There’s a lot of adventurers who have reached this town.
There’s a lot of them who have obtained outstanding equipment or magic tools and raised themselves by one or two ranks.
Speaking of ranks, there has been a recent motion about having a new ranking system exclusive for people who have been allowed in the wasteland aside from the normal ranking system of the Adventurer Guild.
Being able to enter the wasteland is already one step to being first class.
…There’s the bunch like the ones in the slums and the Dusk Street who delve in the unlawful, but that’s well…they are practically dead, so there’s no need to bother about them.
Even though they don’t fulfill the minimum requirements the guild set, they still enter the wasteland in order to strike it big; that’s the epitome of foolishness.
There’s people with that kind of history among the members of Alpine, but that’s a rumor that has no grounds to stand on at all.
They have stayed in the innermost Base for long and reported the destruction of it.
Soon after returning to Tsige, they accomplished countless feats, and climbed all the way to being the top adventurers in name and reality, so there’s no way people like that would dirty their hands with such foolish acts.
Even if there’s a member that has such a history, they managed to survive and showed results.
That’s why, in the standards of the guild, they are an exception that they can’t ascertain the validity of.
I myself think the current ‘filtering’ of the Adventurer Guild for the minimum requirements to enter the wasteland are well made.
But there’s no distinction for when you have entered the wasteland.
The rank for when you are inside the wasteland and outside are the same.
Then, does that mean that any A+ party can bring out similar results in the wasteland? The answer is a simple no.
There’s aptitudes, and there’s also differences in abilities at times.
Putting it in an extreme way, an SSS rank is without doubt a being above the clouds, but there’s no other division from there.
If I were asked who is stronger, Alpine or the Dragon Slayer Sophia, I wouldn’t know.
Alpine might overwhelm her in numbers and toy around with her one-sidedly.
The contrary could hold true too. Sophia, who has made accomplishments around the world solo, might slaughter Alpine.
If I try to make this more out there, there’s the chance that the leader Toa alone might be stronger than Sophia.
There’s a good number of SSS adventurer parties in Tsige now.
Even though there were only 5 in the whole world for who knows how many years, there’s 6 currently in Tsige and the Bases of the wasteland, and 10 in the whole world.
And there’s also a number of parties in Tsige that are reaching that point.
It seems like this sudden bubble of SSS looks like there’s some sort of cheating involved in the eyes of the other countries.
“You can buy the SSS rank in Tsige with coin.”
“They are not real SSS.”
“There’s no heart in them.”
Well, a lot of things are said about this.
As someone who knows about what’s going on from the inside, it is true that there’s ‘a lot’ going on.
The Adventurer Guild shares the same standards for ability and accomplishments in the whole world, so there’s no way there would be real or fakes, or be possible to buy it with coin though. Talk about cheating when it comes to guild ranks is immediately purged after all.
That’s why I think there’s the need to think of a new rank system for wasteland adventurers.
They even went through the trouble of separating the Wasteland Guild and the Rookie Guild…no, the General Guild, and even made the entrances separate.
You have to advance into reformation to a certain degree. Organizations always try to cling to the stability that is ‘the status quo’.
“Bir, you are making quite the complicated expression there.”
We 4 were given one room in this Mist Town.
That said, it is as big as a rental house in Tsige, and it is a room to receive guests, so there’s no complaints from me.
The shower and the toilet is outside the room, and it is being kept clean.
Nobles might demand 2 different rooms in a composition of 2 men and 2 women, but we are all adventurers here.
There’s no problem at all.
You could even say we have everything.
“Are you thinking about how we should be behaving here?”
The woman that spoke to me is someone from the accompanying parties, party name: Shell Counter.
If there’s no one who somehow managed to survive without reaching here, the party is terminated.
She wasn’t the leader after all.
By the way, me and the one other man, Akos, were from the main party, Rocinante, that took the request. Both Akos and I are not the leaders either, so the party will be terminated at this rate.
The remaining one is the leader of the party called Silve. This one might be possible to reform.
“I was thinking about a lot of things. What do you think about this settlement?” (Bir)
“What, you ask… It is the Mist Town, right? The residents acknowledge that too. I would say the only thing I find strange is how this person called Akina doesn’t look at adventurers and hyumans, but that’s just a difference in an individual.” (Git)
A weird user of water magic and, despite there being a lot of healing abilities due to the nature of the element, she only learned all the attack spells that have firepower, and is trying to master them. Her party was apparently one that had perfect compatibility with her firepower.
She is a wise woman, but right now both of her eyes are bags of gold.
