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Meanwhile in Malta-san’s room; we were discussing what was behind the attack and planning countermeasures for any future attack when the door burst open suddenly and a young girl barged in.
“Father! Is it true that you had been attacked?!”.
“Minea, we have guests.”
It seemed like the name of the young girl that barged in the room and jumped straight into Malta-san was Minea; burying her face into his big belly. Her concern for her father was enough for her to not to notice my presence. “W-What?!” While she was burying her head into
Her concern towards her father was more than enough to not even notice my presence. “W-What?!” Minea slowly turned her head toward me with tear-filled eyes, half her face still buried in her father’s belly. The ballistic mask that covered my whole face except the eyes had an intimidating feel to it and for a young girl who was simply worried sick about her father; it might have been too much to handle at first…
Well, should I take off my mask then? However, having her know my identity as Schwarz and letting her hear the name shaft would be problematic. Both Malta-san and I kept staring at each other while wondering what to do. The appearance of a new character in the room lifted some of the weight off our shoulders and made the situation easier to handle.
“Minea, you should not be troubling your father. Dear, welcome home. Would this be Shaft-san? My name is Marida, Malta’s wife. I’d like to thank you for protecting Malta and the employees.
Marida, who just entered the room, was a slender woman with long brown hair like her daughter and looked to be in her mid-twenties. She was dressed in a white blouse and blue pants which gave the feeling of work clothes. Minea’s hair was also brown and long, however, her clothes resembled that of a chiffon dress. A combination of a light blue skirt and a sleeveless dress.
“No, that is going to be this time’s job. In fact, I deeply apologize. for not being able to protect the other wagons.
“What are you saying Shaft-san?! Something as simple as a wagon is easily replaced and the goods for the wagon were already received as well! You managed to protect the most important thing, something that has no replacement – our lives!”
“Malta, I think it’s about time you give Shaft-san some rest.”
“You can just call me Shaft; would you mind if I called you Marida-san?”
“I’m fine with that, feel free to call me Marida. Shaft-san, it has come to my attention that you have some very good secrets on making large amounts of money. During your stay in the Royal Capital, I insist that you think of this residence as your own.”
This time’s caravan schedule was a two-day stay in the Capital with our departure planned for the third day on the third day to return back to Barga. The plan at first was to find a place to stay while walking around the Capital until I had completed my registration at the guild. However, since Marida-san insisted that I stay over at their residence, I couldn’t just refuse the invitation.
With Marida-san included in the conversation, Malta-san and I discussed everyone about the escort from there; and I was going to stay at their home, I was also in charge of keeping the family safe. Since Minea was still in the room, I refrained from saying anything that could let her know about the chance of being attacked by the group of bandits again – something Marida-san seemed to have realized instantly.
Obviously, Marida’s Company had hired exclusive guards at all times, but their focus was the wagon and the storage so Malta-san himself had no personal guards. In this time’s escort, it was decided that there would be a trusted and exclusive guard for Malta-san. Until who that person was decided, the person in charge of protecting him would be me.
Throughout the conversation, Minea sat quietly between the couple while trying to get a glance at me whenever she could. When our eyes met through the black mask though, she’d look away… Perhaps she just doesn’t like me?
After breakfast at Malta-san’s home and having a small nap in the guest room. Malta-san and I went to the Capital’s General Guild. The capital’s general guild was considered to be the main headquarters for every single guild, where every guild regardless of their business gathered up. The guild Malta-san and I came for is one of them, more specifically, a mercenary guild.
Malta-san came here to hire a mercenary to protect him while I had come to register myself as a member. Although being a mercenary guild, their main business was not properly dispatching people to war. Driving wagons, sailing boats, and doing their maintenance was also part of their work. Private protection for merchants and nobles, special units for any problems that involved foreign countries; and shady business.
Registering Shaft as an adventurer while I was registered as Schwarz would be a waste, but if I registered at a crafting guild, I would have nothing to do. Being a hunter was also impossible. I thought about the merchant’s guild, but being with Malta-san was still more beneficial in many ways I realized. After all that, only the Mercenary guild was left. It was also quite convenient due to this time’s request for guarding the wagon. So, I ended up registering with the mercenary guild. That was when a small issue came along.
“Practical skill exam?”
