‘I mean are item bags really that rare?’ I muttered as we were leaving the shop. Outside everyone was looking at us the same way as before.
This is rather annoying, also looking at our spendings. Five silver a day for an inn, although it probably was on the more expensive side. Two gold coins, used. So that leaves me with one of the blue coins, one gold coin, and ten silver and bronze coins. Well, considering we have been here for one night, isn’t that quite a lot of coins used? I wonder how much you can earn by adventuring?
“Should we go to the adventurers guild?” I suggested.
“Well, I can do whatever.”
Aizen said while shrugging her shoulders Ari did the same thing without saying anything. Well, I guess we are going to the guild now? As we started walking people just kept looking at me specifically… Some kids pointed their hands at me and their moms whispered something in their ear. I could not quite hear what they were whispering but seeing they were looking at me with a sharp gaze while doing so, it was probably quite unfriendly.
‘I guess it can’t be helped.’ I dejectedly muttered as we were getting close to the adventurer’s guild. We kept leisurely walking without saying anything due to the unfriendly atmosphere around us. Fenri decided to stay outside. Entering the guild there was a lot of people around. And various boards on the walls. I assume it was because it was morning. We arrived in front of a receptionist, before we said something her smile kind of twitched when seeing my swaying tail.
“Umm, we would like to take a request.”
“Sorry girly, only registered adventurers can take requests.” She said in a somewhat cold tone as if crushing my dreams. I pulled out the copper tag I received and showed it to her. The receptionist’s eyes shook for a second, however, her professional smile remained unchanging.
“Well seeing you are here without a request really makes me wonder how you are copper rank.”
“We registered yesterday.” I answered nonchalantly. The receptionist froze for a second and then talked with unkind words.
“Well I do not know who you bribed, but the person that registered you should tell you about requests. Who registered you?”
I looked around on the counter until I fixed my eyes on the brunette receptionist from yesterday. I quietly pointed at her without saying anything, the receptionist noticed who I was pointing at.
“Sigh, Well… Yeah, she is like that.” She said with dropped shoulders. It seemed the other receptionist did not like her very much, seeing she nodded in agreement to what the receptionist in front of us was saying.
“So you want to know how requests work?”
“Nn.” I slowly nodded to her question.
She straightened herself and after a brief pause began explaining in a firm voice.
“Seeing you are a [Copper] ranked adventurer, it means you can take quests up to [Gold] rank, however, we strongly advise against it, if you fail a request two ranks higher than your current rank you are expelled from the guild.
The boards have a color marker on the corners. This color matches with an adventurer rank. As you can already guess the requests are divided by boards and rank. Once chosen a request you take it to a receptionist and they will register it on your guild card. If you fail to complete a request you get penalized.
I don't think need to mention this, but the requests are those sheets of paper on the boards. Any questions?”
We just shook our head to her explanation, we left the reception counter after thanking her. With my sharp eyesight, I could see some of the requests and they seemed to have the reward as I was looking around I glanced at the gold-rank board and saw a particular quest.
Description: A dragon has settled in the mountain range, it has been judged to be a threat to merchants and villages.
[Reward: One mithril coin and five cobalt coins.]
‘Money… I want it... ‘ With such thoughts, I was looking at that quest with piercing eyes Aizen noticed and followed my gaze. Surprisingly or unsurprisingly she seemed to be all-in into the idea of taking down a dragon seeing her eyes sparkled. I whispered into her ear seeing this.
“Are you fine with killing another dragon?”
“Well… It is just a puny low-rank dragon, besides I want to do a slight experiment.”
She said with an evil grin. Ari just tilted her head not realizing we were even talking about a quest. We approached the desolate quest board. It seemed that most adventurers took [Copper] requests and very rarely [Silver] requests. But I didn’t care, it is all about the money… Taking the request to the receptionist from before her smile basically fractured and a vein popped on her forehead.
“Didn’t I just explain to you the consequences of taking a request way higher than your rank! And a dragon? Why is it even on the gold board, this should be on the obsidian one…” She complained to us.
“So can we take it?” I casually asked the receptionist seemed to be pretty annoyed.
“Haa, you will regret it… I will arrange a guide.”
“A guide?” I reflexively questioned, the receptionist at this point just relaxed her shoulders and talked with a more stern tone.
