Polymath Redux Annex
Chapter 24 – The quickest way to fame and glory
“The language and writing is foreign, but I can understand them,” Mordred muttered under his breath as he glanced over the questboard. Most of the requests put up were honestly none too interesting and the rewards were useless. There was nothing he could do about that, there was no way any of the residents of this world would have something that would interest him. What he wanted more than material goods was ‘reputation’. To slowly build up his name amongst the population without seeming too unnatural. There was a clear line between ‘talented’ and ‘monstrous’, it was that kind of differentiation that Mordred wanted to avoid.
‘Hard-work’, ‘dedication’ and ‘relentlessness’, those were the qualities that people wanted to see most and would come to trust them. No one would place their faith in someone who appeared out of nowhere and was as strong as a god. However, if someone built their reputation from the ground up and people could witness their climb then they would be much more willing to stand behind them. ‘Build a name as a mercenary first, then join the military with an established reputation, that way my name would be in their consciousness,’ that had been Mordred’s plan.
Yet, he had already stumbled upon a dead end. The missions posted on the questboard of this tavern were small-time problems like, ‘deliver this item to this person’ or ‘hunt ten of this monster’, minor quests that no one would bat an eye at. “Maybe I’m going about this the wrong way?” he thought about it. Perhaps what was necessary wasn’t a large and spectacular mission but to establish acquaintances so people would naturally bring those large quests to him. With that thought Mordred returned to his seat.
“Huh? What’s wrong? Did you already find a quest you wanted to do?” Roland asked. The large jug of alcohol in his hand disappeared into his stomach as he called the waitress for what now seemed like the seventh jug.
Mordred shook his head, “nothing particularly caught my attention.”
“Eh? You can’t expect to rise through the ranks with that kind of attitude. Even if it’s just a small job like finding someone’s cat, everyone must start somewhere,” Roland shook his head. His eyes reflected a certain kind of wisdom born from experience. That he’s seen many people like the kid in front of him. “Ah~ I’ve seen many people like you, kid. Those who come to this city in search of fame or glory. They always want to have some huge mission as their first endeavour and quickly make a name for themselves. Unfortunately, things don’t work like that in reality.”
“If you’re talking about ability then I’m confident that I can handle myself.”
Roland stared, a little disappointed but continued to reprimand. “So many greenhorns like you say the same thing and end up getting caught by something stupid, like a goblin’s trap or just misjudge their opponent’s strength. Haa~ besides, I’m not even talking about your combat prowess, but your status. If no one in the city knows who you are, how can you expect them to trust you with such a big mission?” Mordred silently listened. He had thought the same thing as well, but for a person of his calibre, waiting and slowly building reputation was far too arduous.
“I suppose you do have a point,” Mordred nodded. He glanced at the questboard, ‘perhaps I should just take a quest to establish acquaintances that way?’
“Haa~ tsk,” Roland clicked his tongue as he scratched the back of his head. “Argh. Honestly, everything about you makes you look green, but those eyes are not something a novice would normally have. I’m going to buy the story of you being able to handle yourself in a combat scenario then,” Roland paused as he let out another sigh. “Actually, there’s this one huge job that a noble from the inner city has tasked me with… not to mention it also pays quite handsomely…” Roland leaned in.
However, before the secrets of the more lucrative deal could be revealed the doors of the tavern burst open. Like a storm had arrived in the form of a short girl with the physique of an ironing board. She kicked down the doors of the tavern. Her hair that had once been tied into a neat black ponytail had now been frayed and severely dishevelled. Ruby eyes though whether that was natural or from the blood that teared down was unknown. Her stature was short, her and legs exposed her porcelain but bruised and tattered skin. However, to Mordred one feature more prominent that her supremely unfeminine body stuck out to him. It was something he should’ve expected since he had been thrust into this fantasy world but had somehow slipped his mind.
Attached to the side of the girl’s head were two long, knife-sharp ears. They weren’t as big as one would’ve expected but it was the unmistakable feature that revealed her ‘Elvish’ heritage. In many modern literary interpretations, they are said to have eternal youth or something close to that, which would also explain her pale complexion despite her obviously rough style of life. She was no doubt a mercenary. Strapped to her back was a large wooden bow that had been carefully crafted features that seemed almost mechanical. A large brown quiver with several different coloured arrows.
Mordred’s eyes widened- mesmerized. The girl took a deep breath. She prepared every remaining shred of her stamina and shouted, “Roland! How dare you just ditch me in the middle of a forest. I’ll kill you, you old bastard!”