Chapter 83: As We Move from 1 Arc to Another, Please Forgive the Transition Pains
… Somehow, it was hard for me to wake up in the morning, and even when I woke up I was still tired.
Hm? I wonder if I’ve ever felt tired from lack of sleep ever since I came into this world.
Even though it was a regular occurrence in Japan.
But, you know, I really pushed myself last night, and whatever you’d call that situation with the Aether, resonating or something … un, it might not be such a weird thing.
And by the way, after Hibiki-chan had fallen asleep and before I fell asleep I did check my status… but there was nothing.
“Hahaha, see, it was all in my head.”
But somehow, the cold sweat wouldn’t stop, so I used Analyze(4) on myself.
TYPE: Human – Female – 202 Moons (conversion: 16 Years)
ANALYSIS: An A Rank blade Craftsman and a C Rank Adventurer of mysterious origins.
ATTEMPTING TITLE ANALYSIS
The Avatar of Light Magic
It was very, very hard to suppress the groan that threatened to leap from my throat.
AAAAH, where is the [NO TITLE SPECIFIED] that I had previously?!
This … wait.
I checked it with this world’s regular Analyze.
STATUS: C Rank Adventurer, A Rank Craftsman
I felt like it was useless to worry about it, so I put it into the back of my mind and forcefully ignored it to go to sleep.
There might be a need to do some research on what this forcefully acquired title means, but first things first.
I want to head into the territory of the elves.
The location is … … uh…
Well, the middle of the map that Lor drew for me, I think?
Hibiki-chan said that the mad scientist guy said that secretive elves held the key to Light Magic, but whether he was talking about a specific group of elves or just complaining that elves were secretive is unknown.
Either way, I think it would be a good idea to go towards the elven territory to do more research about Light Magic by myself. I might be able to uncover the meaning behind becoming an avatar at the same time.
No way am I just interested in elven magical weapons, which draw from ambient mana and allow the user to manipulate the structure of a weapon with ease…
Nor am I being drawn to the rumors of lost forges.
Un. There are many advantages to traveling to the elven territories.
It might be wise to bring Hibiki-chan too, so she learns about elven culture. Or rather, Seimei-san expressed a wish for her to do so.
Because she’ll have to live as an elf from now on, whether she wants to or not.
Thinking these things over again in the morning, I sluggishly rolled over and got to my feet.
Luckily, Hibiki-chan is still asleep.
If she sees me acting so tired and stiff, I’m certain that we’ll re-enact last night’s argument over who gets the bed.
We might end up re-enacting it anyway.
I think Hibiki-chan hasn’t had a lot of time to be alone, so I quietly leave the room.
You know, sometimes you just need to be alone to process through all the emotions you’ve been holding onto.
As I descended the stairs and went into the main shop… oh, even Maryiste is still asleep.
As expected; last night’s ruckus was too tiring, so the girls are asleep.
I wonder if I should get them something to commemorate their first actual instance of combat?
Although it was only one monster that all 8 girls had to work together to bring down, it wasn’t a small-fry like a goblin or something but a large, fast-moving black wolf.
Wasn’t it too soon for them to face something like that? Wasn’t the fact that they only had minor injuries due to sheer luck?
Those kinds of questions are completely useless.
It is because the weak can be forced to fight the strong that those girls learned to use the naginata. Even if their strength isn’t enough, they either had to take up arms or lay down their lives.
Un, I’ll leave it to Niera to handle the after care for this incident.
I quietly headed out of the shop, leaving its sleeping residents behind, and into the courtyard.
Stretching lightly, I heard,
Hm? That’s … uh…
“Koro-san. Good morning.”
A Guild Staff was tidying up the front of the Guild Branch Office next door.
“Good morning, good morning. Ah, if you’ll send one of the lovely ladies over later, we’ve prepared compensation for the Night Wolf’s materials.”
“Oooh, so they were able to sell it. Will do.”
Koro-san is a young-ish man covered in scars, but he has a strangely happy-go-lucky personality.
He’s humming a bit as he continues to drag off the bits of masonry and wood that were knocked all over the place in the riot last night.
“Ah-! Before I forget, you were being called to the main Guild Hall, Jun! I was supposed to tell you to get there by the Morning Bells.”
Ah. As I thought.
“Aaaaaah, ok. I’ll head over soon.”
Even though I wanted to let Hibiki-chan wake naturally, I guess it can’t be helped.
I think she’d feel more uneasy if I didn’t take her along.
“Playing secretive games like little children. Because of that you almost lost this city.”
A calm, deep woman’s voice echoes through the air as Minerva escorts me to the Guild Master’s room.
