Translator: Atlas Studios Editor: Atlas [email protected]
The standoff was between a brawny man in a blue white-striped shirt, a symbol of the navy. Despite the weather being at near zero temperatures, he had his arms bare.
He held a dagger against the throat of the man opposite him, but his glabella was being pointed at by an ancient musket, one which could’ve been placed in a museum.
The musket’s owner was also more than 1.8 meters tall, with strong muscles and an oily face. He had shaved his hair, and with a sea eagle tattoo, he cursed, “Dogsh*t Navy sailor!
“No one in Damir Harbor would dare slander me as a pirate’s informant!”
The Navy sailor didn’t yield to him, and both sides fully illustrated the rich profanities of the sea.
Klein observed for a few seconds, then he walked around the edge to Captain Elland, who had a straight sword at his waist and a hidden musket on his body. He asked in a calm and casual manner, “What happened?”
“A quarrel between two drunkards. In Damir Harbor and in the surrounding waters, there’s always been such rumors that Sea Eagle Logan is in service of the master of the Black Tulip. The Navy sailor had mentioned this a moment ago, and Sea Eagle just happened to hear that.”
The master of the Black Tulip? Isn’t that Admiral Hell Ludwell? Klein turned and sat down on the high stool in front of the bar counter. He tapped the wooden countertop.
“One glass of Southville beer.”
“Six pence.” A bronze-skinned bartender with pearly-white teeth wiped the cups as he said with zero passion.
When it comes to continental specialties, the prices are much higher than Backlund and Tingen… Klein fished out a handful of copper pence, counted six pence and gave it to him.
At this moment, Logan and the Navy sailor were stopped by the bar’s bouncer. After they each spoke harshly to each other, they retreated to different corners.
Perhaps it was due to him losing his dignity, the Navy sailor hurriedly left after about ten seconds. The atmosphere in the bar became lively once again.
“Want to play some cards?” Captain Elland pointed to the stairs by the side of the bar.
“No.” Klein’s main purpose for coming was to gather information.
Elland subconsciously wanted to pat him on the shoulder, but his cold and sharp demeanor stopped him. He could only pull back his hand and pretend to adjust his dark red coat and remind him, “Don’t get the women here.”
Klein nodded, picked up the glass of Southville beer, and took a swig.
“Also, don’t trust anyone here. Only a small portion of what they say is true.” Elland carried his Lanti Proof and stepped onto the stairs that led to the second floor.
Klein turned his head to glance at him and asked without a change in expression, “Including you?”
“… Perhaps.” Elland was taken aback at first before he laughed out loud. “At least my reminder just now was real. Oh, and me being a man is true as well!”
Not necessarily… There’s a potion called Witch in this world… Klein looked away, drinking slowly and listening to the surrounding drinkers boasting.
Two or three minutes later, a short, thin man sat down next to Klein with his drink.
“Mate, you look like an adventurer.” He tilted his head and smiled.
The man who greeted him had black hair, blue eyes, and aged facial features. His temperament was rather wretched.
“You could say that,” Klein replied coldly.
“I can tell you’re a hunter, a hunter that chases after bounties and riches.” The short man looked around and lowered his head, suppressing his voice while he said, “Have you heard of the Specter Empire?”
I’ve heard of Amway, and I’ve also heard of the Father in Heaven and the Messiah being sealed at the bottom of the sea… Using the power of Faceless, Klein sent out a signal not to approach him.
“Yes, a huge, ancient ghost ship full of treasures.”
“We have clues to it!” the short man said in an infectious tone. “We found some information about where it will appear next! We don’t want the pirates or the Navy to benefit from it, and we don’t want to be robbed of our wealth, so we’ve decided to hire our own armed merchant ships to wait in that area, which would probably cost about 1,000 pounds. I’ve already found 15 companions and raised 720 pounds. Are you interested in participating?”
Without waiting for Klein to speak, he fumbled for a stack of brownish-yellow letters.
“I know you won’t believe it so easily. In fact, no one will, but after the fifteen friends who read through this information, all of them decided to join in on our plan.”
… Do I have a such a gullible face? Or would any bumpkin end up in this situation without slipping away from this sort of thing? While Klein was considering whether to appraise the letters, from the corner of his eye, he saw that Sea Eagle Logan, who was previously squabbling, was walking towards him.
“Woody, you’re trying to scam someone again! You damn sewer rat!” Logan picked up the short man and threw him into the open space in the middle of the bar, where he landed on the ground, sprawling.
The muscular man, with the bluish-green tattoo on his head, sat in the same position as Woody and guffawed.
“Sorry, these are the rats of our Damir Harbor. They always do things that ruin our reputation.
“In fact, we’re all very friendly. If you have anything you want to ask about, don’t hesitate to ask me.
“Heh heh, don’t believe what they say about me. I’m an upright person, and I have nothing to do with Admiral Hell!”
The more you emphasize that, the more suspicious it becomes… Klein’s expression didn’t change as he calmly said, “I want to know the latest rumors.”
“No problem.” Sea Eagle Logan slammed the bar top and said to the bartender, “Give me a plate of special cured meat. I’ll be treating this mate to our most famous delicacy in Damir.”
The bartender, while still maintaining his cold expression, pushed open the door and entered the kitchen. Soon, he brought out a plate of red and white, finely cut cured meat.
