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When we arrived at the guild, they immediately announced the results. With me passing with flying colors. The ones failing were predictably the two parties we rescued.
Moreover, the rescue operation resulted in a penalty for them. But why? Didn’t the guild request their rescue on its own accord?
I asked Sword, “…Say, are there any people unwilling to pay the fine while bickering that they’d have been able to escape by themselves and thus didn’t need the rescue decided upon by the guild?”
I mean, it totally sounds like something the people of this world would brazenly do.
“They exist.” He answered simply.
“In other words, they get what they want by whining?”
“Whether it’s a gain for them depends on the person, I’d say.”
I looked in the direction Sword pointed at with his jaw.
“…Such…Such a huge amount of money!?”
“Don’t screw around! You decided by yourself to rescue us, and on top of that, three of our party members died! So why would we have to pay a fine!?”
They flared up at an examiner.
Yep, they fit the template quite perfectly.
However, looking at the girl party, the calm girl calls out to the girl with the short fuse.
“Cathy. …We would have likely died back then if he hadn’t come to rescue us, you know?”
The swordswomanish girl also joined in to stop Cathy by grabbing her shoulders and shaking them lightly.
It looks like that stopped her fit of anger.
As for the remaining party, the examiner sighed, and after casting a glance our way, turned around.
“…We should have explained the rules behind making a rescue request to you before the exam. In the first place, you should have been told about it when you joined the guild. 『In case you accept dungeon and timed requests, there will be cases when the guild puts up a rescue request if the deadline has been exceeded by more than two full days』. In case it’s unnecessary, inform us in advance. All of this should have been covered during the short training course.”
I vehemently shook my head.
I haven’t heard about any of this!
When I looked up to Sword, he was smiling wryly, “…Come to think of it, there was a short trainin’ course, wasn’t there? Totally slipped my mind.”
“Isn’t that a fairly important piece of information? It’s my first time hearing about what he said just now!”
“Not like it matters since your with me anyways, right?”
That’s no good, is it? I’ll try to take the short training course next time. Yep, let’s do that!
“I haven’t agreed to anythin’ like that!”
See, I’ve got a comrade in this. An middle-aged dude, though.
“Anyway, I don’t see why it’s necessary to pay a fine for a rescue that wasn’t even in time! I ain’t gonna pay a dime!”
The other middle-aged dude seems to have no energy left to say anything. He’s merely sitting there like a lifeless doll. It appears he’s trying to come to terms with his party members having died.
Or rather, his reaction is the normal one as far as I know. Why is the other old man so lively?”
“…Sword, the fine is basically our pay for completing the request, right? Does it mean we won’t get paid for the request if that guy gets what he wants?”
“Who knows. That depends on the guild. If the guild decides that they won’t pay us ’cause he’s claimin’ that he hasn’t been rescued, we’ll go empty. Otherwise, we’re goin’ to be paid, no matter what that guy does.”
“Hmm… …Say, do such things happen often to you?”
“Yeah, it’s common. By the way, one time it was the other way ’round too.”
Other way around?
I tilted my head in confusion.
“Folk claimin’ that they rescued me showed up, demandin’ cash for achievin’ the request.”
Huh? Something like that works?
“Before I knew it, I was stranded. The folks with whom I had partied back then reported the accident, and the guild accepted. The request was accepted as soon as it was put up. I joined up with the folks, who had accepted it, halfway. When I went back to the guild without knowin’ anythin’, I was told to fork over the money for the request.”
Wow. He’s totally been set up.
“Did you pay?”
“Would you have done it in my case?”
“I’d slaughter those guys without paying. Don’t ask the obvious.”
“Hey, hey, just a sec, okay? I didn’t slaughter them or anythin’.”
Just do it.
…As I was thinking that, Sword coldly looked at the old dude bickering with the examiner.
“If you say you won’t pay, very well. Then the guild will never accept a request from you in the future, no matter what kind of.”
The man froze up.
“…What was that!?”
“It means the guild will take appropriate measures towards adventurers, if they don’t follow the rules. If you don’t like it, quit being an adventurer and leave the guild right now. Especially seeing how it has been your fault for letting your friends die. …You say they’re at fault for not being in time to rescue them? Aren’t you taking the job of adventurer way too lightly? Adventurers are the ones doing the saving! If you claim that it’s only natural for you to get rescued, stop being an adventurer and become a villager!”
Oh, so everyone thought the same after all, huh?
…Hmm, I feel like he somehow said something important there?
“If you don’t pay the fine, will the guild stop accepting your requests?”
What about Sword who didn’t pay back then? When I looked up to him, he answered, “…It’s just as you suspect. Even nowadays I can’t submit any requests with the guild, and they won’t put up any rescue requests for me either.”
“In other words, they won’t ever be able to trick you with the same scam again?”
