Extra 7 – Escort?
Today I went to the Adventurer’s Guild as usual, I didn’t have much in mind at the time and figured I would just look at the quests on the board, however… “Oh, Fujino-sama. You came at a good time.” Airi-san immediately called out to me as soon as I entered, so I headed to the receptionist’s desk instead.
She then immediately showed me a specific quest, “Escorting adventurers?” was what it read.
“Indeed, this is about some adventurers that just reached E-rank.” What she explained to me was that those three newcomers registered just 3 months ago. Apparently they’re childhood friends and have been adventuring together and ranked up together too.
Now that they’re not longer rank F and are allowed to get slaying quests, they decided to pick a quest to kill goblins, which is by no means unusual. While goblin subjugation became a D-ranked quest due to them generally acting as a group, an E-ranked party should have no problems with it.
When I asked her about it, she tilted her head with a troubled expression, “It is as Fujino-sama said, normally there would be no issues… However, this quest is actually a worrisome one, a goblin nest that is still under construction can easily be destroyed by newbie adventurers, but this time we’re unsure of it. The village that made the request, which is located about 3 days on horseback to the Northwest of the capital, said that several groups of goblins were found in different parts of the forest to the North of it.
“If this concentration of goblins is bigger than what is normally expected, than a group of E-ranks might not be able to clear it. We would like to confirm the situation first before sending them, but we’re short-handed at the moment…” Her argument made sense, so I asked just to confirm.
“So, my quest is to escort them?” I said.
“Yes, just to have a safety line in case things go wrong. We can’t really afford to wait until we have someone available to confirm the situation before sending an extermination party… Goblins reproduce too fast to let that be an option.” I understood the gist of it, but there was something bugging me about all this.
“Why me in specific then? There should be other adventurers of my rank available.” I asked.
“Well… I hope you don’t feel cheated, but we’re a bit short on money and can’t afford to pay the rewards for a high rank quest, at least not for just being a safety line… We wanted at least a C-ranked adventurer, but were only willing to spend the money for a D-ranked reward.” She explained.
“In other words, it’s because even though I’m B-ranked, I still am fine with taking the odd jobs quests that include collecting things and getting low rewards, right?” I asked.
“I-it’s not only that! Fujino-sama’s skill is highly evaluated by the guild and you have an excellent clear record, so we can be sure you will do a good job, we’re not just-“ I was happy with how she regarded me, but I decided to cut her off.
“I was just kidding, don’t worry. So, the quest is expected to last 7 days, right? 3 to go, 3 to come back, plus one day doing the actual subjugation. I’m fine with accepting it, but I have a condition.” I explained.
“Oh? Then… What is the condition?” She asked warily.
“Please don’t raise our guard, my condition is simple. I just want to receive an extra reward in case the quest’s danger ends up being higher than what a D-ranked quest would entail.” I told her.
“Tha… That’s it?” She asked.
“Is there a problem?” I replied.
“No, no, I mean, is this much fine?” She said.
“Well, should I put some harsher conditions then?” I teased her.
“N-no… This much is fine, we’ll give you additional rewards depending on what you find in the quest.” Well, I know I could have asked for more, but it’s not good to get paid for more than what I did, so I preferred to only receive the appropriate rewards.
“Well then, when and where should we meet?” I asked.
“Oh yes, you’ll depart tomorrow at 8am and you should meet up in the guild’s tavern.” She got back to business mode and told me.
“Alright, then I will be back tomorrow.” Finishing our negotiations, I decided to leave and prepare for those 7 days of trip.
In the next day, I headed to the guild earlier than agreed and met up with Airi-san, “Good morning.” I said.
“Good morning Fujino-sama, the rest of your party hasn’t arrived yet, so could you wait at the tavern please?” Airi-san is working this early in the morning… She has it hard. I mean, I saw her a few times working until pretty late at night, but she also works in the early morning? Isn’t she being overworked too much? Isn’t this a violation of labor laws?
Oh wait, there aren’t labor laws over here… Maybe I am worrying too much, but I can’t help it when it’s someone I’m fond of, would she even have time to meet up a lover when working this much? Ah, I guess that’s why she’s still single.
“Excuse me? You’re being incredibly rude. I just didn’t find the right person yet.” Eh? Was I thinking out loud? “I can understand it just from your pitying eyes!” Coming to think of it, most adventurers are men, couldn’t she just ask one of them out?
Airi-san seemed to read my mind, because she continued, “Many adventurers are players, and they can be quite scary when they raise their voice.” But you work with them in a daily basis… “Work and private life are different! And you’re getting in the way of my work, so please go to the tavern!”
But there is nobody behind me…? “What are you waiting for? Move!” She screamed.
Seems like I have no choice, I can’t even retort because Airi-san is an esper and can easily read my mind. “I said I can read it just from your face, now go!” I wonder if I’m that easy to understand…
I moved to the tavern after being forcefully pushed away by Airi-san, and it was surprisingly full even this early in the morning, but I could find an empty seat and order some tea. And at about that time, the bell of 8am rang.
Are the escorted adventurers late? They’ll lose credibility if they’re late to their appointments… Though in this world it’s more acceptable to be late, but for me that was raised in Japan, I expect people to arrive 5 minutes early at the very least.
Heaving a sigh, I slowly drank my tea while waiting for them.