21 School again?
「「「As if that could be!!!」」」
Mile was surprised by the sudden shouts from behind her.
「But it’s true….」
「As if someone like you would be allowed to stay F-Rank! That’s what the skip evaluation at the registration is for!」
「Huh, skip evaluation? What’s that?」
Seeing Mile’s ignorant expression, the Hunters’ and Guild clerks’ expressions changed greatly. The clerks in particular had gone chalk white.
「Call the Guildmaster!」
A veteran looking Hunter shouted, inciting a clerk to hurriedly climb the stairs.
「Girl, who was your receptionist?」
「Umm, a blonde woman, about 17~18 years old, her name was something like Liara, Lora….」
「Laura! Damn, she really screwed up on this one….」
Mile was intimidated by the flow of events turning this affair into something serious.
「U-Um, is there a problem?」
「Yes, but you’re the victim so you don’t need to worry about anything. We’ll discuss the details with the Guildmaster.」
A few minutes later, the clerk who had ascended the stairs came down again, followed by the Guildmaster.
It probably took this much time for the clerk to quickly brief him. Meeting someone for the first time without any prior knowledge on them would be unthinkable. Especially in a situation like this.
The Guildmaster wasn’t a scarred and buff looking high Rank Hunter, but rather like the accountant at a local bank. He probably was chosen for his talent in organizing and not his combat prowess.
「This is the girl in question? Where is Laura?」
「She has today off, but somebody already went to go and bring her here.」
After listening to the explanation of a nearby clerk, the Guildmaster turned to Mile.
「I’m very sorry for the error of my subordinate. There are some things that need to be discussed, so would you mind following me for a bit?」
「We’ll take the freedom to attend as well. After all it wouldn’t even be funny if you pulled wool over the eyes of this naive girl. This was the Guild’s fault, so we’ll make sure a Hunter doesn’t get the short end of the stick.」
The Guildmaster nodded in positive to both Mile’s reply as well as the Hunter’s demand. Along with two senior Hunters anointed by the veteran Hunter, the trio entered the meeting room.
While they were sipping tea inside the meeting room, the receptionist Laura appeared, totally out of breath, and the talks could begin. Laura was pale as a ghost.
「Let’s first confirm it with Laura.
Did you serve as the receptionist who yesterday processed Mile-san’s Hunter registration?」
「Then, did you explain about the skip examination at that time?」
「Why didn’t you?」
「S-Since she wrote down 12 years as her age and since she seemed like a novice…」
「What do the regulations say?」
「T-To explain it to everyone…」
The Guildmaster let his head hang in return to the confirmation of his subordinate’s mistake.
「Her profession is magician, why didn’t you ask her on what level she is!」
「Umm, because she had a sword equipped I thought, even though she called herself a magician her magic was probably weak, so she would mainly rely on the sword to fight…」
「you imbecile! She can sever steel mesh and can use Storage Magic. It wouldn’t be strange for her to be a B-Rank Hunter. And because of you we’re going to have a talent like that wasted on collecting weeds for the next few years. How are you going to take responsibility for that?」
Under the severe pressure bearing down on her, Laura broke down in tears.
But it was understandable for the Guildmaster to get mad. The difference between C- and F-Rank was enormous, both in income and treatment. Due to her mindless assumptions she hadn’t kept to the rules and because of that she would waste precious years of a promising young Hunter. Such a thing was unforgivable.
Not really grasping the importance of the situation, Mile carelessly interjected
「I don’t really mind the current situation though…」
「「「As if we’d let that happen!!」」」
The attending Hunters shouted in unison.
「As if we’d let there be a precedent where the Guild wronged a Hunter and got away by crying! Think about all the other Hunters! And even more than that, a F-Rank Hunter that can use Storage Magic is something that shouldn’t be allowed to exist!」
One of the Hunters explained it in detail to the perplexed Mile.
Storage Magic is a high ranking magic only a few can use. Additionally, the surplus of weaponry, armor, water, and food, as well as storing the hunted prey greatly increased a party’s efficiency. This meant that, even if the user’s combat ability was weak, they could join C~S-Rank parties where they would be protected by their party members.
In short, regardless of any other abilities, being able to use Storage Magic instantly earned you C-Rank.
If you could somewhat use other magic as well as a sword, B-Rank and above parties would greet you with open arms.
「…why don’t I just re-register then?」
「If we could do that, we wouldn’t have a problem….」
This time it was the Guildmaster’s turn to provide an explanation.
Apparently a long time ago there were quite a lot of nobles that used their money to raise their Ranks and those of their dependants. To abolish this practice, the rules for raising your Rank turned extremely strict, and you can’t re-register someone at a higher rank. Getting re-registered after your records have been cleared at your old Rank or lower was apparently allowed since some Hunters returned from retirement.
Even if you tried to rapidly raise your Rank, there is a minimum age you need to be. The only exceptions to this rule would be someone like a hero who saved an entire Kingdom.
If you quietly do it nonetheless and it gets out, the punishment for all involved is severe, so nobody wants to try this option. If even just one clerk or Hunter let something slip or someone reported them, that would be it.
Normally, the applicant would be asked about his abilities, and if they were applicable for a skip examination the Guildmaster was to be informed. Then several Guild clerks and high Rank Hunters would perform an examination to judge the applicant’s Rank upon entering the Guild.
Since many Hunters start as retired knights and soldiers or court magicians that lost out in a power struggle and had to flee, they of course didn’t need to start at F-Rank.
Normally, Mile too would have started out as at least C-Rank.
Even if she herself didn’t wish for that.
「What should we do…」
「I’m fine though…」
「「「You can just stay silent!!」」」
Her attempt at reaching out a helping hand to the Guildmaster got shut down by the veteran Hunters again, and loud enough to make Mile cower.
Even though she would be fine with 10 gold coins per month, the Hunters didn’t think that she would be able to constantly get that much just with continuous commissions and selling of materials. Neither did they have the intention to let a strong fighter play around while they were forced to fight big monsters, guard important persons or heed emergency summons, something that wouldn’t apply to her as an F-Rank Hunter.
Especially since her Storage Magic would play a big role in the logistics for a frontier town like this where capable personnel was rare. Her being F-Rank wasn’t something that hindered the Guild’s operation, but for the Hunters it could turn into a matter of life or death.
「Umm~, What about the Training School in the capital…」
The veteran Hunter and Guildmaster instantly took to the idea Laura had muttered.
The other two Hunters didn’t seem to know what they were talking about.
Of course, Mile didn’t know either.
『Hunter Training School』
It is an institution founded by the country six years ago.
To spare those with outstanding talent from wasting several years of their careers due to the age restrictions, a noble with Hunter background founded this school on a trial basis. In half a year the students would get all the essentials hammered into their heads, and upon graduation they would be D- or C-Rank Hunters, regardless of any other restrictions.
「That place takes nobles, commoners, sometimes even slaves, and lets them attend for free. Normally there’d be fierce competition, but since each Guildmaster is tasked to “find promising new talents”, only those recommended by a Guildmaster with his honor on the line get accepted. It’s only…」
「If the applicant is judged to be unable to graduate, he is immediately expelled, and the Guildmaster who recommended him will lose the trust of the upper echelons of the Guild, making any promotion a non-issue for the foreseeable future…」
After having asked one of the Hunters for this explanation, Mile turned to the Guildmaster who was peacefully looking at her.
「I believe in you, Mile-san….」
（Ah, those eyes look like he’s planning something in the long run…）