Once she had landed on the ground Akeya began to inspect the newcomer to the guild critically, giving no sign of whether she was approving of what she saw or not. He looked like a healthy young human male, without any real scars or other wounds that might get in the way. No signs of illness, disease, or anything else that could weaken him or hinder him once the trouble started (although of course if Akeya had her way no trouble would be allowed to start). Just a healthy lad who had decided that he wanted to join a guild to become a hero (once again she snorted at the very notion, although she kept it inside because she was pretty sure if she voiced her opinion he'd be offended and maybe even start a tantrum. She didn't really care if she hurt his feelings or not, but tantrums and offended people were annoying). He also looked physically fit. Of course the only people who could afford not to be were the ones who either were very rich or made their money doing something which didn't require physical effort at all. Like librarians or shopkeepers. And even those still required a minimum of fitness, so honestly the only people who could end up being dangerously overweight were the rich ones. Another reason to not approve of the greediness that would make a man gather so much money and then do nothing with it.
Aside from his physical build, health and lack of scars or other injuries he looked rather eager. And fresh. Those eyes of his were that of somebody who hadn't seen the less pleasant side of life before, which was in accordance with the idea that he wanted to be a hero. She'd probably end up wiping that hopeful expression off his face once she got to the point of teaching him about how a mage really worked. She knew that Shuhei and Zack liked to be heroes, but any newcomer who was assigned as her subordinate would first get the lesson drilled into their head that first came survival, then success, then flawless execution, and heroism was somewhere in the pile of other objectives. Optional at best. If one died the game of life ended as well, so survival was the most important objective at all times. There were no second chances (usually). If one didn't succeed they wouldn't get paid, they would lose respect, it just meant that the only thing they could get from the experience was an attempt to learn how not to lose again. And the flawless execution was third because if you were efficient, thorough, thoughtful, prepared, skilled, and effective, it all increased the odds of both survival, success, and sustaining as little damage so you could keep doing it, becoming better and better each time as you kept sharpening both your mind, your magic, and your body.
As for the boy's magic, the raw power was quite clearly below her own, which was expected of a newcomer and a fresh mage like him. He had more magic power than somebody who just started out on the path of magic, so either he had extraordinary talent or her had actually practised before and was only now actually putting it to use by joining a guild and doing missions. The exact magic type was a bit more curious, since Akeya hadn't seen it before. It had a somewhat wild feeling to it, but that was about the extent of what she could say about it.
Her overall observation was that he was fresh but had talent. He showed promise because he didn't seem to have any real flaws or weaknesses other than inexperience and naivety, both of which could be gotten rid off through training, working, and experiencing the harder parts of life. The half dragon nodded in satisfaction, only for her eyes to narrow when he began to question her about saying that they might have to kill the thugs. She had never said that she wanted to kill them. Honestly she didn't care if they lived or died. What she found important was that they would complete this job without issue, and that might include killing the thugs if incapacitating them or scaring them off wasn't an option. Killing was quite often the easiest solution, at least if you didn't suffer from the psychological trauma most people felt when they killed others. Leaning forwards Akeya interrupted Rayden as he asked her whether she wanted to wait here or seek the thugs out. Time to set things straight.
"I'll get this out of the way before we get started so you don't end up faltering during the job. I don't want to kill them. I don't care about the lives of these thugs. What I want is for us to complete this job successfully, without any problems or mistakes. We are mages who have been given the job to get rid of those thugs. That is the only thing our client expects from us. That means that doing that is our main and possibly only objective, right after surviving and not sustaining too much damage from the job. If you want to be a good mage you have to consider all the possibilities, weigh them against each other, and take the plan which is the most likely to lead you to success. These thugs have a comfortable life bullying the shopkeepers around here. They won't like it. They'll try to resist. There are four ways for us to deal with them, at least temporarily."
Akeya held up one hand, extending one finger for every possibility she had in mind.
"One, we beat them up so they can't beat others up. Simple and straightforward. Two, we intimidate them to the extent that they'll leave this town and seek their luck elsewhere. Least violent option. Third, we subdue them and deliver them to the Rune Knights. This is the option that the magic council would tell us to take. Four, we kill them. Makes sure that they'll be no problem any longer.
Now, as you can imagine each of these approaches have their own issues. The first approach is only a temporary fix. The thugs would heal over time, and then just begin anew. Unless we inflicted lasting injuries, which is both messy and thanks to healing magic is rather tricky. The second approach means that they'll try to bully shopkeepers and merchants in another place, so we'd just change the location of the crime instead of getting rid of the crime. The third option is the most difficult to achieve, since we'd have to beat them all up and still deliver them whole to the Rune Knights. They wouldn't be happy if we delivered the thugs half-dead. Beyond that they haven't actually killed anybody yet, so their sentence most likely wouldn't be very long. The fourth has the problem that, as you have already demonstrated, most people don't like the concept of killing others. We could get in trouble if the client decided to report us for it.
However the fourth is also the easiest to pull off and ensures that the problem will be gone for good. There is a reason that experienced criminals kill. It's not because they're psychopaths, but because a dead person can't resist, get in the way, hinder you, call for help, get back at you, or otherwise become a problem or a liability. If we can take them down without needing to rely on killing them, we'll go with it because it'd reduce our chances of getting into trouble with the magic council. However if they are too tough to easily beat down, if they refuse to be scared away, if capturing them proves too difficult and it's too likely that the Rune Knights wouldn't be able to detain them, we'll have to resort to killing them. It isn't nice, it isn't pretty, and it might cause trouble down the line, but completing the job is the highest priority, not respecting the value of a human life. I hope you understand this, because if you don't and I see you hesitating when push comes to shove I'll make sure you learn, one way or another. If you can capture them without killing them, good. But if you end up letting them get away, or worse defeat you, because you weren't willing to inflict lethal wounds or aim for their most vulnerable areas, you aren't being a hero or anything else you'd be respected for. You're just neglecting your duty to complete the job."
Akeya took a more passive stance after that, watching Rayden to see how he would react to her speech. She really hoped that would get some of that naivety out of his head already. The sooner he got used to the fact that life wasn't always fair or nice, the better it would be in the long run.
"I've heard you want to be a hero. If it was easy being a hero wouldn't be special, and personally I would respect you more for being able to finish the job even if it means getting your hands dirty than if you made things hard for yourself because you were trying to be fair and honourable. Now, we'll wait for them to arrive here, since this street is a good one to lay an ambush in. We know that they'll come today to try and beat up our client for not being able to pay, so we can focus on preparing for when they arrive.
I am the Shadow Dragon Slayer, which as you should know means that I use the shadows to my advantage and am best at taking down my target without letting them notice me until they're already down. I'm a stealth and assassination expert. Tell me what your magic is and explain the details. What it's good at, but also what it's bad at and what it can't do, so I can think of the best way to make use of you."