Rank Promotion Exam
“Mr. Ajifu, you have fulfilled the requirements to take the rank promotion exam for E-Rank. Will you take the exam?”
In order to be promoted to E-Rank, you had to complete fifty E-Rank quests as well as hunting quests. You would also be inspected by a guild worker.
“I will. My weapons are a one-handed sword and shield. When will it take place?”
“How about tomorrow morning?”
“That’s fine. Thank you.”
It wouldn’t be an actual duel. They just needed to see that I had the minimum combat ability that was required.
And so I made a reservation for tomorrow, and then left the guild.
The next morning, I ate breakfast and finished my daily routine before getting my gear ready and heading for the guild.
Then I waited in line and submitted my Adventurers plate.
“Ajifu. I’m here for the E-Rank promotion exam.”
“Ah, Mr. Ajifu. In fact, there was a slight mixup… The details will be explained to you on the training ground.”
Huh? What!? I hoped it wouldn’t be something troublesome.
The guild worker led me to the training ground. There, a strong-looking spear-wielder, who must have been the examiner, was doing some warmups.
“The thing is, due to a mistake in schedule management, there was no guild worker available today. However, Mr. Suei, an A-Rank Adventurer, agreed to fill in as examiner.”
“Aye, I am Suei. Mirei said she was in trouble, and so I came here to save the day.”
Uh. I didn’t like the look of this one? That being said, I couldn’t reject him either.
“I’m Ajifu, an F-Rank Adventurer. It’s an honor to have someone like you in charge today. Thank you.”
“Hmm? You’re quite old for an F-Ranker.”
“It’s a mere diversion during my travels.”
“Ah, well. Prepare your prefered weapon then.”
I took the wooden sword and shield they had prepared in the training ground, and entered a fighting stance.
“So am I. Come at me then.”
He was holding his spear and seemed perfectly relaxed.
And so I held the shield up on the left and moved towards him. But in the same instant…
Before I could even register the attack, I parried instead of blocking. It was almost entirely by accident.
But the shock of it knocked me back, and I fell to the ground.
And though I immediately leapt to my feet, the shield in my left hand had shattered into pieces.
“Hmm. I am defeated.”
I dropped the sword and surrendered before he could say anything.
This seemed ridiculous for an E-Rank exam.
“No, the exam is not yet over. Pick up your sword! And bring a new shield!”
“No, I surrender.”
“You! You will fail the exam!”
“I’ll get it next time.”
“There are not always next times in real battle! You have to fight like your life depends on it!”
“If this was a real fight, I’d be dead before it even began.”
“Eh!? You’re no fun at all.”
“And you seem to be having too much fun against an F-Ranker.”
But the moment I said this, I lost consciousness, without even knowing what hit me.
When I came to, I was lying on a bed.
Oh? Was this what I thought it was!? When you say that line?
“I don’t- Ah, are you awake?”
So there was a guild worker.
“…Uh, yes. What happened?”
“You lost consciousness during the E-Rank Promotion Exam. And since you broke some bones, you had to be treated with healing magic. This is the guild infirmary.”
I tried moving my body, but there was no pain. Hurray for healing magic.
“Ah…I see. So, what happened with the exam?”
“After Mr. Suei discussed it with the guild, you have been promoted. Here is your Adventurers plate.”
“I see… Well, I suppose that’s good.”
Though to me, the silver plate in my hand looked like a joke.
“The guild master was furious with Mr. Suei. He’s not a bad man, but he was really the wrong person for this job. We are terribly sorry.”
The guild worker stood up and bowed.
Well, if they were going to apologize, I guess it was fine.
“You wouldn’t happen to be Ms. Mirei, would you?”
“Huh? Yes, I am.”
“Ah, I see.”
I got out of bed and put on my shoes.
“Where is my equipment?”
“Oh…the thing is…your armor is in pieces and…”
“Of course, you will be compensated by the guild. It was assessed to be worth two pieces of gold. Is that correct?”
“Uh, yes. That’s what it cost.”
“You will be paid five pieces of gold in all, just for your trouble. I hope that is satisfactory.”
…Sorry, old man. I ended up losing the armor in an unexpected way. But it did protect me during its last moments.
“That is fine.”
I took what remained of my belongings, as well as the gold. Suei was waiting for me when I stepped outside.
“Uh, I suppose I owe you an apology. I got a little carried away.”
“It’s in the past. It doesn’t matter to me.”
“No, it doesn’t feel right.”
“In that case, apologize to Ms. Mirei. She’s been doing a lot of that for you.”
“Ah, I see… Yes, you’re right.”
“Well, good day.”
As Suie’s shoulders drooped, I passed him and left the guild.
“Mirei, I’m sorry.”
Mr. Suei wasa bowing in front of me. Hahh…
“No, this incident was due to the guild’s mismanagement. I must apologize to you.”
An A-Rank Adventurer had agreed to cooperate with them with good intentions, and so we could not blame him too much. A high-ranking Adventurer who was young and accomplished had extended his hand out of the goodness of his heart. How could I not be happy about it?
“And yet, I caused great trouble. I’ll have to make it up to you later.”
“You really don’t need to… But, yes. Maybe I will hold you to that some day.”
“Aye, I promise.”
In the first place, Mr. Suei hadn’t done anything wrong ‘as an Adventurer.’ And so there was no responsibility to take.
He had the power to fight, but not enough experience to know how to use it.
With just the first hit, I had known that Suei wasn’t testing if I was ready for an E-Rank promotion, but wanted to know my true ability.
And since we wanted different things, it did not go smoothly.
However, I was lucky to have experienced the power of an A-rank Adventurer. While he wasn’t completely serious, it was still incredible.
My armor defended me against monster fangs, and yet he had broken it with a wooden spear that was using for training. That didn’t seem like it should be possible.
That being said, I still hadn’t thought he would attack someone who was defenseless during a test. But I suppose it was because he was young.
After leaving the guild, I headed to the workshop area. It was my first time visiting in this town. So, what kind of workshops would they have here?
I made a brief tour of the place, and saw that they were all either very skilled and very expensive crafters, or they were cheap and young.
There was no happy medium. Apparently, once you reached a certain skill level in this town, you could make a lot of money, and so the prices went up. Hmm. I would not be getting a good deal here.
And so I chose a young craftsman’s workshop, which happened to be very clean and orderly. Those two things were very important for a work environment.
“Welcome. Are you looking for armor then?”
He could tell, as I was carrying a shield and wore greaves, but my torso was bare.
“Yes. Can I see what you have?”
“Yes, please do.”
The two finished ones he had were very plain in design. But they looked durable. Yes, not bad at all.
“I want something quiet and strong. I can pay up to four gold.”
“Four gold. You’ll want Killer Ant then. A Giant Centipede would cost eight at the very least.”
“And the inner leather?”
Hm. Fair enough.
“I’ll order that then.”
“Thank you. I will take your measurements.”
I paid two gold in advance. It would be ready in a week. However, I would have to come in three days for a fitting.