Volume 2 Chapter 32 part1
We entered a new tunnel in high spirits, but the monsters that appeared were so weak, it was as if we were taking a stroll in the park. This tunnel was already our third.
“What did you think small rats and slimes were?” [Mizelia]
“It would be a huge problem if an enemy you didn’t consider weak actually appeared, nyaa. We’ll be fine, of course, but the G Rank and F Ranks will be in danger, nyaa.” [Miya]
“In the first place, the reason we’re here is to provide backup when needed.” [Syria]
“But we can’t sit around doing nothing either since that would leave a bad example to the low rankers.” [Wereanna]
The way they talk, the way they fight… They’re definitely a league above the bandits I fought. They must be fairly high ranked. Why am I with them?
“Hmm? Something the matter, Ryouma?” [Wereanna]
“I just thought everyone seems to be a high ranker, so I’m wondering why I was grouped with you guys when I’m only an F Rank. Did the guild master pull some strings? To make it easier since I’m already acquainted with you?” [Ryouma]
“That’s impossible. That old man is a busybody, alright, but he’ll always prioritize ability over everything when it comes to work.” [Jeff]
“Perhaps, he was worried we wouldn’t be able to defeat a monster that could only be defeated with magic if it were just as 5, though I’m sure he looks highly on your abilities and stamina too.” [Syria]
“Haven’t you realized, Ryouma-kun? We’ve actually been going at a pretty high pace, you know. A normal F Rank adventurer would normally have a hard time keeping up.” [Mizelia]
“At first, we were planning to slow down once you started getting tired, but you never did, so we just kept going.” [Wereanna]
Really? I didn’t notice at all.
“Ryouma, there’s absolutely no way your actual ability is just F Rank.” [Mizelia]
“What’s the strongest monster you’ve defeated until now?” [Jeff]
“Well, it’s not exactly a monster, but I have beaten a Black Bear back at the Forest of Gana.” [Ryouma]
When the 5 adventurers heard that, they made an ‘I knew it’ face.
“Black Bear isn’t something an F Rank could beat, nyaa. You’d need at least a group of D Rankers to safely hunt it, nyaa.” [Miya]
“If you can hunt a black bear alone, then your actual abilities must be at Rank C. The guild master must’ve known that.” [Syria]
Now that she mentions it…
“Well, he was the examiner during my registration.” [Ryouma]
“That’s it.” [Mizelia]
“No doubt about it. He’s had his eyes on you since then.” [Jeff]
“So that’s why you were grouped with us. Makes sense.” [Wereanna]
“If you have the skill, then rank means nothing. You’ll eventually rise up to where we are. It’s just a matter of time.” [Jeff]
“What is everyone’s rank? I forgot to ask.” [Ryouma]
“We didn’t mention it, nyaa?” [Miya]
“Everyone’s a B Ranker.” [Mizelia]
“It’s the entry point of a first-rate adventurer.” [Jeff]
“Speaking of which, nyaa. Of the people who worked with us before, Cher is a D ranker, while Gordon is a B Ranker, nyaa. Asagi and Raypin are both A Rankers, nyaa.” [Miya]
While we were walking and talking like that, Wereanna-san suddenly turned to the front and started sniffing.
“What’s up?” [Jeff]
“Judging from the smell, there should be a cloud of cave bats up ahead. There’s a lot of them. Way too many. Of course, they’re no threat to us, but with those numbers, some of them are bound to escape during the fight.” [Wereanna]
“What a pain, nyaa…” [Miya]
“Are there any people in the area?” [Ryouma]
“I don’t smell any. Do you know a spell that could cover the area by any chance?” [Wereanna]
“Nothing that would kill them outright, but I do know a convenient spell.” [Ryouma]
I explained to them the Sound Bomb spell I tested yesterday.
“Heh~ So you can do something like that.” [Wereanna]
“I’ve never heard of such a spell.” [Syria]
Well, yeah… I mean it’s a spell I came up with using Earth’s knowledge as a basis.
“That spell will only knock the cave bats, though. Can we finish them all off before they wake up?” [Jeff]
“Knocking them out makes our job a hell of a lot easier, but I still don’t think we’ll make it in time.” [Mizelia]
“Then how about getting help from the people behind us?” [Ryouma]
Everyone understood what I was talking about.
“You noticed too?” [Jeff]
“I lived in the forest for 3 years, so I’m sensitive to others’ presence.” [Ryouma]
“I see… Let’s wait here for a bit then.” [Wereanna]
6 people have been following us since we got here. They didn’t seem hostile, so we ignored them up till now, but according to my party, they’re probably E Rankers or lower with poor income who are following us to make money out of the corpses we leave behind.
According to Wereanna-san, E Rankers below have low income, so when you take into consideration the living costs and equipment maintenance, it only makes sense that there are many novice adventurers who have financial issues.
“Unless they have another source of income, D Rank is where stability starts for adventurers.” [Wereanna]
“Until then there are plenty of unexpected expenses due to injuries and other unforeseen circumstances, nyaa.” [Miya]
“A lot of people save, but the quality of one’s life before promotion depends on how they do their work. If they mess up a job they’re unsuited for, the odds of promotion become lower and they even have to pay a penalty. It happens a lot, actually.” [Jeff]
“On the other hand, if you can do D Rank work, then you’ll be making enough to support all living expenses. And once you reach C Rank, you’ll be able to live a comfortable life. That’s also why Miya was able to buy a house.
