CHAPTER 29: HERBS, THE REASON FOR STALKING, AND PUBS
「A bit late, aren’t you」
「Am I There is still some time before the evening rush and sunset, so I think I’m here early.」
I indifferently answered to the seemingly displeased Carol-san staring at me.
Still, I do think that by being so expressive about it, she’s practically exposing that she stalked us herself, really.
「Anyways, would you mind telling me the reason for that」
「What are you talking about」
「I see, so it’s okay for me to scream that I was being stalked.
It’s not something we can talk about here, so could you follow me to the back」
「I want to report the request first, though.」
In my mind, my treatment of Carol-san is gradually getting worse.
I know that she might not be a bad person, but it seems like I still have a grudge about her almost killing us.
Also, when I think of how bothersome she can get when it comes to sorcery, I just don’t feel like having a serious conversation with her.
In addition, I guess this time’s stalking wade it worse.
Besides, concerning the party earlier, there shouldn’t be any reason to be upset about what happened since I did actually save them.
「In that case, I’ll bring Celia along as well.
How about that」
「As long as the request gets processed.」
「Then let’s go.」
I was led to the booth that I’ve visited several times by now and, as usual, I sat at the seat that I’ve always used.
A while later, Celia-san entered the room, and so I told her「First, I’d like to process the request please.」and handed her the pouch.
After receiving it, Celia-san replies with「Excuse me.」and checks the herbs.
「I’ve verified the requested goods.
There’s no doubt that all of these are the specified herbs.
It’s great that you didn’t misidentify these on your first time, Cielmer-san.」
「Thank you very much.
By the way, are these also herbs」
Celia-san’s eyes widened as I handed her the bag of small samples that I gathered.
She then looked at the contents of the bag to verify them.
「Yes, all of them are definitely herbs.
Based on their rank, hower, these are only 1 or 2 ranks higher than the ones you’ve gathered for the request, so these aren’t that expensive, still…」
「Please don’t mind it, knowing that these are herbs is good enough.」
Just by knowing this, completing herb gathering requests will be easier from now on.
Also, I should inform them about the goblins that we defeated.
「Also, would you mind checking these too」
「These are… goblin evidence parts and magic stones, aren’t they The guild certainly welcomes these goods.
But as I thought, it might be best for you to have a magic bag, Cielmer-san.」
「A magic bag」
「These are bags that can store more objects than they should be able to.
It can be said that the magic bags that can ignore the weight of the objects are highly coveted by solo and higher ranking hunters.」
「Come to think of it, Carol-san also uses one too.」
So when the battleaxe and other things suddenly appeared, she was probably using a magic bag.
True, if we had one, we should be able to make some good progress with subjugation requests and the like.
「I want one but it’s expensive, right」
「Unless you’re a high-ranking hunter, privately owning one would be difficult.
It’s said that only Alchemist-type Jobs can create these and because of the scarcity of these, even a small one would require gold coins to purchase.
However, as long as you have enough achievements, it’s possible to borrow a magic bag from the guild.」
Celia-san only said that much but in short, just earn some achievements, I guess.
The part where the guild would lend it out might be because it’s necessary to do so when subjugating large monsters or delivering huge objects for a request.
While I am interested in magic bags, it’s not like I can do something with it right now, so I moved on to the main issue and looked at Carol-san.
「And so, why was Carol-san following me」
「That’s right! Why did you push all of that trouble to me」
Carol-san, who should’ve been thinking about something, immediately reacted to my words with a fed up look on her face.
Don’t answer a question with another one… is what I’d like to say, but I don’t really have the right to complain about that, so I stopped myself and just answered her.
「It’s because it seemed troublesome.
Even if I did save them, I can’t be sure that they’d believe in me but if Carol-san was the one that saved them, they wouldn’t have have any doubts and I wouldn’t attract any needless attention, you know」
「Sure, that might be the case, but troublesome things are still troublesome, you know」
「So would it be better if I didn’t save them」
「I’m not saying that.
After all, if you haven’t saved them, I would’ve done it instead.」
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So isn’t it fine then But I guess this doesn’t change the fact that I pushed them to her.
It’s just like how I still have a grudge on her for almost killing us.
Seemingly giving up, Carol-san sighed「Well fine.」and shrugged her shoulders.
