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I ended up following Guildmaster Evan anyways.

It wasn’t like I was in a rush to leave Windrip, so I decided to hear him out. Especially after he refused to leave me alone; he really was persistent in his pestering.

We both arrived at the new Adventurer’s Guild of Windrip. Before I had left, it was still rather plain— a newly-furbished building. But now it was starting to look like a typical Adventurer’s Guild with its messy decor and the rambunctious gathering.

Heads turned to face Guildmaster Evan as he strolled through the front door. These adventurers nodded politely at him, and proceeded to gape at me when I entered next. Their jaws dropped. Their eyes grew wide. I heard hushed whispers coming from the side. I rolled my eyes at almost everything that was being said.

“That’s— Amelia!”

“The Unranked Adventurer!”

“Didn’t she leave with Jax the Forsaken Archer to slay an Elder Dragon? What is she doing back here so soon?”

“It can’t be… does that mean… did she already—”

I ignored them and followed Guildmaster Evan to a private room. He closed the door behind me, before tapping a staff against the room’s walls. The entire room shimmered with magic, and he settled down behind a desk.

“Please, take a seat,” he said.

“What do you want?” I asked flatly as I leant back on a chair across from him. I was probably being a little bit rude, but he was the one who had sold out my location to Jax in the first place. I was right to be wary of what he had called me over for.

Not that I was worried. I didn’t really care about what Evan did as long as he didn’t endanger others with his actions. Jax was dangerous— towards me. But as far as I was aware, the Forsaken Archer hadn’t actually killed anyone while he was here. In fact, when I heard about his reputation, I expected him to be a stone-cold killer.

He was just an insane idiot.

The Guildmaster of Windrip’s Adventurer’s Guild shook his head. “I understand you are a busy lady, Ms Amelia. And I am grateful you have taken the time off your busy schedule to—”

“Just get to the point,” I cut him off.

“Of course. My apologies.” Evan nodded. Leaning forward, he peered at me with glinting eyes. Again, I was almost certain he was using magic to make his eyes sparkle. He continued as he cleared his throat. “I have a question for you, Ms Amelia. But I would like you to answer it honestly.”

“I can’t promise you anything, but sure.” I shrugged.

He didn’t hesitate to get to the point. “Are you from another world?”

That took me by surprise. I didn’t expect Guildmaster Evan to ask the question so bluntly. He waited, resting his chin on the back of his clasped hands. I narrowed my eyes, crossing my legs.

“And what if I am?” I asked curiously.

“It is a rather simple question, Ms Amelia. I prefer if we do not drag this matter out. I assure you, I will even sign this contract to ensure I keep my word.” He slid a slip of paper my way.

I eyed the official document and picked it up. I raised a brow, eyeing Evan. “Is this a magically-binding contract or something?”

“It is not,” he said simply. “It is a regular contract.”

I paused. “...and how does that guarantee anything?”

“You can sue me for breach of trust.” He smiled innocently at me.

“That—” I opened my mouth. I tried to find the right words to say, but eventually gave up and just sighed. “Whatever. I don’t really care anyways. Yes, I am from another world.”

“I see, so I was right.” Evan rubbed his chin as he nodded.

“How did you figure that out, anyways?” I asked with a frown. “Did you overhear one of my conversations with Noele?”

The Guildmaster gestured at my clothes. “Let’s just say you aren’t very discreet.”

I looked down at the way I was dressed. I was practically wearing an alien’s clothing in this world. Not only that, but I had also spent a lot of time cooking and selling foods that didn’t exist. Adding on the fact that I had no Class, it wasn’t the most outrageous assumption to make. So I acquiesced.

“Fair.”

Evan chuckled and made himself comfortable in his seat. “It is not completely your fault, Ms Amelia. I have experience with otherworlders before. I have even met one when he had first arrived in Vacuos. While he was a lot more… distraught than you, about his situation, his actions in his first year before acclimating to this world were just as eccentric as yours.”

I quirked an eyebrow. “You know an otherworlder? Is it that Kallistus guy who’s attacking the Astrad Kingdom?”

“I have spoken with the [Hero King] Kallistus once before by mere happenstance. But this otherworlder I was referencing is someone else. First and foremost, he is not even a combatant. He calls himself a pacifist, although he would fight if he has to. But more importantly, he is the reason why I have chosen to seek you out before you depart from Windrip.”

“Oh?” That piqued my interest. I uncrossed my legs and sat up straighter. “And who is this otherworlder?”

“His name is Xakor. He is one of the three otherworlders who has been residing in Vacuos, before you arrived. He has been around for over thirty years now. He isn’t too conspicuous, unlike the [Hero King] or the [Mystic Craftsman]. He has mostly kept a low profile, but I am certain he would be interested in speaking with you.”

Evan spoke as he took a sip from a teacup.

“With your permission, I would like to inform him of your location. So he can speak with you. Because I am certain you are more than keen to have a chat with someone trapped in your circumstance as well.”

I thought that the Guildmaster had a point— I would be more open to telling my secrets to some otherworlder who wasn’t completely beholden to the System, unlike Grat-ra’zun who seemed like a devout zealot.

“Sure,” I said. However, something seemed amiss to me. “But why didn’t you just tell him where I was, anyways? You didn’t have any issues with selling me out to Jax.”

Evan just lowered his cup as he replied. “That was a special circumstance. Jax the Forsaken Archer is merely one of my colleagues, but I still care about him, and I noticed he has been lost lately.

“He has been acting without purpose ever since he reached S-rank. And while he can be brash at times, he is a good person who I believe just needs to be set down the right path. I could tell that you were strong— that if he knew of your existence, he would challenge you to a duel. I was trying to help him by giving him an opponent he couldn’t beat.”

