Protagonist Knows Everything - Chapter 9: Negotiations
I could see Zen’s eyes twitching as I started speaking.
“Aren’t you Mr. Zen who always hands out high ranking quests to our guild? How about a present?”
Zen swallowed his anger and spoke.
“What you’re doing is bold.”
“Not nearly bold as an old man having an affair with another man’s wife?”
“There are many guilds in our estates, but there are few guilds that stand out. Many guilds rose up and fell from their glory under my watch.”
“But the recent rise of the Hagnut Guild was unusual. There was a name that followed it, Taylor Mason.”
I replied in a soft voice, “Seems like you’ve done quite some research on us.”
“Don’t be so silly.”
“Neither I nor the viscount… have interest in guild matters. Guilds were created only to take over the tasks that the nobles couldn’t handle.”
“They’ll naturally disappear once the country and the provinces become rich. Why else do you think the guilds survived?”
I burst out laughing. Zen’s face turned grim.
“What’s so funny?”
“Aren’t you just admitting that there are things that the nobles can’t handle themselves?
Unable to handle his frustration, Zen struck the table dropping the apple I gave him earlier.
“Want one more apple?”
I intentionally made the atmosphere tense. Tense atmospheres are one of the best for conversations. But, he was already getting tired.
Zen, who was staring holes into me said, “What do you want?”
“Give me an A-class quest.”
“A-class quests can only be handled by A-class adventurers, they are already scarce and not many guilds have contracts with one. But it seems you want to use that little girl you just hired.”
Seems like he already knew about Kasha. Honestly, if you’re a Kasha-sized person, it’s natural to get caught in Zen’s information network, but this surely wasn’t a good sign.
‘It seems I don’t need to hide it anymore.’
“Of course it is for her.”
He tapped the armrest of the sofa with his index finger.
And after a while he replied, “Okay I’ll give it to you.”
At that moment my facial expression almost changed.
‘This was weird.’
Of course, revealing his affair would be bothersome for him. But it wasn’t something that the butler of the viscount’s family couldn’t handle. He could even pressure the guild using his privileges. We’ve come up with a countermeasure in case it comes to that, but this wasn’t the case. It all seemed too easy.
‘Something was going on.’
At once I opened the register and looked up Zen’s information.
[Name: Zen Mecal]
[Human relations: ……Dirk Perchen. (Benefactor)]
Dirk? The deputy guild master of Wyvern guild? Benefactor. That means money is flowing from Dirk.
I know that there are quite a few A-class adventurers in the Wyvern Guild. If you want to keep them then surely you’ll need a good amount of A-class quests, Dirk was buying those quests directly from Zen. That means… My head started to hurt.
Then Zen said, “You don’t look very happy.”
“No. Of course, I’m happy, I’m glad you accepted the request.”
“Then what’s wrong? You came here to get that quest right?”
This guy had some unknown cards up his sleeve. Dealing with them will be easy, but I didn’t like the fact that there was information I didn’t know about.
Zen spoke again,“Oh, there are certain conditions you’ll have to accept as well……”
“If you refuse or fail the quest, you’ll have to pay double the penalty fee.”
Thanks to those comments, all the pieces of the puzzle fit in my head.
‘It was a joint plan with Dirk. He knew I’d come to Zen to get an A-class quest, using that little piece of information he set up this plan.’
Seems like there was more to Wyvern guild becoming the top guild, way more than just talent.
I asked, “What are the specifications of the quest?”
“I can’t say that now. I’ll send the request to the Hagnut Guild later.”
“I don’t know the content and there is the penalty as well.”
“If you don’t like it, then stop. I am not going to force it.”
I gave up on using the affair as a leverage. Even if I make childish threats, It still wouldn’t be enough to break this guy’s stubbornness.
I said with a serious voice, “No, I’ll accept it.”
Zen was surprised as if he was expecting me to give up. He stared at me for a moment, then opened his mouth.
“Okay. Sooner or later, an official request form will be sent to the Hagnut Guild.”
“Yes. Well then.” I stood up silently.
I’ve been working hard, so I can’t give up now. A crisis is also an opportunity. Upon returning to the guild, I saw a small figure sitting in my chair with her legs hanging.
“Where were you all this time?”
“Are you going to live here from now on?”
It was Kasha. She replied with the usual puffed face, “I have nothing else to do. Elena is also busy these days.”
Elena was her sister right? Well, it’s none of my concern right now.
“Anyway, let’s talk.”
“Huh?” Kasha was exceptionally surprised.
As I looked at her, she replied with her awkward smile, “Isn’t it working hours now?”
“It’s working time and you’re going to play with me? Are you ok?”
Did you become deaf as well? When did I offer to play? I said ‘let’s talk’. And why are you laughing?
Then I heard Sain’s voice, “Mr.Tay. Did the negotiations go well?”
“Yes. It went well. Your face seems tense, don’t worry the negotiations went better than expected. An A-class quest will come in within a few days.”
