After several mundane days of classes learning the unique Wits magic and the annoying part of “helping” Elras’s [History & Politics] assignments, he is now filling the end of the deal by taking me to the《Dyron Temperament》guild headquarter. How should I even describe the headquarter that is in front of me right now?
Majestic? Adventurous? Or perhaps… Wealthy?
The things that I crave for, wealth, status, and power — all seemingly manifested within the extraordinary building. Compared to its neighboring building, the guild stood out like gold in the midst of dull gravel.
As we come inside, several eye-catching guild banners are scattered tidily around the hall. The banner is bright red, its core a golden Aegis magic shield surrounded by a ravenous golden tiger and eagle.
Robust armor stands and sharp weapons lie throughout the guild, its shiny surface oozes out eminence. Its antique-like appearance seems to give the headquarters a unique history feel to it; to me, however, gives me the impression of how might truly be the only thing that will stand through the test of times.
I was being amazed by this enormous amount of luxury and fine details when I look at Elras. To my shock, he’s doing a bit too fine, as if he’s simply doing a daily routine, walking nonchalantly.
On the wall behind the large reception desk, lies what I think is the guild’s slogan.
The Disciplines of Perception, of Will, and of Action. That’s the way of the Dyron Temperament.
Elras lead the way to the lounge, as we sit in one of the many sofas in this place.
「 Renald, We are going to meet with my advisor here soon enough. In the meantime, do you know how the《Dyron Temperament》guild works? 」
「 From my understanding, in the《Dyron Temperament》its adventurers will be assigned with an advisor throughout their career in the guild. From there, their personal advisor will give them a personally tailored quest that fits their character and need. This maximizes their growth as adventurers and also the guild’s reputation in solving monster problems. 」
「 That’s great, it seems that I don’t have to give you an introduction to how things work here. I know that we are already this far but I still want to know, why are you trying so hard to become an adventurer or combat magician? I’ve looked into the Alderhide family and it seems your family territory doesn’t have the same monsters intensity problem like most other territories. 」
「 I… I just want to become more powerful. Most successful people in this world are combat magicians, right? 」
「 Huh… is that so… 」
Awkward silence between us remains, with only other quiet chatter that could be heard throughout the lounge.
In the middle of my attempt to figure out how to continue the conversation, a person comes to my view and is walking straight ahead of us. The man is quite groomed, dressed very well in black and red attire, his face starts to show his old age, but nevertheless still looks quite young. Is he Elras’s advisor?
「 It’s great to meet you again Reinhardt-sama. I’m sorry but who is this person? 」
The man greets him quite respectfully, slightly bowing. He then gazes at me questionably as if assessing my worth to him. Do I really give an impression of being weak?
「 He’s my partner, Renald Alderhide. You say you have a quest that you recommended me to take right? 」
「 Yes… 」 I swear I noticed his eyebrow rise a bit just now.
「 …Reinhardt-sama. Let’s go to one of the available rooms to discuss the quest more privately. 」
We then go inside the many available rooms which I’m guessing is used to hold meetings between the guild members with their assigned advisor. There are two lavish red sofas, in between is a seemingly well-crafted mahogany coffee table.
I sit with Elras on the same sofas. By the time the advisor comes to my view, he’s carrying two teas in a fancy ceramic cup. The same exotic red tea my mother loves. For them to easily provide this luxurious tea just shows the amount of wealth they have in store.
「 By all means, please enjoy yourself. 」
As soon as the tea is on the table, Elras immediately drinks it, soon afterward I follow his lead.
「 I’ve never seen him before, is he registered in the guild? 」
「 No. He doesn’t need to. By the way, the tea is very nice. 」
「 Huh? Thanks… Anyway, what’s his magic capability then? 」
「 Surprise surprise, only basic on both 《Schools of Aegis Magic》and《Schools of Assault Magic》 」
The advisor’s face now fills with shock. He looks at me, his expression shows disbelief and disgust towards me.
「 I’m sorry Reinhardt-sama, but the rules clearly say that all participating members doing the quest must be a《Dyron Temperament》member. I cannot allow that partner of yours to participate in this quest. 」
「 Are you sure you can’t give us some leeway? 」
「 No can’t do. Allowing him to participate will be a disgrace to Dyron’s philosophy and possibly tarnish the guild’s reputation. 」
Ahh shit… Why does everything in life is soo damn hard? I’m beginning to start giving up but Elras seems to not falter and says,
「 You know… Tonight I’m going to have a pleasant dinner with my father and Carlen. He’s always curious about my experience with《Dyron Temperament》, bothering me every single time we’ve met from time to time if I have even the slightest discomfort in the guild. Well… He is the guild master after all… I always said to him that I have a wonderful time here, but nothing in life is perfect I guess. 」
Somehow, the air becomes quite heated up. The way Elras looks at him is quite disturbing with a grin smirk creeping on his features. The advisor also slowly starts to reveal an unsightly face.
