Bathed in murderous stares, Suimei found himself in an awkward situation.
The formerly warm receptionist now glared at him coldly while the burly man before him was so angered that his body shook uncontrollably.
The other members of the guild staff, seemingly personally offended, gathered ’round. A dense, threatening pressure enveloped Suimei, this visitor from another world.
Uwaaa, this looks bad…
Suimei groaned inwardly. His choice of clothing had been a terrible blunder. If he were to be scolded for his actions just now, then he’d have to accept it. After all, this was an organization of people who earned their daily bread with their blades; that someone dressed as he was sought to join their ranks was indeed ludicrous. Not only did he look completely normal, but his clothing did as well. No matter what aspect of his appearance you evaluated, you would only see someone without the slightest experience in combat. Adding his smaller Asian physique on top of all of that, and it was only natural that others would see him as nothing more than a delusional child who didn’t know his own limits.
However, in the world he’d come from – assuming an organization like the guild existed there – even his current appearance wouldn’t have created the predicament he now found himself in. In a world that was home to countless techniques, skills, and weapons; even if you were small of stature, even if you looked completely ordinary, even if you were but a child or one of the elderly, there was always the possibly you were hiding something incredibly dangerous. Firearms, other weapons, martial arts, magic even – when it came to dangerous things, they were without number.
Although it must be said that a sturdy physique and a ferocious appearance was an advantage of a kind, but it was hardly a decisive factor when it came to real combat, and judging an enemy by their appearance had led many a combatant to their deaths. This was doubly true when magicians – infinitely more terrifying than their opponents, who, outwardly, appeared the more dangerous – were taken into consideration. Compared with such things, the power of one’s magic or the trump cards one held were far more important.
Suimei had made his decisions while unconsciously adhering to his own world’s standards, acting in concert with what, to him, was only “common sense.” This had become a blind spot.
However, there was no reason for people of this world to act this way, and so the oversight this time was entirely Suimei’s fault. That notwithstanding, he wasn’t going to allow a mistake as small as this to keep him from joining the guild. Registering as a member here was something that had to happen. Moreover, he still had to look for somewhere to stay; he couldn’t afford to waste any more time here.
He couldn’t just buy a sword and return, though; his appearance had already been seared into their memories by this terrible first impression. Changing his clothes now wouldn’t change a thing. They’d just kick him out once more.
As Suimei thought hard, looking for a way out of the current situation, the man’s eyes narrowed angrily, and he spoke.
“…Hey, punk. You seem pretty sure of yourself, right?”
“You could say that. I did say earlier that If I wasn’t sure of myself, I wouldn’t have come here in the first place.”
“Is that so. Alright then, let’s see what you’ve got…” the man growled menacingly, as he reached for the sword on his back.
Panicking, the receptionist rushed to stop him.
“W-wait! No matter what he’s done, this is still…”
“It should be fine. That guy seems to be getting serious himself.”
“B-but guild regulations strictly forbid acts of violence against a normal person!”
“This ain’t no ‘act of violence.’ Anyway, that’s only against ‘a normal person.’ This brat wants to join the guild, right? Then he’s not a normal person. That means giving him a little test should be just fine.”
“But… even if you say that…”
The man not budging, the receptionist could only stammer a rebuttal. Ignoring her completely, the man prodded Suimei with a question.
“You’re serious, aren’t you? So this is fine?”
Suimei accepted the man’s provocation, but couldn’t restrain the sigh that came. It was unfortunate that the situation had indeed taken this turn, but given the bloodthirsty atmosphere in the room, the need to demonstrate a bit of force was entirely within expectations.
And so he began planning his next move—
Well, at least this isn’t our world. Those Church bastards aren’t here, and this is a world where magic lives out in the open. I guess I don’t need to bother hiding that much…
To be honest, Suimei’s thoughts on how he should approach life in this world had changed drastically over the last few days. At first, he’d planned on keeping his powers as much a secret as he had in his own world. But for these people, magic was a part of daily life. Were he to encounter another opponent who wielded magic, then magic was the most appropriate countermeasure. That it’d occur in a setting without a single bystander was incredibly unlikely. As long as he lived in this world, it was impossible to consider concealing his magic permanently.
