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On the day of the exam I went to the designated meeting place. For some reason, Sword accompanied me as well. He argued that he has to supervise me since I’ll start some kind of trouble otherwise.
As we waited, four other parties showed up, and immediately got startled.
“…How did you come all the way here?”
“I walked, obviously. No, I suppose it’d be more accurate to say I ran.”
When I answered while looking at Sword, he was yawning, completely disregarding the other adventurers.
“Hey, are you okay? Recently you’ve been drinking every day, haven’t you? You should also drink some water for a change.”
“It’ll be fine since I’ve taken the antidote.”
Alcohol counts as poison for you then!?
Looking my way, Sword grinned broadly, “As expected, even you can’t compound medicine, huh?”
“My parent…the other one…has been a doctor, so it’s not like I can’t as I’ve learned it from watching.”
Sword’s mouth gaped in surprise.
“But, unfortunately the medicinal plants around here are way too different. I’ve found several I know… Still, it’s something I can’t handle as long as I don’t hear about which effects what plants have by becoming the apprentice of a doctor. …Or rather, in this world you can heal everything by just taking a healing potion, and you can detoxify yourself by taking an antidote, can’t you? Based on my knowledge, medicine doesn’t actually work that way. In the first place, medicine has the task of boosting one’s own healing powers…”
“Yeah, yeah. Least you’ve realized that you’ve got some limits in what you can do.” He roughly stroked my head around.
…Feeling gazes on me, I spotted two parties glaring at me.
One was the party of the scarlet-haired girl who picked a fight with me a few days ago. It looks like her adventurer license hasn’t been revoked.
…I wonder, what’s the difference between her and the guy who had his license revoked after picking a fight with me?
The other party consisted of men. I’d say they are kinda similar to Sword. They started to bicker all of a sudden.
“Shit! So it’s gonna be a rigged exam, eh!? That little bitch sure takes it easy, seein’ how she’s set to pass anyway thanks to her connections.”
“Does it look like that to you?”
When I looked up to Sword, I was surprised to see him pull a cold face I’ve never seen on him before.
“Rigged exam, eh? I s’pose it makes sense for folk who don’t get why your my partner. Well, you just need to show ’em that your good enough to get through the dungeon without havin’ to rely on my connections anyway, right? Though I hope that their spirit doesn’t break from the difference in ability afterwards.”
“In other words, you’re telling me that it’d be better for me to not go with my self-imposed restrictions?”
“Clear the dungeon the fastest with Ryoku.”
“I got it! So basically a clearing with the restriction of not stopping at all!”
Kind of like a sidescroller game, I guess.
…Suddenly the scarlet-haired girl planted herself in front of me.
“It’s nice to see that they didn’t take your license away.”
“Obviously they wouldn’t!? I only 『came to the rescue』!”
…Eh? Our conversation isn’t meshing again?
Placing a finger on my temple, I brood deeply.
“So you interpreted the 『I’ll wallop you a good one』 as 『came to the rescue』? I was forced to master how to put adults to shame as a child at a very young age, but…is there a different way to interpret that when you’re a commoner?” I asked Sword.
“Nah. Ain’t no way that I’m gonna finish you off passes as comin’ to the rescue or anythin’ like that.”
“…S-Shut up! Listen, okay!? We definitely won’t lose to someone like you! Mark my words! I’ll laugh at you after beating you!”
Watching this scene, Sword casually commented, “That’s impossible for you.”
The girl became bright red.
“Now, now, it might be impossible, but aren’t you slightly mean to her when you’re so blunt about it? It’s the statement of a determined girl at an age where she’d want to push herself to the limits. Just be tolerant and listen to her in silence.”
As I consoled and soothed Sword, the girl scowled at me with tears in her eyes.
“…Once again your natural agitation skill’s rearin’ its head. Haah… Oh well, whatever. Still, I gotta say, sometimes your more of an old man than me, you know?”
“I’d like you to at least change that part into an old woman.”
Why make a guy out of me?
Sword shrugged his shoulders.
Next, the other girls from her party arrived.
“Do you remember having heard the party name 【Crimson Lilies Are a Girl’s Oath】?” A girl that screamed swordswoman asked while glaring at us. 1
“…Parties have names? I hear about this for the first time.”
Feeling astounded, I looked up to Sword, asking for an explanation, “Hey, we’ve made a party, haven’t we? You didn’t stick such a…pathetic name to our party, did you?”
“”What was that!?””
Sword caressed me with a sigh.
“Don’t worry, I haven’t named our party. Rather, I don’t quite get why you girls would cry here. Is there any reason to become so teary-eyed?”
When they started to tremble, “…I’m sorry for bein’ uncool, ‘kay?”
The other party got angry.
…But yep, I know this is also partly my fault.
“Ah. …mmh, everyone has different tastes. It just didn’t agree with my tastes. Don’t mind it.”
“”We do mind it!!””
They thundered at me.
