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1-15 Dire Quest

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Author: EnroItzal Original Source: Scribble Hub

After ensuring another staff was able to take over her station for the time being, Sam led the three adventurers up to the second floor of the building. Erin remembered Lyra telling her that the second floor was strictly for official business only and not even the Guild Staffs were allowed to enter the second floor without any valid reason. If an adventurer was summoned to the second floor, it would always stem from an important reason. Although, said reason wouldn’t always be a meritorious one.

It went without saying all the present adventurers and some of the Guild Staffs had their eyes glued on the three. Erin had no doubts her reputation would soar higher in the following days. She understood everyone was free to idolize her as much they wanted. She just wished they would at least respect her personal space.

Hmm… Won’t Lyra become the talk of the town too?

Erin thought. While she didn’t know the extent of Lyra’s reputation, she had no doubts that Lyra’s fame would rise on the morrows. As for Nivia, she was already popular enough as an Elf and the highest level person in the town. Her reputation couldn’t soar any higher from there.

Unless she gained a star, I guess?

Before they headed upstairs, Erin didn’t forget about her Monster Cores but Sam reassured her that she would receive her reward after they concluded the current matters. She handed the task of processing the Cores over to Tom, giving him instructions regarding the appropriate payment should be readied by the time they were done with the meeting. Tom complied with a simple nod. Erin didn’t miss the fact that he sneaked a glance at her ears and tail.

On a small note, Erin also noticed Sam had taken the Goblin’s core along with her.

Lyra was complaining something about her not yet having accepted the request. Therefore, she should have the choice to pull out. However, Lyra was quickly coerced into accepting it when Sam dourly glared at her. Lyra shuddered for a bit before straightening up her posture and followed Sam without any more words of complaint.

Did I just witness a coercion? Is that even legal? But anyways, I didn’t think Lyra wasn’t as ambitious as she looked.

After climbing a flight of carpeted steps, they arrived at the landing of the second floor. Perhaps to emphasize the atmosphere of importance, the second floor had a sophisticated design in comparison to the dull first floor and the bland exterior of the building. Erin and Lyra marveled with gasps at the furnishings that probably cost more than they could earn in a year. Nivia on the other hand had a calm demeanor like usual. It wasn’t just an act, Erin noticed. Nivia was genuinely uninterested in either the costs or the design. Or maybe it’s a Faerie-kin thing, Erin thought to herself.

They proceeded to walk down a narrow hallway after crossing the wide landing. They stopped right before the door at the end of the hallway. There was a small sign on the door that read; “Guild Master’s Office”.

The “governor’s” office, huh. If we’re taken up to see the head, the people here must be taking the Goblin problem more seriously than the people in my old world. Or I could just be getting ahead of myself here.

Erin didn’t miss the light gulp Lyra gave as she saw the title written on the door’s sign. Nivia was still in her composed and serene manner as if nothing in the world could shake her rigid countenance. With such an expression and aura, her previous frantic state seemed almost like a complete lie to Erin.

“Wait here,” Sam said and gave a few knocks on the door. “It’s Samira,” she spoke up.

“Come in,” came a reply just a second after.

Oh? So her full name is Samira. Figures.

This was another similarity of her old world, Erin noticed. The common person did not have a family name. Only nobles or exceptional individuals had them. But the way she saw it, it was one of the most redundant privileges to have.

Sam opened the door as gently as she was taking care not to break the knob by squeezing it too hard. Much like the second floor, the Guild Master’s office was just as sophisticated in its design. Erin was starting to think that the second floor was tailored to the Guild Master’s taste and choice.

At the far end of this spacious room, sat the one and only Guild Master of Green Scar branch behind a desk and in an elegant chair. Just before the Master’s desk were a table and two couches placed opposite to and facing each other.

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Erin had prepared herself to meet the one person that was governing the entirety of Green Scar’s adventurers. She expected someone charismatic and intimidating. The person-in-question certainly looked charismatic enough with his expensive-looking suit and wisely-aged expression but for his intimidating side, not so much. For one, he was stout but short and it was even more evident with him sitting on a raised chair. He was bald but his gray beard was starting to look like some ashen bushes in Erin’s opinion.

“A Dwarve?” Lyra blurted out the Guild Master’s race.

