|Author: Himezaki Shiu||Original Source: Syosetu|
|Translator: PunishedLyly||English Source: Re:Library|
I generally want Ciel to be primarily in control, but an exception to this is when I proactively take the control for info gathering in the pub. Since drunk people are loose with their lips, making it easy to gather information, going to the pub saves us a lot of time as a result. Still, underaged minors are disliked in the pub. It seems like people that don’t drink are considered killjoys when going to a place that’s mainly for having alcohol.
From the pub’s side, they generally don’t see customers abstaining from alcohol as well. Because of that, I’m mainly performing to entertain the people coming here to drink for the benefit of the pub while also taking the opportunity to then get information. I’ve lined up my logic and reasoning, but this is all an excuse for me to sing in public, that’s all.
Just to make sure, I’m also attempting to give the impression that I am a “Song Princess” by suggesting I have a job related to singing in the pub. Therefore, it is quite convenient for me to take charge of the situation. If we wanted to, even Ciel’s dance should be able to make us money, but dancing in a pub makes it seem like we’re doing that sort of business; and more importantly, if we do something that could relate us to a Dance Princess, we might invite some trouble from Duke Rispelgia.
Other than that, our choice for info gathering is the Hunter Guild’s Authorized Pub. The reason for this is simple, considering that hunters gather there, it’s quite highly protected.
I’ve already done this many times before arriving here in the capital, so I’m quite used to performing at the pub. I completely ignore the stares and vulgar jeering, put one glass’ worth of alcohol at the counter, and begin the negotiation for the permission to sing and gather info.
My conditions are that I’ll pay the pub half of what I earn in exchange for this and that I’ll end at one song if it’s not well received.
One song takes nothing but a few minutes and I’ve already paid one glass’ worth of money, so maybe because there isn’t much demerit for the shopkeeper, everyone generally agrees to these conditions. Since I’ve successfully received the shopkeeper’s approval this time as well, I was allowed to sing by the side of the counter.
I brought along a basket for receiving coins and asked it to be placed at the edge of the counter. I’m somewhat reminded of empty cans in this situation which makes me recall the time when I ended up muttering about it, causing the problematic happening of Ciel asking me what an empty can is.
While feeling completely unwelcomed from the weird stares, I took a deep breath and began to sing.
I ended with a total of five songs. Even after this, I still don’t feel like I’ve sung enough but if I continue on singing until I’m satisfied, I might just go on for about half a day, so I stopped here. This time, I finished while surrounded with applause, so I’ll consider it a success.
As usual, it was absolutely fun.
Since it’s still daytime, the people in the pub right now generally have a lot of money, so we earned quite a lot. I handed over half of it to the pub as promised and used the remaining half for the sake of info gathering.
Now that I have obtained the freedom to gather information in the pub, I called out to the people, 「Are there anyone here who knows something about the forest wolves?」
In doing this, veteran hunters, mainly 30 years old and above, usually approach us. Yup. It seems like when there’s a little girl around the age of their own child, people tend to awaken the willingness to teach.
With that in consideration, being women and children have quite the advantage. Let’s put this to good use in the future, as long as it doesn’t bother Ciel. But in exchange, women and children face plenty of danger as well, so in my opinion, this advantage results in more of a negative in this world. Our lives are at a great risk after all.
Back to the main topic.
Usually, hunters that could be as old as Ciel’s parents and above come to talk to us, but today people younger than usual approached us instead. Just as I thought that they looked somewhat familiar, they are undoubtedly the people who stood in front of the request board when we accepted a request before.
「So you come to the pub too, eh?」
「Hunters gather their own information after all, so isn’t this a normal thing to do?」
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As I replied so with a defensive tone, the swordsman-like man replied, 「True.」 as he laughed. After that, the five of us, which included his party members, occupied a table. Each of them are drinking their own alcoholic drinks, but I’m having nothing but a glass of water.
