“Hey Elodia, did something happen?
Armand asked while dropping onto a chair. The wood started squeaking due to the man’s increased weight but somehow survived his large frame.
It was already past sundown and most of the young kids were fast asleep. The few candles that were lighting up this place made it hard to see but this was all that they could afford for now.
“Yes, could you explain this…”
Elodia, who was a worker at the adventurer’s guild, placed down a piece of paper on the nearby table. It looked like one of the many forms that could be found at the adventurer’s guild. Armand looked at the piece of paper from the corner of his eye not really knowing what this was about.
“What is this?”
Elodia waited while tapping her foot on the wooden floor. Armand raised a brow for a moment but finally leaned over to grab the piece of paper. He was nervous that they were having this talk as he thought that Lobelia had snitched on him.
After catching up to the half-elven girl he had managed to convince her to not tell anyone about what had happened that day. This required a little bribe but it would keep him from having to explain it to Elodia here.
He started going through this piece of paper and the more he read the more his forehead went up. This was a copy of the form that Roland had filled out. Elodia knew that this was against the guild rules but she would bend those slightly for one of her own.
“That bastard! Where is he, I’m going to...”
Armand ripped through the piece of paper in a fit of rage. On the form that Roland filled out was a detailed recount of what had happened that day. It listed the name of the party that attacked Bernir and the people involved. Roland had asked his assistant about it and filled everything in.
There was also a recount of Armand’s involvement. How he ignored Roland's advice and didn’t want to go to the guild to clear everything up. Roland had specifically written that he had asked Armand many times to stop fighting and go resolve it with the guild but was ignored instead.
He also mentioned that the whole fight endangered the citizens in the city and that Armand was not fit to work for the guild. There were also some demands in there, one was for Armand to be fired from the guild and put on probation.
A probation period could be put on a guild member for various reasons. It would cause them to not be able to use some of the facilities and also get less money for their work. This was mostly done to punish people that didn’t perform their missions on time or failed them multiple times in a row.
Elodia raised her voice at Armand that jumped up to his feet, the ruckus even brought the half-elven girl over that was already listening in from the other side. She was there when her big sister called Armand over and she was afraid that he was in for a scolding.
“Hey you two, why don’t we calm down. Armand if you raise your voice this much you’ll wake up the little ones you big doofus.”
Lobelia whispered after closing the door behind herself.
“Lobelia, you know something about this, explain yourself.”
Elodia knew that the young half-elf girl was hiding something from her as Armand and she was acting strange ever since a few days ago. Even now she was convinced that they were hiding some facts.
Finally, after some glares from their big sister Armand and Lobelia opened up. They recounted the story from their point of view. Armand wanted to paint himself as a noble warrior that just wanted to help some friends from the guild. Roland on the other hand was described as a mustache-twirling villain that just beat up everyone that looked at him.
“You are friends with that Devyn?”
Elodia recalled hearing that name. There were some previous complaints against that man and his party. They seemed to have been extorting tier 1 adventurers but whenever someone reported something they soon took that claim back. It was rumored that Devyn and his thugs were threatening them but without evidence or any witnesses, the guild couldn’t punish them.
“I told you not to associate with people like those! And what were you doing in that district to begin with?”
The angry woman glared at both Armand and Lobelia that felt attacked. She only used one of her tracking skills to search for her idiot party member. Now she was also being questioned about her wandering close to the red light district of the city.
“I didn’t do anything wrong, it's all that guy's fault!”
“The guild might not see it your way…”
Armand was quickly corrected.
“How would they? I’m sure the old man will see it my way.”
Elodia gave out a sigh after hearing Armand still not admitting that he was in the wrong in any shape or form. She thought back to a time long passed where she had to take care of this idiot brother of hers.
This was an orphanage that she helped set up in the city. The three of them also came from one of them, everyone decided to move here when the new dungeon became known. She was forced to transfer here by the guild and these two followed after. With time they bought out one of the larger houses to help the children with no parents.
“Stop calling the guild master like that. This time around he might not be able to help you… or could choose not to…”
“What do you mean?”
