Translator(s): Dodz Editor(s): Cadh, Yomigaeru Proofreader(s): Birb TLC(s): Yomigaeru
C15: The guild we joined is too good to be true.
Cursed Sword Reginablus.
The cursed sword that suddenly makes its appearance in the dungeon once every several decades. According to the guild’s explanation, it’s known as the 【Wandering Sword】that has its own will and travels for the sake of choosing its master.
It is so powerful that whoever obtains the cursed sword is able to walk down the hero path. For example, 【King Koushoku of Anville】, who had achieved the unprecedented advancement from an orphan to king. And another one is 【King Guren of Festrik】, a prince of a lost country who not only rebuilt his own country, but became the leader of the neighboring countries and eventually left 100 children. Legends say that both kings accomplished it by the power of the cursed sword.
However, if one without the capacity to be a hero tries to handle the cursed sword by force, it will only lead to destruction. It is said that there were also those who did things like destroying a country and were executed as criminals. After transforming a man into either a hero or a criminal, the cursed sword disappears for a while, and then it makes its appearance once more.
The quest is to search for such a high-risk, high-reward cursed sword. And the location is deep underground in the dungeon. We only just registered at the guild, how could we possibly…
「Yes. Of course, you don’t need to delve into the dungeon unreasonably, you know?」(Aine)
About when I’m thinking “Is that really ok!?”,, the guild onee-san lightly says that. We’re on the second floor of the 【Common Guild】. It’s a room next to the one with the quest board which is quite office-like. Having left Cecyl and Rita at the resting area, I came here alone as the representative to hear the details. The know-it-all onee-san nods as she offers me a tea.
Her name is Aine Crunette. She is a descendant of the one who created the 【Common Guild】, and right now, she’s in the middle of accumulating experience to be the next guild master. She answers all my questions properly even though she looks busy.
「Originally, the dungeon was discovered during a mining operation on the outskirts of Metekal and is regarded as a ruin of an ancient civilization. But since the tunnels transition into ancient ruins from the third floor onward, it’s too dangerous for newcomers. That’s why I won’t force you to go into the dungeon !」
I was all ready to say 『Depending on the situation, I will withdraw from the guild and go on a journey.』but Aine-san is smiling brightly at me. Her chestnut-colored hair sways like feathers every time she nods. Something feels kinda… off.
「To tell you the truth, the Open Participation Quest is something like a message to the 【Noble Guild】.」(Aine)
「That’s right. “Don’t just give us one-sided decrees, please listen to what we have to say too.”」(Aine)
And Aine-san starts to explain.
The part about Metekal having a 【Common Guild】and a 【Noble Guild】is the same as she explained in the beginning. Aine-san says that the 【Noble Guild】dumps the jobs that they can’t do to the 【Common Guild】.
That’s an accurate description, though it’s actually a bit more complicated than that.
First, the 【Noble Guild】accepts profitable jobs commissioned by the royal families. And then, the request is dispatched to the 【Common Guild】. They take most of the reward money paid by the royal families as kickbacks. And due to that, by the time the quests are dispatched to the【Common Guild】, their rewards have become cheaper than the other quests of the same level. The 【Common Guild】then has no choice but to supplement the rewards using its own funds.
As for why they don’t refuse the requests, the 【Noble Guild】 will harass them in various ways. The 【Noble Guild】 will storm into the guild here and make a ruckus, and they will also hire hooligans in secret to disturb the 【Common Guild】 members on their quests.
Since they can’t do anything about it, the guild accepts the quests, but for some reason the 【Noble Guild】’s members will go out of their way to come along with the quests taken by the 【Common Guild】. However, they don’t participate in fighting monsters. They don’t help with exploration either. And yet, they just keep ordering people in the middle of the quest from behind. They’ll get mad if people ignore them. If a problem arises when you do exactly what they tell you, they will say『Why didn’t you do what I have told you!』.
