> A certain Inn keeper’s pov.
“That would be 1 gold coin,” I smiled towards the recently wed couple that was going into one of my special rooms on the third floor. They just looked at each other and nodded. The man handed me a gold coin. In exchange, I gave him a key for the room he wanted. Both of them left enthusiastically while holding their hands and went upstairs.
I wonder if the girls are doing fine? They should, although I cannot help but worry about the white-haired girl. I mean, she seemed like a gentle and nice person, but I still don’t understand how she hides her ears and tail. But, there is something that worries me more… Seeing how she exposed her ears and tail around. Will she be okay? She seemed incredibly oblivious to everyone around her. Oh well…
At least she has good companions, at least from the little I got to see from the other two girls. The silver-haired girl seemed to be nice and fun to be around, the golden-haired girl was… Hmm. She seemed good but, I can’t help but wonder…
When I mentioned the ritual, the silver-haired girl did not seem to care much about it. Then again, I have a feeling she just didn’t seem to care about people in general. However, the other girl, when I mentioned the ritual. I noticed she went stiff, but she did not seem shocked. The rituals shouldn’t be common knowledge. I wonder…
Well, it doesn’t matter. The catkin seemed to have more than meets the eye. But, I can’t really tell what it is or was. No use worrying about it. Oh, well…
I heard a somewhat firm, but cute voice. I lifted my gaze to see the source, I noticed a cute black-haired girl. She seemed to be the same age as those girls, but she was dressed in a manlier way, with what seemed like light armor.
“Oh, what can I do for you?” I gently asked her.
“I was wondering if a white-haired “catkin” stayed here?” She casually asked; she also said catkin awkwardly as if she was unsure. Hmm, I wonder who this girl is. Well, it shouldn’t matter if I tell her or not, they already left after all.
“Well, their group stayed here but they are no longer here.” I casually answered her question.
“Is that so? Ah, well. I just came here to tell her that she should probably hide her strength more,” she dejectedly said. But there was something that bothered me about what she said. ‘Hide? I mean I do remember them being adventurers, but how strong could she be? I wonder…’ As I was thinking, I noticed the girl in front of me was waiting for something.
“Anything else I can do for you?” I gently asked her.
“Ah… No… I was just thinking.” She seemed to have something in mind. However, before I could say anything. She began talking again.
“I just came here to check on them. But, whatever you figured out about those girls. I would like to ask you to not say anything about it.” This time she talked in a more serious tone almost emotionless. However, I was already used to people talking to me like that so I wasn’t particularly shocked.
“I see, is there any particular reason for the request?” I curiously decided to ask.
“Ah… I was just worried about them…” she said with a wry smile while scratching her neck.
“If that’s the case, then I promise.” I gave her a warm smile as I said that. Although I had no intention of revealing much about them in the first place. I continued talking.
“I am happy that such a special group found another girl that cares about them.” Hearing my voice, the girl’s face in front of me turned from somewhat happy to total seriousness, it even looked somewhat grim. She then looked at me right in the eye.
“I am a man.”
No matter how I look at her, I cannot think of her as a man. But, it would be rude to address her as a girl again. I wonder… What should I do?
* * *
The old lady that I have been talking to, is… Weird… How, can it be that I am dressed as a male scout and you still think I am a girl? Judging a book for its cover. I see… Although the silver-haired girl said the same thing. Haha… I think her name was Aizen?
I noticed the old lady was still thinking about something, however, I had already said what I wanted to say, I should probably leave now.
“Well, that was all. Thank you for your time.” I gently thanked her while turning around, and started walking away.
“Wait.” I heard the lady’s voice, I stopped and looked at her.
“Are you their friend?” She asked as soon as I made eye contact.
“Well… I think acquaintance, is the better word.” I wryly said. ‘Am I even their friend? They did not seem to mind me, so I guess it doesn’t matter.’ I thought for a second.
The lady was thinking for a second while looking down. She looked at me once again and started talking in a somewhat worried tone.
