After Hisei calmed down and I finished extracting the Mana Crystal from the Hell Wolf Alpha, we continued on our journey towards the city.
At a glance, Hisei seemed to be more reserved than before, but she no longer hesitates when calling me 'Mistress' and she walked closer to me than before.
"By the way… It might be a little too late to ask this, Hisei, but your family wouldn't come after me or you right?" I asked.
"Umm… Unless I do something that goes against their agenda or they get an assassination mission on us, I do not believe so, Mistress…"
Well, not that reassuring but I suppose it's not something I need to worry about for now.
"In that case, would you like to change your name?" I asked.
Her ears actually perked up, "Umm… What would Mistress name me?"
I thought for a moment. Despite her being good at Pyromancy, she also possesses the power of Umbramancy. Not to mention the fact that she's also trained in the assassin arts, she's like a light surrounded by darkness.
"In that case… How about Katsuki? It means the moon and it's like you, a shining light that is surrounded by the dark sky but within that lies your beauty."
She blushed, "Ka… Katsuki… Umm… From now on, I, Katsuki, will serve you with all my heart, Mistress!"
"Also… This might be a little late but… I'm actually ten years old."
Not only was Katsuki surprised, even Linette and her retainers stopped in their tracks to gasp at me.
"But… Your wings… And your tail… Are you really… Younger than me, Mistress?" Katsuki murmured.
I grinned at her, "Yep, ten years old this year. Mother always said that I mature faster than my peers and I know how weird it is."
"Just how did you get this strong, Lady Aster?" Linette asked.
I shrugged, "I trained really hard and my Mother also helped train me quite a bit."
"Who… Who is your Mother? Is she a famous Mercenary or Dungeoneer?"
I shrugged, "She never told me and even though I asked, she doesn't like to talk about her past. So maybe? I've never seen her going to dungeons or fulfilling quests though so maybe she has already retired."
"I see… That makes sense…"
The others also seem to have accepted the explanation and we continued on our journey.
"So… Are you regretting pledging yourself to me?" I asked Katsuki.
She shook her head, "I don't believe age decides how much respect I can have for you, Mistress Aster. Not to mention the fact that you had saved me from being ravaged by the goblins, I was also granted another chance at life too."
Hmm… I'm not sure how I feel about her devotion to me… I'm flattered of course, but suddenly being given such loyalty after meeting her for barely two days feels a little weird.
Oh well… I hope Mother could give me some guidance one this anyway.
We continued our walk and soon enough, the gates to the city were in sight.
Linette turned to me, "Is Lady Aster going to take out the carts?"
I tilted my head at her question, "Eh? Why?"
"Ah… Does Lady Aster not know? To bring a magic backpack without declaring its contents is illegal. Ah, perhaps Lady Aster already knows that Dragon View Trade City has a mage that can scan your magic bag's contents? It's my first time there so I'm not too sure about the place as well."
Ok… I did not let them search my bag physically at all though… They didn't even ask for it either… Even last night when I returned to the city, they simply let me in after receiving my Guild card and never searched me.
Maybe they do have a mage there to scan through bags?
I decided not to question it and shrugged again, simply deciding to see how it goes this time. But if they did ask me to empty my Pack of Folding for them… We might be outside for quite a while with how much monster materials there are in there.
Fortunately, my worries were unfounded as they asked what Linette and her company were here for. She quickly explained the goblin attack and how I saved them, which resulted in the guards asking to see my Guild card.
I handed it to them without question and that was when I noticed a robed man standing at the side. His eyes were trained on me, or more accurately, my bag.
Guess he must be the mage that scans through the contents of traveller bags. I'm actually quite curious what he sees in the pack of folding though, considering it's a bag of infinite space after all.
Curious about it, I checked his stats.
Title: Gate Mage
Gardening (Tier 2), Fishing (Tier 1)
Astromancy (Tier 2)]
Hmm… Seems like Astromancy is the one that allows them to check the contents of storage bags huh? Interesting.
After confirming our identities, the guards waved us through to start questioning the next group of people behind us.
I turned back to the women once we were through the gates, "Sooo… Does that conclude our cooperation?"
