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44. Weird Human Things

With Daniel’s help, I managed to scribble my name down on the piece of paper the receptionist of the Adventurer’s Guild slid over to me. The hall remained deathly quiet after Stephen left, and there was not even a snicker from the closest adventurers tracking my every move.

I should probably worry about that. What if they try to steal my name? I huddled over my signature as I handed it back to the receptionist.

She looked it over a few times before nodding.

“Alright, you’re all set. We’ll just get your guild badge ready, and you’ll be good to go.”

“Guild badge?”

I cocked my head. The receptionist produced something from behind the counter.

“It’s what we use to identify your Rank. Whether you’re Silver, Gold, Platinum, or Diamond. Elites— those above Level 150— use the same badge as a Diamond, but they’re usually famous enough that they don’t even need an adventurer’s badge in the first place.”

“And I am…”

I gave her an expectant look. She gestured at the yellow stripes at the edge of the metal badge.

“You’re a Gold Rank.”

“Aw, only?”

My shoulders sagged. I immediately straightened however, remembering that Edithe told me to behave proper.

“Well, I guess I just have to get to Level 70 quickly. That’s what Platinum is, right?”

The receptionist gave me a weird look.

“Uh, yeah.”

I nodded and accepted the badge gratefully. I muttered a ‘thanks’— once again keeping to my proper behavior— and hurriedly turned back to Edithe and Daniel. The two were still distractedly staring after Stephen, even though he had left quite a while ago.

“Look!”

I presented my badge to the two. I had expected them to step back, aghast. Shocked. Blown away by my high Rank despite having just become an adventurer. Neither one batted an eye.

“Ah, you’re finished.”

Edithe commented as she glanced out the door of the guild one last time; I scowled, although she didn’t notice it.

“Well, it’s about time we return to our inns. We’ve had a long day of travel, and after that last encounter, I don’t think I want to be staying around the Adventurers Guild in Hazelbury for the next few days. Or weeks.”

We made our way out of the guild hall, tracked only by the prying eyes of a few curious individuals. I nodded at one, and they all immediately spun away, pretending to be preoccupied with something else. Daniel spoke thoughtfully.

“Yeah, that guy just gives me bad vibes. Think he’ll try something?”

“Not immediately.”

“What do you mean?”

“I think he has something planned but it’s not anytime soon. We’ll just have to wait and see. It’s not like we can do anything about it anyway.”

“Right…”

The Human man trailed off as we came to a stop a few streets away from the Adventurers Guild. He glanced over at me and scratched the back of his head.

“You know, I’m surprised you were so composed throughout that, Salvos.”

I cocked my head, confused. He elaborated.

“I expected you to punch him in the balls or something. Honestly, that would have been quite the sight to see.”

I stepped back and stared at him with wide eyes.

“What? No! Are you serious?”

The two Humans gave me a look as I raised my hands defensively.

“He would’ve killed me. Why would I do such a thing?!”

“Ah…”

“So you do have common sense, huh?”

Edithe remarked with a raised brow.

“It’s a survival sense. I’m not going to fight a Demon a hundred levels above me. I’ll die!”

“Don’t you frequently fight monsters higher leveled than you?”

Daniel looked at me dubiously. I scoffed and crossed my arms.

“Only if it seems like I can beat them. If I attacked every single monster or wild Demon stronger than me, I’d be dead right now— in fact, when those Centinels attacked us in that Silkfall’s Crevice Dungeon, the first thing I did was run!”

Daniel simply shrugged while Edithe laughed.

“It was a joke, Salvos. Don’t take it so seriously.”

“...how does that work? You were saying I’m dumb enough to get myself killed!”

“There is a truth to it. It’s not the whole truth, but an exaggeration of it. That’s how jokes work.”

“Huh.”

I paused, considering this. Jokes— humor. Another curious thing about Humans. I had seen Haec, my companion, laugh once; he found how I acted to be funny. It felt demeaning at the time, but perhaps he didn’t mean it that way. Just like how Edithe and Daniel meant no harm in their words now.

“Anyway, it’s about time we split off. Salvos, you’ll be staying with me again tonight.”

“Wait, why?”

I peered at Edithe, perplexed. She glanced over at Daniel who flushed, although neither exchanged any words. She sighed.

“We don’t want you to have any accidents. You’re still not used to a Human body, and I’d rather you not strip yourself naked or do anything compromising to yourself until you learn how to take care of yourself fully as a Human.”

“I’m not even a Human though. This is just my Mortal Form. I’m not a real mortal. I don’t even have to eat or sleep like you two.”

I put in happily; Edithe shook her head.

“But you have at least one Human feature— or well, a pair… listen, we’ll have to talk about things eventually. But in private, with just the two of us. For now, you’ll also be staying with me since we’ll be going shopping tomorrow.”

“Shopping?”

“Yes. These clothes you’re wearing are Daniel’s right? They’re still too loose for you. We need to get something that fits you better.”

“Oh, that sounds interesting. Let’s do it!”

 

—--

 

“I hate this.”

I scowled as the Human woman— not Edithe— wrapped the tight piece of garment around me. She pulled it back as now Edithe peeked in through the curtains.

“How’s it fit?”

“Oh, dear, it fits perfectly. I don’t know why she hates it.”

“Because it’s too tight!”

I threw my hands up in the air. The woman— a tailor and the owner of the shop we were in— jerked back, not expecting the sudden move.

“Please, keep your hands down. There are many sharp needles here, we wouldn’t want you to hurt yourself on one now do we?”