“Yes, the first thing that is required of a mercenary is fighting ability. Knowledge in other specialties such as medical and other skills are also required. A mercenary that is unable to fight is unable to provide the service to a client. For that reason, we test your skills in combat when you apply. We have an examination hall at the back of the building. We’ll have you take the test there. ”
“What would happen in the case that the examiner was to get injured?”
“The medical corps would be on standby, therefore, there is nothing to worry about. However, if there is a serious injury that ends up being connected to their death, the capital guards will be called. So be careful.”
So, registration for the mercenary guild isn’t a piece of cake… What should I do? Avoid using any guns and just take the test with the electromagnetic baton? Wait, no, what if I were to fail?
“The exam will begin immediately, are you ready?”
“Uh…\ Uhm… Yes, I’m ready.”
The receptionist guided me to the back of the building to a small field which seemed to be used for exercises. Waiting in the center was the person in charge of the examination.
“Is that the guy who’s applying for the exam? You checked what’s behind that mask, right?”
As they approached each other, the man seemed to check something with the receptionist.
“He’s a certificate holder of the Marida Company.”
“Marida company? Are you serious? They’re the ones in charge of assuring the identity of this mask-wearing weirdo?”
“He came along with the company’s chairman.”
“Oh, here I was thinking they were the kind of company who doesn’t want to get their hands dirty. Was there a change in policy?”
“There’s no way I would know anything about that, just get going with the exam, please.”
I measured the examiner’s physical appearance as I listened to their conversation from a small distance away. If it was just an easy practical skill exam, the baton would do it, but if the presence I feel from this is similar to Marinda-san, Ruu-san, and Linel; This man is probably really strong.
“Hey, sorry to keep you waiting. I’m Siegfried, former A ran adventurer, and currently a member of the Mercenary Guild.
A Former A-ranker… Not an opponent I can beat if I make a few mistakes. Siegfried was a man in his thirties with saggy eyes and short brushed back brown hair. The guild personnel had a clean look to them, but this man had an unpleasant look with an overgrown beard, sloppy t-shirt and pants – a rough appearance.
“You don’t need to win against me. I just want to make sure you have good skills. If you get hurt, there’s a guild member over there who will cast healing magic on you, so don’t worry. Feel free to come at me when you want, no need to hold back!”
As Siegfried said that, he held a wooden stick and the exam began. I took my electromagnetic baton off my waist with my left hand, lightly swung it, and it expanded. After seeing a stick about 30cm in length expand to double its size, Siegfried’s face was that of someone who was admiring an interesting toy.
The distance between Siegfried and I was about 10m. We walked towards each other, reducing the distance; the other side seemed completely defenseless at first glance, but I was careful to check for any movement without letting any detail escape me. Ready to react to any sudden movement.
The moment the distance between us reached 5m, I advanced towards him with a slid-jump. With the momentum, I swung the baton at him. With the tip of the wooden sword pointed down, Siegfried stopped my swing with the grip of the sword. Despite him countering my attack, my swing was boosted by the power suit which surpassed any ordinary man’s strength, even stronger due to the momentum and overpowered him.
Feeling pressured by me, Siegfried jumped backward and put some distance between us. I put my right hand in my overcoat and took out the Five-seveN and immediately placed the crosshair on Siegfried’s right knee and pulled the trigger twice. With resonating gunshots, the receptionist reacted by shaking her shoulders, but I kept my pistol tight and pointed the crosshair to his head.
“Was this enough to prove myself?”
“Ha… Haha, what is that? Magic attacks? I didn’t hear any chants thought…”
“Shall we stop with the unnecessary questioning?”
Siegfried kneeled down with both hands holding his right knee tight and drenched in blood.
“Okay then, you pass. Hey! I need some treatment here; I can’t stand this pain anymore!”
“Y.. Yes sir.”
Upon hearing his call, a female member of the guild rushed towards him and began to chant healing magic on him. I put the pistol back in its holster and started walking towards the receptionist.
“Seems like I passed, hand over the guild card please.”
I returned to back to the reception hall of the guild along with the receptionist. Today’s objective had been completed the moment I got my guild card. Malta-san was waiting for me over at the meeting place. So it seemed like he was also done with his request. As of that, we had no more business with the general guild and returned to Marida Company office.