Chapter 2: The Preceding Thing is Always
Before me who gave a shout, a man who is exceptionally muscular, stood there while crossing his arms with a stern expression.
This man may be an Exhibitionist, because his lower half is wearing a bikini-like leather cloth, with a leather strip coiled around his upper body, making one wonder if there is a meaning to such a getup? A man like him who exposed his nipples outright without any shame, must be an Exhibitionist.
While being careful not to let the Exhibitionist approach myself, I continued talking.
「8 silver? Is this a black shop. Come on, keep it cheaper, how about 1 silver?」
I bargained with him.
Exhibitionist used his nose and snorted.
「But this price is fixed.」
「You can change this rule, change it, yes revolution, Uncle you can be the pioneer of the new generation.」
「My name is not Uncle.」
「No, nobody said your name is Uncle, it is because you are an uncle so I called you Uncle?」
「I am not an uncle.」
「Then Big Brother?」
When I changed my method, the Exhibitionist slightly blushed. So this works? It can’t be.
Then how about another name?
When I changed my method of calling him, the face of the Exhibitionist seemed to have relaxed. Shall I give him another push?
「Hey, I say Big Bro.」
I deliberately acted close to the Exhibitionist and shrink the distance between us.
「Warrior Guild’s…… what is that? Beginner training camp? It is that 7 day thing that if you don’t participate, then you can’t join right? No matter which Guild, it is standardised to be 8 silver? A Guild agreement? That is a thing of the past. Such a thing, must be changed, revolutionised, understand? I say Big Bro, this is the time for you to change it without hesitating. A great decrease in price, then a big reduction in the requirements for the entry for the new members. Using this method, then this career can keep attracting new blood, then become more lively right? This is competitive power, competitive power understand? Indeed you need to keep competing with each other then it will work. Come let us create a huge wave of revolution, okay, Big Bro?」
「There is no such thing as a No, it is now. If you want to do something, it must be now!」
「Just think about, Big Bro. This is a good chance, let us break the limits, and completely crush that wall of 8 silver. Okay? Just charge me 1 silver. As the saying goes, the boss gives the call, Big Bro can definitely do it. I can see it, you will definitely be able to change this world!」
「Don’t hesitate, while you are hesitating, you would have thrown the ever-changing world behind your mind. Is that fine for you, Big Bro?」
「N..no….. That’s wrong. Wait a moment, brother.」
The Exhibitionist, stretched his big and sturdy right hand forward, and using his left hand to massage the area around forehead and eyebrows.
「...... I can’t, brother. The common price is not something that I can change by my own decision, if I do that, then the balance will be…...」
「Big Bro, to you, is this thing called balance be more important than revolution?」
「We also have our reputation to care about, brother.」
「Forget it, take it that I was wrong about you. I will not ask you anymore.」
I turned my back towards the Exhibitionist and ran away from the Warrior Guild.
「....... Damn, I almost succeeded. With this, the Dread Knight Guild, Paladin Guild, Hunter Guild, including the Warrior Guild, I have failed with all of them. No matter which Guild, they are all the same. Wouldn’t even make it cheaper, those sly fellows!」
The so-called guild, is an organisation that helps people who have similar jobs. To work in a place like Altana, you have to join one of the guild first.
For example, if I have the skills to build a house, but if I don’t join the Carpenter Guild then nobody will request me for a job. Even if I take up a job with a cheaper price, if things are exposed, it will become very serious, and I will be treated as an eyesore by the Carpenter Guild and get disciplined.
This sort of situation does not only occur in the area of the Carpenters or Merchants. For instance it will happen in Guilds for Warriors, Hunters and even in the Guilds where personnel involved with sacred activities like Priests, and if you don’t pay the money then you can’t join. The entry fee is 8 silver, just like a black shop.
I began to walk around the south area of Altana, wandering around and passing through the streets.
In the South area, there is the Warrior Guild, and it seems that professionals like blacksmiths, leather craftsmen, weavers, tailors, masons and carpenters are staying in this area. At the Artisan Street and Vendor Village, there are workplaces for them to show their skills. And the Volunteer Army Crimson Moon’s office is also in this place.
In the North area, other than main headquarters of the Frontier Army and the big city square where you can find anything, there are also Garden Passage with rows of inns, a drinking street named as Sky Alley and the Shrine of Luminous with the Priest Guild and Paladin Guild near it. Even the Hunter Guild is included.
The thing that is used to segregate the North and South area, is a majestic building in the centre of Altana——Tenbourou. The person living in there is the lord of Altana, which is also known as the Earl of the Borders—— Garan Vedo.
The front of the place is a square and the market is in its vicinity.
To the East is the quiet and high class living district, and at the same time, it is known as Azumamachi and the Mage Guild is situated there.
