The Consequence of Saving the World
With the Adventurer’s Guild behind me, the only thing I found was that I was lost.
At least in Allantheim, the roads were designed in such a way that they connected to a central area. Here, my mind and my memories kept screwing with me, trying desperately to identify and anchor specific locations to the village of old.
Sometimes, I’d see an oddly familiar building, only to realise that it was not positioned correctly. It was as if somebody decided to roll a die, relocating old buildings and erecting new ones beside them based on the randomness of the die.
Finally, I killed off the desire to link back any of these sights back to my memory. Swallowing my pride, I consulted other pedestrians on the directions for a “bar”.
Eventually, my persistent questioning paid off—my search was narrowed down to a particular place called “The Horseshoe Tavern”. I spent all that time wandering around in the middle of town only to discover that it was actually near the spot where Sereya fought the knight. Good job, Evan.
Before I even entered the tavern, I was greeted by music. Loud and heart-pumping, the song that played did a great job of hyping me up. Just what was going on inside?
My intent to find out was momentarily extinguished when I nearly lost my hand opening the front door. It burst open just when I was about to go in. A completely wasted guy with his arm wrapped around a lady nearly fell head-first as they exited. Who in their right mind would get this hammered in the middle of the day?
Fortunately, I was able to avoid a head-on collision, but I do regret helping the man up somewhat. The only thanks that I received from him was the stench of booze that he passed to me.
The inside of this establishment was big—it reminded me more of a hall than a watering hole. The biggest reason was that stage at the end of the room. It was fully in view of all the patrons here, no matter where they sat.
On the stage itself was a performer, the source of everyone’s liveliness. Draped in striking green and red with a huge feathered hat over his head, he certainly looked the part. He was strumming some stringed instrument that I’d never seen before with incredible finesse.
A tap on my shoulder stole my attention away from the stage. It was a waitress, but I could only see her mouth opening and closing as she attempted to speak with me. The music was so deafeningly loud, I couldn’t even make out what she was saying at all!
I leaned in closer after she gestured for me to do so. She was practically shouting into my ear, but it was still a challenge to decipher what she said.
“Sir. Have. Seat.”
That was all I heard. While I understood what she was asking of me, I also had questions of my own. Since it was futile trying to hold a conversation here, I signalled her to come outside with me. Thankfully, she agreed.
Standing right next to the entrance of Horseshoe Tavern once more, the thunderous, blaring song that was playing inside was at a manageable volume outside.
“Did you see a woman with light blue hair? Long hair that covered half of her back? She was also wearing a mantle and was about this tall,” I used my hand to provide a visual estimation of Sereya’s height.
“Oh. Second floor. Third room from the left.”
“Got it, tha—”
She grabbed my wrist before I could go back in. With an annoyed glare, she rubbed her thumb repeatedly against the index finger of her other hand. I knew what that meant.
I passed her a handful of coins for the information she had just given me. I had no clue what was the rate for this kind of thing, but she let me go with a satisfied smile on her face.
Making my way back in, I finally noticed the stairs leading up to the second floor. I wasn’t sure how they did it, but the tavern was dimly lit even though the sun was shining outside. Whether this was done intentionally to enhance the vibe for the performance or the owner didn’t care about lighting at all, I had no clue.
I ignored the source of all the noise on stage and headed up to the second floor. It was a long balcony that overlooked the stage and everything else going down below. The rooms it was connected to seemed to be VIP rooms of some sort.
I pushed the door of the third room open. Lo and behold, Sereya Bladecrest was there.
Of all the potential scenarios playing in my head, worried of all the possible things that might be happening to her due to how sudden she left, I was thoroughly upset to see that she was comfortably having a feast with all kinds of exquisite dishes laid out in front of her. Some of which weren’t even from Breven!
Sure, I was relieved that she was okay, but the annoyance of seeing her enjoying life instead of looking for me far outweighed that.
Like a rabbit, her neck jolted straight up when she saw me. Her cheeks reminded me more of a squirrel, completely stuffed and puffed out from the delicacies she was gorging. However, the most appropriate animal to describe her was a rat—abandoning me for a grand lunch.
“Eben! I cansh ecksplain!”
Panicked, her mouth was multitasking between eating and talking. I merely sat down beside her, arms folded with a finger tapping on my arm like a disappointed parent.
