"Thank you, good luck out there!" Said Guild Girl. The adventurer walked away with a smile as he took the paper and met up with his group. The contract was to hunt down an ogre at a nearby village. The Adventurer's Guild was filled to the brim with like-minded individuals; many excited for the prospect of adventure, the monster-slaying, the drinking, the company, and the gold. Everywhere, Guild Girl beamed up as she could as she saw the smiles of people from all over as they walked into the Guild's halls.
Most she recognized were friends and co-workers. Others, admirers and affectionate men (although, she ignored the latter entirely). But the one she recognized the most was a man who was more automaton than most. Professional and focused in his career, and one who earned his silver rank for the past couple of years.
A name that earned him ridicule by his peers and treated with apathy and disdain. For many, he was distant and indifferent to others and a little too blunt. The fact no one has ever seen his face despite appearing at the Guild every day earned him no respect from any of them. And there was the fact he hunted only one thing and one thing only: Goblins.
But for Guild Girl, he was...special. Where the others would see goblins as annoyances, he was the only one to take initiative and hunt them down. No one knows why he targeted them and thought it was a waste of time.
For everyone, they were small, dumb, animals whose rewards were only a few coppers. The only adventurers who would take these contracts were mainly rookies (or porcelains by the Guild's ranking system) and the desperate ones.
What most don't realize, however, is that they were vicious monsters. Mind you, there were plenty of other monsters that could threaten the livelihood of humans and demihumans. But these were different cases. Guild Girl recounted the many times villagers had come to the Guild, desperately looking for help from adventurers. Tales of the monsters' raids were common. Men were the first to fall, while the women had the worst. Being captured by them was...horrifying if the survivors had anything to say. Rape and torture were the first things that were brought to her attention. Most of them barely functioned and fit into society once they were freed. And for the ones that didn't...she thought best not to think of their fate.
And the worst part? The contracts were considered afterthoughts. No one wanted to deal with goblins because of the rewards they offered.
They're dumb animals, they said. Better we find something better to hunt.
And this would culminate in the complete wipeout of multiple adventures - many of which unprepared and under-equipped-, continuing a vicious cycle of senseless death and cruelty. The number of names she had to cross out made her depressed and unhappy as a result.
Guild Girl sighed in lament; a part of her wanted her to warn the good folk to stay clear or at least prepare themselves with a veteran adventurer. Perhaps petition the Guild to even put extra measures to instruct the dangers of the goblin infestations. But even with the freedom to do so, it would only fall on deaf ears. And she would end up being reprimanded and possibly relieved of her work if she so much as to say a peep about the actual threat they posed.
And thus, she was forced to keep her mouth shut; forced to stay her hand and watch as young adventurers get wiped out and replaced by newer adventurers. Only Goblin Slayer took the burden to wipe them out despite being one man. And being one man couldn't make a difference.
For a brief moment, she closed her eyes and wished. Wished that the world needed men like Goblin Slayer. The ones that could make a difference and make a stand against goblins. Such a wish was childish, but is it any different than what she had tried before?
The sound of footsteps interrupted her thoughts as someone stood in front of her.
"Oh, hello! How may I-" Guild Girl opened her eyes and standing before her - much to her shock -, was an intimidating figure.
The man stood at around possibly 6'2" and was muscular by all accounts. He wore a leather vest with a variety of weapons at his disposal; the most prominent being the two swords on his back and the daggers crossed over his chest. Just above them, a pendant in an intricate pattern that resembled a weave of sorts. Beyond his vest, his biceps were huge and could even match Barbarian in size of them. The man's facial features were riddled with scars - with one resembling a "V" on his shaved scalp - and a cauliflower ear on his left side. If people were like books, Guild Girl could obviously tell this man was well-armed and experienced on the field.
Suddenly, the man sat down a bag on the counter in front of her and stared down at her with this cold, almost apathetic, expression. Of course, it wasn't so much that scowl that shuddered her so much as his eyes. They were, surprisingly, golden with cat-like pupils. Something about him made him stand out in a sea of adventurers. Just behind him, several onlookers watched with curiosity and suspicion as he interacted with Guild Girl.
The man was the first to speak. "Is this the Adventurer's Guild?"
The voice was deep and harsh. Almost like an animal's growl. The question alone made her shudder. Guild Girl gulped and answered.
"Good. I've been told this is you collect monster contracts." He answered. Guild Girl brightened once more as he heard his interest and changed her tune.
