Diana grabbed her sword and prepared to leave. With a wave at Howard, she told him that she’d be taking a stop at the Adventurer’s Corner to look at the local quests before visiting the Baroness and the Castle Training Grounds.
Walking down the path, she encountered Kira who was sitting down a bench leading up to James’s house and rifling through some papers. Hearing Diana approach, she looked up and greeted, “Oh hey, Diana.”
She looked down shyly. “I’ve actually been meaning to thank you for yesterday. You didn’t have to do that, you know. I’m used to it.”
Diana stared at her before replying, “Yeah, I guessed that, it’s just that you’re clearly an independent being, and I just thought it wasn’t right what they did.”
Kira sighed slowly. “Yeah, I wish other people would realize that about other Hersha. It’s this type of thing that prevents me from doing what I want to do.”
Diana looked at her in surprise. “You want to do something else? I thought you enjoyed your time here.”
Kira perked up, happy to talk about her goals. “Actually, I want to help Master James sell goods. While helping out with the paperwork is good like I am doing right now, it’s also kind of boring. I’d be able to help a lot more if I talked to customers. He really hates having to negotiate with everyone who comes along. However, I don’t think any of those [Nobles] would even want to deal with me.”
Diana hugged the cat girl. “That sounds like their problem. I love talking to you. In fact, do you want to come visit the Adventurer’s Guild with me?”
Kira looked around nervously before gesturing at her papers. “Are you sure? The adventurers, in particular, tend to not get along too well with me. They’re so used to either the docile Hersha or wild ones. Honestly, I have a lot of paperwork to do for James anyway.”
“Nonsense.” Weighing down the papers with a rock, Diana announced, “Okay. They’ll be there when we get back. Let’s go check out the city.”
Kira let herself be pulled down the path as they followed the road to the Adventurer’s Corner, which was just beyond the city gates. They passed through several side streets, this time without any commotion, and ended up outside the city gates. Finding a well-maintained tavern-looking place, they casually strolled up to it, ignoring the curious looks some of the adventurers gave them.
Just as they entered, the four adventurers that Diana had beaten up before greeted them. They had been drinking in a corner and noticed the conspicuous pair’s entrance. The lead man guffawed, “Fancy seeing you here, Diana!” The man nodded at Kira as well. “Good day, my lady.”
Diana immediately felt mortified. “I’m so sorry about what happened before! I was a bit unused to what I was supposed to do.”
“There’s no hard feelings about that, Miss. In fact, me and my party really ought to thank you for all that. We would’ve been hard-pressed to get the funds if you hadn’t made Master James feel bad for us. So enough of that, what brings you here? Are you planning to hire a party? I don’t see why you’d need that with your strength… Wait, don’t tell me you plan to take a few Quests by yourself? Are you a registered Adventurer?” The man talked almost obliviously, droning on and on.
Diana hurriedly answered, “Oh no, nothing like that. It’s just that all [Knight]s are qualified to pick up Adventurer Quests, especially those of greater difficulty that smaller adventurer teams would be more likely to avoid. I was just wondering whether there was anything on the board.”
The female [Mage] in their party at the back nodded. “Oh, then you’ll want to go see Fela. She’s the [Receptionist].”
Thanking her, Diana quickly walked up to the desk set at the far side of the lobby. After seeing another group of adventurers talk to the pair, most of the other adventurers in the bar turned back to their meals, completely ignoring Kira. Fela greeted her, “Hello, may I ask what your business is with the Guild today?”
Diana examined the counter, eyeing the fearsome animals displayed on the wall. She asked, “I was wondering about any Quests you had on offer for a level twenty-ish [Knight]. I am looking for something of yellow difficulty.”
The [Receptionist] nodded. Pulling out a stack of papers, she asked, “Can I see your permit and registration IDs? You can also choose to confirm it by submitting to my |Character Read| Skill.” Diana didn’t really mind either way, and since she had left her permit back at James’s home, she held out her hand for the [Receptionist].
Grasping the [Knight]’s hand, the [Receptionist] commented, “Don’t worry. I will only see your true name and your class and aura. It will be checked up against our database to make sure you are certified.”
A moment later, the [Receptionist] turned back to her desk and held a small tablet in her hands. An important part of every Adventurer’s Corner were these little tablets that were actually a marvelous innovation that could record an encyclopedia’s worth of information. Each one was protected with all an Adventurer Guild’s resources. To steal one was a death penalty. After all, they held all the personal information of every single registered Adventurer as well as all the Quests listed at a certain Corner. Of course, paper was still needed to fill out the forms for these Quests and for non-local ones transfer the Quest from one Corner to another.
