Chapter 23 – Rank and Call
In the vacant lands outside of Volka City.
「Yes, I’m beat」
Holding a dagger (for training), making sharp turns Elk jumped at me, I attacked her incoming leg……that’s what I thought, but Elk skillfully dodged it.
However, due to the trajectory before her jumping my elbow accidently came cutting right in, hit the solar plexus, and Elk crashed down.
「That’s why during the evasion of an attack any careless jumping is prohibited. Especially if the opponent is agile and has great maneuvering ability. You have start your next action the moment you land on surface. While the time you’re in air, basically unless you use floating magic, you can’t evade attacks」
「That is……Keho(*cough)! I do know that, but my body moved on it’s own」
「Well, there’s no choice other than letting your body learn it over time. Let’s be patient」
「I see……Once again!」
Well, roughly it’s like this.
This is the daily routine of us both recently.
We wake up early in morning, wash our faces, get dressed, come to this vacant land, complete the warming-up exercises and then do sparring as called we called it, morning training.
Even though I say that, this is training for『Elk』only, it’s somewhat inefficient for it to become my training.
In the afternoon of the day I met Noel-neesan and took the『Pass』from her.
After returning to the inn, Elk requested me with a docile expression. 『I want to train』.
In short, she is happy that I have made a team with her, and it’s an honor for her that I trust her, but the current her and me are not a good match.
She didn’t want to remain a comrade in name only, neither did she want to only keep on relying on me.
She didn’t want to be a hindrance to me, while going to various danger area or while doing various other quotes, so she wanted to get strong.
Well, I thought her ambition is good, and also hesitated in rejecting her feelings, so i agreed to her.
Though I had rejected her before by saying I can’t teach, still I’m here training with her.
This type of mock battle training is being done everyday.
We’re doing somewhat a real battle, so even if the time is less the things she could are more, including that she learns more while harvesting and exploration, and presents them all here in this『Training』.
[AK: dont get the part… does it mean she knew minato dont or she knew more after training…]
[ET: It means she learns in the training and she also learns it during doing quests and whatnot. She even presents the new things she learnt in the quests and whatnot section during training.]
The portion she learnt there is presented here, gets improvement scores, continues training……this cycle is running.
This is the way of training I did with mom. The only thing I could refer to.
But of course, in my case it was a battle royal between mom’s sparring and demons of forest. That spar was a ultra-serious battle of about 30 min~ 1 hour long.
By the way, the monsters hunted, were either served as food in that day’s dinner, or stored in pantry as preserved foods, otherwise they would be given as fodder to many pets mom had.
In this training too, I can feel like Elk is getting stronger time to time.
Although it’s only my feeling while fighting her.
After the sparring is completed, during the time Elk is cooling down while reviewing her results, this is the time I enter my training.
Though, it’s only weight and shadow training only.
It’s my daily routine since the time from western-style house. Just in case, I’m doing it everyday.
My physical strength is more than enough, so for it to not decline, I have devised a scheme in my training……to be honest, I can’t call this training to be efficient.
In truth recently –or rather, from somewhat before I left the house– , I don’t feel pain or anything doing push-ups or sit-ups.
Aside from maintaining the current condition, to get more stronger I need more harsher training, I can increase the number of times of my current training but it would increase my time, and also I have no other way too……
「That, can’t you do something about your habit of leaking out what you think?」
Suddenly a voice from behind hits me.
There Elk is standing while sending her beautiful reproachful stares at me. Not good Not good, looks like I leaked out my words again.
And, the clothes she is wearing is different from her usual ones, no I haven’t seen her wearing it at all.
「……? What happened?」
「No, it’s just that those clothes suit you」
「R-Really? Well, Yeah, Thank you」
Right now, what Elk is wearing, or rather is equipped with is not what she usually wears, the memento of her mother + low quality ready-made clothes……but, everything she is wearing is a brand new, order-made goods.
The hemp cloth with a feeling of oldness, has changed to a healthy and clean cloth. It’s texture too is different.
On her waist is another new robust looking leather belt.
And there is also the memento of her mother, that『Dagger』.
More than anything the main fascinating thing made with fine quality high grade substance is the armor.
Though it’s an armor, it isn’t something massive.
It’s a light armor. This covers the minimum important parts and helps in not restricting movement.
In my previous life’s RPG, only thieves would wear armor like that.
This refreshing green colored armor is, yes, something we requested Noel-nee san and ordered it at some trusted armor shop. It’s made from the scales and skin of the big-serpent –It’s got its official name『Naga』now– and also other materials.
At that time she had said「Just tell me if you need weapon, armor, custom-made article, everything is OK」, so I took her offer.
