In the business district there were various establishments. After merely a glimpse the streets seemed to be identical. Bars and shops similar to general stores were lined up in a row. No difference could be found between them.
Although acquiring directions beforehand, Renya would have been lost without someone leading him. He couldn’t find the building he was aiming for.
Within his mind Renya had a preconception of the organization called the adventurer’s guild. Something like: Somehow brawny and aroused with muscular ossan-tachi1 smelling of sweat and manliness, brandishing their weapons and wearing armor extorted from apprentices who just joined the guild.
A dim store interior shrouded in smoke, where people had dubious conversations in *goso goso* sounds. In no way was it a decent organization. (T/N: That imagination of his made me laugh for several minutes. xD)
Guided by Shion’s group they turned up in front of a building. A crest of a sword and wand crossing was displayed above the entrance.
A conservative signboard with the title 「Adventurer’s guild – Kukrika branch」 written on top was lonely hanging there. He determined that it was a normal building.
This might have potential, Renya judged.
This is not such a suspicious organization as I originally thought. If I had to define it, it has a gentle feeling.
Truly, I don’t understand how the hell they want to secure combat potential. An Onee-chan who fully exposed her skin, a few taciturn, expressionless female magicians with rough bodies and an ikemen who excelled at using the sword and could use some additional magic. Enemies of such a game would certainly emerge right away, sending claims via mail to the management since the hero would be a protagonist going *kya kya* and *fufu.*2 This seems to be such a place. You can’t really call this an adventurer’s guild.
In this case I could judge myself to be totally out of place here. I don’t think I want to stay here for even a second longer.
After coming to this world, Renya had not yet had the chance to accurately confirm his own facial features.
The glass in the pioneer’s village didn’t resemble a mirror at all. He also missed his chance to ask Shion and Rona to lend him one.
Although it was also because the situation didn’t allow him to spend any time on such matters, either.
He only had absolute confidence in one thing.
That is, I am not the type of man you would call an ikemen, apparently.
For this reason, I am not resembling a hero protagonist going *kya kya* and *fufu* with his harem party causing him to be plunged into hesitation and then to reliably finish with a happy end at all.
In such an extreme case, most likely I would probably feel depressed being compared to the high-level surroundings while being so low-level myself.
As for this, at the time I was sent to this world, should I have asked that little girl kami-sama to transform me just a bit into a fine-looking man?
Pondering as far as that, Renya suddenly noticed.
My memory concerning my previous life was supposedly erased by that little girl. Where in the hell did I learn this *kya kya* *fufu* stuff?
Moreover I now suddenly understand that there was some problem in my previous life, Renya felt.
Maybe I might have been one of a less overly upright race.
Such a race who escaped the three-dimensional world to immerse themselves in the two-dimensional one without being able to take a stroll outside and seeing the sun shining before them.
If that was the case, what a useless way of passing my time up until the age of 94 that would have been.
“Renya … although I don’t know what you are thinking about, doing what appears to be writhing and kneeling at the edge of the street … you are becoming a nuisance for the passers-by.” (Shion)
As she was unable to watch Renya’s eccentric behavior any longer, Shion called out to him.
“No, I don’t want to go to the guild after all.” (Renya)
“After coming all this way? If you don’t register at the guild, you won’t be able to properly settle your social status. Exiting and entering the city won’t be possible either. If you don’t process that case with the mercenaries neatly, you will possibly become a criminal which may go so far as you having to flee and go into hiding.” (Shion)
“I will manage somehow.” (Renya)
“Somehow nothing. Give it up. Now come.” (Shion)
Seizing Renya forcibly by the nape of the neck, Shion pulled him up from his crouching position. Without changing her hold, she made sure to drag him along while going through the entrance way of the guild building.
There was no point in trying to resist her strong power. Making sure to avoid passing through the street, she dragged Renya through the main entrance.
Rona gracefully followed right behind them.
“I didn’t want to come here either if it were avoidable. But it’s my mistake after all, and looking at it objectively it is absolutely necessary to report it.” (Shion)
“Such a way of thinking… I thought it was just a manner of speaking, but …” (Renya)
“What do you …” (Shion)
Shion’s words were interrupted midways.
Looking around while being dragged along as is, Renya saw something resembling a suitable reception area.
