Chapter 58: Never forget your roots


Translator: Denryuu; Editor: Ryunakama


The squad of former slaves turned adventurers, now known as the Pretty Girls’ Squad, had a rather peculiar trait. Instead of picking their own quests, they would always ask me if there were any quests I wanted them to clear.

「Since y’all are E-rank now, why not take up some E-rank quests?」, I told their leader, Hire, who was sitting on the other side of the counter.

「It’s okay. As long as you need anything, Roland-sama, we’ll put our heart and soul into getting it done.」

The demi-human Lyan’s head popped out from behind Hire’s shoulder.

「What should we do today, Roland-sama?」

「We don’t mind being sentries at a plantation…」, whispered Sans, who had appeared on my side of the counter.

Doing sentry duty at a plantation simply meant standing guard and warding off any wild animals — not even monsters or beasts. It’s common for an entire day to pass without a single thing happening. It’s a very easy job on paper, but the difficulty lies in the mind-numbing boredom that sets in eventually. On top of that, such quests are requested by farmers who can provide very little by way of quest rewards.

As such, the girls, whose lodging was already very cheap, were still meanly dressed.

「You don’t have to if you don’t want to, Sue」, I told the elf who was standing slightly apart from the others.

「No, I’m fine.」

「…Okay then.」

Borrowing their licenses, I began searching for a quest.

「Did I just hear them call him Roland-sama?」

「Yup, you did. Who are they to him…?」

「Sex slaves, perhaps? Mufufu.」

「Come on, do you really think employee Argan would do something like that? Cut it out, man.」

「Yeah, quit being so vulgar. There’s a reason why nobody likes you.」

I could hear both male and female adventurers gossiping about me, all because of the ‘-sama’ the girls attached to my name.

「Here, see if you can take this one」, I said as I spread the quest slip on the table.

The four girls leaned in to read it at the same time.

「Gathering of herbal antidotes」, read Hire.

「We’re going to the forest!」, cheered Lyan.

「A hundred rin for each one… that’s a lot」, observed the emotionless Sans.

「And even higher if they’re of good quality… hey, I know where to find these!」, exclaimed Sue with a spark in her eye.

Receiving no objections, I started the paperwork.

Herbal antidotes are very commonly used. Since the requestor is a chemist, any herbs the girls gather that he doesn’t need can be sold to other chemists as well.

「It’ll take some processing before they become proper antidotes. Those, however, don’t last forever — it’s good to have a constant supply of raw herbs. So please gather a lot of them, and stay safe.」

「Thank you. We’ll be on our way!!」

Lining up in a row, they bowed and left gleefully.

「It’s not sentry duty or sewer cleaning today, huh?」, Milia said, smiling as I returned to my seat.

「…Yeah. I figured they’d get tired of doing the same type of quests again and again.」

「Don’t we have some higher priority quests, though…?」, she asked rhetorically.

She seemed to have sensed my intentions.

「I felt that this was the most suitable for them.」

Milia laughed again as she agreed.

「Mornin’, Aniki!!」

The dynamic duo of adventurers Neil and Roger had arrived. Upon reaching the counter, they bowed respectfully.

「You know the drill — a good quest, please!」, said Neil, taking a seat.

「I have just the right quest for you guys.」

「W-What is it? Even if it’s something like that B-rank hellhound quest, we’ll get it done!」, boasted Roger, his eyes shining with excitement.

Ever since that quest, senpai and kouhai had learned to operate effectively as a unit. They were always a welcome sight for me as they were very versatile in the range of quests I could assign them.

「Here you go.」

After reading the details for a moment, they looked at me questioningly.

「Eh, this…?」

「Aniki, isn’t this more suitable for a beginner…?」

「…Does an F-rank quest like sewer cleaning not suit your tastes?」, I asked flatly as I adjusted my glasses for effect.

You could literally see the beads of sweat forming on their foreheads.

「N-No, it’s not about whether it suits our tastes or not… right, Roger…?」

「Erm, no… I’ll do it myself…! Senpai, please ask for something else instead…」

「Hey, you can’t just suddenly decide to go solo!」

I calmly explained my reasoning as they began to bicker.

「I am aware that you’re a C-rank adventurer, Roger, and that your senpai Neil is B-rank. I also know that an F-rank quest isn’t exactly something either of you want to do.」

「Then, why did you…?」

I raised my index finger.

「Never forget where you came from.」

The two of them were taken aback.

「Where we came from…」

「Never forget, huh?」

Yes, I continued.