As expected, making custom-made armors and other things from monsters raw materials is popular among adventurers, so when we took our raw materials the shopkeeper admired the high level of the materials and full-heartedly started making it.
Along with that, we ordered other things to be made too, but that’s for some later date.
And, Noel-nee san who acted as intermediary between the manufacturers, told us that the same type of articles in market cannot be compared to our articles. It’s weight is not more than a feather, but it’s hardness, strength and the pure iron inserted inside it cannot be broken easily. Demon raw materials are really awesome.
Incidentally, using the skin without scales, we had them to be processed into clothes like undergarments.
At one glance, each and every is first-class goods that that a rookie adventurer would is not fated to get, only a veteran adventurer might be able to get them.
Yeah, it does look great on her.
But, the scales and skin of『Naga』were both green. After the manufacturing, it became even more bright.
Inevitably, Elk’s armor and clothes are both green.
And, Elk’s hair and eyes too are green, so after me being『Man In Black』, this time Elk is becoming『Woman In Green』……but like I care
Well her clothes are green, her armor made from scales is dark green almost black you can say……there is not much difference in the hue, so it’s alright, probably.
Incidentally, for them brand new equipments, the required money was given by me to her as a loan.
At first I had thought of distributing the reward from『Naga』taking in the consideration of her financial conditions, this time it wasn’t on whim, but stubbornly Elk didn’t accept it.
She said『You defeated it 100% that’s why it’s all yours. If you want to team up with me, then do that work perfectly』. Well it’s something like her personality.
That’s why, with interest rate I lend her the money……though I’m praying that she forgets about it by the expiration date.
After all, though it’s needed, but I don’t want to do money lending and borrowing between friends.
It’s more natural to think of it as a present from a man to a woman, at least for me.
Elk was against the me offering the raw materials to be made into equipments, but this time I won.
I just said, If you’re going to team with me, then you should have equipment that I can rest assured that you will be safe.
She, who doesn’t think it’s good to rely on me, naturally didn’t made a good face at my request, but there wasn’t any problem in my request.
It’s natural to think, that the other party who is going to be your partner should also have even if a little high survival rate. Even if it’s said to be overprotective.
And, when it was made,
……She seemed really happy.
The green colored armor equipped on the arms and shoulder, and the clothes covering the body.
After all, as an adventurer, she must’ve have more or less admired these kind of equipments.
Elk realized my eyesight looking at her with glitter in eyes, did get startled as bit, but without explaining or anything just turned around.
「W, Well I still think it’s beyond my means to normally get it……but yeah I’m happy. Since the raw materials are high-class, so it would increase the survival rate」
「Yeah Yeah, it’s fine if you even think that」
Like that for a while, while Elk was getting rid of sweat from training, she looked at her right-now-praised equipment with glittering eyes. Whatever she says, in the end she does like it.
Maybe, the cooling down exercises are some sort of stretching exercise, but to me it’s only looks like she’s making a pose.
The action of the diligent and beautiful Elk in a perfect costume of both hue and design, looks like a fashion show to me.
It has been 16 years and some months since I came to this world, the memories and sense of values deeply rooted into me, cannot help but look at the attire of adventurers as some sort of cosplay.
Though it’s imprudent to say, but. Let me declare! It’s a sight for sore eyes!
While I was thinking this and that, before I knew it Elk stared at me with reproachful eyes. Huh, did I again leak it out from mouth?
「Anyone would be worried, if you make a triumphant pose with a satisfied expression while looking at someone」
……Looks like I need to care of some bad habits inside me.
Anyway, while coversating like that we both completed the preparation, and decided to return to City of Volca.
after we had our breakfast there, for some reason, we both needed to go to adventurer guild.
It has been almost two weeks since we defeated『Naga』.
We didn’t had to do much other than giving information, getting the money and taking the raw materials of『Naga』.
Incidentally, I asked whether we could get all the raw materials of Naga to the person in charge, who by coincidence was Riin-san. She said normally we would get it but this time it’s different.
After all, this『Naga』is an unidentified new demon.
In this case, it would be sent to the guild’s and country’s various research institutions as a sample for research.
Well, even if I got it all it wouldn’t be used up by me alone, on the contrary the reward for the parts would be paid with cash.
「Hello, good morning……oh,it’s you again Riin-san」
「Oh, are you unsatisfied with me?」
The familiar receptionist Riin-san says as such while positioning her glasses with finger with a not so interesting face(She’s normally cool, so it’s hard to guess her facial expressions).
「No, I didn’t mean it like that……something like, it felt like it’s not only coincidence to meet you every time」
「Yeah, I too haven’t seen you talking to any other guild personnel other than this person」
Is there a system that the person in charge of your registration will after that keep on continuing various other supports too? Or else, doesn Riin-san has some exclusive work of observing us?
