Here ya go. Most real life stuff is out of the way and we should be able to settle into a normal pattern of release till the next life challenge. Also, there is a new editor joining. Tho I don’t expect they’ll actually do much currently. Once they do something I’ll introduce em via the credits.
Gilbert said he would leave at the same time, but I didn’t think he would come along with us. It seems he remains a bit of a distance from our carriage.
The <Map> also indicates he has no intention of fighting us. Even after all that, I still couldn’t take my eyes off him.
You see, we have to fight without special powers because Gilbert, who is nearby, will see it, and not to mention the fact that our companions are in the <Room>.
We arrive at Atarime Town and decide to go to the adventurer’s guild. I guess I couldn’t postpone it anymore.
I ask Receptionist-san to let me see the guild master. For whatever reason, Gilbert decides to come with me, too.
[Why is Gilbert coming along?]
[I’m sorry. It doesn’t directly relate to stampede, but I want to ask you something. Excuse me. Could you let me join the talk with the guild master?]
[I don’t mind, but I don’t know what the guild master will think about this.]
[Thank you. Don’t worry about the guild master. He also knows my circumstances. He is unlikely to object.]
Should we allow Gilbert to join us? I wonder what his status is.
Skill: <Sword Mastery LV4> <Spear Mastery LV2> <Cavalry LV2> <Body Reinforced LV3>
Title: Queen’s knight.
He has a title. It seems he is a queen’s knight. Why is he here? Oh! This is Kastal Queendom. A Queen’s knight is like a queen’s guard. They have a higher position than a normal knight. Of course, the basic requirement is also higher, too.
Our movement was considerable flashy this time. It might get us into trouble, so I have to prepare. I didn’t think we would have any relationships with the royal family this suddenly…
After we waited for a while, the guild master comes.
[Oh, sorry to keep you waiting. Let’s enter this room, and we’ll discuss the details there.]
We are official members of the guild now. Of course, Tamo-san and Midori are on standby in the carriage. It isn’t too troublesome for my precious follower monsters.
[Ugh… Gilbert is here…]
[Yeah, I asked him to be here.]
[I see… Well, I guess it is natural…]
The guild master has a conversation with Gilbert. I don’t think they have a relationship problem…
We arrive at the reception room. There are a lot of chairs here, enough for everyone. By the way, Dora is sitting on my knee. Being healed.
The guild master starts talking immediately.
[First, let me thank everyone for their participation in yesterday’s stampede. Because of you guys, we didn’t have any damage, at all. When I think about the stampede, I feel this might be considered to be a first class achievement.]
Since I took care of it on my own, I would be troubled if we stood out too much.
[However, I must apologize. We can’t give you a reward. We aren’t able to prepare a special reward for you. Although the guild made a forced request to defend Atarime Town, we never thought the stampede will be brought to an end so quickly.]
Of course, it is natural. I mean, we weren’t really aiming for a reward, so don’t worry.
[Eh, are you going to punish us?!]
Mio stands up and raises her voice. She is really sensitive about being punished.
[No, we won’t. You took your carriage out to help with the rescue mission, and then you stayed behind to thin out the monsters. It wasn’t a problem, at all. But then, it is quite suicidal for a usual E-ranked adventurer to do that.]
Well, you are correct. I paid attention to the excuse. Mio is relieved and sits down.
[I mean, isn’t it an excuse for you?]
We are busted. Well, we don’t even try to cover it. I have no excuses if it appeared to be too suspicious.
[Because of that, please accept the reward for defense preparations and rescuing the refugees with your carriage.]
As he spoke, he held out a small bag. It is the reward that he was talking about.
[Although you’ve already handed over the monster stones from stampede’s monsters to us, I’m sorry I can’t do anything for it.]
[No, you don’t need to worry about that.]
[They handed those monster stones to the adventurers because they didn’t want anyone to complain about stopping the stampede beforehand, so don’t worry.]
