CHAPTER 48: SONG PRINCESS AND THE ROYAL CAPITAL REQUESTS
Our bath ended peacefully without any incident.
To dry her wet hair, I asked Ciel to switch with me so I can use my hairdryer sorcery.
As I exposed her hair to warm air while combing my hand through it, Ciel’s hair turned satisfyingly straight and smooth.
I’m sure that burying my face in it would feel really good.
Though I won’t, since Ciel will probably be taken aback if I do that.
After drying her hair and returning the body to Ciel, dinner was delivered in.
And after finishing dinner—there wasn’t anything in it—Ciel asked me a question.
「What should we do tomorrow」
『We either go to the guild or gather information, I suppose.
Otherwise, should we tour around the capital again』
「Will the information gathering be about the forest wolves that came from the north」
There seems to be something fishy about it after all.』
「True, it’ll be better to investigate it in advance.
Still, that’s not really something we can finish immediately.
How about we go to the guild tomorrow to check the requests」
『Right, there might be some that can help us rank up too.』
By level of priority, reaching B-rank is far higher up than seeing the ocean.
That’s why prioritising the request checking instead of information gathering isn’t particularly strange.
And since we’re hunters, it’s probably just the standard practice to go to the guild for the time being when arriving in a new town.
The problem here will be our timing in entering the guild.
If we do it during the morning and evening peak times, it’s practically certain that we’d be picked on by somebody, and that would be nothing but a waste of time.
We should go when there wouldn’t be any people around, complete an easy to finish C-rank request, and return before the peak times.
If somebody still picks on us even after doing that, we’ll handle it when it happens.
Otherwise, it might be good to just camp out for a night instead and return at some time when there’s not many people.
The sword will be finished in five days.
Even if we camp out tomorrow, we’ll still have three days remaining, so we should have plenty of extra time to gather information after this.
「It’ll be great if there’s a perfect request.」
『This is the royal capital after all.
I’d like to be hopeful in this regard but, at the same time, we probably shouldn’t expect too much.』
「Why is that」
『Since there are a lot of people, we know that there is a higher chance for the Hunter Guild here to have more requests.
However, as this is the royal capital, they must have put a large effort in maintaining order and safety in the surrounding area.』
「Then in that case, the monsters in the vicinity might have been already hunted to exhaustion.」
There might be an abundance of escort requests, but we can’t really accept any of these now.』
「So, just hope for the best of tomorrow then.
I can take my time walking, right」
『We don’t want to get pestered after all.』
Well then, Ain.
Ciel turned off the lights and crawled into the bed.
Since I don’t go to sleep, I decided to sing a lullaby to at least help Ciel get a comfortable rest.
Although it might not be a lullaby to be exact, I sang a relaxing tune that wouldn’t disturb her sleep.
If I apply a sleeping effect with Song Princess, the people that would hear this would probably fall asleep in an instant.
In the meantime, until Ciel falls asleep, I continue to sing.
Now then, speaking of Ciel as she sleeps, she’s as pretty as a doll.
She does breath and turn around occasionally though, so she definitely looks alive in any angle.
For the remaining time today, I guess I’ll work on my sorcery research while lightly staying on the lookout.
Though, rather than just sorcery, it’s more about magic, or rather my Job.
What I’m doing is testing how to apply the buffs from Song Princess to my sorcery… or is it magic
The Song Princess can equally apply buffs, or debuffs, to every being that hears her song.
I’ll include abnormal status in debuffs here.
While this probably won’t apply to everything, since I can also attract monsters, there’s likely more to it than just that.
An easy way to explain abnormal status is with my lullaby—including the lullaby-like songs.
When singing a lullaby with the Song Princess’ power, I can put people to sleep if I wanted to.
What’s needed to resist it is unknown.
Because of that, I think that if I sing a head-spitting or a crazed and deranged song, it should be possible for me to induce chaos and confusion.
I won’t though.
So, the issue there is the fact that every being that hears the song is unilaterally affected.
About this, no matter how I look at it, I’m absolutely exempted from it.
Rather than me, it’s probably the Song Princess’ that’s immune, or maybe singing it makes me resist the effects but in the end of it all, I, myself, don’t receive the benefits of the buffs.
Though, it’s probably like this since it’ll be a problem if it isn’t.
For example, if I wanted to make someone sleep and this isn’t the case, it’ll turn out like: I sing, the listener and I fall asleep, the singing stops, we wake up, I sing again, and repeat.
In short, what I want to say is that I really want to strengthen my barrier with the Song Princess’ power, but I’m not getting anywhere as of now.
The Song Princess’ buffing power is absurd, to the point that Ciel was able to intercept several spears of ice with just regular sorcery.