Sain nodded reflexively at first. But soon she realized and asked with a dazed look, “Class A?”
“I was looking for an A-class quest after all, but why do you look so surprised?”
“Oh, no. I didn’t expect you’d actually get one that easily.”
“I never said it was easy, it did take quite some effort.”
Sain started muttering something with a shocked face.
“If it is A-class….A-class…the fee is…”
But she soon turned and asked, “What are the details for the quest?”
This woman pays more attention to the work rather than the profit unlike that raccoon face from my previous life .
“I don’t know that, yet.”
“You don’t know?”
Sain’s face was turning grim.
“Even veteran A-class adventurers take A-class quests after a lot of consideration. You know that she has never taken on an A-class quest before this.”
“……You deliberately stabbed the sore spot, right? I understand your concern, but let’s believe in her, she said she was capable enough to clear an A-class quest by herself.”
Saying so I patted Kasha’s head. Her expression, as she was vaguely listening to the conversation, suddenly changed.
Straightening her waist and raising her nose, she said, “That’s right. Sain.”
Her heart, which tried to reassure Sain, was good.
But you don’t have to make a gesture like that. It doesn’t suit us as much as the warm smile. Anyway, a smile came back to Sain’s face as if it worked.
Using that opportunity, I told Kasha, “Anyway I’ll give you a briefing of the quest, come to conference room”
“Yes, now go to the chamber.”
Strangely enough, she got up from the seat and quietly went to the conference room. Sain was muttering behind me until I entered the conference room.
“Shall we expand the guild first? No, rather than that, the employees’ pay… What should I do first?”
After worrying about the risk, it seems that she looked at the profit in front of her again. Well, by the time I get out of the room, she’ll be back to the usual cold boss demeanor.
When the conference room door was closed, Kasha said, “What are you trying to do? This doesn’t suit you.
“You look worried. If you’re worried about the A-class quest, you don’t need to. I’ve completed Class A by myself, even though the guild doesn’t know about them.”
She put her hands on her waist with her smug face and said that. Those youthful expressions suited her a little bit.
I replied calmly, “You don’t have to hide it from me.”
“Huh? What are you talking about?”
“Everyone has weaknesses. It’s not embarrassing to admit it. Rather, the arrogant people, who say they have no weaknesses, deserve shame.”
Kasha’s expression changes subtly.
“You know what my job is?”
“Giving out quests suited to the adventurers?, You’re the receptionist.”
‘I am the head of the HR team.’ I swallowed the words and nodded.
“Yes, So I know you better than anyone else. Even better than you know yourself.”
“With that in mind, answer my questions honestly.”
Then I spoke in a subtle tone, “A quest that requires water magic, can you accept it?”
At that moment, Kasha hardened like a rock.
I didn’t receive the quest form, but I was 100 percent sure. Zen and Dirk had Kasha’s information. The Hagnut Guild would be given a quest that Kasha wouldn’t be able to complete, which will make the guild lose it’s reputation, and her penalty…
‘The penalty was a minor matter.’
Dirk would likely start a rumor.
– The Hagnut Guild recently recruited an A-class adventurer, but they weren’t able to complete their first A-class quest!
‘If that rumour spread then the Hagnut guild would fall under a lot of scrutiny.’
That’s probably what Dirk was aiming for.
That’s a good strategy. If I had been in his position, I would have done the same without any hesitation.
At that time I heard Kasha’s voice.
“What is that? You said you didn’t know the details of the quest.”
“It was a lie. Now answer.”
Kasha lowered her head. That alone was a sufficient answer, but she opened her mouth in a bleak voice, dragging her toes back and forth on the floor.
“If it’s anything else, I can do it. The mana of the wind and the mana of the land are really a little troublesome, but I know how to deal with them. But the mana of water…”
She sounded as if it was her own fault.
I asked, “Do you know any water spells?”
“Well, yes. I did learn. You learn some as part of the basics.”
“Huh. Haven’t I told you? I am from the Tower of Eternity.”
Her depressed expression changed back to her smug one. Her expression changes are so dynamic. I remember hearing about the tower of eternity. It’s a place where some wizards gather and…
Yes, I genuinely don’t know anything more than that.
‘But if Kasha is from there, she’d be able to do some research separately.’
I hid that thought and said.
“You just need to know the basics.”
Kasha sighed and said.
“It’s my first quest but I’m sorry, I’ll refuse it.”
“You just listen.”
“From my point of view, you are also gifted with water mana.”
With that, Kasha burst into laughter.
“It seems like you missed something.”
“The mana attribute that a wizard can handle is determined from birth. Honestly, it’s very rare for someone to handle 3 attributes. I am a rare case.”
She shook her head as if it was absurd.
I said in a sincere voice, “Maybe you missed it, but I already told you, I know you better than you yourself.”
“Would you accept this quest if you could use water magic?”
Kasha burst into her laughter, again.
“Ahaha! I’ll accept anything if I could use water magic.”
“Good. Then let’s try this.”