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At Ume’s urging, we went through the procedures and listened to Eugus’ explanation while she clung to my side most of the time. She also whispered to me that I could keep the money she gave me, which to be honest, kind of gave me a sigh of relief. I still think I’d have enough to get by for a while after I get my reward from turning in the monster raw materials and whatever bounty was on that Toxic Troll’s head, but I’d feel more comfortable knowing I have something like a ‘rainy day’ fund put off to the side. I put the pouch back in my [Storage] for the time being.

Going back to the registration, the first that we’ve started off with is the ownership of our new cards. Normally, beginning adventurers were given white cards, their starting color-rank, which then changes to yellow, green, blue, red, violet, black, bronze, silver, and finally gold as you complete enough quests and fulfill certain conditions. It looked like Eugus and Ms. Zelshen had to go over a few hurdles to prepare the cards for me and Ume, being black and red, respectively. We had to hold our cards between our hands and focus like we’re preparing a spell before they did the work. When a light shined through the cracks in my palms before dimming down, I opened up to see gold writing on my card in characters I can’t read, but I can see it’s Padimonian just remembering what I’ve seen so far today. While letting Ume see it, Eugus explained how an adventurer’s card listed my name, race, class, and an ID number. There is also a party name and party ID that are left blank until one is recognized by the guild.

I also got a few notice screens when my card was inscribed.

[You have achieved the ‘Adventurer (33rd Black)’ title!

[You have now learned ‘Adventurer’s Labor*’!]

Ms. Zelshen explained to us from there how gaining the ‘Adventurer’ title would give us its designated labor skill, which allows all participating, acknowledged party members to get the same EXP earned from winning battles. One can get 50% more of it only if they won a battle on their own without additional support from their party members. I recalled how Winny said there were 32 black-ranked adventurers currently registered with the guild when we talked, and Eugus mentioned I would start out at the bottom among them; hence, why I was given the ‘33rd’ placement along with ‘Black’ as part of my ‘Adventurer’ title. Also, like it showed from my Innate Stats, only my primary class, ‘Brawler,’ is shown on the ID while my secondary ‘Mage’ class is not. This must be the work of whatever strange magic having the Brawler class is doing since all my ‘Underdog’ titles and skills can’t be seen in public.

When Ume did hers after watching me, she must’ve used some kind of magic in the process of inscription, because when we handed both of our cards for Eugus to see, there isn’t a hint of surprise to his face. She must’ve been able to change her race and class in her card to what she’s been telling everyone, to what I saw in her status as ‘Lizardman’ and ‘Sage,’ respectively.

I have to say, having magic, skills, or abilities that can change our personal information like that is kind of terrifying. If I was back home and this existed, a handful would be capable to commit identity theft without even using technology, but it doesn’t look like Ume’s looking to do something so nefarious in the future, so I can relax a little for the time being.

When we were handed our cards back, we were then told of some of the adventurers’ policies and guidelines that were required to follow, like no harming civilians; adventurers in conflict must settle matters on their own terms that include fights; what penalties would lead us expelled from the guild while giving up our cards and ‘Adventurer’ titles, among other things.

Interestingly, adventurers who’re ranked black have freer rein on how they handle other adventurers in fights without facing consequences under unique circumstances. Yes, that also includes killing them should the black-rank resort to it even inside city boundaries. I imagine not every ridiculously strong person registering as an adventurer is immediately assigned a black rank after getting their Innate Stats evaluated with that much freedom in mind. That’s probably how getting good reference from someone higher up plays such a large part in judging a new adventurer’s starting rank. I wonder if me being a Champion would play a part if I showed Eugus my bracelet back at the church, but I still wouldn’t do it whether or not it changes anything.

Even so, while I was following the procedures and am now officially titled as an adventurer, Eugus told me to try and not to wave my card around until he notifies the association about my circumstances. Other than showing it to post guards to get free entry inside cities and businesses like inns and shops that are partnered with the guild to get discounts, I should keep my card under wraps until the association makes an official announcement to the guilds around Padimon of my arrival as a black-rank adventurer.

Honestly, I think it’d be just easier for me to just not pull out my card at all until that announcement. I imagine this policy is made so people won’t pose around as something they’re not without getting questioned by the authorities, but I’d rather not get a lot of attention drawn on me if I can. I’ll just try to use the discounts from my party members to decrease the prices if that’s possible, but I don’t mind paying for stuff at full price with the money I have right now.

