Welcome to the Guild of the Exiled - Chapter 26-27
Translated by Lunadia
Proofread by SunnyMay
Chapter 26 – And then, another companion
“I’ve made a decision, Guildmaster. I’ll join your Exiles Guild. I’m paying back what I owed you back in Bium.”
The fox-folk girl who stood by the door was without a doubt Mika Triumphe, who I scouted some time ago.
Maika briskly walks up to us.
“I’ve overheard your discussion from a while back. So you’re planning to subdue an Aqua Hydra? Seems interesting, count me in.”
She stopped and stood next to me, placed her hand on the table, and laughed fearlessly.
“I knew it, I believed that you would’ve come.”
“…… Once we’re done with this matter, I’d entrust you with my secret. In exchange, I’ll lend you a helping hand. Of course, I’ll have you promise me that you absolutely won’t tell a word to any other unrelated people.”
“U, umm, who might you be…..?”
As she just appeared all of a sudden, Kagarina asked in confusion.
Well, no wonder. There’s no one else here who recognises her besides me.
“She’s Maika Triumphe. The exile I scouted back in Bium.”
“Hello, nice to meet you. I’m Maika, a mage and an exile. I’ll be working under this experienced skirt-chaser of a guildmaster from now on. Hope we can get along.”
Maika greets her cordially.
It appears that she has gotten the closure in regard to her being exiled from an S-ranked party.
……. For some reason Kagarina’s glaring my way while muttering “……. skirt chaser?”…. let’s not look her way for now.
It couldn’t be helped, alright? Scouting people is a guild master’s job too.
“Well then, since I’m joining you, that means there’s two people in the guild who’s able to fight, right? Who’s the other one, then?”
Maika placed her gaze on Kagarina and Raidou, who were both sitting by the table.
However, both of them pointed at the same direction.
And the one they were pointing at was none other than Virine, who’s still fainting on the floor, her eyes spinning around.
Surely she found the prospect of fighting the Aqua Hydra way too scary for her….
Maika worriedly poked Virine’s cheeks,
“…. So this kid is the first member of the guild….. and therefore, my partner? How do I say this….. she seems to be rather unreliable…”
“A, ahaha…… you can call her Virine. You can be assured that she has got a powerful hidden skill……”
“Eh…… if Guildmaster says so, then I guess I’ll just believe so. Hey, Senpai, wake up.”
“Ha…….? Wh, who might you be….?”
“I’m Maika Triumphe. The newest member of the Exiles Guild. Hope we can get along, Virine-senpai.”
“New… member……….. Senpai……………. Se, Senpai!? Wa, wait, what’s happening here!?”
It seems that the sudden information overload right after she has woken up confuses her greatly.
And as usual, her reaction’s nothing short of cute.
Raidou-san, who saw our exchange, laughed happily.
“Good lord, this guy…. Maybe the old man’s right on the money, after all.”
◇ ◇ ◇
A few hours before Maika joined Eisen’s Exiles Guild————–
“Hmph….. Aqua Hydra, huh. Surely it can’t even begin to compare with this Clay-sama and his ‘Aegis’.”
Having expelled Maika and a necromancer named Hilda, the new “Aegis” was starting their venture into the cave dungeon.
Clay’s “Aegis” happens to be the S-ranked party that Volk assigned to subdue the Aqua Hydra.
“Volk-sama entrusted this request to us because he has confidence in our ability…… let’s quickly finish this so we can prove ourselves to him. Alright, Cyrus?”
“Yeah, of course. Why, with me around even an Aqua Hydra’s assault will amount to nothing. It’s just a small fry that happens to have a lot of heads.”
The two proceeded into the cavern while being completely complacent.
―― But then again, their complacency is only due to them wanting to look their best in front of a certain new member.
“Ah, how reliable, you two ♪. I might have no chance to shine here…..”
“There’s no way that’s gonna happen, oh beautiful Hilda. You can wield your splendid necromancy as much as you wish.”
There was no sign that they were being cautious at all, the two men kept advancing as if it was another day job for them.
And so―― the cavern passage ended, and they found themselves in an open space with an enormous underground lake.
On the surface, the lake was completely silent. The definition of stillness itself.
But the three would soon discover how false that image was.
Perhaps having sensed the presence of Clay and his men―― with a high-pitched cry, a giant snake head emerges from below the surface of the lake.
And then, the one, two, three―― seven-headed giant monster entirely exposed itself to show them the full picture.
“Oh…. I know that Hydras have nine heads. But it seems like Aqua Hydras have only got seven.”
“So the number of heads we’ve got to crush is fewer than we had expected, well, that’ll make things easier.”
One of the Aqua Hydra’s head opened its mouth widely as it started to compress water with its magic.
It was about to use a breath spell, which is commonly used among monsters with giant figures.
As a response, Cyrus stepped forward and readied his giant shield.
“Alright, stand back you two! Like usual, I’ll take its lame attack with my shield head on――!”
Right after, the breath of compressed water was released from one of the monster’s heads.
And then the water breath, sharp as a blade as it was―― cleanly cut the giant shield, along with its holder Cyrus, in half.
Chapter 27 – The start of a downfall, and a glorious beginning
Clay shouted the man’s name.
The giant figure of Cyrus had fallen to the ground before he had even the chance to scream.
His proud shield was cut down like a piece of paper, and it had not accomplished its function as a means of defence at all.
Cyrus was literally killed instantly after he took the Aqua Hydra’s water breath head on.
