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By the way, Iris was still asleep on my back, but I heard that one of the guild’s dormitory rooms was open, so I decided to let her sleep there for the time being.
Now that I was free, Milia took me to the reception room.
The reception room was covered with red carpet, with a black table in the center and a large sofa on either side of it. All of them had an air of luxury about them.
“Please feel free to sit down. The sofas here are very fluffy, you know.”
As Milia had said, the sofa was extremely comfortable. I almost fell asleep if I wasn’t attentive.
“I’d like to hear your report, but before that, I’d like to tell you one of my secrets.”
Milia said and took out a small silver metal plate from her uniform pocket.
It was an adventurer’s guild employee identification card. Just like the adventurer’s registration card, it contains information such as name, age, and gender.
…She seemed to be embarrassed to let me know her age, so she covered it with her finger.
But what caught my attention more than that was her position.
“Assistant Branch Manager, Adventurer’s Guild, Aunen Branch.”
I couldn’t believe my eyes when I read this; it was so unexpected.
“Assistant Branch Manager, that’s quite a high position, isn’t it…?”
“Fufu, I’m glad you were surprised, Kou-san. I’m actually the second most important person in this branch. Right now the branch manager is on a business trip, so I am also the acting branch manager. So I’m practically the head right now.”
“You’re the head of the branch, and you’re still working as a receptionist?”
“The receptionist job is more like a temporary position to hide from the public eye, or rather, I’m just helping out. Once the manpower shortage is solved, things will be a little easier for me.”
Milia stretched out as she sighed.
She looked like an innocent little girl, and to be honest; I couldn’t believe that she was the assistant branch manager.
“Ah, there’s no need to be so formal. Please just treat me as you usually do, as ‘Milia, the receptionist’. It is my sincere intention to reveal my identity to you. …Thank you very much for subjugating the Black Spider. If it weren’t for you, not only Iris-san but many other adventurers would have lost their lives. On behalf of the Aunen branch, I would like to express our heartfelt gratitude.”
Milia stood up from the sofa and bowed her head deeply and profoundly. Her face was dignified and composed, and she exuded the air of a top executive.
She was a totally different person than she was a few minutes ago.
“Now, that is enough with the formal introduction… I mean, ahem, well, well, let’s end the formal introduction!”
Milia cleared her throat and put on her usual friendly smile.
I guess that meant she switched from the assistant branch manager mode to the receptionist mode.
“Kou-san, please tell me about your activities today. I’m really looking forward to it.”
“Okay, it’s going to be a long story.”
I went on to explain what had happened since I left the guild this morning.
Milia had a pile of papers in the reception room and took careful notes of what I was saying. Halfway through, when I started talking about the pack of Lonely Wolves, Milia tilted her head.
“It’s kind of strange, isn’t it? They are called Lonely Wolves because they don’t form packs… Maybe it has some unknown traits. I think I should report it to headquarters.”
“Agreed. Do you need any information to report it?”
“How many were in the pack, and how many did you take down, Kou-san?”
“I killed every last one of them. The total number in the pack was… probably more than two thousand.”
Milia shouted in surprise.
Well, of course. If I were in her shoes, I wouldn’t be able to believe it either.
“You fought them alone? …I’m sorry, can I check your subjugation records?”
“Of course. Check it out.”
“O-okay. Please wait a moment.”
Milia got up from the sofa and walked out of the reception room.
She returned about five minutes later. She held a bundle of black paper in her left hand and a purple crystal ball in her right.
When she returned to the sofa, she spread out one of the sheets of paper on the table. It was about the size of an A4 sheet of paper.
She then placed the crystal ball so that it was in contact with the top edge of the paper.
“Kou-san, can you put your hand here?”
Following Milia’s instructions, I touched the crystal ball. Then, with a buzzing sound, my whole body was enveloped in purple light.
“Thank you very much. Please stay like this for a while.”
The crystal ball shook slightly, and white letters appeared on the black paper. It was my subjugation record.
Lonely Wolf (Male), 2048.
When I looked at the numbers again, I was surprised to see that it was such a large pack. I’m amazed at how I managed to survive.
“There really are more than two thousand of them…”
Milia muttered in amazement.
“It’s really surprising that the Lonely Wolf made such a large pack, but Kou-san wiped them out by himself, right? What on earth are you? Are you a messenger of God?”
