Life in Another World as a Maid Mage
Prologue - Housekeeping Services Available During your Adventure!

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03 – Abandoned Woman

Translator: KynKatan | Proofreader: Dilandau

Announcement:I apologize for the delay, to make my life easier, I have decide to join "I do Hobby" group, so all new translations from now on will be released under that group. The project has not been dropped, I’ll still be translating it, we just changed banners. Also, please welcome Dilandau who will be helping as a proofreader, hopefully the quality of the releases will increase. Be nice and say hi.

The group finished the second day as smoothly as the first and, by the time the night of the third day arrived, they fully understood Shiori's abilities. It was only because they were a group of senior-ranked adventurers who had completed countless requests and dived through several near-death encounters that they could understand her value.

Requests that required prolonged encampments were more challenging inherently. Even though I was used to it, prologue encampment meant eating a less-than-adequate diet consisting of increasingly smaller rations, and sleeping in a less-than-comfortable environment. With each passing day, the body accumulated dirt and grime. The longer the request, the more it would drain your mental strength and stamina. Fatigue would gradually build up while movement and judgment would begin to slow down. If this happened, it would become difficult to fully utilize one’s abilities. This directly tied to the success or failure of the request, and at times even the lives of the party.

What if there was someone to manage and care for the physical condition of my companions in such a situation?

While sipping the herbal tea served after dinner in the comfortable and secure camp enclosure, I looked at Shiori who was working diligently.

"You seem to work mainly solo; don't you want to join any particular party? If you primarily work like that, when push comes to shove, you're not going to have anyone to rely on.”


It was a question that I had casually uttered, but with Clemens's somewhat impatient reprimand the relaxed air of the place seemed to have frozen. Seeing how Shiori's calm expression stiffened, I realized that I had stepped on a landmine.

"…Although you have all been very kind to me, I'm still a two-bit mage. If I stay with you for a long time, I'll inevitably become a liability."

I could sense faint bitterness mixed with Shiori’s words. I felt something akin to pain when I heard her response and clicked my tongue in frustration. I messed up. Was it a topic that shouldn't be broached? Everyone had topics they didn’t want to talk about. Of course, even me.

"I'm going to go… take a bath."

It seemed she felt she couldn’t stay, so Shiori escaped from my gaze and forthcoming replies. She immediately ducked into the tent to hide. Rurie also bounced once with a pop and a somewhat accusing look, then followed its Master.

The tense atmosphere loosened a bit and a sigh escaped from everyone.

"I'm ... sorry. I didn't mean to kill the mood."

"It's okay. You didn't know." While saying this, Ellen turned her concerned gaze to the tent.

It was silent for a moment.

"She…" Linus said grimly. "She was left behind by her old party."

"…Left behind?"

It wasn’t a gentle story, but it was a common occurrence in the world of adventurers. The weak were cut off and left behind. Even the most loyal companions may ask you to withdraw if you can't pull your own weight. As if reading my thoughts, a bitter smile spread on Linus’s normally good-natured face.

"I don't mean it figuratively. I mean it literally… they left her behind."

About four years ago. Zack, who was still an active adventurer at the time, had protected a girl whom he had found while carrying out a request. He had found her lying unconscious in the forest. He was baffled on how to deal with the girl who had now regained consciousness, since he couldn't understand her language and the only information they had managed to get through to each other with body and hand gestures was her name, Shiori. With the appearance of a foreigner, perhaps it would have been better to avoid the issue and leave her behind but from Zack’s standpoint he could not abandon a civilian girl regardless of her unknown identity, and thus the investigation of her identity was entrusted to the adventurer's guild.

After a while, when they were able to handle everyday conversations, they were all surprised to learn that Shiori, who they thought was a young girl, was already an adult woman in her mid-twenties. However, even though they were able to find out her age and even her country of origin, they couldn't find said country on any map. Was it a small country that didn’t even appear on the map, or was it a savage tribe? The adventurer's guild argued back and forth, but no conclusion was reached. They didn't even know why she had collapsed in the middle of the forest or how she had arrived there. Shiori seemed to have given up on returning to her hometown by that point, perhaps because she sensed what had happened to her.