Linette shook her head, "We would have to bring Hisei and-- Oh! I mean… We would have to bring Katsuki and Lady Aster to a slave shop that can help us transfer the ownership to you."
"Alright, do you know where the closest slave shop is?"
"Unfortunately not, although we can ask at The Guild since Lady Aster needs to submit the herb quest as well, right? They will also buy the Hell Wolf Alpha's Mana Crystal too."
I agreed with her so our little group proceeded towards The Guild together.
Linette and Katsuki followed me into the Guild while the others waited outside for us.
The three of us went directly to the reception counter and I was just a little bit surprised to see that Carla wasn't there. Instead, we got a young gentleman who also looks like a model.
"Good day ladies, how can The Guild help you today?"
I took out my Guild card and handed it to him before pulling out the bundle of herbs I had collected to drop on the counter.
He accepted both with efficient movements and quickly scanned my card before moving the bundle of herbs from the counter.
"Ah, please hold on a moment while we confirm the herbs are correct."
He disappeared behind a door and we were left to wait.
Linette smiled at me, "I'm still surprised that Miss Aster is only F rank."
I shrugged, "I only just started yesterday after all. Are you a member of The Guild as well?"
She pulled out her own Guild card and showed it to me. As expected, she was a member of the Merchant branch of The Guild.
Unlike the Mercenaries, it seems like the Merchants do not have a rank system.
"As a merchant, we can buy and sell to The Guild and make use of their auctions as well. But unlike the other branches, Merchants are expected to pay a monthly fee of one large silver coin. If a merchant is unable to pay the monthly fee, they will be barred from The Guild until they can pay it alongside a penalty on top of it."
Huh… Interesting… Although I don't know if I would actually be a merchant in the future it's still good to know I guess.
That was when I noticed Katsuki was looking around with interest clear in her eyes.
"First time in a Guild?" I asked.
She turned back and nodded, "If I had not been sold, I would have eventually joined up as a Mercenary as well."
"Oh? There are assassins signed up with the Guild as well?"
"It is a double edged sword to those in our line but yes. Assassins are adept at using traps and also taking down high value targets which would help in taking down monsters and bandits. But in the case of an assassin being caught taking an outside quest that involves assassinating someone important, The Guild will happily turn them over if asked."
I guess Guild sanctioned assasination quests would be an impossibility anyway.
"In that case, would you like to join The Guild as well?" I asked.
Katsuki shook her head, "I now serve Mistress Aster, that is my only goal now."
"Hmm… What if I ask you to?"
"Then I would gladly join it as well."
I'm a little worried that she would turn into a yes man at this rate… I hope Mother can help me with teaching her too.
The door opened again and the receptionist came back with my Guild card in his hand.
"Thank you for waiting, Miss Aster. We have confirmed the completion of the quest and here is the reward."
Five large bronze coins were placed in front of me.
Honestly, fifty Creas for maybe about five hours of work including the travel time? It's not too bad.
I then fished out the Hell Wolf Alpha's Mana Crystal.
"How much can I get for this?"
He took it and placed it on what looked like some kind of weighing scale.
"Oh? A Hell Wolf Alpha's Mana Crystal? These go for five large bronze coins each."
Seriously? Killing this thing netts me the same pay as that herb quest and that's not counting the materials either.
Seeing that he could recognise the monster through the Mana Crystal itself, I wonder why they needed me to cut off the ears of goblins to show I completed the goblin subjugation quest?
"Oh, you can submit those Mana Crystals as proof too," He explained when I asked. "It's just that some Mercenaries prefer to keep the Mana Crystals for their own use so we accept body parts of monsters as proof of subjugation too."
I nodded in understanding, "In that case, I'll sell that crystal."
He swiped the crystal from the scale and placed another five large bronze coins on the counter, "Thank you for your hard work. Would that be all, Ladies?"
I looked towards Linette and she got the message.
"We would like to know where the nearest or even the best Slave shop is?"
"Ah, if you want the closest one, there is one within the Docks district, but if you would like the most popular one you would have to go to the market district."
"I see, thank you."
With that, we left the Guild and rejoined the other girls outside, quickly deciding that we would just head for the market district since Linett's destination was there as well.
I wonder how Mother is doing?