CHAPTER 24: WAKING UP, THE GUILD, AND DISCUSSIONS
The next morning, Ciel woke up quite late.
The sun was already high in the sky, so in terms of time, it’s probably less of a breakfast time right now but more of a brunch time.
I’m really glad that she can be in such a deep sleep but we have a lot of things we need to do for today, so we can’t really stay in bed for too long.
『Ciel, good morning.』
She’s absolutely still half-asleep but it’s a bit unusual for her to be this drowsy when waking up.
It might be due to her sleeping in a bed.
Well sure, it should be much easier to fall asleep on a bed compared to a stone floor, but still unusual for her.
After being dazed for a few minutes, Ciel suddenly stretched her arms and is now properly awake.
『Are you wide awake now』
「Beds are amazing.
It’s really soft.
Somehow, it makes me feel happy.」
『In that case, I’m really glad to hear that.』
「So, what time is it」
『It should be just before noon now.』
「No doubt about it, I actually did oversleep.
You could have woken me up, you know Ain」
『I’ve also thought of doing so since we have plans for today as well, but it seemed like you were really enjoying it, so…』
Ciel being tucked in a pure white bedding with her white hair peeking out was like a doll that you’d want to decorate somewhere.
However, Ciel being hit by sunlight gives her a somewhat divine look.
It might be because of what she’s wearing right now as well but, now that I think about it, just wearing this under a cloak feels really perverted.
If the one seeing us knows about our circumstances, this should be able to get us some sympathy.
Now the question is, would Celia-san ask us of our circumstances
Nevertheless, today’s morning was really refreshing, so I began singing with a la~la~la~.
Since Ciel woke up late, it feels to me like it’s a holiday right now, so I’m somewhat excited for today.
Still, although I’m always awake, Ciel’s body is refreshed, so my mood is influenced by that.
I’ll leave it all to you today as well.」
『I’ll switch if something ever happens, so when that time comes, I’ll leave it to you too.』
While we’re staying in this town, I’ll be the one mainly moving.
As such, I switch with Ciel, wear our cloak, and leave the room.
Maybe it’s only because I’ve kept Ciel’s hair inside the hood up until now, but it feels weird to have long hair moving around freely.
Still, it is a sensation that I never had a chance of experiencing when I was still a male, so I think it’s quite interesting.
As we went through the hall and down the stairs to the lower floor, Nilda-san was standing at the reception desk.
「My my, hello sleepyhead.」
When I greeted her, I was faced with a somewhat tender gaze.
And although I actually expected that there might be no breakfast prepared, Nilda-san said「Here’s your meal!」while giving me a small basket.
「Is it really okay」
「Well, I already got paid by the guild.
So if I don’t give it to you, it’ll be a breach of contract from my side, alright」
「If that’s the case, thank you very much.」
「Also, if you’re going outside, leave the key here before you go okay」
「…… Umm, can I ask how long I can stay here」
「For now, it should be about 10 days, I think」
Thank you very much.」
『It seems that we don’t need to bring all of our things with us.』
Still, I’m really glad that we don’t need to worry about the inn fees for 10 days.』
『After all, it’s much better than sleeping on the ground.』
『Also, since we have our own room, we can talk without worrying about other people’s eyes, right Ciel』
While we were heading to the guild, I had this conversation with Ciel.『Fufu, that’s right.』Ciel cheerfully replied.
Is this because she’s really excited about our private conversations
The way to the guild wasn’t really complicated, so we quickly reached our destination.
There are less people inside the guild compared to yesterday and by the looks of it, most of them are generally young people.
Well even though I call them young, all of them are likely a lot older than Ciel.
And maybe since I didn’t hide Ciel’s hair today, there were a lot of people stealing glances at me on the way here and even right now.
Still, it’s not as if they’re looking to pick a fight with us, they just seem to be reacting to Ciel’s unusual hair color, as everybody immediately went back to their business after that.
Considering this, I might have been a bit too obsessed about not standing out.
Still, this is just hindsight.
Looking at the guild’s reception area, Celia-san isn’t there.
Instead, a girl that seems to be a few years older than Ciel is standing behind the counter.
Based on her movements, she seems to be a rookie.
But as I approached the counter, she blinked visibly and now seems to be observing me.
Don’t tell me, did she just notice my barrier Or maybe detection
Either way, if she did notice my sorcery, something that even a B-Rank hunter couldn’t notice, she might be considerably strong.
And so, I was just being too paranoid.
After all, she simply asked me「Are you here to make a request」when I reached the counter.
Well, if a kid with an unusual hair color, and doesn’t even look anything near 10 years old, suddenly enters the guild; sure, that’s probably a natural reaction.
Rather, since she didn’t mistake me for being lost, she’s actually handling this pretty well.
