“I thought I would be fine if I got just a little wet, but it was no good at all.”
The girl sat on the opposite couch of the booth, as she used the towel to dry of her nape. All the while, she gave an embarrassed laugh of, “Ehehehe.”
… Really, this is a mercenary? Hasn’t there been some sort of mistake?
My anxiety only grew. She left the sword at her hip on the side of the sofa, calling out, “Hey, master! A hot cocoa over here!
The middle-aged master’s fuzzy mustache moved ever-so slightly. “Understood, young lady.”
“Hehe, ehehehe,” The girl raised an eerie laugh. “He called me a lady, how embarrassing.”
“Um, there’s no doubt you’re the one who just called me, right?”
“Ah, yes! I’m Jessica Belliqueuse. You have my uthmost gratitude for taking up my mercenary services this time around.”
She stumbled over a few of those words. I have no idea if the individual herself noticed it.
… She probably didn’t. Her smile wasn’t perturbed in the slightest, and seeing her conduct, it was clear.
What should I do, should I just decline? But if she can get on as a freelance mercenary at her age, perhaps she’s actually some amazing talent.
For now, let’s just get on with the interview. If she proves no good, I’ll just refuse.
“I’m Daniel Lockhart, a lawyer. What I want to request this time is…”
When I was still talking, she interrupted me. She slammed both hands on the table, and leaned her body towards me.
“No, it’s not. Well, there’s a possibility you’ll be fighting monsters, but I’d like to avoid battle as much as possible.”
I’d refrain from her getting into battle with evidence on her person.
“Leave it to me,” Jessica stuck out her absent chest and declared. “Even if I look like this, I’m a magic swordsman. My biggest forte is escape magic!”
“Hmm, is that so.”
I thought… is that something to be proud of?
“Ah, of course I’m really good in battle too. My sword, this flamberge is imbued with a special sort of magic, and if you cut with it, you can set things alight.”
Jessica took the sword in hand, and pulled it from its sheath. The swaying luster of its blade waved to and fro like fire, and it looked like it had considerably high aptitude to kill or maim.
“Set things alight? Meaning whatever you cut catches fire?”
“Exactly. One cut, and the flames won’t die out until the foe is burnt out.”
“Hmm, that’s an amazing ability.”
I was honestly impressed.
“Or so I’ve heard.”
My admiration was wasted.
“Eh? Which is it? When it comes down to it, do they burn, or not?”
“A skilled Magic Swordsman could do it. But with my magic, the most I can do is singe them a bit, so…”
Jessica scratched her head. And, “Ehehe,” she raised an off-key laugh. It seems she used that laugh whenever she felt awkward.
“But it’ll be find, Mr. Daniel!
That was strangely over-familiar.
“As a sword, the flamberge is a top-class article. With this sword and my skills, a monster or two would be repelled in no time.”
What I’m requesting isn’t just a monster or two, it’s the exploration of a forest with hundreds of thousands of monsters lurking within…
I’m sure I put it on the form.
“I’ll ask for argument’s sake, but do you have any actual experience fighting monsters?”
“Please don’t be surprised.”
Jessica made a victorious face as if she had been waiting for that question. If she did say ‘none’ here, I planned to deny her on the spot.
“The truth is, I’ve defeated a dragon before.”
Now that’s plainly amazing. Then is she actually skilled?
“Ah, you’re doubting me. Then let me present a lawyer a piece of evidence.”
First, she lifted up her bangs with her right hand.
“This is the scar from when I fought the dragon a year ago.”
There was that fresh scar on her forehead. But I did have one question…
“Isn’t the wound a bit small for a dragon?”
I had been expecting something larger. I know it’s strange to place my expectations on someone’s misfortune, but that held more persuasive power than this girl before me.
“E-ehehehe,” lowering her hair, she gave her off-key voice. “I-I still have more.”
“Putting her hand into the depths of her coat, she took out a wallet, and produced a photo from it.
This is the photo from when I defeated the dragon that appeared in Yggdra Village. I begged the village chief, and he let me take a commemoration photo with it.”
I took the photo in hand. There definitely was a dragon. Its size was just around two meters, maybe more.
I’ve never seen a real dragon before, so I can’t say anything certain, but if this was the true form of the world’s so-called brutal beast, the Dragon, then it was right about time I felt let-down.
“I-I worked hard to defeat it,” Jessica turned her face away. She spoke softly. “It was really strong.
… Well, if she has enough strength to take down a dragon, I guess there isn’t a problem.
Truth be told, I was uneasy. But with my budget, perhaps I’d only be able to hire these sorts. For now, let’s compromise and give her a passing grade in strength.