Rumor and Reality
I-It's finally the town...!
Dunno how many kilograms this lizard is, but the journey was truly backbreaking. Might cross several tons even...
"Wheeze, wheeze, not sure how, but we made it..."
"It's all thanks to your help. We're truly grateful, thank you."
"O-oh please don't, mention, it..."
"Hikaru, you should catch your breath first..."
O-ou. That's right. Deep breath, deep breath... No wait, this isn't time for Lamaze method.
I thought my Strength went up with my Level, but these laborious work are still hard on the body all the same...
"The way you fought together against that magic beast attacking us on the way here was inspirational. I wish I could replicate it but I'm not sure we could... It makes me feel ashamed to call myself a party leader."
"It would have been a bit tough if that beast managed to ambush us. It was only thanks to you noticing it preemptively that we could come up with a plan and dealt with it painlessly."
"Crisis perception is an indispensable quality of a leader. To that end, you're more than qualified as one."
"You even perceived that beast ahead of me."
"Oh no, I'm just."
Well, anybody with Mana and Life Detection would notice a magic beast that huge.
I think how he immediately inferred what kind of magic beast it was from the sound of flapping wing, aka by experience, is more amazing.
"Now then, someone can go fetch our Item Bag to put this thing away from here."
"So about your reward, what do you like to have?"
What do, I don't know the market price.
How much en is acceptable to ask here? Argh, might as well just make it reward-less and avoid trouble...
"Oh yeah, how about you take some parts of this lizard here as your reward. That's if you don't mind of course."
"Eh...!? Oh no, that's too much!"
"No need to be modest. Oh but if you really don't want to, we'll pay with cash, no problem."
"W-well, it's not that we don't want..."
We'd like nothing more than to get our hands on materials from a Rank A magic beast.
But that's not something they should give out just because we helped them carry some baggage, they're too generous. Hmm, but you know.
"No need to think too much 'bout it y'know? Look at the size of this thing, sharing a few ain't gonna hurt us in the least."
"Hikaru, wasting their goodwill in this situation would be discourteous instead. We should accept their offer."
Mu, mwu, I guess she's right.
...Then I'll gratefully accept.
"We're gonna deliver the mats once we're done dismantling this big lizard, hang on tight. We'll leave a message to you at the guild once it's ready."
"Understood, thank you for the trouble."
"That's our line, we owe you guys."
Afterward, Blond-san left for their inn. Guess she went to fetch the Item Bag.
...We should go too.
<TLN: Catch the latest updates and edits at Sousetsuka .com >
"Well, we should make our way to the guild now."
"Nn, Reina is waiting, let's."
"Ah, she's a member of our party, has just come of age... She may look younger due to her dainty figure though."
"We had her rest at the inn because we made her fight too much for her leveling yesterday. Also, we can't bring her to that area yet with her level."
"...It's my gaffe as a leader for making her overwork herself."
I do think I'm the lowest as well when I saw her falling backward after that last magic beast she defeated.
We're quite tired too now but nowhere near Reina that day. I'm sorry~.
"Yup, I cannot commend that. But I believe you have grasped how much is fine now, haven't you?"
"Yes, I'm decreasing the amount of magic beasts she'll fight and let her rest every other day."
"If you can realize which points to improve, then you're already on the right track. You learn from failures to further the future... Ah, sorry, it's my bad habit giving sermons out of the blue."
"Please don't worry, your word carries weight... We really should excuse ourselves here."
"Ou, I know you're tired hearing this, but thanks a lot. You two are lifesavers."
"Thank you for your service."
"See you again."
We parted ways with the three who were waiting for the blond beauty to come back.
I kinda feel lonely even though we've only been together for a short while.
...And fatigue. Ugogo, my body's heavy...
~~~~~Hot Uncle Leader's Perspective~~~~
"What's your verdict, Leader?"
Daina asked with a straight face.
"Oh, what is this about?"
