After the entire morning, the afternoon market finally quieted down a little.
Though the quietness was compared to its earlier state, in fact, the afternoon market was still crowded with an endless flow of people.
Those merchants who entered the city today and didn’t make it to the best selling period in the morning had gathered in the afternoon. They were gathering information and trying to find a suitable spot to set up a stall.
Kieran and Starbeck mixed into the crowd after changing their outfits.
Kieran was smiling always and would occasionally stop at stalls to ask something; Starbeck would follow behind Kieran without missing a beat, as though he was a professional follower.
Both of them walked and stopped for more than half an hour before they reached a stall selling accessories.
On top of a piece of 1 square-meter grayish white cloth, a few scattered rings, bracelets, earrings, and necklaces were put up for sale and most of them were made from bronze.
Never expect seeing goldware or silverware in these kinds of stalls, if one wanted to find expensive accessories, a shop would be more suitable, not a roadside stall.
Of course, Kieran’s objective was not all those but the inn beside the stall.
On the second floor window of the inn, a red cloth was hanging up high, catching attention as it waved along with the wind.
After a glance at the red cloth, Kieran simply picked up a ring.
“How much is this?” Kieran asked.
“Eight copper coins!” The stall owner offered the price after a glance.
It wasn’t expensive, neither was it cheap. The stroll through the market just now was mostly an act but it was enough for Kieran to understand the pricing general pricing of things.
In other accessories stall, similar rings would only cost 6 to 7 copper coins.
“So expensive! 5 copper coins!”
“Impossible! This at least cost 9 copper coins!”
“9!? I can buy two of these rings!”
Kieran shook his head as if he was really a local merchant as he negotiated with the stall owner.
Starbeck behind him showed an inconceivable look as he watched Kieran negotiate.
The scene before Starbeck’s eyes had exceeded his imagination.
As Kieran’s party member, Starbeck knew why they were at the market.
Truth be told, after signing a contract to keep secrets, Starbeck already had the general idea of what Kieran was thinking. He didn’t object to it because he could knew Mizelle, Pelker, and the other two were the smokescreens thrown out by the real thieves who stole the Holy Thorn Grail.
Should they fail, the four would be the best scapegoats to cover their retreat.
Should they succeed, the four would be the best evidence to remove suspicion.
Based on Starbeck’s guess, the two thieves who stole the holy grail would surely plant it in the inn with the red cloth marking. They would then contact the city guards and Thorn Temple to complete their plan of framing the four of them.
It was only natural that Kieran would make his move before that happened because he would never give up the Holy Thorn Grail that could perform a baptism ritual.
If it happened, the fight with the city guards and Thorn Temple was inevitable.
So when Starbeck arrived at the market, he was quite nervous, to be honest.
However, when he saw how calculative Kieran was to a common stall owner, Starbeck couldn’t help but doubt whether or not his guesses were correct or if he misheard something during the conversation with Kieran.
Though, soon enough a black figure captured the mimosa’s attention.
The black figure was faintly showing itself as it moved through the shadows, it was swiftly approaching the inn with the red cloth marking.
Starbeck wanted to notify Kieran out of instinct but before he spoke, Kieran threw 10 copper coins to the stall owner and stood up with two copper rings.
“Let’s go to that stall next!”
Kieran then walked towards another stall.
Starbeck wanted to say something but his courage prevented him, all he did was follow Kieran cowardly to a stall that sold pelts.
The stall was from a hunter around Naveya; there were thawed and dried rabbit pelts on sale and most of them were a grayish white color.
“One pelt 10 copper coins, non-negotiable!”
The hunter obviously noticed Kieran before he came and before Kieran made his offer, the hunter beat him to it.
Kieran touched the tip of his nose looking upset and went straight to the other stall; Starbeck followed quickly.
Starbeck couldn’t help but turn around for another glance at the inn.
However, when he clearly saw the situation at the hidden alley beside the inn, he was awe-struck.
He saw that the black figure was seized in the alley by three other figures that somehow appeared before him.
Due to the angle, Starbeck couldn’t clearly see the face of the three figures but he clearly saw the three figures were armed and the black figure was already hurt!
“There’s someone else!?”
The unexpected occurence forced Starbeck to a stop but the grip on his arm pulled him forward.
“Don’t look back. Follow me.”
Kieran’s voice sounded in his ears and it immediately pulled him back from his blank state.
Just as both of them were a hundred meters away from the inn
A huge explosion went off.
Blazing fire rose up to the sky, everything within a 7 to 8-meter radius was leveled to the ground; even half the inn had collapsed.
The clamoring market a moment ago has turned into a scene of crying in agony.
The crowd was running everywhere in a panic, even the city guards who were informed beforehand couldn’t do anything despite getting here as quickly as possible.
The number of people made a huge difference.
The whole market consisted of a thousand people and the two groups of city guards were only around 50 people; plus the guards on duty at the market, the numbers were still less than a hundred.
The city guards were overpowered and run over by the fleeing crowd which was 10 times their number.
“Fall in! Fall in!” The leader of the city guards shouted but his voice was suppressed by the chaotic crowd.
Then, the angered leader drew the sword of his waist, trying to frighten the panicked crowd but it welcomed an opposite effect; it made the crowd even more panicked and created more chaos.
Kieran pulled Starbeck into a corner, evading the messy crowd as he shook his head.
If the city guard leader did that in the beginning, he might still be able to suppress the crowd with the sharpness of his blade but now?
It was adding oil to the fire!
The chaos continued for a few more minutes.
Then a middle-aged man in a long robe with a thorn pattern sewn to his sleeves appeared and started a hymn.
“The path of thorn is your trial.”
“My the pain on on your body bring forth the higher soul in you.”
“When you descend, everything will”
The hymn seemed to have the power to calm the crowd as the chaotic situation quickly quiet down. If the hymn continued, the messy scene would quickly subside but
A crossbow arrow was fired out from the crowd and it plunged into the chest of the clergyman who was singing his hymn.
Immediately, the slightly calm crowd fell into chaos again.
The people were even more terrified and didn’t know what to do, so was Starbeck.
Starbeck was dumbstruck when he saw the clergyman fell into his own puddle of blood.
When he regained his senses, he realized Kieran beside him had gone off without him noticing.