TL: I’m not thinking of dropping Sevens, but does anyone know if, ‘The Evil Organization’s Help Wanted Ad’(悪の組織の求人広告) is being translated? I might pick it up as a side project.
Near the entrance to the forest I stood, looking over the chief and the other villagers.
“Oy, it’ll really be fine, right?”
“Yep, all good. She’s the sort that listens.”
I’m not sure how many times this made it, but I calmed the chief down once more as we looked towards the tree.
And from it, May in her quilin form leisurely showed herself.
On the appearance of her shining white scales against the dark forest backing, the villagers displayed an array of reactions.
Those in reverence.
And atop that, those silently watching over the scene.
After the quilin came all the way to our side, I brought the chief along for feigned negotiations as previously arranged.
“She really came out.”
“That’s what I told you, didn’t I? Ah, make sure you keep up a serious expression, alright.”
“Whoops, that’s right.”
And after I talked with the chief, we conversed with May a bit. After a while, she turned, and disappeared into the woods.
Behind us, the villagers watching over to see the result started getting loud.
The chief turned, raised a hand, and gave it a grand wave.
And seeing that, some villagers sat down on the spot from relief. A few among them raised cries of joy.
He return to their midst to be surrounded by the importants of the village.
“Yeah~ I knew you could do it.”
“That’s a heavy load off our shoulders.”
“I’ll treat you to some of my special liquor tonight.”
As if they had swapped out their entire hand, they were surrounding the man with smiles.
I looked upon the scene, the ancestors of the Jewel offering some explanations.
In regards to this settlement’s scope, the Third was the most knowledgeable in the field.
『What a splendid change of heart. But insincere as it may be, the way the chief’ll be seen in this village will change for the better. Well, they’ll always be tough on the newcomers. If you don’t contribute enough, you won’t be recognized, and if try too hard, you’ll just be used. It really is a hard, being chief.』
Surrounded by those men, the chief gave a sarcastic smile.
I separated from him and the villagers to meet up with Novem.
“Lyle-sama, we have finished the arrangements to depart, but is that really alright? We weren’t all the way through our Gray Wolf subjugation, were we?”
Novem sounded worried about the request itself, so I nodded. It didn’t seem that anyone cared about our party at this point.
“It’s fine. May cleaned up a majority of it already. As long as we confirm the completion of the task, it’ll be gone and done with.”
After looking in the direction of the forest, she let her eyes fall on me.
“I wasn’t able to contribute much to the end. I’m glad your negotiations with the chief proceeded favorably. We’ve successfully cleared the exam have we, Lyle-sama?”
Successfully is a bit of a mistake.
What I wanted was an evaluation high enough to challenge a labyrinth. And I needed to get that on terms that didn’t make it seem the utility value was too high.
“We’ve gotten a convenient evaluation, but for that, I gave up the additional request’s reward as well. Well, I doubt we’ll be able to tell what’ll happen until we return.”
The guild will have to evaluate us themselves.
I can only pray it’ll go on in a way convenient to us.
“We shouldn’t hope for too much… it’s just… we’ll have to periodically complete requests like this, won’t we.”
If looked upon objectively as a party, ours was too small in scope with few achievements to report. It’s true that we have a high record to compensate, but I’m not sure what the guild has to say about that one.
There’s also a possibility the difficulty of the requests allotted to us will just increase.
(Well, it’ll work out one way or another. Even if it doesn’t, doing something about that is my job as a leader.)
With May added on, our party numbered nine.
IT’s still a small number, but we could now split in two and act separately.
Even if it just put someone on the bench, having more members was something to be thankful for.
“Even so, I never thought a quilin would become our ally. Lyle-sama, may I ask what reason she gave for wanting to join our numbers?”
On her eyes that seemed to peer up through me, I instantly wiped the area around my mouth.
I remembered my kiss with May. And putting my tongue in while she was in quilin form… thinking back, perhaps it would have been best if she changed back to human form if not for that moment alone.
(No, that’d make me hesitate in itself.)
I averted my eyes, and gave a vague answer.
“Well, it’s that… she’s an acquaintance or something with one of my ancestors? No you see~ it’s that fate sort of thing. I’m sure it exists.”
I smiled and tried to play it off. Her eyes opened wide for a moment, before swiftly returning to normal.
“… No, this must be proof your predecessors are rewarding you for the work you put in every day, Lyle-sama. Let’s keep up with that pace.”
Our end goal was to take down Celes.
Turning to see the village folk rejoice, and the chief grin bitterly, I spoke to her.
“That’s right. But the path sure is a long one.”
When I headed over to the chief’s house, I found him lying on the sofa with a reddened face. He had returned from the banquet in town.
In the morning he met the quilin, and during the day, he had gone into the forest with the other important people of the village to confirm the completion of the request. At his return, the villagers had prepared a feast, and they drank for as long as the sun was up, is how it went down.
Eva spread her songs at that banquet, while Monica and Shannon aided with the preparations and cleanup.
The chief’s wife approached me, and handed over an envelope.
