Three days before the day we stayed at the site of the Totoi Temple.
I received a call from the headquarters of the West Continental Merchant Guild in the eastern district of Kilket.
My address is registered at “Kilket West District 1st Avenue 12-26 Section” so a messenger arrived there with a sealed letter from the head of the guild, which was the beginning of this matter.
Even after reading the contents of the sealed letter, other than the fact that he was ‘calling me,’ the other side’s requirements were completely unknown.
However, it was repeatedly stated that it was directly from the head of the West Continent Merchant Guild, and to be honest, I did not have a very good feeling about it.
But, well, I had no choice but not to go, so I decided to go to the place at the appointed date and time.
The Merchants’ Guild is, as the name implies, an association of merchants.
It is a separate organization from the Adventurers’ Guild, but they are basically on the same level in terms of treatment.
The Merchants’ Guild sends out requests to the Adventurers’ Guild to “collect materials” and to “kill monsters” to maintain the roads, and the Adventurers’ Guild opens a “guild store” for adventurers and provides items and armor, making a profit by taking a margin. The guilds are also involved in the guild shop, providing items and equipment for adventurers.
This is a very common practice in small adventurers’ guilds such as the one in Mort Town.
In Kilket, I frequently saw requests such as “Client – Merchant Guild” or “Client – Merchant Guild’s XX” that seemed to be issued by merchant guilds or people related to them.
Incidentally, the Adventurers’ Guild in Mort Town did not have a guild store, so I was allowed to sell medicinal herbs inside.
Unlike the Adventurers’ Guild, which operates independently in each region, the Merchants’ Guild covers a much wider area with a single organization.
The Merchants Guild of the Western Continent, as the name implies, is a large organization with jurisdiction over the entire Western Continent.
The Merchants’ Guild of the Western Continent takes a fee for the location in the form of “issuance of peddling licenses” and a substantial tax from merchants in the form of “guild support money” as a donation.
These funds are used to finance the guild’s activities.
They are used for public works such as road maintenance, or to fund the activities of neighborhood watch groups and guards, and they are returned to the merchants who paid the tax.
Therefore, if you are earning a certain amount of money, you must pay the guild support fund properly or you will be looked at with a cold shoulder.
The market rate is usually between 1-5% of the total amount earned.
I was aware of the system, but in order not to reduce the amount of funds available for the auction, I had once completely passed over the guild support payment concerning the Mistria Theater.
I pushed it through by saying “I didn’t know about it”.
After the auction, I paid a large sum of money for the guild’s support, so there was no particular blame to be placed on me for that.
So, well, I had no idea why I was being summoned.
Since the number of people was limited to three, I, Loloi, and Clarice decided to visit the building, leaving Burgess lounging in the corner of the theater.
After telling our names at the reception desk, we were taken to a small room with a luxurious reception set, where we had to wait for about 30 minutes.
Soon after, three men entered the room.
One was a nervous-looking middle-aged man. As soon as he sat down, he introduced himself as “Marcus, head of the West Continent Merchant Guild”.
The other was an elderly man named Jahar, who seemed to be Marcus’s secretary.
Yet another is a man with a small but toned body.
From the moment she saw the man, Clarice’s face became insanely grim.
I recognized him as one of Jimmy Radiak men, a Kilket nobleman, had brought along as his escort when he visited Mitra’s mansion.
The man introduced himself as “Dacoras,” and said he was now Marcus’ bodyguard.
Then, after a brief self-introduction on our part, the head of the Marcus guild suddenly began to talk about his requirements.
To summarize it briefly: ……
Apparently, I was asked by the guild leader to “go to Poppo Village and stock up on materials for the sea beast Todros.
What’s more, the request, or rather ……
It was a request with the power that was almost like intimidation.
“I understood the story, at least somewhat.”
“If you understand, you can start preparing now.”
Head of Marcus Guild with an arrogant attitude.
I was used to guys with this kind of attitude, but that didn’t make me feel any better.
“I haven’t said anything about ‘accepting’ yet.”
Marcus clicked his tongue, ‘tsk,’ and the two on both sides reacted a little.
I don’t think they would have hit us here, but Dacoras’s side was looking at us in an overtly quarrelsome manner.
I had heard through the grapevine that Jimmy Radiak had been stripped of his title of nobility after the incident.
So Dacoras, who lost his job because of that, might have a grudge against us.
Yes, a resentment.
We didn’t do anything special about Jimmy’s downfall, and it was probably Amaranthia who emancipated the slaves who was directly responsible for it.
So, in fact, I don’t remember being scowled at at all.
Jahar was standing there with a soft smile on his face, but his eyes were not smiling much.
There was a scary atmosphere as if he was about to suddenly unleash magic or something with that expression on his face.
The other side is trying to intimidate us completely with force, but this is the headquarters of the merchants’ guild.
If they actually used force, it would be a big problem, even for the head of the guild.
“What is your gripe, Albus? What is reward? You don’t deserve to get a guild grade. Why are you saying that ?”
“No, that’s not what I mean. I’m just asking you to tell me why you dare to make that request of me.”
From the brief overview, I could not help but feel that this request smelled fishy to me.
If I thought the risk was too great, I would have refused without hesitation.
However, the reward offered seemed to be quite large, so I was having a hard time making up my mind.
The “guild grade” that Marcus refers to is a classification of ranks based on the material on the guild’s recognition slips, a sort of indicator of power within the guild, if you will.
In a guild of adventurers, the guild ranks are raised slightly based on the number of difficult monsters killed, and so on.
In the merchants’ guild, however, it was treated a little differently.
The “grade” in the Merchants’ Guild represented the merchant’s rating as a merchant involved in the operation of the guild.
It seemed that the reward for this request included an offer to grant me that “guild grade.
One specific example of a guild grade is as follows.
A merchant who is only registered as a merchant with the Merchant Guild is “ungraded”.
In other words, he or she is a merchant who conducts his or her own business without any guild affiliation and pays only the minimum tax through “issuance of a peddler’s permit” and “payment of guild support money.
Almost all merchants are in this category, and even if they pay a large amount of guild support, they will always be in this category if they have no intention of being involved in guild operations.
According to the head of the guild, Marcus, in offering me a job, he would give me the rank of “black grade” unconditionally.
The “black grade” is the lowest rank in the merchant guild, but the fact that I was given such a rank by the guild in the first place meant that the merchant guild recognized my considerable talent.
Black merchants are commissioned by the guild’s upper management to coordinate logistics for the entire region under the guild’s jurisdiction.
In some cases, they also send out requests to the adventurers’ guilds, instructing them to conduct large-scale monster hunts or to gather materials over a wide area.
Of course, when he is not called upon by the guild, he is free to do his own business as he pleases.
In the case of adventurers, it would be like receiving regular requests for appointments that are hard to turn down but very lucrative.
Incidentally, the “ungraded” certificate is made of iron, while the “black grade” certificate is made of black iron, a slightly higher grade of black iron.
The merchant with a black grade identification card as if to say, “I am a great man because I do work related to the management of the guild, so listen to me”, wielding his authority. ……
He will be seen as a trustworthy merchant backed by a large merchant guild.
In other words, it was quite a tasty deal to obtain that position by accepting this request.