The day after I was expelled from the guild
The room I woke up in was a room inside a cheap inn that costed two copper a night without meals.
In this narrow building, the rooms were arranged in a way that they were forcefully divided by thin wooden boards…but they had no door entrances and you can easily peek into the other people’s space from the corridor of the building.
It’s structured in a way that only seemed to “sell” the concept of crime prevention.
And naturally, it goes without saying that you would be able to hear almost everything that’s going on in the rooms next to yours.
I couldn’t sleep well at all due to the snoring that came from the room on the right next to mine and the lewd voice of a prostitute that came from the room on the left.
The only salvation I had was that spring has come.
I would have frozen to death in that terrible room if it was still winter time.
I kept unintentionally frowning because of the unpleasant way of waking up.
Needless to say, I didn’t move here because I wanted to.
Until last night, I was staying at a guild warranted inn that I usually stayed at. It was a small but clean and cozy place that was managed by an honest owner and his lively daughter.
When I got expelled from the guild, I asked the inn owner if he could wait till next month to collect my rent.
I’ve been a patron in this inn for several years now and they have never shown me an irritated face when I paid my tab.
That’s why I thought that it would be fine this time…but…
「I don’t got room for someone who’s not an adventurer!!」
I was thrown out of the room with a fist greeting me.
The owner has already found out about my expulsion from the guild. He was probably contacted by the guild.
The inn daughter who was sociable with me up until yesterday spoke to me with a look that said thank god I’ll finally be gone when she said,
「Thank you so much for your patronage to this day! The next time you come, please tip when you pay!」
Apparently, I was the only one who felt cozy living here. From the other side, I was only a stingy customer with a habit of putting my bills on tab and not tipping.
I’ve long used their services since I liked them as people, but it looks like I was just a buffoon to them.
I know that I might be the one who’s wrong here. No, I’m definitely the one who is wrong, I know that.
But even so, why does everyone look at me as if they were looking at a piece of shit?
Like this, I thought of how both the receptionist of the guild and the inn daughter looked at me.
I felt like punching the wall this time in a fit of anger– I was going to, but I quickly stopped my hand. There was a possibility that I would break these thin walls if I punched it.
If that happened, I’d have to pay way more than ten times the inn’s lodging fee for repairs.
It would be stupid of me to reduce the little bit of money I had left like that.
「…The problem comes here」
I counted how much money I had left.
Adding up all the copper that I had, somehow there was enough for about a month of food.
However, that’s only if I ate the cheapest food at the cheapest inn. Although I was not concerned about starving tomorrow, there was an urgent need to improve the current situation.
If I’m not being picky, there are things like sewage cleaning, dangerous construction work for castle walls, and many other jobs like that… but I don’t want to do that type of work.
I will never become strong if I’m too concerned about making a living. I won’t accept that.
That’s right. It’s not like there’s a rule saying that I can’t hunt monsters or help people even if I wasn’t part of the adventurer’s guild.
If I continued to gather herbs every day, I could sell them directly to a pharmacist or straight to a store without going through the guild.
If I don’t go through the guild, I could easily get cheated on the sale, but it was still better than cleaning gutters or sewers.
Normally, taking action without going through the guild was done by people referred to as “stray adventurers”- They’re pretty much seen as the same thing as hooligans and vagabonds.
I know that, but that doesn’t matter to me. It sounds like fun to make a name of myself as a stray adventurer. The guild receptionist and the inn daughter will surely regret treating me that way after I make it.
When I thought about it like that, I felt much better about being expelled from the guild since it was like having a collar taken off my neck.
The relationship I had with the guild was bad in the first place anyway.
I know that the other adventurers and receptionists were calling me a “parasite” behind my back.
Let’s think of this as a good opportunity to distance myself from the other adventurers and the guild.
I tried to convince myself that.
But as I tried to do so… I sighed.
I had no choice but to force myself to be aware of my own attempt at escaping reality.
It’s not like I had no responsibility regarding me being called a parasite.
It’s a spell to show your own level.
The numeric value of 『1』 that was displayed as usual was unchanged.
No matter how much I practiced, no matter how many mock battles I’ve been through, I’ve never leveled up.
Looking at the never changing number as if it has been cursed, my expression naturally twisted to a bitter one.
Level is a human’s greatest talent. Your level is more or less proportional to your how strong you are.