Yes, the Guild Master was a Dwarve. Moreover, he greatly resembled the two Dwarves Erin met at the smithy. It really threw Erin off but being the Sword Saint, former, she had her shares of meeting with nobles and dignitaries, so she managed to not let her surprise come off as rude. The same couldn’t be said for Lyra however, as she was staring intensely at the Guild Master with astonishment and bafflement. She seemed to also have realized he was related to the two Dwarves at the smithy.

The Guild Master must be the two’s father.

Nivia was still in her composed state. With a hand on her chest and a slight bow, she greeted the Guild Master. “Good afternoon, Sir. I believe it has been quite some time since our last acquaintance.”

Sir? But he’s not a knight though, right? Is this a discrepancy with the etiquette of the Evaren I’m from?

“Likewise, Miss Nivia.” The Guild Master, Geron replied with his deep venerable voice. “And you must be Miss Erin. You are all that the rumors are whispering about, right now. And those are good rumors.”

“I am grateful for such acknowledgement, Sir. But honestly speaking, people are just overpraising.”

“Hmm… how humble of you.” And finally, his gaze turned to Lyra. “I guess I should also be thanking you too, Miss Lyra.”

Lyra raised an eyebrow. In a panic, she greeted the Guild Master in the same manner as Nivia.

Should I have presented my greetings like that too? Or is it too late now?

“You have our thanks for bringing such a talent to our attention, Miss Lyra. Be it fate or chance, you have done the town a huge favor, especially in the dire times to come.”

Lyra was about to return the good gesture but his last words petrified her thoughts and actions.

Sam ambled to the side of the Guild Master and placed the Goblin’s Core on the desk in front of him. Without questioning Sam’s actions, Geron put on the spectacles from his coat pocket and glared at the Core in his hand. The lens turned cyan for a short while before returning to normal. After putting his spectacles back into his coat pocket, he sighed and rubbed his temple.

“It’s true, then,” he said, seemingly in some sort of disbelief.

“I’m afraid so,” Sam affirmed his worries.

“Pardon me,” Lyra interjected. “May I know what this is all about?”

“Goblins,” it was Nivia who answered her. Her eyes were also cyan for a moment as she glanced at the Core, and it did not go under Erin’s notice.

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Was that some kind of skill to discern objects?

“Goblins!?” Lyra exclaimed with full nonplus.

I was right, then. They really took Goblins seriously.

“You mean the recent whispers about some small and green creature sightings are actually Goblins?” Lyra asked.

“This Core here proves it. If there’s one Goblin, there will be twenty more in the forest, at the very least.”

“But that’s impossible,” Lyra argued. “If there are indeed Goblins out there, why haven’t any of us encountered at least one in the flesh? They may tread well in the dark but they aren’t exactly good at hiding themselves, especially in broad daylight.”

Now that Erin thought about it, Goblins were cunning and crafty. They also loved to take advantage of their size by setting traps and ambushes. However, they were equally sloppy too. No matter how hard they tried to hide their presence from the adventurers, they always gave themselves away by way of their own blunders. In essence, they were extremely terrible at stealth and laying low. It was really unbelievable for the adventurers to have not encountered even a single Goblin if there were Goblins in the area, not counting Erin of course.

“That is the question,” Sam said. “Originally, we planned to dispatch two or three adventurers to investigate the rumors. But thanks to Miss Erin here, we have confirmation. Now, our problem lies in how do we proceed with this. We don’t want to raise any false alarms if the Goblins aren’t that many but given their… unusual nature, things are not looking good in our favor.”

“You think there’s someone or something leading the Goblins?” Erin chimed in.

“You are correct, Miss Erin,” Geron attested. “They are being very meticulous for a mere bunch of Goblins. Having a leader is the most likely the reason. The leader is most likely a Goblin themself since Goblins only listen to… well, to another Goblin.”

“A variant, then,” Lyra mused.

Nivia remained silent throughout the discussion.

“But that’s not the worst scenario,” Sam added.

“Then what is?” Lyra asked.

“A female Goblin,” Erin answered which Sam affirmed her suspicions with a nod.

“Highly unlikely,” Nivia remarked with just two words and went back to her quietude.

“We are aware of that,” Sam responded with a slightly vexed glare towards the Elf.

