We arrived at the Blacksmiths’ Guild about 20 minutes after leaving The Dragon’s Table
Gamud had only told us its general location, but honestly, that was all we needed to locate it because it stood out from all the other buildings in its vicinity. It looked kinda of like a massive workshop. Smoke actively billowed out its chimney. The plot of land the building sat on was huge and all the people entering and leaving it were stern-looking men.
Though there was basically no way it wasn’t the Blacksmiths’ Guild, a part of me hoped I was wrong. I really wanted to know what else it possibly could’ve been.
I tried imagining all the different possibilities, but my train of thought was cut short as we approached. I happened to see a crest with a pair of crossed hammers on it mounted on the building’s door plate, which clearly denoted that the place was indeed the Blacksmiths’ Guild we’d been looking for.
A wave of pressure hit me the moment we entered the building. The foyer’s ceiling was incredibly low. It was almost like the place had been constructed specifically to intimidate those that entered it. I felt like I’d entered a workplace meant solely for hardboiled men.
「Hmm? You have some business here?」
The Blacksmiths’ Guild’s receptionist was nothing like the type we’d typically had back at the Adventurers’ Guild. The buff dwarf that worked at the desk didn’t bother smiling. He instead spoke in a low voice and threw Fran a sharp glare, almost as if to threaten her.
「Looking for person.」
「Then you’ve come to the wrong place. Go talk to the Adventurers’ Guild instead.」
His cold response almost made him seem like a bartender that’d just rejected someone asking for milk.
「Looking for blacksmith. Gallus.」
「I don’t know who you’re talking about. You satisfied yet, girlie?」
「No. Need more informed person. Here, gift.」
The receptionist’s tone changed the moment he laid hands on the booze we’d brought. Welp, that’s a dwarf for you.
「That’s a mighty fi-tsk.」
He began reaching towards the bottle of wine Fran had placed atop the counter, but she took it away right before he reached it. The act caused the dwarf to glare at her in a begrudging manner, but she didn’t mind him, and instead just chucked it back into her Dimensional Storage.
「Get person. Close to Gallus or know location.」
「…Wait here a bit.」
The dwarven receptionist left his desk and headed deeper inside the building. It took him about 10 minutes to finally return to his desk.
It seemed that he’d found just the guy, as he finally began leading us through the guild. We ended up going underground and passing through a series of large doors only to end up finding ourselves inside a rather small room. Despite its size, it managed to come off as a luxurious office that clearly belonged to someone important given how gaudy the furniture was. However, it was dark. No direct light managed to reach any of the room’s four corners. The room’s owner was only capable of operating within it because he was a dwarf.
「I’ve brought her over, boss.」
Apparently, we’d been brought straight to the guild’s top dog even though we hadn’t told the receptionist who we were. I couldn’t pinpoint the exact reason he ended up doing so, but I felt that it was likely either because we’d mentioned Gallus, shown him the booze we’d brought with us, or a combination of both.
Regardless, we ended up giving him a bottle of wine as he left.
「Still have more.」
「Great. I’ll be happy to take it off your hands then.」
Surprisingly, the receptionist ended up flashing us a big smile. I knew that he was a dwarf and all, but god damn!
「Is that wine I see?」
「I guess that means I’ll have to take this seriously, not that I wouldn’t have to begin with. I’d rather not risk incurring the Black Lightning Princess’ wrath, after all.」
It turned out that the Blacksmiths’ Guild’s boss had already heard of Fran. He’d never actually met Fran and only knew that the Black Lightning Princess was a female Black Catkin, but he still managed to pinpoint the fact that she was the person that everyone was talking about. I wasn’t really surprised. It wasn’t really that difficult to deduce Fran’s identity.
There were two main reasons figuring out who Fran was had become such a simple task. The first and foremost was because she had become a hot topic as of late. Barbra’s people were already aware that she was in town, so they’d started to actively talk about her. The second was that Fran was strong. There weren’t many strong Black Catkin, and a single good look at her was more than enough for any skilled individual to figure out that she was a cut above the rest. Putting two and two together immediately allowed one to conclude that Fran was indeed the rumoured Black Lightning Princess.
We promptly asked the Blacksmiths’ Guild’s boss for Gallus’ location, to which he responded by making a bit of a murky expression. His reaction didn’t seem quite positive, but it at least served to evidence that he knew who Gallus was.
「Does your name happen to be Fran?」
「Nope. The only thing we knew you by was your alias.」
「Nn. Named Fran.」
「Then, am I right in assuming you used to be called the Magic Sword Girl?」
I was a bit confused as to why he bothered confirming Fran’s old name and nickname.
「I see… To be honest, not even I know exactly where Gallus has gone.」
『He’s telling the truth.』
Not even the Blacksmiths’ Guild’s boss knew where we could find Gallus.
「I do at least have a bit of information. I don’t mind telling you, but only if you swear not to tell a soul. It’s highly confidential.」
「Nn. Won’t tell.」
「Good. Last I heard, Gallus had taken on a top secret request from a noble.」
「Top secret request?」
「Not even I know exactly what it entails. All I know was that it was something an influential noble personally asked him to do, and that he was against it. That’s it.」
It looked like not even Gallus was capable of turning down important nobles. If he did, the noble in question would probably end up causing trouble both for him and the Blacksmiths’ Guild as a whole.
「Basically means abducted?」
「He definitely was being forced to do something against his will, but it isn’t really as bad as you’re making it out to be. They at least put in an official request.」
The Blacksmiths’ Guild’s boss wasn’t lying, which meant the reason we hadn’t been able to find Gallus was because he got forced into doing something he couldn’t anyone about.
「Truth is, he actually left you a letter, told me to give it to Fran, the Magic Sword Girl. I’d actually made a few arrangements so you’d be brought straight to me if you ever showed up, but…」
Fran’s new nickname, the Black Lightning Princess, had become much more widespread than her last. Gallus himself never suspected that she’d suddenly gain a new alias, and naturally, didn’t know what that new alias could’ve been, so his letter was still addressed to the Magic Sword Girl. The old name had just flat out poofed; it’d gone so quickly that I almost missed it; hearing it again filled me with a sense of nostalgia.
「Here it is. I haven’t looked at it myself, so I’ve no idea what he’s written.」
It seemed that he was once again telling the truth.
「Oh yeah, do me a favour and don’t read it here. I’d be put in a bad spot if it makes mention of the request he’s gotten from the state. I’d rather not get any more involved in than I already am.」
Apparently, even just carrying the letter was already something the Blacksmiths’ Guild’s boss considered to rather risky.
And so, we took the letter, handed over the booze we brought, and went on our way.
We had no way of knowing the letter’s contents, so we ended up deciding that it’d be best for us to find a place without anyone around before actually opening it up.
『We’re going to have spend the night in town, so we might as well just rent a room somewhere and read it there.』
「Nn. Got it.」
Fran and I ended up deciding on a place right by the Adventurer’s Guild seeing as how we were going to have to head over to it the next day anyways.
「Nn. Nice room.」
『Goes to show you get what you pay for.』
The room was priced at 15k a night, mostly because we’d picked the best room with a bath we could find.
Though Fran herself had said that she’d be fine with a cheap room, I insisted otherwise, admittedly mostly for vanity’s sake. Fran had gotten a really awesome nickname. I really wanted to let her act in a manner that befitted it.