A simple foldable table was laid out before us. On it, were several plates of food with the number increasing by the second. The enticing smell of the food wafted into our noses as more and more plates were laid on the table.
It wasn’t as good as Miss Poppy’s cooking, but at least there was a wide variety available. Plus, the majority of the people here were hungry.
Soon the giant tent transformed into a banquet. At the head of this banquet was naturally the leader of our expedition, Officer Breman.
Breman: Good work everyone. While the meal might not be the best, just treat it as a preview of the rations to come.
Breman: There won’t be any alcohol provided as the army forbids us from doing so.
Breman: However, once we set off on our expedition, the necessities will definitely be provided.
Breman: Now, before we partake in dinner, I have a few words for everyone present.
Breman: This is the last recruitment drive of this expedition. Tomorrow, this expedition sets off. As such, we don’t have the time to assign a fitting job to everyone, so everyone has to start off as a laborer.
Breman: Don’t worry, this expedition lasts a whole season so there will be plenty of opportunities for everyone to shine.
Breman: Starting from tonight, everyone here will be a part of the expedition so you have to obey all the rules you just read about.
Breman: After dinner, this place will have to be cleaned up, as this will be your sleeping area. Due to the lack of time, we were unable to arrange for proper accommodations. We hope that you guys will understand.
Breman: Strictly speaking, there’s still another test tomorrow. However, considering that everyone here had the guts to sign up, passing that test should be easy.
Di Qi Ju:…??
Breman: Lastly, I would like to emphasize to the people here, especially those who won’t be accompanying us—–
Breman: —-don’t think about becoming an [adventurer].
Breman: This country does not welcome any for-profit teams of armed adventurers. This is considered illegal. Tailing the expedition as a scavenger is strictly forbidden as well.
Breman: I hope that no one here will become a hindrance to us in the future.
Ah-re? Adventurers are outlawed in this world?
I guess adventurers are merely one of those tropes you find in a fantasy novel. Realistically speaking, adventuring teams are essentially just teams of armed militants.
Well, this has nothing to do with me. Adventuring wasn’t part of the plan after all. I’m not familiar with the cold weapons of this world. Furthermore, there’s no magic in this world and neither do I plan on wishing for magic.
Breman: Alright. Everyone, please dig in.
Breman: Don’t be shy and go all out!!
As his speech ended, the previously silent crowd finally exploded. Their pent up hunger could finally be sated.
The tent was suddenly filled with the clamoring of the crowd. The men who came as part of a team were already actively engaged in their various discussions. On the other hand, the lone wolves began to warm up to each as well; as they toasted each other—-not with wine though.
Even the disqualified candidates were caught up in the festivities.
This kind of atmosphere…it’s the first time I’ve ever experienced it in this world.
No…it was the first time ever period.
Even in this celebratory atmosphere I felt out of place. Who could I talk to? An event like this was definitely the first for me.
A guy like me would probably pile on the food and find a remote corner to enjoy my meal, silently watching everyone else while eating.
However, this time felt different. If I really did so now, I had this sneaking feeling that I would regret it…
To some extent, I wanted to change myself as well.
This isn’t that world where education and exams are king.
Di Qi Ju: —–hmm? Oh…
When did he get here?
Ethan: Excuse me, please have a look at this.
I accepted the pen and paper in front of me with a puzzled look.
Di Qi Ju: ……huh?
Ethan: I’m under orders to get the personal particulars of everyone who passed. Please write down your name and age.
Ethan: As for your other details such as your abilities, you can fill those in when you get promoted to a more important job.
Di Qi Ju: Oh…so that’s how it is.
In the past, whenever I took a physics test, I would hear my classmates talk about wanting to travel back in time to kill Newton.
I always thought it was just a figure of speech but I think I finally get that feeling—
—can I travel back in time and kill the guy who invented words?
……It will probably be futile though. This won’t prevent the invention of words.
Damn it. I thought the literature examination was over, why is it back again!
…How am I going to explain this away. Even an illiterate person is able to spell his own name!
Miss Poppy, you could have at least taught me how to write my own name. Teaching me the numerical system would help as well. I imagine being able to write the numbers 1 to 100 is pretty important…what a miscalculation!
