Translator: Atlas Studios Editor: Atlas Studios
On the ocean, pirates had three iconic common interests—liquor, women, and gambling. Alger Wilson merely took out his silver pocket watch, flipped it open, and knew where he should go first.
At quarter past eleven, the brothels and bars hadn’t opened. Only the gambling dens would have easily gathered a bunch of people who wanted to make a fortune.
Alger was more familiar with this port city than his tiny hometown. He proceeded without stopping at all while he navigated his way, smoothly turning at every corner until he arrived outside a casino that was located in a secluded alley.
According to what he knew, the owner of this casino was a gang leader with a deep background. He had an inexplicable but indistinct connection with the important figure at the governor-general’s office. It was the first choice for many pirates to purchase and sell their stolen goods.
Because of this, pirates often appeared here. They might exchange their loot for gold pounds in the morning, but they would lose everything at night and get thrown out.
Alger pulled on his thick brown coat; pressed down his cap, a piece of fashion wear that came from the mainland; and pushed open the half-closed door. Under the watchful gaze of the bouncers, he entered the casino.
Casinos were prohibited within the Loen Kingdom. They could only be attached to bars as rooms, but in the kingdom’s vast overseas colonies, not only were they legal, but they were also a mainstay industry. Among them, Bayam of the Rorsted Archipelago and Alethe of East Balam were the most famous in the area. Many tycoons would specially visit them from Backlund or Midseashire’s coast for a big day of gambling.
Surveying the area, Alger saw a variety of card games, as well as dice-derived turntable games.
As it was still early, there weren’t many gamblers, and Alger quickly “scanned” them all.
Suddenly, his eyes lit up, and he instantly recognized the identity of a disguised person.
He took off his hat, walked up to a Texas Poker table, and patted his target’s shoulder. He bent down and whispered into the man’s ear, “Blazing.”
Danitz happened to be flipping the corner of his card with his right hand, so he almost jumped out of his skin from the slap and nearly sent a fireball towards the guy behind him.
After he had been attacked by Steel Maveti, he knew that he shouldn’t seek out information with his true appearance, as he could be targeted by greedy pirates.
Although most pirates weren’t strong and didn’t register as a threat to Danitz, he still didn’t want to reveal himself, lest it set back the plan of hunting Steel Maveti.
However, to his surprise, the disguise he took great effort to don was exposed just an hour after he left home.
He turned his head quickly to the side and glanced through the corner of his eye at the person who had “greeted” him.
When he saw the signature seaweed-like dark blue hair, Danitz relaxed a little and turned to observe if the other players had heard the greeting.
The gamblers were all carefully studying their hidden card, either folding or continuing, with none of them paying attention to what was happening over at his side.
“Why are you here?” Danitz asked casually.
He and Alger had met at the previous private meet, and he knew that the other party had a ghost ship and a dozen sailors. He was quite a powerful but unknown fellow.
According to Vice Admiral Iceberg’s judgment, if such a small and weak pirate crew was able to retain an ancient ghost ship, it meant that they were backed by a powerful faction. Perhaps they were members of the Church of Storms, or perhaps they were related to a particular Pirate King or secret organization. They usually disguised themselves as ordinary pirates and gathered information for who they were really loyal to. It was easy to wipe any traces of themselves clean at scheduled times, and at times, do things inconvenient for the power backing them. For example, silencing others or plundering certain special items.
There were quite a few pirate crews like this, and no one would particularly be bothered about such matters.
Alger pulled over a nearby chair and sat down. He tilted his head and asked in a low voice, “I heard that your captain obtained Death’s Key?”
Danitz snorted with a laugh.
“I thought you had a brain, but you’ve disappointed me.
“How can such a thing be so easily obtainable?
“We’ll definitely sell it if you want it and offer a decent price!
“How about it? Do you want to consider this deal?”
Alger casually said, “Perhaps it has other secrets. Maybe someone wants to deal with your captain.”
“Who knows? Dogshit!” Annoyed by his new hand, Danitz cursed out loud.
Then, he suppressed his voice and said, “That thing doesn’t seem like a creation made by humans. It might belong to the giants or devils.”
“Creation? Your captain still insists on teaching language to all of you?” Alger asked with amusement.
The rumor was that Vice Admiral Iceberg was a woman who was very strict when it came to knowledge. She couldn’t stand the sight of a bunch of illiterates under her command, so every day on the Golden Dream, there was a class of general knowledge and reading, and every day she forced the crew to take turns participating.
Wishing he could forget it, Danitz said, “It’s much more difficult than fighting!
“Because of this, we’re usually unable to recruit enough crew members. Every time we dock at the port to resupply, there will be people who resign…”
He didn’t continue with the topic. Looking at the dealer, he said to himself, “Help me keep an eye out for Steel’s whereabouts.”