Furthermore, magic here was seen as a miracle, a blessing from the gods. Those who saw in magic only a heresy to be destoyed – the Church – were nowhere to be found. Accordingly, any reasons he might have had for concealing his magic weakened considerably. His other concern, that his magic might be seen through and stolen, was similarly a non-concern in this world. Given the woeful state of magic in this world, so unlike his own, as far as he could tell, no one even possessed the ability to understand his magic unless he were to expose its secrets himself.
Simply put, wielding his magic here should be quite safe. Anyway, if he were to successfully become a guild member, his secret would have come out sooner or later. In that case, revealing it now, as opposed to later, made no difference whatsoever.
Although in his heart of hearts, he would have preferred to keep things a secret as long as possible, but as he considered the circumstances, it was also true that the current situation provided an unparalleled opportunity for him to demonstrate that he had the strength necessary to join the guild. He’d end this predicament with the audience as his witnesses.
As Suimei pondered his options in silence, the man lost his cool and shouted.
“You playing dumb or something? You can’t tell the danger you’re in?”
“Well, for that to happen, I’d have to be in danger first, wouldn’t I?” Suimei replied calmly.
Rather, he couldn’t think how else to react. Calmly expressing that he didn’t see any need to worry wasn’t an act.
Although the atmosphere might be rather tense, but a pressure of merely this degree was nothing to feel concerned about. As he had testified to earlier, Suimei had already experienced life-and-death battles on more than one occasion. He was a veteran of combat.
The feeling of pressure coming from the man was simply not on the same level as what he’d experienced back home. Going further still, when compared with the sheer rabid fury exhibited by those who believed in God against the magicians, then “open hostility” of this level could practically be considered goodwill. That didn’t even include the feeling of being surrounded by military units armed with the latest in modern weaponry, nor did it even approach the threat exhibited by those strange existences they called Monsters, and the forces of nature they wielded.
In comparison, the easy-going threat he felt from the man was a joke. With that said, Suimei recognized that he had simply become too accustomed to horrifying experiences, and that it was for that reason that he felt not the slightest hint of danger.
I wonder what he thinks of me? Perhaps he saw in him an immature brat who didn’t know his own limitations, an idiot that was unable to read the atmosphere in the room, or a stubborn fool who didn’t know when it was time to back down. As it was standard practice for magicians of his world to completely restrain their mana as part of concealing their identities, it was likely they couldn’t even tell he could use magic.
The man snorted.
“Hmph. …I’m going to start. You’ll want to block or dodge this—”
He pronounced the start of the contest. It was only at that moment that the others in the room realized that Suimei seriously intended to go through with this.
If this were just a demonstration of strength, what need would there have been to announce himself? It looked like things had unexpectedly turned serious.
Though still inwardly conflicted, Suimei nonetheless focused himself.
—The man’s stance showed that he was about to draw his sword and swing. Watching, he decided it would be trivial to identify the moment when it would leave its scabbard and trace its trajectory.
Targeting the hilt of the sword as the key to victory, he chose the optimal use of his mana. As if casually flicking a bug, he snapped his fingers.
In an instant, the roar of an explosion and a tragic – not to mention terribly uncute – cry sounded. The impact from the compressed air explosion threw the man’s massive frame into the air only for it to come crashing down shortly after. His sword, the hilt of which had been Suimei’s target, was flung from his hands and flew through the air.
The sound of the heavy sword dropping onto the ground rang out at the same time as the man loosed a pained groan.
“Ugh… When did you… S-shit! W-what just happened…?”
Unable to discern the true form of the attack that had hit him, the man gazed around helplessly in confusion.
The female receptionist, standing behind him, gave voice to her confusion. Whether she was shocked at the disparity between Suimei’s true strength and her image of him, or because she was completely at a loss to explain what had just occurred was unclear.
The match spectators were similarly stunned, their eyes open wide in shock.
“Pardon me, but might I ask what just happened?”
“I used magic.”
