In the Elder’s house, we sit down for some tea. The silence is unbearable. The Elder raises his eyebrows.
“Hester, I know this is against all etiquette, but can you please enlighten me about the level of those two?”
“Usually, I would slap you for making such an irresponsible request. But this time, I suggest you simply ask the two in question.”
Hester points to Hector and me.
“I have an Analysis skill, so if Hector is OK with that. I can tell you.”
I look a Hector for confirmation.
“Sure, go on, Swift.”
“Hector’s current level is
“So basically, your levels are close the
The elder seems to be thinking about something.
“Hester, it seems we need to prepare that for the two of them.”
“I agree. But there’s no need to rush.”
“With your successful hunt, you both have come of age. So I will tell you. But please stay calm. As usual, we’ll send you off to an adventure. And usually, you’d return after six years or twelve. But…”
“Wait… are you banishing us?” Guessing where this conversation is going I shoot up and interrupt the Elder.
“By the gods, no! I did tell you to stay calm! This is not banishment, though you might feel it is.”
“Everyone here has a function they serve for the village. With your performance on your hunt, presenting this big of a game, it’s just natural to have you represent our village. Your primary function for the village is being adventurers until you retire or die for that matter. It’d be rude not to remind you being an adventurer is a dangerous occupation. Though with your strength, that’s not very likely if you aren’t unreasonable and take on more than you can chew.”
“Function for the village?” I have never heard anything about this. Hector eagerly nods, so he seems to know about it.
“You, since you’re new here, you might not know yet. We aren’t like other villages. Due to our circumstances, we are more independent from the kingdom than other villages. That itself would be a problem for the kingdom. One of the reasons it stays that way is the flourishing trade maintain with the kingdom. Not to brag, but our harvest is quite sought after in the kingdom. As a wide-known fact, we are self-sufficient, meaning we could just continue living in the village like nothing had happened if we were under siege. With Hester at the Divine Tree, we don’t even need to worry about sieges! Another reason is we regularly send out adventurers to help the kingdom.”
“By becoming adventurers for life, we help the village?”
“Yes, you do. And it’s not like we’re sending you out there with nothing at all. You’ll be getting lessons and fine equipment before you leave. We will help you with your needs if you really need it for something. And you can come home anytime if you need some time off. Though there is a rule: you are only allowed to stay in the village for a week at a time.”
“So we are leaving in a week?” Hector interjected. He seems excited.
“No, not yet. The two of you need more lessons. Plus, we haven’t prepared any equipment for the two of you yet. Plus you haven’t officially accepted the position yet.”
“Wait, we can refuse?” I’m quite surprised.
“Hector can because he was born here, but you can’t. By becoming Hester’s apprentice, you were already going to have that role. But even if you could, the villagers have expectations now. The two of you wouldn’t want to betray their expectations now, don’t you?”
“Oh…” Hector and I look at each other. We nod.
“We’ll do it.”