An Easy Job, Where All You Have To Do Is Stand
What we submitted to the guild’s reception desk was a written request to adventurers.
We had to pay the request fee and reward deposit, but like that, we were able to gather manpower.
However, having accepted the form, Hawkins-san shifted his eyes between the page and my face numerous times.
“L-Lyle-kun… there’s no mistake in this monetary sum, right? The acceptance time range is four days. Just by participating, the reward is two silver. The contents say they just have to stand at a designated point?”
It was natural for him to doubt it.
The payment and the job level were completely out of sync.
“There is no issue. Also, about the number of people we’ll be taking on.”
Hawkins-san looked troubled, as he confirmed the numbers written on the form.
“We’ve the funds to reward up to two hundred, though. In essence, our goal… is just to get them to stand around the entrance of an abandoned mine. Also, I’ll pay the reward separately, and search for people on my own as well.”
Hearing that, Hawkins-san confirmed the details of the documents again and again.
『If it’s just as our intel stated, then it’s twenty or over. Even if you call it overkill, the only one moving will be Lyle. Well, if you think of it as participating in a war, it isn’t a bad earning.』
As the Third Generation said that, I experienced some vague feelings.
(Working one day afforded me around six to ten large copper coins. Even so, we’re giving out two silver for a two day job. Still, if we don’t do at least that much, we won’t get a flood of applicants.)
『Those blinded by money will flock. Let’s do it with a bang, why don’t we?』
Still as an idiot son, though.
Subjugating a few tens of thieves with hundreds must appear as a quite a joke to the residents of Dalien.
That would definitely send my location to the Walt house… my family would definitely learn it. Of course, the possibility they already had was high.
But if I carried out foolish acts of this level, what would they think of it?
I really would be getting assassinated some day or another.
(If it’s by Celes’s whim, it wouldn’t be strange for something like that to happen.)
Then after this joke… this idiotic brat’s struggle, what would happen then?
(In the end, this is all a gamble, isn’t it…)
As Hawkins-san was making sure there were no deficiencies in the paperwork, I added on another thing.
“Ah, right. I wanted to ask you something, Hawkins-san, if that would be alright.”
“Yes. As long as it’s something I can answer.”
Hearing that, I confirmed it with him.
Naturally, Zelphy-san had no complaints.
There was no way the guild would deny the request.
(Because it’s always better to have more cards to play.)
In front of the Guild’s first floor.
In the space where hoards of people came and went, I made an address in a loud voice.
“I am the Walt House’s… the former heir of a Count House! On this occasion, I am standing to eliminate the bandits that have made a nest near Dalien! Anyone who believes my cause is just, please volunteer!”
『Hey, your voice is too soft. You can laugh if you want, so just make it dramatic here.』
The Fourth Generation directed me, as I loudly publicized the operation.
I even invited some laughter.
“A noble’s bringing down bandits?”
“And wait, wasn’t he driven out…”
“Isn’t that because he’s no good?”
“Just leave whatever bandit problems to the lord.”
“After the labyrinth’s over with, they’ll be back soon enough. We just have to hold out until then.”
While laughing sarcastically, the adventurers passed me by.
There were some that openly guffawed as well.
“Now is time to stand, and as knights, our mission is… (I-it’s time to get desperate!)”
I endured the embarrassment and continued to call out to them.
After I finished my petitioning, I met up with Novem and returned to our rented house.
In front of the entrance-way, a red-haired woman… Aria Lockwarde, was standing menacingly with her arms crossed.
Her folded arms were propping up her breasts.
It wasn’t much different than usual, but today, I was mentally worn out, so I took a fleeting glance at her chest before posing the inevitable question.
“Um… do you have some business with our house?”
“Don’t give me that business nonsense! Just what was that thing from earlier today!?”
‘Thing’ likely referred to my grand advertising.
“Now, well, the reward for subjugating bandits…”
“Lyle-sama was amazing.”