My displeasure suddenly changed to shock when from the shadowy corner of the room, emerged the figure of the assassin knight! The small fire of rage that was building up inside of me was instantly frozen over, just like my blood.
Just how long had he been hiding there? Why wasn’t Sereya reacting? What was he—
Aaand he just stepped out of the room.
What in blazes was going on?!
“Why is he here?!” I snapped at Sereya.
“Listen, it’s all one big misunderstanding.”
“Okay then, so is this big feast you’re having some sort of misunderstanding as well?”
She was getting embarrassed. Well, she should be!
Working against her was the music, which had just died down. It was followed by cheers and applause, before silence took over and added to her shame.
“You know, you could eat some of it as well…”
“That’s not the point. Why did you leave me like it was some big deal just to come here and splurge?”
“I didn’t spend on any of this!”
“What? Is that knight who tried to kill you paying for your lunch as well?”
“It’s not him! It’s—”
The door flung open, and I was met with a voice I never heard before.
“Why, if it isn’t Evansmith Mattheld!”
It was the performer from the stage below! He knew who I was?! Also, why was the knight standing right behind him?!
Defeated, Sereya murmured, “Evan, meet Timon.”
Timon? As in one of the Seven Heroes Timon Taze, Timon?!
“Meet? Hah! Surely you jest—Evansmith and I know each other better than our own parents!”
He waltzed right in, pulled a chair super close to me and wrapped his arm over my shoulder. I’ve never felt so uncomfortable before in my life.
“Of course! For he is the one who fell the Demon Lord! A feat only possible by Evansmith and Evansmith alone!”
Why did he speak in such a stifling manner? Also, could he please get off of me? Please?
“Timon, he lost all his memories. And his powers.”
His arm was still around me, but it wasn’t holding me as tight anymore. His mood had definitely taken a nosedive.
Out of nowhere, the door swung open again. This time, a waitress came in.
“Timon baby~ Let’s have a dr—”
Before she could even finish her sentence, Timon summoned a flute out of thin air. I finally recognised the sound that interrupted the fight earlier—it was this.
He played a single mellow note. Immediately, the waitress’ demeanour changed. As if she was possessed, she walked outside of our room wordlessly like a puppet.
Shivers ran down my spine. That was without a doubt—a form of mind control.
“Pardon the interruption. Evansmith, you had no recollection of who I am?”
“Sorry. I don’t recall any interaction with you, but I heard of you before,”
The corner of his lip and a lone eyebrow perked upwards.
“Oh? Pray tell, which of my amazing feats have you heard of me?”
“Not now, Timon,” Sereya cut in. “Also, please just call him Evan. If you say Evansmith, people will find out that he’s weak.”
“Alas, ‘tis a common name, but a fitting one given the situation nonetheless. Since we’re unfamiliar, dear Evan, I believe introductions are in order.”
He’s taking it surprisingly well, unlike Remus. Still, I could tell that he was distressed.
“This here is my bodyguard, Phalanx. Feel free to address him as Fal. Not one for words, but a reliable chap.”
He gestured towards the knight who proceeded to step forward. Timon continued:
“My apologies for his earlier behaviour. I assigned him to be on the lookout for that formidable presence that was sprouting forth from earlier, but he mistook it for Sereya!”
“See? It’s a misunderstanding.”
She just stuck her tongue out at me. Wow.
“As for yours truly, speaking before you is none other than the Scion of Song, the Visionary Virtuoso, the Hero of Harmony, Timon Taze.”
…This was getting ridiculous.
“I arrived in Breven after catching wind that our dearest Evan had a religion treating him as a god! However, the appearance of that terrifying presence has added a new layer to this mystery—I believe they’re related.”
Pouring me a drink from a jug, he passed it to me with a cunning look in his green eyes.
“So, dear Evan, what brings you to Breven?”
Hey everyone, Harmonica here! Originally, I intended for volume 2 to cover Timon and the investigation at Breven, but in the middle of writing, I realised that it would be far too long in terms of length to include everything. Hence, I fleshed out the escort quest for Anita and Ain (who still has a part to play in the future, mind you).
Volume 3 is currently in the works and it's looking to be the most epic one yet! In the meantime, I'll be taking a break before posting volume 3 chapters to Honeyfeed.
Regarding the Kodansha adaptation, no comment on that for now. All I can say is, stay tuned ;)