Several weeks had passed since the Construction Completion Festival.
Although the town was bustling more than it had beforehand, it was settling back down in some areas.
In particular, the guild branch was flourishing as ever, with even the terrace that should have been a temporary installation to allow for more seating had a proper roof set up over it before anyone realized. Due to the weather, it had come to the point that it was also filled left to right.
As a problem, groups of men were continuing to plow away the snowfall even now. Some were complaining that it might have been a little too soon to add a proper terrace.
However, compared to the dissatisfaction that was currently filling the branch, things like those were tiny problems.
At the reception desk, Rachelle had a formal and solid smile on.
It was the same with Elizah and the others moving about the dining hall as well, everyone had a somewhat gloomy feeling to them.
Sympathizing with them, Ilya looked outside the window and let out a small sigh.
“Ilya-chan, I’d like to accept this commission.”
The small birdkin that stood at the other side of the counter was Polo, a commerce guild delivery member.
He held a commission chart out across the counter. It wasn’t a subjugation or collection type one, but a letter delivery.
Letters and documents that aren’t sent to use the regular service would generally all have important contents, so naturally they also had the limitations of requiring a high rank of B or greater for the commission and for the guild member to have a high dependability.
For example, the A-Rank delivery member Polo had a high level [Flight] skill, as well as his personality being no problem at all.
“Understood. Then, please present your registration card.”
“Here you go.”
Accepting his registration card, she began to register the commission.
“Ilya-chan, how is Bakht Province doing recently?”
By how is it doing, she understood it as him asking about its magic source. The two people were acquaintances.
From Lunéville, where they were, to beyond the royal capital, Bakht Province was located to the north of the world tree, close to it and heavily influenced by its fluctuations. The fluctuations in magic source were incessant.
Because magic source fluctuations had a direct connection to the stimulation of monsters, it was natural for Polo, whose combat capability was low, to worry about them. He was probably able to make it to the peak of A-Rank because of his reliable personality. Thinking about those kinds of things, Ilya looked outside of the window as though she were unconcerned.
“I think they are alright. There haven’t been any rush orders coming in.”
The answer that came back from the girl that looked back towards him was very vague.
If a third party were to be listening in on their conversation, it definitely wouldn’t sound like things the two were talking about something related to life and death. Polo nodded in satisfaction.
“That’s good then.”
With his reaction of perfectly believing her, Ilya couldn’t help but have complex feelings.
In the case where there was an increased amount of magic source stimulating more monsters, causing an outbreak of monsters targeting civilized habitation, there would be a messenger sent to each branch, with the branches having the obligation to incite caution among the guild members.
Be that as it may, the warning may come too late. The possibility of the messenger leaving too late wasn’t zero.
Because she was able to check it out herself with [Clairvoyance], so although she could make conclusions about it, she would always add something like ‘perhaps’ when she said things like that to others.
When the words of a branch staff member weren’t absolute, they had to make sure the other person knew that.
“Please don’t be so trusting…”
“I understand. To begin with, I wouldn’t trust anyone but Ilya-chan.”
Polo shrugged his shoulders and smiled wryly, but Ilya’s worries weren’t dispelled.
Being her acquaintance for such a long time, Polo had put quite a lot of trust in her words, treating them as omens. When thinking about what to say to someone like that, she would also investigate deliberately.
And as a result, there were many excessive things she would discover.
“However, since I haven’t heard any good rumors around the world tree recently, I think it might be better to not get too close to it.”
“That so? Then maybe a little detour…”
Succeeding in guiding him, Ilya was secretly relieved.
When she had looked away a moment before, she saw a large male eagle that resided at the world tree. It had the characteristic of becoming aggressive during incubation periods. With that eagle’s large ogre-like build, the small Polo would likely be swallowed whole.
Though he was able to keep away from visible danger, her intuition told her it would be dangerous for him.
She waited for the registration to complete while retaining her composure, but the light’s color hadn’t changed.
(High rank commissions have a longer investigation time, don’t they?)
As she thought that while letting her mind wander, the light changed to blue.
“The registration has been completed. Here is the commission proprietor’s address. Since the letter will be delivered directly to the commission proprietor, please use it… I’ll be wishing for your safety.”