Suimei replied indifferently to the question posed by the cowering receptionist.
The other party seemed to have finally collected himself, and the man walked over with his hand pressed firmly to his head.
“Magic…? But I never heard an incantation or a keyword…?”
“You’ve gotta be kidding me…”
“I didn’t do anything else besides that.”
Suimei’s reply was given without a hint of modesty.
Given the reaction he’d just seen, Felmenia’s surprise made a lot of sense. To activate magic without either an incantation or a keyword activation was something nonsensical to the people of this world.
—Ceremonial magic. Depending on the occasion, it was known either as ceremonial magic or ritual magic: one of the forms of the magic arts. Although it was categorized as magic, it was nonetheless different from other hidden techniques, astrology, or other types of magic systems. Its use entailed the chanting of phrases with meaning, and required an exact reproduction of the prescribed motions and incantations before it would activate. When described by modern magicians, this form of magic was known as manual magic.
Magic that acted in accordance with predetermined actions and incantations was a very common magic system in modern magic. Summoning magic was perhaps the best example, and it was likely that all the magic of this world fell under this category.
What Suimei had just used however, was a magic from an altogether different system. The snapping of his fingers had been the trigger for this magic. Fulfilling the activation requirements was all that was needed to enact it.
Simple and common, once the magic had been systemized, it was extremely convenient to use.
Magic without either incantation or activation keywords was nothing to magicians of his world.
“Ah, yeah. I apologize for not saying this earlier, but I’m… something like a mage, yes.”
At his delayed explanation, a commotion broke out around him.
“A mage… dressed like that?!”
“I’ve never heard of a magic that didn’t need an incantation or a keyword…”
“Oi, don’t tell me that guy’s actually an amazing mage…?”
…He’d gone a little too far. But still, all he’d done was snap his fingers, really. From the perspective of modern magic, activating a spell with a predetermined action was nothing special. Magic chanted while pointing at one’s target or cast with grand motions did exist within his repertoire, but Suimei hadn’t wanted to use anything so flashy, though explaining what he’d actually done seemed pretty difficult itself. He decided to ignore their questions instead. Having reached a conclusion, he turned.
Facing the receptionist, her gaze colored by surprise, Suimei shrugged.
“Do you believe me now?”
“N-not quite. Your magic was certainly undeniable, but I don’t understand why a mage like you isn’t wearing a robe or carrying a staff? Aren’t those indispensable items for a mage?”
“Hmm? Are those really necessary for mages?”
“…Well, no. Not really, but pretty much every mage uses them still.”
“Then who cares? I’m not one to follow tradition just because.”
His answer had been so unexpected that the receptionist didn’t know what to say, her mouth open, but with no words forthcoming.
“T-this isn’t a matter of ‘just because’! Those things are needed for precise magic control or to ward off other magics, you know?!”
“Well, I do have something equivalent to a mage’s robe, but I don’t have any need for something like a magic staff. Now, when you’re casting something particularly complex, then of course supplementary tools are needed. When it comes to something as simple as fine-tuned control of one’s mana, though, then only third-rate magicians would need something to help with that.”
Suimei’s decisive declaration left the receptionist nearly speechless.
Is it really common sense here that mages always have robes and a staff? Because Felmenia hadn’t used a staff, he hadn’t noticed the latter.
The fact of the matter was, for ages now, the magic staff was considered a tool of absolute importance. According to the records left behind, this was a practice that originated in ancient Egypt, when magic staves in the likeliness of those held by their gods became a symbol of their authority. Among the countless examples since, perhaps the most well known were the Celtic Druids. Even in modern times, there were examples such as Mathers‘ Lotus Wand.
The differences between varying magic systems notwithstanding, the magic staff was an invaluable aid to magicians of all kinds, being particularly common among practitioners of the fire system.
That said, he indeed did not have one – the reasoning for which could be left for a later discussion.
When it came to the necessity of mage robes, items which boosted the defensive capabilities of a wielder of magic, this world and his former one were agreed.