“Steel Maveti? Admiral of Blood’s second mate?” Alger looked down at Blazing’s left arm, which was slightly propped up with a splint, and asked, “Were you attacked?
“For the key?”
“His brain has already been eaten by his zombies!” Danitz stressed.
“You want to seek revenge on him?” Alger guessed from the other’s tone and request.
“Hehe.” Danitz smiled without a reply, looking as though he was concentrating on his new hidden card.
Alger thought for a moment before saying, “The last time your captain appeared was seven days ago, near Sonia Island. This was confirmed by a telegram. The Golden Dream wouldn’t arrive in Bayam that quickly.
“Do you have a new helper? If it’s just you alone, then you aren’t a match for Steel even if he were alone. And as you know, he’s always attended to by a crowd.”
Towards Alger’s question, Danitz’s response was to throw out a chip.
“Who is it?” Alger first assumed that Danitz’s attitude was a tacit agreement. He pinned his hopes by asking since it was a riskless endeavor.
Danitz stared at the exposed cards and answered simply, “You wouldn’t know.”
I wouldn’t know? Someone who has the strength to deal with Steel Maveti should be someone with a little fame at sea regardless of if they’re a pirate or an adventurer… Unless they belong to a specific secret organization, or it’s their first time traveling the seas. Of course, it’s also possible that Danitz doesn’t wish to answer, for fear of exposing a secret. That’s most probable… Someone belonging to a particular organization, first time traveling the seas, with the strength to deal with Steel Maveti… Alger looked up slightly as he suddenly had a bold guess.
He tapped on the edge of the table and asked, as if he were chatting about the weather, “Was Bansy Harbor fun?”
He emphasized the word “fun.”
Danitz turned his head in surprise and blurted out, “How did you know?”
He believed that with the Church of Storms’s style, it was impossible for it to air dirty linen. Furthermore, the passengers of the White Agate had just arrived last night. The people who had witnessed the developments had all signed confidentiality agreements, so how could the news spread so quickly?
Alger smiled without answering.
At this moment, he understood the value of Emperor Roselle’s words: Boldly hypothesize and carefully verify!
Danitz put away his winnings and muttered, “It’s no big deal. There was a revival of some ancient customs that led to the fall of a Storm bishop.”
As expected… Alger chuckled and said, “I’ll help you keep an eye out for Steel.
“But how can I contact you?”
“Hmm… 15 Amyris Avenue is an unoccupied house. Write the information on a piece of paper and throw it in,” Danitz answered hesitantly.
Alger nodded and stood up while patting Blazing Danitz on the shoulder.
“Don’t forget my payment.”
He turned around and walked towards the door.
Watching the captain of the ghost ship depart, Danitz couldn’t help but grumble.
“This fellow isn’t bad.
“However, I have to leave this place too.”
He couldn’t quite trust Alger. Perhaps in a few minutes, he might lead Steel Maveti and his pirates to rush over.
After leaving the casino, Alger, who was wearing a pair of local baggy pantaloons, strolled down the street. He entered a department store and found a counter. He smiled and took out a handful of bronze pennies.
“Give me a deck of tarot cards.”
While he was waiting, he leisurely thought of a question:
What is the adorer of Mr. The Fool doing at this time?
In Old John’s Restaurant.
Klein watched as the waiter placed a plate of grilled fish in front of him. It was wrapped with something that looked like straw and covered with all sorts of spices, some of which he didn’t recognize.
The strong aroma seeped into Klein’s nose and greatly enhanced his salivation.
As expected of the Spice Archipelago… Klein was about to pick up his knife and fork when he saw the waiter place two things resembling tree branches on his plate.
Chopsticks? Klein was shocked.
Then he quickly locked on to the suspect: Roselle Gustav!
“This is the kind of cutlery you have to use when eating grilled stickleback. It’s said that Emperor Roselle gained inspiration from the customs of the elves,” the waiter introduced.
The customs of the elves? They are indeed a race that likes cooking and eating delicacies… Or rather, it’s purely an excuse Roselle came up with… Klein guessed, largely as a result of his understanding of that particular person’s character.
In the morning, he had gone to a few church hospitals in Bayam to provide hospice care for some dying people, to help them fulfill their wishes, and to engage in a deeper level of acting, but he had failed to find a suitable target.
This wasn’t to say that no one died in the hospital, but rather it was that they all had relatives who either accompanied them or had witnessed their deaths. There was no possibility of disguising himself as the deceased apart from giving people a fright.
I’ll head to the bar where adventurers gather. There should be many foreigners who might die in a dark corner like stray dogs in order to pursue wealth at sea, while their families might never hear of them again… Klein suppressed his thoughts and focused on his delicious food.