I can tell instantly just what she is thinking.
“That we managed to get here must mean that we can strike big individually, right? We girls were simply accompanying, so we won’t be blamed much for this time’s request, so I was thinking about how much I can bring back. I am so looking forward to this.” (Git)
“The basics of adventurers is give and take. It seems like they want information, so it depends on how much we can answer there.” (Bir)
“…You are answering them seriously, Bir-kun?” (Git)
“Of course I am.” (Bir)
“I am still thinking of my stance here. It seems like that’s the same for Akos-kun.” (Git)
“That seems to be the case. I think we should be acting sincerely here. They are not hyumans, but there’s no doubt they saved our lives. They are treating us well and many of the people who have returned from here have done so with valuable materials and equipment that would change into large sums of coin.” (Bir)
“Hmm, that’s true. Give and take is a basic between us fellows.” (Git)
“…What are you implying there?” (Bir)
“The thinking of Ranai is also the basics of adventurers.” (Git)
The leader of the S rank party Silve, a healer, and a High Priest in the church.
Excessive greed can bring one’s demise, but adventurers journey on and bring success again. They are a little overdetermined, but there’s no doubt they are superior.
Her way of thinking.
Obtain everything that your eyes catch.
Steal what you can.
Everything is allowed by the strong.
It is true that’s a basic of adventurers as well.
Depending on the time and place, that is.
“Haah…well, that’s right.” (Bir)
I am trying to say you should prioritize the last logic in it.
Who do you think you can win against here?
My head hurts and this just smells like trouble.
This was just in case, seriously just in case, but I asked the adventurer I met at the beginning called Akina: in the case one of us 4 were to commit a crime in this place, what would happen to the other ones?
“You won’t be burdened with that same crime. If you are complicit, I can only pity you.” (Akina)
Is basically what she said.
However, the truly problematic thing is that I can’t just brush off that woman, Ranai, as a foolish woman.
At the very least, not now.
I am a frontline warrior and Akos is a spear exclusive frontline and midline.
Git is a pure backline and the one in charge of damage.
We have no healers.
If Ranai is ‘dealt with’ by some sort of rampage, no matter how many goods we get, the chances of getting back alive are pretty low.
Only a sparse few remember what happened after leaving the Mist Town.
At times it would be close to a Base or somewhere you can see Tsige.
But who can say there’s no other cases where that doesn’t happen?
I have already reached a fearsome conclusion that I am almost confident in.
That maybe there have been people who have been left at dangerous places, or in an area close to where they wandered into.
Even if it did happen, if the adventurers died, there would be no account for those cases.
What happens when you commit a crime in the Mist Town?
There’s obviously no account for this either.
The Mist Town is super popular among adventurers as a place to strike it big.
Then what about the materials and the equipment?
Is it stuff that they plundered?
The results of an invasion?
There have been no accounts about anyone who has done that.
They got a warm reception at a settlement where demi-humans and mamonos coexist, and received souvenirs in their stay.
They were mostly fairy tales like that.
My conjecture goes like this.
The adventurers who tried to earn something here through violence, every single one of them, couldn’t return to Tsige.
The ones who didn’t live with the residents in a friendly manner, not a single one returned to Tsige.
Is that not how it is?
I found it strange.
‘I fooled the stupid demi-humans and stole the treasure’.
There’s almost no issue in that when it comes to the heroic tales of adventurers.
It would actually be more decent than being saved by demi-humans.
And yet, there’s none of that.
At the very least, I have not heard a single account of this despite me being more interested about this than your average person and investigating this.
There were a number of accounts with low credibility that did state they did that though.
“So, you want to steal from here, Git?” (Bir)
“I said I am troubled by it. It is true that all the demi-humans here are good people, the food is delicious, and the booze is tasty. It is like heaven.” (Git)
“Then, the treasures that they would find important must be even more impressive and incredible. I am not Ranai, but it is not like there’s no such thoughts like that in my head.” (Git)
“…! Oi, could it be…” (Bir)
“What about Ranai and Akos?” (Bir)
“They have gone to the gate.” (Git)
Or more like, Ranai may be skilled, but she is a healer.
So she enticed Akos?!
“It is clear that there’s even more amazing things on the other side judging from the reactions of the residents after all.” (Git)
“You weren’t told you would…die?” (Bir)
I stood up and said this while looking down at Git.
I certainly heard that.