The reward will be reduced if the guild here complains about it. The nobles will put pressure en masse on the merchants who sponsor the【Common Guild】if you leave them behind or they get injured.
Anyhow, they are troublesome existences who you don’t want to get involved with as much as possible.
Looks like there is still no solution to the current problem even though the people of the 【Common Guild】have consulted with Metekal’s feudal lords regarding the current situation. The reasons are that 【Noble Guild】is an assembly of nobles even though they are lower class nobles, and the Metekal feudal lords are prone to diseases due to aging so they can’t come down too strongly.
That’s why the people of the 【Common Guild】 are quite pissed off.
「Therefore, it’s necessary to show the resolution that the『Common Guild will obtain the cursed sword』at this time. If we get the cursed sword and present it to the king, won’t the other side be troubled? Since publicly, the【Noble Guild】has been completing all the requests by the royal families all the time flawlessly.」(Aine)
In the other words, it’s an opportunity for subcontractors whose main contractor have been taking tons of kickbacks to demonstrate their abilities to the ones giving the orders. It’ll become a proof that 【Common Guild】 has the abilities to do it by presenting the cursed sword to the king.
It might be a chance to overturn the situation.
「We all just want to convey our thoughts to the【Noble Guild】.」(Aine)
「Won’t it become a conflict? 」(Nagi)
「It’s alrightー. Because even in the Noble Guild, there are reasonable people. 」(Aine)
「To be frank, those people are my childhood friends, though.」Aine-san continues.
Even in the【Noble Guild】there are people who understand that things are not going so well at the moment and want to help out, or something. Well, even if that weren’t the case, I suppose they wouldn’t behave in a way to embarrass the main contractor.
「 “The【Common Guild】members will unite to search for the cursed sword”, that’s what it means.」(Aine)
「But, going down near to the lowest level of the dungeon so suddenly…」(Nagi)
「Of course you can come back after the first level, you know.」(Aine)
「Is that okay?」(Nagi)
「Isn’t it obvious?」(Aine)
It’s not obvious. Is this white enterprise going to be okay? (TN: “white enterprise” is the opposite of the “black enterprise/company” where people are forced to do unpaid part-time work)
On the contrary, when I look at Aine-san smiling with sparkling eyes I just get more anxious.
I wonder if my heart has simply become corrupted because I experienced too much unpaid part-time work…?
「Anyhow, this time all the 【Common Guild】members are entering the dungeon and it’s important to show the enthusiasm of 【Going all out in search of the cursed sword】. And since the Common Guild is for everyone, we don’t make it compulsory for beginners. So, how about I show you other quests if you don’t mind?」(Aine)
It’s just that collection quests will be an issue, says Aine-san as she folds her arms.
The reason is that it will stand out if guild members are found wandering the meadows or forest when they’re supposed to be delving into the dungeon. Even though they won’t know our faces since we’re newcomers, there’s still a small chance.
There are still a lot of troubles even in another world. Maybe things like raising by one’s own ability and becoming a hero while defeating monsters only exist in fairy tales.
「Let’s see… these are the quests that I recommend at the moment.」(Aine)
Aine-san holds out 2 sheets of parchment.
【Commission No.1: Envoy Quest】
Please deliver a letter to the port city Irgafar. There’s a letter that has to be sent quickly to the Irgafar Guild from the【Common Guild】. It’s an important letter. Please don’t open the seal.
Aptitude Level: 1 to 3
Reward: 600 Arusha (Including travel and food expenses. Half of the reward will be paid in advance. The other half will be paid upon completion.)
Number of Days: 4 days one way (You may be asked to deliver a letter from Irgafar to the Common Guild on the way home.)
Deadline: Within 12 days
【Commission No.2: Subjugation Quest】
Please exterminate large bats that settled in an abandoned building. Large bats have settled in the mansion of a magician who died 120 years ago and have become a nuisance. The mansion has been neglected as it had been explored and all the valuable treasures were taken away long ago. However, Metekal merchants are considering buying it since a hot spring has sprung up near the mansion recently. Moderate damage to the building is not a problem since cleaning and remodeling will be done by the merchants, but please annihilate the large bats.
