Updat𝓮d from 𝑓𝓇ℯℯ𝑤ℯ𝘣𝓃𝑜𝘷ℯ𝑙.𝑐𝑜𝑚
Chapter 135: Mountain of Spears, Forest of Swords (4)
The next day, when Tiyo went to the back alley behind the opera house, the ‘Run On Money’ loan sharks were no longer there.
He had brought cash to pay them back.
“Where did everyone go...?”
He furrowed his eyebrows. He had planned to quickly pay them back and settle the contract, but they had disappeared. Tiyo was frustrated by the thought that he had to come back here a second time to look for them.
He went up to the employee at the ticket booth and asked, “Where are the money lenders from yesterday?”
The employee looked at Tiyo and shrugged. “Who knows? They are always around, so they must be somewhere. I’m not sure.”
“I thought you knew them?” asked Tiyo.
“I don’t know them personally. I just heard that they help people who need cash.”
“Do you know their usual whereabouts?”
“I don’t know.”
Tiyo was suspicious of the employee who was weaseling his way out of the situation and wanted to interrogate further, but customers appeared waiting for their tickets. He had no choice but to take a step back for now.
“Hmm...well, it doesn’t really matter, I guess. It’s their fault they aren’t here to collect their money.”
Thus, Tiyo left the scene without paying back his loans. He thought he could just pay them back next time. He still had a lot to do in Quantes before his next adventure.
This time, he planned to take Anor to Quantes’ Academy. The professors would be overjoyed if he brought Anor and taught him the lifestyle and history of the north. He also planned to give some valuable information to the professors, so they could prepare for the opening of the north.
He always looked out for everyone’s safety because no matter what, he was a member of Quantes’ garrison. First and foremost, he was a soldier concerned about the future of Quantes.
Tiyo called out to Anor who had been observing a performance in the streets. As a tall dark elf with brown skin, he stood out among gnomes. He was deeply absorbed in a puppet show with marionettes.
“Anor, let’s go.”
“Did you pay them back?”
“I can’t find them. I’m not sure where they went...”
“So, you didn’t pay them back?”
“How can I pay them back when they are not there?”
Anor lowered his gaze and began to ponder something deeply.
“If you can’t pay them back today, your interest will increase.”
“Nonsense. I tried to pay them back, but they weren’t there. There’s nothing I can do about it!”
“Tiyo, you are na?ve,” said Anor with a wry chuckle. “You don’t know anything because you’ve only seen nice things and have always received proper treatment in this nice city...haha...”
“What are you talking about...? I have overcome many hardships in my life!”
“It’s different from that. I know methods like this very well because I’ve been bullied and harassed my whole life. It’s a method commonly used by the strong on the weak—exploiting others through manipulation.”
“As expected of Nuridot’s official outcast,” remarked Tiyo.
Anor was about to unleash a slew of profanities at Tiyo, but he clenched his fists to control himself.
“Haha, it’s true, but it still makes me angry.”.
“Ohh...you have more self-control now.”
“Anyway, it’s better to file a report to the police that there are weird loan sharks around. If they leave before you can pay them back, they could harass your family and friends.”
“But my friends will give them a stern lesson if it comes to that.”
“They don’t know about you though.”
“Understood,” replied Tiyo, but he still didn’t seem to mind too much. Because he had lived as a highly respected captain of Quantes’ garrison and a well-known macho man, he didn’t believe that anyone would try to harm him in Quantes.
They began heading to the academy.
“Now that I think about it, I became friends with Crockta at the academy.”
“Did you meet him here?”
“Yes. We went through some rough times because of the steel belt Crockta has on right now.”
When they arrived at the academy, they saw a memorial shrine erected in honor of those who had sadly passed away due to the tragedy of the Demon’s Mouth incident.
“I met Crockta and decided to head to the north, and then we traveled back to the continent with you. Life is so unpredictable.”
“Indeed. I thought I would be in Nuridot forever.”
