Chapter 4:

The first day in Ronoe

The Swordmaster and the New God


        We entered Ronoe the morning after we fought off the orcs. Staying out in the wilderness was nerve wracking for me. Austin, on the other hand, plopped down in the dirt and went right to sleep. Geovanni had bags of wheat to use as pillows, but Austin started snoring before Geovanni had a chance to offer them up. Americans.

      The town looked almost exactly like I expected with brown and white houses lining the streets. As we slowly made our way deeper in, stalls lined the streets as we entered the marketplace. An explosion of color and noise was the best way to describe it. People bustled back and forth from stall to stall as they checked out the offered wares. Walking through it without getting trampled on required more energy than I wanted to give.

      Once we got through the chaotic marketplace, we entered a nicer part of town. The buildings seemed bigger and fancier. The wood seemed to shine and the white paint on the buildings seemed flawless. The people around us seemed to be higher class as well. Everyone had on what looked to be fancy clothing, with a few exceptions. There were people from time to time that were dressed in what looked to be clothing from Earth. The tee-shirts and jeans looked nothing like any clothes I had seen in Enfer, not that our school uniforms did either.

      “Hey, those people wearing the blue pants and short-sleeved shirts, where do they come from?” I asked Geovanni. I tried my best to describe them without using earth terminology. I felt for all the Light Novel protagonists. That was hard.

      “Do you really not know? They’re heroes from a place called Earth. You two are from there, right?” He exclaimed in surprise.

      “Yeah. So are there a lot of people from Earth here?”

      “You must be new. Around a third of the population of Palsu is from Earth, summoned by God.” He sounded shocked as he spoke. Apparently, this was common knowledge.

      “God, huh. Hey Kazuma, you summon all these people?” Austin jokingly asked.

      “Of course. They all came crying to me, ‘please, oh please, get me away from that scary American! I'll do anything!’ So I sent them here.” I said.

      “And now I'm here to terrorize them all. Merica!” Austin laughed as we stopped before a giant wooden building.

      It was around five stories high, made of shining light wood. Windows lined the front, with people passing back and forth behind them. Two enormous dark doors were in front of us, held open by one of the workers. A sign above the doors read ‘Geovanni’s Trading Company.’

      “Wow, this is… big,” I said while looking at the building. All of this was Geovanni’s? We clearly had run into someone more important than I thought.

      Austin muttered something under his breath about a girl saying something.

      “Thank you so much. Come in and we can talk about me reimbursing you for protecting my cargo.”

      We walked inside the building, which was just as nice on the inside, and walked up to the top floor. I felt a big appreciation for elevators as we walked up the stairs. Geovanni’s office was the nicest room in the building. It was the same polished wood, but with a white tile floor. Expensive looking furniture filled the room, and a white desk was in the middle with a mountain of papers on it.

      “Welcome to my office, heroes. Sit, sit.” He pulled two chairs up to his desk and sat behind it. How he was this successful while being this friendly, I had no idea. Maybe he had another side to him?

      “So here's what I was thinking. I will give you each five thousand gold each for your services. Does that sound good to you?”

      I looked to Austin. Neither of us knew how much a piece of gold was worth. We could be making the equivalent to five thousand dollars or five thousand yen.

      “We’ll take it. Thank you for everything.” Austin spoke up before I had a chance to ask anything. That was normal for him, though.

      Geovanni smiled and handed us two bags from under his desk. I looked inside to see a pile of gold coins. I opened my inventory using my skill and threw the bag inside. I couldn't think of a safer place than that.

      We left Geovanni’s office and went back to the first floor of the trading company. “I thank you again for everything you have done. Is there anything else you need?” Geovanni asked.

      “Yeah, actually, as you can tell, we're new here. Is there anywhere that you would recommend that we go?” I asked.

      “The adventures guild would probably be a good place to start,” he said.

      Austin and I both started to laugh at the same time. “Are you serious? There's actually a place called the adventurers guild?”

      Geovanni wrinkled his face as he looked at us. He appeared confused at our reaction. “Of course. How else would the citizens of Palsu ask the heroes to help us? The Adventure's Guild is a place where we can post requests, and have a hero take them.”

      “You’re right. Can you tell us where the adventures guild is?” I asked.

      “Just down the street from here. You can't miss it.”

      “Thanks.” We left Geovanni and started walking down the cobblestone road. For being a decent sized town, Ronoe seemed rather clean. I hadn't seen any trash since entering the city, and the air smelled great. I had always heard that medieval cities smelled terrible, but maybe Ronoe was an exception to that. The cobblestone seemed to be in perfect condition, with no signs of wear and tear on a single stone. The fact it was so clean without any scratches or chips troubled me the more I thought about it.

      Before I knew it, we were at the guild. Geovanni had not been wrong when he said that it would be impossible to miss. With its imposing size and brick exterior, it looked unlike any other building in the city. It had a white roof that slanted down. A balcony extended from the second floor overlooking the streets below. A golden bell was on the top, making it look sort of like a church.

      “So this is where creativity dies,” Austin said as we entered the building. It looked exactly like I expected it too, with a giant wooden counter in the back and wooden tables spaced out on the floor. It also smelled exactly like I expected, like a bar. People with weapons filled most of the tables, most of them dressed like they were from Earth. A few gruff looking guys were in the room as well. They had the look of natives, with brown hair and brown eyes.

      “I'm not sure what else I was expecting,” I said.

      “You know, if you told me we were in a light novel right now, I would believe you,” Austin exclaimed as we walked up to the counter.

      “Hello, and welcome to the Ronoe adventure guild. Is there anything I can help you with?” The blonde attendant behind the counter asked.

