“Why did you stop me? We could have easily taken him down, he was probably out of mana.”
“You have never been good at judging others Armand…”
An elf with golden hair was walking with a large muscular man. The man’s arm guards looked to have been melted by some heat and he was also panting. The heavy breathing was caused by the backlash of a skill that he previously used.
“What do you mean by that?”
“If I didn’t step in you would have died, you big idiot.”
The elven woman delivered a swift kick to Armand’s shin but due to him having shin guards on the one that felt pain was her instead.
“How could I lose to someone relying on enchanted items?”
“Just look at yourself, you probably haven’t realized it yet…”
Armand looked at Lobelia, who was part of his adventurer’s party. He wasn’t sure what she meant by that statement but soon he found himself leaning up against the alleyway.
“See, you’re barely standing upright and that armored man wasn’t even tired. You know my skills, I could tell.”
“But he was using those magic items constantly?”
Armand replied while wiping some sweat from his brow. He finally realized that his body was feeling weak. In his anger he forgot to pace himself, he chased after Roland for a long time even while activating his body enhancement skill. Then he was forced to be on the defensive against those fire whip attacks.
He thought he would be able to outlast an avid magic item user as everyone knew that they burned through a person’s MP and sometimes even SP. Roland that he was facing on the other hand had truckloads of magic in reserve along with a high speed of mana recovery. This was also paired with his Runic Mastery skill that lowered the mana requirements on all runic items and also his class-specific traits lowered it even further.
“That man must have a special class, his mana was comparable to a mage and that was even after fighting you for so long.”
“It can’t be…”
“We’re lucky that he didn’t chase you down, why were you even fighting him in the first place?”
“Well, you see…”
The two walked down the alley while talking, Armand said how the fight started.
“So he was assaulting people on the streets and you gracefully, from the bottom of your heart decided to help them out?”
Lobelia squinted while looking at Armand’s explanation. It was clear that she knew this man long enough to recognize that this was a lie. Before she could continue with the cross-examination two ladies with animal ears arrived at the scene.
“How could you leave us behind.”
“You didn’t even pay us yet!”
The two women looked quite annoyed, even more as they spotted Lobelia to Armand’s side. As an elf she was quite the looker, thus another misconception occurred.
“Who is this hussy?”
“Listen here, we saw him first… Hm, haven’t seen you around here, are you a new girl? Which parlor do you belong to? Are you trying to weasel in on our turf?”
“What are you talking about, I’m not part of any parlor!”
Lobelia looked at Armand that was looking to the side and whistling as if nothing was happening. It looked like he was caught red-handed but this female party member and it was clear that she didn’t appreciate this fact.
“So this is where you spend your coin! I’m going to tell Big Sis about this, you just wait!”
Armand started panicking and moved towards the elven girl that was about to leave. But before he could do that, the two ladies he was previously with blocked his path.
“Wait right there lady killer, we aren’t through with you, pay up!”
“Yes, pay up. You wouldn’t want us to tell the Madame about this, now would you?”
The large man’s face changed into one of fear as he backed away. He quickly moved his hand into his coin purse and gave the women the money. The two girls with the animal ears smiled at each other and backed off.
“You know, we could go to a private place. There is enough coin here for a little bonus session~”
Armand started sweating even more as he looked at the two ladies winking at him now. He managed to snap out of it to chase after his party member. The two ladies looked at each other and just shrugged.
The two pocketed their payout that they didn’t need to work too hard for and moved back into the city. There were other clients they could ‘service’ through this day.
A day had passed since then and Roland along with Bernir were moving towards the guild building. The half-dwarf was looking a bit skittish today, this was brought on by his unwillingness to cause trouble for himself and his boss. Roland was adamant about this issue as he feared being seen as weak if he didn’t follow through till the end. In this world built on strength and connections, he could only rely on himself.
“Boss, are you sure about this. I fear that this might just bring more trouble.”
Bernir stopped in his tracks but then quickly flinched forward as something ferocious started nibbling on his ankle.
“See, even Agni wants you to go. It’s just the adventurer’s guild, they won’t do anything drastic.”
Roland wasn’t sure about the outcome of this situation but he was curious about what the guild would do about such an incident. Would they try to sweep it under the rug like nothing happened or would they punish everyone included, with him included?
