|Author: Himezaki Shiu||Original Source: Syosetu|
|Translator: PunishedLyly||English Source: Re:Library|
While I did say I’ll try my best, there’s still no denying that we’re at a disadvantage. Since the Hunter Guild isn’t likely to be so weak of an organization to topple down just from the quitting of a C-rank girl, quitting as a threat likely wouldn’t have much of an effect.
However, we’re also currently in a situation that could affect the course of this country. A countless number of monsters will engulf the royal capital. Even if the capital were to fall into ruin, it’s already been demonstrated in the past that this won’t destroy the kingdom; still, chaos will be inevitable.
And while the kingdom and the Hunter Guild are different structures, they probably have a tight-knit relationship. If anything were to happen to the kingdom, the hunters will have their work personally decreased and there’s no telling what negative effects this would bring. Because of that, they’d naturally help out.
Based on their combat potential, the capital probably won’t fall this time, but it’s still best to have as many people and supplies as possible.
… I’ve overexaggerated somewhat, but thinking about it is starting to get annoying.
How did things end up this bothersome?
Yeah, let’s make it more simple.
What the guild wants is for Ciel to deliver supplies. However, the difficulty level is B-rank even with modest consideration and when thinking about it normally, it’s A-rank. On the other hand, Ciel is C-rank. That’s why we’ll be promoted to B-rank as a reward for completion.
Since we want to get to B-rank, there’s no reason to refuse. Still, the reason why I don’t want to accept… is because it’s infuriating that the guild is making us dance on the palm of their hands. Otherwise, it’s because the Hunter Guild is making justifications in the breaking of their own rules.
Either way, it’s awfully childish of me if I say so myself.
Still, if we continue to just quietly obey, they might keep on taking advantage of us in the future. With that being the case, we should persist on being childishly self-centered here. At the very least, we don’t have any obligation to this country after all. Since they’re the ones breaking the rules, the truth is on our side.
Besides, the other party is likely fully aware that the act of going to the capital is painful for us.
「Come to think of it, what’s the rank of the Artificial Divine Messenger?」
「…Around the higher end of A-rank or lower end of S-rank.」
「In other words, you made a C-ranker accept an S-rank request.」
Hearing my words, the guildmaster replied with silence.
「Furthermore, you’re designating another request of A-rank or above.」
「… That’s right. For the sake of this country, we have no other choice.」
「This country’s guild publicized my Job and colluded with a noble to kill me to erase their failure. This country’s hunters caused a stampede to entrap me out of unjustified resentment. This country’s people are hostile against me just for being a Song Princess. And yet I’ve still contributed to the Hunter Guild up until now, haven’t I?」
「I’m not saying that I’m never accepting the request. Still, even simply going to the capital is dangerous for me. There’s a chance that a noble would move to kill me again. And yet you’re telling us to do this request and you’ll make us B-rank if we complete it?」
No matter how politely I put it, that is the Hunter Guild’s statement here. From an optimistic angle, it can be interpreted as a pretext in order to give a clear-cut achievement to promote us to B-rank earlier. However, if that was the case, then the golden wolf should have been more than enough.
In the end, this situation right now is merely the consequence of the guild continually causing us to lower our opinion of them. As I am now, there’s no way that I can interpret the guild’s words optimistically.
「If it’s not the promotion after completion, then what do you want?」
「You can’t tell?」
「Promotion to B-rank first, huh…」
「Is there a problem?」
「Is the guild that untrustworthy to you?」
「You think otherwise? Naturally, I won’t tolerate demotion to C-class due to completion failure as well.」
Are you half-asleep? I wanted to say that out loud, and my eyes may have conveyed this message to the guildmaster, but he appeared to have accepted this as a natural reaction since his face has the look of resignation.
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Our claim is that making a C-rank accept this is the issue, so just promote us to B-rank in advance. Nothing more, nothing less. Just by doing that, the guild would have been able to brazenly designate this to Ciel. Though, since the request should be A-rank normally, they might not be brazen about it either way.
