ICDS: Chapter 113

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Chapter 113. Requirements of a Dimensional Mercenary (6)


30 minutes later, I headed to the Residential Area’s trading center with Loretta, who was too worried to send me alone. At the trading center, I saw a hobgoblin looking over documents as always. Explorers moved busily, trying to sell their items directly or through auctions and also registering themselves on the noticeboard. Feeling the numerous gazes that fell on us the moment we appeared, I walked toward the trading center’s administrator.

“Oh if it isn’t Kang Shin! … And Guild Master?”

The one in charge of the trading center today wasn’t Meladel, but Eladel. Although I couldn’t really tell them apart, Loretta was there to whisper to me.

“She’s linking arms with Kang Shin…. Hu, right. I remember.”

“Hello, Eladel. I’m sorry, but there’s something I’d like to ask.”

As he was grinning while looking at Loretta, I turned his attention toward me.

“Are you two getting married?”

“Yeah, we’re doing it now!”

“No, we’re not!”

At the word ‘married,’ Loretta became overly excited and pulled on my arm. I flicked her head lightly and calmed her down.

“I want to become a Dimensional Mercenary.”

“… You, aren’t you a Hero?”

“Yes. I know what a Hero is too. I want to become a Dimensional Mercenary.”

“That’s… something I can’t recommend. A Hero working as a Dimensional Mercenary… I’ve never heard of it before. Although Dimensional Mercenaries work in a certain degree of safety, if you, a Hero of a world, dies in another world…”

“I won’t die. Plus, imagining myself with a collar on my neck just because I’m a Hero gives me goosebumps. If you say no, I’ll give up being a Hero.”

“If it’s something you can give up so easily, Heroes wouldn’t have agonized for such a long time…”

“Eladel, do as he says. Shin-nim has the right to do as he wishes, and you don’t have the right to stop him.”

Loretta bluntly spoke to Eladel who seemed to be hesitating. Perhaps Loretta followed me because she knew Eladel would be troubled at my request.

“Guild Master… Is that what you think?”

“Yes. It’s not like Shin-nim asked to be the Hero. Plus, Shin-nim said he would be a Dimensional Mercenary. Dimensional Mercenaries are existences that both the dungeon and worlds need. As dangerous as it is, the reward is also big. We should respect Shin-nim’s courage.”

“Even if you say that, being a Dimensional Mercenary is dangerous. I can only see his courage as foolish. … You, are you not projecting someone else onto him?”

“Do you want to die, Eladel?”

Startled, I unlinked Loretta’s arms from mine. I felt that Loretta had said something that didn’t suit her in the slightest. The Loretta just now did not seem like the Loretta I knew. I couldn’t stay still, as she seemed too unfamiliar. I could tell that Eladel’s body also froze when he heard her.

When I was about to instinctively distance myself from Loretta, she had gone back to her smiling face. It was the Loretta that I knew.

“Don’t say such a cruel joke. There’s no way I can compare Shin-nim with anyone.”

“I-It was my bad, Guild Master.”

“Don’t say that from now on, okay?”

“Yes.”

As Eladel answered, still trembling from before, Loretta linked her arm back onto mine tightly, as if to prevent me from running away. I hesitated a little, then softly stroked her arm.

Loretta was Loretta. She had things she didn’t want to tell me and appearances she didn’t want to show me. Without a doubt, some of them would provoke a certain degree of repulsion from me. However, the Loretta that didn’t know what to do because I had discovered it was the Loretta I knew.

“I won’t run away, so you don’t have to grab onto me so strongly.”

“… Really?”

Loretta turned toward me and asked with worrying eyes. I lightly smiled and nodded my head.

“Of course.”

“Then do you want to go to the wedding hall like this?”

“No.”

“Tsk.”

After confirming that I had met the requirements to become a Dimensional Mercenary, becoming one was easy. I just had to submit an application.

[You became a Dimensional Mercenary! You can now accept requests and receive rewards as a Dimensional Mercenary!]

When I was blankly listening to the message that I had become a Dimensional Mercenary, Eladel gave me an additional explanation.

“In the First Dungeon, there are currently 57 active Dimensional Mercenaries. You will, of course, become the youngest of them. Dimensional Mercenaries can accept requests from the Residential Area’s request noticeboard.”

“Where do requests come from?”

“Most of the time, an explorer in need of Dimensional Mercenaries submits a request application to the administrative guild, and if the guild see that it is appropriate, the request will appear on the noticeboard. Then, any Dimensional Mercenary can accept the request. In some cases, the requests come from the dungeon. In this case, the job will be extremely difficult, so you’ll have to prudent when accepting such requests.”

“What about the rewards?”

“Isn’t it obvious? Depending on the results and the level of one’s contribution, the dungeon will provide gold, stat points, skill points, skills, or magic. You can even obtain special equipment. There are also cases where the requester gives additional rewards as thanks.”

The rewards were indeed attractive, especially the stat points and skill points. I could see why others worked as Dimensional Mercenaries. I then asked.

“What happens if you give up and return?”

“Simple. You won’t be able to accept another request for half a year. It’s the duration of Dimensional Travel’s cooldown time.”

