And so it’s come to pass that Sorglos and I will, temporarily, ally ourselves with Lucille’s guild to spare one red-headed young girl from her cursed fate. Of course, the only one to register as a member is going to be Sorglos.
I mean, it does stand to reason that I, as lone Master of Yelquchira, can’t really enroll in another guild, no matter how temporary my stay might be. While I, in all honesty, can’t say that I’d mind, I doubt I can say the same for the other members of my guild.
If it’s something they’re vehemently opposed to, then it’s out of my hands. I really do have a soft spot for those daughters of mine.
Still, I feel a bit guilty for forcing something on Sorglos that she wouldn’t care to do otherwise. I swear I’ll do whatever you say, just find it within yourself to forgive me, please.
“Indeed, you don’t say! L-l-leave it to me, yes! I shall indeed devote myself wholeheartedly to this endeavor, and find the elixir for that human!”
That’s really all I had to say for her to agree to join the guild, her whole demeanor one of an abundance of joy. M-my bad. I’m really sorry I got you all excited, but I’m begging you to only request what’s within my capability, alright?
Anyhow, now that it’s settled that she’ll join their guild and that I’ll just be tagging along, the two of us make our way to the guild she’s been registered with – with the intent that her stay be temporary, of course – up until this point…
“Heeeey! If it ain’t Sorglos, our lil’ sweetheart! Ya done with that job already?!”
“Ain’t like I can see much o’ her, but I can tell by that eye! That girl’s a damn fine looker, I tells ya!”
“Hey, I got a request for ya! Just gotta take care of what’s below the waist, ya get me?!”
Only one foot in the guild, and Sorglos is already being bombarded by one crude comment after the other.
“Indeed, I see there are only idiots in this place, as usual. They can say what they want, it means nothing to me, truly.”
Sorglos says all of this without showing even the slightest hint that any of this gets to her, but… Yeah, this is still awful.
I see nothing but men with seedy looks gathered around filthy tables, chugging down mugs full of what looks to be booze of questionable quality, with some exposing us to their awfully obnoxious cackling, although I will admit that whoever was second in line to speak has a good eye.
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I mean, sure, her exposed eye does cloud over from time to time in a really off-putting way, but Sorglos is still undeniably adorable! Also, that last guy? That was totally sexual harassment, wasn’t it? That’s not the way to talk, not with one of my guild members… I’d love to have a word or two with him about the issue.
“Oooh. Truly, it fills my heart with joy to see Milord protect me like this. I was indeed jealous to hear that you did the same for Laladi, but indeed, it is as wonderful as she claimed.”
I just throw the man a smile, and he immediately starts sweating in fear. Not that there’s any need for him to be so frightened, of course… After all, I just want to talk…
It might be worth mentioning that this guild we’re intruding upon right now, what with all the rowdy characters that gather inside, isn’t an official one. It is, in fact, a grey guild. While most official guilds are known for their thorough background checks on any would-be recruits, grey guilds are, at least relatively speaking, much more sloppy. It’s what makes them so much easier to infiltrate.
From what I’ve been told, Sorglos wasn’t put under any kind of worthwhile scrutiny when she first decided to join. It’s why we even decided to exploit this place further, but… I really have to say, this absolute negligence in public order is appalling!
How are they going to make it up to me if this place has some sort of negative influence on my Sorglos, huh? I’ll get angry, that’s for sure. She’s looking up at me right now, her expression absolutely free from care… I… I have to protect her…!
“Well then, we should finish what we came here to do, indeed.”
With that said, Sorglos begins to randomly tug at my sleeve. Hm? You want me to go ahead of you?
“Of course, indeed. Truly, how else am I supposed to view Milord from behind?”
‘Of course,’ h-huh? I guess I don’t mind. Relying on my vaguest recollections of the process, I make my way to where the registration desk should be.
The grey guild headquarters isn’t a notably large place, and one might assume that it would take no time at all to make it to the reception desk. This is proven false when Sorglos finds multiple drunkards crossing her path, doing their part to tease her. Shrugging them off our tracks takes up much more time than would be ideal. When we finally make it to our destination, even my fixed smile feels a bit dimmer.
I… I’m exhausted… Isn’t Sorglos just as exhausted as I am? She looks just fine. Then again, this shouldn’t be the first guild she’s infiltrated. She might just be used to this whole shtick. That alone is reason for worry, if you ask me.
