Translator:EndlessFantasy TranslationEditor:EndlessFantasy Translation
Both of them stared at each other in the quiet and remote little house.
Thales said worried, “About you what’s your next step going to be?”
Quick Rope thought about it for a moment.
“I’ll find a good explanation for this.” Quick Rope shrugged and gestured at Dean who was on the ground, covered by a rough cloth. “Louisa and the rest should be coming back tomorrow morning, and I don’t want to be caught red-handed by them.”
“Aren’t you leaving immediately?”
“Dean is dead, and Quick Rope from the same team disappeared,” Quick Rope refuted impolitely. “Do you think the people from the Secret Room are idiots? I need to find a cover, Thales, one that won’t arouse suspicion.”
“But a lie always needs to be covered by more lies,” Thales said, deep in thought as he stared at Dean. “Unless we can make sure that this man disappears mysteriously, the kind where no one knows where he went and never appears again.”
Quick Rope’s gaze flickered and he revealed an obsequious expression. “Hmm If you no longer plan to kill me or capture me to do something shady, my esteemed Prince Thales” Quick Rope rubbed his hands together. He looked like he was promoting an insurance plan. “Can you look for Constellation’s officials in the camp and ask them to secretly dispose of the body? I will be innocent, and you will go home. Everybody will be happy.”
“Quoting your original words.” Thales snorted softly. “Do you think the people from the Secret Intelligence Department are idiots?”
Quick Rope winked. “But you’re a prince.”
“I mean” Quick Rope extended his hands and tapped himself before gesturing politely at Thales. He said with an awkward smile, “The type who can stand in public and declare himself a prince.”
‘The type Who can stand in public and declare himself a prince?’
Thales sighed and refused, “The army of Constellation in the camp right now is composed of a complex array of forces. The main forces are searching for me in the desert, and the ones staying here are the forces of the local nobles and the royal family, both of whom decided not to relent to each other. They give me a very bad feeling. It’s better not to count on them to keep their mouths shut for me.”
Quick Rope arched an eyebrow.
“In the name of the Bright Moon Goddess… Do you see this? These are the shackles of power.” He wagged his finger and clicked his tongue. “Watch out, Thales. You’re starting to get trapped in it.”
Thales rolled his eyes at Moriah without bothering with an attempt to conceal it.
“How about this? You can tell your people half-truths to cover me.” Quick Rope scratched his head. “For example, this spy from the Secret Room came to capture you”
Thales shook his head. “You’ve been outside for too long, Quick Rope, and you’re underestimating how paranoid those people are.
“The Secret Room sent a spy to lurk here for a whole five years. The people he came in contact with, the places he went, the news he was usually concerned about, any unusual behavior of his, and his intentional disguise when it comes to appearances
“I don’t think that the Secret Intelligence Department would miss these. Are you staking your life on the Black Prophet being careless, or on him being naive and kind-hearted?”
Quick Rope’s face fell. “Uhh… maybe I shouldn’t have appeared at all.” He leaned against the wall in agony.
“You indeed shouldn’t,” Thales muttered.
Quick Rope protested as he heard that. “Hey, I saved your a*s just now!”
Thales pouted. “How did you know that I would definitely meet my end?” Thales stared at Dean who was on the floor, and thought hard for a solution. He also did not forget to refute, “I’m the best at fighting back in desperate situations.”
Quick Rope gave him a look of disbelief and said sternly, “Then, we can only get rid of him ourselves.”
Thales sighed in resignation. “Alright.” The teenage boy stood up and shouldered his luggage. “Where are we digging the hole?”
“Digging a hole with just us unskilled people in this field?” Quick Rope tapped Thales in all earnestness and wagged his finger. “No, no, no, we’ll definitely be discovered.”
“What do you mean?”
Quick Rope looked like someone who had done this before. He spoke mysteriously and with a smile, “We’re at Blade Fangs Camp; we’ll do things according to the rules here.”
Thales put on a show like he was all ears.
“We need to find a professional, the type who cares for nothing but money and won’t ask too many questions.” Quick Rope swayed his head, his eyes then grew brighter and brighter. “He is experienced, has a lot of social connections, and knows how to quietly dispose of a corpse.”
Thales thought of something. “Professional? Are you talking about”
Quick Rope snapped his fingers. “Yes, him.”
Thales suddenly had an ominous premonition as he looked at Quick Rope’s smiling face.
