It's been nearly a month since the conference ended. As we entered April, Flam and Dano were already saying that it was hot and were wearing their summer uniforms. The only thing different about the summer uniform was that it had a thin dress shirt and a well-ventilated vest without a coat.
Demuir complained when he saw Flam in his summer uniform. "Why are there only winter and summer uniforms in the adventurer’s guild? How nice would it be to have uniforms for spring and fall!"
Surely, it was too hot to wear winter clothes in this season. However, the summer clothes were too thin, so it would be too cold to wear them.
"Why don't you suggest it to the guild director-nim yourself?"
It was difficult to change the uniform unless one had as much authority as the guild director. This was because the adventurer’s guild was a huge organization with its headquarters in the capital and a branch chapter in any decent-sized town.
At my recommendation, Demuir looked at me with a slightly grumpy face. "The guild director-nim?"
Demuir thought for a moment, then shook his head. "No, that's a little..."
"Why? If you suggest it to the guild director-nim, he'll come up with a spring and fall uniform, or if not, he'll probably come up with a method to give us freedom over our uniforms during spring and fall."
Uncharacteristically of a soldier, Guild Director Glont was not that closed-minded and inflexible. Rather, he leaned towards respecting his subordinates' opinions. He probably won’t put pink frills on the new uniforms or make you wear a V-neck so deep that it shows your ribs, right?
Demuir looked a little dumbfounded when I asked. "Um, you and Flam are the only ones who feel and act so comfortably with the guild director-nim."
"Huh? Why? He doesn't come out as authoritative, and he also bakes cookies for us every break, though?"
If Guild Director Glont were a man who had a heavy atmosphere and valued hierarchical order, then I wouldn't have gotten cookies every break. Wouldn't it be rude to be so formal when he wanted you to be casual?
"It's true that the guild director-nim treats us in a casual manner... But did you not buy the cookies you had every break and instead got them from the guild director-nim?"
"Yes. The guild director-nim bakes wonderful cookies. They’re delicious, aren’t they?"
Demuir was astonished at my question. "Uh, they are delicious, but don’t you feel pressured by the guild director-nim?"
"Certainly, the feminine frilly apron and blouse are uncomfortable."
To be honest, it was beyond uncomfortable and was just gross. He was a nice person, but he was also a pervert.
"No, not that. No, it isn’t that, but he was a war hero and a famous general. There are still tens of thousands of knights, soldiers, adventurers, and mercenaries who would voluntarily gather at a single word from the guild director-nim.”
Tens of thousands, you say? That’s at the level of a warlord. However...
"So? That's not exactly a reason why I shouldn't be comfortable with the guild director-nim. It’s not like guild director-nim dislikes it, as I interact with him comfortably. That's rather unexpected. And it’s not even Organ but Demuir, who is having a hard time with the guild director-nim.”
Demuir scratched his cheek, apparently embarrassed. "That's because those of our age grew up listening to the guild director's sagas... But isn’t that the same for you? You and I aren't that different in age."
I grew up listening to stories of when my father used to smash things outside my hometown, but I didn't hear any of Guild Director Glont's stories. Come to think of it, when I was young, I heard from a letter that Uncle Bloody went to war with a pervert he knew, but that couldn’t be Guild Director Glont, could it?
Ayy, no way. There’s no way that Guild Director Glont was the crazy Underwear Man who was bathing in a valley in his underwear and beat up the enemy knights that attacked him with his bare hands.
At Demuir's rebuttal, I shook my index finger. "Even nature changes in ten years. The age difference of seven is already enough for me to call you ahjussi!"
"My God, I'm an ahjussi?! How am I an ahjussi at 23 years old?!”
As Demuir and I were chatting while working on the documents, Fiona brought a bunch of documents, came into the office, and clapped. "Come on, everybody, attention please."
Fiona, now busy serving as Roseland’s role in his place, looked tired. "Please gather if your business is not urgent."
At Fiona's call, all the people working at the headquarters gathered in front of Fiona. I say everyone, but without Roseland, it was just six people, including Fiona.
"Then, I'll tell you the results of the monthly meeting."
The monthly meeting was held on the 1st of each month by branch directors and senior executives. People who were far away could also attend the meeting because they used magic communication. I heard that unless there was a big deal, the meeting was no more than reporting their monthly performance and saying hello.
"First of all, we've decided to hire new recruits for the headquarters this June. We are thinking of picking two people this time as well."
At Fiona's words, Flam clapped. "Ohhh, so we can escape from being the youngest?"
Flam and I weren’t given extra work just because we were the youngest, so rather than being relieved about his now more comfortable work life, he was happier for the symbolic escape from the new recruit status. Most of all, as Roseland was excluded from working and the number of people at the headquarters was small, the fact that new people were joining contributed to the joy.
"And not only Roseland, but also Dano, Demuir, and Den were among the candidates for promotion this time. In June, Dano will be given 6th rank of prestige, and Demuir and Den will be given 7th rank of prestige.”
"Oh, me too?"
I, as well as everyone else, were all surprised. Demuir was in charge of the overall accounting of the headquarters, so it was not unusual for him to be promoted because he was responsible for most of the trading performance. Yet, I was a new recruit who had been working for less than half a year.
"Yes. Demuir has been promoted at an exceptional pace, but Den’s is one for the records."
Fiona looked at the pile of documents she was holding. "Let's see, first of all, I've collected almost all the promotion points for the important war supplies management during the war, but the business trip to the imperial palace last month really drove it home. For awards, you were given a ton of extra vacation times, and a certificate for your hard work was issued in the name of His Highness, the Duke."
