|Author: Kobayashi Homare||Original Source: Syosetu||Word Count: 4434 characters|
|Translator: Nomad||English Source: Re:Library||Word Count: 2264 words|
My name is Abel. I’m turning 17 this year and am a beginner adventurer. I always admired other adventurers, so I worked hard to slowly save up until I could afford to buy second-hand equipment and left my village to follow my dreams. Half a year has passed since then, and I finally reached the point where I can support myself with the money I earn as an adventurer.
When I first registered at the guild, I barely encountered any worthwhile jobs, every day I would have to deliver letters or packages, help someone move, clear sewers or streets, or catch a lost pet that ran away. There was nothing related to being an adventurer, and I earned barely enough for my daily necessities.
From what I heard, this was like a rite of passage for all new adventurers, everyone had to spend some time with worthless jobs before succeeding, though apparently there were many who also quit early because of it. Receiving work that could barely be called that, colluded with their mental image of an adventurer, causing a breach in their passion, leading to frustration and ultimately calling it quits.
I got where all those people came from. I forced myself to keep going while every day asking myself why I had to do any of that work. But as I kept going and slowly saving up, I also noticed my earnings increasing, and then a few complicated requests started trickling down my way.
The first request I got that did not involve mundane work was one that involved gathering herbs to make potions. The term ‘potion’ alone is used to refer to the healing kind, a really practical medicine with effects that scale depending on their rank.
Entry-level ones can heal small wounds and recover some stamina, middle-level ones can close deep wounds stopping the bleeding while also recovering half a person’s stamina, finally, high-level ones can seal off the stumps of amputated limbs while fully recovering one’s stamina.
All of those are easily acquired in most stores, but there’s one more type, top-class potions that no regular person can get their hands on. Those are a miraculous type of potion that often gets called an elixir.
From what I heard, those have incredible properties, like fully restoring lost limbs, healing of chronic diseases, fully reinvigorating any person, and even restore all of someone’s mana. Only the very rich or high nobility can acquire those, so regular people never get to even see one, with the exception of a very skilled alchemist that could make one.
But one thing all of those potions have in common is the large amount of herbs needed to make them. The higher level they are, the more herbs are needed as well, so the guild gets requests for herbs all year round. The guild makes its own potions, but there are always other organizations that also need them, but none of their members have the time to go out and gather the ingredients, so they dump it all on the guild. Because of that newbies like me can earn enough to live, so I can only be thankful.
Most of the required herbs grow in mountains and plains isolated from civilization, so going to gather them almost always ends up with spending a night camping in the wild. In other words, to complete one of those requests one would need food rations, water, a blanket, some flint, and other consumables before heading out. The pay was more than good enough to cover those costs after the fact, but it was still a bit tricky to accept those requests without any savings.
It took two months since I started before I accepted the first herb collection request. At first, I was really anxious if I would get attacked by monsters or bandits while I was out, but the request was completed in a breeze. After my trip of two days, I was back at the guild to give the herbs to the receptionist, a girl with an angelic smile who always treated me nicely.
She was Lapis, the person I looked up to the most, as well as the person I secretly had feelings for. I had never seen a girl as cute as her back in the countryside where I grew up, and even here in this city, there was no one like her. I fell for her the first time we met.
It was impossible not to like her, with her shining golden hair and eyes like blue gems, her pleasant voice that rang like a bell, she was always in a cheerful mood, and had polite manners regardless of her client, whether it was a veteran or a beginner, never discriminating against either.
However, I’m not the only one who is in love with her. There’s a lot of other people who also like her, even if they only spoke with her for a few minutes, some are my age, but there are many who are much older as well. It’s not just other adventurers though, even some of the merchants who only briefly visited the guild had their eyes on her. But most of them were in the same situation as me, without daring to even ask her out on a date. The reason for which was an invisible but very sturdy iron wall, her overwhelming strength.
When I first met her, some nasty guys were trying to get their way with her, so I jumped in without thinking, trying to save her. There was no way I, who had barely left my hometown and had no fighting experience, would have been able to stop ill-humored veteran adventurers, but I still could not sit still and just ignore them.
The obvious followed, instead of stopping anything I got cornered, and as my face turned red embarrassed at my helpless action, an unexpected savior appeared, Lapis who they had been surrounding earlier. She easily twisted the arm of a muscular and well-trained adventurer, then stopped an incoming punch with a single hand, which she used to launch the adventurer away.
As I watched a man sent flying backwards for the first time in my life, my brain refused to believe what I was seeing. But that was obvious enough, back in my hometown the only times when people were sent flying was when a giant boar rammed into someone.
That was surprising enough, but there was another incident that was even more shocking. When the flood of monsters came, something the army would normally deal with, she got rid of all of them almost single-handedly after our attempts only caused casualties.
