|Author: Kobayashi Homare||Original Source: Syosetu||Word Count: 3038 characters|
|Translator: Nomad||English Source: Re:Library||Word Count: 1606 words|
Just one look at this old man Krieck and I could tell he was strong. Though that was only compared to the other adventurers I had seen earlier, compared to the average back in the day, he was nothing special. His skill with a sword was probably around the same as Karin’s after her training. If Karin was pitted against him now, Krieck would probably lose.
There was a door further inside the guild, he opened that and we went out to a place that looked like some sort of garden. There were multiple tattered dolls in the shape of humans, so I figured this had to be some place for the guild’s staff and adventurers to hone their skills. Krieck pointed to a shelf there, on it were many different types of weapons, ranging from swords, spears, to axes and bows. The edges of all the weapons were flattened, so they were obviously not meant for actual combat, they were not real weapons, and at most could only be used for mock fights.
“Well, choose whichever weapon you like the most.”
(What should I do…?)
I went there and chose a sword that had the appropriate length while I thought about how I would break through this test. When it came to winning, I could do that easily. It did not matter how much Krieck struggled, he would never defeat me. The difference in our strength was that big. But if I were to get a really flashy win, I felt that it could become troublesome as well.
From what I had seen, Krieck looked like a well mannered person, and he attracted the respect of those around him, but I did not know what his true nature was like. If fate were to have it so he was the deeply rancorous type, it would be the worst outcome for me. I would end up in a confined workspace while constantly having to suffer under the whims of my superior, and I really wanted to avoid that. I was not afraid of fights, monsters, or attempted assassinations, but only of human relations.
(In that case, there’s no choice but for me to go easy on him and find a way to win while letting him keep his dignity.)
Thinking that, I remembered what he had said just a few moments earlier. There was no need to go as far as making the other fall. In that case, I could simply exchange blows with him until he was satisfied.
“Are you ready?”
“Yes, come at me whenever you want.”
“Lapis, good luck!”
“You can do it!”
I nodded to Karin and Ciel’s encouraging words, then held my sword with both hands, and waited for Krieck to make the first move. His weapon was the same as mine, a sword. Its length was roughly the same as well, so there should be no discrepancies between their efficiency. It was going to be a match purely based on skill.
Krieck leaped forward. It was obvious he was the master of the guild, he was around as strong as Karin after being tempered from the ground up in that mountain, or maybe one step above. He was aiming at my shoulder, so I shifted my body a bit to the side and dodged it, swinging my sword at his torso in counterattack.
He dodged my sword by jumping back. But since he had to force his body to do that, his posture crumbled. Seeing that, I took a step towards him to attack in pursuit…but he dodged me without much effort again. As he fixed his stance, the expression on his face changed completely from the one he had earlier. He was getting serious, or rather, it was as if he had no room to think of other things.
He launched a downward strike together with an invigorating yell. That was his fastest attack until now, so I had to stop it with my sword. Together with a heavy metallic clang! that resounded through the space as we clashed, our swords grinded against each other.
Krieck looked desperate as he tried to crush me with all his might, but my sword would not budge. There was just too big of a difference in our strength.
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Realizing striking me from above would not yield any results, Krieck stepped back for a second, then began sidestepping sideways, all the while trying to hit my head and feet. He was probably trying to make me lose track of his shifting attacks, but that would not work on me. I barely moved from where I stood, only looking where his sword was going and stopping it every time. As that went on, eventually Krieck’s stamina also began giving up, so he increased the distance again while he let out ragged breaths.
“Hah…hahh… What a bind, I didn’t think I would be this restrained going against you…”
I could see many beads of sweat welling up on his forehead, it was clear his body had reached its limit. But he did not seem to be frustrated by it, a refreshed smile spreading on his lips instead.
“I can gladly say that you’ve passed. Your skills should be plenty to defend yourself, and you should be able to punish anyone who misbehaves as well. We’ll gladly have you here, Lapis.”
As I vigorously nodded in return, Ciel and Karin jumped at me. I could tell my lips were automatically pulled into a smile. After being useless at anything except killing monsters, I had finally earned a job at an actual workplace. I had found a foothold that would lead me to live as a regular person, it was obvious I would be happy for that. Krieck watched with a gentle smile as the three of us girls hugged each other happily.
“Now then, let’s hurry up and introduce you to your colleagues and show you the work you’ll be doing. Ciel and Karin, you two should return to the reception desk. We can’t show the interior of the guild to adventurers who aren’t staff here.”
“See you later, Lapis.”
They waved as they went back, and when they were gone, Krieck took me to the second floor of the guild. There were many rooms there, and I was taken to the largest of them. After a small rattle, the door was open, and everyone doing office work inside turned at the same time to look at me. For a moment I felt like I was about to faint, but I steeled my nerves and walked inside the room.
“Everyone, take a break and listen for a bit. I’ll introduce you to a new staff member. Her name is Lapis, she will mostly work at the reception, but from time to time she’ll do some paperwork with you here. She comes from a rural area so there might be times when she takes unconventional acts, but I hope you can help her in those times. Lapis, anything you want to say yourself?”
He pushed my back and I took one step forward. The tension had already stiffened my body, so I had to calm myself down…something like this is nothing compared to fighting the demon king to death…I can do it. After taking a long breath, I felt the tension loosening up a little. I was a bit better already.
“Nice to meet you everyone. I’m Lapis, and I’m just a beginner, so I’ll probably cause you a lot of trouble, but I’ll always try my best, so please bear with me.”
Saying that, I shortly bowed my head forward. As I did that, many of the staff members stood up energetically.
“It’s our pleasure!”
“Welcome! I’m Kevin! If anything’s bothering you feel free to tell me about it!”
“Welcome! We’re always free to receive any princess-like cute girls here!”
I was slightly concerned that the members who stood up like that were all young men, but I was glad that everyone else also seemed to welcome me.
“Alright, let’s go to the reception now. Apart from Camille who you met earlier, we only have one other receptionist, Miranda, who’s resting today. The two of them had to handle everything and always had their hands full, so you’re really a life saver now that you’re here.”
A guild would never really have a day off, so that meant the two of them would be taking turns all the time at the reception… It sounded like hard work. When I saw Camille working at the reception earlier, she seemed really busy, and there was no one else at the counter. Which meant she had to deal with all the adventurers who came for anything alone. And even now it was also her to whom Krieck called.
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“Master… I’m sorry, can you wait for a bit? I have my hands full at the moment.”
“Alright, finish what you’re doing.”
I observed silently how she worked until her workload eased up a little. It was simply amazing how quickly she dealt with the adventurers coming in one after another like items in an assembly line.
She had to process the quests that were completed, register new members, attend those who wanted to post up a quest, or hand out the payment for materials that were handed in, she completed all her duties without rest. I could not even imagine how long it would take me to reach that level of efficiency.