Chapter 43

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Chapter 43 – We Are The Forest Rangers 3

The room was littered with empty liquor bottles. On the table were cards and piled-up coins. This was the hideout of the former contractor of the Forest Security Guards.

In the gloomy room where several men loitered, there was a middle-aged man reporting something to the leader while standing instead of sitting on a chair.

It was that middle-aged man, subcontractor Evanston, who first decided to return to the field.

He was punched in the face by the main contractor Gerg, who stood up from his chair, and reformed.

“What the hell do you think you’re doing? So what if Aix left? Get to work. Don’t talk about how you can’t do it until you’re dead.” Gerg shouted.

“But… without Aix-kun…” Evanston pleaded with Gerg, holding his cheeks with teary eyes and looking up at him.

“You’re irritating me. You’ve been fussing about Aix-kun since earlier. Are you a male prostitute or something? Just get it done with the remaining members.”

Gerg felt a strong sense of disgust as the bald-headed old man with the barcode tattooed on his head tried to charm him. He couldn’t bear the creepy feeling any longer and kicked him. “Get lost. That’s not an excuse. Do your job.”

“Haa.. ha. ha..but, you see, until now, Aix was doing everything alone…” Even though he was in pain, Evanston confessed the truth without thinking.

Naturally, Gerg was touched by anger. He opened his eyes wide, grabbed Evanston’s neck and pulled him up as hard as he could.

“What?! He was doing everything alone? I paid you for the equivalent of ten subcontractors’ wages, didn’t I?”

“Eeek! But he’s a B-rank mage, so he was actually being compensated from our salaries.”

Evanston begged for forgiveness with a face drained of color.

By the way, the gap in pay between B-E rank went into the guildmaster’s pocket.

(Tln: As a reminder, for all adventurers with the mage class, rank starts at B due to scarcity. So Evanston paid Aix with salary of a B rank to the Adventurer’s Guild.)

“Tch, either way, I’m going to kill you. Think about it, which is kinder? Monsters that can’t invade the city or us, who can freely move in the city? You understand, but if you try to run away, I’ll tear your family apart.”


After being released from the chokehold, Evanston scurried away on all fours, and Gerg glared at him with disgust.

While the others playfully fiddle with a mountain of coins, they hit the table with grinning faces.

“Hey, let’s resume the game, Gerg. I’ve got a good card right now.”

“Hmph… annoying.”

Gerg’s hand isn’t bad, but he’s frustrated and can’t concentrate.


“Hmph, fold.”

Throwing his hand, the group that took all the chips smirked and showed off their cards as if they slipped out of their hands.

Damn it, what good card did they have!

“Hehe, thanks.”

“What a bluff! That damn jinx, Aix.”

Damn it, my coins were collected.

“Don’t be mad, Gerg. I like that Aix boy. Five years ago, when there were 50 subcontractors, and we were reduced to 30, he was a good kid who did all of our work.”

“Is he really that capable? If so, we can threaten him and bring him back to work again…”

He was looking at the cards he had been dealt. They’re not that great.

“That’s ridiculous. I saw that boy defeat the Goblin King all by himself. We’ll be in trouble if we try to fight him. And if what we heard is true, he’s done the work of a hundred forest rangers on his own.”

“Man, that’s insane. He’s a complete monster! Who is this guy Aix? What are we going to do about it?”

He feel frustrated. He feels like throwing these damn cards everywhere.

“Use your head, Gerg. Don’t you think it’s strange that he followed the Guildmaster’s instructions obediently?”

“I see! Maybe Aix is being blackmailed or something. Then the quickest way to find out is to ask the Guildmaster.”

No good.

Someone had gotten hold of the Joker. The mark secretly attached to its surface told him.

I’m curious why the Guildmaster released the useful Aix, but if we ask him directly, the conversation will be quick.

“Fold. Hey, you. Go and extract Aix’s weakness from the Guildmaster!”

“Huh? Me!?”

They chose the guy who was losing the game the most.

“If you do it well, I won’t exclude you from the team during the next efficiency improvement. Hurry up.”

“Okay, I got it!”

“Always cutting costs, cutting costs. It’s a tough world out there,” complained a teammate. While agreeing with the comment, I took a sip of cheap alcohol and my stomach suddenly heated up. I couldn’t take it anymore.

He looked at the loser who had left running.

Do your best for my sake, at least.

The loser went out to meet the Guildmaster to find a non-existent weakness. The chains that bound Aix had disappeared a month ago.


The location has changed to a subcontractor’s office.

“Even if you’re suddenly called out, Evan, we can’t do it.”

“Yeah, yeah.”

“If we don’t do it, we don’t know what the main contractor will do to us. And besides, there’s no way that Aix-kun can do it and we can’t.”

The two who were summoned by Evanston were trembling with fear. It had been four years since their last job, and at that time there were at least ten members in their team, if not more, since there were a hundred members.

“We only need to fix the old-style barrier today. We’ve saved up high-end items for five years. Piece of cake, let’s go!”

“Got it!”

This trio scurried around frantically, but since there were no particularly noteworthy moments, we’ll skip over them. They used up their valuable magic guns and recovery potions, and out of the 12 barriers, they were only able to fix 3.

From afar, they spotted the Orc General and their spirits were completely broken. They abandoned the remaining items and ran away.

Evanston’s already scarce hair was half taken away by the Orc’s grasp, his clothes were tattered, and his items were depleted.

If only he had trained even a little, he wouldn’t have been so pathetic.

It was still fresh in their minds when they asked Aix, who had used one of his recovery potions, why he got injured in such an easy job.

“Evan, let’s run away now.”

“Fuck! I’d rather be killed by human hands than be eaten by monsters.”

“Ugh. Was this forest really that dangerous? If only Aix-kun were here, we wouldn’t be in this mess. Why did he quit?”

There was nothing they could do anymore.

If they tried to run away, their families would be blamed.

Evan walked heavily, preparing to report their defeat to the client.

“…I guess I’ll go report to the client.”

They sensed an aura of misfortune, and a grotesque scavenger bird called a “death eater” screeched. It was a round, fat, black bird that couldn’t fly.

They didn’t even want to eat it, and apparently it tasted very bad.

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