Chapter 18 Level 2 Quest Preparation
After undertaking the level 2 quest I leave the adventurer guild.
Promptly, I go left towards the adventurer-guild-supported-tool-shop to buy the map and the antidote fruit.
As I was about to enter the tool shop I was greeted from behind.
“You, wait just a minute for me. Can we talk for a moment?”
When I looked behind me, there stood a boy about as tall as me, carrying a backpack.
Pickaxe, lanterns, sleeping bags, and bottles hung from the side of the backpack that he was carrying.
“Nice to meet you, my name is Raachi, of the Dwarf Race. I am a rootless merchant travelling from town to town without stopping at inns.”
One of the fairy races that live in the interior of the Fairy Human Continent’s west side.
Even when full grown, their size is only about that of a human child.
Even this Raachi guy only looks like a human child at first glance.
If you look closely, he doesn’t have a child’s charm, but had the air of a little villain in some way.
Speaking in terms of my previous life, he is like a certain ghost mouse youngster.
“Thank you for the courtesy. I am Lute, a human.”
“Lute-bocchan is it? Nice name! Since you were going to enter a miscellany store, that means you’re looking for something, right? This might be some kind of fate, if you will. Would you like to look at my goods?”
I see, a high-pressure salesman.
I shouldn’t be dealing with the likes of these.
I am a Japanese person that can say “No!”, if only in spirit!
“I was going to buy them at the Guild support store so I’ll have to refuse.”
“Don’t say that! Just take a look! Just a look!”
“Even if you say that, you intend to make me buy. I’m not going to fall for that trick!”
“Really, I just want you to look! Also, my goods are cheaper than those at other tool shops! So just take a look for a little while!”
He caught my hand and persisted.
But if his stuff is really that cheap, I might even buy something.
“…… well then, I guess I’ll just take a look.”
“Yes yes, thank you very much! Then, what might you be looking for?”
“Antidote fruits and a map of the surrounding forest.”
“I see! Then I can offer you something cheap! Antidote fruits are 1 large copper coin at miscellany shops, but I’ll give it to you for 5 coppers! The map is 3 silvers but I’ll sell you for 1 silver!”
They’re certainly cheap.
Furthermore, the price of the map is just like the oneesan at the counter said earlier, strangely, this guy doesn’t lie.
If it’s like this, then I wonder if I should buy something.
“You’ll really sell them for 5 coppers and 1 silver?”
“Really, I will. There are nasty fellas who’d sell half a map for 1 silver, then make you buy the other half for 3 silvers, but I’m not one to do something like that. You can check the goods before you buy, if you want.”
Raachi declared, puffing his chest.
If he says that much, he might just be telling the truth.
“Got it. Then, antidote fruits and a map, please.”
“Thanks for the purchase!”
Raachi puts his backpack down and rummaged in it while humming.
Meanwhile, I prepared the money from my wallet.
“One silver coin, and 5 copper coins…. ah, I only have large copper coins, do you have change?”
“Of course. I’m not about to make a blunder like that.”
“Don’t cheat me on the change, okay.”
“Really, trust me. I won’t do that kind of underhanded scheme.”
Of course, I was joking about the change.
Raachi seems to understand, and replied rather theatrically.
A large hand gripped Raachi’s head.
The one holding Raachi’s head was one of the three adventurers I met at the forest yesterday while I was in the middle of a quest―the man called Akent.
Behind Akent, the golden-haired popular-looking cat-eared man and the silver-haired demon-race girl were waving their hands at me while smiling.
Raachi looked up at Akent and forced a smile, turning blue in the face.
“W, well hello there. Ee… my luck today is……”
“E, excuse me!”
Raachi picked his backpack back up without closing it and ran towards the crowd in panic.
Soon, his figure could no longer be seen.
*girori*, Akent sent a piercing glance at me.
He scolded me with a menacingly low voice.
“That guy is well-known around here for being a two-bit peddler. He sells trashy tools and maps.”
“I, is that so?”
“He’s a little scoundrel who makes money tricking kids who don’t know how the world works, like you.”
“Thank you very much. You saved me there.”
I gave Akent a polite bow, but his crusty face didn’t change at all.
“For adventurers, our tools are directly related to our lives. While you’re a beginner you should buy things at stores with Adventurers’ Guild marks. Leave the roadside peddlers to your seniors. Beginner kids like you shouldn’t do that, even by accident.”
He gave a speech in a disinterested low voice.
I hung my head in shame and said my apologies.
“Stop the halfhearted sermon right there. Doesn’t he look completely scared? Didn’t he start becoming an adventurer just yesterday? And isn’t he still a kid? Getting so mad would have the opposite effect.”
The demon-race girl stopped Akent’s speech.
“Sorry, even though this guy is unsociable he likes children. He just can’t leave a little kid like you alone.”
The cat-eared ikemen followed up in a cheerful tone.
Akent turned away in silence, seems like what Cat-ears said is true.
Somehow his face turned red.
