The next day, Rei and Set finished their breakfast at the Dusk Wheat before heading to the guild as usual.
(What is with the looks?)
As he bought some snacks as usual and was sharing them with Set as they walked, he felt people looking at him from all around.
At first, Rei had thought it may have people looking get back at him for the matter with Bolton yesterday. But because he couldn’t feel any hostility or blood thirst from the look, he dismissed the thought.
Although he turned to see who was looking at him, most of them were unsuited for fighting. Some of them had trained their bodies, but few looked used to fighting.
(There’s no doubt the the matter of yesterday is related……)
While thinking about that, even though he wanted to find out the reason behind the looks, there was nothing he could do for now, so he headed for the guild as he ate.
「Ah, Rei-san. It’s good to see you. Even though you usually come everyday, you didn’t show up yesterday. I wondered if something had happened regarding the matter two days ago.」
Lenora breathed a sigh of relief when she saw Rei enter the guild.
After the event at Bolton’s house yesterday, he didn’t fell like going to the guild and went back to the inn……as Lenora didn’t know, she seemed worried about it.
Next to her, Kenny had a sulky expression.
「That issue has been taken care of for now……why is Kenny pouting like that?」
Since he had still left the source of the issue alive, he decided that it would be best not to talk about the events of yesterday.
Though he had intended to talk about the matter of people looking at him before he came to the guild, Lenora and Kenny were only guild receptionists. They might hear about it through gossip in the near future but he judged that it would be better if he didn’t get them caught up in the fuss.
「Don’t worry about it. It’s just that she was away on break and couldn’t help you with the matter.」
Understanding why she was sulking, Rei spoke up with a wry smile.
「I can’t say I wouldn’t have liked Kenny’s help. The timing just didn’t match. Nothing really happened anyway……either way, it’s been taken care of for now.」
「There was a dispute after all.」
Lenora muttered with an exasperated expression.
「Well, something like that. Something like telling me to unconditionally hand over my magic items and Set and just expecting me to say yes.」
Lenora’s face twitched at Rei’s words.
Lenora had completely forgotten to report the guild master that Rei was involved in some sort of trouble. She hadn’t thought that there would any trouble as he had only just been called by Bolton, the president of Azoth Firm. But with what Rei had just said, there was clearly a problem.
(Even so, it seems that Rei has solved the issue by himself.)
Lenora thought to herself.
As she had seen the unconventional ways Rei dealt with things, she didn’t think Rei had run into any real trouble.
And because of that, she had forgotten to report that Rei had encountered problems.
This was because she had the perception that if she just left things as they were, any problems would solve themselves.
As Lenora was thinking.
「Ah, it’s Rei. It’s been a few days. It’s good to meet you here.」
A voice called out to Rei, who was at the counter.
When Rei turned around, he saw Freon, the female warrior in her thirties. Next to her was the figure of Brazos the Dwarf, carrying a huge hammer.
Although Rei looked at the two of them with reproachful eyes, the two of them tilted their heads as if they didn’t know why Rei was looking at them like that.
「What happened, having such a grimace? Did we do something?」
「I guess. I told you that I couldn’t drink that much and yet you got me helplessly drunk.」
「Ah, ahahahaha. I didn’t think you would go down that quickly.」
Freon gave an embarrassed laugh as Bazos the Dwarf shook his head as if Rei was pathetic.
「To get helplessly drunk on liquor, you can’t be a true warrior like that.」
「No, I’m not a true warrior. I’m a magic warrior. ……Or rather, in the first place, being a true warrior and drinking liquor have nothing to do with each other.」
「What are you saying! Warriors have exchange toasts of victory after each fight to deepen their bonds.」
「Sorry, I can’t really do that. That’s why I’m working solo.」
When he said that, as if expecting it, Freon took a step forward.
「Yes, yes. That is the case, but could you work together with us on this request?」
Freon said that as she glanced at the B rank request board for a moment.
「Ah. It’s your favourite, a subjugation request.」
「I don’t mind……but why me? Weren’t you always working with just the two of you in Crushing Warriors?」
「Ahh, that is true. But the subjugation target is a bit of a problem. Anyway, come to take a look.」
Freon pulled Rei over to the request board.
At her assertiveness, Kenny looked at Freon with a sharp look……fortunately, she decided that Freon wasn’t a rival due to the age difference, so there wasn’t an incident of any sort.
「Here, this request. It’s been stuck here for a long time and it looks like there will be an effect on us if something isn’t done soon.」
Despite having some doubt at Freon’s words, Rei looked through the request form.
There was definitely a subjugation request form attached there. The subjugation target was Harpies. The location was some distance from Gilm, a mountain just before the location of the Orc settlement that Rei previously raided. Harpies inhabited a mountain 10 hours away from the city of Gilm. Travelers, merchants and sometimes adventurers would be attacked by them. But……
「A rank B Harpy subjugation request? If I remember correctly, Harpies are rank D monsters.」
Yes, as Rei said, the threat level of Harpies wasn’t that great. Of course, they were more powerful than other D rank monsters like Goblins, but it was still unusual for them to be in a rank B request.
To put it another way, the Emerald Wolves Rei had fought in the dungeon were considered B rank if they were in a pack. Or something at the same level as the Orc King he had fought in the Orc settlement.
However, Brazos quickly answered Rei’s question.
