Interlude: The Boy, the Party, and the Betrayal ※Brass POV

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Author: Himezaki Shiu Original Source: Syosetu
Translator: PunishedLyly English Source: Re:Library
Editor(s): Fire

The four of us came from the same village. We played a lot together when we were still kids and since all of us got Combat Jobs when we became 10 years old, we promised to be hunters together.
In the village, the Job appraisal happens once a year and all the kids that can take it are gathered during that time. That’s why if you’re unlucky, you might just spend almost a whole year anxiously waiting to know what your Job actually is.
Moreover, they don’t really keep the results much of a secret, so it’ll pretty much immediately get talked about if there are unusual Jobs.

Because of that, our Jobs got immediately known to everybody too.
I, Brass, am a Greater Swordsman, Terencio is an Intermediate Warrior, Ilda is an Intermediate Archer, and Perla is a Lesser, but still rare, Water Sorcerer. We’re well balanced, with two vanguards and rear guards each, and since I, with my Greater Job, am here too, becoming a top hunter isn’t just a far off dream.
With the village having high hopes for us as well, we decided to leave the village when we reach 15 and head to Sannois Town to become hunters.

But when I became 14 years old, my little sister got sick. It wasn’t an incurable disease, but the cure for it costs 3 gold coins.
Naturally, our family doesn’t have that much money. Even if I left home to lessen the burden on the expenses, all our family can do is to take care of my little sister and pay for the necessities.
Because of that, when the four of us turned 15 and left the village to become hunters, I pleaded with the other party members to make my portion of our earnings be just a bit higher.
Even without doing this, I thought that I, having the Greater Job, should naturally have a bigger portion in the party but we’ve been together since we’re kids. I don’t want us to get into some weird argument.

Teren and the others looked a bit shocked but they agreed in the end. Perla smiled as she told me that she hopes that my little sister gets well soon and gave me a push from behind.
Perla was petite, unlike the tall Ilda, and was as kind as she looked.
Her smile has saved me many times in the past. And I’m sure that it will keep saving me even in the future.

When we left for Sannois, our parents gave us 1 gold coin.
In other words, we have 2 large silver coins and 5 silver coins each. This is our budget for now but this won’t even keep us in an inn for a month. If we cut down on our expenses, it should last us about 20 days in a cheap inn when including our food. And we do have weapons, even though they aren’t in good quality, so we don’t need to worry about that.
I wanted to use this gold coin for my little sister’s medicine but obviously the other party members wouldn’t agree to that.
It’s because if we don’t get a stable livelihood within the 20 days that we still have money, we won’t be able to continue on as hunters.

We started from G-rank and our goal is to reach E. I know that it’s impossible to start immediately at E-rank, so the plan is to become F-rank as fast as we can and earn as much money as possible.
And then, if we can get to E-rank before we run out of money, we’ll be able to make good use of our Jobs to earn more money. I really wanted to quickly earn enough pay for the medicine but if we can just rank up, it’ll be easy to save up money as long as we don’t waste it.

That’s what I thought, but it looks like there is a system so that hunters can register as E-rank from the very start. This can only be passed by people with enough strength but I, a Greater Swordsman, should be able to pass the test easily.
They asked me for proof of my strength, so I told them my Job and I was allowed to take the test.
In the end, I failed the test. But they did guarantee that I have some promise and would probably reach E-rank fast, so I decided to continue working hard.

All four of us started from G-rank and worked to help around town.
Each of us earned about 2-3 copper coins a day. Combining all of our earnings, we have about 1 silver coin. The four of us need about 5 silver coins a day, so we would only have enough for 4 days even after 20 days of working.
Still, the people from the Hunter’s Guild might have understood our situation, since we managed to reach F-rank after about 10 days.

Even after we got to F-rank, we still generally take requests separately. It depends on the request, but now we can earn at least 5 copper coins, and sometimes almost 1 silver coin, a day.
Moreover, if we can hunt for animals, we can earn even more money as a bonus.
Since we can now go outside the town to have practice battles with each other, we’ve lessen the time we spend on doing requests and do combat training to prepare for the E-rank test. We’re now used to moving outside, so if we can pass the test, we’ll reach E-rank.

