Would you like to support RLN?
LATEST UPDATES


Please download our sponsor's game to help RLN!

Published at 11th of February 2016 06:47:58 AM

Chapter 14

CHAPTER 14: THE ASSESSMENT IS A BATTLE… OF COURSE IT IS…


Sponsored Content



Suimei, having been instructed by the receptionist that he was to undergo an assessment, took a seat in the hallway connecting to the inner halls of the adventurer’s guild .

A lantern dimly lit the room, filling him with a deep sense of deja vu .

—The feeling of a hospital at night .

As Suimei was struck by this feeling so unrelated to this world, while sitting sternly on the chair with his back straight, a staff member emerged from within the hallway depths . It was a girl with fluffy, tawny hair, dressed in the same guild uniform the receptionist had worn .

Before long, the girl had reached his side, and inclining her head, asked, “—Um, Suimei Yakagi-san, right?”

“Yes, that’s me . ”

Suimei gave a frank nod . The girl’s expression brightened and a gentle smile touched her lips as she introduced herself .

“Sorry about that . My name is Dorothea, and I’m in charge of guiding new recruits . Pleased to meet you . ”

“Ah . It’s a pleasure to make your acquaintance . ”

With this girl, both respectful and amiable, he maintained the polite tone he’d used with the receptionist earlier .

There was a world of difference between the way she treated him and the way he’d been treated outside . As Suimei reflected on the contrast, Dorothea smiled happily and spoke again .

“Oh, there’s no need for such formality . Please speak normally . We’re about the same age, so it’s fine . ”

“…Is that okay? Wouldn’t that be rude?”

“It’s fine, it’s fine~ This is easier on me too, not to mention it’s my job to make it easier on nervous new recruits worried about the assessment . Although, I have to say, it doesn’t really look like that last part applies to you, Suimei-san . ”

“Haha… Alright then . It’s nice to meet you . ”

“Nice to meet you too!” Dorothea responded with great enthusiasm, Suimei having agreed to her request .

“Let’s go for a walk,” she continued, leading the way down the hall with Suimei following closely .

She suddenly turned to face him, apparently struck by a sudden thought .

“Oh, the form from earlier – I looked over your registration form . Suimei-san, you’re a mage, and one with both fire and wind properties, right?”

“Oh, yeah .  More or less . ”

” ‘More or less’ is it? You sure are modest . Didn’t you cast magic without an incantation or even a keyword and send Roha-san flying? You must be a pretty amazing mage?”

“No, no, nothing like that . I was in a bit of crisis, so I did it unconsciously . It’s something that only happens on occasion,” Suimei answered, the smile on his face matching her own .

The aforementioned “Roha-san” was the claymore-wielding man from earlier, huh . He’d beaten him so quickly that he’d been unable to gauge his abilities; perhaps he was actually a person of some renown in the guild? Not wanting to draw too much attention, he’d attempted to hide behind a facade of modesty, but it seemed his actions had been misunderstood .

“Hmm… From what I know, though, magic isn’t something as temperamental as you make it sound…”

She frowned as she thought hard . What Suimei had said seemed off to her . Her words demonstrated that she knew quite a bit about magic .

In that case, what should he say to dispel her doubts? He didn’t want to leave a bad impression on her, so he decided a suitable explanation was warranted .

“…Incantations aside, it’s possible to activate magic in other ways . Moreover, the magic I used wasn’t anything amazing . ”

“Really?”

“It’s common knowledge, you know?”

This would likely prevent further inquiries . Rather than appear a suspicious individual who was clearly hiding secrets, it was better to give what appeared to be a plausible explanation .

Dorothea wasn’t likely to dig deeper than that, and indeed she did not . Instead, she changed the topic .

“Suimei-san, you sound just like a lecturer on magic . —Do you mind if I ask something? If not by incantation, then how else can magic be activated?”

“That’s a secret . ”

“Hmph . You’re surprisingly stingy, Suimei-san . ”

“Are there really people that expose their secrets so easily?” Suimei replied with a shrug .

Dorothea seemed to accept that answer .

