“Hey, Ajifu. I want to talk to you about something.”
Said E-Rank Adventurer Naren. We were in the guild waiting room. We weren’t exactly friends, but were merely acquaintances and had an idea of each other’s ability.
A whole year had now passed since I came to the royal capital, and it was nearing the time where I would be able to recast Reverse Age.
“What do you want?”
I asked with a scowl. Naren took no notice.
“Did you finish the escort request already?”
“No, not yet.”
This escort request that Naren talked about was the promotion requirement for D-Rank. The requirement was to complete forty E-Rank quests and an escort request. But it was hard to accept escort requests when you worked solo.
Besides, most of them took several days, and as someone who attended a dojo, I wasn’t enthusiastic about that.
“What do you think about this?”
A request sheet was thrusted into my face. When I looked, I saw that it was a round trip escort request that took three days one way. It would take eight days in all. The reward would be five pieces of gold. The client was a merchant. Well, it wasn’t bad.
I returned it without interest.
“Idiot. Look at this part.”
His finger pointed at ‘Minimum: 4 people.’
I see. Now I understand. It really wasn’t bad at all.
“Sounds good to me.”
I grinned and offered my hand.
He grinned back and negotiations were complete.
Naren’s party was the ‘Forest Alliance,’ which had three members. You would want to complete escort quests for the promotion, but there weren’t many when it came to E-Rank, so the competition was tough. And yet Naren had been lucky to get this one, and so he had to find an extra member to not waste this opportunity.
“Alright, I’ll explain it to the others then. Over here.”
He guided me over to the bar next to the guild. There, the other two members of Forest Alliance were drinking.
“Ah, he caught Ajifu after all.”
“Great! It’s Ajifu. Good job, Naren!”
The other two of the Forest Alliance was Oriore, an elf priest; thin, tall, and with green hair, and an energetic monkey beastkin scout by the name of Seppi.
While they were called that, she wasn’t actually a monkey or any kind of apeman. She was a human. She had soft-looking short hair and a thin, long tail. Quite different from the apes of a certain planet.
“I look forward to working with you, even if it’s just a short while.”
“Right back at you!”
“I’ll be relying on you.”
As I had been training at the dojo, people in the guild said I was strong for an E-Ranker. I suppose it was due to the reputation of the school.
Though I continued to accept requests during the winter, I mainly focused on my sword training. Still, there was not much snow around the capital, and so it was easy to travel.
However, even if you have good stats and skills, you could only go so far in one year when it came to the way of the sword. And it was the same even if you were out there in actual dangerous fights.
Eralt Lv4, Reverse Age Lv3, Farming Lv3, Carpentry Lv2, Carving Lv4, Leatherworker Lv2, Gathering Lv2, Shield Art Lv5(+1), Magic Manipulation Lv6,(+2) Everyday Magic(water/earth), Sword Art Lv7(+3), Night Vision Lv1
Visitor From Another World, Farmer, Blessing of the Ability God, Adventurer
As I had trained strictly under an instructor for a year, my sword art skill alone had gone up a shocking 5 levels in one year. That was pretty crazy.
I suppose my VIT had gone up because of how much of a beating I took regularly. Damn you, Jirido. But thank you.
And so we accepted the quest, and the four of us headed to the client merchant. The client had a chemist store in the city called ‘Lilits Chemist.’ We were to escort an employee as they traveled to restock on materials.
Apparently, there were monsters called Drain Leeches in the village that was our destination. When blood was combined with the fluids from the leech, they had medicinal properties, and so that’s what they wanted to collect.
“The village is within a deep forest. While you can reach it by carriage, we’ll still have to be wary of monsters.”
Said the employee, Mr. Kibie. An impressive man, who while thin, had an authoritative way of speaking.
“I want to process the materials on site, so that the effects are not weakened. And so if possible, I would like to depart first thing in the morning.”
“I do not mind.”
After everyone agreed,
“We’re all fine with that.”
We said, and so we quickly prepared to depart early the next day.
The next morning, as the sun rose, I climbed onto Hyuga and made my way to the gate. The members of Forest Alliance were already there, and so we just had to wait for the client.
“Sorry to keep you waiting.”
Mr. Kibie said as he appeared with his carriage. It was the kind with no roof, and in the back, there were rows of jars. They were sandwiched between cushions so that they wouldn’t move.
“You can put your belongings in the back as well.”
“Ah, thank you.”
I accepted his kindness and moved my things to the carriage.
The first day of travel was quite uneventful. Monsters were rarely seen near the capital.
Naren took the lead, Oriore was behind him. And then there was the carriage. Hyuga and I were in the back. Seppi sat with the driver.
Her tail moved along with the rocking of the carriage. She had a great sense of balance, which was no surprise.
The reason that no one was on the sides was because there was a lot of traffic on the roads, and it would be difficult when passing each other.
On the first day, we were able to stay at a village with an inn, but it would not be the case on the second day, as we were veering far away from the main roads.
In fact, I had my first problem at the inn on the first day.
“I hope you’re drinking, Mr. Ajifu!”
I grimaced as a cup of ale slammed onto the table.
As a priest, Oriore was usually calm and compassionate. But he was also a heavy drinker.
“Hey, Oriore. You’re an elf, right? Not a dwarf.”
He glared at me angrily.
“Gah! You just don’t get it! Don’t you know? There are dwarves who can’t drink. So of course there will be elves who do! Those damned forest dwellers don’t…”
Apparently, I had stepped on a landmine. Naren and Seppi ran off to a different table while laughing. It seemed like this happened a lot.
The next morning, Oriore appeared as if nothing had happened, and so I greeted him calmly.
“Good morning. I had a good time last night.”
I said with a bow. Elves…were not to be underestimated.
Once the roads went into the forest, Oriore stuck to the left side, while I took the right side in the back.
Went the small whistle from Seppi in the driver’s seat.
She then signed with her hands…up ahead, to the side. Goblins. Three of them!
Hmm. Drive them away, or kill them?
Oh? He was gesturing as if drawing a bow. So there is an archer. That’s bad.
I kicked my heels into Hyuga, and then dismounted near the forest and unsheathed my sword. At the same time, the goblins appeared in the forest, and so I ran towards them.
The short goblin raised its club high, just as I slashed off its legs.
The next one jumped towards me, and so I stepped back and cleaved its head into two.
As the last one tried to run away, I stabbed it in the back. Then I held my shield up and scanned the area. Where did the archer go? Had it escaped?
Then Seppi began to run to me from the carriage, and so I asked her.
“Where’s the archer, Seppi?”
“That’s not what I said, Ajifu! I told you to scare them off with an arrow!”
“Oh, I see. Uh, sorry.”
She started to run back to the carriage, but paused and then turned to me.
“This is the sign for an archer. Don’t forget!”
She did something like a gun shooting gesture with his hands and then returned.
Acting in a party really was difficult.