Protagonist Knows Everything - Chapter 44: Not so sane
I asked with a heavy sigh, “What?”
“Of course not in the usual way. If he rots in this place then surely, A or A-plus will be the limit. I am sorry for that.”
Nortel rubbed his hands together and spoke, “So I made an offer.”
“I’ll raise him to S-class in return he’ll help me with my small errands.”
‘And Burns accepted that ridiculous offer.’
I turned to Burns. Surprisingly enough he didn’t avoid my gaze..
Meanwhile Nortel kept speaking.
“Although I’m gathering heroic talents like the Great Sage and the Saint, it’s not that easy to track them. Actually I needed someone to do that for me.”
“And that is Burns Iai?”
Nortel silently nodded.
I said in a soft voice, “He must have tried some wierd ‘Hero leaves.”
“I admire your abilities. But I would refrain from using such crude tongue if I were you.”
“I am careful enough. This is just a more mature version of the 8th grade syndrome.”
Nortel and Burns looked at each other in confusion. Of course they didn’t know what 8th grade syndrome was.
Once again I opened up Burns’s records, turned to him and spoke. I said it in the most sincere way.
“Burns. You can’t become an S-class.”
“Shut up. Nortel-ssi admitted it himself. I will not forgive further blasphemy.”
He growled and said, “Taylor Mason. You are a good friend. But this is the end for me, the feeling of loss whenever I try to push further.”
“The despair when I realized that no matter how much I tried, I wouldn’t be able to progress any further. I couldn’t expect any progress. Nortel-ssi saved me from that despair.”
I clicked my tongue once. And calmly said, “I have met a lot of people like you.”
Okay. I have met a lot actually.
“I’m different from others. I can grow even more. Even further. I am not like them.”
People who live with such vague expectations and wishes.
“But most of the time those are just in vain. One can’t achieve dreams that are too big for them. People who don’t realize that and keep pressing for their unrealistic dreams, end up hurting themselves and their own loved ones.”
“Why don’t you be happy with what you’ve built Burns?”
I felt sorry. More than anything else, as the HR manager, I can’t stand this guy’s resources being poured into the wrong places.
“Go home right now. Go back and lie next to your wife. Talk to her. Sleep. Hug your children.”
“Tell your wife to rest a bit more. And then head to the marketplace together for lunch. Take your whole family.”
“If you follow that man now, there will be no going back. Burns. Trust in my ability. Trust me and go back.”
Suddenly, Nortel struck the tree near us.
The tree just broke like a twig and fell to the ground.
A flock of birds flew away from the tree amidst all the dust and sound.
‘Is he really human?’
I was struck with awe.
Then Nortel said, “Are you trying to ruin this precious talent like you did with Celia? It’s not easy to find an S-class adventurer in the world these days.”
“I am not talking to you.”
“Now gnow, don’t waste your energy on this. Burns has already made his choice. He himself made that choice. Who are you to say otherwise?”
A child who didn’t know how to use people’s abilities to their fullest. That was the only impression of Nortel I had.
I tried to refute, but Nortel interrupted and said, “Anyway, it wasn’t Burns that I wanted to show you.”
“Burns are you ready?”
He turned around and disappeared. I looked at his back with a bitter glance.
Then Nortel said, “Did my son break the Sacred stone?”
“Actually my son was thinking of cursing Sain.”
I looked at Nortel.
“He tried to kill his own sister?”
“But why didn’t he do that?”
“Because it was one of the conditions of the bet. Do not touch each other’s guild members. Of course, he violated that condition because he touched Kasha.”
Meanwhile, Burns approached with some sort of bundle. It was a sack.
While I was gazing at the sack, Nortel said, “Anyway, he said that in the end he gave up on that. Even so, if Sain died, I would’ve known that he had violated the terms of the bet.
“So next, he thought of cursing you, Taylor Mason.”
The fact that he didn’t curse me was weird for me.
Kasha is Hagnut Guild’s most important asset as an A-plus class adventurer. She’s the one who handles all of the important quests. But he would’ve been better off touching me in order to really hit the guild.
I mean, I would’ve done that.
Then Nortel said, “But the stone didn’t break. The conditions weren’t met.”
“What do you mean?”
“Taylor Mason isn’t your real name right?”
I maintained my calm and casual demeanour.
“That’s why my son couldn’t curse you. In the end he chose Kasha.”
“I was curious about it, too, so I investigated you. You first appeared in Kelk city four years ago. No one has information about you prior to that.”
He slowly approached me. I did not back down and looked straight at him.
He stopped right in front of me, locked eyes and said, “Who are you? What is your true identity?”
“I am the receptionist of the Hagnut Guild.”
“A person whose information is unattainable even for my network is just a receptionist.”
Burns put down the sack he was carrying.
Nortel then unwrapped the sack and said, “Well it’s almost his time.”
A man crawled out of the sack. He was tightly tied with a rope, and his mouth was gagged.
Von Lebeck, the master of the Wyvern Guild.
“What are you talking about?”
“What do you think was on my son’s bet?”
“I don’t know.”
“It’s his life.”
I gently rubbed my eyes. After a while, a sight was unveiled.
Nortel thrust his sword right into Von’s heart. And Von just wriggled on the ground helplessly.
I could hear his bones crunching as Nortel slowly twisted his sword around and peeked at the gaping hole he had made on his son’s chest.
“In betting, the one who loses is the one who forfeits. It’s natural.”
