Hazure Skill “Kage ga Usui” o Motsu Guild Shokuin ga, Jitsuha Densetsu no Ansatsusha - Chapter 161
Translator: Denryuu; Editor: Ryunakama
「Okay, so. Tell me — what rank are you again?」
「E, and so what?」
Staring at each other, Neil and Rabi bickered as they stood in front of the counter.
「What do you think, Roger-san?」, I asked.
He crossed his arms.
「I’m fine with either one, be it C or D.」
「Roger –! I thought you were on my side!」
「I usually am, but…」
Rabi took the opportunity to interrupt the other two.
「Roland thinks we can handle a C-ranked one. Right, Roland?」
「Yeah. I wouldn’t have brought it up if I didn’t.」
I had made Rabi join the dynamic duo in order to gain more combat experience a few days ago. Now, they were here to receive the first quest they would be doing together. I had picked a few and was waiting for them to choose one.
「It’s day one of us working together, so I’d rather have a simple D-ranked quest, Aniki…」
「But Roland said we can handle this C-rank, so we should go for it!」
「That’s the kind of hubris that eliminates many newbies!」
Although Neil had a point, Rabi was also correct that I wouldn’t assign them unsuitable quests just for the fun of it. I really was okay with them choosing either one.
「You seem to prefer going as a duo. Is the new girl excess baggage for you?」
「It’s not like that, Aniki! Give us a moment!」
「Yeah. We’re just trying to work things out…」
There are many parties that work well during combat, even if all they do is bicker otherwise. Since the three of them are still in the midst of becoming an actual party, I can only pretend not to see the inevitable friction that arises.
Neil and Roger may not look the part, but they’re battle-hardened, highly-skilled adventurers. If Rabi could just understand that, she would be able to look past their vulgar exteriors and actually listen to what they had to say.
「I won’t be there to guide you during your quest, Rabi. You only have these two to rely on, so I need you to communicate and work together. You get me?」
The two men were unlikely to need a defensive skill user on a D-ranked quest. They were aware of that, but were trying their best to keep quiet and include Rabi for me. They also knew that they were in no position to object.
Rabi not only had her skill to work on, but most aspects of her character as well. I had a theory that Rabi’s pride stemmed from her time under Barbatos, where she had been treated like a mage. There’s nothing stopping me from following her, but she would then be turning to me for guidance at every juncture.
That would just be pointless.
Perhaps I had been belittling Rabi by assigning a quest that I was a hundred percent sure they could handle. Trust is usually built up over the days and months, but one can also take a shortcut and build it by marching through hell and back together.
I put the quest slips I had laid out on the counter away, drawing an uneasy look from Roger.
「Eh, Aniki –」
He probably thought that I had decided against assigning them a quest for the time being, but he was wrong.
「I’m changing the quest.」
Apes together strong — even on a quest like this, nothing should go wrong.
「Here’s a B-ranked quest, and good luck.」
All three adventurers were taken aback.
「B…? We get these once in a blue moon and nearly get done in every time…」
「Y-Yeah, Aniki. We can’t bring a wild card like Rabi with us for this…」
Even Rabi, who had let slip a hint of arrogance earlier, was a little stunned by the prospect of a B-ranked quest.
「Roland… B-rank is a little… dangerous, don’t you think?」
「Dangerous? I can assign you a completely safe quest — F-ranked, of course. It’s not impossible to die even on an E-ranked quest, and there are people who have died doing one. Many, actually.」
A nervous silence ensued.
「I take it as a no?」
「No, we’ll do it…」, muttered Neil. 「Let us prove ourselves.」
「I trust senpai’s judgment.」
「Then it’s decided.」
I grabbed a pen to proceed with the necessary paperwork.
「Hey, what about my opinion…?」, asked Rabi.
「You always carry yourself like a mage. But in reality, you’re just an E-ranked bundle of firewood. Perhaps one day you’ll realise that you’re not special.」
Tears welled up in her eyes.