Why is Maryiste-san here?
As if it was natural, Maryiste-san is standing in front of Florian-san and Dobin-san, staring steadily at them.
The Guild Master and Vice Guild Master are avoiding looking her directly in the eyes.
What is with this balance of power?
I’m not sure if they notice me as I enter the room.
Maryiste-san, at least, is not acting like she’s noticed at all.
She continues talking without even a pause.
“Of course I understand that information is power. I understand that there are many powers in this city, and it’s your duty to stand above them all. However, don’t you think it’s irresponsible to keep important matters from the people you personally involved in the matter?”
That! That’s exactly what I wanted to complain about!
“Doing so certainly kept information from getting out, but it also kept information that might have been important to from reaching you. You cannot expect Adventurers to report, communicate, and consult with you if you do not reciprocate in kind, as if they were your subordinates. If you continue to entertain that sort of expectation, I believe the Guild will begin to have a difficult time in the future to come.”
Florian-san is expressionless as usual, so it’s hard to tell what he’s thinking, but Dobin-san’s sullen look is beginning to turn a little grey.
I really want to clap, but the atmosphere is too heavy so I just simulate the sound in my head.
Without raising her voice or putting a scowl on her face, Maryiste effectively caused the two men with the most influence in this city to lower their heads in shame.
“For the damage incurred due to our inability to take action since we were not informed about the problem located in our backyard … of course the Guild will pay for the remodeling of our courtyard.”
Maryiste-san said, and smiled pleasantly.
It wasn’t a question.
Unable to meet her eyes, Dobin-san could only meekly reply,
With a great amount of dignity, Maryiste gave a slight nod and replied,
“That was all I wished to say. If you will excuse me.”
And then she gracefully left the room.
The silence was a little overbearing.
“S-so… what did you guys call me in for?”
I finally asked.
Maa, well, it was basically what I expected.
After Dobin-san kind of meekly asked me to give my report, I told him what happened briefly (excluding the avatar thing), and that was it.
I mean, I intended to complain about not being told things that would have been useful, but Maryiste-san kind of said everything I wanted to say, so the meeting was over pretty quick.
Also, Dobin-san and Florian-san were kind of depressed after Maryiste-san left, so they didn’t seem to have the energy to ask too many questions.
I’m kind of glad about that, though, because I left Hibiki-chan at the front desk.
I figured I shouldn’t bring her to meet the two tops of the Guild, so I asked the onee-san receptionist to register her as an Adventurer – as well as keep an eye over her.
She shouldn’t get into too much trouble.
Her ridiculously good elven looks are hidden behind the transformation, and I lent Hibiki-chan some clothes, since her game costumes are a little overly glamorous, so her clothes shouldn’t stand out too much.
Well, since my pants didn’t fit her right, she only borrowed some boots and a top.
… Even though my weight doesn’t bother me, and even though I know her figure is because of the avatar’s ridiculous proportions, what is this feeling of defeat? Is this just something that bothers you when you’re a girl?
Or would it have bothered me anyway?
ANYWAY, Hibiki-chan had some weapons too, but such ornamental daggers are…
I handed over a simple longsword to act as camouflage and asked her to keep those things in her Inventory.
And I mean, it’s really a “simple” longsword.
So with all those preparations, she should just look like a stereotypical, cute beginner Adventurer.
There shouldn’t be any trouble that will come out and bother her.
At the most, it just should be curiosity that she’s an elf, or someone trying to pick her up, and as long as she’s in the Guild Hall, nothing should happen that would make her too uncomfortable.
The receptionist onee-san should be keeping an eye out on her too, so…
I wonder if she’s done registering…
… No way…
I am currently in the Guild’s bathroom.
I’m a bit in despair.
That’s right. I forgot.
This is going to happen every month now.
I bury my face in my hands and groan.
Is that why I’ve been feeling all out of it this morning?
Even though I thought I should keep those items in my Inventory from now on, I just kept putting it off and putting it off…
Now what do I do?!
Aaargh! I’m stuck here?!
I take a deep breath. In. Out.
The people I can contact right now through Friend Chat are … Masaki and Seimei-san.
I feel my hope dying painfully away.
No choice. If I have to make someone’s day worse, I guess I’d prefer Masaki over Seimei-san…
Crap. This is so embarrassing.
Eh? Is she leaving?
Wait wait wait!
“No, wait, Hibiki-ch – san-!”
“Oh, so you did come here… Is there something wrong?”
Ah, because my voice cracked earlier, she noticed I’m panicking.
“Uh… that’s … … mutter mutter mutter.”
