“…Let me go! …I want to speak with—” [Intruder]
“…It sure is noisy. Good grief, even though we have guests right now. Excuse me. I’ll be right back.” [Feiled]
But before Feiled could get off the sofa, the source of the commotion approached.
“Is it here!?” [Intruder]
“W-What is the matter!?” [Staff 1]
“That bastard’s done it now!” [Intruder]
“Wait, Brian-san! You can’t go there!” [Staff 2]
A man bulging with muscle entered the reception office with several staff in tow trying to hold him back.
“There are guests right now! Get out!” [Feiled]
“I don’t care! You, what do you mean I’m fired!? I want a proper explanation right now!”
“Someone escort this man out of here!” [Feiled]
“Sorry, but he’s too strong!” [Staff 3]
“We can’t stop him with just ourselves…” [Staff 4]
“I got a letter telling me I was dismissed because I treated the kid poorly, but I only did that because you told me to! How could you possibly fire me because of that! Take it back!” [Brian]
The reason for Brian’s impoliteness resounded loud and clear to the people gathered in the room.
“Could he be talking about?” [Henry]
“Hey, your name was Brian, right? Are you the examiner in charge of that kid, Ryouma’s, exam?” [Charles]
“Huh? Yeah, that’s right! What about it!?” [Brian]
“Well, we’d like to hear more about it. As the guild master of Teressa, I, Charles, would like to request this man’s testimony. Feiled, since you believe yourself to be innocent, you won’t mind us hearing him out, right?” [Charles]
“Sigh… I don’t mind, but you should know that this won’t change anything. Whether it was in my response toward Ryouma Takebayashi or my dismissal of Brian, everything was done according to regulations.” [Feiled]
“In that case, you should be dismissed too!” [Brian]
“…Brian, this is a place of discussion. As I’ve told Charles-dono, please refrain from letting your emotions run wild. Everyone here including myself is a guild master. Our standing is different from yours, so do exercise modesty.” [Feiled]
Charles yelled again, and this time, the two stopped arguing.
“Feiled, shut up for a moment. Brian, look, I know he’s annoying, but we can’t have a conversation if you keep getting riled up, so just imagine he’s not here and tell us what happened.”
“…Okay, I got it. This is the reason I came here.” [Brian]
Brian calmed down and presented a sheet of paper that he’d been holding tight. On it was written the notification of a pay cut, penalty, and the reason why.
“Your poor conduct as an examiner of the adventurers guild has offended an examinee and harmed the prestige of the guild; hence, the following penalties will be handed out… Or so it says.” [Henry]
“Right. It’s true I had a mocking attitude when dealing with the kid, but! That’s only because I was told that he was relying on his noble backing and trying to get a promotion with fake achievements!” [Brian]
Brian glared at Feiled.
“I won’t deny that the kid annoyed me, but C Rank is when an adventurer is considered to be a proper adventurer and to be someone that possesses some skill. At that rank, you can take more jobs and harder ones too. Depending on the situation, you might even have to lead lower-ranked adventurers.
What will happen if at such a time a guy that got promoted through unfair means became the leader? If the guy wants to court death by taking on a job he can’t handle, that’s on him, but like this, they’ll even end up dragging other people with them. That’s not something I can just sit back and watch whether it’s as an adventurer or as an examiner.
I figured I might as well nip the problem during the exam. I felt like I was even doing him a favor by crushing him. Of course, there’s no denying that a lot of my emotions were mixed in too, but I told you what I was going to do before the exam and you didn’t say anything! So you’re at fault too!” [Brian]
Brian became emotional again as he explained, but Feiled didn’t cower and just heaved a deep sigh.
“It appears there’s been a misunderstanding.” [Feiled]
“What was that!?” [Brian]
“All I said was that the boy’s records were of suspect. I never said he’d done anything wrong. In fact, it was precisely because there were such suspicions that I asked you to do a proper job as an examiner. In the first place, it was because of my lack of knowledge in combat that I asked you to serve as an examiner in my stead. It is our duty to give the exam properly and pass or fail the examinee accordingly; which is why, to that end, I left everything regarding the exam to you. Of course, I too hate cheaters, so I was understanding of your personal feelings. Unfortunately, such emotions were not something one should bring while performing one’s duties. No matter who the examinee may be and regardless what circumstances he may have, the examiner must be given the exam according to regulations.
I trusted you as an examiner, so I believed you would be able to handle the examinee properly despite your personal feelings. Unfortunately, you disappointed in that regard; hence, the penalties meted out. Do you understand now?” [Feiled]
Feiled spoke fluently, but the friction in the air only grew worse.
“…Oh, I get it. You want to make it out so that I’m the only one at fault.” [Brian]
“I didn’t say that. After all, the guild did appoint you, so there is some blame there too. To prevent a second incident, we will have to review the content of the exam and educate the examiners on their attitude. Naturally, you too will be educated. The penalty this time was just a warning, but if you fail to comply with the regulations when holding the exam in the future, I’m afraid we might not be able to renew your contract. That’s why――” [Feiled]
Brian reached the end of his patience and walked away. He acted completely different from that man that barged in. He was calm and little emotion could be seen from him.
