A single letter sat tacked to the wall. Amara rested on her bed, drinking a glass of water that she had taken from the kitchen. She was beginning to feel better; her stomach had finally settled shortly after she threw up.
She stared at the letter from Lunella, reading it over and over again several times. Her eyes were red and puffy, but each time she looked at that letter, her tears would flow again. She had removed the papers that had once decorated the wall and neatly stacked them atop her table.
The bed creaked as Amara rolled onto her side. What did she think of me when I turned her in? Coward? Monster? Jerk? All of those, I’m sure.
Amara remembered Lunella’s words. ‘I’m sure things between us are too bad to be repaired, but even then, I still can’t help but care for you.’
I guess she had made it clear to me all along, she’s just too good of a person. Amara ground her teeth. And I’m too bad of a person that I couldn’t even realize it. I need to make things right somehow . . . Can I even make things right ? . . . No. I can’t make it right. I could apologize, but after what I did, would an apology mean anything at all?
Amara clawed at her own arm. ”I can’t make a mistake like this ever again.”
Her thoughts left Lunella and returned to Eliza, whom she had just chased away. I can no longer make things right with Lunella, but maybe I can still salvage things with Eliza. Finding a smidgeon of resolve, Amara stood up and went to wash her face and get dressed properly.
The inn door swung open, and Amara set out for the adventurers guild. As she walked through the town, the air felt different. The few guards that she passed wore complex brooding expressions. Amara approached a group of them to ask them about it.
“I really shouldn’t talk to you about it,” the guard said, “But since you were the girl who turned in that accursed demon, I might as well. The guards have split into two groups. Rengal has formed an anti-demon faction, and Lutz has got a few dumbasses together who believe that we should help the demon.”
Amara’s head bobbed half-heartedly. I was this guard only a few hours ago. Is this what I sounded like?
The guard tried to keep talking, but Amara quickly bowed and walked away before they could get another word in.
The guild was as bustling as usual. The crowd of adventurers passing their time through drink was even louder than usual. Likely because of the dwarf that stood on a counter. Jofre gave a bow to the crowd in his usual red-colored coat before he opened his mouth and began to sing. It didn’t take long for Amara to realize that the dwarf was regaling the crowd with a tale of being saved by Lunella.
The other adventurers Amara had hired sat around a table listening with smiles to the dwarf while also helping themselves to plenty of the ale of the day. Amara approached the group and took an extra seat, earning a shrewd glance from Eliza. I guess she still isn’t too happy with me . . . I don’t blame her. However, Eliza didn’t say anything; instead, she looked the other way and listened to Jofre’s ballad.
Eventually, the song ended, and Jofre took another bow. A whole bunch of adventurers were clapping after enjoying ‘The Tale Of The Virtuous Demon.’ Amara’s jaw almost dropped. For some reason, a majority of the adventurers were really riled up from the song. A few even shouted out the last lines of the song: “We pray that you will be safe.”
Having listened to the song, Eliza turned to Amara with a glower. “What do you want, Amara? Come to justify your hatred to me some more?”
“N-no, I’m here to make things right with you.” Amara lowered her head until her back was nearly parallel to the ground. “I’m sorry, Eliza . . . I really shouldn’t have talked to you in that manner; that was really hurtful. I just didn’t know what to believe when Lunella saved us.”
“so, did you figure it out?”
“I did.” Amara raised her head and met Eliza’s gaze. “Lunella is a good person, and I really hurt her. I wish I could make it right with her—But I don’t have the right to.”
“Well said,” Eliza finally smiled, “So how are you going to ‘make things right’ with me?”
Amara blinked. I talked big, but what can I actually do?
“Lunella said that you wanted to be a knight? Is that still something you want to do?”
“Well . . . It is.” Amara swallowed. “I know that Lunella is good, but not every demon is like her.”
“And what if you have to fight Lunella? Or another good demon?”
“I won’t do it. Even if I’m ordered to, I’ll do better.”
Eliza cracked another smile. “Then, you’ll need to get better. You have no combat experience, no life experience, and quite frankly no spine.”
Amara squeezed her fist. “I know . . . But what I lack in experience, I make up for in knowledge.”
“How about this.” Eliza polished off her tankard of ale. “How about you become an adventurer? Learn a bit more about the world and get some combat experience. Most of the knights have trained extensively; you have to start somewhere if you want to be one.”
“I’ll . . . Do it,” Amara lowered her head once more, “Please teach me how to fight.”
“Are you sure? Your life will be in constant danger during every adventure. I’ll only teach you if you’re serious.”
“Yes, I’m serious.”
“Seems you might have a bit of a spine after all.” Eliza held out her hand and gripped Amara’s, giving it a shake, “Welcome aboard, it’s good to have you.”
Ivan had overheard the conversation and chimed in, “You should really be paying us for this experience, you know—”
“Stop being a dick!” Eliza slams her fist into the assassin
Even Adria laughed; the whole party now paid attention to Amara.
Amara shifted a little. “I do have one question for you though . . . How come you were able to decide that Lunella was a good demon so quickly? I’m sure most people in the kingdom have been raised to know that demons are bad.”
“Pfft, is that all?” Eliza acted as if it was the dumbest question ever. “It’s simple if someone comes to save your life, they’re a good person. It doesn’t matter what they are. We’re adventurers; we don’t have time to care about that kind of stuff.”
Amara laughed at Eliza’s simple response.
The group then took turns lecturing Amara about the adventurer lifestyle, the varying ranks of adventurers, and the guild system. Adventurers were split into several ranks, from F to S. The Crimson Coats averaged out to a C tier. Requests were made by the kingdom or private individuals at the guild desk, where they would then be posted. Quests also had a rank that aligned with the adventurer’s rank. Sometimes it required a lot of effort to convince the guild to allow a party to take some of the more popular requests, but it was a decent system.
The guild was actually a para-government entity that had existed even before the Great Demon War. They were als0 the only other organization capable of going toe to toe with the church in terms of global political power. That being said, they were significantly weaker than the church, thanks to the Covenant of Mankind.
After the adventurers finished their spiel about the adventurers guild system, they guided Amara to the desk where Mari, the guild’s receptionist, went ahead and processed Amara’s adventurer registration. It only took about fifteen minutes until she recieved a small card with her name and adventurer rank on it. F. She gave the card a glance and then smiled. Lunella, if I ever see you again, it will be as someone you can be proud of.
With her guild card in hand, Amara followed Eliza out of the guild. The two were going to begin some one-on-one combat training.
An absolute prodigy Votes: 9 12.7%
Good Votes: 10 14.1%
Okay Votes: 19 26.8%
Bad Votes: 13 18.3%
Literally the worst Votes: 20 28.2%