Chapter 21 – Raid announcement
Just as Guild Master Hallein said, a recruitment notice was posted the next day for the Raid Quest on the Guild’s notice board.
By the time Luce and I got there, a sizable crowd had already gathered in front of it.
“Sunken Utopia…..Recommended Level: 80!?”
“A Monster Pool at a place like that? Even first rate adventurers could die on the way there….”
“There was a Monster Pool at the Graveyard of Sorrows just recently, right? What the hell is going on with La Colina…..”
The other adventurers seemed to be quite anxious about this recruitment notice.
“Recommended Level: 80…..that’s sure is something. If the Dream Lord of that place would Evolve like the Skull Lord did at the Graveyard of Sorrows, then it might even reach around Level 100, right?”
Luce asked me, looking uneasy at the prospect.
Trying to stifle a yawn, I rubbed my sleepy eyes.
“Ah, sorry. I didn’t get much sleep last night.”
I spent the night reading through the documents about the adventurers I got from Hallein yesterday.
There was someone that could’ve perhaps created an alibi for themselves, depending on their exact Skill composition, but with the lack of reliable information it’s nothing but a vague supposition.
It’s not like the investigation reports contain the exact details of what the adventurers did and when.
In addition to that, in this world the overwhelming majority of people do not follow the most optimal build for their Class, so I can’t make assumptions based on that either.
I had no hope of being able to follow up on every possibility.
Even if I try to get them to reinvestigate things at this point, Skill compositions are considered private information and I don’t think they would remember the minute details I would be looking for anyway.
Although the information I got from all that was good to know, if someone asks if I have a workable theory as a result, then I would have to say not really.
I kept racking my brain about it instead of sleeping, so my brain was kind of sluggish right now.
“…..a-are you alright?”
I hit my temple with the bottom of my palm.
“Putting that aside…..sorry once again, Luce. I seem to have got you caught up in things again.”
“Huhun, ‘got you caught up in things’…..please don’t say that, Elma-san! As an adventurer I consider protecting the country and the city my duty! Also, we are comrades who have survived a number of deadly situations together already, are we not?”
Luce said in a determined tone, hitting her palm with a fist.
I had talked it over yesterday with Luce and ended up formally deciding that we would participate in the Raid Quest into the Sunken Utopia where a Monster Pool had occurred.
“Hmpf, so you two are taking part as well. I will give you a warning. It seems you think quite highly of yourself after some minor exploits, but this Raid will be truly dangerous, Heavy Knight Elma.”
A high-pitched and high-handed voice could be heard.
I turned towards the source of the voice, but no one was there.
“That’s strange…..I heard a voice, but I can’t see anyone….”
Rubbing my eyes I looked around.
“Elma-san, down, down!”
After lowering my gaze according to Luce’s instructions, I could finally see a young girl with sanpaku eyes and long purple hair tied in the back…..namely the Magic Swordsman, Hilde.
One of her eyelids was twitching from apparent irritation.
“Ah, it’s Hilde.”
“Every. Single. Time……You are making fun of me, right? You bastards. Listen here, Elma. I did not forget my grudge about our duel. Even B rank adventurers will be risking their lives on this quest. If your only motivation is to make some money, then better step back from this right now. I decided that I will regain my honor some day with a return match. If you really want to participate, then keep your guard up so that you don’t lose your life in an insignificant place like that.”
Hilde said with a finger pointing at me.
“Although the way she speaks sounds very antagonistic, she seems to be telling us to be careful in her own way.”
Luce said to me while chuckling.
“Tsk, I’m only telling you that because you haven’t given back that 50 million gold just yet, so if you were to die then it would be a big loss for me.”
I let out a yawn while rubbing my eyes again.
“…..hey, you bastard. Did you just really yawn?”
Hilde’s eyelid started twitching again.
“I-I’m sorry, Hilde-san! Uhm, Elma-san has apparently worked through the night without sleeping, so…..! Ahahah….”
