It was the next day after the end of the rank up test. After going out to subjugate bandits and forming a party with people that he had barely met, Rei, who had been the party leader, slept in until noon to recover from the physical and mental fatigue.
After dressing himself, donning the Dragon Robe and putting on the Shoes of Sleipnir, he had a late breakfast, or rather, an early lunch on the first floor of the Dusk Wheat……finishing that, he went down to the stables.
After Set was warned by Lana, the proprietress, for being too enthusiastic yesterday, as expected, as if settling down after seeing Rei the previous night, Set gave a normal cry.
「Ahh, good morning. Now then, I won’t be taking a request today but I will be heading to the guild to hear the results of the rank up test, do you want to come along Set?」
Of course. Nodding at Set while smiling, they left the stables together.
At that point, Rei felt that it wasn’t just his imagination that all the horses in the stable seemed to feel relieved.
Maybe because the end of summer was nearing, unlike yesterday’s weather, there were thin clouds in the sky today. In such weather, one man and one animal, Rei and Set, went into town.
And with that, while walking to the guild, Rei bought sandwiches and skewers from now familiar food stalls and ate them while the residents of the city of Gimuru gave Set dried meat and bread as the little children played with him. As for people who had come to Gimuru for the first time and did not know Set, people would stop and explain to them if they tried to run away after seeing Set. As one man and one animal walked to the guild like this, it was almost past noon when they arrived at the guild.
「Set, wait for me at the carriage area as usual. However, I might be a bit longer today……well, there shouldn’t be any problems.」
At any rate, as of now, Set was a relatively famous monster in the city of Gimuru. Though he is an A rank monster, he was friendly to both children and adults. From women and children to the elderly, they were all fans of Set.
……Well, though there were still some people who believed that monsters were monsters and detested Set, they were only a minority.
There were quite a few people who wanted to play with Set, because of that, the place near the guild where carriages and tamed monsters would stay had secretly become a popular location to pet him.
Knowing that, Rei lightly stroked Set’s head before entering the guild.
「Ah, good morning Rei-kun! ……No, I should say hello instead. Anyway, come here, come here.」
Kenny gave a big wave of her hand from the counter. As her voice went through the guild, Rei attracted the glances of quite a few adventurers.
Opposite to the usual scene that Rei would see, Lenora was the one currently explaining the description of a request to an adventurer.
While thinking of this rare situation, Rei went to Kenny’s counter.
「I came to hear the results for the rank up test.」
「Un~, I’ve heard. Some of the other participants have already come. They’re in the meeting room Rei-kun borrowed yesterday.」
Nodding, he was going to head up the stairs when he suddenly stopped.
「That reminds me, do you know how long those guys spent in the meeting room yesterday?」
「Mmm, the elf and a warrior left a little bit after Rei-kun……」
「How about those three, Arogan, Culotte and Scola?」
「I don’t know much about their names but the other warrior and the thief and mage duo remained for a while. Well, it seems in the end they were scolded by Gran-san.」
「So it happened after all.」
That happened because of their greed. He thanked Kenny with a wry smile before heading to the meeting room on the second floor.
「Ara~, you’re late.」
Rei was greeted like so by Firuma.
Firuma had been talking with Culotte in the meeting room while Scola was reading a book on something.
「Is that so? I don’t think it’s too late as there are still two people who haven’t come.」
While replying to Firuma, he sat down on a nearby chair and called out to Culotte.
「You seem to have argued for quite a while yesterday?」
「I know right. We were just talking about that before.」
「Even if you tell me that……it’s bad that Arogan was greedy.」
「I think both of you are to blame. So, how was it split in the end?」
「……Still ongoing. We will resume the discussion after today’s announcement.」
「Well, though I can’t say much as I’ve already got my share……I don’t think it’s a good idea to be too greedy.」
「Don’t tell that to me, tell that to Arogan.」
「……That’s my line.」
Arogan entered the room disgruntled.
「Although thieves are all greedy, you are exceptional even among them.」
「Wait a moment, what is that supposed to mean!」
「It’s just as I said.」
While arguing with Culotte, he sat down next to them.
Though at first glance the situation seemed dangerous like the time at the start of the rank up test, below that, there was trust between two people who had mutually recognized the other.
Rei and Fimura looked at the two, who were arguing of trivialities, in amazement. Scola, who would usually remonstrate with Culotte, was absorbed in reading a book and seemed to ignore the situation.
「He seems to be quite absorbed in that book over there.」
「Over there? Ahh, it’s Scola. A magic book that he had wanted for some time finally got stocked so he bought it first thing this morning.」
「He should have quite a bit of money from the silver coin reward, the potions and cheap magic items from the bandits treasure.」
「Something like that, apparently he was saving up money because he wanted this book.」
「Hee~, it must be about some interesting magic. What kind of magic book is it?」
「It seems to be about Esta Nord, a Majin and one of the most famous alchemists.」
At those words that came out, Rei froze for a moment.
After all, Esta Nord was the alchemist in Zepairu’s organization. In fact, most of the magic items Rei was wearing were Esta Nord’s works.
「No, I was just surprised for a moment as a bigger name than I expected came up. Still, I knew that Scola was a mage that specialised in wind and water magic, but is he also involved in alchemy?」
「What? Instead of asking me, you should ask the person in question. 」
「If you say so. Well, he seems to be absorbed in the book right now.」
In that way, Arogan and Culotte kept arguing and Rei and Firuma chatted while Scola kept reading his magic book. Finally, the last person arrived.
「It seems I’m the last person.」
「That’s right. But Gran still hasn’t come yet so you shouldn’t worry too much about it.」
Supervia said that as he entered the room, wearing different equipment from the day before.
