After eating breakfast, we began moving early, just as travelers leaving a city should.
Our destination is the Adventurers’ Guild, and naturally, our objective is to register as adventurers and acquire adventurers’ identification papers.
The Adventurers’ Guild is an agency that acts as the intermediary between clients and adventurers.
It’s an organization that exists in the Kingdom, the Beast Nation, the Empire, the Lawful Nation, every country without belonging to any of them, with freedom, power and adventure as its symbols.
An organization that at least guarantees the social status of an adventurer of its members and ensures that there is no trouble between clients and adventurers.
Well, to put it simply, it’s a ‘temporary employment office’ that spans every nation.
Though ‘adventurer’ is pleasant to hear, not all of the work is as full of adventurous spirit as that word might make one imagine.
Gathering medicinal plants, cleaning up the city, collecting rent, investigating extramarital affairs.
Jobs of delivering letters like a courier and requests to act as escorts.
In short, it’s correct to think of them as freeters who do whatever is requested.
They accept some of the numerous one-off work requests, not tied down to their clients for any longer than their contracts specify.
Of course, it’s not like they’re constantly employed, so work doesn’t come around periodically. It’s an occupation with an unstable income and lifestyle.
With that said, they only do these odd jobs at the start. Regardless of everything else, the main work of an adventurer is to defeat monsters and obtain their materials.
If they gather experience in combat through fighting weaker monsters like Goblins and Garms, soon enough, they become able to accept the monster extermination requests that earn more money.
Of course, they can’t accept dangerous monster extermination requests from the beginning. Adventurers are separated into ranks based on their achievements, and can only accept requests suitable for their ability.
Excluding apprentices too young to become adventurers who are sometimes called G-rank adventurers, the lowest real adventurers are F-rank adventurers who can accept requests to exterminate monsters like Goblins and Garms. From there, they make their achievements and become stronger, climbing the ranks one at a time until they are placed at the highest rank, the SS rank.
And in the same way, officially recognized monsters are classified from F-rank to SS-rank, sometimes with + or – signs attached to the rank, so that each rank of monster has three different extermination difficulties. The ranks of the extermination requests correspond with the monsters’ ranks.
In other words, adventurers cannot accept dangerous, relatively well-paying work while their ranks are still low.
Those who become SS-rank adventurers are treated as legendary individuals. However, like legendary individuals, only a handful of people are able to succeed as adventurers to the point of exterminating powerful monsters like Dragons, successfully defeating Guardians deep within high-difficulty dungeons and becoming famous.
Among all of the occupations that currently exist in this world, the occupation of adventurer has an extremely high mortality rate.
Before reaching SS-status, most adventurers lose their lives or realize their own limits and decide to stay at a comfortable level. Even so, the reason that there is no shortage of people becoming adventurers is because there is no shortage of people who earnestly desire to become such heroes, and because there are many in situations where they are forced to become adventurers.
The requirements of becoming an adventurer is to be over fourteen years of age and to be able to pay the initial registration fee of a few large bronze coins, which is about the cost of a single meal.
Connections, large sums of money, a prominent family or a distinguished personal history aren’t necessary.
Those who have so little money to begin with that they can’t even pay the initial registration fee can postpone their payment.
In other words, even truly broken orphans without a single possession to their names can become adventurers.
That’s exactly why the adventurer occupation acts as a receptacle for those who couldn’t acquire, or refused, proper, safe jobs like being a knight, soldier, merchant or craftsman.
Bringing it back to the original topic, acquiring adventurers’ identification papers is beneficial for us in a lot of ways.
First, as their name suggests, they identify us as adventurers.
The human-supremacist Kingdom, the Beast-person-supremacist Beast Nation, the power-supremacist Empire and the religious nation that is the Lawful Nation are the four powers that are conquering the continent. And there are a number of small countries of minority populations that exist like stitches in between these four major powers.
When moving between these nations, the Adventurers’ Guild vouches for adventurers with respectable ranks, so it’s easier to cross borders.
Also, in cities beyond a certain size, someone with no identification can’t stay in one city for long. Identification papers are needed to stay for longer than ten days, so the identification papers that can be easily obtained at the Adventurers’ Guild are convenient.
