Chapter 1 – The 10th Year Started With An Unlucky Day
This town called Durande was not a particularly large one.
After all, it’s population was about two thousand. However, it was a town that was so rich with food, that along with the surrounding villages, their self-sufficiency rate was never below three hundred percent every year.
And in a world with great walking threats such as monsters and magitec beasts, it was incredibly difficult to maintain vast fields.
It was proof of just how much the guards, who protected the town, and the Adventurers who guarded the fields, were contributing.
Tor was leaning on his elbow in front of the desk. He had a sulky expression that was void of remorse as he listened to the guard speak.
“As I was saying, we guards are just like you Adventurers. It’s our job to protect the people from any threats. It’s inconceivable that you would use your strength to fight others!”
“Look here, I was the one who was attacked. And it wasn’t like it was a disproportionate response either. That’s why he got away without a scratch. You weren’t even able to catch him.”
“That may be true, but it’s not the point. I’m talking about the way it would look to the outside world.”
“So then you just have to make an announcement and tell the truth.”
“…In any case, you shouldn’t be fighting when you’re drunk.”
“And you just changed the subject. Let me see, you know who this guy is, don’t you?”
“And perhaps you should be drinking less.”
“It didn’t seem like he was so strong that you wouldn’t be able to stand against him. And he didn’t seem like someone with authority. Maybe he’s related to a great organization. Though, probably near the bottom.”
“Don’t go prying!”
Tor muttered in a dissatisfied voice.
He had been in this world for nine years. And he had finally thought to give up and live in this world, and this is what happens. He was not amused.
After being thrown out of the guard house, he walked towards his inn with a grim expression.
“Ah, it’s you. Coming back in the morning? To be so young again.”
The innkeeper said with a chuckle and a lewd hand gesture. Tor became even more annoyed, and so he turned towards the wall and started to shadow box.
“Ah, and you still have energy to spare. The youth these days!”
“That’s not it. Can I eat breakfast now?”
“The wife’s in the middle of preparing it.”
He pointed to a backdoor that was apparently connected to the kitchen. Then the innkeeper pulled out a chair and sat down.
The sounds of crackling firewood could be heard from the back. After that, Tor could hear the sizzling of hot oil. It reminded him of an applause.
He sat down at one of the tables and called to the innkeeper.
“I picked up something rare on my way back.”
“What is it?”
The innkeeper leaned towards him with interest.
Tor patted his own right arm.
“It was a magitec arm.”
“Ah, that is a surprise. It must have belonged to an Adventurer Clan. The one they call ‘Magic Centipede.’”
“Huh, an Adventurer Clan?”
Tor had not expected to learn about the culprit this quickly, and he chuckled to himself.
An Adventurer Clan was a party that was above B-Rank who had over ten members and their own base.
There were some Adventurer Clans who had their bases within cities for the purpose of guarding trade routes, and such clans were given special treatment.
“So that’s why the guards weren’t cooperative…”
Tor understood it now. But he didn’t know why he was attacked.
It was hard to imagine that an Adventurer who belonged to a clan would unsheath his weapon over a minor insult. In the first place, clans were groups that offered support to their Adventurers, and so it was unlikely that they would let him go out there with such a shoddy magitec arm as that.
Tor wondered if the clan was having financial trouble, but if that were the case, then why would the guards interfere like that?
“Is this ‘Magic Centipede’ clan famous?”
“They are in Durande. After all, their Adventurers stick out because every single one of them have magitec arms or legs. There’s a company called Ubaz that has received exclusive rights from the higher ups in Durande, allowing them to sell salt. They are partnered with this company and are practically their private guards.”
“Private guards for a company with that kind of monopoly. Sounds like a successful clan.”
“Indeed. However, there are stories of them being ill-bred. So it’s best to stay away from them. Though I’ve never heard stories about fights breaking out, but they apparently hate it when people touch their prosthetic limbs. But I suppose it’s no surprise, since they are the tools of the trade.”
As someone who had mocked a tool of the trade, Tor averted his eyes. Still, according to what he had now heard about ‘Magic Centipede,’ there was still little reason for the man to be using something so badly made. Surely they had their own engineers on hand.
It didn’t sit right with him.
However, it would have nothing to do with him as soon as he left Durande. Besides, it would be incredibly troublesome if the man continued to chase him and try and take his life.
“Another thing, mister. I was wondering if you could take some of our small money in exchange for gold. Is that alright?”
“That’s an odd thing to ask a customer. Why not the money changers?”
“They charge ridiculous fees.”
“Well, alright. Will two gold pieces be enough? I’m a wanderer, and really don’t want to be carrying any more than that.”
“Two will do just fine. Thank you. Those damned tax managers. They try and trick me when dealing with silvers and coppers.”
“It must be tough running a business.”
Tor took out his purse and the innkeeper thanked him as he brought out the coins.
Tor accepted them and pretended to inspect them in the sunlight while charging them with just a little magic.
They weren’t counterfeit coins.
“Looks good. Alright, here are two pieces of gold.”
As Tor watched the back of the innkeeper who carefully put the coins away, his wife came in with the food.
It was a simple meal consisting of oat porridge, a fried egg, and a selection of pickles.
“Here you are. It’s included in your lodging expense, so eat all you want. There are also additional items on the menu you can order.”
But Tor had eaten and drunk so much last night with the barman, that he didn’t feel like ordering anything extra. He picked up the wooden spoon and started to eat.
The porridge was the kind of gentle meal his stomach needed, and he ate silently. As he started to wonder if he should leave town that day, someone entered the inn.
Apparently, he wasn’t the only one to stay out all night. When he glanced up, their eyes met.
“Ah, Mister Tor, I presume? You’ve been summoned by the guild manager.”
So it wasn’t a customer, but a messenger for Tor.
As for this guild manager, it must be the manager of Durande’s Adventurer’s Guild.
“…I don’t think we’re acquainted?”
“It seems that there is a direct request for you.”
The guild worker was now looking at Tor up and down as if to assess his worth.
“Uh, if you are eating right now, perhaps you can send someone else from your party? Which room is it?”
“I’m a loner. Rank B. There are no other party members.”
The guild worker’s expression grew even more suspicious.
Quite rude. Tor smirked inwardly, but he was used to these kinds of reactions.
He quickly finished his food and stood up.
Someone was calling a wanderer like him. It must be something very troublesome indeed. Tor exited the inn with an annoyed expression.
His first day after spending nine whole years in this world was off to a bad start.