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

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Author: Natsuni Kotatsu Original Source: Syosetu Japanese Characters: 3379 characters
Translator: Shurim English Source: Re:Library English Words: 1943 words
Editor(s): Silva

“So, Illya1. Do you mean to say that monsters will continue to be driven out of the forest?”
“Yes. If we ask for reports from Waleville, which is west of the forest, and Fort Earle, which is southwest of the forest, I believe we can obtain greater confirmation for whether this is true.”

If my suspicions are correct, subjugation requests should have increased in those two locations as well. I would be more afraid if the number of monster appearances wasn’t rising. That would point to the possibility that the spider is capable of manipulating other creatures as well.

After a pause, Ector opens his mouth to speak.

“Frank, I want to ask for your opinion as the guildmaster.”
“The Tyrant Spider is a disaster class monster. I believe it would be wise to recruit a good number of members from the mercenary and mage guilds and attempt its subjugation as soon as possible.”
“And how long would that take?”

This time, Ector was facing me. Sending a familiar as a runner to the guild headquarters would take about a day, and the guilds would need time to come together… We also need to send requests to each branch office, so I would like to say it would take five days for everyone to gather, but that would be too slow. But if they’re coming to Luneville…

An additional reward is given by the country for the subjugation of disaster class monsters, so we can ignore the upper limits of our budget. But depending on the composition of the party… well, for a monster this strong, the guild should limit the number of lower level participants, so…

“It should take about ten days for departure. As for the reward, we can have them split an estimate of 20 million gils.”

A gil is a unit of currency issued by the guild. Unlike currencies minted by individual countries, of which prices fluctuate depending on their content of gold, silver, or copper, gils work as a global currency. In order to reduce the number of people trying to buy and sell them for a profit, the average person is only allowed to convert other currencies into gils, and not the other way around. There are a lot of restrictions placed on it, but as a result, it has become one of the most reliable forms of currencies in the world.

Back to the discussion.

“Just ten days?”
“Only twenty million?”

I get two very different questions at the same time.

“The first reason I’m giving it an estimate of 10 days is simply because we don’t have any leeway in terms of time. The other is to sift out the people with the skills we need. People who are competent are often quicker to take action.”

Quicker, in all sorts of ways.

“20 million will be the baseline reward. If we let them take the monster parts from the defeated tyrant spider, I doubt there will be a problem with the amount.”

Most upper rank guild members place more value in resources than money, anyways. For combatants, it’s materials for their weapons and armor. For mages, it’s often magical mediums and resources for research. Which is why, rather than paying them the full price of the request, allowing them to take parts of the monster should be a much better deal.

“If, ten days later, the members we’ve gathered don’t look like they’re likely to succeed, we’ll end up needing help from the knight’s order. If Ector can request for the order to arrive fourteen days from now, we could cover that scenario as well.”

A wry smile spreads across both of their expressions.

“You mean you want me to pit the guild and the country against each other?”
“I have no idea what you’re talking about.”

Since I was the one who dampened the mood, I try to smile my best smile to make up for it. After all, I’ve nothing but good intentions.

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To put my proposal in other words, we’re telling the guild that rare materials in addition to a reward of 20 million gils are ripe for the taking. However, if they don’t hurry up, it might just be snatched away by the kingdom.

For the country, paying fifty knights a monthly stipend is a much cheaper option than the hefty 20 million gils and intermediation fee it would pay the guild.

See? Nothing but good intentions. The guild, like any other organization, looks for profit. And it just so happens that I, work for the guild.

“It is true that we don’t have much time, but isn’t this rushing things a little too much?”
“Yeah, maybe, but aren’t spiders disgusting?”

A moment of silence. I was being serious, but the two of them look at me, as if that wasn’t a good reason. Well, no mind, there’s something else I want to address as well.

“One more thing about the request, would you mind putting it under my name?”
“I don’t mind, but…”
“Can we at least ask why?”

Of course it would be odd for a mere guild receptionist’s name to be on the request. I totally understand the questioning looks on their faces, but it really isn’t much of a reason.

“Just in case.”

Ten days later, only five people gathered in response to our request. However, the expressions on Frank and Ector’s faces as they ushered them into the drawing room were not ones of despair, but of confusion.

“Illya, Illya, Illyaaa!”
“That hurts, Lula.”

The one with her arms tightly wrapped around me is Lula, a dark elf with long ears and dark brown skin. Usually, elves and dark elves aren’t on the best terms, but as a pair of outcasts, we get along pretty well. Well, “pretty well” might be too weak a word for it. She’s completely attached to me. Maybe even in love with me. We can fulfill our girl-on-girl desires together.

Ahem. Anyways, as per usual for dark elves, she is especially talented in magic and is even one of the two people in the world known to use primordial magic. The last time we met, she was also a mage, but now she’s an even higher rank than before. Her magical attributes have also increased.