      I struggled not to laugh as I spoke. “Hello. We would like to register with the guild.”

      “Certainly. First of all, let me explain how the guild works. You can take requests off the board and when you complete them, you submit proof with us if you can, and we provide the reward. You can only take requests up to one rank above you, however. When it comes to ranks, the lowest is F and the highest is S. By completing requests, you can raise your rank, but failing requests will cause it to lower. Any questions?

      “Yes. How are our ranks decided? Do we start at F, or are ranks calculated differently?” Asked Austin.

      The receptionist pulled out what looked to be a clay tablet from under the counter. “This tablet records your status. Your rank is decided based on what the tablet says.”

      She gestured for Austin to come up first and lay his hand in the middle of the clay tablet. When he did, it started to glow a bright pink before disappearing, leaving Austin’s status engraved on the board. I took a look at what was on the board.

Lv: 2

Class: Swordmaster

Health:2034/2037

Mana:542/542

Strength:5110  Speed: 3764  Stamina: 3329  Intelligence: 324  Magic: 39   Luck: 78,991

Skills: Sword Mastery, Weapon Proficiency, Critical Attacker, Speed Demon

      His stats were all way higher than mine. How was that fair? Also, since when did he turn to level two? It must have been after fighting all those green orcs.

      “Why didn't you say anything about becoming level two?” I asked Austin, sounding annoyed.

      “I didn't? My bad dude. I got a voice in my head telling me my level had gone up when I got done killing those orcs. It was weird, like someone was talking into my skull.” He said.

      Ignoring him, I walked up to the attendant as she refreshed the tablet by pressing a button on the bottom of the tablet. I put my hand where Austin had just removed his, and watched the tablet glow. The only difference was that the light was white for me instead of pink.

      After it finished glowing, the receptionist looked at the tablet, and then almost dropped it. A second later, she regained her composure. It was like nothing had happened. That's professionalism, I guess.

      “Ok. After looking at your statuses, the swordmaster will be in A rank, and the god in S.” You both can take any request that you wish. Do you have any more questions?

      A and S rank? I knew we were powerful, but not that powerful. Maybe it was our luck stats? Or maybe our classes were just that good. I did have one question for her, however. It was an event in practically every isekai light novel I had ever read, so it was worth a shot.

      “Can we sell materials that we collect to the guild?” I asked.

      “Certainly. We accept almost all monster parts here.”

      “Is it ok if I take out the ones I have on me?”

      “Yes. Be aware that the value goes down the more damaged they are. The ones in the worst shape are the least valuable.” She said,

      I reached into my inventory and made all the green orcs fly out onto the wooden floor with a single thought. They fell with a thud, and all the chatter in the guild hall stopped. Every eye was on us now. The receptionist looked at me in shock. I was right about this. This was truly an event in every isekai.

      She walked toward the corpse and examined them. “I don't get how, but these orcs appear to be in almost perfect condition. They have no rot at all, and the flesh is in pristine shape, other than the sword strikes. Not to mention not a single bone is broken. It’s like they were just killed.” She stood up and turned to me and Austin. “We can offer you 50,000 gold for the lot.”

      “What will 50,000 gold buy me?” I asked

      “A hundred gold is enough for a night at the nicest inn here in Ronoe.”

      Gold was worth that much? Taking what I knew about isekai worlds, one gold coin was worth around a dollar.

      She walked back to the counter and pulled out five large golden coins. “These are large gold coins. These coins are equivalent to 10,000 gold each. I'm sorry, but this is the only way we can afford such a large payment right now.”

      “What do you use the green orcs for anyway. I get that people can eat them, and I'm sure the bones can be used for something, but what about the rest, and why does the condition matter, especially for something like a green orc? I’d get it if this were a giant wolf or something like that, but orcs don't exactly have much use.” Austin asked.

      In isekai light novels, the adventures guild would always buy supplies from the hero, no matter what they killed, but the books never explained the uses for them. Sure things with fur pelts were easy enough to guess, but what was the point of having a green orc or a goblin in good condition anyway. Austin had a point here.

      “That's simple. The guild us- us- us- us- us- us- us- us- us- us- us- us- us- us- us- us- us- us- us- us- us- us- us- us- us- us- us- us- us- us- us- us-...” The receptionist kept repeating the same sound over and over again. It was like when a video game character glitched during a line of dialogue. Her eyes lost their focus and she stared off into the abyss as she spoke.

      The Earthers were all muttering to themselves, not taking their eyes off the receptionist while the people from this world all acted like nothing was wrong. No, it was like they couldn't see it happening. One of the Earthers tried to point it out to the man next to him, but the local just looked confused, saying the receptionist was just standing there minding her own business.

      “us- us- us- us- us- us- us- us- us- us- us- us- us- us- us- us- us- us- us- us- us- us- us- us- us- us- us- us- us- us- us- us- us- us- us- us- us- us- us- us- us- us- us- us- us- us- us- us-. Do you have any more questions?”

      Just as quickly as she started, the receptionist had turned back to normal. Her face looked at us like nothing out of the ordinary had just happened. I turned to Austin to make sure I wasn't hallucinating, and he looked just as freaked out as I was.

      I grabbed the gold coins from her and quickly walked away, saying goodbye as fast as I could. The weird part was that while I felt creeped out, I didn't feel afraid. It was another example of whatever Lilith had done affecting me.

      “Hey, Kazuma, do you want to wait outside while I choose a request?” Austin clearly wanted to get out of the guild as soon as possible.

      “Yeah, I'll meet you outside.” My footsteps echoed in the silent hall as I walked. The Earthers eyes were all on me, staring. I walked out and waited for Austin to appear so I could get as far away from there as I could.