The country neighboring Rondéville, Filéamis.
In the eastern part of a forest, three youths were walking.
One of them, a young raccoon beastkin, raised the bag in his hand and smiled wryly.
“That firehound was pretty strong.”
“Only since you underestimated it.”
Poked with the scabbard’s tip, the raccoon beastkin almost stumbled.
Though he scowled at the youth that looked like a bird with eyes of protest, he knew that he couldn’t deny it, laughing jokingly instead.
Watching the two from the side, the otter beastkin mumbled a complaint as he looked up towards the clouds passing overhead.
“Really though, there hasn’t been any tension recently…”
The three youths were from the same generation of the town. Knowing each other from childhood, they’ve lived their day-to-day lives as members of the mercenary guild together for a long time.
Monster hunting was exciting at first, and even though they could even do a D-rank commission nowadays as long as they didn’t relax their guard, it felt lacking in something.
Still, they didn’t have the fighting spirit nor craving to strive for ranks higher than that, living day by day in a habitual fashion.
“It’s fine, isn’t it? We’re still young, something good will happen sooner or later.”
“Yeah… Hey, how ’bout going to the red-light district with our earnings this time?”
“Aaah, I want moneeey, I want wooomen.”
While talking leisurely, the three people advanced through the forest.
This path was the shortest route to the town and was an animal trail filled with weeds and tree branches extending into it in many places.
Naturally, there were many blind spots. But they were fighters, not neglecting to keep searching for enemies.
After a few minutes, the young birdkin stood still.
“… That thing there, what is it?”
Looking towards the direction he pointed out, there was a pure white oval buried in the tall grass.
The group of three exchanged looks with each other and carefully drew closer to the object.
“… An egg?”
It was an egg slightly smaller than a basketball.
When they moved their hands towards it to pick it up and get a closer look, it shined a wondrous seven-colored light. Before they knew it, the three were entranced by the egg.
Just then, they clearly heard a loud sound resounding from far away. Flustered, the three checked their surroundings.
“… Is something there?”
“N-no, there’s nothing…”
The three once again focused on the egg.
“Not sure, but… isn’t this rare?”
“… Might be expensive, we should probably sell it.”
They all smiled at the raccoon beastkin’s words.
Good luck had unexpectedly rained down on them.
Without saying anything else, the three hurried towards the town.
Changing time and location, now to the east of Rondéville.
“What are you two doing next?”
A Balta Fort sentry greeted the two women.
Unlike the sentries that wore full body armor, the two wore relatively lightweight equipment. But due to the weapons they carried, he could tell the two were guild members.
Though the sentries were all male, he didn’t call out to them with a bad motive. In a short period of time, the two shared an action with each other in understanding. Unable to guess the significance of the gesture, the tiger beastkin inclined his neck.
“What did that mean?”
“Lodging. Can we stay at the fort?”
Saying that, the beastkin woman looked at the human woman next to her.
The two turned towards the sentries simultaneously, the human woman opening her mouth to speak.
“Though that was our plan… is something wrong?”
Towards her concerned expression, the sentry denied it by waving his hand and giving a strained laugh.
“Heading southwest from here would lead you to a town named Lunéville though you know? If you’re planning on staying a while I recommend heading there.”
Speaking of towns near Batla Fort, Pinéaville and Harville were well-known.
As Pinéaville was the closest port city to the Akradist Kingdom’s border, it was famous for its flourishing shipping and fishing industries. In contrast, that liveliness lead to poor security in some parts.
Harville was an inn town that connected the royal capital and Pinéaville on the main road. Gathering many people coming by ship from Akradist and Pinéaville, their lodging and food costs were increasing.
But with the information the women purchased before coming to this continent, they had never heard of a town named Lunéville.
“It’s a good town. Lodging is cheap and the public order is good.”
“No matter what, the food is delicious!”
Another sentry leaned forward and said that.
“Food? That’s it?”
“Yeah! They have really interesting food there!”
“It’s also nice to interact with the children there.”
