DAR Vol. 3 Chapter 10 Part 2

Roa was led to the guildmaster’s office. He was worried about visiting such a high ranked person’s room on his own, but his curiosity was stronger, so he looked around everywhere with interest. When he was still in Crack of Dawn, the party members had often been led to the same room, but Roa would always wait in the hall, so it was his first time visiting it.

The guildmaster’s office was not too spacious or decorated. There was a large desk with piles of documents, a sofa and a low table for guests and some weapons displayed on the walls.

Roa expected to see all sorts of items and decorations, unique to the office of the master of a guild of adventurers, so he was a little disappointed.

A rattling and creaking could be heard.

Could it be that the Adventurers’ Guild is actually poor? Roa couldn’t help but think of this when he heard the creaking sounds.

Rattling was a sound made by houses and buildings: in the past it was thought to be a sign of ghosts, but it was just the sound made by building materials due to changes in temperature or humidity, as Roa knew.

It happened more often in buildings made with poor materials, built by unskilled workers or with materials with bad affinity. Buildings made with magic would rarely produce loud rattling during the day, as long as the builders did not cheap out on the use of magic.

“So you’re Roa…”

“Yesh!!”

Roa was lost in thought and ended up fumbling on his reply to the guildmaster, a man projecting strong intimidation. Roa had seen him from afar a number of times, but it was his first time to see him up close and to talk with him. His curiousness completely left him and his body was now governed by nervousness.

The guildmaster was sitting in his chair, but Roa was left standing, with Viviana behind him. Maybe out of spite for the fear felt towards the gryphon, she glared at Roa from behind.

<Hehehehe!! Pitiful! Pathetic! Brat, are you such a coward that you would be intimidated by such small fry?>

“!!”

Roa was surprised by the voice he suddenly heard and was about to jump up. He barely restrained himself from shouting.

<To think that you’re always so arrogant with me! Hehehe…hmm? The brat’s situation? He’s standing in front of a stupidly arrogant small fry and is so scared he’s about to piss his pants! I even see the tears welling up in his eyes!>

Grandpa Gry was supposed to be in the guild’s reception hall, together with Nostalgia. However Roa could hear its voice clearly, as if it was close. Someone from Nostalgia probably asked it to explain the situation, which the gryphon did with some exaggeration.

It really was true that Grandpa Gry could easily tell what happened in the building. Realizing this, Roa could finally calm down. He exhaled to regain his composure and looked straight at the guildmaster.

Just then, another rattling was heard.

“There’s a specific request for you.”

“?”

Roa cocked his head to the side. A specific request to an All Rounder was nothing short of unprecedented. They couldn’t undertake requests on their own, after all.

“…I know what you’re thinking. But this is a special measure because you have tamed a gryphon. Can you understand what I’m saying?”

“What…?”

<Looks like the brat received a specific request. The people plead for me to wield my immeasurable strength! It’s a trap, naturally.>

The guildmaster thought he was having the conversation in secret, but Grandpa Gry interpreted it, in its own unique way, and informed Nostalgia.

“The request comes from his lordship, Count Amadan. Do not dare refuse it and disappoint both his lordship and us!”

<Hmm, a threat using the count’s name. If the brat refuses he will not only be expelled from the guild, but also this town. Typical small fry train of thought. They must be that terrified of me.>

“Eh?”

Roa was more curious about Grandpa Gry’s words than the guildmaster’s. He had already given up on being an adventurer, but not being able to stay in that town was a problem. He had just started repaying his debt of gratitude towards Coralde.

“The request is to investigate the Citadel Dungeon. His lordship has prepared a party to accompany you. You will enter the area, verify the location of the gryphon herd and investigate whether they show any signs of moving, that is all. The reward is…”

<Take it!!!>

“Eeehhh!?!”

Grandpa Gry suddenly shouted, so Roa couldn’t help shouting too in response.

<Undertake that request, now!! That is the nest I was born in, it will be a cinch! Hehehe…it sure has been a while since I last met them…>

“You have a problem with it?”

The guildmaster, who couldn’t hear Grandpa Gry’s voice, looked at Roa for suspicion for interrupting him. Roa felt the blood drain from his face.

“Ah….no….I….”

<Take it! You want to continue staying in this town, don’t you? Then you have to take it! I’m enjoying digging holes, but I want to move freely in a wide space! Take it!>

Grandpa Gry’s voice was louder and louder. Because of this Roa couldn’t think properly and didn’t know how to answer the guildmaster, who glared at him, his forehead wrinkling more and more. Roa felt sweat roll down his neck.

<You want to act as an adventurer, don’t you brat? You must not let this opportunity go!>

As an adventurer. The moment Grandpa Gry said those words, the cornered Roa lit up.

“I, I don’t need any reward! In exchange, please recognize me as a real adventurer!”

Roa immediately said what he had just come up with. It was his long-cherished desire.

“….a *real adventurer*…?”

“Yes. To be able to undertake requests on one’s own means having enough ability to act as an adventurer, does it not? In that case…”

“You want to be recognized not as an All-Rounder, but as an adventurer…”

“Exactly!”

The guildmaster crossed his arms and thought. The guild would not lose anything, and the request was doomed to fail anyway. It was well within his authority as guildmaster too.