Aptitude Level: 1 to 2
Number of Enemies (estimate): 8 to 12
Reward: 340 Arusha (In addition, there’s no problem if you want to take anything that you find in the abandoned building. Though I don’t think there is anything valuable left since the search ended a few decades ago.)
Deadline: Within 7 days
The guild is lacking manpower because almost all the other members are diving into the dungeon. Therefore, it’ll be a great help if I quickly complete the quest, Aine-san says.
「What the heck…」(Nagi)
I can tell that my voice is quivering. Ridiculous. Surely, this is a bad dream. I must be dreaming of an impossible reality on my deathbed. Surely.
「…This must be a joke.」(Nagi)
「Do you find the conditions unsuitable? You requested for a job in a hurry just now, but in that case I can find you something else…」(Aine)
「To be able to choose a job like this… it’s unbelievable. Moreover, advance payment? Travel expenses are provided? No way…!?」(Nagi)
Is this real life? Normally, don’t we pay our own travel expenses? It’s written that an allowance is provided but won’t they get mad or something if we actually request it? Or interrogate us like “why didn’t you come on foot”? Perhaps… no, there might be a loophole somewhere. It’s four days to Irgafarーbut nobody said if that’s on foot. Is four days the time taken by a fine horse that can gallop 1000 miles in one day? And if the letter doesn’t reach the destination before the deadline, the adventurer who took the quest will be charged with a huge penalty…
「Adventurer-san! Uhm… Nagi-san!? Are you alright!? 」(Aine)
Aine-san has both her hands on the table, intently looking at me.
「I’m sorry. Something like receiving an advance payment… or travel expenses being covered… it’s unbelievable. Are you sure that what’s written here is not a misprint or misspelling? 」(Nagi)
「Of course we’ll only write accurate information on the quest list, right? Nagi-san.」(Aine)
Aine-san says after checking my registration card.
「That’s the most basic things in the guild. Isn’t a quest exposing everybody’s lives to danger? No decent person would write lies about the job and its reward, right?」(Aine)
「…Sorry. A weird switch got flipped.」(Nagi)
「I’m proud to have the 【Common Guild】which I inherited from my grandfather.」(Aine)
Aine-san mutters as if to reassure me.
「It’s my mission to ensure that everyone is doing their quests without any worries. And, I’m working hard for that purpose. Though I’m still inexperienced, I want to be useful to everyone!」(Aine)
Aine-san drinks the thick-looking tea. After that, she takes a deep breath and looks at me with a face that’s the very definition of serious. Somehow, it’s dazzling. I see, so there are people like this as well? Another world is really amazing, isn’t it?
「…I’m sorry for doubting you.」(Nagi)
「Good grief. Jeez.」(Aine)
Aine-san puts both her hands on her waist, pouting.
「Please don’t startle me like that. If you say weird things… then onee-chan will be troubled…」(Aine)
Strange words come out from Aine-san who somehow looks dazed.
Aine-san notices her slip of the tongue and blushes while waving her arms.
「I-I’m sorry! T-that’s, you see. T-that’s right, a guild master is something like everyone’s onee-chan!」(Aine)
With her hair tied back and wearing an apron, Aine-san certainly gives off the impression of a thoroughly tolerant onee-chan. Come to think of it, there was nobody like that at my workplace in my original world…
「A-actually, I, when I see new adventurers, I unintentionally have a habit of behaving like an onee-chan… and besides… Nagi-san is a bit… similar to my former acquaintance… I’m sorry!」(Aine)
Aine-san becomes bright red and keeps glancing my way as if she’s expecting something.
「That’s, because this is the first time for Nagi to receive a quest… you can rely on me, you know? Since it’s natural to be anxious.」(Aine)
I wonder if I look that unreliable?
