To adventurers, one of the important things to remember was taking a break.
Naturally, you can’t just go out and fight monsters every day.
Similarly, there aren’t any adventurers that keep on taking on odd jobs every day.
Resting the body is important, but equipment also needs periodic maintenance.
If you hold high-class equipment, then the maintenance costs are likely just as high. But such maintenance costs a bit of time.
It’s troublesome if equipment doesn’t pull through when it comes to it.
For that sake, Zelphy-san ordered us to take breaks in moderation. Her policy was that if we were going in over our heads, she would stop us.
If we weren’t doing something essential, she would point it out. And in advance, she would give an explanation of what was needed.
That may sound immensely obvious, but if you asked, among the people employed as adventurers, there were many who just polished fighting skills in actual combat.
Thinking it was better off if such people didn’t become advisors, I started to read a book in the resource room I had periodically started to commute to whenever it became a break day.
But today, I wasn’t alone.
With the only desk in the entire narrow resource room in between us, I faced Aria.
From that previous matter, she was also trying to keep some distance from me.
But today, here she was, facing me in the resource room. When I thought about how I should have delayed a bit, and came at a different time, I realized that we lived under fundamentally the same cycle, so my free time, and hers usually overlapped.
“It’s nothing. And wait, did you really read all that?”
Aria pointed at the mountain of books to my side. She also opened the book that Zelphy-san had suggested she read.
It was mainly about the roles of people in parties.
In comparison, I didn’t really have anything I wanted to find out, so I randomly picked out some books to read, and repeated that cycle.
“Of course I did. I happen to like reading.”
I like immersing myself in stories.
And of all things, you can get by without thinking too many needless thoughts. From ten onwards, the time I could read was the time I could escape from reality.
“And wait, why are you even reading one on agriculture? I doubt that’s one that was kept in the guild.”
On Aria’s question, it wasn’t me, but the Second that answered.
However, unlike with Novem, his treatment of her was rough.
『Based on the situation, you might be sent to assist in another village’s farmwork. Since Dalien’s gotten larger in scale, that sort of request may be few to be found, though. And wait, you don’t even know something that simple!?』
Due to the growth of the city, such requests had stopped coming to the guild. But still, the books alone were left in the reference room.
I softened up the Second’s words, and transmitted them.
“I’ll bet it was necessary in the past. I mean, even Dalien’s guild had a time where it accepted these sorts of requests, right?”
In truth, the agricultural book I had on hand was slightly old. But the Second, and the book-loving Third were full of interest in it, so they had me flip through it for them to read.
The cheerful Third Generation looked at it, as he signaled me to flip to the next page.
『Looking at this technological progress really makes me jealous. If there was a method like this back then, then perhaps our times would have been better ones. Technology sure is important… Lyle, please flip the page.』
Perhaps reading books was my hobby.
But the ancestors were different.
They wanted to see just how different their eras were from modern day, and they were interested in new technological advances.
From that part of it, I see they really were feudal lords.
“… Do you plan to stick your hands into farming next?”
Keeping her eyes on her own book, Aria posed a question. Since the time she became able to move, this was the first she ever started up a conversation with me.
“No, I was just a little curious.”
I’ve already read up on the applications of magic pertaining to agriculture.
Using magic, it wouldn’t be a misconception to say the technology to make life more abundant is constantly being polished. But there, there was a single unspoken rule.
Never use nothing but magic to complete a single job, or so it was decided.
It may sound like a needless rule, but my opinion is that they were taking mana consumption into account.
To magicians… especially people who use nothing but magic as their weapon, drying up their mana reserve was a matter of life or death.
This sort of specialized magic was likely used by people who specialized in it.
I thought the rule was decided based on that, but it seems there was another reason.
(I guess there are some things you can’t learn just in books.)
After actually going out and living life, I often felt that was the case. But I still don’t think it’s a waste for me to be here reading books like this.
In comparison, it didn’t seem that books were quite compatible with Aria.
She made a difficult expression as she looked at the pages.
It’s not that she can’t read, but perhaps that it doesn’t suit her personality.
Her garments are one thing, but she’s quite a lively girl for a Noble Lady.
“Do you hate reading?”
