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“Should we head back down? It’s been some time now.”
Counting the time spent on the conversations and the short travel back to Earth, it’s about time we head back to the restaurant below.
“Okay, but before that…” Tokyo’s fidgeting unnaturally.
“What? Stop fidgeting, it isn’t cute.”
“Can I receive an ability or two?” He crosses his fingers while still fidgeting a bit, please stop it… It’d be different thing if it’s Sephiria or Emelia, but you…
“Can he?” I glance to Sephiria, signaling her the same question.
“I don’t think he can, at least for now. Although you have the authority to do that, your aggregate personal mana is nowhere near enough to perform such a thing.” She bluntly and thoroughly explains so.
Tokyo’s previously smiling face of expectation immediately sinks to disappointment.
“You heard her. Maybe later.”
“H-, How long will it be?” He’s still clinging to hope in getting a unique ability which is…
“Raising aggregate personal mana is a slow process like growing up or exercising your muscle, so it may take months or even years.” …Soon shattered to pieces.
“Alright, let’s wrap it up. That granting ability thing will wait for later, for now let’s discuss on what to do from now on. I’d say we stay for some time in the city in order to get used to this world. We’re already in the capital, this should be the best place to learn about many things.”
“I agree with that, it’s not like we’re in a rush to go somewhere.” Emelia shows no objection to the plan, Vodka also nods in agreement, while Tokyo is dazing off in the abyss of disappointment.
“Okay then, for now the plan is to secure living place, learning the common things of this world, and probably securing future travel fund along the way too.”
“ADVENTURER’S GUILD!” Tokyo suddenly shouts so, recovering from the abyss, “If that’s the plan, then first we must go to the adventurer’s guild! That’s the place to gather information and look for jobs. Then we can go fight some monster and level up too along the way.”
“What the hell are you talking about. How do you know anything about this adventurer’s guild, you’ve been there before?”
“I just know, okay. It’s only common sense that something like adventurer’s guild is a place to look for job offerings and to gather information.”
Only common sense… On what basis would he say so. He confidently guessed Sephiria being a Goddess and was correct. Although it was pretty obvious seeing how majestic and beautiful she is, maybe he does know something about this world. Well, I can just check his guesses about adventurer’s guild by asking Nimbus and Farajee later.
“Job offerings? Like a place to look for employment?” I ask him about that statement.
“Err, that’s not exactly wrong. Normally you should be able to find job offerings ranging from everyday job like gathering herbs, finding lost items, or delivering goods to something more combat related like transportation guard or monster subjugation. That’s what a template adventurer’s guild usually be.”
“Wow, that’s exactly my kind of thing. I was a handyman myself back in Earth. Plumbing, fixing leaking roof, walking client’s pets, servicing cars, that kind of odd jobs. I’d even exterminate pest if it’s for the right price.”
“Umm, I don’t think we’re exactly on the same page here.”
“I agree with Mr. Tokyo. Although I don’t know much, I’ve heard that adventurer’s guild is a good place to train oneself while also obtaining some additional income. Since Ms. Emelia wishes to return to her original world and Mr. Tokyo wishes to receive his rightful blessing soon, raising your personal mana level by exterminating monsters should be the best option.”
“Why is that?”
“If you have more mana then that means you can stay in your previous world longer. With high enough mana, you could possibly stay there for hours or even days. And of course, by then master can also perform the requested ability blessing too.”
So raising my mana level is only proper. Let’s put it on top of the list of things to do.
“What about now, how much mana do we have? I can use that space hole magic, so that means I have mana, but exactly how much is it?”
“Right, right! How much mana do I have too? I haven’t uselessly burnt out any mana like sempai, so my mana should be pretty high, right?” Tokyo insolently says so.
“I’m not able to tell exactly how much you have in the common Colt scale, but although only small quantity, master does have some personal mana within his body. As for the three of you… I can’t feel any mana presence coming from you at all.”
“Eh, don’t tell me…” Tokyo knead his brows.
“You currently have no personal mana power at all.” Sephiria drops the bomb.
“NOOO!” Tokyo screams after falling down to his knees.
“It-, it’s probably only because you have just arrived for a short time so your body is still devoid of mana. Normally, people transferred to this world would already bear some level of personal mana from their original world, but since your original world is different, I think having no mana right after being transferred actually makes sense.” Sephiria looks sorry for him so she tries to come up with a reasoning that actually makes sense.
