The next step is the Merchant Guild. Honestly, I can’t even consider getting into the Warrior Guild with Mary. They will most likely find out about Mary right away.
I hope the Merchant Guild will not be as bad as them. Another way is that only I will register. However, this is not a really good idea. We don’t know if identity proof will be necessary in entering cities. Better safe than sorry.
I walk into the Merchant Guild. The hall is much neater than the warrior guild’s. Tables and chairs are arranged around the hall. Men and women in uniform stroll around in relax manner.
I walk over to the reception area. The receptionist greets me.
“Welcome to the Merchant Guild. Are you here to accept escort mission?”
“No, I want to register. Before that though, I want to know the jobs accepted here.”
“I see. Well then. First of all, I will explain about our guild. This guild manages two groups of member.”
“First group is merchant group. Every merchant, no matter if they are small or big, is encouraged to apply for membership. The guild will then help them train on how to become a merchant.”
“Why would the guild help them?” (Erwin)
“Fierce competition with no tyrant encourages growth and profit. If someone monopolizes things too hard, the economic growth rate slowed remarkably. Costumers will suffer as most tyrants will raise their price for profit as they have no competitor. This will further slow down the economy. The country might collapse from this.”
Certainly it is possible. However. Will it really be so simple? I think only vital resources being monopolized will lead to collapse of a country. For example, water.
I have no experience so I will leave it be for now.
“Nevermind. I don’t wish to become a merchant so you may skip the explanation about them. I am getting a headache. Tell me about the other group.” (Erwin)
“Certainly. I am sorry for that. I got too excited for my first task. Looking at your outfit, you should have come for the second group.”
“Right. So the second group should be a warrior group right?” (Erwin)
“Yes. It can be interpreted like that. However, we prefer to call them the guard group. Their main jobs are escort duty and bandit group’s investigation. Their secondary jobs are subjugation. We usually leave the subjugation mission to Warrior Guild.”
“Is that because they are more powerful?” (Erwin)
“No. It’s the unspoken agreement between guilds. Previously the Magician Guild will also participate in it.”
The receptionist girl shows a bit of a lonely face when she mentions the magician guild. She quickly recovers and continues.
“The Magician Guild?” (Erwin)
“Yes. They were previously on the right of the Warrior Guild.”
“Ah that deserted building. How long has it been abandoned?” (Erwin)
The receptionist gets stunned for a while. She stares amazed at me.
“I don’t where you are from but do you not know it?”
“Pardon my lack of knowledge.” (Erwin)
“It is abandoned fifteen years ago along with the start of Devil War. Sorry... I don’t want to talk about it.”
Hmm... Alright then. I will just ask another person for it.
“Continues with your explanation about the guard then.” (Erwin)
She heaves a relief sigh. Looks like it is more complicated that it looks. The magicians aren’t hated long ago.
“Our guard group is trained in defending the client. They are less suitable to subjugation. On the contrary, the Warrior Guild’s warriors are mostly battle oriented and more suitable for subjugation. They are some exception but there aren’t many of them.”
I see. If it is in a game, it will be the difference between a knight and a berserker.
“What about the loot?” (Erwin)
“They are the subjugation group’s privilege. They can keep them.”
“I see. What are the privileges for the guard of Merchant Guild?” (Erwin)
“It’s twice or even thrice as easy to get a job as an escort. The guard of Merchant Guild are more likely to be trusted by our merchant than the Warrior Guild’s. This makes our guards have an easier time to earn a stable income. Warrior Guild requests are irregular so they have less stable income.”
“I understand. Is there any other jobs for the guard?”
“Hmm... There are courier jobs as well. You will be sent to deliver messages or goods. They can be for other merchants, costumers, or even the kingdom. Our guild spreads out around the world so the possibility for a request to ask you to go to another kingdom might appear. So far, there are five requests of that nature.”
“Understood. I will come again tomorrow with my friend to register. Thank you.” (Erwin)
“Thank you for coming. Please come again.”
I walk out of the Merchant Guild. The evening sun is setting. The night approaches as I let out a sigh.
“Time to go back. I wonder if Mary will come back tonight. She might just stay at Alishia’s uncle house.” (Erwin)
I walk down the road while humming a little.
The next morning I wake up alone. Mary stayed at Alishia’s place just as I expected. We have talked about going to the Merchant Guild this morning. Alishia will come along as her uncle said she needs a new identity to hide.
I get myself up from the bed. Stretching my stiff muscle, I walk to the window. There is a water jar nearby and I use the water to wash my face.
The main road is already busy. A lot of women stroll around with basket in their hand. They are buying vegetables, fruits and other ingredients. The merchants are shouting from their stalls and stores.
I go down the stairs to eat quick breakfast. After I finished eating, I go out to meet up with Mary.
Nonetheless, I need to get rid of this annoying pursuers first. Should I just call them stalkers? Is this the feeling of being followed by stalkers?
I quickly run to a dark alley and maneuver around. After a while, I activate the camouflage system.
