“Do you have the consent of your advisor?” the lady behind the counter asks.
I hand over a small paper with his signature.
She sighs looking at the terrible handwriting.
“Here are your ID cards back. You guys are ranked ‘Z’ and the missions you can accept will be marked with a red cross.
For advanced search you need to mess with the settings of your ID,” she explains.
She smiles saying goodbye.
Mars looks around irritated.
Then he asks, “Miss, I didn’t quite understand…”
She smiles while angrily glaring at him.
“If you have any complaints, ask one of all those cooperative fellow missioners,” she says annoyed.
We decide to not bother her further and inspect this giant hall.
This place looks like a tavern… Or maybe not. More like a restaurant? No, now I know.
It’s a traditional tavern combined with a luxurious hotel.
I mean, it’s more glamorous than anything I have seen by far, but more than half of the people sit there drinking alcohol like there’s no tomorrow.
Some people wear simple, dirty clothes while others wear first class, unstained suits.
After some time I open the ‘Missioner’ App on my ID card.
I scroll through thousands of missions.
Even though, there is not a single missions ranked higher than ‘X’.
After some time I find out there being three different kinds of missions.
One is called ‘Material hunting’.
Another one is called ‘Monster extermination’.
And the last one is called ‘Bounty hunting’.
My gaze falls upon a wanted poster which is the number one of the ‘Most profitable’ category.
“Holy sh*t! Why is it only ranked ‘Y’ if the reward is 200k points?” I shout out shocked.
A fat guy missing one tooth next to me begins laughing.
He answers, “You new here? The crazy bounty on this guy called Ronin is actually quite a funny story. Rumors say he only stole a single apple.”
“Then why is his bounty so high?” I ask him.
“He always succeeds in narrowly escaping, they say,” he tells me.
“Then they raised his bounty to attract stronger people, right? But why didn’t they increase his bounty’s rank?” I ask.
“Because he always only narrowly escapes from ‘Y’s and ‘Z’s. And since he never did any misdeeds besides stealing that one apple…
At least that’s the official reason,” the fat guy explains.
“Official?” I ask.
He winks with his left eye and goes back to a drunk group of five people.
Their clothes pretty much resemble old rags.
They stink even from here.
I don’t wanna know the last time when they washed themselves.
Some minutes later.
“Captain, what mission are we gonna do?” Mars asks excited.
“Any suggestions?” I ask.
He answers, “So I found that… and that… and this one… and…”
“Hmm, how about-” I say but get interrupted.
“How about you guys join us?” a group of three young people asks us.