Kansutoppu! / Kansutoppu! Chapter 20 part1
A large population of Wild Squirrels are ravaging the supply of Popol Fruit and need to be eliminated. There are so many that this commission is open to as many adventurers as possible.
Client: Koiwah Plantation
Popol Fruit was a specialty of the Koiwah Plantation. The outside was sweet like a peach, and the inside was soft and juicy with a slight fizz. The plantation itself was so large I couldn’t even see how big it really was. It definitely wasn’t a job for a single adventurer, and there were a large number of people who had accepted the commission.
[ Wild Squirrel x4 have appeared! HP 24 ]
[ Ryua attacked! Wild Squirrel x4 took an average of 500,119 damage! Wild Squirrel x4 were defeated! ]
The monsters themselves weren’t a big deal. They were probably even weaker than the Cave Rabbits, and I doubted that an adventure of any level would have an issue taking one down. The problem was when they were in larger groups. I was able to see more than thirty just in my vicinity alone. Apparently they bred quickly, so if they weren’t taken care of, their numbers would rapidly increase.
I started out trying my best to get rid of them as quickly as possible, but they kept coming. There seemed to be no end to them and I started to think about giving up. We were C Ranks after all, so I figured we would take on more challenging commissions. I had no idea how we ended up fighting squirrels.
“You see, if the plantation’s crops are destroyed, then the prices of the fruit on the market will go up like crazy.”
That’s right, it was because of Roel. She had said some other important sounding stuff too, but I was sure she just wanted to do it for the free food. When she had heard she could have her pick of popol, strawberries, apples, and whatever else she liked, her eyes had sparkled. I thought I even saw her drool a bit before she closed her mouth.
There was no doubt that reward was tempting, but had I known what a pain it was going to be, I probably wouldn’t have bothered at all. Of course, we could have ended it in an instant. I thought we should just use magic to do a clean sweep of the whole place. But, naturally, that would have wiped out the crops too, so Roel immediately said no.
I was trying to go as fast as possible to end this quickly when Roel called out.
“You know there’s other adventurers here too, so try not to hog them all.”
If she hadn’t said anything I wouldn’t have even thought of it. I was stealing away their chances at leveling up from right in front of them. I forced myself to take it slower after that.
A hysterical cry came from a nearby group of adventurers. They were surrounded by a group of squirrels. I couldn’t just ignore them, so of course I helped. I accidentally overdid it though, and not even a single piece of squirrel was left after my attack. The group stood in shock for a moment before thanking me over and over.
“Ah, so you’re Ryua? You’re smaller than I imagined!” I had continued to hunt the squirrels while the three girls were talking to me. I wondered how they had known my name.
“We heard from another girl that you took down Grundom. We’re all very happy about that. Plus, the fact that it was a girl who took him down is amazing! We thought if we tried hard enough that maybe someday…”
The news about Grundom had spread faster than I thought. The group of girls were looking at me with wide-eyed admiration. They looked like they were still beginners from their gear, and since I was only a C Rank, it felt weird for them to praise me like that. But I couldn’t say I disliked it.
It was well past noon by the time the squirrels had been mostly eliminated. Koiwah, both the owner of the plantation and its namesake, came out wiping sweat from his face as he thanked us repeatedly.
“Really, I can’t thank everyone enough! Thanks to you everything wasn’t completely destroyed!”
The rest of the staff were also there, thanking us as well.
“So, now we can go take whatever we want, right?”
Of course it was Ode. I wished someone had mistaken him for a squirrel and gotten rid of him too. It was mean, but I only thought it for a second.
“Of course, of course. But, please keep it within a certain limit. I’d appreciate it if you left the fields designated ‘To Be Shipped’ alone,” Koiwah said.
I was looking around to see who had actually shouted that aloud when I saw Roel standing there, her hands folded and that sparkle back in her eye. I should have guessed it was her.
The scene was nothing like it had been earlier. One moment there were adventurers wielding weapons, the blood of squirrels everywhere. The next moment, they were picking up fruit. Roel looked like she might eat all the fruit in the place herself.
“Ryua, you’re not going to have any?” She had juice around her mouth and fruit in each hand.
“Roel, I think you should finish those grapes first before you pick up anything else.”
I had already eaten as much as I could manage, but Roel showed no signs of stopping.
“Yo! You guys seem to be doing well, eh?”
He was so damn loud. Ode had butted his way between us while carrying a basket overflowing with fruit on his arm.
“I’ve been doing pretty well!” He didn’t even wait for an answer, and neither of us had asked. “I’m Level 7 now. You’re what? Level… 6? Well, don’t you worry. I’m sure if you try hard you might be as good as me someday.”
“Mm, yeah, I’ll do my best,” Roel said. I had no idea how she dealt with him.
It had been quite some time since we last saw him, and if he had bothered to think about that he might have realize there was no chance she would still be Level 6. After we had finished the mining quest, Roel had been measured at Level 10.
“There she is! Ryua!” It was the girls from before, and it seemed like they had been looking for me. They also had a baskets full of fruit.
“Is it okay if we talk to you a bit more about the whole Grundom subjugation commission?”
“Ah, well, we were really only doing a mining commission…” I said.
“You want to hear a truly fascinating tale? Let me tell you about the time I saved someone from the brink of death!” Ode said.
“No thanks.” The girls had coldly shut him down.
“You know, we’re still C Ranks, so we’re not that much different from you three,” Roel said.