If our claim is approved but the guild insists that failure will result in a demotion, I will choose to flee. Typically, a single failure would not warrant a demotion, and even if they were to promote me, the task at hand is still equivalent to an A-rank request. If the guild attempts to demote us for failing under these circumstances, then it would be a clear display of tyranny on their part.
「Understood. I’ll try to negotiate with the top. Do you want anything else?」
「Supply the magic bag for carrying the goods in.」
「Sure then. Wait here for a while.」
The disheartened guildmaster left me and exited the room. It seems like our demands went through. Or more accurately, passed through the first barrier. I was infuriated but thinking about it now, the guildmaster is in a really difficult position. The country is in serious trouble after all, and the guildmaster isn’t really the one that’s disputing with me, so from his perspective, he’s just caught up in between.
『It’s going smoothly, isn’t it?』
『I agree. This went surprisingly well, likely thanks to this branch’s guildmaster.』
『If the guildmaster was that one from the capital, things would have been more difficult.』
『While I have a lot of things to say against the guild itself, I personally don’t have anything against the guildmaster here, so it really feels like I made him get the short end of the stick. Still, I have no intention of making compromises.』
『In that case, after we get promoted, shall we leave without completing the request?』
『Let’s not do that.』
Once we become B-rank, we’ll be able to leave the country even without completing the request. However, if we do that then we’ll end up being in actual conflict against the guild. Even if we fail it, if we don’t at least show visible results, it might make it difficult to move around when we reach the Central.
Besides, abandoning a request that was accepted would probably leave a bad taste in my mouth. That’s just my personal opinion, but I don’t want Ciel to become a person who would easily break promises.
That’s why when accepting a request, I want to put as much effort in it.
Since the guildmaster was out for a while, I returned the body to Ciel and she simply played with the spirits. Since she’s just looking, I’m not sure if “playing” would be the right word to describe it, but as Ciel is showing expressions befitting her age, I’m satisfied either way.
Feeling someone approaching, I informed Ciel and her expressions returned to the usual.
Opening the door and entering the room, the guildmaster had in his hand several sheets of paper and a rucksack big enough for Ciel to carry. Timewise, it took about an hour or two but he must have gotten that permission from the top. With that in mind, it’s a considerably quick response. I expected it to take a few days, but I guess the situation is more urgent than I thought.
「This special case was acknowledged. Miss Cielmer, this will be your B-rank card.」
The guildmaster placed a card more grandiose than the ones used until C-rank on the table. Ciel was about to pick it up but I stopped her, 『Wait.』
Accepting this will be equivalent to accepting the request. I don’t think that they’ll still trick us at this point, but it would be better to confirm the contents of the request again.
「Reaffirm the request details.」
「… Right. This is the new request form. It’s also simultaneously a magic contract, so read it through.」
Ciel received the request form and checked the details. The new additions are that 「Acceptance of request will result in recognition as B-rank.」 and 「The recipient will exert as much possible effort to complete the request.」 included in the form. Other than that, there aren’t any particular changes.
「This should be enough, but I want to add one more line.」
「And that is?」
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As the guildmaster asked so, Ciel wrote an additional sentence in reply. Seeing the returned request form, the guildmaster looked as if he was about to say something; but without alluding to the sentence, 「Fair enough.」 he replied so and signed. Ciel similarly signed as well, and picked up the B-rank card.
『Should it be “already” or “finally” in this case?』
『Finally, I suppose. Finally, we have the key needed to leave this country.』
『I suppose so, but I don’t feel much excitement from this.』
『Same with me.』
『Still, there’s the issue in front of us right now. Let’s quickly deliver it and leave this country, shall we?』
『Should we go with full speed?』
『As long as you’re alright with it, Ain.』
『Then that should be fine.』
Ciel put the B-rank card inside our magic bag and placed our C-rank card on the table in its place. Then, she shouldered the rucksack —the magic bag— holding the supplies. Ciel immediately headed straight to toward the door but right before she exited, she stopped on her tracks.
