… A meeting room in the guild.
The receptionists gathered up by the higher-ups accepted the documents pertaining to the labyrinth discovered. They were discussing which parties to offer the opportunity to clear it.
Black haired bob-cut Tanya reset her glasses as she confirmed the contents.
(At worst, up to ten floors in scale. It has been confirmed there is a boss monster per floor. After making their way to the third floor, the reconnaissance party safely returned.)
The difficulty of clearing it definitely wasn’t high. It could even be regarded as an easy one.
So that’s why they had to take care in their party selection. If they just sent a large number to clear it, then if a casualty surfaced, the numbers of adventurers in service to the guild would decrease.
Even if adventurers gathered in Beim by the day, sending a squad out to be annihilated would only cause the Labyrinth to grow.
The one heading the meeting was a normal resident supervisor who wasn’t a sweeper or anything.
Hair parted in a three to seven ration, a small mustache, and a slim build. The male staff member looked over the documents only he had in hand, and confirmed it with the rest.
“Does anyone here have a party they’d recommend? Even if you throw the names out, there’s a possibility they’ll decline, so having a bit more is fine. We’re going for a number where it won’t be too much trouble if everyone called for can go. And make sure you only recommend parties you think can handle it. No parties out on requests of which you don’t know when they’ll be back.”
The female receptionist sitting next to Tanya, 【Marianne】 was the girl who manned the counter directly opposite to her.
Not a sweeper, she had straight blond hair, and emerald drooping eyes. Her atmosphere was one that made one think of her as an elder sister, and she often carried about a somewhat fluffy, and laid-back impression.
She let out a sigh, and grumbled over how there was no point in her attending the meeting.
“I fundamentally only deal with newbies here.”
On those words, Tanya laughed to herself a bit.
“These meetings are an obligation. And perhaps the day will come when one of your charges is to challenge a Labyrinth, you know?”
Hearing that, Marianne shook her head.
“How many years are you talking about here? By that time, my place will have been taken up by a younger and prettier girl. There are a few it’d pay to bet on, but right now, they’re all oblivious young’uns. When you stir them up to do work like that, you’re aware that not even half of them succeed, aren’t you?”
The parties Marianne tended to were made up of new adventurers who had come to Beim without any appropriate knowledge, or parties with a lack of competence.
For parties such as those, the guild kept plenty of receptionists like her to lead them on the path to become proficient adventurers.
Tanya looked at the blackboard in the meeting room as she nodded. It was covered by the names of the various parties being recommended.
“Come to think of it.”
Around her, the other receptionists were putting out the names of the parties they favored. There were plenty of receptionists at the guild and those receptionists had plenty of adventurers they got along well with.
It was a form of connection making to take care of the stream of requests flooding into the city.
Tanya thought a bit, and raised her hand.
“Oh, it’s rare to get a recommendation from you, Tanya. So who is it you want to nominate?”
It wasn’t strange for the supervisor to be so surprised. Of all else, this was the first time Tanya had ever recommended a party for a labyrinth.
For both the east guild branch, and the adventurers of it, Labyrinth clearing was a huge merit. It gave a chance for those adventurers to gain the treasures at the depths of the maze.
For that sake, there were plenty of adventurers who tried to curry favor with their receptionists. But while Tanya was a receptionist on the surface, she was a sweeper below.
She would occasionally dispose of the criminals among the adventurers, though she did desk work most of the time. But that was also so she could get a good look of the faces of the resident adventurers.
That being the case, she really didn’t have any interest in recommendations.
However, this time…
“I would like to put forth the party headed by Lyle. Their serial number is…”
The supervisor looked through the documents in his hand for the records pertaining to Lyle.
“Ah, that party, I see. They really are an interesting bunch. They look to be able to deal with most things, and their general formation is an all-purpose one to take on any sort of request… but don’t you think it’s a little too fast?”
As a party that had only been in Beim little over a month, they had received high evaluations on their request. But the problem was that they had barely just arrived.
From the eyes of another, it would seem they were receiving preferential treatment.
“I believe that have enough ability for it. And…”
When the supervisor showed his interest, Tanya smiled a little.
“While they truly are quite an interesting party, they’re quite proficient, so I think it best we keep them with us.”
The supervisor looked at the papers as he stroked his chin. He nodded a number of times…
Having completed a request, I dropped by Beim’s eastern-most guild branch… the east branch.
I had taken a bath, so my blue hair was damp. It had grown quite a bit, so I was thinking of cutting it sometime in the near future.