Gilbert also adds to the discussion. Although it isn’t funny if they complain about their target be snatched away…
[Honestly, the number of casualties would have been even greater, if we had to fight them directly. Aside from the stampede, Tiara Forest is famous for being peaceful. However, it is still difficult to enter if you aren’t a senior adventurer.]
Atarime Town is in a tough spot, too. From the look of it, the force from both sides might be even. Although we might able to protect the town, it wouldn’t be without casualties. And, you must remember that Tyrannosaurus was behind this stampede, after all. If it comes to a stampede, Atarime Town will be destroyed, for sure.
[Come to think of it… Could you tell us the reason why we were called here? The purpose isn’t just for small talk, is it?]
We can do what we have been doing here at the reception desk, without a problem. No, let’s say that being in a reception room is unpleasant, but it is a <Secret Room> where we can discuss something that we don’t want other people to hear.
[…Understood. Of course, it wasn’t the main subject. We have three purposes: Reward, questioning and a request.]
It seems there are a lot of questions. I wonder what they’re about.
[First, a reward. Jin-kun, I want to raise your guild rank to B…]
Since I refused immediately, the guild master’s face becomes stiff. However, he is able to focus again, almost immediately.
[Why? I saw your activity record. You were raising your guild rank aggressively… Isn’t it better to jump to a B-rank without having to take a normal examination?]
[My goal is just to raise it to a C-rank.]
The guild master and Gilbert both understand what I mean.
[Is it about the duty of a senior adventurer?]
[Yeah. Our purpose is to travel freely. We don’t need excessive rights nor duty to do so. A C-rank is just an intermediate class. Please raise me to a C-rank if you want to reward me. Oh, please do the same to all my party members, if possible.]
The guild master groans. Is it hard to put us all at a C-rank level?
[Well, for person who can stop a stampede alone, a C-rank is really unworthy… My real intention is to give you a suitable position for your power.]
I understand what you think, but please forgive us. I don’t feel charmed to be in suitable position in this world.
[Is a C-rank no good? I can’t say that all your party members are good enough to be C-ranked. How about I give just you a C-rank and the rest a D-rank?]
There is nothing to say. Our ability is good enough, and this could save a lot of time by preventing us from having to do a lot of requests.
By the way, let’s explain a bit about the guild master’s authority. The guild master can give an adventurer with enough achievements a C-rank. As you expected, you need to take an extra test in order to become B-ranked and higher, and not many people can pass it.
[Understood. By the way, those eight people are aiming for a B-rank. No, an S-rank. So you can raise their ranks, if you want.]
I point at Cloud and Coco who are in the corner. He seems surprised when I suddenly started talking about him.
[That is really a big goal. No, if they are companions of someone as powerful as you, it is possible that they will reach it someday…]
It seems he hold me in really high regard.
[Please renew your guild card later. I will raise your rank. However, let’s do that after questioning.]
In other word, an interrogation…
[Could you tell me the secret of your strength? I want to hear whether it is even possible…]
[It is impossible.]
[Well, I guess so.]
I don’t really care if I’m known as powerful, but I can’t mention anything about the details. These kinds of skills and special powers are hard to believe, after all. So there is no point to talking about it.
[Hearing a secret from highly-ranked adventurer is part of highly-ranked guild member’s job, after all. Well, information is like a lifeline. I heard you guys can use <Blink>.]
Saladin! A method to learn <Blink>! It’s hard to cover this up because Maria’s use of <Blink> was seen.
Oh, Maria’s ears are flopped down. She’s aware that she did something unnecessary.
[So…? What kind of technique is that?]
[Well, that is…]
[Let’s talk about something else.]
Gilbert has an interest in it, but he suddenly changes the topic.
[O-Ohh… Guild Master, what do you want to talk about?]
[Umm. About the last one. The request from Gilbert.]
Gilbert straightens himself.
[I’m sorry to take your time. First, let me tell you about my situation. I’m a knight, a commander of the queen’s knights.]
