1-2: The Fortunes of War (Part 1)

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Author: Natsuni Kotatsu Original Source: Syosetu Japanese Characters: 3250 characters
Translator: Shurim English Source: Re:Library English Words: 1857 words
Editor(s): Silva

I slept like a baby and woke up early in the morning, refreshed. After taking a shower and brushing my teeth, I change out of my pajamas and into my clothes for the day.

For underwear, I wear a white bra and panties with light blue polka dots and strings of the same color. I also slip a pair of long gloves and knee-high socks. Under my appraisal skill, the entire set of clothing is displayed as the “Shrine Maiden’s Fetters”.

They were originally cursed items used to lower the attributes of young girls offered as sacrifices to an evil god. Well, now the god is dead, and the clothes are mine.

Using the Enhancement skill, I’m able to multiply the clothes’ effects by 20 times. Then, by putting on “Divine Protection”, a necklace that strengthens the effects of equipment, I’m able to amplify their effects to a whopping total of 400 times. At this point, I have the strength of a very well-built adult if I try my best at holding back my strength. Maybe it’s asking for too much, but if they’re going to lower attributes, I wish they would lower your sub-attributes as well.

Finally, I slip an apron dress over everything and head downstairs. Working hours have yet to begin, but making rounds a bit early has become a habit of mine. I am awake, so if anyone needs something they need help with, they know I’m available.

“Good morning.”

I poke my head into the hall and greet the two working at the reception desk. To be completely honest, being a receptionist entails dealing with a lot of idiots, and I don’t want either of them to quit on us. Human relations are important.

“Ah, good morning, Illya.”
“Morning.”

It seems like Ria’s handling the reception desk today. Her tail, which sways under her short skirt looks even cuter today. What an angel.

The other person working at the counter is Luke, a human. Half-elf or full elf, he seems to hate them both, so he doesn’t talk much to me. Not that I really care.

“Ector was looking for you. He said to tell you to see him as soon as you can.”
“Ah, Ector? Understood.”
“I-if you understand, why are you still patting my head?”

It’s because you’re too cute. Just that moment, a pair of what looked like customers came through the entrance of the guild, dashing my hopes that this moment would last longer. Guess it can’t be helped, I’ll head over to Ector’s place.

Ector is the lord of this city. Apparently, he received the title of nobility for his outstanding achievements on the battlefield. At the end of the day, however, being a commoner soldier, the land they gave him was in the middle of nowhere. By the way, I heard this directly from him with my own two ears.

The man is somehow even more friendly than Frank, and is often seen strolling around the city. Maybe he doesn’t have any work to do.

I arrive at the gates of the lord’s mansion, but am stopped by a guard from entering. Apparently, the lord is at the city’s west gate, and I am to go there instead. From his tone of voice, he seemed quite used to his employer’s habit of handing off his responsibilities.

Once I arrive at the west gate, I see Ector surrounded by a group of knights, a complicated expression on his face.

“Good morning.” I greet the lord.
“Ah, Illya, morning. Do excuse me for calling you all the way out here.” Ector responds, slightly bowing his head. I have a feeling feudal lords shouldn’t act so humbly, but looking at the wry smiles that surround the man, I decide to let the issue go.
“No, it’s nothing at all. More importantly, did some kind of problem arise?”

Nine times out of ten, when Ector calls me over, it has something to do with a request for the guild. Our public relations guy isn’t in the office most of the time, and a lot of our staff is buried in paperwork and can’t move from their posts. Half the time, the guildmaster isn’t even in the building, which is also a problem. Naturally, it then falls to me to deal with this kind of thing.

Sure, there isn’t much distance to cover, but a gofer is a gofer. Well, I’m used to it.

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“We’re not completely certain, but… it seems a Rondobear has been sighted on the highway to the west.”

Rondoville Bear. Otherwise known as the Rondobear. As per the name, it is a bear-shaped monster that inhabits the Rondoville Kingdom. Its main characteristic are the enormous forelimbs that set it apart from normal bears. For a monster, the Rondobear is pretty mild-mannered. The creature is also omnivorous, and although it isn’t particularly dangerous, an enraged Rondobear or one that just woke up from hibernation can be too much for the average mercenary. The monster is placed on a relatively high level in terms of strength.

However, it is smack dab in the middle of spring right now. There should be no reason for them to come all the way out to the highway to look for food. After all, just south of the highway is a dense forest, teeming with monsters.

If the monster really is looking for food on the highway, this could end up being the worst-case scenario for normal people like peddlers on the road.

“…that’s odd.”