About ten minutes later…
“We’ll be there after we turn a corner Wait, let’s be on the lookout first Alright, we can move now Haih, gently, gently, this man is so heavy”
Under the dim moonlight, Thales and Quick Rope walked, one behind the other, while they laboriously carried a sack the size of a person. They took a turn at the corner, bent their waists, and tiptoed as they walked discreetly through the alley.
Thales panted and said, “Visiting him at this hour are you sure that this is a good idea?”
They reached an inconspicuous wooden door.
Quick Rope gritted his teeth and nodded. “Don’t worry, Tampa is definitely homealright, put him down firstAfter all, ‘My Home’ is fully booked for tonight.”
But Quick Rope’s handwhich was about to knock on the doorstopped in the air.
“Strange…” Quick Rope stared at the lock on the wooden door. “The lock is outside Tampa didn’t come home?”
Thales arduously put down the sack and said sarcastically as he thumped his numb shoulder, “Hah, you’re truly ‘dependable’. Next, we can only-What are you doing?”
He was struck dumb by Quick Rope’s actions.
At some point of time, Quick Rope had three iron picks between his teeth. He was clutching two more in his hands and was violently fiddling with the lock on the door.
“Opening the lock,” Quick Rope murmured. “We can’t just stay outside like this, let’s just go in and wait for him”
“This is not what I meant!” Thales lowered his voice and said anxiously, “Are you sure that people won’t take us for thieves and attack straight away”
“Take it easy, take it easy.” Quick Rope was calm and composed. “You don’t know the rules of the trade. There is a way to go about this kind of deal. As long as you have enough money, don’t worry so much about other details”
When he saw that the lock in his hand did not budge at all, he switched to another iron pick without batting an eyelid.
Thales frowned. “Wait, where did you learn how to pick locks?”
“You know, when I first arrived in Camus Union, life wasn’t easy.” Quick Rope snorted softly and switched to a second iron pick. “I had no choice but to learn a new skill.”
Thales widened his eyes. He said in disbelief, “Skill? If your father knew that his son was a thief in Camus Union”
“I’m sorry for bringing disgrace to Raikaru and Chara by being a thief. Oh, woe is me,” Quick Rope mocked without sounding apologetic at all, he then impatiently switched to the third iron pick. “But seriously damn it, Tampa must have gotten a new lock. This thing is tighter than a virgin What was I saying?”
Vexed, he shook the lock clumsily. It was so secure that not even thunder could break it. In the end, he had no choice but to switch back to the first iron pick.
“Do you really know how to do it?” Thales looked at him, doubtful.
“You don’t know this, but I’ve lived in the slums before,” Quick Rope said nonchalantly. His hands were still moving, and sweat dripped down his forehead. “You know, not any random person can become a thief…”
Thales sighed. He could not take it anymore.
The next moment, the Prince of Constellation suddenly snatched the lock and iron picks from Quick Rope’s hands and pushed him aside.
“Hey! Stop butting in.” Quick Rope widened his eyes and protested in dissatisfaction, “Lock-picking is a technical skill. Not everyone knows how to”
While he was talking…
A barely audible sound of something clicking was heard. Quick Rope froze for a moment.
Pleased, Thales exhaled. He turned and simply tossed the object in his hand to Quick Rope. In a flurry, Quick Rope caught what Thales tossed him. He was then startled…
The iron picks in his mouth fell to the ground. Quick Rope looked dazedly at the thing in his hands. His mouth hung open so wide that an egg could fit inside.
“Impossible” He said, grievous and tearful.
It was a lock with two iron picks inserted and which was already open.
Three seconds later.
“Why” Quick Rope held the lock with a sad and angry expression, as if he was cheated. With a trembling voice, he said, “Why are you so skilled?!”
The Prince of Constellation shrugged nonchalantly and pulled open the wooden door with a relaxed expression.
“Come on.” Thales pointed at the lock in a carefree manner. “Lock-picking is a trick everyone knows.”
Quick Rope froze.
After saying that, the princewho was desperately keeping a straight face and holding back his laughterbent down and started worrying about the sack, leaving Quick Rope alone to stare incredulously at the lock in his hand. The mercenary felt like weeping but had no tears, and his mood was complicated.
He stared at the lock, and then at Thales’ back.
“Maybe No, it must be It must be because I picked the lock until it became loose,” he said dully.
