CHAPTER 32: PARTY, THE FIRST REQUEST, AND MONEY
About one hour after we entered the forest for the request, my detection caught the presence of what should be a kobold.
Usually I would just head towards it, have Ciel defeat them, and that’s that, but since we’re not alone today, I want to avoid moving independently.
Still, I’m not so generous to tell him about my detection sorcery, so I just told Brass-kun「I heard something over there.」to make it sound believable.
Although he clicked his tongue after hearing that, he still went in the direction I pointed him to, probably because he didn’t really have any particular idea on where to go.
Does he hate getting advice from someone younger than him Or is he just really hungry
It’s much better than him asking things about me though, so I just leave him be.
『You’re really patient, Ain.』
『I just thought that, considering Brass-kun’s age, his reaction was likely unavoidable.
I already predicted that he would be annoying after all.』
『But although that’s the case, Ain doesn’t really need to tolerate him, right』
『Right, I don’t.
Still, reacting to every little thing he does would only be a waste of time.
Rationally speaking, unless it’s about something that would absolutely cause an issue, I’m planning on ignoring everything he says.
After all, this is part of the test to become C-rank.』
『You’re so mature, Ain.』
『I’m not actually that mature.
I’m far from mature.』
Even if I ignore Brass-kun, I still have Ciel to talk to.
So either way, I’ll still have an enjoyable time.
Moments later, just when Brass-kun started complaining「You really sure that you heard something」we bumped into a mob of kobolds.
Since there are 6 of them, normally one would think that we should handle 3 of them each.
If he considers my rank as well, then 4 for me and 2 for him.
And if Brass-kun isn’t just all talk, then I’d handle 2 of them while he goes for the other 4, I guess.
So, as for Brass-kun’s instructions, it’s「I’ll get the strongest one so take them.」he says.
Moreover, he rushed in without waiting for my reply.
They likely haven’t even noticed us yet, now they definitely know we’re here.
I switched with Ciel and entrusted the battle to her.
With how Brass-kun acted just now, well there’s no wonder why his party members left him.
It’s possible that he was so hungry that he couldn’t control himself but we don’t have any reason to be too considerate about that.
Rather, if I consider Brass-kun’s recognition of my, or more like Ciel’s, strength, I’ll probably die here.
Is he fine with us dying then Is he not Or did he just not think that far ahead
I’m getting a bit angry now.
And while I was thinking about that, Ciel defeated the last kobold.
With an experienced touch, she took out their magic stones and snapped off their evidence parts, their fangs.
It took her some time since there were five of them but looking at Brass-kun, it seems that he’s still not done with his fight yet.
Ciel doesn’t seem to be planning on helping him, she’s just watching over the fight.
And while still staying alert with detection in case a new monster approaches, I decided to spectate as well.
Speaking of kobolds, they use all four limbs when running and can run faster than normal dogs.
Due to that, if an ordinary person is being pursued by kobolds, they probably won’t be able to escape.
If I’m only considering Ciel’s physical capabilities, she’s not really that fast, so kobolds can easily catch up to us.
If these kobolds can use their agility to intentionally lead their enemies around, they could probably be about as strong as D-rank monsters instead of E-rank.
Another dog-like monster, the wolf, can be said to be a perfect example of that effect.
Though, wolves don’t really walk on two legs and kobolds sometimes use weapons to attack, so they aren’t exactly too similar.
In other words, the difference between them is monotony.
Even if kobolds can move fast, it’s still easy to evade repetitive attacks and it won’t be difficult to aim for a counter as well.
So in a one-on-one, a composed hunter experienced in battle would be able to defeat them with no issues.
So about Brass-kun, he’s not keeping up with the kobold’s movements at all.
It looks like he can see through the kobold’s movements, which allows him to dodge, parry, and block, keeping his injuries to the bare minimum, but he’s not matching his attacks with the enemy’s movements.
It even looks like he’s being swung around by his sword instead.
Since he’s staggering, that might be the reason for it but I can’t believe that he even thought of doing this kobold subjugation in that state.
Still, as expected of someone who boasts of being a Greater Swordsman, each of his strikes are sharp.
Even just a graze from his sword seems to do a good amount of damage since it can still lop off slightly thick branches.
More importantly, even with that much strength, he still can’t win.
He does a big swing and the kobold dodges it, he then quickly blocks the kobold’s attack in a panic.
He doesn’t even realise that Ciel is watching him, completely bored and while I’m at it, he doesn’t even seem to notice that we’ve already defeated, cremated, and buried the kobolds.
I detected monsters approaching, so I told Ciel, had her defeat them, and had their bodies disposed of with sorcery.
I don’t really know much about how swordsmen fight but since he’ll likely lose at this rate, I asked Ciel to help him just a bit.
But although I said help, I only had her make a small lump on the ground in conjunction to the kobold’s movements.
It’s a simple trick but it’s enough to tip someone over.
After the kobold tripped on the lump, Brass-kun mowed down the staggering kobold and ended the fight.