“I guess that’s true,” she said, before switching topics yet again . “…I have to say, though… While Roha-san is definitely a rather impulsive person, but sudden incidents like the one earlier sure have been happening a lot more lately . ”

Dorothea’s remark seemed intended to alleviate some of the blame Suimei may have placed on the guild staff . This led Suimei to ask a question of his own .

“…There are really that many people who play pranks?”

“Yeah, there really are . There are those who approach the reception window dreaming of the adventurer’s life despite not having the least bit of combat ability, as well as more unpleasant types who only care about the advantages of guild membership . I think it might be due to the Hero’s appearance, but starting from three days ago, there’s been a lot more of them . ”

It seemed like this had caused a lot of trouble for guild staff, causing Dorothea to sigh heavily as they walked . For humanity, disheartened as it was in the wake of the fall of Noxeas at the hands of the demons, the summoning of the Hero had been like a shot in the arm . He wasn’t quite sure what most people thought of the Hero, but if their feelings were anything like those in the city, then lack of evidence notwithstanding, they likely viewed his existence as the symbol of their victory . Indeed, they had likely been inspired to think that with a little effort, they could do anything . For that reason, a number of people had likely been “infected” to the point that they’d lost sight of reality and begun to think that will could take the place of ability .

It had been this rabid enthusiasm that had caused the incident earlier .


Sponsored Content





“Does that mean I’m going to run into people like that where we’re going?”

In his mind, he envisioned a crowd of chuunibyou-suffers gathered together .

“Nope . You’re the last person left to be evaluated today . Everyone else has finished already . ”

“…I see . ”

“Something strange about that?”

“…No, it’s nothing . Nothing at all . ”

Suimei waved off the issue before the puzzled Dorothea, prompting her to change the topic yet again .

“Oh, that reminds me, Suimei-san . Did you happen to see the Hero during the parade?”

“Well, I guess you could say that…”

Or rather, the sight of that face had been a daily occurrence for him before – but it went without saying that this was something that ought not be shared .

Dorothea seemed admiring .

“Reiji-sama, right? He really has just this indescribable aura to him, as expected of one called Hero . From what I’ve heard, every generation of Hero seems like they just about embody courage and justice . ”

As she spoke, she suddenly stopped and closed her eyes, an expression of yearning on her face . She must have been reliving the moment of the parade .

Within the figure of the Hero that had burned itself into her memory, had she found hope? Since Suimei had spent his days by Reiji and Mizuki’s side, he’d had no such feeling, but perhaps things weren’t the same for Dorothea and others like her .

Suimei asked another question of her, whose attitude toward the Hero was perhaps representative of the people .

“Dorothea, do you really think the Hero will destroy the Maou and his armies?”

“If the fabled power of the legendary Hero is real, then I don’t think that should be a problem . ”

“What do the stories say?”

His follow-up question prompted a look of surprise from Dorothea, and her eyes opened wide .

“You don’t know yourself, Suimei-san?”

“Unfortunately not, I’m sorry to say . ”

This wasn’t something that Suimei actually felt sorry for, but he decided that an apologetic tone was the right one to take for the time being . Legends about the Hero were obviously something commonly handed down by the people . Watching Dorothea’s reaction, Suimei felt that perhaps the stories of the Hero were as near to the hearts of the people as the legends and fairytales of his own .

“…How unexpected,” she replied, her sentiment not unexpected, before beginning to explain . “The strength of the one called Hero is something that can be found both in the history books as well as the legends passed down among our people . Throughout history, there have been a number of times when the world has faced a dire crisis, and the people of the world have responded by summoning a Hero . The Hero in battle is a glorious sight . The stories include tales of past Heroes cutting giants as tall as mountains in two with a single strike, using flying magic to chase after mad despots, or cutting down the black, beast-like Maou with a holy sword . ”

“Haa—”

Her words piqued his interest, not just for their own sake, but because they also spoke something of Reiji and Mizuki’s situation . It was only natural that he would be interested, really . He would have to investigate more thoroughly later on .

“And what do you think, Suimei-san?”

“Hmm?”

The sudden question had caught him off guard . Essentially suggesting that it was his turn to speak, she continued .