Those stalkers are now in confusion. Hehehe... Should I give them a parting gift? This will be fun.
I grab a small stone nearby and throw it to one of them. It hit squarely at his forehead.
“Gah! Who threw the stone?”
They look around but can’t find anyone. I squat down and pick a cloth. I tied a stone on it. Next, I throw the cloth covered stone to the side.
It passes through their sight and they simultaneously turn their head there. I throw another cloth to the opposite direction. One of the slower one sees it.
“What is it?”
“I thought I saw something pass through there.”
Right at that moment, I throw another cloth covered stone to the another place. They turn their head and try to see what it is.
I move slowly to their back. I cough once. They turn their head to me but the camouflage hides my body. I move slowly to another place and cough again.
They turn their head again. However they still can’t find me. I have moved to another place again. Then I speak as hoarse as I can.
“Who disturb my resting place?”
Soon after I move to another place. I speak out again.
I run to another place. This time the camouflage can’t hide my body entirely. The place I passed through has a bit of distortion because of it. It looks like a shadow passed through in this dark place.
The stalkers stare at the place the shadow is seen. Their face is stiff and their body quiver.
Then I shout with a deep voice.
The stalkers stiffen up instantly. Their fear is displayed perfectly on their faces. They quickly turn around and scream.
The stalkers run toward where they come from. Their speed is so fast that even if a dog chases them, it won’t catch them.
I laugh while holding my stomach in the dark alley.
“With this, they won’t come stalk me for a while. I should get going to Mary.” (Erwin)
I disengage the camouflage and walk to the main road to meet up with Mary.
“You’re late.” (Mary)
“Ah, sorry. I need to get rid of the stalkers.” (Erwin)
When I arrive at the place slightly away from the Merchant Guild, Mary and Alishia are already waiting. They are wearing a matching dress with dark brown robes on top of it. Their whole body is covered with the robe.
“Both of you should hide any sign of mana. The warriors in the Warrior Guild can recognize them.”
“I already teach Alishia how to do that. Right now, we are entirely like a normal human.”
I can see their hairs have gone back to normal under their robe.
“Hmm. Alright then. Let’s go to the guild.”
We walk slowly to the guild. The road is congested. A few warriors are having a verbal argument with a merchant.
We walk into the merchant guild shortly after. The receptionist from yesterday is still here. She is enthusiastically reading a book that she didn’t notice us.
She finally notices us after we arrive at the counter. She stands up flustered and slips. She falls back to her chair. Then, she stands up again with an embarrassed face.
“Wel-Welcome to the Merchant Guild. What can I help you with?”
“Do you forget me?” (Erwin)
“Hmm? Ah, the person from yesterday. Do you come to register?”
“Yes. Please tell us the procedure.” (Erwin)
“You.... are a magician?” (Mary)
The receptionist stiffens up. Fear crept on her face when she looks at Mary. Mary smiles a bit. The next second, the receptionist leans over and shouts.
“You are---- !?”
I put my finger on her soft lips. I can see that the merchant guild isn’t that simple. They accept the magicians to work here surely for some reasons we don’t know yet.
“Mary, what did you do just now?” (Erwin)
“I release a bit of mana so she can feel it. I can feel a lot of mana signatures here so there are a lot of magicians or magic items here. I think it is safe here and I want to know why.” (Mary)
“I see. So, what’s next?” (Erwin)
The receptionist quickly straightens her back and says.
“Please follow to meet the branch chief. He will handle your registration.”
She calls over her friend to take over her job. Then she leads the way to the second floor. We follow after her to a big room at end of the hall.
She knocks on the door.
“Chief, another one comes.”
“Hmm? Ah! Come in. Kali, please prepare some tea.” (Chief)
The receptionist, Kali, opens the door for us to enter. Inside the room is a middle aged man. He is taking a bundle from the cupboard.
“Please sit there for now. I will be there in a moment.” (Chief)
He points to the sofa opposite of his desk. There is a small desk in front of the sofa and another couch on the side.
We sit down and wait. The chief opens up bundle upon bundle of documents. After a while he brings over three documents.
“Alright then. I will introduce myself. My name is Atlas. I am the chief of Merchant Guild and also the chief of Magician Search team.” (Atlas)
“Search team?” (Erwin)
“Yes. I am in charge of looking for magicians. I help the magicians to get to a safe place.” (Atlas)
“Are you also the one who sends out the wanted poster?” (Erwin)
I can feel Mary is a bit restless. Atlas wryly smiles.
“Yes, I am. They are the bad group of the magicians. They have commit crimes in the name of retaliation. The Magician Guild and I have no choice but to publish the wanted poster.” (Atlas)
“I see.” (Mary)
Mary relaxes and entrusts her body to the soft sofa. Alishia follows her. Both of them feel comfortable. Alishia soon closes her eyes and sleeps.
She drops her head to Mary’s shoulder.
