Griff shrugged off the drunk James off his shoulder. He looked kind of hopeless to be honest.
"The name's Griff, bud. Call in the other members, I want to meet 'em."
"Sure! Sure! Seriously though, take a sip bro! Relax... You're all tensed up man. Just look at you, your muscles are tensed up."
Griff's eyes widened upon hearing James's statement. He was tensed? How the hell did this drunk fuck understand he's anxious. Certainly, looks can be deceiving. Perhaps... he should relax? What can go wrong? The medical institution looks like it's not chasing him anymore anyways.
"Sure, pass that bottle bud."
Said Griff with a poker face that looked kind of forced.
Griff gulped the beer bottle, and as soon as he took a sip, he spitted everything back up.
"This! This is alcohol? It tastes more like piss juice! Water! For the love of God, somebody give me water."
James started laughing maniacally while holding his stomach, trying not to spill over the remaining beer he had in his hand. He didn't want to vomit all of his precious beer out from laughing now, did he. James looked very comical as tears streamed from his face as he laughed.
"Hey green boy! Let that be a lesson to you. Don't go calling your elders 'bud' when you can't even drink some beer with low alcohol. Hahahahahahah you're killing me! It's just normal beer! Not fire-wine."
James's eyes were wide open as he continued to laugh like an immature child. It looked like he was having the time of his life.
"Water! Please! Damn it, I'm sorry! Please just give me some water or I'll vomit!"
"Hahahahahahaha, sorry kiddo, no water here. We only got manly drinks like beer."
"Cut the kid some slack James..."
Someone that was in the crowd behind Griff stated. The voice seemed to be soft and tender, possibly belonging to a woman or girl. The source of the voice stepped forward from behind Griff, who was still holding his stomach in pain, and patted on his back. Griff's savior presented him with a mug of water. Without uttering a word or thinking, Griff snatched the mug and started drinking the water like his life depended on it.
"Thank you! Thank you so mu-...eh?"
Griff looked baffled as he saw a young woman entering her twenties. She had hazel brown hair hanging from her shoulders. She was smiling, which shocked Griff who hadn't yet come across someone who could be considered beautiful in this world after he had woken up.
"No worries seedling! The name's Ann. I'm this man-child James's baby-sitter. Well, party member, but you get the point, right?"
She turned to James as she shouted at him
"Retard! Show some kindness to new members!"
James was nonchalantly scratching the back of his head, trying to look embarrassed but was holding his laughter.
"O-oh. My name, uh, is Gri-ff."
Griff was stuttering. This was expected as he hadn't spoken to a young woman ever since waking up. He didn't know how to react to the opposite sex.
"Ah, Ann. Call Oi' Harry out as well. He should meet the new lad."
"I'm here bottle head."
A calm and composed voice was heard, and a man wearing hunter's clothing with a bow strapped to his chest and sleeveless shirt walked from the crowd and in to the open. He had a couple of bottles strapped to his utensil belt, which appeared to be elixirs. A hunting knife was also strapped to his leather belt. He seemed very young, even with his serious face. Jet black hair and sharp eyes, those of a hunter's, looked at Griff and the group.
Harry approached Griff and nodded, acknowledging him. Griff, in return, nodded back. Feeling an aura from this man that told him to not act disrespectful. All of this serious atmosphere was, however, ruined by James.
"Okay ladies! Better get your belongings. We're setting off in about an hour. That's what that fat merchant told me at least. Griff, come with me. You'll help me carry our provisions for the trip."
Griff was shocked to see the very loose James become serious for a second there. Wasn't he drunk a while ago? Well, kind of serious. Griff smirked and thought inwardly 'Looks like I'm with an alerted group, should be safe enough."
He bowed after hearing that James finished talking.
"Thank you, seniors. I am grateful for you allowing me to traverse with your aide to Alfrum, Mr. James!"
James, trying not to go in to a laughing fit again, patted Griff on the shoulder.
"Jeez Griff, lose those damn colorful words. Speak like a normal guy! You're, literally, like a sheltered prince who hasn't seen civilization."
Uh, that may be partly true. Griff shyly smiled after hearing James's remark. Having just regained consciousness and having no clue about his personality, Griff still couldn't act 'normally.' He sometimes felt like a robot, and sometimes he felt too emotional. 'Oh well, it'll all come in to place eventually... I feel empty and this is bothering me...' he thought.
Harry and Ann started walking towards the stairs. They were going to bring the merchant and his cart here to load the merchandise and set forth to the outskirts of Alfrum. James and Griff walked to the other side, climbing the stairs to the adventurer lodgings upstairs. They walked through the dusty corridors, stopping in front of a room. James unlocked the door and they both entered.
"Griff, grab that sack. It has provisions for 5, which we got just in case, that will easily last a week. Be careful though, it's kind of heavy. I'll carry these weapons as well as the firewood. Easy now!"
Two young men came down the stairs carrying those large sacks filled with all kinds of materials and food. Truly, adventurers were well prepared.
"So, uhm, James. How strong are you exactly with your skills? You have so much food! You should be very rich to buy so much food."
James smirked hearing that he was being praised.
"Well, exactly! I'm pretty strong lad! I'm an E class adventurer and our party's classed E+!"
"E? What does that stand for?"
"You just became an adventurer and you don't even know the ranks?! Talk about living under a rock."
"You can say that again."
"Well, so, ranks are given according to guild exams. Everyone normally starts from G-, but you can start from G, G+ or even F- if you prove exceptionally in the entrance exam. I started from G, heh. Proves my worth, right?"
"I am speechless at your narcissism."
"But you're not speechless. You spoke."
"Never mind, so ranks are divided by letters. These are: G, F, E, D, C, B, and A. All of these also have a lower and upper quartile such as G-, G+ and so on till A+. After A+ comes S, SS, SSS, and the most terrifying of all: SSS+. The dudes at the top of the rankings are so powerful that they can take on whole national militaries. Fuckers are richer than most kings. Hell, most above S have their own kingdoms. Pretty badass, eh?"
Griff was very intrigued. His eyes were sparkling with curiosity. "Yeah!"
"Well, group rankings are different though. A party can consist of groups of 2, 3, 4, 6, or 10 people. We're an E+ group in the 3 category. This is because all our members are E class. We can easily overpower D- and D solo adventurers. Can't speak about those D+ dudes though. Well, that's that Griff. Oi! Watch your head!"
James turned to his left as the duo approached the exit.
"Hey, old man Koen, see you around."
As the duo exited, the receptionist Koen waved his hand at them.
"See you around Griff, James! Be careful out there now."
"Thanks for everything Mr. Koen. I hope I can repay you back one day."
"Don't mention it kid. Woah! Watch out with that sack!"
Griff held on to the sack he was carrying, but it was already too late. He tripped on a nearby rock and started falling over.
"Ah! You little brat, why are you so freaking clumsy." remarked James.
As Griff fell, he cursed inwardly 'Seriously my luck sucks. First, I get a freaking bottle in the head. Next I'm about to kiss the dirt.' Griff closed his eyes and braced himself as time seemed to slow down for a second. Just then, he realized something. He still hadn't fallen. He opened his eyes to see... that he was floating above ground.