Chapter 18 – Party Invite
Once I returned to the inn, I quickly took a bath, finished my meal, and returned to my room.
“Ahh, I was this close to snapping.”
As soon as I entered the room, I heard Aria’s irritated voice.
The exchange from a while ago must have rubbed her the wrong way. She was hunched over on the bed, flapping her legs noisily.
“Who the hell does that guy think he is, blaming you for his own lack of skill? If he has time to be picking on people, he should be training instead!”
“Well, he was just drunk after all…”
The fact that Aria is even angrier than me makes me feel a bit happier, and I try to calm her down.
It’s not that I’m not annoyed either. However, I’m just a little surprised by the fact that it’s really possible for someone from the Guild to get all intimidating and menacing over the most trivial thing. In a sense, I’d say it was a valuable experience, wasn’t it? Either way, I don’t want to go through something like that ever again.
More importantly, the good thing is that potions were properly deemed acceptable.
If I keep this pace and start making intermediate-level potions, I’d like to start making potions for something other than recovery. I’m curious about how to make a stamina potion.
“But, you know…”
“Yes, yes, more importantly… Shouldn’t we be practicing this?”
“Ah, sure. You’re right.”
We shifted from a spoken conversation to “Telepathy”.
“Telepathy” is a skill that conveys thoughts without putting them into words, but it takes more time to put words together through it than I thought. Actually, the words I want to convey come to mind right away, but the difficult part comes whenever I have to create a channel through which to send those words to Aria.
Such a thing wouldn’t be necessary if I could just make them come out in the same way as magic does, but I guess that in that case, someone else could accidentally get in the way of my projected words, which could lead to me sending these words and thoughts to someone completely unrelated to the conversation. Therefore, it’s safer to use these “channels” when using “Telepathy”.
Hmm, I’m thinking it might be possible to use a double magic circle, but using them over long distances could get really tricky. That’s why I decided to gradually increase the speed at which I put my words together and send them through repeated practice.
I just have to keep using it this way, and I’ll eventually get used to it. Training everyday to hone my skills is important, after all.
I try to do it every night before I go to bed, but I’m still far from a conversational level. Though I’m still able to talk if I take it slow.
As we practiced like this, Aria’s anger finally seemed to subside, and in the end she smiled and played along with my training.
Aria is much cuter when she smiles, after all.
On the next day, I went to the guild like any other day, but I was surrounded by people the moment I entered the building.
Huh? What? What did I do?
While I was trying to figure out what’s going on, the ghastly-looking man in front of me started to speak to me.
“Ah, umm! Would you like to join our party!?”
A party invite?
Many adventurers work solo, but normally they’ll form parties with several other people to take on quests together. Being alone makes it harder to deal with unexpected situations, and the chances of being saved in a crisis are rather low.
Being in a party can reduce those risks, so it’s not uncommon for several adventurers to form a party because they can compensate for each other’s weaknesses with the rest of the party members.
Besides, when in a party, you can receive requests that you can’t accept solo depending on each of its members’ rank, which leads adventurers to want to form a party.
So, in that sense, I can understand why they would want to invite someone to their party, but… Why me? What could they possibly gain from inviting an F Rank fledgling like me?
“You can use Storage, right? We’re about to set out on a quest to defeat some orcs, and it would be a great help for us if you were there!”
“Hey, don’t try to get the jump on us! Hello there! These guys are just some E Rank newbies… Why don’t you join us instead? We’re high into D Rank… I guess you could say we’re practically C Rank! We may be nothing but a bunch of dirty-looking men, but if you were to join us…”
“What are you talking about!? Do you think a cute little girl like her would want to be around you bunch of filthy men!? Come on, sweetie, us sisters gotta stick together.”
“Get outta here! We saw her first! Missie, you can make potions, can’t you? One of our party members got injured, and we don’t have money to buy potions. Do you think you can make one for us?”
Ah, there’s a woman here too. I mean, a situation like this is usually scary, but…
But I kind of knew why they all needed me. They just want my Storage ability.
Storage is a rare skill, and I haven’t seen many people that have it. The great thing about this is that you use it to store just about anything.
