“Why not? Am I some wanted criminal?”
Kieran smiled when he saw the tension on Oaker’s face.
“You are not a criminal but you are wanted all right… So how are things?”
Oaker’s face was showing an apologetic expression as he paused his words for a while.
The inspector showed only gratitude to Kieran ever since he helped him last time but because of the gratitude, it made him more ashamed.
The worse feeling for a normal person was none other than being helpless when help was required of him.
The profound helplessness made the inspector felt uneasy.
He was worried that Kieran might share some bad news but he still asked. If he didn’t, he might look down on himself.
“Better than expected.”
Kieran’s answer had a double meaning to it but his smile got brighter on his face. He sized up the surroundings and said, “Is there anything to eat here?”
Although he was forced to “break in” to Oaker’s home, Kieran certainly would not touch the things around him before he got permission from the owner.
Oaker nodded before heading towards the refrigerator.
One shouldn’t naturally expect an old man who was temporarily sleeping in a garage to have any kind of scrumptious meal in his refrigerator, thus a lot of the food found was instant meals.
The most appetizing meal inside the refrigerator was, in fact, a set of fast food, one could enjoy it with slight heating but… it was a day past its expiry date.
Oaker wanted to throw it into the garbage can but Kieran picked it up before he could and walked towards the oven microwave.
“This is good enough,” Kieran said.
“As you like then,” Oaker shrugged.
For a single man like Oaker, the definition of “expiry date” was the visible mold on bread or milk that smelled sour, otherwise, it was non-existent.
The plate inside the microwave was rotating slowly and its blurry warm light was shed on Oaker’s face through the kitchen window.
The warm light added an extra layer of hesitance on Oaker’s calm face.
The timer on the microwave was up and Oaker reacted to it by lifting his head up.
“Is there anything that I can do to help?” He asked.
It seemed like the old inspector couldn’t lie to himself anymore.
In his own honest viewpoint, Kieran once helped him before, so he should help Kieran in return, especially during desperate times.
Even if his help was limited, it wasn’t an excuse for him to stay away.
With the decision made in his heart, Oaker’s eyes turned steady and firm, it was the kind of gaze a warrior had before facing a battle of life and death.
Undoubtedly Oaker was resolute in his decision as he had prepared himself mentally.
“It’s not as exaggerated as you think! I did find you for help but it’s not on the level of life and death. I want to know after you and I parted ways last time, what happened in Flame City? You can tell me anything that you believe is noteworthy.”
Kieran was uttering his intentions while holding the fast food box and opened up the steam lid.
His words weren’t uttered to comfort Oaker, nor was it a lie.
Kieran didn’t pay a visit to Oaker without a reason after he returned to Flame City.
He was here to probe for more information and as for why Inspector Oaker of all people?
Wasn’t Oaker’s performance from before obvious enough?
He was a straightforward man and didn’t like to owe debts of gratitude.
More importantly, among the acquaintances in this dungeon world, Oaker was the only one who was viable to stand on the neutral side. He wouldn’t have any close relations to fiends yet knew of their existence.
Although the Fiend Hunter Ditko was also a straightforward man, his identity as Funeral Society’s Fiend Hunter determined that his preferences were somehow biased towards one side.
Jen and Kana shared similar fates as well.
When compared to Funeral Society which Kieran had multiple contacts with, he was more on guard towards the strange Rassho Temple.
As for Tanya?
The thought of her “unique” personality made Kieran think that Tanya staying quiet was a blessing for the people around her.
“Anything that I find noteworthy? Well, there are some gangs starting to get restless around the city recently though, but… these gangsters shouldn’t match with the things you want to know.”
Oaker instinctively thought about the abnormal activeness of a couple of gangs throughout Flame City but after the words came out, he shook his head.
He knew what kind of “noteworthy” things Kieran wanted to know, it was definitely not the turf competing squabbles or arguing over protection fees. Kieran wanted to know more about the fiends and half-fiends lurking around.
“The leaders of the gangs might be related to some fiends but surely it doesn’t require your attention at all,” Oaker added.
Kieran was chewing the food with his mouth, thus he didn’t reply to the inspector right away. He chewed and munched quickly as he moved the chopsticks in his hand like the wind, delivering pieces of food into his mouth.
As if a tornado ravaged the fast food box, the whole box of cinnamon roast pork rice was emptied out by Kieran in less than 2 minutes.
The gobbling speed left Oaker awestruck as he was waiting for a reply. He couldn’t hold back his gulp of saliva and his body instinctively reached out to the kettle and a box of fast food.
Anyone who saw how fast Kieran ate would surely be intrigued and feel their appetite grow.
Some even would question how they’ve been “eating” their food for their entire life up to this point.
As Oaker poured hot water into the fast food, Kieran continued after a slight hesitation. “Tell me about those guys, and can I have another set of fast food?”
“Okay.” Oaker nodded before grabbing another box.
After he poured hot water into the box, he started to organize his words.
“The conflicts started from Dublin Street, the street that connects the wealthy district and the slums/ At first, we didn’t particularly care about the place because every year, there will be someone inciting conflicts in order to seize control of the street but this time, it was different.
“One of the original commanding fellas of the street was expelled but he came back very quickly. His men didn’t just increase overnight, he himself started actively seeking battles as well. Footer is his name, you might not have heard of him but he was one of the infamous gangsters on Dublin Street before, and now? His notoriety has grown to an unimaginable level, he has almost become the law on Dublin Street!”
“After that, the gang factions of Flame City became weirdly active as well. Although small conflicts between them were endless, they restrained themselves from going too far. Despite the number of times their conflicts almost escalated into a full-scale war, their rashness behavior suddenly became very… cautious.”
Kieran couldn’t hold back his soft smiles and shake his head when he heard Oaker’s words.
He then quickly reached out to Oaker and dragged him behind his back.
A faint gunshot entered Oaker’s ears and the sofa that he was sitting on a moment ago had a big hole blasted through it.