First Odd-job Assignment
Following that, they discussed briefly the details about Annelotte’s share of mission rewards, her estimated ability, as well as the difficulty of missions the party should take on following her participation.
In the end, it was decided that she would have the same share of one-fourths as Cyranos did.
Even though that was greatly unfair to the one who should be the strongest on the team, Annelotte said that her share was more than enough to cover the materials she’d need for her spells as she had joined with the goal to train.
As for missions, out of consideration for a sixth-stratum rookie thief like Leguna, Kurdak decided that they would start with simpler missions so as to not endanger everyone.
Annelotte didn’t have any objections to that either. She explained that she had lived all her life with her teacher and didn’t have any real-life battle experience, so taking missions of moderate difficulty was just right for her.
After discovering how easy it was to negotiate with the mid-order magus, Kurdak and the rest couldn’t help but feel fond of that cool, beautiful girl.
Aside from her cold tone and expressionless look when she spoke, Annelotte got around pretty well with others. Apart from being slightly more talkative than Cyranos, she was practically a female version of him, allowing the party of three to feel all the more familiar with her, given their recent loss.
“Well then, welcome to our mercenary party,” said Kurdak with an outstretched hand.
Annelotte hesitated before she held hands with all three of them. Each of the hands felt slightly different to her.
Kurdak’s hand was rough and huge, Vera’s was fine and soft, while Leguna’s was as rough as Kurdak’s despite its small size, much to Annelotte’s surprise.
“Welcome, welcome!” Holding Annelotte’s fair and soft hand that was slightly cold to the touch, Leguna couldn’t help but feel a rush of excitement.
“Where will you be living in the future, Annie? Why don’t you move in with us?” asked Vera. She was already really delighted by the cold beauty and even referred to her with a nickname already.
“Apologies, I have my own place of residence within Starfall. This place is a little too noisy for me, so I won’t be used to living here,” refused Annelotte with a hint of difficulty, though not the least dissatisfied with how Vera regarded her.
“Oh, then forget it.” Vera didn’t mind the refusal since she brought it up on a whim in the first place. After all, the inn was filled with rowdy fighters and mercenaries and almost no magi, especially not one as pretty as Annelotte.
“I’m really sorry about this. As my teacher doesn’t appreciate other company, I can’t tell you about my address either. However, you may reach me through this crystal. Just infuse some impetus into it and I will be able to tell your location,” said Annelotte as he handed Kurdak a green crystal.
It was a contact crystal which Kurdak and the rest had seen before in luxurious magic item shops. Even though they were convenient to send messages or determine locations with, the astronomical price of 500 gold coins each disappointed Kurdak and co. They didn’t think that Annelotte would just toss them one out of nowhere, causing the mercenaries to marvel again at how rich magi were.
After seeing Kurdak put the contact crystal away with extreme care, Annelotte decided she had finished doing what she came for and took her leave.
“I didn’t think our party would attract such a powerful magus like her,” said Vera as she toyed around with the contact crystal.
“True,” said Kurdak as he looked at the charmed Leguna with intrigue. He couldn’t help but feel that Annelotte’s arrival had something to do with Moonshadow and Leguna, but it wasn’t like he could bring that to light in the first place. Since Moonshadow wouldn’t harm them, Kurdak didn’t think that having such a strong new teammate was necessarily a bad thing.
……[Ley, it’s Soram. You should be back in Starfall now, right? It’s your shift tomorrow, so don’t forget to report to the odd-job department.] A high-pitched voice rang out in Leguna’s mind and he realized that the last time he was at the odd-job department was almost 20 days ago. It seemed that tomorrow would mark the day he changed from being a mere mercenary to being one of the weakest lackeys of the largest thieves’ guild on Lance.
After another round of discussion about Kurdak’s duel that would take place three days later, during which Kurdak patting his own chest in confidence saying that he wouldn’t lose, Vera and Leguna went to sleep reassured.
