Atelier Tanaka Chapter 5
Adventurer’s Guild pt.4
The next day, I headed straight to the Adventurer’s Guild as soon as I left the inn. I wanted to see if there were any responses to the note I’d put up on the board.
“…there’s something written here.”
Something had been added to the piece of parchment I’d put up.[Looking for Party]
class: rear guard | (recovery)
name: Tanaka (36 years old)
offer: White Rain (party)
(Does that mean they want me to join their party, then?)
I was worried I’d misunderstood something, so I stared at that for a little while, and then I went to the counter. The bald macho guy was there once again.
“Eh? You again? What is it this time?”
“I got a response to my note looking for a party, but what do I do? Is there some way I can contact them?”
“So that’s what it is. Just wait for a bit.”
“That guy comes by here every day, so if you stay here you’ll meet them.”
“You mean White Rain?”
“Right. Or rather, you can actually use recovery magic?”
“Eh, more or less…”
“Huh? Do you make people sick instead or something? Look, you’ve been nothing but an annoyance since you came in here. If something happens we’ll call some soldiers to deal with you.”
“No, it’s not like that.”
Apparently he thought I was suspicious.
(Does he not believe I can do recovery magic, or is it something else?)
“Whatever, just wait here and they’ll be here soon.”
“Oh, speak of the devil…here they are now.”
I followed his eyes to the entrance. As I looked over, the wooden doors opened with a “karan” and three people walked in.
“Th-they’re young, huh?”
“That’s a low-rank party for you. I think they’re all 16.”
There were two girls and one boy. The boy was handsome, about my height (maybe 175 cm) with blond hair and blue eyes. His looks reminded me of Andrea Casiraghi.
As for his equipment, while I was covered with leather, he had metal plates in key places. Instead of a shield, he had a large two-handed sword on his back.
(He looks like a roleplayer at a Renaissance Faire, but cooler.)
One was a high-class beauty with long blonde hair and red eyes. She was short, under 150 cm. It seemed questionable whether she could manage as an adventurer. She had all-metal armor, with a one-handed sword at her hip and no shield. With her tsurime eyes, she seemed like a tsundere swordswoman heroine from a dating sim game.
The other girl seemed very plain in comparison. She had a robe that completely covered her, with a hood too deep to see her hair.
(She’s obviously a magician of some sort.)
From what I could see of her hooded face, she was a beauty too.
(Ah, quiet girls like her are cute. I’ll pass on the violent one.)
“Hey, you guys! Over here!”
The man at the counter shouted at them unnecessarily, waving with his big hand. They came over towards him until they were within arm’s reach of me.
“This is Tanaka.”
He pointed at me.
Facing the group of a handsome man with two beauties I stuttered slightly. The man, on the other hand, made his introductions smoothly.
“To start, we’re the 3 members of White Rain.”
As he began his introductions, the handsome man put out a hand with a clear smile. I gave him a timid, awkward handshake.
“It was really fortunate that we found you so quickly.”
“Ah, no, likewise.”
His smile seemed like it was going to spontaneously emit sparkling stars. On the other hand, the blonde beauty to his side looked extremely unhappy.
“…is this really the right guy?”
“Going by what the master said, he’s the genuine Tanaka, Ester.”
“What, me together with that…?”
She obviously hated me.
(Well, that’s nothing new for me.)
Having had an ugly face for a few decades, I’d gotten used to that kind of thing.
“Sorry, she’s in a bit of a bad mood today.”
“No, it’s fine, I don’t really mind.”
The blonde Lolita muttered quietly, “…you should, though.”
Ignoring her, he continued.
“Thanks for understanding. Now, we just met, but how about we all do self-introductions?”
At some point, the bald guild employee had left. I saw a few other people lined up at the long main counter of the guild.
“Also, how about we first find someplace to sit?”
He pointed at an area with some seats.
I tried to think of what I’d say as I followed him. Being Japanese, I ended up going along with the group.
“I see, you’re Allen, Ester, and Sophie.”
“I look forward to working with you, Tanaka.”
The initial introductions had finished: the handsome man was Allen, the pseudo-tsundere was Ester, and the hooded girl was Sophie. I was glad their names were easy to remember.
“We originally had 4 members, but on our last job one of us, who handled healing, had a serious injury. I wouldn’t want to call you a substitute, but that’s what led to us meeting you.”
Allen was doing all the talking for them, while the two girls just watched. Ester was staring at me accusingly the whole time.
“Would you like to join our party?”
“If you’re OK with someone like me, then yes.”
