This was one text heavy chapter with many long difficult sentences. Thus the delay, fried my brain halfway through, so had to take a break on Saturday. ^^
The figures of the two suns set below the horizon and in return three moons rose.
In other words, it was the time called night.
Everyone began to slowly head home, almost all the shops closed and the daily city scape was replaced with the occasional drunken person roaming the streets and figures of people starting to head towards the amusement facilities.
The form of Renya could be seen within a building functioning as an inn and bar.
It seemed the public house’s interior was lit by tallow candles while giving off an intensely scented smoke. The pub was already filled with plenty of guests who were in a hustle and bustle as they were already quite drunk. Eating a quiet meal in this situation of being surrounded by noise was impossible. As this appeared to be the usual state of the place, Renya decided to not mind it.
Originally he had intended to choose a more peaceful place, but in regards to Shion’s advice, it was more or less the same in every pub with little to no differences. As he was told that the situation would be similar wherever he went, he decided to give up halfway. Shion’s group decided to pick a pub called 「Peerless Illusion1」.
After the exchange with Fritz at the guild’s branch, Renya’s group got their reward for the investigation request at the reception counter, Renya received his guild card, and they submitted the collected magic cores. As soon as they finished their business at the guild, they immediately left the building.
After the magic cores were appraised and examined, they would receive the sum of the sales, the receptionist told them.
Verifying this, Shion gave her opinion of accepting this procedure in order to avoid the chance of encountering Fritz again should they wait around for the sales process to conclude when they could just return later. As for Renya, he wished to stay a bit longer in the guild to listen to the various stories, if he had to describe his feelings, and thus he was a bit dissatisfied by the early departure.
For the time being, he had only received a simple explanation and thus he tried to sort through the information.
1.) Violating the rules will lead to punishment.
The lightest penalty would be a trifling fine while the maximum would be capital punishment.
In case the offender escaped, there would be a wanted notice handed out to all guilds.
The intelligence network of the adventurer’s guild seemed to be quite formidable. Since the establishment of the guild there has been no fugitive who managed to escape completely after being wanted. The receptionist told them proudly.
Once it reached the stage of being put on the wanted list, it didn’t matter anymore whether the fugitive was returned dead or alive. The people appropriate for the pursuit would receive a request from the guild. The request was profitable to the degree that it resulted in each adventurer going into a frenzy. Given that, it apparently became almost impossible to successfully escape.
2.) Adventurers got a rank.
The ranks were divided into seven levels named S, A, B, C, D, E and F. S was pretty much the highest rank.
Usually it was decided by ability, taking into account what degree of services they contributed to the guild to determine the rank they should get. To become a Rank S adventurer, almost heroic deeds were necessary, Renya was told.
Among the Rank S adventurers, there was another rank of SS created in order to distinguish those who particularly towered above the others in ability. As they were already outside of the standard, this was not thought of as a separate rank. Apparently there were currently only five people recognized as SS rank.
Although Renya wanted to obtain information on those five people, he was dragged outside the guild by Shion before he could manage to inquire about them.
By the way, when he asked Shion’s group what rank they were, he received “F” as a reply.
Since it hasn’t been long since they became adventurers, it was a natural state of affairs.
Of course the rank inscribed on Renya’s guild card was F as well.
Afterwards, in order to replace the armor that was broken at the time of the attack of the goblin horde and for the sake of procuring a precise weapon, Renya, who was unfamiliar with this city, asked Shion to introduce him to a shop. At the recommended shop he obtained leather armor and a longsword.2
The whole set cost him 1 gold coin.
Renya didn’t really know whether this was expensive or cheap in relation to the typical market price. As it could be seen as an item that would be frequently used, Rona stated “Maa, it’s proper equipment.” and Renya decided to believe her.
In relation to the quality, Renya examined it with his appraisal skill. Both seemed to be typical grade 2 goods on the market.
Although Shion recommended metal armor with zeal, Renya politely refused considering the troublesome weight that would impede his movement and the high price he wouldn’t be able to afford, and thus would have no advantages over leather.
Renya had wished for a much better weapon, there was nothing else than this according to the shopkeeper. So he had no other option but to give up on obtaining anything better.
Obtaining the longsword, it wasn’t easily discernible whether it was produced to be used for smashing and crushing rather than cutting after all. The way the steel was manufactured was obviously very rough upon inspection with Renya’s eyes.
First of all the mass of steel was heated up, then it was stroke into the form of a sword. This level of weapon was a typical thing for this world. The probability of me finding an appropriate weapon is quite low, huh? Renya assessed with a foul mood.