Anyway, no matter who you are, you have to work to earn a living. She started by helping out at the adventurer's guild. While working in the cafeteria and doing clerical chores, she learned about the language, history, and culture. Because she was desperate to survive, she was a quick learner. She greedily learned as much as she needed to know. She was thought to be from a savage frontier tribe, but by the time she had acquired enough knowledge to stand on her own, few people kept thinking so. Her behavior, her way of thinking, the way she acted, the way she learned, the way she used her knowledge—all of it showed that she had lived in a highly sophisticated culture before.

However, with her exotic appearance, a history of bad luck, and her unknown identity, she had no place to be hired, and in the end she decided to register as an adventurer. After all it is also an adventurer’s guild’s job to serve as a support system for those people with complicated circumstances, whether they are unidentified or not, as long as they could pass the admissions test.

She passed the test without difficulty, and the aptitude test also found that she possessed magical power. However, the amount of magic she possessed was extremely low, and it was extremely unlikely that she could work as an ordinary mage. Still, Shiori chose that path. Instead of a path for success, it was a way of life, so it was fine.

That was how Shiori became an adventurer. At first she began to search for lost items and pick medicinal herbs, a task that even novice adventurers would avoid because it required a lot of effort and yielded little results. Steadily, she earned experience and rewards.

Perhaps it was because of her good-natured personality and polite etiquette, but once she had won a certain amount of trust, even if only with the lowest-ranked requests, low-ranked parties would invite her to join them as well. It was a temporary arrangement to match the number of people required and fill in the blanks, but even there she seemed to have gained a certain reputation. She didn't dare hide the fact that she was in a lower-ranked position even among the lower-ranked mages, and on top of that she often took on miscellaneous tasks during the adventure instead of being useful in battle.

By the time a few months had passed, rumors of an unusual use of magic that would make life on the road comfortable had become known in the adventurer's guild. Furthermore, if Shiori was included, the success rate of a request would allegedly increase. Parties that wanted to improve their ranking as much as possible actively hired her. The comfortable camping environment prepared by magic and the attention to detail certainly raised the morale of the adventurers. Shiori had found her own way to make a living as a low-grade mage and she steadily gained experience and improved her level; in recognition of her contributions, she was granted a promotion to Class D.

Then, a year and a half after she had become an adventurer, she was invited to join a party named "Dawn". It wasn't as a temporary member, but as an official member. Dawn, which was made up of D class members, seemed to have taken notice of Shiori's abilities. They had been aiming for a promotion to C class, but their recent performances had been poor.

Shiori was hesitant because she had never been a permanent member of a party before and was well aware of her own low magic power. However, because of the enthusiastic solicitation of Dawn, and perhaps because Shiori herself wanting a place to belong, she decided to join "Dawn".

The problem with "Dawn" was the imbalance in the composition of its members with four out of five members taking up vanguard positions; that was the reason for their overall poor performance. When they were E class—a rank full of requests that could be brute-forced and completed in a day—there were no problems with such an imbalanced composition. However, it became increasingly difficult when they were promoted to D class, where requests normally required camping for several days and also required better and more prudent decision-making skills.

At that time, the situation changed when Shiori, who was able to provide appropriate domestic support, joined the team. She was able to take some of the pressure off because they would be able to recover enough strength during rest periods without carrying their fatigue through the consecutive days. The percentage of successful accomplished requests also increased and they steadily earned more experience and more merits to get a rank promotion.

Even Shiori, who had no relatives, now had a place to belong. She had been growing particularly close to one of their members, a spellsword, which was a relief to Zack and the others who had been watching over her.

But after three months, a slight change occurred. The first person to notice was a pharmacist operating in the same branch of the adventurer’s guild.

There is a difference in the quality of their equipment, he thought.

Recently, Dawn, who was on an excellent performance streak, had begun to change their gear frequently. The old members had been gradually replacing their equipment, and now it was even better than it had been just a few months ago. However, Shiori was the only one that remained with the same equipment. Was it because her ability is so high regardless of her gear?