As I thought, it looks like as long as he can land a proper hit, he can defeat it in one strike.
After having Ciel switch with me, I went to Brass-kun and for some reason, he had a completely triumphant look on his face.
And when he saw me unscathed, he said「He~eh, so we’re done, huh.」with a satisfied tone.
There were a lot of things I wanted to say but I just swallowed my words, replied「Yes.」and showed him the magic stones and the fangs inside our pouch.
And as I anticipated, he didn’t even notice that Ciel defeated one more group.
Brass-kun took the kobold’s fang and magic stone and was about to throw them to me, so I stopped him.
「The request reward won’t really change, so let’s keep those to ourselves.」
「Tsk, that’s right.」
He clicked his tongue but probably because he knew that the magic stone he had was somewhat bigger than the usual E-rank magic stone, he still agreed.
After that, on the way back to town, Brass-kun went in a completely different direction, so guiding him back was annoying.
We returned to the guild, headed to the reception desk together, and handed over the fangs and magic stones.
The receptionist was naturally Celia-san.
It’s because since Brass-kun originally can’t accept high difficulty E-rank requests, Celia-san is the only one that would deal with him — to be exact, the other desk also could as well but it would take us much more time.
With the slightly bigger magic stone, Brass-kun proudly puffed up his chest but I clearly have more of them on my side.
A hunter should understand what this means, but unfortunately Brass-kun doesn’t seem to understand.
「Would it be alright to consider these the monsters that you’ve subjugated respectively」
「Please purchase the magic stones inside too.」
Since Brass-kun continued the conversation on his own, I clarified that half of the magic stones are to be sold.
I had Celia-san purchase the magic stones that aren’t related to the request.
Seeing me say that, Brass-kun looked at me with suspicion but I didn’t really say anything weird.
Celia-san first checked the kobold fangs and magic stones and then piled up a number of coins corresponding to their value.
「We’ve confirmed the completion of the request.
This will be the reward for today’s request.
As stated before, the reward will be divided equally so please confirm the amount.」
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While I was thinking about how relatively little the E-rank reward is for us, I noticed that Brass-kun was staring at my coin tower as though he wanted to say something.
I’m absolutely not planning on giving him any, so I immediately took the coins and put those in the leather pouch we’re using as a wallet.
This pouch is getting heavier as well.
Rather, since the currencies are all in coins and each of them are much bigger than the Japanese 500 yen coin, these get extremely bulky.
Though even with this, I still keep the large silver and gold coins separate.
I really want a magic bag that can be used as a wallet even if it’s just small.
「And then, this will be the amount from the magic stone’s purchase.」
This time Celia-san hands me a small pouch with money inside.
This is my own fault but it’s much easier to carry magic stones when converted into money, so I had no other choice.
Again, just as expected, Brass-kun glares at my money.
Then he now argues「Don’t I get half of that too」with a mysterious air of confidence.
Well yeah, I expected him to say that so I prepared in advance but it somewhat feels like I lured him into a trap.
「We get half of the money from the request, right」
「We only halve the reward.
This is just money I got from trading magic stones, you know」
「….. Tsk, yeah.
That’s right, huh.
No choice then.
Responding to him, I played innocent and he only replied with that as he left.
Now what he meant by no choice then, I don’t know.
However, I do understand that he really wants money.
Is it because he has debts from repeatedly failing requests, or is it because of other reasons
Whichever it is, it’s unrelated to me.
Well, we’re in the same party, so it might not be unrelated to me but it’s not my problem.
Since we were left behind, Celia-san and I looked at each other and let out a strained smile.
To think that you’d actually leave that sort of person to us.
Rather, it’s amazing how long the previous party stayed with him.
He left without even planning what we should do next but really, what is he thinking.
Should I go to the guild in the morning If he doesn’t come then fine, I’ll just keep a certain someone company.
I still need to think about what to do with the B-rank magic stone after all.
I have nothing to do left but I want to stay in the guild for a while.
However, Carol-san, who has been with us the whole day as usual, was staring at me with her eyes practically saying, You’re still not going home, so I decided to exit the guild.
「I saw ya earlier, got some money on ya, eh」
Immediately as I left, someone got in our way.
This likely happening was exactly why I didn’t want to leave the guild yet.
I noticed earlier that he seemed to have been waiting for someone just outside the Hunter Guild but unfortunately, that someone was me.
When I ignored him and tried to pass by, three new men appeared like it was preplanned.
All of them look to be about 20 years old, they seem to be older than Brass-kun but younger than Alejo.
「Quit ignoring me.
I’m just sayin’ that it’d be nice if ya treat us ju~st a little bit, ya see」
「It’s getting tedious, let’s just battle.
If I lose, I’ll hand over all the money I got today.
In exchange, if I win, give me the same amount of money I currently have on me.」
「Ya fine with those rules, aight」
「As long as the guild staff agrees.」
「Then let’s go.」
As I entered through the doors I just exited, I saw Carol-san still there and, after seeing the people following behind me, she now has a fed up look on her face.