「Risking your lives for the purpose of monster subjugation, resource conservation, et cetera… all those are important and commendable. However, you must never lose your essence in the process.」

「Essence…?」, they echoed.

「A quest arises when the requestor is in need of help. Some are more needy than others, of course, but troubles are still troubles. There is no such thing as a ‘superior’ or ‘inferior’ quest.」

「Wow, he speaks facts…」

Neil placed a hand on his chest and closed his eyes.

「Thinking back to that time I helped someone clean up… I had forgotten the feeling of joy when he said thank you to me…」

「Me too… there was once when I saw a clogged canal during a storm. I felt like I needed to do something to prevent the water from overflowing. It felt so good afterwards…!」

I nodded.

「Since the two of you started taking it for granted that I would assign you intermediate-level quests, I felt that I had to make you go back to your roots. If that storm drain doesn’t get unclogged, water will spill onto the streets when it rains.」

「Sewer cleaning was something I did countless times as a novice… okay, I’ll do it again!」

「Me too!」

I sent the enlightened duo off.

「Wow, Roland, that was quite a speech. They were completely sold on the idea!」, Milia commented as she performed her own receptionist duties.

「What do you mean?」, I asked, feigning ignorance.

「You should hear the complaints from other B-rank and C-rank adventurers when anyone else tries the same thing.」

「Well… it’s also my job to ignite the passion in adventurers. When they’re intrinsically motivated, they accept such quests naturally.」

「That’s really difficult to pull off. To give a high-priority quest to two intermediate adventurers instead of those lowly-ranked girls… that’s amazing!」

For context, ‘priority quests’ are decided by Iris during morning assembly. They should be cleared first whenever possible.

As the sun began to set, the Pretty Girls’ Squad returned, lugging a bulging burlap sack behind them.

「We found a lot of them, Roland-sama!」

I quickly called for another employee to perform a quality check. They got the all-clear before long, and with it, a total of twelve thousand rin.

「Wow, so much…!」

「I wanna eat something good…」

「Hmm, I can get some good clothes and proper equipment now.」

「How about joining us for a meal, Roland-sama?」, suggested Sue, to everyone’s approval.

「I think you need some better clothes first. Clothes suitable for adventuring, those little pouches you put makeup in…」

「No, Roland-sama, we want you to join us for a meal…!」

「…(o・ω-人)」

I smiled bitterly.

「A good restaurant will suck away all your money.」

Three of them were jolted back to reality.

「R-Right. But still…! Anyway, I’ll be back! Please wait here!」, exclaimed their leader.

Lyan and Sans followed her out, chatting happily.

「Are you not joining them, Sue?」

「Thank you… Roland-sama.」

「Why all of a sudden…?」

「For today’s quest, of course. You deliberately assigned us a quest with better rewards than usual, didn’t you?」

「It’s an E-rank quest after all, so why are you surprised?」

「I mean… yeah, okay, I didn’t think it through properly. Still… thank you.」

After thanking me one last time, she bowed a little and ran after her comrades.

As I was preparing to close for the day, Milia came over to me with a smile.

「They found out, huh?」, she started.「Those girls who call you Roland-sama always accept the menial, lowly-paid quests. While it really helps you a lot, they end up with little money to spend on themselves. You don’t give them an allowance, and it’s not like they’ll accept one, either — that’s why you allowed them to go on a quest with good returns. Right?」

「Well…」

「Fufu, I can tell what you’re thinking. It’s not the nicest thing to spell out in full, but I felt like I had to~」, said Milia, smiling triumphantly.

There was sound coming from behind the closed door, indicating that the Pretty Girls’ Squad had probably returned from dressing up. After the closing assembly, I said goodbye to Milia and left through the back door, then looped back to the front.

「I want to sit beside Roland-sama.」

「Then I’ll sit to his right!」

「Roland-sama’s… lap sounds good.」

「Hold up. As the leader, I get to decide where we all sit. For starters, I’ll be sitting beside him, so that I can pour the wine for him…」

「Hey, that’s so… mean… of you!」

「That’s called ‘abusing authority’, Hire.」

「…(─∀─)ゞ」

After a loud bout of arguing, they resorted to a heated game of rock-paper-scissors.

「Any restaurant is fine, let’s get going.」

Surrounded by the four of them, I made my way to the bar.

Fine, I’ll let them treat me, I thought, as recognition of the hard work they had put in all this time.



3 Comments

  1. ngl he do be speaking facts tho

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