We found Argentlapn’s Adventures’ Guild immediately after passing through the town’s front gate.
The size of the guild was, like Greyseal’s, quite impressive.This made me believe that all the Beastkin’s Country’s guilds were large, but apparently that was a misunderstanding. Us seeing two larger guilds in a row was just a coincidence. Greyseal was a portside city and Argentlapn was right by the best place one could pass through the Scorpion Lion Forest. As far as adventurers were concerned, both were hotspots.
『There seem to be a good number of adventurers hanging around.』
Upon entering, we found more than 30 adventurers sitting around what looked like a bar and drinking booze.
All their gazes immediately flew right at Fran, evaluating her. Most were beastkin, so they immediately recognized Fran as someone who had evolved. The realization not only shocked them, but also eliminated any thoughts they had of harassing us. The reckless and ignorant adventurers that would’ve otherwise tried were immediately told to stand down by their buddies.
“Nn. Want to sell monster parts.”
“Sure thing. Could I please see your guild card?”
“Nn. C ranked adventurer. Fran.”
“I-I knew it…!”
The receptionist already knew who Fran was. The guild’s intelligence network reached both far and wide and its employees were held to a high standard, so they were always kept in the loop. She soon realized that she’d been timidly staring at Fran’s card, so she lightly cleared her throat before returning it.
“I-I’m sorry, please excuse me. We handle all monster related transactions over there,” she said, pointing towards a table
Fran brought out the corpses of the venom dogs she’d slain on her way over to the guild. They were not yet dismantled because we hadn’t had the time to get to it.
For some odd reason, the adventurers were riled up by her bounty.
Wait, why do they seem so impressed? Venom dogs are only F ranked threats, aren’t they? How is killing 10 of them any bit of a big deal?
Diving deeper into the conversation led me to understand the reasons for their admiration.
“That’s quite the number of venom dogs, miss,” said the guild’s receptionist, her eyes wide. “Did you perhaps encounter a pack?”
“Nn,” replied Fran.
“Wow, how impressive.. I should’ve expected nothing less.”
Venom dogs were quite difficult for weaker adventurers to handle because they had access to the Magic Poison Fang skill. Packs of 10 or more were considered especially dangerous and boosted their threat level up to E. In other words, one needed to be at least as strong as a D-ranker to handle a pack all by oneself.
It was obvious from looking at the corpses that Fran killed each one with a single blow, yet another testament to the extent of her skill.
“It’s poisoned, so unfortunately not. But on the flip side, the guild is willing to buy any sort of poison, so we’ll be happy to take it off your hands regardless.”
The guild ended up paying us 5k Golde a pop. The price was that low because the monsters had yet to be dismantled and all were missing their cores. The 50k profit we got seemed like it would probably be about enough to cover the night’s lodging expenses.
“And here is your 50,000 Golde. Thank you for doing business with us,” said the guild’s receptionist, handing Fran a large bag of coins.
“Thanks,” replied Fran. “Also, wanted to ask question.”
“Please go right ahead.”
“How to get to capital?”
“Give me just a second and I’ll show you.”
The receptionist pulled out a map of the surrounding area.
“The most important thing is knowing exactly where to go.”
I looked at it and realized that we could enter the most narrow part of the Scorpion Lion Forest by heading south from where the town was located. It certainly did look like a good spot to use to break through.
“As I’m sure you’ve noticed already, this is where the forest is thinnest,” she said, pointing to a spot on the map. “It only takes about a day to get out of the forest if you pass through here. The adventurers tend to call it ‘The Shortcut.'”
“Got it. Chance of encountering manticore?”
“About one in one hundred.”
“Seems low?” asked Fran, tilting her head.
“Manticores tend to avoid preying on adventurers if possible,” explained the receptionist.
Weaker adventurers were easy prey, but the manticores would be overwhelmed if they ran into stronger adventurers. As a result, they believed attacking adventurers as risky and instead focused on the consumption of other monsters.
That said, some manticores would still attack adventures near The Shortcut. Those were either young and inexperienced, or desperate because they’d been driven out of their territory by stronger manticores.
“There’s a road leading all the way to The Shortcut, so it should be quite easy to find.”
Passing through the shortcut took one straight to the town of Roseraccoon, another large town bordering the Scorpion Lion Forest.
“While I do think you’d be perfectly fine on your own, you can find yourself a party if you so wish by checking the recruitment board over there.” She pointed towards a large wooden board behind Fran.
“Yes. Safety comes from one’s individual combat prowess, but can also come from numbers for those who are lacking.”
Partying up allowed you to take on stronger opponents by working together with other people also capable of putting up a fight. Moreover, it also allowed the possibility of escaping by sacrificing one’s companions in times of desperation.
That was why it was only natural for those that liked to solo or work in small groups to temporarily join up with each other and form slightly larger parties before attempting to move through the forest.
I, however, was against it. Partying up with people would only serve to slow us down.
“You’re planning to head through the Scorpion Lion Forest, right? You wanna join us? We may not really look it, but we’re E-rankers, so we won’t slow you down or get in your way.”
A handsome looking human adventurer approached and called out to Fran right as she attempted to leave the guild.
I couldn’t help but feel a bit of suspicion with regards to his motives. I highly doubted a non-beastkin E ranker would be able to discern the extent of Fran’s might at a glance.
That said, why was he going about assuming Fran isn’t a weakling?
“Called out to me, why?”
“Well I mean, you’ve pretty much got everyone’s sights on you, and I just overheard something about you saying you were a C ranker.”
“You believed that?”
“Well, you beastkin tend to have higher stats than us humans, and a good portion of you tend to be able to hold your own in a fight. I met another young, but incredibly strong beastkin girl around your age the other day too, so I’m pretty confident that you’re a strong one.”
Welp, don’t I feel like an asshole. He’d actually been wanting to party up with Fran and not trying to mess with her.
That said, we ended up turning down his invitation because he wasn’t leaving until the day after tomorrow, and we couldn’t afford to just sit around and waste time with our schedule. Moreover, I’d been thinking that it was possible for us to just get on Urushi and fly over the forest. Though, that would eat through his mana, so I wanted to go as far as possible on foot first. Thus having companions wouldn’t quite work out with what we had in mind.
“We should leave now.”
So, with that done, we thanked the receptionist and headed back out the front door.
“It’s still morning, and we’ve still got the whole day ahead of us, so why don’t we head right over to The Shortcut?”
“Think will encounter manticores?”
“Why again do you seem like you’re looking forward to it…? Though, you’ve probably gone and jinxed it now, so I’d say we’re more or less sure to run into one.”