Translator:EndlessFantasy TranslationEditor:EndlessFantasy Translation
Thales frowned and his face turned unpleasant. “A girl?!”
“Oh, I’m really sorry,” Tampa evaluated him from head to toe, then shrugged with an enlightened look on his face. “You looked so delicate, and you were sitting so straight all this while with your legs closed. You didn’t even speak, I really thought you were a girl.”
Thales forced a smile with mixed emotions in his heart.
Quick Rope coughed until his face was red, and only then did he manage to catch his breath. “He’s a newcomer. We saved him in the desert. Please be gentle with him…”
Tampa stared at Thales, making the latter extremely uneasy. After a few seconds, Tampa stopped frowning. He bent down once more.
“Come! Since you’re Quick Rope’s girl, I mean, since he brought you here…” When Tampa got up, a glass of frothing beer was placed heavily in front of Thales. “Here’s your first glass of authentic Western Desert Altbier, free of charge!” The tavern owner’s voice was bold and happy.
Thales was immediately flattered, even though he was mistaken for a girl just a moment ago. “Thank you!”
‘Quick Rope’s reputation is this useful?’
The prince politely took the glass of beer, and saw Quick Rope smiling delightedly while he thought about what kind of beer this was.
“I knew it. It’s bound to be nothing good if so many people suddenly arrived in Blade Fangs Camp…” Tampa leaned on the bar counter and poured a second glass of beer for Quick Rope. “Gray mixed breeds, is it? So, is another Desert War about to fall on our heads?”
Quick Rope’s expression darkened. “No, Dean said it’s not.”
He drank his second glass of wine with a stiff expression. This time, Quick Rope did not cough.
“Is that so?” There was a pensive expression on Tampa’s face as he filled Quick Rope’s goblet. “But at the very least, the good news is that no one in your team has deposited any money here, so I don’t have to return it…”
Quick Rope’s wine goblet was lifted halfway when it froze; the young mercenary was slightly stunned. Quick Rope lowered the goblet that was on the edge of his lips and cleared his throat arduously. “Actually, Tampa, we did.”
“We did!” Quick Rope trembled violently as though he was poked with a needle. “Kant the Northlander, the greatsword wielder, remember? He kept some money here, he really did. He said that he deposited his money here with you, this is…”
Quick Rope shot up from his seat and took out a crumpled little book from his waist pocket in a flurry.
“…This is his relic, his ledger. He hid the money in the flower pots in the room…”
Under Thales and Tampa’s gazes, Quick Rope spoke rather quickly. There was even a slight quiver in his voice.
“He has he has twenty-one Mindis, eighteen Midier plus thirteen Northland Shawlon, and ten Kahn. Nine Anlenzo Keller and four Camian vouchers that can be used throughout the whole southeast region of Camus Union. And although it’s an unknown currency, he had seven Revol private currency, five Steel City metal coins, and countless small square coins of the Three Kingdoms of the Lost Ocean… and two Tabiso.”
Quick Rope frantically flipped to the last page of the book to read the untidy handwriting on the paper.
“It was during… during the morning… before he died…”
Quick Rope’s voice became fainter and he stared at the small ledger blankly. Thales also watched him in a daze, remembering the tough Northlander with his greatsword.
“No, Quick Rope. I don’t remember him coming here.” Tampa frowned, looking at the small book that was so crumpled that it was no better than garbage. “And I don’t have his signature on my records…”
Quick Rope’s face grew pale.
“Tampa,” he said, clenching his teeth. He seemed to know that his words were not convincing, but he was still trying to explain. He turned the page back and showed the ledger to Tampa, then said, “He really deposited his money here with me. I can go and get the money for you. Look, written here, twenty-one Mindis”
“Stop. I don’t want to be annoyed by your Camian accent, or die annoyed by your stupid calculations built on an utterly garbage foundation in mathematics,” Tampa said coldly.
Quick Rope seemed to continue as if he had not heard what Tampa said. He shook his head vigorously. “So, strictly speaking, he made the deposit, Tampa. Kant made the deposit!”
Tampa watched at him coldly.
