Chapter 118: The Taste of Venison
“…Lugis, how about you. Have you eaten venison before?”
On that day, Bruder muttered while polishing his special tools. I remember him speaking with a light tone, yet his narrowly eyes stared attentively at the needles.
Bruder’s needles were not small needles used for sewing.
His needles were about the size of the palm of a large man. These special weapons stabbed vigorously and ripped the flesh immediately. If these needles hit a critical point, then that person would surely die. These special needles were undoubtedly Bruder’s work tools as a mercenary.
「Of course not. Venison is the food of the upper class, isn’t it? I mean, it’s hard for me to even eat chicken every once in a while, much less venison.」
Even chicken was a luxury item for me during that time. So that answer was the best I could come up with. What a pitiful story I had.
Venison. It was a food eaten by the aristocrats of the upper class. The aristocrats made full use of their privileges by owing territories for hunting deer. It seemed that the aristocrats’ taste mainly focused on their pleasure for hunting, and thus, acquiring high-class meat to fill up their gluttonous bellies.
In the past, and even now, people like me, was not allowed to eat deer meat nor even wear products like foolish skins and horns. A deer was a special species, a symbol of social status. In other words, an entity that represented one’s own position in society. I did not know how many gold coins would buy clothes made of deer fur, but it was certainly expensive.
However, Bruder, he…
“Then it’s decided. Let’s eat venison with our lowly mouths. I heard a rumor that it melts in your tongue the moment you taste it. I want to try it.”
As soon as I heard his words, I felt a cold ice crawling through my spine.
Certainly, at that time, I moved my eyes involuntarily to confirm that there were no other people around us. There was no one near us, thankfully.
At that time, I rented a room in the red-light district instead of a cheap hotel, and used it as a base. During the daytime, everyone lived in a pleasant dream world. I felt that no one in this place wanted to return to his or her poor and terrible reality.
However, back to the venison story.
It was a punishment for eating venison or even asking permission to an aristocrat to eat it. Whipping was usually the norm as the lowest form of punishment.
I remember looking at Bruder with astonishment, since he spoke so easily of a forbidden delicacy as if he forgot about the harsh consequences of his words.
「It seems that you are daydreaming. If you want to sleep, then you should sleep. If you are in a dream, then you should stop sleep talking.」
“…Gah, ahahah. It’s fine. Don’t fret too much. Or does it look like I am being pushed and failing to the bottom of a cliff?”
Bruder’s strange optimism was a big headache to me. How could he be so bullish and confident in himself? Bruder’s personality was often incomprehensible to me. He had too much self-confidence and self-esteem.
Enviable in one sense and annoying in another.
「I’m looking at you, but at the same time, I’m not. You are a very peculiar and mysterious person, you know. How can you be so optimistic?」
My lips sharpened and my eyes rounded. My words were strangely memorable. After that, Bruder’s response was also clear in my mind.
His next words were a bit ambiguous, and maybe I misunderstood the meaning since I never really comprehended his behavior.
Bruder rounded his eyes like me and spoke while stroking the edge of his hat with his finger.
“…Of course. Yes, of course I am. Besides, I’m here, and you’re here too, Lugis. If I can’t win, then how will I play the game?”
A silver object pierced the hollow of the back alley.
I saw a long hand in the darkness that wished to rip off my flesh from the shadows. The darkness of the alleys was the most efficient mechanism to attack without showing much skin. Summing up, it allowed the attacker to hide his appearance so that the victim would not recognize its face nor its offensive specialties.
It seemed that my attacker followed that mechanism. Despite his efforts to hide in the darkness, I could see that he threw a long needle weapon at my key point. My eyes blinked.
A crucial moment. If I made a mistake, I would die on the spot. This grim reaper wanted to reach my chin with his white finger.
Nevertheless. My brain accepted this dangerous reality with a strange feeling. I had several reasons for feeling this way. A feeling that made me feel at ease despite the ongoing danger.
First, the darkness was not my enemy. I did not know anyone who could see in the dark as well as me. It seemed that not everything was bad during the Journey of Salvation. Other people would lose sight of the surroundings amidst this darkness. Thanks to my eyes, I did not overlook the weapon, a needle, or rather something as big as that man’s needles.
Another reason was my knowledge. I was familiar with the trajectory of these needles.
I twisted my body lightly and turned it over to the opposite side. At the same time, I pulled the treasure sword from my waist without killing the momentum. The sword had “hero killer” embedded on it, but I guess it was okay to use it now in order to hit the needle and break it.
I saw sparkles coming from the shadows of the back alley. There was no technique, just a violent, swirling blow, and a high sound of cutting through the air.
I managed to deflect this attack from the long hand. The needle mechanism, which lost its momentum and power, seemed that it did not clog yet.
I strongly blinked my eyes one more time. I had no time to take a break. I saw that the silver object was shining at the edge of my field of vision.
I turned my wrist and swung the treasure sword down, as if I aimed at the heavens. All I had to do was swing up the sword in the same orbit as that thing in order to deflect it one more time.
Again, the sound of iron overlapping with iron echoed throughout the back alley.
When I finally took some safe distance and looked into the ground, I noticed that two needles collapsed on the soil.
I shook my head lightly, and I hardened my expression. I could not understand what I was feeling right now.
It felt weird. I usually felt scared or frustrated during battles. I even felt indignation sometimes.
However, for some reason, my heart did not palpitate fast, and the blood flow within my body felt normal.
Yes, normal. There was no change in my heart rate. Actually, it felt like any other regular day. My head was even clear, and I could think calmly and rationally. True, my head was okay to ask why, to try to persuade, or tell everything without covering it up. I felt as if a fog disappeared from my mind and from my eyesight.
Despite this, I felt as if all my calculations were thrown away once I thought deeply about this sudden situation. Only one thought emerged at the center of my head.
“…That bastard. He’s done it.”
I felt cramps in my cheeks. It felt as if a completely different expression was about to come out. Yes, as if I were about to smile. On this very moment.
「I feel weird. Rather bad actually. You managed to endure my attacks. As I can see, your body is unharmed. Perhaps, my head is numb.」
After saying those words, Bruder appeared from shadows of the back alley, as if he were not feeling that well. He adjusted his wide-brimmed hat with his fingers, but his face looked more amused than depressed.
Ah, of course it was Bruder. Moreover, that look on his face. The look of someone whose nature doubted sanity. Bruder, in his assassin mode, appeared before me…
「…Okay, Lugis. Let’s play this game again. I am confident that I won’t lose to you now.」
That ridiculous optimism again.
「…I really hate that trait of yours.」
After all, it was that optimism that killed you Bruder.
Interesting chap! What is Lugis going to do? Bruder is eager to kill him for the sake of the reward. Dear readers, please look forward to the upcoming chapters 😉
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