[ET: The secretary is still of he/she/it gender. So maybe she is the secretary]
「There is nothing like that, even I’m surprised. Well then, what might be your work today?」
「Ah, Yes. We need to update the Guild Card」
Yes, the『Guild Card Update』. This is today’s work.
The『Guild Card』a.k.a ID card……is always updated upon completing the quests or getting achievements during exploration. The whole information is overwritten.
The progress report of quests, their rate of success and failure, achievements of past, information like those are written inside Guild Card.
When asked whether it could be visible, it would be refused.
That『Update』is always being done behind the reception windows, but exceptionally, there are also those who are called for updating their cards.
The『Naga』’s extermination is the so-called exception. Just like I said before,『Naga』is an unidentified monster. It’s strength and evaluation of my way to defeat it is still not defined.
Since the evaluation cannot be easily given, the guild held a discussion on『Naga』’s fighting strength, rank, evaluation in the way of defeating.
Because it’s result came out, based on the situation though, it is supposed to be reflected on our cards.
I give the card to Riin-san for update, but……it will take somewhat time to be completed.
For killing the time it would take, I and Elk left the place.
We stood before the bulletin board with the quests put on it……a.k.a『Board』.
In truth, I had been thinking to my first『quest』ever, also the first quest after teaming up with Elk.
For using the waiting time, we came here to take on the quests.
There are many quests put up here, not like I have taken even one.
The boards are separated based on ranks. Just like we had decided beforehand, we stand in front of Rank『E』board, and start staring at the Quest List.
This is something decided by taking Elk’s rank into consideration.
Normally, the quests taken should be matching your own rank, and my rank after becoming an adventurer recently is『F』. It might be me singing my own praises, but these quests which even Elk can do without breaking a sweat, is something not suitable for me.
But, if I took a Quest based on my level, then it would put Elk in danger, so it’s decided to go with Elk’s rank.
「You would get really bored, is it still fine?」
「It’s fine It’s fine. It’s okay for the first one to be like this」
Once again singing my own praises, but an easy to do quest is best.
Well then, what might be the recommended quests……Whoa, there are many.
○Collection of medicinal plants
Place: Plains of East Volca
Reward: ……3 Silver Coins (It might change based on the quantity and quality of delivered goods)
○Subjugation of Stray Wolves
Place: Outskirts of Volca. Subjugate at the very least more than 5.
Reward: ……5 Silver Coins
○Guarding an excursion
Guarding the excursion as well as ensuring safety of students
Reward: ……5 Silver Coins (It might change based on danger, salary, etc)
○Escort Dealer Group (one way)
From Volca to Listal. Fixed number of 5. First–come-first served basis. Can be selected beforehand
Reward: ……15 Silver Coins
Ye~ah. There are many.
The contents too are various……some though are like part-time jobs, but well, so this is all for a novice barely graduating rank『E』adventurer.
As for medicinal plants, it would work somehow if I know how they look like. It’s not much difficult even for me, if I don’t get lost.
Wolf is, the same wolf-ish thing inside『Labyrinth』. This too is easy.
Guarding the excursion. It suddenly smells of part-time job.
It’s easy, but this『ensuring safety of students』says that I would have to take care of students too.
I’m not good with children……
Escorting the dealer group……it has the highest pay, but it’s restraint period is really long.
Or rather where is this Listal? I don’t know since I don’t have a map for here.
Well it’s Rank E, so it shouldn’t be that far nor that severe quest.
If I would choose then, Yeah……let’s go with this『Wolf』.
In this case, I clearly know the identity of the subjugation target.
Upon asking Elk, I get『Isn’t it fine?』as the answer. Alright, then it’s selected.
I take out the quest document for accepting it, just then a voice calling us comes from the reception desk, maybe the update is done. Nice Timing.
We both head towards the reception desk, and Riin-san hands over the updated Guild Card.
It’s appearance is not much different……I take it in my hands, and check the information written on it and……Woah!!
Looks like it went up a lot!? Even though it was F just some time before.
「It looks like you’re surprised……but, it’s only the natural evaluation, I think? After all, that『Naga』you both subjugated as been given the rank A」
「No, umm, that……I got help due to many coincidences, rather I did explain it, right?」
「Taking that into consideration, that is the given rank. It was decided that you have the ability to come up to here. Furthermore, you’re superhuman strength seems like a truth」
I got said those words from Riin-san along with a sigh.
I don’t know how it spread, but the rumour made by that evil secretary that the『Man in black defeated it using the cave-in』spread out really fast, so I used it during the interrogation.
And that’s how I evaded the Guild.
It’s still fast to let my name spread, so we both fabricated the information and told the guild.
