~ Chapter 130: Slick (Part 2) ~
Looking back at him, I replied “When you have the time, please visit Illsyorea. Once you do, you will find your perspective... broadened.”
He blinked and looked at me surprised.
“Illsyorea, hm? Never heard of it.” he replied while rubbing his chin.
“You jest, sir. You haven't heard of the island under the protection of the Paramanium Empire and ruled by the kind Godlike Dungeon Lord Illsyore?” I giggled, taking his words as a joke.
The look in his eyes, however, told me that he really had nod idea such a place existed.
“And, Miss Shanteya... you hail from there?” he asked.
I jumped out of the carriage. Looking back at him, I told him with a smile “This is my stop, and yes. I'm Illsyore's wife, after all.” I giggled.
I left the stunned merchant behind as I made my way inside the Guild Hall. Like it was in the case of any other Adventurers Guild, this place was overflowing with the spirit of adventure and the scent of booze. As a new face here, I immediately caught their attention, but I ignored them and made my way to the receptionist, a teenage girl with hazel eyes and light brown hair tied up in two cute ponytails.
“I'm here to report the completion of an Escort Quest.” I said.
“Please submit the proof of completion, the document given to you by the merchant who requested it, then complete this form.” she said with a smile.
While I wrote down the details of the mission, including the number of monsters, type, and where they appeared, I thought back at my own identity as Shanteya Deus, the wife of Illsyore Deus.
There shouldn't be that many who knew of me just by appearance alone, but rumors of Illsyorea should have spread quite far and wide in these past three years. The battle against the Paramanium Empire's fleet, its defeat, and the subsequent enthronement of the next Emperor were matters that should have shook all the three continents.
In the balance of power, a country appeared over night that made even the most powerful Empire bow before it on its knees. A matter of such a nature couldn't have been ignored by the kings and generals of the world, yet so far, it seemed that not many took it seriously. A proof of this was the reaction of the Devmazur Merchant Collective.
“Here's your reward.” the receptionist handed me a purse of coins after she received the completed form.
“Thank you.” I replied with a smile and then made my way outside.
Now, if I remember right, Gallus said that in order to meet the Slick, I had to go to the Butcher's Bay Tavern and ask for a Moldy Yarn Beverage. It was a code of some sort through which the bartender would know that I have been referred there by a former client of Slick's. I thought as I made my way down the street.
By asking the guards for directions, I managed to find the establishment. It was located in Little Slum City, or how the area near the South Wall of Razneva was called. Unlike regular slums, however, this place looked very clean and well maintained.
When I asked someone if this place was indeed the Slums, I was told that a long time ago, this was no place for a beautiful woman like myself, but these days, it was just considered the Poor Neighborhood. The security here was quite good, and there weren't that many cases of burglaries and crimes as one would expect of an area bearing such a distinctive name.
I made my way inside the tavern and ordered at the bar the Moldy Yarn Beverage. The bartender nodded once and then went to the back. After a moment, he brought me a glass of a water and a note.
The flower sings the morning's bell... Is this some kind of riddle? I wondered after reading it.
“Second floor, first door on the right.” the bartender said and then left to serve another customer.
I left the glass untouched and then went upstairs. I knocked once on the door.
“Who is it?” a rough voice asked.
“The flower sings the morning's bell.” I replied.
The door opened, and the big man acting as a guard stepped aside. I entered the room and was immediately struck by a strong scent of tobacco.
“Oh, my! An albino el'doraw, how rare!” the greeting came from my right.
I turned my eyes towards the man who spoke. He was a human of the same descent as Yung Mai. Illsy called them Asian. He was sitting at his desk located in another room. A stack of papers were on his right, and a half-written document was in front of him. The feather was in its hold next to the ink bottle.
“A pleasure to meet you, mister Slick.” I said as I entered the room.
After I walked inside, the man who opened the entrance door closed this room's door behind me.
“How flattering to know of me, yet I do not seem to know of you. Who are you, my dear?” he asked as he intertwined his fingers and looked into my eyes with a smile.
“My name is Shanteya Deus.” I replied.
“Oho~” his interest was peaked when he heard my name.
“I'm guessing you are familiar with the new nation founded by the one called Illsyore Deus?” I asked.
“How could I not? A man in my position needs to learn of such things if he is to survive in this business. So tell me, my dear. What can Slick do for you?” he asked.
“Phantom Rage. Point me in the direction of one of their hideouts.” I said.
His smile vanished and his eyes turned serious.
“That's a dangerous prey you are hunting, my dear.” he said.
“Dangerous? For what? A Supreme or an Over Supreme?” I asked.
“An Over Supreme? I never heard of that rank.” he replied surprised.
“Let's say that little info is part of my payment. Now you know there are entities past the strength of a normal Supreme.” I said with a smile.
“You have my interest.” he rubbed his chin. “But the Phantom Rage are good clients, why should I sell them out?” he asked.
