Dalien was a town built close to the Imperial Capital.
In recent years, it had been overflowing with vitality, and its notable growth had become famous.
Compared to the cities in the Walt Territory I called home, it was small, but the feeling of energy felt from the well-ordered townscape was fresh to me.
“A two day journey to travel from the capital to the post town huh… It sure is nice that the roads are well maintained. We moved quite fast.” (ED: post-town)
Having arrived in Dalien, I stretched my body and surveyed my surroundings as Novem indicated a sign posted nearby.
“There’s a simple map here. The names of establishments are on it.”
How convenient, I thought as I read over it with her. On it, a building was indicated as the adventurers’ guild.
Based on the arrangement of the map…
“Lyle-sama, isn’t it that building over there?”
The building visible from the entrance to Dalien was higher than the two and three story buildings around it.
Perimeter-wise, it was likely the biggest building as well.
It looks like Dalien’s adventurers’ guild was raking in quite a bit.
“Back home… no, it’s larger than the branch on House Walt’s territory.”
Seeing me revise my words, Novem looked as if she wanted to say something. Because of that, I forced a smile on my face.
“Well then, we have some time. How about we go register at the guild?”
I held the smiling girl’s travel bag as I walked ahead.
(Even so, both Zell and Novem said it, but… Money disappears before you know it.)
My wallet had gotten considerably lighter.
Naturally, we purchased quite a bit before we headed here. Our most expensive expenditure was likely the sword. I bought a Sabre, but perhaps because they rarely got requests for the type of blade; the few they stocked had a high price tag.
(I really have to consider our finances. And those ancestors have a fundamentally different set of values…)
Values vary by generation, and a sense for money is the same.
Due to the finances built up over the previous generations, my grandfather the Seventh, the Sixth, and the Fifth generally had a rich man’s mindset.
The first persisted that a man’s weapon had to be an axe or blunt weapon, and he complained that a sabre wouldn’t be of any use.
『Otherwise, you could just throw the timber and ricks scattered around, right? If there are none, your hands are more than enough.』
… He truly was the owner of a mindset overflowing with wilderness.
Walking towards the conspicuous building, we saw other adventurer-esque people heading in the same direction.
Their outfits were widely varied, but there were some I couldn’t see as anything other than thugs among them.
They hung knives at their waists, and walked in a way as if to intimidate the passers-by on the street.
Adventurers usually travel with weapons on hand. The guild manages it, but if you ask if that actually lowers the crime rate among them, that’s apparently not the case.
I mean, a majority of them are ruffians, or perhaps mercenaries.
Among them, some simply had yet to get wanted posters issued and were in hiding. The Guild tried to be careful about such things, but by the look of it, it wasn’t going too well.
In truth, having thirty to forty percent be decent adventurers was considered a good trend. There’s also a large portion of people just acting as adventurers in their spare time.
(Well… it’s just something I heard from the ancestors, though…)
It wasn’t knowledge of my own.
I only had a vague understanding of adventurers. But once I knew the true contents of them, I felt like the past me that admired them was a fool.
In reality, less than ten percent of adventurers were the ones children admire.
“We’ve arrived, Lyle-sama.”
“Hmm? Why is the Guild’s first floor a market?”
On the first floor of the building, which was clearly indicated on a large sign as the adventurers’ guild, was a shop-like area supported by pillars.
Carts and adventurers as well as merchants came and went.
And there, merchants and adventurers, and people who looked like civilians, were shopping around.
“Lyle-sama, that’s the venue used for trade. Using the first floor, adventurers can trade in whatever monster parts or other things they brought back with them.”
“Eh? Really? You don’t hand over whatever you got to the guild?”
Novem gave a troubled expression.
“I’m none too knowledgeable, but going outside, exterminating monsters, and bringing them back is… really dirtying, right? It’s quite difficult if they all go into the building like that. Look, there’s a bath house next door. If you really have an urgent matter for which you need a receptionist, you go there to remove the filth.”
Yes, when you think about it, turning over monster materials at the counter was definitely strange. They reek of blood and leave nasty stains.
The reception desks are probably for paperwork, so it’s normal for them to create another area for this.
“O-of course. Aha, ahahaha.”
I had resolved myself to work hard, but I was already showing off my ignorant ways. How many times has it been already?
(Will I really be fine here?)
With my arms full of anxiety, I headed to the reception desk on the second floor with Novem. We climbed the stairs and heeded the signs to press onwards.
The second floor of the Adventurer’s guild contained the receptions desk, and its counter was really wide.
A line of staff members dealt with adventurers from one side.
“There sure are a lot.”
“That’s right. I’ve never been registered before, so I’m a bit nervous.”
From the Jewel, I heard not the First, but the Second’s voice.
『That old man’s gotten sulky, so I’ll explain in his place. No wait, I doubt you have to worry about the guild’s registration. They’re quite used to dealing with newbies, I’ll bet.』
“Wouldn’t it be fine if I just got the Second Generation from the start?”