「I have a promise with Celia-san so, can you call her for me」
「Uhh, Celia-san, right Are you her daughter…… maybe not but, are you related to her」
「Did Celia-san say anything about calling her if there’s a white-haired girl」
After hearing my words, the receptionist lady probably remembered something, as her shoulders suddenly jumped.
After telling me「Can you wait for a bit」she quickly retreated to the back room.
Celia-san told me that it should go smoothly since Ciel’s white hair stands out, but I don’t really see the smoothness right now.
Well, sure, I know that our white hair standing out helped make our conversation here a bit easier, but still.
I can hear something like「What kind of girl did Celia-san tell us to look out for again」coming from the back room, so the fault might lie on the receptionist earlier.
Do your best, nameless receptionist.
It might be better if you write down the more important stuff though.
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Since we have some time, I borrowed an empty seat and checked the contents of the basket.
Inside the basket is a sandwich filled with a variety of vegetables.
On one hand, it looks pretty simple but on the other hand, I can clearly distinguish the taste of each vegetable, so it’s actually really delicious.
Since I didn’t really find vegetables this delicious while I was still alive, maybe hunger () really is the best spice after all.
Some time after the receptionist went to the back room, Celia-san came out in a hurry and said「I’m sorry for taking your time.」while lowering her head.
In contrast, the said receptionist that came back along with her giggled「That’s too formal~」but seeing Celia-san’s face, she might just get a good scolding later after this.
But since Celia-san’s face immediately went back to normal, that might just be my imagination.
「I would like to lead you to the room we used yesterday but would that be alright」
「We’re going to talk, right Then it should be fine.」
「Thank you very much.」
While having an objectively stiff conversation, we are guided to the back room.
Still, we were just led to the same room as yesterday, and we’re positioned in the same way as well.
In other words, Carol-san is here sitting next to me.
I know she’s not unrelated to what we’re going to discuss today but, this monocle-san here might get weirdly triggered by some weird stuff, so I don’t really want to sit this close to her.
For now, just as we’re set for discussion, Celia-san apologized again.
「I would like to apologize our staff’s earlier behaviour.」
「I don’t really mind it.
After all, I do look younger than the usual 10-year-old.
Now that I think about it, I still don’t have a Hunter Card, so I don’t actually have anything that can prove that I’m a hunter.」
「Regarding that, once again, I’m very sorry.
I’ll hand it over now.
This will be your Hunter Card, Cielmer-san.」
After saying so, she handed me a metallic card.
It’s maybe about one size bigger than the usual point or credit card, I think.
With Ciel’s hands, it’s going to be a bit difficult to hold.
In the front, it has the name Cielmer and the rank — it’s E-Rank by the way — written on it.
On the back, there is some complex pattern drawn all over it but, this is probably some sort of magic circle.
Moreover, it’s the type that uses magic.
Because of that, I can’t even understand what’s written on it.
「So the cards are regulated with magic, right」
It’s compatible with a magic item in each guild and using that, a hunter’s request completion rate or their rank up test results can be read in detail.
It can also rewrite a card.
Similar devices can be found in a town’s entrance and checkpoints and these ones can distinguish whether a Hunter Card is real or not.
However, it seems like no one can recreate this technology from scratch.
One theory even says that this might be something given to us by a god.」
「A god…… Is it Alsharohs-sama」
「I’m not quite familiar with the details but I think it was Mehtestos-sama.」
「I see, that makes sense.」
In this world, there isn’t just one singular god.
There are a number of gods and each one of them have something they rule over but, I’ll just end this part here.
Still, similar to the gods of mythologies back on earth, it seems like they have their own romances and stuff here too.
However, the only god that the church worships is the god that’s considered as the god of love, Alsharohs.
The reason for that is because she is actually the only goddess that has given oracles, it seems.
In some regions, the god of war is sometimes worshiped as well but it seems like there haven’t been any reports of that god making some direct action, like an oracle or so.
Moreover, since the church has an influence in many countries, the one generally referred when talking about a god naturally becomes Alsharohs.
I do want to make it clear, however, that the church doesn’t actually intend to reject the other gods.
Now back to the main topic.
Celia-san directs us back to the main issue.
「Then once again, allow me to discuss our affiliation.
Carol and I, a hunter and a receptionist respectively, are guild members that were dispatched here from the headquarters.
As for the reason for this, it’s strictly confidential so I’m not allowed to answer that.」
「Since you’re telling me this, does this mean that you’ll support me」
「It’s still unsettled but since we’ve disclosed that we’re at least not affiliated with this town or this country, we should have more things that we can discuss about.」
「So even if what I’m about to say can be disadvantageous for this country, you would let me off」
「Rather, since it gives the Hunter’s Guild more cards to use for diplomatic relations, the guild is all ears.
No matter what kind of information you have, the guild will keep the fact that the information came from you confidential.
However, even if someone is a member of the Hunter’s Guild, if they aren’t from the headquarters, it’s possible that they might be loyal to their region or their country, so please keep that in mind.」
I already had a hunch about it but it seems like even the Hunter’s Guild has their own internal problems.