“Master lost all his mana before, but his body must have been absorbing the natural mana around him ever since. That’s probably why although little, his personal mana is not nil.”
“Then adventurer’s guild it is. We’ll try to raise our personal mana level as our main goal.” I can see that Tokyo’s face is brimming with joy, but there is only slight smile on Emelia’s face.
For her not to be excited is weird considering she was so desperate to go back before. Or maybe she has an issue with trying to raise our mana level through monster extermination, it does sound dangerous so maybe she’s concerned about it.
“Are you alright, Emelia?”
“Eh, what’s wrong?” She’s surprised when I ask her so.
“You don’t look really excited with the possibility of being able to go back, or are you concerned with the fighting a monster plan? No need to worry about that, I’ve got plans in mind, it will be an easy thing to do.”
“It’s not that, don’t worry about it, it’s just me being paranoid.”
“Alright, if you say so. Then let’s go back down for now. They are probably already waiting for us.”
Thus we go back to the restaurant below with Sephiria returns to being invisible again like before.
When we arrive, Namine and the rest of them have already finished eating and are merrily having conversation with each other.
“Ah! Sir Axl, you’re back.” Namine looks joyful upon seeing us return that she stands up right away.
“We’re back. What’s up, you look really happy, did something good happen?” I notice that there is an extra joyful atmosphere about her.
“Yup, big brother Nimbus and Farajee introduce us to the owner of this shop, we land ourselves a job as a waitress here!” She has a really bright smile while telling us this.
“Oh, that’s wonderful indeed. What’s with the occasion, Nimbus?” I show her that I’m also glad to hear the news and ask Nimbus while I’m at it.
“Nothing special, really. It’s just that they appear to be nice kids so we helped them get some proper job. We just introduced them to the madam of this shop, they landed the job themselves, we did nothing much.” Nimbus modestly explains what happened.
“Still, that was very nice of you.”
“Ryan, about the living place we talked before, could we stay in this inn?” Emelia asks me with a concerning look.
“I’ve thought the same thing too since this place looks decent, but let me guess your reason.” I then pat Namine’s head and brush her hair. “Them, right?” I grin toward Emelia.
Bullseye, she nods to my question and hugs the nearby Namira on the process. Looks like she’s already attached to these girls.
“Well, they are such a cute and nice children after all, anyone woul— ouch.“ Tokyo also gives his remark while trying to pat Namira’s head but was blocked by Emelia.
He looks disappointed and we all laughed at the event. We then sit down and order a new lunch. Well, it’s only Tokyo who orders a new lunch, me and Emelia only ask Nona to reheat our food since it would be a waste not to eat them.
When we are about to decide what to do with Tokyo’s previously un-eaten orc meat steak, it’s already gone from the plate, it vanishes without a trace in front of Vodka when we were having our short conversation just now. This old man sure can eat fast, a lot, and sneakily. It was a 300 gram steak, how did he eat it in just a minute?!
While eating our new lunch, I ask Nimbus and Farajee about the adventurer’s guild, and surprisingly, Tokyo is mostly correct again. I wonder where he got the information from.
According to Nimbus, adventurer’s guild is divided into two divisions, the worker division and the explorer division. Worker division mainly deals with common job and request that doesn’t involve combat while explorer division deals with combat request like subjugation and guarding duty.
He explains that the adventurer’s guild is different from the mercenary’s guild because there are rules and laws that strictly regulate the members, making the organization more trustworthy and respected compared to mercenary guild who will work as long as rewards are involved.
I ask him about IDs too, about the purpose and capability of an ID. It turns out that the IDs in this world are pretty simple, although there is magic involved, having IDs published by recognized organizations like the adventurer’s guild, merchant union, and such only serve no more that identification device for entering or exiting the cities and as proof of membership of said organizations.
At first I was afraid that the IDs in this world will have annoying magical features like tracking the owner’s position or unknowingly giving out other private information from distant location, but that doesn’t seem to be the case. All information stored in an ID can only be seen on direct contact, not secretly from a distance, so I’m alright with making an ID at the adventurer’s guild later.
Namine asks me about the thing that I mentioned to her before I left earlier. I tell her that I was planning to have her guides us around the city. She’s delighted to hear that and agrees right away. Thus after we finish our lunch here, we are going to tour the city with them as our guide.