“A guide, to take you to the dragon. You girls will have to protect him. He will also confirm the subjugation”
“Ahh… Sure that is fine.” I said reaching an understanding. At this point, the receptionist just stopped talking and placed her hand forward wanting us to hand her something. Ah, didn’t she say something of registering on guild card when explaining quests? I gave her my guild card and Aizen followed. She used some magic on it but the card remained unchanging.
“You have taken the subjugation request for a horned-dragon with a party of two. Please come tomorrow morning to meet your guide. He will be standing in front of the guild with a travel backpack.”
She said with the firm voice from before, but what is with that brief description. ‘Well, I guess we should notice if she says it so briefly.’ Reassuring myself I whispered. The receptionist gave us our guild cards and remained unmoving. I guess we should leave then.
As we were walking to leave I heard a chair screech, making us stop to curiously look who it was. Looking at the source it was... A lumberjack? A somewhat medium-sized beard with a mustache, it looked like a lumberjack bear. He also wielded an axe holding it over his shoulder with chiseled muscles. He was probably just as tall as the guildmaster.
“Girls, how about you take me a [Gold] rank adventurer with you on the subjugation. I will take a payment cut.”
“Declined.” I emotionlessly said… Payment cut? I am going to cut you if you steal what is mine.
“Now, now. Don’t be so hasty I just don’t want to see you girls die.” He persuaded.
“Then you can come with us, if you kill it you get the payment if we kill it you don’t get anything.” The man’s smile somewhat cracked from hearing this, however, he remained calm.
“Then it is a deal. I will meet you girls with your guide.” He calmly said, sealing the deal and he went back to sit. Weirdly enough he did not seem to mind I was a beastkin. I just hope it’s not a big deal or anything. Not wearing the ring makes me feel more relaxed.
We walked outside the guild when suddenly I saw a little ginger girl with wearing dirty rags, the girl was overall pretty dirty. However, she did not look malnourished despite being an orphan or looking like one. The girl was running at us with a look full of worry and fear. Until she was standing in front of me and said in a trembling voice.
“P-please help me, I-I do not know who else to ask.” She said with wet eyes.
“What do you need help with.” I nonchalantly answered. It is not like I will go out of my way to save every single little girl I see, it must be in special circumstances. I think… Maybe last time was on a whim? As I was thinking I heard the girl again.
“My d-dad is, i-is...”
“I will help you.” I said with a warm smile and patted her head. Her eyes somewhat sparkled, however, her face remained grim. She straightened herself and talked in a somewhat firmer voice.
“P-please follow me.”
We followed the girl in a rush seeing she was frantically running, we ended up going into an alleyway, the wooden walls of the houses started getting darker and dirtier, some of them smelled pretty bad. We weaved through a lot of alleyways until we found ourselves at the slums, the houses were made out of rags with sticks rather than having actual walls. As we turned the corner the girl was no longer there.
“Huh…” So the girl is gone, Ari is panting and Aizen just shrugged when I looked at her. Fenri is near I think? I do remember him following along. As I was thinking a guy dressed in black rags suddenly turned the corner and said in a pretty unfriendly voice.
“Ohoh, what do we have here?” As he said that more people showed up wearing the same type of rags. Some of them came from behind some came from inside the tent-like houses. ‘It would be nice being able to sense people instead of killing intent only.’ I muttered. The thugs or bandits in rags. Pulled out swords and some of them pulled some staffs I would say there were around ten people surrounding us. I heard some muttering from some of the bandits they sounded rather astonished. ‘Huh, she really managed to bring that rare beastkin and her companions.’ Hearing this I stiffened.
“Do you want to make me a slave?” I curiously asked.
“That is right furball, so let us capture you.”
Hearing this Aizen moved Ari in-between both of us. Before I could do anything Fenri jumped a bandit from behind.
“Just what are you do- AGHH.” The bandit let out an ear screeching scream, making me reflexively cover my ears, except the noise, did not stop. The scream subsided and I saw some blood splattered I decided to not look at the gore that probably unfolded in-front of me. Looking at the other places where bandits were. They were gone, I think they ran away.
Aizen just shrugged at how quickly the situation ended, Ari was trembling and looking at Fenri… She called out for me with a shaky voice.
“H-how can you be fine after watching someone die?”