"O-Oh! You're looking to become an adventurer?!" She asked. The man nodded.
"Something like that."
"Excellent! Then let me grab your papers!" Guild Girl turned back and pulled the registrations, quill and ink. She returned to him and handed them over.
"Here are your papers, sir! Please fill them in and return them to me when you're ready!" Guild Girl proudly exclaimed. The man nodded and politely took them away, he briefly stopped mid-way and looked back at her.
"Uh, you think you can watch over my bag? I won't be gone for long." He asked.
"Sure, I'll keep it until your return!" She answered, pulling the bag up and under the counter. She had to admit it was quite hefty, but it was not too much of an issue for her. The man nodded again; walking away towards an empty table. He sat down after and read the papers carefully, before dipping his quill in the ink, tapping the excess, and then filled in his information.
The man returned again with the paper in hand - now filled out - and handed them back. Guild Girl read the contents, thoroughly. Just about everything was filled, neat and proper. The unusual part, however, was his name.
"Witcher. Or Letho if you don't mind." He said. Guild Girl found it unusual that he would give his name out loud. Perhaps he was new in town, she thought. Nonetheless, she gave a courteous smile to him.
"Well, then Mr. Witcher, you are all set!" She soon pulled out what many adventurers would get on arrival. "Here is your tag! And since you are new here, you are now porcelain! Welcome to the Adventurer's Guild!"
As she said it proudly, the Witcher simply stared at her blankly. And with a raised eyebrow as he looked at the tag.
"Err, if I may ask..." He started, sincerely confused. "I am new around here. So care to explain the tag? And its significance, perhaps?"
"Oh! How silly of me!" Guild Girl said, mildly embarrassed before explaining the Guild's system. "When one registers the Guild, they are ranked by their tags. The strongest become platinum, while the lowest start out as porcelain. But to keep things short and simple; here's from worst to best: Porcelain, Obsidian, Steel, Sapphire, Emerald, Ruby, Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Platinum."
"I see. Quite organized compared to what I have seen." Letho admitted, rubbing his chin as he processed the information. "But what happens if, say, my skills are too overqualified for the lowest ranking?"
She meekly smiled at him with some pity. Not the first she had to deal with an overqualified person, but it was better to weed out scammers and cheats.
"I'm sorry, Mr. Witcher. Even if you are, the Guild won't be able to recognize your credentials by word alone. Only through mission reports could we recognize them. And with enough, we could prepare an interview with an inspector and another high-ranking adventurer. Plus, this is all under Guild protocols and we do have to make certain that we aren't being scammed or cheated out. No offense, of course!"
"Does that happened often?" Letho asked.
"Very uncommon." She answered meekly. The witcher sighed in frustration, but ultimately, took the tag with stride.
"It's better than nothing, I suppose." He humbly admitted. "Not fond of it, but what can you do?"
Guild Girl smiled in sympathy. The Witcher, despite initial appearances, was quite cooperative and amicable. She might have judged him too harshly and felt a little embarrassed about it.
However, that interaction was cut short by a rather boisterous - and unwanted - admirer of her.
"Hey, pal!" Spearman interrupted. "Think you creeped her out long enough! Pick on someone your own size!"
Letho - who wasn't the most expressive - simply turned his head and stared back to find the silver-ranked adventurer scowling at him with a cold shoulder. Guild Girl was feeling real embarrassed at Spearman's latest blunder at his advances and a little worried about the Witcher's reactions. All around them, adventurers watched and wondered what would happen next. The witcher held his ground and simply leaned back on the counter, arms crossed.
"Oh? And who might you be boy?" Letho asked, sternly. Spearman gritted his teeth in annoyance at the name.
"The name's Spear-'man'. And from around here, I'm the Frontier's Strongest! And I certainly don't take kindly of you harassing Ms. Guild Girl with your rudeness!"
Letho stared at him, blankly. And for a few moments of intense silence, he chuckled. That almost startled Spearman.
"What's so damn funny, pal?!" Spearman asked, agitated.
"Heh. Nothing, I wonder. Did you get that name because your mother thought you were better off as a spear-'boy'? Or did you give it yourself that name to try and overcompensate for something else, entirely?"
The crowd gasped and some chortled laughter. Spearman, shocked, turned red and was ready to blow up until an attractive stood between him and Letho.
