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Chapter 25: The Nimble Thieves [2]

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Author: Kobayashi Homare Original Source: Syosetu Word Count: 3569 characters
Translator: Nomad English Source: Re:Library Word Count: 1875 words
Editor(s): Deximus_Maximus

The man’s name was Serow. He had been born and raised in Bordaule, and was currently living in a village a distance away from Surfour. Living his entire life in a mediocre village without any special products or tourist attractions, he grew tired of his monotone life and decided to dedicate himself to become a successful merchant in a bigger city, using the savings he gathered from whatever small job he was able to find. Without any solid leads, his new job hunting led him to a company with a chain of stores, so he contacted them asking to be hired.

Since he did not even have a letter of recommendation, he was obviously rejected. The workers of that company had been learning the ropes as apprentices since they were young, and knew all about the formalities and knowledge related to the job. Other than that, the workers were either transferred from other companies, had experience as peddlers, or had some sort of past as merchants. Serow had no experience at all, so there was never a chance he would get hired.

But then he was approached by a certain couple. “Do you want to sell together with us?” they whispered to him as he grumbled about his problems while drinking in a bar. As much as he was ignorant of the world, or in less pretty terms, even being a country-bumpkin, he was still reasonable enough to not trust strangers with his hard-earned money. The couple then began prodding at him in attempts to win him over, first drinks, food, then gambling. Ensnared by pleasures never experienced in his village, Serow slowly began to give in, and as the finishing blow, came women. The woman introduced by the couple began seducing Serow.

Since his village was mostly inhabited by children or older people, every time a girl came of age, she would get flooded by suitors and not too long after already be someone’s wife. Serow never managed to stand out so he was well past a marriageable age, which made it easy for the woman to make her move. Telling him to keep everything secret from the man, she invited him to an inn alone, but a moment before they did the deed he lost consciousness. It would take him until the next morning to wake up again.

At first, he felt confused as to what happened, but then he remembered that the woman made him drink a cup of wine before he passed out. She had said it would get him in the mood, but now he could not remember anything after that. He hurried to check for his wallet, but it was too late. There was no trace of the woman in the room, but in her place, he found his worn-out and completely empty wallet.

“Unless they’re somehow found and killed I won’t be satisfied! Isn’t there anything you can do?!”
“Mmm…”

A drop of sweat rolled down my cheek as all I could do in response was to let out a grunt. There were so many things I wanted to point out I did not know where to start. I could understand his wish to leave his village and make a living in a bigger city, but I could not comprehend why he would want to become a merchant like that so suddenly.

If that was his goal, then it was best if he went to the merchant’s guild and started with simple jobs, or to become a peddler and slowly increase his lineup that way, or at least that is what I thought. Then there was his trust in people he met in a bar, it is common sense that everyone in a bar are worthless people. More than half are simply drunkards, while the rest are heartless low-lives. People who are friendly enough to cheer up and keep a stranger company are basically non-existent.

Even here in this city people never went to drink alone because of this, if not, one risked losing their wallet or any possessions they carried. One always had to be together with a trustworthy companion to drink. If there was no one like that nearby, then at least one would have to not drink too much to be able to defend oneself.

Everything said, Serow would have been able to avoid basically everything if he simply did not let his guard down. It might seem harsh to say that for someone who lived his entire life in a small village, but it was the truth. He had also not done anything wrong, so it was also not correct to say he received what he deserved. I could only feel sorry for him. But he wanted to kill that couple simply because of that? Wouldn’t recovering the money or beating them up be the first idea one would think of?

“…I understand your story now.”
“Then you’ll accept my request?!”

Why did he jump to that conclusion? He leaned his body forward full of expectation and I had to push him back with one hand.

“I’ve told you countless times already, but we won’t take any assassination request. Did you try going to the city guards and submit a complaint?”
“I did that long ago! But they said they’d look into it but to not keep my hopes up! Those b̲a̲s̲t̲a̲r̲d̲s̲ probably already left the city!”

That sounded reasonable enough. It was hard to imagine a thief would stay long in the city where they acted. If I was one, I would have fled as soon as I could.