For my part, I didn’t think I’d be with them too long, but I was very interested in going on an adventure with some cute girls.
“Likewise. Thank you very much.”
Allen nodded while smiling brilliantly.
(It seems like he makes most of the decisions for the party.)
“Is it really OK?”
“How do you mean?”
“Well, there’s a significant age gap…”
Everyone else was a teenager. On some level, I felt ashamed of myself for joining a party of kids at my age.
“No, no, age isn’t important for adventurers.”
“Is that so…”
I knew that they were only joining up with a gross old guy like me because the demand for recovery magic was greater than the supply. At least, I would have avoided someone like myself if I was in their position.
(Maybe asking for recovery magic was a good choice after all…)
“So, I know we just met, but would it be alright if we go ahead and talk about work?”
“Eh? Right, I look forward to working with you.”
We did have a mainly business relationship, after all.
(But Ester seems like a rich girl; maybe she doesn’t actually care about making money.)
Having spent decades as a salaryman, I automatically defaulted to a polite business-like approach, whether I was dealing with teenagers or a CEO. Pointlessly offending the wrong person could end a career, after all.
“Ah, I don’t know your current situation, though.”
“Oh right, I need to explain that.”
Smiling brightly again, he reluctantly continued.
“The thing is, we actually had a job scheduled for tomorrow. We were planning to meet up at the south gate.”
They had already accepted a job, and were hoping I’d participate in that.
(Maybe they wanted to confirm my skills as soon as possible. It is better to end a relationship quickly if it won’t work.)
“I understand. Then, I’ll meet you tomorrow morning at the south gate.”
“Is that OK? I realize that this is rather sudden.”
“Yeah, I didn’t have any other plans.”
I nodded at his words, and it was decided.
(Nice, tomorrow is an adventure with cute girls!)
I was a little worried by the fact that I’d only talked to Allen, and not either of the two girls, but I was still happy.
“As for the job we have, it’s eliminating the orcs which have been frequently bothering a nearby village.”
“Ah, yes, that’s fine.”
I didn’t know what kind of creatures these orcs were, but my role would be using recovery magic and I was confident I could do that.
“…aagh, this is the worst.”
Ester was looking at me with disgust.
(Wow, 100% pure hate.)
“I, uh, look forward to working with you.”
It was obvious that she hated me, but I couldn’t be mad at a pretty girl.
(It’s a blonde loli. Loli-loli-loli.)
“Really? That’s great. It’s good to have you.”
“No, no, thank you for inviting me.”
(Seriously, thank you.)
And so, my plans for the next day were decided.
After meeting with the members of White Rain, I left the guild building, and headed for a general goods store to buy supplies. I got its location from once again giving a passing little girl a few copper coins for the information.
(Yes, the little girls of this world will even talk to someone like me!)
I’d expected to get lost, but following the directions I got I arrived at an appropriate-looking store.
(The little girls of this town are high-spec.)
I opened the door, and a bell on it rang as I entered the store.
“Excuse me, I’m looking for some adventurer’s tools, like rope and food and so on. Could you put a recommended set of items together for me? Ah, something appropriate for a magician if possible.”
The shopkeeper got up behind the counter. She was a woman in her late 30s.
“A set? Well, if you’re OK with my guesses then I can put something together.”
I expected to be holding the younger people back with my stamina, so I at least wanted to get some useful items. All I could reasonably do was try to be prepared.
Once, I tried to take up mountain climbing, and I bought shoes and a backpack and even tools. The next week, I climbed Mt. Takao, and then never climbed a mountain again. I was the type of person to try to be prepared before even trying something.
“Ah, that’s fine.”
She disappeared into the storeroom.
(I have the bag I bought and the ones I got from that goblin, so I shouldn’t need another bag.)
Having arrived with nothing but the clothes I was wearing, I was happy about having more possessions. When I was in Japan, owning stuff was the main thing I could be proud of.
After a short wait, she returned.
“Is this good?”
She put some goods on the counter.
Knife, lantern, metal tableware, water bag, blanket, bandages, medicinal herbs, a bottle with some unknown liquid, food, and various other things.
“Ah, yes. How much would that be?”
“Hmm, let’s see. Altogether, about 3 silver, I suppose.”
“OK, I understand.”
I didn’t want to ruin her good mood, so I just payed the asking price without trying to negotiate. I gave her the bag I got from the friendly goblin to put the items in.
As she was doing that, she casually asked, “By the way, are you a magic user?”
“Eh, you could say that.”
“Fuuu, you don’t look like one.”
“I, I see.”
“What kind of magic can you use?”
