I visited the Adventurer's Guild in King's Landing for the first time in over a decade.
The interior hadn't changed much, but it felt much smaller than it had when I was a kid, and the whole place looked older than I remembered.
"Can I help you with something in our guild?
As I casually looked around, I noticed a small young woman in the reception area.
Rather, a girl in her mid-teens approached me.
She was the only one sitting in front of the reception counter.
She seemed to be the only one sitting at the counter, and the man who had dealt with me before was not there.
I'd like to register as an adventurer.
The girl at the desk immediately took out a sheet of paper.
Please fill in your name and skills here.
If you can't write, please let me know. I can write for you.
My father and mother had taught me to read and write in one form or another.
I looked at the form that was handed to me, but it seemed to be just a form to fill in the name of the adventurer and the skills he possessed.
I honestly filled out the form with the skills I had.
＜Adventurer Registration Form
＜Skills you possess.
[Swordsman] Lineage - Parry
[Warrior] Lineage - Strengthening muscle
[Hunter] Lineage - Throwing stones
Thieves - Stealth
Mage - Petite Fire
Monk System - Low Heel
Each line has one of the most rudimentary skills.
Total of 6 skills.
This was all I had now.
Is that okay?
Yes, thank you. We'll be in touch with you shortly.
I'll be with you in a few minutes. ........................ What?
The girl at the reception desk seemed to be puzzled about something as she checked the form I gave her, holding a thick book called "Skill Performance Evaluation Dictionary" on the counter.
After a while, he asked me a question, looking a little uncomfortable.
Are you sure this is correct? If there are any omissions...
At my simple reply, the girl's expression changed from confusion to impatience, and she began to hurriedly flip through the pages of the notebook-like booklet at hand. She seemed to be looking at something that looked like a response manual.
"I'm sorry, ......! So, ...... are you familiar with the system of the "training school" in the capital? Here in the capital, anyone can receive training in the six basic professions from excellent instructors, and gain new skills...
I already know that. I've taken them all. I've taken all of them. That's why I have this skill set.
"What the... ......?
The girl at the reception desk made a small sound of surprise this time.
You'll be able to find a lot more than just a few of these in the marketplace.
He flipped through the pages of what looked like a manual again, checked it for a while, then looked up at me apologetically.
"You can't register as an adventurer?
"...... Yes. You don't meet the guild's minimum requirements for adventurer registration. ...... I'm really sorry.
No, you have nothing to apologize for.
I'm not going to be able to register as an adventurer with my skill set - I knew that.
The girl seemed a little relieved by my words, but her color changed again with my next words.
But I still want to register as an adventurer. Is there any way you can help me?
".................. eh .........? ...?
At my question, the girl's hand trembled as she held the manual.
The girl's hands trembled as she held the manual, and her eyes darted back and forth between my face and the manual.
Her face, which was almost half-crying, turned bright red.
I wonder if I've annoyed her that much. ......
"Is it still not working?
"Oh, no, ......, but ......! I'm not sure what to do.
I was starting to feel sorry for her.
The girl at the reception desk left her seat.
"Ma, Master! He ran to the back of the guild, shouting, "Ma, master!
"What's up, Aria ......, with such a red face?
"That ......! That person...
He seemed to be explaining something about me to someone who called me Master.
Then, a large, strong man came slinking out from the back.
I know this man.
He had a few more gray hairs on his head than before, but it was a familiar face.
You can't be too hard on our new guy. ...... Who are you? You don't look familiar. ......?
The guy didn't seem to remember me.
He glared at me with sharp eyes, as if he thought I was suspicious.
But I was happy to see a face I hadn't seen in a long time, so I called out to him.
Uncle, it's been a while.
"What? What's up with you? I don't know you...no. Wait a minute.
The man tilted his head back as he ran his hand over his beard, but after taking a long look at my face, he seemed to realize something.
"You. I don't think so. You've grown a lot taller. .......
