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Author: EnroItzal Original Source: Scribble Hub

“Hey, Sam,” Lyra greeted in a slovenly manner as she slumped her head forward onto the countertop. She didn’t want to do any adventuring today after the novel “adventure” last night. Even now, she still felt a little sore in her hips from the intense pleasure she experienced. It was so intense that it made her pass out. Slowly but surely, her desire for such experience burned ever more fiercely.

It was noon and The Guild was much less crowded than the morning. By this time, every adventurer was out adventuring. It was common for adventurers to venture out in the morning and only return before sundown. The only adventurers here were the ones who were bad at waking up in the morning or they just preferred to have a late start.

“Good afternoon, Miss Lyra,” Sam returned Lyra’s slightly off-routine gesture in her usual primness, a stark contrast from how she was in bed, a little fact that Lyra knew all too well. “This is unusual. You’re always an early bird. What gives?”

“Erin,” Lyra answered with a sigh. Even the mere mention of her name made her snatch tingled.

“She did that to you?” Sam asked back in disbelief. After sharing two nights together with Lyra, she understood just how good and vigorous she was in bed. She was always the dominating one, yet always the one who woke up first in the morning. “Is she that good?” There was a gulp in Sam’s voice.

Lyra chuckled with all the strength she could muster. “The best. What’s more, she seemed fine in the morning. Like nothing happened to her on the prior night.”

“And she’s only level four…” Sam pondered deeply. A level four bested a level eleven in combat and bested a level seven in terms of stamina. This was simply unprecedented as far as she knew. She decided right then to submit a formal report of Erinthea to her superiors. The Guild would surely not let such a talent be wasted or let out of their sight.

“She’s not one to be underestimated, not just as a fighter.” Lyra smiled, a hint of sadness could be found on her expression. It would be a lie if she said she wasn’t a little envious of Erin. “Well, enough about her for now, what do you have for me?”

Sam raised her eyebrows. “Are you sure you are up to any task today? You don’t look too… much like your usual self, if you don’t mind me saying.”

“I’ll be fine. A quest is what I need to truly wake me up. Unless of course, you’re saying that you are worried about me?”

“Of course I’m worried about you. The Guild’s staff have the right and obligation to worry about the adventurers.”

Lyra pouted her cheeks and looked Sam in the eyes. “I mean from a personal perspective.”

“I know,” Sam replied reassuringly.

Lyra sighed. “Yeah, whatever. So, what do you recommend I can do with my… state of my unusual self?”

“You could browse through the request board like the rest of the adventurers.”

“Yeah but I want your recommendation. You’re the expert here, not me.”

“Is that really what you want, my recommendation?”

“Well… maybe to impress you too.” Lyra smiled wryly.

“Oh my, being unfaithful already?”

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“Erin and I are not in a relationship. We’re adventurers, Sam. We can’t afford to be in one. Not in a proper one, at least.”

“That sounds really lonely.”

“It’s a cross that all adventurers have to bear.”

Sam smiled back bitterly. “I guess it is.” She cleared her throat. “As for my recommendation and something that will impress me… there is one quest.”

“Oh, give me. What do I need to kill?” Contrary to her composed tone, Lyra was posing in a way unbefitting of a lady but that was just what to be expected from an adventurer, especially Lyra.

“It’s not about killing, this time. It’s more of a survey quest.”

Lyra furrowed her brows. She never had those kinds of quests before. In fact, she had only done subjugation quests. “What am I supposed to be investigating?”

“Due to the nature of the quest, I can’t tell you what unless you agree to it first. I can tell you it regards the forest and maybe the well-being of the town.”

The last part was slightly concerning to hear. Lyra sobered up a little from her slump.

But before Lyra could give an answer, the doors to The Guild were flung— no, more like kicked wide open. In strode a Fox-kin girl with two swords in her right hand and a heavy-looking sack, dangling on a string in her left hand. It was Erinthea, obviously. Blood was splatter in tiny smudges all over her face and armor, some even got to her tail. She stopped a few feet before the counter and glanced at the reception counter and the material procession counter, to and fro.

Whispers began to erupt from among the Guild Staffs who were taking their break and adventurers who were waiting in the corner lounge. Erin was wearing the cloak but she didn’t have the hood up since everyone could already guess her identity as she was the only one dressed this way in this small town. By now, she had acclimatized herself to the inquiring gazes, albeit with much difficulty.