The four of us became E-rank a year after that. During that year, all we basically did was work, train, and sleep, we ate in our spare time. We decided to downgrade our stay and moved to a room where the four of us huddled together. In the meantime, I continued to make contact with my family. So even though it’s just through the letters, I always feel relief when I know that my little sister is fine. Still, I hope I can send enough money to buy her medicine soon.

I worked hard to reach this far. I’m really glad that we reached E-rank. Just one more rank up and we should be able to have a considerably stable life. Once we reach D-rank, we can take pride in calling ourselves hunters.
Even though it’s true that it’ll take years to rank up from here on; the stronger you are, the shorter it will take.
If we can get about 2 silver coins a day from the reward and the magic stone, I should be able to save up for my little sister’s medicine.
In that case, I should be able to save up 3 gold coins in half a year.

That’s what I thought, but a problem happened within a month after we became E-rank.
Ilda and Perla said that they wanted to move. It looks like they wanted us to take two two-person rooms instead of staying in one four-person room.
If we do that, it’ll cost us much more money. I was completely against it but since Teren sided with the girls, we ended up getting two two-person rooms.

And even after that, more unexpected things continued happening.
First of all, our party ended up deciding that we should mainly target small mobs of goblins as a general rule. For the requests, we would accept the【Defeat the goblins ruining the fields】and stuff, but there were only a few goblins appearing and the reward wasn’t much too.
It’s better than an F-rank request but I can’t quite save up, so it’s really frustrating. At worst, we might even take the slime extermination that isn’t that different from an F-rank request in reward.

Moreover, since we’ve started hunting monsters, our weapon’s deterioration is becoming a problem.
We studied how to do maintenance on our weapons for 5 years back at the village but still; the more we use our weapons, the more worn out they get.
My longsword, Teren’s one-handed sword and his shield, and Ilda’s arrows get damaged constantly, so I can’t save much money.
Sending letters to my little sister already costs much, when can I ever save up 3 gold coins?

And as we continued on with this life, 2 years have passed and we’re now 18 years old.
My little sister will be 15 soon. Before that, I wanted to buy her the medicine. So with that in mind, I asked the party if we could accept the most difficult E-rank request but they didn’t want to accept it.
More than that, they’re even talking about rethinking our reward distribution lately.

They stopped when I told them that they promised to give me more for my little sister, but our party’s mood isn’t good.
Terencio started ordering us around when we’re fighting monsters these days, so I ignored him and hacked down the goblins.
In the first place, if Terencio didn’t use that shield of his then we could’ve cut down on our equipment money and I would have saved up 3 gold coins by now.

During this time, that incident happened.
That day, I took one of the more difficult requests in E-rank, the Goblin Leader request.
If we could repeatedly defeat a Goblin Leader, then I should be able to buy my little sister’s medicine in no time. Besides, I, a Greater Swordsman, can probably defeat a Goblin Leader easily.
Thinking so, I accepted a different request instead of the one that we decided on. The other three pressed me for answers on why I did it, but we can’t change what I already accepted.
If we cancel the requests, there will be a penalty and it’ll affect our record as hunters. Because of that, they eventually gave in and we went off to defeat a Goblin Leader.

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We searched for a Goblin Leader since morning and, after a break, we finally found a Goblin Leader in the afternoon together with several other goblins.
Still, I immediately went for the leader. In situations like these, they say everything else will be easy as long as you crush the head of the group first.
And not to brag but I somehow know which monster is the strongest within a crowd.
Thanks to this ability, it’ll be safe since I, the strongest one in the party, would go against the strongest enemy.

If I can defeat the enemy quickly then I can support the others after, so I think that this is the best choice.
It feels like there are a bit more mobs around this time but it’ll be fine if I just defeat the Goblin Leader immediately and help the others after. That’s what I thought.

