, mixing bright white, blue and scarlet to produce a splendid outer appearance. It was a high-profile construction that set itself apart from the recent trend with its color choices.
“Ah, welcome back.”
Looking up as she gave a reflexive return greeting, she saw Frank.
The folded-up overcoat in his hand was the uniform used for the patrol group (Lunévraus). Ilya knew that he’d gone out for a meeting and training, but he was back rather early.
“Did something happen?”
Her doubt was erased by Frank smiling back.
“No, it’s just that I’ll be a genuine guard tomorrow on. I was sent back early today so that I could get enough rest.”
“It’s that time already, is it?”
“The arena finished earlier than expected after all. There are a few other facilities that aren’t completed yet, but that’s all, so it’s more than enough to get used to it.”
The arena had five floors in total.
The surface plaza was on the first floor, as well as the commerce facilities. The players’ waiting rooms and equipment warehouse was on the first underground floor. Underneath that on the second underground floor was a collection of plumbing and management facilities. Further down was a prison floor that would hold captive monsters.
By the way, it was said to be a monster jail, but through unspoken agreement, it could also be used to imprison criminals.
The difference between this arena and Orbwight’s wasn’t just its style, but also the ceiling that was able to open and close, allowing for its interior to be protected from various weather conditions. It was also able to diversify into having a maze as well as having underwater battles—something they’d got an idea for from the pool.
The person who’d made it was playing cat and mouse with something.
Since the inner structure was complex enough that it caused people to complain about it, it was a big matter for those who needed to guard inside.
Hearing about that, Ilya suddenly thought of something.
“Frank-san, will you be going on patrol as well?”
“Hmm? No, I will be going about everything at first, but I won’t be going on patrol after that.”
Considering Frank and Hector’s sense of responsibility, the two of them should have noticed that it would cut down on their time for official business. Ilya didn’t want to say anything after it was already decided on, but she was happy that it ended without them being restrained by having to go on patrol so that their burden could be decreased as much as possible.
“Will you be resting in your private room, then?”
“Yeah, I’ll do that… I think I’ll get up for dinner, though.”
“I’ll send someone up for you in the case that you don’t wake up.”
Knowing that nothing would change from their exchange, they still smiled at each other.
“I’ll leave it to you, then.”
“Yeah. Please, have a rest.”
When she saw Frank off, a line of people wishing to accept commissions formed as if they saw a good chance for it.
She thought about it each time she saw a queue like this, but they wouldn’t have to wait around like that if they’d just spaced out the time they wanted to accept something.
Maybe it was some psychological thing causing it?
Having finished her reception work while thinking about trivial things like that, Ilya ate with Frank and helped him with his official duties before finally going to bed.