「First, I’ll introduce myself. My name is Chasse. Despite how I look, I’m the leader of the B-rank party Fool’s Gathering.」
「That party name is pretty amazing.」
「That’s because all of us are stubbornly focused on a single thing. Thanks to this, we were pretty stumped at first, since none of us had common sense.」
In nicer terms, they’re a group of hard workers.
The part about having no common sense makes me feel somewhat sympathetic towards them.
Since they’re a B-rank party, that means that together as a party, they have the capability to become B-rank. Even if the individual members are C-rank hunters, being recognized as a B-rank party means that they are permitted to accept B-rank requests. Only permanent parties can be acknowledged as one and there should be some other more detailed regulations for it, but since it’s irrelevant to us, I don’t remember any of it.
「I’m Lucie, nice meeting you.」
The lady carrying a spear, the man with a shield, and the lady that looked like a mage introduced themselves. For some reason, since the turn of events makes me feel like I have to do so as well, I introduced myself, though I hesitated for a bit.
「I believe you already know, but my name is Cielmer. When referring to me by name, please call me Cielmer.」
「Please call me Cielmer.」
「Got it, Cielmer.」
Since Lucie isn’t calling me by Cielmer, I repeated my words with a great big smile. Lucie then agreed with a cramped smile on her face. Although I don’t particularly mind if she uses “Ciel” instead, this is Ciel’s own preference, so I don’t have any plans of commenting on this.
As for the reason for this, it’s probably because she simply doesn’t want random people to call her by her nickname. While that’s what I want to think anyway, I can’t help but somehow feel that Ciel is set on letting only me call her by that.
While I’m happy that she opened her heart to me to that extent, Ciel opening up to nobody else but me might become an issue. Though with that said, I don’t have any intention of developing close relationships within Estoque Kingdom. When we escape the kingdom in the future and Ciel makes a friend somewhere, I wonder if she would allow that person to call her by “Ciel”? Would it be best if we think of another nickname other than Ciel then? For a name to be used quite often, Cielmer is somewhat a bit too long.
「You give a really different feel compared to when we first met. It’s like you’re a different person.」
「This is just how I talk when I’m gathering information.」
Concerning this question Chasse just asked me, it’s a question we’ve already expected.
Previously, I also considered acting to match how Ciel talks, but since I couldn’t get rid of the feeling that something’s out of place, and also since I’m not really dexterous enough to do that, we scrapped that idea. Also, this is something that Ciel is aware of herself but her usual way of talking would make info gathering a bother to do.
With those reasons, since this speech pattern problem is going to follow us everywhere, we’ve already thought of a few explanations. They won’t believe us if we say the truth anyway and talking about it could even link us to the Rispelgia household, so we’re definitely not sharing this while we’re within the kingdom.
「Wouldn’t you be more well received if you always talk like this?」
「No matter how I talk, I’m going to get hound on as long as I keep working as a hunter, so talking politely when it’s not necessary is bothersome. As for my reception, it’ll get better on its own as I finish the unaccepted requests.」
If they’re convinced, then all is good. While they probably won’t figure out that it’s a lie anyway, if they ask too many questions, I will be troubled on how to answer them.
Perhaps due to Chasse and I talking about something unrelated to our original topic, Lucie, seemingly tired of our conversation, said 「So you want to learn about the forest wolves, right Cielmer?」 and butt into the conversation. Absolutely grateful for this. I pretend to have forgotten about it and got back to the main issue.
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「Oh, that’s right. I’m thinking of heading north after leaving the capital, so if you have any information, I’d like to hear about it. The forest wolves are strays that came from the north, right?」
「If I’m not mistaken, the reason is unknown, but I hear that there’s been nothing but wolves popping up for the past year.」
「Is that different from a monster stampede?」
「If this was a stampede, then there should be more of them coming at a larger scale. Still, I wouldn’t recommend leaving for the north, but…」
Chasse stares at me as though to ask, so I guess he’s finding it difficult to measure my strength. He’s aware that I’m C-rank after all and he might actually even know that we’ve quelled a stampede before.
