World Strongest Rearguard - Labyrinth Country And Dungeon Seekers - lightnovelgate.com
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Chapter 4: Hiring a MercenaryTL: Pinky
EN Editor: Anirhapsodist
The Labyrinth Country is a fortress city enclosed by an exceptionally lengthy wall.
I don’t know the details of the countless entrances to the labyrinths here. Anyway, there are walls at the ends of the Eastern, Western, Northern and Southern regions. From there, it is said that it is impossible to go beyond.
The Labyrinth Country is parted in eight districts clockwise from the north and we are currently in the 7th District. Situated here are some of the Beginner Star Labyrinths. My objective is to reach the entrance to “Plains of Dawn”.
Previously, Louisa took my license and drew the map where the mercenary guild is located. It was located near a Monster Saboteurs Yard and a Slave market. A redhead woman greeted me as I went in.
“Are you a novice? There seems to be a lot of reincarnators this time. You got quite the nerve to wander here alone.”
“Is the vicinity around here dangerous?”
“No, not really, but to a certain extent. Sometimes, reincarnators who see the front of the Monster Saboteurs Yard get frightened, then they get scared to proceed onto the labyrinth”
The woman wearing an eyepatch says in a wry smile. She wore a leather-like armor but her abdominal muscles were exposed. Moderately built, she seems quite powerful like an amazon.
“Mu…… do you know what’s good with these muscles? To a seeker, these muscles are the last things that they can rely on the labyrinth. Keep that in mind.”
“Hahaha, I’m not a vanguard and I definitely need to work my body. I was dulled by the convenience of desk work.”
“That’s for sure, in your current training condition, an attack from a small animal-type monster coming the shallow depths of the Beginner Labyrinth could even prove to be a threat. Here’s some advice, avoid taking damage until you reach Level 3. Take a single blow and you die.”
The mention of death here comes easily like it’s just a natural thing. I turned the page of my license. My level and job were displayed and below were red and blue bars. Below that, a small back circle with the number 10. Red should be Stamina, Blue is Magic, and the Black circle would probably be the Experience value.
“What? Did you receive any orientation from the seekers’ guild? Who is your guild officer?”
“Uhm, no, I forgot to ask. Louisa is in charge of me.”
“Oh, I see. If it’s Louisa you can depend on her, she’s a five year veteran. Not many fledglings could be assigned to such an officer.”
“I got this copper ticket from Louisa. It’s a special measure and I’m not going to be spoiled by her time and again.”
The woman handed me a board she was holding when I handed her a ticket. There were several pieces of paper bound to it which had inline character stings.
“I haven’t introduced myself yet. My name is Leila and I am the Deputy Guild Master of this Mercenary Guild. I am acquainted to the seekers’ guild officers since I am also their regular customer.”
“You knew Louisa didn’t you?”
“Yes, she was also a seeker but now retired. She now assists other seekers. I can also say that for the demi-humans here. Now then, what kind of Mercenary are you looking for?”
“I need a Lizardfolk who could be a vanguard. It’s also here on your list.”
Leila looks at me, down and apologetic. Perhaps they are all hired and there’s none remaining?
“I’m sorry to inform you, but they are all out. Male Lizardfolks have good body constitution.”
“Do you have… a warrior-type?”
“That job is called a “Rogue”. Neither a Vanguard nor a Rearguard but a Middle-guard. They can hold certain amount of armor but they fall behind specialized warriors. Their hand dexterity is inferior to a thief, but they can use bows and in that sense you can call it a versatile job. It’s a very rare yet unpopular job for a Lizardfolk. Beginner seekers prefer more of those with a specialized skill.”
Is that what’s left of them? The number of tickets are limited. Definitely, the one who comes first will clearly choose the Lizardfolk of the finest war potential.
“Can a Rogue Lizardfolk use a shield?
“Well they are equipped with leather bucklers. Although the performance is not the best, it will be good enough for the Plains of Dawn. Just be sure to take care because the ability to endure blows with a shield depends on the physical ability of the person.”
Considering the capabilities of the Lizardfolk, I’ll just ask them to deal those blows with the lesser risk while trying to use “Enhance Defense 1” so that I won’t waste my time waiting for an opportunity.