“Yeah! Everyone is so sociable, and that elf receptionist kid’s listless expression—”
Despite the sentries starting to get on a different topic, the two women exchanged looks.
The human women looked at the sentries.
They weren’t people who would deceive others to earn money, they understood that from the sentry’s conducts thus far. In addition to that, to her who had left nobility, she could easily see through a person’s expression into their true character behind the darkness.
“I think going there is fine.”
“It’s settled then. As for me, I want to see the elf.”
Her motives aside, the tiger beastkin, Katia Maiski belonged to the mercenary guild. The human woman, Elivia Granka, belonged to the magic guild. Their destination changed to Lunéville.
“Heeeh, it’s pretty big.”
“I was pretty anxious when the main road ended midway, but now I’m relieved.”
No longer worrying about having to sleep outdoors, the two walked headed Lunéville in high spirits.
The main street was properly paved and water could be seen flowing under the street from the central park in the distance, producing a refreshing sensation.
Used to seeing Akradist’s uniform bright white townscape of slanted roofs facing the sea, Lunéville and Balta Fort’s townscape looked very ordinary.
However, the branch in front of them stood out.
Though it didn’t change away from the bilateral symmetry it shared with the other buildings, with its steps and porte-cochère projecting from the entrance way supported by stone pillars, looking up at its design from the front gave a solemn and profound feeling. Though it was by no means picturesque, there was a sublime beauty within its admirable harmony. 
But of the few people walking nearby, none stopped to view the building.
“I wonder if everyone is used to seeing it?”
When their eyes met those of people passing by, they were given amiable smiles. They hadn’t experienced that for a long time, recalling that they were countrymen, the two smiled at each other.
“… Go in?”
Asking each other to try and prepare themselves to enter, they opened the wooden doors that gave a dignified feeling. Looking inside the branch, they stiffened at the view once again.
A large number of people were in the dining hall.
There were people talking excitedly, people engrossed in eating, as well as staff running to and fro serving tables. Despite being a reasonably large town, the amount of people on the street felt strangely small. It wouldn’t have been wrong to think all of the town’s people were crammed in there.
A clear voice reached their ears, returning the two who had stopped moving to their senses.
Not needing to search for the owner of the voice, their gazes were attracted to the girl standing behind the reception desk.
With long and radiant golden hair, the girl had snow white skin and deep blue eyes that were reminiscent of the ocean. She expressed a beautiful smile that shook their hearts, her beauty had magic that made it hard to resist and stop looking.
They saw long ears on the sides of her small face.
Though their knowledge wasn’t too precise, there was no mistaking that appearance.
(The rumored elf…)
The same as just a moment earlier, their feet moved forward on their own as though lured in.
They wondered if the people making noise nearby were used to the girl. Or perhaps, they were drunk from her magical power?
While Elivia was suspicious of their surroundings, and while Katia considered her to be a magician, they started a conversation with the elf girl.
“You guys are pretty successful here.”
Letting those words slip out unhindered, Elivia was surprised at herself.
With a smile that filled her whole face, the elf girl responded with a simple, “Thankfully”.
From that single word, the two were already charmed.
Despite being members of the same sex, the two unconsciously embraced feelings of jealousy, not to mention envy. It was a longing similar to veneration, so to speak.
“Are you two here on a mission?”
There were two reasons for them coming to the branch first.
Accept a commission to earn travelling expenses, as well as to collect information while accepting the commission.
“No, we were recommended to this place by sentries at Balta Fort.”
“They said if we were going to stay somewhere, Lunéville would definitely be better than Pinéaville or Harville.”
With the two unhesitatingly answering, the elf girl seemed to be convinced.
“Oh, you girls here for the first time?”
“Welcome to this place then.”
Katia and Elivia were aware that their appearances were ordinary.
But even so, they were two women and it wouldn’t be unusual to be assaulted, and had even been stared at with dangerous eyes several times before. So when the two men seated at the counter gave them words of welcome, they became more vigilant. In order to stop it from happening.
However, despite their vigilance, the men seated at the tables started talking to the guests.