ーI guess so. As expected. Although I have two slave girls with me, my equipment is poor and I even refused to go into the dungeon from the beginning. Although looking like I can’t do anything important is exactly what I’m aiming for.
「P-please ask me if you have anything you don’t understand. Also, here are the records of monsters and maps as well as this town’s folklore, so please commit them to heart.」(Aine)
Aine-san comes right up to me and I take the quest parchments from her.
「I’ll decide which quest I’ll be taking after we go back to the inn to discuss.」(Nagi)
「Yes. Please do your best. And then…」(Aine)
「Also, I know this is sudden, but do you mind if I make use of the materials? I want to examine the map and the tales about the magician before deciding on the quest.」(Nagi)
I continue, interrupting Aine-san’s words. I appreciate your kindness, but… I don’t want you to barge in on my business too much. There’s stuff like Cecyl’s secret and Rita’s circumstances too.
「Please let me check them out for a while, I’ll use them carefully and I won’t take them out. Besides, I’m still unfamiliar with this area.」(Nagi)
「Aine-chan! Please come here for a while!」(??)
A voice can be heard from the first floor. Aine-san who tried to continue speaking stops talking and bows to me.
「…W-well then, please take a look them to your heart’s content. Since the abundance of materials is also the pride of the 【Common Guild】.」(Aine)
Reluctantly, Aine-san leaves the room. Jogging. She looks really busy.
A few hours later…
Before I knew it, it was pitch black outside the window. As I thought, the materials were hard to read. The lamp on the wall is lit, but it’s a bit dark for me who came from a civilized world.
I’ve read the necessary materials for the quest, around here…
When I look carefully, there is tea and some baked sweets on top of the table. And the tea is still warm. Did someone come here? I didn’t even realize it. There’s a small piece of paper with a note on it.
“Thank you for your hard work. But please don’t overwork yourself. Aine.”
A really good-natured person may cause anxiety too. It’s alright, 【Common Guild】. I’m not going to collapse suddenly tomorrow, alright?
「And what is this?」(Nagi)
There’s something pinning the memo down… it’s a crystal ball in a small bag. It’s a skill orb.
“Furthermore, it’s a weekly duty for guild members to clean up around the building. Please use it when the time comes. It’s a super-common skill that everybody has, so you won’t make any money by selling it, okay?”
Such a thing was written at the end of the memo. Super-common skill…?
【Drain Cleaning LV1】
【Wash away】【Unclean water】by using 【Cleaning equipment】skill.
…What a really pinpoint skill. The memo continues, uhm…
『In addition, please don’t sleep in this room. The 【Common Guild】is for people who obey the rules. If I find you sleeping in this room next time, I’ll prohibit you from entering the information room! 』
I take a look at my surroundings. There’s Cecyl on my right side and Rita on my left side. Did they come back when I was inspecting the material? Both of them are sleeping peacefully beside me.
「Nagi-sama… if you leave me alone… I’ll explode…」(Cecyl)
「…It smells like Nagi… ehehe…」(Rita)
And then I hear footsteps jogging closer.
「You two, wake up!」(Nagi)
I shake Rita and Cecyl who are sleeping soundly awake in a hurry.
「First, let’s reaffirm our objective.」(Nagi)
I say after we’ve returned to the inn. As usual, Cecyl sits on the floor quietly while looking up at me with an earnest expression. And Rita sitting on her knees beside her. Her golden ears and tail are drooping. Somehow, she looks depressed.
「Our goal is to head to the next town as fast as possible. For that reason, we have to earn money for travel and food expenses.」
「…I’m sorry, Nagi.」(Rita)
Rita hangs her head as her tail smacks the ground lightly.
「This is all because 【Iturna Cult】have their eyes on me..」(Rita)
「Don’t worry about it. I’m the one who picked the fight with the deputy bishop.」(Nagi)
「As Nagi-sama said, it’s because Rita has become a member of our party.」(Cecyl)
Cecyl gently puts her tiny hand on the top of Rita’s head.