“No fair…” a voice of envy leaks from a nearby swordsman.
“What was that, Chris?”
“Ack! Nothing! I didn’t say anything, so you can put your fist down, okay!?”
“Selena, I think what Chris wanted to say was, that he would also like to be a part of this touchy situation.”
“I see… I see…?”
“You-, what are you saying, Eric!?”

The party of three act out a skit I’ve seen time and again. All of them belong to the same mercenary guild, The Stars of the Eternal Night. To quickly introduce them, Chris is the swordsman, Selena is the warrior, and Eric is the summoner. I met the three of them around the time I was wandering around in the island countries to the east. If I remember correctly, on a journey to defeat demons or something, we defeated some kind of greater demon or something like that. All of them are stupidly strong despite not even being 20 years old. Well, in terms of physical age, I’m actually a bit younger than they are.

Anyways, it looks like they’re all doing quite well.

“Illya, make me your disciple.”
“No.”
“Why…?”

A young elven man looks at me, dejected. I hate elves. End of story.

“Hey, Lula! Don’t touch Illya, you dark piece of s̲h̲i̲t̲ elf!” this time, the elven man turns over to shout profanities at the mage.

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“…Who even are you?” Lula replies, turning her eyes to look down at the elf, her arms still tangled around me.
“Heh. Hahaha… stand down, Undine. We won’t make an example of her just yet.” the elf chuckles.
“Whoa… that was a spirit?”

The voice of surprise came from Selena, who had just noticed the strands of power leaking out from the woman standing beside the elf. When I had told him that he had an affinity for spirit magic, he had yet to even learn the basics. Actually, isn’t that a greater spirit? Even its starting attributes are pretty high… I wonder why.

“Undine and an… elf… Ah! You must be York! The stupid elf that tied a contract with the greater spirit from the elven fountain!” Lula says.
“Watch your mouth, dark elf. I could turn you into a block of ice if I so pleased.”
“As if! I’d crush you flat before you had the chance!”

They never grow up. Maybe it takes elves longer to mature, as a result of their longer lifespans2.

“The two of you, quiet down a little, will you?”
“Okaaaay.”
“Yes, ma’am.”

Alright, back to business.

“I apologize. Please excuse the noise.” I say, bowing my head once in Ector and Frank’s direction. Their expressions of confusion seem to deepen as I do so.

“No, it’s fine. I guess this is what people mean when they say quality over quantity.” Frank says, and I completely agree. Forget about a demon lord, we could probably defeat an evil god with this party.

“Lord Ector, I’m sorry to bother you again, but would it be possible for you to notify the knight order? I think they will understand if you just inform them of the members of our party.”
“Yeah… yeah. Well, about that, they actually decided not to dispatch the knights order.”
“Huh?”

Has that monarch gone insane?

“Don’t jump the gun. Apparently, they received a notice from the guild saying that it wouldn’t be necessary.”
“Ah, that might just be our fault.” Chris says jokingly, one of his cheeks swelling in the shape of a hand3, “We told the old man at the guild that there was nothing to worry about because we would be going.”
“I see…”

That would explain things. I guess the mercenary and mage guilds just decided to close recruitment after that. Which would explain why there are only so many people here.

“In exchange, it has been decided that the Stars of the Eternal Night will receive an audience with his majesty.” Chris continued.
“Jeez, what a pain.” someone groaned.

I have no idea what their guild is going to ask for in return, but I guess it does sound kind of ridiculous to pay 20 million for sending a party of three. I guess part of asking for an audience is also to ensure the king is even going to pay that price. But if they closed recruitment…

“Wait, how did Lula and York accept the request then?”
“Well, you know, you did send the request under your own name,” Lula responds.
“I also ensured that the mage guild would report to me immediately if they found a request with your name,” York added.

The two of them are a bit too attached. I put my name down as a form of insurance, not for this to happen. Should probably stop doing that from now on. Or next time it’s not just going to end with hugging.

Anyways, with this, there should be zero problems with the request.

“I just want to note that the guild will be inspecting the quality of the materials gathered, so please do handle them with care.”
“Understood.” the party of five says, in unison.

(This chapter is provided to you by Re:Library)

(Say no to content thief!)

In other words, I am going to be very upset if you guys bring a pile of ashes back.

“Try not to destroy too much of the forest… and may the fortunes of war be with you.”

Rest in pieces, vile4 spider5.



References

  1. Robinxen: Breaking news, Robinxen just realises a character is called Illya after reading multiple chapters.
  2. Robinxen: This makes very little sense from an evolution perspective, ideally you want to mature as quickly as possible. Well, not that logic applies to a fantasy world.
  3. Silva: He got slapped huh….
  4. Robinxen: I hate spiders too.
  5. Silva: Nice ending.

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