"Now, now...boys." She chimed in; appearing inexplicably from the crowd. "There is...no need to...fight. We...can just...be civil...about...this...like...gentlemen."
Guild Girl recognized her as Spearman's partner, Witch. The woman's scanty apparel and wide-brimmed hat stood out and were recognizable as she appeared. Now she became the centre of attention.
"I've done nothing wrong, ma'am." Letho answered to Witch. "It just so happens that your friend here has proceeded to hound me for an unclarified accusation."
Spearman was fuming, but Witch placed a hand on his shoulder to prevent further confrontation. "If so... my... apologies... for his... behaviour."
"That won't be necessary." Letho replied. "Besides, it's the boy's words that I need from."
"Watch who you're talking to, pal!" Spearman barked, pulling out a silver tag. "This 'boy' happens to be silver-ranked if you hadn't noticed! So respect your superior or else."
"Right..." Letho said, unimpressed. "And I'm supposed to be impressed by that trinket? Pfft, hardly. Then again, I bet all the women you've met had that same reaction. Especially in the bedroom."
The crowd made bigger "oohs" with most bursting into laughter at the insult. Spearman lost his nerve and lunged at him with a haymaker; Witch losing her grip afterwards.
"WHY I OUGHTA-?!"
However, without even so much as flinching, the Witcher held up his left hand and caught Spearman's fist before grabbing with his other by the throat.
"WHAT THE-GKH!" Spearman choked in Letho's grip before being slammed onto Guild Girl's counter. The move was so fast and sudden that none from the crowd had time to react as Letho pulled out one of his knives. Letho aimed to where Spearman's head was and slammed it down. The crowd stood in shock and horror as they witnessed the witcher murder a man in plain view. Witch was affected the most as she just saw her beloved companion killed in front of everyone without remorse.
Thankfully, that wasn't the case for Guild Girl, for she had a clear view of what had happened. Despite the shock of the violent manhandling, the knife was simply embedded in the wooden counter just above Spearman's head. The Frontier's Strongest had closed his eyes before slowly opening them to find himself alive and at the witcher's mercy.
Guild Girl sighed in relief and eased the crowd, who looked ready to draw their weapons out.
"I-It's alright, folks! Spearman's alive! Nothing to worry about!" She announced. The suspense died down soon after. Many of the adventurers sighed in relief but soon began murmuring around themselves.
"That guy's crazy enough to attack Spearman!"
"It's Spearman's fault for not minding his own business."
"He looks tough and scary!"
"Probably a thug looking to hurt for money."
Thankfully, the crowd died and minded their own business soon after. Letho looked back at Guild Girl with a thankful nod.
"My thanks, Miss." He thanked, before looking down on the adventurer with that same cold stare from before.
"As for you, 'Spearboy', I'm getting pretty sick and tired of people harassing me because of the way I look. And what usually happens is that they realize they're way over their head when facing a Witcher such as myself. Consequently, they end up being leftover chow for the ghouls and drowners. And as far as rankings are concerned; it doesn't matter if you're higher than me. In my eyes, you're just another name to add to my list. And believe me, I've faced people much MUCH higher than you. And none of them are alive because of me."
As Letho continued, he soon pulled the knife from the board and placed it back into its sheather.
"Fortunately, I'm in a relatively good mood, so consider this my way of being 'polite', ya understand? Please nod if you do."
Spearman nodded rapidly. The man's threat and golden eyes burrowed into the adventurer's mind as Spearman proceeded to whimper. To Guild Girl's surprise, the Witcher was quite articulate in his speech. That certainly added more credence to never judging a book by its cover. And to guiltily remind her of that to no end.
"Good. Now I'm gonna let you off and return to your beautiful lady friend over there. But before you go, I'm gonna leave you off with a warning; if you so much as try to get up in my face again with an act like that, pray that I don't cut off the tip of your...spear...if you're catching my drift. Nod again if you do understand."
Spearman, again, nodded. This time, doing his best not to relieve himself in public. Letho smirked.
"Well, then. Off ya go." Soon after, Letho threw the man in one swing over his shoulder, not giving a damn as Spearman rolled and tumbled near the Witch who raised a magical shield just in time as he crashed near. Soon, two more of his companions - Heavy Swordsman and Female Knight - helped him up and the three cheered him up after. Witch was the last as she stood behind; staring back at the Witcher with a mix of respect and scorn before walking away and returning to Spearman's side.
