A dark and damp place.
The six men and one woman who emerged into their hideout were arguing.
“I told you I had a bad feeling about the left side today. See, I was right!”
“Shut up, fool.”
The location they arrived at was the sewers.
Sewers, where polluted water flowed and mice lived in.
“You said that we’ll get some money from those ignorant noble bastards who came to the capital, but what’s this?”
“So do we only fail? We did succeed a few times. Why are you complaining?”
“There’s no harvest today! Today!”
There was only one place in Solia where there were sewers.
In Bottom Solia, a place where rejects who were thrown out from Solia gather, there were beggars who decided to get some money from the capital’s swordsmanship competition.
How do beggars earn money from a nobles’ event?
“I disguise myself as a poor girl surrounded by tough men and enact an unjust scenario! Then! The noble bastards like to step forward saying ‘what are you doing to a lady!?’ Then I trick the nobles, darting in and out!”
As a woman, who was the most outstandingly dressed among the beggars due to her role as ‘bait,’ flicked her tongue in and out like a snake; a man who was walking next to her clicked his tongue.
“Oh? Why are you clicking your tongue? Today’s work, if we think about it, didn’t we fail because of your acting Hemil?”
“We failed because of me? No! That’s not right!”
The beggar called Hemil by the woman rebutted.
“Beta, what am I supposed to do about your crappy facial expressions?”
At Hemil’s rebuttal Beta, who was the bait in the group, filled her face with killing intent and threatened.
“Won’t you shut up? I’ll stitch up your mouth you rat?”
“What? Rat? Has this bitch gone crazy?”
Hemil didn’t lose and fired back.
The rest of the beggars shook their heads at the two people gritting their teeth.
It seemed that they were used to this sort of thing.
“Anyway, if we keep going like this then we can’t fill the quota. If we’re going to use that reject properly then we have to succeed at least twice tomorrow you know?”
A beggar who had just barely calmed the two down pointed at someone who was crouching in the corner of the hideout.
“Ah, yeah… It’s a reject from the magic tower that we went through a lot of trouble to get.”
It was a woman who was crouched down sitting.
Her hair was wet with effluent water.
Her facial skin showed signs of damage from chemical substances.
She had hands that were missing around two fingers, as if they were cut off…
The person, who had an appearance so bad that if someone were to look at her they would be cursed with all kinds of bad luck, was the beggars’ joker card.
“Trash is trash, so we need to quickly use it before the expiration date.”
If the prey that they seduced by ‘darting in and out’ was too big to fit into their mouth...
She was a card that allowed them to swallow it forcefully.
The person who was sitting in the corner with a horrendous appearance was a secret weapon that they could use to swallow up the foolish nobles that they tricked.
“Che, that bitch… If only she wasn’t the trash of the magic tower, we would’ve used her instead of Beta as bait.”
“What? Who would show interest to a bitch who can’t even wear a ring due to her missing fingers?”
“Ha, that’s true too!”
The beggars looked at their ‘tool’ and laughed.
“…Oh, you’re here?”
The best inn in Left Solia.
Riley, who came back to his room after finishing his tour, saw Ian, who was sitting on his bed drinking black sugar beer, and sent a greeting.
Ian who was drooping his shoulders turned around and looked at Riley.
There wasn’t enough alcohol in the black sugar beer to intoxicate someone.
At Ian’s face which was somehow flushed, Riley’s shoulders shook.
“Why are you doing this?”
The men and women were separated
Because they rented two rooms, currently there was only Riley and Ian there.
It was somehow awkward.
Was he going to ask about what happened yesterday evening?
Or was he angry about how they had left him behind for the entire day and went off to play in Left Solia?
Riley wished that if it was one of the two, it would be the latter, and asked.
“Are you angry?”
“No, what do you mean angry? Why would I get angry? Just because of that.”
Next to Ian’s bed there was a clothes hanger.
Riley who went towards it to hang his outer clothes realised that the area near him smelt of alcohol.
‘Ugh, the smell of alcohol… He did drink.’
Riley discovered the ‘Capital’s swordsmanship tournament spectator ticket’ in Ian’s jacket pocket and looked at Ian again.