「Let’s not talk about the past.」(Cecyl)
「Cecyl-chan, I love you!」(Rita)
「Yes. I also like Rita, after Nagi-samaー」(Cecyl)
Reflexively, Cecyl holds back Rita’s head as Rita tries to embrace her. Rita’s treatment is gradually getting better… isn’t that good?
「But, Nagi. Is it impossible for us to sell skills for money?」(Rita)
「I was targeted before because of that…」(Nagi)
Then I tell Rita about how I was chased by the slave trader and skill merchant after I sold a skill at the royal capital. The skills produced by the 【Reconstruction Ability】are, without doubt, one-off skills. In exchange for the skills selling at a higher price, they stand out. Extremely so. The blacklist of skill shops ー it’ll really bad if my personal description spreads around. And the worst thing would be for that information to reach the king.
If he knew that the visitor who he personally drove out was a 【Rare Skill Creator】, of course, he wouldn’t leave me alone.
「I’m probably overthinking it though. Anyway, selling skills will be our last resort. Right before we leave the town when there’s no other way. Until then, we have to earn money through other methods.」(Nagi)
「If that’s the case, then it can’t be helped. Yeah, I understand.」(Rita)
Rita nods as her golden tail is wagging vigorously.
「O-of course. If Nagi has decided it, then I’ll follow it unconditionally. And don’t forget. Nagi is the most important thing in this world for meーmy master.」(Rita)
「Aah! That’s unfair, Rita-san! Don’t say it before me!!」(Cecyl)
And Cecyl too leans forward and nods vigorously.
…Uhm. With that, we’ve confirmed our plans for the time being, but…
「Nagi-sama, have you decided which quest you’re going to take?」(Cecyl)
Simply, the『Cursed Sword Contest』is troublesome. I could possibly provide logistical support at the low level of the dungeon, but considering the scale of the quest, it’ll probably take too much time to finish everything. It’s not suitable for us who want to leave this town as fast as possible. That’s why I have decided to choose one of the two quests given by Aine-san.
「But I also want to hear your opinions just to be sure.」(Nagi)
「Yes! Here’s the problem, Rita-san!」(Cecyl)
Suddenly, Cecyl stands up and raises her hand. She looks down at Rita, who seems puzzled.
「Between 【Envoy Quest】and【Subjugation Quest】, which quest did Nagi-sama choose!?」(Cecyl)
「…Eh? Ah, well. How would I know such aー」(Rita)
「Let’s make a bet over the privilege of service, Rita-san! The one who guessed it right will get to wipe the sweat from Nagi’s back for one week from today. How about that!!? 」(Cecyl)
「Wait, wait! Wait a minute, I’m thinking about it right now!! 」(Rita)
…Err, you two.
Cecyl who looks confident is puffing out her flat chest. Rita’s fluffy tail is flapping lightly as she looks like a puppy who’s in trouble. That’s so nice, you twoー. It looks like you’re having funー.
「Alright. I’ve decided. Let’s do it.」(Rita)
「Just what I wanted to hear. Rita-san. Let’s do this on the count of three.」(Cecyl)
Both of them are exchanging sharp glances while standing up. The metal fittings on their collars make a solid sound. I tend to forget it once in a while but both Cecyl and Rita are my slaves, right?
Can both of you stop playing with your master?
「「One, two, go!!」」(Cecyl) (Rita)
「【Subjugation Quest】!!」says Cecyl.
And「【Envoy Quest】!」for Rita.
Ah, their answers are different.
「You’re naive, Cecyl-chan. It’s easy to read Nagi’s mind. Of course, Nagi will leave Metekal City to avoid danger. By accepting【Envoy Quest】, won’t it solve our travel expense problem? We can just abandon the other half of the quest reward and stay at Irgafar like that, or we can use the reward to move to a different town. Don’t you think that’s the most effective solution?」(Rita)
「 I have the same opinion as you. Rita-san.」(Cecyl)
「Eh? T-then… why?」(Rita)
「Because Nagi-sama always exceeds our expectations in strange ways! 」(Cecyl)
And Cecyl points at me. That’s a cruel thing to say.