"My sincerest apologies, miss." He apologized, not paying mind to the crowd. "I didn't mean to cause a scene like that. I was simply defending myself, y'know?"
"I-It's alright." Guild Girl waved off. "I thank you for not causing further endangerment for another fellow adventurer. Please refrain from doing so, next time. And don't mind him, he may be rough around the edges but he means well."
"He better." The Witcher's blunt words were unsettling for her to hear, but he resumed. "Now on to pressing matters, are there any porcelain-based bounties available?"
"Well..." Guild looked to see in her record, only for a voice to pop up from behind the Witcher.
"Hey, mister! Did you just say you...were...er..." A leather-armoured boy with brown hair and a bandana approached the man, looking initially excited only to turn timid due to the man's intimidating figure as he turned to see who called him. Following behind the boy were three girls. One was raven-haired and wore loose clothing, the second was redheaded and wore dark green robes, a cloak, a pair of glasses, and a large pointed hat, and the third was a golden blonde girl who wore white and blue robes that made it clear that she was a cleric of sorts. From what Guild Girl remembered, their names were Warrior, Fighter, Wizard, and Priestess, respectively. All four of them looked at the Witcher in awe and fear.
"Can I help you?" He asked, which didn't do much to calm the young man down, who simply murmured quietly. Seeing their comrade shaken, Fighter jumped in. "Hello there! Don't mind him! We were just gonna ask if you want to team up with us to hunt down some goblins."
"Oh? G-Goblins, you say?" Guild Girl asked. She knew where this was going to happen and had the urge to warn them not to.
"Yeah, we were just about to leave before we overheard you guys talking about low-ranking missions." Fighter said, looking at the man before her.
"Y'know, it's funny to see someone so huge and scary-looking turn out to be a rookie. No offense, of course!"
"None taken." He answered, bluntly. The response made Fighter shudder a bit, but she tried her best to keep cool. Emphasis on "tried".
"A-are you sure you want to take this mission?" Guild Girl asked hesitantly. "I'd highly recommend hunting down giant rats or cleaning the sewers. Alternatively, there is someone who's an expert at goblin-hunting. Although, you might have to wait for a bit until he arrives."
"What?! No way!" Exclaimed Wizard. "We can't just wait any longer! We've already found our fourth member! We're not waiting for some other guy to come in and be our tour guide! And we're definitely not cleaning up the sewers just to find some rats!"
Guild Girl sighed. She feared it but she expected the worse. Of course, it did. Still, she was just hoping that a particular adventurer had come sooner. Hopefully. So her best bet was to stall as possible, somehow.
"Pe-perhaps you shou-"
"Do you have any experience in fighting goblins?"
Much to Guild Girl's surprise, the Witcher interrupted, crossing his arms as if he were a stern father overlooking some unruly children. The four young adventurers blinked in surprise. Monk was the one to speak up.
"Well, no. But this is our first-"
"No." Witcher answered, much to their shock.
"What?" Warrior asked, who now had just gotten over his murmuring.
Letho repeated his answer again. "My answer is no, in case you didn't hear me the first time. And no as in 'you're not going to kill some goblins'."
"You're kidding right?" Wizard asked as she narrowed her eyes on the Witcher, who had remained unmoved by it.
"Was I kidding when I gave Spearboy over there an up-close look at one of my knife collections?" He asked sarcastically, just as he pointed a finger towards the now-embarrassed Spearman, sitting at a nearby table accompanied by friends who did their best to calm him down. Everyone followed the direction of where he was pointing, before looking back at him again. Wizard, especially, felt a little embarassed to ask such a redundant question, knowing who she was talking to.
"No..." She grumbled, hiding her shame.
"Then best leave it to a professional." The witcher replied. "Besides, this isn't the first time I had dealing with these pests."
That caught Guild Girl's attention. "Really? What was your first?"
"Not long ago." He answered, looking back at Guild Girl. "Just a few days ago, I happened to cross paths with a village nearby. Was staying in it until those buggers started crawling all over the damn place. They've already been dealt with. I just arrived with some of the survivors. You can get more info at the nearby temple. They'll tell you everything that happened."
Letho then clenched his hands into fists. "I've never felt so much anger in my life to witness the kind of evil only a man would stoop in the dark. And I was damn happy when I gutted those sons of bitches and burn down their nest. If I see them again, I'd do it for free."
Letho then looked back at the group with a darkened expression. Guild Girl sympathized and was truly surprised to see someone who was willing to see the kind of threat they were.