For example, let’s say you received a subjugation request and successfully defeat your target. If you then bring the monster’s corpse with you, the guild will pay you for its worth as materials, so there’s a lot of merit in doing that. However, carrying back anything more than a few small monsters is a lot of trouble. So when you want to hunt a big monster, or a whole bunch of small monsters, having access to the Storage skill can not only instantly solve the problem of having to carry them all the way back to the guild, but also increase your net profit from the quest, since you would be able to carry back materials that you would otherwise have to give up on.
Even if someone has no other merits than being able to use Storage, just having that skill makes them very useful for a party.
These people must have seen me take out the monsters I’ve brought in from my Storage at the front desk where they pay you for the materials.
Well, anyway, what should I do?
If someone asks me if I want to go to a party, I should probably say no.
The reason for this is that I have Aria. She won’t come out if I’m in a party. Besides, I’m busy making potions right now. So, if I can help it, I’d like to be left alone for now.
Of course, there are benefits to joining a party, too. Everyone’s profit will increase, while at the same time, the risks often encountered when hunting alone will decrease.
But for all these people to come up to me in such a weird way… It’s kinda scary.
I feel as if I was just put inside a tiny cage while a pack of wild beasts try to take a bite of me from outside the cage.
In any case, it would be nice to have someone who treats me like a friend.
I’m sorry for the people who are arguing, but I’ll have to refuse their offers.
“Right now, I’d rather be on my own…”
Everyone instantly dropped their shoulders in disappointment. At least none of them tried to coerce me into joining their party any further. They might be restraining themselves because of yesterday’s incident, though.
Ah, I wonder if I should hand over a potion to that party with the injured member…
After thinking about it for a brief moment, I gave them one of my remaining self-made potions, and the leader of that party cried with joy.
I don’t think that a potion made by an amateur like me should make anyone that happy… But I’m glad it made them happy anyway.
After that, all of them told me to go talk to them if I ever changed my mind before leaving. I don’t think they’re bad people…just a little too greedy.
Actually, I wonder if people with Storage are often treated like this. I haven’t seen anyone else with this skill so far, but if that’s the case, it’s a bit of a disaster for us Storage users.
Well, I guess that some of us might actually like the fact that it gets us a lot of party invites, so I guess it’s not that bad overall.
Anyway, that was all very shocking and all, but I should probably go get myself a quest to work on.
Just as I was about to accept a gathering quest as usual, the receptionist at the front desk spoke to me, which was in itself a rather rare occurrence.
“Looks like you’re very popular, Miss Haku.”
“I think it’s because of my Storage.”
“Well, certainly. Storage is a rare skill, after all. But I don’t think that’s all there is to you, isn’t it?”
I stared at her completely puzzled as to what she meant by that, and she simply smiled at me.
Come to think of it, this receptionist always handles things for us adventurers. Both when we accept new quests and report the ones we complete.
Her hair was the same bright green color as Aria’s, and was long enough to reach her waist despite being tied up in a ponytail. Her glasses also give her a “gentle big sister” kind of look.
There are other receptionists here, so it’s not like I have to always come to her, but I somehow keep finding myself doing just that.
“Speaking of which, what’s your name?”
“My name is Shirley. Sorry about being impolite when you came here to get registered…”
“Ah, no, don’t worry about it…”
At first, she didn’t treat me as an 11-year-old. But in the end, I managed to get properly registered, so that’s water under the bridge for me.
After completing some quests, she finally started treating me as an 11-year-old.
“By the way, you always accept gathering quests, but you never take on subjugation quests, do you?”
“I mean, you’re always hunting monsters anyway. You might as well take on a subjugation quest when you go on your gathering quests, that way you’ll earn more money.”
“Can I take multiple quests at once?”
“Yes. You can take on multiple quests as long as you are able to complete them all within their deadlines. Parties with a large number of people often take on several quests at once before heading out to the field.”
Well, now that she mentioned that, it’s true. I remember Lars and the others also said that the other kids were taking on receiving different types of quests, so if they can handle those at the same time, I should be able to as well.
In that case, I better take a look at the subjugation quests that are available. The quests that are usually here are to hunt goblins, horn rabbits, and others that would normally hunt anyways, so if I go to the forest, I should find them pretty easily. I know I have already.
“Okay then, let me take this subjugation quest as well this time.”
“Understood. Then, please give me your guild certificate.”
I presented my guild certificate, and filled in the required documentation. Once I delivered my papers, Shirley gave me my certificate back.
“Okay, good luck, and take care out there!”
“Yes, I will. Thanks.”