Prompted by the elf girl, the two sat in empty seats.
Looking over the dining hall again, most of the tables were filled with smiles. Of the guilds they’d visited so far, there was the same level of success, but the hustle and bustle wasn’t as harmonious as this place’s.
“Have you decided on an inn to stay at?”
“No, I decided to come and eat first. The sentries at the fort said the food here was delicious.”
Saying it somewhat provocatively, Elivia was surprised.
(It happened again.)
Before she knew it, she had no vigilance or tension towards her like when she talked with Katia, her companion. Her mental state speaking with the elf was amiable.
She thought it was strange, but didn’t think anything was suspicious.
The elf girl’s expression softened a little further at Elivia’s words.
“I don’t know whether or not we will be able to meet your expectations, but… Elizah—”
Calling out in a clear voice, a fox beastkin dressed in the same clothes as the elf girl came over.
Though many fox beastkin eyes were tsurime, hers didn’t seem to be. If anything, they felt gallant. She had swaying light brown hair and large ears with a big tail tipped white. Together with her garments, she produced an adorable atmosphere.
“What’s up, Ilya. Ah—”
Saying up to there, Elizah saw the two girls sitting at the counter and realized why she was called.
“Welcome. You’ll have your menus in a moment.”
With a refined smile that didn’t feel forced at all, she bowed. Taking menus from the stack of them next to the counter’s hatch, she immediately returned to the two.
Looking at the menus in their hands, the two’s eyes opened wide.
Each item listed had realistic pictures next to it. Written along with that was each dish’s effect and the way to cancel it.
Even more so than the amount of items on the menu, just looking at the various pictures caused their stomachs to feel empty, distracting them from being able to choose.
“Let’s seeee. Our gold is a bit spotty, guess we need work…”
While the two were worrying next to the counter, several men and women who were sitting paid their bill and stood up.
One man and woman had a sword, one man had a bow, and a woman had a spear. Belonging to the mercenary guild, their vanguard and rear guard was balanced.
The group stood in front of the bulletin board, talking with each other as they looked through the commission charts. Before long, they picked one.
“Ilya-chan, this one please.”
They brought a commission chart with a monster subjugation written on it.
Receiving their registration cards along with the commission chart, the elf girl, Ilya, began registering the subjugation as accepted.
Not noticing the temperature of the girl’s smile abate somewhat, the group were roused about the commission’s subject.
“Pavel, isn’t this one even easier?”
“Oi oi, that rondébear we hunted the other day was pretty high leveled y’know? Though even if there were a lot of them, it’d be an easy win. Right, Ilya-chan?”
Ilya looked at the commission chart. Similarly, so did Elivia and the others. The subjugation target was a laoloa boar. A huge wild boar that inhabited the laoloa continent’s mountains. As the swordsman named Pavel said, the rondéville boar that lived near Rondéville had weakened abilities and constitutions.
Since they weren’t doing any harm in particular, the subjugation amount of ten was probably to decrease their numbers in preparation for the oncoming harvest season.
As Ilya was thinking that looking at the group of men and women, she nodded without hesitating.
“That’s right. So long as you bear in mind to not get surrounded, I expect you won’t have any problems.”
“However, since their second breeding season has just finished, please make absolutely certain you avoid chasing them too far. When they’re protecting their young, even the non-aggressive ones will be driven into a frenzy.”
“Ah, seriously…? Got it…”
The laoloa boar had the habit of chasing something indefinitely once enraged.
They didn’t rebut her tone of certainty, instead not only embracing it as useful information but as reassuring advice.
Completing the registration while having such a conversation, Ilya presented their registration cards and the commission chart on the counter back to them.
The man with the bow turned his gaze towards Javier.
“So long as Javier-san watches our backs from the rear we’ll be alright. Well then, please give my registration card back.”
“Ah, right! Understood!”
Judging by the strength of his response after hearing his name called, Javier was all fired up.
The women in the surroundings, Katia and Elivia included, obviously shifted their focus to see what happened as usual. However, that wasn’t all this time.