On the west, is the lawless and dirty slums. At the west area, there are the Thief Guild and Dread Knight Guild.
Altana, which is surrounded by city walls, is not a very wide city. Comparatively, this city is actually quite small. Excluding the east area, if you say that everyone else in the other areas are living while being squeezed together, it will probably be considered quite accurate.
Then just widen the city or build other cities. But it seems that are reasons which they can’t even though they wanted to.
It seems that outside the walls that protects Altana, the other races other than humans, and creatures like monsters are quite active. The humans that live in Altana and its surroundings, including the neighbouring fortresses are considered the weak forces.
But there is also the Tenryu Mountains which are steep and perilous on the south side of Altana. It is said that on the other side of the mountains is a kingdom of humans.
That kingdom is called Aravakia.
More clearly, Altana is just a place for diplomacy for Aravakia Kingdom.
Hence to humans, the other side of the Tenryu Mountains is the real continent, while this side is just the borders.
The role of having a military base at Altana is to extend the influence of the human power as much as possible at the borders. The role of the volunteer army Crimson Moon seems to be as a special mobile organisation, or a stand-alone rouge army.
And I, am one of the trainees in this organisation.
Anyway, currently it is like this.
「Guild, guild huh…...」
I mumbled to myself in a small voice, and my feet naturally brought me towards the direction of the Sky Alley.
The sky gradually darkened, although it is already quite late for the journey to search for other guilds, but for Sky Alley the number one prosperous place in Altana, it has just shown its liveliness.
Before long, my sights laid on a certain bar. This luxurious store is situated in the deep parts of the Sky Alley, and from the outside, it seems like it will be quite expensive. There are gold-coloured words written on it: Burns Club.
A man with mustache with an elegant tone said, or rather he acted elegant to welcome me. He was wearing a black shirt and had a red scarf around his neck while his lower body was dressed in a tight fitting pants. He is probably a waiter or something.
The mustache guy smiled brilliantly and slightly bowed, and stretched his hand out. What does that mean?
Although I don’t know what he wants, but I returned a smile and then pat the palm of the mustache guy with a「Pa」.
The mustache guy seems to be slightly shocked, but I ignored him and walked directly into the store.
「Okay okay, I have already said that you don’t have to attend to me.」
Casually putting the panicking mustache guy who came chasing aside, I stood in the store and looked around.
The drawing-like decorations on the wall, the glaring lightings on the ceiling, the carpet on the ground. Sofa with embroidery, the long sofa, and the heavy-looking tables are all arranged tidily, and the gentlemen and ladies dressed gloriously are all drinking, eating or chatting.
No matter how you see it, this is a high class store.
Originally I had thought to see the situation inside, but just leaving like this seems meaningless. So I found a sofa that nobody is at and sat down, while the bothersome mustache guy who came chasing again said:
「Yes, serve a glass of liquor first, one that taste good.」
「No, s...so customer-sama…….」
「Hurry up and bring some liquor over.」
「Oi oi oi.」
A guy suddenly walked over.
Dressed in clothes with a smooth texture, with a wine glass in his hands, and a sword around his waist, his figure seems good. Is this guy a volunteer soldier too?
No, he shouldn’t be.
「When did they allow volunteer soldiers to enter into this store?」
That man seems to be looking at me with a sarcastic expression. Rather than sarcastic, actually his attitude is just looking down on others.
Although I am also not angry, but this guy seems to be trying to anger me using humiliating words, so there is no need to step into the trap that the other party set.
I casually crossed my legs and sat on the sofa with my hands on it.
「I say, what are you?」
The guy’s expression turned dangerous and he narrowed his eyes.
「It seems like you don’t know what is the courtesy of speaking.」
「Yes, if it is convenient, then you can teach me.」
「What do you mean? Are you challenging me?」
「I don’t have that intention.」
I shrugged my shoulders.
「I am serious. I don’t suppose the style here would be to deliberately corner a brat who don’t know what is going on and then find people to beat him up? Moreover, you don’t seem like a barbaric person.」
Although he said that but he seems to be a bit troubled. Because my reaction was different from how he had expected, so he is currently hesitating on what to do next. That is probably the feeling he has right now.
「So volunteer soldiers shouldn’t appear in this store?」
I surveyed the look inside the store. The women are the staff in charge of attending to the customers, so the guys are the customers? The majority of the people around are either trying to eavesdrop on the conversation between me and the man or secretly peeking at us.
But the women in this store are dressed very sexily. Not only are their chest widely exposed, but the silt at the sides of their skirt are also pretty high up, you can even vaguely see the inside of their thigh. And the makeup of the women in here are all very thick, which can be compared to Bri-chan’s.
