“Alright, good job! We’ll take a look at your magic next.”
The lead examiner from earlier loudly announced.
We moved towards the area where the targets were placed. It looks like we need to cast magic fifteen meters away from the targets.
“We’ll have you cast your magic and try to hit those five targets over there. You specialize in fire magic, correct? Cast the fire spell you’re best at. We’ll rate you by taking the time it takes for you to hit all five targets as well as how close to the center your spells land. We’ll start measuring the time immediately after we tell you to begin.”
Cleria raised both her hands, making three arrows of flame appear before her. They flew toward each target and proceeded to hit them right in the center one after another.
It looks like she was preparing to cast her spell even before they told her to start. I hope that won’t count as a violation.
Eight seconds after she cast the first spell, two more arrows of flame appeared and flew towards the remaining targets. They both hit the targets dead center as well.
It looks like she still can’t manage to release five arrows simultaneously.
There was no shout signaling the end of the test. Cleria turned toward the examiner in puzzlement. It was only then that the examiner managed to proclaim ‘test over’ in a fluster.
“What the heck was that!?”
Looks like it impressed the examiners a lot.
Cleria’s certainly improved her magic casting time greatly compared to before. After getting to know that what’s most important for casting magic was to build a concrete image, she tirelessly casted magic every moment she could, even while lying down on top of the luggage. She repeatedly fired magic while facing toward the sky at those times. And the results of that are showing right now.
The examiners huddled together and were discussing animatedly. Are they discussing about the violation from earlier?
“Okay. Ria’s magic assessment is now over. Great job. Alan, you’re up next! We’ll do your magic assessment right now.”
Looks like that early start was considered okay after all. I see. So that’s acceptable huh.
I stood in front of the targets just like Cleria earlier.
Immediately after I heard the signal to start, I materialized five flame arrows in front of me and fired them towards the targets. I constructed an image of flame arrows that were faster than normal ones by several times, so they flew towards the targets with blinding speed. It only took me two seconds from casting to hitting the targets.
How’s that!? I bet I’d set the record for the fastest cast time folks.
Eh? They’re not yelling ‘test over’, aren’t they? Did I cast my magic too fast?
I took a look at the exam proctors and found them petrified.
“A- Ah! T- Test over!”
It seems they didn’t manage to measure the time properly. I hope that’s okay.
“Alright! We’ll assess Alan’s swordsmanship level next!”
The examiners huddled together and discussed something again. Maybe they were choosing my practice opponent?
It looks like they finally decided, and one examiner stepped forward.
The examiner didn’t make any moves. It looks like he’s scoping me out.
He’s still not moving. It’ll take forever at this rate, so I decided to take a step forward instead. The opponent took a step back. I tried stepping forward again. The opponent stepped back once more. Hey, he’s not actually scared of me, isn’t he?
I tried stepping forward again. And he took another step backward, like earlier. Man, this is getting a bit bothersome. I’ll try rushing him with a basic combo then. It was a basic three slash sword combo, but it would leave me a bit open while rushing towards the enemy. But in exchange, it also allowed me to finish off opponents swiftly if it successfully connects.
I feinted by taking one step like I did earlier and prepared to unleash the combo.
I rushed towards the opponent and made use of the momentum to deliver a strong upward slash. Now for the other two follow-up slashes… which I couldn’t actually perform. I noticed that the first slash actually managed to send the opponent’s sword flying out of his hand. As a result, I could only place my sword near the opponent’s throat.
“Uh, the rank assessment tests are now over. We’ll announce the results later on. Please wait at the area near the receptionist counters for the meantime.”
That was surprisingly quick huh. I went back to the guild building with Cleria.
“Is the test really over with that?”
“It seems so. Perhaps they have other things to tend to.”
“Guess so, huh.”
The examiners went back to the staff room together.
“Oi, what the heck are those two!? Seriously, what are they!!?”
“Rather than that, what was up with you on that last match, man? You were scared sh*tless!”
“Well, it’s true that Kenny was overwhelmed. But that speed and sword slash were the real deal.”
“More than that, his magic was nuts! It wasn’t just at the level of being amazing!”
“I have an acquaintance in the magic guild who’s one of the top rankers there, but that examinee’s Flame Arrow spell was at least dozens of times better than his.”
“In the end, what they wrote on their application forms were true.”
“No. At least, the level of their magic skill is probably a lot more than what’s written there. It’s honestly to the point where I think no other people could probably best them when it comes to magic.”
“That’s certainly true. So what shall we do? What would be their rank assessment results?”
“Former B rankers like us were trounced in a one-sided manner after all. It’s impossible to ignore that result.”
“So we’re all agreed right? Both of them will be C rank.”
Cleria and I waited inside the guild building for about twenty minutes until the receptionist finally returned.
“Alan-san and Ria-san have both been officially registered as C rank adventurers. I’ll hand over your guild identifications, so please follow me to the counter.”
“These are your guild identifications. Please keep them with you at all times. If you lose them, there will be a penalty of one large silver coin in order to process a reissue, so be very careful not to lose them.”
It was a copper plate with a width of five centimeters and length of ten centimeters. It had the seal of the adventurer’s guild, registration number, my name, the registration date and my rank, which was C, engraved on it.
“We’ve now finished your registration. Do you have any other questions?”
“It would be fine for you not to take any quests for a maximum of seven months when you’re a C rank, right?”
“Eh!? Well, that is the case, but your rank will fall steadily as a result.”
“I’m not really concerned with my rank, so that’s alright.”