“And Kant couldn’t come back…” Quick Rope’s face turned gloomy, even his voice became much softer. “So, according to the rules, he should get his share”
The tavern owner shook his head brusquely. “Impossible. The money was with you, it didn’t come into my hands. Look at my ledger, his record isn’t here. It doesn’t count.”
Thales watched the quarrel silently.
“It counts!” Quick Rope said anxiously, “I just… I just didn’t have time to give it to you. He was very unwilling at first, but he still decided, hesitantly… He was with me… I originally wanted to Tampa, I’m begging you!”
Tampa shook his head coldly. “Rules are rules; no means no.”
“I promised him.” Quick Rope was arguing so desperately that he had nearly sunk into despair. He swung the little book weakly. “I promised!”
Tampa interrupted him rudely.
“Then perhaps you should be the one who pays the money? Remember, ten times!” he said mercilessly, then turned and left.
With a dumbfounded look, Quick Rope stared at the tavern owner’s back from a distance as he left. The small book in his hand fell feebly at his side.
Thales sighed and patted Quick Rope’s shoulder. “Quick Rope…”
The noise in the tavern seemed to return to this little corner again. Quick Rope sat down silently and put Kant’s little book back into his waist pocket, the young mercenary then stared at his goblet.
After a few seconds, he suddenly smiled. “You know, Wya? Kant was the first one…”
Quick Rope shoulders trembled, then he raised his goblet before emptying the contents in one go. “He’s the first person I managed to convince to save his money here. He was my first successful business transaction.”
Thales moved slightly.
“Kant came from the north and settled in Constellation. He had two childrena boy and a girland a weak wife who was always sick all year round.” Quick Rope put down his goblet expressionlessly. “They live in Ruins, Old Hammer brought him into Dante’s Greatsword. I’m wondering… what Old Hammer will tell his wife and children about Kant’s passing?”
Quick Rope leaned over, picked up a bottle from the bar, and poured another cup for himself.
“You know, he gave me the address to where he saved his money, and left his ledger with me,” said Quick Rope, “but I…”
Thales sighed softly. “Quick Rope, he’s already gone. It’s not your fault, and you can’t do anything.”
Quick Rope’s shoulders trembled slightly. “There’s nothing I can do…” He continued to drink and laughed as he did so. “You know, a long time ago, so long that it seems like an eternity ago, there was a ship…”
Quick Rope looked at the bottle with an absent-minded expression. His smile slowly froze on his face.
“There was a young sailor on the ship who was determined to go out to sea. He looked forward to sail from dawn to dusk. When he first set sail, he went to the most legendary place in the Sea of Eradicationthe Eye of the Sea of Eradication.”
Thales furrowed his brows.
“That is a cursed place where even the Maiden Guardian of the Ocean can’t protect. The compass went out of order, the sails were torn, the pirates were on his tail, fog was everywhere, clouds covered the sky, seabirds were nowhere to be found, boundless darkness surrounded him, and he drifted endlessly. Even the stars that filled up the sky had changed forever. He was surrounded by waves, whirlpools and endless reefs. There were even terrifying…”
Quick Rope’s voice became hoarse.
“The captain, first mate, second mate, spotter, helmsman, quartermaster, battle commander, boatswain, and good-hearted Uncle Bill… almost everyone died everyone…”
He trembled a little and continued to pour wine into his goblet. Thales suppressed his desire to lift his head and look at him. He just reached out his hand and raised the bottle, away from the already overflowing glass.
Quick Rope paused for a long time, and then let Thales take his bottle away.
“As the only man still alive, the young sailor held on to the last plank of the ship. With his head muddled, he drifted on the sea. He listened to the sound of the never-ending waves, watched night and day take each other’s places. He was thirsty and hungry, cold and afraid. He didn’t know where he was going, what his fate would be, and he was only surrounded by the swollen, white bodies of his companions, along with the piercing cold water
“He was also like me right now; he couldn’t do anything…”
Thales could not stand it anymore. He placed his hand on the other’s goblet, preventing Quick Rope from raising it. “Quick Rope…”
Quick Rope’s started to tremble, but he stubbornly yanked his goblet free from Thales’ grip. “The young sailor survived, but he could no longer go out to sea Because whenever and wherever he closed his eyes, he could see the broken planks and his companions’ corpses. When he closed his ears, he could hear the raging waves and the roaring of the storm. When he twitched his nose, he could smell the salty water of the sea, and blood…”
Quick Rope trembled as he raised his goblet and drank his wine in one go.
