|Author: Himezaki Shiu||Original Source: Syosetu|
|Translator: PunishedLyly||English Source: Re:Library|
「Well, let’s start from the very beginning, shall we? And Miss Cielmer, I know you have things to say yourself, but I’d like to ask for your silence unless I’ve said something wrong.」
「Understood. The concerned party’s viewpoint could have some subjectivity after all. As long as Chasse doesn’t put me in an unusually disadvantaged position, I’ll stay quiet.」
We were in a room located in the inner parts of the guild. There were two large sofas sandwiching a table. I suppose this is a reception parlor originally meant for meeting with people of high status. While it had a simple interior design, it still had class.
Ain and Chasse sat near the doorway while the guild master and Tolt sat opposite of them. As everybody sat on their seats, Chasse started speaking.
「The start of it all wasn’t anything particularly special. Miss Cielmer here was heading to the request board when Valbar bumped into her. Since this was a conflict between hunters, I had no reason to intervene unless things went too far, and since Miss Cielmer was the stronger one, Valbar and his cohorts got the tables turned on them. From her perspective, she was just being bothered, but Valbar only reaped what he sowed.」
「Well, that alone isn’t really an unusual story. Regardless of age, anyone with a high-tier should be able to defeat someone at Valbar’s level with ease. So? Where does Tolt come into play?」
「Before that, let me ask this: Guildmaster, do you know what Tolt’s Job is?」
「Like I would. In the guild, both hunters and the staff have the freedom to keep their Jobs for themselves. Besides, Tolt is the sub-master’s favorite. The way the sub-master brute forced him into a position was infuriating at that time, but Tolt’s work itself shouldn’t be bad at all.」
As the guildmaster defended him, Tolt’s stiff face slightly softened. Ain didn’t have anything to say in particular, so she silently listens to their exchange.
「Well, when Valbar was trying to pick up our little lady here, he tried to force her Job out of her. Naturally, Miss Cielmer kept it to herself. Despite that, it was exposed, somehow. And the reason for this is because Tolt over there said it himself.」
「Then, upon hearing her Job, Valbar loudly announced it to the whole guild.」
For a while, the guildmaster silently stared at Tolt as his jaw dropped in pure shock. Soon after, 「Is this true?」 he asks Tolt for confirmation and, for some reason, 「Yes.」 Tolt proudly nods before pointing at Ain.
「In that situation, if she had only told her Job immediately, it would have sorted out that problem. But instead, she wouldn’t say it at all, so I said it in her place. But I guess my timing was bad since things escalated all of a sudden.」
「Tolt, you… Haven’t you realized what you’ve just done?」
「No Job is better nor worse than the others, right? It’s properly written as one of the Hunter Guild’s principles. But despite that, isn’t it weird that she kept her Job a secret? She even caused trouble for everybody, I only did what was right.」
「I see. Then, what’s your Job?」
「T-that’s, the sub-master told me not to say it…」
「Why do you know other people’s Jobs then? Is it because of your Job?」
「I see, just shut up.」
Hearing anger in the guildmaster’s voice, Tolt shrank away and swallowed his words. The guildmaster scratches his head in unrestrained irritation and then shifts his gaze to Ain and Chasse.
「So in short, Tolt’s Job belongs under the category of Appraiser. Using his job, he uncovered this girl’s Job, and then publicly disclosed it. Still, why is Tolt here when he was supposed to be off-duty today?」
「He was originally there drinking at the same pub where I was. Miss Cielmer then entered the pub to gather information and left after completing her objective. But immediately after that, Tolt left as well, so he was probably following her.」
「Then what about you, Chasse. Why were you here? You were also drinking there, weren’t you?」
「The old geezers said that things might get troublesome, you see? During that, they also told me about Miss Cielmer’s true strength, so I followed partly out of pure curiosity.」
「To begin with, why were you following her, Tolt? Was her Job something particularly rare? Even if that was the case, you can find as many rare Jobs as you want in the guild, you know?」
I’m sure that the people Chasse referred to as the old geezers are those veteran-looking people. If they noticed Ain’s barrier, then they likely understood her strength as well. In this case, I’m then recognized as an unknown mysterious child, so it’s understandable that they then shared this information before an incident happens. Especially since Chasse seems to be someone trusted even by the guild, all the more reason.
The guildmaster turns his attention to Tolt, but Tolt isn’t talking at all. Ain doesn’t seem to understand this too, so I decided to tell her my opinion.
『Perhaps it might be that he couldn’t see Ain’s Job at first. That’s why he was curious.』
『But since he said it, he should have seen it, right?』
『So then, why did he insist that he saw “Song Princess” from me?』
『While I agree that this is weird, it might be because he saw our Job at the pub but isn’t seeing it right now.』
『Ain constantly has a barrier up, but while Ain sings, small gaps tend to appear, see? I’m sure that he couldn’t see our Job when the barrier was fully active, but when the barrier weakened, he might have gotten a small glimpse.』
Realizing her mistake —I don’t think of it as a mistake though— Ain’s face turned bright red. She was absolutely adorable, but I suppose she remembered the current situation, as Ain quickly returned to normal.
