CHAPTER 16: HUNTERS, EXPLANATIONS, AND DISPUTES
Beyond the gates of the town of Sannois, there’s a marketplace opened up and even in this time, it’s still quite lively.
Still, I’m curious about the few shops that aren’t open among the many shops lined up.
And although I did call it lively, it’s not busy to the point that it’s hard to walk around and, being small, I can easily weave through the gaps in the crowd.
Now that I’m through the gates, since I wasn’t attracting that much attention, I suppose the people only see me as a normal child.
After leaving the commerce district-like area, I now feel a sort of unrest in the atmosphere.
While it’s true that it’s still bustling with people, different from the liveliness of the marketplace, it’s somewhat turbulent.
I even occasionally see people walking around that are unlike the regular pedestrians wearing simple clothes, having weapons on them and equipped with protective armor.
In the tavern I caught sight of while on the way; there were a lot of men drinking about even though the sun is still up.
『So the organization Ain was talking about before, was the Hunter’s Guild, right』
I wasn’t exactly sure what it would be called, but anyways, I assumed that there would likely be an organization that would make a livelihood out of defeating monsters.』
『Is that because there was one in your hometown』
『There wasn’t, actually.
However, it seems wasteful to let physically healthy but problematic people roam idly.
I thought an organization that would gather and lead people like them might exist in towns of a certain scale, and that the organization itself would probably be large in scale, as well.
Most of all, I believe that they might accept even unidentifiable people.』
Made up a somewhat believable explanation, but the real answer is that it’s just a common thing to see in fictional media.
And because I know that there are organizations similar to the Hunter’s Guild in stories and such, I reached the conclusion that there might be something like that in this world.
That’s also the reason why I introduced myself as Cielmer, because I thought that a name would be needed to register as a Hunter.
Although I’m the one mainly active in this town, I do plan on shifting it so that Ciel would be the one mainly active in the future.
So in that time, it’s going to be inconvenient if the name registered is Ainsel.
And though this might also be based on fictional information, I believe that guilds like these aren’t organizations that exist for a certain country, but are the ones that cross over national borders most of the time.
So a lie I made up here might become a problem for us in another country.
『After going to the guild, what might we be doing today』
『Come to think of it, I didn’t actually talk about it.
It will depend on what time we leave the guild but if we still have some time after finding an inn, why don’t we go find you some clothes
Since it seems like we don’t need to hide your hair, why don’t we take the chance to get you prettied up』
『I don’t really mind staying like this, you know』
Ciel wearing it means that I’m going to wear it too, but maybe since I look completely different from how I was before; it feels like playing with a dress up doll.
Rather, I guess it’s more similar to a game’s avatar creation.
In online games, there are people so unusually obsessed with roleplaying that they pick how their equipment looks like rather that the practicality, but now I know how they feel.
Anyways, I’m really worried about the fact that in our life so far, Ciel hasn’t shown any interest in fashion.
I wasn’t really the type to think about being fashionable too, but it might be for the best to be conscious about how Ciel looks if possible.
Since Ciel is pretty to begin with, it would be a waste to leave it be.
But now that I think about it, maybe I also need to not only think about her clothes, but also on how to tend to her skin and style her hair as well.
As expected, I’m actually reluctant on going that far; but if I don’t do it, Ciel would likely be lazy about it too.
Most of all, since I’m the one actively moving for a while, it’s probably part of the things that I should do something about.
Hmmmmmm…… While I was deeply contemplating, Ciel asked『What were you thinking about now』
『I was pondering a bit about myself.』
『So did you perhaps learn something』
『For now, I concluded that it’s a problem for next time.
Since it seems like we’ve just arrived at our destination.』
After seeing the end of the road and stopping right before a building, I forcibly end our conversation.
Out of all the buildings I’ve seen in this town, which were usually about the size of one or two-storey buildings, this three-storey building is considerably big, so I’m sure that this is the place.
In addition, there’s a gate leading to the outside next to it.
So it seems that people can drop by the guild after coming back from the outside.
I imagined it to look like an extension of a tavern, but it actually has the exterior of a somewhat stylish shop.
Opening the central door, I see a counter in the front, a simple lounge-like area with tables and chairs furnished on both sides of the counter, and people that do indeed look like how a hunter would be having a discussion about something.
Since it looks like they’re not selling any alcohol, it seems that it’s not annexed to a tavern.
Seeing that it doesn’t look as spacious as it seems from the outside, this probably means that there’s just that much work done behind the scenes.
As I opened the door and entered inside, there were some people stealing a glance at me but seemingly losing interest, they immediately went back to their conversation.
I somewhat expected to receive an「Oi missy, this ain’t a place fer little missies like you」kind of thing, but it looks like that’s not happening.
But the part where the receptionist is a young lady seems to be the same as it is in the stories.
I’d probably still think of the same thing even if the receptionist was an old man or lady, though.