Throughout the explanation, Ume ended up falling asleep and leaned on my shoulder at one point, Ren and Erizora were nodding off, desperately trying not to do the same, Ms. Gallofree looked to be contemplating how she’d break the news of joining my party with her uncle, and Lili’s keeping herself busy playing cats cradle with her webs, of which I almost got distracted by how talented she is with her claw-like fingers.

<“This is sooooooooo booooooooooriiiiiiiiiiiiiing.”>

Nyra couldn’t have expressed my mood any better. I wished there was some kind of pamphlet or rulebook I can use my photographic memory on to skim through it and get what I needed to know in my head in a snap. That’s how I always got through my academics back in school, and if my ‘Studying’ skill is anything to go by, one could guess how well I did it, though I admit I didn’t think it would be so great if it’s anything related to my ‘SS’ ranked Intelligence.

“And that about covers thy jobs as adventurers. Any questions?” Eugus asks.

Everyone was occupied in their own things to answer, and I didn’t have anything that confused me for the time being. Plus, I could always ask the guild receptionists if there’s something I don’t know of yet or forgotten.

“Right then! Jinma, tis the time I need to speak to thee of that thing we were discussing before, and from what Zelshen had told me in Umeiyon’s performance in her test, I would like to extend my invitation of the Assigned Quest to her as well.”

“Really?” I ask in amazement.

“Indeed. The Assigned Quest requires at least one adventurer of a high rank, and I do not see why two would not be better than one.”

“You hear that, Ume? Isn’t that great?”

“Mmgh … c’mon, fly like I showed you. You can do it …”

… She’s already dreaming of her life as a mother with her kids, is she?

I have to admit that that’s probably the most adorable thing I’ve ever seen in my time on this new world yet, and as much as I’d hate to interrupt her dreams, I gotta barge in before she says something strange in front of the others.

PACHI!

“IETHAT!” Ume screams with terror in her face after I loudly clapped my hands in front of her. She quickly scans the room and realizes where she’s in. Ren and Erizora who were nodding off a moment ago were also jolted awake from the noise.

“Welcome back to reality, Ume. Had a nice trip in dreamland? Flew with anyone special, maybe?” I ask with a slight teasing tone.

Ume grows red in the face. “Um … I’ll go along with whatever you want to do if you don’t speak a word of whatever you witnessed to anyone.”

“I can do that no problem, but what about the others?”

Lili in particular has a mischievous grin on her face while the rest try to play innocent. Ren and Erizora looked to be the only ones who really didn’t know what happened moments ago.

“… Would money help keep you all quiet?” Ume then asks.

“That depends. How much are you willing to give?” Lili asks.

<“Wow, Spiderbabe is merciless,”> Nyra says.

Ume and I have a quick ‘money advisory’ meeting in a whisper so she doesn’t go overboard with the profit.

“Ume’s willing to give everyone in this room 3 gold coins each if they promise not to speak a word of what they saw here,” I announce for her.

“That’s already 120,000 karos with the four of us …” Ms. Zelshen says. She seemed to have kept track of who was paying attention up to Ume’s awakening, or maybe she just didn’t count Ren and Erizora being slaves?

While both wondering how loaded Ume is while slightly pitying her, they accepted her offer. Ume uses her [Storage] to pull out 12 gold coins to distribute between the four of them. As part of the bargain on my end, I have her stay behind to listen in on the Assigned Quest offered to the both of us. After her agreement, everyone who wasn’t involved were asked to leave the room. I gave Ren a gold coin of my own along with my permission to order whatever she and Erizora may like for snacking from the guild’s food menu while they wait for me, as the two of us will be out for a while. When I whispered my plans in her ear, she understood immediately.

Once the three of us are left, Eugus then takes a seat across the table from me and Ume. “Now then, I dost not think I would give an Assigned Quest like this to newly registered adventurers, but I believe fate could not have brought the two of thee to this city at a more convenient timing.”

“What are the details?” I ask, mine and Ume’s focus now refreshed after dulling from Eugus’ earlier snore-fest of a lecture.

“There is a lady from a prestigious noble family who wishes to take on the dungeon that is between Dondegarm and the city nearest here, Palocaesy. Before thou asks, she already hast a capable bodyguard, but she is quite skilled with her weapon of choice as well as a powerful magic-user, too. Even so, she herself wishes to request an adventurer near our Dondegarm branch.”

“Why is that, and what kind of adventurer is she looking for?”

“That is the troublesome part. She wishes for an adventurer, or adventurer party, that is at least a blue rank and hast a unique background that dost not relate to her birthplace, the capital city, Korangar.”

“Is that where all noble families reside in this territory? Are they made up of one or more demon races?”