He himself didn’t feel like he was in the wrong but he was prepared to pay a fine for wrecking things in the city. Only if the others didn’t walk out of this without any repercussions of course. Soon the two were right next to the guild building, it was quite noticeable by the smell of sweaty adventurers.
People noticed the characteristic crimson armor that Roland was wearing but by this point, they were used to it. Both of the craftsmen entered through the door and arrived in the busy building. As always people were sticking to the notice board while others were waiting in line. This time around Roland decided to go towards the other receptionist lady that looked like a librarian. The line moved fast enough as most people were just there to get rewards for completed contracts.
“Good morning, how can I help you?”
The woman did a little bow which after she fixed her glasses afterward. She glanced both at Roland and then her eyes fell on Bernir. The half-dwarf flinched a bit. This office-looking lady had the air of no-nonsense around her.
“I would like to file a complaint, could you give me the form?”
Roland on the other hand saw this as a big bonus. The woman wouldn’t ask any silly questions or beat around the bush. With the helmet on top of his head, he was also immune to anyone staring at him.
“A complaint about the guild, other adventurers?”
“Both actually, one for an official guild member and another for an adventurer party.”
During his time here Roland had informed himself about how this establishment worked. The guild loved contracts and paperwork. Every quest would be written down as a contract. The people hiring adventurers could then file a complaint if the adventurers stepped out of line.
The guild had people that would then determine if the claims were true or not. Depending on the proceeding the adventurer could be fined but that also could happen to the job giver if they lied and didn’t keep their side of the promise.
Without filing the correct paperwork nothing would happen but after it was done there was no stopping the bureaucratic machine. The guild workers would need to go through the motions of asking the people in the city and also the people involved in this incident. Most would try to avoid such a hassle and just leave it be.
Not Roland though, he wanted to see how this guild would make things right. Depending on the results he would know how to proceed in the future and if he could trust the people here to be just in their reasoning.
“Here, fill out these documents. Please list all the involved parties in the correct brackets…”
The receptionist lady explained everything thoroughly while pointing Roland to a small booth at the side. There he found a quill with some ink, he was very quick to write a small essay on what transpired that day.
There was also a spot to include what he wanted as collateral for the scene that played out yesterday. He went with banning both Armand and the whole tier 2 party of thugs from the guild, revoking their adventurer cards. He knew that this was a bit unrealistic but when bartering it was best to list the highest price and then slowly go down to where both parties could agree on something.
“Here Bernir, you need to sign your name here and here…”
Bernir moved closer and wrote his name haphazardly while also smearing the ink on the completed form. The half-dwarf’s handwriting was an eyebrow-raiser for Roland, he made a mental note to give his assistant some writing classes. Increasing his dexterity through scribing-type skills could actually work for a crafting class like Bernir.
Roland returned to the guild receptionist and handed her the papers. The woman looked through it and for a moment he could tell that her poker face changed. It was a minor switch but he could spot a slight twitch to the eyes when she was reading through his writing.
“You wish to file this complaint against this adventurer party and our Instructor?”
“Yes, is there a problem?”
This woman was mostly known for not asking that many questions so it was odd that she started questioning him about the incident. He had heard the names of two of the thugs that he faced so he had listed them down. Armand was well known around here and looked to be treated as some rising star. He was quite young while being close to level 100 already if not for Roland coming along to clip his wings a bit he would have probably been still cruising along.
‘Is she somehow connected to that party or that muscle brain?’
It wasn’t really his place to ask about personal things but it would be a problem if the woman decided to sweep things under the rug for some reason.
“No sir, I’ll deliver these forms to the proper department.”
Similar to the police from his own world, there was a section of the guild that was responsible for internal affairs. The people from it would need to get to the bottom of this.
“Is this all?”
“Yes, this might take some time, you can either wait for further questioning or we will give you an appointment for later.”
“I’ll return later, you can send the notice to my address. How long will it take to clear this up?”
Roland knew that things like this could take a while, waiting around and twiddling their thumbs around wouldn’t help with anything. They could return the next day to see if there was a set date or even wait for a letter to be sent to his house.
“We should be able to set up a hearing within the week, the letter will cost extra, Mr. Wayland.”
As always bonus features like having a courier deliver a letter cost extra. Even when filing these documents he needed to drop a few small silver coins to get things going. This was fine as payment was seen as confirmation that something was wrong. Most people would not bother going through with things like this just by the fact that it cost money. If he lost the case he would also need to pay a fine for using up everyone's precious time.