I personally think she was too hasty buying that house, but still… The fact that she was able to buy it in the first place speaks volumes of her income. There aren’t a lot of jobs out there that would allow us to save enough to buy a house at our age, after all. Dangerous work, big rewards… That’s adventurer work for you in a nutshell.” [Syria]
Now that she mentions it, Miya-san is still in her early twenties. I don’t know how long it’s been since she bought that house, but in Japan, she’d be about as old as your typical college student. Being able to buy her own house at that age is certainly amazing, now that I think about it. All I ever had was a small apartment too… All the way until I died…
“The risk shoots up from B Rank onwards, so there are less adventurers, but so do the rewards. From thereon, unless you have issues handling your money, you should never have any problems financially again.
On the other end of the spectrum, the ones who take the least risk and make the least money are the G Rankers, the F Rankers, and the E Rankers. And adventurers like those following us from behind will never make it to D Rank.”
Adventurers keep what they kill, but they can’t carry everything, so they throw away those they don’t need. Throwing away something is the same thing as forfeiting their right to it, so there are adventurers like those following us from behind who try to pick those up and make money off of them.
It’s not illegal, per se, but it’s not praiseworthy either, as there’s a chance it could cause trouble in the distant future, so you could say it’s in the gray zone.
Volume 2 Chapter 32 part2
We rested until the adventurers came close enough to notice us. When they did, they stopped and Wereanna-san called out to them.
“Hey, the adventurers who’ve been following us all this time! We know you’re there! Show yourselves!” [Wereanna]
The 6 adventurers panicked, but they still showed themselves in the end.
They had 4 humans and two beastmen, one man, one woman, in their group. I know this sounds rude, but they look shabby.
It seems everyone was right, they really were people having financial problems… Still, they sure are young. They’re only a little older than me.
“Why were you following us?” [Wereanna]
“We were picking up the monsters you threw away…” [Adventurer 1]
“…Well, alright. First off, I want you to know that we didn’t call you out to scold you.” [Wereanna]
When the 6 adventurers heard that, they heaved a sigh of relief and their countenance turned for the better.
“But we do want to know why you’re doing this.” [Wereanna]
“O-Ok! Actually, we’re just G and F Rankers, so… We’ve been having problems with money and…” [Adventurer 1]
“It wasn’t so bad at the start, but after getting some equipment, we ran out of cash.” [Adventurer 2]
“And I messed up on a job, so we had to pay the penalty fee…” [Adventurer 3]
“We were barely scraping by, and that’s when the posting for this job came. We took it as soon as we saw it, thinking we could finally make some money.
The monsters are weak, and we make money by participating and by bringing back monster corpses, so we figured we’d make as much money as we could!” [Adventurer 4]
“But then we happened to see you, and…” [Adventurer 5]
Their reasons were all stuff Jeff and the others mentioned. Looks like it really is a common story.
I just quietly listened, but then one of the female human adventurers suddenly stopped.
Jeff-san urged her to continue.
“And what?” [Jeff]
“And…” [Adventurer 5]
“While we were following you, we saw that kid. So we figured if you were nice enough to take a kid like that along, then you probably wouldn’t mind if we take the corpses you left behind. I mean a group of adventurers nice enough to bring a kid who’d be nothing but a hindrance must surely be generous, right?” [Adventurer 6]
The other 5 adventurers made a sour face when they heard that last guy’s words.
I mean, yeah, I’m a kid, but still… I’m a member of this group, you know? Normally, you wouldn’t call the member of another group useless.
But regardless, whether they actually agreed with him or started following us because they thought so too, no one tried to reprimand the adventurer.
“You people really need to know your…” [Wereanna]
Wereanna-san wanted to rebuke them for looking down on me, but I stopped her.
There’s no point even if she got involved.
“It’s fine, Wereanna-san.” [Ryouma]
“Ryouma, you should tell people like this off firmly.” [Jeff]
“I don’t think this is something you can change even if you talk to them. Besides, it’s true I look weak on the outside.” [Ryouma]
“…Alright. But you know, you guys! If you’re going to do something like that, then don’t you think should ask permission first? Don’t just pick corpses up on your own like a group of bandits!” [Wereanna]
“Sorry!!” [6 Adventurers]
After apologizing, the six of them tried to give back the corpses they took and leave, but Syria-san and Mizelia-san stopped them.
“Wait! We may have reprimanded you for taking the corpses without permission, but we didn’t say we actually minded you gathering them.” [Syria]
“If you’re having trouble with cash, then just take them.” [Mizelia]
When the 6 of them heard that, their countenance immediately brightened, and they thanked everyone except for me.
Wereanna-san wasn’t happy, but Miya-san suggested to help them as planned.
“Actually, there’s another reason we called you guys, nyaa. There’s a huge cloud of cave bats up ahead, but it’s going to take us a while to take them all down, nyaa. So, mind lending us a hand, nyaa? We’ll give you the corpses, nyaa.” [Miya]
The 6 of them immediately agreed.
