Chapter 5:

Chapter 2.1, Boutique

Don't Worry, We Have the Best Supporter in Our Team

“Umm… Are we in the right place?”Bookmark here

It was at 5:30 PM. Alice and Jayce stood at the front of the best, from Jayce’s perspective, a tailor shop in the merchant district. The shop, just like Nora’s, had a display glass, displaying a few selected, best dresses. But what held her back was…Bookmark here

“Yes. This is the place.”Bookmark here

The price tags that were placed in their designated clothing ranged from 100 gold coins to 200 gold coins. Alice’s face went pale as her eyes laid on them. She agreed that he will get a new ensemble for her, but he didn’t mention anything about having it crafted by a high-class shop like this.Bookmark here

“But…”Bookmark here

Without giving her a chance to retort, Jayce entered the boutique shop with Alice in tow.Bookmark here

“Welcome. How may I be of service?” Bookmark here

A tailor, who seemed to be the owner of the shop, approached them and welcomed them as they entered his shop. The shop had displayed varieties of apparel onto their mannequins, materials rolled into cylinders and stored in wooden cabinets.Bookmark here

“Yes, I would like to make a custom order for her.”Bookmark here

“Certainly, my apprentice will take her measurements.” Bookmark here

He called his apprentice over. The apprentice arrived without a moment’s delay. She gave a slight bow to them, with her right hand placed on her chest.Bookmark here

“Please do the measurements for this young lady over here.” He asked politely.Bookmark here

She nodded. Bookmark here

“Certainly. Right, this way.” She gestured for Alice to follow her to a private changing room.Bookmark here

“Jayce, is this alright? I mean… custom-made apparels are...” She turned to Jayce in askance. Bookmark here

For weapons, armours, and apparels, custom orders usually cost at least ten times more than the price of goods displayed for sale. The reason was that they had to undergo sophisticated procedures and required rare materials.Bookmark here

“Don’t worry, Alice. The guild will pay the cost.”Bookmark here

That statement made Alice even more anxious. By guild, he meant that the funds he had built up by himself. She tried to make an argument with Jayce to save the guild’s funds. However, he didn’t seem to yield to her arguments. Bookmark here

Alice resigned herself and went ahead to the measurement room with the tailor. The measurement process completed before she knew it. She deftly measured every specific part of her body. To her, despite that she was an apprentice, she could very well be at the level of a veteran tailor.Bookmark here

Meanwhile, Jayce handed out a schematic to the tailor who greeted them earlier. Bookmark here

“I need you to follow this design. Further details are written in this document. As for the material, it needs to be durable and able to provide comfort with no matter what kind of environment the bearer situated at.”Bookmark here

“Certainly,” he nodded. “The entire cost of the custom order would be thirty gold coins. But since the product is not finished, you have to pay ten gold coins as a deposit for this order, then make a full payment when it is done, or make a full payment.”Bookmark here

“I will pay at full price. Could you send the finished product to this address as well?” He wrote down their address to a small piece of paper on the counter.Bookmark here

“Certainly, we will ensure that the product will reach to this address safely.”Bookmark here

Jayce handed thirty gold coins to the tailor. The tailor and his apprentice gave another bow, thanking them for their patronage. Bookmark here

                                                           ____________________Bookmark here

“So, what do you think of the capital? Hope I didn’t bore you,” asked Jayce.Bookmark here

“I like it here. It’s fun, lively, and peaceful, and, no, you’ve been a great help, but I have to ask...” Bookmark here

Just as Alice was asking him a question, she stopped mid-sentence. Her eyes suddenly gleamed with sparkles. Bookmark here

Jayce began to wonder what was interrupting her. He soon found out that her eyes were drawn to a café to his left. Waiters and waitresses bringing out desserts to customers. Bookmark here

