Bastard Swordsman Chapter 12

Guilds have parties.

…I guess I don’t need to explain what they are at this point? But just in case there are some endangered species out there thinking “Guild parties…? Like festivals…?” I should give a brief explanation. There are some subtle differences, after all.

Parties are teams formed by multiple guild members.

Groups of 2 or more can register as a party, and can take on and post quests under the party name.

It’s like adventuring parties in Dragon Quest – hero, mage, warrior, priest, etc. It should be easy to understand if you imagine something like that.

Though in this world, party compositions are rarely as balanced with different jobs like that.

Warriors basically just party with other warriors. Archers just party with other archers. Super common to be homogeneous. Easier to cooperate on subjugation requests that way.

Mages and healers have a tough time without close range support, so there are rarely solo parties of just them. Though I could just not know about some.

Oh right, these job-like roles aren’t part of some formal job system in this world or anything.

Combat styles are based on your own weapons and self-proclaimed roles. Of course there’s no “thief” combat style. It’d be terrifying if there were criminals openly announcing that.

Anyway, there are a few notable active parties here in the town of Legol.

One is the burly party “Earth’s Shield”, centered around warriors.

Not sure how many members they have now…last I heard it was around 20, but could be more now.

With orthodox weapons like spears, swords, and shields and armor, they solidly hold the front line, quickly working through quests focused around Legol. A serious combat party that eagerly takes on subjugations of thieves and such.

Their strength is having multiple horses of their own. Super fast getting from accepting a quest to arriving on site. Thanks to that they steadily get work done, though I often see them struggling with various maintenance costs, so there are some unfortunate bits that make me not too jealous of them.

Ex-Harpe army guys like Alex are the type to join them, basically the athletic club types. I absolutely do not want to join.

The party in second to Earth’s Shield is “Sword of Harvest”.

This is the party preferred by guys who can’t keep up with Earth Shield’s hardcore athletic club vibe. They have way more members, over 30 I think.

But they don’t really gather and do things as a full group here. It’s more just a mutual assistance organization for members. Barlgar is part of them too.

They use a variety of weapons. Some use standard swords, some use spears. They have some mages and archers too. There’s no uniformity in equipment, so they show solidarity by wearing party emblem badges on their gear.

But with the large numbers, tight-knit sub-groups often splinter off here too, so I wonder how well it actually functions. Kind of reminds me of pointlessly huge, loosely connected guilds back when I played MMOs. Don’t have any particular desire to join this one either.

One showy female party active around Legol is “Artemis”.

Most members are archers and mages, with only 2 or 3 close range fighters, so they have a ridiculously unbalanced composition. I think they had around 12 members? Almost all the female guild members like Raina are here.

In addition to steady subjugations from distance, they apparently often get job requests from nobility in the high-class district too. Having an all-female roster has its conveniences I guess.

They look like a glamorous idol party, but some members are freakishly strong, so thoughtlessly messing with them will get you killed. I hear there’s one male member but I’ve never seen him. I called out to someone thinking “Is that him?” but she was actually a woman, and ever since I’ve been eyed as an enemy by Artemis.

Obviously I can’t join and have no desire to.

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The largest security specialist party is the “Legol Security Corps”.

They rarely take on subjugations, focused mainly on guarding buildings, people, carriages etc. Don’t know how many members. Definitely a ton.

I guess most of the members aren’t especially skilled in combat, but want steady work. There are middle-aged and elderly folks too.

Well, there were old guys doing security in Japan too, so. The quality may be questionable but there are people who want guards. That’s the position they make a living in here. Father Caspar is a member as a healer too.

I do think it’s an easygoing party, but as a guild member who wants to regularly subjugate monsters and eat delicious meat, I don’t plan to join even after I retire, while I’m still young and spry.

Those are the notable ones.

Beyond that there are tons of small, tight-knit parties formed between friends.

The flashy party names country kids come up with are pretty amusing. Stuff like “Grim Reaper’s Scythe” and “Tyrant’s Moon”. Just the names make it seem like they’re rolling in gold ranks.

Yes.

With the harvest season ending,

the time has come for aspiring young folks to arrive from the countryside seeking fame as guild members…

“What are you looking at?”

“Huh? You’re the one looking…”

Here they come in droves, promising youths.

Seeds of heroes kicked out of their villages after only being made to help with the harvest, and told to earn their keep elsewhere, flooding in by the dozen…

The guild has been slammed with new member registrations. On top of work already straining capacity, fresh fights constantly breaking out in the hall…

Gazing at Elena gritting her teeth and pushing through the crushing workload, the deliciousness of the milk I’m drinking as I do…exquisite, simply exquisite…

“The hell you staring at!?”

“You wanna go!?”

“Hey! Any brawling in the guild will get you immediately expelled!”

No manners or tact, but their spirits are admirable. Guys from the same village are pretty interchangeable, but this is always a tough time for the guild.

Well, turning them all away would only hurt the guild long-term, so we’ve got no choice but to deal with it.

“Look at that old guy.”

“Gray hair.”

“He can’t be from Sunglaire, can he?”

Oh. I was just sitting here harmlessly and got approached by some trio.

No problem with them coming over, but is cutting in line okay? Others are properly waiting their turn.

“What do you want, rookies?”

“Ohhh, just bronze?”

“We may be rookies old man, but we’ll blow past that pathetic bronze rank in no time!”

“I welcome you to try. It’s harsh at first, but hang in there. And I’m from Harpe.”

“Bet you got Sunglaire blood…”

“Well, you’re right about that. …The line’s closed, you know?”

“Ah!”

“Hey, we were standing there!”

“Huh!?”

Idiots… Well, guys coming in from villages are all similar.

It’s laid back in the country after all. They probably haven’t experienced waiting in lines and are overwhelmed adjusting to all kinds of new things.

So, they’re kids, I try to be super lenient at first.

Dealing with this over and over is annoying, and I do plan to smack them down if they get too cocky, but for now,

I just want to gaze at their fresh, green profiles.

“Alright! …Today’s the first step on our journey to become heroes!”

“Heheh, yeah!”

“Yeah!”

I also enjoy remembering the chuuni party names they come up with so I can mess with them in a few years. It’s a hobby.


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