Episode 82 – Picking up the ring
Goddas sat on the armchair next to the tea table in his room, wiping the sweat from his unusually pale forehead with his handkerchief. The dark bags under his eyes were a testament to how hard he had been working the last few days just to meet the set deadline.
In a small box on the table in front of him stood a black and silver ring that looked elegant yet beautiful.
After inspecting the ring for several seconds, Goddas sighed and looked out of the window to the storm brewing outside. The rain was falling like it wanted to drown the entire world. The lightning sliced down as if it wanted to split the world in half.
When the lightning flashed, it was so bright that it hurt Goddas’ eyes, so he looked away towards the ring once again.
However, what greeted him was an empty table and a non-empty chair opposite of him.
Goddas let out a loud screech that resembled a porkling getting slaughtered. However, the rumbling of thunder overpowered the sound.
The cloaked person, sitting in the chair opposite of Goddas, looked at him calmly, waiting for him to stop screaming.
Goddas panted for several seconds, with eyes bulging out of their sockets, before he finally managed to voice his complaints. “Motherfrakker! Are you trying to kill me?! Must you always appear out of thin air without any sound?!? Can’t you knock, announce yourself or ring a doorbell like everyone else?!?!”
The person held the ring box and looked at Goddas as he was looking at an idiot. “Have you ever seen a Shadow enter through the front door?”
Goddas frowned. “No but…”
The man interrupted him. “Exactly. You don’t see a Shadow. That’s the whole point of the occupation. To not be seen.”
Goddas opened and closed his mouth like a fish. The man didn’t let him regain his bearing and continued. “Besides, why are you making such a fuss? You were obviously waiting for me, so how come you get such a scare when I actually show up?”
“It’s because of the way how you appear out of thin air! I have a heart of a pechuh that is easily startled!” The fatty whined miserably.
“Goddas…” The man stated solemnly. “Don’t insult the courage of a pechuh.”
Goddas stared at him blankly for several seconds before he realized. “Frakk! Are you making fun of me?!”
The man waved the issue off, completely ignoring the red flush on fatty’s face, and instead concentrated on the ring, scrutinizing it with both his eyes and his mana sense.
The cowardly fatty would have been shivering and hoping that the ring was to the man’s taste if it weren’t for the fact that he was confident in his work. He knew that the ring didn’t have any flaws. His work never had flaws.
And indeed, the cloaked man nodded his head approvingly. “Thanks for your hard work.”
He looked up to Goddas whose face displayed a self-satisfied smile. “Of course. I always do a good job” was written clearly all over his round face.
The man chose not to comment further and instead changed the subject. “This concludes our business. Consider your debt repaid. If you have a need for me in the future, just drop by the Shadow Lodge and ask for ‘Light’.”
I finally managed to get rid of you! Why would I go look for you myself?? Fatty thought, yet what he asked was: “Light? Is that your Shadow nickname?”
The man shut the box with one hand and pocketed it inside his cloak. “Yes.”
“It doesn’t suit you at all.” Goddas grumbled. Who in their right mind would nickname a Shadow ‘Light’? A shadow is anything but ‘Light’!”
Wait! Goddas’ eyes narrowed. Is it because he is proficient in using Light magic?
The man ignored the comment and got up from his seat gracefully. “I won’t linger around needlessly. Take care, Goddas.”
Light paused as he reached the window and looked back at Goddas one last time. “‘til next time…”
Just as the man said his goodbye, lightning flashed once again illuminating the face under the cloak.
It was only a brief moment, and in the next, the man was gone. However, that brief moment was enough for Goddas to imprint the man’s face in his memory.
It was a skinny man in his late twenties, with tanned skin and eyes as black as midnight. His hair was as dark as his eyes and slightly messy, framing his completely unremarkable face. It was one of those faces that didn’t stand out in the crowd. A face that was neither ugly nor pretty, but simply average in every way.
In fact, a few minutes later, Goddas had trouble remembering his exact facial features for they were simply too ordinary.
Light huh? I better investigate this guy. Goddas thought. He had wanted to investigate this bane of his existence since the first time they met. However, he neither knew his name nor appearance, so he had nothing to investigate.
This time, however, not only did the man reveal his Shadow nickname, but Goddas also managed to accidentally get a glimpse of his appearance.
Now he could finally go down to the Shadow Lodge and ask around. He needed to know whether he could trust this guy not to kill him in the middle of the night. He needed to know how to guard against him. How to stop him from walking into his home as if he owned the place.
Although the man never showed any hostility towards Goddas, the fatty would be hard-pressed to trust such a shady person. Now that he had repaid his debt, the man might deem Goddas’ existence as unnecessary and decide to off him.
The thought caused all fatty’s hair to stand on end. He shivered involuntarily.
Perhaps the man would come back one day, demanding Goddas to do more work for him? Even if he refused to pay for the work, what could Goddas do about it? How could he deal with such a person?