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“I am here to turn in the lizardmen request. It is done; indeed it is.”
“Whassay? If ya ain’t got nothin’ to back that up, I can’t mark it down as complete, can I? If ya got nothin’ on ya, why don’cha gimme company for the night? We might work somethin’ out then, eh?”
“A good thing I have evidence, then. Indeed, I’ll decline that offer.”
The man behind the desk looks to be no different from the other guffawing adventurers with their lurid remarks, just a grim-looking fellow who doesn’t look like he cares much about scruples. Most larger-scale official guilds at least have the sense to put a nice girl with a pretty face behind these reception desks, but I should’ve known that a grey guild wouldn’t be the same. Even this guy doesn’t hold himself back from ogling Sorglos with ill intent, does he?
“I have their scales with me. Indeed, should I show them to you?”
“Nah, ain’t in the mood ta see monster blood. The clean-up’s a right old mess, let me tell ya. Just show the goods later, y’hear?”
Sorglos holds out a blood-drenched bag in front of her and sways it from side to side, the sound of something hard, perhaps close to metallic colliding with dozens of its ilk clear as a bell. That at least explains why she was going about ripping the scales off the dead lizardmen’s bodies. The man waves his hand, clearly not about to be bothered further, then reaches under the desk and pulls out another bag.
“There ya go, there’s your coin. Say, ya wouldn’t mind sharin’ a little, would ya?”
“Much obliged, indeed.”
Sorglos takes the coin-heavy bag from the man and waves it to and fro, listening for the jingling of its contents. That must be her way of checking for the right amount.
This receptionist is still part of a grey guild. It wouldn’t be too surprising if he tried to skim a little off the top. Sorglos nods, apparently content with the results of her inspection, and happily holds the bag out towards me. Oh no, I couldn’t. This is something you earned from your job; it’s your compensation. I really can’t accept this…
“All my achievements are unto Milord; indeed they are.”
No, no, no. Don’t look at me with that eye; you look like a loyal puppy… For now, I try to appease her with a simple pat on the head, something she seems more than pleased to accept if the humming sound in her throat’s anything to go by.
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“Hnnnph… Ah, that reminds me. I will be retiring from this guild, indeed. Farewell.”
With that said, Sorglos raises her hand in parting and motions for me to take the lead again so that we can leave this place. Wait… what? Is it really that easy to quit a guild? It just feels like you’re playing too loose with all of this.
“Sorglos, sweetie, yer quittin’?! We ain’t even done it yet!”
“Neither did we!”
“C’mon, jus’ hang out with me a lil’, for old times’ sake!”
When the receptionist speaks up about what just happened, body stiff as a board from shock at the sheer non-chalantness of the way she just quit, the overlapping cries of the other men reach our ears. Well, ‘cries’ might not be the best way to put it. It’s really more of a cacophony of repulsive howls, each putting their own animal desire to the forefront.
Sorglos, you’re really popular with these people. There’s a part of any parent that ought to be happy to see their little girl being so accepted by such a large community of people.
This would be the one time this feeling couldn’t surface. All these obscene leers are making me feel quite the opposite, and I don’t think I have it in me to forgive and forget. Strangely enough, for all the unlawful rabble that infests this place, not a single one of them decides to come up and stop us from leaving.
“Well, that might be because of that man, truly annoying in his persistence, whom I so mercilessly butch… warded off, that might indeed be the case. Truly, there is only one I would allow getting close, and that is you, Master.”
Noticing my confusion, Sorglos takes it upon herself to explain as much to me in hushed tones. Alright, so that’s why… Also, did you just try to cover up something about butchering people?
W-well, as long as you don’t overindulge, I suppose… I quickly move on to reprimand Sorglos, reminding her that she should not be calling me ‘Master’ here, though I do comprehend her situation.
To put it succinctly, it’s this first-hand experience of Sorglos’ power that’s making these people stick to lascivious glances and remarks, all while keeping them from ever trying to take a more hands-on approach. Also… Well, what kind of dark place would this have to be if there are people here willing to use force to stop any members who might want to leave?
“Now, hold on just a minute…”
Then again, it looks like there’s at least one voice that’s keen on holding us back.