170. Dias’ Secret
Dias greeted us with a surprised look on his face upon our return to the guild and ascent into his room.
「You’ve already beat the boss? That was pretty quick.」
It seemed he didn’t expect us to already be done with the place, which I guess did make sense seeing as how we were training and all that. It probably would’ve taken like twice as long if not for my ability to level up skills through the absorption of magic stones.
「Message from Rumina. Fulfill contract.」
「Oh my. Who’s Rumina?」
「Sorry Erza, that’s a bit of a secret.」
Apparently everything about Rumina was supposed to be a secret kept even from Erza.
「Mmkay. Don’t worry, I get it.」
「Teehee. A good woman is one that doesn’t ask too many questions.」
Erza seemed to catch onto to what was going on and dropped the topic immediately after winking. His quick response seemed to stem from the fact that he was completely aware of the difference in status between him and the Guildmaster, and that he wasn’t qualified to listen in on what we almost started discussing.
It’d be better for us to just move on to the next topic for the time being.
「Finished several requests.」
「I see. What exactly have you finished? We might as well verify it all now.」
Fran pulled out all the sheets representing requests she’d completed. She first started with the 9 kill quests before working her way into the fetch quests. Unfortunately, it didn’t seem like we managed to hit the 23 quest threshold Dias had told us we needed.
「Mind showing me your dungeon card?」
「Hmmm, these are some nice results. You really have finished all the kill quests.」
「Wow Fran, you’re so awesome. Mhmm, yes you are~」
Dias and Erza were both surprised by the results shown on Fran’s dungeon card, as it informed them of all the magic beasts she’d slain.
Apparently, it was normal for adventurers to avoid battle if possible. We, on the other hand, did the exact opposite and basically mowed down everything in our way, so we ended up killing a tonne more monsters than they’d been expecting.
「Wow Fran! Even a whole party of D rankers would normally struggle to kill this many. Mhmm.」
「You should have enough materials to finish quite a few of your fetch quests too, right? Have you dismantled everything already?」
「Nn. Done already.」
「Could you put everything over there then?」
Erza had already laid out a vinyl-like sheet for us to put stuff on so that we wouldn’t dirty the floor with blood or whatever.
We laid our materials up on top of it, starting with the High Ogre’s horns and the Mimic Venom Crawler’s poison sacks. Erza was watching, so we made sure we made it look like we were taking things out of the cloth bag Fran had as opposed to my storage space.
Fran treated the poison sack with great care. Neither Erza nor Dias would probably die even if we messed up and popped the thing, but it’d still be a pain in the ass to clean up after. They’d probably still get mad at us anyways too.
「They’re in good condition and of a pretty high quality. Do you want to turn them all in for your quests?」
「All in all, you’ve completed a total of 17 quests. Actually, 18 counting the boss’ subjugation. You’ll be able to rank up if you do 5 more.」
「You’re so close! Just a little bit more effort and you’ll be there Fran!」
That posed us a bit of a problem. The only quests we had left required us to hunt rarer magic beasts like Dirty Wisps. It’d take us quite a bit of time to actually go through and get everything we needed.
Them being rare was bad enough, so the fact that they were also stealthy made finding them a nightmare. It was much harder for us to home in on them than it was for us to just kill whatever came at us.
We might end up having to spend even longer in the dungeon than we had last time.
Oh well, whatever. We can figure that out after we check in with Aurel. The tourney’s coming up, and there’s a chance we might actually have to wait till after it’s done to actually dive back into the dungeon and get the stuff we need to rank up.
Dias sank into thought as Fran informed him of her plans.
「Hmm… So you’d like to rank up as quickly as possible?」
「Mmmm, I don’t really think it’s necessary. You’re already really well known for all the stuff you’ve done, so I don’t think there’ll really be anyone wanting to pick any fights with you anymore.」
Erza judged that it wasn’t needed, but Dias offered a contrasting opinion.
「That may be true for now, but I doubt it’ll apply for the adventurers that’ll be entering the city in the coming days.」
「I guess that’s why she wants to rank herself up as soon as possible.」
Again, there was something pretty important that was stopping us from running back into the dungeon and ranking up.