“Alright, thanks. See you later.”
Facing Polo’s back as he headed toward the doorway, she bowed.
Confirming that no one else was continuing to bow, Ilya let out a small sigh.
(If only everyone was as polite as that guy…)
Guild members’ everyday lives were far away and removed from living in cleanliness, so it was no wonder that their nature would roughen as well.
Even though she understood that, Ilya couldn’t help but lament whenever she saw a person like Polo.
Ilya, who’d taken back control of herself by taking a breath, followed the feeling of someone watching her since a moment before. Her eyes fell on Rachelle, who was standing next to her at the counter.
“Ilya… if you advise them that much won’t that annoying guy come and…?”
She purposely gestured with her eyes. Seeing Rachelle’s appearance as she whispered in a fed-up voice, Ilya smiled bitterly.
“It’s alright. He isn’t in the branch right now.”
Rachelle sighed deeply after Ilya’s affirmation.
“… Ahh mou, I really don’t like him! Why did a branch vice manager like him have to come here!?”
“Oh, Haku, I’m sorry.”
Haku was surprised by Rachelle’s sudden shout, so she pet him to soothe him.
Haku was friendly to everyone other than the dragon god, who was his parent, so he accepted the good feeling. It turned into something like animal therapy for Rachelle; she slowly began to smile.
“… Haku hates guys like that too, doesn’t he~”
“Ilya, you’re very patient.”
“He makes me angry too, you know?”
Since he lost his temper when his first sarcastic remark wasn’t effective, it looked like she camouflaged it well. She guessed that she’d become his first opponent.
“Right~… I wish he’d just go and—”
Interrupting the girl’s sentence, Ilya looked ahead of the reception area.
In understanding, Rachelle had a disgusted expression on her face.
As for who had came in from the front entrance in a extravagant manner, it was the man that in just a few short weeks became known for his firm use of trickery and maliciousness.
The branch vice manager.
When he stepped up to the counter with his usual vulgar smile, he looked between Ilya and Rachelle before turning towards Rachelle and opening his mouth.
“Rachelle, Lord-dono is calling you. Head to his mansion immediately.”
“Eh? Not Ilya, but me?”
“He certainly brought up Ilya’s name, but isn’t it the same so long as it’s a receptionist? Or does the meeting with the lord have to be with the elf?”
The people that heard his racist remark just barely contained themselves, and though the dining hall’s atmosphere tensed, the person himself seemed to not take any notice of it as usual.
Rather, his smile deepened. He continued to speak towards the perplexed Rachelle.
“What, you have a very womanly body. It will satisfy Lord-dono.”
As expected, since she wasn’t able to hold back her discomfort, Rachelle glared at the man who stood in front of her with a chilling gaze.
“… I am in the middle of receptionist duties.”
“It doesn’t matter. It won’t be a great loss to delay a few commission registrations. I will go there after returning to my house for a moment. I’ll leave first.”
Ordering her in a way that felt like he didn’t care about her glare at all, the branch vice manager turned around and left the branch.
Of course, it goes without saying that Rachelle lost her temper. She snapped at Ilya in vigor, thrusting her finger out to point at the entrance.
“That guy is abusing his authority!!”
“He is. He is the worst.”
“Really! Ahh mou, why isn’t Frank-san here at a time like thiiis!?”
Even Haku shouted with her.
At such a time, Frank, who should have had the ability to act as a deterrent, was heading to the general meeting at headquarters. There were no signs that he’d be returning yet.
“Aww… it’s too much…”
“It’s alright. Hector-san probably knows about what’s going on, he’ll support you.”
“Un… that’s right…”
Ilya calmed Rachelle down and asked for Elizah and Cynthia who were in the dining hall to follow her just in case.
As for her, she wanted to tell him to not belittle the reception desk now that the amount of commissions was different from before.
For Lunéville that began to function as an inn town, with the commerce guild aiming for guild members that stayed there overnight as well as the industry guild people increasing, the amount of people in the town was gradually rising.
Therefore, the amount of monsters were increasing in proportion to the amount of people, so the amount of subjugation commissions were definitely increasing as well.
(… I miss the leisurely old days.)
Pushing her complaint to the corner of her mind, Ilya handled the reception desk.