“That’s not true at all! We’re all still Level 2 and D Ranks. Not too long ago we ended up in a really dangerous spot on the 2nd Floor of the Avangard Caves. A group of bats surrounded us and we used all of our healing potions to escape alive. That’s why we’re so thankful you got rid of Grundom. If that guy was still around, who knows what might have happened to us…”
“We would have had no chance against him. But when we heard about what you did, it gave us a new sense of courage!” said another.
The older one was Ai, while the middle one was Mai. And then there was the small one who hadn’t said anything, whose name was Mi. Apparently they were sisters. They told us their classes were Axe Fighter, Archer, and Healer, in that order.
It was strange seeing such a slender girl carrying such a huge axe on her back. She seemed like she was overexerting herself. When I thought about it, I don’t think I saw her actually hit a Wild Squirrel even once. Was there a reason she picked that class, or had she really just not thought about it?
“Hello, Mi, you’re a Healer, right? I’m one, too,” Roel said. She was good with children and had knelt down to be face to face with her. She smiled, but Mi ran and hid herself behind her sisters’ legs. She must have been at that age where she was afraid of strangers.
“You two must be aiming for A Rank, so I guess you’ll be taking the exam someday?” Mai said.
“There’s an A Rank exam?” I said.
“That’s right, and it’s only offered once per year. Every B Rank requires permission from the Guild, and I think about five hundred adventurers try each year,” Ai said.
I felt like I had heard something about it before, but my skin was still crawling from hearing the word “exam.”
I thought I only had to keep completing commissions to eventually reach A Rank.
“We’re only C Rank so that’s probably still a ways off,” Roel said.
“Yeah… and an exam sounds terrible. How come you have to take an exam anyway?” I said.
“A Ranks are officially recognized by the Kingdom and the Guild, so they can’t let just anyone become one,” Mai said. She had a strangely dark expression on her face.
I had no idea if I would even be able to pass without being able to read or write.
“Besides, it’s offered every year so… huh?” Mi was pulling at Mai’s arm. Mai bent down to listen to whatever she had to say.
“Ah, it’s already that late… Ryua, Roel, sorry but we have something to take care of. We have to take off, sorry again,” Mai said.
They left the plantation in a hurry. From the way they looked, it must have been something urgent. They had looked fairly relaxed until that moment, but they could have been faking it.
“That was kind of weird.”
“Yeah, they seemed nice though, so I hope everything is okay,” Roel said.
We went home with baskets under our arms, overflowing with Popol Fruit.
“Phew, I’m about to collapse.”
Gantetz was walking down the long castle corridor. He had just returned from a subjugation commission of a mysterious monster that was much more ferocious than it first looked. Even he, who had racked up fighting experience from countless battles over the years, could sometimes be lulled into a false sense of security. He wondered how many other monsters of that caliber existed. As an A Rank, he wasn’t allowed to retire, but it didn’t stop him from fantasizing about how nice it might be. After all, it was his imagination that led him on the path to becoming an adventurer in the first place. But had he just become a tool for the Kingdom?
“Where the hell did something like that come from.”
“Best not to think about it, Gantzy.”
Shinbu had appeared out of thin air and was standing directly behind him. Gantetz turned around quickly and took a few steps back without thinking.
“After all, you could have just lost your life right now, eh? Gan. Tetz.”
“Don’t joke like that.”
“Even as a joke, an A Rank shouldn’t let down his guard, eh? Oh right, Gantzy, you also went to Qwemill a few days back.”
“And? What of it?”
“Looks like the fruits of your labor was a mere one kill. And yet I think there were… five of them if I’m not mistaken, eh? So I have to ask, what were you doing, eh? Don’t you have plenty of free time to take care of some salamanders?”
“The one I went for was urgent. I had to go.”
Shinbu closed the distance between them in an instant, placing a single finger on Gantetz’s cheek. Gantetz barely reacted as Shinbu ran his finger up and down his face, sneering.
“I’d sure love to hear that tale, Gantzy.”
Gantetz saw Shinbu’s eyes sparkle behind his gaudy glasses. Gantetz groaned without meaning to.
“I cleaned up three of them myself, you know. And you, just that one? Really? Aren’t you an A Rank? Or did you plan to blame your age, eh?”
“The elderly should just retire, eh?”
He wasn’t wrong. His presence in Qwemill hadn’t accomplished anything. But he wasn’t the type who could pass up an urgent commission when there were people in danger. He still saw himself as an adventurer. For all that though, the Kingdom worked him hard. Shinbu was different. He was a genius. After becoming an adventurer, he rose to an A Rank in only a year. Right after that, he went on to become one of the elite of the A Ranks. Gantetz had walked the path of an adventurer for a long time, and it was pitiful he had taken so long to get where he was. For that reason alone Shinbu could say whatever he wanted to Gantetz, and he wouldn’t be able to refute it. He wasn’t jealous of Shinbu, he just couldn’t win against him. He had already accepted the defeat in his heart.
“Then I heard that long-faced sergeant got the last one. For such an old man…” Before he finished his sentence, Shinbu turned and started walking away.
“Being a low class A Rank is pretty sad, eh?”
Shinbu disappeared from the hallway.
[ Wild Squirrel – HP 24 ]
When moving as a group, they are a harmful animal known to cause large damage to crops.
They have sharp front teeth capable of breaking even the hardest of nuts.
Their speed of procreation is extremely high, so unless they are eradicated, their numbers will rapidly increase.