WG – Chapter 44: Bounty Hunting Guild

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“Ringo, you understand what we should be doing from now on, right?” (Souma)

When I asked this with nervousness in my voice, she nodded silently. 

Her nodding deeper than usual must be because she properly understands just how grave of a situation we are in.

In the end, we decided to keep her name as Ringo.

There’s no one who knows about the name Shermia -including the person herself- to begin with, and there’s no special meaning in using that name. If the person herself likes the name Ringo, that way should be better. 

And what’s most important above anything, we have no time to be worrying about such petty stuff.

“We might have to say farewell to this place too…” (Souma)

Before leaving the room, Ringo and I look at this room that we spent a day together with. 

A clean bed, the chair that Ringo took quite the liking to and had been sitting on the whole time, also, this spaciousness that doesn’t make it feel cramped even with 2 of us here. 

Even though I have only been here for 1 day, thinking about how I won’t be able to return here anymore, I am feeling a bit sad.

“I already knew this would happen, and yet, I…” (Souma)

I muttered this unconsciously, but the situation won’t change even if I mope around.

Right, everything changed a few minutes ago.

The origin of all this was the innkeeper old man that came to our room.

The information that he brought felt as if a knife had pierced my heart. 

Even for someone like me who has been hit repeatedly by the hammer of unreasonable reality every passing day, those words were pretty shocking. 

What he said was…

“Ah, right, yesterday was on the house, but if you two are going to be staying in this room from now on, it will be the price for two: 1,500E.” 

A rise in the lodging price! 

Even if I am called the boss of impulsive buyers, I have my sanity. 

It is because I wanted to secure 2 days of lodging that I properly kept 2,360E even after I bought the pick-up item from the weapon store. 

…That’s right, 2,360E. 

After paying one night, I bought an apple, so I currently have 1310E.

Basically, at this rate, I won’t be able to pay the lodging. 

Of course, if I push the loner life and abandon Ringo, I should be able to stay for 1 night more, but that would hurt my conscience.

We may both be victims in a sense, but this was a situation caused by my relative, and different from Ina and Hisame, she probably wouldn’t be able to live alone.

I should look after her, at least until I find a place where she can live safely. 

“In the worst case, the one who loses in rock paper scissors…has to spend the night in a horse shed.” (Souma)

I confirm the current situation and begin to feel kinda sad. 

I didn’t imagine I would have to experience that in the real world.

There was barely any smell or sensation in the game world, but it is most likely different in this world that has become half real.

Sleeping in that cramped, stinky, and insecure place like that would be a bit too rough on a city person like me. 

My nights in the capital were mostly in horse sheds, but in my first time playing, I was properly staying at inns with my comrades.

I don’t remember well the price of that inn, but even though I should have known about the price system of the inns, my thinking didn’t go to that area. 

No, the money I had was already at 1,500E by the time Ringo appeared, so it might not have changed the situation much though.

(Damn it! If I had held it in and didn’t buy the fingerless gloves…) (Souma)

My happiness when I found that in the weapon store and gleefully wore it replayed in my mind.

I want to punch myself.

“No, this isn’t the time for regrets. I have to act!” (Souma)

I switch my mood and tighten my fist in front of my chest. 

And then…

“Ringo?” (Souma)

Adversity would at times change people and make them grow greatly.

Ringo must have felt something from my spirit, she approached this way with slow movements, and slowly moved her hand towards my tightened fist. 

And then, as if trying to display that open hand of hers, she showed a pure smile towards me and…

“…With this, you are the one to the horse shed?” (Ringo)

That’s so dark, Ringo-san! 

You have grown in a bad direction in this short amount of time! 

But I can’t stay surprised the whole time.

“A-Anyways! We need money no matter what! We have to earn 200E today, at the very least!” (Souma)

I tried to muddle out the rock paper scissors matter by shouting that, once again confirming my resolve for no more horse shed, and left the inn prepared to go all out or burn down.

So I say, but with my current strength, I can’t clear battle quests.

No battles, can be done in the city, ends in half a day, and can earn money as a reward; with all those prerequisites, the candidates are pretty limited.

I am not so cornered here that I would do Michael’s Blue Bird. If it is anything aside from that, the one that came to mind immediately was the Lost Guidepost. 

The Lost Waymark is a simple errand quest of ‘please leave a waymark at the location for my little sister that has no sense of direction’, but…this event was said to be impossible to clear.