“I don’t hate it. It’s just my weak point. I was often made to read a lot in the past, but until recently, I didn’t have such time.”
Father and daughter. I heard that the father didn’t decently work, and lived a liquor-soaked lifestyle.
In a family environment like that, Aria likely had her hardships.
Even now, she has yet to bring up her past, but I could imagine how such a conversation would turn out.
To a girl like that, the First offered his sympathy. In general, the only one who sympathized with her was the First Generation
『So you went through a lot, Aria-chan.』
The second gave a cold response to his opinion.
『I can sympathize with the part about her being put through a lot because of her father. No, empathize.』
I really can’t feel anything but coldness from the First and Second’s relationship.
When I carelessly asked just what had happened between them, the Second’s emotions exploded out, and my mana went down the drain in large quantities, so I decided not to bring it up again.
After that, a while of silence ensued.
A while after our conversation had been cut off, I finished reading my book, so I placed it up on the mountainous stack of books.
I had read all of the ones in the pile.
Looking at its height, it’s about the right time for me to return home.
“I’m going to return, but what about you?”
In order to return them to their original places, I stood, and took them in my hands.
Aria hadn’t finished reading yet, so she took a quick glance at me before, turning her head to one side.
“I’m not done here, so you can go ahead. Tell Novem that, um… I’ll be late.”
I received her message, before putting away the books, and exiting the room.
The Guild was as busy as ever.
Even if we were on break, there are still adventurers normally completing their work. I left the reference room, and passed by the receptions desks on the second floor to see today’s lines.
As always, only Hawkins’ was short.
(He does his work neatly, and he’s a nice person, though.)
Brown skin, and close-cropped red hair. On top of that, his armor of muscle was clearly visible from over his shirt.
His body was also large, and he looked out of the league of any of those standard adventurers out there.
In truth, quite a number of veteran adventurers refer to the man as 『Boss』 out of endearment. Or perhaps because they knew they couldn’t oppose him
From their behaviors, it was apparent that the newcomers were too scared to approach.
Even when he handled people politely with a smile, the newcomers drifted away.
In comparison, the beauty’s line was as amazing as ever.
A majority of the ones lined there were young men.
Some of them were lured in by her looks, and others wanted to impress her with the dangerous jobs they were going to undertake.
The Second gave a sigh of disappointment.
『Why do they go through such pointless effort. From her attitude, you can tell she’s likely got a man or two.』
I can’t really say anything due to my general disinterest in love affairs, but with that appearance, she does probably have a male attending to her.
From what I can see, she’s in her later teens, I guess?
If you think about marriageable age, it doesn’t sound strange if she were already taken.
(No, the commoners had a different age standard for that.)
The Noble age of marriage is said to be early, so I recalled that normal women generally married later.
I’ve even heard that through advances in healing magic, the average lifespan of humans is increasing. Because of that, the average age of marriage is also getting later and later, or so I read in a book.
『Wait, is it too late for her if she’s not married at that age She’s probably got quite a few problems to her, that one.』
On the Second’s harsh evaluation, the Seventh responded.
『Isn’t that age normal in these times? I mean, the times have changed.』
Having come from an era more recent, the Seventh said there were no problems if the beautiful receptionist wasn’t married off yet.
In truth, there was a gap of over one hundred years between the Second and Seventh.
Their sense of values were quite different.
Growing tired of absentmindedly staring at the desks, I started off towards the stairs.
There, I saw a party of three ascending it.
The mixed-gender party had two men with a sword and spear. They were probably the front line.
And they had a robed magician carrying a staff. It was a party with good balance.
Ah, I should throw in, ‘For a party of three, that is.’
They had been ascending lined up alongside each other, so I pushed myself to one side.
“Oh, sorry. I was so caught up in the conversation, I didn’t notice.”
The man with a sword hanging at his waist was a little older than me.
Looking at the hilt, I could tell the weapon was well-used, and his standing figure and walk hinted that his skills were also high.
Similarily, the tall man holding a spear seemed to have quite a bit of strength.
“Be careful there. If you keep flirting like that, you’ll run into and bother people. Sorry there… wait…”
The man with the spear looked at my face, and seemed a little troubled.
There, the woman with the staff shouted out.