"So, to repeat: stay out of this." Letho then grabbed the paper from them and gave it to Guild Girl.
"Wha-HEY!" Warrior yelled, gathering the attention of other adventurers nearby.
"I'm taking this contract. Final decision." Letho stated. Guild Girl, despite sharing his views, frowned at the behavior before her. Yet, at the same time, she could see what he was trying to do.
"Sir, you can't just-"
"I know." He interrupted her, again. "But what I'm doing is for their sake."
"Our sake? Our sake?! We had no say in this! You just took the paper off our hands!" Wizard pointed out in anger. "That's theft! And you're a thief!"
"C-can we not make a scene? P-please? Everyone is staring at us." Priestess said, who up to this point was quiet until now. It earned her a glare from the redhead magician.
"So what?! Everyone should know that this man is not only a thief but a thug! A thug who belittles people weaker than him." Wizard argued.
"A thug? Maybe. But belittling people is beneath me." Letho corrected. "And let me ask you something: if you took this paper and went to the goblin nest, what exactly will you do?"
The question alone caught the group by surprise.
"E-excuse me?" Wizard asked.
"I asked what will you do if you went to the goblin nest?"
"D-Destroy it, of course!" Warrior answered.
"With what?" Letho added. The group looked at each other with mixed responses, before returning with a look of determination on them.
"With my sword!" Warrior answered, all the while pulling his sword from his back. Well, it was less "pulling" and more "struggling to get it off his back" due to the length being cumbersome. As he struggled, Fighter was next to answer.
"While he's trying to impress, I can tell you that I have my fists and my kicks to beat my way through some pesky goblins!" She said confidently.
"And I have studied enough to master basic forms of magic!" Said Wizard. Finally, the girls looked back at Priestess who remained timid.
"I-I know minor healing. A-And I could cast Protection and Holy Light!"
"There! It's out!" Warrior finally pulled out his sword in time as the four introduced their abilities to Letho. To Guild Girl, it was endearing and cute when they showed off. To the witcher, not so much.
"Hmm. That so?" Letho hummed. "And you all just found out about each other's abilities?"
That admittedly threw the group out of the loop a bot. After a moment of silence, Warrior slowly pointed a finger to Fighter.
"...I've known Fighter since childhood." He sheepishly said.
"That only counts as one individual. I'm asking as in a group." Letho cut off, pinching the bridge of his nose. "Forget it, the answer's clear. Onto another question: are any of you properly equipped? As in gear, I mean?"
"Pffft, of course! I'm wearing leather armor and a cool sword!"
"Wearing armor is too restrictive so I'm going for lighter clothing. And weapons aren't really my style."
"I have my book and my staff to channel my magic."
"I-I have blessings from the Earth Mother."
As each answer was given, Letho was becoming more and more irritated by their idiocy.
"Is that it? That's the plan you're going to use?"
"Well, yeah. I mean, goblins are stupid. There's nothing serious about them." Warrior replied. Letho, at this point, had enough and drew to his own conclusion.
"...Step forward, boy."
"I said: Step. Forward." Letho repeated. He gestured Warrior to come forward. The boy looked at his peers in confusion but simply answered to him. He handed his sword to Fighter and walked up to the Witcher.
"W-What do you need from me?"
"Not much. Just need to set an example."
"A wha-" *BAM*
Suddenly, Letho shot a hard fist into Warrior's stomach so fast, he flew a few inches in the air before crashing to the floor like a sack of potatoes. The crowd cringed as the boy was now reeling on the floor, gasping for air as all of the oxygen was pushed out of him.
"WHAT THE HELL WAS THAT FOR?!" Wizard exclaimed. Fighter went over to Warrior and nursed him while Priestess simply closed her eyes hid behind Wizard.
"To prove a point: you're all idiots." Letho concluded. "You came here, ill-equipped, ill-prepared, and overconfident beyond stupidity."
The group was in disbelief and stunned in silence. Guild Girl as well had gone pale as the man who initially seemed friendly was now targeting children. Neither said a word, however, leaving Letho to continue.
"Here's what will happen if you entered the goblin nest." Letho explained, just as Warrior had recovered in time to listen to the Witcher. "This boy here just became the first casualty. His sword is too long and unwieldy in a cave. Not to mention he's also inexperienced if his demonstration is to go buy, and that extends to every one of you but we'll get to that, and is a complete dead weight. Which means he's dead. And lucky because the three of you sure as hell won't be. I will not speak gently to what I will say. You three...will be raped."