“I guess so.” Sword smiled bitterly.
“Humph… Then I’d love for the same to apply to me as well. If someone used that scam right in front of my nose, I’d want to kidnap them, drag them deep into the mountains where no man visits so that no one can put up a rescue request for that person, and bury them in the ground up to their neck.”
“Your way too extreme!” After shouting, he ruffled my hair. “Well, even if I were deep down in the shit, I don’t think the guild would be able to contact anyone capable of savin’ me. Also, I’ll rescue you whenever necessary, so don’t worry. You won’t need to rely on the guild, ‘kay?”
“Nah, you don’t need to come even if something happens to me.” His hand stopped. “If it’s something I can’t handle, the same would likely apply to you as well. So don’t waste your life. I have no attachments to this world, and I plan to use the taboo spell right before my death. Since you’d be polluted if you were nearby, stay away. …Wai-, ouch ouch!”
He’s grinding my temples!
“Whaa～at’s up with you showin’ off as you please, pipsqueak?! Just be a nice girl n’ wait for me to rescue you!”
I’ve just told you that you don’t need to come, sheesh.
“Where’s your reply?”
“Stay away. Ouch ouch ouchh!!”
My temples are ground once more.
“…Saying all that, you’d want me to come? I mean, I’d be about the only one who might be able to help you if you get yourself in trouble, right?”
He removed his hands.
“…I really wonder. I can’t even begin to imagine such a situation, though.”
“You could get deceived by someone, no? In such a case I’d slaughter everyone involved.”
“Stop it, please. After all, you sound like you’d really do that.” He requested of me.
The girls carried their belongings to the guild and turned them into money, somehow managing to pay off their fine. The middle-aged dudes became debt slaves.
When I got startled hearing about slavery, Sword gave me an explanation. It’s just that the implications of the term are bad. In reality it seems to simply entail unpaid work as a live-in with food provided.
As expected, it looks like the guild’s request ban is pretty nasty. Even if you stop being an adventurer and pick another job, you won’t be able to rely on the adventurer guild for anything, and assuming you continue as adventurer, they won’t move in any way to save you if necessary.
As for me, I safely got my rank-up to C-Rank. The next goal is B-Rank!
I also took a short training course. Many of the participants were children at the same age as me. And I fully realized why Sword had told me that I wouldn’t need it.
The course mainly focused on how to use weapons and methods of gathering!
The parts you really need to watch out for haven’t been explained much. No, actually they did explain them, but I didn’t listen. After all, they limited it to a rough summary at the end.
“…I think it’d be better if you explained the most important stuff at the very beginning. What’s the point in doing it at the end when everyone’s ability to focus has already waned?” I voiced my opinion at the last part of the training course, the question and answer section.
The people around me looked at me blankly, and the guild staff member smiled bitterly.
“Those things will naturally become a deeply ingrained part of your life if you continue completing requests.”
“Wasn’t there just recently a guy who fell into slavery because it didn’t become a deeply ingrained part of his life? Since I’ve taken the short training course to prevent this from happening, put more emphasis on that than the way of handling weapons.”
The ways of how to handle weapons is nothing you can learn in a day in the first place. But, if you’re once told, “If you dislike paying a fine for getting rescued, then exclude the option from the beginning,” most people would be able to understand.
When I came back, the old drunkard, who had already downed quite a bit before sunset, asked me, “So, how was it?”
“I was popular!”
After the short training course finished, I received party invitations from almost everyone. When I turned them down, explaining that I already had a party and that I took the training course because I didn’t know of its existence, all of them became disappointed.
“I was super popular among the boys and girls! See! I do have some charisma!”
When I threw out my chest in pride, he replied something outrageous with a sleepy, indifferent attitude, “Your just makin’ your belly stick out by emphasizing that washboard of yours.”
“Don’t talk about something that’s been bothering me as weeeeell!!”
…My current self is somewhat different from my otherworld self. I’ve been telling myself that I’d get my secondary growth spurt anytime soon, but…my otherworld self already wore a bra when she was as old as I am now, didn’t she? Her periods had already started as well, no?
I already felt like it’s a bit too little, but isn’t it actually completely flat?
Sword poked fun at me while laughing, “Been worryin’ ’bout it? But look, you got nothin’ womanly to you anyway, seein’ how your insides are those of a middle-aged guy, and your appearance that of a boy, right?”
“Shuuuut uuup!! …It’s fine. In exchange, my legs are beautiful!!”
My otherworld self had a big chest, but her legs were thick. In short, she was chubby. This body looks awfully flat, but its legs are very beautiful.
I lolled my leg in front of Sword. But he just looked terribly annoyed.
“With my current body, I’m going to win any contest with my legs!”
“You plannin’ to tempt a grown-up with that childish figure!? Get real! Sorry, but I like my tits big. I’ve got no cravin’ for the legs of a little lass.”