Dimensional Travel’s cooldown time was half a year? Mine was undoubtedly half of that, three months. Plus, the cooldown time would decrease when the skill level went up. It was then that I remembered that I was the first explorer to defeat Wendigo alone on my first try. That was probably where the difference came from.

That said, didn’t that mean there was practically no penalty?

“That’s it?”

“Remember this, Kang Shin. Dimensional Mercenaries are in a dominant position over the requesters. They’re only working to get the skills and stats the dungeon will provide. Unless the requester provides an extremely attractive reward, they will do as they want.”

Feeling my image of Dimensional Mercenaries as superheroes shattering, I continued.

“One last thing. How do I check the requests?”

“As long as you’re within the Residential Area, you can call the request noticeboard at any time and check it there. That’s also a special right given to Dimensional Mercenaries.”

With that, I had heard everything I wanted to. I nodded my head, thanking him, then immediately opened the request noticeboard. Ludia most likely did not put in a request. However, Ludia and Shuna couldn’t be the only survivors of Luka continent.

As I thought, there was a recent request by a Luka continent explorer. After reading it, I nodded my head. The contents matched what I hoped to do. To save the Luka continent’s kidnapped princess.

[If you accept the request, you will arrive at the Ehuir Empire. Upon completing the request, you can take any item from the Imperial Palace’s treasure vault. I, Ehuir Empire’s Kiros Knight Commander Bellode, promise. The Demon Lord has been gravely injured by the Hero, so I can guarantee that you will not need to fight the Demon Lord. However, you may need to fight high ranking demons, so only those confident in their abilities should come. On the day of Pallia, six in the afternoon, we will depart together.]

Reading the request, I took a deep breath, then accepted it.

[You accepted Bellode Iraus’ request. Including you, 12 Dimensional Mercenaries have accepted the request so far.]

I was relieved. Perhaps it was because they did not need to fight the Demon Lord, but quite a few Dimensional Mercenaries had accepted the request! Of course, if the situation became dangerous, they would leave Luka continent, but I was relieved that there was still so many of them. With a cheery voice, I messaged Ludia.

“Ludia, I became a Dimensional Mercenary. I’m going to your continent to save Shina.”

[Stupid, it’s dangerous! Don’t come!]

“… Don’t come? Don’t tell me, you…?”

Ludia answered after a bit of silence.

[Right. I returned to the Luka continent.]

“You…!”

[Even if my world will collapse, I can’t just stay still when my sister’s been kidnapped. If I run, I won’t be able to live a proper life… so I’m going to go save Shina.]

It seemed she had already made up her mind. Although she was trembling after the Hero fell, she was now burning, as if she was prepared to die. Not looking after her own safety was foolish, yet it was incredibly beautiful and worthy of respect. Rather than being touched, however, my sense of unease was greater. It was becoming more and more like the situation from my dream.

I asked.

“Are your parents fine?”

[Yeah, they’re both armed, fighting against the invading demons with the empire’s knights and magicians. After all, they’re both First Dungeon explorers.]

“That’s the first time I heard about that, but that’s good to hear.”

It seemed not everything was like my dream. A dream was a dream. Not everything from it could be the truth. After all…

“The Ludia from my dream had big breasts…”

[T-They’re going to get bigger! I’m still growing! Plus, the size of my breasts has nothing to do with you! N-Nothing at all! Not even a little!]

Ah, I accidentally sent that as a message! But Ludia, I don’t think there’s any chance that your breasts will get any bigger… In any case, I raised my voice to cover my mistake.

“Anyways, I’m going. Let me help you.”

[Don’t come! If it’s doable with just you, then it’s fine even if you’re not here! And if we’re going to fail… You being there won’t make it a success…]

“No, I’m coming. I can’t leave you alone.”

It seemed Ludia was still underestimating me. I had many trump cards in my arsenal. I doubted I could do anything against the Demon Lord, but I at least had ways to turn the battlefield around completely.

However, Ludia didn’t respond.

“… Ludia?”

[Uk! You stupid! I’m Ehuir Empire’s crown princess. No one’s going to leave me alone! Y-You’re self-conscious!]

Her voice was shaking slightly as she responded. I may have made her angry. Even so, I had no intention of backing down.

“I’ll be there soon, wait for me.”

[You can come if you want to come so much! It’s not my problem if you die though. I don’t care about your world at all!]

After shouting, Ludia hung up. I grinned and checked my equipment. Next to me, Loretta was standing there with worried eyes.

“If it gets dangerous, you have to use Return without hesitation, okay?”

“Of course.”

“Do you have enough potions? You might have to sleep outside, so should I let you borrow my bed?”

“You want me to sleep outside on a bed? It’s fine. I have a sleeping bag and tent in my inventory.”

“Are you missing anything? You should check one more time.”

“Ah, now that you mention it.”

There was something I decided to do before I left. Since I didn’t know what would happen, I wanted to make myself as strong as possible. There was one thing I could do now.

It was to raise my skill levels.


Author’s note:
The one evidence no one expected, showing Shin’s dream wasn’t absolute! Damn, I at least wanted that part to be true!


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