“Wh….. wh… what’s happening here? Oi, Cyrus! Is this some sort of a sick joke?! Quickly stand up, we’ve got to reform our ranks!”
Clay couldn’t believe it.
After all, so far Cyrus had managed to take any kind of brutal attack from any monster.
He couldn’t stop believing that Cyrus’ shield was precisely that―― the shield of a god.
―― Clay could feel that cold sweat was beginning to form all over his body.
The strongest shield of the S-ranked party, “Aegis”, has been vanquished.
And that would mean――
“Ugh……! <Swift Slash>!”
Clay conjured a blade of condensed magic to strike the offending Aqua Hydra’s head.
And its power was flawless, as it easily cut through the Aqua Hydra’s head.
However―― as soon as the single snake head fell, another took its place.
Not only Aqua Hydras, when it comes to Hydras in general, cutting down their heads usually proves to be futile.
Therefore, it is essential for someone one to locate and exploit its weak point. Getting rid of its head just doesn’t cut it.
And in order to exploit that weak point, one must first sneak through the numerous barrages and find a gap in-between them―― but for Clay to be able to do that, Cyrus is needed, and now he was no longer with them.
“Wh, wh, what do we do now……..!? This shouldn’t have happened………!”
“―― Come, <Skeleton Guardian>.”
Hilda, who was standing behind Clay, conjured her spell.
Using her specialisation―― necromancy, she summoned five skeletons, each of them came with a sword and a shield.
“Go, my slaves.”
The skeletons charged towards the Aqua Hydra in order to allow Clay to find an opening.
However―― the many heads of the monster shot their water breath at them and bit them, and thus, they were helplessly annihilated.
“…… It’s no good. Let’s withdraw, Clay.”
“Wi, withdraw, you say!? Stop messing around! Volk-sama is personally expecting us to handle this request! If we were to run away without delivering any result then he will…… bes, besides― without Cyrus, “Aegis” will―!”
The fear born from the ensuing chaos dyed Clay’s face in pale blue.
Hilda approached the panicked man’s ear――
“It’s going to be alright……….. Cyrus will surely return to us…… You have me with you anyway….. Let us go, Clay….”
It was if her whispers were laced with magic.
As if the words had manipulated him, Clay turned his back on the Aqua Hydra and began to flee.
◇ ◇ ◇
“Alright…. All set, you two?”
I called out to Virine and Maika as we were getting ready to dive into the dungeon.
“Yes! My preparation is all complete!”
“Yeah, anytime you’re ready.”
They had armed themselves with their respective weapons and protective gears, and were all prepared to go.
―― Today is the second day since we had that conversation with Raidou-san.
When the topic about us subduing Aqua Hydra first came up, it all felt surreal to me. But now, I’ve mostly regained my calm.
Virine was really frightened too, but Maika’s outstanding ability―― and her being addressed as “Senpai”, have apparently rekindled her heart.
‘I’ve got to get a hold of myself!’, surely her thoughts told her so.
Just like her usual straight-laced self.
And after we’ve gone through with this and that to anticipate our venture against the Aqua Hydra, the day has finally come for us to depart.
Truth be told, I’m thinking of bailing once the idea that this whole ordeal is going to be impossible to accomplish crosses my mind, even for a bit.
I’d get absolutely nothing out of this if I were to die here, and if I were to lose a precious member of my guild, I would be pretty much disqualified as a guild master.
However….. This request may be the watershed moment for the Exiles Guild.
And it seems that I’m not the only one who felt so.
Even Raidou-san, who came to see us off, couldn’t help but smile.
“Calm down. Why, you people will do just fine. And that’s the word of the master of a major guild, so, be more confident here.”
“Thank you………….. by the way, is Kagarina………….”
“Yeah, she’s still sulking. Told me she’d come to see you off, but oh well, what did you expect from my ill-tempered daughter?”
Raidou sighs as he scratches his head.
……… By the way, Kagarina opposed the idea of us going against the Aqua Hydra until the very end.
“Are you an idiot? You wanna die!? I give up, Eisen you moron!”
And that was the last thing she said before she refused to talk to me altogether.
―― Surely she’s worried about us in her own way.
I get what she’s trying to convey.
“It’s alright, Raidou-san. Please tell her that we’d definitely be back, and I’d love to see her once we do.”
“Sure. I wish that she can be a bit more honest with herself, though. Well then――”
Seriousness returned to Raidou-san’s facial expression as he looked at the three of us.
“Before you go, there’s this news that just broke this morning that you should know…… It seems that “Aegis”…. the S-ranked party that Volk appointed to handle this request has failed in their attempt to subjugate the Aqua Hydra. I don’t know the details, but apparently they’ve lost one of their key members.”
The news that Raidou-san broke to us caught Maika off guard.
“”Aegis” failed……….!? Wh, who did they lose!?”
“….? I don’t know the person’s name, but as far as I know, it was their tank.”
“――! Goddamnit, Cyrus…. even though I’ve tried to warn you….”
Maika gloomily mutters his name.
Ah…. so it was the tank from that time…..
Well, they expelled Maika. Again, it was bound to happen sooner or later….
“Hekatonkheires’ S-ranked party was done in……. that should be an indicator to how strong the Aqua Hydra is. But if you people can beat something that a highly-competent S-ranked party couldn’t, the entire world will pay attention to you, whether they like it or not. The Aqua Hydra is your perfect tailwind. Alright―― go seize your future, Exiles Guild!”
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