“This is for you.”
“Thanks. Is this the documents pertaining to this request?”
She nodded and turned to the chief.
I don’t think he was weak to drink, but with the amount he consumed, he was exposing quite an incapacitated state.
“After returning, he hurriedly finished these up. Because seeing the scale of the banquet preparations, he wouldn’t have time during the night or next morning, he said. He’s quite a hard worker, you know.”
His smiling wife draped the cover he had kicked off over him again. She seemed happy. Truly happy.
Accepting the envelope, I was a little unpleased I couldn’t talk with the chief. I was a bit curious whether he reported according to the contents of our negotiations, but it was the sort of envelope the guild could tell if I’d opened.
Seeing my worry, his wife spoke.
“Don’t worry so much. My husband isn’t one to lie in this sort of thing.”
She giggled, so I scratched my head.
“So he’ll lie in regards to other things?”
“Of course. I don’t recall if it was back when he was an adventurer or when he became chief though. But he lied his share. Like in this time’s case.”
It does seem she knew what we were doing this time around. Was there anything else she caught on to? I began to wonder.
“It’s alright. I’m sure I was the only one to notice.”
Of good appearance, she had a good head on her shoulders to top it off.
Looking at the man sloppily sleeping on the side, I…
“I’m surprised the chief managed to marry someone as pretty and smart as yourself.”
She gave a strained smile.
“I knew you were young for an adventurer, but it seems you aren’t knowledgeable on that sort of thing.”
Wondering what sort of thing she meant, I tilted my head.
After turning left and right, and confirming her children were asleep, she beckoned me to sit down.
She prepared some tea, and sat across.
“Lyle-san, was it?”
I sipped tea after giving that reply, and she went on.
“I was once a harlot.”
I managed to will myself to swallow down the liquid about to burst from my mouth, breaking into a coughing fit as I looked at her. Still so young, pretty, of orderly appearance and favorable temperament.
I hesitated to give a response, so she nodded with a smile.
“Yes, my husband was but one of my customers. Let’s see… perhaps it was ten years ago. Having become an adventurer, and having become able to earn, my husband decided to buy me off.”
I had no idea what sort of expression to make, but some advice started flowing in from the Jewel.
It was the Sixth.
『Lyle, you don’t have to do anything. Don’t try to sympathize or anything, just earnestly listen to what she has to say.』
So I listened to her story.
“All of your party members are women, aren’t they? I won’t dig too deeply into it, but that sort of party is quite rare. A large portion of them go for ones out of the trade. And for Beim’s adventurers, many choose the harlots as their partners.”
I knew there were many a adventurer who didn’t look at coworkers as members of the opposite sex, but I never thought courtesans would be the first they’d turn to.
(I thought it would be the receptionists or normal residents for sure.)
“Well, Beim’s ‘entertainment’ district is quite prosperous, so it’s in no shortage of daughters sold off cheaply by parents of some far off land. I was the same. On year with little harvest, the monsters attacked, and they needed money no matter what.”
With apologetic sentiment on my mind, I ended up asking…
“Um, what did you mean about becoming able to earn…”
She shook her head, and gazed at me in all seriousness.
“A majority of adventurers will lose their lives. Among my acquaintances, there are a large number who’ve passed. It’s not that they were weak, I heard it truly was a lack of luck. To be able to safely earn money, you have to overcome that path. But it wasn’t all bad things to be found. Education was a necessity, they said, so etiquette, reading, writing and calculations were hammered into my head over my first two years.”
From the Jewel, the sixth let out his voice.
『Hm, she was bought off by quite a decent shop there.』
For some reason, I get the feeling he’s a little too knowledgeable in the field. I didn’t want to pry into it now, simply inclining my ear to the young woman’s words.
“Even if you try to stay quiet, Beim is a place people will gather. Once your age hits a certain point, then work in the business becomes quite unrelenting. Because of that, it happens that regular customers may buy off the girl of their choosing. Of course, if you really hate it, you’re able to refuse.”
And since she didn’t that means she took a liking to the chief, is it?
“He’s a kind person. I think I was lucky.”
After looking at the chief, she returned her gaze to me, and smiled.
“That was quite a long preface. What I really want to say is in regards to your party, Lyle-san.”
I tilted my head, and she gave a wry smile.
“How should I put this… both men and women can’t live on nothing but pretty words. Lyle-san, your face is decent, and you seem to make good money. You’re definitely going to suffer for that, so let me give you some advice. You’ve helped my husband quite a bit, so you may think it a reward of sorts.”
I do think I’m going through some troubles at present.
No, rather than that… there are times I simply don’t know what to do. My post-growth high tensions causing me to run my mouth about protecting them, and asking them to follow my lead… yeah, that’s my fault.
But it’s not like my ground state is skilled at womanizing.
I straightened my posture, and she instructed me.
“Are you listening? Please think that the smallest things you do will be watched. Buy a girl a present, and it’s best you assume everyone will know about it next you check. Your party members are, no matter how you look at it, quite conscious of you. You’re being watched quite a bit, you know.”