「I think the reason Tolt was following me was, likely, because he couldn’t see my Job at first.」
「Yeah, I think so too.」
「Oh, you knew?」
「Though I, myself, didn’t notice it, the old geezers told me about it. We were drinking and it’s not like I can actually do anything about it even with the knowledge, so I hope you’d let me off for this.」
「That’s my own fault for letting my guard down in public as well, so I don’t mind that.」
As Ain and Chasse talked to each other, Tolt’s eyes went wide open as he listened. It’s as if what both of them were saying hit the right mark. And as expected, the guildmaster didn’t overlook this situation. Perhaps realizing that this can’t be explained away, the guildmaster lowered his head to Ain.
「As you say, this is a mistake on our part. We’ll have him demoted and compensate you for the trouble. The disclosure of your Job might be disadvantageous but since you’re strong enough to defeat Valbar at your age, you would have been discovered either way. With that said, could you let this incident pass?」
It sounded like an honest apology, but Ain’s smile only intensifies. When was the last time I saw this emotionless smile. It’s obvious that she’s pretty mad. I have my own doubts about the guildmaster’s apology myself, but at the same time, I can’t help but feel pity for him. And it seems like Ain isn’t the only one mad here, as I hear a deep sigh beside me.
「Haa… I’m disappointed, guildmaster. I was propping you up since we’re in front of Miss Cielmer here, but I’ve had enough of this. I’m tired already, I feel stupid for treating you with respect.」
「Chasse. Weren’t you and I both sick of the Job caste? Have you forgotten those days when we used to talk about how we should make a change?」
「Sure, we both held the same goal. That’s why we both worked ourselves to death, with me now leading a B-rank party, and you now in the position of guildmaster. We were pretty distant in age, but you were a good friend to me. That’s exactly why I asked my party members to have us move from the headquarters and work as inspectors for this place instead.」
「Even so, I can’t allow injustice. The fact that a member of the guild staff publicized a hunter’s Job without any permission is just absurd. And in the event that this happens, the usual practice is to severely punish and discharge said staff member. In this case, this can be interpreted as a guild staff intervening; and worse, taking a side; in a dispute between two hunters, as on top of disclosing a hunter’s Job. If this gets out, you’re going to lose trust from hunters.」
「Alright. I’ll fire Tolt and the sub-master for bringing him here, is that enough?」
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With bitter reluctance, the guild master gives this proposal. Hearing that, Chasse glances Ain’s direction. Ain strongly shakes her head and shrugs.
「Now then, how will I be compensated for what happened? After all, I’m not really hurting for money, and the dismissal of a staff member is the guild’s concern, it doesn’t benefit me the slightest.」
「Damn low-ranker, overpricing yourself…」
Hearing Ain’s words, the guildmaster mutters a complaint as he grinds his teeth. Low-rankers refer to hunters ranked D and below, C-rank and above are called high-rankers. The reason for this is that from C-rank on, the amount of hunters per rank greatly decreases. Due to this, it’s generally said that getting to C-rank is the first wall for those who aim to be a top hunter. Hence, your abilities will be recognized when you reach C-rank.
At that point, even the guild can’t treat you lightly anymore. Conversely, low-rankers can’t even complain about most things the guild does. I became a hunter at 10 years old, so in normal cases, 12-year-old children like us have no chance of being C-rank. However, we are in fact C-rank hunters and we were even told that the only reason we can’t be B-rank is because we lack the required achievements which refers to the amount of completed requests and the evaluation based on that.
In fact, I alone have the ability to defeat a C-rank monster, so his words are pretty much based on false assumptions.
「First of all, guildmaster. I’ve only touched on topics that don’t involve Cielmer’s Job and rank so far. And Miss Cielmer over here, is a full-fledged C-rank hunter.」
Matching Chasse’s timing, Ain takes out our guild card. This simple card, if you ignore the magic circle in the back, certainly has C-rank written on it. Being shown actual proof, 「Wha…」 the guildmaster was left speechless, and his shoulders visibly trembled.
「Impossible. Except for certain cases, reaching C-rank would take at least 10 years.」
「We can check with the Headquarters if you want to be sure, but don’t tell me you haven’t heard the rumors of the white-haired girl? You can just verify with the Headquarters on whether this is true or not. After all, they’ll naturally be informed when a hunter ranks up to C-rank. You better start realizing that opening your mouth without confirming the facts will only endanger your position. And now, about Miss Cielmer’s Job…」
Pausing there, Chasse looks at Ain’s expression. After seeing Ain nod, 「It’s Song Princess.」 Chasse said so. The guildmaster stares at Ain in disbelief. As the guild master fell silent, Ain simply began to speak.