While I made sure that no one was around with Search, Miya-san gave them a simple explanation.
“We’ll go in after Ryouma takes them out with his spell, nyaa.” [Miya]
“Won’t that kid just alert them?” [One of the adventurers]
When the 6 adventurers visibly showed their anxiety, Wereanna-san yelled, “if you have a problem, then leave!” At that, they went quiet, but they continued to mumble among themselves after moving a bit from the group.
They’re probably talking about their misgivings toward me, but will go along anyway since they want the money.
I ignored them and put up a sound concealing barrier.
“I’m ready.” [Ryouma]
“Alright! Do it, Ryouma. You guys come too!” [Jeff]
“Let’s go! ‘Sound Bomb’!” [Ryouma]
After casting my spell, an explosion occurred within the tunnel, but because of the sound concealing barrier we couldn’t hear it.
The 6 thought I’d failed.
“Nothing’s happening, though?” [Adventurer 1]
“He screwed up, duh.” [Adventurer 2]
“It’s a success, actually. It’s a wind spell, so you can’t see it with your eyes.” [Ryouma]
As I said that, I went with the group to where the bats were.
The 6 adventurers followed us despite their doubts.
When we got to where the cave bats were, they looked on in a daze… Because an innumerable number of cave bats were on the floor, fainted.
“With this, they’ve all been knocked down. Let’s work together and kill everything as quickly as possible.” [Ryouma]
After saying that, I went to work.
When all of the cave bats have been dealt with, we left the six adventurers and exited the tunnel. That was the deepest part of the tunnel, so there was nothing more for us to do.
We left the disposal to them since that’s what they wanted in the first place.
But then Wereanna-san asked me this.
“Ryouma, was it really alright not to say anything?” [Wereanna]
“I showed them my skills in magic, so if they still can’t understand with that, I don’t think there’s any point even if I talked to them.” [Ryouma]
“Well, that’s true, but…” [Wereanna]
As long as they’re the understanding sort, there shouldn’t be any more problems, but if they’re the type that’s just making up excuses to grumble, then it’s hopeless even if you talk to them. And it doesn’t matter even if they’re the latter type since all I have to do is to ignore them.
There are two types of people. Ones you can change given enough time and effort, and ones that you can’t change no matter what you do.
“They’re going through some financial difficulties, so let’s just put them off as a group of cheeky kids desperate to make a living.” [Ryouma]
“Cheeky? …Is that something you should be saying when you’re younger than them? I’m pretty sure they’re already 15.” [Syria]
“Are you really 11 years old, Ryouma-kun?” [Mizelia]
“Well, if that’s what you think, then that’s fine too, nyaa.” [Miya]
I might look like a kid, but I’m already a 42 year-old uncle. I’m not about to pick a fight with a kid now. Besides, everyone already scolded them and I showed off my magic too. Any more than this will have to depend on their own self-reflection.
“Ah, by the way, there is something bothering me. Do I really look that weak?” [Ryouma]
I lived in the forest for three years alone and fought loads of times with bandits. It’s a bit of a surprise that I actually look weak.
“You don’t look like you could even harm a slime.” [Jeff]
Really? Even though people at work have been gossiping behind my back about the ‘pressure I exerted just by being present’ even when I was still young? It must be the face.
“I know you’re strong after seeing you fight, but normally, I wouldn’t think you’re someone strong at all.” [Wereanna]
“This might be a bit rude, but, Ryouma-kun, you don’t look strong at all… I knew from our previous job together that you have stamina and I’ve also heard of you being able to hunt, so at most I thought you wouldn’t be a hindrance, but I would have never been able to predict that you’re actually good at fighting…” [Syria]
“Even though part of getting stronger is being able to gauge other people’s strength, nyaa.” [Miya]
“Honestly, even I was shocked when I saw how strong you actually were.” [Mizelia]
“Well, picking up a person’s aura has to do with a person’s senses, so some are more keen to gauging others. We beastmen are usually on the sharper side, but I gotta say, Ryouma-kun, your strength and aura don’t match at all… Could it be you’re actually intentionally hiding it?” [Wereanna]
“Not particularly.” [Ryouma]
I don’t have to take care like I had to in my previous life, so I’ve just been doing things at my own pace. If there’s any precautions I take, at most it’s just me trying not to be threatening, but that’s not really hiding, is it? That’s just common sense.
“Then maybe it’s just a trait of yours. People are like that, aren’t they?” [Wereanna]
“You think? Even the bandits I met in the forest looked down on me. They did it every time too. Of course, I killed them all, but…” [Ryouma]
“I see where you’re coming from, but… Those bandits sure had bad luck.” [Jeff]
“They probably thought they were fighting a slime, nyaa…” [Miya]
“Only to realize the slime’s actually stronger than a bear.” [Syria]
“Exactly… When you put it that way, isn’t Ryouma-kun a natural trap?” [Wereanna]
Before I knew it, I was being treated as bandit flypaper.
We continued to chat like that, until eventually, it was time to eat lunch, so I went back to that wide-open area.