|Author: Kobayashi Homare||Original Source: Syosetu||Word Count: 3328 characters|
|Translator: Nomad||English Source: Re:Library||Word Count: 1585 words|
Many things happened during my time in Leble. We got to meet all the other heroes, made friends with their party members, Lapis got angrier than ever before with the hero of Leble who we had some beef with… in short, it was a trip far from uneventful. Being able to meet an emperor, taking part in a dinner banquet, those were all things I had never experienced as an adventurer, and the change affected Karin and I a lot, making us feel very exhausted. Then when we got back after being away from home for more than a month, we collapsed as soon as we made it past the entrance of our home.
Still, we were adventurers so the next day we had to wake up in high spirits. Lapis left early to work at the guild, and sometime later Karin and I also headed that way. We were handsomely rewarded for our time in Leble by the government, but it was not enough for us to spend the rest of our lives lavishly so we still had to work and earn every day’s paycheck. We had also only been training with Lapis during that time, so I felt like my actual fighting senses were becoming dull, so fighting against monsters sounded like a good idea to brush up.
“Are there any interesting requests?”
“Hmm… if we limit ourselves to killing monsters there aren’t that many. But there are a few.”
I looked through the request book Karin showed me. It contained a list of monsters that had been seen near the city lately, as well as bounties on those that had actually attacked people.
“Orcs, goblins… and this… a werewolf?!”
A werewolf, also called a wolf-man. They were monsters that looked like biped wolves. Or it was easier to imagine a person with the head of a wolf. They were similar to kobolds, except those had dog heads and were much inferior in strength. Kobolds were easy enough to defeat for beginner adventurers, but only gold rank adventurers had a good chance at taking down a werewolf. They’re very strong compared to humans, have a high resistance to magic, and while their regeneration abilities are not as good as a vampire, it’s still considerable, to top it all off, they also have a lot of stamina so they can fight for a long time. They also have this weird property of being nigh untouchable by weapons unless they’re made of silver, so they’re easily capable of wiping out a small party of beginner adventurers.
“So it’s gotten to the point where we get this kind of monster around here?”
“Do you think it means the Demon King is closer to resurrecting? I feel like things have gotten like this all over the place after the Lich incident.”
Normally a surplus of monsters means more profit for adventurers, but there is a limit to that. Our guild has many capable adventurers, but the balance between bounties and demand was starting to tip, and many low-earning requests were left untouched. Of course the governor was not standing still while that happened, he started sending soldiers out to deal with monsters all over the place as well, but that was not enough to keep up.
“To match a werewolf the minimum would be a party of four silver rank adventurers, so five to defeat one.”
I silently nodded to Karin. Even if we were much stronger than before, the two of us would still have a hard time against a werewolf. There was a chance we could win, but we could easily end up with life-threatening wounds.
“If the two of us will struggle… maybe we should invite Luvias to come with us?”
“I wish we could do that, but she said she won’t be allowed out of the castle for a while after returning from Leble. Something about writing a report to the king.”
“I see. Let’s look for a temporary party somewhere then.”
We looked away from the board with all the requests pinned, observing throughout the guild. Most of the adventurers looked busy with finding requests or talking with the receptionists, but there was none that looked familiar or free enough. Now then, we wanted to take a request but we lacked enough members, luckily the guild offered a way to help with that.
First, we took the request to a receptionist like usual. But when accepting it we would indicate we wanted more members to help, so the request would be set on stand-by. That meant that a special mark would be placed on it in the request book and returned to the open request list. Then when another adventurer stumbles on the request, they could choose to accept it together with those who came first.
Of course, everyone had to accept after meeting each other, but the decision to let the new members in was entirely up to the first group. In our case, Karin or I had to decide. Though in the end, if there were two groups or more, the one with the least need for members could move on ahead if they wanted, even if the first group was not ready. After all, if there were constant disagreements over one request, the monsters would just keep multiplying, so if a group was ready to go out they could take the request without repercussion.
“Lapis, we want to take this one. Also, put it on stand-by for now.”
“Hunting a werewolf? I feel like you two would have no trouble with that, but I guess it’s best to stay safe. Alright, I’ll get everything ready in a bit.”
With accustomed movements, Lapis quickly drew the symbol in red ink. Watching her, I realized she had gotten quite used to being a receptionist as well. When she was done, the request book was returned to the board.
“Where will you meet up? If one of you stays in the guild, the other could be free to go anywhere until you leave though.”
“I’ll wait in the guild. It’s a pain to go somewhere else anyway.”
Lately, it was decided that when a request was put on stand-by, at least one member of the party had to stay in the guild so they could be contacted easily. I always carry a magic tome with me, so I can kill time reading it anywhere I go. Karin was still exhausted, so she preferred to rest on a table and nap instead of walking around. We were at a table in the corner of the guild, and apart from the usual tumult from the rest of the guild, the only sounds audible there were Karin’s soft breathing and the turning of pages from me. Around two hours passed like that when two adventurers approached the table we were at. When I noticed them, I quickly put my magic tome away, and Karin slowly stood up.
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“Excuse me. Are you two Ciel and Karin? Waiting to hunt a werewolf?”
“Yes, that’s us. You also want to go with us?”
“Precisely. I’m Labrusca, a silver rank adventurer, and this is-”
“I’m also a silver rank adventurer, my name is Vitis.”
They were a man and a girl, of around the same age as us. Labrusca, the man, had a sword at his hip, and his left hand had a shield fastened to it. His armor consisted of a steel breastplate and gauntlets of the same material. It looked like he preferred mobility over defense. His purple hair reached his shoulders, and his eyes showed a strong will as he observed Karin and I.
The other one, Vitis, wore similar equipment. Though below the breastplate she also wore chainmail. She probably wanted to have a bit more defense. Her hair was of a similar color as Labrusca, tied into a ponytail which gave her a more energetic look. Their facial features also resembled each other, so they might even be brother and sister. She also had a shield fastened to her arm like Labrusca.
“Anyway, I’m sorry to cut this short but can we move onto the interview?”
“Sure, I don’t mind. Let’s start.”
With that, he handed me a single sheet of paper. I took it and began reading through it. That paper listed the requests they had taken recently, as well as any notes on rewards and punishments handed to them by the guild. The guild handed these to possible candidates when they applied for a request on stand-by, since otherwise there was nothing else proving what kind of person they were.
(There don’t seem to be any failed requests or rule-breaking done by them. They also feel like decent people, so I think they should be okay.)
When I was done looking through it, I also gave the paper to Karin, and she had no issue with them as well, so we nodded at them. It was best if we did not make too many questions at this point as well, since it could easily lead to long and awkward times ahead, so looking through their history was enough.
“Well, we don’t have any reason to reject you. So let’s take that request together.”
“I’m glad then. It’ll only be for a while, but I’m looking forward to fighting alongside you.”
I shook the hand they extended, and with that handshake, everything was settled. We had formed a temporary party.