In the Magician’s Society, Western formal wear had replaced the robe. With its ability to defend against magic, it was something he had already prepared. Should the occasion require, he was ready to materialize that black-white suit and cloak on a moment’s notice.
…A mage’s robe and staff.
He didn’t avoid them because he felt they were antiquated nor did he have anything against the age-old image of a magician of which they were an integral part. While it was true that items of such a long history didn’t seem entirely fitting for a modern magician, that was hardly a reason to discard them.
No, it had been other modern developments that had led them to abandon the robe and staff.
Although they single-mindedly chased after the mysteries of the world as magicians, an ideal that ran directly opposite to that of the science-dominated world they lived in, they had nonetheless been influenced by that same society. New magic tools had been developed to take the place of the old. Walking the path of magic advocated by the head of the Society had led Suimei to where he was today.
The magic staff had become a magic gun, and the robe had become a Western suit. Timeless traditions were important, but searching for ways to improve upon those traditions and forge them anew was just as important.
Nevertheless, that this had created substantial confusion was undeniable.
“I apologize. I hadn’t realized that my choice of clothing would matter that much.”
His humble demeanor as he apologized led the man to make a frantic reply of his own.
“N-not at all. It was my mistake for judging you too hastily. I’m very sorry.”
“I appreciate your saying that. …With that settled, am I okay to join the guild now?”
“Ah, yeah. You’re a mage so I have nothing to complain about. She’ll help you with the rest.”
The man walked over and pointed at the receptionist.
Following his lead, “Is that alright?” Suimei asked the receptionist.
“Y-yes. Joining the guild is just fine. I apologize for my rude manner earlier.”
“Mm. Don’t worry about it. It’s not that a big deal…” he answered the young woman, her head bowed out of shame, his tone betraying his confusion.
“No, I truly apologize.”
The 180 her attitude had taken was a bit unsettling, but it was understandable.
At this time, the surrounding bystanders who had criticized Suimei earlier returned to their seats one by one. From the situation, it seemed clear that the matter had been resolved. The man again apologized and took his leave.
“…These are the documents you’ll need to fill out. Please enter any required information.”
The paper the receptionist handed him asked for some basic information such as his name and age.
As the form didn’t ask for anything worth concealing, Suimei took the quill and ink bottle she’d handed him and filled it in before returning it to her.
The receptionist took a quick glance at the sheet.
“So, Yakagi Suimei-san. …I apologize for my poor manners, but this is a rather unique name, isn’t it?”
“I know, right? People are always telling me the same thing.”
Suimei smiled wryly at her remark. He was Japanese, after all, and this world was roughly equivalent to Medieval Europe; such a sentiment was only to be expected.
With that said, it was true that this was something he’d heard pretty often. Even in Japan, “Suimei” was a name rarely seen, and he’d been mocked more than once for having such a “glittery” name. No matter where he went, it was a strange name… but that wasn’t worth thinking about now.
“You haven’t included an address. Might I ask why?” the young woman asked as she looked over the form.
Just as she’d said, the space for an address had been left blank.
This didn’t mean that he intended to stay homeless, but rather that he’d planned to look for housing after this.
“I was planning to look for somewhere to stay after this, so I left it blank for now.”
“If you’d like, the guild can provide accomodations?”
Although he appreciated the thought, he’d already made plans, so he shook his head.
“Thanks, but I plan to head for the Nelferian Empire. I’m not going to be in Mehter for that long.”
“I see…” the woman answered with a tone of regret.
He wasn’t sure what it was she felt regret over, but housing was indeed something that had to be taken care of. He’d go take care of that next.
“Is something wrong?”
“No, it’s nothing. It’s just that the guild needs to know how its members are doing, so once you find a more permanent residence, please let us know.”
“Okay, Suimei-san. Just to confirm: you wish to be listed as a mage under occupation, correct?”
“Next question, then. Can I ask what your elemental property is?”
The receptionist’s casual question left Suimei somewhat perplexed.
“…Is it a problem if I don’t specify?”
“It’s a guild regulation. Don’t worry, though: we won’t make such personal information public.”
“I see, hrm…”
“Is something wrong?”