“He has been afraid of ships since then; afraid of the ocean, afraid of lakes, and even afraid of all places that has water in the world
“So he came to the Great Desert, the place with the least water in the world.”
Quick Rope had smashed the goblet on the bar.
“But even in the Great Desert…” He clenched the wine goblet tightly.
“If a person dies, nothing is left, Wya, no trace of their existence is left.” Quick Rope’s voice became even hoarser. “You’ll disappear from this world, no longer able to think, feel, or sense things. Nothing is left, nothing is meaningful, and you would never know anything ever again.”
His shoulders quivered. “Kant, Palka, Halgen, Breeze… they won’t know anything anymore.”
Thales listened quietly.
Quick Rope asked hoarsely, “Then what is the meaning to our lives? Is it to suffer and then wait to be killed off by fate, to then disappear without a trace, as though you’ve never existed in this world?”
Thales clenched his teeth, but did not know how to answer.
Quick Rope extended his hand to grab the bottle, but there was nothing there.
At this moment…
A thick black leather book fell on the bar counter. Thales and Quick Rope raised their heads in confusion.
Tampa, the fierce-looking tavern owner, stood in front of them. He grabbed the bottle in one hand and held the black book in the other, then said to Quick Rope coldly,
“Look at what kind of customer you brought over. The customers that I want are strong and powerful; those who, even in often unstable situations where they might run into many accidents, can still safely return…”
Quick Rope was slightly stunned, and his unfocused gaze did not manage to concentrate even after an inconsiderable amount of time had passed.
“That way, I can make money. Do you understand? And the first customer you found made me lost money… I really regretted keeping you as my helper. I really thought that ‘Dante’s Greatsword’ would be a good market, and now, all of you are almost dead.”
A light crease appeared between Thales’ eyebrows and he felt uncomfortable with Tampa’s words. When he heard the familiar name, Quick Rope gritted his teeth and refuted in dissatisfaction,
“We are! We have strong muscular types like Kant and Halgen, a powerful guide like Mickey, a great marksman like Palka, and a great scout like Breeze. We have experienced Old Hammer, and the loyal and faithful captain. And there’s the smartest guy, Dean!”
Quick Rope held the empty wine goblet in agony. His tone became dejected.
“We we should have been the group of people who would still be able to return safely even if we run into lots of accidents.”
His voice became softer and he finished his sentence with a mumble, “We should have been…”
The tavern owner stared at Quick Rope. After a second, he slammed a pen on the black book.
“Here, jot down his name in the book, that Kant or whatever his name is.”
Tampa glared fiercely at Quick Rope. “This is my rule. I can’t allow any of my accounts to not be recorded clearly in my ledger.”
At that moment, the noise around them seemed to have been isolated from their spot again. Thales looked at Tampa in shock, he understood what the other person meant.
Quick Rope was stunned. A little bit of his drunkenness seemed to have been dispelled.
Tampa was seen just gritting his teeth and angrily pushing the black book forward. “Once you write it down, go and make proper calculations as to the exact amount of money he kept. I want the currency value in Constellation coins, and use whole numbers, for f*ck’s sake!”
Quick Rope’s breathing grew rapid. “Thank you, thank you!”
Once Quick Rope understood what was going on, he excitedly took out Kant’s small book from his waist pocket. “Tampa, boss, boss… On behalf of Kant’s wife and children”
“Shut up!” Tampa smacked his book impatiently, and the bottle of wine on the bar jolted repeatedly. “Hurry up! Write his name! F*ck… You even drank half a bottle of good wine!”
Quick Rope jumped like a frightened rabbit. “Yes!”
He took the pen in a flurry of movement. “So I write it here? Kant, was it K or C, or did it start with other letters?”