Luce tried to laugh the whole thing away.
“E-Elma-san, please just apologize. She really did seem to be worried about us.”
Luce whispered to me.
“….sorry about that. I have no intention of giving back the money, but I think I might’ve been a bit too childish with that duel.”
“I’m older than you! I know that you two are fifteen or forteen at best! I’m seventeen, seventeen!”
Hilde raised her voice in anger.
I splendidly stepped on a conversational landmine.
Then, the scythe on Hilde’s back caught my eye.
With losing her favorite sword due to our bet, Hilde picked up a Black Steel Scythe after that, but the one she had now was yet another one.
“Huh, Hilde, that scythe is….”
…..that scythe was a Soul Reaper Scythe we got as a drop item from overfarming Grim Reapers in the Phantasmal Beast Tower.
We sold those to a shop, so it might’ve been sold for a bit less than the Market Value.
Luce tried to sneakily get my attention.
“…..it fits you.”
“What, you bastard. Don’t get weird on me. Are you trying to say that a scythe suits me better? Hmpf.”
That was close. I was about to ask her if she got it for cheap.
If I keep irritating her any more than this, then she might just challenge me to another duel on the spot.
Probably because of the lack of sleep, but I seem to be quite scatterbrained today.
I slapped my cheeks to try and wake myself up.
“I think it would be good for you though. If you manage to get used to using a scythe, then you might end up better for it in the long run. That weapon’s additional effect is pretty powerful as well.”
I’m absolutely sure that she bought that because it was cheap, but I decided to not bring that up.
If she’s fine with it, then there is no need to uselessly comment on it.
“As for asking if we want to really participate…..hahh, that should be my line instead. Diving into Dungeons with a Class like Magic Swordsman that specializes in one-on-one fighting is less than ideal. If you include the Monster Pool then it should be right out of the question. The Graveyard of Sorrows last time was already a border case, but the Recommended Level for the Dungeon this time is 80.”
“T-they expect to be short-handed for this, so there is no way a B rank adventurer and the disciple of the Black Flame Sword like me would not take part! Even in a Dungeon of this level, I can take care of the small fry without using any MP. Don’t underestimate me.”
…..she unexpectedly has a sense of duty as a B rank adventurer.
As Kalos also said before, the current state of affairs is that this world can only continue to exist because it’s protected by a certain subset of high ranking adventurers from various Monster Calamities.
With Kalos as her teacher, she may have been influenced somewhat to share this opinion.
….that being said, that this resulted in her threatening a blacksmith is not a laughing matter.
“Well, if you party up with an A rank adventurer like Kalos, then you should be able to push through on level alone…. Kalos also has the [Sixth Sense] Skill, so you should be able to avoid fighting troublesome enemies with that.”
In a Dungeon, it makes a huge difference whether you have a detection type Skill or not.
However, since Skill Trees that offer those detection type Skills often lack in direct firepower, if you pick such Skill without careful thinking, you might turn out lacking in attack power while not getting the benefits of a proper support type build either. Because of that, choosing can be quite a conundrum in those cases.
“Hmpf, I don’t plan on relying on my teacher though. …..huh? You know what Skills my teacher has?”
I put a hand over my mouth.
“Ah, uhm, the only detection type Skill that the Magic Swordsman can incorporate without trouble is the [Sixth Sense], so it’s just a calculated guess.”
By reading the documents about various adventurers I built up a hypothesis on what Skills each person might have, and based on Kalos’s actions the other day it’s very likely that he has some kind of detection Skill.
As a mainly solo Magic Swordsman that lacks staying power, it was pretty obvious that he would have some kind of recovery or detection type Skill.
“Ah, sorry, that was quite rude of me.”
I pinched my brows.
It’s a borderline case, but trying to find out about someone’s Skill composition is somewhat against manners.
Since as Celt said, unless you are particularly close to the person, it could easily lead to trouble.