“Five pounds.” He didn’t look at Sea Eagle Logan, and he instead looked straight at Klein.
“Five pounds.” Sea Eagle Logan turned his head to the side, smiling warmly as he raised his arm to show his muscles. “Everyone just heard it. In order to thank me, you offered to treat me to some special cured meat.
For a moment, Klein didn’t realize what had happened. It was only when the bartender urged him a second time that he realized he was being blackmailed. Furthermore, their scam was rather well-planned.
First they used an easily seen through farce to let Sea Eagle Logan appear, thereby winning a good impression with the target, then, with the excuse of treating the target, order an especially expensive special cured meat, and then finally, he goes back on his word and turns matters upside down and forcing a sale… It’s no wonder that when Rat Woody was thrown out, those drunkards didn’t make a sound… They were all afraid of this Logan whose rumored to be in the service of Admiral Hell… How should I deal with this? My present persona is Gehrman Sparrow, a somewhat crazy adventurer and bounty hunter… Klein raised his cup and drank a mouthful of the rich malt-flavored beer and said with his usual tone, “Why don’t you just rob me?”
“Why don’t I just rob you?” Logan was a little stunned by the question.
Soon after, he saw a fist expanding before his face.
Klein’s left fist landed on Sea Eagle Logan’s chin, knocking him backwards toward the bar counter.
With a push of his right palm, Klein nimbly left his chair and approached Logan’s falling body.
His legs tensed, and his knees jerked upward, slamming into Logan’s lower abdomen.
Pfft! Logan threw back his head, his eyes bulging while his mouth hung half open.
Klein drew his gun, shoved the revolver into the man’s mouth, and pulled the hammer back.
“I… I am…” Logan shouted indistinctly.
Klein looked him in the eye, pulled out his revolver, and swung it, striking the side of Logan’s face with the butt of the gun.
Logan’s teeth fell out one after another, and his mouth was stained with blood.
Faced with such a heavy blow and a pain that exceeded his limits, his eyes rolled back, and he fainted.
Klein propped him up and pulled a handful of loose bills and coins out of his pocket.
Since he estimated that there wasn’t more than five pounds with just a glance, Klein threw them on the bar and calmly said, “Keep the change.”
The bartender’s bronze face turned slightly pale as he shouted in panic, “My boss is White Shark!”
Without looking at him, Klein released his hand and allowed Sea Eagle Logan to fall to the ground. Then he sat down again, forked up a piece of cured meat, and stuffed it in his mouth to taste it. He found it rather unique as the flavors of the condiments spread out in wisps, scratching at his belly and throat.
After eating two pieces, he looked up and asked, “Does your boss know that you’re colluding with Sea Eagle?”
“No, he… No…” the bartender mumbled an answer.
Seeing that Klein had no intention of continuing his attacks and had paid the bill so quickly, the bouncers who had gathered nearby silently retreated.
Klein took a sip of his wine, glanced at Sea Eagle Logan on the ground, and calmly said to the bartender, “He’s Ludwell’s informant. How much is his bounty worth?”
“No, he’s not.” The bartender shook his head and said, “This is just something he says about himself—the information he spread himself. That Navy sailor from before was hired by him! That’s the only way to make everyone here afraid of him…”
Upon hearing this answer, the drinkers at the bar all put down their glasses in surprise. Some of the drunkards even staggered over to Logan and spat in his face.
Pui! Pui! Pui! Many drinkers followed suit.
Klein lowered his head again and said while eating the special cured meat, “Tell me about the recent rumors.”
The bartender breathed a sigh of relief as he wiped his glass and gave an intermittent account of the rumors in the past two months. Some of them were what Klein had heard before, and there were also things he just learned.
The Imperial Navy’s ironclad warship, Pritz, had destroyed a passing pirate crew during routine training… Panic over the behemoth’s cannons has begun to spread among the small and medium-sized pirate powers… Some of them even wished to take advantage of the ironclad warship fleet’s inchoate form to madly commit crimes before withdrawing from this trade with a sum of money… The sea wouldn’t be peaceful for the next six months to a year… Admiral of Blood Senor and Rear Admiral Dusk Bulatov Ioan had a conflict in the southern waters of Sonia Island, and each of them lost two ships in the massive skirmish… Klein listened without asking questions, and he gradually filled his stomach.
Seeing that the plate containing the special cured meat had been emptied and having finished the rest of his beer, he slowly stood up.
“Remember today’s lesson.” Klein handed the plate to the bartender.
The bartender was about to reach out when the hair at the back of his head was grabbed.
Klein shoved him down hard, knocking the bartender’s head against the bar top, sending splinters flying and blood gushing. The customers all tried to avoid the impact, and the bouncers rushed over quickly.
After doing all of this, Klein clapped his hands and picked up his own glass, trying to pour the rest of the beer onto the bartender’s head.
One drop, two drops, three drops…
Klein silently gave up. He turned around and bent down, grabbed Sea Eagle Logan, and threw him to the bouncers who were rushing over.
Taking advantage of the moment when the bouncers were dodging and the bar being in chaos, Klein quickly ran, agilely circling around them, and easily left Flying Fish & Wine.
He pushed down his hat and quickly proceeded forward, turning towards a neighboring street.
After continuously changing directions, he suddenly slowed down his pace, and a gold coin appeared in his hand.
The gold coin kept weaving around in his fingers as if it was scouting something.