“First of all, you can do better business with them out of the way. Second of all, having a good point with Illsyorea isn't that bad of a deal. And lastly, because you already revealed to know something about them, you gave me all the reasons I need to go after you.” I replied with a smile.
“Hm? And you think you can do that?” he asked as he lifted the corners of his lips and was about to snap his fingers but I prevented him from doing so.
I moved faster than he could blink and placed my dagger, which I pulled out of my Storage Crystal, under his chin, while I stopped his finger with my hand.
“I can do more than that.” I told him.
“Hm. How interesting!” he said with a big smile.
He wasn't afraid of the possibility that I might slash his throat, on the contrary, he looked excited about seeing my power first hand.
His eyes then fell on my wedding ring.
“This ring... so you are... I see.” he nodded as if he understood something.
I removed my dagger from his neck and moved back in front of his desk.
“Do we have a deal?” I asked.
“Yes. But I do wish to ask something of you.” he looked at me.
“What is it?” I tilted my head to the left.
“How does your husband treat other Dungeons?”
“Pay me first, and I will answer.” I replied with a smile.
“Cunning! I like that in a woman!” he laughed then abruptly stopped “Hermandez Vasca.” he said.
“Who is he?” I furrowed my brow.
“Answer me first.” he requested in a polite tone of voice.
“Killers and psychopaths are killed. Peaceful and kind ones are protected.” I replied.
“How strange! So very strange, he almost acts like one of those from the Dungeon Continent!” he said as he rubbed his chin.
I narrowed my eyes at him “You let that one slip intentionally. What's your aim?” I asked without cutting corners.
“It's simple, miss Shanteya. I'm interested in anything related to Dungeons. If your husband ever wants to go back to the Motherland, tell him to drop by my office. The Dungeon Lord Slick will answer his questions... for a price, of course.” he showed me a smile.
His words left me my mouth opened in surprise. To think I would encounter another humanoid Dungeon was completely out of my expectation. More so if you thought about his profession as an information broker.
“I am pleased to learn of such things, miss Shanteya. Your husband is as the rumors say. I will keep that in mind. Now, let us deal with matters like professionals. 100 Gold Coins for everything I know about the Phantom Rage. What do you think?” he asked with a smile.
“It sounds reasonable.” I nodded and then placed 100 goldiettes on his desk.
“Paramanium Gold Coins.” he corrected himself.
This 'mistake' didn't bother me. I placed the goldiettes back into my Storage Crystal and then placed 100 Paramanium Gold Coins in front of him.
“These are genuine. Very well.” he nodded and then absorbed the coins like I often saw Illsy and Nanya doing it.
“Then, what do you know about the Phantom Rage?” I asked.
“If you journey from here South to Lundrara Kingdom, you will find the noble named Hermandez Vasca. He is the leader of a nearby hideout for the Phantom Rage. I gave his name because he was the only one who refused to pay me for my information. I don't take kindly to such disrespectful behavior, you know?” he showed me a smile and then continued “Within the Sorone Continent, the Phantom Rage takes the role of independent merchant companies, information brokers, shadow dealers, black market vendors, assassins, brothels, and many many other illegitimate or semi-legitimate businesses. They are both the plague and saviors of the kingdoms here. Taking them out might cause some problems for the majority of the kingdoms around these parts, except for the Aunnar Kingdom. Ever since a strange event that destroyed the palace several years back, they had been on a continuous growth spurt. They are the only ones who are actively fighting against slavery. That justice-abiding second prince is really troublesome for those of us who live within the shadows.” he showed me a wry smile.
“Is that all?” I asked.
“No. When you meet Hermandez Vasca, tell him you know about the hideout in Cordina Kingdom. That man is a fool and will most likely either think you are a messenger sent by his superior in Cordina or an assassin sent to replace him. You can do what you want with the information.”
“I will, do no worry about it.” I nodded and then turned around.
“Oh, do tell Illsyore that I said hello! I will try to make a visit to Illsyorea as soon as I can!” he said in a cheerful tone of voice as I left the room.
Without replying or saying another word, I went down to the first floor and then made my way to an inn, where I planned on spending the night.
I may not need to become a famous adventurer after all... I thought as I remembered my initial plan of increasing my rank and then going on a hunt for the individual members of Phantom Rage.
Ayuseya and Nanya also made plans on how they were going to complete their missions, but life wasn't that easy. It had the uncanny ability to twist our plans around and force us to make all sort of unexpected changes. I now had the perfect lead to one of the Phantom Rage's hideouts and a dagger that couldn't wait to taste assassin blood.
Note from the author: Thank you for reading this chapter, I hope you enjoyed it! Oh, and be sure to check out my other stories too!
I know some of you are troubled by my typos and at times grammar mistakes. I do edit it to the best of my abilities before posting it, but some things just slip through for various reason (mostly because before editing it, the whole chapter is a mess). However, if you have fun looking for them, go ahead and let me know where they are. On my discord server, there's a special channel just for that: help_author_edit
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