「If it’s only forest wolves, then I won’t die even if there’s a thousand of them.」
「I knew it, the rumors really were true.」
「You also said it previously at the guild, but what exactly are the rumors?」
「There’s one that says a white-haired girl resolved a stampede by herself, or that she had a draw with the ice witch and so on.」
「It’s best if you don’t refer Carol as the ice witch, you know?」
While she probably wouldn’t get mad, I imagine that she’ll definitely hate it. And while I didn’t verify the rumors, I haven’t denied them, so he should be able to read between the lines.
「Understood. If you’re strong enough to handle a pack of forest wolves, then there shouldn’t be any problems with going north.」
「I see, thank you very much.」
「Speaking of the wolf outbreak, it brings that to mind. The divine messengers.」
「The divine messengers?」
As Viviana abruptly muttered something interesting, I reflexively repeated her words. Maybe it was because hearing the word divine reminded me of an unpleasant individual.
「Back in the past when the gods interacted with the people often, it’s said that there were several animals that acted as their messengers. Among them was also the wolf. That’s why there are also studies saying that the wolf was once worshipped as a god before this country existed the way as it does now.」
「But wolves are monsters, right?」
「There’s also a theory that says that after finishing its duty as a divine messenger, they were then tainted by malice and transformed into monsters. But in the wolf’s case, the prominent theory is that due to them being fleet-footed and arriving first when a stampede would occur, they might have been recognized as creatures that informed about stampedes, so in other words, as a divine messenger.」
「Thank you very much. Would you mind if I ask about some other things?」
「You’re welcome. You all wouldn’t mind it, right?」
Seeing the others nod at Viviana after she shot a quick glance at them, I ordered another serving of alcohol for the four of them. The members of Fool’s Gathering had an awkward look on their faces as they received their refill, but I suppose since they knew that I’m at C-rank, they eventually began to enjoy their drinks.
「Being alone, I really want a magic bag, but is there any way of getting one?」
「Getting magic bags are, to be honest, a matter of luck. They say that those at A-rank and above would generally have at least one magic bag per party, more or less, while about half of those at B-rank own one. But I also heard a rumor that one particularly unlucky S-ranked hunter still hasn’t gotten a magic bag to this very day. The only advice I can give is to make sure that you have enough coins saved so you can buy one if you happen upon it.」
This time, Lucie followed up. We already have our own magic bag as well, but I guess we were lucky then. Just when I thought of giving up on it, Arold seems to have recalled something.
「Come to think of it, the guild has one large one.」
「They do, they do. The ones they loan out to hunters they have full trust in. If I remember correctly, the magic bag kept in the guild here in the capital is the largest one among all the Hunter Guilds within the kingdom.」
「That one rumored to fit a whole mountain in it, right? The one they never lend out since it’ll only be used when they hunt a dragon or something. Even the second largest one is enough, but I’d really love a big one.」
「The one we have is by no means big after all.」
「I know right? In the first place, there’s no way that a dragon would pop up around these parts anyway.」
Hearing Arold’s words, Chasse, Lucie, and Viviana responded one after the other.
The guild’s magic bag, huh. It’s not really something we can get if we asked anyway, either way, it might be best to forget about it. At worst, it’ll be a relief if there’s one even just barely big enough to fit the luggage we need for travelling though.
「Come to think of it, what kind of person is the guild master here in the capital?」
Since we got into a topic about the guild, I took the opportunity to ask about it.
As the forest we harvested the herbs from was left unchecked, this means that the guild likely doesn’t put a high level of importance to the place, but it didn’t seem to me that it was treated that way in the past. That’s why, instead of asking about the guild master, I actually wanted to ask if there was a change in the guild’s general policy, but suddenly asking that might sound suspicious.
If I learn what sort of person the guild master is, I might be able to figure out the guild master’s motives.