“F*ck if I know!” Tampa folded his arms and said in a snappish voice, “This is a bad debt anyway Just don’t you dare touch this bottle again!”
Quick Rope was about to have another drink but was shocked. He stared at the book fretfully, then shook his head in order to get rid of his drunkenness before he immediately turned to look for a helper.
“Wya, can you write? Dean mentioned that you’re a person of status in Northland, you might know…”
Thales raised his eyebrows and took the pen and the book. “Give it to me, I’ll try to spell it out. Kant, right? ”
Quick Rope put on a face full of gratitude after he found his savior. He waved Kant’s small book in his hand. “I’ll let you handle it, I have to…”
Quick Rope’s smile had yet to disappear, and when he looked up, he saw the wrinkled face of the tavern owner.
“If you dare count in even one additional copper coin, Quick Rope, or even the most worthless Northland Kahn copper coin”Tampa leaned forward and bared his teeth to show a savage smile”you’ll be committing fraud. Do you miss the Prison of Bones?”
Quick Rope shuddered. He tugged his pants, gulped, then turned around. “I have to I have to find Enzo and let him make some calculations… ask for the nearest currency exchange rate…”
As he watched Quick Rope leave, Tampa spat on the ground furiously. “Only knows how to cry when he’s drinking. Worthless.”
Thales did not talk. He just smiled and lowered his head before he started writing.
Thales looked up in confusion. “What?”
“Kant’s name.” The tavern owner squeezed his bottle and whispered without lifting his head, “It starts with a K. When he first came to Blade Fangs Camp, I was the one who introduced him to Old Hammer.”
The tip of the pen Thales was holding stopped moving.
“Write it nicely. Names are very important, especially in this book.” Tampa rubbed the wine bottle in his hand gently. His gaze was unmoving. “Because even if you made a mistake he will never know anymore.”
The boss’s words were slightly stiff. Thales lowered his head.
Based on the format of the previous accounts, he wrote Kant’s name in full on the newest page in the ledger. After he done writing, he flipped through a few pages before Kant’s entry and checked the format to ensure that he did not make any mistakes.
However, his hands stopped at one of the pages. Thales’ eyes narrowed. A second later, the prince looked up from the book in amazement and he said one name,
Tampa froze for a moment. “What’s the matter?”
Thales was slightly excited when he saw that familiar name. “The name on the book… I know this guy. So, Kohen used to save his money with you here… on the 14th of September, year 671. The deposit is…”
When he read the numbers on the ledger, Thales’ eyes widened. “Two hundred and fifty Tormond gold coins?”
‘Two hundred and fifty… gold coins?!’
After a long while, Thales exhaled with a look of disbelief. “Damn him, stupid rich person…”
A few seconds later, Tampa moved his curious gaze away from Thales.
In the tavern where people constantly came and went, Tampa waved his hand and asked a worker to greet a group of new customers.
Tampa took the book back, looked at the page, and then looked at Thales thoughtfully. “You know him?”
When he remembered his past in Heroic Spirit Palace and thought about his current situation, Thales could not help but sigh. “We can be considered friends. We have stood together and fought side-by-side.”
“Stood together and fought side-by-side?” Tampa seemed taken aback. He sized up Thales and asked dubiously, “You, and Kohen?”
“Ahem.” Thales was a little embarrassed. “More accurately, I stood and he fought.”
Tampa stared at Thales, then burst out laughing before he patted Thales’ shoulder hard!
“Very well! He’s also my friend! Haha, Kohen, that sneaky, smart, snobbish, skinny little bastard.”
‘Huh? Sneaky, smart, snobbish, skinny little bastard?’ Thales was stunned.
But Tampa seemed to have no intention of stopping. The more he spoke, the more the scar on his neck moved. “…The one who was the least courageous, and the one who likes to lift girls’ dresses the most!”
‘The least courageous… likes to lift girls’ dresses’ Thales’s expression became stranger and stranger. “Um, perhaps we aren’t talking about the same Kohen?”
Tampa’s smile froze.
