Translator: Kurehashi Aiko
Volume 3 Chapter 2: Dragon-san and the Guild Leader
We were fortunate enough that Nectar’s defensive barriers were there, so by some miracle we managed to avoid having the raging blizzard and firestorm escape beyond the training field. The only casualties were those members of the audience who got stomped as a result of panic.
However, almost all of the equipment used by the researchers to collect the data was destroyed, along with the data itself, and it seems that they didn’t manage to salvage anything out of it. Small wonder, since it all tuned into piles of white ash.
And just as we were having our wounds treated, both Ligurila and I were told to go to the Guild Master’s quarters once we were finished here.
「This time, I admit that this whole situation may have resulted from us, the Guild, supervising you quite leniently.」
Sitting in his ornamented chair, the Guild Master was a middle aged man whose skin was brown and whose hair were almost entirely white.
He was a Guild Master alright, but he was also a full-fledged Hunter, not the kind to just sit idly behind the desk. So even nowadays he was still active as a Hunter from time to time.
I also had the pleasure of working together with him one a few occasions for some Rank 5 quests.
Although his face was ridden with wrinkles, this time the ones around his temple were especially aplenty.
It was clear as day that he was angry.
The Guild Master let out a sigh, while looking at us as we were staining on the sofa with our dirty attire.
「But, I never would have thought that you would get carried away and forget what the original purpose of this test was supposed to be, you two!」
Hearing the Guild Master yell at us – a man who was supposed to have fought over a hundred battles – made my shoulders sink a little bit.
At that moment, pieces of dried mud crumbled away from my armor and fell onto the ground.
The reason being, we weren’t given any time to change our clothes.
Uwaah~. This looks bad. Like, really bad.
I wonder if we are going to get fired for this? It won’t affect my life in a long run all that much, but the fact that would stop earning some pocket money for myself would be depressing.
I was smiling awkwardly while trying to remove the mud from my armor. Ligurila, who was sitting right next to me, opened her mouth.
「You asked us to test the endurance of the barrier, and we did just that. So why would it bother you that we decided to make a little show out of it?」
The Guild Master frowned, while I was looking all apologetic. However, Ligurila continued to speak, seemingly unmoved.
「I heard the researchers saying that they were proud that the barrier was able to withstand the spells of the highest caliber, even if for just a little bit. And we were the ones who made that possible. So we shouldn’t be the ones to blame. Shouldn’t you blame the ones who made the barrier too weak in the first place?」
Even though Ligurila’s beautiful features were brimming with confidence as she crossed her arms at her chest, the Guild Master’s expression only grew steeper.
「We told you guys that the barrier’s actual endurance would be lower than the theoretical one! Still, based on bits and pieces we were able to gather, it looks like the total amount of magic inside of the barrier would be enough to start a small-scaled war!? I admire your enthusiasm, but some limits are not meant to be broken!」
I was wonder if that was really the case here, but our spells were rather powerful, that much was true.
The Guild Master brushed some papers from his desk to the side, and continued his angry speech with a facial expression that would make a hundred men cower in fear.
「The measuring equipment used for this test was invaluable, since there are only a few examples of such technology in this country! Furthermore, since the training field itself was ravaged like that, the cost of repairs and maintenance is going to be astronomical! But the most important thing, the researchers sustained so much damage that they ended up being incapacitated for at least few days! You caused us immeasurable losses!!」
「Again, why is it our fault that the researchers got……」
I call her name to prevent her from saying something that would end up dragging us down even deeper under, and she looked clearly upset that I did so.
No, I had to stop her, Otherwise it would only get worse.
Having been interrupted in the middle of his speech, the Guild Master picked up where he left.
「Miss Ligurila. As the head of the Hunters Guild, I respect your combat prowess and your way with magic as well. Together with Noct-san here, I truly appreciate your ability to take care of even the most dangerous of monsters. It is thanks to those qualities of yours that up until now I was willing to overlook certain “eccentricities” of yours, but this time you have gone way too far.」
Here the Guild Master made a slight pause just so that he could let out a sigh.
「Noct-san, Miss Ligurila, I’ll have the both of you work for the Guild to pay for all the destructions you have caused thus far.」
I let out a voice like that without thinking, but soon enough I understood that this was the “penalty” that the Guild Master was talking about, one that would let us stay in the Guild’s ranks.
Ligurila, however, seemed to have a lot harder time with coming to terms with this, for she looked at the Guild Master with a stern expression.
「Now, what are you talking about? Aren’t we already members of the Hunters Guild?」
「Hunting monsters is not the only thing that we do here. The Hunters Guild holds many different facilities under its umbrella. So there are sure some jobs and errands that you can do around here. I expect you to form a party to undertake this task.」
「But I have a normal job aside from being a Hunter. I have a shop to tend to, I can’t work here. Are you telling me to just throw it away like that?」
「If you don’t take my offer, you can always pay the full cost of both maintenance of the training field and the repairs of the measuring equipment. Be my guest.」
And then the Guild Master went on about that some more.
Well, it’s not like I can’t pay this much money, but it would mean blowing away almost half of my savings I managed to accumulate from working at Hunters Guild.