[It is the truth. This is also the first time I’ve heard about this request.]
The guild master adds, [I already know he didn’t lie because I saw it on his title from the beginning…]
[Oh, that’s right. So… my request is to ask Jin to go to Quindam, the capital of Kastral Queendom, to meet with Her Majesty.]
Meet the queen…
We have many unpleasant memories of the royal family, and the chance for us to get in trouble is high, too.
[Please hear my story first.]
He interrupts my refusal. Since Gilbert is a good fellow, I guess I should hear his story, at least a bit it.
[Hmmm… What is it?]
[Sorry. Please hear my story until the end.]
[Although this is practically a mandated request, you don’t have any obligation to accept it, at all. In fact, you can decline it, too. This doesn’t involve those petty-minded nobles, so don’t worry.]
[Of course, I won’t go that far.]
This declaration from the guild master frees us from any worry. Or should I say he is mindful about Gilbert’s expression. Well, isn’t it natural?
[Understood. I will listen to your story until the end.]
If I have a right to decline, I don’t see any problem with hearing all of his story. My stance is “Not accept” for now…
[I don’t really know the reason, but it seems Her Majesty is gathering strong adventurers. It is my duty from Her Majesty to go all over the place to find them and ask them to go to the capital city.]
Strong adventurers are being gathered. I can’t say this is a good situation.
[Her Majesty will announce the reason ten days from now. My request is this: I want you to be in the capital city by that time. The reward is 1,000,000 g just to meet with the queen. It is a set amount of money and can’t be negotiated because you are ranked lower than A. Please understand that.]
Ten days… I don’t think we’ll have much time for sightseeing since it takes about seven days to reach the capital city from here. If we accept this request…
1,000,000 g is a huge amount of money just for this kind of problem.
[Highly-ranked adventurers are already starting to gather there. A- and B-ranked adventurers should number more than fifty people. As far as S-ranked adventurers are concerned, it seems our country has four.]
What? Are those S-ranked adventurers being gathered in the capital city, too? So that’s why they are here in Konoe Town… That means I’ll have a chance to meet with those S-ranked adventurers if I accept this request and go to the capital city. I have more reason to accept this request now.
As for the final decision, let’s make that after we’ve gathered more information.
[Could you tell me about Her Majesty’s story? I just arrived in this country, so I don’t know of any recent events.]
Q : What kind of person is the queen?
A : She ascended to the throne half year ago. All royal family members, except the queen, died from some kind of sickness. The investigation after her ascension suspiciously didn’t find anything.
There should be some proof.
A : That is something to worry about…
[Her Majesty ascended to the throne recently. Err… Other candidates for the throne and all other royal family members died due to sickness.]
[Is that okay?]
[It was thoroughly investigated. Her Majesty was a princess at the time, and there wasn’t anything suspicious about her then.]
[It is reliable because the investigators are from the guild.]
That is something I’m worried about.
[As for the queen, how old is she?]
[Her majesty is ten years old this year.]
[Err… Does that mean she is really young?]
[According to the rule of lineage, being too young isn’t a reason. Her majesty is wise, so there is no problem for her to rule, at all.]
Loli queen… No, that isn’t the topic.
Let’s organize our thoughts about whether to accept this request.
First, it is the capital city. Since this is sightseeing trip, I have no choice but to go there, too. There is hardly any reason not to go there. Besides, S-ranked adventurers are gathering there, and I have some interest in them.
Next is the queen herself. The certainty that we will get involved in her plan isn’t low, at all. The chance for this to happen will only rise if we go to the capital city.
Finally, this country. I like this country. I already plan to stay here for a while. I’ll be in trouble if the queen makes a bad decision. It is better to take the initiative rather than being dragged into the problem later.
Isn’t the sooner we deal with it going to be better for our mental health?
Yeah, I accept this request because of Gilbert, not because of the loli queen.
