“This school of Athena… isn’t it the one that’s in the city Aegean?” I ask wonderingly.
“Yes, it’s in Aegean, only for Demigods. Goes by the name The Parthenon. Pretty grand, they say,” Reeve answers.
“I see… Judging by the way you speak of those adventurers, I guess the rumors about that school are true then?” I ask, raising my eyebrows.
“Yup, absolutely true. Arrogant, egocentric, and ill-natured to the boot. It was downright unpleasant talking to that group, I tell you,” He says, making an ugly face to show his disapproval of them.
Hmm… Reeve clearly doesn’t like them. And knowing that they study The Parthenon, it’s not that surprising, to be honest.
“That’s really rude, you know? They are our saviors, Reeve. Without them, our town would’ve been completely destroyed! We should be respectful when speaking about them!” Arya says reproachfully.
Oh, I remember… Arya was really interested in those adventurers, think of them as real heroes.
But Reeve just gives a huge sigh at this, as if preparing himself for a long speech.
“That’s the thing, I don’t even know if we can call them our saviors. As they told me, their intention was not to save our town or our people but to save your brother from dying. One of the three men among them clearly stated, and I quote: If the son of Zeus wasn’t in a near-death state, we would have never interfered in your battle. From their speech itself, it was clear that didn’t care about anything or anyone else,” Reeve says.
“In fact, you guys are the sole reason why they came to our town as well. They caught a faint, yet powerful godly scent on the road— probably due to Lucas and Lucy’s arrival the day before— and got curious as to what demigods of such birth are doing in a small town like Asione.
“Once the battle was over and things settled down a bit, they even demanded me to take to your house, wanting to talk to one of your sisters to investigate. But, of course, I refused— as politely as I could— telling them that you and Sienna are gravely wounded and that the rest of your family wouldn’t be able to spare any time for them in such a situation.
“Surprisingly, they insisted even after that, telling me that it’s the duty of the saved to prioritize who saved them. I knew that they surely had other ways to meet your sister rather than asking me, but I still didn’t budge— finally convincing them to drop the idea.
“They weren’t happy about this, mind. Passed quite a few snide comments about me after that, but still, I was determined to treat them well. I also thought that no matter the reasons, they still saved us— I felt in debt to them. But well, everything has a limit, and mine was about to reach…
“Instantly declining my offer to reward them by saying that even if our entire town gets sold off in an auction, we still won’t be able to pay their price— they finally ordered me to prepare a few rooms for them to stay the night.
“Well, ignoring their remarks once again, I arranged the best rooms in town and even took them out for a grand dinner. But yet again, as expected, they hated on everything. During the dinner, the men even sexually harass the waitress of the inn, bullying her to the point that she ran away, crying her eyes out. That was the final straw for me.
“I was really angry at those men, but I was even angrier on their party leader: the daughter of Hades. She did nothing to discipline them, nothing at all. As the master of a guild, responsible for numerous adventurers, that hit me really hard.
“And heck, forget stopping those misbehaving brats, she didn’t even speak to any of us— not even me who was representing our town. I don’t know her name, not even how her voice sounds. It was like she considered the rest of us so lowly that we didn’t even deserve to be spoken to.
“Honestly, I was filled with so much rage that I asked them to retire to their room the moment they finish the dinner, not even trying to hold any further conversation whatsoever, praying that they would leave the town early the next day. At least, they didn’t disappoint me in—
“Wait a second, what did you do to them!?” I ask in a slightly louder tone, interrupting Reeve’s angry rant.
“Hmm? What?” he asks, his eyebrows furrowed.
“Why did you told them to retire to their rooms? I thought you were going to give them a piece of your mind,” I ask, unhappy with the anti-climactic ending.
Suddenly, Reeve’s expressions become deeply troubled.
“Y-Yes… Yes, I was about to do just that, but then… suddenly…”
His voice trails off. It seems like he’s trying to remember something, but couldn’t.
“Suddenly what, Reeve?” I ask after a couple of minutes of silence, frowning.
“I-I don’t know… I don’t know why but I didn’t yell at them… or even tell then off… or… or did anything in particular…” He says, looking greatly confused now.
That is weird…
“Do you remember why you didn’t do anything?” I ask.
“I don’t, sorry… Ahem, I-I need a moment alone. Please excuse me.”
Looking unsettled, Reeve turns around and starts walking towards the entrance of the guild, scratching his bald head on the way. I don’t try to stop him, there is no need to.
“I-I never thought that our saviors will be such bad people…” Arya mutters in a small voice.
Just like me, she was also silent all along while Reeve was speaking— which, I believe, is unusual. I was actually starting to worry if this has hit her too hard.
“Well, you don’t have to be so sad, there is no way anyone could’ve guessed how those people actually are,” I say, patting her head lightly.
“You’re right, brother,” She says, closing her eyes pleasantly.
“And I am not sad, it’s just frustrating that they didn’t even get a scolding from Reeve.”
“Oh, I am sure he would’ve scolded them. And I know why he didn’t,” I tell her.
“Yes, it’s simple, someone probably used magic in stealth to addle with his brain… probably one of those five adventurers…”
These are the only two words that escape my mouth as I lay my eyes on the carriage standing in front of my house.
Hephaestus kept his word…
It’s the next morning and I just came out of the house to do my routine exercise, only to find this beauty standing in the garden.
Cylindrical in shape with conical ends (for aerodynamic purpose), this carriage is made entirely out of metal. Different shades of brown and black are used to paint its body, giving it a very realistic wooden look. Adding to this, numerous intricate designs are protruding from its surface, looking exactly like wood carvings.
In fact, just to make sure, I move forward to touch it, confirming that it’s actually not made out of wood.
While its size is almost the same as any other luxury carriage— just a tad bigger— I know that it must be magically enhanced internally to accommodate all of my family.
But still, unlike my expectations from a God, this thing is not entirely perfect. It has two major flaws that cannot be overlooked.
First, it has no horses in the front to pull the carriage. And second, on the door that’s attached to the right side of the carriage, there is a large crest of Hephaestus made out of shining bronze— a hammer and an anvil, enclosed within a hollow circle. Just below the symbol, there are a couple of numerical written as well— “01”
As this symbol is left unpainted, it’s obviously going to shine brightly, making it visible even from far away.
Sigh… Does that idiot want the whole world to know that he’s backing me up?
Well, I don’t know how we will be able to remove this symbol without ruining the gorgeous look of the carriage in the process. I can just hope that it gets overlooked as something made by one of his children, or I will have no other choice…
And as for the horses, well, I think Hephaestus will send them before we enter the carriage. Otherwise, I will have some great mocking material the next time we meet.
Anyway, I guess it’s time to leave…
I decided this yesterday— the moment Hephaestus’s carriage will arrive; we will leave for our journey. For this purpose, I made sure that all the preparations were finished yesterday. And in that sense, it’s really great that it has arrived this early in the morning.
The first few rays of sunlight are visible at the horizon but the sun itself couldn’t be seen just yet. Obviously, the roads will be mostly empty at this time, so the chance of mother’s curse getting out of hand should be pretty low.
To be honest, I am actually dying to see the interior of the carriage as well, but we need to make haste now. I will check it out later along with my beautiful sisters and mother.
At this thought, I turn around and face the house again.
“EVERYONE, WE ARE LEAVING!” I shout on top of my lungs.