「 But anyway, too bad Renald, looks like you and I won’t be able to adventure together. Let’s go get something to drink, shall we? 」
He hugs my shoulder in his left hand as he drags me and him leaving the room.
「 W-w-wait! 」
「 Wow… Looks like you have the audacity to command two noble sons now. So…? What is it that you want? 」
We look back. The advisor’s face becomes even worse, his face is quite pale and his forehead becomes more apparent of sweat.
「 I-if he’s not registered then h-he can join the quest… But the reward or requirement won’t be changed to fit his participation… 」
「 See? Not so hard isn’t it? 」
We’re back again sitting at the sofas again. I can see the advisor’s shoulder much lower, starting to calm down and relax a bit, although I could still sense a bit of his nervousness, apparent from his forced smile.
While Elras acts oblivious to all of what’s happening towards the advisor.
「 Let’s get into the business, shall we? What’s the quest you wanted to talk about? 」
「 I’ve compiled several quests available in the guild that fits your expertise, Reinhardt-sama. Please look at these papers and see which one you would like to take. 」
The papers are laid out on the table. We take a look at it and I’m able to discern a few key elements on the quests he’s offering.
Archspiders are heavily suspected to be in early manifestation in an abandoned mine shaft near the Hughber town, a full three days ride by horse. The quest requirement is to investigate the mine shaft, assess in detail its manifestation, and see if we can destroy its nest. If not, report back our findings and bring down as many archspiders as we can. The baseline reward is 1 gold coin.
Orcs from the Camiln forest are terrorizing nearby villages once more, across the Hasten bay. The guild is planning and coordinating a massive operation in removing the threat of the orcs. Several adventurers and parties will join and some are already in this massive operation. The guild is still open for its members to join for another week. The duration of the operation is estimated to be around two weeks, with the first weeks to be filled with logistics and transportation that will be handled by the guild. By simply joining the operation, the guild will compensate 3 silver coins, and another 3 silver coins for each orc slain.
And last but the most interesting one,《Kualitatem》outlaws are suspected to be present in this city. It is stated three days ago, a high-ranking government servant has been murdered. What’s left in the scene that serves as a clue is a three-line bar inside a circle, shaped from the victim’s blood —《Kualitatem》insignia. Investigators have found a potential place where some of them are hiding and are requesting combat support in facing the outlaws. It is listed that if we neutralize the outlaw the compensation will be 2 gold coins, while as alive, is a staggering 5 gold coins.
「 《Kualitatem》outlaws huh? It’s been a while since I heard about them. I thought they were already gone; plucked out of their deepest roots. How come they start appearing again? 」
「 We don’t really know Reinhardt-sama. 」
「 I’m sorry, but can somebody explain to me who are these《Kualitatem》outlaws? 」
How come I’ve never heard of them before? What kind of organization are they?
「 Wow… You really are a clueless boy. 」
「 Umm… 」The advisor says, his face filled with discomfort. Doesn’t remember my name huh?
「 My name is Renald Alderhide. 」
「 Ah yes, Alderhide-sama. The《Kualitatem》is primarily an outlaw organization that advocates for equality in the way magic is treated. They demand high magic education be accessible to all kinds of people and much looser control in monarchy intervention to people’s daily life. Their cause can be seen as noble, the way they fight for it, however, is pure savages. During their prime days, they killed several high-ranking government servants and even members of the《Associations of Magicians》. Key figures in that outlaw organization were killed four or five years ago, leading them to disband their organization. Or so we thought. 」
「 Heh, resources are finite. That’s more so in learning magic. It takes true dedication and intellectual capability to understand it. And giving out free magic education to everybody is simply impossible. More so, for the common people. 」
Elras says so with a small smirking grin as he drinks his tea. The advisor stares at him, his features can be interpreted as being resentful with deep hatred, but maybe that’s just me. He is, in fact, a commoner.
Magic equality huh? Magic is quite hard to learn and does need the high mental capability to understand it. However, the more advanced form of magic is tightly closed, only for the richest and nobility people to learn its powerful wonders. So although they are morally right, at least from the perspective of a modern person’s moral compass, their act of murder, however, totally disdain their justified cause. So it’s hard for me to empathize with. But then again the strong can impose anything on the weak, so possibly they are forced to do so in order to bear fruit of their ideals. The same way happens in my previous world, only this time it is much more apparent.