“You, can you finally give it a rest with the condescending attitude!? Don’t get so cocky just because you’ve got an S-Rank as a teacher!!”
I was told once more.
“Sword isn’t my teacher, okay? This guy hasn’t taught me a single thing. …Ou-ouuuch!”
My temples were ground.
“Should I have the nickname of Natural-born Agitator added to you?”
That’s so uncool!
“We’ve been active at the town of Ys.” The girl, who seemed to be the calmest among the three, started to explain. “We’ve worked our way up to E-Rank by steadily completing requests. But, at some point we talked about bolstering our numbers with a vanguard since things would become difficult for just the three of us going forward. As if fitting perfectly, we were told by the guild about a kid they’d like us to take care of.
They told us that she was a beginner at adventuring, and yet should possess the necessary abilities since an S-Rank had been taking care of her. Thus they wanted us to teach her the ropes. Hearing that the girl would be able to attack enemies or assist our party members since she could use sword and magic, it was just the position we’d been looking for to fill for our party. We felt a bit uneasy since she was a beginner, but decided to give it a try anyway… When I saw her show up, I got anxious, but since my two partners were brimming with motivation to train her, I suppressed my worries, and tried to call out to her. ……Just to get ignored.”
Ooohh, from back then, huh?
When I looked up to Sword he’d started to fidget around while looking quite awkward.
“I see. Sorry about that. Back then Sword had dragged me to that place after I had never left my mansion…err, my house and the woods around it. After he had suddenly announced that we’d split up there since he was a big shot, I was quite sulky. It was a time when I pondered whether I should turn the whole region into a death zone with a big, taboo spell. You weren’t the only ones I ignored at that time, so please forgive me.”
Sword also apologized while scratching his head.
“Your definitely right…I did somethin’ bad to you girls. You see, I’d planned various things, but it all went up in smoke because of my mistake. I thought that it’d be great for girls her age to teach her ’bout adventurin’ since she was a perfectly lil’ sheltered lady, but…yep, it’s completely my fault! Please forgive me! And, I’m sorry, but I don’t plan to party with anyone other than her anymore!”
The composed girl shook her head.
“That’s not an issue anymore. Actually, we’d be actually troubled if you asked us to let you join now. But, after that he suddenly rose up to D-Rank, so we couldn’t really…come to terms with that.”
I’m not a he, but a she.
Hmm, why is everyone so eager to make a man out of me? Just now Sword described me as a sheltered “lil’ lady,” and yet she ignored it altogether? Besides, boys with such slender contours don’t exist, okay? The men in this world are kinda like buffed foreigners, aren’t they?
Sword is on the more slender side, but even he is quite the macho. I don’t think that it’s anywhere close to my slenderness. Or rather, I consider myself to be a beautiful girl, you know!?
Sword also treats me somewhat like a brat, but I’m a beautiful girl, am I not!?
…As I got upset in my mind, the other two girls joined the conversation as well.
“Yes, she’s absolutely right! Suddenly becoming a D-Rank without doing anything just because you’ve got an S-Rank as a teacher!? What do you think how much time and effort it took us to climb all the way to E-Rank!?”
“In the first place, isn’t it an unprecedented, special treatment to ask E-Ranks to look after a G-Rank!? On top of that, you ignored us when we called out to you from our side!! And then you became a D-Rank without any achievements! You believe such selfishness will be forgiven just like that!?”
Even if you tell me all that…
“I apologized moments ago for having ignored you. Since most of it is Sword’s fault, bring up your complaints with him. Also, the guild master raised my rank to D on his own accord. If you have a problem with it, sort it out with the guild master. If you want, I’ll bring him in front of you next time.”
After shortly being at a loss for words, she gritted her teeth in anger, “…I hate that part about you. Throwing your weight around while just borrowing the power of a great man totally sucks!”
“…Who is the great man you’re talking about?”
“Me, it’s me. That’s why I’ve told you that I’m not a self-alleged 『bigshot』. Did you finally get it, idiot?”
I see, Sword was great, huh? I don’t know in what area, but it’d sure help if it’s in regards to political power.
“Let’s leave it at that.”
“Hey, don’t ignore things as you please.” He told me in a huff.
I feigned ignorance, “Throwing my weight around while just borrowing Sword’s power, you say? I don’t recall having said something cute like, “I’ll tattle to Sword on you if you don’t do as I say,” though. …Oh well, I suppose that’s the same misinterpretation as turning the threat to beat someone up into having tried to come to a rescue. I suppose it makes sense in that regard. …Sword, the friends you tried to allocate to me are girls like these? Would you be able to become friends with them, loner coot?”
“I know, I know, I’m sorry, okay? Also, don’t add coot to loner!”
I ignored him. Looking at the girl trembling in rage, I sighed.
“Don’t be so edgy. The exam is going to start anytime soon, and it’s a waste of your cute face.”
I tried to pacify her by saying that, but…
“It’s a really tough call whether that line was agitation or a sleazy, old man comment.”
…Sword butted in.
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