That much money can even be a problem for Ligurila, and she’s making quite a lot of dough from her “Lily’s Women Fashion Store”.
Maybe that was the case, but for some reason Ligurila was glaring at the Guild Master with that nasty look on her face.
「I get a feeling that you are trying to threaten me.」
「No, since you are self-employed I think that you’re perfectly aware of the fact that this is normal procedure in this situation!?」
Ligurila was getting more and more hostile, while I was becoming nervous.
Ligurila, my friend, you do realize that this glare of yours could very well kill someone, right?
I don’t know what you are trying to do, but you definitely shouldn’t do it!
After a few moments of rather intense staring competition, Ligurila finally lets out a sigh and backs down a little. She asks the Guild Master a question.
「Say, Guild Master. Even if you want to engage us and our partners in this, it is pretty much impossible. My Sen-san needs to attend to the store, and Nectar-san is a no-go for Noct, since he has a small child that he needs to look after. So in other words, whatever form of job you may have for us, there is no way for us to involve a party in it.」
「Then I advise you to register another party with other people just for that occasion.」
I just respond to that suggestion by shrugging my shoulders.
Why would he even suggest us forming a party for this job?
Certainly, with a party involved, the variety of work we could do would increase tremendously, but since both Senjiro and Nectar had their own affairs to look after, we could probably do this a few times at best.
Try as I might, I can’t find a good reason for us to form a party of any kind just for this occasion.
「As for Senjiro-sani, we already confirmed his schedule in advance, but anything else like equipment and whatnot, we’ll leave this to you.」
Ouch, those were some unpleasant words. They really stung.
If they went as far as confirming Senjiro’s schedule in advance, then this was not merely your typical punishment job.
Or maybe they were intending on calling us for this job to begin with, but now they had a reason to call us earlier?
In any case, something here was awfully fishy.
Perhaps noticing how I was feeling, the Guild Master started to hold back a little.
「Noct-san, this request is something that can only be given to a Rank 5 Hunter or a whole party affiliated with one such Hunter. You are the only Rank 5 Hunters currently staying in the capital city, and I am your Guild Master. If we talk to one another, I am sure we can come to understand each other.」
Hearing Guild Master’s words, I remember some of the Guild’s laws.
The Hunters of Rank 5 get priority when it comes to receiving and picking up jobs.
And if it something appointed by the Guild Master, it is something which we simply cannot deny.
We would end up as criminals, most wanted by all other Hunters for the offense of the highest caliber.
The Guild Master continued with his fingers put together, while I was nervous and breaking into cold sweat.
「To prevent unnecessary confusion, we shall consider the request as accepted once you hear about it.」
「Fuhn. In other words, it is either nobleman or the country itself. Someone who is concerned about the information leakage. Is that right?」
「…… I’ll leave it to your imagination.」
Although the Guild Master answers like that to Ligurila’s question, it was as good as confirmation. I see.
After being troubled for a while, I open my mouth.
「I would like you to tell us the contents of the request.」
「If it is something that I can answer.」
「So, even if it’s a request to hunt down some powerful demon, we are going to receive only a small portion of the reward? I have no right to reject this request, but depending on its contents I might oppose to it, if it turns out to something reckless, unnecessary dangerous or something which might endanger innocent bystanders. I would very much like to pay the repair costs rather than make myself people’s enemy.」
As I stated that, the Guild Master swallowed heavily while nodding his head.
「…… O, of course. I believe that it is something that only Hunters of your Rank can accomplish.」
It was strange that his face was still stiff in anger, but I’m glad that he was able to understand.
I’m terribly sorry for what I have done, but for the time being I was happy that I wouldn’t be fired from the Guild.
Besides, without having Rank 5 Hunters around would mean that in case of emergency the Guild would not have enough firepower to counteract.
That would mean they couldn’t simply afford to let go of us just like that.
And, contrary to myself who already resigned to doing this whole ordeal, Ligurila was still as adamant as ever about resisting.
「I’m not going to do this.」
Seeing just how stubborn Ligurila was, with her scornful look and arms folded on her chest, the Guild Master tuned towards me and continued.
「…… About your activity.」
That word in particular seemed to have ticked Ligurila off.
And I, for one, was surprised just how dark the atmosphere has became.
「…… Is there anything you would like to tell us?」
The Guild Master looked surprised hearing that question, and by Ligurila’s sharp stare as well.
「No, I will not disclose this information for you just yet. Everything depends on your attitude. But if you accept this request, I can pull some strings and make sure that any future request will contain more detailed information. Well? What do you say?」
After snarling at Guild Master, Ligurila gives me a sharp look and then shrugs her shoulders.
「No way. This time is the only exception.」
It’s good that Ligurila gave her consent to this idea. It would be sad if I was to do this entirely on my own.
Managing to persuade Ligurila to the idea, The Guild Master coughs a few times before continuing.
「Well then, on to the details of the request……」
「Hold on a minute.」
Says Ligurila in a totally relaxed manner, while sticking out her chest and raising her hand casually.
「But before that, can I at least go and take a shower?」
「Ah, me too!」
I raise my hand as well, and for some reason the Guild Master lets out a rather long and heavy sigh.