At present, I’m more proficient with my barrier—and detection—than Ciel is with any of her sorcery, so if I can apply a buff to my barrier, we should be able to completely shut down Carol-san’s ice spears with only the barrier.
It’s exactly for this reason that I instigated Carol-san to study about the relationship between sorcery and Jobs.
With that said, I once again continue my nightly research alone, but I just can’t find a breakthrough.
Is a Song Princess completely immune to their own powers Is there some song resistance Do I just lack proficiency with the Song Princess Is it ineffective to other people with the Song Princess Job Are there other factors involved
I’ll be great if I can just figure which one it is, but the only one that I can immediately test is the resistance via singing theory.
I continued contemplating about it for hours, and when I was tired and was about to give up, sunshine beamed through the window.
Ciel woke up some time after the morning sun started to shine in.
While diligent, or financially pressed, hunters head to the Hunter Guild the first thing in the morning, since we’re neither diligent nor financially pressed, it’s not our problem.
After eating breakfast and leaving the inn, I tried talking to Ciel about the song resistance.
『Ciel, there’s one thing I want you to try, but will that be fine』
『What is it If it’s a request from you Ain, I’m ready for anything.』
『I want you to try singing together with me while I use my Song Princess power.』
『Why is that』
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As Ciel tilted her head in confusion, I told her about last night and she then nodded convinced.
『In that case, there’s no need to do it then.
The Song Princess’ effects properly apply after all.』
『After all, when Ain sings, I occasionally sing along too.』
Now that she mentioned it, I do remember something like that in the past.
『In this case, then I either don’t receive the Song Princess’ effects or don’t have enough proficiency over my Job……』
『It might have been better if there were two of you, Ain.』
『Two of me……』
『If that happens, can I have both』
『Not just one』
『I mean, I want both after all.』
I’m not a thing, you know Is something I won’t say.
It’s not as if Ciel’s being serious after all and even now, I’m practically just an accessory to Ciel.
Most of all, Ciel is in a good mood right now and that’s enough for me.
More importantly, I shouldn’t disregard the idea of there being two of me.
If there is another one of me and the Song Princess’ power would work on that me, then I’ll be capable of producing a much stronger barrier.
Still, there’s no changing the fact that it’s just absurd nonsense.
Even if it’s possible, it’ll be within the realm of magic.
I might as well just ask Duke Rispelgia to have another one haunt us at that point.
As my mind was going astray, Ciel arrived at the Hunter Guild.
Among the ones that we’ve seen so far, it’s the largest guild building, having two entrances.
Looking closely, it seems that one is for hunter use while the other is for requesters, or rather for general use.
Come to think of it, people other than hunters also come to the Hunter Guild to make requests, so having separate entrances makes it easier to avoid trouble.
『How should I say this, the people that messed with us in the past were considerably reckless, huh.』
『What makes you think so, Ain』
『The guilds we’ve been to so far only had one entrance, right So that means, the people that would bring in requests would also enter through those doors.』
『And being 12 years old, people rarely see you as a hunter, right Ciel』
『I can’t really help it, you know』
『In other words, although they should be seeing you as a requester, they still went to mess with us.
If you were a noble, they would’ve lost their life there.』
『Well, I do have some noble blood in me.
If it’s only by looks, it wouldn’t be strange if I was seen as a noble.』
Ciel’s outfit might have prevented them from seeing her as one though.
Otherwise, maybe a noble’s daughter would have never gone to the Hunter Guild by herself in the first place.
Nonetheless, I do think that a merchant’s daughter going to make an escort request is a possible situation at least.
We’re not really requesters, so they didn’t actually misjudge us in this regard but…… I guess there’s no use thinking about it.
『For now, let’s go inside.』
『Right, I’m sorry for taking so much time.』
『You don’t have to apologise Ain.
Talking with you is fun after all.』
After saying so, Ciel opens the door.
Although this is the royal capital’s guild, other than the two separate entrances, it doesn’t seem too different from the other guilds.
Simply from a quick look, I already understand how this guild works.
Other than the receptionist, there are barely any people here.
Just one party in front of the request board, I think.
Noticing Ciel, the receptionist stares at us with a confused look on her face but Ciel ignores it and heads straight to the request board.
We started checking in order, from F-rank first, but many of the requests are herb gathering for salve and potion-use.
From the fact that these continue until E-rank, it seems like they need herbs even from places that have high chances of monster encounters.
Looking closely, there are even D-rank herb gathering requests.
I suppose the reason for there being practically no subjugation requests here is that these requests actually pay well and can build one’s reputation.
