We’ve gone to the Guild again today.
In the last few days a lot has happened, but the unchanging days have started up again. Frankly, there’s not enough excitement. If there were good commissions it’d be alright, but… Well, you know.
『There are only Rank C requests with a large amount of working hours…』
（Again: medical plants gathering?）
『I’ve also had enough of that, you know~?』
There’s still a whole week before we receive the armor from old man Gallus. In the meantime, what should we — hm?
As Fran opens the door to the Guild, we find it unusually noisy on the inside.
「Nell. What happened?」
「Right, Fran doesn’t know. I wonder if you haven’t met yet?」
「Well, after finishing the investigation of Maokami Plains, the Rank A and B Adventurers have returned.」
「There’re Rank A’s?」
「Yep. In our guild, there’s a single Rank A Adventurer, and 10 B’s. Around one month ago they left for the investigation of the Maokami Plains. Other than them, no less than 15 people of Rank C to F accompanied them to gain experience. It’s thanks to that the Goblin Subjugation became a big deal.]
Indeed. If there had been A and B Rank Adventurers then the situation could have been settled far easier. In fact, there’d be a high chance that a few elite would have been picked out to capture it.
However, in that case we wouldn’t have been able to bring down the Demon, so for us having them return now rather than then was lucky.
『And I had thought that Donna was the strongest…』
「What’s the matter?」
「Donna wasn’t strongest.」
「Mr. Donnadorondo is skilled at teaching, so he holds the teaching position. In addition, if he had continued to serve in active duty he certainly would have been B Rank by now, you know? However, saying that he wanted to commit himself to the next generation, he became an instructor. It’s already been 15 years since he took that position, so over half of Aressa’s B and C ranks were taught by him, you know? Because of that, most Adventurers listen to Mr. Donnadorondo.」
It was also for that connection that Donna was at the front line of the Goblin Subjugation.
「The A Rank too?」
「Ahh, that person[M1] is different. Or rather… That person listens to no one. Honestly, their personality is so overbearing that they’re difficult to handle, you know?」
「My, my… Nell, are you speaking ill of me behind my back?」
「Kyaー! Amanda! Don’t draw near while erasing your presence! It’s because you do stuff like that I said you’re difficult to handle!」
「Ufufu~ It’s good being hard to handle you know? I’m not a dog for running errands after all.」
Their words are harsh, but smiles are floating on both of their faces. Their relationship is good enough to freely bad mouth each other, I guess.
But anyways, she’s quite the beautiful woman. A slight Japanese-like air drifts about her black hair cut at the shoulders. She’s a gentle and tender type of beauty. Her voice also floats with a gentle feeling, ringing pleasantly in the ears.
However… The feeling I have after hearing her conversation is that her character is fairly stubborn.
「Let me introduce you, Fran. This is Amanda, our A Rank Adventurer as well as our ace. Well, she isn’t a bad person, and she’s fond of children. At any rate, her title is–」
「Wah–! Stop it, Nell! That’s embarrassing!」
「Why? It’s the perfect title for you.」
「Oh, buzz off! — Ohohoho. Sorry for showing you something unsightly. It’s nice to meet you, little miss. I’m Amanda.」
「Amazing… To be so capable at such a young age… You’re quite promising~」
「Do you see, Amanda?」
That’s an A Rank Adventurer for you. To see through our strength after only looking at us a little. It doesn’t seem to be an Appraisal type Skill, however. Perhaps it’s simply her own ability built up through experience?