The young woman cocked her head, puzzled by the look on Suimei’s face. That this question had been asked was common sense in this world. Indeed, back in the palace, overexcited at having learned magic, Reiji and Mizuki had mentioned something about how one’s magical affinities were decided at birth. However, having heard this from two who were apparently capable of using every type of magic, he wasn’t sure how reliable the information was. Perhaps this was related to that?
From the guild’s point of view, wanting to know what its members specialized in was only natural.
At long last, Suimei, an awkward expression on his face, mumbled a reply.
“Well, I’m a little better at fire magic…”
“Fire, is it? But what you used just now was definitely not fire magic…”
“Uh, um… I can use wind magic too.”
“I see. So you have dual properties.”
“Yeah… Something like that.”
Suimei could only give an ambiguous answer. It looked like that was fine for this world, though.
As he’d said, he was indeed better with fire magic. But that was only in a very general manner of speaking. Unlike the restrictions on affinities Reiji and Mizuki had described, he had no problems using other types of magic.
It wasn’t like what they’d said had been completely without basis. Even back in their world, because magicians studied different systems of magic, there were indeed magic types they were unable to use.
He, however, was an exception. He was a practitioner of Hebrew numerology, or more specifically, the Kabbalah, which entailed representing all creation with enumeration (Sefirah) and formulas, and using numerical combinations to bring forth magic. Fire magic, water magic, lightning magic… even the reproduction of a phase transition such as the solidification of liquids was possible. As long as the proper procedure was followed and an appropriate amount of mana was used, then any and all phenomena could be reproduced by his magic.
Only now did he begin to realize just how important a concept this was to the magic of this world. It was true that even from the perspective of modern magic, the doctrine of the four (or five) elements and the five phases was extremely important, considered to be the basic concepts underpinning the world.
Despite that, however, the notion of “properties” was nothing more than a rough indicator of the element to which a magic belonged. As an example, even though fire and water magics were strongly correlated, just because you couldn’t use fire magic didn’t mean you couldn’t use water magic.
The idea that elemental affinities were innate was a rather basic concept. Although, technically speaking, everyone possessed the potential to use all magic properties, there were still those which were considerably more difficult for a given magician to use. It wasn’t hard to imagine that there would be some which were out of reach entirely.
—If we take lighting a fire as an example, while technically people are capable of learning to use all tools, there are undoubtedly some who can start a fire with a match, but who would not know how to do so with a flint. Such a person could be described as having an “affinity” for matches, while being “weak” at flints.
When phrased in terms of magic, matches and flint can be seen as different systems of magic. A fire could be created by borrowing the powers of gods and demons; use of the Sefirah to bring a fire into existence, as Suimei would; through divination methods such as astrology or tarot; or the use of runes or onmyoudou; etc. All could achieve the same result, but which method one employed was a matter of one’s affinities. There are inevitably phenomena that one would fail to produce when working with a magic system that one was particularly weak at.
Thus, were one capable of using other magic systems, then being able to use other magic properties became a possibility. It wasn’t like it was a certainty that one would be able to use all magic properties, but for Suimei, a modern magician who had encountered many, many magic systems, the notion that it was “impossible” to use all magic properties was really only a problem of this nature.
He’d heard of modern magicians who focused solely on a single property and were thus unable to use others. Thinking along those lines, it was easy to understand why the mages of this world were limited in their ability to use certain properties and not others. It was likely that the “magic” of this world was dominated by the same magic system that Reiji and Felmenia practiced. Even if there were others, they didn’t seem to be large enough to have affected anything.
“By the way, can I ask if Suimei-san can use restoration magic?”
“Hmm? Restoration magic?”
Suimei raised his head at the abrupt question.
An unfathomable look appeared on her face.
“Don’t tell me you don’t know what restoration magic is?”
“Not quite. While it’s not like I don’t know anything about it…”
Hearing the term again, Suimei felt that it was somehow different from the term he knew. Perhaps it was just a difference in phrasing and there wasn’t really a semantic difference? Anyway, when it came to restoration magic—
It seemed like it was a term encompassing all magics related to recovery magic.