The place I hit it with『Megaton Punch』was seriously dented, so we evaded it somehow saying it got hit with a large rock. Based on appearance, it would definitely become like that.
The places I hit with electricity and fire were somewhat burnt, we evaded it saying, it was dealt by throwing the torches on the wall.
In truth I am a rookie adventurer, and with those words most believed it. Huge Success.
……There are still some people not believing it, for example Riin-san and many others.
However, many witnessed me carrying『Naga』wrapped on pole, so I couldn’t make excuses here. It couldn’t be helped.
And so, I just said that『I have more power than normal people』and evaded it.
For them it’s only somewhat more physical strength.
Well, that’s how I defeated (fabricated) Naga……even so, I got the evaluation that my rank rose up to B.
It’s not like I’m not happy with good evaluation, but it’s not good to becoming great suddenly. After all there is a saying, the nail that sticks out gets hammered in.
At the very least, it should happen after I get used to the adventurer lifestyle.
「You’ve completed a great feat. It’s never heard of that a rookie adventurer reached rank B in just 2 weeks from the debut date. Furthermore, more than half of it was the time taken to evaluate」
「You’re right……. Um, Riin-san, isn’t this just too much? I’m only a rookie adventurer with 2 weeks experience?」
「What are you saying. To me, it looks like this also is insufficient」
Riin-san says while being surprised. Eh, is that true?
Maybe I am making a face that needs explanation, Riin-san opens her mouth.
According to her, in this world, the normal opinion of people is that the person who fights solely by themselves can fight against demons of same level or lower level.
That is, when fighting with some room for composure. Well it’s only natural, after all it’s a life-risking 1 round battle.
Of course, the situation during fights is influenced by luck sometimes……as the rank goes up, it becomes difficult to differentiate between demons and adventurer as both are monsters at that point.
And taking, that『I got lucky』into consideration, my rank is set to B.
「That is true……but have you forgotten that you two delivered large amount of raw materials of『Little Beast』and『Mad Monkey』? It’s also a target for evaluation?」
Shit, there was a blind spot.
Well, if I bring the raw materials of demons of Rank D or C, it’s natural to be taken into consideration. Why didn’t mind work.
One part of that is reflected in Elk’s card, because of that she has reached rank D.
The person herself said『I hadn’t done anything!』and is being amazed.
Now now, isn’t it fine to train hard to become of same level as the rank.
However, what would happen if they find out that I easily defeated『Naga』. I won’t say it, definitely.
「There are various thing I personally find interesting, but with the formalities done, you both will be this rank from now on. Let it be because the luck helped greatly, but you have left a great achievement after all……and that’s how it is」
Ah, she’s definitely not believing me.
Maybe because she has met me many times that she caught something, or she was sharp from before, but she’s certainly doubting. Riin-san’s reproachful gaze.
But, it’s my favorite! Thanks for the food!!
I ignored the cold retort from Elk,
Well, She’s an employee of public institution, so I doubt she would spread it everywhere……for the time being, there is no advantage in continuing this talk.
And, from what Elk told me before, the approximate basis for ranks are,
E: Well graduated from being a rookie. However still not an adult.
D: An adult, more or less.
C: The level that can be called as veteran level. This the growth limit for a person without talents.
B: Experienced Talented Person. The realm of people with talent.
A: Prodigy. The person having power that can never be gained through any way other than miracle.
AA: The Master Class of『Prodigies』. This too is the realm of really great people.
AAA: Hero-class. The people with strength that their name is heard by everyone.
S and more: There is no point in comparing.
It was something like that.
And certainly, the demons rank would also expanded in the same way.
Well, there is no point in grumbling on what has been done. I can only work hard to not fail up to my name.
Pulling myself together, I put the quest document I had been holding since before in front of Riin-san.
Finally, the curtains to my first quest……
「Ah, then I would take the quest in this document」
……Did not open.
Due to the abrupt『NO』as the reply, both of us are perplexed. Eh, Why was it rejected?
「I’m sorry. I’ve been notified just some time before. In truth, you two have been called, I’ve been instructed to guide you both to the interior」
The interrogation for the case with『Naga』should be over lot before. Had I done anything that guild wants me to say?
Hearing that, Riin-san with a somewhat worried face,
「Even I don’t know why. It was the order from above」
「Above? Was it a call from someone superior for something personal」
Eh, what is that? I can only feel bad feeling from it.
Isn’t this pattern where the an influential person tries to take a newcomer with large future ahead under it’s own like a pawn by using authoritative power.
Elk too had thought that, her face is also not so good after all.
「Ah, please don’t worry……though it’s a private call, but I don’t think there would be anything that you two need to be worried about」
「? Is it a trustworthy person?」
「Yeah, after all……」
One beat later,
「It’s the Guild Master of this Guild」