To indicate that I understood, I touched the jewel once. While keeping my ears ready for the Second’s voice, I began to consider which line to join.
Looking at it, there was a clear difference in the lines.
Are those young ones fresh adventurers? Those guys were lined up at the counter with the beautiful staff member managing it.
A woman with an amazing smile handled them with a happy expression.
There was also an aunty who seemed used to the job, and that’s where the adventurers who looked to be in a rush were lined up.
The number of female staff was relatively high. There were few males on call.
I was about to step into the older lady’s line, but there, the Second Generation stopped me.
『Lyle, why not just go to the shortest one?』
(Eh? If it’s the shortest one, then…)
As I looked for the line the Second was talking about, I saw a brown-skinned, muscular male staff member with red, buzz-cut hair.
With that appearance, he was quite scary.
As I hesitated, the Second spoke up.
『Don’t worry. Among these ones, he’s the most decent.』
(What part of that appearance is decent?)
He had removed the overcoat the others wore over their clothes, and I could clearly sense the steel-like muscles under that shirt. If I get him mad, are you sure his fists won’t fly?
His looks made me think that.
『On. With. It! Don’t keep Novem-chan waiting!』
(Why are the First to Fourth pushing Novem at me? No, I understand she’s the daughter of a family that took care of them all, but…)
Reluctantly, I headed for the line I was told. There, Novem gave a surprised voice.
“You chose that receptionist? Since it was Lyle-sama, I thought you would go for the one who was processing work quickly.”
“Yeah, that’s what I thought too, at first…”
I couldn’t say that I still thought that one was better. But Novem looked relieved.
“I was also going to recommend that receptionist, so it all works out fine.”
It seems Novem was of the same opinion as the Second.
“Yes. The way he’s working seems quite courteous, and for people who are aiming for registration like us, it’s best we obtain a polite impression.”
As she said that, the Second agreed.
『Nice. That’s exactly right. Rather than a beauty who did rough work while throwing around a smile, and one who did quick work, that you didn’t know whether she was used to the job or not, you should pick the one who’s, while scary-looking, doing the job with kindness and courtesy. And that beauty over there ain’t happening.』
It appeared that the Second was against her, so I looked at the beauty’s line.
“Eh~? Lunch is a bit troublesome~.”
“Isn’t it fine? Once your work’s over, let’s get something to eat.”
She handled it with a smile, but the next person…
“Yes, here is your reward.”
“Next in line please.”
The treatment she gave to the adventurer with a good face and good equipment, and to the one with good equipment, but a normal face, was clearly different.
Also, the normal-faced one looked troubled.
“Please wait! The promised reward sum was different, wasn’t it! The client’s evaluation was…”
“Even if you tell me something like that~.”
As she gave a bothered face, the adventurers lined up behind acted out.
“Oy! We’re just as busy here. Don’t make such a fuss over a few copper!”
As I looked over that, I resolved myself to never, ever, get into that person’s line.
『That ain’t happening, right? And wait, she should really be taken off the receptionist line. Though I get the feeling that with that attitude, she wouldn’t work well in the back, either.』
The Second’s evaluation was quite strict.
Apparently, the beautiful receptionist was popular among newbies and flirtatious adventurers. But, her work ethic was the worst.
(I’m glad I didn’t choose there.)
As I thought something like that, Novem’s voice reached me.
“Lyle-sama, you’re up next.”
My turn came around.
Unlike seeing him from afar, seeing the man up close amplified the destructive power. While it’s true that his body was big, he also had a certain atmosphere.
It was as if he was a warrior.
『This person may have been an adventurer himself. If he started working as a clerk after retiring from that, you should expect some excellent conduct from him. Lyle, start coming to this person from here on.』
As the second was arbitrarily deciding things on his own, I requested an adventurer’s registration from the man.
“I’d like a registration form. Ah, two please.”
He understood and prepared some blank sheets.
“Registration, is it? Well, nice to meet you, I’m known as【Hawkins】. If there’s anything you don’t understand, don’t hesitate to ask me. Also, if you’re both registering, how about registering as a party? ”
Party registration? As I tilted my head, Novem responded faster than the Second.
“We’ll be in your care.”
As opposed to his appearance, Hawkins-san had quite a polite tone. The paperwork began proceeding forwards.
“After registering here, your home guild branch will be set as this one, here in Dalien. When you want to change the center of your activity, please submit a transfer request to the guild. After that, submit an arrival form at your final destination and fill out the paperwork to make that guild your home. Otherwise, even if you can sell monster materials to the guild, you won’t be able to take up requests, so please commit it to mind.”
I filled out the blank page, and Hawkins checked to see if I had missed anything. Both me and Novem were quite used to this sort of desk work.
I’d been trained for it back home, and more than anything, there were many things that required my signature back there.
“Splendid. Then could you please apply some of your blood to these two sheets? Please make use of this needle. Ah, don’t worry, it’s been properly disinfected. You as well, miss.”
I used the needle to prick my fingertip. The blood welled up and formed a small ball, before I smeared it on the silver sheet.