“Even if you say so… I’m still me.”
“…At any rate, I understand now that Kou-san is a non-standard existence. Next, can you tell me about the Black Spider?”
The explanation about the Black Spiders went smoothly. It was because the boy swordsman and the priestess had reported to her in advance.
The only question that came from Milia was the part about saving Iris.
“It is said that there is no cure for the Black Spider’s paralysis poison. …What kind of medicine did you use?”
“What kind of medicine was it? Well, it was just an ordinary detoxification potion. However, my skills are a bit special, so I can create items with much higher quality than normal.”
“I understand. Please tell me more about your skills another time. If you don’t mind, may I analyze the detoxification potion that Kou-san made? Perhaps we can create a special potion against the Black Spider’s poison.”
Of course, there was no reason to refuse. I created a detoxification potion immediately, put it in a water bag, and handed it to Milia.
When I finished my report, Milia bowed her head again.
“Thank you for your report. …By the way, Kou-san’s adventurer rank will be upgraded tomorrow evening. Please look forward to it.”
“Tomorrow evening, that’s very specific timing.”
“There’s a management meeting of the Aunen Branch at noon. Kou-san’s career as an adventurer is still short, but you should be able to pass the examination for rank advancement with this achievement. In fact, I’ll let you pass.”
“That’s very encouraging.”
I was well aware of the fact that Milia’s excellent at her work, but she’s even serving as the assistant branch manager now.
With that in mind, it was safe to expect a rank increase.
“In addition, the Adventurer’s Guild will pay a reward for subjugating a monster with a danger level of A or higher. For a Black Spider, it’s worth 500,000 Komsa.”
“…Isn’t that too much?”
“When it comes to Black Spiders, we usually gather a subjugation party of A-rank adventurers. The amount of 500,000 Komsa is based on the assumption that it would be distributed amongst the subjugation party. However, since Kou-san defeated it alone, you will have to take it all by yourself.”
“Wait a minute, isn’t there any share for Iris?”
Iris sacrificed her own life to save the lives of two new adventurers. There should be a reward for that.
“Ah, I forgot to mention that. I’m sorry. We’re going to pay a reasonable amount of money to Iris-san as well. The Adventurer’s Guild rewards good deeds.”
Milia said she would compile the report immediately. It would take her until midnight to complete the report, and it sounded like a lot of work.
When I asked her if there was anything I could do to help, she replied, “You should get some rest, Kou-san. Your body is your asset as an adventurer.”
I guess she was concerned about me. I’m grateful for that.
On a side note, they would also discuss the reward for defeating the Armored Bear at tomorrow’s meeting. But that was before I was registered as an adventurer, so I’m sure it will be difficult.
I guess I’ll be lucky if I receive a reward and I should not expect too much.
I left the reception room, went down the stairs, and returned to the first floor lobby, where I found a man with silver-rimmed glasses standing there.
He was the instructor who was in charge of my registration test.
His name was… Gise-san, I think.
“I’ve heard about your achievements, Kou-kun. …To defeat a Black Spider single-handedly, you might be a once-in-a-decade or even a once-in-a-century talent.”
“You’re selling me too high. Next time I fight, I might lose.”
In fact, the victory this time was quite a close call. If it hadn’t been for a last-minute flash of inspiration, I would have been eaten by the Black Spider.
“You are so humble. You’re quite a man at such a young age.”
“I’m twenty-nine years old, you know. I’m not young.”
“For a middle-aged man like me, you’re still a young man. Anyway, do you have anything to do now?”
“No, I’m going to have dinner somewhere and then return to the inn.”
“That’s just fine. In fact, at the nearby Golden Bear Restaurant, the adventurers are holding a party to celebrate the subjugation of the Black Spider. However, it would be boring without the protagonist. If you don’t mind, would you like to come?”
“Of course, I’d like to come. …Or rather, I’m sorry. You’ve been waiting for me here for a long time, haven’t you?”
“No, no, no, I was just finishing up some paperwork a few minutes ago. Don’t worry about it. Let’s go then. Everyone is looking forward to your arrival.”
When the instructor took me to the Golden Bear Restaurant, I found that there was a tremendous celebration going on. Not only the adventurers, but even the city’s residents were gathered together excitedly.
I knew the people of this world were in high spirits.
One of the adventurers noticed my arrival and shouted.
“Whoaaaa! You guys! Here comes the star of the day!”