‘Yes, it must be that. It must be.’ When he thought of this, Quick Rope’s mood became a lot better. He flashed a smile and thought in satisfaction, ‘If that’s the case my skills have improved! In the past, I’ve never been able to open this kind of lock.’
But just when the two princes lowered their bodies and prepared to carry the sack
Two smallswords shot out from the darkness behind the door without a sound, and were placed against Thales and Quick Rope’s necks. They were shocked.
“Look, what guests do we have here?”
A face appeared from inside the house, but it did not belong to Tampa. lt was an unfamiliar, young woman who was wearing a dull red leather armor. Her hair was braided and twirled around her forehead.
She wielded two swords at the same time, one in her left hand and one in her right. She was smiling slightly.
“Two tiptoeing thieves.”
As she spoke, the woman turned the blades in her hands a little.
Thales’ neck felt cold. He exchanged a panicked and alarmed look with Quick Rope. They rushed to put their hands up, both trying to be the first to do so.
“Are you sure that we are in the right picked the right lock?” Thales gritted his teeth and asked Quick Rope who was beside him.
“It was correct the last time I came”
“Hey, stop talking to each other.” The woman shook the swords in her hands and said scornfully, “Thieves, mama didn’t allow either of you to open your mouths”
The next moment, while the woman’s attention was diverted, Thales and Quick Rope moved in synchrony and swayed to the left and right respectively. They took advantage of the narrow angle of the door and dodged the blades by moving to the sides.
“Wow.” The woman was slightly surprised that her swords missed their targets. “Pretty skilled thieves, aren’t you?”
But the danger had yet to be eliminated.
Through Thales’ hell’s senses, he heard footsteps echoing from both sides. He froze again.
At some point of time, two unfamiliar men stood expressionlessly behind them.
One was tall and strong, and the other was lean. But both of them held their own swords and pointed them at the small of Thales and Quick Rope’s backs.
Thales and Quick Rope had no choice but to put their hands up again.
‘These three people’ Thales’ forehead was sweating a little.
Through his hell’s senses, Thales could see that these three people bore ill-will towards them, one that caused a chill to run down his spine. Their sword-hands were steady and powerful, their control over the tightening and relaxation of their muscles was great, their breathing was uniform and not at all erratic, and the Power of Eradication inside their bodies surged constantly. They were obviously skilled elites.
Thales stared indignantly at Quick Rope. ‘What’s going on?’
Quick Rope’s gaze flickered around in resignation. ‘I don’t know, either.’
Behind them, one of the unfamiliar sword-wielders said coldly, “It’s just two thieves. Tampa’s really good at exaggerating things.”
The woman clad in dull red clothes smiled a little and raised her twin swords. “Then, let’s end it quickly.”
Thales and Quick Rope trembled in unison!
“Wait!” In a moment of desperation, Quick Rope blurted out. “All of you must be bodyguards hired by Tampa, right? We, we’re here to, here to…
“Here to talk about a business deal with him!” Thales stiffly finished his sentence.
The woman stopped moving her twin swords. “Talk about a business deal with Tampa?” She scowled. “By picking his lock?”
“It’s a shady business deal, heh heh. Forgive us?” Quick Rope forced a smile.
The woman clad in red exchanged a look with the two swordsmen.
One of the swordsmen kicked the sack on the floor. He then frowned and said, “There’s someone inside?”
“To be precise, it’s a corpse.” Thales nodded in embarrassment. “So, we had no choice but to pick the lock Please understand?”
The woman raised her head in suspicion. “Both of you know Tampa?”
“Yes, we have a very good relationship. I’m his business partner,” said Quick Rope animatedly. At the same time, he did not forget to give Thales a look.
“Extremely good!” Thales nodded vigorously like a woodpecker. “We even drank together today”
The woman in red and the swordsmen stared at each other again and nodded.
“Alright.” The young woman snorted softly as she walked out of the door. “Come with us. Tampa isn’t staying here tonight.”
Thales and Quick Rope heaved a sigh of relief.
But the swordsmen behind them were not civil; they still had the tips of their swords poking the smalls of their backs.
“Carry your goods,” one of the swordsmen said coldly. “Go slow, and don’t pull any tricks. Neither of you want to alarm the patrols, right?”
Thales and Quick Rope stared at each other in resignation. They could sense the sword blades pointing at the small of their backs, so they had no choice but to obediently do as they were told.