However, this Goblin Leader was stronger than I expected.
The sword it had was tattered and shorter than mine but he easily blocked and dodged my attacks.
And even though it’s bigger than the usual goblin, it’s still shorter than me.
I, a Greater Swordsman, am having a hard time against it? Then maybe this monster isn’t actually a Goblin Leader, but the stronger High Goblin or Captain Goblin.

But even if that was the case, our abilities are equal. It’ll be hard to win immediately but I won’t lose.
Then in this case, I just need to wait until Terencio and the others defeat the other goblins. Once it becomes a 2 on 1, then losing is out of the question.

And then the battle’s turning point immediately came. An arrow flew from behind me and pierced through the leader’s eye, so using that opportunity I swing my sword with everything I have.
I couldn’t chop it’s head off but the impact was enough to kill the goblin.
After seeing the Goblin Leader fall, I turned to the others.
And what I saw there was my usual party members along with one woman. Judging from the fact that she’s wearing a monocle and a staff, I figure that she’s a sorcerer. She’s probably about 20 years old.

Terencio was bowing his head to that person and Perla was looking at her with admiration.
I didn’t understand the situation so I looked around and saw several goblins with ice arrows sticking out of their heads.
A Water Sorcerer like Perla might be able to do this but her sorcery isn’t this strong.
In other words, that sorcerer woman defeated them.

I headed to Terencio and asked him what happened and he told me that she saved them.
So he means to say that the three of them had a close fight with mere goblins?
Since he admitted that she saved them, we have no choice but to give something to this woman as thanks. The request isn’t treated as a failure but it won’t be counted as a success.
In short, we have no choice but to pay her a part of the reward. So because of this, what’s the point in me getting a rewarding request in the first place then.

I grabbed Terencio’s shoulder and was about to complain but Terencio was glaring at me like he was looking at trash, so I couldn’t say anything.
We dealt with the goblin corpses while Perla and Ilda were talking to the sorcerer, and Terencio and I avoided looking at each other. After that, we returned to the guild while still iffy.

「In that case, this request will be processed as an unofficial non-recorded success.
You will still receive the reward but this will not be recorded as an achievement so please keep that in mind.」

The receptionist said so and handed over a pouch with the reward.
It was more than we’ve ever received before but half of this would go to that sorcerer woman in the worst case. Just thinking about that makes me feel irritated.
Terencio is asking her how much we should give but it’ll be great if she says that she doesn’t need it instead.

「E-rank rewards don’t amount to much, so I don’t particularly need any of it… Is what I’d like to say, but taking nothing in this situation would be a problem as well. So with that, 10 percent is enough.」
「Well if you say so….」
「Since it’s the rule, please take half of the money.」

When I was about to give 10 percent of the reward, Terencio said something uncalled for.

「Since she said that 10 percent is enough, that should be good enough.
We need this money. Why go out of you way to make us lose more money?」
「Carol-san saved us. If she wasn’t there that time, then we probably would’ve died.
If we get off easy on top of that, then we’re not going to learn any lesson from this.」
「Lessons can’t buy medicine.」
「I see. Then in that case, I’ll pay it on my own.」
「Then do that.」

If he had that much money on him, he should’ve just given it to pay for the medicine.
In the first place, since the only ones that almost died were the three of them, then it’s weird that my portion gets reduced too.
The sorcerer woman said「Are you done discussing?」and urged us, so I took out the 10 percent from the pouch and gave it to her.
Terencio was about to give a lot more money than what I handed over but Perla and Ilda stopped him and slowly took out their money too.
After they all handed their money over, they bowed to her again.

After we finished talking with the woman, we went back to our inn and gathered in the room Terencio and I were staying at.
Before this, it was easier since we didn’t need to decide on which room to gather at but now it’s really annoying that we have to think about it every time.
The reason that we always do this is to distribute our rewards. Up until now, after deducting what we need for the party’s necessities, the remaining reward would be equally divided into 5 to include my little sister. But if we don’t have enough to pay for the party’s necessities, each of us gives out some money equally. When that happens, we take some from my little sister’s portion too.
But this time, I definitely won’t accept an equal distribution.