Now that I think of it, a few days ago, when I went to get cookies from Guild Director Glont, I received some type of certificate, but it must have been the certificate of hard work. I didn't know because I put it right into my pocket space without looking.
Everyone applauded after Fiona finished.
"Oh, I’m jealous!"
Suddenly I felt embarrassed when I received an unexpected round of applause.
"Haha, thank you. I'm not the only one getting promoted, but I'm a little embarrassed.
Fiona also smiled and clapped for me. "No, it's great. In particular, the certificate of hard work from His Highness the Duke is like a free pass to the 4th rank of prestige. Roseland is also getting promoted after receiving it. I'm a little jealous over this."
Since the difference between 1st class and 2nd class knights was like the fourth and fifth rank of prestige, it was very difficult to attain the 4th rank of prestige. It was even said that the difficulty of moving from the 5th rank of prestige to the 4th rank was greater than for a 2nd rank to reach the 1st rank of prestige.
"Organ, Flam, and I will probably get promoted next time. I didn't know until now, but the management of war supplies gives a very high amount of points."
"Ahahaha, well, then we’ll be able to get promoted again if another war breaks out."
When Demuir laughed and joked, Flam shook his head with a severe expression. "You shouldn’t talk about war so easily."
As Flam became serious all of a sudden, Demuir shrank and nodded at Flam's energy. "Uh, um, sorry."
"Mmm, as long as you know." At Demuir's apology, Flam nodded.
Just now, some martial aura leaked out from Flam, a delicate amount just enough to pressure Demuir. It was difficult for even a decent knight to control their martial aura that delicately. Suddenly, I wondered what Flam did before he became a civil servant, but I didn't ask.
Fiona continued to explain the details of the meeting, and when the explanation was over, she folded the documents and spoke as she passed us. "Oh, and I've been asked by the Asterium branch to help deal with the clean-up after the flood of demons."
At Fiona's words, Organ slightly frowned and asked, "So it will be a business trip?”
Everyone had an unwelcoming mood because the remaining people would be busier as the number of people on the business trip increased.
"Yes, I'm afraid so."
"Then who will be going on the business trip?"
Fiona smiled lightly at Flam's question. "All of us."
When everyone had trouble understanding, Fiona scratched her cheek. "To be exact, all of the adventurers in the headquarters and all of us who manage them."
Duke Asteria had largely employed the entire adventurer's guild headquarters. I felt like I vaguely understood what Duke Asteria meant a month ago.
* * *
Malecia led ten of his immediate subordinates into the Northern Alps, escorting Aries. Entering the Alps, Malecia and his men stuck their tongues out at the swarm of orcs.
"It seems like the Alps are not called the monsters' paradise for nothing. There’s a colony of orcs as soon as we come in.” Malecia was relaxed and stood next to Aries as his men fought against a thousand orcs.
Aries nodded. "But it's less than Olympus Forest.”
Malecia burst into laughter at Aries’s assessment. "Are there three or four thousand orcs in Olympus Forest?”
Aries shook his head. "No, a swarm of 10,000 deer roams around the forest.”
"But only deer? Well, 10,000 is definitely a lot, but compared to orcs...”
Aries smirked as Malecia trailed off while he watched his subordinates slaughter the orcs. "The deer there are no ordinary deer. If an Olympus deer goes on a rampage, that orc colony will perish in less than half an hour. If there’s two, it will take less than ten minutes.”
"Hahaha, where would such a hell exist?"
When Malecia didn't believe him, Aries snorted. "Because it is such a hell, it is considered to be the worst amongst the forbidden lands. Demons are not the top predators there."
At the Aries affirmation, Malecia swallowed dry saliva. For a moment, he imagined the sight of 10,000 deer slaughtering orcs gathered around.
"It gives me goosebumps. Then the Crow Tribe that lives there...”
"They are monsters who are the top predators of Olympus Forest. If you encounter an old Crow as an enemy, just surrender. A Crow that lives to that old age will be no different than a dragon outside Olympus Forest.”
Although Malecia was strong enough to be told that he was equivalent to an average battle race tribe, he was not strong enough to face a dragon alone.
"Haha, I see. It’s not for no reason that amongst the battle races that were dispatched, General Bloody is the only one whose powers are sealed. I fought him almost ten years ago, so it seems I almost died back then.”
"The Crow Tribe only has people who are crazy about fighting, so if you surrender, they'll stop paying attention to you, complaining that it's too bad. If you ignore them thoroughly, no one is safer to be around than them."
"Hahaha, they're crazy,” Malecia spoke frankly of what he personally thought.
Aries agreed. "They only have crazy people. Especially Mirpa, that alchemist is the craziest of the crazies. She's so crazy that inversely, she looks normal on the outside."
Aries shook his head as if he didn't want to even think about it.
"To tell you how crazy she is, if someone said she took in a completely incompetent disciple and turned him into a madosa, I’d simply believe it. That’s how crazy she is." Aries thought of the most impossible thing that he could imagine as an example and asserted that Mirpa was crazy.
Malecia was curious about Mirpa Ainsmall, the person Aries said was this level of crazy, but he also thought that he didn’t want to meet her.
Then, Aries looked past the orcs. "Hmm, the disciples have arrived."
Simultaneously as when Aries spoke, countless magic bullets poured down from the sky and slaughtered the orcs. And at the same time, five madosas in black hooded cloaks descended from the sky.
"It has been a while, Teacher-nim."Previous Chapter Next Chapter