「I am a Song Princess. Guild master, surely, you understand the implications of my Job being made public. Even if a gag order is imposed, leaked information is difficult to control. If this news spreads throughout the capital, I could be persecuted and never allowed to set foot in the royal capital again. Now, how will you ever take responsibility for this?」
Faced with Ain’s chilling tone, the guildmaster continued to keep his silence. Chasse then joined in to corner him.
「Miss Cielmer. Could you tell us your thoughts on how the guild should take responsibility for this? While it’ll have to pass an impartial assessment, well, most things will probably be acknowledged if you ask me.」
「I’ve had my suspicions about this, but Chasse, you have a pretty important position, don’t you?」
「Despite how I look, I was dispatched by the Headquarters as an inspector. Normally, I’m just another regular hunter, but in times like these, I have enough authority to stop a guildmaster from running wild. While I’ll be penalized in a later time if it was judged that I misused that authority, today’s case is what it is.」
「Then as a prerequisite, I want Tolt to publicize his own Job and what he’s done to me. After all, he’s the type of person to have no qualms about divulging another person’s Job, so he shouldn’t have any complaints when his Job is exposed as well. Still, considering Tolt’s Job, if what happened today isn’t made public, more victims like me could appear in the future, so please be thorough about this. Other than that, I’d like my safety within the royal capital to be assured, and for a gag order to be imposed as much as possible, I guess?」
「And your main demand is?」
「I’d like to have the largest magic bag available in the capital’s guild. Also, please levy the money needed to replace the magic bag from the people related to today’s incident. Valbar and his cohorts, Tolt, and the guildmaster. I’m not sure about the sub-master’s relation to all of this, so I’ll leave his judgment to you.」
Hearing Ain’s demands, 「Wait!」 the guild master was in a panic, but 「Well, it’ll probably fly.」 Chasse simply continues our conversation.
A magic bag is, to put it simply, a bag that can fit a lot of things. Since it takes away the feeling of weight as well, just having one makes traveling much easier. However, as it’s something that would take people with King and Princess-tiered Craftsmen-type Jobs several months to make, it’s considerably expensive. Even the cheaper ones are said to cost enough to build a house, while the expensive ones would need enough to build a castle. Ain gave quite an outrageous demand this time. Whether we prioritize long term or short term planning, it’s best to have one of these.
After that, Chasse had the guild master show us the magic bag —this one was a shoulder bag that could fit several large monsters inside— and gave it to us. To make sure we don’t get involved in any trouble on our way back, we were sent off from the requestor-use entrance. At that moment, seemingly remembering something, Ain looks up at Chasse’s face.
「I’m… surprised you thought of helping a Song Princess.」
「For hunters, anything is fine as long as you’re strong, you see? No high-ranked hunter would badmouth anybody that reached C-rank at your age despite having a Disappointing Job. If anything, they’d probably be more afraid of you.」
「Is that so? I’m quite cute in my opinion.」
As Ain abruptly said that, it surprised me. When she said cute, was she perhaps speaking about me? While Ain is in control, the body is mine after all, and if it’s the looks Ain is referring to, then that means that Ain thinks I’m cute, right? But, if this refers to Ain’s personality, which is definitely adorable, then does this mean that Ain is conscious about her own cuteness? Who am I kidding, I’m sure that this was to at least ease up the heavier topic that’s to come.
「I mean, you’re right, but that’s not really something you say yourself.」
「Well, I will say that the life I’ve lived isn’t anything near cute.」
「I can guess. I’ve been pushing myself like there’s no tomorrow, but I feel like your experience is somewhat different from mine.」
「I’ll change the topic, but I really wonder why Valbar was so flustered for a wound of only that size.」
「… Are you sure you just changed the topic?」
「It’s a secret. I heard secrets make a girl more attractive after all.」
「Okay, sure. You should leave soon, it’ll be bad if other people see you.」
「I’ll do so. See you.」
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Waving goodbye, Ain now leaves the guild for good.
Hiya~! Ciel Side Story: Round four~! Yay~!
Continuing from last time, well, and the last chapter in the main timeline, our guildmaster and Tolt have now received the their just desserts (Am I remembering my idioms right?). Anyhow, there’s a few differences here and there, but Chasse really feels a lot more… Frank? and youthful compared to the main timeline Chasse, it’s a bit interesting. The guildmaster and Tolt’s relationship is a bit different here though, since it seems like it was the sub-master that actually recruited Tolt and even the guildmaster was against it at first.
Also, this timeline gave a more clear picture about the B-class hunters like Carol and the Fool’s Gathering. So yeah, their main role, as it was implied, is likely to inspect and audit the guilds for the Headquarters, to make sure to keep the local guild personnel in check. Carol likely had Celia with her since she likely can’t do too much on her own, but the Fool’s Gathering doesn’t seem to have a partner guild staff with them. Still, no offense to Carol, but they’re likely more well balanced in the skillset department.
Also, they got the largest magic bag in this timeline, lol. And immediately too.
Now then, I hope you enjoyed this chapter. Please feel free to comment. Stay clean, stay safe, and have a nice day~!