It takes 4 days by carriage to get to the empire where the Academy is located.

To defend against potential encounters with bandits and monsters it is good to hire a mercenary for escort if you arent confident with your strength.

Jinhyuk honestly thought he didnt need an escort, but thought Lilil might get in danger if an enemy he couldnt handle appeared. He entered a mercenary guild to find an escort he could trust.

Leira insisted on finding the carriage, so he was planning to find an escort mercenary himself. Without Leira knowing, though.

‘Youd think we wouldnt need an escort.

Leira has high expectations for Jinhyuk and Lilil. She thinks we would be able to defeat any enemy somehow, even with Lilils obviously limited magical powers.

‘What if a demon shows up?

Jinhyuk experienced firsthand how strong those who received powers from the Cruel One could be. Even Leira, who couldnt even touch the king goblin, turned out so intimidating from the power.

What if Leira had become a demon rather than an evil spirit?

‘I wouldnt have even dared to fight.

Theres no telling what could happen if they met such a demon without an escort. Jinhyuk walked into the mercenary guild with that in mind, but regretted bringing Lilil with him.

“This bitchs breasts are so soft, its perfect.”

“Whats a prostitutes skin so soft for? Wait, maybe its soft because of that! Hehe!”

The lowly mercenaries were drinking with a prostitute next to them. Jinhyuk wasnt in a position to condemn them for it, but it wasnt a very good scene for a kid like Lilil.

“Summoner lady, stay outside for a bit. Ill come back with an escort.”

“You dont have to treat me like a kid too much.”

Lilil looked up at Jinhyuk, averting her eyes from the low-level mercenaries and prostitutes. She seemed to find them disgusting, but not shocked.

After all, shes been through a lot of things, hasnt she? Just because shes 15 didnt mean she needed to be treated like a child. Jinhyuk smiled as he corrected his thoughts.

“Okay, then lets go together.”

Jinhyuk took Lilil to the central desk. The staff looked at Jinhyuk and Lilil with a friendly smile

“Welcome! How can I help you?”

“Im looking to hire a mercenary, can you guide me?”

“This must be your first time hiring mercenaries? Please wait a moment and I will explain.”

The staff took out the book and handed it to them. It had a list of names of the mercenaries.

“All mercenaries are gathered and managed by the guild. The book lists the mercenaries that can be hired in each mercenary group. The ones with the red line across the names are the dead.”

The book was quite thick. After taking a glance, Jinhyuk noticed the minimum hiring price written next to the names of the mercenaries. It was the lowest price the mercenaries had to be paid.

Like ranks for hunters, the hiring price must be similar for mercenaries. Jinhyuk found it interesting and flipped through the pages. There were quite a handful of mercenaries with varying prices.

Jinhyuks eye landed on one mercenary.

Among other mercenaries that cost at most 10 million derats, there was one that priced at 100 million derats.

‘The leader of the Fleur mercenary corps, Fleur.

The Fleur mercenaries were a small group of at most five men. Fleur, the leader, was 100 million derats, with the rest of the members also exceeding 50 million by default.

“Why are these mercenaries so expensive?”

Jinhyuk asked, pointing at the Fleur mercenaries. The staff shrugged.

“The Fleur mercenaries are a small group of elite mercenaries. They are famous for their story of how they defeated a dragon that became an evil spirit.”

The staff scanned Jinhyuk and Lilils as they explained. No matter how you look at it, they didnt look like someone who could hire the Fleur mercenaries. They scoffed.

“Of course, they arent the kind for a commoner to afford.”

Jinhyuk knew exactly what the staff was doing. He wasnt going to get angry like an amateur. In fact, its better to act natural and show that you arent a commoner. Jinhyuk grabbed any diamond in his inventory and put it on the desk.

“Well, good thing Im not a commoner. I will hire a Fleur mercenary.”

The staff gulped. Their wretched demeanor that made them look like a commoner now looked as an unique fashion taste of the rich.

“Oh, I apologise for not recognizing someone so valuable. The Fleur mercenary corps are new and inexperienced. No one has been hired in the last month.”

“You should tell me something like that in advance, dont you think?”

“I-Im sorry.”

For someone to casually pull out a diamond of that size, he was surely an important figure. the staff made a more friendly expression than the first smile he had shown to not offend Jinhyuk.

“So, please choose a mercenary other than the Fleur…”

“Then him.”

Jinhyuk naturally stopped using honorifics (T/N: He was using honorifics the whole time with the staff, but no longer as he confirmed his higher position in the conversation) and pointed to a mercenary.

Jonathan, 40 million derats.

He didnt belong to a mercenary corps, but looking at the 40 million price tag, he was definitely strong. He could be somewhere from like a one-man corps.

But the staff hastily shook their head.

“M-my majesty, please dont make a decision based on price alone. There are strong mercenaries at low prices, and there are pretentious mercenaries that are expensive for no reason.”

“This guys a pretentious mercenary?”

“W-well, I cant tell you that… ”

“Who is a pretentious mercenary?”

A man approached the desk out of nowhere. He looked like a swordsman from the sword around his waist. His handsome face was amplified by his smile.

‘Annoyingly good looking.