「No wonder, this is a really beautiful scene」
「Did you enter without knowing?」
「Yes, I just chose the most high-classed store and entered to see.」
That man laughed with a「ha」. Although it is a bitter smile, but I don’t sense any enmity in it.
The mustache guy attempted to enter into our conversation, and the man called Anthony spoke:
「Forget about it, take it as he is the companion that I brought in today.」
Finishing, he had the mustache guy back off and sat beside me.
「I am Anthony, my full name is Anthony Justin. I belong to the Frontier Army's First Brigade, Warrior Regiment. We are different from you, volunteer soldiers. We are the regular military.」
「I am Kisaragi, take care of me, Anthony.」
「You are really an arrogant brat.」
「You are wrong about this, I just don’t know what is courtesy.」
「I can teach you as you wish?」
「Maybe later, Anthony.」
Anthony is probably calculating something right now.
I guess I must have made him mad, and he must be thinking of how to crush me. But compared to getting angry at me, acting nonchalant will be able to show him as magnanimous. With this, perhaps he can get invited by the ladies. I guess that was what Anthony is thinking in his mind, maybe something along there.
This guy is not someone who is magnanimous, but some small fry who is trying to act a big shot. Since he wanted that, then I might as well let him act it all the way.
The waiter served the liquor in an almost transparent glass, with the brown liquid swirling around. There is very little alcohol in the glass.
But just slightly taking a sip, I nearly coughed it out. Desperately enduring the urge to cough, like trying to melt the alcohol in my mouth, I slowly swallowed it down.
Anthony spoke with an evil intention in his eyes.
「This liquor is a pretty decent Jōryū sake, the taste is not bad right?」(TL note: Jōryū sake = distilled alcohol? I don’t really know)
「It is alright.」
I forced myself to smile. You call this thing delicious?
It is too disgusting.
Back to the point, the main thing is not whether this thing is delicious or disgusting, if I were to drink another mouth of it, I am sure to get drunk.
Although I ordered a glass of liquor due to the mood, but I shouldn’t have touched alcohol. And have I drank alcohol before? It feels as if I haven’t done so before, but because I can’t recall anything so there is no way to confirm it.
「Forget it, you should taste it well, perhaps this may be your last time drinking such a good thing in this store.」
Anthony laughed out loudly and the guests around him and the women also followed and laughed.
Indeed, like Anthony said, perhaps this time might be the last.
「......After all I don’t really want to drink such a thing a second time too.」
「Did you say something just now?」
「No, I didn’t say anything. You must have heard wrong.」
Anthony placed his glass on the table, and then stared at me.
「Then again, the get up on you seems really casual, you don’t even have a sword?」
「After all I am still a newbie.」
「Then you should not know anything right? Okay, then I will teach you.」
「Okay, then I will depend on you, Anthony.」
「Just a mere volunteer soldier…...」
Anthony grinded his mortars roughly for a moment.
「Listen well, Kisaragi. Volunteer soldiers like you, are at most pawns that are thrown away after being used. Even if there are a few well-known characters inside, but those people when compared to us, the regular army, you guys can at most be sacrifices.」
「But isn’t this place the borders?」
「To the people in the main continent, aren’t the Frontier Army also pawns that are to be thrown away after being used?」
「Don’t say it as though you know everything! Those rotting cowards at the main continent have no courage, ambition or pride. We are the real elite of the humans! Those idiots at the main continent just have to bring resources to us, and work hard like a horse pulling a carriage! Those fellow are useless cowards that can only do that! You guys, aren’t I right!」
After Anthony shouted to the surrounding people in a loud voice, a few of them also followed with a loud reply.
Transporting resources? The Tenryu Mountains that can be seen from Altana, did not completely separate the main continent and the borders. Because passing through the mountains is quite a tough matter, so there must be other routes. The words this guy says does have its use after all.
「Drink it, Kisaragi.」
Anthony grabbed my shoulders roughly.
「After all, a volunteer soldier like you will die immediately. Today you are very lucky, originally this is a store that you can’t enter without a membership, and volunteer soldiers are unable to become members. Keep the memories of drinking in this store inside your heart and then die. But before you die, you should at least kill an orc, such a degree of work should be doable even for you right? I feel that you have the guts.」
I raised my glass and lightly touched my lips, pretending to drink it.
「Okay, I will try, Anthony.」
「Yes yes? Do your best, volunteer soldier. Oi everyone here!」
Anthony raised his glass.
「Let us cheers to this young volunteer soldier who is about to die tomorrow!」
The military guys hugged the girls while drinking. Some forcefully kissed the girls and pulled their skirts, almost pouring their drink down the girls who revealed their chest. Then those who are pushed aside, some even deliberately come and talk to me.