「 The second quest is basically impossible, heck I don’t even know why you decide to recommend me that quest. Do you really forget that I’m a student at Bosart University? I don’t have that much free time laying around unlike most adventurers. For the sake of efficiency, I would rather choose the outlaw quest. Is that alright for you Renald? 」
「 Yeah, that’s fine to me. 」I say back.
「 Alright, when are we meeting with the investigators? 」
「 As soon as tomorrow, Reinhardt-sama. 」
「 Okay, prepare the meeting for me then. Oh and also notify me how we are going to proceed with intercepting the outlaws. 」
「 Sure, thank you for your cooperation, Reinhardt-sama… and Alderhide-sama. 」
The advisor says as he stands up and bows fully.
「 Yeah, whatever. 」
Elras says, not caring at all about what the advisor says. We then leave the room, leaving behind the advisor.
「 Hey… What happened there? 」I immediately ask.
「 What do you mean Renald? 」
「 The advisor was right you know, me joining the quest is against the guild’s founder philosophy. That’s why I told you from the beginning for me to partake in your quest discreetly. But you really want me to follow you into the meeting. 」
「 Well, you are correct Renald. But that’s just how the world works. The 《Dyron Temperament》guild may have a very noble beginning, wanting to create a place for strong adventurers, especially commoners. After the death of Dyron however, things changed, its people become more greedy and corrupted. Always trying to gain favors from the nobility to gain more wealth. Heck, I didn’t even want to join this fucking guild in the first place, it was only because of my father forcing me to join the guild in order to “Not to grow weak and stay true to the Reinhardt mantra”. 」
「 Is… is that so Elras? 」
「 Yeah, man. Don’t think much about it. 」
Unbeknownst to me, we are walking to the training hall, inside is larger compared to the test room back in the university that I’ve known of. Polished light yellow brick walls with small damage marks are apparent throughout the place, giving its strangely welcoming vibe for people to train in. We went to one of the corners with multiple dummy targets altogether.
「 Since we are going to be together, I need to know your skills and capabilities that you could bring to the table. Make sure you demonstrate all of your spells. I even prepared some high-grade mana potions just in case if you run out of mana. 」
「 Sure. 」
Although surprised I just did what he wants, demonstrating again the full arsenal of my spells, exactly the same way when I took the test that I’ve horrendously failed at. As I cast each and every single one of my spells, I began to question what exactly made me failed. Was it truly because of my low magic capability? My small arsenal of spells? Or something much more that I don’t have the slightest idea of?
While Elras, on the other hand, becomes quite uncomfortable as if he’s seeing something truly unbelievable, out of one common sense. Did I make a mistake?
「 So, what do you think? 」
「 Man… You have so much to work on. Let me guess, all of your magic education comes from an adventurer, is that correct? 」
「 Yeah, what’s wrong with it? 」
「 Oh, my goddess! How can your father let an adventurer teach his own son?! 」
He says, barely holding his fury as he almost shouts angrily. He quickly then takes a deep breath and out, trying to calm himself down.
「 How do I say it… You’re basically at a disadvantage. The way most adventurers do their magic, most who are commoners, are very simple and are weaker compared to the way how we nobles do our magic. Our way is simply much more superior. So… So not only you have a basic magic proficiency, your way of magic belongs to those who are commoners. That must be the reason why you didn’t get accepted to both schools of magic. 」
What?! Just because I was taught by an adventurer, I was weaker compared to most nobles?! Fuck! If I’ve known this from the beginning I would’ve chosen a real magician instructor. Did my father purposefully let this happen? Just to save money? Ahh… How can I succeed in this life when I’m at a disadvantage since the beginning?
「 Dammit, I didn’t know that Elras… I am the youngest son in the family, so my father probably hired an adventurer to train me in order to save money. 」
「 Here, let me show you what true noble magic is. 」
He then comes forward as he faces a fresh group of dummy targets. He raises both of his hands slowly, as I can tell he’s calling out his inexorably plentiful mana. Flickers of red surround him. Fire and magic runes materialize on his hands. Then he chants,
Those flickers transform into big globs of fire as they dash to the group of dummy targets at the speed of light.
Blinding light shines into my eyes. When I open my eyes. All that remains are ashes and deep black after marks.
「 Now that. Is real Assault magic. 」