10-15. Red Iron Plate
Satou's here. I wonder why is my free time decreasing every time I get a promotion. Well, it goes without saying that the causes are the slightly raised salary and the many more works I must do.
"I'm very sorry."
The receptionist onee-san over the counter is deeply apologizing.
We've come here to receive the Bronze Plates, but--
"Actually the guildmaster has raised an objection for it."
--An interruption has come, and it seems our promotions have been stopped.
"Eh~, I'm firmly against this!"
"I'm truly very sorry. I'm told that the guildmaster has an objection on Sir Pendragon since something like this is unprecedented..."
I understand Arisa's dissatisfaction, but there's nothing can be done even if we press this person further.
"When will we know if our promotion is admitted or not? May we use these temporary plates until then?"
"Y, yes. You can have the temporary Bronze plates as they are now. I think it'll only take a few days at the longest, so it'd be helpful if you come to the guild in five days."
Right, we haven't registered our contact address to the guild.
While calming Arisa who's still discontent, we leave the guild. An onee-san around thirty who descends from a carriage that has just arrived as we come out, calls me in fluster.
"U-um, excuse me, but are you Chevalier Pendragon-sama?"
"Yes, I am, can I help you?"
"I came for an errand from the guildmaster. I am Ushana the guildmaster's secretary. I'm sorry for being so sudden, but could you go with me to the west guild?"
Arisa is posing triumphantly while whispering, "The template is here" behind. I'm only planning to buy the dummy house today, so I don't mind visiting the guildmaster. I told her my consent, and we headed to the west guild together.
A wand is coming toward me right in front of my eyes.
Sharp like a spear, it was suddenly thrust before my eyes when I opened the door. I lightly brush the attack that's even sharper than Liza's spear blow, avoiding it. The other party passes the eluded wand over the shoulder to the other hand, and attacks again. Is this what they call wand arts?
And then I continue to elude all of the ever-changing long wand attacks.
I wonder what does this person want to do anyway?
The one who stops this unreasonable attacks is the secretary, Ushana's words.
"Guildmaster! If you keep doing that any longer, Seberkea-sama will scold you!"
"Ceh, we were just in the good part. Right, Satou?"
Yes, the one who has been attacking me with the long wand since awhile ago is the guildmaster-san. Moreover, she's a 87 years old old woman, so I couldn't counterattack really. She's a level 52 magician who has fire and light magic skills. I want this childish old woman to take some lesson from Tenion head-miko.
I'm the only one who's come here. Arisa and the others are touring the guild hall below.
"Unfortunately, I'm not fond of getting surprise attacks."
"What, aren't you the battle freak who stayed overnights from the first day of his labyrinth diving, and then went on to collect more than 100 magic cores?"
How rude. I've only defeated 20-30 monsters at most.
"I was only watching from behind, my companions were the ones who actually fought."
"Bah, who would believe that nonsense. Even if that was the truth, it was because the monsters were small fries whom you did not need fight right?"
It's most likely just guessworks, but it's relatively true.
It seems she had felt that I was going to deceive her, she spoke first before I could.
"Moreover, that sword is something that old Dohar's created right? Like that old man would give the sword he made himself to a small fry. If you're going to deceive people, wrap that Truth Mark with some cloth."
I didn't specially hide the mark since no one at the duchy capital noticed it. I thought that it wasn't rare since I saw a lot of arms that had truth marks in the elf hometown, but it seems I was wrong.
"Elder Dohar is my drinking buddy."
I can't exactly tell her that I've made the sword together with elder Dohar.
I wonder why. The moment she heard "Drinking buddy" part, guildmaster's eyes lit up like a carnivore who had found its prey.
"Hou? Then, why don't I become your drinking buddy too?"
"Yes, if you're alright with me, I'll bring some liquor and appetizers."
It's troubling that she seems to be a battle mania, but I think of her like elder Dohar in the [Un-detestable Elderly] category. I would refuse if she was going to manipulate me, but it'd seem that I could hear many interesting old stories if I drank with her.