The requester will give you 30 ‘Crumbs of Bread’ to use as a waymark, but just like in that famous fairy-tale, it will simply be eaten by birds if you make that into a waymark. 

He will then give you a white stone instead, but even if you leave that as a guide, the neighborhood kids or passerbys would pick it up, and it will end up with the request failing.

Even if you leave an item yourself, the children would take it or it wouldn’t serve as a waymark, and the request would fail.

Then, what kind of item should be used for the waymark? 

Most players gave up there, but a certain player publicized the correct answer on the internet. 

At the Item Shop, there’s an ornament that has more than 100 on their inventory for being the most unpopular thing there by a lot: Fancy Skull.

This skull’s system setting is: ‘When you put it down, no one can pick it up’. Even the neighborhood kids that would pick up pointless rocks would ignore it. 

It makes me worry why the hell would the Item Shop have so much of this useless item in stock, but with this, you can finally clear the quest. 

Or more like, different from the breadcrumbs and the white stone, it is around the same size as a human head. Makes you go ‘how would you know you can use something like that’, but well, this much can be considered easy to understand within the Nekomimi Neko quest standards. 

However, because this skull is a quest item, even when the quest ends, it won’t disappear from the ground the whole time until the player picks it up.

It would destroy the scenery of the city, so most would immediately retrieve it after clearing it, but no matter where you go, they definitely won’t buy it. An unpopular item to the point of bringing tears to your eyes.

However, even though it is such an unpopular item, it costs 100E each.

You need at least 25 at the very least to clear the quest, so it would be 2,500E.

I don’t have enough money at all.

Need money to earn money; what a terrible spiral I have fallen into.

“Can’t be helped. Let’s go to the Bounty Hunting Guild for now.” (Souma)

When speaking of a place where you can earn money when you don’t have much funds, that’s the only place I can think of. 

Battling is completely necessary here, but I might be able to manage depending on the request. 

We decide to head to the Bounty Hunting Guild.

Bounty Hunting is, putting it simply, something similar to what you find in Adventurer Guilds present often in games. The most common ones would be defeating monsters to earn money. 

Also, it is called the conscience of Nekomimi Neko in a completely different meaning from Hisame. 

That’s because the requests found on the Bounty Hunting Guild are randomly generated.

The Bounty Hunting guild gets random subjugation and delivery requests. 

It doesn’t have a guild membership or guild rank system, so you can freely take requests like: ‘Subjugate 3 Rural Slimes: Valid until the 9th of the 7th month’, ‘Deliver 2 Wild Dog Drips: Valid until the 10th of the 7th month’.

It is simple stuff like: if you defeat the designated number of monsters within the fixed time, or deliver the drop items from the specified monster within the fixed time to the guild, moreover, since they are randomly generated, there’s nothing of the peculiar maliciousness of Nekomimi Neko. 

It is a loved system by the Nekomimi Neko players, to the point that they would say: ‘If you are troubled, go to the Hunter Guild’.

Well, it is simply because the normal quests are way too evil though.

A weirdo might be waiting for me there again.

I slowly open the door that has a distorted request paper mark on it.

(…Alright!) (Souma)

There are no characters I have to be wary of inside.

I enter the guild without worries.

“Now then, let’s check out the bounties that look easy. If possible, delivery ones.” (Souma)

For subjugations, you need to borrow an exclusive crystal at the counter. 

At that time, you need to deposit half of the Element reward.

You get it back after the request is over, but with my current funds, I don’t know if I can even pay that. 

(Hmm, none look good…) (Souma)

Thinking about my current strength, I don’t want to go to a place with too strong enemies.

I want to aim for drops in the Deus Plain which has an average level of 50, but I couldn’t find any such request when I skimmed through them.

But when I was troubled by this, the noon bell tolled.

And at the same time it did…

“Massive outbreak report has come!” 

A man that seems to be from the guild came in huffing and posted a new bounty form at the center of the board.

The people in the guild all grew noisy. 

“Oi oi, seriously…?” (Souma)

And I was no exception.

“Could it be that luck is smiling on us?” (Souma)

I ended up asking myself this. 

That’s just how surprising this notice was.

The newly posted parchment stated as follows:

[Signs of a massive outbreak of Golden Stray Wild Slimes.]

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