Ch. 122: Choice and Interruption
Three pieces of paper were spread out in front of Loren.
They were copies of the job descriptions that Lapis had taken from the quest board next to the counter.
Since Lapis wanted him to choose one, he was about to take one and start reading through it, but when he thought about it for a second, it could be seen as Lapis making him choose between the said three, but when he looked at her, wondering if she was planning something again, she smiled at him, wondering if something was wrong, so Loren just stopped thinking about it.
He was moving with Lapis, who had been kicked out of her home amongst the demon kin to explore the world.
Deciding that there was no use being concerned about it after all their time together, he looked through the three papers and saw that although they weren’t about participating in the war, they were related to it.
“Reconnaissance in unknown territory? This is going through one of the possible battlefields. I’ve done some of these as a mercenary, but if you meet with an enemy squad, it’s immediately going to become a full-on battle.”
It was a job to scout out the terrain and condition of the battlefield before the actual battle started.
Going in without knowing anything about the battlefield was a great disadvantage, and it was normal to use a large amount of time and manpower to know everything you could about it, but it would mean thinking and doing the same thing as your enemy, so skirmishes were a common occurrence.
In the worst case, the main forces would be deployed, and the battle would start right then and there, which was what Loren was wary of.
If they made the wrong predictions, it meant the two of them would be mixed into the midst of the war.
“Guarding the supply squad to the main forces is a no as well. It’s common sense to hit the enemy’s supplies, so unless the defenses are rock solid, it’s more unlikely that there won’t be an attack. There would be a lot of mercenaries that are quick on their feet…and even though it’s a job in the back lines, the rewards are too cheap.”
It was because it was thought to be quite safe since it was in the back lines, but there was no way adventurers could fend of even a small group of trained mercenaries, and the chances of being attacked was quite high as well.
Another factor was that attacking the supply squad was a popular job since whatever was recovered during the attack would belong to the attackers.
Goods and money, and in the worst case, even people.
The morale of the attackers would be very high, and so was the danger.
“If it was within the boundaries of your country it would be easy…but that’s not the case with the current war, isn’t it?”
“No, it isn’t. It seems that the war is in the east border for this nation and south border for the opposing one. No idea why it’s in such an obscure place.”
Loren thought it was obvious that the nations were fighting over something.
If it was something simple, such as land, the war would be within the boundaries of either of them.
But the location that Lapis had told him belong to neither of them, so Loren couldn’t think of a reason why they would be fighting in such a place.
“It’s the plains in the southern central part of the continent. There are tribes of beast kin living there, although they are not their own country.”
Which meant they were fighting over unclaimed territory.
Since there were beast kin living there, Loren thought that it belonged to them, but their social standing on the continent was very low, so there was no way it would be theirs.
“Beast kin? They’re the race who look like humans but have some characteristics of animals, right?”
“It’s hypothesized that the people of the Ancient Kingdom created them.”
In other words, animal-human hybrids, or chimeras.
It was thought so because the Ancient Kingdom was known for such research, but no one knew if it was true.
Since they had the characteristics of different animals, many of them were stronger than humans, but their lifespan was shorter.
“Must be a nuisance for the people already living there.”
“There isn’t a single war that isn’t a nuisance to someone.”
As Lapis gave him a very dry answer, Loren shrugged and looked at the last piece of paper.
It was about guarding a caravan full of supplies to a village near the battlefield.
“This is another one with a not-so-low possibility of being attacked.”
A village that was a distance away from the battlefield.
The client, the village chief, wanted bodyguards to guard the caravan filled with supplies the village needed.
Even if it wasn’t directly related to the war, there were usually no merchants who would willing go near the battlefield.
But because of that, there would be no supplies going to the villages in the area and affect the people living there.
Loren guessed that the village chief, who posted the job, managed to find a merchant and needed people to keep him and the goods safe until it reached the village.
Although Loren was willing to take it even though the rewards were poor, since people’s lives were on the line, he looked at the paper again and frowned.
“Four days to reach the village. Eight for a round trip, with eight silver coins per person.”
“Everyone seems to be ignoring this because you need to pay for your own necessities as well.”
It was a joke.
Even though it was away from the battlefield, considering the high possibility of being attacked, there was nothing to gain from it.
He could understand that after paying the merchants for the goods and his service they won’t have much left for the rewards, but knowing why the other adventurers skipped over it, Loren flicked his finger on the paper.
