The rank up test had been successfully completed and he had passed, his rank increasing to rank D. But after being dismissed……a voice spoke up to stop Rei from leaving the meeting room. It was Gran, who had also been the rank up test examiner.
「Are there any issues with the rank up?」
Gran shook his head at Rei’s question. Glancing at the staff member who had brought the guild cards in earlier, the staff member gave a small nod in understanding and left the meeting room.
Sending him off, Gran checked to make sure the meeting room door was closed properly before sitting down in the seat that Rei had sat in before.
「Rei, there’s something important to discuss.」
Rei immediately understood that his face wasn’t a joking one. Because of that, he sat down on a chair in front of Gran without saying anything.
「So, what’s the story?」
「Ah, that’s right. ……What should I say first. Well, I think this should come first. Congratulations on passing the rank up test.」
「It’s a bit embarrassing being told that……but I would like to say thanks. So, saying congratulations surely isn’t the only thing you want to say right?」
「Naturally. I’ll cut to the chase. As you know, adventurers can receive and accept requests from the request board. However, there are also other types of requests. One such type is the nominated request. Did you hear about them when you registered with the guild?」
At Gran’s words, he though back to what Lenora had told him when he was registering with the guild, but as he hadn’t heard about it then, he shook his head.
「No, I have not heard of nominated requests. But well, I can roughly guess what it is from the name. Instead of leaving it on the request board for all adventurers, is it a request where the client nominates an adventurer?」
「That’s more or less correct. Naturally, because the adventurer is directly nominated, the degree of difficulty is usually higher and they may be subject to confidentiality regarding the situation of the client.」
While saying that, Gran had a slightly bitter expression. From that look, Rei could feel that he didn’t have a good impression of nominated requests.
「So, the fact that you’ve told that to me……」
「That’s correct. Rei, there has been a nominated request for you.」
「……Well, I realised from the direction of the conversation, but why me? I only just got to rank D today.」
「Yes. Certainly, you are a novice who just reached rank D today. From the perspective of most adventurers, you’re only a young kid in rank D with no skills or experience. However, at the same time, you have the strength to defeat a rank B Orc King by yourself and tame a Griffon, a rank A monster. If you look at only combat strength, you’re not in rank D.」
「So I’m a special D rank adventurer?」
Gran nodded at Rei’s question.
「In addition, the person who nominated Rei for this request is a big shot in this city.」
「……From those words, is it a noble?」
Even the city of Gimuru had it’s own nobles. There wasn’t just the Neutral faction that the lord of Gimuru, Margrave Rowlocks, belonged to. The King’s faction and the Noble’s faction weren’t small in the city either. At any rate, Gimuru was the only city in frontier territory that Margrave Rowlocks governed. In other words, as the threat of monsters needed to be dealt with directly, there were many talented adventurers at the frontier. If things went well, the factions planned to scout them. Because of that, Rei asked Gran if it was a request from nobility……
「That’s right, as you said, it is a noble. I mean, it’s from the lord of the city of Gimuru.」
「As I said, the lord of the city of Gimuru, Margrave Rowlocks, has nominated you for this request.」
「Why would the Margrave nominate me……no, don’t tell me.」
Asking Gran, he immediately realised with a bitter smile.
As Gran had said earlier, he was accompanied by a Griffon, an A rank monster. He also had the ability to defeat an Orc King. It would be strange if someone hadn’t reported this to the Margrave.
「I think I understand the situation. The Margrave Rowlocks seems to have been paying attention to you for a while. At any rate, the rank up exam seems to have been carried out under direct orders from the Margrave.」
「Is he trying to tie me to him?」
For Rei, it was the only reason he could think of for the Margrave to provide him such conveniences.
At any rate, that wouldn’t be strange as he had exceptional abilities for a rookie who just registered with the guild.