“About the Hero and the Maou suppression force . Do you think they can do it, Suimei-san?”

“…That’s a good question . If the current Hero is really like those in the stories you mentioned, then it should be possible . The problem is whether or not that matches the current reality . ”

“Do you think they can do it?” my ass . Reiji and the others definitely can’t do those kinds of things, so there’s no way things will go as smoothly as they do in those stories .

“Oh, you don’t agree?”

“No, it’s not that . More specifically, I think it’s naive to presume that victory will come simply because the Hero exists . Whether or not they will succeed is not something anyone can know for certain…”

Suimei, as one with a precise understanding of the current situation, was rather uneasy . If one truly believed that receiving an enormous power was enough to guarantee victory, that only served to demonstrate how little one truly knew about battle .

Suimei’s eyes narrowed in worry .

“Such thoughts are best left unsaid when you’re outside . If the believers of the Church of Salvation, who hold the heroes to be the emissaries of the Goddess Arshuna, were to hear you, you’d be in for quite the sermon . ”

“Haha… I’ll be careful . ”

This again . Lefille had said the same thing . It seemed that to the people of this world, sermons from the Church were something to be feared to the point that they presented as a tangible threat . For the sake of what his goals, he’d have to be very careful from now on .

Dorothea’s expression changed . Her look of reprimand was replaced with a look of agreement .

“That said, what you said is certainly true, Suimei-san . Indeed, most of the adventurer’s guild isn’t nearly that optimistic . Either way, it’s a truth that the Hero’s radiant appearance has affected things greatly . It’s not just the knights or foot soldiers that have seen a rapid increase in applications to join their ranks, over the last few days, we’ve received several times more applicants than normal . ”

“And so the receptionist tried to get me to leave, right?”

“Right . Suimei-san, at the very least, you should carry a magic staff with you . Even those unqualified applicants of late have brought appropriate equipment with them, let alone a card carrying member of the guild like yourself . It’s completely unheard of . ”


Sponsored Content



“Sorry for that, really . I’m reflecting on my actions . ”

If actions had simply not been thought through properly that was one thing, but this time, he’d also failed to take note of his surroundings, a rather serious oversight .

His head hung as he sighed inwardly . Dorothea stuck out her chest and spoke .

“It’s fine if you understand . It’s not like it was that big a deal anyway . ”

Unexpectedly, this girl had quite an insensitive side to her .

“—Even if you say that, that was a pretty violent way just to get someone to leave, wasn’t it?”

This was something that Suimei had been concerned about the entire time . Even if you wanted to escort someone from the building, the way they’d gone about it had been overhasty, to say the least . Perhaps this was simply because Suimei was too accustomed to the polite service mentality of his own world, but even then, what was the deal with this world?

“You’re referring to the way the guild staff acted?”

“Yes . Doing things this way could really hurt your guys’ reputation . If others like me were to receive the same treatment, but not take it the way I did, then the guild could miss out on some promising recruits, right?”

Unexpectedly, she replied indifferently, “If someone were to back down just because of something like that, then we have no interest anyway . It’s not like we’re hurting for numbers . ”

Her response had been clear cut and unhesitating . Responding to the other issue he’d raised, she added, “Also, bad rumors circulating about the adventurer’s guild is the norm . ”

“Because of the successes of the Twilight Pavilion?”

“Yes . ”

Her tone suggested she wasn’t bothered in the least .

“Any other questions?”

Of course he did . About that which he could not avoid—

“So what exactly does the assessment involve?”

He directly bared his concern . In those novels that Mizuki was so fond of, guild registration for people from another world always involved putting your hand on some crystal that measured mana or some other crazy thing to that effect . This world, it seemed, was the same .

As if she’d been awaiting this question the entire time, Dorothea’s answer was energetic indeed .

“With a battle, of course!”

“Of course!” my ass!

Not long after she’d answered his question, Suimei passed through a set of doors as prompted by Dorothea . Appearing before his eyes was an enormous indoor training field .

“No wonder the guild takes up so much room . There was something like this here . ”

Suimei’s muttered words elicited agreement from Dorothea .