Night on the next day, Leguna looked at the people below from the roof and couldn’t help making a quiet sneeze. As it was already early winter, the cold winds caused Leguna’s nose to clog up with phlegm that threatened to flow out from his nose if he didn’t do anything about them.
That morning, Leguna headed to the odd-job department as soon as he got up. The chubby Soram assigned him that mission with a warm smile. It turned out to be an investigation into an affair concerning the son of Starfall’s governor, Bjord.
Even though he was new at Starfall, Leguna was familiar with that person’s name, mainly because Bjord was a spoiled child that was infamous for his arrogant behavior within the city.
According to what Leguna knew, Bjord was forced by his family to marry the eldest daughter of the president of Starfall’s largest merchant guild, Pangdor. Bjord had to be forced because his partner in marriage was the embodiment of ugliness and nagging combined. As the one he married wasn’t up to his taste, Bjord set his sights elsewhere, given the hedonistic and luxurious lifestyle he was accustomed to.
While Bjord managed to find a way to deal with his predicament in his own manner, the not-so-good-looking wife he left back at home wasn’t too happy about it.
The moment Leguna received the mission briefing, he had been kneeling at the entrance of the city hall at Starfall, waiting for Bjord to show up as he analyzed the briefing he was given.
During the afternoon, the scion of the family that ruled Starfall showed up in Leguna’s vision. Leguna followed Bjord’s carriage through the city and came to a residential area that wasn’t as populated as the others.
After arriving there, Bjord rolled his collar up in fear of being recognized and entered a nondescript-looking house with his attendants.
That was the point where Leguna could return and report his findings as he was only instructed to find out where Bjord was hiding his mistress.
However, he recalled Soram’s advice that the more details one could provide, the higher the reward one would earn from the mission. So, he scaled the building up to the roof and made a peephole on the skylight to prepare for an additional night of observation.
Even though Leguna had heard of some rougher men talking about love-making during his stay at the slums, he had never actually seen it in action before.
As it was going to be the first time he actually got to see stuff like that after hearing so many stories of it, Leguna felt both awkwardness and anticipation when he waited for the most-pleasurable activity known to man to begin. But after waiting for half an hour out in the cold, he began to feel the urge to curse at Bjord.
All this time, Leguna could only see Bjord with his two attendants.
Since the building had two floors, Leguna was able to see the three people vaguely from above. But after half an hour, all Leguna could see was three people drinking tea as they chatted away, not doing anything noteworthy.
Leguna wasn’t within earshot and couldn’t pick up on what they were saying. It didn’t help that his mind was numb from the cold breeze on the roof. He had wanted to leave, but he chose to stay a little bit longer the moment he thought of the additional gold coins he’d be getting. And so, he decided to take the risk and sneak inside.
At the very least, it’ll be warmer inside, thought Leguna.
The skylight faced the corridor on the second floor. Leguna pushed the skylight open lightly and made his way inside. The flush of warm air made him feel much more comfortable. Leaning on the railings of the walkway, Leguna hid himself within the shadows.
Without the sound of wind blowing, he could finally eavesdrop on the conversation.
“Why’s that person’s not here yet?” Even though Leguna couldn’t actually see who was talking, he could tell from the arrogant tone that that person must be Bjord.
“Young Master, please be patient. That person should be here any time now,” said one of the attendants.
“Hmph, I already paid them the money, yet I still haven’t gotten a satisfactory response. If they dare play any tricks…” mused Bjord with a threatening voice.
The rapping of the door resounded right at that moment. Leguna stuck his head out curiously. He was really intrigued by the kind of woman who was able to bewitch a womanizer like Bjord. She must’ve been extremely beautiful to be able to make the rich heir wait for thirty whole minutes. Was she prettier than even Annelotte?
The moment the door opened, Leguna had his mouth wide agape. The one who stood there was no peerless beauty, but rather a man.