Chapter 196: Employee undercover, part 2


Translator: Denryuu; Editor: Ryunakama


As we walked, I thought about what I could do during the practical test to obtain a C-rank.

The examiner grabbed my shoulder.

「Walk slower, will you?」

「Sorry.」

Since I was already aware of the process, any patient explanation was meaningless.

「So you want to be a C-rank?」

「Yes. I will also adjust my abilities to meet the practical requirements.」

「Adjust…?」

He pressed a finger to his temple.

「What kind of magic can you do?」, he asked.

「A few elementary spells.」

「And the harder ones?」

「Never got the hang of it. I guess I was born this way.」

「So despite your large reserve of magicka, you can’t channel most of it into actual spells?」

「Yes, unless we’re talking about demon magic.」

I summoned a few ‘Shadows’ and made them dance on the counter.

「Wow, just wow… okay, sit down!」

「What about the practical?」, I asked, returning to my seat.

「I’ve seen enough. You still look like the most unremarkable guy in town, though. A living, breathing example of why I shouldn’t judge a book by its cover.」

His instinct as an examiner served him well.

「You must have a reason for wanting to start at C-rank. Now I know what you mean by ‘adjusting’ your abilities.」

「…」

「Never mind, never mind. I won’t probe further」, he said, raising both hands.

I was glad that he understood.

「I won’t ask who you are, Solan」, he repeated. 「The Moisander family used to govern this city. It’s not out of the question for people to come and keep an eye on the current lord.」

He must have assumed that I was an investigator sent here to watch the new baron.

「Have you been here for a long time?」

「Kinda. Ten years, maybe?」

That’s pretty long, I thought. In other words, he must also be well acquainted with long-time adventurers of this guild. Here you go, he said, handing me my freshly minted adventurer’s license. I had been assigned a C-rank.

「Don’t smash my face in now, ‘kay?」

A good-natured man, he chuckled and thumped my shoulder. He started explaining how the guild worked, but I told him that it would not be necessary.

「I’d like to join a party or something. Do you know anyone who is willing to partner with me?」

「I still don’t know what you can do, Solan. What you did just now wasn’t enough information for me.」

「I can induce hallucinations, dispel magical effects…」

「Okay, I get the idea. You’re one of those rare demon magic users, then.」

From what I had shown him, he probably took me for a support mage. The examiner quickly scribbled something that looked like a letter of recommendation.

「Give this to an adventurer called Orlando, who will agree to take you. You simply can’t miss that massive sword.」

「Thank you.」

I slotted the letter into my breast pocket and shook his hand.

「What if I turn out to be an agent of the demons?」

「Then you’ll die and take me with you.」

He guffawed. Though he seemed too trusting, perhaps that was part of his allure as an examiner.

I headed for the stairs and descended to the second floor, which had a reception specially designated for intermediate adventurers and above. An adventurer with a large sword quickly came into view. He handed proof that he had completed his quest to an employee and sat on an empty sofa while he waited for the verifications department to process it.

「Are you Orlando-san?」

His large sword was slung over his shoulder. It was so large that I felt like I was talking directly to it. Its owner turned around and nodded, looking surprised.

Orlando… was a girl. An elf, too.

「I’m looking for a quest partner, and the examiner told me to give this to you.」

Her eyes as wide as plates, she read the contents of the letter a few times.

「Dahn, recommending someone…? That’s rare.」

「Is it?」

Dahn was probably the examiner’s name.

「First day on the job, and you’re already C-ranked?」, she continued.

「Yes.」

「Wow」, she said, complimenting me with only one word.

I had caught a glimpse of Orlando’s license earlier. She was S-ranked. Perhaps the elf in front of me was none other than Iris’s old friend?

「Join me.」

「Thank you. I will do my best.」

「Same here.」

The only elf I had known up to this point was a noisy idiot. I figured that quiet elves existed as well.

「Orlando Fergury-san. The verification is successful.」

She got up, walked over the counter and received her commission. Every movement of hers was quick and precise, almost as if her sword wasn’t there. The elf remained at the counter for quite some time, leading me to assume that she had started another quest.

However, she returned with a frustrated look on her face.

「Did something happen?」

「The commission’s lower than what was stated.」

She had received the amount usually accorded to a B-ranked quest — 70 percent of what was the norm.

「Admin fees, they said. And the time I took to report back.」

「Only for you, Orlando-san?」

「Probably.」

The elf looked dejected.

I asked about the contents of the quest and the promised rewards, neither of which were unusual. This seemed like a problem with the guild, rather than the mere complaint that I had believed.

「We should celebrate our partnership.」

I had no idea what she meant, but I nevertheless followed her to a restaurant outside. She ordered wine and many dishes that paired with it. It almost felt like a mixer.

We clinked glasses reservedly.

「Let’s do our best.」

「We will.」

「It’s on me.」

「It’s okay, I can foot the bill.」

「Nice.」

The moment she knew that it was on me, she started drinking more. Her snow-white complexion turned red, and her cheeks swelled.

「I also complained to my drinking friend — someone from the guild. A pretty capable someone.」

Her vague description rang exactly one bell.

「And they can’t do anything about it?」

「Nope. Not at all. But she said that she’d try.」

And that’s why I’m here now, I thought.

「If the commission rate has dropped, can’t you go to another branch?」

「There are almost no high-ranked quests anywhere else.」

Right. Large cities receive a larger variety of quests. The Lahati branch received a B-ranked quest once a month on average. Orlando explained that Imir received quests B-ranked and above about twice or thrice a week.

There was an unspoken rule for employees — we do not assign low-ranked quests to high-ranking adventurers. We needed S-ranked adventurers to be available at a moment’s notice, and we also had to ensure that low-ranking adventurers had an adequate supply of quests.

I had planned to snoop around and find out more, but thanks to the examiner, I had found a vein of readily available information.

「I don’t know who’s behind this, but we’d better find out. This is a job where we put our lives on the line for money. And nobody can, or should, take away what is rightfully ours.」



One Comment

  1. Who does this elf woman think she is carrying that big-ass sword? Cloud Strife?

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