Chapter 178: The adventurer’s second chance, part 1


Translator: Denryuu; Editor: Ryunakama


Iris came out of her office as I was doing work.

「Your lectures have been quite well-received.」

「Were they?」

All I had done was, at Ta’uro’s request, describe what I usually did. I don’t know if my audience learned anything, but I was glad to hear that my lectures were ‘well-received’.

「The Master wishes for you to deliver another.」

「I’m an employee, and not a lecturer… so, uh…」

「Lyla-chan told me that you’re not good at standing in front of large audiences.」

Why would she tell Iris something like that…!?

「I just wasn’t used to it. It doesn’t set a precedent for the future.」

「Hmm. Keep it that way, then.」

Fufufu, chuckled the chief as she returned to her office. I had only delivered two lectures about an hour each, I thought — my actions should have made barely more than a ripple in the guild network. The fact that Seraphin would be helping Ta’uro is much more important. When Almeria eventually ascends the throne, the High Priest will support her from the shadows as well.

「Roland-san? It’s lunchtime. Shall we?」, said Milia.

She stood up, wearing an inviting expression on her face.

「I’m sorry, but Lyla told me to go home for lunch today.」

Despite her best efforts, she had failed multiple times at making a bento box and eventually gave up. She then insisted that I have lunch at home instead.

「I see… terrible shame」, Milia sighed with slunk shoulders.

「Next time, perhaps.」

I left through the backdoor to find a lady on the ground, hugging her knees. Tears were streaming down her cheeks. Her shoulders trembled as she sniffled.

「…」

Isn’t this lady…?

「Is something wrong?」

「Argan… Argan-san…」, she muttered, lifting her head.

As I had expected, it was Meu Rolle. An adventurer in her mid-twenties, Milia was usually the one who entertained her at the counter.

「This entrance isn’t for adventurers.」

「I know…」

I had asked Milia about this person before. With the knowledge that she had studied to be a mage at the royal capital but later switched careers to become an adventurer, I could take a guess or two at why she was in this state.

「Milia told me about your situation. It’s better not to think about it.」

「Really…?」

To put it simply, she had failed the quest that was assigned to her — the quest that Milia had been confident that she would have no problem with. The way I saw it, if you meet nothing but failures, then you have to reflect on your actions and improve the next time. But the serious adventurer at my feet evidently thought otherwise.

She had been so traumatised by her initial failure that she had become fearful of repeating the same mistakes. As her desperation increased, she would become petrified with fear or just feel generally ill even when on low-ranked quests, which only exacerbated her failures. It was a vicious cycle of her own creation.

「It might be a good idea to pair up with someone you know and go on an F-ranked quest at your own pace.」

「I don’t think so…」, said Meu, shaking her head. 「I was thinking of doing that, but I feel sick the moment I set foot in the guild. My magic goes all over the place…」

Her voice trembled as she spoke and she burst into tears again. Her repeated failures have made her unable to use the magic she knows, I thought to myself. It’s taken a great toll on her mental health.

「Shall I call Milia?」

She shook her head again.

「Milia’s always so nice, and I can’t let her see me like this…」

I knew that she felt guilty for failing all the quests that Milia had painstakingly curated for her. How would it be like to not have the strength I have now, I wondered. I was lucky to have gotten away with my left arm still in one piece. My assassination techniques were still with me, I could use my skills and my work had barely been affected.

But had things played out differently… I might have fallen into depression.

「Do you have a bit of time to spare?」

「Eh?」

I extended my left hand, which she took.

「There’s a place I’d like to show you」, I said, pulling her onto her feet.

With drying tears still on her face, she followed and we disappeared together through a ‘Gate’.


「Where are we –?」, said a disoriented Meu, looking all around.

The surroundings had changed drastically within a fraction of a second.

「I used a mobility spell to get us here. We’re at an orphanage.」

The sound of children buzzing could be heard coming from it.

「An orphanage…」

「Yes. They’re short-staffed and have been looking for helpers. Do you like working with children?」

「I do…」

「That’s great.」

Can’t say the same for myself, to be honest. I showed Meu inside and Almeria came out to greet us from the corridor.

「Ah, it’s Roland!」

Meu looked at her, then me, then her again.

「Eh. Eh? Isn’t this… her Highness…? Argan-san, why is her Highness in a place like this…?」

I figured that the details could be saved for later.

