Kaine kept silent the other way as the group leisurely headed back to the Guild front desk. Tate, on the other hand, was excitedly tattling about the experience, while Lily simply kept silent and smiled, occasionally giving a response when it was elicited.
“And when it started rushing you, I thought I wasn’t going to make it, but I did, and it hit pretty hard but not as hard as I expected so really I thought to myself like ‘that’s all?’. Though I suppose I shouldn’t have thought that because then it breathed fire again. And you running everywhere didn’t make my job any easier. How are you even that fast, anyway?”
“Hm? Well, you kept up with me. Why not you tell me? How are you that fast?”
“But that’s because I’m not entirely human, so I can move fast, but how about… you…”
Tate’s voice trailed off as Kaine had halted and was now staring at her. She stared quizically back. Lily, grasping the situation, took the initiative to do some damage control.
“It’s just that she moves so fast and can withstand so much, it’s inhuman. Kind of a joke between the two of us.”
Kaine looked at Lily suspiciously.
“…I’d say you’re pretty inhuman yourself, girl-who-kicks-Dragons.”
Shrugging, he returned to walking. Tate, whose face had gone red, sidled up alongside Lily and muttered a silent “thanks”. Lily giggled and patted the top of Tate’s head, causing her blush to deepen.
Finally, they reached the reception, where Kaine asked for their licenses. The trio handed them over, whereupon he shooed away the receptionist, hitting a few panels, placing the cards on a seperate panel. As they watched, blue lights shone from the panels, and the cards changed colour, turning from gold to platinum.
Lily raised an eyebrow.
Kaine burst into laughter, chortling as he returned the cards to the girls.
“No, no. It’s not real gold, or real platinum. It’s <<Iridescent Ore>>.”
“Ah, I see.”
<<Iridescent Ore>> was a type of rock that could be magically influenced to change color. It was highly sought after for jewellery when it was first discovered, but the discovery of massive deposits in almost all the <<Dungeons>> had caused its price to plummet, making it relatively affordable. Not cheap, by any means, but cheaper than gold or other precious metals.
Kaine turned to Tate.
“I’ve also upgraded your license to a regular Adventurer’s license; no reason to believe that a girl who can withstand multiple attacks from a <<Plated Dragon>> can’t handle herself in a dungeon. Besides, if Serena can issue a regular license to that one over there,” He jerked his head in Iris’ direction, who was examining the card from all angles. “Nobody’s going to say anything about me upgrading a special license to a regular license.”
Tate looked at her card, turning it over. Then she clutched it close to her chest, grinning widely. She turned to Lily, eyes wide with astonishment and excitement.
“I’m an Adventurer! I’m like, the youngest Adventurer ever!”
Technically, Iris was three years old. But Lily decided not to bring that up. No reason to put a damper on Tate’s joy. Though Lily did possess a slight fear that if Tate got any happier she would explode. She then turned to Kaine with an expectant look.
Kaine sighed. “Come tomorrow for your payment. We need to do a ton of paperwork for such a big sum. Would you prefer it in coin or Promises?”
<<Paid Promises>>, or Promises for short, referred to slips of paper which detailed that the signatory owed the holder a stated amount of money. It was a relatively new concept, only surfacing in the last decade or so, and most places did not accept Promises as payment. Therefore, Lily was inclined to ask for coin. That said, carrying around 1,000,000 Pars in coin was probably a terrible idea, especially since she intended to travel.
“Let’s see… about 340,000 Pars for Tate… so that’s 660,000 Pars for the two of us…”
The Sailor wanted 300,000 Pars for the journey, and Lily still had about 100,000 left after various expenses… But she had no idea when she would have a chance to cash in a Promise, considering that they would be traveling to another continent… Ideally, she’d want to keep most of it as assets rather than coin, it would be simpler…
“Hm… I’ll take it in coin.”
Kaine looked at Iris.
“Give my share to Lily.”
“What? You don’t want it?”
“Yes. Lily will help me decide how to spend it.”
Kaine casted a suspicious glance at Lily, possibly questioning their relationship.
“Hah… I suppose I’ll give you 660,000 Pars tomorrow in coin, just make you way down here.”
“Thank you. Oh, and do you know of any weapon shops or jewelers in this city?”
“There’s a pretty famous weapon shop down the road from here, but I don’t know about jewelers.”
Tate piped up and gave her input.
“There’s a good jeweler with really pretty stones near our shop, I can take you there tomorrow, if you want. We got the gems for my first shield from there.” She turned to Kaine. “And I’ll take the payment in Promises, thanks.”
Kaine visibly sagged in relief. Lily supposed it was difficult for even an organization such as the guild to pay such large sums in coin at short notice.
Lily chuckled and turned to leave, the two smaller girls trailing along behind her.
As they exited onto the main road, Lily stretched unreservedly. Then she turned to Iris and Tate.
“Well, I’m famished. Shall we get something to eat before you head home, Tate? My treat.”
Tate’s eyes lit up.
“Really!? There’s this really good restaurant a couple minutes from here; Let’s go there!”
“Eh? I don’t need to-”
Iris seemed about to mention the fact that she did not, in fact, need food, but a disapproving glance from Lily cut her off. She smiled slightly and closed her eyes, nodding.
“Yes, a meal would be nice.”
“Well then, Tate, lead the way.”
“Leave it to me!”
Tate decisively began striding alongside the road. Lily offered her arm to Iris, who happily latched on to it, hugging it close, entwining her fingers with Lily’s. Then the two girls leisurely followed after their excitable guide.