“Hey, where are you going?”
“Finding another source.”
“What about me?”
Reg looked at Arma, who stood in the doorway of the shop, uncomfortably.
If he said he didn’t trust her here, she’d point the knife at him again and slit his wrists.
Reg spoke from experience, having fought in the same camp for three years.
“I’ve already gotten information from you, so I’m going to have to get it from someone else.”
“Is that so?”
“Then come with me.
I’ve lived here a long time, I could be quite helpful.”
She smiled, as if she was doing something very good.
A grin that bared every tooth, then a serious expression.
“You’re supposed to hire me.
“Haha, you’re asking me to help you pay for the table after all.”
“…I’ll pay you back.”
“That’s not hiring anymore.”
Reg eventually gave Arma five silver coins.
“Only that much?”
“For your information.
I paid you a lot for that, too, you know?”
“I suppose so.”
Arma nodded obediently and slipped her hand inside her robe.
“I was just four silver coins short.
I’m lucky after all, haha!”
With a small pouch and the five silver coins from Reg in her hand, she headed back to the counter.
After leaving the bar, Reg and Arma walked down the deserted alleyway.
Reg intended to get some more information out of Arma while he’s with her, whatever the quality of the information, but Arma herself was a mercenary who considered lying a sin.
It was also a habit of her that she laughed heartily, as if there was anything but to trust.
“So… you really didn’t know about the anomaly in the Horn Mountains?”
You don’t trust me?”
“I believe it, I believe it, just checking.”
After confirming Arma, who shrugged once, Reg asked another question.
“So there aren’t any victims of Magi in Arandal? Demons or something?”
“Magi, I don’t know.
“There’s no magi, but there’s a demon?”
This estate is right on the road to Demon City and they say the border is a war zone right now.”
“Are you here to help?”
I’m just here because I heard that there’s a territorial war in Roomere and Gaelan….
I came to Arandal to hang out.”
Roomere was a province attached to Arandal and Gaelan was a province attached to Roomere, both in the northeastern part of the Empire, and both of them had been fighting recently.
Arma said she had come to Arandal to play but had been turned away by a demon.
“This seemed like the perfect place to hire a bunch of mercenaries.”
Arma, who says so, had never been to the border between the desert and Arandal.
Reg spotted the contradiction in her words but brushed it aside.
The circumstances of mercenaries were often difficult to ask.
Instead, he asked something else.
Arma’s words were even more incomprehensible.
“…Well, that’s very strange.
The north of Arandal is battling demons, the mountains to the southwest are raging with magi, and yet Arandal, sandwiched between them, is so peaceful.”
“Huh, so that’s what you’ve heard?”
Arma made a fierce face, but then frowned and muttered.
“Funny you should notice now, but I suppose it’s not unheard of, mercenaries are outsiders …By the way, I told you to find the informant together, but you’d rather not hire me?”
If you put it that way, I’m an outsider in the first place.”
As Arma said, the only additional sources of information would be mercenaries in the same situation as her.
Reg recalled that they had only arrived in Arandal yesterday.
Could the story the fruit vendor had been hiding had something to do with this strange phenomenon?
His rugged eyes grew shrewd.
The smile of the fruit shop owner, who hid the fact that he was in the middle of the war and recommended a knight test, saying Arandal is a beautiful and good place, passed through his head.
In the room where Cylon had left him, Mohan sat in a wooden chair, his face completely devoid of emotion; it was the same seat by the window where Cylon had stood.
In his hand, he held a communication orb, small compared to Mohan’s hand.
Lately, Mohan had been feeling mixed emotions.
At first, it was certainly a curiosity about the strange and unusual mage.
It was clear that he had something to gain from his quest, and the presence of the ‘clumsy’ Cylon, trying to hide his skills, was a factor that might or might not help.
So he kept looking.
He’s sure he thought so….
From some point on, he was expecting something from a mage who was just a colleague.
And the expectations were full of personal feelings.
Mohan was unfamiliar with himself.
(TL/N: That’s called love, my boy)
He’d been so flustered whenever the mage had pulled him into bed and now, he found himself waiting for Cylon to make a move.
Mohan was sure it had started when he’d seen the old Moroccan castle in the Horn Mountains.
Up until this point, he still tried to check himself and make sure he didn’t overreact.
But after being attacked by Magi and wandering through a nightmare and then facing Cylon as soon as he woke up, he felt out of control.
So was hiding his cultivation.