My brooding was suddenly interrupted by an approaching voice. It was the voice of Breman, who had just left his seat and was walking towards us.
This was my first time seeing him up close. The thing that first caught my attention was his carefully groomed hair. Based on this alone, you could tell he was very particular about his appearance and etiquette. He was surprisingly younger; even younger than what I saw from a distance. His face even had a hint of delicateness.
His voice was equally striking. It had a comforting quality which was soothing to men and attractive to women. If you added in the fact these qualities appeared in a military man that was traditionally known for being strict; this gap was clearly a lethal weapon against women. If he wasn’t a winner in life, then I don’t who is.
In short, he was what you would call in my previous world, the enemy of all men.
Breman: What’s happening?
Ethan: I’m registering his personal details.
Breman unabashedly came close to me and took the pen from me.
Breman: What’s your name?
Di Qi Ju: …Di Qi Ju.
Breman: Di Qi Ju…
He placed the paper on his palm and wrote a few words.
Di Qi Ju: 16 years old.
Breman: Pretty young.
Di Qi Ju: …My family has had some difficulties.
Breman: Judging from your name, you must’ve come from a distant land. I’m familiar with the surnames of all the neighboring countries as well as Faith’s and I don’t remember hearing of such a name.
Di Qi Ju: Uh, it’s not that far…
Breman: If you possess any unique knowledge or technique from your homeland, please share it with our country.
Breman: We are willing to purchase it from you.
Di Qi Ju: This……I’m not entirely sure as well.
Most of the stuff I’ve learnt in high school were theoretical. The practical knowledge I’ve learnt should already be commonplace in this world. After all, they even had electric lights (I think).
Breman: Haha, don’t worry. Just do your best here.
Breman: Things like rewards and positions are all given based on your contribution.
Di Qi Ju: Oh…alright.
Breman: Ethan, you may continue.
As he said this, he returned the pen and paper to Ethan before leaving the tent.
Di Qi Ju: ……
In the blink of an eye, I was by my lonely self once more.
Breman had definitely gotten me out of this dilemma, but what was he up to?
I get this feeling that an unknown part of me has caught his attention.
Ethan: Officer Breman.
Breman: Hm? Oh it’s you. Are you here for some fresh air as well?
Ethan: As long as it’s your orders, there’s no place I would not go.
Breman: I take it you have something you wish to bring up?
Breman: Go ahead, don’t beat around the bush.
Ethan: Yes. I feel that your excellency has already done a thorough job of managing all the expedition members.
Breman:…What do you wish to say?
Ethan: I mean to say, conscription isn’t a part of your original duties. There’s no need for you to personally handle the recruitment of non-military personnel.
Breman: —–So there’s no need for me to spend time on an improper brat?
Breman: Ethan, how old do you think I am?
Ethan: Your excellency is different from normal people; you are gifted and have received more blessings from God.
Breman: Even if I’m only two years older than him, no one will know what he can achieve with just two years.
Breman: Or are you blind as well?
Breman: During that strength test, that kid only tried to test the weight of that special chest. He had only used three of his fingers then.
Breman: When he exerted himself, his hands weren’t in place yet the chest was easily and abruptly lifted up.
Breman: If it was you, could you do it?
Ethan: …To perform such an inhuman feat.
Ethan: Was he born with such godly strength or was it from an ability wish?
Breman: It’s definitely possible to achieve such a feat with wishes but in this day and age, there’s no one who would spend their wish points on such a simple ability.
Breman: A person’s ability wishes and his remaining wish points are both part of a person’s private matters. It’s not appropriate of us to inquire too much into it at the moment.
Breman: …But the moment I saw him lift that chest, I heard the call of Westrealm.
Breman: Yes. My ability activated.
Ethan: If that’s the case, I’ll retract my statements.
Breman: As long as you understand. Di Qi Ju…don’t ignore him. Try to maintain contact with him but there’s also no need for special treatment.
Breman: Not just him but everyone as well. Bringing out the full potential of everyone present is your job.
Breman: Don’t forget, this year’s exploratory mission is different from the previous years…
Ethan: Yes sir!
Special thanks to 7STARDARK BLADE! The first ever patron of Catato Patch Translations.