The story thus far: We sent out a request to recruit an escort and three B-rank adventurers remained as candidates.
Honestly, it all sounds like a farce at this point, with a bald macho man who looks like a complete foil, a K9-looking beastman, and a beautiful red-haired swordsman remaining.
Isekai reincarnation stories such as this have that trope where the red-haired swordsman is your only choice. It would only be disappointing as hell if I suddenly created a harem of all ages despite presenting myself as a misogynist, right? Choosing the red-haired women here would most likely get me bashed for having a blatantly obvious, shallow, and flimsy desire of wanting to be cool and popular in spite of not wanting either of those.
So, don’t worry. It’s not just this woman. In this world where blonde or brown hair is the norm, a red-haired, not to mention—a beauty, can only be an important character. Besides, I’ve been saying that I hate women. Do you actually expect me to be at ease if I’m swamped with sows around?
“All right. Tell me your names and special skills one by one, starting from you. I want to know what’s in it for me by hiring you.”
“I am Hibiscus. No one can top me when it comes to the sword and the use of fire magic.”
“My name is Basil, and I used to work at a barn. If you ever have a rowdy horse, you can leave it to me and my prized muscles!”
“Olive. Former mercenary. I’ve done multiple escort jobs.”
I see, so muscle baldy is called Basil, the untalkative doggy is Olive, and the red-haired woman is Hibiscus. Is it just me, or there are way too many people here named after plants? My sister is named Mari Gold and my maid is named Laurier. Then again, I’m Hawk and my old man is called Eagle, so I guess names aren’t limited to plants only.
“Well then, follow me for now and don’t say a word. You may reply or make gestures if prompted, however.”
We, including the blue-haired maid, wandered around the mansion. The more I looked at it, the more I realize that it was a palatial residence with the ostentation of the nouveau riche, but I didn’t think that was a bad thing. After all, my old man used his hard-earned money to coordinate this mansion as he sees fit, so no matter how bad it looks to others, it’s none of their business.
However, the red-haired woman didn’t see it that way and had a blatantly scornful look on her face. Basil the Baldy, on the other hand, showed signs of envy. At least they’re both honest. Mr. Olive was looking here and there, quietly checking the structure of the mansion. I see now. It wasn’t just for show when he said he has done multiple escort jobs.
After our little stroll, we arrived at the dining hall. I had ordered the head chef to prepone lunchtime and prepare our meals. It is only around 10 A.M., but there was already a delicious smell wafting in the air. When I took my seat, steamy dishes were placed in front of me one after the other.
Today’s menu was a well-done thick steak, sauteed vegetables, golden brown bread stacked in a basket, and a hearty tomato-flavored soup. I ate my meal in silence, which would have cost a hefty price at restaurants, in front of the three of them.
The red-haired woman who seemed to detest anything luxurious had a displeased look on her face. Basil the Baldy looked as if he was drooling with envy while Olive was expressionless as usual. I gave Laurier a signaling glance, and she gave instructions to the maids who then headed towards the kitchen.
“From now on, you will eat the same food as I do right in front of me. Due to my position as the heir to a firm, I’ll be dining with other important figures in the future. I need all of you to learn at least the most basic of table manners in case of an emergency.”
Though I said that, my table manners aren’t that great, either. Yet, I’m going to test them as part of their screening. Quite hypocritical, if I dare say so myself.
“Ah, is that so? If you tell me to eat, then so I shall.”
“Oh man, as expected of Gold & Co.’s young master! It’s not every day I get to eat a lavish feast like this, and that too, for free! Hyup! How generous!”
I can’t believe Hibiscus dared to talk in that tone of voice to her potential employer. Anyway, as the head maid urged them to sit in a row, the same dishes that I just ate were brought to the table in an orderly fashion.
The red-haired woman started eating normally, but somewhat reluctantly. Basil the wild-looking baldy, as expected, is a mess. Nonetheless, he savors his food appetizingly. Mr. Olive, the beastman, has excellent table manners. His facial expression stays the same even while he’s eating, just like a professional escort. I’m sure it would look great on him if I make him wear a black suit. And though his face is shaped like a dog, it’s fascinating to see how he eats just like any other human.
“Apologize for interrupting your meals, but we’re moving on to the next test. The three of you, follow me.”
Now then, how would they react after the much-awaited main course meat dish that was just served has been deliberately taken away from them? The red-haired woman had a somewhat relieved look on her face as she got up from her chair. Basil the Baldy was blatantly disappointed with a face that says “Come on, young master, you can’t just do this after getting my hopes up!” as he looks at me grudgingly, but I like that honesty of his. Mr. Doggie still has the same old poker face. His words, actions, and demeanor are more befitting of a soldier than a mercenary, setting him apart from the other two who reeks of amateurism. He just might be it.
We went back to the garden once again and had the three of them stand side-by-side. It hasn’t been that long yet, but I was able to see a glimpse of their natures.
“Olive, was it? You’re hired as my escort.”
“Thank you. I’ll try to live up to your expectations.”
“And you, too. What was your name again?”
“It’s Basil, young master.”
“I see. Well, Basil, you’re also hired. I assume I can leave the physical labor up to you?”
“All right! Hehe, you can count on me, young master!”
“Lastly, you. I’m going to have to reject you, unfortunately. May fate bring us together again.”
“Wait just a minute! Why am I the only one left out!?!”