「How’s the manpower issue, Almeria?」

「Hasn’t improved」, she sighed, squinting at Meu. 「Who is this lady?」

「This is Meu Rolle. For various reasons, she’s not in any state to be an adventurer right now. That’s why I brought her here to help out.」

I glanced at Almeria. Her gaze told me that though conflicted, she wasn’t about to say no.

「Are you okay with this, Meu-san?」, I asked.

「Y-Yes. Not having any income has been a problem lately.」

「Excellent.」

The princess put her hands together with a bright smile.

「I see, I see. Come on in, Meu-san, and I’ll tell you more!」

「Okay.」

I followed the two ladies into what was supposedly the headmaster’s office. In reality, it was more like Almeria’s room. Various paraphernalia were scattered all over her desk and the floor was littered with different objects.

「How clean.」

「I know, okay? A cluttered room is a cluttered mind and all that. But I’ve been busy, so…」

She hurriedly cleared the sofa and low table, then invited us to sit down so we could start talking.

「This isn’t gonna be easy, so please prepare yourself!」

「Okay. I’m an adventurer, so I should be able to handle it.」

Someone banged on the door. The lively voices of children could be heard.

「Head-mas-ter!」

「He-ro-ine!」

「Huh!?」, exclaimed Almeria. 「The kids are here! Say I’m not here, Roland! If you let them in, we won’t be able to get any work done!」

Meu chuckled as I opened the door in resignation.

「Headmas… wait.」

「Heroi… welp.」

Beads of tears formed in the corners of their eyes as they stopped in their tracks. They hadn’t expected a grown man to appear in Almeria’s place, I thought as the children yelped and scarpered.

Almeria laughed behind me.

「Fufufufu. You’ve got clout, Roland… fufufu.」

「You seem well-liked by the children」, commented Meu, who was laughing too.

We now had to discuss Meu’s lodging and salary.

「I usually make trips between here and the castle, so it would be great if you could stay here with the kids.」

「That’s fine.」

「For your salary… it’s not much, but I can fork out two hundred and fifty thousand rin.」

「So much?」

「That’s a lot」, I agreed.

「Is it? It’s just a quarter of a million…」

A quarter of a million, and free accommodation on top of that. It was more than my salary as an employee.

「The princess may not be familiar with the value of money」, I said.

「No, it’s not like that. I know what life as a commoner is like, so I thought…」

「Meu-san doesn’t just know it… it is her life.」

I snuck a peek at Meu, who nodded briefly.

「How many more people do you need?」

「Let’s see… three more would be swell」, answered Almeria. 「The ministers say that our human resource funds are piling up.」

「Just like how I lost my arm, you never know when an adventurer will become unable to work. I’ll take a few adventurers I know, select them based on their abilities, age and energy level and introduce them to you. How about that?」

「I trust your judgment.」

「Got it.」

「Do you think I’m a good fit, Argan-san?」

「Yes, I believe so. The burden you’ve been carrying with you all this time is proof of your kind and responsible nature. You’re both familiar with magic and have experience as an adventurer. Although that kid is teaching the other kids magic, isn’t she…?」

I looked at Almeria, who laughed cordially and shook her head.

「We tried, but it was a no-go. Nobody understood a word because Rina’s explanations were nothing but onomatopoeia. Even I found her lessons difficult to follow.」

Wouldn’t have guessed otherwise.

「It means that the spot is vacant」, continued Almeria. 「Please deliver a few lessons if you can find the time, Meu-san.」

「Sure.」

I felt that she would do a good job.

「Follow me. I’ll introduce you to the kids.」

「Okay.」

They went out into the courtyard, and I decided that it was time to leave.

「I’m going back to work.」

「Mm. See you, Roland!」

「Thank you, Argan-san.」

I shook my head.

「Don’t mention it. It’s a shame to see perfectly good talent go to waste.」

Meu lowered her head to thank me again.

「Your adventurer’s license won’t expire, so you can always go on hiatus if you wish. Milia-san might feel a little lonely now, but I’m sure she’ll be happy for you.」

「That’s wonderful to hear.」

Meu smiled awkwardly as she wondered how Milia would feel.

「Let’s meet again. We’ll be waiting」, I said, turning around to leave.

If I could switch from being an assassin to being a guild employee, then being an adventurer isn’t a be-all and end-all career either. What’s important are the knowledge, experience and skills that you pick up along the way, for they will follow you no matter which career path you choose to take.



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