At that moment, I understood everything.
Why did Von so try to kill Sain? If he didn’t win then he would die. It wasn’t really a competition if you forfeit your life on losing.
Then Von finally stopped moving. His blood seeped onto the floor, dying it red.
I took a deep breath and said, “Did Sain know? That his life was up on the bet.”
“Well… no, of course not.”
“I handed huge assets to the Wyvern Guild in the form of talented adventurers and a huge sum of money. For the Hagnut Guild, I just built shabby buildings.”
Little by little Von’s blood reached my feet. I didn’t pull my feet back.
“Both of their starting lines were different so of course their loss conditions are also different.”
“I told Sain that if she lost then I’ll simply take over the guild from that point on. Maybe she thinks it’s the same with Von.”
During our conversation the last day she had asked if I knew anything about the Guild Master of the Wyvern Guild. Even I had thought that Von had retired.
‘I can now understand why Sain was calling herself the Guild in-charge.’
She would’ve lost the guild if she lost the bet.
Now she had won, and the guild now belonged to her. So now she was genuinely the Guild Master.
“Why did you do that? Why make such a bet in the first place?”
“Everything was to find true talent.”
“Because it’s efficient to find talent among adventurers all over the continent. I have searched not just in Kelk city, but the whole continent in search of talent.”
He drew his sword from Von’s corpse while saying that. Burns handed over a cloth to him.
Nortel spoke, while wiping off blood from his sword like he had done this same thing countless times.
“When there were no guilds. We competed this way. Those who lose die and those who win live. Competitions like this makes a person grow.”
“Lots of talented adventurers would interact with the guild. It would make searching for them easier. Do you understand?”
“I don’t know what to say. But I’ll keep talking to you nonetheless.”
“Because I don’t think you are someone who can be believed.”
“What do you mean?”
I checked Nortel’s personnel records. Most of them are listed as errors, the thing I needed in this situation was marked properly.
[Mental State: Mania]
“You are crazy.”
Burns got worked up on my remark.
“Watch your mouth. Taylor Mason.”
I waved my hand once and said, “To gather talent, he made his son and daughter enemies of each other, made them take part in a pointless bet and he put an end to it by putting a sword in his son’s heart. That’s nothing short of crazy”
“By the way.”
I looked at Nortel and said, “You asked me who I was. I can do the same as well.”
“No matter how much I think about it, I think your real name should be different.”
That said, Nortel’s face tensed up.
I wetted my lips and carefully assessed the information. The information that his actual name was Wales Wright was ‘important’. It was quite wasteful to just let this information slip by. So I had to use it as a leverage.
“The name of someone as notorious as you should be resonating all over the continent. But no one, other than a handful, knows about your name.”
“You introduced yourself as a hero to Celia right? What is the title that you have?”
Nortel accidentally struck his sword on the ground while putting it into the sheath.
I didn’t flinch and kept speaking.
“More than anything else, Why the hell did Celia, Lorelie and Burns who never heard of your name prior to your encounter with them suddenly became so devoted to you. Can you tell me?”
Nortel fell silent. But soon he stroked his chin and said with a skeptical look on his face.
“I can’t understand. Why am I still having this conversation with you?”
His tone changed all of a sudden. He was crazy after all.
“Why are you still not persuaded by my words?”
He must be talking about his incitement.
“To be convinced by a crazy guy, I have to be a bit crazy too.”
“Unfortunately for you, I am a really normal person.”
“Is that so?”
I no longer wanted to be here.
“It’s late already. I have to go back.”
Nortel simply glanced at Burns.
Burns slowly put Von’s corpse into the bag, like a really faithful servant who had been serving Nortel for years. Burns’s descent into this state was relatively steadfast.
I had checked Burns’s information just yesterday. Until then, there was nothing special about Burns’s condition.
In other words, it took only one day. In one day he became fully devoted to Nortel, so much that he even left his beloved wife and children behind.
“It’s all done. Nortel.”
“Good. Let’s leave then.”
Then they slowly turned back.
I said to his back, “See you again. Nortel.”
“Hoh. So now you’re interested in me?”
I smiled and said, “I want to see how sloppy you get in recruiting your so called talent.”
“I will continue my job as a receptionist and gather all kinds of people in the guild.”
“Who does a better job? I can’t wait to find out.”
Nortel just laughed and walked away.
He replied, slowly moving away, “I’m looking forward to it.”
I watched until they completely disappeared into the darkness.
When they were no longer visible, “Bleugh!”
It was a good thing that I didn’t have dinner. I vomited out gastric juice.
This is the first time I have ever seen a person die before my eyes. It was nothing like the movies. I was nauseous, I vomited till there was nothing left in my already empty stomach.
A hero from 300 years ago.
The leader who led the heroes to fight against the demon king.
However, the man who was eventually expelled from the heroes’ party because of the numerous evils he had committed.
‘The Inciter Wales Wright.’
There are many things that are unknown, such as how he has been alive for over 300 years and what his ultimate goal is. But nonetheless, I was satisfied with today’s meeting. Thanks to this encounter, I knew what Nortel was, and why those people believed in him.
However, the biggest achievement above all…
I checked Nortel Rhime’s personnel records.
[Recent Action: Instructed Burns Iai to take care of the corpse.]
This is it.
As long as his body is not divided into two parts, Nortel and Wales, his recent actions will be accurately registered.
“Do whatever you want to do.”
“There’s nothing I wouldn’t know.”