Episode 89 – Sack of Fat
Goddas stared at the youth like seeing a comrade in arms. “What’s your story? Did you get bullied?”
“You have—no idea!” The youth’s elibu ears seemed to perk up in excitement. Finally, there was someone on whom he could unload his grievances. “You won’t be—believe what happ—ened to me today! I got —robbed…” An especially vicious hiccup made him pause for several seconds before finishing his statement. “In broad daylight!”
“No!” Goddas gasped with much more surprise than needed. “Who dares rob people in broad daylight?” He then lowered his voice sneakily. “Is it one them…Shadows?”
The youth nodded his head animatedly, then suddenly stopped and groaned painfully. What a terrible headache…
“Tough luck… what did they steal?”
The youth’s face turned very sour. “My… hand cream…” He hiccupped pitifully.
“Say what?!” Goddas’ jaw dropped and he stared at the youth dumbfounded. A hand cream?? You are this upset over a hand cream?! Frakk! What was it made out of?! Diamonds?!
Must have heard him wrong… Goddas turned his head to the side and attempted to stick his little finger inside his ear to clean it. However, his little finger was in no way little, so no matter how he tried he couldn’t stick it in.
After multiple failed attempts, Goddas figured that he probably heard the youth right after all. It’s just that… Is ‘hand cream’ some kind of slang term? Is he referring to something else? Kids nowadays…
The youth was completely unaware of the thoughts running through fatty’s head. He continued: “That’s not even—the worst thing!” In his mind flashed a beautiful face surrounded by black and blue hair. The youth’s expression turned incomparably miserable.
“The worst thing is—watching handsome men—fawn over stuck up b—“ He let out a loud sneeze. “I have no idea—what you guys see in—women. Such nasty creatures…” Suddenly he shivered. “…especially red-headed ones…”
Then he proceeded to pout and press his index fingers together in a pitiful manner.
“I happen to love redheads. Spicy!” Fatty’s mouth stretched into a lascivious grin. “What do you mean what “we” see in women? I’ve got one word for you: boobs!”
The youth let out an unresigned “Bah!” and quickly downed the remainder of his glass with a condescending frown on his face. “Nothing but a sack of fat!”
Goddas’ smile vanished from his face into thin air, replaced with a red flush. “Who are you calling a sack of fat?! You skinny little buttcracker!” He slammed his ring littered hands on the counter and attempted to get off his seat furiously. However, the bar stools were bolted to the floor, so he only looked like a jelly struggling to squeeze out of confinement.
“What?” The youth was startled and turned to look at the funny scene. “I didn’t mean you…! Boobs!”
The fatty’s struggle ceased, and he turned his head to look behind himself. “Where? Where? How big are they?”
“Argh!!” The youth slammed both his glass and his head back on the counter and bellowed. “Clarence—give me another shot!”
The bartender, whose name seemed to be Clarence, gave him an apathetic look instead of a drink. “Go home. You are drunk.”
“Eh?” The youth shook his empty glass aggressively. “Are you gonna—refuse me service?”
He then slammed the glass back down impatiently. “Aren’t we all—customers? I pay for—liquor shots, they pay for—headshots—all the same…”
The bartender looked at the notorious Dusk Rose in front of him speechlessly. Only you’d consider them the same…
The fatty finally turned his head back to the youth, a deep frown etched on his round face. “Are you making fun of me?! There are no women here, skinny prick!”
The youth ignored Goddas, still demanding another drink. After several seconds of intense staring, Clarence gave in and filled the youth’s glass again. However, he couldn’t help but comment: “You better stop drinking before you get alcohol poisoning…”
“Hah!” Dusk Rose snorted and downed the glass in a single gulp. “Me? Get poisoned? I am poison master! There is—no poison I can’t—deal wi…” His arrogant speech was interrupted abruptly by a higher force. Suddenly, what came out of Dusk Rose’s mouth wasn’t words…instead, he ended up throwing his entire guts out all over the bar counter.
The fatty to the side screeched miserably and attempted to get off the stools he was sitting on, hoping to escape the danger zone. However, he couldn’t retreat fast enough, and some of the bile ended up reaching him, to his unending horror.
His screech turned ear piercing, he wiggled frantically like a fish caught in a net. The wooden boards the stools were bolted to finally couldn’t take the strain, and they snapped. The stools fell back with a loud crash creating a large scar on the wooden floor with their impact.
The bartender stood rooted to the spot, his always apathetic face finally turning unsightly.
In a small and inconspicuous alley, there was an old bar whose lights were always on, even in the dead of night.
Not many people passed through this old and dirty alley, especially when it was raining such as today.
This is why, when the doors to the old bar opened, there was no one there to see the old bartender carrying a youth by the back of his shirt like a mother lunar carrying her young. The bartender extended his arm over the threshold of the door and threw the youth face first into the dirt like throwing away trash.
The youth’s braid made a beautiful arc in the air before falling down across the youths back and bottom.
The door to the bar stayed closed for several seconds before it opened again. A miserable scream could be heard from inside: “Is there a need to be so vicious?? I already paid for the damage!”
This time, the bartender kicked a giant black rolling ball through the door. The ball rolled straight over the youth, who was lying on the floor with his butt in the air, flattening him into a pancake, before it hit the house on the other side of the alley with a loud crash.
No one paid attention to the crash, thinking it to be merely the sound of thunder.