I know I don’t have any reason not to go. However, it will be troublesome if we don’t take this seriously.
I will hear everyone’s opinions from telepathy first.
<<I’m going to accept this request.>>
<<Is it really okay? Isn’t the royal family troublesome? I thought Jin-kun was going to decline…>>
<<So Sakura is opposed, aren’t you?>>
<<I refrain from anything involved with the royal family…>>
I understand her feeling. Because of that royal family we met the first time…
<<I will follow Jin-sama as always.>>
<<I want to go to capital, too!>>
Apart from Maria, those two children want to go to the capital (Yep, I treat Mio as a child.)
<<Since everybody will do what Master says, can you tell us the reason?>>
Sera is right… But I won’t do it without a concensus from everyone. It is fine for me to decide from a superior position. However, it won’t do me any good if they don’t understand the whole story.
I told everyone about my thoughts from a little while ago.
<<Well, it might has something to do with the fact that strong adventurers who are gathering there…>>
<<I mean we were marked by a queen’s knight, so we will be involved sooner or later…>>
<<I understand the reason… but I won’t go inside the castle. I will wait outside.>>
Well, I will be the only one who enters the castle for the request. I want to bring them together with me, by all means. I thought about letting Sakura house sit since she has unpleasant history with royal families, but…
<<It is okay for Sakura to accept this request for now.>>
As I look up, I’m face-to-face with Gilbert, who is staring at me and waiting for my reaction.
[After having various thoughts, we agree to accept this request.]
[I see! Thanks! Take this letter with you when you go to capital.]
Gilbert takes white and brown envelopes from his own chest.
[You are really prepared.]
[Yeah, I prepared these letters beforehand, in case you accepted this request.]
He is a diligent, good-looking man. I’m sure he will be popular.
[Gilbert, it seems your preparation isn’t going to be wasted. Here, the request note. Because this is the request that passed through the guild.]
I accept the request note from the guild master.
[We are going to capital as soon as our preparations are done. We should be ready to leave tomorrow. Some guards would be… No. Where are you going to rest and have a meal tonight?]
Even if this proposal is from his good will, I have to decline because it will limit a lot of our action.
[No, it is okay. Please let us go at our pace since the purpose of our trip is sightseeing.]
[Okay. The brown envelope contains the map for the route and recommended hotels on the way to the gate of capital.]
Really diligent. He even marked the recommended hotels on the map, too.
A: It took effort.
A: (High-speed thinking…)
[Understood. We gladly accept.]
The guild master also stands up and speaks.
[The talking is over now. Jin-kun, what are you going to do? Are you going to update your card?]
[Yeah. I’m going to update it, have lunch, and then prepare for the trip.]
[I see, please come to this town again if you like.]
[I will come by when I need to buy more rice.]
[Is this town lower than rice?]
As we said, we say good-bye to both the guild master and Gilbert, and then we update our guild cards.
[Is it okay for us who did nothing to improve our rank? Jin-kun did most of the work regarding this achievement.]
[Maria-chan and Sera-chan did some work, but we didn’t do anything at all…]
Sakura and Mio seem to be worried about ranking up.
[No, what I did was just driving carriage…]
[I also killed the monster that passed through Jin-sama. Tamo-san might be more useful than me…]
[It is all right. There is no problem with your ability.]
[We think our abilities are insufficient.] Cloud said.
In fact, they aren’t. When I think about the abilities and skills I gave them, they are barely D-ranked.
[Well, it is only a rank. Your ability will keep going up afterwards. Think about it as if you were lucky.]
We received our new updated guild cards. Come to think of it… Am I the fastest to go from am F- to a C-rank?
A: There is a record of adventurer who reached a B-rank in two days.
I see… It seems to be harder than I thought. It probably requires extreme achievement to rank up in one go like me…
I’m right, after all. There is no record about how many times you accepted the request.
My record is updated now, including slaves.
[As Gilbert said, we need to reach the capital in ten days.]