Luckily, as he would travel this world, there surely would be someone who has received the blacksmith skill from the little girl. If I don’t make one myself sooner or later. Renya recalled in a corner of his mind.
As for the payment, he used the money that was stored in his [Inventory].
After mentioning that she would loan him the necessary funds, Shion saw Renya take out the gold coin and obviously was wondering where he had obtained it with strong curiosity.
Now that you mention it, the Lost come to this world by accident, so they naturally don’t have any of the currency used in this world on them. Because the money for selling the magic core hasn’t been paid out yet, it must appear to be a strange matter for others to see me possessing money of my own.
How should I answer this? Shaking his head after turning around, he began an awkward explanation of him finding some money laying on the ground at the time of him coming to this world and picking it up.
Renya himself thought that she wouldn’t buy his story so easily. Unexpectedly, Shion easily believed the story and said that even if the gold was the lost property of another person that it would be appropriate to spend it.
Too easy, passing that story off was too simple, or should I rather say she is too trusting in regards to matters she doesn’t know about? That’s quite worrying in itself. Renya thought in the end.
“Renya, first off I want to properly thank you.” (Shion)
To the raised voice, Renya returned to reality from within his own thoughts.
Turning his eyes to the one who spoke, Shion stared at him silently with a humble expression.
Shion was seated on the opposite side of the table.
Next to her, Rona was sitting with her usual smiling face.
Before he could open his mouth to ask “What do you want to thank me for?”, a hand appeared next to him placing the food on the table while he was wondering.
When he had ordered his dinner, he had left it to the shopkeeper and thus he got the special of the day. It was something as simple as soup with bread and salad, too.
The salad, the name of which he didn’t know, was properly filled with vegetable leaves. Although the only seasoning was vinegar and salt, the vegetables themselves were delicious. Tasting the food resulted in Renya being satisfied. The problem was the soup and bread.
The soup had some vegetables and small pieces of smashed meat in order for it to cook together well. Because there was little salt in it, the taste was rather thin.
The bread was probably only baked using wheat. It was hard to the degree of being difficult to chew. Dividing it and soaking it in the the soup made it possible to eat it. The bread itself had no flavor at all, the soup was thin, making the whole thing plainly unappetizing.
In the time of waiting for the relief squad arriving at the pioneer’s village, the villagers offered him a similar bread to eat. Partially he had hoped and anticipated to eat more delicious food in a human habitat. Thus his disappointment was immense.
There is plenty of room to improve on the quality of the food, huh? Renya sighed.
“So, what were we talking about?” (Renya)
“Our gratitude, gra ・ti ・tu ・de!” (Shion)
Spending time on stressing the last word, Shion bend herself forward while raising her voice. Renya looked at her colored with doubt wondering What’s this person saying?
Unable to just watch this situation any longer, Rona pushed into the conversation.
“It’s about the exchange with Deputy Branch Leader Fritz.” (Rona)
“Ah, that matter? There is no particular need to thank me for that, is there?” (Renya)
Having easily given up on eating the disgusting bread, Renya tasted the drink he had ordered alongside the food.
It was something called ale, it was a drink that appeared in the same manner with the same name in his previous world. The sourness was stronger than the bitterness. There weren’t many bubbles rising to the surface either.
Frankly said, this was quite disgusting as well.
Furthermore, since it was served lukewarm, the distaste doubled.
Really, are there any delicious things as the little girl claimed there to be? Renya ended up having such suspicions.
You might say that it will be like losing half of life’s enjoyment if that isn’t the case.
However, it is a fact that delicious things are expensive no matter which world or era you are talking about.
Therefore, if I have even a 0.001% chance to obtain delicious things with money in this world, I won’t abandon hope, Renya decided.
If the time comes where this hope turns into despair, I will severely spank that little girl when I meet her again after my death.
“Eto, Renya? …” (Shion)
“It’s fine to not worry about such things. To begin with, on the occasion we were attacked by the goblin group, the investigation and subjugation were likely finished at that time. Thinking about making mistakes will lead to only making mistakes. Insisting on success will hinder those trying to deny it.” (Renya)
Neither the location of the goblin settlement in the forest, nor the scale of the settlement, nor how many goblin villages were about were required to be reported in the original request in any detail. Still this wouldn’t be able to give an excuse for their failure. He left those things unsaid though.
Although it was completely Renya’s conjecture from here on out, he somehow judged that the guild itself wasn’t overly interested in obtaining a detailed report to begin with.
From the start the party sent to investigate was a swordsman apprentice, a priest apprentice and six Hyahha3 men. By no means was this a party composition geared towards investigation as its goal.
