We had returned to Beim.
To give the report to the Guild, today I had ventured out with Clara.
In the guild’s lobby with intense traffic back and forth, I found Tanya-san at the desk of the line I had gotten in.
“Oh my, back so soon? Or could it be you found it an impossible request?”
Perhaps already aware we had completed it, she joked around as she motioned us to sit.
I handed over the necessary documents. She inspected the envelope before delicately unsealing it and checking the papers within.
She read through them before our eyes, and with the papers in her left hand, she put her right to her chin and nodded a few times.
“Your Evaluation is a『B』. But it’s written here You were quite thorough with your work. Let me hand over the designated reward as promised.”
I presented my guild card. She took it and finished up the paperwork.
Nimbly filling out the forms, she confirmed some things with me without stopping her hands.
“From the contents of this report, your transportation time clocks at about five to six days one way. That’s quite fast, you know. Did you use horses? Adventurers registered with the guild can borrow them quite cheaply if they fill out the necessary forms. Did you know that?”
She looked at me. Judging by her smile, it seems she had looked up some things beforehand.
It was a service that hadn’t be present in anywhere besides Beim, but I…
“I’ll make sure to use them next time.”
When I said that, Tanya-san let out a light sigh, and returned her eyes to the papers. The top of her desk surely existed, but it was too loaded for me to confirm that fact.
The sound of something like a seal being stamped rung out.
After handing back my card with the paperwork, she left her seat. Likely to bring back my reward for the request.
“Was that alright? Could that question not have affected the examination?”
“It’s fine. We were able to finish our job within the allotted timeframe. And our evaluation wasn’t bad. If we’re too competent, that’ll be abused, and we don’t currently have the ability to refute such an abuse. If we stretch too far and get too high an evaluation, it’ll get hard to move around.”
Hearing my opinion, Clara looked relieved. But being relied on by the guild was also a sort of honor.
Your customer service gets put on a higher priority, it seems, and more than all else, your popularity rises. But I don’t want to be burnt to ash by the guild.
Especially in Beim, where a huge amount of requests flood in. There were enough to make processing them impossible, so a party as usable as ours may be something in high enough demand to warrant begging.
Movements speed, and ability to deal with problems.
Each of our members was competent, and able to accomplish an extent of tasks on their own. That’s why I thought we should restrict our evaluations a bit.
“I was an adventurer of Arumsaas for a considerable amount of time, but as I thought, Beim is different. The atmosphere aside, the quality of their receptionists is different.”
I agreed with her as I nodded at the horrid treatment from Arumsaas’ guild. And we smiled a little as we waited.
Tanya brought over a metal tray with the reward on it, and placed it on the counter.
“Well then, please confirm the amount. And I think you understand the matters of the east branch, but from here on, you’ll have to periodically carry out requests. When you have free time, we mind not if you go challenge a labyrinth or deal with some of the monsters around the city. But please uphold the proper manners in both fields.”
I checked over the monetary sum, and accepted it before confirming something with Tanya-san.
“It’ll be troublesome if we’re left with no freedom at all. About how often would we have to complete a request?”
Taking out a faint metallic board with characters carved onto it, Tanya-san began giving us an explanation.
“It depends on the contents and difficulty of the requests themselves, but if it’s something like this time’s, then at least once per month. Easier ones may warrant two to three within a single month.”
If it was something as simple as a two day trip for minor monster slaying, it may take two to three times a month, it seems.
From within the Jewel, I heard a voice. It was the Fourth.
『They don’t have knights, so they have to have the adventurers do all the monsters slaying. Meaning they have soldiers that maintain themselves and earn money of their own accord… Gimme.』
No need for maintenance cost, what’s more, as long as you put out an adequate reward when there was work to be done, they’d go off and do it. I could see what the Fourth saw in it.
The Seventh refuted that point.
『I don’t need such soldiers. Using groups you can’t ensure the competency of… there’s enough of that risk in using mercenaries in war. Not that I’d ever use that lot again.』
The Seventh’s adventurer hatred was considerable.
“What is the penalty if we fail to do so?”
Clara asked, and Tanya-san smiled.
“There isn’t one. It’s fine if you think we won’t do a thing on our side of the table.”
I looked at her smile, and thought.
(So if they won’t do anything at all, they won’t do anything special either. They won’t offer any special labyrinth subjugation services, I guess.)
Rather than forcing adventurers to work, the guild likely prioritized finding powerful adventurers that worked.
They had not the time to spend on an unmotivated lot. In the end, the guild was an organization that had control over the rights to Magic Stones.
I won’t say managing adventurers was just an extra, but perhaps it wasn’t their main interest.
It was necessary to organize the adventurers that did the collection of the magic stones, but from their point of view, providing favorable customer service to us was just a freebee.
“And by completing requests, you can be exempt from some taxes. If you haven’t heard, doing them counts as sufficient service to the city.”