“You’re Lyle, aren’t you!? With that blue hair and eyes, there’s no mistake. You’re 『Idiotic Noble Son Lyle』, aren’t you!”
Hearing that, my eyes turned doubtful.
I heart a laughing voice from the Jewel.
It was the First.
『Gahahaha, it looks like your plan was a complete success! Why not rejoice, Lyle!』
Thinking he should really consider my feelins a little more, I nodded.
The swordsman covered the woman’s mouth, and offered an apology.
“What do you think you’re saying! I-I apologize. She’s not a bad person, but her lips are a little bit loose, or how should I put it… sorry.”
I told him I really didn’t mind, as I accepted his apology.
“You should really think before opening your mouth.”
The spearman also seemed a little fed up with her.
“I-I mean… I’m sorry.”
It was a party of people that seemed to be two or three years older than me.
Perhaps because they had built up a considerable amount of experience, they had an atmosphere unlike the other young adventurers.
“I’m【Rondo】. The one there with the staff is 【Rachel】, and the one with the spear is 【Rahu】. Nice to meet you.”
They gave an introduction, so I also offered my name.
“I’m Lyle. I hope we get along.”
As I said that, the spear wielding Rahu-san put his hand to his chin, and looked over me. He inspected me from head to two, and smiled.
“Your impression is completely different from the rumors. It looks like you have some skill on you.”
Hearing that, Rondo-san folded his arms, and nodded.
“Certainly. That being the case, does that make the rumors baseless? Oh, right, we also had a job. Sorry, but we’ll be parting here. It would be nice if we could have a nice talk sometime later.”
The three of them headed off to the desks, and in the end, Rachel gave me a slight wave.
It doesn’t look like they’re bad people. Adventurers carry a strong ruffian image, but it looks like diligent adventurers do exist.
The Third gave his evaluation from the conversation.
『It’s nice they didn’t swallow the rumors whole. Well, it means there are some people out there who’ll evaluate you with their own eyes, Lyle. Good for you.』
(No, I was moving just as you guys said, and got the 『Idiotic Nobel Son』 title per your words… not that it matters.)
Ocassionally, there are some adventurers who turned mocking eyes on me, but there are also people like Hawkins-san and that Rondo-san from before out there.
When I think of that, my thoughts get slightly lighter.
As I returned to the house, Novem appeared from the kitchen to greet me.
“Welcome home, Lyle-sama. Ah, so Aria is coming back separately?”
By the apron she was wearing, she was probably preparing lunch.
As I told her that ria would be late, my stomach began to grumble from the smells wafting in from the kitchen.
“She said that it would take her some time, so she would be late. That aside, this’s quite a nice smell.”
I looked towards the kitchen, and Novem laughed to herself, as she said lunch would be done soon enough, and returned.
While I wondered what it would be, the Fourth gave me a severe assessment.
Since novem wasn’t close by, I answered in a quiet voice.
“What is it?”
『That was absolutely no good. I was going to try keeping quiet, but that was simply too horrendous. Why did you leave Aria-chan behind? And where are your thanks for Novem-chan making lunch? Just be a little more mindful of yourself! Simply looking at you is irritating me!』
Lately, I’ve been able to feel that this man probably went through many hardships for his wife.
Perhaps if he didn’t do this much, something terrible would have happened to him.
“He’s saying that, but what’s your take on the matter, Fifth?”
As I asked, the Fifth gave a condescending reply.
『Don’t mind it. Pops(The Fourth Generation) has a bit of an illness. He cherished mama too much, and gave her a princess’s treatment… because of that, I also went through hell.』
Each generation had various problems.
As I went off to wash my hands, I heard Novem’s voice along the way.
“Lyle-sama, were you able to make up with Aria-chan?”
By her question, it seems she was worried about mine and Aria’s relationship. At the same time, I get the feeling I know why Aria was in the reference room today.
“No. But we were able to talk a little. I’m sorry to be worrying you about it, Novem.”
As I said that, she gave a wry smile.
“So you figured it out?
“Of course I’d understand if she suddenly struck up a conversation with me like that. I knew that something had happened.”
Novem removed her apron, folded it, and placed it on a nearby shelf.
“I think Aria-san has her share of troubles as well, so please pay some mind to that.”