When I entered the guild lobby, I found the same wide space just as crowded as always.
With her pals verdure hair, Miranda was wearing a heavy coat over her clothing. It was cold after all.
I was the same, but I wore a robe instead.
Under it was my casual clothing, with a sabre and knife hung at my waist.
I looked around for a line that didn’t look like it would take too long.
“It’s as crowded as ever. Maybe we should have come tomorrow?”
Miranda had just returned, taken a bath and had a light meal, so she looked a little sleepy.
This time’s request was to carry out multiple jobs at a village near Beim. Monster hunting, as well as assisting in repairing the village, and some other odd jobs.
Normally, they’d have to send multiple parties for that one, but as ours was one that could accomplish most jobs with our few numbers, we negotiated a bit and took it up.
In exchange, it we made it so we wouldn’t be obligated to take up requests for a while.
So with a free month ahead of us, I was thinking of challenging Beim’s own personal Labyrinth.
“I want to get this over with quickly. We’re going to be off tomorrow, so wouldn’t it feel better to rest from morning to night?”
I took the envelope with the paperwork in hand, and lined up. Miranda followed.
“Then go shopping with me tomorrow. Isn’t it fine? You went and bought a pendant for Shannon, yet nothing for me?”
Ha ha ha. I laughed, as I panicked some in my head.
(Crap! Did I not get anything for Miranda yet… but I get the feeling I went whopping with her a bit before the request…? No, that was Aria!)
To make sure she didn’t make out my panic, I spoke.
“It was just a cheap one, though. Did you want a pendant?”
“If it’s from you, Lyle, then anything is fine. If you want to keep it cheap as possible, I’ll even let you off with a kiss.”
To the kiss she blew my way, I told her I’d find her something nice, as I clenched the blue Jewel hanging from my neck.
First came the Third in the same removed tone as always.
『Yo, why’d you forget Miranda-chan? When she’s the one you need to be most cautious with… By the way, I think the kiss’s the gift she’ll be most happy with.』
The Fourth spoke irritantly ay me.
『That’s why I told you to keep a journal! Listen here, you’ve got eight of them! There’s no way you’ll remember everything going on! Diligently record everything, and take action by a plan!』
The Fifth goaded him as he…
『Yet you were so troubled by a single Mama. And wait, Lyle… I’m not sure what to think of you taking action just because you were told to. If you keep the minimum level of interaction, then you can avoid getting to deep into it. Watch yourself.』
The Sixth, with Miranda being his favorite.
『… I’m sure I said something similar. You really are no good in that field.』
My doting grandfather… the Seventh.
『Hey how about you guys give some actual advice? Lyle, giving a cold refusal here is an option, you know. Listen here, I’ve never had myself stuck under Zenoire’s thumb, I tell you. At times like these…』
I listened to his opinion, while I…
(No, grandmother had you rolling about quite nicely on the palm of her hand. Come to think of it, she was quite amazing…)
While I felt like I was going to break into a cold sweat, there were other adventurers around.
And in such a situation, if we put out such a sweet air…
“Keh! Well look at you.”
The one who took such a blatantly displeased attitude was 【Erhart Baumann】, in a different line.
He was wearing a tank top above, but this time he draped a coat-like thing over it. He had a large sword over his back, and his comrades were around him.
He was glaring my way.
(Does this really look like something to be jealous of?)
I gave a vague smile to try and play it off, but our relation was one where he had picked a fight with me the day I got here. It doesn’t seem he thinks of me a rival, but he held a strong opposition, and a belligerent personality.
“Next, Erhart-kun~. Ah, you’re glaring again! That’s no good!”
After the adventurers in front of him finished up their business and headed off somewhere, Erhart walked up to the blond, large-chested receptionist with a smile on his face.
“O-of course not, Marianne-san. He was just being noisy. I’ll be there right away.”
With his head in the clouds, he reported the day’s results to the receptionist known as Marianne.
“We divided labor, and finished up the cleaning of the gutters. Here are the documents!”
“Yes, good work… this is amazing! You’ve only ever gotten 『D』s up to now, but you’ve finally been awarded a 『C』. You’ve worked your hardest, haven’t you? I’m overjoyed.”
Looking at a delighted Erhart’s party, the adventurers around quietly whispered amongst themselves.
“Hey, isn’t that…”
“I’ll bet. The beauty’s a newbie exclusive.”
“So they don’t know a thing… ‘tis a pity.”