「Well, I don’t know about that. After all, a Margrave is a is a title in the upper nobility. I’m only a guild staff member, I can’t understand what such a person would be thinking. However, I think that he wants you to stay as an important combat force for the city rather than trying to put a leash on you. ……The nobility in this country is divided into 3 main powers. Did you know that?」
「Ahh. That was written in a book in the library. The King’s faction, the Nobles faction and the Neutral faction, those 3?」
「That’s right. The smallest out of them is the Neutral faction and Margrave Rowlocks is seen as a big shot in that faction. In other words, leaving the city of Gimuru has a similar meaning to reducing the combat strength of the Neutral faction. Though I would be cautious about this……well, this is only my suspicions as a guild staff member. You shouldn’t worry about it too much.」
Though Gran said that with a wry smile, Rei gave a big nod as that was a helpful opinion and could serve as a reference.
「Well, the talk has gone off topic. So, about the nominated request…… one week from now, the only daughter of Duke Kerebel, who is a central figure in the Nobles faction, will be coming to the city of Gimuru.」
「……As a central figure in the Nobles faction, why would he send his only daughter to a city of an opposing faction?」
「Ahh. Even though you say that, it doesn’t seem to be for a factional dispute this time. ……At the very least, as the other party has stated as such, there’s no need to worry about it.」
「Then, why would someone like a noble’s daughter bother to come to the frontier?」
「That, apparently her objective seems to be a dungeon.」
「Ahh. When you had that dispute with the Claws of the Hawk, do you remember what Runo talked about?」
Runo. Recalling that name, the face of the good looking man, who had treated Rei’s dispute with the Claws of the Hawk with indifference, came to mind.
「If I remember correctly, he said he had magic eyes which could directly see magic power.」
「Yes, that guy. So, you would have heard that your dispute with Claws of the Hawk happened after they had a successful venture into the dungeon?」
「Come to think of it, such a thing was mentioned. ……In other words, the Duke’s daughter has come here for the dungeon?」
Really? Rei’s eyes seemed to say as he looked at Gran.
However, Gran shook his head while looking at Rei with a wry smile.
「I don’t know what you just imagined but Duke Kerebel’s daughter is different from your typical young noblewoman. She’s currently registered as a rank B adventurer……she has the same level of ability as the lower rank A adventurers.」
「……I heard it before, but just to check, she’s a duke’s daughter?」
「What came to mind when I thought of a young noblewoman was a girl carefully brought up like a flower or butterfly……is that wrong?」
「Well, generally speaking, you’re not wrong. In fact, most daughters of nobles in the Imperial Capital match your description. However, Duke Kerebel’s daughter is different. From what I heard, in a skirmish with the Bestir Empire 2 years ago, she led Duke Kerebel’s knights through the battlefield, eventually killing the enemy general in single combat.」
Bestir Empire. It was one of the countries adjacent to the Mireana Kingdom and was one of the biggest powers on the continent. It’s strength was comparable to that of the Mireana Kingdom, which was also a leading power. It also had an expansionist policy and even now was bringing small neighbouring countries under it’s rule.
Of course, Rei had learned about the country from the library. He also knew that the Bestir Empire had been in conflict with the Mireana Kingdom for many years.
However, as expected, it was the first time he had heard of a duke’s daughter running through a battlefield.
「Is she really a duke’s daughter? It differs from my imagination by too much.」
「Ah well. To be honest, it’s quite unusual. The Bestir Empire is even afraid of her, calling her the General Princess. The name has since spread to the Mireana Kingdom.」
「General Princess, hey……can a noble call themselves princess?」
「Don’t ask me. Ask the Bestir Empire that. But well, I don’t think it’s wrong to call a noble’s daughter princess. So, going back to the story. Though I don’t know why, the General Princess seems to have taken only several attendants to go to the dungeon. Because of that, Duke Kerebel made a request to Margrave Rowlocks.」
At Gran’s words, he understood but frowned his eyebrows slightly.
「Then rather than rank D, shouldn’t A or B rank parties be employed? Or a thief like Culotte, since it’s a dungeon.」
That was clearly a valid question. At any rate, the Duke was sending his beloved daughter to the dangerous place known as a dungeon. If adventurers were employed as guards, it would be more reassuring if they were high ranking adventurers with proven abilities. There should be no need to request an adventurer who just entered rank D.