If you complete requests, the city of Beim will profit.
The selling of magic stones wasn’t taxed either. That was Beim’s policy.
Clara sounded tired.
“Whatever the case, most of the money adventurers make will be put to the City’s use eventually. In this city without a feudal lord, I’m sure that’s the important point.”
“Wow, you’re sharp. But I don’t recommend you say it too often. You never know when a 【Sweeper】 is listening in.”
The wholesome cleaning company that’s existence was fully admitted by the guild, but never came out on the surface. That was the Sweepers. Dealing with adventurers that had more power than the common man, they had to be skilled lest the occupation be in vain.
In Clara’s place, I…
“We’ll watch ourselves. Of course, I doubt they’d be quick tempered enough to set their aim for something as trifling as that.”
“Oh I wonder. Now then, congratulations for completing your first job in Beim. We’ll be placing our expectations on you from here on, Lyle-kun. And Clara-san.”
I accepted what I was meant to, and learned I wouldn’t have to do a request until next month. Planning May’s adventurer registration for the following day, I stood from my seat, and exited the guild with Clara.
Having accepted the reward, Clara and I stopped by a food stall on the way to the inn.
Rather than being hungry myself, I wanted to bring back a souvenir for May given the amount she ate. Of course, Aria and Shannon would likely dig in as well.
While walking down the street lined with stalls, me and Clara picked out a few items.
“Meat skewers, is it? I’m sure May-san and Aria-san will be delighted, but Shannon-chan is a bit questionable.”
“Eh, really? Doesn’t she eat everything?”
When I said that, Clara looked at me, and shook her head.
“I do think there’s something wrong with that image you have of her. While she does eat a lot, she’s actually quite picky, and likes sweet things in particular.”
Come to think of it, that was quite true. But I still don’t doubt she’d be happy at receiving a meat skewer.
“Then should we get her some molded candy? No, rather than candy, perhaps some grilled sweet potato would be nice? How about you, Clara?”
“Me? No, I don’t require any food apart from at meal times.”
As an adventurer, she did eat her share, but compared to the other members, she was quite a light eater.
I remembered that sweets were supposed to help when you used your head, so I used a large copper to buy some sweet confectionaries from a nearby stand.
I handed the bag over.
“If it’s candy, it’ll last a while, and all you have to do is keep it in your mouth as you read. It won’t restrict your hands or anything.”
Clara nodded stiffly, as she accepted, and looked down a little.
From the Jewel came the Third’s voice.
『Oh, Lyle’s finally moved to raise Clara’s affection level!』
The Fourth without hesitation.
『Hm, if you take Shannon out of the picture- you bought her a pendent a while ago anyways- you’ve got seven left to please… you sure have it rough, boy!』
I got the urge to hit my ancestors as they laughed over the matter, but as of now, I’ve still yet to get a single blow in.
Perhaps today will be my lucky day.
And I heard a voice.
It was the voice of disputing adventurers. More specifically, as if a fight had broken out among comrades.
“So you’re saying it’s my fault!?”
When I turned my eyes to it, I saw Erhart with his large sword over his back. As always, he wore nothing but a tank top above. I really can’t understand that one.
Doesn’t he get cold like that?
Clara put the brown paper bag of candies under her arm as she looked over at Erhart.
“It looks like they’ve just came back from a request.”
He had the same sort of envelope I had received, and it was getting quite ruffled in his clenched fist. Before him were his comrades, or should I say lackeys, staring him down with unpleasant expressions.
“Of course it is! In the first place, saying one day without even looking it up… it took four whole days to reach, did it not!? And when we got there, you went and pissed the requester off, so we’re sure to get a low evaluation for it! We barely have any money on us, so what are you trying to do by reducing our income!?”
It seems he angered the client and dropped their evaluation.
I confirmed their actions from afar, and decided to keep a set distance. I was just a little curious as to why they would pick a place like this for a fight.
“All I did was buy a single freakin’ skewer from the stand, and this is what I get!? You’re way too high strung. If a worthy request comes along, we’ll be earning like there’s no tomorrow, so for now, shut it!”
Within all their monetary dissatisfaction, it seems he went off and bought a meat skewer for himself.
From within the Jewel, the Sixth spoke.
『No matter how you look at it, that’s no good.』
Erhart seemed quite fed up, but the Third laughed as he…
『Yeah~ everyone has their own way of leading people, but that one’s no good. He isn’t the type to lead with charisma, so just telling people to follow him is… did he already forget how he lost to Lyle? Well, it’s an interesting performance he puts on, but getting caught up in it will be a pain. Lyle, how about you leave as soon as you can?』
If he spotted me, perhaps he’d ask for a rematch here and now. That’s got to be bad, or how should I put it, more a pain, so took Clara’s hand, and led her away.
