Chapter 4 – Great Noble’s Elf Hunt ▼ ▼ ▼ ▼ ▼ ▼ (Part 2)
It is said that the ancient chinese cities are in the form of fortified cities, surrounded by walls.
It is said that the reason behind it was, during wars, the city itself is a target to plunder, so it is surrounded by protective fences to protect it. And one way to make forts like them fall, is starvation tactics.
And as a plan against that tacticーーwell, putting aside whether it is a plan or not, believe it or not, they say that cannibalism was possible.
Placed between the borders of large countries, the citadel of Makinas which was both a key point for strategy and commerce, is also a city surrounded by walls. And as if it was normal, there was a culture of cannibalism, and a system of distribution.
Well, in reality, the distribution of human meat is only limited during times of emergency, but for elves and other demi-humans, it is not limited to them.
ーーthat was probably the reason, that elven meat had become popular for rich people in this area.
Dry silver hair and as thin as a sickly person, hearing the words of that eye patched receptionist, for some reason, Junpei thought of that/
The receptionist who took out a binder full of papers and skimming through them, finally after a while, her look stopped on one of the papers.
「……well then, your first job. The client is a human customer, a certain noble. The reward is one silver coin per day. The place is in the Makinas outskirts, in the ancient forest. The contents of the request are, miscellaneous jobs for harvesting elven liver」
“Elven liver……”, Junpei’s face got stiff, but he gave up, nodding.
「Ahh, I got it. Is there anything else you need to tell me?」
「……it could be said that this request has the objective of hunting elves. Andーーthis kinds of requests, no one would know how long it would take」
「……that would be according to the client. Elven liver could be sold at a high price. Usually, harvesting elven materials are monopolized by the army as training for the order of knights, and to collect operating funds. And to be able to slip into that……the individual who was allowed by the country to hunt, it only means that, that person is quite a VIP」
「I see. All things that would be done in the request would be all depending on that big shot huh? And then, taking the meaning hidden in those words……during the request, we would be forced to keep up with all of his selfishness……is that what you’re saying」
「……exactly. This request is from a VIP with super as its prefix. His bodyguards would either be ones who took the request in the guild in the surface, or requested from the noble purveyor’s retained knights. Putting account that he should be bringing quite a number of servants, however, there was still, a request to the underground guild……」
「……how far would be the range of the miscellaneous jobsーーit means that that guy would be quite a villain huh?」
“Yes”, the receptionist nodded.
「……hygiene management including the butchering of elves. Depending on the sexual disposition of the client……an extra or helper during a group rape. And, an assistant for making preserved food……well, that is about it」
Dizzyingly, Junpei became pale from his head.
「Really……it isn’t anything good」
“By the way……”, the receptionist asked having a little bit of pity.
「……would you really be alright? This might be rude but, I can guess that……you are not the type of person suitable for the Thousand Hands Society. That is, of course, in the meaning of morality……. if it is just for your personality……I can evaluate that, you are classified as a person within the better ones……that is what I think」
“Hmph”, Junpei made a smile, and slightly nodded.
「I feel like shit just thinking of it, but I also have a lot of reasons, that’s why right now, I’m standing hereーーthere’s no problem」
“I see”, *Kokuri*, the receptionist nodded.
「……I understood. Well then……this will be an advice coming from me as an individual……. in this request, there would be another meaning underlying other than miscellaneous jobs. Are you alright with that?」
「What do you mean?」
「……it means, the person who would take the request, meaning you, they do not ask for an ability to fight. This meaning in the Thousand Hands Society……do you understand?」
「There’s no doubt that it would be a “bad” job right? If so, not to mention the miscellaneous work, I would be the first one to be thrown away or used as a sacrificial pawn during an emergency……or maybe, it’s in the premise that I’d be used as a human shield……is that what you mean?」
With an impressed sigh, the receptionist shook her head to disappointingly.
「……you can even tell that much without letting me explain. Oh really, I wonder how did you fall this far…… well, I would not pry anything more than this……」
“Yeah”, Junpei nodded, then said.
「There are two reasons」
「……two……no, well……rather than than……you are telling me the reason?」
「Things that aren’t needed to be told, most probably with good intentions, you taught me things right? If then, I’ll also answer honestly. Well, it would only be……in the range where there wouldn’t be any problems for the both of us, I guess」
「The first reason is……I don’t have much time. I need a proof of identity as soon quickly. And I need it as soon as possible, with a problem that’s heavily coming to me」
「……and then, what is the other reason?」
「Well, rough work……I’m a bit used to it. At least, I think that I’m not at a level that you should be worried」
「……from how your status looks, you seem to be in the middle of D-Rank and C-Rank. If you are as intelligent as this and have a fast intuition for danger……I see, it would really seem like you would not be meeting any hardship」
「You fucking measured my status in this timing……?」
With a slightly surprised tone, Junpei asked the receptionist.
「……this facility costs a lot. However, it does not have any things that are not needed. The entrance has two layers of doors, and the reason why that room is intentionally made like that……with that, I think that you would be able to easily get to the answer……」
「Well, whatever. Do you know the words, wise men keeps their talents in reserve? You guys wouldn’t be able to measure me enough」
And there, “Kusuri”, the receptionist laughed.
「……you are a very good joker. The measuring equipment absolutely cannot be tricked」
Receiving those words, Junpei also returned with a laugh.
「I want to confirm one thing. In the case where……order of knights, the servants, their entourage, all of them had been exterminated……and only I was able to survive, if the case that that would happen and I took back the elven livers, what would happen?」
「……the goal of the request is nominally, harvesting more than 50 livers, and finishing the miscellaneous jobs. In the case where only you survive taking the livers with you, the rewards would be calculated and paid, and the elven livers would be sent to the client’s designated place. In the case where the client would die, please do not worry, because the Thousand Hands Society would pay the rewards instead」
「I see, huh. And then……where should I go?」
「……tomorrow morning, leave the town through the gates, and going to this point in this map should be fine」
Junpei received the map that the receptionist reached out.
「……ahh, just one more thing」
「……this is at the level of superstitions, but I will tell you this to be sure. Within the ancient forest……there are rumors since time immemorial, that the earth dragon species appears. And the legends also say, that……they are the elves’ god of protection」
“Dragon species……”, whispering as if to take it in, Junpei felt a cold shiver through his back, remembering a certain scene.
Medusa subjugation in the Interstice Labyrinth. He associated it with that certain living thing, that he even thought as an embodiment of overwhelming injustice, even within the labyrinth.
「……yes, but well, it is a thing of fairy tales, so……. of the four major dragonsーーfire・earth・water・wind dragons, the only one that is currently confirmed……is the wind dragon species living in the north ends」
「Well, I’ll keep it in mind」
After bowing to the receptionist, Junpei then went towards the entrance.
While looking at his leaving appearance, she thought.
ーーwise men keep their talents in reserve huh……come to think of it, the skill【Mimicry】……it is said that it can even fake the status.
However, she laughed off those thoughts of hers, shaking her head.
ーーbut, it needs to be at a super-class…… even though that boy……even if he showed an abnormal speed of thinking……it is not something realistic after all.
And, she spoke out without intention to let anyone hear.
「No, he thinks very quickly, that is why, he might have some kind of plan? Are you saying that……he bluffed to me……no, he bluffed to the Thousand Hands Society……?」