“Er... We talk a lot last night so she might be a bit tired.” (Mary)
“If you want, you can also sleep.” (Erwin)
“No need. I will listen.” (Mary)
Soon after that, Kali comes in and put down four cups of tea in front of us. She then bows and stands behind the Atlas. We introduce ourselves and then the talk continues.
“Alright then. I want to ask you both first. Will you stay in this country or go out?” (Atlas)
“We are going to Yamato. Alishia’s parents asked her to go there so we will follow her.” (Mary)
“With that in mind, I will protect the two of them. Besides, I can’t leave her alone.” (Erwin)
Our task is complicated. I won’t let her do that alone and slack off. I will get laugh off later. At worst, I will get sent to the martial court.
“Hoo? I see. It’s good to be young.” (Atlas)
I think there is a misunderstanding here.
“Well, Yamato is a safe haven for magicians right now. The headquarter of Magician Guild is also there. I will write a letter for them later. Fill this up.”
He hands over three pieces of paper. There are a few entries. Name, Gender, Age, and Magic Specialty.
“This is the preliminary registration. You will fill in the full entries at the branch in Yamato.”
“Give me one more for the magician registration. This girl is also a magician.” (Mary)
“Oh, two at the same time. Alright then.” (Atlas)
Mary fill up the best she could on both her and Alishia’s entries. Alishia is still sleeping soundly with her head moved to Mary’s lap. I fill up the Merchant Guild’s guard entries.
Atlas collects it when we finished. He inspects the entries.
“Okay... The member card will be finished tomorrow at noon together with the letter. You can come back at that time.” (Atlas)
“Excuse me. Is there any job that we can take to get out of the city as soon as possible?” (Erwin)
“Hmm. Kali, do you know any?” (Atlas)
Kali behind him answers.
“There should be one. Do you remember that craftsman Harold? He is about to return to his hometown. He requested escort to help him protect his family.” (Kali)
“Ah that one. The one where no guard wants to accept because the reward is too low. However, he is a former soldier. He is much stronger than those guards so they will only be a babysitter for his family. There is no way the reward will be the same as the other merchants.” (Atlas)
“Hoo. That’s interesting.” (Erwin)
“Yeah. Will you take the request? He will leave as soon as one or two guards come along.” (Atlas)
“He doesn’t hate magicians, does he?” (Erwin)
“No, We have never heard anything like he hate them. We have investigated every merchant and craftsman around here. Well, you should be careful for safety.” (Atlas)
“Alright then. I will meet with him before leaving if I can. Maybe tomorrow.” (Erwin)
“We will inform him so he can prepare.” (Atlas)
“Thank you. We should take our leave then. I still have some business this afternoon.” (Erwin)
“Sorry for interrupting. You’re Mary, right?” (Atlas)
“Do you know arithmetic?” (Atlas)
“I know. Why?” (Mary)
“For safety, I suggest you stay here for now if the business doesn’t involve you. The warriors from the Warrior Guild are moving around at this time. I will give you some tasks. Of course I will pay you. We have been a bit busy lately so we wish to enlist some helps.” (Atlas)
“What kind of works?” (Mary)
“Supplies checking and profit calculation. Kali will show you how to do it. The upcoming war is causing us to be busy. While I am at it, please avoid the border cities of Yamato. There is going to be a war going on there.” (Atlas)
“Understood. Mary, you should stay here. I feel bad to wake Alishia up too. I will be back at the evening after retrieving some things” (Erwin)
“Okay then. No need to wait for me. I will go back to Alishia’s place tonight as well.” (Mary)
“I see. Tell me if something happen okay? See you tomorrow then.” (Erwin)
“I know. See you and be careful.” (Mary)
I walk out of the chief’s office guided by Kali. After a while, I come out from the Merchant Guild.
Meanwhile, at a small mansion at the outskirt of noble district...
“How is the surveillance?” (Yaza)
“We... We... We lost them...”
“What are you saying? Surely I heard it wrong.” (Yaza)
“No, boss.... We really lost them. We haven’t seen the girl ever since the first day. The boy always slip out of our team time and time again.”
“Are you stupid!? I know that boy isn’t a magician. Just how did you lost him!” (Yaza)
Tens of men are quivering while kneeling in front of Knight Yaza. Yaza is seething with anger. He has finally found an easy prey but his subordinates lost them.
“That girl is a powerful witch. If we can catch her, we will be rich. I might even become a baron. That boy doesn’t look strong at all. The only reason you lost them will be because you’re stupid.” (Yaza)
He was overpowered by the boy. However it was because he didn’t expect to be suddenly assaulted right after he entered.
If he prepared, he can slip through that boy’s attack. That boy is amateur in the usage of sword.
“Stupid bastard. Go find them again! Don’t return before you find them!” (Yaza)
“ “ “Yes, Sir!” ” ”
The men quickly scramble to the door and run outside. Yaza sits in bad mood. He remembers the girl as a very beautiful girl. She will sell for a high price if he can sell her to high rank nobles. He might even be able to auction her for higher price.
Yaza grumbles as he walks to his own room.
“They better find her or I will skin them alive.” (Yaza)