“That’s right . This is the largest adventurer’s guild in the three kingdoms, after all . Of course we’d have facilities like this prepared . ”

A training field . Given what he knew of the strength of the guild’s members, something like this was necessary .

But—

“It’s empty?”

Just as he’d said, the field was currently unoccupied . Although there did seem to be someone behind the doors located within .

“Before noon, this second training field is reserved for assessment purposes . No one else is allowed to use it . Those who have already finished their assessment should be in that room there, finishing up their registration . ”

“Ah…” Suimei replied calmly .

Suddenly, noticing that the feeling transmitted by his feet was somehow strange – or rather, the entire room gave him a strange feeling – he looked down .

“Excuse me, but this material…”

“Good job noticing that . This training room was constructed with a newly-discovered, magic-resistant material . Even if you use magic in here, the building won’t be easily damaged,” she answered proudly .

“Magic-resistant material?”

“Right . It’s still very new, so it’s only in use here . Awesome, right?”

“Yeah . So something like this exists…”

Suimei’s calm response completely ignored Dorothea, who was nearly bursting with pride .

His nonchalant tone notwithstanding, his gaze remained fixed on the floor . The floor and walls were, as far as he could tell, simply a mix of wood and stone . Could this really be the so-called magic-resistant material? Back in his world, magic-treated materials were quite common, but from his inspections, this material bore no traces of magic treatment . If its magic resistance was an innate property, then that really was something worthy of interest .

As Suimei looked around interestedly, Dorothea interrupted .

“As I mentioned earlier, the match will be held here . Suimei-san, we’ll have you fight against guild members of our choosing, and your rank will be based on our assessment of your performance during the match . Is that okay?”


Sponsored Content



“Well, it’s not like I have a problem with that… but, speaking hypothetically – just as an example – is there any other assessment method besides battle?”

“Hah… That’s a bit of a difficult question . Actually, let me ask you a question in turn: if not a battle, then what?”

Yeah, there wasn’t anything else, was there?

“…Okey-dokey . ”

“Huh?”

“Oh, I’m just saying that I understand . ”

Dorothea not understanding his answer, Suimei explained that he’d been answering in the affirmative . Even though Japanese translated without difficulty, apparently loanwords didn’t work . As he ruminated on the inefficiency of communication, he raised his head to gaze up at the wooden ceiling . Looking back, Dorothea still looked a bit confused .  (In the original, the term Suimei used that she didn’t understand was “おーけー,” i . e . “okay . ” I thought about using an equivalent from another Romantic language as it makes more sense relative to English… except that “okay” is essentially a part of every language on Earth by now >_> so I went with a less-known form . )

“Ha… If you say so . Now then—”

Just as Dorothea was about to continue, they sensed activity from the inner room . The doors opened and someone stepped out .

Having noticed their presence, the newcomer called out to them .

The voice that reached their ears was like the tinkling of a silver bell, a voice like a gentle breeze—

“Is that Suimei-san?”

“Oh, Gurakis-san . We meet again . ”

Looking their way was the person he’d met earlier for a decidedly unique reason, Lefille Gurakis .

Her bright red hair flowing behind her as she approached, she frowned at Suimei’s greeting, a look of shock on her face .

“What brings you here?”

“They tell me I’m to undergo an assessment of some kind . ”

“…Huh?”

“Something wrong?”

“…You weren’t here to submit a request?”

“Oh…”

Facing Lefille’s surprised look, Suimei finally understood . That was what she’d meant earlier .

Back when they’d separated at the reception desk, she’d wished him well with his “commission . ” She’d misunderstood . Thinking back, now he understood the reason for her words .

Wanting to dispel the misunderstanding as quickly as possible, Suimei again explained his goal .

“Actually, I’m like you Gurakis-san: I’m here to join the guild . Oh, by the way, I’m basically a mage . ”

“I see now . You weren’t carrying any weapons, so I’d thought…”

“…I’m sorry . Really, really sorry . ”

“Why are you apologizing?”

“Don’t worry about it . ”

Of course this had happened . Talk about reaping what you sow . The words that he’d heard not so long ago struck me deeply .

Watching the two speak with familiarity, Dorothea interrupted .

“Are you two friends?”

