CHAPTER 96: QUICK NEGOTIATION
「What rank can go in and out of countries freely, without restrictions」
Cutting to the chase, Ciel asked about something that is likely necessary for our future activities.
Whether it’s A-rank or S-rank, I’m sure she’s going to ask for whichever of them is said to be necessary.
It hasn’t been that long since we reached B-rank, though.
And before B-rank, a lot of things did happen.
After we became B-rank, we could go to Central and from there, freely to other countries.
However, freely is not quite exact.
Once you reach B-rank, you can literally go to Central unrestricted.
To begin with, becoming B-rank also means that you’re considered to be a person who won’t cause trouble at Central.
People that keep causing problems will never reach B-rank.
There are people who start causing problems after becoming B-rank, though.
From Central, you’re free to go to another country but, beyond that, your freedom is not guaranteed.
It’s said that B-rank hunters can deal with lesser nobles but on the flipside, they can’t oppose the words of greater nobles.
In becoming a B-rank hunter, countries may want to take you in, so it’s really difficult to enjoy sightseeing.
And so, to prevent this from happening, the hunters typically visit while “deployed by the headquarters” but in this case, naturally they will have to do some work for the Hunter Guild.
That’s why Carol-san and the members of the Fools’ Gathering came to Estoque with duties.
In other words, to have the footing to freely travel around the continent without using Fii-kaasama’s name, B-rank just isn’t enough.
On the other hand, becoming an A-rank hunter is like becoming a greater noble.
A proportionate amount of contributions and strength will be necessary.
To become A-rank solo is like, in another country for example, demanding to be given the rank of marquis.
Ciel hasn’t said anything yet though.
「S-rank, is what I’d like to say, however A-rank is where hunters have the most freedom.
At S-rank, you become conspicuous.
Considering the balance of convenience and freedom of movement within the country, that would be my answer.」
「Then first, make me an A-rank Hunter.」
「That can be done immediately, if you so wish.」
「…… An A-rank hunter’s obligations are」
Perhaps because this was accepted easier than she anticipated, Ciel cautiously asked him so.
If I was the one negotiating, I’d probably be cautious too.
After all, it’s pretty hard to read his expression.
If this acceptance had a catch, that is even though the countries can’t intervene, the Hunter Guild will instead have a tight hold on us, it would be meaningless.
「As long as you complete a certain amount of requests, that would be enough.
It’s an extreme example, but in the case of A-rank requests, completing one per year is sufficient.
After that, feel free to do as you wish.
However, Cielmer-sama, if you become A-rank, you will likely be subjected to many troublesome encounters.」
「When that happens, I’ll just beat them up.」
「We like to ask you to hold back in those encounters, however……」
「Isn’t it self-responsibility」
Due to Ciel’s appearance, it’s inevitable for people to pick on her and so, it’s also inevitable for them to get beat up as a result of that.
A hunter must be responsible for their own safety.
The moment that someone misjudges Ciel’s true abilities, they’ve already failed as a hunter.
It’s sophistry, but we can only say that.
And, if needed, me casting a barrier normally would probably be threatening enough.
After all, even a sloppy barrier made with half the effort should have enough defensive power.
「If we want to limit the casualties, then we should resolve it ourselves, huh…… it’s certainly as you say.」
「I probably won’t kill.
Other than that, I don’t know.
Don’t randomly promote me to S-rank.」
Rhavelt opened his mouth and was about to say something, but he kept silent and had a slight grimace.
Judging from his reaction, he was probably going to say that an arbitrary rank promotion won’t happen.
Normally that would be the case, but unfortunately we don’t have any trust in these matters.
After all, we were blocked from getting to B-rank just because of our age.
It’s easy to imagine them suddenly raising us to S-rank when they find it convenient for them.
Allow me to freely state that my rank is lower than A-rank.
And allow this for Ain too.」
「To state that your rank is lower than A…… is it」
While it was good that the first half caught Rhavelt’s attention, Ciel absolutely said my name just now.
Though, since we can now change colors and Ainsel can now act in the open, there might be situations where we can use that.
In that case, it might be better for me to register separately.
But since we know someone from the top, I guess we can just say 「Please verify with Rhavelt.」 whenever something happens.
Well, Ciel’s first demand was also pretty big.
Big enough to warrant ignoring my existence, at the very least.
Allowing us to state that our rank is lower is the same as the guild allowing the falsification of our rank.
While I don’t remember if the acquisition of card duplicates is forbidden, it’s definitely not endorsed and if it’s at a lower rank, then it’s worse than a duplicate.
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Ciel’s perspective here is that having a rank that fits our appearance should lessen the probability of people picking on us.
Rhavelt likely recognizes that as well.
While it’s certainly easy to abuse this, I don’t think Ciel would misuse it.
Though, if I’m involved, I feel like she’ll probably do it as much as needed.
If it’ll be of help to Ciel, I’m sure that I wouldn’t hesitate abusing this power myself either.
However, please refrain from accepting requests of C-rank and below.」
Then what about Ain, Ainsel」
Hearing Ciel’s words, Rhavelt looked at Fii-kaasama, as if to ask for help.
Ciel is currently in her taciturn mode, or rather I don’t want to say anything more than the bare minimum mode, so it’s practically next to impossible to ask her about me.
That’s why he’s correct in asking kaasama for help.
I have no idea how kaasama will answer, though.
The guild hasn’t earned enough trust for them to teach you about this so easily.
However, you can think of her as my other new daughter.
While her abilities are only specialized in a certain aspect, she’s my equal.」
Hearing Fii-kaasama say equal, Rhavelt stared at the distant horizon.
