Calian faced the front without a word. Of course, he didn’t take off his hood.
Behind Calian stood four large men, each armed with swords. In front of him was an iron desk, and the man sitting behind it was looking down at the pieces of paper that he was holding. They were all of Calian’s receipt that he had used to bet.
“Earning more than 6,000 florens with just three to start… that’s quite a feat.”
Calian didn’t answer. The man shrugged and put down the receipts. He didn’t seem to have particularly expected a reply.
It wasn’t hard to guess why the man had asked to see Calian. The amount was too large. If he were to hand over that much money, he would have to sit through a ridiculous amount of loss. Calian had willingly followed the messenger knowing that the man would try to either negotiate or threaten him.
“I do operate a gambling ground, but we also have basic trade ethics. I’ll give you the money,” said the man, lightly knocking on the desk with his knuckles.
The bulky man who was standing behind him placed a pouch on the desk. When the man coughed up the money more easily than expected, Calian gazed at the man with doubtful eyes.
Although he could not have seen Calian’s face that was hidden under the hood, the man smiled as Calian’s head turned.
“Oh, I asked to see you because-”
The man opened up the pouch towards Calian for him to confirm the gold coins. Calian didn’t turn his head.
“I’m a wee bit worried about letting a child walk out with this much money.”
The tone of his voice changed. One of them must have heard Calian shouting at Kyrie. What they were trying to say was that sure, they’ll hand over the money, but only if Calian came back as a grown-up.
The bulky man who had just placed down the pouch snickered as if they had scripted the whole exchange. Calian gazed at them for a little while.
“I understand that it’s a large sum of money,” began Calian.
The only features that could be seen peeking out under the hood were his lips, and those lips were curled up into a smile. Although his voice was certainly that of a young boy’s, there was no sign of surprise or frustration.
Calian tilted his head slightly and said disappointedly,
“I expected you to at least try to negotiate.”
Instead of replying, the man pointed at Calian’s head.
“Take that annoying hood off first, little boy.”
“No,” answered Calian. He lifted his arm and gently held the tip of his hood, pulling it down even further.
“It’s basic manners to look into the speaker’s eyes when talking, don’t you think?”
The man could easily guess that Calian wasn’t just a commoner boy considering the amount of money he had on him.
However, there was no way that he would be from a very renowned family as he was here without even a bodyguard. The man could only be so rude to him because of this conviction.
“If I take this off,” One corner of Calian’s lips twisted up. He had learnt this provocative smile from Franz.
“You’ll be in big trouble. Really.”
Franz’s smile was very effective. The man cursed at Calian and gestured to the bulky man with his chin. The bulky man walked over to Calian and grabbed for his hood.
Calian reacted almost at the same time.
Calian held down the tip of his hood with his left hand and drew the knife on his left arm with his right hand. He leaped up from his seat and turned around, swinging his knife at the beefy man’s hand.
By the time the man had started screaming while holding onto his hand, Calian had already sat back down.
“W-What the hell?!”
All of this happened instantaneously.
Calian was in his best physical condition right now than he had ever been since he woke up in this body. He could do this much even with his skinny body. Of course, he could probably only do it once or twice for a very short duration, but it didn’t matter.
The four men who were blocking the entrance drew their swords. Just then, a terrifying aura exuded from Calian. A thick miasma of murderous intent filled the office.
The man was speechless. Cold sweat trickled down his spine. He had been exposed to the murderous auras of knights before, but it was clearly different this time. The men surrounding Calian felt the same fear. The tips of their swords trembled.
Those who make a living with businesses like this were quick at reading the atmosphere.
They were different from knights who rushed in with their swords without trying to save themselves. Calian knew that they wouldn’t try to snap at him again once they realised who had the upper hand.
“It’s no fun looking down at me for being young. Don’t ask again about my face. Put your swords away and get rid of that noisy guy over there. Negotiation first, and any threat can come after that.”
Even while the beefy man screamed his head off while clutching onto his dangling hand, Calian’s voice was frighteningly calm.
“If you understand, start again from the beginning.”
Calian smiled brightly, and his murderous intent disappeared instantly. Chills crawled up the man’s neck. It was even more frightening because he could only see Calian’s mouth under the hood.
