Protagonist Knows Everything - Chapter 45: Run down
In my previous life, I had the opportunity to visit a run down company. My company had to move. While wandering around with a real estate agent, I managed to enter a nice building.
When the employees weren’t paid their salary, they left, one-by-one, and only a couple managers remained to organize the business. I was enjoying the tremendous negative energy that I felt there.
“How the hell is this going?”, Sain said with a surprised but somewhat pained face.
Yes. This place was the Wyvern Guild.
When Guild Master Von Lebeck did not show up for more than two weeks, ugly rumors spread. It is rumored that Von, who had lost his bet with the Hagnut Guild fled from the estate. Some even said that he no longer was in this world. Which made me a bit uncomfortable.
Eventually, Sain, who could not overcome her curiosity, deliberately took time off her duties to visit the Wyvern Guild along with me.
I tried to answer calmly, “The situation is worse than I thought.”
The Wyvern Guild was just… dust. There were hardly any adventurers or receptionists there.
One of the few loyal receptionists who stayed, approached us.
“Hey… what are you doing here?”
“Hi. I am Sain, the Guild Master of the Hagnut Guild.”
“Yes. I know.”
The receptionist smiled bitterly and said, “There’s no one in our guild who doesn’t know your face. The same goes for Mr. Taylor Mason here.”
“You must’ve come here to rub the news of your victory on us, but unfortunately, our Guild Master is missing, please just go back.”
Sain replied with a serious expression, “I didn’t come here to do that.”
“I’m just curious. People just don’t disappear like that overnight.”
I looked up at the ceiling without any particular reason. It was because I didn’t inform my boss of the fact that her brother was already out of this world.
The receptionist said with a sigh, “We’re curious about that too.”
“The deputy guild master already retired… and the adventurers… not even a shadow.”
“A week ago, it was payday, no one got paid. Those present with us right now are thinking about moving to other guilds.”
“Including me”, he added sadly.
Sain showed genuine concern and said, “Okay. I’m sorry.”
“Yes. Take a look.”
After that we left the Wyvern Guild. Sain muttered while looking down into the ground.
“Even though they were our enemies, for them to become like this overnight… it just doesn’t feel right.”
“You feel like that because deep down you’re a really good person.”
“Huh. I am grateful. But it’s not like that…”
This time, she looked up to the sky.
“It’s just because I know their Guild Master quite well.”
“He was the one who always got what he wanted. Although we defeated him this time, he was a good man who liked to work for his dreams; he just had a bad condescending personality.”
Well. I wanted to change the topic. At this pace she might ask me for the information regarding Von. I’m sorry but I can’t undo what has already been done. He just got dragged into that senseless gamble along with you. And you are the one who won.
I didn’t want to talk about that so I subtly changed the topic.
“This may sound a little cold-hearted but….”
“I have a suggestion.”
Her unwavering eyes were fixed on me.
“The Wyvern Guild is officially registered with the Guild Association, although only its shell remains.”
“If Hagnut is able to take over Wyvern with the association’s recognition, then all of their adventurers will be ours.”
Sain’s mouth slowly opened up. I kept speaking as softly as possible.
“The association already knows the current situation of the Wyvern guild. Maybe they’ve already received such requests from other guilds already.”
“Wouldn’t it be nice if we moved quickly and acquired it for ourselves?”
Sain remained silent. Then she raised both her hands and pinched her cheeks.
My boss, lately her behaviour seemed to overlap quite a bit with Kasha.
“Yes. If you think about it, there is no reason for me to be depressed.”
“Rather,I should think as realistically as possible. Thank you. Mr. Tay.”
I just stood there and scratched the back of my head.
Sain said with a relieved smile, “If we absorb the Wyverns, then our guild will suddenly double in size.”
“What would it be.”
“It may be difficult for me to manage all of it on my own…. No, I wasn’t doing anything on my own to start with.”
She stopped walking and placed one of her feet behind while making an unusually loud sound.
Quite gracefully, Sain turned back and calmly said, “Mr. Tay. Why don’t you lead them?”
“Don’t feel burdened. In fact, not much will change for you. Mr. Tay has been working way more than a receptionist would. You’ve been handling crucial guild matters like it’s just natural for a receptionist to do all that. So I think it’d be better if you led them.”
