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Three days have passed, but Esther hasn’t returned to Finlis yet.
I can’t pretend that everything is fine.
While heading to the guild, I checked the E-rank request on the bulletin board. Most of the overhanging requests were for monster subjugation, and the rest were collection & reconnaissance requests.
Not one single request posted should take several days to clear. I could probably finish most of these in a day at most.
Esther was known to be on the verge of being promoted to D-rank. But right now, she’s still an E-rank adventurer. It is highly possible that she took one of those E-rank requests.
However, she hasn’t returned yet.
It is very possible that she’s in trouble while doing the request.
I went to the reception.
“Excuse me. Esther hasn’t returned and a few days have passed since we last met. Do you know where she went?” (Toru)
“I’m sorry, Toru-san. Due to our rules on confidentiality, we can’t divulge information pertaining to quests and the adventurers that undertake it.” (Marie)
“… her absence is already a cause for concern. If Esther is still alive, we might be able to save her if we go help her now. Esther may die because of your reluctance to give information. We might be too late if we don’t do anything right now. Do you understand that?” (Toru)
I released [intimidation] and shook my head.
I feel maybe I’ve overdone it? The receptionist was quite pale and petrified. Tears are also about to fall from her eyes.
(Why am I so agitated…) (Toru)
I’m not in a party with Esther, nor do we share a close relationship. However, I guess we share an inn and we are fellow adventurers afterall.
Also without Esther, I wouldn’t have even been able to know about Finlis. If she didn’t pay for my toll. I wouldn’t be able to enter Finlis.
She taught me about the Adventurer’s Guild and gave me the push to register. Taught me about the inn and the magic store.
Without her, I believe that I wouldn’t be where I am right now.
That’s why I felt a great debt to Esther.
If she’s in a bind, I want to go help her.
While I’m pondering what Marie’s silence means. Marie regained her calm and opened her mouth.
“Toru-san. Do you want to take an E-rank request? There are many subjugation requests for E-rank, and the most famous one is Goblin subjugation. There is also the subjugation for Silver Wolves. There are very few monsters in the forest, but when you go deep inside the forest, the monster encounter rate will gradually increase. However, if you go further, you will also encounter monsters that E-rank adventurers cannot deal with. Please be careful as there have been similar cases.” (Marie)
The receptionist stared into my eyes and tapped the counter with her fingertips.
“Besides subjugation requests, though few, reconnaissance requests are also available. Those can be taken by E-rank adventurers.” (Marie)
“-Huh??… Oh yeah. Thank you for explaining.” (Toru)
“But please be careful.” (Marie)
Marie stared at my eyes with eyes brimming with emotion.
And in response, I nodded thankfully.
She explained that she was asked by the receptionist to receive an E-rank request, but she hit the counter in places.
When the contents are put together, it is “Silver wolf, forest, deep inside, and encounter with monsters that cannot be dealt with E-rank, and reconnaissance requests”.
The other day, when I passed through Finlis’ gate, the guards said, ” Silver Wolves have been seen roaming a lot recently.”
When I remembered that phrase, I was now able to put together what Marie-san was talking about earlier.
(Ester went deep into the forest of Finlis to investigate why Silver Wolves were multiplying!) [Toru]
And the probable reason why Esther hasn’t come back yet, as Marie-san had said, “monsters that E-rank adventurers cannot deal with?” This is what Toru got from what she implied.
The receptionist was able to clearly convey the necessary information as fast as she can without violating the confidentiality rules.
“Thank you very much……” (Toru)
In return for my debt, I vowed to find Esther no matter what.
I prepared myself and ran towards the forest as fast as I could. [1 → 3]
“Is that the ‘inferior’ boy?” (voice)
As Toru left the guild, a cold voice was heard from behind Marie.
Marie’s shoulders shivered in response to that voice.
“…Chief. That’s a terrible thing to say. We are relying on every adventurer’s quest fulfillment.” (Marie)
“Huh. I respect excellent adventurers, but why do I have to respect ‘inferior people’? If they fail the request due to a lack of ability, it will be terrible for all of us. Is there a problem?” (Philip)
“You’re right, but what you said is still discriminatory. If you don’t take it back, I will report you to the head.” (marie)
“Please feel free.” (Philip)
Then Philip, the chief receptionist, smiled and closed the distance with Marie.
“So, what did you say to him earlier?” (Philip)
Marie freezed. Not because he brought his face closer to hers.
He knew that Marie had passed information to Toru and broke guild rules.
Violation of confidentiality will result in immediate disciplinary action.
There are various degrees, but at the very least her salary will be reduced.
Marie trembled, thinking of the future of her being fired.
On the other hand, a part of Marie remembered the chief days before had been the one who suggested the request to Esther.
(By the way, it was the chief who recommended this request to Esther…) (Marie)
Suddenly the suspicion rose up and a wrinkle appeared between Marie’s eyebrows.
Marie thought that Philip noticed something when he suddenly straightened his posture.
“Well, that’s fine. Please be sure to handle information carefully to prevent this from happening in the future.” (Philip)
“……Yes, thank you” (Marie)
(I was let off.) (Marie)
When Philip disappeared in the back, Marie suddenly felt exhausted and sighed. [EN: She didn’t sigh in the original translation, but the sentence didn’t seem smooth, so i made it a little smoother]
(Something feels wrong.) (Marie)
Recently Marie felt Philip’s actions have become strange. Especially with his treatment of Esther’s requests, Philip was quite active with interactions with adventurers.
……Not only was he involved with Esther’s request. He is active with many other adventurers
Philip was often involved in the requests of multiple adventurers.
Though he is the Chief receptionist. He can help with advising the adventurers who ask Marie for requests.
But his usual job is to manage the finances behind the counter.
He arranges for payments for request completion and purchasing of materials.
(Despite that, why…) (Marie)
That was quite the mystery. But there is no answer to be found.
Marie could not pursue Philip.
If she chose to question him, he’ll do something back to her. She can’t question him, and otherwise, he will launch a counterattack.
She can imagine a future where she will be removed from her current job and placed somewhere where she can no longer interact with adventurers.
The work of a receptionist is hard and the salary is meager. But Marie is quite attached to this job.
It is good that nothing happened, it is a well-known fact that curiosity killed the cat.
As a receptionist, she can only hold her tongue.
I ran towards the heart of the forest with all my might. I’m done with waiting. I applied [Complete Enhancement] and then activated [Auditory Enhancement].
With the [Magic Sword] in hand, I slashed at the curtains ivy blocking my path.
Three days have passed since Esther left Finlis. It’s unclear how much supplies she has prepared for her mission. But the amount of supplies a person can carry is not endless.
If she is injured for any reason she may succumb to hunger and thirst.
I can’t even think that Esther is dead even for a second.
Of course, it’s possible that Esther is already dead. However, thinking about it is useless.
A little while after I ran through the forest, I heard a loud sound.
“…Is someone fighting?” (Toru)
The sound came deeper from the forest. As I listened, I heard the noise from a large object hitting something and a voice that seemed to belong to a woman.
I rushed towards the sound.
Edited by: SparklerMan
The entire part with toru’s dialogue / narration was in third-person but it also used a lot of the words you’d use in first person. But, I had to go in manually change all of it to suit the narration style that toru has. Also, many of the chapters are in third person, but are basically toru’s thoughts. Should I change it to third person or keep it in first person guys? You can tell me in the comments, I check those.
But honestly though, in my opinion i think first person is smoother, but i ofc will listen to the reader’s opinions. Overall this chapter wasn’t hard. But this series is certainly harder than Aristocrat, lemme tell you that.
Anyway thanks for reading and make sure to donate to lazy-kun!
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