“This one isn’t any good Lapis. It’s ridiculous.”
Even if a person needed to work to survive, no idiot would take on a job that would leave him worse off than before.
There was the option of cutting costs to try to make a profit, but Loren knew from experience that people who tried that tended to have a dreadful time.
“A dangerous job that doesn’t pay enough and doesn’t make any sense from start to finish. I’d rather stay and starve.”
“Don’t say that Loren. There’s a job I want you to take.”
Loren slowly turned and glared in the direction the voice came from, while obvious disgust appeared on Lapis’ face.
Although it wasn’t hard to know that he wasn’t welcomed, the young man with red hair named Klaus took no notice and placed his hands on the table the two of them were sitting at.
He was a capable and well-known adventurer within the guild, backed up by some country, and usually traveled with three beautiful girls, but currently none of them were to be seen.
“What do you want? What are you plotting?”
When they first met, he was so insufferable even Loren hated him, but with a few experiences together, he seemed to acknowledge Loren’s skill and abilities, with improvements to his attitude, and although he was still bothersome, Loren didn’t really hate him anymore.
With his special ability Gift, Klaus was someone who could be considered a hero, but with a drawback for being very sloppy with his relationship with women, and since he didn’t try to fix it even though he was aware of it, Lapis treated him like scum.
“What do you mean, plot? Especially against you Loren.”
“That’s the right way of thinking. Then with what intentions did you interrupt our conversation?”
“I told you already. There’s a job I want you to take.”
“One of these?”
When Lapis pointed to the three pieces of paper on the table without changing her look of disgust, Klaus nodded deeply.
“Of course, it’s…”
“Ahh, wait, let me guess. It’s the one about the village, right?”
Klaus froze when Loren said that.
Lapis guessed that Loren was correct, while Klaus looked at him in wonder.
“Why did you think so?”
“The other two are related to the nation. The client is some army official. Most of the time they’re snotty old men or unlikable bastards.”
Loren’s explanation seemed very biased, but Lapis knew that for some reason, most of them were as Loren had said.
In any case, when it came to the nation or the army, there were rarely likable young men or cute women.
“But the last one, the client is the village chief.”
“I’m sorry Loren, but my first image of a village chief is an old man.”
Whether it be due to wisdom from years of experience or some other reason.
In any case, the image of a village chief to Lapis was what she had just said.
It was the same for Loren, but he also knew that there was more to it.
“If the village has been there for a long time, the chief is indeed usually an old man, but for a newer one, the chief could be a young man or woman.”
“And even if it were an old person, there’s usually a daughter or granddaughter.”
“Ahh, I see.”
Village chiefs were usually slightly better off than the other villagers.
Of course, they had big responsibilities, but putting that aside, because they were wealthier, their daughters or granddaughters were good looking most of the time.
Of course, that wasn’t always so, but even in that case, there was always that one good looking girl in the village, and the villagers usually couldn’t go against the chief’s orders.
“So, it’s related to women.”
When Lapis said with a glare so cold that it could freeze one’s soul, Klaus, who had a disturbed smile on his face as he still stood with his hands on the table, suddenly looked at Loren with a distraught face.
On top of that, he grabbed Loren’s hand and started begging in a pitiful voice.
“Please Loren! I’ll even pay you extra! So please listen to what I have to say!”
“I don’t want to…I already have a bad feeling about this…”
“I don’t have anyone else to turn to!”
Loren tried to shake Klaus off, but he couldn’t, with Klaus gripping it with unexpected strength, so he used his free hand to push Klaus’ face away as he tried to get closer.
“You bastard…You’re using <<Boost>>, aren’t you!? I’m not into another man holding my hand! Let go!”
“I won’t let it go until you listen to what I have to say!”
“Don’t say it in a way that could be misunderstood!!”
Loren roared and started using his feet to peel Klaus off, but Klaus held on fast, determined to cling on.
Lapis, who was watching the whole thing unfold, wondered if she should help peel Klaus off to resolve the situation, or see where it would end up, just out of curiosity.
Hey guys Kaoto here.
Been long enough since the last upload, so I thought you guys would like 2 chapters to start off the new arc!
Thanks guys for reading this far, and hopefully you will keep reading, since I plan on continuing to work on this series.
Hope you enjoy and I’ll see you guys in the next chapter!