“Yes, and as for the races, there art mainly three that make up most of the nobility: The Devils, some of the Insectoids, and the Vampires, the last of which is where our client is from.”

“A Vampire, huh …”

<“Whoa, dude, why are you getting so excited all of a sudden?!”> Nyra asks, but I try not to mind her and keep myself restrained. Ume’s expression doesn’t change.

“It is because of her lineage that maketh this matter complicated, as they have not only been long-lived and worked closely with the previous Demon Kings over the course of history, but there art still Vampires today who art condescending towards the other races that art lower than them in status and power, especially the humans, but for our client, she dost not mind the selected adventurer being one. She had to point that out to me outside of her bodyguard’s hearing, too.”

“Interesting. So, what does she expect to get out of completing the dungeon?”

“Have either of thee ever explored a dungeon before?” he asks, to which we shake our heads. “There art dungeons scattered throughout the country of Padimon, and at the end of each one, there art special Immortals’ Monuments that art unlike the one thou saw in the church earlier. These monuments serve a special purpose of granting those who hast cleared the dungeons the title ‘Dungeon Conqueror,’ as well as a blessing from the Immortals themselves.”

“Blessings?”

“It could be a rare skill, an unheard-of spell, a unique ability, an item that is impossible to replicate, the list goes on.”

So, there’s a chance I can get something as good as my ‘Dragon Scale Defense’ ability that I got at the beginning. It may not even be available in the shop that’s included in my bracelet.

“Wonder if I’m allowed to have something like that?” Ume mumbles to herself.

“The designated dungeon, ‘Palocaesy Dungeon,’ will not be easy to complete,” Eugus continues. “There art 60 floors, with two Lesser Bosses and one Dungeon Boss that guard it, along with many other monsters that they command.

“And I’m guessing they get stronger as you go deeper inside?”

“Thou hast guessed correctly.”

“Can anyone take on the dungeons, whether or not they’re adventurers?”

“Indeed, they can; however, one can be sure that if thou art not prepared, you could very well die, and no one would even know where thou hast gone.”

“Hmm. For something that risky, surely there’s a hefty reward that reflects that?”

“Yes, the reward to complete this is 780,000 karos.”

<“Daaaaaaang.”>

“That’s not very much,” Ume says bluntly.

“… How wealthy art thee, Umeiyon?”

“Th-That’s not important. Anyway, does the client only wish one adventurer at least a blue-rank to go along with her and the bodyguard?”

“She clearly realizes that one’s rank dost not determine their strength, but understands numbers will increase the chances of survival. From what she hast speaketh to me, aside from her bodyguard, she can allow five adventurers at most in a party to escort her.”

I quickly do a head count in my mind and confirmed that everyone in my potential party would be able to come along with me. “What about familiars from summons?” I ask to make certain.

“They do not count. The time they art allowed to roam in this realm depends on their master’s magical capacity.”

Huh, so as long as I have enough magic, they can stay out here for as long as they want. That might not be a problem with how quickly mine recovers.

“Thou can definitely be sure that the succession to this quest will not only affect thy standings, but also this guild’s reputation since I am its representative as its guild master. That is why, while our client is providing the reward money, this is an Assigned Quest made under my name; in which case, I am asking thee, Jinma and Umeiyon, to be the first of five who will escort our client, a noble of the Vampire race, to explore the dungeon and complete it. I will leave the formation of the other three up to thee. Will thou accept?”

“I’ll go along with whatever you want to do, Jin,” Ume says.

I tilt and balance my chair back to where I can look up at the ceiling as I think about this. I think about what info I’ll need to ask about if I accept, how my potential party can handle the dungeon and its monsters, as well as the pros and cons of succeeding this quest. There’s one thing that comes to mind out of all of this, though.

“You mentioned the noble Vampires have worked alongside the previous Demon Kings for some time, right? How closely acquainted is the client’s family to the current Demon King?”

“… What dost thou intend to do with such info?” he asks with a quirked brow.

“Well, if her family’s close to the Demon King, I was hoping to have an audience with her through word of mouth so I can ask her some questions that I hope she’d answer.”

“Hmm, what kind of questions?”

“Complicated questions that I can’t just bring up to anyone else in this territory. If she’s as open-minded and knowledgeable as I heard, I think she’s the only one I can go to who might help me.”

“So, thou art seeking the Demon King’s wisdom?” I nod to Eugus’ question. “And if the client refuses to help thee get an audience with the Demon King?”

“I have a back-up plan that might help me, so it won’t be a huge loss. I’d just like to try an alternative if it’s less of a hassle for me. It won’t affect my decision of taking this quest whether her family’s affiliated to royalty or not.”