“If you get past the gate without getting the trial of the gatekeeper, that in itself is apparently considered a success.” (Git)
“So they plan on sneaking past the eyes of the gatekeeper and crossing the gate?! What unbelievable idiots!” (Bir)
“Really? I do think it is one method though. I am sure the adventurers that got impressive equipment from the Mist Town were challengers of the gate that crossed it.” (Git)
Git said something carefree.
I certainly heard about it.
Until now, the amount of adventurers that have gotten past this sector are…zero.
I can say for certain.
If I don’t make those two withdraw, they will die.
“…There have been no adventurers who have gotten past that gate -aside from a few, that is.” (Bir)
“Eh? I don’t understand what you are saying. Or more like, how are you so confident about that?” (Git)
“Akina and a few other hired adventurers apparently can go past that gate. There has not been a single adventurer who has wandered in that has crossed it.” (Bir)
“Why would I be joking here?! Git, we are going to stop them at once. In the first place…” (Bir)
I make Git stand up and leave the room while pulling her.
The objective is of course the gate.
It is not a height that one can climb and get across.
There’s no choice but to get through the doors where the gatekeeper is.
While on our way, I tell my hypothesis to Git and the reason why we shouldn’t let Ranai die.
Even Git, who only had dream-like rumors in her head about the Mist Town, was slowly understanding the situation here and showed agitation in her face.
We were both dashing at full power.
‘It is still work until you reach home’ is a really true saying.
That’s right. Just how many adventurers didn’t return to Tsige even though they got to the Mist Town?
I don’t know about it.
This current situation might not even be that rare, and our biggest hurdle might actually be to return to Tsige safely!
“This is bad! I can feel the magic power of Ranai! From the gate!” (Git)
“That stupid woman! And you as well, Akos! Use your head for a bit! Damn it, please make it in time!!” (Bir)
“If we are thrown at the place where we were attacked at, we would die! Even if Ranai is with us, our chances of dying are still pretty high!” (Git)
Definitely dying and a high chance of dying have a lot of difference in the hopes it gives.
The latter one is definitely the better option.
Also, if we get a grade up in equipment here, the chances of us dying might decrease.
“By the way, Bir-kun! Do you think they can be forgiven if we manage to make them withdraw?” (Git)
“Uwaaaaan! I shouldn’t have let them go~!” (Git)
Stole it right out of my mouth!
“The gatekeeper was a reasonable person, but I don’t know what Ranai has said!” (Bir)
If I remember correctly, she is the same race as Saisaris, though she didn’t look like that at all -a very cute orc.
She said her name was Mito.
I doubt she is a warrior looking like that, so she is most likely a mage.
There have been cases where people have encountered Highland Orcs at the deep parts of the wasteland, but there’s not much known about them.
However, no matter if she is a warrior or a mage, there’s no assurance that those two are alive if she is serious.
We both were still going at full speed, to the plaza where the gate is located!
“Ranai! Ah, blood -but still alive!” (Git)
Git’s words of relief.
Akos seems to be seriously injured too, but still alive.
He is crouching and being healed by Ranai.
I don’t even know if he is conscious.
Ranai has lost one arm.
But it is not the worst of the worst…probably.
It seems this situation is kind of an irregular one.
There’s one other person aside from the Highland Orc gatekeeper Mito, a…hyuman-looking woman with bandages wrapped at all parts of her body.
The two seem to be arguing and it doesn’t look like it is a peaceful atmosphere.
Could it be another hired adventurer like Akina?
For now, there’s only one action I can take here!
“My deepest apologies, Gatekeeper-dono of the Mist Town!” (Bir)
I didn’t pay any heed to Git who was taken aback by this and lowered my head deeply in apology.
I thought Git would follow suit, but she was still dumbfounded there, so I grabbed her head and forcefully pushed it down.
That sudden action of me and Git made Mito and the other woman stop their argument.
“You are Bir, right? The other one is Git. Guests, huh.” (Mito)
“What are you…apologizing for here?” (Mito)
The words of Mito are strict.
It is completely different from the time when I greeted her.
That’s natural. She is currently facing us as the gatekeeper after all.
“About how my roommates Ranai and Akos tried to get past the gate and challenged you.” (Bir)
“There’s not a single thing you need to apologize for, Bir. Challenging the gatekeeper to see the other side is one of the rights the guests are given.” (Mito)
Mito said this indifferently.
She was also implying that dying is also a result of the action that that adventurer chose.
Git also understood the underlying meaning of this and her body shook.
“Hey, Mito, don’t get in my way. They challenged the gatekeeper. If they have not forfeited, the trial is still ongoing, right?”
Bone chilling killing intent was emitted.