「Me following you is, something like an initiation of sorts.」
「What do you mean」
As I just got more questions from her anwer, Carol-san shot Celia-san a glance.
「In the past, for people that started at G-rank and ranked up, and for people that started from E-rank as well, there’s a high mortality rate for those at E-rank.
The former would’ve been used to going outside of the town while they were still at F-rank and the latter would’ve become overconfident from starting at E-rank; so in both cases, they end up being neglectful of their surroundings.
For that reason, a secret test is held for every hunter that have just reached E-rank.」
「So then, the top hunters follow them and see if they’re actually paying attention outside of town」
「Technically, since we ask hunters of D-rank and above, it isn’t exactly the top hunters that are doing so, but that is indeed correct.
If the hunter in question is being defenseless outside of town, a situation where they should have been acting cautiously; then as a warning, the hunter following would surprise them.
And so, you were also tested as well, but……」
After saying that much, Celia-san turns to Carol-san.
So it’s not just me they’re watching over, it’s the guild as a whole.
Unlike Ciel and I, as we’ve been always fighting for our lives, it might be difficult for rookie hunters to always pay attention to their surroundings when they’re outside the town.
Then in that case, it shouldn’t be necessary to question them any further.
「Even I didn’t think that I’d be discovered that easily, you know
Rather, you can also use detection magic, right It’s no wonder that you found me.」
「I can’t use detection, you know」
Although I tried playing dumb, Carol-san said「There’s no doubt about it.」and was absolutely certain.
In actuality, I really did use detection but I’m sure that I didn’t do anything that would make it too obvious.
Still, she probably doesn’t know when I used it.
After all, I’m still using it now but she’s not saying anything about it.
「If you really can’t, then there’s no way that you would have specifically gathered only herbs and distinguish between them like so.
It should be impossible for someone who has never been outside up until recently to know which is which just by looking.」
「If I’m not mistaken, detection is difficult to do, isn’t it」
「Right, it’s difficult.
In the first place, there isn’t any established method of doing it, so it’s different depending on the user.」
So detection is difficult, huh It doesn’t really feel that way though.
Still, if I’m remembering it right, there were probably no books about detection sorcery in that room.
Though, it might be possible that I just didn’t know about it.
It’s not like I’ve read every single book there after all.
So, since saying something about it might catch Carol-san’s interest and all, I asked「So then, how did I do in the test」and changed the topic.
「I just want to confirm but you’ve been using your barrier the whole time, right」
「Then I don’t even know how the heck you can fail this test.
Just from how you look, you seem completely defenseless but you’re doing that on purpose, aren’t you」
As for that, I’m not actually doing this on purpose, so I just vaguely smiled as a reply.
I don’t really understand much about looking defenseless, or rather how being well-prepared would be.
Is it about being always alert of one’s surroundings and being able to act immediately
「Come to think of it, what happened to those hunters」
「They came back safely.
Their request was treated as a failure on their part, so they seemed to have had a dispute within the party but I’m not going to take care of that too.」
「Well, as long as they’re alive, then I’m glad.」
Although I said so, I didn’t really mean what I said.
Maybe it’s because it’s not happening in front of me but I’m not really concerned about them for some reason.
I’m sure that it’s because I’m not in a situation where I can care about strangers.
「Are you convinced now」
「I understand why Carol-san was following me.
What should I do from tomorrow on」
「In the morning, come to my place.
I’ll teach you the competencies you need to be a hunter.
In the afternoon, complete the requests that Celia assigns to you and you’re free to go after that.
If you acquire all the competencies and complete all those requests, you’ll become a D-rank.」
「Is it fine to tell me that」
If it’s really fine to say about it, then they could’ve just told me about it much earlier, right
I glanced at Celia-san and she seemed a bit troubled as well.
「Originally, it’s not something we should tell you.
However, it’s also true that the requests needed to reach D-rank are publicly known.
In Cielmer-san’s case, your requirements for ranking up would be slightly unique but since we’ve judged that you wouldn’t get rash after knowing it, I allowed Carol to share this to you.」
I don’t really know if there’s any meaning to these required requests if everyone knows what it is, but I guess this means that the completion of the requests are more important than the information of what these are.
I can’t be sure about what techniques we’ll be required to have but I can imagine it probably being something like how to set up camp or maybe, like in today’s test, about how to secure oneself outside the town and such.