Seeing the blank staring Erinthea, Sam turned to Lyra. “Sorry, Lyra but do you think you could—”

“Yeah, I know. I’ll let her go first.” Lyra responded before she could finish asking. She moved to the side as Sam beckoned Erin towards her counter. Lyra was equally shocked as everyone in the building towards the state of Erin but unlike the others, Lyra was still in no state to react. Although in her mind, she was brimming with questions and sultry desires towards the Fox-kin.

“Good afternoon, Miss Erin.” Sam gave her an obligatory smile. “I assume you manage to complete the test without much difficulty?”

“I have completed it, effortlessly so, and relatively so,” Erin answered. She then turned to Lyra. It was awkward to meet the one who took her virginity and furthermore, it happened just last night. However, it was rude to just act like she wasn’t there. At the very least, Erin needed to acknowledge Lyra’s presence. Thus, she forced herself to greet Lyra. “Good afternoon, Lyra. I trust that you slept well last night?”

Lyra was puzzled by Erin’s stiff greeting but then she remembered how it was the morning after her own first time. She immediately understood Erin’s plight. “You know that the best, Erin. I have slept well. In fact, I have even “slept” well.”

“A-ah…. I see.” Erin quickly turned away before Lyra could see her blush. As always, her twitching ears and wagging tail was a huge dead giveaway to her emotions.

Sam cleared her throat to rein in Erin’s attention. “I trust that you have the Cores?”

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Erin let off a huge heave and placed the sack on top of the counter. She lay the swords gently against the counter. “I have done more than complete the test.”

Sam wasn’t surprised by her response since she already saw her bulging sack the moment she entered the building. It was obvious Erin had done more than just completing her test. However, Sam did not know or expect what kind of auxiliary tasks Erin had done.

Instead of going to the material procession counter, Tom brought over a spare “weighing tool” to Sam’s counter after being motioned over.

“Thank you, Tom.” Sam gave her gratitude.

Tom merely nodded back before returning to his station, but not before stealing a glance at Erin’s slowly wagging tail. He snapped his eyes back to the front when Lyra caught him staring.

“It’s called the Monster Core Recognition Scale,” Sam answered the question that seemed to be written on Erin’s curious expression. “Or the Core Scale for short. Or just Scale.”

Explaining so, Sam dumped all of the Monster Cores into a tray nearby and put it onto the Core Scale. There were twice the number of Cores that Erin was instructed to procure and when the results appeared on the meter, Sam blinked twice before staring at Erin with a confused gaze.

Lyra who was too sapped to react gave a meek “whoa” at the amount Erin had collected. She could understand if it were Monsters like Rot-rats, Serks, or Duskmanes, which always came in droves but monsters like Kobolds were always encountered in pairs. This amount could only mean that Erin headed straight for their camp, something which even high levels like Kane would think twice about.

“These are all Kobolds’ Cores…?” Sam’s question trailed off. She knew Erin did something extra but she didn’t expect the extra would be extra Kobolds.

“Yes, they are. Except for one.”

Hearing her words, Sam took a look at the meter once again. Her eyes widened at the results and then at the smallest Core among the bunch. “I see,” she said with a solemn expression but it quickly turned back to a friendly smile “Nevertheless, you have acquired the amount instructed and more. You have passed the test, Miss Erin.”

“You don’t think I have cheated?”

Sam took out a small mirror from under her desk and showed it to Erin.

“Oh…” Erin muttered at all the tiny blood smudges on her face and also her mildly exhausted face. It certainly didn’t look like someone who had skimped out on hardships.

Sam handed Erin a napkin for her to wipe her face.

Damn. A napkin wouldn’t do much. I really need to clean up. I should ask if there’s any well nearby. I do not want to wait until I return to the inn.

From a small box within her reach, Sam took out a brass tag from it. There were other tags in the small box, all arranged in an orderly manner. She inserted the tag into the slot and made changes to the details and information that were present on the paper. Her hands paused for a while. She muttered her amazement at Erin’s level under her breath. But knowing that Erin would not like the attention, she kept her surprise to herself. When she was finished with her unnaturally quick scribbling, she pulled out the tag and finally handed it over to Erin with both hands.