Her fault for making me leave, so I’ll have her come along with me once again.
I headed to Celia-san’s counter and after explaining the details, she looked at me with eyes full of sympathy.
We were led to the arena-like place from before, with Carol-san acting as the mediator again.
The rules are simple.
It’s a four on one, surrender or become incapacitated and you lose.
Killing is prohibited.
For some reason, she really put emphasis on it.
『Since we have the chance, why don’t we use physical reinforcement and fight while running around and avoiding their attacks today』
『So that’s why Ain accepted this, right』
『While observing Brass-kun, I thought that it may be better if we move around to a certain extent.
Also, please try defeating them using whirlwind slash just like with Alejo.
As practice for magic power control.』
『Ugh…… that sounds pretty difficult.
If I make a little mistake, I might cut off an arm.』
『Then please try your best so that doesn’t happen.』
Even while she was worried about it, Ciel still replied with『Understood.』so I decided to silently watch over her.
Our opponents positioned themselves to surround us, and just as Carol-san announced「Start!」they rushed towards us.
The four of them all have swords, so it might be easier since we don’t have to think about long-ranged attacks.
Ciel made a huge leap backwards and shot off several whirlwind slashes to earn us some distance.
It’s good that these lightly wounded the men, but they mistakenly thought that this was the best we could do and「Ignore it and go!」they rushed all at once.
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As for the result of the match, the men ended up being covered in wounds, dropping their swords, and collapsing, probably due to anemia.
Even Ciel is breathing rather heavily and near the end, her control over sorcery got worse.
As I thought, Ciel’s weakness is likely her stamina.
I don’t have much stamina too, but regardless of how tired I get, I’m confident that I can still create barriers with practically the same precision I usually do.
『By the way, I kept on running the whole time, but was that really alright
After all, they kept yelling「Don’t run, that’s unfair!」again and again during the fight.』
『Since you’re a sorcerer, Ciel, keeping your distance should be normal.
Instead, it’s their mistake for letting a sorcerer gain distance from them.
Even for training, I think that it was good.』
『Is that so』
『I don’t really know much about fighting, so I’m not actually too sure about it.
But for now, let’s work on how to properly move and fight as a sorcerer.』
「Are you satisfied now」
「Why are you saying it like I wanted this fight
It’s because you were staring at me like you wanted me to leave that this happened.」
Carol-san said so with an appalled tone, so I replied to her with the truth.
Carol-san averted her gaze and said「Well, alright then.」as though to escape.
「If I’m correct, you demanded that they pay you the same amount that you have on you, right
These guys, won’t they just lose everything」
「I probably have about 10 gold coins.
You can pay that much with a plop, right」
「I am a B-ranker after all.
These guys are E to D-rank.
Moreover, they don’t seem to be the type to save in their daily life.」
「Well, I’ll compromise by having them pay three gold coins each.」
I actually have more than that, though.
That’s why I said that much earlier but it was of no use.
To make sure of it, I woke them up, showed them 10 gold coins, and asked them for 3 gold coins each but then they turned completely pale.
Since we have no other choice, we settled with having them pay with everything that they have right now.
However, since they couldn’t even follow the rules to a fight they started, all of them were demoted.
Hiya~! Phew, this chapter was eventful! Doing the request, going back to town, getting the money, getting people wanting the money, and beating them up all in one chapter.
So yeah, we started with Ain low-key leading the way and being really tolerant of Brass.
Still, even she got a bit angry with how he was.
And in the battle, we see both why Brass had the potential and how he wasted it.
He has both some sort of vague monster level sensor, which came up earlier, and even with how awkward he was with his sword, his slashes seem to be always sharp.
However, his problem is also the reason why kobolds are considered less dangerous than wolves: he’s monotonous.
His swings seem to be constantly big, even the strongest kobold in the pack can read his moves.
He’s being swung around by his sword, no control.
Which contrasts with both Ain and Ciel, Ain being good at magic power control while Ciel is literally a dancer, someone that has a good control over their body.
The being swung by his sword part reminds me of VRMMO type stories, where activating skills would automatically move your body, not sure if that’s the case though.
Still, a single hit from him killed the kobold and just the tip of his sword can cut nearby branches clean.
But yeah, he’s basically acting like a starter boss, big repetitive strong moves.
Anyway, back to Ain.
It’s hilarious how she just went “Yeah, let’s cut to the chase, perish” in the last part.
She clearly had a bad day today and four random peeps just come out of the blue in a tragic attempt to rob her.
Still, what’s great is that all of the mobs we’ve seen so far has their way with words.
They still have enough of a brain to get into legal fights rather than just being violent.
It might be just a show of how strict the guild is, but both Alejo and the 4 randos didn’t just go violent out in the open, they made their pretext.
Alejo making an argument so that it becomes something they can battle about while the 4 randos were going to be annoying but they immediately backed down and agreed with the battle.
Still, too bad for them, Ain just decided to use them for Ciel’s target practice.
Also, AinCiel fluff and more Carol bullying is always appreciated, lol.