Well, being unbothered is for the best, but a problem occurred as I reached the counter.
It’s extremely tall.
It reaches up until my neck.
Because of that, the reception lady ended up looking at me with a warm gaze.
Also, due to our height gap, her moderately large things are right in front of my eyes.
To see the face, I need to point my head up but it’s a bit painful.
「How may I help you today」
「Um, could you please read this」
If I just told her that I want to be a Hunter, she probably won’t take me seriously, so I hand the receptionist the letter of introduction that Mister Gatekeeper wrote for us
「Then, if I may.」After politely replying to me, she received the letter and, with a surprised look, repeatedly looked at the letter then back at me.
「Please wait for a moment.」Excusing herself, she went inside the place behind the counter.
If I’m correct, it should be written there that it guarantees that I’m 10 years old and am capable of defeating monsters, but maybe there’s a problem
『Or is it because of how we look』
『Well, everyone is taller than us.
I haven’t seen anybody shorter than me, after all.
Can we safely become a Hunter, I wonder Will we perhaps be mistaken of being a child』
『I believe that it’s fine.
If not, then lets at least find a place to sell the magic stones.』
Ciel ended our conversation, I assume it’s because she noticed the receptionist coming back.
The receptionist, probably because she was rushing, is breathing a bit fast.
「Thank you for waiting.
We are currently validating the letter, so would like to hear an explanation about Hunters」
「The Hunter’s Guild was originally an organization that aimed to defend towns or villages by defeating monsters nearby.
Since the Hunters leave the town constantly, gradually people who can’t leave the town freely such as the town’s inhabitants, nobles, and the town itself began to send out requests, and that’s the present condition of the Hunter’s Guild.」
「So do Hunters only need to do requests」
「That would be the gist of it.
By completing requests, they receive money from the client through the guild.
Except for particularly special cases, Hunters don’t usually meet with the clients.
After that, Hunters are Ranked from G to S, and the requests they can accept are dependent on their Rank.
When starting out, you can earn a uniform reward of 1 copper coin from G-Rank requests and these are only to be completed inside the town.
The higher the rank, the greater the reward will be, but the difficulty of completion rises as well.
The requests you can generally accept are those of the same rank and those of one rank below you, so please keep this in mind.
In the event that the request can’t be completed or canceled, there will be a need to pay for the cited compensation.」
「When you get a bigger Rank, is there any benefit I get」
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「First of all, being an F Rank allows you to freely exit the town.
The Hunter Card made during the registration will act as an entry pass limited to this town, so you won’t be required to pay for the toll fee.
From E Rank, you will be allowed to accept requests for monster subjugation.
From D Rank, your Hunter Card will act as an entry pass limited only to this country, so you can move much more freely.
Reaching D Rank generally guarantees your social status as well.
Moreover, when reaching B Rank and above, you will be allowed to go to the Guild Headquarters.
That means you can freely travel between countries.」
So that means, our current goal for now is to become a B Rank Hunter.
It doesn’t seem like we can immediately get out of the country after registering as a Hunter.
There might be other ways out but, from how she was speaking, it seems to be difficult for the general public to leave the country.
At the same time, I’m now sure that the Hunter’s Guild is an organization that bypasses countries.
I’m really thankful that the effort we put in here will have a direct effect on other countries.
「To raise your Rank as a Hunter, you will need to have enough achievements recognized and pass the examination.
First, you should probably start from regularly completing requests.
The examinations are usually formal matches.
After all, working as a Hunter requires strength.」
「So, can’t I start from E or D Rank right away」
「If you’re deemed strong enough, then it’s possible to start from E Rank.
After that, however, to become D Rank you will need to be tested if you are competent enough to be a Hunter.
Concerning that, the Hunter’s Guild periodically offers training courses, so please try participating in them.
If you join all the courses, then you could be deemed acceptable in as short as a few months.
Furthermore, in cases when your Rank doesn’t match up with your strength or when you leave a particularly great achievement, your Rank might also be raised as an exception.」
「So working regularly is for the best, right」
People that are on a rush to rise in Ranks and lost their life accepting requests beyond their level are common to see.」
Hearing her frankly saying this really paints a picture of how easy it is to lose your life in this world.
If you stepped into the forest for a bit and encounter that one-eyed giant, you’d usually just die.
Even without that, several of those green midgets would often be dangerous enough.
「I’ll continue the explanation, okay Among the requests, there are common requests put up by the guild that are available at all times.
This is because the guild buys out the materials from monsters that are usable for weapons and magic stones that are said to be created from monsters.
These ones have no required Rank.
Concerning the request, I believe that there will be a much more detailed explanation when you accept them.」
Right after explaining things that are generally asked about, a man whispers something into the receptionist’s ear.
Then after nodding a few times, she once again looks at me.
「It seems that the letter has been validated while we were talking.
So after giving a brief explanation of the bylaws, I would like to ask a few questions.