“But well, it’s good that you didn’t get tricked. I am Alcedo, of the cat-eared race. I am a level II adventurer. Nice to meet you.”
“Lute-kun of the human race. Level II adventurer. Truly, thank you very much for saving me.”
I shook hands with the ikemen cat-ears Alcedo, who had presented his hand.
It seems that adventurers mention their levels when introducing themselves.
“I’m Misha, of the demon race. Adventurer level is II. But, I think maps wouldn’t be a problem for someone as strong as Lute-kun.”
I also shook hands with the short silver-haired brown-skinned Misha.
“Then that unsociable one over there is our team leader, Akent. A human just like Lute. Adventurer level is III. Hey, introduce yourself.”
His 2 companions made a shocked face at that unsociable greeting.
I gave my thanks to them once again.
“Thank you very much for saving me from getting tricked.”
“It’s fine already. Adventurers are all about give-and-take, see.”
Alcedo laughed cheerfully.
“By the way, since you said you needed antidote fruits and a map of the forest, were you going to go into the Grey forest?”
“Yes, I had received a level II quest just a while ago.”
“Then, would you like to go on the quest together?”
Misha explained with an amiable smile.
“Truthfully, we also received a level II quest yesterday, but the target Orc was nowhere to be found. We even went deep inside the forest, but had no luck whatsoever but it was no use. So, we were talking about going to a far away place where orcs are bound to exist, even if it would take a day to get there.”
Misha bent her body down from the waist and looked at my face.
“So, if it’s alright with Lute-kun, how about going with us? I’m uneasy with being the only long-range attack capability. We saw Lute-kun’s true strength yesterday, it would be reassuring if you could come with us.”
The valley between her breasts flitters in front of my eyes.
Her healthy brown skin.
Burying my head between those silky smooth breasts would feel good, like going to heaven.
(Nonono! I already have a fiancee called Snow! Don’t get confused!)
Temptation attack aside, it’s a charming proposal if you really think about it.
I am still a beginner myself.
There are many advantages of joining their experienced team.
Alcedo supports Misha’s invitation.
“It’s not really a strictly regulated thing like a Legion, just a temporary team, you don’t have to think too hard about it. It’s okay to leave in the middle if you don’t like it. If you join up, we’ll teach you the way to make camp, the lay of the land, and the necessary techniques and knowledge for being an adventurer.”
“Uhh…… Why do you have to go so far?”
Toward my obvious question, Misha and Alcedo looked at each other, their expressions changed.
Alcedo replied with an over-the-top answer.
“We saw Lute’s power yesterday, we want to pick you up before other teams or Legions could get to you.”
I see, so in other words, a prior investment, huh.
Also―Misha added her own reasons.
“When we were beginners we also had some seniors take care of us, they taught us the basics of adventuring. If Lute-kun feels indebted to us, you can take another beginner under your wing when you grow up.”
If you put it that way, how can I refuse.
I let down my guard and bowed my head.
“Please let me be in a team with you all. I might be causing you some trouble since I just became an adventurer, but please take care of me.”
“Yahoo! Now you’re talking! We’ll split up the rewards according to what each of us defeated so we wont come to a disagreement.”
It seems that the preparation of things needed for camp will be left to Akent and the others.
They said that I only needed to buy the antidote fruits and map for today. How nice of them.
“So we’ll meet up again after lunch at the west gate.”
“Understood. See you then.”
“See you later, Lute-kun.”
I bowed my head at the three who were slipping into the crowd, and once again went into the Adventurers’ Guild support miscellany shop.
Then I bought a map (3 silver coins).
And 5 antidote fruits (5 large copper coins).
I got out of the shop and went straight back to the inn.
I started packing the provisions for my new expedition in my room.
AK-47. 6 magazines.
“S&W M10” revolver. 1 box of bullets.
Map, 5 antidote fruits, spare magic liquid metal (1 liter portion), leather bag for monster parts, a change of clothes, thin blanket, raincoat, potion.
I also bought a travel cloak when I got to maritime city Grey.
“With this much preparation I can throw down 100 monsters with room to spare.”
After finishing all the preparations, I went to the bar next door with the canteen in hand.
I finished my lunch, paid the old man at the bar and asked him to fill my canteen with water.
Now all the preparation is complete.
Just in case, I paid the old man at the inn 3 days’ worth of inn fees in advance.
I walked out toward the west gate with my pack on my back.
The trio was already at the gate.
“Sorry, I was late.”
“No no, we also just got here.”
“We actually came here a bit early, so don’t worry about it.”
“Oi, enough talking, let’s get going.”
Alcedo and Misha followed up in succession.
But Akent just walked away on his own, blunt as ever.
“Good grief, he really can’t be honest….. Sorry, that guy, he’s always like that.”
“Though he really isn’t a bad guy.”
The two was surprised and covered for Akent.
“I get it already, I’m all right.”
He already saved me once.
If I just imagine he’s a tsundere bishoujo in my head, this kind of interaction is no problem!
I took on a level II quest together with my newly-met companions.