“… Ah… Um… you’re in luck. They do have some things here in the bathroom. Um… it looks like it needs money, but I can’t figure out how this works… Also, I don’t have any money.”
“Shoot. Hang on. What do I do?!”
“… I think, for this …”
… Even though it’s a different world, un, a natural girl is much more adaptable in an emergency situation for this type of thing.
I learned a lot …
Or like, I, Imamiya Jun, a former high school boy, learned more knowledge that I wish I didn’t need.
I feel a small part of me dying away inside.
Hibiki-chan has a look of half-pity on her face, but she also seems a bit confused at my reaction to everything. I guess it can’t be helped that she doesn’t understand the full extent of the feelings a guy has to this situation.
I wonder if I’m going to have a small identity crisis every month from now on…
“Oh, I see. I forgot to pass money to you to pay for the registration… Well, Hibiki-chan saved me by coming in after me, so…”
I was wondering why she came in with such good timing.
Hibiki-chan smiled a little.
“I’m happy I could help. Um… are there any specific ways women deal with it in this world?”
“… Please ask Maryiste-san and the onee-sans when we return to the shop.”
Please remember, I was part of the gender that didn’t have to or WANT to talk about this not too long ago…
Anyway, we head back to the Guild front desk and finish up Hibiki-chan’s registration soon after that.
She is now officially a Rank F Adventurer.
Even though I’m pretty sure she should be higher ranked, in the end I can’t prove it, so she ends up in the “overpowered but low-rank on a technicality” template.
Nn, there is a way to skip ranks, but we’re trying to avoid having her stand out too much, so that’s how it is; she’ll be a low-ranking, high-powered Adventurer.
“But really, it’s such bad luck that you came to the city in the middle of all that ruckus. And then to lose all your money…”
The onee-san receptionist said, pityingly.
Ah… was that what the scenario was? I can’t remember now.
“I was lucky to be saved by Jun-san and Ragnall, so I can’t complain too much.”
Hibiki-chan said that smoothly, in a soft, timid voice.
“Hahaha, that’s true! And, what will you do now?”
Hibiki-chan tilted her head slightly to one side, as if thinking.
“After the attack last night … I think I might want to travel around instead of staying here? I want to go see the elves, maybe.”
“Oya? But ain’t you an elf?”
“I… was raised by humans, though…”
“Ah… come to think of it, you don’t look like you belong to any elf clan I know of. Hm… if I have to say, you’re more … like you came from Jun-chan’s part of the world, wherever that is. Maybe you were displaced here too?”
The receptionist onee-san is too observant!
Hibiki-chan froze for a split second and gave me a bit of a panicked look.
… Don’t look at me. I’m not into advertising that I came from another world, but these days I feel like it’s too much of a bother to play mind games to keep it a secret, so I’m not going to panic over the things I said early on that might give the idea that we’re … not from around here.
Maa, I did feel that impulse to hide it at the beginning, when we first found ourselves in this world, so maybe it’s something all of us otherworlders go through for a short period of time.
Hibiki-chan quickly pulled herself together.
“Maybe…? But I’m an abandoned child… so … I wouldn’t really know…”
“Ah… I see. Fufu, but Jun-chan probably picked you up because you reminded her of her home town, ne?”
I can only weakly laugh and reply vaguely with a,
Dammit, I didn’t know Hibiki-chan was so good at this. Even though she’s timid and pauses to think a lot, somehow she seems believable.
At least more believable than I would have been?
… Why didn’t you step in last night, when I was having a hard time telling Solyana the entire story?
“Well, I was thinking about heading to the Labyrinth in the elf territories, so if that’s the case, maybe I’ll take Hibiki-chan along, hahaha…”
… Nope, I should’ve stayed silent. I sound so damn unnatural!
“Anyway, any idea where Ragnall is? I was hoping to check in on him, so…”
“Ragnall, hm? Let me see. It seems he’s gone to Sir Baronet’s house, with Lor. Well, I only know because Lor left a note earlier, haha.”
Everyone’s busy running everywhere this morning… but I guess that makes sense after everything that happened last night.
Hibiki-chan and I thank the receptionist, and off we go to Seimei-san’s house.
<A/n: It’s actually kind of hard to balance certain necessary “girl” situations with the involuntary “boy” reactions. You might think that I don’t really address the gender change, but that’s because the story is told from Jun’s pov; in general he doesn’t think it’s that big of a deal because being a girl doesn’t hinder him from pursuing things he’d naturally pursue as a guy.
But when things happen that DO mess up his/her daily routine … well you see the result.>