I gulped down some spit. I feared the thought of being watched.
“I’ll be quite blunt here, but do you have ‘relations’ with all of them?”
I gave an immediate response.
“None. But I’ve kissed… three.”
(First was Monica, then Novem… wait, there was another Monica after that, and finally while in quilin form, I still kissed May so that makes three. Right?)
She looked at me and shook her head.
“Are you looking to be stabbed?”
“Stabbed!? No, but that much is…”
When I thought about that, Aria and Miranda’s faces surfaced in my mind.
“If you make a move once, then it’ll be troublesome if you don’t deal with the other members. It’s fine if it just causes them to leave the party, but if they hold a grudge, it’s possible for your comrades to seriously go at one another’s throats after all.”
I’ve heard about it before. I thought, as I began worrying over how to counteract the calamity to come down on my body.
(Huh? But they’re members who chose to come along even after I announced my Celes-overthrowing goal, so won’t it work out?)
Is what I thought, but I recalled the tense relations of Novem and Miranda.
“If it’s impossible to make it clear, then I recommend you think of a way to deal with the problem of the problem before something explodes.”
“D-deal with…!? No, that sort of thing is…”
My face reddened, causing her to laugh to herself.
“You sure are an earnest one. But It really will be dangerous if you don’t take some countermeasures. I’ve seen love turn to hatred plenty a time. Lyle-san, you should make sure it doesn’t come down to that.”
In an expression as serious I could make, I nodded time and again.
The morning of the next day.
We had completed the request, so we left the village.
Since the Gray Wolf and quilin problem had been handled, all that was left was what to do to the three boys.
Before we departed, the chief had, with a pained expression from his hangover, explained the likely situation.
(So forced servitude for two years followed up by exile… I’ve heard of slavery, but come to think of it, I’m not too knowledgeable.)
I knew it existed in itself, but I myself didn’t know too much. The Bahnseim Kingdom didn’t have such a system, so I didn’t know how it worked in depth.
So as not to let them follow us out, the village was watching over the boys quite carefully.
I opened the door of Porter’s loading tray, sat down with my legs out the entrance, and stared blankly into space.
The reason being that Porter’s insides were quite lively.
I wanted to flee to the roof, but the ones currently on watch up there were Novem and Miranda, having lost out in a game.
I didn’t want to approach.
Our new recruit May was fighting with Monica.
“Cheapskate! Let me eat more!”
“Quiet down, you beast! That is the chicken dickwad’s lunch you’re eying!”
But in regards to the maid, May didn’t back down at all.
“Isn’t it unfair to have only one person receive special treatment?”
Monica scoffed. But with a basket in one hand, and the other hand pushing back May’s head, the action wasn’t much of a definite one.
“Hah! Just make do with his leftover scraps. You don’t hear anyone else complaining.”
Well of course not.
I mean, even if they were different, their contents were pretty much the same.
But the one who didn’t stay silent was Shannon.
“Hey wait a minute! If you eat those, then Lyle’s dessert won’t circle around to me!”
Hearing that, Monica…
“Damn you little girl! So you were also a vulture after the Chicken Dickwad’s lunch!? I won’t forgive it! This is the meal I’ve specially balanced and optimized to the superb ratio for that goddamn chicken! ”
“Yeah, that’s fine and all, so hand it over. It’s all the same after it’s eaten!”
Monica yelled out.
“It ain’t lunch yet! Just how much do you guys plan on eating!?”
Eva was recording various things on her memo pad. Perhaps some lyrics had come to mind, as she was writing quite seriously.
Clara had to deal with Porter’s maneuvering, so she was stuck in the prickly air up top.
And within that, Aria sat to my side.
“It’s getting quite noisy. How about you do something about it, leader?”
With those words from her, I looked at the three rampaging around Porter’s insides.
(Porter, you sure were made durable.)
Was my impression of it all.
And wait, I really don’t want to be involved in that.
If I put my mouth in, I’m quite certain it will only fan the flames.
What the Fifth had said… leave it be. But the chief’s wife told me to pay mind to it. I’m losing track of what I should do.
“I think they’re just moderately blowing off some steam over there.”
With my meal in her right hand, Monica equipped a drill on her left to threaten May and Shannon.
They were both cooperating to try and nab my lunch.
“Moderate? That is? I… see…”
We had gotten a new member, but May had already fit herself in.
Everyone already knew of how she was a quilin. And May’s reason for joining was just left at a debt to be repaid to my ancestors.
I made sure she didn’t say anything about wanting my seed.
Aria looked like she wanted to say something, so I tried asking.
“Well take it as you will, but you sure do go about making some strange ones into your comrades. In a sense, we’ve got quite an amazing lineup here.”
Definitely, the quilin May and Automaton Monica were a novelty.
And the rest of them, compared to the average adventurer, had more than an idiosyncrasy or two.
“I’m the one trying to figure out how it came to this.”
That was my true and honest sentiment.