You're not the same kid from that time, are you?
Yes, I am.
The uncle remembered me, too, apparently.
He even remembered my name.
The girl at the reception desk, who was watching the exchange, stared at us alternately with anxiety and confusion.
"Oh, um, do you know ...... Master?
"Yeah, something like that. That's enough, Aria. I'll handle this one. You go do something else.
As I watched the girl take a seat at the reception desk and begin to attend to the other visitors, the guild uncle spoke to me with a different expression, one of happiness.
I'm sorry, man. It's part of our business to remember the faces of our guests, but you've changed so much I didn't recognize you.
"No wonder. It's been more than ten years since then. I'm surprised you remembered my name.
Heck, I couldn't forget even if I wanted to.
You're the only person I've ever heard of who, at that age, took all six of the hardest training courses even for adults in a full period of time, and didn't acquire a single skill.
You'll be able to get a lot more out of it than you might think.
Oh, no, I don't mean to pry.
He scratched his head and asked me what I had been doing since I left town.
I had nothing to hide, so I told him that I had returned to my house in the mountains and had been training alone.
He said, "You've been training to acquire skills by yourself for over fifteen years? I can't believe someone would do that. ...... No, you could do that. ...... So, what are your skills?
In the end, I didn't acquire any skills.
I'm not sure if this is a good idea or not.
In the end, I did not acquire any skills.
It was true that the instructors had told me I had no talent.
"Well, I guess so.
The training instructors of the Royal Training Center are not to be trifled with.
Even here in King's Landing, the holy land of adventurers, we have the best of the best.
Yeah, well, you can't go wrong.
If they say it's a bad idea, then it's probably a bad idea.
...... I'm sorry for you.
"Yeah, you're right. I thought I was doing my best, but I wasn't.
The moment you acquire a skill, you have a special feeling.
It's a feeling that others can't understand, but for you, it's obvious that something has changed.
I learned that feeling when I went to the training center and learned the first skill.
But since I left King's Landing, I haven't had that feeling once.
That means I haven't acquired any skills.
I thought I made a lot of effort, but .......
"Well, don't be discouraged. Everything doesn't work out that way.
There are plenty of other ways to live besides being an adventurer. ...... No, wait a minute.
I'm not sure if you've ever heard of this, but I'm sure you've heard of it.
...... Are you sure that the adventurer registration form on your desk is your ......?
I want to be an adventurer, after all.
I know I'm talking out of my ass.
But is there any way you can help me?
Are you serious, ......?
The old man stared at me for a while, frowning, then shook his head as if he had given up.
You can't blame him. ...... It's my job too, so I'll explain it to you from scratch.
He scratched his gray-haired head and began to explain.
The first thing to remember is that being an adventurer is a dangerous profession.
First of all, being an adventurer is a dangerous job.
Sometimes you have to go on a mission to defeat them. ...... A lucrative job always comes with the risk of death.
In other words, adventurers are high-risk, high-reward, risk-loving, curious people.
It's a job for the risk-loving and curious, or those who are very confident in their abilities.
...... So far so good?
"Yeah, I'm good.
Of course, I knew that, so I nodded.
"Well, the point is.
It is the job of an adventurer to go out of his way to put himself in danger.
That's why, from the perspective of protecting human life, there is a common standard of 'rank' for all certified guilds in the world, not just in King's Landing.
The goal is to reduce the number of people who die from recklessness, even if only a little.
I'm not sure if this is a good idea or not, but it's a good idea.
＜Adventurer Rank Certification Criteria
Rank S - Platinum: A person recognized by the Adventurer's Guild Association as possessing exceptional abilities.
Rank A - [Gold] A person who has been recognized as exceptionally capable by a designated organization and has a proven track record.
Rank B - 【Silver】 A person with skills recognized as exceptionally capable by the designated organization.
Rank C - Bronze: Possesses skills recognized as capable by the Adventurers Guild Association.