“I didn’t hate this job, but working under you is too much. I don’t need a next time, I’m quitting now. I’m not qualified to be an examiner anyway, so I’m sure you won’t mind.” [Brian]
“I see, in that case, please do go through the proper procedures down stairs. Just be informed that leaving for personal reasons and failing to complete your contract reason will incur a penalty, and it will also be left on your record.” [Feiled]
“What? You threatening me? You gonna have me arrested like you told that kid?” [Brian]
“No, I am merely informing you of the guild’s rules beforehand. It would be problematic if you said you didn’t know or cried foul later.” [Feiled]
“I knew it, talking with you is impossible. You said a lot, but in the end, all you’re saying is that you’re not at fault. There’s no substance at all.” [Brian]
At that, Brian left the room.
“I’m going back too.” [Charles]
“In that case, please excuse me as well.” [Henry]
“What’s the matter with you two all of the sudden?” [Feiled]
“Brian said it. There’s no point in talking with you. Ryouma probably felt the same. I’ve always known you were a little hard headed, but I thought that was just because of your diligence, but to think that you were actually this sort of person… You hate adventurers, right? Why be the guild master of an adventurers guild then?” [Charles]
“It’s my job. Also, I don’t hate adventurers. I am merely performing my duties according to the rules.” [Feiled]
“…There are all sorts of adventurers, from honest ones to hoodlums. Sadly, there are plenty that quarrel with guild members and make people feel bad. I’m sure you’ve gone through a lot to get this far in your career. But I don’t think a man that looks down on adventurers should be the guild master of an adventurers guild. I’ll be contacting the main branch about this and will request that you be dismissed from position. So go wash your neck and wait.” [Charles]
“P-Please wait a moment! What is the meaning of that!? Did I say something wrong!?” [Feiled]
Understandably, even Feiled couldn’t help but panic upon hearing that. He had been carefree until now, but now, he was visibly agitated.
“Feiled-dono, as the leader of a merchant guild, I have no intention of rejecting the relationship between our guilds, however, I will have to rethink about our relationship in the future. If I may be so blunt, I cannot be at ease if the person we have to deal with is you.” [Henry]
After saying that, Charles and Henry left without so much as turning back, leaving Feiled all alone as he folded his arms and heaved a deep sigh.
“Good grief, I swear… They came out of nowhere and started prattling on about such rude things… In the end, I suppose Charles-dono too was nothing more than an upstart adventurer. But to think that even Henry of the merchant guild would go that far… Just what was the problem? All I did was do everything according to regulations! Oh, I know! There must have been a lie in the report of the receptionist! There must be something that I don’t know! Yes, that makes sense!” [Feiled]
Unable to even consider that he might have done wrong, Feiled called for the female receptionist that handled Ryouma’s case.
The price for that mistake would be paid much quicker than one might expect…
The next day.
“Why are there only three employees!?” [Feiled]
On this day, only three employees came to work, but even these three employees looked so unhappy they seemed as though they too could leave at a moment’s notice.
“Because of the strike. Everyone’s saying that if you don’t accept our protest and apologize and resign, they’ll all just quit.” [Female Emplyee]
“What is that supposed to mean!? Everyone’s been working fine until just yesterday. Now they’re suddenly resigning!?” [Feiled]
“Like I said, It’s your fault! You called Susan yesterday and forced her to confess to a scandal that never happened! Everyone finally had enough when they heard about it! I wouldn’t have come today either if I weren’t in charge of the reception desk!” [Female Employee]
“Guild Master. We’re fed up with you already. You never listen to us and just push whatever convenient interpretation of the rules you can come up with. You’re the guild master and we’re just staff, so we never said anything, but you actually made our job harder, and your instructions and explanations never made sense. That’s why we’ve been dissatisfied for so long. This last incident was just the last straw.” [Male Employee]
“If you had a problem, then you should have said something! I would have thought of something then! You can’t just not say anything and not put any effort into improving! This will affect today’s operation!” [Feiled]
“You have two choices before you, guild master. Either you close the guild, or you do everything by yourself. We only came here as a representative of the other employees. We didn’t actually come here to work. If you want to fire us, then go ahead. We’ve already made our resolve.” [Third Employee]
“By the way, the recent incident has already been spread through merchants, and Brian-san has also spoken about his resignation to other adventurers at the tavern. It’s word of the town already, so don’t even try to hide it. Even we can’t do anything about it anymore.” [Female Employee]
“I hear there are a lot of adventurers planning to leave this town too. I don’t know what will happen in the future, but I’m sure it will be difficult. If you plan on clinging onto your seat as guild master, then you’ll have to do your best.” [Female Employee]
After saying what they had to say, the woman in charge of the reception and the man in charge of management left, leaving behind Feiled and another person.
“Submaster, you should know, but you can’t become the guild master even if you drive me away. This will harm the guild, so you’ll take some of the blame too.” [Feiled]
“As I’ve said, I’ve already resolved myself to be dismissed. Even if I become the guild master here, I’ll just end up having to clean your mess. I would be better off working at another guild, doing menial jobs and slowly making my way up. In the first place, the only reason a person like you was able to become the guild master was because this is a small town in the borders… You were demoted, weren’t you?” [Submaster]
“That’s rude. All guilds are equal. There is no superior or inferior. Though it appears you’re not aware of that.” [Feiled]
“Spare me your nonsense. Unlike you, whose only redeeming point is your many years of service, I am actually competent enough to find employment elsewhere. I’ll have work even after being fired from the adventurers guild, so I’ll be fine. Now then, if you’ll excuse me.
Oh, right, should you decide to resign, please do contact me at my house. You can come in person, you can send a letter, anything is fine. We’ll gather the staff that want to return and resume operation.” [Submaster]
Feiled was finally all alone. Four days later, a messenger from the main branch came to dismiss him from his position. As for what happened to him after that, that’s a story that probably won’t be told.