No matter how hard Jinhyuk tried, he was not confident enough to catch up to that face. He found it funny to be jealous of a persons face and quickly moved on.

“Ah, Mr. Jonathan, s-so the thing is…”

The staff smiled awkwardly and looked away. This handsome man seems to be Jonathan. There was an awkward vibe, but didnt care too much. Couldnt be too bad, he thought. Jinhyuk stretched out his hand for a handshake.

“Are you Jonathan?”

“Indeed.”

“I want to hire you. The task isnt very difficult.”

“Sounds good. Lets discuss and write the contract directly. It costs more if you pay a brokerage fee to the guild.”

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Jonathan shook Jinhyuks hand. As they disappeared in the distance, the staff clicked his tongue in shame.

‘Such a valuable figure shouldnt spend money on such a pretentious mercenary.

Not bad as a person, but not good for a mercenary.

Because hes valued at 40 million derats just for his face.

‘Well, I guess its none of my business?

Seeing the diamond Jinhyuk had left behind, the staff couldnt hold back their laughter. Reaching out to take it, a tiny hand sharply grabbed the diamond first.

“I-Ill be taking this back.”

The staff sighed as Lilil left with the diamond.

‘A smart daughter with a rich gentleman…

Leaving the area with the staff, Jinhyuk and Lilil took Jonathan and sat down at another table. The Mercenary Guild also serves as a restaurant, so they thought of having the conversation while filling their stomach. Jinhyuk spoke up after ordering a simple soup.

“Im commissioning for an escort on the way to the capital. My master lady is entering the academy this year.”

“Oh, thats wonderful, isnt it? I also graduated from the academy five years ago. Im happy to escort someone wholl be my junior.”

“Then, should I give you 40 million derats right now?”

“Ah, theres something I want to tell you.”

Jonathans expression darkened. Whats wrong with paying? Jinhyuk was puzzled. Jonathan looked around before speaking again.

“There are a lot of low-level mercenaries here. You never know what they will do for your money.”

“Ah, are you worried about that?”

Not really a concern. Or so he thought, until he considered Lilils magical strength. Itd be bothersome to face other threats after spending money without much thought.

“Besides, even though we are mercenaries, but the Mokidi Bandits are famous these days.”

“Mokidi Bandits?”

“Yeah, theyve settled around here, and theyre very vicious.”

Bandits are usually a path taken by those who never even went to the academy. However, the Mokidi Bandits leader is an Academy graduate for some reason. Because of that even with a strong escort, the best way to deal with them was to not be their target.

“They steal all money they can see, and sell all humans into slavery… Among them, those with good looks are sold at a store as prostitutes. As someone as handsome as I am, it is something very terrifying.”

Youre more terrifying to say youre handsome with your own mouth, Jinhyuk thought, but he resisted from saying that and changed the topic. Other than protecting Lilils mental health, he didnt want to hear Jonathan boast about his looks.

“I see. The soups here just in time, let us dig in.”

“ah! Its broccoli soup. Broccoli makes me more handsome… ”

“Shut up before I cancel the contract.”

“Oh, please dont say bad words~.”

Jinhyuk was at a loss for his words, so he decided to just eat the soup.

* * *

“Another jackpot.”

A man grinned as he brushed off his blood-stained sword. The driver and escort were dead, and everyone in the wagon was tied with ropes.

“Looks like they were on the road to the academy…They are young, so I should be able to get a good deal.”

A man. Mokidi, the leader of the Mokidi Bandits.

Mokidi had his men take everyone down. They looked like academy freshmen, their eyes were trembling in disbelief.

“Why?Thought you were some hot shit for having some talent? Didnt expect this to happen? Are you fucking stupid?”

Mokidi smiled vulgarly and sheathed his sword.

“Shouldve at least got a good escort. What were you thinking with such a weak bastard? I dont think he even graduated from the academy properly.”

Mokidi laughed as he nudged the dead escorts head with his foot. Then, a man rushed over. It was Meus, who was in charge of intelligence in the Mokidi Bandits.

“Mokidi, I have incredible news for you.”

“what? Tell me.”

“Soon, another carriage will come here to the academy.”

“okay? Whys that incredible news?”

“Because the people riding it are incredible.”

“Who is riding? Cant mess with the nobles. That becomes bothersome.”

“Haha, dont worry. Listen.”

Meus opened up two pieces of paper with a picture of a woman on it.

“The name of this innocent-looking girl is Lilil. She is the eldest daughter of the fallen Schvier family.”

“The Schvier family? They got screwed over by becoming evil spirits. If shes surely Schvier Lilil, shell definitely sell for a very, very high price. There are crazy bastards out there thats into that kind of shit.”

“Not only that. Lilil recently summoned, and it seems like he can create diamonds to his hearts content.”

“No way.”

“As a bonus, theres also the daughter from the goblin battlefield.”

“Oh, this bitchs my type.”

Mokidi asked as he licked his lips.

“Any escorts with these bastards?”

“Oh, there is one, but you dont have to worry.”

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“Who is it?”

“Its Jonathan.”

“Pfft, ha ha! That dumbass is the escort? This is so… he he.”

This was truly incredible news, alright, thought Mokidi, as he started preparing.

Prepare to take on Lilils carriage.

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