When Damien entered the adventurer’s guild, his first thought was ‘as expected.’ Though it was much cleaner than the stereotypes, it had checked all the rest of the criteria for a typical guild. A reception area lined with pretty receptionists, a bar full of rowdy adventurers of different races chatting and laughing, and a mission board.
Damien smiled at this. It seemed that someone on earth had done some world traveling at some point, or there was no way fantasy novels would be so accurate. Checking yet another spot on the cliche checklist, when Damien opened the doors, all eyes landed on him.
By this time, Zara had already gone back into his shadow, so he was alone to bear the brunt of these gazes. However, he didn’t even flinch. The gaze of that feral chimera he fought on the 50th floor was leagues scarier than these random guys he’d never met before.
Plus, he basked in the envy that was being transmitted to him by their gazes. After all, doesn’t the fact that they envy him just prove that he was better than them? Although he had long since been aware that he shouldn’t get conceited, he wouldn’t miss the chance to enjoy this feeling every once in a while.
Scanning the room, Damien felt no threat from any of the current adventurers and his pupils clearly showed the discrepancies in their mana. Damien promptly ignored the crowd and walked towards the reception.
“Hello!” Said the cheerful girl at the counter, similarly ignoring all the gazes focused on her. “How may I help you today?”
Damien responded in kind, keeping his words concise and blunt. “I’d like to become an adventurer.”
Damien’s flat tone caused the reception girl’s eyes to twitch a bit, but she continued to act professionally. However, it seemed some of the adventurers didn’t take well to his tone.
As he was about to continue, a man approached him from behind, attempting to grab Damien’s shoulder. “Hey, you!”
Damien’s arm flickered, and the next instant, the arm the man had been reaching out to grab Damien fell cleanly on the floor.
The man screamed, looking at Damien with eyes filled with horror. It wasn’t any different for anyone else in the guild. They alternated their gazes between Damien and the man spurting blood on the floor before sprouting into a cold sweat, glad they weren’t the one who decided to provoke him.
“Hm?” Damien turned around, seeing the mess he made. He didn’t feel anything for taking the guy’s arm, even if he moved on instinct. Damien’s reflexes were trained so that anything that approached him with hostility would be instantly cut down, no matter the level of hostility.
Maybe it was a bit much, but this was how he’d been living for the past 2 years. It would take more than just a day or two for his old habits to calm down.
“Wow!” Damien exclaimed, “Hey man it looks like something happened to your arm. It looks like my hand slipped! You should make sure to not grab people without permission in the future.”
With those words, Damien proceeded to ignore the man, turning back to the surprised receptionist girl. “Anyway,” he said, “continue what you were saying.”
The receptionist girl was startled, but she had been working at the guild for a long time, so she was quick to regain her bearings.
“Y-yes! Becoming an adventurer is simple, you just have to prove that you’ve at least acquired your 1st class and you can become an F rank. As you take quests and accumulate merit points, you can increase your rank.”
Damien interrupted her. “And if I’m past 1st class already?”
The girl’s eyes widened for a second before she continued. He looked very young but was already a 2nd class or higher? His talent must’ve been extremely high.
“If you’re already a 2nd class or higher, you can take a qualification mission from the guild to prove your strength. Once that’s finished, your performance will be evaluated and a fitting rank will be assigned.”
Damien nodded his head in approval. It looked like he wouldn’t have to start at F rank with his strength and rank up by doing crazy quests like in isekai anime. Damien honestly couldn’t bring himself to kill some petty goblins anymore.
“Okay then,” he replied to the girl. “I’ll take that quest.”
The girl nodded her head and began filling out some forms. She then handed them to Damien so he could fill in his same, age, and some other miscellaneous information.
Nicknames and pseudonyms were allowed, but with him being a stranger to this world, he felt it was unnecessary. Still, after thinking for a bit, he just wrote ‘Void’ instead of adding his first name as well.
He felt that he could never be too cautious.
“Okay!” The girl said after she received his forms. She handed him an F rank guild card and continued. “For now, here’s your F rank card. If you complete your mission, your card will be automatically updated through our system. The next qualification mission is-”
As the girl was talking, someone came down from the stairs that led to the second floor and whispered something in her ear while sneaking a few glances at Damien. The girl’s eyes widened for a second before she masked her expression. Then she spoke to Damien once more.
“It looks like there’s an escort mission that’ll be starting in a week, and the client has allowed it to be used as a qualification mission. Would you like to accept?”
Damien was a bit suspicious, but being confident in his fleeing ability, he accepted the mission. After that, he turned to leave the guild. However, after taking only a few steps, he heard a crunching sound under his feet.
Looking down, he saw that he had accidentally stepped on the other arm of that guy from earlier, turning it into a bag of meat paste. With an innocent look on his face, Damien spoke.
“To be completely honest with you, this wasn’t on purpose. Now I know it sounds like an excuse, but hear me out. I genuinely forgot that you existed.”
Although he was telling the truth, he still didn’t feel like staying there to hear the man’s agonizing cries, so after leaving those words, he vanished from the spot.
Damien reappeared in his inn room as Zara left his shadow. For some reason, he could teleport freely with her in his shadow and she would teleport with him. Whether it was because of their pact or because his shadow was a part of him, Damien didn’t know, but it was convenient so he didn’t question it.
Pulling out his guild card, Damien studied it while recalling the information he read in the subspace.
‘These cards are like a sign of status. While an F rank card doesn’t do much, when I get my A rank card it’ll provide me many benefits. Plus, it acts like a credit card so I don’t have to take out annoying amounts of money during transactions. Although I doubt any bandits would be my match, it’s better to be safe than sorry.’
Damien quickly lost interest in the card. It had plenty of small runic symbols on it, but he couldn’t understand them in the slightest, so it was useless to study them. Looking into his inventory again, Damien remembered his sword.
When he took it out, it almost crumbled on the spot. When he found it, it had already been in a used condition, and its twin had broken in his first real fight. He didn’t know how this one managed to last all the crazy fights he had after that, but he was glad it did.
Its blade was fully black but contained many spider web cracks on its surface, and the hilt was extremely worn. However, he couldn’t bring himself to throw it away. It was his very first partner.
He put the sword back in his inventory to prevent any more damage and decided to get himself a new blade.
But first, he’d have to go back to the guild to get rich off selling his stash of beast corpses.