The girls and the crowd behind them gasped in shock as the witcher gave out the harshest truth he delivered.
"That's the truth. There's nothing pleasant about these whoresons. They will rape you and force you to bear their children, non-stop until your bodies give out from exhaustion and blood loss. Nothing grand about that. Just a miserable and painful death. And all of three you made that easy."
He started with a nervous Fighter. "Girl with the bright clothes: you think going barehanded is gonna save you from being assaulted? They'll toss you around and pin you down until the little bastards start tearing through your clothes and force their way inside you."
Letho looked to Wizard, who still scowled at her. "Magic girl, your powers mean shit if you've never been on a battlefield. You'll most likely screw up the most and cause more harm to your group than the goblins will. I wouldn't be surprised if you blew yourself up if you messed up the magic tricks."
Letho then turned his attention to Priestess, who was on the verge of a breakdown. "And you, little nun, are useless. No god is gonna save you from being a goblin whore."
Strangely enough, the last one was rather short and brief, Guild Girl thought. But still, seeing the kids so mentally worn out after a brutal verbal beatdown made her pity them. The man's words, while true, were too extreme and heavy-handed.
The witcher simply turned away from them and back at Guild Girl again.
"My belongings." He said. Guild Girl complied and pulled out his bag. He grabbed it and walked away.
"My advice to you four: go home and forget whatever childish fantasy you had here. This is not a job you are mentally prepared for. Go back and spend the rest of your dying days peacefully. This world doesn't need heroes. It needs professionals. And professionals, you are not."
The kids' heads were down, defeated and deflated by it all. The witcher simply walked past them, with the crowd giving way and avoided contact while murmuring among themselves.
"Yikes, what a jerk."
"He did make a good point. I'd do the same myself but nicer."
"This guy must be one of them lonely freaks. Just like Goblin Slayer."
"Think they could be related? I bet ten gold they are."
He paid no mind to them; preferring to ignore them altogether. Letho was about to reach the door until Guild Girl decided to take initiative.
"Hold it right there, Witcher." Guild Girl voiced, a sternness rising up. Letho stopped and turned around.
"I'm afraid that contract is no longer yours to take." She stated. Letho furrowed his eyebrows.
"What? Why?" He asked, completely befuddled now.
"Because that rightfully belongs to this group you have just stolen from. Therefore, it is their right to take on this mission."
The kids beamed up in surprise as well as the crowd. Letho was flabbergasted and shocked. He had just spent an entire lecture on these kids and Guild Girl suddenly sided with them of all times?
"R-Really?!" Warrior asked in excitement.
"Indeed." Guild Girl politely answered. "As such, your mission is to be undertaken by you and your friends."
The kids' spirits were high up again. A sense of victory was revitalized thanks to Guild Girl's intervention.
"Thank you, M-Miss!" Priestess thanked. "We are-"
"However, there is only one condition should you undertake this: Witcher will be your guide."
The kids' smiles were soon wiped out and replaced with horror.
"W-WHAT?!" Wizard loudly yelled. "Y-You want us to be working alongside with this...this BULLY?!"
"Yes. It is quite understandable that you are all upset. However, upon further examining, I believe the Witcher is the closest candidate you'll have to a veteran adventurer. His experience and expertise in the profession will be suitable for this contract."
Letho stomped his way back and protested. "Now hold on a moment, I just wasted some wisdom on these kids and you expect me to babysit them? I'm not agreeing to this!"
"Oh, but you will." Guild Girl further interrupted. "If you do not comply, however, then I will have to report two counts of felony. Theft and assault on a minor."
"HEY! YOU FORGOT ME!" Spearman cried out. "HE ASSAULTED ME AS WELL!"
"Overruled." She countered. "Witcher was provoked and attacked in self-defense."
Spearman gaped in shock while his friends egged him about it. Letho remained unhappy, however, and voiced his complaints.
"And if I refuse?"
"Well, you're free to go. Though, I will have to notify the guards to arrest you and send a report to every guild and warn them of a man matching your description. Thus, you will be barred permanently from taking any contracts from the Adventurer's Guild."
Letho was at a complete loss of words. Guild Girl made this case fool-proof and the Witcher was now at her mercy. With no other choice, he relented.
*sigh* "Fine. If that's how it is, I'll take the responsibility."