Fela opened her eyes. “I’m sorry, Miss. You are currently being investigated for possible Grand Theft, Extortion, and Harassment. In fact, this mission about you was posted quite recently. It was reported by a Lady Lloyd on behalf of a Miss Ingress and the shop the Threaded Mistress. I’m afraid that I’m going to have to ask for you to stay here.”
Diana was stunned before she hastily protested, “What are you talking about? They were the ones who caused the trouble!”
Fela apologized. “I’m sorry. If you wish to make a counterclaim and hire a team to investigate the matter, we will happily put up a mission. However, we cannot accept your verbal affirmation…”
Diana huffed. “Is there any way I can leave or talk to my family who live here to get me out of this mess?”
Fela paused. “You can leave something of sufficient value to compensate for the damages, which were reported to be twenty thousand Seedz.”
“What! I didn’t even take those stupid dresses! And I was willing to pay even after they spiked the prices! At least, before they insulted Kira, that is.”
Fela frowned and examined the small tablet in her hands again, using her Skill to access it. To be fair, Diana knew it was an extremely simple Skill that anyone could learn, but she had to admit that she herself had never learned it. Looking up, Fela explained, “Well, that was all reported in the complaint. However, they claimed you refused to pay for the three dresses you wore and that you had to be forcibly removed from the premises because of that. There’s also a claim that the fourth dress went missing shortly after you left, and they accuse you of stealing it. They are also requesting payment for unnecessary damage and the upsetting of their customers.”
Fela glanced at Diana. “Well, normally a Hersha would qualify as twenty thousand Seedz.” Diana was about to shout at her for assuming Kira was a slave before Fela held up her hand. “However, I am a local, and I recognize the only Hersha who would be allowed to walk around completely freely like this. I am aware that Master James has more than sufficient funds to pay the fees. Thus, I will write up the bail under his name and send him a receipt. Should you be found innocent, the price, as well as reparations for defamation, will be returned to you. Can you confirm that this would be fine?”
Fela smiled in sympathy. “I know that you probably think you are innocent, and this matter seems to be more convoluted than what was reported. Nevertheless, as it currently stands, according to three [Noble] witnesses, the statement holds true. We will attempt to grab a powerful enough [Alchemist] to brew a truth potion and fully determine the truth, but until then, I’m afraid you’ll have to pay the price.”
Diana frowned. Three nobles? Didn’t that [Lady] say she’d take care of this? Kira stepped up. Turning to Diana she said, “Well, I guess it’s my fault that you got in such trouble yesterday. I’ll take responsibility for this and tell James.”
The Hersha nodded at Fela. “The fine’ll be fine. Until the case is finished though, will my friend still have their Adventurer’s license?”
Fela laughed. “Oh, you think we’d take away a [Knight]’s license over something so small? No, the fee has already been paid, so either way, you’re a free adventurer. They didn’t press for criminal charges, no doubt because they would find it exceedingly difficult to convict a high-ranking noble, even a foreign one. No, you’d only be in trouble if you couldn’t pay up. Then, it’d get a bit tricky as you’d be suspended, not to mention that I’d have to hold you here until someone could bail you out.”
Diana spoke up, “Well, I’m guessing you can’t give any details about the people who filed the complaint.”
Fela nodded. “I wish I could help you, but the Guild will be taking this matter into its own hands since you protested your innocence. An [Alchemist] will be in charge of this case as soon as ours becomes free. By law, you’ll be expected to report here in four days. However, I must warn you that if you are found guilty, you will be sentenced to two weeks of prison and a thirty thousand Seedz fine. If you are innocent, you will be paid fifty thousand Seedz by your accuser in addition to being returned all your payment.”
Diana nodded, making sure that she was truly on the right side of the law. That [Guard] had withheld her sword. Sure, she might’ve not paid in the end because of the blue dress that the [Apprentince] had refused to sell after learning it was for Kira, but she had been more than willing to pay for the initial estimations the [Apprentice] had given for the four dresses together. She’d be able to stand up to a Truth Trial.
“Well, can you give me any Quests than?”
Fela closed her eyes and went through the tablet once more. After a few moments, she said, “I have one that might interest you and fits your specifications. There’s been a series of disappearances that you’d be charged to investigate. The Quest actually came today, which is why no one’s taken it yet. It’s quite lucrative and relatively simple.”
Diana nodded, wanting to hurry back to James’s home to talk with her grandfather about what had happened here. “I’ll take it.”