Inside the guild, the reception could be found to the right, while the left side housed a tavern-like space. The center part was a hall, with a large board with a great number of requests attached.
During the game era, the adventurers’ guild was a place where NPC roughnecks loitered. The hall here, however, was very clean: there was no shouting, no adventurers scouting newcomers to judge how much they were worth.
Shin looked up and saw that there even was a chandelier hanging from the ceiling. It was Shin’s first time to see an actual one. For some reason, he imagined dropping it to crush the opponents below. Not that he had ever done something like that.
In the tavern was a group of adventurers, probably celebrating with a pint after finishing a job.
Looking at them, Shin felt slightly hungry, but thought that he would deal with that after the reception, and walked to the counter on the opposite side of the room.
“Welcome to the adventurers’ guild, how may I help you?”
The adventurer-looking girl behind the counter approached Shin. She was beautiful, with long brown hair. Guild receptionists being beautiful was pretty much a given, after all.
Incidentally, behind the other counter stood a large man, about 2-mel tall, with a scar on his face. Needless to say that when walking towards the counters, Shin casually leaned towards the young woman’s side.
“I’d like to register as an adventurer.”
“Registrations are performed at the counter in the 2nd room after you go up the stairs on the left. A first-time registration requires 1 silver Jul as fee, is that alright with you?”
“Yes, no problem. Thank you very much.”
Shin thanked the receptionist and went up the stairs. Reminiscing that the game did not require any formalities whatsoever, he opened the 2nd door as instructed.
There were three desks inside: at one of them, a man was being explained something: he had probably come to register too.
Shin proceeded towards the middle desk, without hesitation.
“This is the adventurer registration desk, do you wish to register?”
“…ah, yes, that’s correct.”
Shin muddled his reply because the woman behind the counter was an exact duplicate of the receptionist he met on the floor below. The only difference was that her hair was tied in a ponytail.
“Is there anything wrong?”
“No, I was just thinking that you look just like the receptionist below.”
“That’s my older sister, we are twins so people often get us confused…but rather than that, your registration. My name is Cilica Lindt, I will assist you today.”
“My name is Shin, I’ll be in your hands.”
“First of all, registration requires a 10,000 Jul fee, is that alright with you?”
Shin took 10,000 Jul out of the item box. He pretended he was taking them out of its breast pocket, but it could have looked slightly unnatural. Cilica did not show any signs of suspicion, however, and took Shin’s silver coin.
“Please fill in this form, then.”
The form given to Shin listed name, species, main weapons, if usage of magic was possible or not.
“Do I have to fill in all of them?”
“No, the required information is only name and species. But the more information provided, the better I can assist you. I would ask you to fill in all the information, if possible. This is not a requirement, however: you will not be treated worse than other members even if you don’t write everything. Please rest assured.”
There was also a space to write in one’s hometown, so Shin was a bit undecided, but since there didn’t seem to be problems, he filled in the form while skipping some information. As species, he wrote just “Human”, just in case.
Shin put in Katana as weapon and usage of magic as “possible”. For his age, he added his actual age to the 1 year spent in the death game and wrote 21.
Shin was kind of late in noticing it, but the documents were all in Japanese. For Shin, it was a big help to be able to communicate. He was a bit concerned about what he would do if the papers were written in the unintelligible script often seen in fantasy works.
Shin finished filling in the form and handed it back, then Cilica quickly read through it. She probably checked if there wasn’t anything missing.
“Your name is Shin, is that correct?”
“Yes, that’s right.”
“That’s all for the forms then. Next, I would like you to spill one drop of blood on this guild card.”
Cilica took out a silver card, about the size of a poker card, and a needle.
In the game, the player just had to register, but apparently here they also issued a card.
Shin pricked a finger with the needle and let a few drops of blood on the card. The blood did not splash off the card, but was absorbed as if by a sponge and disappeared instantly.
“This concludes the registration process. The guild card is proof of the holder’s identity, but it takes one day to create one: please come receive yours tomorrow.”
The card couldn’t be received right away, apparently. Shin had been excited to see it, so he felt kind of disappointed.
“May I explain about the guild now?”