Sephiria is frowning while watching us enjoying the food. She gives out a very pitiful look that’s similar to how a dog would wait next to the dining table to be given part of the tasty food it master’s eating. Of course I try to give her the food again but she still can’t touch it. It appears that the only thing she can touch is us summoned people whose body is also partially made from mana. So that means she can’t touch anything that’s not at least partially made from mana. She looks very depressed, let’s find out how to let her taste food too later on, maybe there is a food for spirits or something similar in this world.
I tell Nona about having the room booked for a few more days and pay the fee right away too. She thanks me again for using the shop’s service then we head out from the restaurant.
As we are about to leave the restaurant and begin touring the city, Farajee speaks to me one last time. He warns me to be careful of the noble that I provoked earlier. He says that arrogant noble like that will surely plot for a revenge. I tell him not to worry about it with a confident attitude. They are still somewhat not convinced, but when I tell them I’ve got proper countermeasure for such things they finally look a bit more relieved.
We are currently in the Commercial District which is also where the adventurer’s guild is located. So it become our first destination.
Emelia is walking while holding Namine and Namira’s hands on both side. She looks too young to be their mother so she probably looks more like a big sister even though their age are maybe more than a dozen years apart. Tokyo also wants to merrily hold hands with the kids but Emelia’s fending him off like usual.
As we walk through the branch street of the highway, I see that the people from around us, especially the men, have been ogling toward Emelia’s direction. It’s actually has been like this from way before. The eyes of several male nobles in the noble district were stealing glances on her, the people in the restaurant just now have also been ogling her figure too.
“Emelia, people are stealing glances to look at your figure, you know.”
“Yep, yep, they are freely ogling our princess, we should charge them for every glance they make.” Tokyo also notice the people around and makes absurd suggestion.
I tell Emelia normally but Tokyo is being ridiculous as he usually is, suddenly calling her our princess like that.
“Miss Emelia is a princess?” Namine raises her head and look at Emelia with curious look.
“Melmel, princess?” Namira who is much younger also looks at Emelia in awe.
Emelia herself looks troubled on what to say, she glares at Tokyo again then glances at me, signaling me to help her.
“Now listen here, kids. This is supposed to be a secret, but if you promise me to keep it to yourself then I don’t mind sharing with you this fun secret, alright?” I crouch down to their heights and tell them so.
Both of them nods their heads vigorously to show their agreement. They have a strong look of anticipation that their eyes almost sparkle while Emelia frowns upon hearing me.
“Good, then listen.” I move nearer to their ear and whisper in low voice. They also move their ear closer in excitement.
“Emelia is a princess of a distant kingdom and we’re her aides. We’re currently travelling in disguise as commoner in order to learn more about the world. Sounds fun, right?”
Oops, looks like it’s more effective than I thought. Their big round eyes are locked onto Emelia. A look of pure admiration can be seen on their expression right now.
They try to hug Emelia but because their heights are so different, they only manage to hug up to her hips.
Emelia didn’t hear what I whispered to the children just now but she has sensed something troublesome is happening.
Namira pull the hem of Emelia’s clothes, asking her to crouch down a bit. After Emelia crouches down, she says to Emelia in a low voice as to not letting the people around us able to hear it.
“Melmel, beautiful princess and kind! Mira’s glad!” She’s still too young so her manner of speech is incomplete, but that only makes her cuter.
“Yup! I’ve always thought that someone as beautiful and kind as miss Emelia must be someone of noble status. For miss Emelia to really be a princess, I feel really honored to be in your care!” Namine also expresses her admiration with sparkling eyes.
Emelia looks troubled but is still smiling toward the children.
We’re still walking to our destination, and as Emelia’s currently busy with the kids, I talk with the others.
“This princess in our group is remarkably beautiful, isn’t she?”
“Yep, if she doesn’t glare that often then she would definitely be a dream girl of any man. With appearance like that, I think she might even qualify to be a super model or enter a world class beauty pageant.” Tokyo replies me with his honest opinion while Sephiria also nods to my question.
“True, she’s a woman of stunning beauty, other than Sephiria here, I don’t think there is many other who could match her.” I notice Sephiria blushes a bit. It doesn’t really fit her appearance of an already adult woman though.