“There are other demi-humans for hire but their levels are high. Considering your level gap, they might get estranged and not listen to your instructions. This Lizardfolk is more suitable. Level 3. They will listen to what you will say.”
“Thank you! Let me hire this Lizardfolk.”
“Great! I’ll bring them in. Wait here.”
There were other seekers who came to the guild to hire mercenaries, but they were accommodated by the rest of the staff members. Am I perhaps lucky enough to have a personal correspondence with the Deputy Guild Master?
I waited for a bit inside the recruitment office building. After a while, together with Leila is a Lizardfolk and it’s different from what I had imagined.
（…… Lizard cosplay!? ）
When it’s a Lizardfolk, it’s literally a Lizard Man. We usually imagine a lizard with a humanlike characteristics.
What Leila brought was a “Person” no matter how much I scrutinize it, she’s a human female lizard with a lizard head mask and equipped with lizard leather.
“As I have thought, you got surprised. She’s a demi-human. A demi-human is an altered figure of a human who got defeated inside the labyrinth. It is impossible to revive the dead in Labyrinth Country, but you can turn them back to their former selves if you can revert their subversion.”
“Are you taking care of the Lizardfolk?”
The use of “Slavery Brands” for demi-humans are not forbidden. I wish I could communicate with them, but basically they only work on the orders of others. When it comes to fighting, they will fight voluntarily in accordance to their instincts.
（…… This development was not expected. It’s not a human being and it’s a legitimate story, no matter how I look at it.)
“Equipment such as snakehead masks can’t be removed unless the “principal” takes them off. Some people grow curious of their appearance – what they look like under the hood. The slave brands allows the demi-humans to defend their identities. On some occasions, I go out to foil those who lay their hands on the demi-humans they hired. I composed a contract to avoid such things.”
I certainly am curious what is under the snakehead mask. The lizard leather equipment has completely traced the contours of her body. There is also a notch from her lower belly to her chest. The equipment on her hands and foot does not obstruct her skin. Everything about her equipment doesn’t fail to impress me. When I gazed upon the apathetic eyes on the snakehead mask though, it gave off a strange feeling. I began to feel disheartened.
I signed the contract and promised not to inflict harm on the demi-human.
◆ Current Party ◆1. Arihito: ※◆$□ Level 12
2. Theresa: Rogue Level 3 Mercenary
(I still can’t read my profession. I wonder if it’s spoken as “Rearguard”. The Lizardfolk’s name is a female name. I wonder if Theresa is European.)
“Leila, does the rank change when I replace the number of members in the party?”
“No, it’s just a confirmation of the party members on that page. The ranks will be displayed on the other pages as rows where you decide the member positions. A mercenary should also work to maintain their ranks. Even training is necessary for a flesh-and-human person.”
(I see… Ah, everyone is in the front row. Done… now fixed.)
◆ Current Battle Ranks ◆1: Arihito: Rearguard
2: Theresa: Vanguard
A while ago, I did not designate the Vanguard position so that she would not go out too much in front. First of all, I want her to stand in front of me to see the effect of "Enhance Defense 1” up close.
Lizardfolk—rather Theresa in lizard-suit, would it be okay for her to be my friend? She’s staring at me silently–I can’t tell where those eyes are looking.
“Erm… My name is Arihito. Nice meeting you, Theresa.”
It took a while for Theresa to grab my hand. When she did, she didn’t hold back with her grip then put all her might into shaking. I found myself a powerful partner.
"By the way, when mercenaries are put in danger, they are automatically transferred to a mercenary guild. Some troublesome seekers deliberately imperil them to facilitate their return. Let me remind you that Karma rises when you do that.”
“Yes, I understand. When we’re done exploring, l’ll return Theresa in one piece.”
“Well, you’re quite the pleasant young man. There was a woman who was alone headed to the Labyrinth, is that your acquaintance? If you can find her in the dungeon, tell her that it is very dangerous at Level 1 for any position.”
Is it, perhaps, section chief Igarashi? She said she’d join another party, so maybe it’s different?
(Well, when we are in trouble, we look for out each other, we want to help when we see someone who is in danger.)
First and foremost, you should know how capable your party is.
While walking, Theresa trailed slightly from behind. Only her mouth is seen from the mask and I have been drawn to her emptiness for quite a while. She is the only companion I have for now. While pondering about how both of us can return safely, we hiked our way to the first dungeon.