“First, about the adventurer rank: the maximum rank is SS, followed by S, A, B, C, D, E, F, and G, for a total of 9 ranks. You have just registered, so your initial rank will be G. Completing requests will net you points and your rank will rise accordingly. In case you abandon a request midway, the request points will be detracted from your current total: if the points go below a certain level, your rank will decrease. You will also be required to pay a fine amounting to double the reward for the request, so please be careful. Generally, you can undertake requests up to 2 ranks higher than your current rank. In case of requests ranked C and above, however, you will be able to take only requests 1 rank higher. It is possible to form parties with 2 or more members: in that case, you can undertake requests based on the player with the highest rank, so based on the party members, you might be able to undertake quests 3 or more ranks higher than yours.”
“How many members can a party have?”
Shin was curious about party limitations: in the game, a party could contain up to 6 members.
“6 members at most. If a request is accepted by more people, they will have to work together while split into multiple parties. It happens often in large-scale requests or cases involving the extermination of powerful monsters.”
The party member limitation was the same, apparently. In the game, however -with the exception of battles against certain boss monsters- it was not possible for multiple parties to take the same request (called “quest” in the game), so there were differences here and there.
“Requests can be of many different natures: errands, collecting materials, exterminating monsters, escorting, etcetera. We can provide some assistance, but if you accept requests without the guild’s mediation or take requests above your ability and suffer wounds or die, the guild will not take any responsibility. Be very careful before taking any requests.”
“What happens when the posted request and the actual contents are different? For example, I take an extermination request, but when I go there’s a monster much more powerful than the one mentioned in the request.”
“In such a case, you may abandon the request. You will need to report to us, but there will be no fine to pay. The guild makes sure to check the contents of requests involving risks, but we cannot check every single request, so you should be wary at all times.”
Shin thought that it couldn’t be helped if the information network wasn’t developed.
Cilica was urging Shin to be careful, however in the death game not only did monsters frequently barge in during fighting, but there were also PK attacks too, so Shin knew very well how to keep his guard up.
“The materials acquired after defeating monsters can be bought by the guild. Please make use of this service if you want. Next…”
Cilica’s explanations continued for 20 more minutes. There was no need to remember everything then and there, for the guild could be consulted in case of doubts at any time. Very few people could remember everything after hearing it the first time, or so Cilica said.
“—this concludes the guild’s explanation. Do you have any questions?”
“Can I undertake requests already?”
“You will be able to once you have your guild card. The card is also used as a permit to pass through the gates, so I would recommend spending the rest of the day within the city.”
“I see. I have no more questions.”
“Thank you. I will be looking forward to your exploits, sir Shin.”
Cilica courteously bid farewell to Shin; he bowed his head in response and left the registration counter. Back on the ground floor, Shin called the receptionist he had talked to before.
“Thanks for before.”
“I see you have completed your registration. Once more, let me welcome you to the Adventurers’ Guild. I am in charge of the request procedures, my name is Celica Lindt. It’s a pleasure to know you.”
“My name’s Shin. The pleasure is mine. You are the registration counter receptionist, Cilica’s older sister, correct?”
“I see, Cilica handled your registration. Yes, she is my little sister. We are twins, though, so I do not really think of her as such.”
“I was surprised, you know. I wondered if you could teleport.”
“Many first-time visitors appear confused when they come back down, like the person over there.”
Shin turned towards the direction Celica was looking at and saw a new adventurer exit the guild looking a bit dumbfounded. He was the man that was listening to the explanation next to Shin upstairs.
“Even in the guild people often confuse us. Please don’t do the same, sir Shin.”
Celica smiled brightly, but Shin felt a strange pressure for an instant. She was laughing it off, but it was probably a real concern for both sisters.
“I’ll…do my best. Oh, by the way, there’s someone I’d like to ask, may I?”
Shin wanted to take care of what Beid had talked about. He didn’t have to ask Celica specifically about it, but the man in the next counter was watching Shin out of the corner of his eyes for some reason, so Shin didn’t feel like approaching him. Or rather, he didn’t want to. He didn’t know why, but his instincts warned him not to get involved with that man.
“Yes, please ask anything.”
“I heard that an adventurer named Els worked as a receptionist here.”
Shin only saw Celica and the large man at the reception. Els was supposed to be a female receptionist, so it was difficult to believe that she could be the man, or so Shin fervently hoped.
“Oh, Els? My apologies, she is currently out in town for a request. She should be back within today if there are no complications, so please come again when you come to receive your card. If she is still away, I can take your message for her.”
Shin’s timing had been bad, it seemed. Being an adventurer, it was natural that she wasn’t always stuck inside the guild, after all. At least she wouldn’t be away for weeks.
“I see, I’ll come again tomorrow then.”