「Hurry up and die, volunteer soldier.」
「Remember to get the others to burn your corpse properly after dying, if not you will become a zombie under the Curse of the Deathless King.」
「Let me teach you a way to die easier, volunteer soldier. Anyway I heard that you just need to smile when you are dying. I have never asked someone who is dead so I don’t know if it is true.」
「After you die, remember to come back, volunteer soldier. I will treat you a drink, ah, it is impossible right?」
「Because there is no other ability other than dying for you people, volunteer soldier.」
「Such a thing like dying is possible even for the powerless, so that is called powerless, volunteer soldier.」
「Even if you die here, it is okay since nobody will care if a volunteer soldier dies.」
「To the pitiful and worthless death of volunteer soldiers!」
「Come on, cheers!」
When I was called upon by these people, I just casually replied to entertain them. Although it is not that I was not angered by them, but being angered by every sentence is also quite dumb. When I realised it, I realised that Anthony was no longer beside me, so I decided to leave this store.
When I walked to the exit, I was stopped by the mustache guy.
「Thank you very much for coming to our store today.」
It is obviously just some lip service. I have a bad premonition about this.
「Do you have all your things with you? If so, then please head to the counter to settle your bill, volunteer soldier-san.」
Although I had intended on having Anthony pay for me, but I can’t find that fellow. But even if I found him and dragged him over, it is also hard for me to make him offer to pay for me. I guess there is no other choice.
「How much is it?」
「Okay, including entrance fee, it is a total of 5 silver.」
Just as I was about to reach into my pocket to take the money, my movement stopped.
In the leather pouch gotten from Bri-chan has 9 silver and 100 capa in it, and eating in the market costs 20 capas, so there are 9 silver 80 capas left in total. That is all the money that I have.
It actually costed 5 silver……?
Altana has the so-called guilds, although I mentioned it earlier, but the so-called guilds help each other mutually, not only the carpenters and merchants, even jobs like Warriors, Mage have their guilds.
Warrior Guild teaches skills like sword skill, while Mage Guild will guide those to cast magic, then they will restrict the teaching of the skills.
Also because of this, according to the information gotten from Bri-chan, it is common sense for volunteer soldiers to join a certain guild to get skills—— rather than common sense, it is more like if you don’t do so, you will be viewed as an useless person.
Actually, Ichika has already joined the Priest Guild while Momohina has also joined the Mage Guild.
But the guilds that those girls joined, are decided by me according to their character and role. Although Ichika kept ranting, in the end after I said「okay, then decide it yourself」, she said「indeed being a priest is good.」. Such a ridiculous reason.
No matter what I had originally intended on joining a guild, if not for those guild having agreed upon the joining fee as 8 silver, and had me thought of them as scamming us, I would have already joined a guild.
Although I did not calculate it carefully, but as long as you have 10 capas, you can roughly use it as the necessary expenses for one day. 1 silver is equal to 100 capa so 10 silver is worth about 100 days. 8 silver, to let me use 80 days of food expenses to join a guild? Stop joking with me.
Even though I said that, but on the side of the guild, since the joining of another person equals to earning another portion of money, so as long as the deal is good, it is possible to let them charge me abit cheaper right?
Although today was not very successful, but there is still another chance tomorrow.
Or originally there should be—— by right.
After entering the guild, to enter the 7 day beginner training course, I will need to pay 8 silver, just that was enough to make me feel the ache, but this guy actually have the guts to say that entering here and having a glass of liquor needs 5 silver?
「Wait a minute, I say——」
Just when I was about to protest, I discovered the 2 extremely burly guys behind the mustache man.
The 2 of their get up is similar to the mustache man, but yet they are different. They are not purely waiters. It's the eyes, their eyes are dangerous. Their eyes carries a scent of coldness, seemingly very murky and have a feel of intimidation. Not only that, there are short swords around their waists, their motions were the same, reaching out for the hilt of the short swords as though they were going to pull them out.
They seemed like they were intending on finishing me off.
「I understand, 5 silver.」
I sighed, and took out 5 silver from the leather pouch. Although I want to throw the money on the ground to let them pick it up, but what can I do after that? It will just make me pathetic. After I pass the silver to the mustache guy, I left this store.
「Burns Club huh?」
I turned around and looked this ridiculous store and laughed. ——Damn
What Burns Club, what members only, what military of the regular army. I was looked down upon and fooled around by them. Forget it, they can only do that for now. Remember this, I am not a person who will stop at a volunteer soldier trainee. In these next few days, I will let you see my growth. Volunteer soldier? Not such a puny thing, I will become a hero for you to see, and it is the type that will be sung by everyone as a Great Hero for ages. Laugh, just go ahead and laugh Anthony, you can only laugh at me for now. After this, I will be different. Anyway, just like this, hmm.
I took out the leather pouch from my pocket and looked inside spiritless.
「......What should I do?」