Recovery magic was a vital— no, necessary, power. The ability to heal oneself and others after combat was essential, something that pretty much goes without saying. Back in his original world, the chronic lack of sufficient numbers of magicians who practiced recovery magic had plagued society throughout history.
He wasn’t worried about revealing anything in this regard.
“…With regards to healing magics, I can use energy healing, alchemy, and reconstruction magics.”
“Huh? Energy… healing? Alchemy?”
“Yeah. That’s right…”
He’d revealed the magics he could use for the time being, but the receptionist seemed confused. Perhaps she hadn’t understood the terminology he’d used?
“Um… Sorry, but I’m not that versed in magic, so I didn’t really understand what you just said.”
Of course. Of course this had happened again. Suimei looked like he didn’t know what he ought to say.
—Energy healing was a technique for healing injuries with magic. Sometimes it was known as healing magic or spiritual surgery as its ability to heal injuries extended beyond the physical body to the mind. It was capable even of healing serious illnesses and reconnecting severed limbs. Healing magics were all of this type, while reconstruction magic – as its name suggested – was for restoring broken objects to their original state. It was meant to be used on inorganic things, but to a limited extent, could be used for healing as well.
…The receptionist decided to put aside the issue of these magics she had never heard of, and asked something else instead.
“Um, what does restoration magic have to do with refining metal?” (Alchemy is “錬金術,” literally “art of refining metals.” As we’ll see in a second, in their world, alchemy deals specifically with the manipulation of metal, hence her question.)
“Because magic potions are produced via alchemy.”
“There are metallic potions?”
What the hell kind of potion is that?! Suimei retorted in his mind before continuing out loud, “…I’m sorry, I’m not that familiar with what ‘alchemy’ means here, would you mind explaining?”
“Oh, um, okay. Alchemy is, as its name suggests, the control of metal via the medium of earth magic. It’s typically used in the creation of metallic objects, the processing of orichalcum, or the creation of the very highest-quality golems. The magic potions you just mentioned, Suimei-san, belong to a different discipline of magic, magical pharmacology…”
“Sorry, it’s nothing.”
—The alchemy of his world had originated with ancient Egypt and Greece. It combined metallurgy, medicine, glass-making, and the chemistry techniques of the time into one enormous body of knowledge. With the development of a medicine granting immortality as its greatest goal, it was said to have amassed the sum total of all of human knowledge at the time under one umbrella.
Afterwards, coming under the influence of the teachings of Hermes and legendary alchemist Paracelsus, alchemy had gradually changed. In its new form, the medicine of immortality had become synonymous with the Philosopher’s Stone, and its primary goals had become the refinement of precious metals and the creation of homonculi and reproduction of matter. Understandably, it had become one of the major schools of magic. Because this world had never had a Hermes Trismegistus or a Paracelsus, it was obvious that the alchemy of this world would be different from that of his world.
Metallurgy and the creation of golems could, at best, only be described as a corollary of the alchemy of his world. He was, however, interested in this “medical pharmacology” that apparently was unrelated to the alchemy of this world. Either way, it was clear that the alchemy of this world was different from the one he was familiar with. If he wasn’t careful when speaking, it could cause some complications.
“…R, right. Well then, is it fine if I put you down as capable of restoration magic?”
After a slight nod from him, the receptionist set to writing down the pertinent information on the registration form. Then, clearing the air with a cough, she continued in a business-like tone.
“—Ahem. Excuse me. Next, we’ll explain about the adventurer’s guild, Twilight Pavilion, and perform a ranking evaluation. The details of the latter will be explained later on by the corresponding personnel; I’ll talk about the Twilight Pavilion first.”
Suimei nodded, and the young woman began her explanation.
“—The adventurer’s guild, Twilight Pavilion, is the adventurer’s guild primarily operating within the boundaries of the Aster Kingdom, the Nelferian Empire, and the United Sadias Autonomous Territories. The services we render are necessarily as varied as the commissions we accept, though the vast majority fall among one of the following: escort missions for those gathering herbs in dangerous areas, raiding ancient dungeons, exploring frontier regions, and the elimination of monsters. Any questions?”
