Black Cat Chapter 61: First Request

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 After a bit of… Almost getting lost for a bit, I arrived safely at Chariot’s base, but the three of them had not returned.


 I thought about going to Professor Lembolt’s but decided to go first to see the morning scene at the guild.



 This time, I walked on the ground instead of along the roof, but Ibouro in the morning was so crowded that I am likely to get kicked if I walked aimlessly.


 If this were the case, it would have been safer to move along the roof.



 The entrance to the guild was also full of adventurers who had obtained requests and were rushing out en masse, so I had to time my movements carefully or I might get trampled.


 It seems that small catkins are at a real disadvantage in the adventuring profession.



 Once inside the guild, the area in front of the request board was extremely crowded.


 Big adventurers, such as bearkins and tigerkins, were occupying the board, their shoulders crowding, while the next group of adventurers was trying to squeeze in.



 As a catkin, I was in no mood to rush into the middle of that crowd.


 To be frank, I would have to admit defeat.



 Assuming I would go to see the request board when the crowd was gone, I moved up using [Step] along the pillars because it was not safe to stand idly by.


 I decided to sit on the steps in the shade of a pillar near the ceiling and wait for the crowding to end.


 I didn’t have to worry about getting kicked.



 Looking down from above, I still couldn’t see any small-bodied races.


 Catkin and rabbitkin are only about 130 centimeters tall, even for an adult male, and both naturally have weak muscles.



 Mr. Zeol told me that in the old capital, where there are dungeons, there are people who work as Seekers, but in Ibouro, where the main job is for orc and ogre subjugations, there are not many support requests, so inevitably there are not many small-bodied adventurers.


 As I observed, it was the veteran-looking adventurers who got to choose their jobs first, and they seemed to be getting younger with each passing hour.



 There is no such rule, but it seems to be an unwritten rule that the veterans take the best jobs.


 Naturally, the jobs that remain at the end of the day are the ones that pay less, are harder, or are less rewarding.



 Even so, the adventurers, who appeared to be young, were walking to the counter, peeling off the requests one after another.


 This is another thing Mr. Zeol told me, but he said that when young people easily decide on jobs, it is a time when there is an overall increase in the number of requests.



 Well, well, I guess it’s time for me to go look for a job too.


 I use [Step] to get down to the floor and move to the front of the request board, careful not to get kicked.



 There are hardly any people examining the requests anymore, so I use void magic to create a foothold and raise my gaze.


 Many of the jobs that remain involve carrying cargo in warehouses and the like.



 I suppose that adventurers are generally associated with bragging about their strength, but this is a job that I am not suited for at all.


 I suppose I could do it if I used Body Enhancement Magic, but I don’t feel the need to force myself to do it.



 There are requests like debt collection and rent collection, but those are probably for strong adventurers.


 Even if I were to accept a request and go out on my own, I would probably end up coming back without being taken seriously.



 The other request that stood out was that of rat extermination.


 The job involves eliminating the rats that roam the ceilings of warehouses, large houses, old houses, and the like, and blocking their way in from the outside.



 Other tasks include defeating goblins and other small monsters for an unspecified period of time and gathering medicinal herbs.


 The gathering of medicinal herbs was expert-level when I was in Atsuka village, but there is no way I can take it in Ibouro because I don’t know where they grow in Ibouro.



“Hmm… I guess all I can do is rat catching.” (Nyango)



 If the three from Chariot were with me, I would be able to pick and choose what I wanted to do, but I don’t think I could even accept a request on my own.


 I went to the counter and peeled off a comparatively good deal, a request with a reward of five small silver coins.



 In addition, I decided to talk about Professor Lembolt’s request, so I looked for the woman, a dogkin, who had been in charge yesterday.


 When I walked up to the female staff member I talked to before, she greeted me with a smile.



“Good morning, Mr. Nyango.” (Receptionist)


“Good morning. Umm… May I know your name?” (Nyango)


“Oh, I beg your pardon. My name is Jessica. How may I help you today?” (Receptionist => Jessica)



 Ms. Jessica has short brown hair, is in her early twenties, and is the type of serious office worker in contrast to Shure.



“Well, it’s about the request you told me about yesterday…” (Nyango)



 I told her about my discussion with Professor Lembolt and that the reward was not money, but knowledge about magic circles.



“I see. The guild will not act as an intermediary if no money is to be exchanged. Therefore, we will not be able to help if there is a problem regarding the reward, is that alright?” (Jessica)


“Yes, Professor Lembolt is a researcher at heart, and I am a good research subject for him, so I think I will be fine with regard to the rewards.” (Nyango)


“I see. Then, regarding the request, I will withdraw the request from the guild. Is there anything else you need?” (Jessica)



 Ms. Jessica is a modest-looking woman, but she seems to be the type of person who is quick and efficient when it comes to her work.



“Could you tell me about this request?” (Nyango)


“It’s a rat extermination job. This is a rather spacious warehouse, but is Mr. Nyango going to be able to handle it by himself?” (Jessica)


“Exterminating rats and finding ways for them to get into the warehouse?” (Nyango)


“Yes, because it is a warehouse, even if we find a route of entry, we often cannot do the work to seal it, so this request is for finding the route of infestation.” (Jessica)


“Is there a penalty for not fulfilling this request?” (Nyango)


No, there is not. As for rat extermination, most cases cannot be completed in a day, so if the employer judges that we have worked properly, we will be paid. In addition, a contingency fee will be paid separately if we were able to find a route of infestation in this request.”