“Wonderful. This here works as medicine, so feel free to use it after wiping off the blood. Well then, please write your name on them as well. One of them will be kept by the guild.”
The silver sheet was something like a guild-issued identification card. Otherwise known as a Guild Card.
If its owner were ever to die, it was a mysterious item where the name on the card would disappear. It also carried some records of its holder’s actions that the guild could read at their own discretion.
Hearing that explanation, the Second…
『… So when so many years go by, you get something this convenient. My time never had a tool like that, you know? And wait, isn’t it an item that would usually have a pricetag on it?』
It was just as the Second said.
“With your first registration, the cost comes to five silver coins. But if payment seems impossible, then a small commission from your future rewards… ten to twenty percent of your compensation will be put towards paying the fee. Will that be fine?”
Novem took out a gold coin.
“No, we’ll pay.”
“Understood. Then your Guild Card is being prepared, so please wait on the sofa over there.”
Hawkins-san took the sheets over to the door behind the counter. After a short while, he returned, and returned to his reception desk work.
Novem and I headed for the sofa, and as we sat in it side by side, we began to draw some glances from the surroundings.
Tongue clicking and envious eyes were directed at me. The reason was clear.
It was because of the looks of the girl sitting beside me.
“Just as I thought, he was a polite and kind one, Lyle-sama.”
Novem didn’t seem bothered in the slightest. There, the First, who had been quiet up ‘til now, spoke up.
『You blockheads! Don’t be throwing such vile glances at Novem-chan, ya’ bastards!!』
The Second chimed in.
『If you do anything to Novem-chan, Lyle’s going to beat the living daylights out of you!』
Finally, even the Fourth spoke up.
『Well, it’s true that we can’t do anything to them directly from here, but… doesn’t it just sound pitiful when you say it, you two? And wait, don’t act up so much, please. Lyle’s going to collapse.』
While letting out the aura of a worldly-wise man, the Fourth shut the other two up. The height of their emotions, and the act of making it so I could hear them, depleted my Mana.
(To get so tired from doing absolutely nothing… it’s as if I’ve become diseased.)
I had never thought of my magic as small before. But from what I hear from the ancestors, I’m quite low on the scale.
“Well then, these are your Guild Cards. You’ve already been registered as a party, so you’ve had each other’s’ names carved into your cards.”
The card Hawkins-san handed over had my name carved in large letters onto it. And in small letters, Novem’s was there as well.
“Here is the pamphlet of the guild’s terms and conditions. We’re not offering any training today, but tomorrow morning, in the third floor’s meeting room, there’s a short course geared towards novice adventurers, so if you have the time, please drop by.”
He highly recommended us to take it.
“Thank you for the thorough explanation.”
As Novem offered her thanks, Hawkins-san stared at us, slightly lost in thought.
“Is something wrong?”
I tried asking, but he returned a bitter smile.
“No, it’s just that it’s rare to find new adventurers who aren’t scared of me, so I unintentionally… Also, this is just my personal opinion, but… you two, if you have the economic leisure, how about you hire an advisor?”
On Novem’s response, Hawkins-san began explaining.
“Yes. A guild-certified excellent adventurer, for a few months… the usual period being three. For that time, you hire the advising adventurer as a client. There are numerous types of contracts, but you could pay with a percentage of your rewards, or pay a lump sum upfront.”
Based on the payment method, the quality of hired adventurer is subject to change, it seems.
Paying with a cut of your own wages gave you a lower-middle class one at best. But by paying it upfront, an intermediate leve adventurer… or perhaps even an upper level one would take on the job.
In exchange, the cost was a whopping ten gold.
(No, we don’t have that sort of money.)
Thinking that, I was about to ask Novem if she wanted to hire one on commission, however…
“Then we’ll pay upfront, please.”
“… Eh? Upfront, is it?”
Novem produced ten golden coins from her purse. As Hawkins-san accepted it, he had quite a nervous expression on his face.
Having said that, he probably expected us to choose the percent based option.
As I tried to stop her, she began explaining with a serious expression.
“Lyle-sama, we’ll be able to receive guidance from one the adventurers’ guild recognizes as a skilled adventurer. We should treasure this opportunity. Especially since it seems that we don’t have a great enough understanding of what it is an adventurer is.”
I do think Novem’s opinion is correct, but I’m more shocked that she paid out ten gold coins at the drop of a hat.
She’s much too different from me, who was thrown out penniless, and who only had money borrowed from a servant.
Hawkins-san asks for confirmation once more.
“Then you will be paying a lump sum of ten gold coins. Is that correct?”
“Yes, I’ll leave it to you. Please get us an excellent advisor.”
“Of course. If they turn out not to your liking, we’re willing to refund the money you paid.”
He seemed to have some confidence, but still, the conversation seemed to be proceeding without my input for quite a while.
『Hey man… looking from the side-lines, you look quite useless right now, Lyle.』
The Second Generation’s words were quite heavy on my heart.