「You were decent.」
「Is that so. I’m honored to hear that.」
「Do your best.」
Hearing Ciel’s short remark, the guildmaster displayed a bewildered look but then cracked a wry smile. Since he has a tough look, a wry smile is just scary but only in this moment, I can vaguely feel a charm from it. If he was the guildmaster at the royal capital, then his relationship with Ciel might have been a lot different. We might have happily… would be an exaggeration, but we might have joined the offense against the stampede at the very least.
The order of events were terrible, the timing was terrible, the encounter was terrible. It was probably just these.
Leaving the Hunter Guild, Ciel headed straight towards the town’s gates.
The sun was already going down when we exited Norvelle, so we gave up on traveling full speed and decided to walk as far as we can go. Being in the middle of nature as it’s dimming feels quite gloomy. I likely would’ve felt lonely or uncomfortable if I was alone. However, I have Ciel with me right now, so we can at least talk as we continue on.
「Nonetheless, I wonder why a stampede is happening now? It should have been fine for one or two more years, right?」
『Based on our estimations, that is… However, it was simply based in correlation to the past stampedes, so there might be some exceptions.』
「Since it’s also possible that the monsters have been reproducing faster than before, right?」
『If that is the cause, the issue would be if this is only the case for that forest or if this could also occur in other places, but…』
「This is a matter that should be left to the experts, correct?」
『After all, my amateur judgment did end up being a few years off the mark. Well, thinking back now, making judgments solely based on the prices of potions might have been a mistake.』
「Speaking of potions, I wonder if I can eventually make potions too.」
『You want to make potions?』
「After all, if I can make it, we could earn money even if we quit being a hunter.」
The demand seems pretty high after all, so we should be able to sell if we can make some. Additionally, while it would depend on the required materials, we can probably harvest the materials ourselves; so this could be doable. After all, once harvested, herbs should last long…
「For Ain to yell out like that, that’s unusual. What’s the matter?」
『If I remember correctly, herbs can last for one to two years if stored properly, right?』
「From what we heard, yes. I see, so that’s why the stampede was off our estimations then.」
『Exactly. With this in mind, we likely would have predicted this stampede properly if we have examined the request records instead.』
Somehow, I feel really refreshed. This wasn’t due to abnormal reproduction or artificial causes. The alchemists likely used the herbs they stockpiled, deferred the price so that it wouldn’t lose to the potions brought from outside, and worked hard to keep it going for two years. Potions are the lifeline of people in combat, so it wouldn’t be strange if they had a large stockpile of herbs to be used in case of emergency.
Even so, continuously producing the same amount of potions should have been difficult in this situation, so I probably would have figured this out if I had paid more attention and investigated the amount of potions supplied. There’s nothing I can do even if I think about it now, but I’m glad that one of my concerns has been resolved before the big job.
Hiya~! Finishing our guildy guildy stuff, our princesses continue on their journey, now with a shiny new rank!
Man, Ain was full sass for two chapters, which is actually pretty nice, lol. *You think otherwise? Are you half-asleep?* If I had to say, absolutely pissed Ain is one of my most favorite things. While Ciel is cold and sharp when she’s angry, Ain is quite scalding it seems. Still, Ain was still quite considerate, but uncompromising. Poor guildmaster.
One thing that was pretty funny is how Ain, in the middle of things, was just “Ugh, this is too much thinking, I don’t have enough brain for this.” and even on the last part she was like “Ahh!! That’s what I missed!”, which in my opinion says a lot on her occasional airheaded-ness. Also, it’s nice that it was a complete mistake on Ain’s part, which might sound unfair, but it’s hard to find pure mistakes in stories that aren’t related to the character’s fatal flaw. It’s really nice to see one. Though Ain is characterized by her mistakes, big or small. Like when she mistakenly told Ciel about the massage stuff, lol.
Now then, I hope you enjoyed this chapter. Please feel free to comment. Stay clean, stay safe, and have a nice day~!
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