Section 4: Attention
During the morning, the Warrior/Carpenter Guilds building is much busier than it is at night.
Looking around after walking through the front door, there are a number of people gathered around the tables, discussing the maps spread out in front of them, comparing the requests they’ve accepted, and discussing what jobs they should take alongside their fellow party members.
When I couldn’t find any of the people I was looking for, I headed to the reception desk in the back of the building.
“Hello and welcome. This is actually the counter for the Warrior Guild, okay?”
The receptionist pointed towards a sign hanging over her head.
“Y-Yes. Um, an adventurer party left on a job yesterday, and I actually promised to meet them here today……”
“Meet with them…….? Hmm, then is it okay if I ask for the adventurer’s name and rank? I can check to see if they’ve come back yet.”
“Yes. Toslin, orange rank. She’s an elf swordswoman with blond hair……. Oh, they might’ve actually registered under the priestess warrior Rosalith. They took a job from the church.”
“A-An orange rank? P-Please wait a moment.”
The receptionist had been giving me a mysterious look like I was some out-of-place countryside girl, but the second I mentioned I was here to see some orange rank adventurers, her eyes shot open.
“I took a look through my files, and it seems like they haven’t returned yet.”
“Oh, is that right…… Then, I’m sorry, but if it’s okay with you, do you mind if I sit in the corner and wait a while?”
I pointed towards Saluena who had already taken a seat in one corner of the building, but the receptionist jumped to her feet and stopped me.
“No, it would get cold back there, so please take a seat closer to the middle of the building. I shall immediately prepare you some chairs.”
The receptionist rattled off her response before jumping into the back of the building. She was back in the blink of the eye with a couple chairs which she set near the stove.
“Please wait here. Would you like me to prepare you something to drink?”
“N-No no!! We’re fine”
I already feel bad enough just having her prepare me a seat. I beckoned over Saluena before taking a moment to warm myself by the stove as curious gazes bore themselves into me from all around.
“Huuuh!? Iris-jan. What are you doing here?”
Suddenly somebody called out my name while beating their hand against my shoulder. Flustered, I hurriedly turned around only to find Mycena standing there.
“Uwa, you scared me. Don’t just go hitting me out of nowhere. I’m waiting for somebody, what are you doing here Mycena?”
“Me? I’m here to talk to the Carpenter Guild about some work. Not to brag, but I am a full-fledged carpenter now.”
“Oh, that’s right. You did say you were allowed to start taking on your own jobs now.”
“Hahah! Amazing right!? I can make just about anything as I am now, from birdhouses to dog houses.”
“That sure is a limited range for being able to make just about anything.”
“Oh, good morning to you too Saluena-san!! Thank you for all your hard work in protecting Iris today as well!!”
Mycena finally noticed Saluena seated next to me and gave an energetic bow.
“You look to be working hard as well cheerful maiden.”
“Yes, because it is my dream to quickly become a splendid carpenter just like my father and build a love nest where I can live together with the Calvafon sisters!!”
“I never heard about that dream before.”
“I told Sarah-chan!!”
“Right, I got it. I got it, so can you lower your voice a little? Everyone can hear you.”
Well, nobody is taking her seriously, so it’s probably fine..
“That’s why I’m going to keep doing my best! So cheer for me! And then wait for me!”
Mycena feverishly waved her hand before running off towards the Carpenter Guild’s reception counter.
“No, seriously…..I’m really sorry. My friend is so noisy.”
“It’s good to be energetic. Especially at your age.”
Mycena was only at the counter for a short time before she immediately started running again and left the guild building.
She was halfway out the door when she turned back around and waved to me, so I waved back.
She then blew me a kiss, and I pretended not to notice.
“You should’ve returned it.”
Saluena had a bright smile next to me, but just how many people do you think are in this place?
“N-No way. It’d be so embarrassing……..”
Even if you say the only harm done is drawing other people’s attention, that would still make it too difficult for me to stay here. I only came here to meet up with some people. There’s no need to stand out.
“M-Maybe we really should move to the corner……”
I think it’s fine since I have Saluena with me, but this is still the Warrior Guild. What are people going to think if they’re about to venture out into a potentially dangerous job, and a country girl like me is causing a racket?
But just as I was about to stand up out of my chair, all of the eyes that had been focusing on us turned towards the entrance at the same time.
Everyone in the guild focused their gazes on Rose-san, one of the people we had been waiting for.
With a tikarodeka, the sacred flower, engraved across the front of her armor, it was easy to tell at a simple glance she was a priestess.
“Oi, it’s a priestess. But I don’t recognize her face.”
“She only arrived in town a few days ago. I’m told she’s an orange rank.”
“Seriously? What’s a high ranking person like her doing in a town like this……”
Whispers and muffled voices came from all around me. But another row of admiration sprang up when Toslin and Carol came in right after Rose-san.
“Whoa, this time it’s an elf. I guess it really is true that forest people are all beauties.”
“That elf and the werewolf girl next to her are all apparently the same rank as the priestess.”
“Orange rank, isn’t that the same rank as the Hero’s companions? Is there another dragon close by?”
At the same time that the surrounding voices started changing from ones of amazement to ones of anxiety, Rose-san managed to find me among the crowd. She immediately started coming right for me, sewing through the tables and onlookers.
“Sorry, I hope we did not make you wait too long.”
“N-No……we just got here ourselves.”
Honestly I should’ve been the one to call out to her, but I missed my chance because it was too hard to say anything with the way all these people were reacting.
“I have returned Sally-oneesama.”
“I’m glad to see you back safe Rosa.”
Rose-san picked up the ends of her robe performing a small curtsy, and Saluena in turn welcomed her back with a few pats on the shoulder. Rose-san was clearly happy to hear about the care coming from her teacher and sister Saluena. Just how happy would Rose-san be if I told her that Saluena prayed for her safety to a stuffed animal last night? No, maybe she’d be more confused than anything.
“You two too, welcome back. So how was it? Are the ruins haunted?”
“Haa, before that, I need something to warm me up. Hey, can we get any food here? I want to eat some breakfast, a full breakfast.”
Carol walked right over, each footstep still not making even the slightest noise, and sat down right on my lap. She then leaned back and snuggled her head underneath my chin.
“Huah……..Iris is so warm…….”
“But Carol is even warmer?”
Carol’s clothes and armor may be cold, but her body was still pleasantly warm to the touch. So rather than being cold, she’s just not as warm as she usually is?
“Mm, I’m pretty tired from all that walking too, so let’s take a minute to rest.”
“Shut up, I know.”
After making sure that Toslin had left to talk to somebody at the receptionist’s counter, Carol turned her head up to me with an evil grin.
“Hey hey, listen to this Iris. Can you believe her? That girl ended up getting lost again…….”
And she started breathing out her complaints just like that. But Toslin was apparently listening in, expecting this very development to happen…….
“YOU WERE LOST TOO!!”
because a loud tsukkomi echoed through the building a second later.