Armand asked while trying to talk quietly. Elodia gave out a sight while gathering the pieces of paper that were previously a copy of Roland’s form.
“It doesn’t matter, can’t you just go to this Wayland and apologize? He seemed like a reasonable person, he might take back his complaint.”
She knew that Armand was throwing his weight around lately, even more since he was close to the hundredth level. His pugilist class would be maxed out at l 50 and then he would be able to select a more prestigious one. The praises from stronger adventurers and the guild master only made him more arrogant. She knew that the guild leader might see this as a chance to take him down a peg.
“Me apologize? Never! I would never apologize to a coward like that.”
Elodia asked with a raised eyebrow.
“Yes, we could have resolved it like men but instead he went and done this!”
She asked once more while progressively sounding colder. A vein on her forehead started to appear while she grasped a book from the side.
“With a one-on-one fight, of course!”
Armand struck a battle pose but soon was hit with a large book straight to the face.
“Didn’t you already lose a one-on-one fight to him before? What would have happened if Lobelia didn’t arrive on time?”
The glasses-wearing woman alluded to the second fight that Roland and Armand had. If the half-elf didn’t arrive it looked like Armand would have lost the fight as his skill was taking a toll on him.
“You even asked her for help, who is acting like a coward now?”
A barrage of books and pottery descended on Armand’s face as Elodia started shouting at Armand’s flawed logic. It was obvious that he had a thick head and unless someone beat him down hard enough he wouldn’t give an inch.
“Hey s-stop, the fight never finished so I never lost!”
Armand shielded himself with his large hands while slowly evacuating from this room. From his perspective, the fight never reached a conclusion. In his experience, there was always a chance for a reversal during combat. One lucky punch was all that he needed to win the fight. Even though his skill deflated him quite a bit he did have another trump card waiting. He was confident that if he timed it well he would be the one standing victorious.
“Stop being a child and go apologize!”
The conversation ended with Armand escaping through the door and quickly running out of the room. Some of the older kids were laughing at him, pointing fingers as the large man escaped outside.
“Get back here this instant!”
“Ahh… think we won’t see him back tonight, you know how stubborn he gets… Do you really think he might lose his position in the guild?”
While holding a wooden plate up that she wanted to toss at the escaping Armand, Elodia gave out another sigh.
“It’s a possibility, I don’t know if that person will let it end unless that idiot gets punished in some way. The guild master is also interested in him…”
Elodia was part of the guild and stayed informed. She knew of the person named Wayland the Runesmith. He was low key but ever since the advancement test he was getting inspected by the guild information section. There was even a file on him that was slowly being filled out due to the guild master's interest in him.
“But if he loses his position then we will also lose all of our good selling rates!”
Staff members of the guild always got a better deal while selling things like mana stones and monster parts. They also could buy things like health potions at a lower price while just having to do some side work.
Armand didn’t actually need to work that much, he was mostly used to perform tests on new tier 2 adventurers just like he did with Roland. Then sometimes he would be asked to perform certain quests by the guild that he couldn’t refuse. Those could range from fetch quests to escort missions to other cities.
People like him were given the position to act as a more trusted and elite force that the guild could use. They mostly went to work when a high-paying client showed up and the guild wanted to be sure that the request would go through. They didn’t want random adventurers making them look bad in front of influential people. Thus they would hire promising prospects to perform these tasks.
“I know… this month might be tight…”
Lobelia frowned at the prospect of losing Armand’s premium rates. She was part of his party so she would also be affected. Part of her income went to this place as well, they would be losing about 10% of their monthly wages if this happened. This apparently for the reason that their big brother wasn’t able to halt his violent ways.
“Where does this Wayland live? I’ll go and ask him to drop the complaint!”
“That wouldn’t be a good idea, just help me clean this place.”
There were scattered books and other items around this room after Elodia unleashed some pent-up rage on her younger brother. None of the people here were related by blood but everyone was treated as part of the family.
“But big sis… what if I can convince him otherwise. No man can resist my charms!”
The elven girl puffed out her chest as if trying to show off her assets. The big sister just glanced at this chest and gave it a pat.
“Maybe first try growing something here before you try charming anyone.”