“Do you want to try that café?” Bookmark here

“Yes!” She answered immediately without a second thought.Bookmark here

They obediently followed the butler to their allotted table. The table was made of high-quality wood, detailed with fine craftsmanship. When the butler was about to assist Alice to take a seat, Jayce had already walked swiftly and silently around the waiter to offer his assistance to Alice. Bookmark here

Once they settled in, the butler gave each of them a menu and stood by, ready to take their orders. Bookmark here

“We will call you when we are ready to order,” suggested Jayce, sensing the waiters and waitresses had their hands full at this moment. Bookmark here

With that, the butler gave a bow and went off to serve other customers who required his service.Bookmark here

Watching the butler left them to their accord, Alice browsed through the menu excitedly. The menu listed a huge variety of cake and teas she had never seen before. Some pages even had pictures of specific cakes, with a sign of recommendation by the café’s pâtissier. Bookmark here

After some time, the same butler, who served them earlier, returned to their table and asked whether they are ready to order. The café’s activity had already settled down thanks to Jayce’s suggestion.Bookmark here

Alice had a difficult time to decide which cake to order. Feeling conflicted, she decided to order a slice of Black Forest cake which was at the top of the recommendation list and a cup of black tea, while Jayce ordered a slice of Chocolate Mint cake and a cup of green tea. Bookmark here

The butler wrote down their order and retreated to the kitchen. Bookmark here

While waiting for their orders, Jayce resumed their conversation. “So, what is it that you want to ask me?” He reminded her of the question she had meant to ask.Bookmark here

“I don’t really mean to be rude. I’m really thankful for everything you did for me… but why did you help me?” She was genuinely grateful for everything he did for her. At the same time, she felt guilty that he’d spent a huge sum of coins for the custom-made apparels for her. Bookmark here

“It’s for your own protection. Besides, you’re the first member to join my guild. Only a handful of adventurers were able to see through my cloaking spell.” He leaned back in his chair, arms folded, but his eyes suggested concern otherwise.Bookmark here

Curious, as she was about to speak, the butler came back with all the orders they had made on a silver platter. Bookmark here

“A slice of black forest cake and a cup of black tea for you, my lady. A slice of Chocolate Mint cake and a cup of green tea for you, sir. Is there anything else to order?”Bookmark here

“That would be all, thank you.” He answered, sensing that she no longer required any service and thanked him for his service. Bookmark here

“Understood, sir.” He gave another slight bow before taking his leave.Bookmark here

“Anyway, that doesn’t matter for now. Let’s enjoy our tea break.” Jayce ended their conversation, clearly trying to avoid going any further into their current topic.Bookmark here

Alice began to wonder what she had done to make Jayce worry about her. After noting his choice of words, she grew suspicious that he was hiding something from her. But, she didn’t want to ruin the mood on this occasion. Both began indulging their food in silence. Bookmark here

What a way to make an awkward situation. She thought to herself.Bookmark here

“Do you want to come with me to Capital’s guild headquarter? You can choose not to come if you don’t feel like it.” A thought came across his mind after sensing the atmosphere around them. Bookmark here

“I don’t mind, I always wanted to see what the headquarter looks like.” She didn’t expect him to speak during their meal. Although, she clearly understood that he was just trying to cheer her up at this point. If he really was not ready to tell her, then she will have to wait for the appropriate time.Bookmark here

                                                           ____________________Bookmark here

The Capital’s guild headquarter, also known as HQ, was huge; it looked like a mansion from the outside. Adventurers gathered around in their respective groups. Some were discussing their tactics regarding their quest, while other parties celebrated their success.Bookmark here

Alice, admiring the fine details sculptured on the entire building. She was leaning towards the word “library” would be more appropriate to describe HQ. When she was about to speak out her thoughts, Jayce had already made his way to the entrance of the building. Bookmark here

“H-hey!” Bookmark here

She went after Jayce into the building. Bookmark here

The ground floor of the building was spacious. There were four billboards hung on the wall on the far left, while the remaining space was covered with open lounges, where adventurers can wait for their party members, or sometimes buying or selling information to info-brokers.Bookmark here