『If we accept a request, we should choose the ones asking for medical herbs in places that are hard to harvest from.』 While I was discussing with Ciel on our way to the C-rank corner, 「This place is for C-rank hunters.」 someone called to us.
It’s probably the party I saw earlier.
The party consisted of a swordsman-ish man, a sorcerer-ish lady, a slightly stern shield-bearing man, and a slightly high-exposure spear-wielding lady.
The one that talked to us was the swordsman.
「Thanks, it’s fine.」
Replying with only that, Ciel shifts her gaze back to the request board while the party looks at each other and flashed a strained smile.
He didn’t say anything else beyond that.
While he might have said that out of good will, Ciel really had nothing else to say other than she’s fine.
It would be nice if they just think that Ciel is some low-ranked Hunter peeking for reference.
That was what I hoped for, but it seems like the swordsman thought of something as he showed a convinced look.
「Let me guess, you’re C-rank, aren’t you」
「So you’re the rumored one.
Sorry for disturbing you.
Take your time choosing.」
Hearing that, the swordsman’s other party members seemed to be convinced about something as well, as they took some distance to avoid disturbing Ciel.
I wonder, what do they mean by rumor While it would be nice if I can play dumb like that, there are already several things that comes to my mind, so I wonder which one he’s referring to.
I do think that it isn’t likely to be a bad one, but I honestly can’t say for sure.
If the fact that we got several hunters demoted in rank got spread, we might even get called a low-rank destroyer, who knows
In our defense, we only accepted the fights that they started.
Rumors are often transmitted in amusing ways.
Getting back into what we were doing, I looked at the request board and saw a request asking for the culling of a forest wolf pack that appeared on the northern side of the capital.
As I thought, it might be best to do some proper info gathering before we leave the capital.
It has a high reward for a wolf subjugation request with no acceptance limit, so most people must have already accepted it.
For that reason, we won’t accept it.
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『How about this one』
Saying so, Ciel pointed to a certain request form.
It’s a herb gathering request for herbs used for mid-rank potions and above that also has the herb’s approximate habitat mapped out together with the form.
With our regular walking speed, if we go there now, we’ll definitely have to camp out overnight.
If we leave at sunrise, we should be able to return barely before sunset even considering the time needed to gather the herbs, but it’s also written down that preparing for camping is recommended.
The request form is awfully detailed, with the herb’s characteristics and the information on the possible monster encounters written down, so it’s a mystery how this is still left here.
The answer is clearly apparent from its small sum of a reward though.
Considering how time consuming it is, it has the lowest reward among C-rank.
『I believe we’ll have to camp overnight, but would that be alright』
『Ain will protect me right』
『Well of course.』
『Then it’s fine.』
Since Ciel flashed me an absolutely doubtless smile, I agreed to the acceptance of that request.
As Ciel peels off the request form and takes it to the reception desk, the receptionist stares at Ciel with displeasure.
「Look now, this is a C-rank request, you know」
「Ahh, that kid is all good.
Would you mind showing your card」
Before Ciel could reply to the receptionist, the swordsman from earlier answered.
Ciel took out her Hunter Card as instructed and handed it to the receptionist.
Receiving it, the receptionist takes a good look at the card before saying 「We’ll have it processed immediately!」 and moving in a panic.
「Well, you likely would’ve managed even without me.」
Used to it.」
「That’s why, this is just me being nosy.
It should’ve shortened the time you would have took, so I hope you can accept this as my apology for earlier.」
The man only left those words and waved goodbye as he returned to his party.
Are they not accepting any requests Maybe they’re here on standby, to make sure that the situation where there are absolutely no hunters in the Hunter Guild is prevented.
After all, while there should be some people in the pub, just a bunch of drunkards might not be of any use during emergencies.
After successfully accepting the request, we bought enough food to last until tomorrow morning and left the capital’s gates.
Heya~! Our princesses are back to work now and luckily they didn’t encounter any random thugs on the way! (Or rather, inside the guild, lol)
While we didn’t encounter any hooligans this time, we actually had an encounter still.
An encounter with a helpful swordsman (and his party) that is.
Quite nice to see nice people first, to be honest.
Still, it seems like our princesses have some sort of reputation now, judging from the *rumor* or maybe even *rumors*, lol.
Also, I like the nice little thing about the doors.
Yeah, people come in to make requests and some hooligans start extorting them, it’s going to be a hell of a problem.
One reason I can think of why the fools act like that is maybe because they’re already familiar with the people of the town.
Or perhaps the place is actually popular for receiving new hunters from the countryside, like B-boy and his old band of diligent friends.
Also, there’s the forest wolves outside the forest situation, *hmmmm*…