You can assume that a level one has the power value of ten, level two has twenty, and level three has thirty and so on.
Of course, an adventurer who can’t get above level one would only get in other people’s way.
I had adventurer companions in the past that I had to part with because of our level differences so I know…
To put it bluntly, I was kicked out of the party.
Just like how I was left behind by my younger brother and my fiancee back on my hometown island, I was left behind by my companions here as well.
Different people had different opinions on how to level, but going off the opinions of those who are always fighting, the most important element of leveling seemed to be “to always fight those that were stronger than you”.
You will never level up even if you killed a hundred monsters that you can for sure beat.
In other words, weak people have lots of opportunities to level.
Humans of level one would have a much easier time leveling than humans with a higher level.
Even though that was supposed to be the case, I could not raise my level when I was back on the island or when I’m living here in this city.
Although this would sound strange no matter who you tell it to, there is actually a theory that could explain this phenomenon.
The Talent Limit.
It’s a human’s limit. The sword saint who sealed the demon god three hundred years ago seemed to have managed to level to 99, but it appears that he wasn’t able to get any higher than that.
If there was a limit even for the sword saint, there’s no reason why there wouldn’t be a limit for other humans as well. And just like how different people had different opinions on how to level, there would be a different limit for different people as well.
…If that’s true, then it wouldn’t be weird that if some people’s limit was level 1.
Having a body that can’t level up due to hitting my limit is has the same meaning as it being hopeless.
But I still had hope.
The theory of there being a talent limit was not proven yet.
Right now, there is magic that you can use to check your current level with. It seems that a higher level caster would be able to see more information with those spells. And even with that being the case, the existence of there being a “talent limit” has still not been confirmed.
No one knows for sure yet whether the cause for me not being able to level was there being a limit or because of insufficient experience value or something else.
Back on the island, those who did not finish the trial ceremony were not allowed to participate in actual battles.
That was also why at the time I believed that if I became an adventurer and gained real battle experience, I would finally be able to level up.
However, reality was ruthless.
No matter how many monsters I’ve taken down, how many bandits I’ve killed, my level did not rise.
Even though me and my ex-companions fought the same enemies, did the same quests, ate the same meals, only their levels were steadily rising at the time.
The only thing that changed for me was the gap that was starting to form between us.
Since your level value was important personal information, even between me and my companions, I did not open up to them easily. However, my ex-companions were honest people and they revealed their levels to each other.
When that happens, the one who doesn’t want to show their level would naturally stand out.
I was haunted by the fact that they would become suspicious of me at that rate, so I chose a day and confided to my party members.
I had good personal relationships with the party members and I could even call the leader of the party a friend.
That’s why I had expectations that they might possibly show some understanding towards me.
…But what came back to me were only painful slanders. I was called a fraud in front of my face and was kicked out of the party.
After that, the other adventurers all looked at me with eyes of contempt and called me a “parasite”. Word surely got out from my original party members.
The action of a low level adventurer hiding their level to mix their way into a high level party was called being a “parasite” and was frowned upon. In cases done with malicious intent, it is an offense punishable by the guild.
I was not punished at that time, but I was looked at by everyone around me like I was a criminal.
Due to the infamous news of me being a level 1 parasite widely spreading, the people most likely thought that I might have reached my talent limit as well.
That was about four and a half years ago.
Since then, I have only been acting alone. No party out there wanted to take a level 1 “parasite” into their team.
But there was a limit on what kind of quests that I can take solo.
And those few quests were only paying rewards in copper.
I could no longer afford the weapons or tools that I needed. And so, there were fewer and fewer quests that I could do.
Then, three years ago, I took a demotion from the ninth-tier to the tenth so that I could lessen the commission fees that I have to pay the guild.
So for me, who has been a ninth tier adventurer for a year and a half up to that point, I went down to the tenth tier while thinking that it would be easier to get into a party with tenth tier adventurers than the ninth anyway. It was something I had to do due to the circumstances at the time.
It was not an easy three years that I spent slacking off.
If you were demoted to the tenth tier, the range of quests that you could take would also narrow down, but since the quests that I can do as a “solo” were mostly tenth-tier anyway, I didn’t think it was a problem.
After that, I couldn’t come up with the energy or money to get to the ninth tier again. Then, it came yesterday and I was expelled from the guild.
That was my entire situation this whole time.