“Then how about this? You hire adventurers to search for them. We can’t accept assassination requests, but you can submit one to capture them.”
“…But do I have any guarantee they’ll find them?”
“I think it’s better than doing nothing. Either way, even if they can’t be found, you’ll only lose the upfront deposit. What do you think?”

Serow took out his wallet and looked at it with a frown. He had just lost a large sum of money, so his finances were probably in a tight spot. He had also mentioned he returned to his village to gather back some money before coming here.

“…I’ll place a request. Do everything you can to find them, and I’ll kill them with my own hands.”
“…Alright. Can you describe those people to me then?”

It might seem cruel, but the guild would not get involved in whatever happened to that couple and Serow after the request was completed. The Adventurer’s Guild was neither a law-enforcing organization nor a charity. I ignored the pity in my heart as I mechanically wrote down the description Serow gave. But as the description became more detailed, I noticed I was frowning without knowing.

“What happened?”
“Wait a moment…these are…”

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The description felt familiar. Or rather, it was identical to the target of a request that came from another guild. I left Serow in a separate room and returned to the front desk where I took out the book with unpublished requests. I leafed through it in search of that one request.

“Here it is, found it.”

It was a request to take down a group of thieves. They had sprung up recently in Surfour and other neighboring cities. The thieves were extremely slippery and every time preparations to capture them were started, they would vanish. Their escapes were timed so perfectly that it was suspected they could have contacts inside the guild or government.

Though it was hard to believe soldiers or knights would join a group of thieves. After all, they basically had a safe and peaceful future secured as long as they accomplished their duty with honor, so getting a small share from a thief’s bounty was nowhere near enough to sway them. The more realistic theory was that they had many members mixed amongst the citizens of the cities who focused on gathering intel.

The other guild also mentioned that every time the guards attempted to capture someone suspected of being part of that group, they would vanish. Serow’s description of the couple matched that of members of the thieves, so they probably had emptied his pockets while they fled the city.

Considering those thieves were already wanted, there was no problem anymore. Even if he killed them, as he wished to do, it would not be counted as a crime for him. I returned back to the room with Serow as fast as I could and told him about that.

“I-is that true?! Can I really kill them?!”
“There is an arrest warrant for them, and they’re wanted dead or alive, so there’s a high chance they will die if we fight against them. It’s just that…”

I had to tell Serow the truth. That was my duty as a receptionist.

“We won’t be able to take you with the search party. I can’t imagine a group that would want to take someone with no experience fighting to such a dangerous mission. On top of that, if that couple catches even a glimpse of you, they’ll try to run instantly. So in that sense, it’s best if you stay behind as well.”
“But why?! I won’t be satisfied until I kill them with my own hands!”
“I can’t do more even if you say that. Normally I would not even tell you this much information about them. I’m only doing it because I feel sorry for you.”
“…”

He still looked dissatisfied, refusing to accept it. I understood his feelings, but he had to let this much go. Just keeping him safe would be a chore, but considering his short temper and lack of experience he could pose a grave danger to the lives of the entire party. If he were to be taken hostage the adventurers would also be incapable of doing anything.

“I can’t allow you to go with the search party, but at least I promise I’ll inform you if it succeeds. More so if that couple is captured.”

This was as far as the guild could go. The request about the thieves had been given by the governor himself, so Serow as an outsider would be in no place to even know about it normally. Even letting him know of the result was giving him a rather privileged treatment.

“…Okay, I understand. That will be enough. Just let me know if it succeeds or fails.”
“Yes. You can come back in a few days to ask for an update. I’ll let you know if anything happened.”
“Thank you.”

As I watched him leave the guild, I massaged my stiff shoulders and let out a sigh of relief.

“Seriously, there are so many different people out there. At least I learned a thing or two. Anyway…this request could come in handy.”

As I glanced at the request book, I began thinking about Luvias. It would be easy enough for her to gain experience fighting monsters, but I also wanted her to experience fighting with other people. The thief gang was not too numerous, so I thought they would be the perfect match for her. Together with Ciel and Karin, she would have no problems.



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