On the other side of the counter, there was a person wearing a uniform with a sharp, straightforward design. She looked slightly older than Shion’s group, yet it was still a young woman with brown colored hair who stood there while smiling.
“Eto … Shion’s and Rona’s party. We’ve returned from the request in the miasma-filled forest. I would like you to receive the report.” (Shion)
“Yes. Please wait for a moment while I examine the records.” (Receptionist)
After saying this, the woman at the reception counter took out something like a register and looked through it while turning the pages.
Renya used the chance to let his eyes wander over the interior of the guild.
In contrast to what Renya had expected, there was nothing that looked like a gloomy bar-room. Sunlight flooded through a huge window to maintain the brightness within the room. It felt like a pleasant meeting place.
Bookshelves with something like documents organized within, a bulletin board plastered with request labels, a place used for meetings and appointments, a counter offering light meals, several tables where one could eat and drink. Such was the design.
The people coming and going also, there was nothing like a harem party which had worried Renya before.
People with the air of veterans wearing reasonably worn-out equipment and youngsters clad in brand new gear. The ratio was about fifty-fifty.
The gender ratio also was praiseworthy as it didn’t really tilt to either side. Many of the guild staff members apparently were women. It went to such a degree that you could say the scales of gender distribution was slightly slanting towards the majority being women.
“Eto… ‘Investigation of the miasma-filled forest’ request, right? …The records state the request was accepted by 8 people. Is that correct?” (Receptionist)
“Ah, it is necessary to report some things about this matter …” (Shion)
As it was difficult to talk about, Shion didn’t seem eager to explain. After thinking for a moment, the woman at reception said,
“It appears that there was quite a bit trouble, huh?. That way, an inner room has been prepared.” (Receptionist)
“Understood. And, this person who is accompanying us is involved as well. But before that, he’d like to go ahead and register at the guild. Can I leave it to you?” (Shion)
In the state of having the nape of his neck tightly grabbed by Shion and being held up just like a cat, Renya was shown to the woman at the reception counter.
Coming as far as this, there is no particular need to try escaping, Renya though while having the nape of his neck held tightly. He raised one hand.
“Hello there.” (Renya)
“Hello in return. It somehow seems to be serious…” (Receptionist)
The woman at the reception counter wasn’t perturbed at all. Renya sensed her professional personality.
Come to think of it, from the beginning the smile of that woman hadn’t waned in the least.
“Somehow he seems to be a Lost. At least that’s what he declared himself to be.” (Shion)
“Ara, that’s also quite unusual.” (Receptionist)
Although there was a hint of surprise mixed within her voice, her facial expression didn’t falter even a bit.
Even if they said it’s rare, maybe there are quite a few Lost wandering around here and there? Renya became slightly anxious.
Having no memory of his previous world, he prayed to Kami-sama that there weren’t any more people being Lost in this place in the same circumstances as him. Because he felt that his prayers had the strength to travel to the place of that little girl, he prayed for something different.
The receptionist stowed away the register below the counter in an accustomed manner. In exchange she took out one piece of paper.
“This is a registration application sheet.” (Receptionist)
Renya accepted the document and roughly looked over it, as Shion had quietly removed her hand from the nape of his neck.
The words written there weren’t overly difficult or different.
There were entries for full name, gender and age. Furthermore the guild rules that are to be followed as closely as possible written in the way an oath would be were noted down on the application form.
All that had to be said was covered with this.
“This is quite simple, isn’t it?” (Renya)
“Because it would be unreasonable to write it in difficult words… If we went as far as using difficult words, almost no one would choose the road of being an adventurer.” (Receptionist)
While nonchalantly smiling as before, she declared this.
That’s the way of life, Renya thought.
Certainly speaking of the adventurer occupation, it might be somehow reputed to be cool. But it is a totally different matter altogether to say those words under the sun while puffing out your chest in pride.
“No, usually such things as investigations are mocked…” (Shion)
Unconsciously leaking his words, Shion rebutted glumly. He ignored her.
“I will protect the rules as far as it is practically possible. Will that be sufficient?” (Renya)
While he asked the receptionist, he filled out the full name entry with 「Renya Kunugi」, put his age down as a suitable 18 years and the gender as male. The woman at the reception nodded in agreement.
Rona, who spied on the age field, leaked a 「Ee~」 in a tiny voice without being aware of it.
I think maybe I should have considered to state myself to be older.
