DAR Vol. 1 Prologue

PROLOGUE

“Anyway, you’re out.”

Roa’s shoulders dropped. The fated moment had finally come.

When he had heard that Stefan, swordsman and party leader, had called him to his room, he half expected that he was going to be given the boot.

The party Roa belonged to, “Crack of Dawn”, had amassed an impressive series of achievements ever since Roa joined seven years prior. Just the day before, it had gained the designation of “Hero Party”.

Hero Party was a title given to the top adventurer party of the kingdom.

In the kingdom of Perdu, when a party reaches A rank, it gains the right to participate in the adventurer ranking. This ranking considers the quests completed in one year, completion speed, species of monsters defeated, and other parameters, finally calculating the general contribution level to the guild and assigning a ranking.

Reaching the first spot even just once in this ranking grants the party the title of “Hero Party”.

“You know why, right? We’ve finally become a hero party. We’re heroes, understand? So we just can’t bear the fact that someone useless like you gets the same treatment.”

Stefan’s feet were on the table between them, as haughty as the line he had just spewed. One hand on a bottle of wine, his flushed face showed that he had been drinking for a while.

No one except Roa had come down for breakfast or lunch, so he thought that the other party members were still in their rooms after celebrating until late at night.

Stefan, however, had apparently been drinking in his room throughout the night.

High ranked adventurers could earn hefty rewards from quests, so they could also obtain magic potions to recover from drunken stupors without the slightest burden on the body; there was no drawback to consuming large amounts of alcohol for them.

On the contrary, many of them indulged in drinking binges as if to boast about their status.

“Yes.”

Roa held back his tears and replied as loud and clear as he could. He wanted to prove his manliness, or however much was left of it.

He was prepared.

Roa always thought that he contributed next to nothing to the party.

His job was “All-Rounder”.

The adventurer guild gave it such a nifty sounding name, but few people ever used it.

It was more often called “Servant”, “Delivery Boy”, “Jack of all Trades”, “Help”, “Novice”.

Less polite people went as far as calling it “Parasite”, or just used “All-Rounder” in a very sarcastic tone.

To put it simply, it was a job capable of doing anything except fighting – the lowest-ranked job, for specialists of menial chores.

Most users of this job were novice adventurers, who would then change to a specialist job.

In the kingdom of Perdu, most jobs employed a master and apprentice system: adventurers were no exception. In order to obtain a specialist job, one first would find a master, then obtain their permission to.

When he had obtained the All-Rounder job at 10 years of age, Roa also worked as a novice in Crack of Dawn, waiting to become the apprentice of one of its members and change to a specialist job in the future.

Despite his magic powers, however, none of his magic was useful in battle; his physical skills were also lacking to become a swordsman or fighter. He was rather dextrous, but not quick enough to be a thief, nor could he become a cleric. No matter what he did, he did not have a single talent useful in battle.

He never gave up, however, so even now, at 17 years of age, he still had the All-Rounder job.

This job did not have age limitations but, before coming of age, people would usually find out what job they were suited for; at 15, when people were considered of adult age, they would normally be recognized as specialists.

There were some who still had the All-Rounder job when they came of age, but would switch to a specialist job in the coming months. It was abnormal to hold the job for seven years and not find any aptitude.

Roa had done everything he could not to hold the party back, but the other members insulted him on the regular for being useless, sometimes even hitting him. Even so, in order to become a full-fledged adventurer, he had no choice but to grit his teeth and keep working in Crack of Dawn.

In the kingdom of Perdu, the ungrateful and those who lacked resilience were bitterly despised.

Joining a group and leaving it before being considered full-fledged was being “ungrateful”, while not having the resilience to keep working would be criticized as “spineless”. Very few would hire such people again.

This was especially true about adventurers, which valued personal ability above all: if an All-Rounder job holder left their party, it was taken to mean that they had left the path of adventuring altogether.

This was the same for those who were kicked out of course. Whether the choice was made by the individual in question or others did not matter at all.

“Make sure you pack up your stuff and leave today. But don’t even think of taking stuff belonging to the party! Leave any gear and medicine made with party money behind and go!”

“Understood.”

Roa bowed deeply and left the room.

The moment he shut the door behind him, tears were about to burst out. He walked down the corridor, desperately trying to hold them back. He then returned to his room and started to pack his luggage.

Roa’s small room had been designed as a storeroom when the mansion was built. There was a window located near the ceiling, but it was always barely lit.