Name: Amanda Age: 58 Race: Half-Elf Job: Champion of Storms State: Normal Status: Level: 70 HP: 646 MP: 825 STR: 327 END: 293 AGI: 451 INT: 390 MGC: 423 DEX: 356 Skills: Coercion Lv7, Chant Shortening Lv6, Stealth Lv8, Dismantling Lv8, Fire Resistance Lv6, Hand-to-Hand Techniques Lv4, Hand-to-Hand Arts Lv7, Wind Magic LvMax, Danger Perception Lv9, Presence Perception Lv8, Herculean Strength Lv5, Mining Lv7, Harvesting Lv8, Instantaneous Movement LvMax, Blink Step Lv7, Sleep Resistance Lv6, Sword Attribution Lv7, Throwing Lv8, Poison Resistance Lv6, Cold Resistance Lv5, Whip Techniques LvMax, Master Whip Techniques Lv2, Whip Arts LvMax, Master Whip Arts Lv4, Storm Magic Lv4, Paralysis Resistance Lv8, Magic Perception Lv5, Lightning Resistance Lv7, Orc Slayer, Vigor Manipulation, Giant Slayer, Physical Reinforcement, Demon Slayer, Dragon Slayer, AGI ↑ High, Storm Reinforcement, Magic Manipulation Unique Skills: Grace of the Spirits Tiles: Orc Slayer, Guardian of Children, Giant Slayer, Dungeon Conqueror, Demon Slayer, Dragon Killer, Personification of a Gale, Master of Wind, Exterminater of Demonic Beasts, Rank A adventurer Equipment: Magical Whip of the Heavenly Dragon’s Whiskers[M2], Full-Body Leather Armor of the Old Multi-Headed Snake, Overcoat of the Poisonous Lizard Demon, Shoes of the Sovereign Bull Demon, Heavenly Ring of Sacrifice, Ornament of the Thunderbird’s Plumes, Ring of bulwark, Feathered Throwing Knives of the Paralysis Owl ×24
The title, ‘Guardian of Children’, must have been what Nell was alluding to. Is it a Title given to ones who like children, or…?
Well, anyways, she’s strong. I was astonished when I saw the Guild Master and Donna, but Amanda is on another level. Frankly, she’s quite terrifying. That is, this person could even go hunting for Demons.
There’s no point in going against her. No matter what manner of surprise attacks are set up, I just can’t see us claiming victory.
『She’s dangerous. Never go against her.』
「The story of being the one to raise Ranks fastest since the founding of the guild, of course I’ve heard about it. A tiny, terribly cute, beautiful beastman Girl wielding a Magic Sword!」
Eh? I’m happy that Fran is being praised, but… Wasn’t there a bit too many references to her appearance? Who on earth described her like that! Where’s the bastard that looked at Fran with dirty eyes?!
「But, despite that the Guild Master said to not be careless. He said that if you’re fooled by her appearance then you’re in for a painful experience.」
Oi, Guild Master! What are you saying to an A rank adventurer?! — Well, if the Guild Master went 「Fran-chan, ＣＵＴＥ～」 it would probably be worse.
「Ah, right. Fran. The Guild Master was calling for you.」
「He was? Fine if I go to the room?」
「Please, if you could?」
「My, what a shame. I wanted to take her to eat, but with the Guild Master as my opponent, I’ll give up.」
「Kyaa~ cute~ I want a little sister like you!」
「Amanda, just how old do you think you are? You’re mistaking ‘sister’ with ‘daughter’, don’t you think」
「Ne~ll~? Just because you’re a bit young, there are good things and bad things to say, you know? Besides Half-Elves age slowly!」
「Yes, yes. Right. Amanda is still young.」
They get along really well. Leaving behind Nell and Amanda messing around, Fran moves towards the Guild Master’s office.
「Hey! Who is it! Such rude knocking!」
「Ah, it was Miss Fran. How should I say this… If you enter before admission is accepted from the inside, then there’s no point in knocking.」
「Haa… Please be more careful next time.」
Sorry, Guild Master. I will firmly educate her.
「To be frank, there’s a commission I earnestly want you to accept.」
A request from the Guild Master? There’s no way not to have a bad premonition, but still.
「There’re voices coming from in and outside the Guild holding your ability in question. Of course, I know that they’re unjustified, but from the perspective of someone who doesn’t know you personally there is no way for them to believe in your abilities. And so, to quiet those voices, won’t you take on a certain request?」
No no, the one who went around raising our Rank at his own convenience was you, you know? And now, you come to us with this?
