Episode 38: Invitation to a back alley.
The sales at the Urd street stall in the bazaar of Orn city were proceeding well the following days.
“Young lady, I’ll take that fabric.”
“Yes, one moment. “
Liscia, the village chief granddaughter had become the poster girl of the shop, and was enthusiastically working.
“Ohh, this leather craftsmanship… its dome very nicely.”
“I made that, Ojisan! “
“Such a young boy like you made this!? Alright, I’ll buy it! “
The children of the village also tried to appeal to the customers with their innocent smiles.
It was hard for a newcomer, such as the group from Urd, to secure a good place in Orn’s bazaar.
But Urd’s quality craftsmanship had gained an unusual popularity across the city.
There were also good reviews from old customers, and after a few days of opening the shop, a crowd of people always came.
“Hey, Jii-san. How much for this amazing dagger!? “
“Hey, come look at this. That spear… I’ve never seen anything like that…”
Meanwhile, the products made by the old Mountain Clan blacksmith Gaton were also drawing quite the attention.
“Hmph, that is not for sale. Same goes for the spear.”
“Then, how about this knife? “
“That too, I doubt you’ll be able to properly use it.”
But Gaton, being the stubborn crafter that he was, rarely gave a positive answer.
It was well known that the Mountain Clan craftsmen, loved by the God of iron and fire, were famous for selling only to those who had an equal ability to that of their products.
“Hey, Gaton… Do you really intend to sell something to the customers? “
“Hmph, I don’t intend to sell anything to amateurs.”
Even after Yamato questioned his work policy, Gaton’s conviction remained unbent.
The only saving grace is that the costumers know the Mountain Clan People are stubborn, Yamato was relieved by this fact.
Gaton had also came with the group from the very first day.
“By the way, Jii-san, have you recovered now from the motion sickness? “
“I just don’t like vehicles that take my feet off of the ground, hmph! “
Surprisingly, the Mountain Clan People were people of the earth, and were weak against riding horses and wagons.
He got light-headed since it had been quite some time since the last time he rode a wagon. But he finally had recovered this morning.
It really caught me by surprise that there’s such a weakness in the Mountain Clan People that I thought to be all-purpose, Yamato felt a little amused by this fact.
Then, he went to the wagon, to get some more merchandise to replenish the stall.
At that time, he heard a frivolous voice calling his name.
“Oh, it’s you again.”
“It’s not ‘you’, its Lacq.”
“Oh, I see.”
That teasing voice belonged to a young man… his name, Lacq.
The young man who, on the first day, had caused a ruckus along with a noble merchant over some ‘leather goods’ had come again to the store.
By the way, ever since that day, he had scored a ‘perfect attendance record’, visiting every single day.
“Liscia-chan, today as well, you look quite cute.”
“Please save your compliments, Lacq-san.”
“You’re being cold again.”
And the same as usual, he called out to the poster girl, Liscia.
She was wary of Lacq at first, but she now got used to his everyday praise.
“Ohh, its Lacq-ojisan! “
“Ah, it’s true. He came today again, he really is a person with a lot of free time! “
“I think you mean to say ‘unemployed’. Lacq-ojisan looks like a lazy person! “
“No no no… you there, the term is ‘debauchee’. Besides, I’m still young, you should call me ‘onii-san’.”
Even among the village children, Lacq has become inconspicuously popular.
His tone was light and was an easy person to talk to, not counting their conversations were pretty much at the same level. That made him get along with the children incredibly well.
He’s quite a unique guy… but there’s something strange about him…
He acted a bit clumsy, in a way that it was hard to think it was an act.
Perhaps it’s a refined technique to make the other party drop their vigilance, Yamato thought.
He was the type that would make friends with anyone immediately.
Even Yamato felt like he was already caught up in Lacq’s pace.
“Ohhhhhhh? Today there’s also a Mountain Clan person here? “
“Oh. You can give it a shot, but I doubt he’ll sell you anything.”
The old blacksmith Gaton was resting his motion sickness until yesterday. So, today was the first day that Lacq has seen the newly lined-up goods.
“Alrighty, let’s take a look.”
After a light reply, Lacq began to peep at Gaton’s blacksmith products.
“Ohh… this is…”
Lacq’s expression changes for a moment, his eyes becoming sharp.
Behind his line of sight was a ‘red crystal sculpture’.
His eyes weren’t captured by the great number of amazing metal products made by Gaton.
What Lacq was astonished to see was the sight of a certain ‘sculpture’ that didn’t attract the interest of any of the other customers.
Ohh… so he noticed the value of ‘that’…
None of the people had noticed the subtle gaze of Lacq.
Yamato was the only one who didn’t miss it.
“Is something wrong, Lacq? You suddenly look bad.”
“Ehh, is that so? I’m always feeling great! But even so, that is truly a wonderful spear.”
He quickly recovered and replied as if nothing had happened. A splendid change.
“By the way, Yamato-danna.” Are you free now? “
Lacq turned the conversation around, to not let his emotions show.
“I’m running a business. Do I look free to you?”
“I guess that’s true… but just a little…”
I answered like that, but the truth is I got pretty much nothing to do right now, Yamato though.
After all, his work was sporadic, and he was never face to face with the customers.
“Yamato-sama. Its ok to leave the store to us.”
“Yeah, yeah, its ok. You can go, Yamato-niichan! “
Liscia and every child that was in charge of selling reassured Yamato that they would be okay without his help.
It was likely that they cared for him and die to the fact the these past few days, Yamato was doing all the heavy lifting and working without rest.
“…So that means, we’re free to go now. Yamato-danna.”
“Go where? “
“It’s a nice place.”
The self-proclaimed debauchee Lacq invited Yamato, while just giving a vague explanation. It obviously was a suspicious invitation.
However, the man’s request had a mysterious charm that made it hard to refuse.
“Then, take care of the rest, Liscia-san.”
“Yeah, leave it to me, Yamato-sama.”
Leaving the stall to Liscia, Yamato decided to accept the invitation of Lacq.
Along with Lacq, Yamato walked down the streets of Orn.
“How far are we going? “
“Just a little more, Yamato-danna…”
Currently there were no people around, just Yamato and Lacq. As he followed, they entered an unknown alley.
Of course, Yamato was paying close attention to his surroundings and remembering the direction where they came from, but it appeared they were quite the distance away from the center of the city.
“Danna, please wait here for just a moment.”
“Oh. Hurry up then.”
Lacq stopped in front of an old mansion.
Apparently, this was their goal. Looks like there are people in this mansion who want to meet me by all means, he thought.
“I’ll just go inform really quick.”
The other party probably was someone important, and with a strong sense of vigilance.
Yamato let Lacq enter alone, to quickly solve the issue.
The he was left all by himself in the alley.
It’s a very old house…
It was an old building, but its construction was solid.
The Lord of this house may be a person of high status. However, it seems like they lack the means to care for this big mansion.
Yamato then wondered whether it was because of a shortage of people or some financial difficulties.
Never mind that, that Lacq guy sure is taking his time…
It happened then, as he was waiting for Lacq at the back door of the mansion.
As he noticed something strange going on, Yamato placed his hand on the handle of the knife he had on his back.
One… two… three… four…
From the bloodlust they let out, he measured the number of enemies.
Alone in a dim-lit back alley, he was surrounded by someone.
“Thieves?… no, seems more like professional assassins, huh?”
A group dressed in black surrounded Yamato.
All around him were armed men who were obviously trained to kill.