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Interlude 1 – Novice Adventurers

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Author: Sasaki Ichiro Original Source: Syosetu
Translator: Mab English Source: Re:Library
Editor(s): Silva

Amongst many, many taverns in the Cultura town of the Aulanthia Frontier County, a majority of which also doubled as an inn, a not-so-merry—borderline grim in fact—group of three youngsters sat in one restaurant that… wasn’t exactly the best, but wasn’t the worst either, in terms of food and booze. Although it was still early evening, they held up the mugs of ale in their hands and clinked them.

“To our unemployment.”
“To our lay-off.”
“To our jobless tomorrow.”


The three of them drowned their despair with ale. Of the three; One was a swordsman boy in leather armor, equipped with an old-looking long sword at his waist. One was a female warrior dressed sensually as her armor only covered her hands, feet, chest, and crotch—and there was even a pair of drooping bunny lop-ears on her head too, an indication of her race—while she had her weary mace resting on the table. And the last was a catkin beastfolk girl equipped with a bow and arrow. A somewhat conspicuous combination of characters.

Incidentally, the boy was the youngest of the bunch at around 14 to 15 years old. The female warrior was the oldest, although to say she was only 17 to 18 of age herself. While the girl who seemed to be an archer was only 15 if not 16 years old.

“…this means we need to frequent the board in the guild again from tomorrow, huh. And here I thought we’d last longer in the Blade of Gale.” The boy brought the ‘cheap-but-filling’ dish of roasted beans mixed with dried meat to his complaining mouth.

“Hah! If you ask me, I say it’s great we’re out of there. Those b̲a̲s̲t̲a̲r̲d̲s̲ always looked at me all lecherous!” The female warrior, who spoke in the middle of bringing a spoonful of salad to her mouth, frowned as she recalled the memory. Unlike what her large and stumpy appearance suggested, her grace as she operated her utensils was equal to those of the upper class.

“…I’ll share it with you since we’ve already left, but their leader actually said that both Laika and I could stay in their group if we wanted, you know?” The girl with a bob cut and intelligent face paused her sipping to bring it up in a hushed voice, wary of the surroundings listeners.

Hearing that, the boy looked as if he had gulped a bottle of vinegar. “—What the hell?! He told me we had to be dismissed since he couldn’t sustain a large group for too long!”

“Oh, Jesse. I’ve told you, that prick can’t be trusted. To begin with, the fact he’s still ranked C at his age means he doesn’t have a good track record. The man can lie, but his rank tells the truth.” The female warrior called Laika shushed the boy as she added more ale to her body.

“I would say that he wanted to drive away you, aka the baggage, and take us as his side girls or something to that effect. Well, consider it an experience.”
“Figures… No, well, I’d say that we got lucky this time around. We had three whole months without having to starve, and they laid us off quite easily too since we helped them line their pockets and all.”

Blade of Gale, a group of adventurers notorious for frequenting the red district every night and never failing to make a racket every time. One day, the group received a request to gather mandreads, a magical herb that grew in Tenebrae Nemus and was considered a delicacy for a handful of gourmet. Considering the place they would go to, they put up a recruitment notice for extra members, and this party of three novice adventurers who hailed from the same hometown applied. As both groups did their mission together, they happened to run into the crash site of a nobleman’s carriage. Just in case it led to something much bigger, while the leader of the Blade of Gale found it too bothersome, Laika insisted that they would report what they saw to the guild headquarters in Cultura, bringing evidence with them.

As a result, they were rewarded with a large sum of money and special treatment in the guild as a group of heroes who saved the lord’s beloved daughter.

That said, it was mostly the members of the Blade of Gale who enjoyed the most lucrative reward, while these three weren’t much better off, being told that they were outsiders—for that part, though, the two girls who took on the task of taking care of the lord’s princess during her treatment were rewarded handsomely—Now that the princess’ had completed her treatment, the three were dismissed.

“Well, even I know that getting such a great deal like that isn’t easy. Not to mention, we ended up saving a life—a child’s too, and a princess at that, so I know being able to complain like this is pretty much a luxury on its own.”

With an unsatisfied face, the boy named Jesse cut into the dish that was a strange mix between bread and pizza; made by kneading flour and baking it with little pieces of pork and herb, and a stupid amount of spicy seasonings.

“Princess, more like the Ragweed Princess.”

Jesse glared at the girl, but she only shrugged. “She has nothing to do with ragweed. Don’t be a jerk, Eleanor.”

“Oh? The descendant of the great hero sure is something else, eh~”

Perhaps it was Eleanor’s mischievous tone that ticked him off, or perhaps it was because his dish simply had too much spice, but Jesse didn’t hide his widening frown.

“Don’t add too much chili on that, Jesse. I know your mind goes blank if it gets too spicy.”

Laika, the eldest of the three, tipped more of her mug with gusto before she called out to Jesse, softening the mood on the table.

“…I just hate it when people are given labels like Hero or Ragweed or whatever,” Jesse added, and then poured his food down with ale.

