We entered a new tunnel in high spirits, but the monsters that appeared were so weak, it was as if we were taking a stroll in the park. This tunnel was already our third.
“What did you think small rats and slimes were?” [Mizelia]
“It would be a huge problem if an enemy you didn’t consider weak actually appeared, nyaa. We’ll be fine, of course, but the G Rank and F Ranks will be in danger, nyaa.” [Miya]
“In the first place, the reason we’re here is to provide backup when needed.” [Syria]
“But we can’t sit around doing nothing either since that would leave a bad example to the low rankers.” [Wereanna]
The way they talk, the way they fight… They’re definitely a league above the bandits I fought. They must be fairly high ranked. Why am I with them?
“Hmm? Something the matter, Ryouma?” [Wereanna]
“I just thought everyone seems to be a high ranker, so I’m wondering why I was grouped with you guys when I’m only an F Rank. Did the guild master pull some strings? To make it easier since I’m already acquainted with you?” [Ryouma]
“That’s impossible. That old man is a busybody, alright, but he’ll always prioritize ability over everything when it comes to work.” [Jeff]
“Perhaps, he was worried we wouldn’t be able to defeat a monster that could only be defeated with magic if it were just as 5, though I’m sure he looks highly on your abilities and stamina too.” [Syria]
“Haven’t you realized, Ryouma-kun? We’ve actually been going at a pretty high pace, you know. A normal F Rank adventurer would normally have a hard time keeping up.” [Mizelia]
“At first, we were planning to slow down once you started getting tired, but you never did, so we just kept going.” [Wereanna]
Really? I didn’t notice at all.
“Ryouma, there’s absolutely no way your actual ability is just F Rank.” [Mizelia]
“What’s the strongest monster you’ve defeated until now?” [Jeff]
“Well, it’s not exactly a monster, but I have beaten a Black Bear back at the Forest of Gana.” [Ryouma]
When the 5 adventurers heard that, they made an ‘I knew it’ face.
“Black Bear isn’t something an F Rank could beat, nyaa. You’d need at least a group of D Rankers to safely hunt it, nyaa.” [Miya]
“If you can hunt a black bear alone, then your actual abilities must be at Rank C. The guild master must’ve known that.” [Syria]
Now that she mentions it…
“Well, he was the examiner during my registration.” [Ryouma]
“That’s it.” [Mizelia]
“No doubt about it. He’s had his eyes on you since then.” [Jeff]
“So that’s why you were grouped with us. Makes sense.” [Wereanna]
“If you have the skill, then rank means nothing. You’ll eventually rise up to where we are. It’s just a matter of time.” [Jeff]
“What is everyone’s rank? I forgot to ask.” [Ryouma]
“We didn’t mention it, nyaa?” [Miya]
“Everyone’s a B Ranker.” [Mizelia]
“It’s the entry point of a first-rate adventurer.” [Jeff]
“Speaking of which, nyaa. Of the people who worked with us before, Cher is a D ranker, while Gordon is a B Ranker, nyaa. Asagi and Raypin are both A Rankers, nyaa.” [Miya]
While we were walking and talking like that, Wereanna-san suddenly turned to the front and started sniffing.
“What’s up?” [Jeff]
“Judging from the smell, there should be a cloud of cave bats up ahead. There’s a lot of them. Way too many. Of course, they’re no threat to us, but with those numbers, some of them are bound to escape during the fight.” [Wereanna]
“What a pain, nyaa…” [Miya]
“Are there any people in the area?” [Ryouma]
“I don’t smell any. Do you know a spell that could cover the area by any chance?” [Wereanna]
“Nothing that would kill them outright, but I do know a convenient spell.” [Ryouma]
I explained to them the Sound Bomb spell I tested yesterday.
“Heh~ So you can do something like that.” [Wereanna]
“I’ve never heard of such a spell.” [Syria]
Well, yeah… I mean it’s a spell I came up with using Earth’s knowledge as a basis.
“That spell will only knock the cave bats, though. Can we finish them all off before they wake up?” [Jeff]
“Knocking them out makes our job a hell of a lot easier, but I still don’t think we’ll make it in time.” [Mizelia]
“Then how about getting help from the people behind us?” [Ryouma]
Everyone understood what I was talking about.
“You noticed too?” [Jeff]
“I lived in the forest for 3 years, so I’m sensitive to others’ presence.” [Ryouma]
“I see… Let’s wait here for a bit then.” [Wereanna]
6 people have been following us since we got here. They didn’t seem hostile, so we ignored them up till now, but according to my party, they’re probably E Rankers or lower with poor income who are following us to make money out of the corpses we leave behind.
According to Wereanna-san, E Rankers below have low income, so when you take into consideration the living costs and equipment maintenance, it only makes sense that there are many novice adventurers who have financial issues.
“Unless they have another source of income, D Rank is where stability starts for adventurers.” [Wereanna]
“Until then there are plenty of unexpected expenses due to injuries and other unforeseen circumstances, nyaa.” [Miya]
“A lot of people save, but the quality of one’s life before promotion depends on how they do their work. If they mess up a job they’re unsuited for, the odds of promotion become lower and they even have to pay a penalty. It happens a lot, actually.” [Jeff]
“On the other hand, if you can do D Rank work, then you’ll be making enough to support all living expenses. And once you reach C Rank, you’ll be able to live a comfortable life. That’s also why Miya was able to buy a house.
I personally think she was too hasty buying that house, but still… The fact that she was able to buy it in the first place speaks volumes of her income. There aren’t a lot of jobs out there that would allow us to save enough to buy a house at our age, after all. Dangerous work, big rewards… That’s adventurer work for you in a nutshell.” [Syria]
Now that she mentions it, Miya-san is still in her early twenties. I don’t know how long it’s been since she bought that house, but in Japan, she’d be about as old as your typical college student. Being able to buy her own house at that age is certainly amazing, now that I think about it. All I ever had was a small apartment too… All the way until I died…
“The risk shoots up from B Rank onwards, so there are less adventurers, but so do the rewards. From thereon, unless you have issues handling your money, you should never have any problems financially again.
On the other end of the spectrum, the ones who take the least risk and make the least money are the G Rankers, the F Rankers, and the E Rankers. And adventurers like those following us from behind will never make it to D Rank.”
Adventurers keep what they kill, but they can’t carry everything, so they throw away those they don’t need. Throwing away something is the same thing as forfeiting their right to it, so there are adventurers like those following us from behind who try to pick those up and make money off of them.
It’s not illegal, per se, but it’s not praiseworthy either, as there’s a chance it could cause trouble in the distant future, so you could say it’s in the gray zone.