Rank D - Iron: An adventurer with excellent skills.
Rank E - 【Beginner】 A person who possesses the minimum skills for an adventurer.
There are five basic ranks for adventurers, from A to E. The exception is S, which is the platinum rank.
As an exception, there is an S-rank (Platinum), but this is an honorary rank that can only be granted in exceptional cases. Don't worry about it.
Normally, you start at "E" and work your way up to "A".
The rank rises as your abilities are evaluated based on your work performance. ...... First of all, you must be recognized as having the "minimum skills for an adventurer" as specified in the rules.
Only then will you become a rank "E" adventurer, a beginner.
I think I heard that explanation when I was a kid.
The requirement for the lowest rank, "E," is "at least one useful skill.
It is supposed to be a fairly loose standard, but ...... it has become a barrier for you.
But this is a guild agreement.
I'm sure you'll be happy to know that I'm not the only one.
...... Sorry about that.
The man scratched his beard apologetically as he said this.
I'm not sure what to do.
I guess it's time for me to give up and become an adult.
In my rational mind, I think I understand ......, but I'm still in shock.
I've always wanted to be an adventurer.
It's not like I'm going to suddenly change my mind just because I realize it's impossible.
I'm not sure if I should give up. ......
I couldn't help but drop my shoulders and sigh.
The uncle, who had been watching me in silence, scratched his head and said something like this.
"Well, if all you want is to become an adventurer... there's no way around it.
At these words, I looked up at him.
"I'm not saying there's ....... But that doesn't mean there isn't.
He began to speak slowly.
"Strictly speaking, there are ranks with criteria lower than 'E'.
It's not widely known, but there's an extra rank (・・・・・) called 'F'...
Also known as 'Novice'.
It's a rank even lower than beginner, which is generally considered the lowest rank.
It's a special rank exclusive to King's Landing.
If that's the case, you can register without any 'useful skills'.
There's no rule about whether or not you have skills.
I couldn't help but lean forward to the guild's reception counter.
I was starting to feel hopeful.
But, listen to me calmly.
What I'm about to tell you is important.
There's a reason why that rank is practically considered 'nothing'.
"Novice" can be registered by anyone, sure.
Even you. But there is a condition.
You may not accept any "defeat requests" or "gathering quests" outside the city (・・・・).
That's a condition. It's dangerous for those who have no way to protect themselves.
Instead, you are only allowed to do miscellaneous quests in the city.
That is, you can do things like scavenge in the city, haul dirt from construction sites, find lost cats, etc. ......
The rank of "Novice" is a special rank (・・・・・) that only accepts such requests.
"Chore quests around town, .......
But who would be foolish enough to become an adventurer just to take on such menial tasks?
The guild that offered you the job would take the commission.
If you're going to do that, you might as well just get a regular job.
In the past, it was used to give jobs to the beggars in the streets. ......
It's a forgotten system that no one uses now that the economy has stabilized a bit.
The law was only made a long time ago, and there is no evidence that it has been used for at least the last hundred years.
In fact, I don't think there's any advantage to registering with it.
So, I'm not going to say anything bad...
"Okay, that's fine. Just register it.
...... What? ......, did you hear what I just said?
Yeah. You're not allowed to accept requests to go outside of the city, right? That's fine. Sign me up.
The uncle scratched his head again.
You know, ....... No, you're not the kind of guy who listens to others once they start talking.
I'm sorry, but please.
All right? I'll issue you a registration card, but if you ever want to quit, just tell me.
If you ever want to quit, just tell me.
I'll get you a job any time I can.
...... is good, okay?
It's a good idea to have a good idea of what you're looking for.
If you understand, take this.
"This is your F-rank registration, your adventurer's license.
Like I said, it's limited.
Don't show it off too much, okay?
It's nothing to be proud of.
"Oh, thank you... I owe you, Uncle!
And so I took the first step towards my dream.
I got my F rank "Novice" adventurer's license.