「It was the same thing when we came to Metekal. Nagi-sama jumped right over my measly thoughts like “whoosh!”. And yet, it produced the best results. That’s why, I’ve decided to serve Nagi-sama with this body, mind, and soul.」
「That’s why I’m confident. But if this prediction is wrong then… I…」(Cecyl)
For some reason, Cecyl becomes bright red and puts both her hands on her cheeks.
What…what are you going to say?
「I’ll endure doing 『Ahhn』 to Nagi-sama during meals every other day! 」(Cecyl)
「My goodness! Cecyl-chan!? 」(Rita)
「It’s not 『My goodness!』!!!!!!」(Nagi)
I let out a weird voice.
What is this situation? Or more precisely, to wager on such thing. Or rather, there’s no upside for me, is there? They are just two choices, whether it will be every day or once per two days, right? Why does Cecyl look at me with such appealing eyes? Are you going to die if I refuse? Don’t look at me with those scornful eyes either, Rita. I’m not doing such things. Nor do I intend to, for now.
「Then, Nagi-sama. Your answer, please.」(Cecyl)
「Which one is it, Nagi.」(Rita)
Both slave girls approach me. I don’t want to answer…
「Which means, it’s not the other one.【Envoy Quest】is a guild letter delivery, don’t you think? With the current confrontation with the 【Noble Guild】, there’s a possibility that the letter’s contents are a request for help from another guild. It’s something that you should consider carefully. They might send other people besides us.」
That’s why the terms are better compared to 【Subjugation Quest】. Its reward is almost twice as the required level is a bit higher.
「There’s a probability that 【Noble Guild】 puts up their networks too. Which means, there might be an attack in the middle of the journey. We’re taking a job so that we can be part of the 【Common Guild】, but the problem is that we are still not familiar with the geography. We don’t know which areas are dangerous by only referring to a map. And even if we arrive at the destination safely, I don’t think we’ll just be able to relax once we’re there. Of course, we’ll be asked to deliver a reply to the letter. It’s a double effort to return to Metekal and then head back to Irgafar.」(Nagi)
That’s why it’ll be faster to head to Irgafar once we receive the reward from the 【Subjugation Quest】. Besides, the quest’s location is at the mansion of a magician who died 100 years ago.
One of the reasons is that when I checked the documents, this magician was unexpectedly shrouded in mystery. Like how he always wore a hood and never showed his face. And nobody ever entered the mansion when the magician was still alive. A lot of legends said that he made magic tools and sold them.
I really hope that he left some valuable items.
「Don’t you think we can exterminate large bats with Cecyl’s magic and Rita’s combat abilities? The road to the mansion is also relatively well-maintained. And it will take less time so we’ll finish sooner, and we can always pick up another quest if we have extra time. This is my conclusion.」(Nagi)
At that moment, the sparkling eyes of the two who were listening to my words split into light and darkness.
「I did itー!!!」(Cecyl)
Cecyl is making a triumphant pose with her fist in the air while her long ears are twitching.
Rita only hangs her head dejectedly in a doggy pose.
「Victory is mine, Rita-san.」(Cecyl)
「…As expected of my slave senpai. It’s my defeat, Cecyl-chan.」(Rita)
「With this, it’ll be my duty to wipe the sweat from Nagi-sama’s back every night for an entire week.」(Cecyl)
「I understand. Nagi’s back is Cecyl-chan’s. So I’ll take the front.」(Rita)
Cecyl becomes bright red and crumbles down. Rita quickly lifts her up.
…Well, the quest should be fine if both them are here. They may be like this normally, but they’re cheat characters.
Thus, we’ve decided to take 【Subjugation Quest】as our first job at the guild.