In addition, they provide exemption from the fee required to enter a city.
In a way, this is only natural. Adventurers often enter and exit cities to complete requests; it would cost too much if they had to pay money every time they do so.
And last of all, there is a great variety of people who become adventurers. For us, this is a big factor.
Fallen noblemen who were chased out of the cities they were living in.
People with guilty consciences who have washed their hands of working in the underworld.
On top of that, there are royal family members who want to conceal their identities.
People who want to hide their pasts like that change their names as they register. Because of this, it’s an unspoken rule to not ask about an adventurer’s past. In other words, it’s an occupation where many do not reveal their pasts. It’s an occupation people like us, or rather, me – someone who is being chased by the Kingdom – can easily disappear into.
A forest is the best place to hide a tree.
Considering our objective, the first and third benefits will definitely be useful. For Minnalis, the second benefit is apparently important as well.
And whatever happens, at the very least, as long as Yumis is in this city, it’s almost certain that we’re going to be in the city for more than ten days, so acquiring identification papers is of the utmost importance.
“Still, why are we going so early in the morning to arrive as soon as the Guild opens?” Minnalis asks as we walk down the main street at a time of day where the sun hasn’t even shown itself, while the stores are still making preparations to open.
“I told you, it’s because I want to avoid a ‘cliché,’” I say.
Indeed, registration as an adventurer is a treasure box of clichés.
A senior adventurer picks a fight with a newbie who has just registered. After that, dealing with the situation causes the new adventurer to become noticed by an important person in the Guild. This causes people to trouble them or argue with them, or the Guild starts to monitor them. There are various other common patterns, and none of them turn out to be beneficial.
Benevolent protagonists actually continue on and get more involved, but becoming a shitty useless slave like that during my first time through this world was more than enough for me.
“We can’t afford to draw attention so stupidly just yet,” I explain. “Anyway, for now, avoiding arguments is the number one priority. That’s why we’re going early in the morning and sorting out the registration while there aren’t many people around.”
Minnalis sighed. “Well, I’ve heard of that before, but…” Seemingly not entirely satisfied, she tilted her head a little.
Even in this world, in heroic tales where new adventurers rise up to become great people, most of them have a stupid character charge at the protagonist when he registers as an adventurer. So Minnalis does have some knowledge regarding this, but she doesn’t seem convinced.
Well, it’s true that I can’t blame her for questioning the fact that we’re acting under the assumption that something like that is going to happen. But during my first time through this world, when I registered at the Adventurers’ Guild in the royal capital city, things played out exactly according to this cliché. I easily took care of the guy who charged at me, and as dictated by the pattern of an adventurer with potential but problems with violent behavior, I had a formal interview with the head of the Guild. I was registering to acquire an identity as someone other than being the hero, but I hadn’t imagined that such a cliché would occur and my real identity would be revealed right away.
As I reminisce about this, the wooden building that is the Adventurers’ Guild of Ermia comes into view.
At the front, there is a hanging sign bearing a crest that consists of a shield and a sword with a pair of wings, and the building itself is extraordinarily large compared to the other buildings.
As soon as we come close to the building, I search for people’s presences inside without entering.
“Alright, just as I thought, there aren’t many people,” I say.
“… Is it really necessary to go so far?” Minnalis asks in exasperation, but she doesn’t understand.
She really doesn’t understand.
“Listen, Minnalis,” I say. “This has already become a curse. Just like how I am certain to be dragged into a fight with hoodlums when I enter the slum quarters, people like me who have come from another world are certain to get involved in that kind of thing when we register as adventurers. If I can consciously avoid it, there’s no harm in doing so.”
Minnalis sighed. “I see. That is how it is.”
I can understand why she’s skeptical, but she doesn’t seem like she’s going to say anything more. Seeing her like this, I start to get the feeling that I’m overthinking things.
No, if I’m overthinking things, then I’m fine with that. If that’s the case, then that just means that things are going to go smoothly, without incident.
I lead Minnalis inside the Adventurers’ Guild and head straight towards the reception desk.