As I became embarrassed from Novem’s flattery, Lockwarde-san approached me.
Her long strides were not something I would think would come from a noble lady.
“I was only asking you to lend me Zelphy-san! As long as you did that, I’d make use of some connections and gather an elite few to reclaim the gem… if you let it out so openly, then even the Bandit Brigade will hear about it, will they not!?”
“Are you sure you aren’t misunderstanding something?”
“W-what? I mean, in truth, everyone was making fun of that performance.”
I acted exactly for that sake.
Though it was not a mistake… but for some reason, I felt sad.
“The reason we took action was precisely because we had our own reasons. Or could it be… you were under the impression we were taking action for your sake?”
On Novem’s harsh words, Lockwarde-san winced.
I heard the First Generation’s voice.
『U-um Novem-chan… If possible, I’d like you to forgive her, is what I think. Let’s all be friends, okay?』
The Second spoke up.
『Just whose side is this guy on? There’s no particular reason to keep her in a pleasant mood, is there? We’ll be doing the same regardless.』
There was no doubt that my objective was to retrieve the Lockwarde House’s gem.
Those were the conditions I needed to clear to gain the First’s assistance.
However, my personal feelings of wanting to help her weren’t particularly meager.
This time around, the reason the ancestors were working together was to get the First to recognize me and to guarantee my own safety.
“B-but there’s no meaning if the bandit troupe takes flight!”
“… Then how about you take action?”
Novem continued to speak to her coldly. At the same time, her argument was quite sound.
“Zelphy-san accepted a guild request to act as our adviser. Of course, we already paid the appropriate compensation for that. Right now, we’ve entrusted another job to her, but we’ve properly paid the request fee.”
“I-I do feel truly sorry for that. But I don’t have that sort of sum to pay…”
Lockwarde-san’s house was in decline. No, it collapsed.
If they could muster up a large enough sum, they wouldn’t be relying on their old friend Zelphy-san.
“Without doing whatever you can accomplish, why must you continue to find fault in Lyle-sama’s work? Or could it be that if Lyle-sama succeeds, you plan to demand the gem from him? Just how selfish must you be?”
Looking at Lockwarde-san’s mortified face, I tried to insert myself between the two, but the Third put a stop to that.
『Lyle, how about you leave this one to Novem-chan? That will be best for that Aria girl’s sake as well.』
He stopped my stopping. Novem confirmed my lack of action, before she continued to berate Lockwarde-san.
“Even if they’re laughed at, even if they’re carrying shame, I wouldn’t laugh at someone who was giving it their all. I think that those who merely watch from the sidelines are unqualified to say something about it.”
Lockwarde-san also tried countering.
“And that’s why I properly sought out assistance… what do you expect me to do alone!? What are you saying a little girl like me can do!?”
I looked at the two of them.
The Third Generation offered me some advice.
『Novem-chan took it upon herself to play the villain in your place. Originally, that was something you’d have to say to her, Lyle.』
The First also told me.
『That’s right! Get a grip on yourself, ya’ bastard!』
The Second offered the First a friendly reminder.
『Do you comprehend that we’re doing all this troublesome stuff because of you? And wait, try repeating whatever you just said in front of a mirror.』
In front of me, Lockwarde-san burst out crying and tears streamed down her face. The strong-willed demeanor she carried up until just before was nowhere to be found.
She wanted her precious things back.
But doing that alone was impossible.
She probably agonized over it, and I understood her impatience.
I pulled Novem into the house. As we passed by Lockwarde-san, I spoke.
“We’re departing tomorrow morning. If you happen to catch sight of a group on standby outside the entrance, that’s the bandit subjugation force. Do whatever you want.”
Saying that, I entered the house, taking Novem by the hand.
The morning of the next day.
I looked at the gathered carts, wooden poles, and boards, and nodded.
“If it’s this, there’ll be no misunderstandings when seen from afar.”