Shin nodded to Celica, then moved towards the tavern side of the building. He felt that his stomach would soon start to grumble.
In a corner of the tavern, there were several other patrons other than the group of adventurers Shin had seen before. Their average level was around 90.
Shin sat down in an empty seat and looked at the menu. It was written in Japanese, but he couldn’t tell the contents from the names of the dishes. In the end, he decided to order the day’s special course.
After a little while, the food was quickly delivered to his table.
“Here is today’s course, sir Shin.”
Shin, approached out of the blue, turned around. He didn’t know why they knew his name, but looking at the waitress’ face dispelled such doubts.
It was Celica, whom he had just said goodbye to.
“Er…you were at the reception counter until just now, right?”
“When we were talking you weren’t dressed like this, right?”
“Indeed, I was wearing the guild uniform at the reception.”
“You can change that fast? No, why are you even the waitress anyway?”
“This much is normal, sir. When the reception is empty, I help out here.”
What’s normal about any of this!?….is what Shin wanted to say, but his words died in his mouth.
Less than 3 minutes had passed since Shin had left Celica’s counter. He couldn’t help but think her feat impossible.
The food had also been prepared in a bit more than 1 minute after his order. The special set included a 3-cemel steak, raw salad, and a soup. It wasn’t something that could be prepared in such a short time.
“Please, enjoy your meal. It will be a pity if it turns cold.”
“Hah, yes, thank you.”
Shin then started eating. For some reason, Celica sat down on the chair opposite to Shin’s.
Since Celica had left the reception counter, now only the large man was standing there. Shin silently sent thoughts of compassion to any adventurers who happened to visit the guild at that time.
(Anyway, what exactly is happening here…?)
Shin couldn’t help but feel a bit uncomfortable. Being watched while eating wasn’t exactly relaxing.
The steak was delicious, its meat melting on the mouth. The salad’s crunchiness too was a joy to chew, while the soup, tasting very close to chicken broth, was quite excellent as well.
The situation, however, wasn’t as perfect. Shin couldn’t really enjoy his meal.
“Is it OK for you to ignore the other customers? Ms. waitress Celica.”
“The other waitresses are taking care of them, so there’s no problem.”
She had no intention of leaving Shin’s table.
“It’s a bit hard to eat if you keep looking at me.”
“Oh, don’t mind me.”
Shin‘s reply was sorted with a smile, but Celica’s words only made Shin mind her presence even more: the situation became more and more uncomfortable.
“Honestly, what’s up with this? Newcomer bullying?”
“There is something I wanted to confirm, actually.”
“You should have said that from the start, then.”
“But before confirming, I wanted to see a bit what kind of person you were, sir Shin.”
Shin could only think that she was having a bit of fun at his expense.
“So? What is it that you want to confirm?”
Celica’s voice grew quieter after Shin’s question.
“I have received communication that you are in possession of a certain letter of introduction.”
A certain letter of introduction…Shin knew exactly what that meant. It really meant much more than what Shin expected.
“….that, huh. Well yes, I do have it with me.”
“Do you mind if we examine it in another room?”
“After I finish eating, sure. If an audience with the guildmaster awaits in that room, though, forget it.”
Shin meant it as a joke, but Celica fell unexpectedly silent. She also looked away from him.
“….I am truly sorry. I have been ordered to take you there.”
Shin reacted in his usual speech.
“Yes, for real.”
Celica’s immediate response made Shin’s shoulders drop. Why did he have to meet with the guild’s highest authority on the very day he registered? Will that introduction letter turn out to be more trouble than it was worth?
“….we can’t do it tomorrow?”
Shin sighed internally, thinking that it wasn’t an event for the first day in another world, and attempted to negotiate.
“Actually, I must apologize once more…he is right there…”
Celica then looked behind Shin.
Meaning that the guildmaster was already standing there—-
(I…I don’t want to turn around!!!)
Shin knew already that someone was standing behind him, but he would have never thought that it was the guildmaster. He could have not stayed frozen like that forever, however, so he reluctantly turned his torso around.
The guildmaster, standing behind Shin, was someone unexpected.
“I couldn’t wait, you know. Sorry to bother you during your meal, but I had to come see you.”
The man who approached Shin while laughing heartily was none else than the large man who was standing at the reception until moments ago.
The man who was sneaking glances at Shin the whole time.
The large man Shin’s instincts had warned him about.
Shin’s exclamation loudly resounded through the guild.