At any rate, even if you let non-specialized adventurers wander around within the forest, they would run into a goblin or such sooner or later since it was monster inhabited to such an extent. They could just hire a random party of 8 people and they would beat down some goblins to thin out the monster population even if it took a long time to do so. Most likely the guild harbored such dark thoughts.
In other words the expected degree of detail in the report was to meet a goblin, defeat it and return without causing any problems.
The request failed because it was impossible to properly investigate, seeing this in the final report, the guild wouldn’t need to pay the reward and a proper penalty could be levied against the adventurers due to their failure. Or in other words, the guild would get a clear gain if the story ended up unfolding like that.
The virtue of diligence can sometimes be a decisive fault, in reality, as one can easily see in this example. It was this kind of story after all. Renya concluded.
“But, in my case, I couldn’t have handled it like that. As a result, our evaluation didn’t drop and we even received the full reward for the request. I am pretty sure that this is something to be thankful for.” (Shion)
The virtue of diligence, being a virtue, if you remove the two characters 「くそ」 from virtue (美徳) it will merely become weakness, describing the situation like this is also true, Renya dropped his shoulders.4
Although I said ‘thanks wouldn’t be necessary,’ I don’t think they will simply accept that.
In that case the only question remaining would be what words to say in order to quickly end the subject, huh? Renya nodded his agreement to Shion.
“Understood. I gratefully accept your words of thanks.” (Renya)
Renya stressed the “words” part of his answer intentionally as he saw Shion wanting to say something more in order for her to not say anything else.
Judging from Shion’s character, she wanted to start talking about transferring some of the request’s reward to him. Even if he didn’t see any signs of that, it was easy for Renya to predict it.
“Is it really fine?” (Rona)
Intending to provide support, Rona asked this.
“The reward for the request totals to 12 gold coins. Accepting 4 gold coins from that amount would be fine, Shion said so as well.” (Rona)
Although he wasn’t sure when they had such a discussion, Renya clearly shook his head to convey that he had no intention to accept this money.
In the first place I didn’t receive that request so I shouldn’t get any reward either.
Even if they said they would give him part of the reward, there wasn’t an ounce of intention within Renya to accept it.
“Even so, isn’t the reward amount kind of high? Is that normal?” (Renya)
“Ah, it’s the payment prepared for 8 people after all.” (Rona)
The reward per person would be 1 gold coin and 50 silver coins, going by Rona’s words.
Considering that going to the destination takes 2 days, investigating for 2 days, and returning afterwards takes 2 days as well, the whole expedition would be limited to 6 days. Or in other words, it would be 25 silver coins per day per person.
Assuming that it would be 25,000 Japanese yen in his previous world, that might be an appropriate amount of money.
Although it wouldn’t have been necessary to pay the amount of reward money for those people who have died, the amount of money they would receive was decided upon accepting the request. In the case that the number of people would decrease, it was normal for the reward to be divided equally among those remaining. Rona explained.
“With this the talk about the reward is finished. As a matter of fact, from here on out it will be about the real issue at hand for us, Renya.” (Shion)
Leaning deep into the chair and taking a deep breath in order to change the atmosphere for a moment, Shion was preparing to speak frankly about something important. Such was the mood Renya experienced while he waited for her to begin.
She will probably be bringing up some troublesome subject again, huh? At least this much is obvious from how she averts her gaze from mine. Renya silently waited for Shion to continue.
“To be honest… we want to invite you into our party and would like you to consider it.” (Shion)
“Invitation? Me, a Lost?” (Renya)
Come to think of it, I remember Fritz asked a similar question in regards to this matter at the time we were about to leave, too.
“Is it your intention to act together with these children?”
Most likely that could be called a bitter hint towards this invitation, huh?
If that was the case, Renya didn’t realise it at all. Assuming something like this, these two must have shown some signs of matters heading in that direction, as the guild leader was able to notice it. As one would expect of the person being employed as deputy branch leader.
He couldn’t reply at that time since he didn’t understand what it was about. Now that it had come to the people themselves inviting him, he was wavering in his decision as to how he was supposed to answer.
And above all, Renya didn’t understand why they were inviting him.
If you only thought about his combat skills, certainly he had defeated a large horde of goblins almost by himself. Looking at it that way, there could be no objection to his combat potential and thus he deemed it to be understandable.
However, Renya was a Lost, a person with a peculiar standing. He wasn’t an inhabitant of this world. Only having his identification papers due to the registration at the guild, he was an ambiguous being no matter how you viewed him.
If one were to measure how suspicious he was with a machine, the gauge would definitely swing towards Completely Suspicious.