It was still the same leather type armour, but it had been changed to a superior one.
「I see, that’s the armour you picked.」
「Ahh. ……Yesterday was tiring. Of course, the armour was heavy and I had to carry it. After keeping some spares for myself, I sold of the rest to shops but……」
「Ahh, I see.」
Things like potions and gems don’t take up that much space and Rei only took 5 spears and 10 daggers. It wasn’t that hard for him to carry around as Rei had the Misty Ring. In comparison, the protective gear that Supervia took was different. Both shields and armour had a considerable weight as they were made from metal and the skin and bones of monsters.
「I called up some acquaintances to help carry them. But I had to give them some money in return.」
At that point, as Rei was talking with Supervia, he heard footsteps coming towards the conference room.
「It seems he’s come.」
「The person who will tell us whether or not we ranked up.」
Matching Rei’s words, Gran entered the room a few second later.
Gran looked around the meeting room and after confirming that all the rank up test participants were here, spoke up.
「Okay, everyone is here. Then, the results of the test will be announced now.」
At Grans words, the meeting room fell dead silent, filled with tension.
Scola, who had been reading his book without minding his surroundings, now turned his eyes tensely to Gran.
Attracting everyone’s attention……Gran nodded with a smile.
「Congratulations. All of you have been promoted to rank D.」
「I did it, I did it.」
「Ahh, that’s good……」
「It’s seems I’ve done it somehow.」
Arogan, Culotte, Scola and Supervia rejoiced at their rank up in their own ways while Firuma gave a sigh of relief.
Rei also smiled while sighing in relief.
After all, it was his social skills that were being tested as party leader. He would have been more confident if it was testing his strong points, but he was nervous as the test had been on his weak point.
「Ahh, you too as well.」
Rei replied as Firuma congratulated him from nearby while smiling.
「That’s enough rejoicing for now. Hey, come here.」
At Gran’s voice, a person, who was probably a guild staff member, entered the conference room and approached Rei.
「Everyone, because your rank needs to be updated, please pass your guild cards to this person.」
Following his instructions, they all handed over their guild cards. The guild staff member checked each one as they were handed in to make sure.
「Gran-san, I’ll get this done immediately.」
「Ahh, thanks. In the meantime, I’ll talk about the test until it’s done.」
「Okay, it shouldn’t take that long.」
After saying that to the the guild staff member and seeing him off, Gran turned to Rei.
「From today on, you are all rank D adventurers. However, you should remember that there were some dangerous situations in the test. First of all, Rei. As I said before the test, you have no problems regarding combat power. However, at rank D and higher, you will have to participate in groups more often. Though your social interaction was a problem……and your instructions in combat weren’t perfect, it is still a passing grade. Your cooperation with allies was the same. However, in regards to the exchange with the merchants, particularly regarding the goods, there is a demerit. If you return a merchant’s goods for free, it will become a problem if they start demanding the same from other adventurers. ……Fortunately, it worked out well this time as those merchants understood the problem. So as I said, watch out for that in rank D.」
Rei nodded at Gran’s words.
Seeing that, Gran turned his eyes to Culotte.
「Next is Culotte. At the beginning of the rank up test, you were aggressive to Rei and Arogan, probably due to your nervousness. As I said to Rei, there was also the issue of returning the merchants’ goods free of charge. However, other than that, your abilities as a thief are worthy of rank D. Continue to work hard in future.」
Culotte also nodded.
Gran turned to look at Scola.
「In your case Scola, your mental weakness is an issue. At any rate, vanguard aside, as a mage in the back, you were troubled after you killed the bandit. Your future task is to improve your mental strength.」
「Yes, I’ll do my best.」
Nodding in satisfaction at the response, Gran looked towards Supervia.
「Next are Supervia and Firuma. Both of you did well to hide your unease even though you had killed a person. If you were to add that to your rank up test mark, you two would come out on top. However, you are still only rank D. From the viewpoint of adventurer, there’s still more to the top. Keep working hard in future and don’t be satisfied with just this.」
「I will do that.」
「I’ll keep that in mind.」
Seeing the two people nod, he finally turned to Arogan.
「In this test, your evaluation was the lowest. You overestimate your own power and look down on others. You were late to the meeting time. You couldn’t communicate well with your party members either. A after killing a person, you showed mental weakness. Honestly, the way it was, it wouldn’t be wrong to fail you on the rank up test. However, after you talked with Culotte and Scola, you got over your mental weakness of killing people, thanks to that, your interaction within the party also reached the passing grade. ……However, listen up. You should not forget that you only barely passed the rank up test.」
At Gran’s harsh criticism, Arogan nodded with a bitter face.
Making sure he understood, Gran then directed his gaze to everyone in the place.
「At any rate, from today on, you are all rank D adventurers. You will now be seen as fully fledged adventurers who are past the beginners and rookies of rank E. However, you should not forget to conduct yourselves. ……Especially Arogan, you must always be conscious of this.」
「Sorry for making you wait.」
As Gran’s words finished, with good timing, the previous staff member came back.
In his hand, he held six guild cards, who he returned to each person.
All the ranks on the guild card had been changed from E to D. They all smiled when they realised that they had all ranked up.
It was the same even for Rei, who usually didn’t have too much change in his facial expression.
「Okay, that’s the end of the rank up test! I expect you to play an active role in future. Dismissed!」
In accordance with his words, each person stood up and left the meeting room. Arogan and Culotte continued on from yesterday while Scola pulled out his book.
As for Rei, as he stood up to follow them……Gran called out.
「Rei, you remain here. We have to talk for a bit.」
Gran said that with rather serious look.