“Congratulations, Miss Erin. From today on, you are now officially an adventurer.”

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Erin received her tag with a blank look.

Is this it?

She was elated that she finally got her adventurer license. She was relieved that nothing bad happened along the way. She was sad that she was, in a way, faring her old life well. She was regretting over the many instances of her past that could have been better if she had just mustered a little bit of courage. But all of those were dead and gone, literally for her case. Receiving the tag made her realize that she was closing up a chapter and writing up another one.

I’m no longer in my old world… It’s so obvious by now… this isn’t the Evaren I know of, be it a parallel world or the future. Argon Raze’s story has ended, at the hands of his own arrogance.

She held the tag close to her heart as she silently bade her old life farewell. She may still be Argon Raze in a certain way but she had to acknowledge that this was no longer Argon’s life, it was Erinthea’s. This was the Sword Saint’s second life as a Fox-kin girl.

“Ahem,” Sam coughed, snapping Erin out of her reminiscence. “I hate to interrupt your silent revel but if you aren’t in a rush right now, I have something I would like to discuss with you. And you too, Lyra.”

“Me?” Lyra pointed at herself. “Is this about the quest you recommended?”

“It is.” Sam nodded. “As you have already guessed, the quest is of utmost importance. And actually, I was hoping Nivia would be here by now.”

As soon as Sam finished her sentences, Nivia entered the building with an elegant gait. She was in her full adventurer outfit. She was wearing some sort of light metallic cuirass over a beige tunic with thin long sleeves, accentuating her slender arms. She was also wearing similar thin trousers that held tightly to the shape of her slender legs. Despite being so well-armed and dressed, she was still a beauty of a captivating degree.

While everyone else was daze by the Elven adventurer, including Lyra, Erin was the only one who had a complex expression. Knowing her “other” side, Erin found it quite demanding to choose the suitable reaction to Nivia’s presence.

When Nivia scanned the floor and found Erin, she immediately walked up to her.

“Have I kept you waiting, Erin?” Nivia asked in a fully composed manner and an astute smile, fully befitting the expectations the general public had of Elves.

Erin hurriedly forced herself to smile. She didn’t know how it turned out but since Nivia didn’t seem to have a particular reaction, it must have worked. “Not at all, Nivia. I was just finishing up. I finally got my tag.”

Nivia beamed. “The Spirits blesses you, Erin.” Seeing her confusion, Nivia quickly explained, “it’s the way Forest-kin congratulates someone.”

“Ah, I see. Thank you, then.” For some reasons, Erin was receiving some piercing stares from her back. Needless to say, it was from Lyra.

Nivia seemed to have noticed Lyra’s displeased eyes, as she tried to get Erin away from her. “Well, since you’re here, shall we—”

“Excuse me for my interruption, you two.” Sam cut in. “I have some important business to discuss with the three of you.”

Nivia frowned. She was mildly miffed by the Guild Receptionist’s intrusion but being a Forest-kin and an Elf, she had a reputation to uphold. “How important?” she asked.

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Taking a deep breath, Sam answered in a low voice, “the well-being and future of the whole town.”

Lyra’s attention was immediately drawn to those dire-sounding words. Nivia’s irritation was also dismissed at Sam’s sentence. Erin however, had a face that exhibited her realization. Erin remembered the change in Sam’s expression when she realized one of the Cores belonged to a Goblin.

Going by her old knowledge, Goblins were as small as the average human children and their intellect was nothing to write home about. They were a vicious bunch but their meagre strength overshadowed their cruel nature. However, they had a high spawning rate. They were a strange race that used females of other races to give birth to their own kind as the birth of a female Goblin was incredibly rare. However, if a female Goblin was given birth to, their spawn rate would rise to the clouds.

Erin remembered it well, like it was only yesterday. It was before he received the title of Sword Saint. There was a town thrice the size of this one. They underestimated the Goblins and left them be. In just a month, the Goblins’ number reached around a few hundred. It overwhelmed the town in just a day. Erin was there with some of her old acquaintances and friends. They killed all the Goblins but by that stage, the town was already no more.

It became one of the nightmares that haunted her until her death. Never forgotten, always laid in the inner recess of her mind.

Never again did she wish to witness such things.

But first, she would need to get strong.

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