“Unlikely but not impossible,” Erin countered. “Even if there’s a single chance, it’s a chance that we can’t take. This is a small town. Even just half a hundred of Goblins could throw the town into chaos. These things are ruthless bastards. They’re the wretched shits from the lowest pits of hell. I refused to take those chances.”

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Immediately, everyone in the room stood stunned. Sam sighed. Lyra gazed forlornly. Geron and Nivia were staring at Erin with their mouth hanging open. It was really startling to hear such a tone from a Faerie-kin, whose kind were known for their respectable and graceful aspect. However, Erin was swimming in some dreadful memories to take heed of her manners and conduct.

“Miss Erin, did you perhaps have some history with Goblins?” the Guild Master asked.

Hearing that, Nivia immediately cast a worried glance at Erin. There were cases where Faerie-kin were being used as broodmares by the Goblins and Orcs. And due to Faerie-kin’s longevity, they were very sought after by these two despicable species.

“I have witnessed it first hand. A Goblin army overwhelmed and destroyed a town bigger than this one. This happened because no one in that town recognized the threat Goblins could pose. I was there. I saw everything that happened. Even though the Goblins lost in the end, we didn’t exactly win either.”

“And which town is this exactly?”

Erin shrugged. “The town is no more. Does it matter?”

“I suppose not.” Geron offered her a sympathetic smile. “Be that as it may, we are going to cull the Goblins regardless of their numbers or the presence of a female Goblin. There were even reports from some adventurers that the amount of monsters in the forest seemed to have dwindled. No doubt the work of the Goblins.”

“What’s our plan here?” Nivia skipped right to the fight. Erin could see a small hint of irritation on her.

Not an advocate for long conversations, I see.

After a brief moment of contemplation, Geron said, “for now, we will be focusing on gathering information about the Goblins. To not raise any panic or suspicions among the townspeople and adventurers, the three of you will conduct the investigations under the guise of other quests like normal. I trust that the three of you here are up to this precarious task.”

“Always,” Nivia answered.

“Well, this is what it means to be an adventurer.” Lyra stretched her neck. “And it’s not like I have a choice.” She sighed.

“I will see to it that none of them live past this moon,” Erin declared imposingly.

“Very well, then. Samira, I’ll leave the rest of the details to you.”

Sam nodded. “Of course, Mister Geron.”

“Good. Now, you may all leave, except for Miss Erin.”

Huh? Except for me?

His request drew questions from everyone in the room. Only Sam remained tactful enough. She ushered a dubious Lyra and a reluctant Nivia out of the room. Right at the doorway, Nivia whispered softly that she will be waiting downstairs for Erin. Naturally, Erin caught that message and so did Lyra who was narrowing her eyes like a lover catching her significant other cheating.

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The door then closed with a click.

Erin impulsively took a deep breath at the deafening mood. The room was pin-drop silent as they were the only ones in the room, so her gasp came off as incredibly awkward. Erin just wanted to dug a hole and buried herself in it.

Geron got off his chair and let his apparent height known to Erin. He was short but he was definitely taller than his sons. He sat on the couch and motioned for Erin to sit on the other side. “Please, sit.” His bearing tone made it sound like a command rather than a casual gesture.

Erin complied. Her tail curled up between her legs and her ears plopped down. She admitted in her heart that she was wrong about the Guild Master, Geron was really intimidating.

“Forgive me for the lack of tea and biscuits. I hadn’t planned on having this conversation,” he told Erin with an amicable smile but like every other Guild Staff, the smile stemmed from obligation. “You know what I want to ask?”

“I wasn’t born in the forest and I know next to nothing about the Faerie-kin’s etiquette.”

And Geron smiled again, but it was genuine this time. “I’m glad we can be honest with each other.”

“Although I can’t tell you much about myself, I can assure you I don’t—”

“I’m not here to interrogate you, Miss Erin.”

“You’re not?” Erin blinked. Her shoulders loosened and drooped at those words.

“What an adventurer does or what kind of past they have, it does not matter. But of course, this doesn’t apply if you had a convicted history. So long as your past or history do not bring any harm or demerit to The Guild, we won’t pry further than necessary.”

To be honest, Erin wasn’t expecting such openness. All the dignitaries she had met in the past had their head stuck so far up in their own arse that all they could see was their own s̲h̲i̲t̲. It was frustrating to listen to their nonsense rambles on how superior they are for hours on end, especially during the frequent dinner parties that aimed to flaunt their status and wealth.

