TWEM Vol. 1 Chapter 18
Chapter 18 – Promotion to Rank S?
The half-naked guildmaster walked toward me.
Wear something first, please…!
I barely managed to keep from speaking out loud, and the guildmaster started talking.
“You’re the guy who won over Dyne and Norverne?”
“Name and rank?”
“Haruto, rank A.”
The guildmaster looked at me, wide-eyed.
“So you’re the one who took down the Ebony Wolves gang too. What about the girl next to you?”
“My name is Finne, I am rank C.”
“Yeah, I remember the name from the list of the adventurers responsible for the bandits’ defeat…”
The guildmaster scratched his hairless head.
After a deep sigh, he started talking again.
“Haruto, Finne, I am the guildmaster of the guild here in the royal capital. The name’s Garguin. Just address me like that, no need for titles. So Haruto, I’d like you to come to my office now…”
“Nice to meet you, Garguin…by the way, what happens if I refuse to come?”
Garguin looked at me with a somewhat annoyed expression.
“There is no punishment for that or anything. But I can’t let someone who defeated two S rankers go without talking with them first, so I would contact you again and again about it, I suppose.”
“Haah…so basically I’m forced to go. It’s a pain, but I got no choice…I’m coming.”
“It’s a pain for me too, mind you. Let’s get it over with.”
“Finne is my party too, can she come with us?”
Garguin gave the OK, so Finne came with us too.
Dyne and Norverne saw us off while shouting “Boss!! Boss lady!! Take care!!”, so Garguin looked at me as if asking what exactly I did to them.
Stop looking at me like that, for god’s sake…
We returned inside the main guild building, climbed the stairs to the second floor, and were led to the guildmaster’s office.
“Please, sit down.”
We sat down, as Garguin invited us to, and a secretary brought us tea.
Garguin took a sip, then looked straight at me.
“Let’s skip the formalities and get to the main topic. It’s about your rank, Haruto: if you defeated two S rankers, we can’t just leave you at rank A. It’s about our reputation too.”
“I’ll be frank. We want to promote you to rank S.”
Finne reacted to the guildmaster’s words with surprise.
“Sir Haruto will be rank S!?”
“It’s not a bad proposal, is it?”
Garguin nodded. On the other hand, I—
“I see. No thanks.”
“Good, thank you for — what!?”
Garguin was surprised, but in a very different way from Finne.
“W-why!? You’d be the world’s sixth S rank adventurer!! Why would you ever refuse that!?”
Garguin spoke with growing excitement, smacking his fists on the table, his face coming closer and closer.
You’re close!! And definitely not the kind of guy I want to get up close and personal with!!
I desperately arched backward and replied.
“I-it’s just, I don’t care about ranks, besides the forced participation to emergency requests and personal requests sound like a real hassle…anyway can you sit down again? Put some space between us?”
“Oh, sorry about that. But you’d really refuse the promotion based on reasons like that…?”
They’re pretty good reasons to me, though…
Garguin hemmed and hawed, scratching his head for a while.
He eventually came up with something, as his head sprung up again.
“What if we absolved you from forced participation and personal requests!?”
“Guildmaster!! That would simply be going overboard!!”
The secretary hurriedly interrupted, but Garguin had no intention to listen.
“But if we don’t do that much, this man isn’t going to accept the promotion!!”
“That might be true, but…”
The secretary tried insisting, but Garguin’s conditions were perfect for me.
Thus I interrupted them and proposed a conclusion.
“I can accept the promotion, based on the conditions Garguin just offered.”
Garguin smiled brightly at me, while the secretary’s head and shoulders dropped.
“Oh, you will? You have my thanks! It’s a loss for the guild, but the promotion was offered by us after all, so it’s fine…okay then, I know this will sound weird since the promotion came from us, but there is an exam to take. We need an objective, external evaluation, and achievements, you see.”
An exam, seriously? Exempt me from that too, come on…
“What happens if I refuse to take it?”
“The promotion will have to be delayed.”
That meant that Garguin would nag me about every time I met him…well, I didn’t exactly have other plans, so I might as well get it over with.