I thought the hyuman woman was an adventurer, but it seems like I was wrong.
I could feel absolute hatred and killing intent towards…hyumans.
Even if the bandaged woman looks far more similar to us, she is far more distant than Mito.
“I am the gatekeeper right now, Levi.” (Mito)
“I am lacking exercise. A bit should be fine, right?” (Levi)
“No. If you were to act as the gatekeeper here as you are now, every single challenger would die. Good grief. You are injured, so just stay put. In the first place, just because you are lacking exercise, you are coming to a place like this instead of the colosseum? That’s not like you.” (Mito)
“Also, you are gleefully riding along the cheap provocations of hyumans. Even if you kill those weaker than you as a diversion, it won’t make you feel better.” (Mito)
“That’s not it!” (Levi)
“It is.” (Mito)
The quarrel between Mito and Levi was heating up.
No, the only one who is heating up is Levi.
I would say Mito is on the baffled and disinterested side.
“That woman picked a fight. She said everything is forgiven for the strong, that even traitors know that!” (Levi)
“Who is a traitor? She was talking about me, right? A hyuman telling me that is asking to be killed! I showed her that I am not the same as those people! If I am stronger than them, anything is forgiven, right?!” (Levi)
“I do admit that they are fools that can’t tell the difference in strength.” (Mito)
“But is that something you can say, Levi? You couldn’t tell the difference in strength, disturbed the strategy, and on top of that, you lost and were heavily injured.” (Mito)
“?! T-That’s…” (Levi)
“You must have thought you got a nice sandbag. That’s not cool, Levi.” (Mito)
“Leave at once.” (Mito)
“That side is already done with just your 2 greeting hits. Isn’t it great that you got to let your steam out? Leave.” (Mito)
“…Mito, you dummy!!” (Levi)
She left both Ranai and Akos unable to fight with two hits they couldn’t defend properly against, and her parting words are ‘dummy’, huh.
I can somewhat tell what Ranai said to Levi who looks like a hyuman at a glance.
The result was that her opponent was far more powerful than her, and yet, she managed to survive. Ranai’s luck is incredible.
If I were to get that woman on my side, would I be able to survive?
Silve is on the brink of falling.
If it is luck where only Ranai survives, it would be safer to not get close to her.
Anyways, the storm-like woman, Levi, opened the door and went to the other side.
I learned one other important thing.
At that other side, or in this place, there’s a monster that is antagonistic and can leave Levi half-dead.
“Apologies for the unsightly behavior of our fellow there.” (Mito)
“No, our Ranai was the epitome of stupidity. Even if I didn’t understand the anger of that lady earlier, I can understand her feelings plenty enough.” (Bir)
“…You are free to challenge the gatekeeper, and you are also free to forfeit in the middle of it. There’s no penalty. Go ahead and take your comrades with you. We will bring you medicine later.” (Mito)
Mito glanced at Ranai and Akos.
Looks like they have been forgiven.
This is just my instinct speaking here, but if Levi had not intruded…I feel like the two might have been killed by Mito instantly.
Mito is gentle and her mannerisms are soft, but I don’t feel much affection from her.
I don’t know if it is because she is a gatekeeper or she is just like that, or because we are adventurers; I can’t tell anything here.
However, there have at the very least been a lot of adventurers who have gone through with their stupidity.
And I can feel that she has won all of them.
Git and I brought Ranai and Akos back to the room.
Along with the arm of Ranai and the seriously damaged spear.
‘Arm, my right arm. Hot…hot…’ -Ranai said, groaning. Maybe out of instinct, she continued casting healing magic on herself and Akos.
The troublesome thing about this woman is that she does what’s needed when she has to do it.
There’s also Akos who was also saying stuff like ‘What happened? I…couldn’t see…anything’ and other stuff in half delirium as if he were being haunted by a nightmare.
This is your punishment for being enticed by Ranai so easily, you idiot.
Anyways, we are out of the boiler.
I will be lowering my head to the residents today and tomorrow, but what should we do to show our sincerity?
Now that I think about it, they seemed to be interested in the adventurer plate.
Then I will show mine and tell them stuff about the functions and all that. They might already know about it, but it wouldn’t be bad to try and explain it.
Ranai and Akos.
Whether they are injured or whatever, I won’t let you sleep today, I’ll have you know.
You are getting an earful from me.
And then, I will make them understand our current situation.
What we should do to return to Tsige safely, and how we should be acting.
I will be driving it all inside those greedy, airheaded, and flowery heads of yours, so be prepared.