“However, you have to understand your own position.”

“My own position?” Erin didn’t like the shift in Geron’s tone.

“You are a Fae but your conduct resembled none of it. It may not be pertinent in such a small town but in the cities, you’ll be looked down upon.”

“Is it because of how I talk? I heard adventurers are already famous for their insensibility.”

“People are used to how adventurers conduct and carry themselves but for Faerie-kin, they still hold some expectations for you even if you’re an adventurer.”

For f̲u̲c̲k̲’s sake, we’re going there again?

“I hope you don’t take this the wrong way, Miss Erin. We’re just trying to look after a blooming talent associated with us.”

Erin scoffed. “I appreciate your gestures, thoughts, and care but too bad. I don’t plan to cater everyone’s whims.”

“I know and I understand that. However, are you aware of your prospects?”

“I am,” Erin responded promptly.

“Should you ever become successful and gain recognition across the world, people will become curious about your past, about where you came from, how you started. Those kinds of things. And the enemies you made along the way, they would use everything they can to drag you off from your position. That’s the price of fame. And I have witnessed such things reoccurring too much to count on both of my hands. I sincerely wish that I won’t be seeing a repeat of a common history.”

“I understand, Mister Geron and I appreciate your concern. But you also have to understand this, I do not care.” Erin stated. “If anyone tries to f̲u̲c̲k̲ with me, I’ll make sure those bastards regret it. I think I made myself clear with my stance.”

Her words shook Geron a little but being the Guild Master, he did a good job of hiding it.

Erin stood up from the couch and walked to the door. She stopped before her hand reached for the knob. “I know what you’re trying to tell me. I really do. But I have been through all of that.”

Curiosity gleamed in Geron’s eyes.

“If they want to ruin me, I will welcome them to try. If they failed, it will be my turn to do the same to them. Good afternoon,” Erin bade and walked out of the room.

Geron could not find any words to respond to her. His first impression of Erin was someone who was haunted by her past and was putting on a facade for the whole time. But as he pushed at the aspect of how she should be living her life, she instantly bit back with austere ferocity. She had looked so meek and susceptible to threats and demands but after touching a certain point, he could feel that her aura completely changed, almost like she had turned into a different person.

Geron threw his head back on the couch and let out a self-ridiculing laughter. “If it’s her… maybe she can deal with Aedan,” he mused to himself.

It was dark. There was no light, not even the slightest bit to cast a meagre shadow.

Within such darkness, a man was on his knees. His hands were bound to his back with vines and gagged with some ragged cloth.

In this pitch black room with nothing but rocks as the wall, ceiling, and floor, a humanoid creature approached the bound and gagged man. This humanoid creature walked without tripping on the stones or its own feet even in such darkness.

The humanoid creature crouched down in front of the man.

Making out the faint humanoid figure of the creature in the darkness, the man began to whimper and beg for mercy. Through its silhouette, the man could tell the creature had long and pointy ears.

“Shush…!” The creature uttered in a hollow yet sinister voice.

The man squealed in response but he shut up after feeling the nails of the creature tracing his neck.

The creature took off the gag and brushed his finger across the man’s eyes. “Do you still wish to see with these eyes of yours…?” it asked with a low but sinister voice.


“Do you…!?” The creature pressed its nails just beside his eyes.

“Yes! Yes! I do! I do!” The man screamed out in a panic.

The creature then touched the man’s arm. “Do you still wish to wield a weapon with these hands of yours?”

“I do! I do!” The man answered immediately.

“And these legs, do you wish to walk with them if you’re free…?”


“Now, tell me.” The creature put the man’s head between its palms. “I saved you from those rats and lizard men, have I not…?”

“Y-you d-did!” The man was even wetting himself now.

“Do you still wish to live…?”

“Yes! Yes! I do!” He answered with all the desperation brimming inside him.

“You will live…. you will live… but first!” The creature stared into the human’s eyes. “You are going to tell me…everything!”

The man whimpered and nodded frantically without any hesitation.

“Tell me all about the settlement… where all of you… humans… gathered up… the place… that you humans called… what was it? Ah…. yes… it’s called… town.”

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