“…understood, I’ll take the exam. What does it consist of?”
“Ah, please wait a moment. The request sheet should be here somewhere.”
Garguin then started rummaging through the piles of paper on his desk.
Finne and I enjoyed the tea we were served as we waited.
“Oh, this tea is really good. This kind of sweetness is just special…”
“Yes, the aftertaste is so light too! Excuse me, what leaves did you use?”
The secretary replied to Finne’s question with a smile.
“Thank you very much. This tea was brewed from Lufna leaves. They grow in an area a bit north of here, on a mountain at 600 Metols of altitude. They’re one of the guildmaster’s favorites, actually.”
“Really…guess we could go pick some if we have the chance.”
“Yes, we should!”
We chatted like that for a while, until Garguin finally found the request sheet.
“What, you like that tea? We have something in common, huh,”
“Yes, it was delicious…so, did you find the sheet you were looking for?”
“Yeah, this is it. If you’re fine with the contents, take it to the counter later.”
Rank S Promotion Exam
Content: Wyvern (Mutant) Extermination
Proof of Extermination: Wyvern (Mutant) Fang
Time Limit: 15 Days
Reward: 1 Million Gold
“The time limit is from when you take the request till the day you complete it. If you take more than that, we can’t promote you to rank S. And usually only one person is allowed to join the extermination mission.”
After hearing Garguin’s explanation, my attention went to the word “Mutant”.
“What’s a mutant, by the way?”
“Mutants are monsters that happen to absorb accumulations of magic power, a natural — albeit very rare — phenomenon, and transform into much more powerful specimens of their species. The mutant wyvern in this request is one that not even a party of five rank A adventurers managed to take down. Wyverns are class A normally, but since it mutated no one can match it anymore. It doesn’t go around attacking human settlements, so it’s been left as fodder for rank S promotion exams…so, is this request alright with you?”
“Yeah, I just have to defeat it and bring you one of its fangs, right?”
“Correct…I’ll tell you about its location then. This wyvern made its nest on the peak of a mountain due west from here. It’s 30 Kilometol from here, more or less.”
I see, not so far then.
“Got it, thank you…is there anything else?”
“No, I’ve said everything about the exam…you’re free to go. Come back to report when you’re done with the extermination.”
I nodded and was about to leave with Finne, but Garguin stopped me.
“Oh yeah, please wait just a moment.”
“What? Anything else we have to do?”
“Can I just ask when you plan to go?”
Hmm, right…there’d be no point in waiting, so I might as well go as soon as I can.
“I’m thinking of leaving tomorrow morn — hey, what’s wrong!?”
For whatever reason, Garguin looked positively spooked.
“What’s wrong with YOU, man!! Tomorrow!? Are you insane!? Normally you’d spend at least one week gathering information and the proper equipment!!”
“Oh, it’ll work out somehow. No need to worry.”
“It’s not going to be that easy!! Of course, I’m worried!!”
I didn’t want to continue being yelled at like that, so I tried to calm Garguin down.
“Don’t yell like that, please. The stress will make you lose your hair.”
Whoops, I just said that out loud…
“I was already fully bald in my thirties!!”
Such misfortune at such a young age…putting the jokes aside, I earnestly tried to appease Garguin’s concerns.
“I defeated two S rankers, didn’t I? Do you still doubt me?”
“That’s not it. But you’re up against the mutant form of a class A monster.”
Even if you say that, I defeated a disaster class monster already…I didn’t tell Garguin about it, did I. But if I said that now he might throw another fit, so I’ll keep it for next time.
“Well, anyway. I’ll deal with the situation properly, no matter what happens. I’ll be okay.”
“…if you say that…fine then. You’re going tomorrow, right? Take care.”
Garguin was finally convinced, so we left the office.
I handed in the sheet to officially undertake the exam request, received the money for selling the monster materials, then we went to buy provisions for two weeks, just in case.
On the way, Finne asked me a question in an uneasy tone.
“Ehm, is it really okay for me to come with you? I might just hold you back…”
“Of course it’s okay. I’m sure I can protect you in case of necessity. I can’t have you help me deal with the exam’s target, but please lend me a hand in everything else.”