Let me guess, he’s another wise sufferer.
I don’t have a good image of the Hunter Guild, but I’ve seen a lot of wise sufferers who’ve gotten the short end of the stick.
That’s why, to be honest, it’s not like he doesn’t have a good impression on me personally.
Besides, I think the only truly terrible guildmaster was the one at Royal Capital Estoque’s Guild.
The different guilds in the towns before that were all favorable towards Ciel in the end.
「…… As long as she is always in the same party as Cielmer-sama, we’ll accept this as an exception.」
How reasonable of you.」
「This land is a land that you have lent to us.
Despite how I look, I do know where I stand.
In this land, whatever you state to be black, even the color white, will turn black.」
If I call a certain thing black and you say that it’s white, you’ll simply be kicked out.」
「No doubt about it.」
Somehow, these two seem like they’re on really good terms.
How do I describe it, it’s like the exchange of a student who feels indebted to his teacher even after achieving greatness.
Anyhow, it looks like I’m recognized as a Hunter now.
「You’re accepting it so easily, why」
Just as she said, or maybe not, with how easily and quickly her demands are accepted, I can’t help but be curious about what’s at the bottom of this.
While it can be explained as simply them making up for the troubles, it still feels too generous considering that.
Rhavelt then stares at Ciel, as though appraising her.
「Being that she was adopted by Fiiyanamia-sama, she should be plenty capable.
Besides, I cannot refuse an individual that Fiiyanamia-sama has deemed acceptable.
Additionally, the unassisted resolution of an artificially induced stampede, unassisted subjugation of an unknown monster, and wyvern extermination during a naturally occurring stampede; these deeds are already beyond that of an A-ranker.
There will be people objecting to it considering your age but with all the trouble we have caused so far, it’ll definitely be approved.」
In other words, our contributions are already well beyond that of an A-rank promotion.
Now that he enumerated it, yeah, I think we have done more work than a regular A-rank.
Since that’s the cause, then I suppose we can trust him for now.
Besides, as I thought, Fii-kaasama has a really big influence.
After all, we are accepted thanks to Fii-kaasama’s acknowledgement and, Ciel and I aside, I’m sure that he wouldn’t betray kaa-sama’s trust.
And if, hypothetically, there’s a catch to this, since kaasama is involved, making a move within Central would be not just risky but extremely risky.
Actually, if they had some sort of plan, kaasama should already know about it.
Also, find the people in the Hunter Guild’s upper management who wanted to use me and punish them.」
「That will certainly be in order.」
I suspected this could be the case.
After all, the guildmasters up until now seemed to have asked for permission or received instructions from some higher-ups.
Actually, this would be a great opportunity to reform the whole organization.
If that happens, it’s likely that Ciel would be able to have a more peaceful time.
Besides, I don’t think it’s a bad thing for the Hunter Guild either.
『It seems like this will finish without any issues.』
『How do I say this, it’s settled a lot easier than I thought it would be.』
『While it might have been anti-climatic, things settled the way you wanted it to, so isn’t that good Ciel』
With this, Ain can now come out freely.』
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Ciel cheerfully stated her goal.
So it’s just as I thought……
Ever since we arrived at Central, I was thinking that it would be best to decrease the frequency that I borrow Ciel’s body but it looks like Ciel made her move first.
Still, considering that we’ll eventually lose our lifespan, perhaps I don’t need to think about 「Ciel’s time」 that much anymore.
「And while it may be unneeded, we have prepared for you a certain amount as reparation, so please accept it.」
「Money is unnecessary.
We’ll probably get more anyway.
So, use that to gather information.」
「By information, you mean」
「About Artificial Divine Messengers.
It doesn’t matter where.
If you find one, we’ll defeat it.」
「Cielmer-sama, are you saying that you’ll personally engage」
「For our goal.」
「I see, very well then.」
For some reason Rhavelt seemed deeply moved, which I suppose it’s because we’re taking the initiative to defeat a monster estimated to be at A-rank.
It’s the so-called sharing of mutual interest.
While we don’t plan on being used by the Hunter Guild, we’ll still prioritize engaging the Artificial Divine Messengers.
And now against an unknown monster, the Hunter Guild has secured a guaranteed war potential of at least 1.
While I say guaranteed, last time I was of no use at all, actually…… I’m starting to lose confidence now.
I completely forgot since a lot happened at the manor but as of late, I’ve been losing constantly.
If I lower my guard down too much just because I have divine power now, I might get the rug pulled under me.
After that, with our task done, Fii-kaasama quickly left and Ciel followed behind her.
If possible, it would’ve been nice to know where all the people who’ve helped us back at Estoque are, but I guess we do have some time tomorrow, or even the day after that, to ask.
After all, without anyone pursuing us, we now have so much free time in our hands.
Hiya~! Well, that was pretty quick for a guild chapter, lol.
Honestly, I don’t have much to say about today, but our princesses are now A-rank! That was quick…
One thing that I do love about this chapter is how much Ciel is preparing for Ain to be out in the world freely.
It was funny how she was pretty quick to say Ain’s name with zero context too, lol.
As usual, I feel bad for the guildmasters, all of them except the acting guildmaster and the previous Royal Capital guildmaster.
The Hunter Guild is simply reaping what it sowed, of course, but the chaos of both the ill mannered people that characterise the typical not very competent, but overly haughty low ranking hunters *and* the shenanigans in middle to top level management that got AinCiel pissed… Actually, I feel bad for a different reason here, since on the other times it was Ain talking and she…… let’s say, doesn’t talk like Ciel does.