No matter how high up the nobility Mohan’s family was, it was dangerous when a successor who had not yet risen to the rank of marquis was seen.
There were countless ways to assassinate an opponent in the world that didn’t require the use of a weapon, which was why he’d been able to keep up the pretense of being an ordinary man for so long.
Mohan didn’t want to miss his chance to end this tiresome charade, and he planned to take advantage of the rumors that would spread as he went.
He would let the traitors in the royal and aristocratic circles know that his status was slowly but surely improving.
The end result would be a falsehood: ‘The Marquis’s heir has become a Sword master in the service of his country.”
He didn’t care if he turned out to be a Sword master, because there was no noble who would have any reason to interfere with his quest, and if he defeated the demon, he would have a certain amount of power above the nobility.
He was disillusioned with his noble life, with its tangled relationships, aside from the occasional act of pure power, but this one act of heroism would be all he needed.
So Mohan had no intention of making such a fool of himself in Yosham’s dungeon.
Showing off the Sword master’s auror was one thing, but slicing and dicing demons in the Horn Mountains was another.
A clueless Cylon shook his head at the flimsy excuse, but not Reg and Herrin.
Perhaps he should explain the situation to them behind his back sometime; the heir to a noble’s throne was not a position to be taken lightly.
“Haha, how do I call you?”
Mohan couldn’t help but laugh at his own words.
The whole time, he had been regretting his unplanned actions and impulsive behavior, and he had been trying to think of an excuse to contact Cylon.
It was a similar situation to the time in the Horn Mountains when he kept hugging Cylon even though he kept thinking, ‘This isn’t right.’
Mohan was embarrassed for himself, but how much more so for Cylon.
As soon as they got settled in, Cylon sat Mohan down on the bed and started checking him out with his eyes and body.
The corners of his mouth turned up and it wasn’t the fake smile he’d always worn in public.
He buried his face in his hands, arms crossed at an angle by the window.
His long fingers still stroked the surface of the communication orb.
‘Three taps on the communication orb, [tea time under the leaf umbrella].’
This was the contact method that Cylon had given him.
‘Tea time under the leaf umbrella’ is a unique code that he has set on his communication orb.
If you use the wrong code, you won’t be able to connect.
‘Is this a code that you set yourself?’
Oh, I randomly chose ‘Jewel Field’ for your code.
If you don’t like it, tell me later.’
The more he thought about it, the cuter it was.
Mohan sat by the window until the bell chimed three more times, recalling Cylon’s unique code in his mind.
He had already given away all the emotions he had seriously considered when he sat down in his chair to the birds that had come and gone from the window.
A lump tickled his throat.
“Ugh, I’m so… late….”
Muttering his excuses to himself in the deserted room, Mohan clutched the communication orb tightly and left the room.
No matter how much he thought about it, he couldn’t think of any excuse to contact Cylon in the peaceful room.
If he couldn’t reach him, he’d have to find him himself.
Even if he couldn’t find him, he could at least call and ask where he was.
Doing nothing and letting go didn’t sit well with Mohan himself.
His white cheeks were tinged with the first rays of the sunset that had yet to come.
“Almighty Badel, have mercy on the poor and….”
I rolled my eyes uneasily from within the hood of the rod.
His clasped hands trembled slightly.
“Brother, what is it?”
The man sitting next to me leaned over and whispered quietly.
I squeezed my eyes shut, the goosebumps racing down the back of my neck and up my spine only adding to the awkwardness of this place.
“Alas… I am at the mercy of Badel’s grace….”
Is this it? Really? Is this the best I can do?
It wasn’t as if I hadn’t been huffing and puffing inside.
“Haha, I can’t help but be touched by your faith, brother.”
The man was pretty easily fooled.
Dude, if you’re so impressed with me, you should get the hell out of here.
Don’t lie to me.
The god of this world is monotheistic.
There was no specific name for it, just “Lord” or “God.” But here, in a place called “church,” they all worshiped a strange god called Badel.
A magnificent bell rang overhead.
“With this, we conclude our prayers for this afternoon.”
Said the man who stood on the podium and rapped out the prayer.
Standing at the window of my hostel and watching the town, the bells had seemed like a symbol of peace, but here they were, the bells of a church.
Could this be true? Could this ‘Badel’ they were talking about really be ‘God’?
I clasped my hands together more tightly in foreboding.
Are you going back to your quarters now?”
The man next to me spoke up again.
“Ah…! I need to go to the bathroom!”
I let out a lone scream and quickly left the auditorium.
I had to get out of here.
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