「Want to participate in tournament.」
You had to sign up at the Adventurer’s Guild, the Arena, or one of the many other venues set throughout the city unless you had a letter of recommendation. Said sign up started in three days.
Anyone that signed up would be refused unless they went in person and presented their papers. Registration by proxy was simply disallowed.
「Oh, don’t worry about that. I can just hold onto your application for you.」
「But need to sign up in person.」
「You see, the guild’s actually got a fair number of recommendations left over, and we don’t see any reason not to hand one to a competent C ranked adventurer.」
Is that… really okay? Isn’t getting recommended by the guild kinda like a really big deal? It means effectively functioning as the guild’s representative, right? Don’t you need to not only be strong but also really polite and stuff?
「Don’t worry about the technicalities, administrative stuff or anything else. We’re the ones that asked you to rank yourself up in the first place, so there’s no harm in us doing you a favour or two in exchange. We’ll handle everything, so feel free to just go hole yourself up in the dungeon some more and get all your stuff done with.」
Dias was acting suspicious. I couldn’t wrap my head around why he was treating us the way he was. I mean, I knew we had connections, and that both Amanda and Klimut were backing us, but he was still treating us way better than he should given that we were just D rankers. It was almost like he was doing everything he could to get us to go to and stay inside of the dungeon.
「Dias. Acting weird?」
「Hahaha, what’re you talking about? I’m just acting the same way I always do.」
「I agree with Fran. It seems like you’re a teensy bit rushed. It’s kinda like you’re up to something.」
Likewise, Erza also seemed to have realized that the old man wasn’t acting as he usually would, and ended up tilting his head in confusion.
「You’re just imagining things.」
「Are you trying to play some sort of prank on Fran again?」
「Nah, no way.」
Yeahhhhh, he’s definitely up to something, but I don’t think he’s about to let us in on what that something is no matter how much we poke at him, least not right now. I was stuck trying to think of some sort of solution, or at least I was until I saw Erza bring his face right up to Dias’ before speaking in a quiet tone of voice.
「I knew it. You really are up to something.」
「H-hahaha, you sure seem confident.」
「Call it the result of a woman’s intuition!」
So uh… I decided to set aside the idea of how reliable Erza’s “womanly intuition” would be and focused on something a bit more important: the fact that Erza, who’d known Dias for quite a long time, asserted that he was probably up to something, then he was probably up to something.
I guess it’d probably be best for us to play our trump card then.
『Fran, use that.』
Fran pulled out Klimut’s letter and held it up as if she was showing it off. That, of course, wasn’t enough on its own, so she threw in a few extra lines for added effect.
「Dias. Speak truth.」
「H-haha… I don’t know what you’re talking about.」
Dias’ fear of Klimut was immediately demonstrated as his eyes began wavering the moment he saw the letter.
「Can tell you’re hiding something.」
「Oh come on… I swear you’re just imagining things.」
His voice wavered as well. Yeah, okay, I’m convinced now. He was definitely hiding something, and all we needed to figure out what that something was one last push.
「Will tell Klimut and Amanda that was pranked by Dias.」
「I’m sorry! I’m really sorry!」
The old Guildmaster leapt straight into the air before landing in a stance indicative of nothing but prostration. Yeah, gotta give it to him. He’s really got the physical capabilities of an A ranked adventurer. The fact that he flew over his huge ass desk made it a 10/10 performance.
「I’m really, really sorry!」
「W-What just happened? Just what is that thing?」
Erza’s eyes moved between Fran and Dias; the look on his face was one of clear confusion. The sight of an old man grinding his face into the ground whilst prostrating to a child was one that could bring a grown man to tears, so his confusion was only justified, especially seeing as it all happened just cause said old man happened to see a certain letter.
「Erza. This branch, any Carrier Hawks?」
「Nn. First, will send letter to Klimut…」
「I’m sorry. I’m sorry. I’m really, really, really sorry. Please, anything but that.」
You know, he’d probably suffer a social death if word got out that he tried to play a prank on a little girl. Telling Amanda, however, would probably result in him experiencing an actual death.
「Then tell everything.」
「Alright. Maaaan, you’re so mean. Have you no mercy? I did so much for you too.」
We decided to wait till after we heard his case before we finally gave him a verdict.