“Yep, yep, it’s a miracle we could have two eye candies in our group like this.”
“From the way you say it and your behavior from the beginning, you don’t seem to be seeing her as potential love interest, why is that?” I inquire his ignorant attitude toward Emelia’s beauty which is very unusual as a man.
“I’ve got a woman of my own already. This heart of mine is already sold, out of stock. Nobody can buy my love anymore.” He answers me jokingly while smiling and yet I can feel sadness from his expression.
“That’s so like you. But, you have someone precious back in Earth and yet you don’t want to return. Could it be that she…”
“Nah, I bet she’s all well and healthy.”
“No, wait, I said that she’s alive and well.”
“I didn’t know that you have such a strong one sided-love to not even glance at other women.”
“It’s a mutual love, damnit!” My bait works really well.
“Alright, alright, I get it. I won’t joke with your love affair anymore. I was just making sure you’re not gay or something because you didn’t even look at other woman as a love interest.”
“I know, I know. What about you, old man?” I direct my question to Vodka now.
“I’ve got a grandson already.” He just answers shortly.
“Oh, so you already have a family. Alright, that answers it all.” Vodka just nods to my statement.
No need for me to ask more, apparently old man is a family man. He even has a grandson!
“What about yourself then? You suddenly ask us this, could it be you’re aiming for her? Need a wingman?” Tokyo in return asks me my own question.
“Me? Nah, I don’t have any special someone. All my relationships are probably one night stand only. Two nights at most. I’m also not in a hurry for a relationship, I want to get used to this new world first before looking for any real relationship.”
“That’s so pitiful.” Tokyo shows his sympathy to my love life.
“Boss, I thought you were a pimp.” Vodka is instead still clinging to that joke.
“No need to pity me. It’s just that maintaining a relationship was a difficult thing to do in my line of work (rogue agent).”
“I see, indeed with your kind of work (handyman), finding a desire-able woman could prove to be challenging.”
He probably misunderstands what I mean, but it doesn’t matter.
“Anyway, I’ve been wanting to ask you, how did you know about all those things related to this foreign world? The things about the Goddesses, abilities, and adventurer’s guild, you’ve guessed them all correctly. Have you been to this world before?”
Although I grew up in a secluded life in a certain facility, I’ve been exposed to normal life later on in my early twenties thanks to a certain someone. So, at least I know common and popular things in society and I’m pretty confident with my skill on high-tech stuffs. I’ve even watched all the popular fantasy movies like the King of The Ring trilogy and the Larry Potato saga, but I’ve never learnt anything similar to our case right now. How Tokyo knew about all those things really intrigues me…. Oh, so that’s why. Now I understand why he didn’t eat the orc meat steak. Never mind that, right now if possible, I’d like to learn more in advance so I can prepare measures for future events.
“Oh that? That’s from novels. Mostly J-Novel, though.”
“J-Novel? I take it that J stands for Japanese. Care to tell me what is it about?”
“Sure, I’ll be glad to.” Tokyo grins and starts telling me various things about this J-Novels.
Apparently there is a popular genre in Japanese novel that revolve around being transported to another world, either through summon, reincarnation, or just simply spirited away.
This is a totally new kind of information to me. He explains that these novel mostly have similarity, including the transported character getting certain kind of cheat ability upon arriving in the foreign world, which’s very much like our situation. These novel also tell that there will be gods or goddesses managing the world. Things like adventurer’s guild and other organizations are also almost always appear in those type of novels. Having other species of sentient being is also to be expected. These are what’s commonly known as templates, a common setting of a transported to another world stories.
He tells me that being summoned to be a hero is a very common template and from his knowledge, we shouldn’t simply believe the kingdom who summoned us. I’m very much aware of such advice ever since the beginning.
“Right, rule number one of survival, never trust a stranger. Especially if you are in a foreign place that you know nothing about.”
I then tell him about how I was put into prison due to a ‘slight misunderstanding’. No matter the offense, I was a hero candidate, it was weird how the King just put me in prison for a month and disregarded the problem with me. He even skipped my matter and went to summon another hero, I feel like a disposable tool.
“Yep. There are many stories about the summoned hero being misguided, manipulated, and even betrayed after all his effort in fulfilling his duty. You being disregarded like that only prove that the people who used the summoning spell was straight up no good.”