“But that’s Kohen Karabeyan. Black-haired, brown eyes, just like a skinny monkey.” A puzzled look appeared on Tampa’s face. “Which Kohen are you talking about?”
Thales scratched his head and smiled.
“Kohen… um… A young master who ran away from home. He’s very tall, almost six and a half feet. Very strong, muscular, blond, blue eyes.” Thales tried to describe the tall man in his memory. Then looked at the boss with a hopeful look. “Skilled with the sword, agile, likes to bully others with his great physique, and when he speaks, he sounds like… how should I say this…”
Thales thought for a long time before he looked up and awkwardly said,
“…simple-minded and stupid?”
Tampa listened to his description and his face scrunched up again. “He sounds like an annoying fool.”
Thales sighed. ‘Alright, it looks like I made a mistake.’
“In fact, if you know him, it’s hard to hate him.” Thales shook his head. “He’s someone…special.”
Tampa seemed to be absorbed in his thoughts.
“Well”the tavern owner spread his arms”perhaps we’re not talking about the same Kohen.”
“Oh.” Thales grabbed his glass and smiled unnaturally. “Is that so Sorry, I must have recognized the wrong person.”
Just as Thales was preparing to gulp down a mouthful of beer to ease the awkwardness
Thales looked at Tampa in surprise as the man pushed his palm firmly against the glass. “What’s wrong?”
The boss of My Home shook his head with a blank expression. “Trust me, you don’t want to drink this glass of beer.”
Under Thales’ surprised and bewildered gaze, Tampa poured away the Altbier in Thales’ beer glass.
“I added some horse piss and a few mouthfuls of phlegm over the years… And maybe some stuff that will make people drowsy. It has an interesting taste, and this drink has great meaning behind it.” Tampa nonchalantly threw the ‘spiked’ drink away.
Thales was completely stunned. ‘Horse piss and phlegm’
He stared at the owner, then at the beer on the floor. When he remembered the froth in the glass and how he had almost drunk it
Thales suppressed the discomfort in his belly and lifted his head angrily. “What?!”
Tampa grinned with full teeth, but his fierce look made his smile look ugly. He then shrugged.
“Although you seem to be a clueless ‘piggy bank’ who just arrived in Blade Fangs Camp, I don’t think you’re that simple. So, I have to check your background… and extort you or strip you of all your possessions or, you know, recently, many aristocrats came to the camp, and beautiful boys are popular among them. Obviously, Quick Rope isn’t a good bodyguard.”
Thales was stunned at first, then he glared at Tampa indignantly. “You!”
The boss smiled and looked askance at the prince. “Some bad places are used to giving newcomers a taste of how this place works, both as a test and as a lesson. If the person is a ‘piggy bank’, then we’ll just sell him and count the coins we made off of him.”
Thales looked at the glass and protested disdainfully. “Piggy bank… what the hell?”
Tampa knocked on the book and narrowed his eyes. “Remember, kid, this is your ‘first lesson’. Didn’t Kohen teach you?”
Thales leaned against the bar counter in disbelief. ‘The world is unfair and bullies me, but I can only respond with grief and anger.’
The prince could only stare at the owner, disgruntled. “So, why did you change your mind?”
Tampa laughed out loud. “Because you really know Kohen, and maybe you really did fight side-by-side with him. You didn’t just follow what I said blindly and pretended to be familiar with me.”
Thales frowned. “Kohen…”
“Yes, that violent gorilla that you obviously dislike, but find it hard to truly hate.” The boss nodded and pointed at the name on the book, and his words were filled with nostalgia. Tampa chuckled. “Kohen Stupid Idiot Karabeyan.”
Thales was still angry, and he looked at the owner with displeased eyes. He said mockingly, “Oh, thank you. That’s my first time hearing his middle name.”
Tampa took out another bottle of beer and a new glass, and filled it to the brim, completely unbothered by Thales’ words.
“Don’t have to thank me.” The tavern owner hummed a small tune as he pushed the glass forward to serve his new guest. “Authentic Western Desert Altbier.”
He curled up the corners of his lips, revealing some teeth, and then said with a sly smile,
“Don’t worry, just drink it. It’s not spiked.”