Even if the Hunter’s Guild itself sits on a neutral standpoint, they probably recruit their staff on site, so depending on the place, the top management might not consist of people from the headquarters.
In those cases, they might even prioritise the country’s interest over the headquarter’s will.
Still, it doesn’t change our intention of only talking about ourselves to the people we think we can trust.
If we want to, this could even be the first and last possible time we’ll talk about ourselves, so discussing this isn’t really something we need to be too worried about.
「Still, even if your information is something the guild cannot accept, we will not abandon you, so please don’t worry about that.
At the very least, what we’ve decided on yesterday is already guaranteed.」
「Speaking of guaranteed, what happened with Carol-san’s punishment」
I don’t actually care what it is as long as she gets a proper punishment.
After all, it’s not like knowing about it would change anything.
Still, I want to hear what her punishment is just to be sure.
So while I’m at it, I stole a glance at Carol-san‘s face and, for some reason, she looks like she’s lost all hope in the world.
「The Hunter’s Guild has penalized Carol with a usage restriction on the research room and the payment of your inn fees while you are staying at this town.
Specifically, the guild will be assisting you in your life here, so it has been decided that the guild will be shouldering the inn fees.」
「Ah, thank you for paying for my room.」
「As stated earlier, this is the guild’s responsibility, so please don’t worry about it Cielmer-san.
In exchange, if you don’t rank up even after a year of assistance and are unable to earn enough to sustain your livelihood at that time, we will no longer assist you in reaching C-Rank, so please take note of this.」
Frankly, I really wanted to do something about our current money issue, so having our inn guaranteed is a big help.
At the very least, we should be able to manage with the money we have on us.
And if the magic stones we have can be sold for a good price, that should solve the issue of us running out of money.
「After that, this is not a part of her penalty but during that year or until you reach C-Rank, Carol will be your instructor.」
「I-Is that so……」
「You don’t have to look that uneasy about it, you know」
I guess it really showed in my face, because Carol-san got a bit sulky from my reaction.
Still, me reacting like this is her own fault, so I absolutely don’t intend on either sympathizing or forgiving her.
Still, she did promise to look over us until we reach D-Rank, so it’s already too late for me to react like this.
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「You did almost kill me, so it’s hard to be welcoming.
There might be a high chance that you’ll even forget about instructing me and just start discussing sorcery.
I don’t mind the latter, but I don’t even want to imagine the former happening again.」
「I completely understand what you’re talking about but with our situation, having Carol as your instructor is our best option.」
「Well if there were other people qualified for it, they would probably be here after all.
So then, the next time I feel danger, please allow me to fight back without restraint.」
「I knew it, you weren’t serious that time, were you」
And just as we were talking about her issue, Carol-san’s eyes suddenly spark with interest.
On the other hand, Celia-san immediately frowned as though she just got a headache.
Don’t you understand that that’s exactly why she’s cautious of you」
I’m not going to make her go a bit serious or anything.
Right, just discussing about sorcery is enough.」
「That’s still on the grey zone, you know」
Celia-san lets out a deep sigh but Carol-san doesn’t seem to care too much.
Well if Carol-san gets a bit too lazy with teaching, I’ll report it to Celia-san.
「For now, let’s get back on topic.
As for the reason why we would like to hear about what you want to say, it’s because having information in advance would make it easier for the guild to formulate a countermeasure.
Specifically, in the case where there might be pursuers already searching for you, the guild could move in to search your surroundings as well.」
「There’s still a possibility that I’m the one at fault, you know」
「While that could be true, the chances for that should be quite low, so we’ll be ignoring that for now.
And even if you are being pursued because of murder, I’ve judged that there was enough of a reason for you to have done so.」
At this point, it really feels like I’m being given a special exception because I’m 10 years old.
Well normally a 10-year-old child would never murder someone, so they probably thought that if I did kill someone, I probably had no other choice or so.
How convenient can this little girl’s body get!
Now then, ignoring that nonsense, I should think about how much I can say.
Hiya~! Back to world building and adulting time, the not NSFW adulting~!
Today we see the full power of Baby! Baby girl can’t be a murderer, they say! Well, yeah, they didn’t actually directly kill any humans but, from an objective standpoint, Ain/Ciel can be quite the creepy child when you start to notice that she’s not really acting like a normal child.
*Flashbacks to Alejo’s death of a thousand cuts moment.
Still, Ain’s so paranoid.
Ain: ALERT! ALERT! MIGHT HAVE DETECTED SORCERY! SH*T! SH*T!
Receptionist: What are you here for, little girl
Well, it is understandable but, lol.
The most hilarious thing here is that Carol is actually the most immature one in the room.
Also, Ain questioning herself if she can quote “Hunger is the best spice” when she’s not that hungry, lol.
Dinner was probably a lot more than what they usually eat in the past.