(327) Request from the Mercenary Guild guild master
The next day, I went to the Mercenary Guild the first thing in the morning.
I greeted the receptionist lady that I met yesterday.
“Ichinojo-san, you have not departed for the dungeon?”
“Actually, I’ve been to the dungeon, defeated the boss and returned last night. Here, the requested boss drop item.”
“Eh? No way, it would take an entire day to reach the dungeon even with a fast horse. And what’s this gourd?”
“That dungeon has two different boss rooms and we found that in the other boss room. It contains alcohol.”
The receptionist lady heard my reply and first opened the wine jar dropped by the snake and scooped out its contents for a sip.
Are you sure you can do that while on duty?
“ … The taste of snake has not fully blended in with the alcohol, a young brew. This is definite proof that this is a recent drop. What about this gourd?”
This time she opened the gourd and drank the contents.
“Such a mellow taste. Rice wine? Its sweetness spreads throughout the mouth even though not a single fruit was used. I have not drunk such a wine before.”
Where did this wine critic come from?
How does she know these things?
“Ichinojo-san, I will pay additional rewards so please tell me in detail the experiences you went through to acquire this golden gourd.”
I explained about the illusionary wall, the pitfall, and the side path.
And I talked about the boss as well.
“That’s dangerous. We have records of that monkey. Torch Kill. It is a monster adept in erasing its presence but said to be weak to cold and unable to activate its hiding specialty in places where the temperature is low. It was not known where it lived but we had never expected it to be in such a place.”
I see. So that was why I didn’t see the monkey from the beginning.
I had no comments on the name Torch Kill.
“Erm, so with this, am I able to meet the guild master?”
I didn’t mind even if she refused. I had already acquired the Nectar after all.
I wanted to say that but since I requested to meet the guild master, I was afraid what others would think if I just dropped my request.
“Yes, no problem. In fact, looking at the evaluation now, we can’t let you return without a meeting. This way please.”
There was no problem.
And so I was led to the room at the back.
The guild master room of the Mercenary Guild. I wondered what kind of person were they.
I was nervous.
The receptionist lady opened the door without knocking and entered.
I followed after her.
The shelves were filled with alcohol bottles. There were tons of alcohol in the dwarf village as well but the focus was on the quantity available to drink. In contrast, there were a lot more variations here but all of them were in small bottles.
And more importantly.
There was nobody in the room.
Was the guild master out?
As I was thinking, the receptionist lady sat on the leather chair.
“Congratulations on passing the test, Ichinojo-san. I am the Mercenary Guild guild master, Stefania.”
“ … So you’ve been lying to me from the start.”
“Didn’t I say it? ‘I’ll apologize in advance’. Furthermore, I never said that I was not the Mercenary Guild guild master so it’s a little harsh to say I lied. Well, I do receptionist work because I like to see that expression. Ah, right right. You’re forbidden from telling others that I am the Mercenary Guild guild master.”
Did she change her tone from a receptionist to the Mercenary Guild guild master?
Well, her frank tone made it easier for me to speak as well.
I see. So her words were not meant for the letter but an apology for faking her identity.
“But won’t an intelligent person realize immediately? After all, I knew the contents of the letter that Ichinojo-san brought.”
“You said that you looked at the letter before it was torn.”
“Even if it was a document to be torn, a mere receptionist wouldn’t be able to read the contents of a letter addressed to the guild master.”
Ah, that’s true as well.
So she was testing me on that aspect too.
Carol probably would have noticed if she was with me.
I would have seen through her lies if I used Thought Trace but it was not as though I had it activated all the time so I ended up completely believing her and did not notice anything amiss.
“First, this is the reward for this request, with the additional reward added in, 3 million Goats. I’ll prepare it now.”
“3 million!? You said it was 70,000 Goats.”
“That is just how valuable the information Ichinojo-san brought to us is. Personally, I feel that is too little but if I give any more my subordinates will make noise. It’s a hassle.”
Her words were sketchy but I could understand it a little.
That was probably her true nature.
“Ha …… “
She was delighted that she found precious alcohol ─ ─ I guess I could interpret it that way?
I looked at the alcohol bottles that lined the shelf.
There was a drawing placed between the alcohol bottles.
It was probably drawn with a Portrait skill or something similar as it was as detailed as a photo.
A burly man, a toned man, and a small girl were illustrated.
“Eh? I feel like I’ve seen that person before.”