“It’s the Bear Killer! Kou-san, the Bear Killer, is here! Clear the way!”
“Yeah! We’ve been waiting for you, Aunen’s hero!”
I sat down at a vacant seat, drawing the attention of the whole restaurant.
Across the table from me sat the priestess.
“Um, uh, thank you for your help in defeating the Black Spider…”
“Don’t mind it. By the way, where’s that guy that was with you?”
“He was looking forward to meeting you, Kou-san, but he got completely drunk…”
The girl glanced to her right. I also looked in the direction. The swordsman boy was leaning against the wall of the restaurant, comfortably asleep.
The girl and I looked at each other and shrugged our shoulders with a wry smile.
…The atmosphere was friendly at first, but from then on, it was very hectic.
After all, I was currently the topic of conversation as the Bear Killer. The adventurers came to see me one after another.
“I’ve heard a lot about your work. Well, have a drink.”
“You beat the Black Spider all by yourself, right? That’s really impressive.”
“Fufu, they call you that, but you’ve got a nice face. Do you want to play with Oneesan here? …Eh, twenty-nine years old? You’re older than me! E-e-excuse me!”
Although I had never talked to any of them before, I was able to get to know them quickly, probably because we had all been drinking.
It may sound a bit abstract, but I felt as if I was accepted as a member of the city.
We had a good time, and when the clock on the restaurant wall turned 11 in the evening…
Iris appeared at the entrance of the restaurant. She must have been asleep in the guild’s dormitory, but she seemed to have woken up earlier than expected.
Immediately, the restaurant went silent. Everyone had a puzzled look on their face.
It seemed that it’s true from what I heard about Iris being avoided.
Now, what should I do?
I got up from my seat and shook the sleeping swordsman boy from his seat by the wall.
“Mmm…? Eh K-Kou-san!? I-I’m sorry. I drank too much…”
“That’s okay. Iris is coming. She’s the one who saved you from the Black Spider, right?”
“Oh, y-yes! I’m going to go say my gratitude to her!”
The boy hurriedly stood up and rushed over to Iris. The priestess followed suit.
“Iris-san, thank you very much for today!”
“T-thank you so much…!”
The two of them bowed together.
Iris was not expecting this development, and her gaze wandered around as if she was confused.
I thought I should give them a helping hand. I picked up my glass, a clean glass that no one had sipped from yet, and with a bottle of wine I headed over to Iris.
“Iris, thanks for your help today. Anyway, have a drink.”
“Eh…? Ah, yeah…”
Iris still didn’t seem to understand the situation, but I forcefully handed her a glass and poured her a generous amount of wine. I poured the rest into my own glass and turned around to look around the restaurant.
The adventurers and residents were all looking at me.
“Everyone, listen up!”
I shouted, feeling nervous under their stares.
“I’m not the only hero today. Iris was the only one who helped them escape from the Black Spider by taking on the role of a decoy. …Cheers to her courage!”
I shouted and downed my glass of wine in one gulp, and the people also shouted, “Cheers!”
Hopefully, this will be a good opportunity for Iris to be accepted by everyone in the city.
* * *
An hour or so later, at midnight, the drinking party was over. Other adventurers and residents were also talking to Iris, so I could say that it went just as I had planned.
However, there was one thing I didn’t calculate. It seemed that Iris was not a strong drinker, and her gait was suspicious.
When we toasted, she drank all the wine in her glass, which was apparently fatal. I was worried that she might not make it home safely, so I decided to walk her home.
“I’m sorry. I owe you again…”
“I don’t mind this much. It’s not far from your house, is it?”
“I appreciate the walk, but that’s not all. …You took care of a lot of things for me just now, didn’t you?”
I wondered if she was referring to the toast I had just made.
“Thank you. I’ll never forget what you did for me today.”
Iris’ house was an elegant single-family home. It seemed to be a rental property owned by the adventurer’s guild.
After we parted at the door, I decided to walk back through the vicinity of the adventurer’s guild.
The lights of the building were already dimmed. Milia must have finished her work and gone home. It seemed like a tough job to be the assistant branch manager, so I might as well give her a gift some other time.
When I returned to my room at the inn, I felt a rush of exhaustion.
I couldn’t even muster up the energy to take a bath.
I laid down on my bed and closed my eyes.
Good night, and see you tomorrow.