A few days passed after the results of the rank up test were announced. The figure of Rei could be seen in the Dusk Wheat as usual.
His Dragon Robe and Shoes of Sleipnir had been taken off and put in his rented room. He was lying on the bed with a carefree expression, reading a book that he had bought at the bookstore.
Its contents were mainly about dungeons.
Ever since he heard from Gran that the nominated request would be at a dungeon, he had gone to a store to buy a book about monsters that could be found there and how to dismantle them.
「As I thought, a thief is essential in a dungeon.」
According to the book, most dungeons had traps.
And as for the traps, some were set by the more intelligent monsters that lived in the dungeon, while others were spontaneously created when the dungeon was formed.
「The General Princess, as she fought on a battlefield, probably doesn’t have any skills as a thief. I’m the same as well. In that case, will she employ a thief here in Gilm? I can only hope that there is a thief accompanying the General Princess……」
Thinking like that, he had a look of resignation.
After all, Gran had told Rei that the nominated request only required that he followed the Duke’s daughter. Because of that, he was pretty sure that it would be unlikely that they would hire a thief here in the city of Gilm. His last hope was that the Duke’s daughter had a someone with a thief’s skills accompanying her.
「Rather, shouldn’t I keep studying to be able to disarm a simple trap?」
Though Rei thought about that, there was only a few days remaining before the start of the request. Though he wanted to, it was clear that there wasn’t enough time to learn a thief’s skills.
「It seems there’s no use just thinking about it. I’ll go move my body a bit.」
Though he had been asked not to take on subjugation requests, he could still exercise his body, to stop his movements from dulling, in the training ground at the guild
Still, it was better than nothing. He quickly prepared himself and left the inn.
And when he went to the stables……
「Here Set-chan. Eat this, eat this.」
The figure of Milein could be seen, feeding Set, who had an expression as if she was melting away.
While smiling wryly at Set’s happiness at being fed, he approached the woman and animal.
「Ah, Rei. Sorry to bother you.」
「No, I did say you can come to see Set at any time…… You don’t have a request today?」
To Rei’s question, Milein gave a small nod while stroking Set’s back.
「Yes. Because we exerted ourselves against Forest Crawlers yesterday, we’re having today be a rest day.」
「……I see. You’ve been working hard.」
Forest Crawlers. As its name suggested, they were monsters similar to a giant green caterpillar that lived in the forest. The smaller ones had a length of around 2m. For the bigger ones, it wasn’t unusual for them to exceed 3m. Their combat power wasn’t high for a D rank monster and the danger was much lower compared to Treants, who were also D rank monsters. However, since it was basically a giant green caterpillar, it was a monster that was highly disliked by female adventurers. Moreover, since it had a spongy body, most vanguards didn’t like to attack it. For Milein, who was a female fencer, it could be called the worst match up.
「I know right? Because of that, I’m playing with Set today to release my stress. ……Do you have any work today Rei?」
「No, I was just planning to the guild training ground to move my body. I was wondering if Set wanted to come along…… What will you do?」
Rei called out to Set, who was being stroked by Milein. Though he thought that Set would like to remain here with Milein…… After thinking about it, Set gave a cry that he wanted to go with him.
Milein probably understood. She let out a sigh with a regretful look.
「With that said, what do you plan to do Milein?」
「Ah…… That’s right. Then I’ll go with you two. I’ve also wanted to spar at least once with Rei. …… How about that?」
Even Milein was interested in Rei’s combat strength, as he had been able to easily fight against an Orc King, a higher ranking species of an Orc, which even she would have trouble with. Rei gave a simple nod.
「I also wanted to spend a little bit more time with Set-chan.」
However, Milein added on her probable main aim.
After that, they took Set out from the stables and headed towards the guild as usual.
The difference was that instead of 1 person and 1 animal, there were now 2 people and 1 animal.
「Set-chan, Set-chan. Here, this.」
Normally, Rei would buy food for Set at the food stalls, but that role had changed over to Milein.
While looking at this situation, Rei called out to Milein as he bought a bread roll with meat inside, similar to a hotdog, and brought it to his mouth.
