「You will be escorting a merchant to the city of Dumbler, which is three days west of here by horse-drawn carriage. Of course, I can’t expect you to do it by yourself. I’ll be sending you along with a group of adventurers. Understood? 」
I saw the mention of that city on the map in the archive.
I nodded at Efland and he continued to explain.
「So, Touya, you will be part of two parties. The path you’ll be taking is through a forest, where monsters and bandits may appear. The request is to escort a merchant and his carriages to Dumbler. You will stay in that city for about two days and then escort the merchant back here. They leave in three days. The payment for the escort is 400,000 gil. Is that fine with you? 」
The reward of 400,000 gil for an eight day mission……. Honestly, sucks. That’s because if I hunt in the forest, I can earn a lot more than that.
My dissatisfaction did not go unnoticed by Efland.
「I know for you, making money is not a problem even without taking up escort requests. But as an adventurer it’s good to have experience of this sort. That’s why I think this is a good opportunity for you」
「I’ll be ready by then 」
「That’s good. You know Touya, you’re very calm and collected that it’s hard to believe you’re sixteen years old……」
Well, that’s…… Because I’m actually a middle aged man.
Of course I did not say that.
After Milia handed me the request form, I left the guild quickly and went out of the city to the forest.
The reason being – to practice the attribute magic and the theoretical magic of Little Natalie.
I cast my magic power around me, feeling it stretch out thinly into the surrounding area. Although I have changed jobs and my level has dropped, the magic power in my body is far more than average since I had reached level 100 with my Recovery Priest job.
「About 200 meters…… 」
I close in the distance to where I felt movement coming from. I continue to follow the direction of the reaction to my Search and come across a boar-shaped monster.
This is what is called a Forest Boar, and its meat is delicious and will make any person beg for seconds. It seems to have caught a prey and was in the middle of eating it. I decided to shoot a spell at it while it was still distracted.
『Air Cutter 』
The crescent beam shot from my right hand straight towards the Forest Boar, by the time it noticed the attack, it was too late, and the beam sliced it in two.
「A beginner’s magic is that powerful…… I have to be careful. If it hits someone……. 」
With a disturbing picture in my mind, I throw the Forest Boar into Dimensional Storage.
I can use Search continuously with little consumption of my magic power. Once it’s cast its effect lasts for an hour.
There was another reaction to my Search, this time a few huddled responses, so I headed towards them.
I stopped and peeked from the shadows of the trees.
There were four adventurers, in a battle with several goblins.
The battle ended in about five minutes, and I saw as the adventurers divided themselves up into two groups: one was on guard and another was stripping off the goblin materials.
After watching them undetected, I decided to return to my training.
「A party…….. Might not be so bad…….. 」
I felt a smile form on my face.
I then went in the direction of where the other reaction occurred and annihilated the monster.
◇ ◇ ◇ ◇
The day set for the escort mission arrived in no time.
After testing out my attribute magic and satisfied with the results, I bought and arranged items I might need during the escort into Dimensional Storage.
However, the difficult part came when I had to explain to Ferris about my escort request.
I had told her the day I was briefed about it, but she did not take it well and disappeared instantly, and refused to come out even when I called her.
Finally, today as I am about to leave, she appears.
「I’m leaving, Ferris. I’ll be back in eight days, or at most ten days. I leave the house in your care 」
「—Touya…… come back……? 」
「Sure, I will be back as soon as I can. I’m off 」
Ferris saw me off, with a sad look hanging on her face.
I walked with Kokuyou to the front entrance of the guild, which was the meeting place. There, several carriages were ready, and there were some merchants and several people who appeared to be adventurers who were ready to head out.
As I approached them, the merchants backed away from the might of Kokuyou.
The gaze of the adventurers was not on me, but was fixed to Kokuyou as well.
「I’m a C-ranked Recovery Priest, Touya, who’ll be your escort. It’s a pleasure to work with you. And this is my familiar, Kokuyou 」
Efland had explained beforehand that it’s better to tell them my rank when I introduce myself.
The guild’s reputation is also tied to the adventurers’ ranks; if it is C-rank, it is taken as the realm of veteran’s and is trusted by the merchants.
「Whoa, a C-rank at such a young age, that’s something ain’t it? I’m sure there won’t be problems this time either 」
Unlike the merchant who was smiling, four adventurers walked towards us a bit stiffly.
And from a closer look, I realized that it was the party that was fighting against the goblins in the forest the other day.
One of them stepped out to me, dressed in leather armor, with a one-handed sword hanging over his shoulder, the way he was dressed was in the likes of a warrior. He looks older than me.
I can sense a bit of hostility coming from him.
「I am Dai, I’m also part of the escort. Those are the members of my party, the Fang of the Prairie. The one with the bow is Kite, next to him is Milka the thief, and the one with the wand is Akina. We are all D-ranked 」
It is a good combination of a Warrior, Archer, Thief, and Mage. Recovery Priests are rare, and many of them end up in churches, so it is valuable to have them as adventurers. Recovery Priests do not carry any offensive power and this makes a basic rule for them to join a party, but since I wield a double-handed Buster Sword, soloing is no problem for me.
「I’m Touya, a C-rank–Recovery Priest. Nice to meet you 」
I could have called myself a Mage, but we’ll be escorting as a group, I’m sure there won’t be much to do. Even if something does happen, I can use the excuse that I can only use Recovery Magic, so calling myself a Recovery Priest is fine.
However, Dai frowns when he hears the mention of Recovery Priest. No surprise, people generally think of Recovery Priests as parasites.
「Tsk…… A C-ranked leech as part of our group…… 」
Dai spits out that line and returns to his party.
I prefer being a soloist actually. I think it, but don’t say it.
「All right, I see you’re all ready to go. I’m Lumina, B-rank and I’ll be the leader of this escort party for now. Nice to meet you 」
Another adventurer arrived. Or rather should I say she’s my party.
I think Lumina is a Warrior. No – I am sure she is.
She is a female Warrior wearing a peculiar piece of equipment, bikini armor – a very mysterious piece of equipment. How does it offer her any form of protection?
She has a flair that would make anyone have a hard time not looking at her, her skin is tanned to a healthy degree, and her red hair, which has grown to her waist, is blowing beautifully in the wind.
And has…… two melons that were really hard to miss.
Seems that Dai and the other men’s eyes were glued to her as well, and Akina, with her wand bonked two of her party’s men on the head.
It was after everyone had introduced themselves and discussed their positions, that a signal to leave was given.
「Alright, let’s get going! 」
The carriages began to move at the sound of Lumina’s command.