“Oh! You like big chests, huh? How unexpected!”
“…Old man, you too, eh? Now that’s unexpected.”
His reply feels totally lackluster though.
“You misunderstood. My otherworld self had a big chest.”
Once again he looked at me as if annoyed.
“My legs were thick, though! But! I had confidence in my upper body and hands!”
“What kind of confidence? Even though your a kid, the knowledge of a perverted old man runs deep in you. Restrain yourself a bit.”
“I’m talking about my appearance! I was often praised for the whiteness and smoothness of my skin from collar to chest. My lover back then had a leg fetish, though――”
He told my otherworld self that it was still better than having no chest at all, but that he preferred older women with pretty legs. Since he went out with me, who was younger and had thick legs, despite that, it probably means that there’s simply a difference between ideal and reality.
A drop of water suddenly dropped down. Sword stared at me with a surprised face. His face became blurry.
――Aahh, I see. I guess I did love him.
I can’t recall his face anymore since coming to this world, but I do remember his bad personality. We fought frequently. But, seeing how we went out with each other for a long time, both of us must have liked the quarreling.
I wonder what he’s doing now? Was he reincarnated like me?
…When I came to, I noticed that I was being hugged by Sword. Him stroking my head.
“…What, you want to meet that man?”
“No, I just became somewhat sentimental. …I finally got pretty legs, and even though I wanted to show them off to him, I simply remembered…the guy, who would praise them so much, isn’t around anymore.”
“It’s somethin’ that happens often.”
“Yes. That’s why you don’t need to mind me. …You yourself are a worrywart. When it comes to me, and the guys from the other day.”
Sword’s body froze with a twitch.
“The ［alcohol］ contained in liquor dulls your thinking. You temporarily stop thinking about things you’d like to forget, and you think and act on ideas you wouldn’t usually come up with since your normal discernment is gone. It’s fine as long as you enjoy that, but if you don’t, stop drinking liquor and escaping into the embrace of women. You might as well use your drunken drive to get completely naked bottom down and make merry by bouncing and dancing around out on the streets.”
I immediately earned myself a fist with this!
“H-E-Y! Your ideas are way too messed up! As if I could ever do that as an S-Rank!”
“…I really can’t tell whether you’re someone trying to act cool or not. It’ll be alright. It’s completely normal for drunkards to pull off something like that. It was the same in the other world as well.”
“That other world of yours sounds totally scary.”
…Guess so. The other world wasn’t filled with that many of such people, but I wonder why my entire environment was overrun with them?
There was even a drunkard who got arrested after driving a stolen bike (in front of a train station) right into a police box, wasn’t there?
“Also, it’s fine to run away into the embrace of a woman, but take proper responsibility for whatever comes out of it. Or to be precise, marry her.”
“Could I have you stop gettin’ on with the story on the assumption that I’ve somethin’ goin’ on with a woman?”
I mean, haven’t you been staying out all night recently? I’m totally aware that you’ve been washing yourself secretly so that I wouldn’t notice whenever you came back, you know?
Standing up, I gently placed my hands on his shoulders.
“It’s okay. Inside I’m an adult. I know all about sex. I also understand the workings of guys. I won’t pry into what you’re doing with some random woman, nor am I going to hold any sermons about it. But you see, you can’t fuc…copulate in a way that prevents children in this world, can you? Unfortunately I’m the product of two people who couldn’t restrain their sexual desires and made me without any love involved whatsoever. Thus I can fully understand the pain of children like me. So make sure to take responsibility and give your kids the love they deserve!”
“I’ve been tryin’ to tell you, I haven’t been doin’ it. Could you spare me from arbitrarily pushin’ responsibility on me while interpretin’ things as you like?”
You don’t want to take responsibility that much? But, just so you know, I’m going to make you take responsibility if any victims of your irresponsible acts show up.
Seeing me sulk, Sword grinned broadly, “The guy your goin’ to marry is goin’ to have it tough. Well, the first issue would be whether it’s actually a man you’d marry.”
Is he trying to tease me?
“Don’t worry. I have no intention to marry, be it man or woman. I’ve got absolutely and utterly no desire to hook up with anyone, nor to allow my bloodline to continue in this world. If I’m lucky enough to survive, I plan to live my remaining years surrounded by Ryokus.”
Sword froze once more.
…And then he hugged me once again.
“…Then how ’bout carefreely livin’ with me? It’s a coincidence, but I got no plans to marry either. Nor do I feel like leavin’ behind offspring. I thought that I’d probably continue fightin’ strong enemies and then die someday after runnin’ into an enemy I can’t defeat, but I s’pose I’ll live with you for as long as I survive.”
…I wonder what that guy is talking about.
“No, you have to take responsibility, right?”
“I’ve friggin’ told you that I didn’t do it!!”
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