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She possessed enough magic power to obliterate a large group of monsters, had knowledge of archaic magic long lost to time, and was proficient enough with weapons that no monster was a match against her. Many people thought she was strong enough to compete with the hero of legends.
Because of that many people pulled back from her, but some like me, just kept liking her more. She was truly benevolent and tried to heal anyone who was hurt, in a way she was like a goddess that would permit no evil, and rather than being afraid of her, I just admired her more. No one really said it out loud, but there were many people who were charmed by her.
But plain and common adventurers like myself only rarely got chances to speak with her. My only chances to talk with her are short moments when taking a request, or when returning from one to report how it went. Even then, that does not mean I get to talk to her every time I take a new request, if my luck is bad then I end up talking with another receptionist, or other times she is not even at the guild because of her classes in the training school.
Yes, she also started a second job at the training school. Training schools are new institutions that welcome anyone, regardless of race or nationality, as long as they want to become stronger. They were created with the goal of offering a cheap path for anyone to train and improve, ultimately increasing the fighting strength of the entire continent. From what I heard, they built these schools all over the continent and not only in Bordaule. Still, out of all those, the one in my city of Surfour is the most famous one.
According to multiple students I met, the size of the buildings and the tools are pretty much the same across all schools, but the graduates of our school are all an order of magnitude stronger than those of other schools. The reason was obviously Lapis. Everyone was aware that her princess-like appearance belied her true strength, and she also has considerable talent as a teacher.
I also took the beginner swordsman course, and if I had to describe her classes with a single word, they were hell. Training with her felt much more dangerous than fighting against any monster, with such a strict regime that all my past training felt like a game. Even when my stamina reached its limits and I collapsed, she would forcefully restore it with magic. I could barely think at that point, so my body would move on its own just to keep me alive.
After my first class I was so tired I thought I would be unable to move for a week. I was tempted to drop out many times during the training, and some students actually tried to run away, but Lapis would catch them instantly and subject them to even more extreme training.
In the end, when I had finished the course I noticed I had improved so much thanks to that I was surprised with myself. At first, I would struggle to fend off a single goblin, but now I could take on up to three orcs at the same time without breaking a sweat. I also reached Iron Rank at blazing speed, all thanks to her.
“Oh, hey Abel. What kind of request will you take today?”
“I’m going hunting. I heard orcs have appeared in some mountains a week of travel away from here.”
“You’ve been working really hard. Anyway, let me quickly get your paperwork done.”
The receptionist was Camille, who I had also gotten familiar with. I casually looked at the other side of the counter.
“You’re looking for Lapis? She has the day off today.”
“Huh? No no, that’s not it at all!”
“Really? You looked like you were looking for someone.”
She said with a broad grin. I could feel my cheeks growing hot and red out of embarrassment… It was really easy to read me, but who could blame me? If there’s such an attractive girl around, many people will obviously start liking her.
“You probably imagined it…and it’s not like I would be a good match for someone like her.”
“Well, the way you are now, maybe. But if you work hard enough who knows what could happen.”
“…I wish it was so easy.”
She tried encouraging me, but I could only reply with a weak smile. But that got me thinking, is there any man who could stand head to head with Lapis? She’s so beautiful, smart, and crazy strong. I find it hard to believe she would look at any regular man, no matter how hard he worked.
And what about nobility then? But no, she has no interest in political power. There were also those rumors that a few days ago she left the Leble’s heroes half-dead after they bullied her friend. As far as I knew, nobility stood lower than heroes.
“If you’re serious about it, why don’t you try becoming a hero? Maybe then Lapis would give it some thought.”
That was just crazy talk. A hero…that’s asking way too much! It is impossible for a mediocre person like myself to become a hero, no matter how hard I try. Camille patted my head as I began feeling stumped.
“Sorry sorry. I teased you a bit too much. Becoming a hero is probably a bit far fetched, I just wanted to say that you can try having a goal like that you can strive and work hard for. Maybe you can go for a Gold Rank for starters.”
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Gold Rank adventurers, the elite rank that a guild only had a handful of. Being a Silver Rank was considered a major achievement, but even they and all the other adventurers always dream of becoming Gold Rank, leaving a long trail of achievements behind them.
I am Iron Rank, so that still felt like a really high and far goal, but if I decided it was impossible from the get-go, I would never get anywhere, and no one can judge me for whatever goal I have, so I guess that will be my goal for now!
“Okay, I don’t know if I can really do it or not, but I’ll work hard to one day become Gold Rank!”
“That’s the spirit! Now you’re sounding like a real man! Good luck Abel!”
If I did become Gold Rank, I would be able to go on dragon hunting requests and fulfill anyone’s expectations of me. Though orcs were as far as I could go at the moment. As I walked out of the guild, I decided to work hard and become an adventurer even Lapis will look at.
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