Chapter 4 – Adventurer’s Guild
“Excuse me, how much is this?”
After examining several Magic Staves, I chose one and tried asking the old magician, who was seated at the store’s counter and smoking a pipe, for the price.
Things like Scrolls, Crystal Balls, Dried Lizard, and other miscellaneous things were placed in a narrow area, giving off the typical atmosphere of a Magic Shop.
We had continued down the highway and arrived at a rural city called Shirn. The Forest Birds had said that they would go off separately and do their own thing, so it looked like they were going to sell the Ant Jaws at one of the Guild’s branches.
I decided to go shopping for things and rendezvous with them later, which is when we would depart for Termuilles.
Although they could have heard about the situation from me, they seemed to be prudent. They hadn’t asked about Grace either, so it seemed like only a favorable relationship was needed.
Perhaps it was the so-called ‘Taboo Between Adventurers’, which meant that anyone who thoughtlessly investigated another’s past or situation would be hated.
I think that this treatment stemmed from my story of leaving the House I hated, which led them to imagine various things.
After all, there was no reason to part with a Noble’s House if it was competent.
Although, it might be a rule of thumb that prying into the situation of a person from a Noble’s House will result in annoying situations.
In case I was asked about my combat ability, I would answer that I just remembered most of the things from my self-study on Toujutsu and magic.
It was a modest act for Nobles to practice martial arts. It was difficult before I obtained my talent, since there was only one place where I could practice while being given the cold shoulder by Byron and Daryl.
I didn’t want to show the martial arts that I practiced that day to Grace, so I had refused to travel together.
“Fumu? Ain’t that a little too big for ya?”
The old Magician shopkeeper repositioned his monocle and inclined his head while comparing me with the Staff I had chosen.
“I don’t really mind it, since I will use Toujutsu at the same time. I decided to replace it, since I’m still young and will grow more.”
“Hou, Toujutsu, huh. It’s quite rare for someone of your age to say that you have your heart set on Toujutsu in the future.”
“I learned about it in literature and other martial arts during self-study. It also pointed out that I could use Swords and Spears for an extended amount of time.”
“Umu. That is right…despite saying that it was self-study, you are speaking about it easily. Usually, young magicians tend to attract attention ‘cause they are showy with their Fire Magic, ya see.”
My mood improved from frankly talking about Toujutsu. It seems that the shopkeeper is also someone who can hold a conversation.
Wasn’t it, “a Spear for thrusting, a Naginata for sweeping, and a Tachi for carrying”? These were the famous words of the Toujutsu schools in Japan. Things like Toujutsu’s perfection and usefulness were plainly shown by its nature.
I looked around at the many, interesting items in the store before glancing back at Grace. I feel that she is trying her best to refrain from asking me about my situation.
Was it to keep the fruits of our labor hidden? Or had she decided to wait before speaking about it for my sake? Perhaps she believed that, as a servant, she shouldn’t investigate it. At any rate, it seems that there is no doubt that it is ‘Because I am trusted’.
Though…I think that it is fine to properly talk about it with Grace, when the time comes.
However, I can’t really explain what happened very well, so it is still impossible at this stage.
“However, that is something for beginners to practice with. It’s not really that good. If you use Toujutsu, I have something more suitable.”
“Ah, no thanks. I plan to use it until it is worn out, so will you allow me to see items that are similar to this?”
“Hohou. An enthusiastic practitioner.”
Since that wasn’t the case, I guessed that the misunderstanding hadn’t been solved.
In any case, I had gone and looked at the Staffs suited for Toujutsu that had been lined up on the counter and, although I think that the goods were better quality than the one I had obtained in the Count’s territory, it was doubtful as to whether any of them would be able to endure all of my power.
I think that these were made by the shopkeeper, so if I were to say that, it would probably dampen his mood. Even if I didn’t foolishly say it, it was honestly a good scene.
Magic Staffs weren’t cheap, so I believed that it would fill the gap until we arrived at Termuilles. After wrapping up the three Staves I acquired, I left the store.
“Grace, is there anything you want to buy?”
“No. It seems that everyone from Forest Bird are purchasing the necessary goods.”
“Shall we return at once, then?”
When we returned to the stable where the carriage was being kept, everyone else had already returned, whether or not they had finished their business. Hm? They said that they obtained various things, like weapons, so it seems that they were quick about finishing their various tasks.