Furthermore, he possessed none of the common sense of this world, and hadn’t a clue what affairs he was not to meddle in.
He would become a party member thought to be trouble in the making, such would be a being known as a Lost.
Given the situation at hand, Renya felt like speaking as he didn’t understand them.
Considering it normally, it wouldn’t be strange for the two girls to distance themselves from him immediately.
“Although we’ve known each other for just a short time, I think it will likely be exposed. I don’t know a great many things and I am not very intelligent either.”
For Renya, from the time he met Shion’s group until now, he had harbored many doubts. Those doubts continued to exist unchanged.
In order to answer those problems, he had a feeling that Shion would address them directly. So Renya carefully listened to what Shion said.
“Just like the situation at the time with the deputy branch leader, we are not able to skilfully deal with such things. In comparison, Renya seems to be very experienced in how to deal with such situations.” (Shion)
More or less, as I am a 94 year old man on the inside, even if I lost most of my memories. Considering this, Shion’s group is just inexperienced and can’t be compared to my own position. What face would Shion make if I told her that? Renya thought in a corner of his mind.
“Moreover Renya is strong… having you as a nakama5 would be reassuring. We are just a party of two women, however thinking about us also working as adventurers, I have a strong premonition it isn’t a good thing.” (Rona)
Took you long enough to notice, Renya was barely able to hold back replying with such a tsukkomi. 6
If people with just a little trust in each other gather, they won’t be able to form a clique in the end unless there is a very powerful individual included. Thus there is no reason why normal adventurers would be able to simply do that.
Rather, although it was for a short period, coming across only two women can be called good fortune, the god of this world… with the exception of this world heading towards its destruction due to the lack of administrative ability. That little girl is somehow different, though. I should express my gratitude to the kami-sama governing somewhere in a far distant place over good fortune, is what he thought.
“At the time of the goblin attack, I judged you as a person I can trust, too. Although it was a situation where it wouldn’t usually be strange for a single person to run away either, you helped us.”
“I think that’s the normal course of action, though.” (Renya)
“Although that might be the case, I choose to believe in my intuition. How about it? If you become our nakama, we will teach you the various things you don’t know. Of course, we will teach you about this world as far as we are able, as well. I think we will be capable of helping you before long, too. I don’t think it’s such a bad deal.” (Shion)
Teaching me about various things … I wonder how much instruction will be fine. Such thoughts came rising up within his mind, causing Renya’s lips to slightly curl into a small sneer.
Shion took it with a wry smile assuming a gloomy look as she was thinking it would be no good.
Although Rona’s expression is a smiling one, her gaze causes one’s temperature to quickly drop. You can call this a truly terrific display of skill. Renya observed.
As it is obvious now, I am pretty sure she is able to sense what I was thinking about. While Renya raised his right hand to cover his mouth, he considered what he should tell them.
“Ah, first off, I am honestly very happy that you want to invite me. I have no relatives and thus getting nakama would be a huge help. However, I want to consider my reply for a little while. Specifically, for about one night.” (Renya)
“I see, that’s true. Certainly one can’t expect an immediate answer to such a request. After all it might be a subject that will majorly influence Renya’s future from now on. I understand. Not hurrying is fine. We will hope for a favorable response.” (Shion)
Having thought she would be refused, Shion completely changed and her face obviously cheered up as he was willing to consider his reply.
The coldness of Rona’s gaze disappeared. Even though it disappeared, he didn’t understand what she was thinking about as the clinging smile on her face didn’t change at all.
Well then, what should I do? While thinking that, Renya poured the disgusting ale into his throat in one go.
1 The name in Japanese is “Banbutsu no Genei,” which roughly translates to ” illusion/vision/shadow of all creation/all there is/above all others.” It is basically a VERY Chuunibyou name, and required a lot of work to make it NOT sound stupid.
2 nagadachi = “(ancient) longsword”
3 Don’t ask me what that is.
4 Sorry, but this is the best interpretation of the sentence I can give as I don’t know the Japanese language to comment on the character removal.
5 Friend/Companion … well those who watch One Piece know that it’s a bit more than that.
6 Tsukkomi … another typical Japanese term coming from Japanese comedy routines where two entertainers interact with each other. One is telling something while the other intercepts with tsukkomis. Hard to describe it, so google it, if you want. ED Note: There is typically one “fool” and a “straight man,” where the fool is doing or saying or retelling something in a manner befitting a fool. The straight man butts into the action to give a sharp correction to the fool, which is called a “Tsukkomi.” It is a popular type of comedic act, and has been since the days of Jerry Lewis and Dean Martin.