Chapter 2 – Guard Request
The Durande Adventurer’s Guild was located in a modest building near the wall that surrounded the city.
This was no surprise. Unlike the guards who were an organization that kept the peace in the city, Adventurers did not stay in one place. They were constantly moving from one town to the next while working. And so it was rare for the Adventurer’s Guild to be crowded with people.
Tor entered the empty building and a guild worker led him towards the manager’s room.
“I have brought B Rank Adventurer, Mister Tor.”
The voice was unexpectedly youthful as it sounded from the other side of the door.
When he entered the room, the guild worker bowed once and then left. Tor ignored the door as it closed quietly, and stared at the manager.
In spite of the impression that his voice had given, the manager who sat on the leather-covered chair was a large man who was in his sixties. He turned his large, bulging eyes at Tor, as if carefully assessing his ability.
“So, you are Tor, the B Ranker?”
“Yes, I am.”
“What’s your reason for coming to Durande?”
Now that was a rather pointless thing to ask an Adventurer who was not rooted anywhere. Tor felt a little exasperated as he sat down on what appeared to be a guest sofa.
“Sight-seeing. I was planning on leaving today. In fact, I’d like to leave right now if that’s all you wanted to know.”
“Is it true that you’ve been causing trouble with ‘Magic Centipede’?”
“Oh? Word travels fast. Well, I didn’t know who he was, and he’s the one who attacked me.”
“I don’t doubt it.”
The manager accepted Tor’s story without question and chuckled. There was something very devilish about his face. The kind where people would call the authorities if they saw him.
The manager leaned back into his chair and took out a purse from his desk drawer. Then he tossed three gold coins to Tor.
Tor caught them in the air and then looked questioningly at the manager.
“Advance on a job? And directly from the manager?”
“The situation is rather complicated. But consider this as not a request from the Durande Guild Manager, but from me personally.”
“I thought it was a little too generous for a guild request. So, what is it?”
Tor juggled the coins in one hand while studying the manager carefully.
It was rather suspicious that this man would want to hire Tor directly, when he had only arrived in town yesterday. Surely the Adventurers who worked locally could be trusted more than him.
And if none of his own subordinates were worthy of trust, well, perhaps it was best to forget the whole thing. That’s what Tor thought.
However, the manager rubbed at the wrinkle between his brows and then began to speak as if challenging a difficult question.
“There is a great company called the Ubaz Company that represents Durande. The former head was also a central figure in its success. We had been friends for over thirty years, though he died three years ago. Both he and his wife were killed by bandits.”
“Three years ago? It’s a bit late to want to get revenge.”
“Don’t jump to any conclusions. This request is about guarding the twins that my friend left behind.”
Tor’s eyes narrowed as he looked at the manager.
If it was about bodyguards, there was even more reason to want to leave it to people that you could trust.
“I understand why you are suspicious, but please don’t glare at me like that.”
“Ah, forgive me. So, why would you want to hire a wanderer like me?”
“Currently, Durande has two B Rank Adventurers who are not part of Magic Centipede. But both have only risen to that rank recently. Furthermore, this request was brought to me by the twins as a secret. They believe that their enemy is the current head of Ubaz, a shady man by the name of Haran. He’s the one who brought Magic Centipede in to work for them exclusively.”
Upon hearing this, the dots connected in Tor’s head.
“I understand now. I’m the only one who is capable enough to go against someone from Magic Centipede, who also doesn’t have his neck under Ubaz’s foot. It was a process of elimination.”
“I will apologize if you find it insulting.”
“No, I just wanted to know how you decided on me. It makes sense now that I know. As for this request, I will accept it.”
“You will? I did give the advance, but we haven’t even talked about the reward yet.”
The manager was very surprised at how quick Tor had agreed to it.
Tor shrugged his shoulders.
“Because if I accept this, it will discredit Magic Centipede won’t it? I want to laugh as they lose face over a lone B Ranker taking their work.”
“Adventurers who talk like that are the ones who are quick to regret their decision. This is a guarding job. I would appreciate it if you didn’t create any unnecessary friction.”
“It must be hard being a manager. You have to say things that you don’t really mean.”
“What could you be referring to?”
He shrugged, but there was a mischievous grin on his face.
As the manager, if Magic Centipede caused trouble, he would be able to use his authority to investigate. That alone could reduce the number of his client’s enemies. It was more than he could have asked for.
Tor put the money away in his purse.
“I’ve decided to accept it. Now, tell me the details. If their enemy is Haran, the head of Ubaz, why has he waited so long to target the former head’s children?”
“By target, I mean that he wants the position as husband.”
“…Of the children. Daughters?”
“Yes. He would marry the former head’s daughters and become the leader of the Ubaz Company in both position and name.”
So it wasn’t just about protecting their lives. He was to prevent them from getting married, and if necessary, take them and run away.
As long as Magic Centipede were working for Haran, there would be pursuers if he ran away with the twins. Not only that, but these were Adventurers who fought against monsters and magitec beasts. He would not be able to protect the clients against such strength.
Tor scratched his head. It was no wonder that no one wanted to do it.
“Is it possible that it’s already an accomplished fact?”
“It wouldn’t be. He might be rotten to the core, but Haran cares a lot about appearances. Of course, I don’t know if that will always be the case. If the twins have their own personal guard, Haran might become desperate.”
“These twins would have the option of rejecting the proposal and leaving. Why am I being hired as a bodyguard first, and not someone aiding their escape?”
“You should ask them directly. However, I believe they still have unfinished business at the company. It was the company that their parents built up, and perhaps they don’t want Haran to ruin it.”
Apparently, that was all the information that the manager had.
Tor asked him how to contact the clients, and then he stood up.
“You should come with me. If this is really a secret, then the clients will be suspicious if you’re not there with me.”
“Aye. And once again, thank you for accepting.”
They shook hands, and for once, the manager smiled in the kindly, gentlemanly way that was appropriate for his age.