 If you ask me, there is no way that rat extermination in a large warehouse can be completed in a day.


 However, they cannot pay them for a day’s work without any compensation, so they must have taken such measures.



“I will accept this request.” (Nyango)


“Yes, then please give me your guild card.” (Jessica)



 After comparing the request form with my guild card, Jessica registered the request order.



“The warehouse where the request was placed is here. The person in charge is a raccoonkin named Arum.” (Jessica)


“Do I just go over here and tell them I’m here to accept the guild request?” (Nyango)


“Yes, many people who will receive the request, but this is a request that cannot be solved immediately, so please do your best and do not take the problems to heart.” (Jessica)


“Understood. Thank you very much.” (Nyango)



 With the map drawn by Jessica in hand, we headed for the warehouse of the request.


 The warehouse district of Ibouro is clustered on the southeast side of the city.



 This is simply because the largest volume of goods comes in from the south, where the Royal Capital is located.


 The warehouse I wanted to visit was a warehouse where grain is stockpiled and has long been plagued by rats.



“Hello, I’ve come to the guild with a request for a rat extermination service. Is Mr. Arum here?” (Nyango)


“Arum is me. …Oh, you’re a catkin, huh? I hope we can expect something from you.” (Arum)



 When I called out to him at the warehouse reception desk, Mr. Arum was a raccoonkin sitting inside looking at the documents.



“The entire warehouse you see here is where you will be working on your request.” (Arum)


“It’s quite a spacious warehouse, isn’t it?” (Nyango)


“As you can see, a lot of people are coming in and out of the warehouse right now, so the rats are hiding somewhere and not coming out. At night, they emerge and eat the grain in the warehouse.” (Arum)


“So all I have to do is get rid of the rats, find out where they are hiding and how they are getting in.” (Nyango)


“That’s right. Do you think you can do well?” (Arum)


“I’m from Atsuka and I used to catch Forest Mouse every day, but fields and warehouses are different. Don’t expect too much from me.” (Nyango)


“As long as you don’t damage the cargo, you are free to do whatever you like. Capture as many rats as possible and protect the cargo.” (Arum)



 After shaking hands with Mr. Arum, I accepted the request and immediately started the extermination work.


 I used the detection magic that I had been practicing for some time.



 As Mr. Arum said, there were no rats around the area where people were transporting goods.


 Choosing a place where there were no people, I moved about two meters high using [Step] to approach, and first created a wall around the area with void attribute magic.



 Then, as I spread bits of air that I had solidified into small particles into the space between the cargo, the route of the rats came into view.



“I see… one, two, three… how many are there?” (Nyango)



 I don’t know whether they were parent rats, descendant rats, grandchild rats, great-grandchildren, or great-great-grandchildren… But more than ten rats were huddled together in the gaps between the cargoes, hiding.



“Hmm… How do I get rid of them?” (Nyango)



 If I killed them on the spot, it would take a lot of time and effort to take them out.


 Dead rats are unsanitary, so I can’t just leave them there.



 Besides, I would have to show them the exterminated rats to get them to accept it as proof.


 Therefore, I decided to seal off the area around the pathway where the rats were coming in and out of the house by surrounding it with void attribute magic to a size of about one-meter square and then drive them out.



“Meow…” (Nyango)



 I thought that if I could make a microphone for eavesdropping, I could make a speaker by applying void magic, which I had practiced many times, and playing a cat-like voice from deep inside the rats’ nest.


 The effect was so great that the panicked rats ran through the passageway and into the sealed space all at once.



 When all the rats had rushed in, I sealed the entrance, and this time, I set up a smaller wall inside the sealed space.



“Yes, I’ll use that…” (Nyango)



 I set up a lightning magic circle within the space, which was now reduced to about 50 centimeters square.


 The rat that touched the first small magic circle I set up jumped up greatly, startled but showed no sign of stopping its movement.



 Perhaps it was just a crackle of static electricity.


 Since it was a good opportunity, I decided to gradually make the magic circle more powerful and check its power.



“Gyii!” (Rat)



 The rat that came into contact with the magic circle, which had increased in size and compression rate, had its body stiffened and stopped moving.


 As far as I could see, its muscles seemed to have stiffened due to the electric shock.



 As the range of the space was narrowed and a magic circle of the same size was added, all the rats became motionless.


 I narrowed the range of space further, put them on a cart, and then filled it with water using a magic circle and brought them with me.



 If they are just stunned, they might move and escape later, so we make sure they are no longer breathing.



“Mr. Arum. For the time being, I caught some.” (Nyango)


“What the heck… You just started, haven’t you?” (Arum)


“Yes, it seems there are quite a few lurking.” (Nyango)


“How many in all?” (Arum)


“Fourteen. What do you want me to do with them?” (Nyango)


“Over here. Bring them over here.” (Arum)



 Mr. Arum led me to a garbage dump behind the warehouse.



“Put the rats you catch in these cages, I’ll check them at the end and increase your reward according to the number.” (Arum)


“Thank you very much. Then I will continue the extermination.” (Nyango)


“Yes, please, eradicate those rats.” (Arum)



 In the end, the total number of rats I caught that day was 73, and the number of infiltration routes I found was three.



 When Mr. Arum confirmed this, he was surprised and increased my reward significantly.




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