“Hahh…..well, just don’t go spreading it around. But, just who the hell are you that you can just calculate someone’s Skill composition like that….. There are countless Skill Trees and Skills in this world. I’ve been thinking about this before, but you really are a weirdly mysterious guy.”
Hilde said while inching away from me in apprehension.
In Magic World most high ranking players could do it as well.
As long as the Class is known, the possible builds are narrowed down to only three or four at best.
After taking into consideration their playstyle, equipment, and how they move, the answer becomes relatively straightforward.
Though since people in this world do not always follow the most optimal builds to become the strongest possible, the number of possible builds are greatly increased, significantly increasing the difficulty of correctly guessing the correct one.
“E-Elma-san, you still seem fixated on that matter…. Thank you for working hard on it, but….even though I might not be able to contribute much, I could help with that investigation if you want….!”
Suddenly, footsteps approaching us could be heard.
“It looks like a Raid Quest has been called to the Sunken Utopia.”
It was a handsome young man with long, silver hair, an A rank adventurer with the title of Black Flame Sword and the name of Kalos.
He stopped in front of us.
“It will be a dangerous Raid Quest, so I can’t force you to take part, but I’m really counting on you, Elma, Luce. I’ve said this before, but we are quite short-handed. There was that Wandering Lord during the last Raid as well, so a lot of adventurers are being cautious.”
“Hilde-san’s teacher, Kalos-san….”
“And I always say this as well, but I don’t remember ever becoming her teacher…..”
“People should help out newbies as a matter of course. Also, I don’t remember doing anything special for you. It’s all thanks to your own hard work and resourcefulness that you’ve managed to get this far. If you feel indebted to me anyways, then return it by helping out the adventurers who are just starting out and are having a difficult time.”
Kalos said with a wry smile on his face.
Hilde exclaimed in admiration.
…..I don’t think Hilde is the mentor type, but I refrained from saying anything unnecessary.
“Kalos, did you suggest this Raid to the Guild as well?”
“To the Guild, or rather the Howlod Family. And rather than suggest, I was asked to give advice on this matter. …..however, I’ve noticed some suspicious things on their side as well.”
“Despite what you would expect, the relationship between the main Howlod Family and the branch family that’s in charge of the Guild is less than cordial. And then there is the succession conflict as well. Since you were there at the time I don’t even need to mention the assassination attempt.”
Kalos said in a low voice.
Since he was already in touch with the Howlod Family, he was already informed of the incident in the Phantasmal Beast Tower it seems.
“A-Assassination attempt….? Teacher, that’s…..!”
Hilde all but shouted.
Kalos put a finger in front of his lips to urge her to caution.
Hilde covered her mouth with a hand.
“Make no mistake, this will be a dangerous Raid. However, even if the enemy proves to be the nobles or the country, I have no intention of getting out of the way. I came to La Colina to find out more about the increase in Monster Calamities. I may finally be able to get a lead this time.”
Kalos narrowed his eyes and pressed his lips together.
“As expected of my teacher! If you go, then I will go as well of course! I’m not like some other cowardly adventurers!”
Hilde raised up a clenched fist.
“…..I think this might be a bit too much for you though. Magic Swordsmen are ill-suited for Dungeon exploration as you know….”
Hilde was simply shocked and taken aback.
“And there is that scythe as well….”
“Yeah, I got a new one! With this Soul Reaper Scythe I have nothing to fear from a Dungeon even with a Recommended Level of 80!”
“…..unlike last time, we have no margin for error in this Raid Quest. There are some Magic Swordsman Skills that you won’t be able to use with a scythe either, so I will make an exception and lend a sword to you. Go and return that Soul Reaper Scythe to the shop.”
Kalos kept his hand on Hilde’s shoulder while he admonished her with a pitying tone.
Hilde kept giving regretful glances at the Soul Reaper Scythe, but she dropped her shoulders and gave in in the end.