Among what she said after, the main points of it would be:
・Disputes between Hunters are forbidden.
If it can’t be avoided, then formal battles will be allowed.
・Damaging towns or villages are also forbidden
・Forcibly asking for an individual’s Job and recklessly spreading it around is forbidden.
・Falsifying your Hunter Card and Rank is forbidden.
・In times of emergencies, you will be called for an obligatory gathering but unless there are special reasons, refusing is forbidden.
・In cases where you have violated these forbidden clauses, you may at worst lose the qualification to be a Hunter and be forbidden to reenter then on.
・You will be free to act as you like, but if your extended lack of activity is unauthorized, your Rank may be decreased.
・There are separate Party Ranks and Individual Ranks and if the strength of a party with individuals of the same Rank is deemed acceptable, they will be allowed to accept requests one Rank higher than their individual Rank.
・A change of party can be done in any local guild.
To sum it all up.
There are actually more rules and details, but these are probably the only ones we need to pay attention to.
It was surprising that there was a forbidden clause concerning Jobs, but it seems that Hunters don’t consider Job discrimination as a good thing.
Maybe they just don’t care as long as you’re strong.
「Now then, for the creation of your Hunter Card, we will be filling in the needed information through inquiry but, can you write」
The receptionist was about to hand us a sheet of paper but then, she stopped.
The counter is so tall that I can’t see anything.
I can read, I can write, but I didn’t think that we wouldn’t be tall enough.「Then may I read out the forms and fill it in instead」Since she was being considerate of me, I gladly accept her proposal.
「First, may I have your name and age」
「Cielmer, 10 years old.」
「Then, if possible, I’d like to ask for your Job, otherwise what you are good at.」
「I can use sorcery.」
Then how about I introduce you to a party」
「I plan to act alone.」
After frankly telling her that I wanted to go solo, the receptionist looked at me worryingly before saying「That’s all.」and passing me the paper.
She probably wants me to check if she miswrote something.
『I do think that we’re sort of in a party, don’t you think』
But they likely won’t recognize it.
And even if they do, I think that it’s better that we don’t do it.』
『We do need to keep Ain’s existence hidden as much as possible, after all.』
While having that exchange with Ciel, I confirmed that there were no mistakes and returned the paper.
「Then from now on, Cielmer-san is now a Hunter.
Lastly, would you like to take the exam so you can start from E Rank」
「Is it okay to think for a bit」
「Of course it’s fine, but if you do want to take the exam, please present something that would indicate that you have the strength.
The examiners don’t have much spare time as well, so please understand.」
There were probably a lot of newbies that took the exam but completely lacked in strength.
From the receptionist’s words, I can somewhat feel that she’s fed up with it.
Anyway, since we were given some time, I decided to discuss with Ciel.
Though, rather than a discussion, it’s actually more of a confirmation.
Also, I sense a person acting fishy from my detection.
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『What do you think』
『You already planned on taking it, right When you asked me if I can fight, wasn’t it because you already expected this to happen』
『Well, it’s a bit different but…… It seems like what I was expecting is going to happen as well.』
『No matter what, we need to reach B Rank as fast as we can.
Ain, do you perhaps think that it’s not going to go well』
『I just think that it’s going to be a bit bothersome.』
『So then there’s no need to worry about it.
It’s also a chance to get rid of that magic stone, after all.』
Hearing Ciel’s actual motive, I told the receptionist 「I’ll take the exam.」 and placed the magic stone we got when we beat the spider on top of the counter.
「Is this enough for a proof of strength」
「…… Pardon my rudeness, but is this something you obtained yourself」
「Man, to think that this little girl here actually picked it up.」
As I was about to answer the receptionist, sure enough one of the Hunters that was looking at us cut in with a crude tone.
At the very least I expected something like [It’s impossible for ya to be a hunter.
I’m gonna teach ya with my strength!] but a much more greedy one came instead.
Since the receptionist is wearing a frown as well, he’s probably not a well-liked hunter.
Still, rather than a girl that just became 10 years old defeating a monster, it’s more believable that a notorious but actively servicing Hunter beat the monster.
I was wondering what kind of person came to pick a fight, but as I turned and looked up to where the voice came from, I saw the picturesque look of an evil-faced skinhead man wearing a vulgar smile.
He doesn’t seem to be that strong and it also doesn’t seem like we need to hold back on him.
I assume that it’s because of how Ciel looks, but the skinhead confidently continued the conversation.
「You just became a Hunter, right
There’s a penalty for stealing other people’s spoils, you know But if you give it back now, I won’t make this a problem.
What do you say If you don’t give it back, then there’s no choice but to fight, you know Because we couldn’t solve it with a discussion, after all.」
「Then let’s make that battle be the examination, shall we」
I don’t really think that we’ll lose even if we battle, but the receptionist’s eyes are telling me not to do it.
So as I was thinking about what I should do, the voice of a young lady echoed in my ears.