「Though you were clamoring about a lack of money a little while ago, you can afford things now?」
「Something like that. After all, we beat a rare species with Set during the Treant subjugation request we did, while Rei was doing the rank up test. The materials were sold for a rather large amount of money. …… We didn’t get the magic stone though.」
According to Mileins words, it was highly likely Set got the Poison Claws skill from the rare species.
「The legs, thread and magic stones of the Forest Crawlers we defeated yesterday also sold for a decent price. We have a little cash to spare.」
As usual, adventurers and Gilm city residents who knew about Set gathered towards Milein and Set.
And arriving at the guild, Set moved to the carriage waiting area and lied down without Rei having to say anything.
The warm and sunny place had already become Set’s exclusive space.
「Set-chan, I’ll be leaving for a while. I’m going to have a spar with your master.」
Set gave a short cry as he saw the two people off. Rei and Milein went directly to the training ground without entering through the guild.
「There not many people here today.」
Milein muttered as she looked around the training ground.
In fact, there were only 5 other people in the training ground. Other than those 5, there were none present.
As for the 5 people, as they were training in the same place, it was easy to deduce that they were either in the same party or knew each other.
「Well, I think not many people are here because it’s around the middle of the day.」
Though there were people who exercised their body in preparation for a later request, that was usually early in the morning. Right now, it was already midday. The only people that would come to the training ground at this time were either those on a break, like Rei and Milein, or those who were having a training day.
「That is true. Well then, let’s spar after we warm up ourselves. Is that fine?」
「Ahh, no problem.」
Nodding to Milein’s words, Rei took out the Death Scythe from the Misty Ring.
Although there were sounds of surprise from the direction of the 5 people who were looking at them, people being surprised at Rei’s Misty Ring had become normal for him. He started to warm up, disregarding them.
Slowly swinging down the Death Scythe, he raised it back up and made a side sweep as he advanced forward smoothly. At the same time, he didn’t just use the blade but also treated the handle as a spear as he stabbed the air.
To his dance like movements, not just the other 5 people in the training ground, Milein was also involuntarily fascinated by it.
As Milein smiled wryly, she unsheathed her long sword and started to do some warm up exercises.
A few minutes later, after warming up, they turned around to face each other and exchanged a small nod as they readied their weapons.
And then! At that moment, a voice called out, as if it was waiting for that moment.
「Sorry, are you available?」
The one who called out was someone from the 5 person group that has been in the training ground earlier. His face had gentle features and gave off the impression of a good-natured person. He seemed to be older than Rei and was closer to Milein’s age group of late teens to early twenties. As for Rei, he was reminded of Arogan and Supervia, who had both taken the rank up test that finished a few days ago.
「Do you need something?」
「You two, are you about to spar? Are you two okay if we watch it?」
「…… At the very least, you should give your names before asking for something.」
「Oh, sorry, sorry. I just thought that both of you seemed to be quite skilled. Umm, I’m Beamuta, I’m the leader of the E rank party Earthen Bonds formed with those 4 over there.」
Beamuta gave a quick bow and apologised for his bad manners as he introduced himself. Milein gave a faint smile and spoke up.
「Milein. I act as the leader of Scorching Wind.」
「Scorching Wind, if I remember, you’re C rank……uwa~. No wonder you’re skilled with the sword.……」
Faced with Beamuta’s admiration, Rei gave in and also introduced himself.
「I’m Rei. A rank D adventurer. I’ve been acting solo.」
「Rei……? I feel like I’ve heard that name somewhere…… Anyways, getting to D rank at that age is amazing. So, putting that aside, would it be possible for us to observe your sparring session? Though I’m rank D myself, most of the kids over there are rank E and F, I want to show them a fight between higher ranks.」
「A high rank…… I don’t think C rank can exactly be called that.」
To Milein’s words, who was not being modest, but rather stating the facts, Beamuta shook his head to object.
「At your age, leading a C rank party is already amazing. …… So, how about it?」
「Well, though I don’t mind…… Rei?」
Perhaps as one of the city of Gilm’s promising youths, she had become accustomed to things like this. Milein didn’t have any problems with it and nodded as she asked Rei.