I tilted my head at whether they were pitiful or not. It’s just, the individuals themselves seemed extremely happy, and they were heading down a respectable adventurer’s path.
(… To those guys, perhaps this way is best.)
As I watched over their exchange, Erhart turned to me with a triumphant expression on his face. It appears he was bragging over the fact his personal receptionist was a beauty.
My face was lightly grasped
Miranda smiled as she…
“Perhaps you shouldn’t look that way. You’ll make me jealous.”
I remover her hands, and sighed.
“Surely you’re joking. You were having quite a bit of fun watching that one.”
I knew Miranda’s personality. If she really was jealous, she would use all means at her disposal to eliminate the source.
Of course, before it came to that, she’d take various measure to make sure it didn’t happen to begin with.
“Sure, it’s fun to watch, but don’t stare at her so intently. Just take some discreet glances and I won’t mind.”
Miranda had also noticed how Erhart’s party was being used quite nicely, it seems. I stopped looking over so openly.
The line moved, and we waited out turn.
Today’s receptionist was one I was seeing for the first time today, of whose name I was not aware.
Miranda and I sat, and the receptionist accepted the envelope along with our guild cards.
She courteously opened the documents, and confirmed their contents. While her expression didn’t change, she nodded as she praised our work.
“A 『B』 for every task performed. Splendid work. There was a wide variety of tasks to this one, but that doesn’t seem to be a problem. We’ll be placing our expectations on you as we have.”
She promptly processed it, before returning the papers and our guild cards. She stood to go pick up our reward.
After she had distanced herself a bit, Miranda spoke in a bit of a let-down tone.
“Huge difference from Arumsaas. I heard they received a proper education, but I never thought it’d be to this level. I had a rougher image of them in my mind.”
Just what was she expecting?
The receptionist brought the reward soon enough, and confirmed the monetary sum with me. But at the same time.
“Lyle-san, was it? You’ve completed a number of requests, so please stop by with the rest of your adventurer comrades within the month. You’ve got to complete the paperwork to renew your guild cards as well, so can I ask you to show your faces at some regular interval?”
Her polite treatment made me remember Hawkins-san, who dealt with me when I first became an adventurer in Dalien.
“Alright. Then in the near future.”
“I’ll leave it to you. Would you like to renew your guild card?”
Miranda took out her card, the receptionist accepted it, and immediately went into the renewal process.
It seems she suddenly remembered something, as she turned to me with somewhat of a serious expression.
Giving a light apology as she returned Miranda’s card…
“Lyle-san, your party has received a request for Labyrinth Subjugation. If you do plan to go, it would be a big help if you finished everyone’s renewals before you head off.”
My face met Miranda’s, and we both turned back to look at the receptionist’s.
“Labyrinth Subjugation, is it?”
Her expression turned a little troubled, but she explained.
“Yes. A Labyrinth has been discovered, and a request sent out to clear it, so… huh? Have you yet to confirm it?”
The information on current Labyrinths was posted on a bulletin in the loby. That I knew. But we hadn’t been in Beim long enough for that.
When I explained that fact to her, she…
“Understandable. But the request has only just been issued, so you have the ability to decline. The planned departure date is in a week’s time after all.”
I to her.
“I want to speak with my comrades, so we’ll decide whether to take it up or not by tomorrow. Is it alright if we give the report then?”
“Yes, I don’t mind. It is best you finish it quickly. Within two days would be ideal.”
The paperwork ended, and having accepted the reward, me and Miranda stood from our seats, and walked through the lobby to exit the guild.
“That was faster than I thought it’d be.”
“Yeah, I also get the feeling it may have been too fast.”
I had thought we wouldn’t get one for our first three months at least.
But surprisingly enough, the Labyrinth Subjugation Request had been sent out.
From within the Jewel, the Sixth’s doubtful voice could be heard.
『It’s going too smoothly. If only nothing happens…』
He seemed to be thinking there was a trap waiting for us, but I can’t think of a reason for the guild to do such a thing. Even if we weren’t giving our all, it should stil be true we were proficient adventurers to them.
(Is something going on?)
While I was lost in thought, Miranda looked over at the bulletin on the wall.
“Ah, there really is a Labyrinth Subjugation request. Our number’s on it.”
The numbers assigned to adventurers and parties were listed under the notice.
Those numbers were carved into our guild cards, and I confirmed the digits again.
“It really is.”
Something felt off, but it was also a happy miscalculation for us to be able to challenge a Labyrinth so soon.