"Excellent!" Guild Girl replied. "And since you are new here, I should inform you the nearby blacksmith and alchemy stores!"
Guild Girl then pulled up a map from the counter and began circling areas important to him.
"And there you have it! They're just around the corner of this guild! You can't miss it!"
"Thanks..." Letho politely grabbed the map from her. As the two made an agreement, the young adventurers watched in absolute horror as they were now at the witcher's mercy.
"W-Wait! But this isn't fair! You can't just-eh?!" Warrior was about to protest until Letho walked over him and grabbed him by the collar. The boy was dragged after, fully frozen in terror of what would happen next.
"W-Where are we going?!"
"Shopping." Letho answered. Soon, the two exited the building, followed by the girls.
"This is so unfair!" Wizard complained.
"At least we have someone who knows what they're doing. I think." Fighter optimistically replied.
Lastly, Priestess prayed to her goddess. "Earth Mother, please forgive this man's brutal and crass slander..."
Finally, the group exited, and the crowd went back to doing their usual devices. Guild Girl, who remained calm during the negotiation, relaxed and sighed in total relief.
*sigh* "That was a close one!" She said. "I thought that man would argue more!"
"Hey, you did alright, back there." A man said. "Though I gotta say, I'm surprised you're letting him take the lead."
Guild Girl looked up to see Heavy Warrior standing next to her with a warm smile.
"Same..." She said, uncertain of her decision. "Did I make the right call? To have him work with the other porcelains?"
"Well, if I'm being honest, I think it was a good idea."
Guild Girl blinked in surprise. "R-Really?"
"I do. This 'witcher', callous as he was, definitely knew his role quite well. A man like him shouldn't be hunting down rats in the sewers. And then there's his gear. I've never seen someone so prepared with that many blades on him."
"He's probably just doing it to impress people!" The two looked up to find Spearman again, grumbling in frustration. Following behind him were Female Knight and Witch.
"We just saw him kick your butt in less than a second, Spearboy." Female Knight pointed out. "If anything, he's made quite an impression."
"To hell with him! He should be in a cell!" Spearman complained. Witch patted his shoulder.
"There...there...no need...to be...upset..." Witch comforted.
"Regardless of your opinions, this Witcher fellow is certainly going to raise up in the ranks." Heavy Warrior remarked. As he finished, the doors to the guild opened to reveal a familiar sight. The gang moved away but not giving their goodbyes to Guild Girl. Spearman groaned but the three shut his mouth before he could say a word.
The girl straightened up as the man got closer. And from his voice, his usual request.
"Any goblin quests?"
Well folks, I've got some good news and bad news.
Starting with the bad news, I've decided to discontinue the original Goblin Contract storyline. After rereading the chapters, I found them to be full of...cringe...and a definite inferior storyline. So any plans to continue it are no longer available.
The good news: I'm rewriting and continuing it with a fresh start! I have no plans to abandon this crossover and it will be continued as planned. However, I will have to split time between this and my DOOM/WFB crossover story depending on the mood. For now, I will focus on writing chapters for DOOM: End Times but will take some to rewrite this fic from the ground up.
Moving on, as most of you have read by now, this iteration of Letho is a far cry from my original fic. Aside from no longer having bold letters for his dialogue, this version of him is "you're all idiots but I love you" and more "you're all idiots, fuck off and leave it to the professionals".
I've also tried to make him less talkative unless he has to as I found the other one to have too much info dump and something an edge lord would say right after "My family died because so and so..."
Although I might've made him too much of a strawman with his lecture, it was certainly better in my opinion.
Guild Girl this time has a lot more focus and shares the spotlight, while also being the one who ties the kids and Letho together instead of him being an instant protector and is using her position to do things right.
Anyways, I had a blast writing this despite my hesitations to rewrite it again. And for what it is, I plan to make more but at a slower pace with shorter chapters and to increase the pacing.
Also, just to warn everyone, I will also be diverging the Witcher timeline to suit the storyline as it is, as well as some lore aspects. So yes, I will expect some unhappy opinions about Female Witchers. Yes, I'm still going with that but I will try to at least try to mould it in carefully instead of jamming it abruptly. On the bright side, I do plan on making a companion story detailing two witchers planted in the Witcher 2 storylines (as in both timelines with Geralt switching between the two) just for the sake of narrative purpose.
Anyways, I hope y'all enjoyed it and look forward to the reviews! See ya, next time!