After booking the room for the following nights, too, it was afternoon when Ilya and I finally went out.
It turned so late because my headache just wouldn't get better.
We headed out after I had a light lunch in the dining hall on the first floor.
...now, that lunch.
I don't know why, but when I ordered some of the customers seemed scared and some people looking like regulars cheered. There was no end to the mysteries, but Ilya didn't say anything so I decided not to think anything of it.
Actually, the customers weren't afraid of me but Ilya?
Really, what happened there?
"Ilya, speaking of yesterday..."
I remember dinner, but nothing thereafter. Whatever happened there?
I have some fuzzy memories of someone starting an argument and that handsome guy mediating, but...
"Uhm... didn't I do something weird?"
"No, Alice-sama, you were beautiful as always and very cool."
That's the first time I was told that since I was reborn into this body.
I'm busy today, it's not the place to keep mulling that forever.
"Let's head to the Guild first."
For now, we should work.
On the way to the guild, I got the feeling that this Lufin was prospering more than Rinnal after all.
By carriage, they were only a day's travel apart, but if you looking at a map, Rinnal was certainly remote and no halfway point to some place further out.
In short, if you didn't have business in Rinnal, you didn't go there.
In comparison, this Lufin connected the royal capital in the south, Rinnal in the north and towns to the east and west to boot. You could call it a blessed town, location-wise.
That's why there were many travelers of all kinds of races.
Actually, when I spotted a girl with dog ears, I stared for a while.
Ilya admonished me for it, though.
Yes, you must not undress people with your eyes.
All those went through my head while I looked at the map leaning against a wall in the Guild.
To be honest, if the map were a little bigger I could've found out more about this world, but it was a local map so what can you do.
"Looking at this, it's about 3 days by carriage to the capital? That's a bit far, isn't it."
"Indeed. We need to settle your business today, Alice-sama, and use tomorrow to prepare for the journey."
Preparing for a journey, huh.
It seems like if I don't properly calculate our expenses, we're going to run into some huge problem midway.
But even saying so, well, it's only three days so I guess it's nothing to get that nervous over.
Speaking of which, I looked at Ilya.
We were about to head out adventuring, so she had equipped her leather robe and her iron spear, but Ilya apart from this and the one set of service clothes she had worn at the Firm, she had no clothes.
I had easily gotten changes of clothes from Aunty and bought what I lacked in Rinnal.
Not thinking about Ilya then was my fault indeed.
Won't I be a failure of a master if I leave it like this?
"Ilya, let's go shopping for clothes tomorrow. For you, of course."
"There is no... no, thank you very much, Alice-sama."
She almost declined, but after seeing my face she apparently reconsidered and nodded.
Her smile was a little sheepish.
Crap, I may have looked a little bit sulking.
But I mean, isn't it a bit lonely if people are that reserved?
From Ilya's point of view, that's how slaves are in this world.
But for me, Ilya is my comrade I'm traveling with.
"In fact, I did find myself wanting underwear."
Certainly, she might need more than just a change of clothes.
As far as her clothes go, for now she can swap between her casual clothes and the Leather Robe.
Does she mean I'm going to buy it with her?
Considering how we arrived at the topic, it's a bit difficult for me to tell her to buy it on her own.
The memories of when Shion took me shopping came back to me.
"It's not weird. There's nothing weird. I'm a woman. I'm a... woman. Maybe."
When I stop having this inner conflict might be the end of me.
Be strong, me!
When we asked the guild's receptionist about the ruin's location and if there wasn't an easy job around there, they told us there was just one job of escorting someone through the ruins.
Literally two birds with one stone.
The reward was fifteen silver coins, 1500 Rook.
Apparently we could depart right away, so it was just right for us.
It would cover our hotel fee in this town.
But thinking about it, owning your own house really would change a lot.
If we stayed in inns all the time, any amount of traveling funds would run dry sooner or later.
Let's buy a house in the capital.
I began mulling such a dream just a little.
"We're accepting this request."
"Understood. Please sign this form, then. Also, if you either forfeit or fulfill the request, please hand in a report."
I signed something like a contract and received some documents.
Speaking of which, Shion-san had also signed something.
"Dear customer, is this the first request you accept?" the receptionist asked after checking my registration information.
"Yes, that's right."
"Would you like me to give you an explanation of working for the Guild?"
"Ah yes, please do."
Come to think of it, I never had the leisure or always left it to other, so I have no idea about my job.
"Understood. Basically, jobs from the Guild come with a rank. S-Rank, A-Rank, B-Rank, like this jobs are classified until E-Rank. The request you just accepted is categorized as E-Rank, a job that any and all adventurers can accept.
"Heh, I see."
If you can earn 1500 Rook with an E-Rank request, then adventuring pays quite well.
Well, it might also cost you your life, so if the compensation is little or much is rather difficult to decide.
"To take on higher-ranked requests, you need to clear ten requests of a lower rank. If you forfeit a job, as a penalty it is subtracted from the achieved requests. If you have no achieved requests for that rank and you forfeit, it is still counted as a minus, so please take care, okay?"
I see, so you can go into the negatives, too.
I nodded that I understood.