The main operation of HQ took place on the floor above them. Workers ran around their offices, bringing documents to their analyst, who were responsible to declare whether the requests were legitimately based on the evidence they had gathered by their Scouters.Bookmark here

“I’m going to look for a quest for us. Feel free to look around.” He suggested, walking towards one of the billboards.Bookmark here

Alice looked around and found nothing intriguing. Mostly due to her feeling out of place as other adventurers and the receptionists were busy with their work. She then went to one of the billboards.Bookmark here

The quests that were listed on the quest boards were arranged in the manner of the ranking system from S to D. The rewards, however, varied depending on the clients, and the higher the rank, the higher the reward values and risks. Bookmark here

However, there was also a strict rule by the government that adventurers can only accept one quest at a time. Depending on the adventurers’ rank, they can only take quests one rank above, their respective rank, and one rank below. This rule was implemented so that there will be enough quests available to every adventurer or a party of adventurers.Bookmark here

Alice went to browse a D rank quest board which was on the far right of the billboards. The quests were essentially for beginners; they focused on gathering herbs or ores instead of hunting monsters.Bookmark here

“How about this quest?”Bookmark here

The moment she was about to move on to C rank quest board, Jayce approached her with a paper in his hand. Bookmark here

She took the paper and read it. Wanted, bandit leader at the outskirt of the moon village, committed crimes of theft and kidnapping.Bookmark here

“Can you handle it?” Bookmark here

It was a C rank quest. She hadn’t built enough confidence to be able to have an actual fight against humans with her life on the line. Sure, she did learn some non-lethal spells to take down her enemies, but that will also ruin the whole mission as their target was responsible for kidnapping, and there was a high possibility that there will be hostages at their camp. Bookmark here

Despite all that, she had to save them.Bookmark here

“Very well. We should register ourselves for this quest at the reception. We will head out to the Moon village tomorrow after your equipment arrives.”Bookmark here

They ascended to another floor with one of the spiral staircases that were at the far corner of the floor, away and across from the entrance. Bookmark here

For new adventurers, their initial rank will be D. To get promoted to their next rank, they either complete ten quests above their rank or thirty quests of their respective rank. Completing a quest below their rank will not provide any contribution to their ranking. The adventurer’s ID can only be registered by receptionists in the Capital’s guild headquarter. Not only their rank was displayed on their ID, but it also showed their class, rank, skills, and stats. Adventurer ID was made to analyze their physical and mental prowess, and to promote awareness to their owners when it comes to their capabilities. However, this information could be read by government receptionists or the owner themselves for the protection of their information.Bookmark here

After Alice listened to receptionist’s explanation, she gave a blank card to her. Later, she was instructed to infuse some mana into the blank card. Bookmark here

As she did so, a string appeared from the centre of the blank card, emitting a faint white glow; it gracefully danced in the air and wove the blank card with her mana. When the string stopped reacting any further, she examined her first Capital Adventurer ID:Bookmark here

Name: AliceBookmark here

Gender: FemaleBookmark here

Class: MagicianBookmark here

Rank: DBookmark here

Skills: Frost Spears, Snarling Chains, Miasma… Bookmark here

She handed her ID over to the receptionist, along with Jayce’s ID to register for their quest. Bookmark here

There were two types of IDs, the Academy’s student ID, and Capital adventurer’s ID. Most adventurers called Academy’s student ID card, SID; while Capital adventurer’s ID card is called CAD. SID can be used to register the Academy's quest, ranking system, and education purposes. CAD was mainly used for government-related quests, social status, and their own ranking system.Bookmark here

The receptionist examined both IDs, checking their rank and name. She then took out a large logbook and began writing their details. With that, they were officially accepted their first quest. Bookmark here

With the registration concluded, the receptionist wished them the best of luck.Bookmark here

You can resume reading from this paragraph.