Chapter 9: Caria Burdnick once again
「Okay…Miss Caria Burdnick, this will be a battle abided by the tavern’s rules. Let’s prepare your duel against Lugis! 」
Old man Richard arrived in the tavern and joined us. As usual, he makes a fuss out of nowhere as he proposed a random duel on the table. On that moment, the waiter brought a ceramic bowl full of alcohol and put in the center of the table. This is a common tavern duel that people bet on something, if they lose they’ll need to pay for the alcohol. I was never really into this kind of duels before, but people in the taverns always found this extremely entertaining.
By the way, what is old man Richard doing right now? He seems to be too excited to start the “betting game”.
「Listen, Lugis. Just lose against her, ‘kay; if you do I’ll have the chance to win the bets. 」
Old man Richard was always a very fraudulent man, and he keeps doing his usual deceits. Not that I expected anything else from him, really. Involuntary, I took a deep sigh.
As I lowered my head, I adjusted my two rusty knives in my sheath. The point edges seemed a bit damaged. Well, they were two old knives in the first place and besides that, the fight against the demon beast didn’t help them either. It looks like they’ll break apart pretty soon.
The person who fought against the demon beast was Caria Burdnick. This woman was sitting on the same table as me, and I took a glimpse at her.
She was looking at me with a smile on her face. Ah, I see. That smile of hers was not of joy, but it was a cynical smile. When I was with the Rescue Party, I saw that kind of smile countless of times.
Really…This situation is amusing and pitiful at the same time. What did I do to God to deserve this?
After I entered the tavern, I was invited to sit beside Caria Burdnick. It was a fine looking table at the back of the tavern. The table was also higher than normal tables. In the past, I wouldn’t be allowed to sit on these kind of tables, but for Caria Burdnick, who was in the Knight Class, it wouldn’t be a problem whatsoever.
「Well…it seems you got out of there safely. I didn’t say it properly before, but congratulations on defeating that monster. 」
「Thanks. I went to the Knight’s Order headquarters to submit evidence that the monster was defeated. They were quite astonished and they spread among the others that the “Burdnick’s daughter” was successful in defeating that thing. 」
A demon. The thing that controls beasts like the one in the forest. There is a theory that professes that a demon who rests within the body of a wild beast is called a hexenbiest. However, during this era, nobody killed a hexenbiest before; or at least no one gave proofs of really killing that thing. The type of magic that is able to kill these monsters will only appear much later in time, during the witchcraft operations that will happen in the near future.
We managed to keep a standard conversation. Caria Burdnick kept explaining the Knight’s Order events and I kept replying to her. Who knew we would be able to have a normal talk like this, but I should not think too high of it, at least not for the moment, still…
The beginning of our encounter in the tavern was surprisingly peaceful. This exchange of small talk seemed natural. Yet, I wonder if we could’ve been like this in the future if things had happened differently? The more I think about it, the more scared I get at this suspicious peacefulness.
However, the mood changed abruptly when the second cup of alcohol was brought into the table.
「By the way. Why did you left me alone on that place? 」
「Why you ask…I guess I would be in your way if I stayed with you. You always kept saying I was in your way, as if I was a huge burden to you all the time. 」
Oh no, I need to close my mouth. I did a mistake. I shouldn’t be saying to her that she “used” to treat me like that. Who treated me awfully was Caria Burdnick from the future. The one in front of me has not been nasty to me so far. Even though, they are the same Caria Burdnick.
A surprised Caria Burdnick raised her eyebrows and opened her mouth.
「You were like this back in the forest. You talked as if you knew me from before, but you kept denying it. You also didn’t seem surprised to know that I was from the Knight Class. You kept ignoring me even when I asked repeatedly. 」
The atmosphere suddenly got worse. At first, I thought that “maybe”, I could understand this woman and have a proper conversation with her.
But why did it turn out like this. I have absolutely no clue.
「…In this country, if you go against the words of the upper class, you can be punished. Do you want me to punish you for ignoring me back then? 」
I ignored her question and I lowered my head while engulfed in my own thoughts.
One thing is sure, according to this country’s customs, we do have a law like that. That’s why Caria Burdnick made that ultimatum since I could be really punished. Even so, the worse that could happen to me would be to do hard labor for several days at best. However, I was angry with myself. I always question things instead of having straight thoughts. I shouldn’t have questioned Caria Burdnick’s behavior, why doubt it, when she is the same Caria she always was.
「Of course, I would have power to do it. But that would be pointless. Anyways, I did not come here for that reason. I just came to verify one thing. 」
Ah, now that she mentions, I do recall what she asked on that forest.
「What’s your name? 」
「…Lugis. It’s just Lugis. It’s a very humble name, though. 」
「I see. Okay then, Lugis. I want to ask you a “mountain” of things. But there is one thing that has been bothering me for a while now, why did you save me? 」
I think she is mentioning the moment when I first jumped in front of the demon beast.
I wonder why. It is a very difficult question to answer. When I ran over there and jumped to attack that monster, I was moved by impulsive and instinctive emotions. But if I tell her that, she’ll not be convinced. I need to explain in a way that she’ll believe. I need to speak with logic and not with feelings.
I noticed that the surrounding guests of the tavern were looking at us when she shouted that she would punish me. I have to be more careful to approach a woman in places like these, especially a woman from the Knight Class, or else I’ll get in a big trouble.
Therefore, I tried to come with this lightly excuse.
「Well, if a beautiful lady is in trouble, isn’t it chivalrous of a man to help her? 」
In a brief moment, there was only silence between the both of us. Then, Caria Burdnick softened her expression and spoke with a “lovely” smile.
「I see. That’s an insult. 」
「Mister! Prepare for a duel! This man here insulted me just now. I will settle this with a duel! 」
Because she shouted so loud, everyone in the tavern took their attention directly at us.
The men looked quite motivated by what she said and the word “duel” made their eyes feverish for entertainment. They instantly pulled the tables over and started making bets to who would win the duel, as they kept asking for more alcohol for the tables.
Why is this happening? Why she interpreted it as an insult? It should’ve been a compliment, am I right?
「I told you before. I am from the Knight Class. You don’t have the right to profess such insulting words against me. I am not a weak woman. 」
My head hurts. This higher-class people are always so full of themselves.
My words are always misinterpreted every single day. Besides, she is looking at me with this aggressive smile across her face. I know what this face means. When Caria Burdnick makes this expression, it means that…
「If you win against me, then I’ll pardon you over this matter. But if I win…」
In the end, she continued to make unreasonable consequences, even in the past.
「You will be my servant. Prepare yourself, because I won’t have mercy on you.」
Now I understood. No matter what kind of answer I would come up with, I have no doubt that this woman would try using the same trick to lure me in.
Editor (rant): Nice deals, if she wins she gets a slave if she loses the duel she loses nothing… nice deal Lugis, nice deals indeed.