「Your adventurer license had been revoked-nya. 」
The fairy cat tasked with reception spoke.
The me who was met with such a statement while trying to accept a quest like usual has my mouth gaped wide open.
「……What did you say? 」
「Your license card is invalid-nya. We would like to you to submit the paperwork for the return procedure of the card within twenty days-nya. 」
「……W-what do you mean by revoking my license? 」
An unsteady voice came out of my own mouth.
There is surely some misunderstanding is what I want to believe.
「Please wait a moment……」
When I tried to get up from the counter, my waist made a disapproving noise.
The body that had gone through whole twenty years of hardships is already battered all around.
Especially the pain in the lower back and shoulders is unbearable.
I received the rejected license card while massaging my painful waist pathetically.
I scrubbed it with the sleeves of my worn shirt and tried presenting it to the fairy cat again.
「Please confirm it once again with this. 」
The fairy cat conformed to my wish.
「Your adventurer license has been revoked-nya. This card is invalid-nya. 」
What came back was the same exact answer as before.
I felt cold sweat trickle down my back.
(No way……. I can’t receive any quests if my license is revoked……)
Certainly, my performance lately had been in dangerous territory.
Even if I went out on a quest, I couldn’t get any results.
Even so, I thought I could recover from that in time.
(I guess I was naïve to believe in that……)
My shoulders hung with what seemingly little energy that was left in me.
The worst scenario that I could’ve thought of happened.
It was when I felt like hugging my head and crouching to release my agony.
「Hey, did you hear that, his license is getting revoked.」「Pu- how pitiful」, such voices and laughter could be heard from the party passing behind me.
I could feel my face heating up from the embarrassment.
(If I don’t make an inquire now……)
I shrank my large body and drew closer to the receptionist window.
I stood at the last empty counter so that others would not notice easily.
The staff behind the counter could be seen moving around busily.
I felt a little repulsed from my actions as I tried to attract attention by coughing.
It went unnoticed.
What a bummer.
I tried a bit harder, but it sounded quite forceful.
But at last, there was some people who noticed me.
A familiar young male staff member approaches the window.
「Ah, Douglas-san. Haha, What’s up-ssu」
The male staff greeted me and laughed awkwardly.
I realized when I saw this.
My license being revoked is probably known by everyone affiliated with the guild.
I faked being calm and returned a smile.
Because I would be more miserable if I were to mind it.
「I’m sorry to bother you when you are busy. Actually……, I want to have a little talk about my license……」
「I see! The procedure for returning your license, right? Okay-ssu! 」
「Aaa, not that……. Not the returning procedure……. I would like my revocation of license lifted. 」
「Ee……. ……Lifting the revocation? 」
The male staff’s eyebrows lowered and he displayed a face that was reluctant.
「I’m sorry to cause you trouble.」
I felt my own powerlessness as I apologized.
Still, I cannot afford to give up that easily.
After all, my livelihood is depending on this.
Now is not a situation to care about how I look.
「For the time being, can you please lift the revocation for even one day today? If so I would complete a C-ranked quest immediately to regain my guild points, anyhow please……? 」
A C-ranked quest has a difficulty level that is suitable for adventurers around mid-level 30.
The average level of adventurers in the world is about 30, so you can complete a C-ranked quest even if you are a little stronger than the usual.
By the way, my current level is 68.
(It’s more than enough with just my level, so there should be absolutely no reason for me to fail a C-ranked quest.)
I am a 37-year-old ossan this year.
Maybe it was because that I’ve been reckless during my young age, my body had starting to degrade after 35 years old. Anyways, the decline in my physical ability is considerable.
Eyestrain, migraine headache, back pain, stiff shoulders.
And lastly, chronic fatigue.
Moreover, I had been suffering from a bizarre disease for a year now.
When I noticed it, my maximum HP decreased every single time I used a skill.
Once lost, my maximum HP never recovered again.
When I noticed the symptoms of the disease and shuddered at the thought of the future, my comrades at that time hurriedly brought a famous omnipotent doctor to diagnose me. But…….
The diagnosis result that was handed to me was ruthless.
『It seems that your body can no longer bear the use of skills. It is an unusual symptom, but I have seen several people like you throughout my career. Unfortunately, there had been no cure found. If you choose to continue using your skills and your maximum HP falls to zero, you will lose your life. 』
I was forced to choose between giving up on the life of adventurer or to shave my life while continuing it.
The despair that filled me on that night. I drank and drank, until I couldn’t take it anymore, shedding my tears while vomiting what was left in my stomach.
The next morning, I told my party members refreshingly.
「I decided to continue adventuring until my HP becomes zero. For a little while more, my best regards as a comrade. 」
For me, I only have this way of living.
I can’t give up everything this late in the game.
Thus, my maximum HP had been decreasing for this past year, and this 2500 is what I’m left with.
It’s no different than a single-digit level green leaf adventurer.
Originally, a level 68 combatant would see 50000 HP as nothing…….
「Unn……. C-ranked quest……. Douglas-san, did you not fail 3 quests in a row if I recall correctly. The reason as to why I couldn’t request the guild to give you a chance to take a C-ranked quest……」
「……Ah, I know it’s a tough request for you…. 」
There’s something called total guild points in every adventurer guild.
When an adventurer accomplishes a quest contracted to the guild, the guild points earned by the adventurer himself are added to the total guild points.
On the contrary, failing a quest would deduct your guild points.
Adventures receive many benefits and services with their guild points.
Above all, the adventurer license could not be kept by an adventurer unless it is holding some extent of guild points.