[It should take around seven days for that distance. What are you going to do with the remaining three days?]
[I have nothing in particular planned. We could kill some time in the village if there is something interesting, and looking around the capital is a good idea, too.]
Oh! Dora said a difficult word! Let’s pat her as a reward.
[Master just pats Dora for no reason, don’t you?]
[Mio-san doesn’t need to say that. Master really likes Dora-san…]
The new slaves don’t know the reason I patted Dora because I didn’t tell them about telepathy.
Coco and Roro look at Dora with envy in their eyes. I pat them and the rest, too.
[Let’s gear up and prepare to leave this town.]
We will prepare for traveling later.
Since we have a monster stone worth more than 10,000,000 g from stampede that I’m going to sell, there is no way it can be sold immediately. It can’t be helped since we have to go to the capital soon. You could say it is natural for orc and orge’s monster stone to be sold at high prices.
I sold the additional equipment I got from monsters. Since we have a lot of people right now, the amount of supplies we need to buy has increased. To have a stable income is the reason for us to be real adventurers. Daily income like this is incredible, but it is still far from reaching our goal.
Oh yeah, the Tyrannosaurus’s monster stone alone is worth 10,000,000 g. To be honest, there’s a huge different. Of course, I won’t sell it. I mean I have no way to sell it, and it is too wasteful to feed it to Tamo-san because I don’t want Tamo-san to have Tyrannosaurus form… Because of that reason, I decide to keep it. I might find some useful way to use those monster stones later. (A human’s cliche way to keep it.)
We finish our preparations, have lunch and leave the town at noon. The main members (Me, Sakura, Dora, Mio, Maria and Sera) are in the carriage along with half of the newcomer slaves while the rest are in the <Room>. Since <Room> is separate from the shaking carriage, it can be used for relaxation. I also take a nap in <Room> from time to time, too…
The newcomer slaves are making potions in <Room>. Since it is a two-hour shift, the quota is one potion per person.
The capital is south from here. There are several villages on the way, so I plan to make a stop in one of them. We reach the first village after a two-day trip with the carriage. Of course, the shortest route to the capital takes seven days, so there’s enough time for us to detour to a nearby village.
[In next village, is there any speciality? Any tourist spots?]
[Jin-kun, it seems we have enough time to spare, right?]
Mio and Sakura ask.
They have some idea after seeing my behavior. Unfortunately, there is nothing interesting this time.
[Well, there is nothing at all. Perhaps, there is nothing interesting here.]
[We’ve only passed two or three villages. It should take around one to two days if we go sightseeing… There is no point of doing that. I have a feeling we should find something worthwhile.]
A: There is something interesting.
Huh? I’m a little interested. What is it?
A: No, there isn’t much different between hearing it or not. I see no disadvantage from enjoying ourselves.
Then, tell me. I want to know in advance if it is harmless or not. I don’t need to take a lot of time researching this on my own because Alta will do it beforehand. It is the most convenience point of <Avatar>.
[I heard there is something interesting from Alta. I didn’t hear the details, but we can enjoy ourselves later.]
[Oh, that is interesting.]
[Yeah, it might be something interesting since Alta talked about it.]
A: Please don’t raise the bar too high.
I just said it to myself…
[There doesn’t seem to be much over there.]
[What is it?]
[Well, it is something we can enjoy, more or less.]
Let’s not have high expectations.
[Err… Who is Alta?]
[A secret companion.]
I didn’t explain to Cloud about Alta. So I changed from “special power” to “secret companion”. Great. Let’s use this in the future.
[Master has too many secrets, and all of them are really amazing…] Cloud muttered.
I have to conceal secrets because it is too troublesome to explain all of them. At first, there was a reason I used “that magic” for a while. Instead of mentioning special power, I just said it’s a magic that is only to be used by special people.
Besides, <Inventory> is special, and I can’t explain it without explaining about my special power. I will explain it to them… sooner or later.
~fin A Reward and a Request