“Please, help those girls if they ever need your assistance.” Ah, this is complicated. Will they ever need help?
“I will… If that ever happens.” I awkwardly answered the lady and left the inn. I could feel her stare on my back as I was leaving, but I did not flinch.
When I was outside, I started walking down the street. I had to go to the adventurer’s guild. ‘I do remember being told, that the girls took some type of request. It has been a few days since then, huh… I guess they left? ‘ As I was muttering, I realized everyone was looking at me. I was now the center of attention now that those girls were gone, I had no choice but to start walking faster.
I noticed the guild and basically rushed towards it. A few adventurers looked at me and tilted their heads, but It didn’t matter. After a few more seconds, I finally entered the guild. However, I noticed everyone was making a fuss.
I decided to look at the center of attention, it was the guildmaster. He was holding a letter that had a blue envelope and a black wax seal. ‘It must be important. Huh…’ I muttered from seeing the urgent blue letter. However, that didn’t matter.
I walked in front of the guildmaster and basically got in his way.
“Who might you little girl be?” he asked, clearly looking impatient.
“That doesn’t matter, here, hand me that letter.” I said while taking my two adventurer tags out. He completely stopped moving for a second and took a step back.
“Y-You are…” He started trembling, yes, yes, yes, I am. Now, onto what matters.
“Can you give me the letter now?” I tiredly asked the guildmaster. I was not going to wait for him to calm down.
“Why don’t you come to my office instead?” He hurriedly said. ‘I guess the office is fine too. I just wanted to know why the letter is being sent anyways.’ I agreed to his suggestion with those thoughts.
He led me upstairs towards his office, looking back. It was the same office I went to, to make the recommendation letter. When I entered, no one was inside so I did not think much about it. I also noticed that, as I was going up the stairs; the entire guild was completely silent, almost like if there hadn’t been a fuss earlier.
“Well, here we are.” He said while opening the door, as he relaxed his shoulders. He then entered the room and paused for a second to take a breath.
“Come in,” he said after breathing and gestured me to pass.
I ended up sitting in front of his desk. He quietly sat behind his desk and looked at me, he was visibly sweating.
“What can I do for you?” He was quite submissive despite the things I have heard about this person. Well, not like it matters. I only care about the paper.
“I just wanted to know about the letter.”
I noticed he tensed up even more.
“Ah, the letter… Right… You did ask for it, not like it mattered if you asked or not.” He dejectedly handed me the letter. I quickly opened it and started reading it.
“This is…” I froze from the contents. However, there was something odd.
“How did you get the craftsmen guild information?” I curiously asked. ‘While the guilds are technically the same type and share existences, information regarding members is not shared across. It is only stored in guild cards. Something is wrong.’ I inwardly affirmed my knowledge. I noticed the guild master took another breath and started fumbling below his desk looking for something. I noticed something that had a metallic glint to it, as he pulled it out I noticed what it was. He handed it to me to look at it in more detail, my eyes went wide-open.
“The guildmaster of the craftsmen guild acknowledged that. There was absolutely no way he can beat that girl in smithing," he said as he was looking down on his desk with a grim face. After taking another breath he started talking again. "A day after I met that girl, I saw him looking visibly nervous, I decided to ask about it. We ended up concluding that we should make everything into a single letter instead of splitting it. since it concerned both guilds.”
“I can see why,” I said while scratching my cheek.
But this was rather problematic. I knew she was strong, but to think she was over level 80… I would certainly like to think her smithing is not that high of a level. Although seeing this dagger… It’s… Troublesome… I can only assume she is nearing level 120… Wait… Doesn’t that make her the strongest human alive? She just practically came out of nowhere. Also, seeing how carefree she is. You would think she hasn’t even experienced life yet… I wonder…
“Dan.” The guildmaster called out to me, then somewhat narrowed his eyes while looking at me. I wanted to say something but decided not to. He continued talking. “Why would a mithril ranked adventurer be here… And to think someone as famous as you looked like that… ” I knew those two things were going to be mentioned by him…
“Does it really matter?” I casually said my thoughts out loud.
