Chapter 17 – Scouting
“W-what are you, man, butting in like that…”
The apparent party leader, Klein, was looking at me like I was some strange creature.
“Umm….hey….could you, let my hand go?”
Blushing a little, Luce asked me looking confused.
“Oops, sorry about that.”
I was still holding her hand tightly.
My resolve to not miss out on her came out too strong.
Just as I was thinking that it would be difficult to team up with an adventurer who has a conventionally powerful Class or Skill Tree, I ran into a huge opportunity right off the bat.
“My name is Elma. I just overheard that she was leaving her party, so I came over to scout her out.”
“Oi oi, are you sane? She can barely fight so she won’t be able to level up properly either.”
Klein snorted at my words.
It was indeed a mistake that many newbies committed in [Magic World].
There are a lot of ways to build a character, and the distribution of Skill points is final.
If you mess up spending your Skill points on a support character that’s tricky to use, then you can easily fall into a situation where you are only able to defeat lower level monsters and therefore become unable to grind levels properly.
Of course, I do have a method to escape such situations.
“No problem at all.”
“Haha, don’t regret it later. Well, if you’re picking up that good-for-nothing, then I won’t need to feel bad at all. Fine by me, take her away as you want.”
“Well, I wasn’t really asking your permission to begin with….”
I was only negotiating with Luce here.
It’s entirely immaterial what Klein wants when it comes to what Luce will do.
I have no idea why Klein talks like he has any right to decide at all.
“I’ll say it upfront, I’m a 【Lv：23】 Heavy Knight. I don’t have other party members, I’m working alone. I just became an E rank adventurer, so I have permission to enter Dungeons.”
I need to make my level and Class clear first to start the discussion properly.
To enter a Dungeon, you need at least one party member who’s an E rank adventurer.
“Heh, about the same as me. It mustn’t have been easy to reach that level with a defense Class like that, you are clearly doing your best, huh. But as someone on that level, you should already know how much of a hindrance is someone who can’t get experience points.”
Klein laughed at me like I was an idiot.
“Umm….I’m, well…. I’m still just 【Lv：13】. Maybe you shouldn’t…,” Luce reluctantly started saying.
“No problem at all. A ten level difference is nothing more than an error margin.”
“….hey, wait a second, Klein.”
The Thief Class girl, who was listening to our conversation until now interjected.
“What do you want, Reese?”
“Why would an E rank adventurer go out of his way to try and recruit Luce of all things? Wouldn’t that mean that thing has a significant effect then? That’s even why we let her join, because of the rumors about it….”
….I was too desperate.
I’m confident I would treat her much better than them, but their familiarity is an important factor.
It looked like if those two tried to reconcile, then she might just rejoin them here.
Well, in that case it couldn’t be helped.
“What are you talking about, Reese? We should just shut up and let her go where she wants. If she leaves now without a fuss, then that would be just perfect.”
Klein kept sending meaningful glances at the crimson sword in his hand to signal something to Reese.
Those two really want to divide the money from that sword just between the two of them.
If they keep doing that every time there is a rare drop, then I expect those two will also get into an argument and break up the party in the future…
“Think about it carefully. There is no way someone with a defense Class like that would be able to reach 【Lv：23】 by himself. He is either fibbing or he was kicked out from a party when it became obvious he was still useless after leveling up. Or maybe he’s just hitting on her with the invitation to a party as an excuse. Since the only good thing about Luce is that her mug is quite attractive.”
Klein lowered his volume and whispered to Reese.
However, probably because he was desperately trying to persuade her, we could hear some of it.
Oi, we can hear you.
“Well, I guess….”
It seems Reese was swept away by Klein’s momentum.
“This is perfect. If it became a rumor that we kicked someone who messed up their Skill point distributions from the party, it would’ve got harder to stay in Rondalm, but with this we can claim that she left on her own.”
….I’m just thankful that Klein wasn’t that smart.
I was thinking that it might not be that bad of a thing if they reconciled with each other, but seeing how Klein is acting, there is no way Luce would do well in that party.
Even if the current problem was pushed back, it would raise its head sooner or later again anyway.
“I-In that case….. I will accept your kindness. Thank you for having me, Elma-san!”
Clenching her fists tightly, Luce seemed to have resolved herself and gave her answer.
“Yeah, let’s get along, Luce.”
This was the moment I gained my first party member.
Klein was clapping merrily.
On his face an obvious fake smile was plastered.
“Well then, congratulations for forming a party. You haven’t bought any proper weapons yet either, right Luce? This 100 000 gold is a parting gift from us. Use it well.”
Klein glanced down to the scattered coins under his feet.
It was the money Klein threw down in anger during their argument before.
Even Klein must’ve thought that kicking someone out right after a rare drop without a single gold would appear highly questionable.
This way, if it comes up later during a discussion, the fact that he gave her 100 000 gold changes the picture quite a bit.
“…..thank you very much, Klein-san.”
It seems Luce had her opinion on the matter too, but she finally decided to take what she could in the end.
She finally started to lean down.
“No, I don’t think you should accept it.”
However, I stopped her.
“Eh? B-but, 100 000 gold is a lot of money….,” Luce anxiously said to me.
“Klein or what’s your name, you should pick up after yourself. Even kids can do that much. And don’t make me laugh, calling stuff scattered on the ground a parting gift.”
Klein stopped giving that fake smile and kicked away the scattered coins with a frown on his face.
“Tsk, don’t get cute with me you defective Class! Go and be happy with each other you bunch of good-for-nothings! We’re going, Reese.”
Klein turned his back on us and fast-walked out of there, Reese chasing after him.
“We should go too. It’s better to owe nothing to a person like that.”
Luce turned her gaze at the scattered coins at first, but then she turned to me and nodded.
It’s not like I was looking down on that 100 000 gold.
With that money we could even buy a number of Heal Potions.
It would increase the list of things we could do right now.
Also, it’s not a nice feeling to leave all that money scattered around.
But picking it up right now is not the right choice.
A person like Klein would dismiss his poor behavior right away, while clearly remembering every little favor he showed.
It won’t be long until the relative level difference and public standing between Luce and Klein flips the other way.
At that time, in Klein’s mind the ‘100 000 gold I gave away to avoid bad reputation’ will most likely turn into the ‘favor she owes me for the 100 000 gold I bestowed on her out of pity’.