「A-Aniki, you don’t have to be that harsh, even to a brat like her…」
Neil tried to stand up for her, but I waved a dismissive hand at him and continued.
「If you’re unhappy with this, you can pack your bags and live the life you want to live. Just know that your means of making a living will be rather limited.」
Unable to hold back her tears any longer, she let them stream down her cheeks.
「I’ll… do it…」
Seeing that I was playing the devil’s advocate, Roger tried to console Rabi.
「You went over the top, Aniki.」
「Yeah」, agreed Neil. 「You could have put it more nicely.」
「I only told her the truth.」
I briefed them on the specific details of the quest and returned their licenses. They turned around to leave, and I saw them off with a cordial ‘best of luck’. I then realised that Milia, who was seated at the adjacent counter, had been watching me the whole time.
She smiled when I looked at her.
「You’re a good person, as always.」
A slightly unconventional senpai, she was always able to see through my intentions.
「Not at all. Maybe I was a little too harsh on her.」
Fufufu, chuckled Milia, still smiling.
「That’s right. You’ve never been this fierce before～」
That look on her face tells me that she knows what I’m trying to do.
「I’ll watch my words in the future.」
「I don’t think you have to. Tough love is still love.」
I think I’ll still watch my words. At the end of the day, Rabi and I are both disciples of the same master. My path had crossed with hers somewhere along the way.
Milia suddenly clapped her hands together as if she had remembered something.
「You should do the same to those girls who come here looking for you! Be fiercer! Way fiercer! Make them cry!」
「There’s been fewer of them ever since I lost my arm.」
「I still think there’s too many」, she continued with a frown. 「And those who do cry because of you haven’t decreased at all.」
They say two’s a company, and three’s a crowd.
A crowd in which politics arises.
But when met with an enemy, that’s when everyone puts aside their differences and works together to defeat it. After seeing how harsh I was towards Rabi, the trio probably harboured the same feelings. Because of that, Neil and Roger had received Rabi with more warmth than they would otherwise have had.
That’s what I was aiming to be — the common enemy. To complement the B-ranked monster I had sent them to deal with, of course. I felt that it would be more effective in making them team up than simply throwing them a difficult quest.
Having left in the morning, they were already back by the afternoon.
「You’re back early.」
Looking at them, I could tell that the subjugation of the armored creatures had gone well.
「Aniki! Thanks to Rabi’s skill, we came back unscathed!」
Rabi, standing behind the two men, was all smiles too.
「That force field was a big help」, said Roger. 「She could expand and shrink it at will, and it felt like we were the ones being taken care of.」
「W-Well, that’s my skill for you! I protect while you attack!」
I could sense her newfound pride from here.
「I had honestly thought it impossible at first, but we finished more quickly than usual and didn’t run into any real trouble.」
「That’s because of your experience and technical competence.」
Neil and Roger smiled as well.
「You might’ve wet your pants again without her」, I added.
Neil guffawed loudly, handing me the empty carapaces as proof of their work. I passed them to the verification department and began the paperwork as the two men spoke to Rabi.
「It’s now or never, Rabi-chan.」
She came to the front.
「Thanks for getting angry at me, Roland.」
「What do you mean?」, I said, continuing to look down.
「I hated you for it, but then realised that you were saying it for my own good.」
「I simply dislike kids who can’t face reality.」
I received a receipt from the verification department indicating nothing amiss.
「How were the veterans?」
「Oh, the two uncles? They’re really strong! They synced their attacks with my skill-casting –」
Neil and Roger looked at her sideways. Regardless, trust can only be built properly when both parties acknowledge each other’s strengths.
「I’ll continue working with these uncles!」
「Yeah, please do.」
I gave Neil the rewards, and he distributed them among the rest.
「Eh. Am I getting less than the others…?」
「You are, but it’s enough for an E-ranked adventurer」, chided Neil. 「Stop complaining.」
She was probably just complaining for the sake of it.
「We’ll be back tomorrow, Roland!」
With that, Rabi left cheerfully.
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