“You know where I can find stories like that? I’d like to read them myself to understand the content in detail.” Stuffs like these are especially worth the time to be properly studied, because right now, more than reading it, I’m living it.
“Cool, but can you read Japanese?”
“I can’t, I can only speak Japanese a little, barely enough for daily conversations.”
I know Japanese because I had a ‘mission’ involving Japanese special forces during my rogue days and the preparation for that also took weeks in Japan, so I just happen to learnt enough Japanese for minimum everyday conversation.
“It’s okay, there are still other ways to read J-Novel. Apparently Novels like these are pretty popular outside Japan and have attracted enough demand for them to be translated into English although not official. There is this website called Novel Updates which connects all translation sites together like a free virtual library of translated novels so that non-local are able to enjoy the novels too. If you want more, there is a site where amateur fantasy novel writers usually post their works for free, it’s called Royal Road Legend, you should check this one out too because they do have good stuffs in there.”
“Looks like this whole thing is bigger than I thought. So, about this one….”
I learn many useful information and Tokyo is happily explaining things. Until this point the conversation is going smoothly, at least until Vodka suddenly cuts in the middle of our talk.
“Boss, you said that the number one rule is to never trust a stranger.”
“Hm? Right, I said that.” I who’s talking with Tokyo next to me turn my face to look at Vodka who’s walking right behind us.
“Then why do you trust us?” Vodka has an extra menacing grin on his face when he asks me this, unlike the usual tone which is ironic, this time his tone is cold and serious.
“Why would I not. Will you do something bad or trick us?”
“Then there is nothing to be doubted, right? I’d say beating that douchebag together showed our characters to some extent. For that I’ll value your actions and trust you.”
“Alright, since you trust me, can you let me be the one to hold the gun?” Vodka extends his hand to me, asking me for the gun which I hide under my shirt. On his face is a rather evil expression.
I’ve thought about it before, this old man is probably not insane at all. He just acts like one, the most troublesome kind of opponent one can find.
“Why is that? You don’t trust me in handling the gun?” By now we can feel the situation is getting tense.
“Ya, I don’t trust a plumber who has bullet and knife scars all over his body who’s also quick with his hand and has tempered muscles meant for combat.” The four of us stopped walking when he said that. Emelia and the children who walk in front also noticed that something is going on and stopped walking.
This guy deliberately points out that parts of me, making me look suspicious. I don’t reply him and only sharply look at him in the eyes.
“… Haven’t we settled this earlier? We are going to get through this together and for that we need to trust each other.” Tokyo tries to reason and mediate us.
“Oh, don’t worry, I trust him.” Vodka answers with a light tone.
“Yeah me too, I trust him, a lot
.” Tokyo’s eyebrows frown upon hearing the pointed intonation on the word ‘a lot’.
There’s a short stalemate after those two statements. Namine and Namira who don’t know what’s going on is a little bit scared and are cowering behind Emelia while stealing glances to us. Sorry for that, kids.
“You two, what’s wrong?” Emelia takes the initiative to interfere.
“Nothing, it’s just Vodka here said that he’d cook for me and thought that I don’t believe in his ability to cook.”
“Oh no, I believe that you believe in me, truly.” There is a slight ironic tone in his way of speaking.
“See, nothing is going on, it was just a misunderstand. I trust him and he trusts me, it’s all good.”
“…Alright, I hope you boys can keep it together. Namine said we’re almost there, so please don’t start any trouble now.” Emelia sighs upon hearing our reasoning, she understands the problem and doesn’t meddle with it for now.
And like that, we drop the issue and continue walking toward the adventurer’s guild. In just a minute we arrive in front of a wide two stories building.
The first impression upon seeing it upfront is a bar. I can see people eating and chattering through the front windows.
The front door is a big swinging double door like in the oldwest cowboy movie, I think they are called batwing doors. Tokyo is excitedly yelling: “There it is! The template swinging double door of adventurer’s guild!” Apparently this type of front door is a typical door for adventurer’s guild in the many reference literatures he has read.
Unlike the one in those cowboy movies, the batwing door in this adventurer’s guild is tall and wide, the door is probably two meters tall and the door frame itself is probably more than three meters tall. In conclusion, it’s a really big front door.
We enter the building. The inside is as expected, a bar and a lounge. There are people discussing something by the lounge to the side and on the other side is a bar with people drinking ale from a wooden ale mug.