Somehow, the faces I did not recognize had increased. There was a middle-aged man, a young man, and a young woman. The three were wearing matching surcoats over their light armor.
“Theo-kun, this is the Captain of the guards of the Oslo Clan–.”
“Nice to meet you. I’m under the care of the Guild. I’m Beline.”
Oslo looked like a big-hearted person, and Beline bowed as she introduced herself.
“Nice to meet you. I am called Theodore Gartner. Is there something you want with us?”
Having had to wait for me like this–they probably had something to say.
Even though I said ‘no’ to inviting people into our group, it made no difference if the six of us could defeat them.
What could it be? Was there trouble selling the Jaws?
“Fumu. You are another Magician? What is this? Aren’t you just a child?”
“Captain Oslo, that has nothing to do with us, right? In accordance with the Guild, we want to give our thanks for opposing the Killer Ants before a big disaster occurred. It’s a large achievement, so it’s about the special reward being given out…”
“Although the Guard Captain happened to be here, by chance, he wasn’t the one who prevented the disaster, so he is being unreasonable.”
It seemed as if Beline’s words had been passed onto Forest Bird’s warrior, Fitz, who shrugged his shoulders.
“Unreasonable? How rude. You said that the six of them were the ones who defeated the Killer Ants?”
“It is as Oslo-dono says. Please don’t treat us like fools anymore.”
“Putting the reward money aside, they haven’t persisted in anything, right? If they are under suspicion, wouldn’t it be fine to say that their sale amount was ordinary?”
“Saying that they were tried for that alone is a problem.”
“Isn’t it fine if they show us the remains of the burnt ant carcasses?”
“Right now, they’re making us subordinates run around like a horse!”
“The Guild has also sent a number of personnel to ensure fairness.”
When Beline-san shut him down, Oslo smacked his lips.
…Yup. I’ve roughly grasped the situation.
Beline-san is an ally, and a capable one at that.
“First of all…why is the Guard Captain interfering with the Guild’s internal affairs?”
The Guild Organization was self-governed, so the portion of the national policy that was left to the Adventurers was rather large.
Although the Guild could freely hand out requests from the country and its people, its existence was convenient for the country.
In the beginning…after the end of the war, questions arose about what the unemployed mercenaries would do. The discussion eventually became about how ‘Isn’t it fine to use them as a countermeasure against Demons’.
Contrary to their expectations, the Guild was established as an autonomous organization. It was constructed in one generation, to let Adventurers get on with their lives, and the King of the time personally created the Guild as a way to give Adventurers autonomy.
Since Adventurers were warmly received, plenty of talented people gathered. The talented people of his country were also easily invited. As a result, the surrounding nations were forced to follow his lead…and now, it had become standard.
There was a common set of rules that crossed national borders, and the amount of money the Guild paid to Adventurers indicated the standard payment for quests, since it was a mediator for Adventurers. Since talented Adventurers were spread out all over the world, a pact was signed between the countries.
Although the Guild had a strong influence, due to its history of being independent, countries didn’t need to be fearful of it so it was perfectly convenient.
It had the twofold result of decreasing the number of thieves and improving security. Since the information of talented people was gathered, the countries could also go headhunting. Even the information of well-known, dangerous people was collected.
Above all, the cost-effectiveness was excellent.
The country carefully examined materials dropped by Demons and compensated gold spent for requests, so it was fine to pay people for just finishing the job. Even labor costs were managed by a section of the Guild’s personnel.
Even if Adventurers were injured or killed, they were independent because of the pact and the Country didn’t have to take care of them, so they could be used cheaply.
Since the country guaranteed status for an Adventurer, it was easy for them to travel from town to town. There were also no qualifications that were particularly needed, so it was safe to move about to find work and it wasn’t very difficult to earn their keep.
With that in mind…it was strange to wonder if the Guard Captain was just meddling with them.
“Regardless of me being the Guard Captain, I’m only trying to kill the injustice, for the goodwill of the citizens!”
“Which is what you’re saying. Beline-san, what’s your opinion on it?”
“About that, it’s because the lord here doesn’t really like Adventurers and Captain Oslo is in charge of the security and management of that forest.”
“Aah…the Demon extermination appears to be lacking.”
“It’s this, isn’t it?”
When Beline-san put on an evil smile and showed a gesture of slicing her neck with her finger, Oslo’s face became bright red.