“You don’t mind, you say…? However, the guild would very much prefer it if skilled adventurers like you could complete quests at a steady rate, Alan-san.”
“Understood. Thank you very much.”
“Let’s go back Ria, Willie.”
I locked eyes with a female mercenary as we went out of the guild building. She had a pair of sharp eyes. When that female mercenary’s gaze turned towards Cleria, an astonished expression appeared on her face.
“Your High- ! Cleria-sama!”
Cleria stood dazed for a few moments, but her expression turned to one of surprise soon afterward.
“If it isn’t Elna! Why are you in a place like this?”
“I’m relieved to see you looking well, Cleria-sama!”
“…Hey, Ria. This isn’t the time or the place for this. We’re standing out too much.”
They were really getting worked up, so I tapped Cleria’s shoulder to remind her.
The adventurers were already crowding around us to see what was going on.
“You knave! Who are you!? Do not address her so casually!”
The female mercenary angrily turned towards me and was about to draw her sword.
“At ease, Elna! Let us move to a different area.”
“Let’s head to the Katolle Equipment Shop for the meantime.”
I’ll have to return my armor, and Cleria has to leave hers there as well.
I don’t know who this Elna lady exactly is, but judging from that earlier conversation, I have a rough idea already.
She didn’t seem to be just a casual acquaintance, and she seemed to know Cleria well. She might have some news that she was reluctant to share with me around as well. It would be better to move to a place where the two of them can talk without reserve.
The Katolle Equipment Shop was nearby, so we soon reached it while maintaining an awkward silence.
We entered the shop and headed for the counter. Zaluke greeted us warmly.
“Yo, you guys sure were fast. So how did the tests go?”
“Ah, we both became C rank.”
“That’s impressive! As expected of Master’s saviors.”
“I guess. Can you help with taking this armor off? I’m still not familiar with it.”
“Um, Miss Elna, right? How about you help Ria with hers over there?”
“Hey, Zaluke. Will my armor be hard to put on and take off like this one?”
“No, don’t compare this armor with the one you purchased. That one’s a top-grade leather armor after all. It’ll be easier to handle. You can easily put it on and take it off by yourself.”
“I see. Glad to hear it.”
“Ria, what are your plans after this? I’m gonna go back to Tarus-san’s mansion. But you and her have things you need to talk about, right? You can go somewhere else after this. I’ll give you some money if you need it.”
“I’ll go back with you as well.”
“You will? Well, we should be able to borrow a private room later anyway.”
That reminds me. I’ll have to make some sweets later. And it’s not like we can continue staying over at Tarus-san’s mansion for tonight. We’ll need to look for a suitable inn soon. Looks like it’ll be a busy day.
“Well then, I’ll leave our armors to you, Zaluke. We’ll come back for them after three days.”
“Gotcha. Leave them to me.”
We walked back to Tarus-san’s mansion. Cleria and Elna walked a little further back from Willie and I. They were talking softly among themselves. It’s possible for me to eavesdrop on their conversation if I enhance my hearing, but I don’t want to do something that tasteless.
We soon arrived back at Tarus-san’s mansion.
“Willie, sorry to impose this on you, but could you see if Jonas-san is free and call him over?”
It didn’t take long for Jonas-san to come.
“I’m sorry for calling you over like this. Ria met an acquaintance back at the adventurer’s guild. It seems they have some important things to talk about, so, if it isn’t any trouble, could you lend us a private room for a while?”
“But of course. The guest of our guest is our guest as well. I’ll prepare some tea.”
“I’m sorry to bother you with this.”
“Now then, Ria and Elna, you two can take your time talking inside the room.”
“Understood. Alan… Thank you.”
“Don’t worry about it.”
“Alan-san, did you perhaps come to the adventurer’s guild earlier in order to register?”
“Yes. I didn’t manage to tell you before we went out of the mansion though. That’s about it. Ria and I just finished our registration.”
“What rank did you manage to attain, by the way?”
“We both became C rank adventurers.”
“Hou! It’s impressive that the two of you managed to attain C rank right away. Amazing.”
“No, it wasn’t all that great. More importantly, thank you for introducing us to a good shop. We’ve managed to get some quality goods and services as a result.”
“No, we’re glad for your patronage as well. …I do have something I want to consult with you, Alan-san. That is if you don’t mind?”
“What is it?”
“It’s about the rest of the goods Alan-san and Master left in the bandit hideout yesterday. We’re a bit troubled because no one else apart from Alan-san and Master know the way to the hideout. I was thinking of having Alan-san retrieve them for us in the form of a designated guild quest. Would that be alright with you?”
“Yeah, that’ll be fine. I’ll take the quest. But there’s quite a lot of goods so I’ll need to find a way to transport them back…”
“No, we will handle the retrieval work. All you have to do is escort us and guide us to the location of the hideout.”
“I see. There’s no problem then. I accept the quest.”
“Well then, I will be sending a formal request to the guild tomorrow, so we will be in your care.”
“I understand. So, about that matter regarding sweets. I’d actually like to start making preparations for that now if that’s okay with you?”
“Of course. Please go ahead. I’ll guide you to the kitchen.”
I’m really curious about the kinds of ingredients they have available.
I’m sure they at least have some sugar since they’re familiar with sweets. But what am I gonna do if they turned out just having sugar and wheat flour? I won’t be able to make much from those. I did blurt out that cooking is my hobby, so I don’t want to make something weird if I can help it. Man, I really dropped the ball yesterday, didn’t I?