‘Isn’t it an unavoidable promotion opportunity?’
‘Dear inner me, how do you like my boss’s reaction here?’
‘Just once. It would be best to say no just this once.’
I replied after pondering for a moment.
“But all of a sudden, me as the Vice guild master, it seems a bit too much.”
“Mr. Tay. This is a request rather than a suggestion.”
“I can’t say this in front of other people, but because it’s Mr. Tay, I’ll tell you.”
She took a deep breath and then said, “A little while ago, I was afraid when I saw the condition of the Wyvern Guild.”
“You were afraid?”
“We were struggling recently, but I thought our guild would also end up that way if we didn’t pay much attention. It’s because I’m anxious; if we’re going to absorb the Wyvern Guild then I want to make sure that we’ll be able to lead it well.”
Perhaps she did it unconsciously… but Sain was holding my hand.
“So… please help me.”
‘I did try to refuse once.’
“If you say so, then okay.”
At my words, Sain’s face lit up. This lady is very good at managing her facial expressions in front of others, but she’s like this when she’s with me.
“Thank you very much. Mr. Tay.”
“But isn’t it basically a promotion?”
“Huh. Oh? It really is.”
With that, she was completely relieved.
I said with a big smile, “Thank you. Guild Master.”
“Just keep calling me Sain.”
“Now, even if you absorb Wyvern, the location?”
Then Sain became a little worried. After a while she carefully opened her mouth.
“Then there will be two guilds…”
I didn’t say anything. My boss is wise, sensible, and she can understand things well. But sometimes I think she’s still a little girl.
I said with a smile, “Okay. Ms. Sain.”
With that said, Sain beamed her best ever smile and we began moving. Sain’s feet moved fast due to her excitement.
In fact, it was not so uncommon for one guild to take over another guild. It can be viewed as similar to a company-to-company M&A from my previous life.
(TL Note: It means consolidation of management and assets from one company to the other via transactions and stuff.)
Of course, both companies, in this case guilds, needed the consent from both the Guild masters. But this time the Wyvern Guild’s master was absent or you could say he was gone.
So it became impossible to keep all of the adventurers they had in check.
“I received a reply from the association.”
She must be thinking that she’s an employee.
“Why are you here? We’re having an employee meeting right now.”
I asked this question as nothing but a joke. She tilted her head in confusion at my question.
“That’s why I came here.”
At first I thought I was the only one who thought that Kasha looked out of place, but the rest of the staff also looked quite confused.
I said to her with a big smile, “Why are you here this early? It’s still time for you to sleep.”
“Don’t I look sleepy?”
“Yeah you do look like you just got up from bed, as always.”
“Stop talking about that.”
Kasha blushed and pricked my side. She used to do that quite often, so it didn’t hurt much.
After a while, Sain opened the envelope.
And then she announced to the entire staff, “The association approved it. Now we can absorb the Wyvern Guild.”
All of the receptionists clapped and rejoiced; they were genuinely happy. I wish I could rejoice like them. But I had other things to worry about.
‘Two companies with completely different personalities are integrating.’
It will not be that smooth.
Then Elena said, “The association did approve it, but it’s a one sided absorption. The guild master of the Wyvern guild is nowhere to be found after all.”
Sain’s face sank a bit when Elena mentioned Von but soon she composed herself and said, “It’s very rare, but there have been similar cases to this one before.”
“In the opinion of the association, the fact that the guild master disappeared without any notice is the same as him abandoning his responsibility. As he abandoned his responsibility, I have taken up that responsibility and he doesn’t get to say anything.”
“Yeah. Of course, if the guild master suddenly appears one day then it’ll be a complicated situation and the association will have to interfere and then moderate the issues.”
‘Oh- you don’t have to worry about that Sain.’
A chill ran down my spine while I thought that, inadvertently recalling the sight of Nortel murdering Von.
After a while I called out the register. Among all the registered personnel there were some A-class adventurers in contract with the Wyvern Guild.
[Recent trip (1 hour ago): Discussing their next course of action over drink with their colleagues.]