“Well, since thou will need to learn more about the client anyways, I suppose I will have to take thy word for it. Her name is Noire Scarletine Krauss, and from what I have heard, the current head of her family was one of the demons who hast worked alongside with the previous Demon King, and was close enough to him to be there for his daughter’s birth, the same daughter who sits on the throne today.”

That does sound pretty close. It wouldn’t be surprising if he and the current Demon King has kept in touch. If I can have Ms. Krauss’ father get me an audience with her, I won’t have to reveal my identity as a captured Champion to get in.

<“It sounds like a good deal, but seriously, what’s with the sudden jump of excitement?”>

Well, I’d be working with a Vampire, after all. I’m curious to see what this one is like in person. It’s like how you might wonder what Ms. Obina does in her occupation as the Goddess of Lust. Haven’t you wondered if she ever got with a lover or two? Maybe see what she does in action?

<“Now that’s just mean, making me have all these erotic fantasies of Goddess Obina having the mother of all orgies with her faithful, devoted followers.”>

Coming to a decision, I tilt the chair back forward to its stationary position. “All right, Eugus, you’re on. We’ll take on that quest.”

~~

After our taking on the quest was confirmed, I asked Eugus more info on what’s to expect in the dungeon and some of its layouts. We also discussed how we’d meet with the client at Palocaesy the day after tomorrow, how we should address nobility formally out of politeness and respect, how Eugus will send a Harpy messenger to send a notice to Lady Krauss that he has found capable candidates while giving the meeting time, and how we must report to him by the end of tomorrow who’ll join us on taking this Assigned Quest. We were advised to take the rest of today and tomorrow to rest and prepare myself for departure.

Honestly, I wished I had another day to relax and prepare from all the craziness I went through yesterday and today. When I asked Eugus, he said Lady Krauss wants to take on the dungeon as soon as possible, and he was instructed to give his chosen adventurer less than 2 days to rest and prepare upon confirmation. All I could say from that is having things done at her pace was sort of what I expected from a noble, but I’ve dealt with worse. I just have to put on the same mindset I had to make a good impression on the first day of my previous job. I pray this doesn’t go as badly as me having to lug my ex-partner over my shoulder after he dragged me to his go-to pub for drinks to ‘welcome me to the company’ at the end of the first day.

I still couldn’t believe how that ended with all those [unconscious] bodies damaged and bloodied to the floor, just from that same coworker who was hitting on a girl in his drunken stupor, and not knowing how her boyfriend was in the same building.

I’ve hated that son of a bitch since then, and the possessive boyfriend wasn’t any better, either. Again, I pray that I don’t get into anything similar with Lady Krauss, especially since I’ll need her to get an audience with the Demon King … as well as help fill in the curiosity I’ve had with Vampires for the longest time. It’s more of the latter that has me so excited that Nyra pointed out.

“Any further questions?” Eugus asks after everything was gone over.

“I think we’re good for now, but could Ume and I stay in this room for a while longer? I need to speak with her privately,” I say.

“That will be fine. I will let the receptionists know not to disturb the two of thee before I go make that message for our client. Make sure thou let them know when thou art finished.”

“Thanks, Eugus.”

With that, Eugus gets up and steps out of the meeting room, now leaving the two of us.

“Are you now going to explain to me where babies come from, Jin?” Ume asks. Though she looks calm, one could see a glimmer of excitement in her eyes, almost like a child waiting for a bedtime story, or a passionate researcher who’s about to discover the secrets of the universe.

“Yes. Just give me a couple of minutes to prepare myself real quick. I need to pull up some materials for a refresher.” I then pull out my smartphone and start looking up a bunch of things from the internet I can apparently still access in this world.

“What is that strange object?” Ume asks.

“It’s a … multi-functional magic tool. We call it a smartphone back home.”

“Really? And you can find information in that small thing like one can when reading books?”

“Yes, and a bunch of other things.”

“Interesting …”

I didn’t realize then that that would be the beginning of how my life would be changed forever in such a romance flag-raising setting with the two of us alone like this.

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Orange_Rain

  • United States

Bio: Hello and welcome. You may call me Orange Rain, and I looooove orange soda.

I not only like to read novels of many kinds, but I also like to write them. The stories published here will be in webnovel.com as well, so if you can, I'd appreciate it if you could support me on both platforms. I also like to read any professional critiques people may have on my works in order for me to become a better writer.

Thank you for your time, and I hope you'll enjoy what I have in store.

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