Hearing her question made me realize a lot of things. Ari saw the bandit get mauled and I didn’t, but I did watch multiple of them get massacred when I first met Ari. Yet all I felt was slight discomfort looking at a corpse. I did not feel anything when watching them die. It was not unpleasant or pleasant if I had to describe it, it was sort of like watching a PVP battle in a game. It kind of just happens... It makes me question. ‘How can I be fine with taking a life?’ I do not know if I am fine with it, I just feel indifference. If I do not know such people why should I care about their life and death? I know some people hearing my train of thought would probably think its wrong in so many ways. But…
“Y-Yami?” Ari pulled me back from her thoughts with her stuttery voice.
“Ari, I am sorry… I was thinking, however, I do not think I can answer your question.” I sincerely said to her, she seemed to have a weird face but nodded while her limbs were still shaking. I guess we should leave. As I was looking for Fenri that was covered in blood, he came back all wet however, there were no traces of blood on him anymore. Seeing I did not know the way out of the slums I decided to ask Fenri.
“Fenri, can you get us back to the inn?”
Fenri barked? And started walking, we quietly followed him until we found ourselves in the plaza. We headed towards the inn, as we were walking in a desolate street, a guy that had a black aura walked into view coming from behind a house. He clicked his tongue and began speaking in visible annoyance.
“Tch, those guys failed I guess I will have to do it myself.”
Fenri growled and as he was about to jump on him. Ari yelled.
“Stop! I-I do not want to see more people die… Please.”
She pleaded to Fenri, The bandit dark bandit was unmoving.
“Sigh, I guess I will have to do it myself.” Aizen stepped forward while talking in a somewhat tired voice.
“As you wish... Die!” The bandit exclaimed as he rushed Aizen with two daggers, he was fairly fast. I assume he had around four digits in agility. However, Aizen looked at him as if it was a joke. To be fair, by fairly fast I mean he does not completely seem frozen in time to me like some other guys. Aizen quickly raised her finger and pointed it at him.
“[Mind-Break]” At that moment the bandit froze and started holding his head in pain.
“AAAAAAAAAA!!!” He let out an ear-piercing scream and started rolling on the ground while foaming from his mouth, he passed out shortly after.
‘What is with her spell names…’ I muttered at Aizen’s spell names which are basic nouns more often than not. I did not mind the bandit passing out, Ari seemed somewhat horrified by the bandit passing out however she breathed a sigh of relief once she noticed he did not die.
When we first entered some people looked at me with hatred but I just completely ignored it. I silently gave the five silver coins to the old lady without saying anything she gave us the same room key without saying anything looking at Ari’s grim face. Fenri quickly followed and we entered the same room from the morning. It was all clean now. I sat on a chair and Aizen also silently sat. Ari did the same. She was fidgeting with her hands under the table while looking at the wooden at the polished wooden surface.
“H-How many people have you two killed?” Ari suddenly asked in a quiet voice with a slight stutter. Aizen scratched her cheek and went into deep thought. Ari slowly raised her head to see the reason for her silence. She just saw Aizen deeply think about the question, she then looked at me for an answer.
“Well, I have killed zero people unless you count Fenri killing things… Then it's probably less than ten.” I casually answered, however, I wonder how she will react. Unexpectedly she breathed a sigh of relief hearing my answer. She then turned to see Aizen who was still thinking. Finally reaching a conclusion she said.
“I lost count.”
Silence filled the room…
Damned dragon! At least pretend to be innocent. I smacked her head for the shameless answer. Ari was muttering things and eventually became silent. She whispered something in Fenri’s ear, Fenri looked rather sad from killing someone in-front of Ari but I guess he just wanted to protect me. The day ended without any conversations. The room was just filled with silence the entire time. We did not want to go out, we did not want to talk.
* * *
I decided to ask Yami and Aizen about death. Surprisingly Yami which I thought was death herself when I first met her, has not killed people with her own hands. However… Aizen despite being so silly at times… Lost count? Did she destroy kingdoms or something? No, there is no way. She just said she was a Dragon before, Dragons do kill a lot of people. Besides, it is not like she was the ultimate dragon or something. However, her magic… I have seen it only twice even though she probably has used it more... She just points her finger at people and says the spell, no element happens they just suffer some type of physical effect… What attribute is that? Well… I am not a mage so I guess I don’t know. I just hope it is not [Neutral]. That would be bad. I hope what that man said wasn’t true. They shouldn’t have anything to do with him anyways...
However, there is something that bothers me... Why do they take care of me?