「I’m taking half of the remaining reward this time, okay?」
「What the heck are you talking about?」

After hearing what I said, Ilda talked back at me. Even though it was their fault for struggling that we couldn’t complete the request, what the heck are you talking about? That’s my line.
Terencio is saying something to her to calm her down and Perla is moving around flustered. Then it looks like Ilda was convinced by what Terencio said since she just silently nodded.

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「So no complaints on me taking half, yeah?」
「Nope, me and Ilda won’t be needing our share too.」
「You sure about that?」
「Yeah, but we’ll be leaving this party in exchange.」
「Haa? What are you talking about?」
「I’ve already had enough of working with you.
Especially with how we almost died today. All thanks to you choosing a request that was beyond our level.」
「It’s your fault for not being able to beat mere goblins, you know?」

Ilda was taunting me. Getting annoyed by that, I provoked her in return. Then Terencio put his hand on her shoulder and shook his head.

「If you don’t understand from that, then I don’t have anything more to say.
And one last thing, how much have you saved for the medicine?」
「Still not enough to reach even a single gold coin. How much do you think it costs me to send letters?」
「I see. Later then.」

Terencio took his stuff with him and left the room with Ilda.
Now it’s only me and Perla left so I turned my eyes to her and for some reason she was glaring at me.

「Brass-kun. Is it true that you were sending letters to your little sister?」
「Yeah. I need to know if she’s still okay after all.」
「I see…… Even though everybody already said that we should send our letters together because mailing is expensive, right?
Yup. I don’t think I can stay with you anymore either, Brass-kun. Bye.」

Wait! Before I could stop her, Perla left the room.
Only the reward pouch was left in the room, so even when I yelled「Didn’t we all promise to work together to buy my little sister’s medicine!?」no one responded to my words.



Hiya~! It’s the last of the 3 consecutive interludes, with the second one being the Ciel interlude I posted in advance, and… Geez, this guy’s got a problem.

It’s a bit hard to read someone getting more and more cocky as going through their life. It’s nice that we had character development for someone that we barely had a glimpse of before but… yeah. Still, it’s interesting to see how a seemingly bratty but not really evil brat get twisted by his environment. The biggest problem with how he grew was really because he had a “superior” Job and that everybody treated him like he’s special. Positive reinforcement isn’t a bad thing, but too much of it, in addition to the lack of any parental/authoritative figure stopping him from inflating his own ego really got the worst results. At first he was just a cocky but caring and still slightly sensitive boy, an although he mistakenly sees himself as entitled to more than his friends, he still puts his friendship first. However, this is just one interpretation, it might not even be true.

Still, you can see how less and less he sees his other friends, except for maybe Perla, even calling Terencio by his full first name instead of his nickname, which he used to do in the past. Still, it’s amazing how being a bit stronger than his peers made him so egoistic. Ignoring someone’s order because he’s “superior” instead of trying to understand why he’s ordering him around, blaming everybody else for any misfortune, being insensitive, being ignorant, not even knowing other people of higher rank for some reason and being disrespectful, not listening to his friends’ advises, these are just his personality problems. He had great potential if you think about it, a high-tier job, the ability to discern the strength of his enemies, a perfectly good party which doubles as considerate friends, he’s practically a hero archetype. A dumb but strong individual with great power and instinct. But his ego brought him down. He wanted to be a hero, he was a show off, he literally sent letters, which probably cost a ton with how dangerous the world is, instead of saving for his sister’s medicine, which he even got a cut of the party’s earnings for. He could have practically cured his sister before the second year if he only stopped sending letters or just told the other people so they could chip in for their letters too (the request was probably not based of the number of letters, only for the delivery) but he didn’t. Because he wanted to play the tragic hero sending letters to his sick family. Because he though more about sending letters than who he’s sending the letters to. Good job breaking your human relationships, prick.

Anyways, I hope you enjoyed this chapter. Please feel free to comment. Stay clean, stay safe, and have a nice day~!


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