This place is supposed to be where people get and do jobs, right? I didn’t know alcohol and workplace could work well like this.
The inside is like a big hall. The second floor is on the other end of the hall with a balcony on the edge, allowing nice visibility of the whole room.
“Alright, we’re here, where do we get to make IDs?” I look around, analyzing the place.
Then I notice that most of the people are having their gaze onto us. Oh wait, it might be only onto Emelia, again.
Some of them begin to chatter while looking at us. Some are even giggling with a no good expression.
“It’s probably there, that looks like the counter for job related business, the one from my references are mostly like that too.” Tokyo points toward a counter that looks like a bank counter near the lounge side of this hall.
I nod to him and we walk toward that spot. There are three counters with a clerk on each counter. We go toward the left one because the other two counters have long queue. They are crowded because they are managed by young and pretty clerks while the one on the left is managed by an old woman, almost a granny to be precise. What a discrimination, poor ol’ granny.
“I’d like to make an ID, please.” Says me after we arrive to the empty counter.
The granny with streaks of white hair on her head holds and focuses her glasses while analyzing our group from head to toe.
“Do you realize what you’re asking? This isn’t the place for civilians to joke around.”
Apparently she determines us to be civilians by inspecting our clothes. That actually makes sense. If I look around, we’re the only one who wear casual clothes while all the others are wearing something meant for combat, protection, or utilities. They also carry weapons on their body like swords, knifes, bows, or… is that a throwing glaive that man has on his back?! Anyway, nobody wears comfortable everyday clothes like us.
“Does our equipment matter? Don’t you have a division for everyday jobs here?”
“Even that requires certain level of proper equipment, just come back when you have proper attire to be a member of the guild. At least get some weapon first, will you.”
As the granny tells us that, a shout can be heard coming from the lounge behind us.
“That’s right, you punks. You think this place is some kinds of playground? This isn’t a place for sissies like you.”
A big man that’s probably a bit taller than Vodka is standing up from his table and shouts towards us. He shouts loudly and is gathering all the attention in the hall. His arrogant and mocking tone shows what kind of character he is.
He’s a bald, big, and pretty muscular man that looks like in his thirties. On his body is a half-plate armor made from some kind of brown metal, including the armor for shoulders and knees. That metal plates look like at least 2cm thick, it looks pretty heavy on short glance.
He walks toward us after yelling like that. There is a broad grin showing bad intentions that looks like a cheap mask being plastered on his face.
“You should scram and joke around somewhere else. But before that, why don’t you leave the cutie here to have some fun with us. Maybe we have some kind of you-know-what job that she can do.” His ridiculing voice coupled with his nasty stares are very much mocking our group and is especially insulting Emelia.
His words scare the children. They are hiding behind Emelia again, this time with an almost teary eyes. Do the people of adventurer’s guild usually behave like this?
“There it is again!” Tokyo exclaims in excitement again. This has become the signal when he finds something related to his reference.
“You know him?” I ask him while ignoring the arrogant bald man.
“No, I don’t know shit about who he is, but his timing and attitude is very much the template of typical arrogant adventurers that think too highly of themselves. Basically a weakass prick that barks loudly.” Tokyo purposively tells me with such manner to provoke the bald man.
“What did you say!?” Enraged, he glares toward Tokyo.
“Oh, like a dumb muscle-head that only knows how to bark but no bite?” Ignoring the big bald man again, I encourage Tokyo’s words, further enraging the man.
“That’s it! I’m gonna bea—“ He quickly loses his temper and is about to charge toward me.
“Hold it!” I loudly warn him, making him stop on his track with a surprised look.
“Stay right there or I’m going to take it out.” I insert my hand into my shirt, the place where I hid the gun.
“What’s this? You dare threaten me?!” He takes another step forward.
“That’s it. You forced me to take it out.” I yell and quickly pull my hand out of my shirt, pointing the thing toward the arrogant bald man, my middle finger, that is.
“Huh? What’s that supposes to mean?” Apparently this gesture is not known in this world. Too bad.
“You blockhead, this means ‘f*ck you’! Still need me to explain more?”
“You bastard!” He loses all reasoning and madly charges toward me, almost leaping.
