Protagonist Knows Everything - Chapter 16: Hostage
Cold sweat is flowing on Kasha’s forehead.
“Defense and attack. Using two spells simultaneously just shows how powerful she is. But it will be difficult to keep it going for a long time, right?”
Before Burns could say anything Kasha rained some of the fire arrows upon him. To be precise, not Burns himself, but the area around him.
The ground burst into flames just by the sheer heat of the arrows. Burns was sweating, but he didn’t flinch at all.
“If one of those hit me, I’ll just melt, even my bones won’t be found, but you can’t really target a person.”
“You…you haven’t fought against humans before right? Then this will be easy.”
With that Burns attacked me once again.
I can hear the sound of iron clashing. Good. The invisible barrier around me is still holding. Burns’ ruthless slashes were putting quite some stress on Kasha. Kasha was struggling to defend and attack at the same time.
“Haha! It lasts quite a while!”
Each time that Burns slashed, his sword dug deeper into the barrier. He was being attacked with those arrows at the same time. But he didn’t care about Kasha’s magic at all, and he threw his sword at me whenever he got a chance.
‘Are all A-class adventurers this strong?’
It was a big deal, according to Burns he was the weakest A-class in the Wyvern Guild, so much so that he wasn’t given any proper quests.
‘What about other A-classes? Even the weakest one is this strong.’
Kasha was sweating profusely. It seemed that the simultaneous operation of defense and attack magic became too difficult. She hurled a huge fiery arrow at Burns, as if she was trying to finish this once and for all.
‘But why is he smiling?’
Burns quickly escaped. The arrow was heading to the frit reserve that he had heavily oiled a little while ago.
Kasha hurriedly tried to change the direction of the arrow, as if she had noticed Burns’ intentions.
Fortunately, she reacted quickly and the frit habitat was safe.
However, that sudden strain temporarily released the defense magic that Kasha placed on me…
“I’ve got you now.”
The next moment, Burns was pointing his sword at my neck.
Burns’ muscles were swollen and throbbing.
Kasha was calling out to me, she sounded almost as if she was crying.
Burns glared at me and said, “Woo. Whoa. Damn it. I can’t fool my body, I’m already tired.”
“Hey. Tay. Dirk really cares about you.”
“Even if I fail to burn the reserve, he’ll forgive me if I give him your head. He’ll continue to give me quests, and my income would be secured.”
Then Kasha spoke. She had a voice that reminded me of one of those horror movies I watched in my previous life.
“You’ll regret living if you touch Tay.”
“I’ll melt your whole body starting from your limbs making all the way to your heart. You’ll regret being born as your whole body melts away in the span of 24 painful hours.”
‘If you could curse like that then why didn’t you do it before?’
Even though her threat was genuinely scary, Burns wasn’t intimidated at all.
“You don’t want your Tay to die either. So move your flames out of your hands and burn those frits over there.”
“With that all of us will return home happy and healthy.”
Kasha bites her lips tightly. Kasha moved out from her home after that whole incident with her party, maybe she’s still scared of hurting people.
After considering my options I started speaking
“You are really strong Burns, I admit it. So why don’t you retreat now?”
“Don’t bluff, why would I do that.”
“The first was Mary, the second was Hugh, then Xenia… The youngest was Sylfia, right?”
Burn’s sword was trembling.
“Think carefully. I already knew that Dirk commissioned you before coming here.”
“I also knew that my precious little adventurer here never fought against other people. Did you really think that I came here to face you without any insurance?”
Burn’s legs were shaking.
I spoke in a relaxed voice, “Did you think that the Hagnut Guild was like your guild where no one cared for the other one?”
“Kasha and I must return to the guild safely by midnight. I directed them to dispose of THEM if we don’t reach the guild by midnight.”
For Burns, his children were his sole purpose of living. He loved them alot. Enough to have to accept dirty requests like this.
“The kids… don’t touch my family.”
