Translator: Denryuu; Editor: Ryunakama
Acting on Iris’s orders, I now saw wannabe adventurers coming to our guild through the lens of the only examiner. Lahati wasn’t a big town, so we had two of them a week on average. Otherwise, I focused on my regular duties.
「Man, it sounds really cool to be called the ‘chief presiding examiner’!」, exclaimed Milia excitedly as I was looking at an adventurer application.
「No, I don’t really think so…」
A young lady sat on the other side of the counter today, patiently awaiting my response.
Carolina Bettsley, fifteen years of age. Her skill was… niche, to say the least. It wasn’t versatile at all, limiting the situations in which it could be used. Looking at the way she carried herself and her lack of defined muscles, she didn’t seem particularly inclined in the martial arts either.
She had drawn a cat on her application along with the tagline ‘I look forward to working together!’
I could feel a headache coming.
「Wow, that’s a cute kitty」, commented Milia as she looked over my shoulder.
Unlike me, she had taken considerably to Carolina. Despite having worked with many adventurers, I had no idea how to develop her potential, or even to pass her for the test.
「Ms. Carolina Bettsley.」
「Yes, that’s me! Please just call me Lina, employee-san!」
I had a good mind to reject her application simply because she reminded me too much of that mage from the heroes’ party.
「…Follow me, Carolina-san. We’ll proceed with the magical assessment.」
With her twintails bouncing up and down, she made her way to a seat at the edge of the counter where her magic level would be measured by a special crystal. The value it returned would determine her test grade.
「Please raise both hands.」
I held back the impulse to tell her that she only needed to reply once.
The turquoise crystal, detecting Carolina’s gesture, began to glow.
140… considerably lower than the thousand points required for a C.
I recorded the value on her application, recalling that Meiri’s had been a little over 600. Since Meiri had been a D-minus, I had no idea how low Carolina’s rank would be.
「Can I put my hands down now?」
「Yes you may, thank you. Next up is the practical test.」
Since she didn’t seem physically inclined, I had expected her magical ability to be the better of the two aspects. And yet, she hadn’t even met my already low expectations.
「Can I skip the practical assessment?」, she asked in an airheaded manner.
「I’m afraid it’s a mandatory component of the test.」
「I have no intention to fight even after becoming an adventurer. I don’t plan to take on such quests either.」
「Well, there are certainly adventurers who primarily take on foraging quests. However, it’s not like they’re just picking flowers in a meadow — if it was that easy, we wouldn’t have received such a request in the first place.」
「Hmm… you’re right.」
The twin-tailed girl pouted, but accepted my explanation. This was the final nail in the coffin for her — she couldn’t use magic, had no weapon she specialised in, and on top of that, she couldn’t even fight.
「Ehh… I really don’t think I can sit for the practical assessment.」
「That’s an immediate failure, you know?」
「Yeah… as I thought, my skill ‘Poison Resistance’ is too situational.」
I couldn’t bring myself to openly agree with her. If only her magical ability had been higher…
「Why do you want to become an adventurer?」
「Rather than an adventurer, I aspire to be a herbalist!」
…Guess you really can’t judge a book by its cover.
「I want to visit many places, learn about their herbs and medicines, and return to my hometown as a full-fledged herbalist someday!」
It’s not an impossible path to pursue by yourself, but as an adventurer, you could exchange information with people you party with.
「So becoming an adventurer is a stepping stone towards your goal?」
I felt conflicted. Her way of doing things couldn’t meet our expectations.
「I heard that people from all walks of life have passed here, so…」
So you came here hoping that I’d pass you, huh?
「What will you do if you fail?」
「Then I’ll have to knock on another guild’s door. My reflexes are slow and I’m hopeless at magic… that’s why I need others to help me. Although I’m still learning, I thought that my medicinal knowledge could be of great benefit in a party…」
Her drive was there. She was even aware of her own strengths and weaknesses. Acutely so, in fact.
Out of curiosity, I inquired about her skill.
「About your ‘Poison Resistance’… how resistant are you to poison, actually?」
「An appraiser in the city said that poison becomes ten percent effective.」
「So if I set a normal person getting poisoned as taking a hundred damage, it becomes ten for Carolina-san?」
「Why do you ask? Are you laughing at my skill because it’s trash?」
I shook my head, looking at her with a serious expression.
「No, I think it’s a great skill.」
Her face lit up.
「Eh… it’s my first time hearing someone say that…」
She twirled her hair with her fingers.
「Different branches of the guild have their own special features… I guess you could call them regional differences.」
A guild situated near the ocean would have an easy time recruiting adventurers who are good at swimming and diving. Because it’s the guild nearest to us, we receive a lot of marine quests as well.
Hot regions, cold regions, temperate regions… different regions have different needs and thus give rise to different quests.
「Carolina-san, I’ll offer you a conditional pass.」
「Oka — whaaaaat!? Why…!?」
「Have you heard of the Eren-Fatinê Wetlands?」
「Ay… ren… fatinay? Wet… lands?」, she asked, blinking as she cocked her head to one side.
「It’s due southeast from here, a good distance away. It’s hot and humid — not really a place you want to be — but there’s a long-term quest to thoroughly explore and map the region.」
「We call them wetlands, but for some reason, much of the region has a mildly toxic environment.」
「Oh, oh, so that’s where I can be useful!」
Her eyes shone with excitement. A situational skill becoming useful almost all the time — you can’t find a better situation than this.
「The average person who went experienced dizziness and nausea. Although it’s not nearly enough to kill anyone, it has slowed our progress considerably.」
「Then it’s a piece of cake for me…!」
「The wetlands are essentially unexplored. Many of the plants growing there have probably evolved some sort of poison resistance. You might discover something rare there, who knows?」
「Is that the pass condition?」
「Yes. Please take up quests that bring you near the wetlands. For an adventurer and aspiring herbalist like you, it’s essentially the land of milk and honey, is it not?」
And that’s how Carolina Bettsley finally made the cut.
「Thank you, employee-san! This is my sixth time trying, and I had begun to give up hope! I started wondering if I’m really not cut out for this stuff…」
「Any skill has a time and place for it to shine.」
I showed her a relatively safe route to the Eren-Fatinê Wetlands.
「I’ll do my best! For your sake, too…!」
Waving her newly minted adventurer’s license in the air, she left in high spirits.
When I next heard of her a few years later, so had many others.
Back then, I would never have imagined that she would rise to fame by carving out a unique career as an adventurer-herbalist. Using her skill to its fullest potential, she had pioneered expeditions to many previously unexplored regions and discovered many plants, some with wondrous medicinal properties, along the way.
In a poetic way, a girl with none of the skills required of an adventurer had gone on an adventure closer to the meaning of the word itself than anyone before her.