As Aida had not earned the title, she could not take the advancement test to Rank 5.
Currently, she spent her days fulfilling requests for Rank 6.
It was quite a demanding schedule, but the branch manager was unaware of her circumstances.
“At first, I was overwhelmed by the intense training.
Honestly, I thought about quitting multiple times… However, one day, I saw someone come to you with tears and snot and saying he wanted to quit.” (Aida)
“You mean that time! You were watching us?!” (Duggam)
“Yes, accidentally…” (Aida)
Litty could predict what Duggam might have done to that person.
Did he throw him off or reprimand him? However, both guesses were wrong.
“You returned their registration fee and sent him off with just one line: I’m sorry…” (Aida)
“What, is that true?!”
Branch Manager! What really is going on here!!!”
Duggam just stood there without saying a word.
Litty had been wondering about what Duggam’s intentions might be, but she still had no answer to her queries.
But she now understood why this building was so old and damaged.
Litty concluded that this was the reason he could not even cover the cost of the repairs.
“Branch Manager, you’ve been wholeheartedly taking care of the apprentices.
That’s why I decided to stay in this guild.” (Aida)
“…I see.” (Duggam)
“I know that the instructions that seem to go too far are all out of love… I felt that way.
I recognize that, and it’s why I want answers.” (Aida)
Duggam looked at Litty and the others with a sense of resignation.
With his whole body relaxed, he did not look like a leader, but just a commoner.
Duggam changed his mind about hiding the truth from everyone, and tried to tell everything as a person.
“Love, huh? If I had that, maybe that boy wouldn’t have died.” (Duggam)
“That boy…?” (Aida)
“There was a boy I had a special interest in.
He was not as good as Litty there, but he had grown up fast.
I was convinced that this boy would soon develop into a successful adventurer.” (Duggam)
“Well, where is he now?” (Aida)
A few days after I gave him the title, he was found in a very disfigured state.” (Duggam)
Everyone was at a loss for words.
Even Aida was unable to take in the unexpectedly heavy story.
“I don’t know if my teaching was wrong or if he made a mistake… I don’t even know what happened, but ever since then, I have become more and more focused on training everyone to be stronger, to be as good as me.” (Duggam)
Duggam clenched his fists, but it didn’t stop them from trembling.
Everyone thought he was probably crying, although they couldn’t see his expression as his back was facing them.
“If students are not good enough, they will just lose their lives.
If that is the case, it would be better for them to quit… However, it’s my duty to make my students into full-fledged professionals.
If I can’t fulfill that duty, what kind of Branch Manager am I…” (Duggam)
Litty had mixed feelings when she learned the meaning of his apology to those who had quit.
She desperately wondered how to reach out to him.
What Litty found out was that Duggam was a very serious person.
Too serious to get things done.
In reality, Duggam was simply too clumsy, but Litty could not come to that conclusion.
Litty took the plunge, even though she didn’t know how to motivate him, she simply put out her feelings in earnest.
“Duggam-san, I am a Rank 3 adventurer.
I will use the skills I learned here to fight monsters and help people.
So please have confidence in yourself.” (Litty)
“Bu… but… I am not going to give you the title.” (Duggam)
“It doesn’t matter if I am not given a title.
I am and will remain Duggam-san’s student.” (Litty)
Litty’s optimistic declaration almost brought tears to Duggam’s eyes again.
He understood her true nature in a vague way.
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