Thank you very much.」
「So this discussion ends here.
Do you have any plans after this」
But if there are any pubs around, I’d like to go there.」
「You won’t be able to drink even if you go there, you know」
「I’ve heard that pubs are places for gathering information, so I thought that I would need to go there sometime.」
「Sure, you can collect information at a pub, but still……」
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The pub being a place to gather information is just a somewhat vague bias of mine, but I know that gathering information would require considerable communication skills.
Considering me in the past, even if I went to a pub, I probably would just order something and go home after finishing my order.
In that regard, the current me might have better communication skills now.
Maybe dying once might have made me somewhat liberated in some weird way.
Or maybe it’s because, while we’re in this country, it won’t be a big issue even if we get misunderstood and can’t communicate well.
Still, there’s going to be a lot of problems if I don’t become social.
So while I feel sorry for Ciel, I’ll need her to cooperate with this.
Back to the topic.
Carol-san is contemplating on whether she’ll give a name of a pub and it seems like there’s also a minimum legal drinking age for drinking alcohol.
Although she might just want to stop us, a 10-year-old girl, from drinking regardless of the legal drinking age.
And most of all, there is a possibility of us getting involved with drunk adults.
I, or rather Ciel, would be able to fight them off if they try to mess with us, but that in of itself would make us stand out.
「You can just take Cielmer-san to the authorized pub, can’t you」
「True, if it’s that place then there shouldn’t be any immediate trouble.」
「What’s an authorized pub」
「The authorized pub is, to be exact, a pub authorized by the Hunter’s guild.
To make sure that there are always hunters available in the unlikely event that the towns and villages are attacked by monsters, a number of hunters are asked to be on standby at these towns and villages.
However, since there are many temperamental people among hunters, the ones to host them are these authorized pubs.
It wouldn’t be an issue no matter how much commotion you make there.
However, it’s forbidden to have disputes between hunters.
If this rule is broken, then at worse, you’d lose your qualification to be a hunter.
So even if you go there, Cielmer-san, there shouldn’t be anyone who would try to mess around with you.」
「Then, could you take me to that place」
So after hearing about what the authorized pub is, I turned to Carol-san and said so.
She then muttered「Fine.」with a clearly reluctant look.
Hiya~! Here we are again back in the guild, and *that room* lol, but it seems like we’re getting out fast this time!
Today our princesses pressed Carol for answers and the certainly got answers.
Not much Ciel in our AinCiel today, but there’s a bit of Carol bullying and more world building~!
We now know how the guild is so formal and office-like even though most of the hunters are rowdy hooligans: they literally have a pub to be rowdy at so the guild itself can look respectable.
Which, if you think of the people making requests, makes sense.
If there are so many scary looking big dudes at the guild always drinking, it’s a bit hard for normal people to feel welcome.
This can be solved having a good building layout, for example in the goblin slayer anime where the counter is right in front of the entrance so you don’t really bump into the scary hooligans when it’s not rush hour, and probably having the second floor or a lower floor as the drinking area.
Some just have a different counter reserved for making requests too.
But yeah, you still need to look respectable, especially if you’re operating an international level organization and this implies a bit about how the Hunter Guild wants to present itself to the public.
It’s really nice to see how different stories portray their guilds.
(But this is just my opinion though, lol
Also, really great to see more about hunter culture() and stuff.
I mean, it’s hard to trust newbies to be always, *always* alert.
It’s not a problem in most kinds of work, but a single mistake can literally kill you in this working environment.
Still, imagine Carol: sneaking behind a little girl when she randomly, but precisely, picks out herbs.
*Only herbs.* And then, just after noontime, after hunting some poor poor E-ranked monsters (goblins based on the parts they gave), she suddenly goes to peek at some newbies fighting a losing battle and suddenly cast sorcery.
Right above your head.
*Exactly near where you are **hiding**.* And then, she runs.
It’s not hard to imagine why Carol would think that AinCiel is insane and that everything they do is calculated, even if it isn’t.
So then, next time: to the pub! For what reason Well, I wonder what~ (Stares at the Sunday Cafe Bossa Nova playing in the other tab) Who knows~
Anyways, I hope you enjoyed this chapter.
Please feel free to comment.
Stay clean, stay safe, and have a nice day~!