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On the way from the guild to the inn. My [intuition] caught the sign of someone tailing me.
There are about two people following me. They have been following me since I left the guild premises.
Thinking that it might be a misunderstanding, I entered an alley as a test. However, there seem to be no further signs of being tailed. I probably misunderstood the people who seem to be following me.
But I turned around the corner and moved to intercept the people following me and then I waited.
“What!?” (Unknown men)
When I suddenly appeared from the corner, I surprised the two people following me.
I thought it to be rude that the two who seem to be following me were surprised.
I was slightly upset and began to talk.
“You have been following me since I got out of the guild. What do you want from me?” (Toru)
I observed the people tailing me.
I noticed that there is something familiar with the two people in front of me.
Where have I seen them… They’re the ones from that time at the guild.
These two are the drunk adventurers from the guild.
I don’t know their names and I’m not interested in knowing. I don’t know what their purpose is but I know that nothing good will come of it. Only that is clear.
The men laughed like hyenas, raising their chin and looking down on me.
“As seniors, we can see that you don’t know much about adventurers. So we’re hoping to teach a rookie like you.” (Drunkard 1)
“You have nothing to teach me” (Toru)
“Well. Well, there is an important lesson you must learn. Right?” (Drunkard 2)
“Oh, yeah. Look at us, we’re E-rank adventurers. And we’re close to rank up to D. Being an adventurer is a tough job. Even if they are highly capable people like us. It’s hard to rank up, and no matter how good your skills are, you can easily die.” (Drunkard 1)
“……Just what do you want?” (Toru) 
I didn’t want to waste my time chatting with these adventurers. I wanted to return to the inn immediately.
When I asked them about what point they are trying to get across, one of them laughed before putting his arm on my shoulder.
“Small fries like you ‘inferiors’ should learn your place.”
Then, the man punches me right in my stomach.
It was a blow that is impossible to evade when someone is holding the target’s shoulders.
“–eh!?” (Drunkard 1)
“That’s all I want to say?” (Toru)
I caught the fist with just one hand.
“So you caught my fist. Stop acting like a big shot, you ‘inferior’!” (Drunkard 1)
“What are you going to do, here take this!” (Drunkard 2)
If they attack me. That’s when I’ll strike back…
I can’t help but feel like they’re pathetic.
I tried to give them the benefit of the doubt. But after talking to them, I realized it was useless.
I pushed the man slightly.
The man lost balance and fell on his ass.
This is E-rank and someone close to D-rank?
The story that the receptionist said, “The quality of adventurers is falling” is probably not an exaggeration.
“Bastard, what are you doing!!” (Drunkard 2)
“Don’t be in a hurry because you suddenly reached E-rank! Tomato bastard!” (Drunkard 1)
“It’s shameful to have you in the guild. You’re so full of yourself! (Drunkard 2)
The men pulled out the swords on their hips and pointed them towards me.
I think the two drunks have gone insane. However, I calmly observed the two attackers.
“Will you resign from being an adventurer, or will you kneel and give us your reward from earlier? I’ll let you choose.” (Drunk 1)
I finally realized their true goal.
Here is what I think they want:
“Apologize for shaming us in the guild, and give us the reward that you received as a fee.”
“I should have ignored them but I still did it…” (Toru)
“what?” (Drunk 2)
“No, there’s still a way to fix this. You’ll eventually do this again… but I won’t give you the chance.” (Toru)
I activated [intimidation] with all my might.
At the same time, the men’s faces become blue and cramped.
They began to gasp and their mouths flapped like a fish.
In the meantime, I instantly cast [Strength Enhancement] to my whole body.
The enhancement of magic instantly strengthens my body.
I did it before the men regain their composure,
“Gua!?” (Drunk 1)
“ouf!?” (Drunk 2)
I hit both of the men on their stomachs with a palm thrust
The moment my palm touched the two men, their bodies flew.
The men blew off ten meters from where they stood, then falling and rolling another five meters.
They’re vomiting and foaming from their mouths, but they’re already unconscious. It is probably an effect of having their stomach juices forced out of their stomach.
I confirmed that both are unconscious, before releasing the spell and heading to the inn.
“With this level of ability, and me as an E-rank. This is probably the deterioration of the quality of adventurers… Well, the receptionist did say that it is quite easy to rank up to E once you’ve mastered the basics. But that doesn’t mean you’re strong.”
Even some full-time employees in a company can do worse than part-timers. It is probably similar to that
Even the E-ranked adventurers may lack ability.
“In a meritocratic hierarchical system, people are promoted to the limit of their abilities” (Toru)
It is similar to what is called Peter’s Principle on Earth, which is true even in the adventurer society of Eargard. [T/N – Peter’s principle – states that a person within an organization will be promoted to his optimum level of competence and succeeding promotions will only decrease their competence. You can google it if you want a clearer definition]
Those who have the ability get promoted further, and those who do not stagnate on their level.
These two are the latter.
“…Yeah. Don’t just follow the procedure of ranking up. If you don’t think and enhance your skills, you’ll die quickly.” (Toru)
I defeated the two armed men in an instant and reminded myself of this.
I didn’t think that he was able to beat the opponent because he was strong. He was called an inferior because he was weak then, The opponents this time were just weaker.
“Slowly but surely, taking one step at a time. I will grow and reach the normal strength of the locals here then I will survive Eargard…” (Toru)
Because it is a world where life is cheap, I can never be too careful.
Toru, who went to the dining room at dinner, ate delicious food before dining at the inn. [1 → 3]
Until yesterday, there has been nobody who wanted to approach him until he heard a voice,
“Hey, Toru. Is this seat vacant?” (Landlady)
“Isn’t she back yet?” (Landlady)
Toru was thinking “where is she anyway?”, “she was getting a little annoying”. But without Esther, he felt weirdly lonely somehow.
“What about Esther?” (Toru)
The landlady who heard Toru talking to himself approached him while grinning.
“So, yeah. Did Esther make a request today?” (Toru)
“She hasn’t come back yet.” (Landlady)
The landlady said she was afraid. Toru is slightly annoyed. Why is she that worried?
But it is wrong to be angry at someone for just asking. So Toru immediately stopped himself.
“Are you worried?” (Landlady)
“Oh, she’ll be back soon. She has been a long time adventurer. When the request is over, she’ll probably want Ale to drink. So just wait for her and just chill and wait, but she might never return. There are even adventurers who don’t.” (Landlady)
“Hey, it’s a joke. Don’t look at me with such scary eyes. Well, if you are worried about her too much, your heart will wear out. So go on and eat.” (Landlady)
Saying that the landlady laughed loudly and served a big serving of “salad” on my plate.
What an energetic woman!
While having small talk, the landlady has been observing what Toru normally likes and eats.
Energetic, but attentive. A very skilled landlady.
Toru’s reactions made her feel happy.
Surely Esther will come back tomorrow. Toru convinced himself, so he slept with another UFO bed enchanted by plenty of [lighting].
But Esther didn’t return to Finlis the next day.
A/N – You have all the hints that can help you predict will happen in the future.
Clues will be laid out, so please enjoy while anticipating what will happen.
Edited by: SparklerMan
Editor here! Well, the beginning of this chapter had to be changed a lot, like I can’t even list everything, since I had to change every sentence. Most of the stuff was mixed with first-person and third person, and it was just messed up. So I was debating whether to do it third person or first person, but I decided to do it first person since it was a lot of “Toru was thinking” so I just changed the beginning to first person.
Near the end, it was mostly in third person, so I just corrected some formatting and some spelling.
: Original translation was
“What do you want to say”
Didn’t make sense in English so I changed it to just what do you want.
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