Everyone knew that unlike the vanguard who directly confronted their opponents, the equipment of the rear guard tended to be put on the back burner. But that didn’t explain the difference between them and a woman in the same rear guard position. The pharmacist noticed this because he was also a rearguard. The allocation may be small. It wasn't unusual for vanguard and rearguard positions to have a difference in the share of compensation. Moreover, she was a newcomer, so it was possible her share was rather small. That's what the pharmacist thought, and although it was a little disconcerting and displeasing, that was the end of it.

However, things progressively worsened after that.

Shiori was no longer seen at the celebration banquets after large requests. The sight of only the old party members meeting was uncomfortable, even to outsiders. Eventually, all the old party members were promoted to C class, but Shiori was still a D class. If you looked at their success rate after Shiori joined the party, it was obvious that her contributions carried heavy weight. Despite this, the other member's evaluations of her worth were still low.

By the time six month had passed, they no longer tried to hide their mistreatment of Shiori and even ridiculed her in public. The bizarre group's dynamics had become apparent. Shiori was being exploited, wasn’t she? Such rumors began spreading around because her emaciated face and her poor gear clearly differed from the original members of Dawn.

Wasn't Dawn's good performance due to Shiori's contribution? If that was the case, what did this treatment of Shiori mean? Many people filed a complaint with the adventurer's guild, but the previous master, who was already known as a disappointment to the guild, ignored the complaints.

"In order to prevent unfairness such as one-sided exploitation, the distribution of rewards is done through the adventurer's guild. It is no different for 'Dawn', and Shiori has definitely received her rewards. The matter of the lack of promotion was only because her contribution was deemed to be low according to Dawn's report; she was deemed as a liability."

That was the official pronouncement and no one challenged it afterwards.

The members of Dawn didn't try to hide their dissatisfaction with Shiori either. Indeed, although it was good in the early days, in the past few months Dawn's performance was on a poor tendency once more. Although they hadn't failed, their success rate was low and they weren't producing satisfactory results. Shiori was no longer working as well as they wanted. Her performance during the journey and in battle were also poor, and she was becoming a liability.

If that was the case, all you had to do was let her leave. Despite that, since “Dawn" had grown accustomed to the convenience of having her around, they were unwilling to let her go.

Perhaps Shiori herself was also avoiding contact with other adventurers; except for the distribution of rewards, she didn't even show up at all in the adventurer's guild. She seemed to always be holed up in her lodgings except when she was shopping or leaving the city on a request.

Something was wrong.

Zack, who often loafed around the adventurer guild's to appeal for his nomination to an S-class adventurer, finally learned about Shiori’s situation around this time and recruited volunteers to start his own investigation. The volunteers soon gathered together. This was because since joining "Dawn", Shiori had been completely monopolized. Other adventurers were beginning to complain about it since they were no longer able to receive the benefits coming from employing Shiori.

The results obtained after interviewing the adventurer's guild staff and neighboring stores were that, for the past few months, all of Dawn's food and supply cost had been covered by Shiori. In addition, there was no indication that she had access to any weapons, armor stores, or similar benefits. Finally, the other members had increased the frequency of equipment purchases and visits to entertainment facilities.

Furthermore, the fact that about three months ago, Dawn had begun to take on requests of a level of difficulty above their abilities was also of concern on its own. Did they become cocky due to their continuous success, or perhaps they became overconfident in their own abilities? Regardless of the reason, they were all difficult requests to accomplish no matter how much support Shiori provided.

That was when it had all started. The reason why Shiori's behavior had changed was because of this.

There was no doubt about it. She had been exploited. She was probably being blamed for her poor combat performance and was being punitively forced to spend money for the party. All the rewards would then go to the party's expenses, and as a result she couldn’t afford to properly equip herself. On the contrary, the penalties might have been eating into Shiori's original savings. To top it all off, they had been forcing her to accompany them on impossible requests for their ranking.