“They can’t hurt me…”

I murmured under my breath as I grudgingly crossed my arms across my chest; it was not just me saying the opposite of her out of annoyance— I really couldn’t be hurt by such small needles. My [Vitality] was too high for that. Not unless someone else with high [Strength], like Daniel, jammed them onto me. But even then, it would just be a little bit painful and nothing else.

“How about this?”

The tailor lifted up a single frilly piece of clothing and held it over my body. It was not like the clothes Daniel had provided me which had two parts to it— this could cover me entirely by itself. Edithe frowned and placed a hand on her chin.

“It looks good but… I don’t think she’d want that.”

“I think she’d look perfect in a dress.”

“Unfortunately, Salvos is an adventurer. A [Rogue] at that. It’d be inconvenient to wear such restrictive clothing.”

“Oh please, I’ve seen [Rogues] run across rooftops dressed in more restrictive clothing than this.”

“Well… Salvos isn’t your typical [Rogue], alright?”

Edithe gave the tailor a pleading look. The tailor huffed, turning around.

“Fine. We’ll get this lady here some [Rogue] clothes. Although I don’t see why anyone would like those types of clothing. They’re always so dark and broody looking...”

Eventually, the tailor came back with a pair of shirt and pants that fit me better; it was still tight. I preferred Daniel’s loose clothing. But maybe that was because I was used to wearing them. Whatever the case was, I left the shop with Edithe with my shoulders slumped.

“Ugh, this is terrible…”

“Don’t be so down, Salvos. You look good. Stand tall and proud.”

“How can I stand tall and proud when these annoying shoes are so tight?”

I gestured at the brown shoes at my feet. I could barely even move my toes!

“I think it’s a good thing, really. You aren’t running around barefoot anymore like some kind of… I don’t know, weird barefoot runner?”

“Then how about these clothes then? They’re like a Giant Spider’s strings! They’re tying me down!”

“Don’t let them tie you down. How can you be caught by some low leveled Giant Spider? You’re Salvos, aren’t you? The Savior of Falisfield!”

The Human woman giggled as I shot her a look.

“Hey! You got that Title too. And I told you, I didn’t accept it.”

“Yeah, yeah. I’m still mad that I didn’t get the Title Death of the Destroyer. Technically speaking, I was the one who finished off Lucerna, the Destroyer.”

“But I made the plan.”

“Your plan was just to tie him up by the neck. There was no real substance to it.”

“It worked against the large Demon.”

“Which was Level 6 as you said. Hardly the same thing as a Level 68.”

“Well, uh… it worked, didn’t it?”

“That it did.”

Edithe smiled as she led me down the street into a restaurant. We took a seat at a corner table, and she ordered some food for herself as I gave her a judging look. While waiting for the food to arrive, I finally decided to inquire on what was in my mind.

“Where’s Daniel? I haven’t seen him all day.”

“He’s busy dealing with selling the loot we got from Silvergrove. Remember when the city let us pick out from that pile of items? We can’t use everything we picked out, but we can certainly sell them.”

After we saved the city from Lucerna, they threw a feast— which I didn’t attend because of how disgusted I was by it… also because I was evolving— to celebrate. They gave us a lot of rewards, but there honestly wasn’t anything of use for me. The only thing I had wanted was my Spear of Flames that Lucerna stole back, however it had dissipated shortly after we killed him because it had run out of mana from overuse.

I was still kind of upset about that.

A Human woman came back with some food, placing the food at the table. I pushed the ones closest to me away towards Edithe; she watched me do it with a smile.

“You really hate food, huh?”

“It’s just so weird. What do you even do with it?”

“We eat it for energy. It helps us survive.”

“That makes no sense.”

Edithe shrugged, leaning back on her chair as she took a bite of meat.

“You’re a Demon, not a mortal like us. So you wouldn’t know. But try it, at least. It’s delicious.”

I hesitated, eyeing the steak she was eating; I slowly reached out, grabbing the fork and quickly put a piece of it into my mouth. I immediately grimaced and spit it out.

“Gross!”

Edithe stood up.

“Salvos! Don’t do that!”

“But it’s disgusting!”

“You—”

The Human woman cut herself off and sat back down. She softened her gaze as she faced me, speaking slower this time.

“You can’t just spit something out because you think it’s disgusting.”

“Why not?”

I cocked my head. She hesitated, chewing her lower lip for a moment before she continued.

“Because… people will then think you’re disgusting. You don’t want that, right? To be like food to you.”

I found myself nodding as she explained the logic to me; it made other Humans think lowly of you— which might not seem like it mattered, but it did if I wanted to pretend to be a Human well. After Edithe finished her explanation, she quickly added that I shouldn’t take off my clothes in front of Human men too.

Then she quickly changed subjects.

“Still, Salvos, I think you have to learn to pretend to eat. It’s not really normal for a Human— or any species for that matter, be it the Elves, Cyclops, Dwarves, or even Kobolds— to go without eating. Well, there are rumors that at the higher levels you can forego food. And great [Mages] can learn spells to feed themselves without meat. But still… you’re only Level 40.”

“I’m only Level 40 right now.”

I corrected her. She waved a hand dismissively.

“Doesn’t change the fact that you’re Level 40, and if you’re around other people, they’ll think you’re weird for not eating.”

I considered this for a moment.

“Wait, why would I be around other—”

“Hey.”

A voice interrupted me. Edithe and I glanced up as two men approached our table. The first one— the one that spoke— smiled and put out a hand.

“Would you ladies mind if we joined you?”

 

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