"Very well, it's a banquet then!"
Ushana-san who had come back while bringing a shallow box denied the declaration of the guildmaster who looked happy. It's still noon after all.
"Please confer the guild plates here first. You can do the banquet afterward."
"Ceh. I know I know. Satou, receive these Red Iron Plates."
Hmm? It should have been Bronze Plates though?
"Don't look so confused. That stiff viscount talked a lot about your achievements y'know?"
Come to think of it, Viscount Shimen was going here and there when he was trying to rescue me. Did he say something exaggerated during that time?
"Was it 『The Hero of Muno City Defense War』 and 『Gururian City Demon Slayer』 I guess? A senior explorer from our guild was there right at that time, do you remember? There was a report from that guy too. Regardless of the fact that it was a low-class demon, we can't give the party that has defeated a demon unhurt with Wooden or Bronze Plates."
"That said, giving you Mithril Plates would be too much. If you had at least defeated a middle-class demon then."
"Humph, those guild council fools, it would have been a new record if they had just nodded, it was almost there y'know."
Apparently, the guildmaster was scheming to force the Mitrhil Plates on us. I thank you the good senses of the guild councils whom I've never seen in my mind. Even though it would have made Arisa happy, I feel that the disadvantages are too many.
Ushana-san explains about the Red Iron Plates. Of course it's not just me, everyone is going to be promoted to Red Iron Plates.
We've acquired it easily this time, but normally a Bronze explorer needs to give the guild high-grade magic cores in long term to raise his status. It seems that one normally needs five to ten years to get it, this Red Iron Plate sounds trouble enough.
"Is it alright? We have only dived to the labyrinth once you know?"
"Guildmaster has authority to confer until the Red Iron Plates. We can't issue it excessively, but we haven't issued it even once in two years here, so the royal castle probably won't complain."
Ushana-san continues her talk, and it's come to the advantages of the Red Iron Plates. There are many small financial advantages like half-off for handling charges and building rents that involve the guild. I'm not too happy since I'm not in trouble financially at all.
"And finally, the most important point is--"
Please tell the most important thing in the beginning.
"--People who are holding this Red Iron Plates are treated like associate nobles. It can't grant noble privilege like Chevalier-sama has, but it guarantees the social position that equal the knights. Since this is guaranteed in the name of Shiga King, not only it is valid inside the kingdom, it's also valid even when you visit other countries."
Of course it's not only valid for humans, but also for demi-humans it seems. Looks like they can stay in the inn if they have the Red Iron Plates, even in the area where discriminations against demi-humans run deep like in Seryuu city.
I asked Ushana-san if it was alright for a non-government body to issue privileges of associate nobles.
"Even though the Explorer Guild call itself a guild, it's actually the managing body of the labyrinth resource ministry of Shiga Kingdom. The guildmaster holds the position of the labyrinth resource minister of Shiga Kingdom, and she's treated as an earl when she's in office, so there's no problem."
I see, so the kingdom is behind it after all. I thought that it was strange that they let civilians managed the money tree, but I understand now.
I asked her just in case, it seems people who held the Mitrhil Plate was not only treated as an associate noble like the people who had the Red Iron Plates, but they would be bestowed the honorary nobility peerages from the king.
"By the way Satou. About the banquet schedule, how about this evening."
"Yes, I'll make it open for it."
"Ouh, good answer. I happened to hear about this, that Eltall brat was boasting that he had just gotten himself some very fine liquor--"
Putting aside her calling general Eltall brat, the dragon spring liquor is too popular. I have to bring some goats as presents for Heiron the black dragon.
Don't tell me, she didn't do the unprecedented promotion to aim for the liquor right?
"W, what's with those eyes. It's nothing like that okay? The promotion got nothing to do with the liquor y'know?"
The flustered guildmaster was slightly suspicious, but since Ushana-san denied it, it was just a groundless suspicion, it seems.
Now then, I need to bring the Red Iron Plates to Arisa and the others who are waiting in excitements below.