The distance between us is no more than five or six meters. He furiously charges at me with his big heavy body which is also wearing those heavy-looking metal plate armor.
I pull my hand and put it inside again, this time not into my shirt where the gun is, but to the side pocket of my red pizza pants. Then I took a relaxing stance, not minding the charging brute in front of me.
Why am I relaxing? I said it, didn’t I? I trust him.
A thick muscular hand appears and grabs the incoming baldy by the neck, stopping him on his track, then raises him up high in the air before strongly slamming him down to the wooden floor.
It’s Vodka and his goddamn fantastic chokeslam! It came out from nowhere!
He glances and smirks at me while holding the man down on the floor. I spontaneously smirk back at him while giving him a thumb up. Good job, old man. What a great cover, he doesn’t fail my trust at all. Lifting up a man bigger than him with one hand, that was pretty fucking amazing.
“Uhuk, ah!?” The baldy doesn’t look like he’s hurt but maybe shocked due to the choke and sudden impact. He wears thick protective clothing and the floor is made from planks of wood after all. There were some weird sparks when he was slammed, but I don’t pay more attention to that since it only happens in a flash and disappears right away.
“Wa--, wait, please stop!” One of the person from the baldy’s table, a boy that’s probably his companion, stands up and frantically pleads us so.
What’s this, they stopped being arrogant and act meekly now. Could it be…
“That’s right, isn’t this enough, granny?” Another one of his companion, a pretty woman in a swordsman attire says so toward the granny by the counter beside us.
“Tch! Alright, alright. That’s enough, you can stop now, Bruno, they pass.”
“Waaaaaaaaaah!” Nearly all the people in this hall, especially those in the bar and lounge tables, suddenly yell loudly together.
“Alright, alright! Who bet fo’ the pass, go get yo’ money right ‘ere!” A really old man with a humped back by the bar shouts so.
“Told you that the scary old man is good!”
“The others didn’t get intimidated too, your hunch was wrong!”
“Man, I was expecting them to get provoked first, not the other way around.”
“My wife’s grocery money! Nooo!”
Such yells and shouts are being spoken all around the hall. I think I heard some weird statements mixed in, but let’s not mind the small stuffs.
The pretty swordswoman approaches us. Vodka has already stopped pinning the baldy on the ground ever since the loud yells were spoken.
“We’re sorry about this. But please understand, this is a common test for newcomers that try to join the guild, especially the one with unconvincing appearance. It’s a customary measure to prevent half-assed people from joining the guild. Consider it a ‘welcome’ or ‘try again later’ greetings by the people of the guild.” She courteously explains what’s the commotion is all about.
So it really is like that. I’ve a slight feeling that it’s actually an initiation ritual like this because a mercenary place that I know from before also has similar custom. But nevertheless, it’s good that everything turns out okay.
“It’s alright, we get it. That’s why we hold back a little too.” I kindly reply her. A little look of disbelief can be seen on her face when I said that we were holding back ourselves. That was true, though. Although not intentionally, I really did not use the gun.
Noticing that the two children are still confused to the sudden loud commotion and are even tightly grabbing the hems of Emelia’s shirt, the swordswoman crouch down to their eye-level.
“I’m sorry, young misses. Nothing bad is happening, this is just a customary welcome by us adults in the adventurer’s guild.” When she specifically explains so to the children, they nod in understanding, calming down a bit toward the situation.
This lady knows a good deal of proper manner, unlike the other bunch in here. She doesn’t act wild and is pretty refined. She might be not a simple commoner. A noble in disguise? Let’s just observe her for now.
“Need a hand?” Vodka unexpectedly being courteous and offers a hand to help the baldy gets back up. This is very much not like him.
“Sure.” The baldy takes the offer and immediately stands up with Vodka’s help.
“Nice charge back then, you have real strength.” Vodka grins while saying so toward the baldy.
Did Vodka just complement someone?
“You too, I didn’t expect that you could stop me, much less lift me up. I’d say you’re the one with real strength.” Baldy grins back at Vodka.
What’s this? Am I sensing a weird companionship is in the making? Enemies yesterday, friends today kind of thing? Oh well…
A/N: Please don't sue me to whatever references I make, I'm just a small author making small novels. Well, at least until Warner Bros decides to make my novel a movie in the future.
No Q&A today, that questioner guy is taking a break. What a lazy bum, really.
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