Their lives had changed in so many ways because of Crockta and would continue to change.
Kenzo raised his head.
Crockta’s Ogre Slayer was flying toward him.
Right then, he could sense that he was about to die again.
The greatsword was coming toward him at an unavoidable speed. There was no way he could prevent the greatsword from slashing his body no matter how much he tried.
‘Am I gonna die again?’
He relaxed himself, and he stared at the blade charging toward him. But for some reason, time slowed down, and he could clearly see the blade flying toward him. It was a well-sharpened sword that glistened with the light from the sun, and he could even see Crockta’s eyes boring into him behind it.
‘What is going on?’
He shifted his body. He could feel his body slipping away from Crockta’s blade and further evading the greatsword’s trajectory with each movement. At this rate, a counter-attack felt within reach!
As he dodged, he swung his claymore. He felt like he could strike Crockta through the opening as their swords crossed.
But as if performing a trick, the Ogre Slayer moved adroitly and struck him, sending him tumbling. Kenzo breathed heavily on the ground.
“You are making progress. Good.” Crockta grinned. “But I have to leave Quantes soon. I hope you will be able to quickly enter the realm I have been talking about.”
“The realm of the Pinnacle?” asked Kenzo.
Although Kenzo never mentioned it, he probably knew about the realm of the Pinnacle since most players had basic knowledge about tiers. But he probably didn’t understand what a profound state it was.
Considering his current level, he was probably Essence-Tier, right below Pinnacle-Tier, or even lower at Rare-Tier.
“Don’t forget. If you reach the Pinnacle, you have to grant me one wish.”
When Crockta agreed to teach Kenzo, he imposed a condition. He promised to help Kenzo reach the Pinnacle, not just become stronger, and if he reached that level, Kenzo had to fulfill a request from him.
Of course the premise was that the request would be possible for Kenzo to carry out. Kenzo was willing to do anything he could do for Crockta and accepted the condition.
He had vaguely experienced the realm of the Pinnacle while training with Crockta and had realized its value as the sensations reverberated throughout his body. He was confident he could take on a high-ranker if he reached that state. He was willing to give everything he had to reach the Pinnacle.
“Anything. I will keep the promise no matter what.”
Crockta nodded. He was about to raise his sword again when he heard Tiyo’s voice.
Crockta and Kenzo turned around to look at the same time. Crockta’s eyes widened in surprise.
Tiyo had been assigned the task of taking Anor sightseeing while Crockta and Kenzo were stuck at a clearing in the outskirts of Quantes, and Tiyo had succeeded in his task.
“Look at him! Do you recognize him?” exclaimed Tiyo.
“Who is this guy? Could it be...”
“Yes! He is...!”
There was a good-looking young man in front of them.
“It’s the timid, foul-mouthed brat!”
Anor’s disheveled hair was now neatly combed and fell in slick locks over his forehead. His eyes shone even more brightly under his new hairdo. Moreover, instead of his shabby clothes from the north, he had changed into continent-style traveler’s clothing that was both practical and stylish. He now exuded elegance like a son of a noble family. He was truly a descendant of elves esteemed for their beauty!
If he had existed in Crockta’s world, he could have become a celebrity.
“They say clothes make the man. Now, for the grand finale!” said Tiyo as he tossed something at Anor.
Anor caught it and wrapped it around his body.
It was a dreary-looking gray robe. The young man who had been shining with beauty had disappeared, and an eerie necromancer with a hood pulled over his face appeared.
“What do you think? Doesn’t he look cool?” asked Tiyo.
Anor’s awkward laugh seeped out from the shadow of the hood.
“Hehehe...I’m necromancer Anor...!”
“My fashion sense saved Anor.”
“I doubted him when he bought me weird clothes...but this robe is quite nice. Hehe...”
“I’m a trendsetter. I’m known for my fashion in Quantes.”
Crockta wanted to tell them that wasn’t the case. “Um...why don’t you take off the robe...”
But they weren’t bothered at all.
