|Author: Tsunose Bun||Original Source: Syosetu||Word Count: 3024 characters|
|Translator: Jiro||English Source: Re:Library||Word Count: 1313 words|
“Hey, Merc. You sure took a while.”
Totoara greeted Merc as she entered the inn’s cafeteria. Merc also lifted her hand, but instead of focusing her gaze on Totoara’s hand, she fixated it on her enhanced chest.
“Did you already order?”
“Yea. It’ll probably take a bit, so I also ordered for you as well, I hope you don’t mind.”
“It’s fine. It’s not like the food in inns is that different.”
“The owners would get angry if they heard that, you know.”
Totoara murmured, her expression bitter, as she watched Merc take a seat. Their food was brought shortly after that.
It was a simple set meal with bread as the side dish and boneless fish as the main course. It didn’t appear to be either good or bad. Small grains of a fruit were served as dessert.
“I’ll say it once more. Welcome to the world of adventurers. Congratulations.”
Totoara spoke out just as Merc was about to put a piece of bread into her mouth.
“Thank you, senior… Come to think of it, Totoara, what Grade are you?”
“Four. And Zal is Grade 3.”
“I see. Is it really so tough to take down a Yellow Grade with a Grade 3 Adventurer of this age?”
Merc asked as she remembered Zal and Totoara ran away from the Guran that she’d fought for her final trial.
“It’d be tough for an adventurer from any age. That Guran was quite similar to a Ruzo Guran (Large Guran), which is an Orange Grade. If it was slightly smaller, then three Grade 3 Adventurers would have been able to take it down. However, to beat the one we faced, we’d need at least Grade 3 Adventurers approaching Grade 2.”
“And how about you, Totoara?”
“I wouldn’t stand a chance. Even though I’m almost at Grade 3, I wouldn’t be able to help.”
Merc nibbled the torn bread, satisfied with Totoara’s reply. She’d been eating mainly the prey she’d captured recently, so having food like this every now and then was nice.
“That’s right… That’s why I’m so eager right now!”
“I’m curious to see what type of monster you’ll become, given that you were able to take down a Guran on your own before becoming an adventurer. I’d wager that not even the Hero’s disciple would have been able to do that!”
It was undoubtedly doable for the present Blazing Impact, but they would have had a difficult time doing so when they initially started out. And the fact that Merc had been able to take down such a monster on her alone begged the question of who she was.
It was no surprise that Totoara was ecstatic.
Merc, on the other hand, ate her food quietly, avoiding Totoara’s gaze since she was at a loss for what to say. Totoara chuckled bitterly and kept her enthusiasm in check after seeing Merc in such a state.
“But to think that you’re still 14. You’re so young. You’ll definitely be active for another couple of decades.”
Furthermore, Merc was an elf. She could be active for a century or even more…
Come to think of it, I still haven’t told the Guild or Totoara that I’m an elf. Still, I don’t think anything will change even if I told them now. Well, I can just tell them if the topic comes up.
“By the way, Merc, do you have any parties in mind?”
Totoara inquired, her eyes wide with curiosity.
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When Merc heard that she instantly thought of her original party, however, she quickly gave up the idea. After all, it had already been 15 years. Gust of Wind had most likely found a replacement for Estert or were just acting with the other three members. It was also possible that they had split and were each pursuing their own interests.
Which only left Blazing Impact. With a short-ranged swordsman, a middle-range spearman, and a magician for long-range support, Blazing Impact was a well-balanced team. However, they lacked a Healer. It would likely be easy for Merc to fill in that position.
Merc, on the other hand, was not fond of the idea.
When Merc had looked at them from the side, she had noticed that Blazing Impact had a strong synergy. Each of its members were powerful in their own right, and they had a solid balance between them, which accentuated their strengths even more.
If Merc joined them, she risked disturbing that balance and weakening them. And Merc didn’t want that.
“No, I don’t.”
Merc replied after a short delay. Totoara immediately sprung up and said, “Then how about my party?! We’re quite energetic!”
“C-Close! You’re close!”
Totoara pushed her face closer to Merc’s, causing Merc to shrink back. To be more specific, it wasn’t Totoara’s face that pushed Merc back, but Totoara’s bulging chest. Unfortunately, Totoara couldn’t know that.
Totoara chatted to Merc even more happily without noticing.
“C-Calm down… First, I don’t know anything about your party. Second, wouldn’t this create some problems with the Guild?”
“Wouldn’t people think there was something shady if one of the examinees suddenly joined an examiner’s party?”
Totoara immediately sat back down after hearing that. She recognized that her suggestion would cause rumors to spread.
She’d most likely be criticized for passing the examinee only so she could invite them to her party. Or that she had purposely been kind to the examinee in order to get them to join her party.
If news of anything like this got out, even if it wasn’t accurate, negative rumors would spread, and the adventurer exam would take the hit. There was no way the Guild hadn’t thought of such a scenario. They most likely had some measures to prevent such things.
“There’s a rule that states that for the next five years after passing their test, the examiner is not permitted to form parties with any of the examinees…”
“I knew it. I’m sorry, but as you can see, it won’t work. Give it up.”
“Urgh… Then after five years…”
“I’ll probably have a party by then.”
Totoara glanced down, disappointed. Totoara, on the other hand, didn’t appear all that disappointed based on her tone.
“Despite your appearance, Totoara, you’re quite the scatterbrain.”
Merc said with a smile as she reached her hand towards the dessert.
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The dessert was a Goza, a small purple fruit with a thin skin. It could be sweet or sour depending on the variety, hence it was commonly presented as an aperitif with alcohol.
Normally, one would carefully peel the Goza’s skin with a knife and a fork1, but Merc had never been good at it.
It had been a while since she had attempted to peel them, but it was still difficult for her. Even though she had trained her hands by making medicine, she still couldn’t peel the skin of a Goza.
“Hm… You little… Ah!”
Due to her inability to regulate her strength, Merc dropped the Goza under the table. Merc merely stood there, dumbfounded, as the Goza rolled away, while Totoara looked at her and said,
“You really have some nerve calling others scatterbrained. Even kids nowadays have no problem peeling Goza…”
I’m amazed… I knew you were clumsy, but I didn’t imagine you couldn’t even peel a Goza…
“…?!” As the familiar voice overlapped with Totoara’s, Merc gave Totoara a startled look without saying anything, leaving her speechless.
“Huh? Merc, did something happen?”
Totoara remarked timidly, assuming that her last comment which she had said without thinking had upset Merc.
“N-No, it’s nothing. Hahaha. I’m as clumsy as always it seems.”
Could this be because of the dream this morning?
Merc’s heart was full of joy despite the harsh statement made by the voice that had sounded in her head like a dream.
- TL/N: I’m guessing that the Goza refers to grapes. In Japan, it is customary to peel grape skins before eating them, which prompted this thinking.