Realizing that perhaps she indeed had gone too far, Eleanor lowered her gaze with a heavy heart. Her feline ears drooped to match her feelings.

“I mean, this whole thing about my great-grandfather being Joey Arland the Brave has to be one big fat lie. Sure, they have the same name, and he apparently was an adventurer too, but from what my great-grandma used to tell me when I was a kid and how grandpa described him, he was always pictured as someone who wouldn’t stop doing random nonsense, was shortsighted and impulsive, and also a big fool who thought he was doing the right thing while making a show of himself running around in circles. And then, in the end, he’d gone senile and shouted “the unknown is calling for me!” and headed straight to the Dark Continent, never to appear again. When the news of him reached the guild, the adventurers all cheered for him…well, you can say he is a legend of his own category.”

He couldn’t possibly be the Joey Arland—concluded Jesse as he reached for the main dish; a whole roasted wild bird. Laika chuckled when he heard his story, nodding.

“You’re right. To be fair, I’ve met at least 5 people who claimed to be Joey Arland’s descendant in the last 2 years since I’ve become an adventurer.”
“Aah. Come to think of it, I met two people like that myself.”
“Right? Not to mention, this sword my great-grandfather kept on boasting that the Goddess had bestowed him was just a slightly good magic sword, not an ancient or even a legendary weapon.”

Jesse then tapped the sword that was buckled at his waist.

“Well, that’s a letdown. And here I was hoping we could relive the legend of a hero saving the princess.”
“Hell no, my life story is not a theater play.”

“I guess not,” commented Eleanor, easily convinced by Jesse’s casual remark, when she noticed that Laika fell into deep thought.

“What’s wrong, Laika?”
“Life story…somehow that pair of words made something click. I can’t quite put my finger on it, but I have the feeling that this whole ordeal felt so strangely overdone as if someone wrote a script and we were all made to play in it. —No, well, I must be overthinking it.”

Laika commented that it must be the alcohol (and the despair ahead) that made her think so, so she tried to laugh it off, but Jesse took interest in the topic.

“No. Hold on. Laika, between all of us, you have the most experience, and you’ve gone through quite a lot of battles. Don’t you think your hunch might lead to something more?”

Eleanor’s blank expression was soon followed by a serious look of pondering. “He has a point. Now that you said it, it does feel weird…yeah. It’s weird. It’s definitely weird that no one seemingly knows who’s the adventurer who initially saved the princess. Even if there’s a gag order, an info leak is bound to happen.”

“Mhm. Come to think of it, there was something odd about the princess too.” Once they all vocalized their suspicion, Laika sorted out the uncomfortable feeling that had been bugging her like a fishbone in her throat. “For someone who’s born in high society, she has no grace in her movement, and her manner was that of an imbecile.”

“About that… Isn’t the so-called ‘Ragweed Princess’ infamous for being ugly on the outside and ignorant and conceited on the inside? Doesn’t that mean she’s always like that?” At Eleanor’s question, Laika shook her head, saying “no.”

“Aristocrats, you see, no matter how much of an imbecile and a fool they are…if anything, the more so they are, the more particular their thoughts and mood will be. Simply put, they would throw their weight around. You can practically smell how raunchy their pride is even if they stayed silent and meek, but the princess that we met showed no sign of it. If anything, she’s more like a bought object—”

She slammed her mouth shut at that word and quickly looked around the surroundings as if she had snapped to sobriety.

“…this matter is much bigger than any of us, and I have a bad feeling about being involved in it.”

Eleanor, looking no less grim, casually darted a glance around. “So, what do you suppose we should do?”

“At the very least, don’t get ourselves any deeper in this mess,” Leika answered bitterly, a strained look on her face. (Although, I’m not sure how far deep we already are at this point…) She frowned, feeling the metaphorical thread strangling her.

“Why don’t we just flee the country?” Jesse, who had been pondering the question until then, suddenly proposed.

“…flee where?”

As Eleanor looked surprised at his proposal, Jesse smiled mischievously. “We are right next to the Groviall Empire, right? Since we’re here, let’s walk all the way to the imperial capital.”

“—Hmm. That sounds good.” Upon hearing that, Laika readily agreed. “I don’t know who’s the one pulling the string and writing the script, but I’m sure they wouldn’t bother to get rid of us minor roles once we’re out of the stage. I’m going. What about you, Eleanor? You don’t have to force yourself to follow us.”

“Aah, yeah, yeah, whatever. I might as well follow the two of you to the edge of the continent.” Eleanor conceded, raising both hands in the air.

“That so? That means we’re changing this party from an unemployment commemorative drink to a departure ceremony. To a new land!”
“Yeah. That sounds much more exciting.”
“Well, let’s drink our hearts out then!”


Once again, they clinked their mugs of ale. Unlike the first time, however, they had a hopeful, radiant smile on their faces as if they had just been rid of their burden.


Two days later, the three novice adventurers left the town of Cultura.

Three days after their departure, the adventurer group Blade of Gale was once again dispatched to investigate Tenebrae Nemus at the request of the newly appointed guild leader, and met their end at the jaws of the demonic beasts. 


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