The tall bloated captive saw Kieran's electrified punch and took two steps back, his face filled with fear.
He was grunting, making sounds similar to the dungeon's language, but not entirely the same.
"Is it some kind of dialect?" Kieran guessed while he tried to communicate with the big guy.
"Can you understand me?"
The big guy nodded at first, but then shook his head.
The ambiguous answer made Kieran frown.
Suddenly, Herbert stepped in and said, "If you don't mind, may I?"
"Absolutely!" Kieran nodded in agreement and made way for the scholar to interpret the big guy's words.
Kieran kept his eyes on the captive and stayed within range. If the man made any sudden movements, he could counter first.
However, when Herbert walked over with a friendly smile, the big guy calmed down and stopped struggling.
"What the?" Kieran looked at Herbert in awe.
Herbert was communicating with the man in an extremely slow manner.
"Calm down. Don't worry, no one is going to harm you. Alright?"
"Tell me your name!"
"No no name"
"I see. Where are you from?"
After Herbert tried communicating with the big guy, Kieran was finally able to understand him.
He was not speaking in a dialect or using slang. The man's tongue just seemed to have some kind of problem that prevented him from speaking properly, hence the grunting.
Kieran also noticed that the guy was of low intelligence.
"Is it an act, or is it real?" Kieran was suspicious.
However, when Herbert released him from his chain bindings, the big guy turned tame and stayed behind Herbert quietly. Kieran gave up on his theory, but his heart suddenly skipped a beat.
He recalled that the trap had been set up beforehand the previous day at the house.
"The trap had been set up perfectly and specifically for the black figure! The big guy here was the lure!"
Kieran could guess the mastermind's plan.
Faced with a big tough guy who was not afraid of blades, but whose intellect could not allow him to communicate properly, the black figure would definitely draw his blade.
Once the weapon was drawn, the green flame trap would be triggered automatically. As the big guy fought with the black figure, none of them would have been able to escape the explosion.
The outcome was obvious.
The only thing that the mastermind had not anticipated was how easily agitated and reckless the big guy was.
"What a pity!"
Kieran saw the big guy follow Herbert harmlessly to the breakfast area and have a serving of breakfast. He let out a breath of relief.
Honestly, Kieran could get nothing out of a low-intelligence person, but with his size and physique, he would attract attention wherever he went.
Some further inquiries would give Kieran the information he wanted.
It was possible to locate the mastermind behind the incident by following the vines to the melon.
The only thing Kieran was still worried about were the mercenaries and bounty hunters applying for the job.
Kieran could not leave Herbert's side before the selecting process was over or he located the person with ill intentions.
He knew where his priorities lay. It was a lead that might provide him with a potential Sub Mission versus a native that was related to the Main Mission.
Herbert walked up to Kieran after taking care of the big guy and told him in a friendly tone, "If it's just about gathering information, Cohen could do it. He drops by every day to deliver the newspaper!"
Ten minutes later, Cohen arrived with that day's newspaper.
After Kieran agreed to teach him some basic combat moves, the young lad immediately tapped his chest in agreement.
Cohen went back to the city before finishing his breakfast.
"You better keep your promise though! Cohen admires you quite a bit!" Joanna told Kieran after seeing her fellow mate off.
"Why did you thank me before?" the young girl asked after a pause.
"Because I was lost in thoughts I wasn't supposed to be thinking right now. Your cry woke me up!" Kieran explained briefly. He could not elaborate on everything that he had been through.
His answer was honest though, even though the young girl did not believe it.
"Easy for you to say!"
The young girl turned away with a grumpy grimace. After a few steps though, she paused.
"Thank you!" she said, her face still turned away, and then headed towards the cooking maid without any more stops.
Kieran was left behind, looking astonished.
"This is too hard for me to grasp!" he commented before turning his eyes to Herbert, who was also watching the scene.
Kieran had a lot of questions he wanted to ask the scholar, such as the cause of Calkin and the wagoner's sudden mutation.
He was also concerned about the reason Herbert was sure the big guy would not harm him.
"The Night Race! Calkin and his wagoner's sudden change fit the description of the monsters originating from the Neegor Dynasty. They possessed a certain level of intelligence and were good at disguising themselves. After they died, they turned into a pile of green goo! They were also impenetrable by sword or blade, which also fits your description!"
"They were eliminated by the Neegor Dynasty armies during ancient times while they roamed the coast of the Neegor Lands though. There's two things I'm concerned about. One, the Night Race could not have maintained their normal form while suffering from pain, and two, they shared the same reproduction method as humans, so there is no explanation for the mutations!" Herbert answered Kieran's questions as they looked at each other.
"Maybe the Night Race wanted to make a comeback? If that's the case though, was Calkin a suitable target?" Kieran said as he started to come up with speculations.
"Who knows? Thankfully, I can easily tell one's true heart. This does not include scum like Calkin or monsters like the Night Race though." Herbert shrugged.
"You've given me enough help already! This is the first time I've heard of the Night Race!" Kieran smiled in reply.
"It was just a coincidence! You should be thankful they originated from the Neegor Dynasty. If it was some other monster, I could only have done so much!" the elderly scholar said before he walked over to the big guy, who was staring at him with an empty bowl, grunting for more food.
Kieran headed back outside, where the bodyguards were waiting.
He realized that he could sift through the candidates with an easier method by adding another step to the selecting process.
As he walked closer to the group, he noticed there was a commotion going on between the candidates.
The marked down candidates were exchanging looks again, their hands reaching for their weapons.
The Night was the zombies all along!