“Everyone says he’s a murderer or whatever.” I furrowed my brows. “This is the first time I’ve heard anyone say otherwise.”

“Jax did slaughter his entire village, indeed,” the Guildmaster said with a nod. “But what everyone seems to forget is that Jax grew up in a village of cannibals— that he was but a serf to be sacrificed to their Guardian Dragon.”

“Oh. I never heard that side of the story.” I could almost empathize with that psychopathic elf now. It was no wonder he had a few screws loose

Evan continued, “I am not defending Jax’s actions. Vengeance is but a fool’s errand, however his village worshipped the cruelest dragon in all of Drazyl. And after his own people ostracized him, he never bothered to clear up his name here in Laxo, so that is why he has been given this reputation. But I have never seen Jax commit an act of atrocity, nor have I seen him murder an innocent life.”

“I mean, didn’t he try to kill me?” I asked.

“Were you in danger at any point in time?” Evan countered.

“That makes sense, I guess. Honestly, I don’t really care. Just don’t pull that shit again without my permission,” I said as I got to my feet.

“Of course. That is why I have come to you to ask for your permission about Xakor.” The Guildmaster nodded placatingly at me.

“You can tell him to find me at Whiteridge. Although… I am not actually sure if I’ll be staying there for more than a month. We’ll see.”

“Thank you for your time, Ms Amelia,” Evan said as he got to his feet. He walked towards the door, snapped his fingers as the enchantment around the room faded away. “I do hope that Xakor will be able to catch you before you leave Whiteridge. I believe he is currently in Shorheim, so it would take him a week or two to get here. But with the ongoing war, I believe it may take even longer.”

“It’s whatever. If that’s it, I’ll be going now.” I stepped towards the doorway, and the Guildmaster held it open for me.

“It truly was a pleasure to meet you.” He swept into a bow.

I scoffed and nodded at him. “Thanks. I can’t really say the same about you, but you’re certainly going to be memorable.”

“I will take that as a compliment.” Evan just smiled.

“It’s not,” I said flatly.

With that, I bade him farewell and headed out of the Adventurer’s Guild. I thought that was it, but a burly figure stopped me just at the exit.

Garron the Steel Tank was waiting for me beside the doorway. He quickly pushed himself off the wall and called out after me.

“I heard you were leaving Windrip with Noele,” he said as he glanced past me. He was clearly looking for someone— probably Noele. “Is that true?”

“Yeah, I’m going to be staying over at her family’s farm for a bit. Maybe learn how to be a [Farmer] from her parents.” I wondered if having someone with a Class teaching me their Skills was a stipulation to actually get the Class option from the System.

At this point, I highly doubted it. But I could still hold out for hope.

“That’s quite the job change,” Garron chuckled. “I’m sure you’ll be really good at dealing with pests.”

Then he paused. He looked past me again, before his lips pursed. I watched as he hesitated and shifted his feet.

“Speaking of Noele, I couldn’t find her at her inn. The [Innkeeper] there said she didn’t return to Windrip. Is that true?” the Steel Tank asked.

I nodded casually. “Yeah, it’s just me. Noele’s busy spending time with her family for the first time in like ten years. I’ll be heading over to her now, though.”

“Oh, I see.” Garron lowered his head. “That is… a shame. I would’ve thought she’d at least tell me she was leaving.”

I narrowed my eyes at him. He averted his gaze, scratching the back of his head. I saw him hesitate. It seemed like he had something to say but was too afraid to ask. I just sighed.

“Spit it out already. What is it?”

“Well…” The Steel Tank took in a deep breath and met my gaze. “I was hoping to tag along with you.”

“You want to follow me to Whiteridge?” I raised a brow. “Aren’t you Windrip’s own B-rank adventurer? What happened to that?”

Garron shook his head as he sighed. “I have thought about it long and hard these past few weeks. Especially after the Goblin Lord’s attack, and now the war. But I have lived my whole life here within the confines of this city’s walls. And I realized I may very well die here in Windrip, having never experienced the outside world.”

He looked down into the palm of his hand before forming a fist. I crossed my arms, listening as the burly man spoke slowly.

“I do not wish to die before exploring more of the world. Maybe it was thanks to what Noele said that day at the party, but I believe I am not just wasting away here in my city. I will return to Windrip one day. But I wish to explore the rest of Laxo before then.” He closed his eyes, taking a moment to collect his thoughts. After steeling himself, the Steel Tank held my gaze with a determined look. “If it is not too much to ask of you, Ms Amelia, but will you let me join you in your journey? I will do anything, I will pay any price—”

“Sure,” I said simply, abruptly speaking over him.

“Uh, that’s it?” Garron blinked.

“Yeah.” I waved a hand dismissively. I could have charged him maybe ten gold or whatever, but I realized I didn’t really care about money all that much just the other day. So I agreed without issue. “I don’t mind if you tag along. Go and gather your stuff. I want to leave by the end of the hour.”

The burly man stared at me for a moment, then he drew back with a smile. “I appreciate this, Ms Amelia. I can understand why Noele looks up to you so much now.”

“You can just call me Amelia,” I said as I waved a hand off. “It’s not really a bother. Just make sure you don’t scream too much, I guess.”

And Garron paused. “Make sure I don’t… what?”

“You’ll see,” I murmured.

“Alright…?” He gave me a confused look for a moment, before facing me confidently. “I assure you, I will not scream.”

“I really hope not.”

Soon after that, I left Windrip behind with the Steel Tank in tow. And, unfortunately, as I carried him in my arms, leaping across the forest terrain, he did end up screaming.

As I had expected.

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