「Though I haven’t been given many details, apparently, adventurers of rank C or higher are no good.」
「……That’s rather suspicious, isn’t it.」
「Ah well. However, Margrave Rowlocks can’t refuse the Duke without a clear reason.」
In fact, because of the difference in power between the Nobles and Neutral factions, if the Neutral faction members were not careful, they would immediately be cornered. Moreover, Margrave Rowlocks could only accept due the difference in social position between a margrave and a duke.
「So, that’s why Margrave Rowlocks had no choice but to accept the request. If the Duke’s daughter, known as the General Princess, were to die in this territory……what would happen, you can probably guess?」
「In the worst case, Margrave Rowlocks would lose his nobility.」
「Ah. Even in the best scenario, a considerable amount of territory would be lost. ……Well, it wouldn’t be too much of a problem even if some territory is lost because Margrave Rowlocks’ only city is this city of Gimuru. However, if the city of Gimuru were to be taken away……」
He let out a deep sigh at Gran’s words.
「So, that is the reason why I was chosen to be an escort despite being only rank D.」
「That’s right. In the first place, she is a person called the General Princess. She went out to a battlefield and even killed the enemy general in single combat, it stands to reason that she’s considerably strong. Because of that, Rei is probably only an emergency backup. The fact you are accompanied by a Griffon is also good.」
「For now, I would like to know, can a nominated request be refused?」
「After telling you the story, I more or less expected you to ask that. Normally, it’s possible to refuse a nominated request, it’s not unusual either. However, the client this time is Margrave Rowlocks, the lord of the city. You cannot decline it.」
Hearing Gran’s words, he thought about the request in his mind.
(It can’t be refused. However, this request is also a chance to go to the dungeon, which I’ve been wanting to do. Because there seems to be a considerably high chance of high ranking monsters appearing in the dungeon, I can expect a large amount of quality magic stones. ……The problem is, will there be suspicion if I don’t sell the magic stones……no, the problem is the Duke’s daughter from the Imperial Capital. Though I don’t the reason why she needs to go to the dungeon, she will probably quickly leave the frontier once her work is done. Then the probability of her noticing the unnaturalness of not selling the magic stones should be low.)
「By the way, can I enter the dungeon with Set? Or to be more precise, is there enough space in the dungeon for someone as big as Set to fight?」
「There are no problems regarding that. Basically, monsters bigger than your Griffon, Set, can be found in the dungeon. There’s no need to worry about inconveniencing other people in the area.」
「I see. If that’s the case, I can manage.」
「If you’re saying that, then can I assume you will take the request?」
「Who was it that said I couldn’t refuse it?」
At Rei’s words, Gran could only give a wry smile.
「Though that’s true, the person’s attitude is important as well. So, you’re okay in receiving it?」
「Ah. So, what should I do? Do I just have to come to the guild in a week, after the General Princess arrives?」
「That’s right. Well, more details will be given in the next few days. You have to be in good physical condition. It would be no joke if the request comes around and you can’t fight because you’re injured. It would be good if you don’t take any subjugation requests for the next week.」
「……Is that necessary?」
To that question which was asked involuntarily, Gran gave a serious nod.
「Ah. After all, it involves the safety of the Duke’s daughter and the fate of the city of Gimuru is involved. You’re there for that reason.」
「……Haa~, I understand. By the way, what’s the reward?」
「The reward for successful completion is 2 light gold coins.」
TLN: Quick reminder, 1 light gold coin is 10 platinum coins. According to the author’s exchange rate, about 20k USD.
「……Are you serious?」
2 light gold coins. As the reward for the completion of a single request, it was rare, even in rank A.
「I’ve said this many times, but this is a very important request. So keep that in mind. 」
Thus, as Rei had just risen to D rank, he was suddenly forced to receive a nominated request.
And, although this request would become an important turning point for Rei, he had no way of knowing himself.