However, the exact number of guild points needed to uphold your license has never been officially announced.
I did not notice such a critical situation until I was stripped of the license because it was judged from the sum of numbers of quest achieved, contribution to the guild, the level of the person, etc.
The guild can also receive benefits from guild points.
The higher the total guild points, the more money will be paid from the guild headquarters.
Conversely, if the guild’s total points are too low, the guild master might be left with nothing to work with, or the worst that is the guild may be demolished.
Therefore, every instance I failed a quest, I had been causing trouble for the guild.
I really felt sorry for that.
I used to be the guild’s number one point-ranker……, to think that I’ve fallen this far.
Makes me feel sorry for myself.
「But this time, unlike usual, I had taken measures to prepare thoroughly. Look at this. 」
I said while gesturing behind me.
I showed the male staff the rucksack I was carrying.
In the rucksack that swelled like a balloon, is the sheer amount of recovery medicine that I’ve bought.
Even one bottle of the liquified recovery medicine is quite the heavy load.
The weight of the rucksack exerted on my stiff shoulders are considerable.
It was a workout. Honestly, just to bring it here.
「Uhh……. That’s quite the amount you got there……. 」
「You think so too? I would surely get through the quest if I have these! 」
I slammed my fist holding full of swords on the counter.
As expected, I would get restless after failing three consecutive quests.
On top of that, the revocation of my license also weighed on my mind. But more than anything, my livelihood would be in danger if I can’t get the reward money from completing a quest.
My monetary situation had been in the red zone for quite a while now.
「Certainly, the sheer quantity of item is a great assurance. But could you even bear such a heavy weight while engaging in a battle! Wouldn’t something like that makes you easier to be hit? 」
「W-well, it’s true that my strength would be limited, but since I’m a Magic Swordsman, defending against attacks are better than avoiding them for me.」
「……But Douglas-san, isn’t your maximum HP quite low already? It’ll be tough if you’re taking hits constantly. It would be a different story if you were to party up with a healer though, you’ve been solo-ing for a month now……. Challenging a C-ranked quest with your state would be recklessness. 」
「Iyaa, I’m confident that I can complete the quest this time.」
「Haha……. This is quite the trouble, isn’t it…… 」
The male staff sighed loudly.
He is patiently trying to persuade me, but he’s probably getting fed up by now.
I felt ashamed.
「Douglas-san, I don’t really want to say this to you but……. The current you do not meet the guild’s requirement. Honestly, you’ve been a burden for us for about a year now. 」
A burden that does not meet the requirements.
It’s because that I’ve known that well, his words hit me hard.
「In the first place, a C-ranked quest would be way out of reach for you, even D-ranked quest would be tough for you. No matter how high your level is, with just 2500HP, you would be at death’s doorstep with just one punch. Collecting honey in the forest might as well be……」
「Let’s just leave it right there.」
A small, good-looking man coming out from the back said while he lightly taps the male staff’s shoulder.
The male staff closed his mouth and swallowed his words.
The small man that has the same grade as I is the Guildmaster.
I had known the Guildmaster for a decade now, I’ve been his close friends ever since he was still a general staff.
I felt relieved that the Guildmaster came out personally.
If it’s him, he would understand me.
「What a relief, Guildmaster. Please give me just one more chance, I will surely――……」
The reason why my words stopped was because I noticed the sullen expression of his.
He did not come out to be on my side.
I turned towards the male staff instead, and stood up to persuade him once more.
「Douglas. I understand your feelings. But just leave it at that extent, exaggerating something isn’t what you like, right? 」
The Guildmaster turned his gaze to the surroundings as he said that.
I finally regain my calm after being pointed out.
As I looked around the reception center, the other adventurers were eavesdropping on our conversation while seemingly having fun.
「What’s happening? What’s happening? Is that ossan already a goner? 」
「D-rank quests is barely accomplishable for him they say.」
I was completely showered with criticizing gazes.
「S-sorry……, I was upset that it……」
The male staff squeezed out a hoarse voice from his throat and apologized.
The awkward atmosphere won’t change a bit even if he apologized.
「We’re very grateful to Douglas for your work at this guild. We haven’t forgotten your contributions when you were young. That’s why we don’t want to see you die a dog’s death. Please understand just this. 」
「……I see. 」
Leaving my hometown at the age of fifteen, it’s been twenty-two years huh.
I had only been an adventurer.
No talent for other jobs.
I’ve dedicated my only life to this path.
But no matter how attached I am to this place, I can no longer stay it seems.
At this town Balzac that is crowded with adventurer because of its difficult dungeons.
I was a top ranker at one time in such a crowded city.
At that time, 『Scarlet Douglas』is a well-known magic swordsman name.
The truth is, I belonged to the Hero’s party until half a year ago.
All of that is just glory of the past.
「I’m sorry for all kinds of trouble I caused……」
As I bowed my head and turned my back――
I was called out by the guild master. Pathetically, I still had a sliver of hope remained in my heart.
It could be that he’s still trying to retain me.
But what was heard was ruthless.
「Sorry but it’s a rule that the adventurer returns their rental weapon if their license is revoked.」
「A-ahh……. That’s right……. 」
I’ve been using rental weapon that I borrowed from the guild.
I used to have my own well-made weapons in the olden days, but life was so bad that I had to let go of it.
After carrying out the return procedure at the rental arms store beside the reception desk.
What remained at hand is just a single cheap knife.
The hand that had familiarize itself on the grip of my sword could touch nothing but air now.
As I came to realize the helpless loneliness, my eyes started to heat up.
TL : PhantasmalMira