Since the person was Ilya, one couldn’t help but to have a look of compassion. Still, this person was given looks of envy as they wanted to talk to her themselves.
“Please note that subjugation outside of the appropriate area does not count… Good luck.”
When Ilya bowed as though she didn’t mind the situation unfolding in front of her, Orlette, the swordswoman, dragged the man back by the nape of his neck.
“Yeah yeah. Cya later, Ilya. We’re coming back to eat here when we finish the job!”
“I’ll look forward to it, Orletta-san.”
After watching the four exit, Ilya turned back towards the two people sitting at the counter.
“Are you ready to place your orders?”
“Ah, not yet.”
Even though Ilya’s eyes and hers met when she turned, she didn’t seem to be fazed by being watched. Guessing that Ilya was aware of them watching her the entire time she was accepting the registration, Katia hung her head in shame. Elivia laughed in embarrassment.
“It’s my first time seeing an elf, but it’s true that they’re worthy of being called beauties.”
Even when complimented, Ilya almost didn’t show any reaction at all.
Considering that she was in an occupation where there were many chances to meet people, it was easy to imagine that people would say things like that over and over again to someone like her. In truth, Ilya just accepted compliments as though they were for someone else since she knew what made her body when she reincarnated, but Elivia didn’t know that.
(Maybe it seemed like flattery…)
As Elivia was regretting it just a bit while reflecting, Katia noticed her mumbling something.
“The staff here are polite… Elivia, can’t we make this our base for a while?”
“I really want to, but…”
Elivia looked at the bulletin board filled with commission charts.
Though there were subjugation commissions among the list of orders, they were all a ways away from Lunéville. They’d heard people in carriages say that Lunéville was peaceful on their way, but considering that they were doing jobs for the mercenary guild, the distance from the base to the area for the commissions were too far away.
“And so, it’s only fine if you take commissions with big rewards like those people earlier.”
“Ah… so that’s it…”
Muttering her consent, Elivia looked around the dining room.
The number of guests was unusually high, and much like the previous group of people, they stayed around to spend their incomes over and over.
Saying it another way, the only merit to do that is this town… or rather, this branch.
Taking that into consideration, Elivia turned and gave a wry smile to Ilya.
“Ah, umm… Ilya, was it? For a few reasons, we’ll be troubling you for a little while.”
“My name’s Katia. This one here is Elivia.”
“Katia-san and Elivia-san, is it? I’ll do my best to support you.”
After that, the two people forgot about their fatigue from travelling and lost track of time, talking with Ilya about various things.
Rumors like Orbwight Kingdom’s arena being closed due to racket about fixed matches or an ice dragon seen northeast Akradist Kingdom, things like that.
They talked about a wide range of things, but Ilya was a really good listener… up to the point the two girls came dangerously close to saying they were a Windia noble and a commissioned officer’s daughter.
The matter dealing with the arena was also a blunder for the guild. Though the information had also come to the branch, it was too late for etiquette by the time they had the opportunity to listen to the nation’s side of the story, getting caught up in the moment was also one of the reasons.
One of the things Ilya had a particular interest in was the story concerning the ice dragon. Contrasting the disaster designated monster, the Tyrant Spider, that recently appeared near Lunéville, this was a calamity designated divine beast. Snow falling in the surroundings could be a matter of life and death for many people.[Clairvoyance] [Mind Reading] [Eidetic Hearing] [Prophetic Dreams] [Star Memory]
If Ilya freely used those skills, she could be aware of the world’s past, present, and future. They were difficult to use though.
If she said she knew things imprudently, she would be asked how she knew of them and doubted. After that, working would become difficult since it would put the cart before the horse.
And so, Ilya decided to wait until she came across new information.
People visiting Lunéville, like Katia and Elivia, often bring gossip to hear.
(If people keep coming from the cities, it looks like we’ll need to increase the size of the branch…)
While thinking about such a thing as that, Ilya fell asleep.
- A porte-cochère is a covered entrance large enough for vehicles to stop or pass through, allowing passengers to be discharged. Return