"Rank mainly denotes danger or difficulty. Of course the rewards increase along with the rank, but please don't forget that so does the danger to your lives," the receptionist bowed earnestly.
If you actually work at the Guild, aren't adventurers dying an everyday occurrence?
Like during the bandit extermination just the other day...
"Requests have a time limit. If you pass it, it will automatically be judged as forfeiting."
She didn't say it, but this rule was for when you couldn't make the report yourself.
In other words, in preparation for you losing your life and thus your ability to report and such, that rule had been established.
Looks like you couldn't rise in the ranks that easily.
"Also, the Guild will purchase any drop items you gain if you fight monsters, generating additional income for you. Please bring whatever you get, okay?"
Come to think of it, wasn't there something like that?
Medicinal herbs, Bear Ears, Squid Ink?
What are they going to do with bear ears...
Well, that doesn't matter now.
"This, while simple, is the initial explanation. Whenever you have further questions, please ask any time."
"That was very informative. Thank you very much."
Was Elenore-san doing this in Rinnal, too?
If adventurers she knew had lost their lives in the incident the other day... that'd be a shock, huh.
"Then I will envelope this introduction from the Guild for you. Please make your way to the client yourself. The term for this request is four days, including today. Please make your report during the Guild's business hours before the four days are up. The details are written in the materials I just passed you. Good luck!"
I politely returned the bow to the polite receptionist and left the guild behind.
I cursorily checked the documents I've been passed and headed to the client's house as depicted on a map.
I was glad to be given a map, but it was still trouble in this unfamiliar place.
"Alice-sama, is this alright?"
"Hm, what's wrong?" I tore my eyes from the documents and looked at Ilya.
"Yes, it not not be my place to say, but fundamentally, requests like escort and the like that involve other people are dangerous and you should be careful when choosing the job."
Was escorting people that dangerous?
We were only going to the Ruins, right?
"Not to doubt the client, but there are also people who catch adventurers off guard like that and rob them. No matter where an adventurer loses his life, the militas and knight orders won't move a finger.
I see, in that case the Guild will just file it as a failed request.
Magic won't be a problem if we're in the same party, but that didn't work with physical attacks.
Just like Shion-san had said some time, they could literally stab me in the back... something like that.
"Besides, even if that doesn't happen, guarding someone unused to combat is more difficult than you'd think. You'll never know what unexpected actions they'll take."
"It's difficult, isn't it, in all kinds of ways."
Come to think of it, a fight to protect, huh.
So far I've always fought while being protected, so fighting to protect will be a first.
Thinking about that, I tensed a bit.
Another's life rested on my shoulders.
But Shion-san has done a good thing training a weakling like me.
That's my Onee-chan!
"But I am your shield, Alice-sama. No matter where Milady goes, I will follow. That has not changed."
"Thanks. You were worried, weren't you? ... this body's weakness is the one thing I can't do anything about."
It's paper, after all.
Someone gets a lucky punch in and I'm done for.
It's too late now, but the way I spent my points really is for pros, huh.
I have ways to bring down anyone and anything, but there's a chance for anyone to take me down, too.
I really want to live long, though.
"I suppose 'a woman you grow wanting to protect' refers to people like Milady."
"...what a sad fat. I won't cough up blood, though――," I set on to say myself when I inadvertently looked at Ilya.
She had her never-changing, cheerful smile.
"Ilya, your body... is it alright?"
It suddenly bothered me.
I cannot pretend ignorance forever, leaving it alone.
"Alice-sama... ahh, all because of the honored mentor."
Ilya tried to jokingly play it down, but there was somewhat of an edge to her voice.
"I am very sorry, Milady... but it is nothing that changes over a day or two."
"Then... in a year?"
"Can I take your silence as the answer?"
"For now... please let me keep it a secret a little while longer."
"It's... not an illness, is it?"
"It is not."
I had somewhat guessed that.
So, the problem really lay with me, huh.
I still lacked something, didn't I?
Something to make Ilya resolve herself to 'something'.
Shit~. But Till hadn't told me anything yet, so I think it's okay for now.
Those two just had that atmosphere of a silent understanding between the two of them.
And, while I was sorting my emotions, we finally arrived at the client's house.
I checked the map again, but it was probably here.
"Smithy Lute" was written on the sign.
"Alright. We'll continue this some other time. Now we have work to to do."
From the outside, smoke rose from the chimney as it did with smithies.
As expected, they were using fire.
Could they also change raw materials into weapons like with magic, as Tailors did?
Well, asking couldn't hurt.
"Excuse me, we're here for your request at the Guild," I knocked on the door. I felt someone inside rush to the door.
It opened right away.
In the door appeared a petite girl wearing a hat.
Seeing her stained apron, this girl might be a Smith.
Her hair was light-brown and reminded vaguely of Shion-san, but the atmosphere around her was completely different.
Adorable would be a good word to describe this girl.
Maybe because it would get in the way of work, her hair was gathered behind her head and flowed down her back.
"Ah!" the girl voiced as she saw me.
"Ehm... the one who requested an escort...?"
"Yes, that's me. I'm Cira. Please come in."
Ahh, this might be fate.
Anyhow, my first job.
Refocusing myself, I followed Cira's invitation.