I averted my eyes from her, nodded, and immediately went off to wash my hands.
… At the guild’s reception desk, the work for the day had finished, so Hawkins stretched his body.
“Looks like today ended safely.”
The middle aged woman working next to him patted her shoulders as she answered.
“Finally. I wonder why they all come around to me. Still, it looks like they’ve started to line up with you as of late.”
“I think it would be fine if a few more came to me, but it’s not going as I had hoped.”
The woman who praised Hawkins smiled, and stood up before beginning her preparations to leave.
The beauty on the far side had left early, so she wasn’t there anymore.
Perhaps she was being treated to a meal by some adventurer. Hawkins sighed as the thought crossed his mind. He started to tidy up the documents and tools at his station.
Once work ended, cleaning up his desk… his counter… was Hawkins’ standard procedure.
The staff member who had taken over from the beauty had been troubled upon inheriting all the work that hadn’t been processed yet, it seems.
Hawkins called out to them.
“What’s the problem?”
“Ah, Hawkins-san… the truth is, that some documents I never heard about popped up when I took over the post. It’s a little troubling.”
“Again, is it?”
With a good face and figure, she was the reception desk’s eyecatcher. It would be accurate to put it like that, but in truth, there was a problem with her work ethic.
To the adventurers lined up gunning for her, a small problem or two would actually create a chance for a longer conversation with her. It was something to celebrate.
But from the point of view of the other receptionists, she was nothing but trouble.
Of all else, the girl’s father was a higher up in the guild.
Hawkins was also told by his boss to look out for her, so if a problem cropped up, he’d lend a hand if possible.
But it seems that such an environment was a bad influence on her.
“I was sure I told her to hand over her post properly.”
“You’re not at fault, Hawkins-san. The other staff members just tell her something like, ‘this much is fine,’ and try to console her. The individual herself seems to think it’s fine as well.”
Recently, she had started to hate how Hawkins gave out detailed instructions pertaining to work. She stopped coming to talk to him very often.
The middle aged female worked hated the beauty from the start, or perhaps she didn’t have any intentions of looking after her.
“The troubled ones should be the adventurers, but… anyways, what sort of documents are they?”
Saying that, Hawkins accepted the documents. His eyes suddenly turned serious.
“I’m sorry, I’m a temp, so I wasn’t able to understand the meaning behind them.”
Normally, one of the ones working out back would take over for the receptionists.
Even if they could handle a majority of the work, there were many things they didn’t know. At times like that, Hawkins or one of the others gave a followup.
If it was this form, she should have been able to process it by herself. Thinking that, Hawkins became a little anxious.
“… Where did you find this document?”
“It was with the other documents I received upon taking post.”
The temp opened a drawer, and took out a cluttered binder with numerous documents shoved into it.
(It looks like she forcefully shoved them in again… I’m sure I taught her to handle documents with care, though.)
Letting out a sigh, Hawkins began to check and see if any of the other forms had any problems.
“I’ll check all of the documents within here. Also, can I ask you to check and see if any of out management are still around?”
Noticing that Hawkins’s attitude had changed, the staff member ran off.
Sitting down in the chair, Hawkins took out all the relevant papers from the drawer.
“… Come to think of it, I haven’t received a report that they had returned yet.”
The advisor man who had called out to Zelphy came up in his mind.
He wasn’t the ones who had processed their forms himself, so he hadn’t heard the time interval of their departure. But his instincts were telling him it wasn’t strange if they had returned by now.
It’s not like Hawkins manned the desk every day.
At times, he would take a break, and have another staff member take up his post.
A bad premonition in mind, he started going at the documents.
“… So those sorts of premonitions can be on the mark sometimes.”
There, was a form listing out an overdue return.
They hadn’t returned, or perhaps they were put in a situation where they couldn’t. Hawkins immediately circled around to the back rooms of the guild, and searched for the other copies of the guild cards kept there.
For the advisor, and the five young adventurers who were following him, he searched for the six cards.
While they were checked in times of emergency, the guild card copies were usually kept where they wouldn’t see the light of day.
But it was just as he thought.
As he took the six cards in hand, he confirmed the names.
“There’s no doubt about it.”
With a stern expression, he gripped the card that had a dark horizontal line extending over the name…