『Fumu, I’m surprised you got this much together with so little time. The merchants seemed to be quite wary of it as well.』
The Seventh looked at those packed into the carts and confirmed the completion of our preparations.
These were the gathered adventurers… with all one hundred and thirty spread out, it looked like an army from afar.
(There are a few others here too.)
『… That Aria girl’s here too.』
I shifted my eyes and found the red-haired Lockwarde-san.
Seeing her, Novem didn’t say a word. She didn’t say anything, but she seemed a little relieved.
“Are you sure it wouldn’t be best for her sake if she didn’t come?”
As I said that, Novem shook her head.
“She had that sort of personality from the start. I think she began to feel regret. From that regret, perhaps she lost went down the wrong path… though it’s just my arbitrary predictions.”
We didn’t have any work for a majority of the personnel. We seriously just hired them to head to the destination point. Those with actual work were less than ten percent of those present.
It was a job where they truly just had to stand there. I advertised it as such, and that was why they gathered en masse.
Naturally, we didn’t have time, so the numbers we gathered were smaller than I thought.
『You understand, right, Lyle? The war has already begun.』
On the Seventh Generation’s words, I silently nodded.
“Now, let’s depart.”
And on my words, Novem nodded as well.
An abandoned mine near Dalien…
There, with his gathered treasure to his back, a single man sat on top of a wooden box.
In his hand was a red gem.
Gazing at the treasure in his right hand, the man smiled.
“I’ve gotten my hands on something nice. Because of this, I was able to cleanly sweep out all the monsters that had stuck themselves to this area.”
He had grown a scraggly beard, and he was a largely built man, whose height had surpassed two meters.
His twenty three subordinates looked at their leader and laughed to themselves.
“As expected of our leader. Even so, I never thought a pampered noble brat would come at us head on.”
As one of his men said that, the large man let out some hearty laughter.
In front of the twenty three, he informed them of the subjugation force.
“After he’d made such a grand show at the guild, of course they’d come. What’s more, without even knowing some of our men had infiltrated their ranks. Let them struggle all they want with their troops of clay.”
The information about Lyle’s group had gotten through to them.
Altogether, the man had twenty six men. Of them, three were among the adventurers in Dalien.
They bought necessary supplies in town, and when they were making preparations to take them back to the main force, they got their hands on information about Lyle’s group.
From that info, they knew that a majority of those coming were adventurers toting cypress sticks and shields of wood… What’s more, they were seen through as to not even having much skill.
“They may be planning to surprise us with numbers and demand our surrender… but we can’t have that, can we? We won’t end in a place like this.”
The large man had ambition.
He wanted to leave behind the status of a bandit and lead a mercenary troupe.
In the queue of legendary mercenaries who went on to become Feudal Lords, he aspired to stand alongside them.
He had drifted into Dalien, and even made connections with the city’s inhabitants. He slowly brought his own subordinates in and sold the treasure they collected to amass funds for their next plan.
The reason they never plundered Dalien was so they could live the lives of mercenaries there from here on.
And the card they needed to play to grant that desire had descended among them.
“As long as we have this gem, there’s nothing to fear. If that green noble brat comes along, then we’ll just take his head.”
“Leader! The woman the kid has with him’s quite the looker!”
As one of his subordinates said that, the large man smiled.
“I see! After I’ve tasted her, I’ll let you guys have a bite.”
“Hehe, well thanks for that. She’d had my interest since the time I saw her at the guild.”
The portion of the group that had infiltrated the guild kept themselves informed on Lyle’s activity.
They planned to use that to make their own names stand out.
“They’re practically coming to us to offer us a chance to raise our names. Men, put your spirit into it!”
The bandit brigade boasted high morale.
The reason was the red gem the man clenched.
In it, various close-combat-specialized skills were recorded.
It was the precious treasure handed down through the Lockwarde House for generations.
… The brigade prepared, and lay in wait for Lyle to arrive.