The slurred cursing of the youth enumerating every curse word in his vocabulary was drowned by the sound of rainfall.
The lightning was flashing dangerously in the sky, the thunder rumbled threateningly, yet, not even lightning and thunder combined could create as oppressing of a mood as the icy glare from Venric Rroda when he got news of the Shadow Lodge mission failure.
He sat like a statue with his fingers crossed in front of him. On the first glance, one would think nothing was wrong.
One would be wrong.
Venric’s icy eyes were flashing with thunder and lightning much more vicious than the storm outside.
Kiel Rroda had somehow managed to take today’s exams, even though Venric had sent a Shadow after him. Even though he lost a hefty deposit for hiring a Shadow, he was powerless to stop the reputation-sullying brought on by a bastard child.
His current fury could only be imagined.
Venric Rroda deduced that soon all other noble families will get word that the Rroda family had a non-mage among their midst. He figured that the next time his family members were forced to attend a party, they would be the laughing stock of the entire event.
Indignation and regret filled Venric Rroda. He deeply regretted that he chose to spare that bastard child. He had 12 years. 12 whole years in which he could have offed him at any moment!
Yet he chose to agree to his son’s demands and spare the little non-mage.
Venric Rroda felt a strong impulse to hire a Shadow of an even higher rank to off that bastard grandson of his right now, but his calm rationality overpowered the impulse.
There was no point in doing that now. The deed had been done. Even if Kiel Rroda suddenly died, it wouldn’t wipe off the stain on their family name. On the contrary, others might suspect that they were the ones that offed their own family member to hide the disgrace.
Kiel’s father would also throw a temper tantrum and become hard to deal with in case the bastard child died. In fact, that father of his was the only reason why Kiel Rroda was alive to this very day.
Also, hiring a Shadow of an even higher rank come at an exorbitant price. It was simply not worth shouldering the cost just to give vent to his anger. Killing Kiel Rroda now would bring many drawbacks and no benefits.
I’ll let him be for now. Venric Rroda concluded. He won’t be able to hide forever. Once the exams are over, he will not be able to enter Muni. Without the protection of Muni, it is only a matter of time until the two of them slip up and fall into my hands.
Once they do… how should I deal with them? Venric quietly pondered in the deathly silence of his study.
Unfortunately, the silence was broken by several loud knocks. “Grandfather, it is me.”
Venric frowned. “Enter.”
The door opened to reveal his grandson, the heir of the family, Rhur Rroda, in all of his handsome, elegant glory. He waltzed in confidently with utmost elegance, a mysterious smile gracing his face. “Grandfather, guess who I just ran into at Black Pearl?”
Venric’s frown turned into a death glare, and he growled out. “I don’t play guessing games.”
Rhur Rroda didn’t show any reaction to his death glare, noticing that there wasn’t much hostility behind it. Rhur stopped right in front of his desk and sat down on one of the chairs which most people didn’t dare to sit in. He then placed his arm on the desk and propped his chin up, looking at Venric with mirth and mischief. “I ran into my little brother. On a date. With a girl.”
Rhur chuckled musically. “Can you beli…” Suddenly, the previously still Venric Rroda sprang into motion. His eyes widened, and he grabbed unprepared Rhur by the collar pulling him up. “Did you catch them?!?”
Rhur’s confident and unperturbed expression turned into a stiff shock with a tinge of dread. “Did I what…??”
His stunned expression told Venric everything.
“You idiot!” Bellowed Venric Rroda. “I mobilized half of our forces to catch that unfilial child, and our men couldn’t find him. Yet you run into him and actually let him walk away!?!”
Rhur was so startled by his words that he stuttered: “W…what…? Well… uh… how was I supposed to know you were looking for them?”
Venric Rroda released Rhur’s collar and flung him back to his seat. Rhur’s shirt was left looking ruffled, it even slid down his shoulder revealing his pearly white collar bone looking so seductive that Venric could barely restrain himself from strangling this lustful grandson of his.
He settled for glaring at him with such dissatisfaction that it would make one’s blood run cold and hair raise in alarm.
The volume of Venric’s voice lowered to normal. However, the tone contained acid that could eat a person alive. “If you actually paid attention to what was going on in the mainhouse instead of loitering around in brothels…”
Rhur’s body suddenly shivered and broke out in goosebumps. “I don’t visit brothels.” He defended himself, looking at Venric in what seemed to be horror. “What do you take me for? I am not that wasteful. Why would I pay for something that I can get for free?”
Venric slammed his fist on the table loudly, making the entire desk shake. “Silence!”
It was a wonder how the desk didn’t break down with the constant abuse it was getting.
After all these years of interaction with Venric, Rhur could tell when he could act willfully and when he needed to shut up.
Now was one of the times when he should wipe off his usual confidence and seductiveness in favor of filial piety and obedience.
Why is grandfather looking for my little brother? Rhur couldn’t help but wonder, but he didn’t dare ask. Venric was reaching the limit of his patience.
Rhur gulped silently, a crystalline bead of sweat rolling down the side of his head. Perhaps now would be a bad time to ask for more money?
The silence descended onto the room once again.
Rhur pulled his shirt back up, hiding his revealed skin, and then proceeded to sit as still as a statue, waiting for Venric to allow him to speak, or to shoo him out. Preferably the second option. He had no desire to converse with his grandfather when he was in such a foul mood.
The next several minutes felt like hours. Although the temperature inside the room was cold, Rhur’s back had long become drenched with sweat.