The Fifth let a few-up voice from the Jewel.
『Oblivious, and reckless. Well, he may grow a bit if he adventures for a while. If I had to say, then Lyle’s too well-mannered for his position.』
To succeed, a certain level of reckless was necessary, said the Fifth. I do admit that such a side may prove essential.
But one step in the wrong direction, and it’s self-destruction.
If all goes well, it’s a success story, but the future really depends on the individual’s disposition.
Crawling up, and establishing his own style of life as an adventurer isn’t completely impossible.
I’m technically his senior, but here we’re both newbies.
(I had Novem and the ancestors to advise me… otherwise, I may have been the one being laughed at right around now.)
Around Erhart, the troubled city dwellers. And the smiling places of adventurers among them.
The ones concerned continued on loudly without paying mind to such things.
Looking at Erhart, I honestly saw a possibility I shouldn’t be playing around with.
… A room of the guild.
There, Tanya gave her report on the adventurers to her superior.
She had submitted a number of forms, with her own evaluations on them.
The higher-up looked through the documents on the new adventurers enlisting in the east branch, as he sipped his tea.
He wasn’t a former adventurer, but a type more proficient in managing magic stones. But he still had to hear of adventurer matters from those involved, and he was a superior highly regarded by his subordinates.
“So what’s your opinion on the matter, 【Tahnia】? IS there any shining ray of talent in these files?”
Her name stressed strangely, Tahnia did not offer a correction. Because she accepted them as two separate names.
Tanya was the name of a guild employee.
While Tahnia was that of a sweeper.
“Yes. I think there are a number of parties that could turn up a profit. And it’s about the party headed by Lyle…”
Her superior searched for the papers, took it in hand, and nodded.
“He’s attained a high evaluation quite splendidly. It’s not anything extraordinary, but not bad either. At this rate, it won’t be long until he enters a labyrinth.”
While nodding, Tahnia…
“Yes, the finest evaluation. But I can’t help but think he was aiming for it.”
Her superior looked at her.
“Unsatisfied with something?”
“No, proficient adventurers are the guild’s precious assets. I do think that he, his party, will become a valuable asset for the eastern branch.”
Thinking Tahnia had found something shady on the boy, the higher-up took a sip of tea.
“Then isn’t that fine? We need only support them. If they moderately complete requests such as this, then offer them a place in labyrinth subjugation. If you do nothing but use them, they’ll flow somewhere else before you know it. You need a moderate level of bait on the table.”
Hearing that, Tahnia nodded, and continued on with her report.
“And next up is one on the worse side of things.”
The superior turned his eyes to a pile of documents he had been avoiding. But as it wasn’t a rare occurrence, he didn’t seem all that interested. These sorts of folks popped up every year without fail.
A ruckus over a duel, by young’uns who’d become adventurers oblivious to the point of the trade.
“Just do the usual. If they look to be useful to the guild, then guide them on, and if not, then leave them be. And if in the process, they end up wandering elsewhere, it’ll actually be a blessing for us.”
The guild liked to keep problematic adventurers at a distance.
And Erhart and co were just such adventurers. But it’s not like they’d give up on them right away. There was always a fixed level of adventurers like them, and there were plenty of cases where such adventurers matured and grew.
The guild had their ways to turn them into the proper adventurers they imagined.
“Ah right… Tahnia, you’re too competent a woman. Let’s put a broad-minded receptionist in charge of them. And with this matter, let’s make her their exclusive receptionist and call it a penalty.”
That’s just how many receptionists they had under their control. Such treatments were possible.
A single beautiful receptionist could be set to come into contact with a number of parties, and motivate them. You could also call it a way to use them however it seemed convenient.
When the beauty who welcomed them to the guild so warmly sounded troubled over how no one would take up a request, what would they do? Perhaps they’d feel a sense of debt, or courtesy. Adventurers with such sentiment may take the initiative and complete such unfavorable requests splendidly.
Adventurers who’d stacked up some ability in another land would avoid such requests if they knew it would put them at a disadvantage.
And that’s why, there always had to be a set amount of Erharts.
“Something something scissors are all about how you use them, was it? If he becomes a first-rate adventurer, the guild will benefit. And he’ll also benefit greatly himself. No~ we all should be a relation where no one loses out, you know. Both the guild, and its adventurers.”
(TL: The phrase he’s going here is, ’Idiots and scissors are all about how you use them.’ A Japanese idiom of which you can pretty much guess the meaning. The scissor part is on how even blunt scissors can cut if you use them right. This is also the Japanese title for the series Dog & Scissors, if you replace the idiot part with dog.)
Before her grinning superior, Tahnia nodded, collected up the documents over his desk, and tidily put them together.
“Well then, I’ll be taking my leave.”
Saying that, she left the room. Her superior:
“And good luck with the receptions desk, Tanya.”