「He’s a guy that properly assesses people regardless if they have Disappointing Jobs, I guess. Though with that said, it’s standard practice for hunters to keep their Jobs hidden, so he mainly made this a more thorough practice. It’s been more than five years since the guild master got into his current position, but I’ve never heard of anyone forcing out another person’s Job ever since.」
「Chasse, what’s your opinion of the guild master?」
「For personal reasons, I’m rooting for him. But lately, he’s gotten a bit, too carried away and it’s scary. He’s favoring the Disappointing Jobs too much and he’s been getting more strict with the people with Combat Jobs. I’m worried that he’ll have some harsh backlash coming to him in the future.」
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While it hasn’t been very recent since the guild master was changed, it was five years ago. He put effort in fighting against the contempt towards Disappointing Jobs. This means that there could be a possibility that he hasn’t taken a look on things other than that.
「I see, thank you very much.」
「You have our thanks as well. It helped us kill some time.」
Parting with the Fool’s Gathering, I greeted the shopkeeper before leaving the pub. Since we have nothing left to do for today, I was thinking of returning to the inn for now, but as I was walking through the street, I noticed that someone seemed to be following us.
I’ve only walked a straight path ever since we left the pub, so it might just be a coincidence, but considering that the person is walking nearly the same speed as I am, and I’m by no means fast, while maintaining a distance from us, the person is most likely stalking us.
『We seem to be stalked, so I’ll be walking aimlessly around the capital just to make sure.』
『If they really are stalking us, then what should we do?』
『I’ll try walking for a while and if they continue following us even then, I’ll ponder about it. In the meantime, how about we have a little chat?』
『Now that’s something enjoyable. So, are we going to talk about when we’ll report the possibility of a stampede happening in the capital?』
『Right, exactly that.』
Without even a trace of anxiousness in my tone, I began chatting with Ciel.
Heya~! Ain having fun in the pub as usual, and our previously hinted new characters have come out to introduce themselves~! Still, B-rank Party, eh? It’s nice that they got party ranks for the normal, non-overpowered peeps though, lol.
Anyway, more worldbuilding~! And also some snippets of info about Ain and Ciel’s undisplayed discussions. But yeah, Ciel dancing in the pub is really, really bad. Ain talking about how the veterans enter *Parent Mode*, lol. Still, there wasn’t much Ciel screen-time today, but yeah her presence can be felt as usual.
Now, for the world building and the new characters. First, Chasse is pronounced as, well, Shass and may refer to la chasse, meaning hunting (or the hunt), or maybe the chasseur, hunter’s sauce. Basically, hunt? but I’m not French, so yeah. Next, Fool’s Gathering, lol. It was nice to see that, yes, it’s not just the main character that doesn’t have common sense. There are many characters in fiction that don’t have common sense, but it’s rare for isekai fantasy to have other people actually say that they don’t have common sense unless the said character is the mc. Anyway, the one I love most here is the mentioning of *studies* and *research* about stuff, in this case, the history and possible origins of the divine messengers. It just tickles that mage = scholarly (and nerdy) spot.
Isekai fantasy tends to not lean too much on how scholarly they are, maybe because they’d overshadow the now common intelligent (or rather, “I have past life knowledge and educational smarts”) protagonists and just leave them to the exposition role, but in cases like these, just from the fact that they “researched” and only have “assumptions” of what and why this current topic is, we get the information that, yes, there was culture before the kingdom was founded and the records are hazy as they usually are. I don’t know, it’s just so nice to see the fact that it’s hard to have solid, explainable absolute histories, heck, we don’t even know why some animals are named the way they are, and we don’t even know many stories about the goddess Hestia. But yeah, I just love this little thing to bits. Btw, Guild Master is looking a bit sus, don’cha think?
Also, random thing, but that unlucky S-rank hunter that still doesn’t have a magic bag though… Oof, that’s rough, buddy.
Now then, I hope you enjoyed this chapter. Please feel free to comment. Stay clean, stay safe, and have a nice day~!