“….the condition is fulfilling the request.”

The guildmaster thought a little, then reluctantly agreed.

“That is enough! Thank you very much!”

<To make use of my powers to reach the status of adventurer! Brat, you are a devious one indeed!>

Despite its words, Grandpa Gry’s voice sounded very pleased. Roa mentally intimidated the gryphon to shut up, but he couldn’t deny that it was the truth. He felt it a little guilty, but could have a glimpse of his future as an adventurer, so he flashed a full smile.

The request relied on expectations of Roa as a tamer. His servant beasts’ achievement, more than his own, were expected to influence the results. Of course, servant beasts were part of a tamer’s abilities and their weapon. It was natural to be judged for one’s abilities together with one’s servant beasts.

Roa felt guilty because he did not think of Grandpa Gry or the magic wolf twins as mere servant beasts, but as his family, so he was not keen about using them.

“You’ll take it, then?”

“Yes!”

Roa replied energetically to the guildmaster’s request for confirmation. The guildmaster reacted with a nasty-looking smile. A weight was finally going to leave his shoulders.

Again, rattling could be heard. Viviana, still standing behind Roa, furrowed her brows, concerned by the repeated sound.

𑁋

After Roa and the guildmaster’s meeting ended, Viviana explained in detail about the contents of the request. Roa then returned, without anything else happening. He came back so naturally that Nostalgia’s members were almost taken aback, but Roa and the servant beasts did not seem to care, as they returned home almost skipping, excited for the future.

After a little while…

Viviana was climbing a staircase hidden in the back of the guild. It was a simple staircase, with access restricted to guild personnel. It was used so rarely that it was not even kept clean, so there were mounds of dust in the corners. Viviana climbed to the top and opened a door.

“….I knew it…”

Viviana sighed deeply. The All Rounder had left the guild with the gryphon in tow, so she half expected the result she was now witnessing. What she found beyond the door was a dark room. In its center, a man was knocked out on the plank floor. It looked like he was still breathing, but was in severe pain. His face was dirty with sweat and other body fluids.

The room was located over the ceiling of the reception hall. The hall’s ceiling was open until the roof, so there were no floors above this room. It was used to store the many magic tools that protected the guild, which were managed all together in this room.

“The magic tools…seem safe.”

Viviana checked the condition of the magic tools, especially the subjugation barrier tool, but could not find any particular problems. Their appearance did not show anything abnormal, at least.

The man knocked out on the floor had been hired by her: as a tamer, he was of intermediate ability. He could be of some use to the guild, but even without him they wouldn’t be troubled too much. Viviana had instructed him to use the guild’s subjugation barrier to take control of the gryphon.

She decided to do so on her own: the guildmaster did not know of this plan. He had told her to move freely, following her judgement, so she was not blatantly ignoring his orders.

The All Rounder being the master of a gryphon was a problem, after all. If another party could take control of the gryphon the problem would disappear and the town’s adventurers would gain new strength. Depending on the circumstances, that party could become the next Hero Party.

Her decision was also motivated by the desire to provide salvation for the All-Rounder. If he was being targeted because of the excessive power he possessed, taking away such power could also mean that he would be safe. So thought Viviana when she formulated this plan. It was an arrogant train of thought, but she honestly believed she was acting out of compassion.

The result, however, was a failure. Viviana looked down at the man sprawled on the floor, a gaze of despise in her eyes.

“He failed to tame the gryphon and met some sort of retribution….I guess….”

She whispered, though no one was there to hear, to make sense of the situation. She didn’t know whether the culprit was the gryphon itself or someone from Nostalgia, but considering that only this man was affected, it was safe to think that it was retribution.

She had heard several rattling sounds during the meeting between Roa and the guildmaster, so she was curious about the cause. Buildings made with magic reacted more to magic spells than normal buildings, so she thought that the rattling came in response to some sort of magic attacks.

“If the guild’s subjugation barrier cannot tame it…”

It must not be tamed through the collar, then…

It wasn’t something that could be said lightly, so Viviana kept the second half of the sentence within her thoughts. The guild’s subjugation barrier had a level of authority superior to all subjugation collars and other subjugation barriers. It could easily take away the control of servant beasts from any tamer.

It was a function meant to punish tamers who engaged in illegal acts or opposed the guild. Just like the sudden death curse when the collar was removed, it was a failsafe device for emergencies. It worked without fail on servant beasts tamed via the subjugation collar.

If the guild’s barrier didn’t work, it was proof that the servant beast was not tamed via the subjugation collar.

“…so the report was true after all.”

The report stated that after the Aldon forest incidents, the gryphon and the magic wolf twins left the forest and followed the boy even without wearing collars. It was very hard to believe at the time, but now she could.

However, that made the situation very grave. It meant that a high rank magic beast was in town without any safety device. She didn’t know why it could move with the subjugation collar on, despite not being influenced by it. If the subjugation collar did not work, it would be rejected. But, the gryphon wore it perfectly normally.

Viviana thought for a while, a hand on her cheek, then whispered in a troubled tone.

“Oh well…the guildmaster will take responsibility, anyway…”

Viviana whispered faintly, then left the room. She left the man behind, as if nothing had happened…

𑁋

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