“Really… I wanted to bring the ‘Competing ticket’ but… Keueug!”
As if he was keeping himself from breaking down, Ian brought the black sugar beer to his mouth again.
As if his throat didn’t even sting, Ian swallowed the drink which was still over half full in a single breath and went ‘puha!’.
“You did well.”
Although Riley congratulated Ian, Ian’s expression didn’t loosen.
Instead, it was changing as if he was about to cry.
“…Do you know what happened at Castle Solia today?”
Something must’ve happened to Ian who went there for the spectating tickets.
“Listen. In the afternoon…!”
Riley who was tired due to touring Left Solia for half the day was about to lie down in bed but was caught by the shoulder.
At the same time Ian’s breath reached Riley’s nose.
As if he was reminiscing, he started to talk about what had happened.
‘Capital’s swordsmanship tournament, sp-spectator seats… four tickets please.’
‘Excuse me, but where are you from?’
‘I came from the Iphelleta House.’
‘I-Iphelleta? Did you really come from Iphelleta?’
‘Yes…? Here, it’s the letter from the Count and the family’s seal.’
‘Spectator ticket… Are you sure you want the spectator ticket?’
‘…Give me the spectator ticket.’
“Aah, yeah. Well done.”
Riley cut off Ian’s reminiscing and tried to get out.
“You did good. Now just…”
“Really, I was so embarrassed that it wasn’t the competing ticket but the spectator ticket! The problem is…that wasn’t the end! Keuheug!”
“Gah, just let off me a bit…”
As if he wouldn’t let go Ian held onto Riley’s clothes and started sniffing, then started to talk again.
‘Oh? Who’s this? Isn’t it Ian?’
‘Mercenary hero Ian! Right?! It’s been a long time huh?’
‘Haha! Seeing as how well you are, it seems that it’ll be quite a while until you go huh? Wow… It’s like the time when our names were famous as mercenaries was just yesterday!’
‘Haha! To you too!How are you doing nowadays? Looking at your outfit and timing… Have you come for the swordsmanship tournament too? It doesn’t seem like you came because your son had a problem with competing…’
‘…Yeah. I currently work as a butler in the Iphelleta Family. I’m not a noble.’
‘Yeah… You didn’t look like the type to have and raise a kid. You didn’t care about commanding either. From the very onset of the Great War you had a one-track mind.’
‘It is regretful but it is also to atone for my sins. Falling in love with someone and raising a kid, I am not suited for such a life.
‘Well, let’s stop talking about the past, friend… It’s a waste being sad on a nice day. Anyway… The Iphelleta Family huh? I thought that you’d have a spot in Castle Solia being a mercenary hero but a butler… Yeah, if you’re a butler of the Iphelleta Family then who are you serving?’
‘Strong-sword Ryan? Quick-sword Lloyd?’
‘No? Ah! Then you must be serving Count Stein?
‘Is something wrong?’
‘No, it’s… Sorry. I just remembered something urgent so I need to go.’
‘No way… not any of them?’
‘Keuheum! When are the spectating tickets coming out? Is it far?’
‘Spectator…tickets? Wait! Don’t turn around Ian! Now that I think about it I heard some years ago that a third son was born in the Iphelleta Family.’
‘The name was… Ah, right! Riley! His nickname was… What was it?’
‘Lazy Sword? Was it Lazy Sword? Because he’s slothful…’’
Ian’s reminiscing ended suddenly.
Riley didn’t really cut it off.
It was cut off because Ian started crying loudly.
“You wouldn’t know how embarrassed I was! In front of my old companion! The humiliation! Who would look at a person called the mercenary hero with those pitying eyes! Eoheuheoeong!”
Who said that a old man’s tears were like the ocean?
Riley’s expression slowly scrunched up as it seemed that Ian’s complaints wasn’t going to end.
“Because my Lady said to keep the secret I couldn’t say anything about how great Young Master was and my chagrin… My chagrin! Heueoeong!”
Riley sighed as he buried his face in his hands as he didn’t know when he could sleep anymore.