“Good job noticing, that girl is me when I was a child.”
Stefania-san said as she took the money out of the safe.
But I was not referring to the child.
I was talking about the burly Pugilist man.
“That Swordsman is my father. And that Pugilist-san is father’s partner Marg-san. The two of them were a legendary mercenary combination known as the Steel Brothers.”
“Heeh … hn?”
Wait, I’ve seen the steel sword that the toned Swordsman is holding before.
Where did I see it? It was definitely in this world.
Marg … Marg.
“ ─ ─ !? Aah, so that’s it.”
The Pugilist seemed familiar because isn’t it Margaret-san!?
I see, so his real name was Marg. Although I knew that Margaret was not his real name.
And the steel sword the Swordsman was holding was the steel sword I borrowed and ended up snapping when fighting the Mountain Bandit.
“Eh? What do you mean?”
I suddenly raised my voice so Stefania-san asked suspiciously.
“Ah, sorry. That Pugilist is my benefactor.”
“Really!? You met Marg-san!? When!?”
Stefania-san leaned forward to ask me.
“About two months ago on the Western Continent. I’m probably not mistaken.”
I see. Margaret-san mentioned that he liked his partner but so his partner already had a child.
“I see, so Marg-san is still alive. Marg-san was very kind to me when I was a child. Marg-san once asked me if I wanted to become his actual daughter. I kind of yearned for a father like Marg-san. Of course, I refused in the end.”
… She mistook his question.
I believe Margaret-san wanted to become your mother.
“When father died, Marg-san actually wanted to take care of me but my mother took me in and she hated Marg-san. Perhaps she was jealous that Marg-san was always traveling the world with my father for battles. Ahaha.”
I think she actually was jealous.
She probably felt it with female intuition.
Stefania-san seemed to hold a strong sense of admiration for Marg-san.
But Marg-san’s current appearance ─ ─ I probably shouldn’t talk about Margaret-san. It’s best to leave a dream as a dream.
“So where is Marg-san now?”
“Erm, sorry. I met him during my journey so I know he is on the Western Continent but I don’t know where exactly.”
“I see … that’s a pity.”
I felt sorry for Stefania-san but I still felt that it was better to change my story for her sake.
“And so, I have a request for the Mercenary Guild’s guild master.”
“Yeah, I know. Nectar. If you are all right with just the information we know ─ ─”
“Ah, sorry. I don’t need to ask about Nectar any longer.”
“Eh? You don’t?”
I no longer need it.
“That’s troubling ─ ─ There was a request I wanted you to accept … do you need any other information?”
“Nothing in particular. Unless you can teach me the place to acquire a Dragon Core.”
“I guess it’s an impossible request after all.”
I replied but for some reason, Stefania-san grasped my arm.
“Coincidentally I have a request to obtain a Dragon Core! Please take it!”
A request to obtain Dragon Core?
There’s actually such a pinpoint request?
I couldn’t help but be surprised at the convenient development of events.
It didn’t feel like she was lying to me.
“Can I have the details?”
“There have been talks of a dragon appearing at Lake Landau on the west.”
“Lake Landau? By any chance ─ ─”
“It’s not an Ancient Dragon. It appeared after you defeated the Ancient Dragon. It’s that. The eyewitness account came from Marquis Utings’ soldiers when they went to collect the Ancient Dragon’s materials so it should be trustworthy.”
“By any chance, is it ─ ─ ”
“Yes, a wild Demon Lord Dragon. There should be no doubt about it according to its characteristics.”
A Demon Lord Dragon in that Lake Landau.
Why this timing?
Because I defeated the Ancient Dragon?
Even if it was not related to the Dragon Core, I would have to accept the request no matter what.
“All right, I accept.”
“Thank god. A party of adventurers and a skilled mercenary has already accepted this request. Please gather here tomorrow before setting off to the destination.”
“I wish to travel with my party alone though.”
“This is to increase the rate of success. Don’t worry, I’ll make sure to prioritize handing the Dragon Core to you from among the Demon Lord Dragon’s materials. I’ll talk to the other members as well.”
That was not my main reason. I don’t want others to know so much about my ability.
If worst come to worst, I thought of breaking away from the group and traveling to Lake Landau on my own but it seemed that it showed on my expression.
“You can’t travel there on your own. From the point of accepting the request, taking arbitrary actions will be a punishable offense.”
I was warned.
I guess there was no other way.