Lobelia’s pose quickly changed as she slumped forward, her hands covering her chest which was on the smaller side.
“I… I’m still growing…”
“It might actually be better if we don’t convince that man to take back the complaint.”
Said Elodia while Lobelia looked confused.
“How would that be better, we will lose money!”
“That we will but maybe that idiot might learn something from this.”
Lobelia looked to her big sister and after thinking for a moment she nodded. Her older brother’s behavior had been deteriorating ever since the guild master became interested in him. She knew that he had gone through a rough childhood, most of his problems were always resolved thanks to his fists.
“He needs to understand that not all of his problems can be resolved with fists alone.”
Both of them nodded at each other and agreed not to go see Wayland. They hoped that this would teach Armand some humility but that was only if the guild favored Wayland’s claim. They were still part of his family though and didn't wish for any bad outcomes. Elodia wished that Armand would see the error of his ways but still didn't want him to get banned from the guild which was a possibility.
The two continued to clean and finally, the day of the hearing was upon them. Armand being his stubborn self never returned to the orphanage directly and talked through Lobelia while evading his older sister.
“Haven’t had one of these in a while and it’s against Armand and some tier 2 adventurers?”
An old man asked while looking over some papers. Roland would recognize this person as the man that helped him with Agni.
“Yes, Mr. Wilser.”
“And it’s that young man that is making the complaint?”
“Yes, Mr. Wayland.”
The small gnome rubbed his chin while thinking back to the armored man that he taught some basics about monster taming.
“The hearing will be starting in ten minutes, Mr. Wayland is already here and waiting.”
Elodia was talking while looking into the distance. She could see Roland in his usual red armor but this time around his helmet was to the side. What she saw was quite the handsome young man with a strong jawline. He looked to be someone that wasn’t even in his twenties but she knew that looks could be deceiving and he could be much older.
“Well, at least he took off that silly helmet this time around.”
The gnome scoffed a bit while looking over the papers.
“Let us get this over with, there is much work to be done today.”
Elodia nodded while the old man walked away and into the room where the hearing would be taking place. Soon after Armand finally appeared at the scene along with the guild master.
Even though Armand was already a large man, the guild master dwarfed him by quite a bit. He was from a race that was considered small giants known for their physical strength and warrior classes.
“Our little Armand has gotten himself into trouble, isn’t that right Elodia?”
The guild master appeared with a big smile on his face. It was clear that he wasn’t taking this very seriously but Armand that was next to him wasn’t smiling.
“Who are you calling little? Why are we even here old man, you can just dismiss this.”
It seemed that her younger brother was still adamant in his beliefs. Luckily even though the guild master was finding this whole predicament hilarious he was still carrying out his duties.
“I don’t know? Should I?”
Elodia stood there while hugging some papers against her chest. She still could not come to terms with how Armand acted around the guild master. The large man had somehow grown to like this small brother of hers and even helped him train. Though it was always a one-sided beatdown where Armand ended up defeated.
“Yes you should or just let me fight him one on one!”
“Hoho, so you almost losing to him twice wasn’t enough?”
“I never lost to him!”
“That’s not what little Elodia here reported to me.”
The old man laughed while giving her a little wink. She didn’t react in any way, just continued to stare at the two idiots with scorn.
“That’s only because of that armor if he fought me fairly…”
The smile that the old large male had plastered all over his face finally faded. He turned to Armand that was trying to explain himself but before he could a large fist descended onto his head. He was quickly pressed to the ground due to the guild master’s hit, almost getting hit out cold.
“If you think that the armor is the only reason that you lost, then you still have a lot to learn, boy. Now stop whining like a wench and get in there.”
The guild master grabbed Armand by the neck and yanked him into the room where the hearing would be taking place.
“Elodia, tell them to get a move on, we don’t have all day.”
Soon she walked over to the side of the accusers and guided them inside this room. In it, besides the guild master and old gnome, there were two other guild members. The only side that was missing was the party of five thugs that attacked Bernir.
“Mr. Wayland and Mr. Bernir please take a seat, we will start the hearing soon.”
Elodia said while greeting Roland it was finally time to get this hearing started.