Call from an old place
“I-It’s been a while, Raiz.”
The girl’s face flushed all of a sudden.
She was fidgeting awkwardly, so he greeted her with a friendly tone.
“Hey mister, do you know those ladies?”
The carpenters asked Raiz about its relationship with the newcomers.
Merck was shocked about being addressed as a girl, but it wasn’t the first time, given the delicate features of his visage.
The tamer smiled wryly.
“Yes, they are my former comrades.”
“Really? They’re pretty serious if they came so far only to meet you.”
The master carpenter noticed that Raiz didn’t want to talk about his past.
He thought it was better to not ask anything and leave them alone.
“Guys, the break has ended! Let’s go back to work!”
The workers replied with a cheerful voice and immediately returned to their workstation.
Raiz was really grateful for his consideration. After they all left, he once again faced his former comrades.
“Why were you searching for me? How are things going in the army?”
Lety straightened her back as she looked at him.
“That’s exactly why we are here! Come back to us!”
He declined her offer bluntly.
She squeaked in surprise.
“Because I don’t want to come back when they fired me. How could you even think about it?”
He blurted out the last part listlessly.
The army coldly drove him away but was now begging for his forgiveness.
He bet they were asking him that only because the Dragon Express was quite profitable.
“I-I heard about that, but it’s an order from General Mard!”
Raiz frowned when he heard that name.
“Didn’t he retire?”
He remembered that he retired due to his age after the end of the war.
The one who succeeded him was an incompetent officer, the one who fired Raiz.
He couldn’t be blamed for having this kind of reaction.
“Mard heard that you were driven away and scolded his successor harshly, telling him that he didn’t even know the meaning of ‘deterrence’.”
Merck tried to explain why the general wanted Raiz back.
“That’s why we came here personally to ask you to join us again.”
But Raiz didn’t sound interested in the matter.
“What’s with you! You will finally return to the army! Rejoice!”
Lety pouted at his discontent.
“Raiz, everyone in the army thinks that what has happened to you is unfair. Actually, each of the warriors that fought alongside you wishes to have you with us again.”
He tried to persuade him while trying to calm Lety down.
“I’m sure that a lot of people who can’t think about the future, thought of you as a hindrance, given the number of subordinates you have. But His Majesty himself permitted your reintegration, so don’t worry about what some noble or soldier thinks.”
“The King, huh?”
Raiz was a commoner, so he didn’t become emotional when the King was named.
He joined the army only to get fame and wealth, after all.
Oh, and also for his monsters’ food expense.
Tamers and soldiers were treated differently.
Even showing the best he could do, he was never rewarded properly.
Some acknowledged his worth, but no one talked about his efforts or actions even during important ceremonies.
Knights descendants from nobles and the new general only thought about the room Raiz’s monsters took up, and scorned him to the point that the Lord of the thousand beasts became the laughing stock of the entire army.
That’s also how normal people started to see tamers as bizarre entities.
Furthermore, the heads of the army intentionally manipulated some information to use Raiz’s potential to its fullest.
“Sorry, but I’m satisfied with my new life. I have no intention of coming back with you.”
It looked like Raiz didn’t give it much thought. While Merck smiled wryly and Lety tried to control her boiling anger.
“Mister Merck, Miss Lety, would you like some water?”
Dryad offered them some water, and the tension loosened.
“O-Oh, hello Dryad. It’s been a while, how are you?”
“I’m fine, thank you. I’m sorry for offering you only this, but we don’t have tea.”
“Don’t worry, we had to came here on a forced march, so this is more than enough.”
Merck thanked her as he brought the glass to his lips.
“Ah, your water is really special.”
He gave the glass back to her and looked at the monsters who were resting leisurely at the ranch.
“I heard about the Dragon Express. It’s a great success, isn’t it?”
Raiz tried to answer vaguely. He knew that Lety would voice her anger if he gave her the chance to strike.
“It’s not going bad, I guess.”
“You should be careful.”
Merck moved his gaze over him with a serious face.
“Raiz, someone is going after you.”
A girlish voice reached them, and when they turned, Arachne was approaching them while carrying a big, white lump with her.
The upper part of her body was a human’s, and her lower half was a spider’s.
“These suspicious guys have weapons, so I caught them~!”
An strange mood fell on the presents.
“You already took care of them, huh.”
Merck lowered his head slightly, embarrassed for the seriousness he had shown a few moments before.