“As expected, he doesn’t know much about fashion,” commented Anor.
“Just ignore Crockta,” chimed in Tiyo.
‘There’s no point in taking this dark elf and gnome duo seriously,’ thought Crockta with a sigh.
But Kenzo, who had fashion sense as a person from the modern world, whispered softly, “People with weird fashion sense think they look cool. They don’t know that they look weird. Just put up with them.”
It had been a while since Crockta had heard a sensible opinion. He looked at Kenzo, who grinned and made a thumbs-up sign. Crockta nodded back and wrapped his arm around Kenzo’s shoulder. “You are a man worthy of my teachings.”
“Hahaha, not really.”
As expected of a Japanese person with a lot of interest in fashion. Crockta remembered how Japanese fashion trended in South Korea in the early 2000s.
After their conversation, they decided to have a meal together. They wanted to introduce Anor, who was accustomed to northern food, to the fine cuisine in the continent and planned to eat to their hearts’ content at a famous restaurant in Quantes.
They headed to a famous restaurant, famous for its charismatic chef, called ‘Goram Donsey’s Hell Kitchen’, in the public square.
But Anor noticed something strange near the restaurant.
“I didn’t expect prices to suddenly rise...”
“It’s okay. We can help you.”
“I just have to pay it back quickly, right?”
“Of course. Hahahaha.”
Although they were different individuals, they were a group of humans and a gnome like the loan sharks they encountered last time. Anor had a sense that there were other humans observing them from the shadows to see how they were doing.
“We will increase the interest rates just in case, but there won’t be any problems if you pay it back quickly. Hahaha.”
“Thank you. I was in a tight spot, but I promised my new girlfriend that I will bring her here.”
“We are rooting for your relationship.”
Anor carefully observed them. It was obvious what was going on just from overhearing their conversation. Corrupt loan sharks had started to take root in Quantes. Although they didn’t stand out too much for the moment, they would gradually contaminate the whole city with their degeneracy.
“What are you doing? Let’s go!”
Tiyo, who hadn’t noticed them, called out to him.
Anor turned around to tell Tiyo what was going on, but between the slightly ajar door of the restaurant, he saw a beautiful chandelier scattering shards of light everywhere. Below it, was an array of gourmet dishes that stimulated his appetite. The sight made him completely forget what he had just seen. 𝑓𝘳𝘦𝘦𝘸𝘦𝒷𝑛𝘰𝑣𝘦𝘭.𝑐𝘰𝘮
“Wow!” exclaimed Anor as he entered the restaurant.
“I have to admit...” said Anor as he wiped his mouth with a napkin. “...the culture here is amazing.”
He had already devoured several plates of a pork dish glazed with honey. He looked like E.T. because he had a skinny body, but his stomach bulged out. He extended his hand toward the food again despite the strained look on his face. He was pushing himself past his limit.
“The food culture is especially amazing.”
“I think you ate too much,” commented Crockta.
“I’m fine. I’m really fine,” replied Anor as he reached for the chicken stuffed with chopped vegetables.
Crockta, Tiyo, and Kenzo couldn’t eat anymore because they were way too full. But Anor struggled on his own and gulped down grape juice to help the food pass.
“Come to think of it, I saw them again earlier,” said Anor.
“What are you talking about?”
“I saw the group of loan sharks. They were near the restaurant.”
Everyone’s expression suddenly changed.
Tiyo looked suspicious, and Kenzo had a knowing look on his face. Crockta grinned as he found the whole situation amusing.
“Good,” said Crockta.
“What is...?” asked Tiyo.
“We found a suitable opponent at just the right moment,” said Crockta as he looked at Kenzo. “Kenzo.”
“You will be able to put your training into practice.” Crockta pointed at Kenzo’s claymore. “Teach them justice with your claymore.”
“Huh?” Kenzo’s eyes widened in surprise. fre(e)webnovel.com
‘The loan sharks are players. I have to fight against players for NPCS?’