“No, we actually met for the first time just outside, at the reception window . ”

“Oh, I see,” Dorothea replied .

Suimei then asked a question of Lefille, who had just answered Dorothea .

“Gurakis-san, how’d your assessment go?”

“Ahh, I just finished, actually . ”

“And the result?”

“Not bad . ”

As she replied, her eyes closed and she smiled valiantly . From the looks of it, her “not bad” wasn’t a “I managed to get by” so much as a “I didn’t have to go all out . ” She didn’t look tired, nor was she breathing heavily .

Once Dorothea realized who Lefille’s opponents had been, she looked simultaneously stunned and distressed .

“You fought those two and you can still say ‘not bad’? Those two are considered real masters around here, you know?”

“Really? I just fought like normal . ”

” ‘Like normal,’ is it… Lefille-san, it sure is a pity you don’t plan to stick around . ”

“…? You’re heading somewhere else?” Suimei, surprised by Dorothea’s comment, unwittingly asked Lefille .

“Ah, about that—”

“Sorry to interrupt you two, but it’s about time for us to get started here . Is that alright?”

Concerned about the time, Dorothea’s question drowned out Lefille’s answer . On that note, they had spent quite some time conversing as they walked .

It seemed continuing to while away the time like this would create problems for others .

“Ah . I’m ready whenever . ”

“Understood . —Then, Raikas-san and Enmarph-san! If you would!” Dorothea suddenly called out, having turned to face the depths of the training field .

Voices called out in return, and two men walked out from within the inner room doors . One was a leather armor-clad warrior who carried a two-handed sword while the other was dressed in a robe and carried a staff in one hand, a mage by the looks of it .

Her statement seemed directed at this pair, making them his match opponents for the assessment . The only thing was—

“There’s two of them?”

“Yes . Please select your opponent from between Raikas-san and Enmarph-san . Raikas-san is a warrior and Enmarph-san is a mage . Although their specialties are different, they’re both very skilled, and either should be just fine for assessing your strength . ”

“Hmm…”

As she finished speaking, Suimei took the opportunity to evaluate the pair . Magical power, presence, menace . Neither one gave him the frightening chill that accompanied opponents whom he dare not let his guard down around . Suimei calmed himself and approached .

Suddenly, the warrior – Raikas-san, it seemed? – called out in a resentful tone .

“You’re the new guy?”

“Yeah . ”

“Name? Occupation?”

“My name is Yakagi Suimei . I’m basically a mage . ”

Reacting to the hostile tone, Suimei’s manner grew a fair bit ruder . His short answer caused Raikas to look at him with suspicion .

“Huh? What’s that ‘basically’ supposed to mean?”

“That ‘basically’ is a matter of personal feeling . Don’t worry about it . ”

“Ha . Is that so?”

Suimei wasn’t sure why, but Raikas had been overtly hostile and haughty . Was this because he was in a bad mood or was he just that kind of person? His manner was decidedly crude . The mage Enmarph was the same . Although he had yet to speak a word, the air was thick with nervous tension .

Raikas turned to face Lefille .

“…You . You’re still here?”

“Ah . I was chatting with them for a bit . ”

Raikas’ eyebrows jerked and he spun to face Suimei once more .

His hardline attitude seemed to have worsened considerably, and he now looked like Nio .

“You know this person?”

“Huh? Yeah, I guess you could say that…”

As Suimei was trying to decide if he ought to clarify that they were newly met acquaintances rather than old friends, Raikas voice dropped several degrees and his next words took on a dangerous tone .

“…I see . Someone you know . ”

“…?”

“You know her? Right?”

What’s with this atmosphere? Looking over, Suimei could feel a similarly hostile attitude from Enmarph .  What the hell is going on?

As he replayed events in his mind, an idea occurred to him .

Turning to Lefille, he asked, “Don’t tell me… Gurakis-san, the two you beat were…”

“Yeah, it’s what you’re thinking . The two I beat are these two . …This is pretty much because of me . Sorry about that . ”

“As expected…”

The answer was entirely expected, but Suimei couldn’t help but sigh anyway .

Note : Please download the sponsor's game to support us!



COMMENTS