「That’s okay, I don’t mind as long as they don’t interfere.」
「Thank you. We absolutely won’t disturb you.」
Beamuta gave a bow and ran back to his companions. Milein gave a wry smile at Rei as they saw him off.
「That was a little surprising. I thought that you would refuse to let them watch us spar because of your various secrets.」
「Many secrets, huh? I certainly can’t deny that.」
「That’s right. You even hid something inside my body. …… Well, it’s fine as long as we were able to improve our fighting strength as a result.」
Saying such things, she remembered the Seeds of Contract that were used on the members of Scorching Wind.
Certainly, as long as they didn’t speak of Rei’s secret, no harm would be done. On the contrary, they were able to obtain fire resistance and an improvement in fire related magic.
While recalling such things, Beamuta returned to Rei with the other 4 people.
「Sorry for making you wait. Come on, all of you.」
『Nice to meet you.』
Following Beamuta’s words, the 4 people bowed.
Looking at them, the four boys and girls were around Rei’s age.
Among them, there was also a girl who was clearly younger than Rei. Not just Rei, Milein was also surprised.
「That’s a pretty young party.」
「Yes. Everyone comes from the same orphanage as me, so I’m taking care of them.」
「Ah, big brother Bea is embarrassed.」
「As I thought, big brother Bea is embarrassed because he saw a beautiful woman. I almost thought he had no interest in women.」
To those jeers that weren’t really jeers, Beamuta blushed while being unable to refute them.
「Idiot, don’t be rude to Milein-san who gave some of her time to show us a mock battle. …… I’m sorry.」
「It’s fine, don’t worry about it. Please move a little further away as it will be dangerous.」
(She’s quite familiar with handling children……)
While feeling admiration at Milein and Beamuta’s conversation, he settled his heart and mind as he readied the Death Scythe.
「Okay, I’m ready. Ah, magic is not allowed.」
「I understand. Weapons only.」
「Okay. Then…… That’s right, Beamuta-san, signal the start.」
At Beamuta’s signal, Milein kicked against the ground as she went towards Rei with her long sword.
While readying the Death Scythe to meet it, Rei stepped forward daringly.
She didn’t think Rei would dare lose the chance to use his reach. Milein hesitated for a moment……And as a result, it allowed Rei to enter within sword’s reach.
「Here I come!」
Finding a moment of opportunity, Rei swept the Death Scythe’s handle at Milein’s legs to trip her. Milein realised Rei’s intention by the movements of the large scythe and quickly jumped back.
After that moment, the handle of the Death Scythe swept sharply past the place where Milein’s feet had been.
「…… As expected of you. It’s a misrepresentation that you’re D rank.」
「I didn’t think you would see through my intentions so easily.」
「I’m still C rank, I can’t lose that easily. I can’t lose face as a senior in front of an audience.」
「You were the type of person to mind those things?」
While arguing jokingly, they made feints with their eyes and body as they searched for an opportunity against each other.
(That said, time will just pass with this. Then……)
Deciding in his mind, while continuing to talk, he gradually increased the distance between them.
Milein, who was watching the situation, twitched every time she saw a chance. But as she understood that it was a taunt, she didn’t go in recklessly.
Though Rei pretended to show an opening to provoke an attack, Milein began to feel the pressure of whether to leave it or to attack.
Is this a good opportunity to attack? Is this a chance? I have to attack…… Such thoughts went through her head……
No longer able to take the pressure, she took a large step forward.
Against the sword swinging down with fighting spirit, Rei received the sword blade with the blade of the Death Scythe and parried it with the handle…… When Milein’s sword blade had almost reached his hands, he twisted the Death Scythe and flicked the sword into the air.
The next moment, the Death Scythe was held against the neck of the disarmed Milein.
「That’s enough, the winner is Rei!」
Beamuta’s voice echoed through the training ground as he declared the end of the match. Beamuta’s adventurer companions raised voices in surprise at the scene of a D rank adventurer winning against a C rank adventurer.