Suimei’s silence provoked a question of confirmation from the receptionist. Up until this point, everything he’d heard mirrored what he’d read in Camelia’s library.
The adventurer’s guild, Twilight Pavilion, was a special guild with the ability to freely operate within the borders of the three kingdoms. Their headquarters were located in the United Sadias Autonomous Territories, with massive branch locations in both Aster and Nelferia. This was an organization with the authority to accept requests issued by the government itself.
Following along so far, Suimei nodded, signaling the receptionist to continue.
“Then I’ll continue with the explanation, okay? Now, although earlier I’d said that we operate ‘primarily’ within the borders of the three kingdoms, but strictly speaking, members of the Twilight Pavilion are not allowed to operate outside of the three kingdoms. Do you know why?”
The sudden question was unexpected, but not difficult, so Suimei answered her directly.
“Because other kingdoms are either overtly hostile to the three kingdoms or otherwise view them as enemies, right? Subsequently, Twilight Pavilion members can’t easily enter other countries, and moreover, cannot use their guild membership. Were they to do so, it would lead to dangerous circumstances. Something like that.”
“That’s right. That’s why when you leave the three kingdoms, you need to be very careful. If you don’t go through proper channels, then it’s quite possible that you will be arrested under suspicion of being a spy. Although the relationship between nations has much improved since the demons have attacked, it’s still best to be careful.”
Something like that occurring was more than possible, and so Suimei expressed his understanding to the receptionist who wore a serious expression as she thrice reminded him of the danger.
“Moving on, our guild uses a grading system to record information about our members. The rankings go from E-rank to S-rank, with members receiving commissions according to their ranking. More specifically, E-rank members are unable to accept D-rank commissions. If you wish to take higher ranked commissions, then completing many tasks will improve your evaluation and allow for a rank up.”
“And what is the evaluation based on?”
“While there are many factors, achievements attained while completing commissions is the primary criterion. That is, after all, the kind of organization this is. This much should be expected.”
Suimei nodded in reply.
Unsurprisingly, the evaluation of guild members’ strength came down to work experience. There were commissions for things like hunting monsters or gangs of bandits, and so something like this was only fair. One would never rise in the ranks without others’ positive assessment of one’s abilities. Suimei had only planned on accepting suitable commissions anyway, so this wasn’t a problem for him.
“Additionally, requests, for the most part, are announced by we members of the guild staff. Please feel free to look over the request board for a job you’d like to do, and then bring it to one of us. At that point, we’ll investigate and determine the commission’s suitability based on your rank, so please keep this in mind.”
Partway through her explanation, Suimei noticed something.
” ‘For the most part?’ Meaning there are times when commissions are given by assignment?”
“Good job noticing that. Yes. Large-scale commissions which normal staff are unable to bear the responsibility for and commissions of extreme difficulty are handled in this manner. As befits the request in question, we will gather guild members and issue assignments to the appropriate individuals to have the matter taken care of. However, those chosen are either high-ranked members or those who possess special skills. This has nothing to do with you at this point.”
“Perhaps,” Suimei replied vaguely.
Although even if he’d wanted to take such a request, given that he currently had no achievements to speak of, and had yet to earn the guild’s trust, it was true that such requests were not something he should concern himself with.
“The final item of business concerns your guild membership card. After this, you’ll be given a card which serves as proof of your guild membership as well as personal identification. Do not lose it. Were it to fall into the wrong hands, many bad things could be done with it. Please, keep it safe. If the misuse of your card causes harm to the reputation of the guild, you will be punished accordingly. Please be careful.”
“One final note. The design of the membership card changes depending on your rank, and so during times when your rank is being evaluated or changed, we will need your card back. We apologize for any inconvenience that that might cause.”
Finished with her explanation, the receptionist breathed deeply.
“That does it for the introduction to the guild, next up will be the ranking evaluation. Please take a seat beyond that door there and await your examination,” she said, indicating the door in question with her hand.
As directed, Suimei walked over to the inner door.