Chapter 12: A Colourful Cast
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"Wow, you both got perfect scores on the intelligence evaluation test. That test is pretty hard, I'm impressed, the highest I've seen before this is an 89 out of 100. Not many people are very literate, so perfect scores are incredibly rare kingdom-wide," congratulates the receptionist.

"Here's both of your Adventurer ID and your coins," the catgirl receptionist seemingly appearing from nowhere with two little white cards and a small bag of money.

"Shi, what an odd name you have. Merille, I like that name. I'm pretty sure that's Elven for river, am I correct?" comments the human receptionist.

"Not exactly, it means river of flowing joy, but isn't actually the Elven word for river," educates Tina.

"Since we're on the subject of names, it would be a pleasure to know yours," Zeruna says.

"Ah, I'm Yulia and this Catherine," the human replies. "Anyway, if you wish to accept a quest, then just pull one of the quest board that is of the appropriate level; your F-Rank Adventurer's so you can only accept F and E level quests unless you join a party. The average level of the party then becomes the quest level you accept, the rule of going one ahead still applying."

"Thanks."

"Just doing my job, Shi," Yulia responds. "Remember, come back in a few days. The mana test crystal will most likely be back by then."

The newly made adventurers move there way over to the quest board, but before they can even get there, they are intercepted by a ginger male adorned in the fur of a black animal, studded armour and a mace and a shortsword hung on his belt.

"Greetings, I am Argon Cutlass, leader of the group known as the Sparrow Knights," introduces Argon. "We're currently searching for offensive and defensive mages. You see, our group is extremely unbalanced, due to our last mage leaving us for a bigger name."

"Why do you think we know magic?" replies Zeruna.

"Your clothes are a perfect giveaway, our mage wore a similar cloak. Also, that Elf's staff looks to be magical too," explains Argon. "Maybe I acted on one of my legendary hunches. So, up for the job."

""We're interested.""

"Perfect," Argon smiles at his three comrades who make a beeline towards Zeruna and Tina.

The first person to approach them is a short, runty twig of a boy. His hair is blonde with a slight tinge of green that is mildly noticeable. Their face is untouched by anything that would stain his complexion. He is wearing light leather armour with a single metal plate cover his heart.

"This is Arin Billhook."

"Please to meet ya!" he exclaims loudly, his personality betraying his timid appearance.

'If I were a shotacon, I'm pretty sure this would be the ideal picture.He also could be a reverse trap. Why am I even thinking about this anymore.'

The next person is a female with red hair neatly tied into a single ponytail which stretches down to her shoulders. They are wearing too wearing light armour that seems more like a dress than any form of protection. At her waist are a collection of daggers and a short sword as well as some flasks that Zeruna instantly identifies as minor healing potions. 

Hi," she says, unsure of what to say. "I'm Eleana Saber."

""Pleased to meet you,"" return Zeruna and Tina in sync.

The joint answering from both of their new friends causes the girl to beam a bright smile. If this was taking place at night, such a smile would light up the entire room with its joy. She almost seems to glow with joy.

'She seems a bit timid, or maybe she's one those people who are shy around people they have never spoken to, but around people they know, are casual and more talkative.'

The final person is a tall brown-haired man wearing cheap heavy armour and a large shield and sword tied to his back. He has an eye patch on his right eye. His face is littered by scars and cuts that give off the impression that he's a certified veteran adventurer. Despite his hardened expressions, he is quite lean and has a neutral expression on his face.

"My name's John Speare, your resident pessimist."

'They seem like a jolly group of people. Their names are medieval weapons: Spear, Billhook, Cutlass, Saber! That's a ridiculous coincidence of the highest order.'

"Greetings, my name is Shi, this is my companion and close friend Merille," says Zeruna.

The fact that this mask women just called herself a single letter immediately confuses the entire group of weapon-named people. At first, they laughed, thinking it is a joke; however, they couldn't really confirm if this "Shi" is being dead-serious or not due to her face being concealed by a white mask.

"If you think I'm joking, you're mistaken," replies Shi in a flat, deadpan tone. "Anyway, to remove the awkward mood, may I ask what we're doing?"

"Yes, but first, do you have any money?" asks Argon.

"Nope, me and Ze– Shi, have blown it on food, you see, we have incredibly high metabolism meaning we need to consume a large amount of food regularly."

"You two are the oddest people I've ever met in my 39 years of existence," utters John. "Believe me when I say that, I've met an assortment of strange individuals. You got an elf that looks like there a bard and a... human called Shi and is wearing some funky mask."

"Well I like them," says Eleana smilings.

"Same! Adds character to this group," adds Arin. "But first, we have to test their abilities first. Luckily, we're on that Sevis Dungeon expedition."

"Okay, I'll do it, so what can you both do?" questions 

"I'm am capable of using magic up to the second tier," replies Tina. "I focus on healing although I can't restore blood, I can close wounds with my spells. I can also use offensive magic if the situation calls for it."

"I am a capable martial artist; however, I'm much more well-versed in a secret technique called Psionics. In short, I'm an individual who can manipulate objects, forces and also read minds and stuff like that," explains Zeruna. "I'll do an example outside if you want me to."

"Do something now," demands Arin.

"Eleana will say: 'you can't do something like that inside here, people will see'."

"You can't do something like that inside here, people will see– ah?!" Eleana's words are literally taken out of her mouth before she could even say it. Furthermore, Zeruna wasn't even facing her when she said that. "How did you... know?"

"Cool, now lift something, lift me high into the air!" yells Arin.

"No, I've already proved my abilities, doing something like that is unnecessarily drawing attention to us," snaps Zeruna. "So, are we on?"

"Definitely," replies Argon.

"This is going to be a headache," John utters. 

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