“Of course it does!” He exclaimed while smashing the table. He calmed down for a second and started talking again.
“If those girls do something bad at the capital, who will stop them?”
“Nothing bad will happen.” I indifferently replied, which seemed to annoy the guildmaster but I didn’t quite care, it would’ve been bad to make him angry. ‘I guess I will have to tell him my own thoughts regarding the girls.’ With those thoughts, I started talking.
“They probably won’t do anything, based on the little I saw. They are too busy treating each other like family. My guess is. No matter what happens, if nothing is attempted against any of them. Nothing will happen.” I casually informed him.
As he was about to talk, a high-pitched voice came from outside and slammed the door. I looked at the door to see who it was. I saw a panting receptionist. She slowly walked into the room with a paper in hand, it looked like a report. After a few seconds of recovering her breathing, she finally started talking, but her tone didn’t exactly bring good news.
“Guildmaster... Clay… The bloody axe… Has been found dead… Rather… What remains of him.”
I decided to look at the guildmaster since he did not seem to respond. Now that I had looked at him, he seemed to have had his soul sucked out. He had white eyes and pale skin from hearing the news. However, there is one big issue with all of this. Who is Clay?
“Um, this might be a bit awkward. But who is Clay?” I ignored the atmosphere and decided to ask; the receptionist stiffened.
“He is the best [Assassin] around here. And also, the only axe-wielder!” she answered to me while shaking her hands in the air. I could see her frustration.
Axe-wielder? I do remember seeing someone that looked like a lumberjack. But, he did not particularly look like an assassin to me. How could I miss something like that? Hmm… I am curious now.
“I know, I shouldn't keep asking. But, why did he dress up as a warrior?” The receptionist looked at the guildmaster for an answer, but I noticed he was just frowning while looking at his desk.
“... No one knows, he said something along the lines of. ‘It’s better to surprise them.’” She said while scratching her cheek.
It looked to me that my casual and dumb questioning calmed her down a little. Although what she said made sense, why wouldn’t an assassin want to surprise their target? Oh, well. Now that he is dead it doesn’t really matter, does it?
“How did he die.” I heard the guildmaster’s commanding and cold tone, which made the receptionist straighten herself and start sweating.
“W-We, don’t know much. All we found was: pieces of his body and his axe. Which was completely covered in blood…” I noticed that as she finished her sentence she was turning pale. Before the guildmaster could say anything, she held her mouth and sprinted out of the room while desperately looking for something. ‘Did she see the corpse or something?’ I questioningly muttered.
After a few seconds of looking at the door and silence, I heard a sigh behind me.
“Dan… I will need you to leave, however, before I do so. Why would you out of all people need to be here?” He seemed somewhat annoyed. So to avoid the wrath of the bear I casually replied.
“Well, I kind of grew tired of papers. So I thought, why not take a break from paperwork and go back to what I used to do.” I gave him a wry smile as I finished talking. I expected him to be extremely mad, despite of my position, however, he just sighed instead.
“I see… Well Dan, nice to meet you for the first time. But I think you should return to the capital before it blows up.” He gave me an evil grin as he finished his sentence. It made me stiff.
“... Yeah…” After giving him a bitter smile, I stood up and left.
‘I guess I cannot put away those papers away huh? Well, at least I don’t need that letter sent to me anymore. Now, it just needs to be sent to the craftsmen guild leader. To think that would happen… Also, no matter how much I train, I still look like a little girl… Sigh. At least I took a vacation’ I muttered with mixed emotions as I was walking out.
Yes. Votes: 5 4.7%
No. Votes: 25 23.4%
Just... Stop making Dan such a mystery... Votes: 24 22.4%
Well, it doesn't matter. Cuteness is justice! Votes: 53 49.5%