[Last trip (10 hours ago): Thinking of becoming a free adventurer along with Ley and looking for information regarding contract termination.]
[Concerns: Doubts whether the Hagnut guild will treat them right or not.]
The information wasn’t so pleasant.
I swallowed a groan while checking various information from various adventurers. At that time, an adventurer’s recent actions caught my eye.
This was a guy named Check Demisen.
[Recent progress (current): Consulting Dirk Perchen for the creation of a new guild.]
I inadvertently let out that sound after looking at the last entry. Naturally after that everyone’s eyes turned to me.
I ignored their gazes and whispered to Sain, “Guild Master. Remember the guy named Check Demisen?”
Sain’s smile faded into a conflicted expression.
“Why are you mentioning that name on such a pleasant day?”
“If we absorb the Wyvern guild, then naturally, that guy will become one of our exclusive adventurers.”
“I heard rumours about him having a bad relationship with the Hagnut Guild, I don’t know much because it all happened before I joined the guild.”
Sain replied after thinking for a moment, “I am sorry. I overreacted, that was unprofessional of me.”
“It’s okay. I understand. Before that, I didn’t actually know about it . What happened?”
Sain frowned, but soon replied, “Not long after I set up the Hagnut Guild, Mr. Check came to see me. At that time, he was a B-plus.”
“He was a man from another estate, and he said he would make an exclusive contract with us.”
Suddenly, all the employees were focusing on Sain’s voice. It was somehow soothing. Honestly, she sounds better when she’s talking casually like this.
Elena said with a slightly excited face, “Can you be more specific? What actually happened?”
“At that time, our guild was similar to a hole shop. There weren’t many C-plus adventurers in our guild, let alone B Plus.”
Elena found that quite difficult to imagine, afterall she had joined the Hagnut guild while it was on it’s rise. So it was natural that she wouldn’t know about the tough times that the guild had faced.
“I was impatient at that time, so I tried to secure the deal.”
“Is that so?”
“But he demanded a ridiculous compensation rate. In fact, contracting him would’ve ended up in a loss.”
Sain’s eyes looked a bit pained while talking about the past.
“After a lot of consideration, I refused the offer because I thought it wouldn’t work.”
“But that person said it was really stupid of me to have refused a once in a lifetime offer.”
“Also saying that he already expected that from a run down guild like ours.”
Sain ended with a smile so as to prevent the atmosphere from getting too heavy. However, each of the employees began to resent as their old memories of humiliation flooded back in.
“Everyone, calm down. It’s an old story. The situation is different now.”
“So, if you absorb the Wyvern guild, then we’ll have to deal with those guys?”
“Uh. I hate it already.”
Between all of the commotion, Kasha asked me, “Tay. Where is the guy named Check now?”
‘Oh, he’s having a meeting with Dirk regarding the formation of a new guild.’ I almost blurted that out.
“How would I know that.”
That was a bit weird. Anyway, I quietly turned back to the crowd.
The guy named Check is just a representative, however, the sudden influx of the adventurers will sure result in trouble. It might end up in the formation of factions within the guild. And factions are a shortcut to ruining a company.
‘If possible, I would like to filter all of the potential troublemakers out.’
‘But if you dismiss adventurers without any particular reason then it would damage the guild image instead.’
‘Is there any other way?’
‘Check and Dirk.’
An idea flashed across my mind. The idea contorted my face into a weird looking grin.
Kasha who was standing right beside me looked at my face and asked, “Why are you grinning like that?”
“I have a good idea.”
I looked down as my arm was suddenly getting heavier. Kasha was pulling my sleeve down towards her.
“What do you mean?
“Whatever you are thinking of doing, don’t… not now.”
“Because whenever you say things like that you end up doing something dangerous. If you still intend to go along with your plan, then let’s do it together, okay?”
At Kasha’s words, a number of employees nodded their heads. I suddenly felt a bit embarrassed. However, I didn’t respond directly, I simply stroked Kasha’s head.
“Don’t worry. It’s nothing dangerous this time.”
“Yeah. I promise.”
At those words Kasha’s grim expression changed into a beaming bright smile.
‘Well, it’s not a lie. I’m not in danger this time. ‘There is someone else who’ll be in danger.’