「The location is a problem. As you said, Harpies themselves are weak, it’s not a strong monster. However, they live near the top of a mountain. That is the reason why.」
「Also, the flock is also an issue. No one has been able to confirm their numbers yet, but there is around 20-30 of them.」
「……Ah, I understand.」
Rei nodded at Brazos’ words.
Certainly, to kill Harpies, you could either patiently wait for them to attack you or go up to the nest where they lived. In the former case, it was entirely up to luck whether they attacked or not and even then, the probability wasn’t that great. In the case of Harpies, they would rather attack travelers who knew nothing about them than adventurers lying in wait. If they went up to the summit to the Harpies nest, they were likely to run into other monsters before the reached it. In addition, Harpies were monsters that group together……if it went badly, you might end up having to fight a dozen Harpies at the same time. Given those circumstances, although Harpies were D rank monsters by themselves, it wasn’t strange that they would be in a request two ranks higher.
「So, why will there be an issue if they aren’t subjugated? Is it the Harpy raids I’ve heard about?」
Brazos shook his head at Rei’s question.
「That is one thing. However, there is a more compelling reason.」
「Why are you so sure?」
「Mm. Rei, as an adventurer you have to maintain, repair or replace your weapons, you understand the importance right?」
Rei nodded his head naturally at Brazos’ words.
As Rei’s main weapon was the Death Scythe, he didn’t need to bother with maintaining it because of it’s properties. However, his other tools……especially the knife he used to strip monster materials, needed more care. If he neglected to maintain them, the blood, fat, body fluids and magical energy it came in contact with would soon make it useless.
At Rei’s explanation, Brazos gave a nod.
「That’s right, as long as adventurer take dangerous requests, maintenance, repair and replacement of weapons is essential. ……So, of course, you need metal for that.」
Listening to Brazos words, Rei understood what he wanted to say. Harpies nest, mountain, metal. In other words.
「The mountain where they want to mine ore is where the Harpies nest is?」
Freon nodded her head in assent.
「That’s is correct. Although it’s not a rare magic metal ore, it’s still metal ore. It’s mainly an iron ore deposit. If we’re lucky, there may also be magic crystals and Flame Crystals……that’s how I feel.」
Magic crystals were a common medium used in magic casting tools. Although it wasn’t much, they had the property of improving magic power slightly. Flame Crystals were literally stones that contained fire magic energy and was well known as a material used in alchemy. In high purity, it could create a fiery explosion when shattered.
「What if it’s not possible to get the iron ore to a merchant?」
「If I say it can be done, it can be done. However, the cost of transportation will naturally be added to the cost of the iron ore.」
「If that became the case, there is a possibility that lower ranked adventurers won’t be able to afford weapons.」
Hearing their explanations, Rei understood.
「But, in such circumstances, won’t other adventurers take the request? Why is there only a few days remaining?」
「That’s simple. In the mountains, you don’t know when Harpies would attack you. In addition, Harpies are low ranked monsters, so the compensation isn’t that high. In other words, the reward is too low for the high level of risk.」
「……That’s tough. So, then why do you two want to take the request?」
The risk was great and the reward was low. If Brazos’ words were true, then there wasn’t really a need to ask Rei to join them in such a dangerous request.
「What, aside from chivalrous spirit……there’s not really any other reason. However, I was asked by a blacksmith I know. I can’t reject his request since I’ve been in his care for various things. In addition……」
Brazos said that with a grinning smile. Next to him, Freon spoke up with a smile as well.
「Speaking of which, the most annoying thing about fighting Harpies aside from their group attacks is simply that they can fly in the sky. Fortunately, we have an adventurer who is followed by a Griffon. In other words, someone who can deal with enemies in the sky……do you understand so far?」
Her meaning was clear. In other words, since Set could fly, he was an effective fighting force against the Harpies.
「How about it? If we form a temporary party, we can help the people in the city.」
Rei thought about Brazos’ words for a few seconds.
In the first place, Rei’s goal was to was to collect magic stones from monsters and he hadn’t obtained a Harpy’s magic stone yet. There was also the possibility of being attacked by monsters that he had never seen before as they went up the mountain.
「I see. If you can promise to give me two magic stones of each type of monster we defeat, I can work with you……what do you say?」
「Hm, magic stones. ……Freon. what do you think? I don’t have any issues.」
At Brazos’ words, Freon brushed her hair as if troubled……before nodding as there was no helping it.
「Well, there’s no helping it. However, the magic stones you take will be subtracted from your share of the reward……are you okay with that?」
「Ahh, that’s fine.」
Anyhow, after acting as Elena’s escort, he wasn’t in any financial trouble.
(No, wait? Because I gave a request to strip materials, I could also request the purchase of magic stones as well……no, in the first place, the purchase of magic stones is an important thing to the guild. If I didn’t do it carefully, the guild might start keeping an eye on me. If I was an alchemist, this would be easier.)
Magic stones were the most expensive part of a monster. Naturally, there was good reason that their purchasing price was much higher than other materials. They were used as materials in alchemy to produce magic items and, if an alchemist processed them, as a batteries to power magic items. It wouldn’t be that big of a deal if an alchemist who was also an adventurer wanted to buy some. But it would stand out a lot more since he also had an item box and a Griffon.
「No, nothing at all. The conditions are fine with me, when do we leave?」
「It’s better to get rid of the Harpies as soon as we can. The sooner the better. ……If possible, right away.」
「I understand. Then let’s prepare right away.」
In this way, Rei formed a temporary party with Freon the female warrior and Brazos the Dwarf.