Walking on the familiar streets of Vance, I look at crowds of people walk to and fro once again, but the atmosphere is totally different this time around.
It is still the same group of people, but the atmosphere is much lighter compared to how tense it was back then, during the period of the Alliance Conference.
After reaching Vance, the shadows following behind us disappear one after another. Except for the silly Tauren who returns back to the same path, the rest of them disappear into the underground tunnels, apparently heading straight for the surface.
At this moment, while the merchant party is reorganizing their goods and supplies in Vance, I go off to settle some private matters, such as replacing that darned lousy metal sword, as well as registering as a small mercenary band. This would make it more convenient for us in the future.
"Mercenary? Us? Is there a need for it?" Momo seems anxious to leave this city.
"Yes, if we were to assume identities as mercenaries, it would be more convenient for us to move about on the Surface."
"I don't want to work for those humans."
"Of course, we are just creating the mercenary band, we won't be accepting any missions. I also don't have that much leisure time to roam about, so we are just assuming the identities of mercenaries. Like that, we can use missions as a reason to pass through different blockades. There are several countries that we have to go to after visiting the East Mist Communal Country, so it would be more convenient to obtain a license as mercenaries."
"Then, why do we have to register here? Can't we register on the Surface?"
Momo and I are chatting in front of the Mercenary Guild. By our side, lying unconscious on the floor, is a Dark Elf who had just challenged us.
The Moonlight Ritual isn't without a price. The right to move freely on the Surface is exchanged by using one's life. For Lorci, who views the entire Dark Elf Tribe as her personal possession, the act of switching allegiance to the Moon Goddess is equal to slapping her hard on the face.
For each Family, Gray Elves are forever a special tribute to be presented to Lorci. From the moment we stepped into the city, the news of two Gray Elves being present in this city has probably spread to the whole of the Dark Elf Family. Maybe they even had internal conflict within the Family, before coming to confront us.
Thus, even though our time is tight, naturally, Momo could not comprehend my insistence on registering a mercenary band here in this town.
"Although there are Mercenary Guilds in every country, from another perspective, mercenaries are also a kind of spare military power for the City Lord and the country. If you were to register on the Surface and a war occurs on the land where you registered at, there is a high chance of getting involved in the battle."
"Oh, that's a reasonable explanation."
Hearing my words, Momo nods her head.
"This madam here, although there is truth in the words of this little brother here, in actuality, that isn't the main point. Even if a country were to meet with its demise, the carefree mercenaries would never fight on the battlefield for free. That kind of spare military power is like ears of the deaf -- decoration."
"The main motive of this little brother here is to probably make use of the one-of-a-kind advantage of the Vance Mercenary Guild: not requiring to produce identification so that one's identity cannot be dug up. Many criminals and murderers do the same."
That is a rather valiant-looking, handsome Centaur guy. Equipped with a purple-colored, human-shaped, soft copper plate mail on his upper body, he wore light horse armor on his lower body. On his back is a bow made of bones, radiating the orange glow of Divine Magic. That probably isn't any ordinary bow.
"Yes, my lord. Although I have no idea how you persuaded that stubborn grandfather of mine to send me out, since he gave the order as the old Chieftain, I will follow it."
This person in front of me is one of the grandchildren of old Minial, as well as brother-in-name to the new Beastman Sovereign Anya. However, unlike the rest of Anya's brothers who dote on her, Casio is quite ambitious. And the truly troublesome thing about him is that he has the ability and prestige to turn his ambitions into reality. After going through multiple wars against outsiders, the Golden Bow Casio is a well-known hero of his tribe.
To old Minial, it is a pity to kill this ambitious grandchild of his. However, there is a high chance of Casio rebelling against Anya after his death, and it would be hard for her to suppress him.
Thus, when I communicated with old Minial through a certain channel to borrow an outstanding Centaur Archer, with no hesitation whatsoever, old Minial thought of this Golden Bow.
At this moment, Casio stood there silently, looking like a sculpture of a well-built hero, uncaring of his surroundings. However, through his quivering ears and the fingers stroking on his arrows from time to time, there is probably nothing in our surroundings that could escape his senses.
"My lord, do we register now?"
"No, we're waiting for another person. I promised to meet him here."
Seeing how the Dark Elves are fearful of him, refusing to come up to stir trouble in his presence, at least up until now, the arrival of the seemingly respectful Casio appears to be a good thing. However, to be able to strike fear in those scheming Dark Elves to the point they don't even dare to approach us, from another point of view, it shows how fearsome this man is.
"That silly unlucky lass cannot even begin to compare to him, no wonder old Minial threw him out so happily."
The reason why I want a Centaur Archer is because of the obvious shortcoming of having three Knights in our party and not having any mounts -- the lack of mobility. Due to the presence of Centaur tribes in quite a few Elf Kingdoms on the Surface, Centaurs are one of the few Beastman races who can move freely in the Surface and the Underground World. As long as we do some concealment, no one would be able to guess that Casio is from the Underground World.
As for the other person, he would be able to make up for our shortcomings through another aspect. Very soon, the person I am waiting for arrives.
However, rather than saying that the person is a human, it would be more appropriate to call him a human-shaped piece of armor. A gigantic gray armor that covers every single feature other than the two vaguely clear eyes that could be seen through the bizarre birdhead helmet.
On his back, there is a three-meter long spear while on his waist, two swords and a Dwarf rifle can be found. It is a weird combination of weapons that leaves a big question mark about his job. However, seeing the string of Dwarf grenades on his waist and the drumming sounds from the gunpowder bag on his back, he has probably just finished stocking up on his firepower.