Since I am in truth 94 years old there would have been no reason to go and complain about it either.
“Absolute compliance to the rules is impossible.” (Receptionist)
In the early stage after founding the adventurer’s guild, there was a movement to implement a lot of rules to be kept, too.
However, as a result adventurers who were arrested for breaking the rules appeared one after the other.
The situation escalated to the point that it got difficult to dispatch adventurers for regular duty. After shaving away some of the rules here and there, it eventually became the current standard, explained the receptionist.
While thinking that it was a very understanding and agreeable organization, he moved his eyes to the rules written on the application form.
There the rules written as numbered items were indeed very concise.
First rule: Killing fellow guild members is strictly forbidden.
With the exception that there is a reason for it.
Second rule: The guild members offer their services only through the guild.
As for this, there are no limits on jobs being physical or consultation in nature.
Third rule: If something is unclear, consult the reception counter about the issue.
Fourth rule: Basically, the guild leader is the Law. (T/N: 4b: and if he/she is wrong apply rule 4a …)
In a branch, the branch leader is the Law.
“Only this …?” (Renya)
Come on, that’s just too simple. Renya, feeling visibly exhausted, inquired. The receptionist decisively nodded.
I fear that it’s likely that this exchange has repeated many times with new adventurers who just registered.
“Yes, only this… Did you really think I would say that? In reality there are a lot more rules with various details enlisted for each …” (Receptionist)
The receptionist let out a breath of sighing.
For some reason that small sigh carried a lot of anxiety. Without knowing why there was a slight stir behind Renya.
“Even if I asked all adventurers to remember all the rules, it would be impossible.” (Receptionist)
Although he didn’t know how to answer, Renya floated a subtle smile.
Maybe all the adventurers of this world could be described in such words as muscle-brains and baka, which could be said to have the same meaning. The fear that this might be the case emerged again within him.
“Because of this, the most important rules you have to take care of keeping are Rule 1 and 2. And at various places you will have to go with the flow and deal with Rule 3 and 4.” (Receptionist)
“For the time being, it is a well thought-out system.” (Renya)
“Then, with that being said, the application form is done for a Lost. Originally there are a few other application forms with entries to be filled in like birthplace and religious faith. I don’t think those apply for a Lost though.” (Receptionist)
After confirming the entries Renya finished by signing the written oath on the application form. Then he returned the sheet to the receptionist.
Could the information in the entries be leaked? Even though I say that, there are only 4 points written there. No choice, I guess.
The receptionist verified the contents, folded the form and put it into her breast pocket on the uniform.
“Issuing the card will take a bit of time. During that time, please move to the room that has been prepared in the back.” (Receptionist)
The indicated door was on the other side of the counter. On a first glance it was an ordinary door.
However, just looking at that door, Renya felt something unpleasant causing him to frown.
Shion’s group didn’t notice this change of facial expression.
“I have no motivation to head over there but I guess it can’t be helped… Who is on the other side of that door?” (Renya)
“The vice-guild leader is waiting.”
“Is that so? …Renya, you are more or less related to the situation in the report as well. I would like you to go inside with us. Do you mind?” (Shion)
The behavior of Shion, who asked the question, seemed somehow apologetic.
“I don’t mind, neither do I care. That was the intention from the start, don’t you agree?” (Renya)
Renya replied with an expression of ‘Isn’t it a little late to ask that?’ Shion nodded slightly.
By the way, Rona still expressed a smile in this situation. Up until now there really were no signs showing of it breaking down.
“Although that’s true … Because the other party is a companion, I wanted to make sure you were ready.” (Shion)
With merely this brief comment, it was plainly visible that Shion’s group didn’t want to go and meet the person waiting on the other side of the door.
“Maa, the situation is similar to a ship that has already sailed.3 ” (Renya)
“Thank you … we will make sure to not cause too many additional troubles … although we can’t promise it definitely.” (Shion)
Listening to the sound of earnest worry within Shion’s tone, Renya started to seriously consider securing an escape route.
1 Group of middle-aged men.
2 Renya basically means that any game protagonist who chooses a party from the current selection would most likely be an unlikable, easygoing pervert, which would lead to a torch and pitchfork revolt by the people who purchased the game. So Renya’s initial impression of the guild is quite low for an organized “military” structure.
3 It has already happened, so there’s no helping anyway.