「Ranked by you arbitrarily.」
「Well, it hurts if you say it like that, but… Listen, there are more jealous folks sprouting up than expected. Furthermore, there are also voices advocating for you, which makes the situation grow worse. There are many rank D and C Rank Adventurers that have recognized you, understanding your power from experience on the field. It’s beginning to seem as though you’re popular because you’re a mascot.」
Adventurers from the intermediate level and above growing to respect her were expected, but… To think she was also being seen as a mascot…
「Among the lower ranked Adventurers, many don’t approve. There are also those who still haven’t been able to ascend from Rank E for a long time, so after seeing you being raised to rank D so easily, too many have gotten jealous.」
「Leave them be.」
「I would also like to leave it at that, but I simply can’t anymore. Some among them are spreading unfounded rumors like you bought your Rank with money, or that I have preferences for little girls and have been charmed by you.」
For some reason, he’s begun muttering complaints.
「There is no way that I prefer little girls! Good grief, spare me please. To begin with I prefer ――」
This guy… Could it be that he just doesn’t like being called a lolicon, so he brought this up?
「Accepting: not compulsory?」
「Now, now. If you say it like that, then there would be several bonuses attached, right?. Please, just hear me out at least.」
He’s desperate. Really, it only feels like he wants to deny the suspicions of him being a lolicon.
「The bonus added onto the commission fee is obvious, but there’ll also be an entrance permit for the Dungeon of the town of Urmut issued.」
「…… How did you know?」
「Well, if you request documents related to it in the Reference Room, even if you don’t want me to know I’ll end up knowing about it. For admission to the Dungeon your Adventurer Rank is certainly sufficient, but with that alone permission won’t be granted. In all likelihood, the person deciding will place their judgement — with the possibility of rejection — on the spot.」
Is that so… And for a lone, cute little beastkin girl, there’s definitely a chance we won’t pass. Furthermore, even if she does pass the process might take a while.
「If you have a permit, examinations are unneeded. You can immediately dive into the Dungeon.」
And, as a result, save time. Tsk, this clever Elf. He knows quite a bit about us, huh.
「… For now: I’ll hear you out.」
「Thank you very much. Well then, the commission is this one.」
Essentially, the commission is an investigation request for the Dungeon in Aressa.
「A Dungeon in Aressa? First time heard about it.」
「It’s a dungeon that has already been captured, but it’s usually not open to the public. Every few months, the Guild carries out a survey.」
「Captured, yet: investigation?」
「The Dungeon Core is still in one piece, after all. If you have the core, then a small amount of manipulation is possible… It’s only to the degree of being able to spawn certain Demonic Beasts using the spawning settings, and creating items though. In addition, those can only be made so long as they’re within the range of the Core’s magical power. Because of all that, Aressa’s Dungeon is limited to the production of Demonic Beast with at most Rank F, alongside only a handful of items.」
With that, it isn’t profitable at all. Were it possible to simply create high-level Potions or Demonic Beast with rare ingredients, then it would give birth to amazing profits.
「And if the Core amasses a lot of magical power?」
「If that was possible then we wouldn’t have to go through so many hardships. We had assembled several dozens of human magicians to channeled their power into the core, but even with that there wasn’t much change.」
「Then, how does it store magical power?」
「The core drains it from veins within the ground, the atmosphere, and apparently from any Demonic Beasts and Adventurers inside of the Dungeon. In addition, even if it isn’t much, Dungeon Masters have other means of filling it with magical power. Otherwise, the maintenance of the labyrinth would be impossible」
Vast amounts of magical power should be necessary to summon things like a Demon normally, after all.
「Therefore, it’s important for Demonic Beasts to inhabit the dungeon. If they don’t, then magical power isn’t accumulated, and to a certain degree the Core can’t do its work. As for Aressa’s dungeon, it’s set up to generate items at periodic intervals. The request also includes the retrieval of those.」
「Subjugating the Demonic Beasts: alright?」
「It doesn’t matter. They’d multiply again soon enough. Rather, thinning them out so they don’t become too numerous is also part of the job. If left alone for too long, evolutions might occur… And that would be dangerous.」
The completion fee is quite good, too. There’s just one problem, though. That is, in the details 「For several Parties」 is written. To work together with idiots like the ones who attacked us: no thank you.
「Ah, in regards to the parties, arrangements have already been made.」
「What types of people?」
「This commission serves simultaneously as a Rank Up examination to Rank D, so at present 9 Rank E adventurers are divided into 2 Parties, and a 3-person Rank C Party serves as the examiner. I can pledge for their background, but for their nature… You’ll have to confirm for yourself.」
I’d hate to cast the request away, but… What shall we do? We’re fine even if we don’t take it, after all.