“I won’t. If you take the sword away.”
Burns put his sword in his trembling hand away. My throat was numb due to being stretched for so long.
“Now go back. Report it to Dirk.”
“I think you have to give up touching the Hagnut Guild.”
Burns said, staring at me with a terrifying look, “Where are the kids?”
“First, go home. Then you will know soon.”
‘Cause they’ll be at home anyway.’
Burns seemed to admit that he had nothing more to do with it. While grinding his teeth he turned away.
And as soon as he returned to the carriage,
“Brother. WHAT IS IT?”
“Did you win?”
“Shut up and get on fast. We’re retreating.”
Then, Burns’ party jumped onto the carriage. Burns grabbed the reins and drove away without looking back.
I tried to turn slowly. But I couldn’t. Because Kasha stuck tightly on my back from behind.
“What is it?”
“Sorry. Even though I said that I’d protect you, this time I wasn’t able to do anything… I’m really, really sorry. Tay.”
Okay, why don’t you let me go now?
‘Who said that sorcerers lack physical strength? She’s hugging me so tight.’
“Who said you didn’t do anything? If it wasn’t for you, I would’ve lost my head twelve times over.”
“It was my mistake that I didn’t tell you about the plan beforehand, I was never good with people to begin with.”
“Everyone has a specific talent. Not recognizing that talent is my failure as the HR manager. I have to reflect.”
Kasha slowly released her arms. After turning around I saw. Her face is messed up. How many tears did she shed in that short time?
She said, rubbing her reddish eyes, “Oh huh. Ugh. What is a HR manager?”
“You want to cry or ask questions? Choose one.”
It seems that she chose to just cry. I gently patted her head. It was then.
“Is it over?”
Ron, who was hiding behind the rock, came out.
He said while scratching his cheek with an awkward expression, “Did I interrupt something?”
“No! Not at all!”
Kasha was agitated all of a sudden while answering. Embarrassed, she turned around. ‘Maybe she’ll keep trying to wipe her face until her crying stops completely.’
Meanwhile I said, “Anyway, everything went well.”
“Yeah. I See.”
“There are so many things I want to say, but first I must go back. I am very tired today.”
“Yeah. but first gather the frits.”
“Obviously, 50, right?”
So we gathered a bunch of mushrooms and boarded the carriage. On the way back, Ron didn’t say a word.
In the meantime Kasha, who was back to her usual self said, “That… Tay. But you know.”
“Are you really holding Burns’ kids hostage?”
I replied with a smile, “No of course not.”
I didn’t know that Burns would be so strong until I got here. If I knew it, I would’ve made the necessary preparations.
“Wow, is it? Phew. Thank God.”
“Of course it is. Huh. Because it’s Tay.”
I don’t know what she was thinking, but I decided not to ask.
Actually, I am very tired too. I leaned on my chair and closed my eyes.
Ron kindly dropped us off at the Hagnut Guild.
He said before leaving,
“I’ll send you the compensation for the A-class quest later.”
“Please pay for the repairs as well. You even made my little adventurer cry.”
Embarrassed at my words and Kasha pinched my side. I’m sorry, but I’m not that weak.
“Let’s go. In the future, I want to maintain a good relationship with the Hagnut Guild.”
Ron beckoned to the coachman with the words. Soon, the carriage moved away.
“Sigh. Let’s go in. I’m really tired today.”
Kasha smiled brightly, her eyes were swollen.
I went inside and reported today’s work to Sain.
And at that moment.
[You have earned 540 personnel evaluation points from Kasha.]
[Received 340 HR evaluation points from Sain.]
‘And why is Kasha so generous?’
[Level: 1st year employee/Next level: 2nd year employee]
[Personnel points required until the next promotion: 1280/1300]
[Newly available information: Worries]
‘Concerns! This is good. I used this in my file that I made in my previous life as well’
Sain was saying something in a trembling voice.