The rest of the team were probably just fattening their purses by avoiding the overhead expenses they should have been paying as a group. They were a bunch of people in their prime and the cost of food, drink, and traveling necessities was a ridiculous amount of money. Since Shiori was shouldering all these expenses, the surplus of money went directly into their pockets. It was no wonder that they were reluctant to let go of Shiori, since a person’s whole share of rewards was used to pay for miscellaneous tasks and expenses.

Just after they had gathered some evidence and were about to confront Dawn, the incident happened. Dawn, who had left after receiving a direct third-party request that wasn’t processed through the adventurer's guild, had returned without Shiori accompanying them. What happened to Shiori? Everyone naturally closed in to question them, but the swordsman who was the leader of Dawn said honestly, "Shiori had suffered injuries that made it difficult for her to walk on her own. We were also in danger, and we were forced to escape without her because of the danger to ourselves. Don't blame me for that."

The Adventurer's Emergency Evacuation Act - If one's own life was in danger during an adventure, it was not illegal to leave an injured person unattended and escape. He applied the Act.

Then Zack asked them for her whereabouts at least, but they were stubbornly unwilling to speak. They said that due to confidentiality obligations, they could not reveal any of the destinations in the request or the identity of the private client.

"You'd rather uphold confidentiality than save the life of your fellow comrade? She might still be alive; it may not be too late. If you don't want to go, I'll go myself."

If it was too late, Zack wanted to at least mourn her. The C-class adventurers were shaken up and terrified by the S-class adventurer Zack, but they still didn't want to reveal any information.

"My client is a senior noble of the Empire. Disclosure is strongly discouraged, and a confidentiality fee was added to the reward. If we reveal anything, it will be on us. Please don't do this."

Once that was said, it was difficult to pursue further. Although there were diplomatic relations with the Empire, the relationship was extremely delicate. It was obvious that if they displeased the noble and highly regarded senior aristocrats of the empire, it would become troublesome.

But then again, you have Shiori's situation. Zack, thinking that it was a matter of time before he could make them talk, tried to negotiate with them, pledging that he would never tell anyone about it. But in the end, unwilling to listen to Zack's pledges, they returned to their lodgings as if to escape.

Days passed with an air of gloom in the adventurer's guild. Zack and the others did what they could, but they couldn't find any clue, since the client in question seemed to have parted ways without stopping by Toris. There was nothing to be done.

Just as everyone was about to give up, there was news that Shiori had returned and she was outside the west gate of Toris, where she was lying on the ground while being protected and held by a lapis lazuli slime. She was barely conscious, her fever and weakness so severe that her life was in danger. After careful treatment, she survived, but the mental exhaustion may have taken its toll on her, and she spent many days in bed. All the while, the lapis lazuli slime did not leave her side for a moment. It was this slime that had carried her here, she explained. She said she felt indebted towards it for sharing its food with her.

But, nonetheless, there were no injuries anywhere on Shiori's body like the Dawn's swordsman, the leader, had said. Besides, no matter how much their life was in danger, four big men were there but no one thought to carry that little Shiori?

Instead of rejoicing when they learned of Shiori's return, the members of Dawn could only make bitter faces. Finally, after questioning, the spellsword, who was considered Shiori's lover in Dawn, finally spoke up.

"We were able to get a lot of gear in the dungeon that we entered as the nobleman's escort. The client said that as long as he got what he wanted, the rest could be ours..."

It was the client, an imperial nobleman, who had ordered Shiori to be abandoned, because she had fallen down on the road after months of exertion. To the nobleman, the life of an adventurer's woman was a trivial matter, as his philosophy of aristocracy was deeply rooted. He insisted on prioritizing the completion of the request over Shiori’s safety, and Dawn followed suit. They chose to bring back more of the loot rather than bringing back the woman they had evaluated as a liability. They had finally just reached the middle ranks and the promise of extra loot was so attractive to them that they were willing to go to any extent for it.

For that reason, Shiori was abandoned in the depths of the dungeon, alone.

Authors Note: Rurie, "I owe you a meal" Kiri!

TL Note: I made mistake on previous chapter regarding Shiori's age. I wrongly though she was slightly older than Alex and thus I translated it like that. In reality Alex is the slightly older one. I apologize for the inconvenience.

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