「Next, in the case you accept the commission I would need to receive a written Oath.」
「Oath Magic[E1] makes it possible to bind a target through a written pledge.」
「Like a Contract?」
「Yes. However, in contrast to a Contract which is from one person to another, a written vow is able bind several. In exchange, the bond is frail.」
「The content of the vow would be barring the disclosure of the request’s contents. In the case this Oath is violated, your Guild Card would contain a remark about your violation. At worst, measures of decreasing one’s Rank, or even Expulsion would occur.」
Oath Magic, huh? Somehow, it gives me a bad feeling. Binding someone through magic, no matter what it’s for, reminds me of slavery.
『Fran. What now?』
When Fran showed a troubled expression the Guild Master, somewhat panicked, placed a small bag on the table.
「Now, now. I put a personal bonus for you as well, so…」
Hmm. A personal bonus from the guild master, huh? From that we can expect something, but…
「Please, take a look.」
As he turns the bag upside down, around 20 magic stones roll out.
「Something like my secret savings. They are magic stones I obtained while I was still in active duty, and each one of them is from a Demonic Beast of Threat Level D or above.」
So it seems. Selling the magic stones would be fine, but they can also be used for producing armor. In other words, this reward is better than gold.
Still, the Guild Master’s eyes seem as though they’re probing for something… Did he realize that we desired magical stones? Fran doesn’t sell her magic stones, so perhaps he’s begun suspecting us of something based off of that?
「Why magic stones?」
「Well? Are they to your liking?」
If anything imprudent is said here, I have a hunch that our side will gain the disadvantage. Of course, even if it’s exposed that we desire magic stones, the purpose will still be unknown. With that in mind, we ought to finish it here.
（How about Teacher?）
『I’m sorry to say, but I don’t know what Skills they hold. At best, I’m able to know which Demonic Beasts they’re from. The extent of their magic power is also hard to guess.』
Even so, the ones the Guild Master placed in front of us are certainly good magic stones. Threat Level D was on the same level as the Blast Tortoise and the Doppel Snake, after all. Still, to compulsorily undergo Oath Magic is a bit…
「From these, I will present you with whichever two you’d like. How about that?」
「Hmm… For ten: I’ll accept.」
「Wha– As you would expect, that is–! Three!」
「Hey, that will go on with 4, 8, 5, 7 and in the end, won’t this pattern raise it to 6?! No way! Four stones. I won’t yield more than that.」
「Five. Paid in advance.」
Oh, good job Fran! To corner this Guild Master!
「In exchange for them, I’ll be counting on you for afore-mentioned matter.」
「I’ve heard all about it!」
Without warning, the door is flung open and Amanda storms into the room. The same entrance pattern as Auguste. Is the security of this room even remotely alright? Even as a joke, it’s still supposed to be the Guild Master’s room.
But, well, that’s an A Rank Adventurer for you. I couldn’t feel her presence at all.
「Let me borrow this for a moment!」
Amanda quickly snapped the documents the Guild Master placed in front of him and started reading. What an audacious woman! And yet, even with her attitude, the Guild Master isn’t saying anything.
「I thought so! For the accompanying Adventurers… Won’t there only be men?!」
Well, there’s no helping it. Even if you say that there aren’t any girls coming along, it’s only because there are so few female Adventures. The ratio is around 20 to 1, I think? If you consider that, then it’s not strange for there to be no woman among the 12 people coming along.
「Among males reeking of sweat, the cute little Fran would be all alone… There’s no way I could permit such a thing! Therefore, I will be going with her on this commission!」
「No. Furthermore, there is already someone with a suitable Rank that will be acting as–」
「I will be going with her!」
「…… I understand.」
To talk down to the Guild Master with such vigor… The Guild Master probably noticed that no matter what he said, it would have been useless.
「Miss Fran, are you also alright with that?」
「Nn. No problem.」
[M1] Nell is almost talking down on the A rank (through the use of negative connotation mostly).
[M2] The same material used in the wires of Akame ga Kill.
[M3] The sound of hitting the door. Yep: hitting, not knocking.
[E1] Remember: there’s Contract Magic (契約魔術) and Oath Magic (誓約魔術), but they’re not the same.