Finne replied with an energetic “I will!!” and a beaming smile.
After finishing our shopping rounds, we went to see carriages and horses.
Our destination was quite far this time, so we needed a reliable means of transportation.
I couldn’t tell which one was good or bad just by looking at them, so I asked the shop owner for advice.
“Excuse me, we’re looking for a horse carriage. Which one would you recommend?”
“I see, what kind of carriage would you need?”
“Hmm, well…one that can carry four passengers?”
Only Finne and I were going to ride in it, but having more space was definitely better.
“Very well, what about your budget?”
“Don’t worry about that.”
The owner asked about our budget, so I took out a gold coin and showed it to him.
“I see. If you have such leeway, I can show you our high-quality options.”
The owner then showed us various kinds of carriages: I picked one with a design I liked and bought it.
Okay, it’s the horses’ turn then.
“I’d like to buy a horse too, do you know where I can find any?”
“Horses, sir? We sell them too. Please come this way.”
The owner led us behind the shop, where the horse stables were located. Several horses were walking around the place.
“The horse in the back of the stables won’t get attached to anyone and goes wild if you go closer, so I can’t recommend that one. Oh, you may take this horse feed with you too.”
I received the feed and observed the horses one by one.
Finne joined me, sometimes commenting on how cute the horses were and patting their heads.
I continued my observation while relishing how adorable she was.
Some horses appeared scared after seeing me, others didn’t have sturdy-looking bodies, so I was having a tough time finding a good one.
The only one left was the unruly horse the owner warned me about…
When I approached it, the owner raised his voice.
“SIR! That horse…”
I ignored his warning, however, and stood in front of the horse.
“Hey there. Want to go on a journey with me?”
I pushed some feed towards the horse, which replied with energetic neighing and started eating it.
“ —I decided, I’m taking this one.”
The owner was very surprised by my sudden declaration.
“S-sir, are you sure? That’s…”
“Yes, I want this one. How much?”
The owner probably realized that I wasn’t going to change my mind: after a brief silence, he nodded.
“…very well. I couldn’t sell it no matter what I did, so I was honestly troubled…thank you for your purchase. I’ll take 100,000 Gould for the horse, while the carriage is two million Gould.”
“Here you are.”
I gave the owner two large gold coins and one gold coin.
He looked quite surprised to see me pay so much money in such a casual way.
“E-eh!? You will pay in full already? C-could you be a noble…?”
“No, I’m not a noble. I just got paid recently, that’s all.”
“I-is that so…”
The owner took the coins in an extremely deferential manner, then spoke again in a similarly humble tone.
“We need a few hours to prepare the carriage, will that be acceptable for you, sir? Incidentally, can you drive it?”
Oh yeah, I never drove one before…I better get someone to teach me.
<<Skill “Horse Carriage Arts” acquired. Skill level reached 10. Skill added to Martial Unification.>>
And here’s the related skill. Bless this easy mode…
“…I’ll come pick up the carriage tomorrow morning. Make it ready to leave on the spot. We’ll handle the driving on our side.”
“Understood, I will make sure the carriage is ready…I shall be waiting for you tomorrow then, sir.”
“Yeah, thank you.”
The horse was going to stay there too till the next day, so I told it to listen to the owner till I returned and it neighed back to me briskly.
Back at the inn, I had dinner with Finne, then we went to our separate rooms. I laid down on my bed and decided to check my status.
UNIQUE SKILLS :
Max Skill Growth
Unique Skill User
Master of Martial Arts
Master of Magic Arts
Horse Carriage Arts
Magic Power Manipulation
The mock battle against Dyne and Norverne gave me a few more skills…they’re starting to become too many, honestly…
I then contemplated how I was going to live in this new world.
I planned to take my revenge on the Glicente kingdom, which summoned me away from my world just to kick me out, but I enjoyed my time with Finne now.
I also met many people other than Finne: I wanted to treasure such encounters, as any new ones I would make in the future.
With this new decision in my heart, I went to sleep, to be ready for the rank S promotion exam.