Ever since the party had bought this mansion, about five years before, this room had been Roa’s living quarters. All it contained was a small bed, chair, and table, no other furniture. The other things in the room were only a small bag next to the bed, some books and writing supplies on the table, along with a small lamp.

Roa’s room only had the bare minimum necessities.

It was common for All-Rounders to only be given food and a place to sleep, without even receiving a share of the party’s rewards, because of their status as novices.

Even in the most generous parties, they received 1/20 of the full-fledged members’ rewards at most, and would consider themselves lucky if they did.

Roa also did not receive any part of the party’s rewards: after work, he would use any free time available to scrounge up gold through small errands.

Even if he bought something nice with that gold, however, it would usually be taken away by other party members: this had caused Roa to hide everything inside his bag.

As a gesture of thanks to the room he lived in until then, Roa cleaned it one last time. Which, thanks to the lack of things inside, ended fairly quickly.

Roa then headed to the potion room.

This room contained racks storing magical potions, medicinal herbs, minerals, and other items; on the tables there were tools for concoction and alchemy. It was the room that Roa spent the most time inside, even more than his own.

When he had joined the party, its members used magical potions and medicines normally sold in the market, but Roa gradually learned how to create them, so at present all potions and medicine used by the party were handmade by him.

As the party grew in strength, they could travel to locations where normal adventurers rarely went to, exterminating the magic beasts prowling there and finding materials for more powerful potions and medicine. The defeated beasts themselves sometimes relinquished materials for items too.

Roa had done his best to benefit the party, in his own way.

There was little time left, so he cleaned up the room quickly and was about to leave, when he found the party’s thief, Serge, standing beside the door.

The thief job specialized in scouting and removing traps and did not engage in criminal activities such as stealing.

“You haven’t stolen anything, have you?”

Serge shot a sharp glare at Roa.

Roa couldn’t understand the question at first, but then remembered Stefan’s warning. They were probably wary of him sneaking out with the party’s medicine.

“I would never do such a thing!!” 

“Don’t you talk back to me!!”

As soon as Roa replied, Serge planted a foot in his stomach, sending Roa’s minute body flying.

Serge approached the collapsed Roa and searched his body and belongings, to confirm that he only had cleaning supplies with him. 

“My, my, how unsightly. No fighting, please.”

The voice belonged to the party’s female cleric, Bonne.

“No one’s fighting. It’s been decided to kick out the little guy, so I’m just making sure he didn’t take anything that isn’t his.”

“Oh, the poor thing. A Hero Party would suffer if any of its members were impure, you understand.”

“That’s how it is.”

Bonne was of the opinion that not having talent meant to not be blessed by the gods.

Her smile was always gentle, her tone calm, but she was the one who despised Roa the most in the party.

She had often tormented him by refusing to heal his injuries, even when he would have surely died if magic potions weren’t used quickly.

While she never bullied him directly, it was always impossible to foresee what she would do next, so Roa was wary of her more than anyone else.

“Don’t you stay here cleaning and get the hell out!”

“…let me just say goodbye to the servant beasts…”

“What!? Those are Eric’s, they got nothing to do with you!! Get out already!! You’ve been kicked out, seeing you still around here is pissing everyone off!!”

Serge once again kicked the collapsed Roa in the stomach, causing him to groan.

“I am not ‘too’ inclined to witness such violence. Mr. Roa, I truly think it is best for you to leave as soon as possible.”

Bonne’s expression was as soft as before.

Even after witnessing such a scene of one-sided violence on another person, her mask did not change.

“Get out!!”

Serge kicked again, then left together with Bonne.

He had left the room, but his thief skills allowed him to perceive the presence of people or monsters from afar: Serge would surely keep Roa’s movements under check.

“Ouch…guess I should get out soon…”

Roa wobbled back on his feet and started walking.

It was painful to leave without being able to say goodbye to the three servant monsters he had taken care of for many years, but he decided to give up. 

He returned to his room and took out the healing medicine stored in his bag and applied it on himself, at least relieving the pain.

His wounds could have been removed with low level healing magic, but if he fully recovered they would find out that he had magical potions, so he just removed the pain for the moment.

The small bag slung over his shoulder, Roa left the mansion.

No one saw him off, of course.

“A new life awaits, I guess…”

He couldn’t keep being depressed forever. With a strangely relieved smile, Roa walked away from the mansion.

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