“See, told you that today will just be some formalities, you can stop sweating.”
Roland commented at Bernir as the two were walking out from the adventurer’s guild.
“Sorry, I’m not that good with this kind of stuff…”
“You’ll have to get used to it, we’ll have to go through the hearing, you’ll probably have to look at those idiots that did that to you.”
Unless the party of thugs admitted everything or skipped town they would need to meet them once more. It was similar to a court case with two parties accusing each other. He was sure that those guys will try to put the blame on him in one way or another. It didn’t look that good after walking into the pub and beating all of them up.
Luckily violent exchanges like that weren’t that looked down upon in this world. If he managed to prove to some degree that he had a reason for it, the guild would see it his way.
“D-do I have to?”
“Yes you do, don’t worry I’ll be there, and not like they would do anything drastic during the hearing.”
Both of them left to go home, there were still wind turbines to be built and more cables to be placed. With the influx of enemies, Roland felt like he needed to move along with his defensive measures. For this reason, he was also heading towards the city and auction house.
It was the time to pick up the gold that he made as well as see if there was something he could get. There was a certain rumor that there would be golem parts this time around. Roland wanted to get the full item but a part with the operating system would be enough. He had enough know-how to connect the rest of the runic structures in working order.
“It would be best if you didn’t drink before it though, also don’t forget to wash up. Now let's go to the auction house.”
The pair of craftsmen soon left the adventurer guild and wandered deeper into the city. They left a certain glasses-wearing woman staring at a stack of papers.
“Hey Elodia, you look more angry than usual, was that Mr. Wayland and his new friend?”
The elven receptionist peeked out of the corner while bringing over some large cups of warm tea. Before the stern-looking receptionist could notice the elf was already looking through the forms out of the corner of her eye.
“Oh? Isn’t that a complaint form? What would Mr. Wayland complain about? It’s not me, is it? Hey, can I look at that?”
“No, Solana you can’t.”
Elodia replied while hiding the rest of the papers, she glared at her co-worker. She knew well that she wouldn’t be able to hide any of this but she still didn’t like the nosy loudmouth elf and how she acted.
“Don’t be a cheapskate, let me see!”
The scene soon changed to Elodia trying to hide the papers by hugging them against her chest and Solana trying to peek without spilling the tea.
“Hey you two, get back to work!”
An old man called out from afar, the very same one that explained tamed monsters to Roland. The two receptionist ladies straightened out and soon returned to their regular tasks.
Time continued to pass by and it was time to close up the guild. Elodia like the other workers were now finally able to return to their homes after a hard day of work. Solana waved her goodbye while escaping into the city to have a good time.
Elodia on the other hand had other things to take care of. First, she headed towards the market, picking out various food items. After scouring and haggling down the prices she headed into one of the more regular city districts. She arrived at a large wooden house but before she could enter the door swung open.
“Big sis is back.”
A group of four children burst out to give this stern-looking lady a big hug. Two of the smaller children started clinging to her legs while the older ones helped her out with the groceries.
Soon she was inside and cooking. The home was large but there were many young children running inside. There was a clear lack of adults here, it looked as if she was the oldest.
While the food was being made the kids started shouting again as another person arrived.
“It’s big brother and sister, they are back too!”
Another pair of young adults arrived and waltzed through the door. These two looked more rough around the edges and were wearing adventurer gear.
“Did you hear how much that stupid blacksmith wanted for the repair?”
“It’s your fault for damaging them in the first place…”
Elodia stepped out from the kitchen to see a rather muscular young man carrying two kids on his shoulders. Next to him was a cute elf that was actually only a half-elf.
“I told you to take off your boots before you come in, you’re bringing dirt in. Wash your hands, the food will be ready soon”
“Sure big sis Elodia!”
The elf replied but quieted down after noticing that her big sis was looking at the man next to her with scorn.
“Armand… we need to have a talk... “
Elodia soon ducked back into the kitchen while leaving Armand and Lobelia to think about what she meant by that.
“Hey, you swore that you wouldn’t tell her anything, I even gave you a big silver coin!”
“I didn’t! Maybe she found it out some other way!”
The large building soon filled with loud young voices while the sun began to set.