With four sword blades trained on them, both of them trembled in fear as they carried the sack. All of them deliberately chose secluded and small alleys as they wandered through the streets once more.
After taking many twists and turns, they arrived at their new destinationMy Home.
This made Thales and Quick Rope heave a sigh of relief. At least this was still Tampa’s turf.
“It seems that they really are Tampa’s people,” Quick Rope uttered in dissatisfaction. “That miserly guy is really becoming more and more paranoid.”
The swordswoman clad in red knocked on the tavern door four times in a rhythmic manner.
“Listen up, let me do the negotiating later,” Quick Rope said in a soft voice.
[Humans will perish, orcs will fall, the queen will die, but we will never close our door. Open since Year 462 of the Calendar of Eradication: Queen Erica’s Last Wine Goblet.]
As he stared at the familiar signboard, the Prince of Constellation suddenly thought of something.
‘If these people are bodyguards hired by Tampa and were guarding his house, why was Tampa’s house locked from the outside? And tonight, isn’t My Home’
The tavern door opened.
Before they could think about it too much, both Thales and Quick Rope were pushed into the tavern by the swordsmen behind them. The moment Quick Rope and Thales walked into the tavern, a couple dozen people stared at them in unison.
Both of them froze with the sack they carried.
There were a lot of people in the tavern, and they were all armed, seemingly ready for battle. The atmosphere was suffocating and murderous.
“They” Quick Rope muttered. Thales recognized those people without Quick Rope needing to remind him.
They were Blood Whistle. The mercenary team that claimed to have a hundred people and they indeed were the ones who had booked the tavern for the night.
However, they were not drunk or partying wildly like Thales had imagined them to be. Quite the contrary, there was a frightening silence in the tavern. Even these mercenaries’ murmurs were low and soft, making it clear that they were well-trained.
Thales felt uneasy. ‘What is happening? What in the world is going on in the tavern? Where’s Tampa?”
The swordswoman in red turned and said, “Go inside. Tampa is negotiating with our boss.”
The mercenaries of Blood Whistle were either sitting or standing. Some were leaning with their backs against the wall, some were leaning against the pillar, and some propped themselves up by placing their hands on the table. There were even some who sat on the stairs, leaned against the first floor railings, or hung around the corners. Most of them had relaxed postures, but their eyes shone bright.
‘They’re like soldiers protecting a fort No.’ Thales shook his head internally. ‘Based on the atmosphere, they’re like army ants guarding their nest.’
When they saw the two princes enter, these people’s expressions changed; their gazes became fierce and malicious. Thales felt panic in his heart, and he cast a look at the equally surprised and bewildered Quick Rope.
‘Something looks really off here.’
Quick Rope glanced anxiously at him in return. ‘Don’t worry. Everything is under control.’
While they endured more than a dozen pairs of cold, terrifying, and scrutinizing gazes, Thales summoned his courage and followed the swordswoman forward while he carried the sack, ignoring the malicious smile of the fierce and tough man to his left.
A mercenary who had his hand on his sword hilt and carried a shield behind his back came in front of them and raised his hand to stop them. He narrowed his eyes slightly and sized up Thales and Quick Rope.
“Marina,” the mercenary said coldly, “they have weapons.”
The swordswoman in red called Marina turned to glance at Thales, at their daggers, machete, and crossbow. She then laughed in spite of herself. “Come now, Shawn. Do you think that the boss and the rest would be afraid of this?”
As Marina laughed, many of the mercenaries who were sizing Thales up laughed out loud, too. But compared to the cordial and carefree atmosphere he sensed while he was with Dante’s Greatsword, Thales could only feel a murderous and cold vibe coming from the people from Blood Whistle.
‘These people’ Thales gauged his surroundings with an unpleasant expression. He felt as though he had fallen into another trap one that was filled with mud.
Shawn the mercenary laughed while he still blocked their way, as if he was also entertained by the joke. He tapped Marina’s shoulder and cleared the way.
Thales and Quick Rope walked to the middle of the tavern with anxious hearts while they carried the sack. The mercenaries in this spot kept a distance from one another, and were fewer and more scattered from each other.
There was a table in the middle, and seated around it were four people. Thales recognized the man who had a scar on his neck the moment he saw him.