It shouldn’t be looking for food. The subjugation request that yesterday’s party of four accepted should have also taken place near the western highway. Maybe I’m being paranoid, but if this is related, then things might get a bit messy.

“For the time being, I will return to the guild office and do some investigating. Would you like me to post a subjugation request?”
“Yes, please do. That, and an estimate of how much it will cost as well.”
“Understood. Then, I will see you later.”

When I return to the guild, I am greeted by the considerable bustle, made by the usual crowd that comes to have breakfast.

When are you guys going to stop eating and start working!?

“Hey, Claude, can you get me an estimate for a Rondobear subjugation?”
“Rondobear, yeah? Gotcha! I wonder what the market price is…”

In reality, I wanted an estimate for the reward for the subjugation of a Rondobear and other monsters of the same rank. I also wanted him to look up the price of the monster parts of a Rondobear, if they’re requested. But I don’t need to tell Claude this—he’s already on it.

“Dajeel, can you look up any subjugation requests around the western highway?”
“Is up until two months ago okay?”
“Yes, go with that, please.”

Everyone here is more experienced than I am, but they listen to my requests without a word of complaint. What’s more, they’re all veterans at their jobs, and the speed at which they get things done is a lifesaver.

I’m going to be doing an outdoor investigation. As for clothes… this is fine, I guess.

I feel a gaze, and when I turn around, Ria and Luke are staring at me in a daze.

“What’s wrong?”
“Um, it’s nothing!”

Almost as if she was caught by her manager skipping work, her face turns beet red, and she returns to the reception desk. You’re cute, so I’ll forgive you, but do your job, okay? I don’t care about what Luke does, though.

I leave from the back door of the guild and head towards the south gate.

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“Oh, it’s Illya. Are you heading out for a bit?”
“Yes, just going out for a walk.”
“Take care, alright?”
“Thank you, I will.”

Even when they’re fictional, elves in most worlds tend to hate humans, and this world is no exception. This is why elves that work in human civilization are extremely rare, which is the reason why most of the city recognizes me.

Well, I like to think so. It’s either that or my clothes, and I really hope that’s not the case.

Now then, I’ll take a little detour from the south gate over to the forest near the west gate. There’s no need to actually enter the forest, though. Actually, there are probably bugs crawling all over it, so that’s a big no from me.

“I guess around here is fine.”

I take a quick look around, confirming that there is no one in the area. Alright. Unique Skill, Clairvoyance, activate.

“Eeeeeeeeek!”

There are b-b-bugs, e-everywheeeere…!

Everything went black.

Ugh… disgusting…

“I-Illya!? Are you okay!?”

As I approach the south gate on the way back, the gatekeeper jogs up to me, a worried expression on his face.

Do I look okay to you!?

I’m defeated enough to think of saying something like that, but I’m too exhausted to actually put it into words.

“I’m alright. I’m just a bit weak to the sun…”
“I… I see. I guess so, huh.”

Even I thought that excuse was a little too weak, but the gatekeeper got over it pretty quickly. Maybe I really do give off the impression of a frail, elven girl.

“Can you walk?”
“Yes… I’ll be fine.”

I’ll be fine, so stop touching my butt as if you’re pretending to wipe the dirt off my dress. It’s like shock therapy—I’m a little better already.

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“Ah, Illya, welcome back.”
“Oh… Riaaa”

Ria lets out a squeal as I pull her into a tight hug, healing my broken spirit. I can see people waiting at the reception desk, but I don’t care right now. Keep it up until I recover, Luke.

“A Tyrant Spider…”

In the drawing room, Ector stiffened upon hearing the name. He had come to ask about the estimate for the Rondobear but received much more weighty news instead.

Tyrant Spider. Its bodily proportions are the same as a normal spider’s, but just the head of the enormous monster is as large as a human adult. The spider is armed with a mouth large enough to swallow a human whole, as well as a hard exoskeleton that cannot be pierced without the right weapons. Its fangs and claws, which can easily pierce steel, drip with paralysis inducing poison. The monster also enjoys breaking its prey’s bones while they’re alive and swallowing them whole. Truly a creep to rule them all.

What’s more, the creature’s movements are quite agile for its size, and its webs require at least lower order magic to be burned. You really need the right tools for the job when you’re going up against it.

It’s even classified among the higher ranks of boss class monsters. If something like that was lurking in the forest, it’s no wonder other monsters are fleeing it.

Well, at least from the influx of subjugation requests near the western highway, this is what I can guess. Monsters living in the thinner parts of the forest were driven out first, so it probably isn’t too far off the mark. Frank, who is sitting beside me, also makes a troubled expression.



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