Indeed, he should pay a visit to the Shadow Lodge.
Kiel and Elaru landed in front of the main entrance of Black Pearl restaurant, hand in hand, and dispelled their spells so that would once again become visible and detectable.
After Elaru finally got her hands on the finished magic artifact in the shape of a ring, she decided to take Kiel to Black Pearl restaurant once again. The security and privacy of the restaurant would allow her to divulge the secrets of the ring without worrying about potential eavesdroppers. And also, it was about time for them to eat lunch. So, going there was killing two birds with one stone.
As soon as the two entered the restaurant, they were greeted by the same sight as last time.
A servant stepped forward from the wall of servants to greet them. The man in tuxedo bowed respectfully. “Welcome to Black Pearl my lord and lady. I will be your personal servant today. Do honored guests have any special instructions?”
Kiel smiled back politely, his elegance and refinement of a noble on full display. And then he spoke out in his soothing voice: “We would like some privacy.”
While Kiel was conversing with the servant, a couple was walking several dozens of meters in front of him. The two were dressed in expensive clothes, obviously noble in origin. The female was quite pretty, wearing a soft pink dress that was the same shade as the pink highlights in her blonde curly hair.
However, standing next to the male, the pretty female seemed to lose all her color. For the beauty of the male belonged in a different realm entirely. They simply couldn’t be compared.
As Kiel’s voice spread through the room, the man suddenly stopped in his tracks. His head snapped towards the source of the voice. That voice… it can’t be?
A pair of icy blue eyes inspected Kiel Rroda and widened in surprise. What is he doing here?
The man didn’t have enough time to be surprised for his gaze soon landed on the girl standing next to Kiel Rroda.
At that moment, all his thoughts completely stilled.
He could no longer look away.
Elaru’s long, red hair jumped around, glittering like the most exquisite silk, looking softer than the feathers of a cottonbird. The tanned skin was radiant and flawless, looking as soft as the skin of a newborn baby. The black marking covering the left side of her face, neck, and arm looked like intricate jewelry.
The big teal eyes glowed like two apatite gems capturing the souls of everyone who saw them. The long, thick eyelashes fluttered like wings of a butterfly further perfecting the beauty of that which was already perfect.
She wore loose clothes that covered the most of her exquisite body. However, it couldn’t cover up the allure of her perfect curves. Not being able to see the exquisitely sculpted body underneath was more stimulating than if it had been laid out bare.
Full, naturally red lips that looked edible, long slim legs, round perky breasts, narrow waist.
Beautiful, elegant, exotic, unique.
All those words seemed inadequate to describe the beauty of the girl in front of him.
If one had to compare her beauty to someone, only Arites, the gods’ favorite children, could possibly match her. But even they could only match it, not surpass it.
He didn’t know who she was. He neither knew her personality nor background. He didn’t even know her name. Yet none of it mattered.
One look was enough.
Enough for him to decide that this was a girl he had to have.
His eyes fell on the smooth fingers of her hand that were wrapped around the arm of Kiel Rroda, and a fire ignited inside of him, the likes of which he had not felt before.
The existence of Kiel Rroda did nothing to douse the flames, on the contrary, it only added oil to the fire.
It wasn’t love at first sight. No. It couldn’t even be called lust.
It was a pure longing, or perhaps greed? Yearning for something that didn’t belong to him. A craving to be the only one to possess a peerless treasure.
Everything that belongs to him, I will take.
For that which was stolen from another tasted the sweetest.
The blonde female noticed the strange behavior of her partner. No matter how she pulled on his arm, he didn’t budge. Like a statue, he gazed in a certain direction, unmoving.
The girl finally gave up and looked towards the same direction. As her eyes landed on Kiel Rroda, her pupils widened. She looked back and forth between Kiel Rroda and her partner. What a striking family resemblance! “A cousin of yours?” The girl bashfully asked.
Her voice finally brought her partner out of his daze. The man didn’t turn to face her as he replied: “Not quite.” The man smiled a brilliant smile that was so bright one couldn’t look at it straight. The girl lowered her head to hide the blush spreading over her cheeks.
“Well, well, if it isn’t my little brother.” The man spoke up loud enough to reach the ears of Kiel.
As soon as Kiel heard the voice, his smiling expression stiffened, and his eyes slowly moved towards the source. Elaru followed his gaze to see a devilishly handsome male that was a splitting image of Kiel Rroda. Their faces were so similar that they could easily be twins.
Both of them had eyes of exactly the same icy blue color. Both had black hair with several strands of vivid blue. Besides their clothes and demeanor, the most noticeable difference laid in their hairstyle. While Kiel’s hair was rebelliously reaching past his chin, the hair of this man was stylishly and neatly falling down to his shoulders.
“Let me guess… your brother?” Elaru mused through the telepathic link.
“Rhur Rroda in the flesh.” Kiel confirmed.