Quick Rope’s expression relaxed, and the sack rolled down from his shoulder. He endured the strange atmosphere around him. “Hey, I was wondering why we couldn’t find you”
However, Thales noticed that Tampa’s expression was extremely unpleasant at that moment, and his posture as he sat was stiff.
“Quick Rope? And you?” The owner of the tavern stared in disbelief at the both of them. He even furrowed his eyebrows.
“Of course it’s us! I mean, you’re really” Quick Rope’s expression was stiff and he slowly lowered his voice. “Am I interrupting something?”
Tampa did not answer, but his expression grew even more unpleasant. The other three people sitting at the empty table turned around.
A thought came to Thales. He recognized these people in front of him: Ricky who was full of smiles; the middle-aged Northlander with the cold expression; and the worn-out swordsman who covered his face.
It was them, the three people who arrived in the tavern, the earliest out of all the other members of Blood Whistle, to book the place.
“We only saw these two just now.” Marina placed her twin swords back into their sheaths at her waist and pouted at Ricky. “They were picking the lock, but said that they’re here to talk about a business deal with him.”
Ricky nodded. His gaze alternated between Thales and Quick Rope. His gaze gave Thales a frightening feeling, as if he was being seen through.
“Thank you, Marina,” he said politely. “You did me a huge favor.”
Marina nodded, understanding what he meant, and moved back.
“I recognize the both of you.” Ricky evaluated them and chuckled. “Dante’s Greatsword. Novices, too.”
Thales and Quick Rope forced gloomy smiles.
“Listen up, Tampa.” Quick Rope was the first to speak. He looked like an absent-minded fool.
“We’ve already completed the business you asked me to do. We’re here to give you a report” He kicked the sack beside his feet.
Tampa’s expression was strange as he sat by the table. Ricky turned to Tampa.
The tavern owner’s face was contorted. He let out a cough. “Alright, I know. Listen up, Quick Rope, go back first and I’ll find time to negotiate with you tomorrow.”
“Ah, I can see that…” A thought appeared in Quick Rope’s head. “You’re a little busy now. It’s alright, we can talk tomorrow”
Beside him, Marina burst out laughing. Ricky seemed deep in thought. Thales nudged Quick Rope gently. Both of them moved together and bent down, preparing to carry the sack.
Thales only bent his waist halfway when a boot rested on the sack, stopping right in front of his chest.
“Listen to mommy. Stand by the side obediently, thieves.” Marina was seated on a chair beside them. She lifted her long leg and nudged Thales’ chest with a smile.
Thales and Quick Rope shot a glance at the twin swords at Marina’s waist, then saw the mercenaries through the corners of their eyes on both their sides. They had no choice but to awkwardly straighten their bodies.
‘This is really bad. It seems like it won’t be so easy for us to free ourselves.’
Ricky, the leader of the mercenaries, said, “Oh, so, they are the ‘back-up’ you spoke about? Your reliable ‘health and safety advisors’?”
Thales furrowed his brow. Ricky sighed and put down his arm. “You’re really funny, Tampa.”
Tampa covered his face in agony, like a maiden who married the wrong husband.
Quick Rope revealed a baffled expression. He then forced a smile. “Actually”
Thales let out a cough and stopped Quick Rope from talking.
“Alright, alright.” The teenager spoke slowly. He looked at Tampa, and then at Ricky. He put up his hands to show that he was harmless and said carefully, “I know, gentlemen, that we might have come at the wrong time, but really, I don’t understand and don’t want to know what is going on between all of you right now. So, whether all of you are”
Tampa’s face became more and more dejected. He let out a loud cough and said unpleasantly, “Then get the hell out of here!”
Thales and Quick Rope readily accepted the good advice and bent down a second time to pick up the sack, which was so near but so far away from their reach… because they were stopped halfway again.
At some point of time, Marina’s blade was placed horizontally in front of their chests.
“Ah, ah, ah.”
The delicate and pretty woman opened her mouth playfully and shook the sword in her hand while clicking her tongue maliciously. “Your butts will get spanked if you don’t listen to mommy.”
Thales and Quick Rope straightened their bodies again with unpleasant expressions.
Ricky sighed, lifted his head, and flashed a smile. “Indeed, all of you don’t understand the situation… But it’s alright, let me tell you about it.
“The situation is very simple.” Ricky flashed a friendly smile at them, pointed at Tampa, and said softly, “Blood Whistle, which is us, are abducting Tampa…
“…right from his tavern itself.”