"The Eccentric Prince?"
When we were stationed in Vance previously, Momo had also met this Prince Clint from Iron City. Instantly, she shivers and instinctively takes two steps backward.
Of course, I know what it is that frightened her so much that she had to retreat. That Prince Clint is a human gunpowder vault and an obvious battle maniac. His nerves are incredibly oversensitive.
An accidental bump to him, explosion.
Suddenly walking past him, explosion.
Entering his room without his permission, still an explosion.
Fine, I'll admit it. Even if you don't do anything, as long as you don't stay a safe distance away from him, there could be an explosion as well.
However, different from the Beyar brothers who often gets caught in their own explosions, all of his explosions and traps are systematic. They are obviously controlled and intentional. He doesn't trust anyone and is forever wary of everyone. This obviously has something to do with how he was brought up.
I'm not some psychiatrist who can treat his post-war syndrome. The reason why I wanted him to join us is because his alertness and intuition could be useful to me.
Most of the time, the reason why people lose their life on a journey is not because of a strong enemy charging straight at you but rather, the poisonous snake hiding in the grass, stabbing your back with a dagger. I have a feeling that his intuition for danger will be extremely useful to us.
"Clint, nice to meet you. I am Rolande, Holy Knight Rolande. You should have received our notice. In this temporary team, I'll be your leader."
That iron helmet nods his head, showing that he has no objections.
"Fine, now that everyone's here, let's go in. Let's hope that Diana has finished her cleaning mission."
Yes, cleaning mission. At the window where mission details are given and where completed missions are reported to, a group of reckless mercenaries is already lying all over the place. They are the targets for her cleaning.
This isn't the first time I am assuming the role of a mercenary. Upon seeing newcomers, these fellows who often sell their life for money will test their strength. This is a warning towards the newcomers who will be competing against them for mission resources, as well as an initiation ritual to welcome and bless them. Of course, if you pass the test, it would be a blessing but if you don't, it will just be a brutal initiation ritual.
In my perspective, since it is impossible to avoid clashing with them, then we should throw the Legend Holy Knight Diana at them and let them crash headlong into a metal plate.
Of course, at the end of the clash, the bunch of unfortunate fellows lying on the floor is the losers.
Slowly walking to Diana's side, I flash my standard 59th Style Business Smile and spoke to the service personnel.
"I would like to register a small mercenary band. The leader is me and the vice-leader is this beautiful lady here."
"Alright, alright." The mercenaries who are currently lying on the floor are actually the core members of this Mercenary Guild. They would be really foolish if they still don't get that theyve met someone beyond their abilities.
"May I ask what is the name of the mercenary band?"
"Momo and Her Little Friends!"
Alright, everyone ignores this female Elf who is trying to act cute.
"Law and Holy Light. We have Justice Knights and Holy Knights, I find this title very suitable for us," Diana spoke after a moments hesitation.
I shake my head. From a certain perspective, this name is also representative of Diana's dilemma.
"Trying to lean towards both sides of the fence also means not being on either side of the fence. It isn't acceptable to waver continuously between the two." I pointed out meaningfully to her. Diana hesitates for another moment before finally nodding her head.
"Then, Law and Justice."
I shake my head once again. This name would mean that we are related to the God of Law. It would restrict the movements of the mercenary band. Furthermore, it would easily serve as a spark in starting pointless conflicts. Thus, I threw out the fantastic name that I had prepared for a very long time.
It is a name that is much more endearing than Ah Dang and Ah Bas, an even better sounding name.
"The New Freedom Gentlemen Alliance!"
Immediately, the face of the two Town Security members in front me crumble. One draws her sword, while the other one stares furiously at me. How could they accept naming the mercenary band they will belong to with the name of their mortal foes?
"I agree, I think that Gentlemen Alliance sounds great."
A familiar figure suddenly appears in front of us. Instantly, as though meeting the gigantic beast from our nightmares, we instinctively retreat two steps.
"Beifeng! Why are you here?"
"Of course it is because I want to form a mercenary band with you all to tour the Surface."
"Rubbish, didn't you say that you wanted to go on a journey to find your true self..."
Alright, looking at how he is salivating while staring fixedly at the Centaur Archer, I immediately understand his true purpose.
"I will say this! Don't even think about it! There is no way we will allow you to join us."
"Actually, I am quite strong as well. I am definitely a qualified Beast Tamer."
Of course I know that he is an extremely qualified Beast Tamer, otherwise, he would have been beaten to death from all the trouble he kept stirring up.
Also, given his fervent love for pets, I wouldn't be surprised if he suddenly forges 'Love for Wild Beast' or similar Soul Imprints along the way, and advances into the realm of Legends. However, even though the Beast Tamer possesses decent long-range combat abilities, able to use his pets for scouting and surveillance and is overall a strength that we require, I still decided to look for Casio and Clint so as to avoid teaming up with this pervert.
"However, I think that Gentlemen Alliance isn't sufficient to describe that strong passion within us, I suggest that we name it Wild Brothers Club."
Alright, he seems to have long thought of himself as part of the band, to actually ask directly for a pen to write down that incredibly peculiar name.
"Don't even think about it!"
Alright, those two from Town Security can no longer suppress the 'excitement' in their hearts and as usual, they use their fists to express their deep feelings.
As for me, I made use of the chaos to rush to the confused service personnel and said:
"Absolute Gentlemen Alliance, thank you."