“You mean Tay was about to die?”
Kasha once again intercepted my answer.
“Yes. Because of me… I couldn’t do anything.”
I put my hand on her head.
“So what? Will you cry again?”
“Then stop feeling depressed. It’s not your fault.”
“Yes. ……Thanks. Tay.”
Meanwhile, Sain put her hand on her chest and let out a sigh of relief.
“I’m really glad. Mr. Tay.”
“Because you came back in one piece even after taking up such a dangerous task.”
“I told you about the plan right. I just executed the plan, nothing more.”
Even though I answered so, Sain’s expression didn’t change.
She said sincerely, “Mr. Tay. It would be better for you to take a few days off.”
“Huh? No I am not that hurt.”
‘Except for a sore neck.’
“No. That’s not it… This event must mean a lot of trouble for the Wyvern Guild.”
“It’s not just because we got a long term contract in their place, it’s about interfering with other guild’s quests.”
“If the rumours start then Wyvern Guild’s reputation will plummet.”
Sain shook her head.
“Of course, one of my concerns, the Guild Master of the Wyvern Guild is…”
“You must know.”
“The guild leader must have heard the name of Mr. Tay following that event. Maybe even before that.”
“So take a few days off…”
“The Wyvern Guild will be dissolved by us in no time.”
At my words, Sain’s expression changed. She looked surprised.
“Why are you so surprised?”
“I have a plan. So you don’t have to worry that much.”
“So just practice the expressions and speech that we’ll give, once we’ve overtaken their guild.”
Slowly, Sain’s lips trembled. She said with a trembling voice, “Before Tay joined us, overtaking the Wyvern Guild was just a dream for me.”
“But now, that dream seems like something we can actually achieve.”
“Because I am here now. Anyway, I will come to work tomorrow on time. So don’t cut my annual salary.”
I threw a joke in that conversation.
“First of all, we don’t even have an annual salary system.”
But no one got it. My jokes didn’t work in previous life as well so this wasn’t surprising.
Well, that’s it. But for now let’s focus on Hans.
Burns opened the door of the house and ran in.
‘What if these kids aren’t at home? What if I only see an empty, cold gray space? I don’t want to lose them.’
“Oh? Honey. Didn’t you say you’d be late today?”
But he was greeted by his wife, who was preparing for dinner, wiping her hands on her apron. The kids ran to him as always and hung onto his arms and legs.
Burns shed a few tears.
“Uh? Are you crying?”
“Wow, honey. What happened?”
Burns spread his arms wide and embraced his family. Burns thought, burying their heads on his chest, ‘You tricked me…’
Seeing their reaction, I think I know. Nothing happened to them. I was completely fooled by Taylor Mason. He must have heard the names of my family somewhere, remembered them, and used them on the fly.
While muttering those words, Burns shed tears.
“Dad. Are you okay, Dad?”
While watching their dad cry, even the children started crying.
Burns replied with a smile, “Sorry. It’s nothing.”
“T_T. Do not cry. Dad.”
“It’s okay. Now, let’s have dinner.”
My wife, who is quick to notice, quickly took the children.
Burns had a blissful dinner that evening. It was late at night, so it was time to put the children to sleep and have a light drink with his wife.
“Now tell me. What happened?”
“It was the same as usual.”
Burns took a sip and looked up to the ceiling.
“I should stop doing this.”
“What? Being an adventurer?”
“No. Not being an adventurer…”
‘I don’t want to handle the guild’s dirty work anymore. But… If I don’t do this, I won’t have any work. And at this age…’
As he murmured, and he thought.
‘If I go to the Wyvern Guild tomorrow, maybe they’ll yell at me. I couldn’t do anything in the end.’
‘Let’s move this time.’
If I go to a smaller guild, I will still be able to receive B-class quests. However, I am still contracted to the Wyvern Guild.
Maybe I should leave this guild as quick as possible.