“Recovery magic, and just a little bit of fire magic.”
“Ehhh, recovery magic, huh?”
“If it’s recovery magic, then are you maybe from a church or a university? At your age, becoming an adventurer, you must really like money. Normally people would want a more stable job, right?”
“Is that how it is?”
“Of course. I can understand young people wanting to become adventurers, but you’ve managed to learn recovery magic, and yet at your age, with that cheap equipment, you’re working as an adventurer? People will definitely say you’re no good. At least, that’s the view of society.”
“It’s a waste of that kind of talent. Or are you bad at it? If that’s how it is, maybe it can’t be helped.”
“No, well, I have some personal circumstances.”
Apparently being able to use recovery magic meant that you could guarantee yourself some amount of social status. That explained why there was more demand than supply at the Adventurer’s Guild.
“Well, you’re still not too old, I think. Just don’t chase after dreams forever; you need to find some proper work in the end. It would be good if you got a position in a church or something quickly.”
“Yeah, that’s true.”
I had no idea how finding a job worked in this country, but then, I didn’t feel like I really understood that in my previous world either.
After talking to the lady at the store a bit more, I left. I’d finished my shopping without any event, apart from an unexpected conversation.
The sun (or sun-like object) was high in the sky.
(It’s about time for lunch. I got hungry from all that walking around.)
I had nothing else to do that day, so there was no point in ignoring my hunger. After walking along the main street for a bit, I entered a restaurant that seemed popular.
After entering, I realized why it was so popular.
The waitress there was quickly going through the narrow spaces between tables with no time to rest. Looking at her, she was exceptionally beautiful.
(Wow, sexy. Dangerous.)
Most of the customers were glancing at her.
“One person today?”
She had come over as soon as I’d entered. Up close, she was even more pretty.
Her face was model-class. She had blonde hair to her waist in a ponytail, was wearing a maid-style apron with long white socks and S-classzettai ryouiki, and seemed about 20 years old. In any case, she was young and cute.
Her face was good, and so was her body. She had wide hips with an ass that could just barely be seen through her short skirt, and big boobs…
I got a twisty feeling in my stomach.
(Ahh, I want to do her…)
“Right this way, there’s a seat open at the counter.”
She cheerfully guided me to a seat. Her smile was dazzling, and I obediently followed and sat down.
(I haven’t tasted the food, but…this is a good restaurant.)
“Do you know what you want to order?”
She was staring at me from only a short distance away. Her big blue eyes made her face seem doll-like.
“Um, if you have a daily special or something you recommend, I’ll take that.”
“OK, one daily special!”
She energetically shouted the order to the kitchen, and someone replied to say they’d gotten it.
“Enjoy your meal.”
After that short conversation, she quickly left to do something else. It wasn’t a very large restaurant, but it was very busy and it seemed like she was the only waitress.
She went running towards another customer that was calling her. I watched her from behind as she hurried off, and saved that image for use later.
As I was keeping her ass in the corner of my vision, I heard part of a conversation between two young men at a nearby table.
“Yeah, the magic knight company’s Shion-chan is more my style.”
“What the heck, you lolicon.”
“Hey, the value of a woman isn’t about the size of her boobs and ass.”
“You only like small ones, though. That’s no good, man.”
“Hey, it’s all about their personality. I’m just not obsessed with looks like you are.”
“Then Sophia-chan who’s working here is pretty good, isn’t she?”
“I can’t deny that…”
They were talking about their preferences in women, and apparently, the pretty waitress working that night was called Sophia.
They had put a spear and a helm on the table while they ate, and were both wearing chainmail of the same design. I got the impression that they were soldiers on a lunch break. They seemed familiar, and I realized that the soldiers who threw me in jail had been wearing the same outfit.
“But Shion-chan is amazing. She’s in her teens, and already the vice-commander of a division!”
“If you want to talk about that, Sophia-chan is the beautiful daughter of the best restaurant in town.”
“Guh…I heard a rumor that Shion is going to become the commander soon…”
“Hey, let’s just enjoy our lunch. Shion-chan is good too.”
“Ugh…I haven’t even seen her this past week.”
“She has work to do, you know? A vice-commander wouldn’t normally be around regular soldiers like us.”
“But still, as her fan I worry about her.”
“What’s you worrying about her going to accomplish?”
“Hey, that’s just who I am. It’s human nature to worry about stuff, especially girls.”
“You take it so far that you seem crazy though.”
“That’s how love is, man.”
Those two soldiers in their mid-20s seemed to really get along well. Eating my lunch alone, I was kind of jealous.