The sudden scream changed Kieran’s original plan of investigating the area. He quickly sprinted towards the origin of the sound.
When Kieran arrived at the scene, the sunset glory had vanished but it didn’t stop the bright scarlet red blood from reflecting in Kieran’s eyes.
The woman who screamed was dead.
The fear from the sudden assault before her death lingered on her face.
Her body had ended brutally. Not a part of her body was intact, most of the organs being eaten away, the flesh and blood on her torso and limbs drained.
Two of her thigh bone were broken into several pieces.
Kieran could paint a picture in his mind of a bloody mouth chewing her.
Other than her head, the poor lady had died without an intact body.
However, the most surprising point was that the scene had left no extra clues behind.
Or more precisely, there had been obvious clues and traces left behind before, but as the night came, the traces were swiftly fading away.
“A different night, eh? Interesting,” Kieran muttered to himself with squinted eyes.
Further away, sharp whistles sounded.
Kieran glanced over at the group of uniformed men, who were obviously the police or similar authorities. He then turned away into the shadows.
He didn’t mind having contact with the authorities but not now wasn’t the time yet.
The night came as promised.
The dark night sky didn’t show the moon or stars, just pitch-black darkness, like a cloud of black mist shrouded above the sky of Eiders.
The people of Eiders that lived in the city were preparing to sleep after locking their doors.
Beside their beds were, more or less, some self-defense weapons.
The instant that night befell Eiders, the city fell into silence, but of course, not all of it.
Inside some streets or alleyways, there were always some lighted spots.
Kieran easily located the three most crowded inns or hotels within the least amount of time.
Then, he picked one particular hotel named ‘Stove-grilled Fish’.
His choice wasn’t random. Other than the name striking fondness in Kieran’s heart, it was also because the hotel had the presence of a powerhouse that far surpassed the other two’s.
The kind of presence that seemed like a powerhouse to a commoner.
When Kieran entered the hotel with a clear bell ring, a rough, strong voice greeted him.
“Welcome, brave warrior that dares to venture out at night. You should be grateful for your wise choice—I have the best beer here and freshly baked bread. Of course, there is also our signature dish, stove-grilled fish, that I would like to recommend to you!”
A buff man with a bare top, showing off his thick chest hair and robust muscles, was standing behind the bar counter on the first floor, greeting Kieran with a strong voice.
His hand was still holding half a glass of beer and his beard that was as thick as his chest hair had beer foam all over it. The candle that shed light on his bald head made him extremely eye-catching.
“Stove-grilled fish and some bread, please. I would also like a clean room with hot water,” Kieran said while heading to the corner of the first floor.
“Of course! What you want, I have. You are paying in ancient coins or cash?” The rugged man smiled with a nod.
Ancient coins? Cash?
Since Kieran wasn’t too familiar with the current dungeon world, these were no doubt vital pieces of information that he had to take note of.
Fortunately, through some minor observation, Kieran learned that some precious minerals were still common currency here.
A bar of gold the size of a grown man’s little finger landed precisely on the wooden bar counter, shining very lively under the light of the candle.
The shine on the gold bar immediately attracted the attention of other guests in the hotel.
A heavy sense of greed came afloat in these guests’ eyes, but all of them quickly turned away their impolite gazes because the man standing behind the bar counter was watching them angrily.
“This is Stove-grilled Fish, my, Lagren’s, territory! Whoever doesn’t follow the rules here, I’ll feed them to the fish!”
The owner of Stove-grilled Fish, Lagren, shouted.
Then, he grabbed the gold, put it in his pocket and spoke to Kieran in a very tender tone.
“Dear sir, I guarantee that you will receive the best service here as if you are a king. Your room is waiting for you, and your grilled fish and bread will be served to you soon. I’ll also throw in a bowl of vegetable soup and beer. Please enjoy.”
It seemed like that small piece of the gold bar was critically useful.
The room that Kieran requested was swiftly cleaned out for him and the food he ordered was served in front of him three minutes later.
The grilled fish and bread were common enough. The soup lacked salt and there weren’t any intact veggies visible inside, only bits of leaves. The only commendable point was that the portion was very generous.
Kieran didn’t touch the beer, instead placing it aside and starting his dinner. His ears were collecting any kind of information he could gather.
Although the guests in the lobby tried to lower their voices when speaking, Kieran’s Intuition caught every whisper in their conversation. Nothing could escape his ears; it was as though they were talking softly beside him.
“What was it?”
“The police said it’s a wolf attack.”
“I don’t know if that thing was a Blood Kin, a Werewolf or even a Ghoul. But one thing is for sure, those useless douchebags are talking crap!”
The sneering and mocking in the conversation attracted laughs from the same table.
These few guys toasted their cups from time to time.
Kieran was listening quietly. Most of the time, it was speculation with useless pieces of information, but not all were useless.
When Kieran finished the last bit of his veggie soup, the two guests that were sitting beside the bar counter that he had been paying attention to finally spoke.
The two consisted of a youngster and an elder.
The elderly had a walking staff, the handle of the staff a very thin, unnoticeable seam. It may be concealed but a single glance from Kieran told him what the staff was hiding.
A sword! A sword was hidden in the staff!
The youngster was even more direct, his brown windcoat unable to conceal the bulging part around his waist. Kieran knew it was a revolver with one look at the shape printed on the coat.
Both had brown hair and green eyes, their faces sharing a resemblance as well. Their blood relation was unmistakable.
“Wier, what do you think it was?” the young one asked softly.
“It couldn’t have been a Blood Kin, as they prefer to maintain their so-called manners. It also couldn’t have been a Werewolf; it’s not a full moon yet, so they can’t transform. Even so, for those hunt-thirsty werewolves, they wouldn’t waste their food. They would have packed everything and not made a mess at the scene. It might have been a Ghoul though. Those bastards’ actions are no longer controlled by their shrinking brains, almost no different than some wild beasts. But I tend to lean towards…”
When the elder’s words came to the most crucial point…
He was rudely interrupted by a slammed door.
Stove-grilled Fish’s main door was slammed inwards, that bell that hung over the frame not even having the chance to make a sound before it was squashed.
A very tall man followed by two more men came into the hotel.
The two followers were the vicious-looking man and the thin man from before.
The three of them scanned the lobby of the hotel and when they saw Kieran sitting in the corner, their eyes shone. They then walked towards Kieran with wicked smiles.