Translator: Denryuu; Editor: Ryunakama
「E-Excuse me!」, stuttered a young man as he stumbled to the counter.
「Yes? Are you here to receive a quest?」
「N-No, it’s not about that –」
He barely looked twenty, and behaved accordingly. I cast him an inquisitive glance.
Although I couldn’t remember her face fully, I recognised the name as that of a young female adventurer who had been receiving quests from me recently.
「Please stop flirting with Marissa! Do you think you can win her over just because you’re a little popular? She already has me…」
While I was lost for words, a familiar intermediate adventurer came to my rescue.
「Whoa there, nii-chan. What business do you have with Aniki?」, asked Neil as he grabbed our visitor’s shoulder, giving him a patronising smile.
Neil’s junior and fellow adventurer Roger clutched his other shoulder.
「Listen up, kid… if you have anything bad to say about Aniki, you’ll have to go through us first, you got that?」
「Uh, no, it’s nothing bad… I just need a favour…」, he mumbled, cowering at the intimidating duo.
All of a sudden, Neil grabbed the young man by the scruff of his neck.
「We’ll make this whelp know his place, Aniki!」
「Let him go, please. If he has something to say, I’m all ears.」
I have to admit, however, that I had absolutely no recollection of what he had mentioned. In fact, I had assumed that he was just here to pick a fight. Neil released the young man, who awkwardly got up and sat on the chair.
「You’d better not say any sappy shit to Aniki.」
「And please stop threatening him too.」
「Aren’t you apologising to the wrong person?」
Scratching their heads, the two intermediate adventurers apologised to our visitor and found available counters from which to receive their quests.
Overblown grunts, the lot of them.
「I apologise on behalf of my acquaintances.」
「N-No, it’s fine…」
He was still afraid to speak, thanks to those brats’ threats.
「What about Marissa-san? You said I’ve been flirting with her…?」
「Sorry, that was rash of me to do… my emotions got the better of me, and…」
「I’m not offended or anything, you can relax.」
Having calmed down, he now introduced himself as Gil, a newly-minted E-rank adventurer.
So this is Gil, I thought to myself.
「Marissa and I were born and raised in the same village. We came to the city together.」
「Marissa-san is E-rank as well, correct?」
「…Yes. All she had once wanted was an excuse to leave the village. But since she had no money, she became an adventurer to build up enough wealth for her future plans. However… she seems so… motivated as of late, and has been completing lots of quests…」
「Isn’t that a good thing?」
I genuinely had no idea what the issue was.
「Objectively speaking, yes, but… she said that it’s because there’s a cool onii-san working as a receptionist. You praise her if she works hard, scold her if she messes up, examine the reasons for her failure, and so on…」
「It’s an honour to have such a committed receptionist with us.」
I wasn’t lying — that was the ideal receptionist in my mind. To not only ignite adventurers’ intrinsic motivation, but to go as far as analysing the reasons for failure…
「I’m talking about you!」
He slapped his knee.
「That explains it.」
「Yeah, so what I mean is… even if she looks for you, I’d rather you not entertain her…!」
I mean, my job is to entertain adventurers. In addition, it’s also my responsibility to make sure they see their quests to the end. Technically, I wasn’t obliged to entertain Gil’s selfish request either, but I decided to venture a guess at why he was behaving like this.
「Are you jealous of me, Gil-san?」
He pouted, looking crestfallen.
After all, he’d left the village with a girl around his age and started adventuring together. Of course he’d be caught up about it…
「Childhood friends, I assume?」
「Eh? Oh, yeah. Indeed.」
「Does Marissa-san know about this?」
「I haven’t said a word to her about it. I don’t want her to think that I’m jealous…」
I learnt that day that guys can think like that as well.
「Please be honest with yourself and tell her your true feelings.」
「Eh… but that’s like confessing to Marissa…」
「I mean… it is, but…」
Suddenly becoming self-conscious, he blushed. Oh, the sweet innocence of youth.
Same here, honestly.
「If you can manage that, Gil-san, I will do as you wish. I won’t entertain Marissa-san even if she looks for me personally. Do we have a deal?」
Watching from the shadows, Milia chuckled and placed a finger on her lips when I turned around. She had been listening the entire time.
Putting in a word of encouragement, I sent Gil on his way.
「How exciting! I wonder if things will work out for them… ooh, I can’t wait to find out…!」
Figuring that they were like two peas in a pod, I reasoned that things would end well.
Gil came to thank me a few days later.
「Thank you for your advice, employee-san. After telling Marissa what I felt… apparently she was feeling the same way…」
Marissa, who was standing beside him, greeted me, looking a little shy.
『I need a listening ear, employee-san. It’s about a guy who left the countryside with me…』
This girl, who had come to seek advice before Gil, was now holding hands with the man of her dreams.
「Are you together now～? Congratulations!」, exclaimed Milia as she shoved me aside.
「Erm… yes. Employee-san created this chance for us and that’s why we came to thank him…」
A boy and a girl of the same age, born and bred in the same village. Gil couldn’t have been the only one who had felt something.
『He always kind of treats me like a younger sister, though…』
That was solely based on her perception.
I had told her to try taking an interest in other guys (although I hadn’t expected that it would turn out to be me). It worked immediately, however.
Marissa hadn’t really wanted to be an adventurer for one simple reason — it was Gil’s dream, not hers. Knowing that any chances of getting together would leave with him for good, she had followed him out of the village.
「On my part as well… thank you, employee-san.」
「You’re welcome. I’m happy for both of you. You’re no longer just childhood friends, are you?」
「Yeah!」, they said in unison.
Neil and Roger looked at the still shy couple with expressionless eyes.
「Childhood friends… what are those…」
「A newly discovered species of monster, perhaps…」
「Lover…? Girlfriend…? Never heard of those either…」
「Another monster, of course…」
Smiling at each other, Gil and Marrisa left.
「They’ll certainly do their best for each other from now on.」
Milia continued staring at the couple as they faded into the distance.
「Amazing… they’ll do their best to make each other happy… it’s just amazing!」
If possible, I’ll also do what I can to look after them from now on.
「Aniki… how do I get people to like me…?」
「For starters, you look like a vagabond. Touch up your looks by shaving that unruly beard of yours, for example.」
「But, senpai!? Isn’t that beard your personal policy!?」
Having witnessed everything, the adventurers present queued up and patiently waited for me to attend to them. While my clients had mostly been girls, the gender ratio was even from that day onward.
「H-How can I become a popular as you, employee-san…?」
Come for the quest and get love advice on the side, I guess.