"You know what I'm talking about, those two."
"...Do you mean whether the truth lies on the rumor or what the guildmaster told us?"
"Hmm, suppose the answer's obvious, but out of curiosity."
There's a rumor about a pair of black haired adventurers who arrived at this town several days ago. Or more like, infamy.
The man is in his 20s, while the woman is a year or two over coming of age.
We heard stories about how they dragged along a young blond kid and forced her to fight magic beasts while they took the reward money.
We were thinking of taking that kid from the two somehow if that was true.
We tried asking guildmaster if she knew about those two and she told us this instead, 'Refrain from a needless probing. Just know that they are definitely not evil.'
Her oppressive tone felt like it was a warning rather than a caution... No well, she's always had this oppressive aura around her all the time, overwhelming even to someone older like me.
The thought of those two holding guildmaster's weakness to blackmail her crossed my mind, but I just can't imagine this person being troubled by that.
She's the type that's harder on herself than anybody else, even during that time with Stampede, she ran around tirelessly while allowing the staff members took a break.
Had she made a mistake, she'd definitely gather everybody around and announce it proudly herself. I believe the chance of anyone blackmailing her is extremely slim.
In the end, we decided that we have to see for ourselves before drawing a conclusion and find time to talk with the two.
A day after we asked guildmaster, we finally found and killed 'Mad Lizard Crimson Scale' we had been looking for one week in the Monster Prairie.
The subduing process itself went exceedingly smooth, until a problem arose. Raina had left the Item Bag intended to put the body away in our inn.
If we were to head back and fetch the Item Bag, other magic beasts would definitely scavenge the lizard's body, yet we couldn't send someone to do it alone either considering the risk that posed.
We were left with no choice but to carry the body ourselves.
And naturally it was a tough work with how big the thing. On my waist and shoulder in particular... I'm really young no more haha...
As I was hit by a wave of sorrow over that realization, we came across two black haired pair standing around in the yellow grass area of the prairie.
A man in his 20s, and a woman a year or two over coming of age. Those two must be the adventurer pair in question.
...Who could have imagined we would get this chance so soon.
And the conclusion is that they're not as bad as the rumor make them out to be, though I can't be 100% sure.
They readily agreed our request for help and despite looking tired, none of them showed a hint of reluctance.
I could tell the man was gathering herbs in the area from the bag he was carrying. Checking with my Gift Appraisal Skill, all of them were genuine quality herbs, not a single weed mixed in.
So many good quality herbs should afford him a lot of cash, he's not helpless in term of self-sustenance.
I believe the blond girl only looks young outwardly, and she actually has come of age, therefore them making her fight magic beasts is for the sake of leveling, not money.
They might just be faking their niceties out, however, the impression I got from them is that they're no leeches who force someone to make money for them.
"...I'm sure mine pretty much mirrors yours."
"I agree, they're nothing like the rumors."
"We really ought to not judge people from rumors alone."
"Yep, and besides..."
"Hm? What is it?"
"Well, those two make for quite a nice pair despite their age difference."
"...Leader, when was the last time you joked around again."
...Also, despite feeling bad about it, I had checked their Status and acquired an understanding as to why guildmaster told us not to probe.
Their Status are far from normal. The girl, Almatina has an unusual Job of High Paladin with unusually high Attributes and Level at 25. The variety and levels of her Skills are quite something as well.
Well, hers is not that out of ordinary aside from her Job... I mean, it is unusual.
But the man, Kajikawa Hikaru, is something else. Job Unidentifiable, Skill Unobtainable, I have never seen anything like that. How is he even surviving in this Monster Prairie...?
It can't be that he fights without a single Skill. I didn't see a particularly strong gear or weapon on him.
Perhaps the answer lies on the reason why he was chosen as the party leader.
...What a peculiar bunch. Which surely brings them no end of trouble. I hope they never relent and keep pressing on.
Oh, Raina is back. Dear me, we can finally enter the town.