Oh? Well, someone’s feisty. She must’ve been over-confident with her own charm. She’s probably both confused and dissatisfied seeing that her knocker-appeal worked on Basil, but not on me. Twisted wenches like her make a complete 180 with their attitude the moment their charm doesn’t work on others, even when they complain when they’re being catcalled.
“As I have mentioned before, I’m going to a lot of business-related meals from now on. I can’t hire someone like you as my escort when your face doesn’t even hide the fact that you hate rich people. Hating the rich is completely your choice, but at least learn to hide that if you’re going to work for the same people you hate.”
That’s right. Be it during the time she looked at me, or when we walked around the mansion, or when she ate her meal, she always had this provoking expression with a sharp look that says, “These shit-for-brains nouveau riches!” There’s no way I can turn a blind eye to that.
It’s fine to hate the rich. I was like that in my previous life, too. I hated the rich so much that whenever there’s a program on TV that looks into the houses of the rich, I would immediately switch channels. It’s a poor man’s gripe, but I understand her feelings. But when you’re working with the rich, not being able to conceal that hatred won’t help.
“Wait! I have a sick sister! She’s only four! I need money for her! Please, I’ll do anything you want, just hire me!!!”
Yeah, I know. When the Adventurer’s Guild introduced you to me, I concurrently told the head maid to conduct a background check on all of you. I know that you’re not just spouting lies. And as much as I’d like to tell her that it’s precisely why I’m not hiring a woman who appears as nothing but a heroine, I don’t think I can weasel my way out of this.
The reason is that people like her play victim, saying they’re underprivileged and weak. And if her sister dies later on as a result of getting rejected here, she’ll say something like; “My sister died because of him!” The probability of her resenting me and coming at me is high. Humans are egotistical creatures, so there’s nothing I can do about that.
And judging from the color of her hair, she’s clearly a heroine character. The death of a heroine’s sister could be a flashback element to delve into her characterization. In other words, if her sister dies because I didn’t hire her here, I’ll just become the bad guy who is the root cause of it all.
If she tearfully tells her friends about her sad past, saying that her sister died because of me, things won’t just end with some handsome man with a strong sense of justice saying, “Hawk Gold! I’ll never forgive you for making her cry!” and bring down judgment.
Some of you might be thinking that I’m mixing up reality and fiction again, but you know what? Fuck reality. I literally got transported to another world after dying from a hit-and-run. There are swords, magic, demons, airships, and dragons soaring the skies, what part of that sounds realistic to you?
“You said you’d do anything, huh? Then, If I asked you to lick my shoes right here and now, would you do it?”
“Don’t be so quick to make promises you can’t keep. If a young and graceful woman like you frivolously says that you’ll do anything, it won’t be just shoes that you’ll be licking.”
I wanted to tell her that she’ll end up being the character of a hentai doujin someday if she keeps up that personality of hers, but I won’t, so I went with a roundabout expression instead. Now, will she choose her pride or her sister? By giving her the freedom to choose from these two options, she’ll have no one to blame but herself for the potential death of her sister’s death in the future because she refused to lick my shoes here, a strategic deception to sidestep the issue at hand.
I couldn’t care less if she backs out here, but if she really wants to work for the sake of her sister even if it means licking some brat’s shoes, it’s better to assert dominance here to establish a master-servant relationship. Don’t look at me, being around a pompous woman who ruins things for herself is more than uncomfortable already.
“Damn it! Fine! I just have to lick your shoes so I get the job, right?!”
“And with a smile, don’t forget. You’re licking the sole of my shoes.”
“You’re the one who said you’d do anything to get hired. I don’t mind if you don’t want to do it. The gate is just over there if you want to leave.”
I really thought she was going to leave after having enough of it, but it seems she managed to keep it together despite looking like her blood was boiling with rage. In front of the baldy taken aback by the happenings, the dog who remains standing by in silence, and the expressionless maid, the red-haired woman clenched her fists tightly as her forehead showed visible veins on it.
“Fine! You win! I’ll do it! Don’t you dare take back what you said! If you tell me this was all a lie afterwards, I’ll kill you!!!”
She groveled beneath me, not caring about her bright red hair touching the green grass. This must be quite humiliating for her. She’s probably itching to grab the chance and slash me with the sword by her hip right now, nonetheless, she chose her sister’s welfare, and that’s a choice worthy of respect.
“Stop acting self-important and raise your leg already!”
“No, you’ve done enough. You’re hired.”
“You’ve shown me your resolve, and that’s good enough for me. I’ll make you my sister’s escort.”
“…Ah, I see!”
I took a step back from her, whose humiliated expression up until a second ago turned into a flabbergasted face, and turned on my heel.
“The three of you, follow me. I’ll explain each of your jobs.”
Thus, I ended up hiring three escorts. We have enough money, so I don’t have to limit myself to just one of them. The Gold household is rich enough to hire three escorts at once without any problems, as long as they’re all of use. Having all this money is so great, seriously.
Author won a prize at the 9th webnovel contest and will have this series adapted into a light novel under Tsugikuru. It will have a different title and Hawk’s age (both real and game world) will be increased, so it’s going to be a parallel world type of story.
01/07 update: Someone mass released MTL chapters of this on ScribblHub, and I can’t possibly catch up to that many chapters on my own with life and the multiple sidelines I have beating the living shit out of me, so consider this dropped from my side. It was fun while it lasted, though it’s saddening that the successor is an MTLr.