Fuck, he’s a crazy, armed piece of shit!
The man quickly calculated his chances.
‘Could I win against him if I call in all of my subordinates waiting outside? No, he’s quite fast. There’s no way that those slowpokes could ever catch up to his speed. And just look at his aura. Half of them will fall dead before even drawing their swords.’
The math was simple. He concluded that it was a much better deal to just fork over the money than to see blood and lose money. Just as Calian had expected, he avoided the fight without even drawing his sword in fear of losing.
‘I’ll still be dead meat if I gave him all that money, though. What do I do?’
The man also had his own circumstances.
Although he had brought the money to save face, he would be in trouble if he lost that much money at once. His business would falter and he wouldn’t be able to pay his usual share to the higher-ups. Since Calian had brought up negotiation, the man decided to trust his words and beg.
The man’s tone of voice became polite.
“I-I can’t give you all the money at once. If you tell me where you live, I’ll make sure to send payment every week.”
The tip of Calian’s knife scraped the iron desk. A bloodcurdling noise rang out.
“The swords and the noisy guy,” repeated Calian.
Only then did the man recall what Calian had demanded. He gestures towards the four men. Their swords returned to their sheaths and two of them fled the room, dragging the screaming man with them.
The man began once again,
“Satisfied? Now, if you tell me where you live-”
Wrong answer. The man gritted his teeth.
“I’ll be honest with you. It’s difficult for us to give you all that money at once. We also have to pay the higher-ups every week-”
Calian shushed the man by bringing the knife up to his own lips.
“No need to tell me about things I don’t need to know,” he continued in a low voice.
“I don’t have the money! What do you want me to do?” the man snapped impatiently. Realising what he had done, he flinched and mumbled softly.
“No, I-I mean, it’s just that… I’d appreciate it if you told me what you wanted.”
Calian tapped the desk with the tip of his blade.
“I won’t take the money.
It was the best possible news. The man’s face lit up.
However, Calian wasn’t finished.
“Instead, I want a man. Monster Eyes.”
To the man, it was like a slap in the face out of the blue.
“Ah Fuck!” The man scowled. He was done with the boy’s unreasonable demand. He couldn’t care less anymore.
Calian also noticed the man’s change in attitude. If he allowed him any more time, a fight would start, and the man will realise that Calian is just a powerless boy. He couldn’t let him take his time to think. Calian clenched his teeth.
The man continued,
“He only just started earning back what he’s worth, and Master told me that-”
In that instant, the man shut his mouth.
He heard Calian’s knife – not even a sword – reverberate.
A blue aura swelled up and wrapped around the knife, and formed a long blue blade at the tip of the knife.
It seemed like it could cut through anything. The man’s eyes became distorted in fear.
Having witnessed with their own two eyes what they had only heard about, the men gasped.
They all stared at Calian’s hand in disbelief.
As if to confirm that fact, Calian quietly stood up and raised the knife that was now as long as a sword with the aura wrapping around it.
He swung down the knife directly in front of the man’s nose.
“…!” The man flinched and retracted his shoulders.
There was silence.
The knife soundlessly cut through the thick iron table like it was pudding. Only its blue afterglow lingered like a nightmare.
Beneath the table, the man felt a chill between his knees where the blade of aura had brushed. The man jumped back in reflex. His pants were cleanly and vertically cut, showing his bare legs.
“What the fuck!”
Calian lowered his head.
Blood fought its way up his throat. He grabbed onto the corners of the desk with his both hands and supported his body, swallowing back the coagulation of blood.
He couldn’t pull the same card twice. His heart felt as if it were about to be shredded into pieces.
Calian finally managed to open his mouth and feigned strength.
“Are 6,000 florens and your life worth trading Monster Eyes for?”
Calian’s voice was trembling in pain. However, all the man could hear was Calian trying to keep in his rage.
‘Shit! He’s a swordmaster! There could be hundreds, no, thousands of me, and we still won’t be able to win against him!’
The man hurriedly finished his calculations and nodded. He gestured the two wide-eyed, shaking men behind Calian to bring him in.
The men ran out of the room immediately.
Calian stretched out his arm and retrieved his knife. He didn’t expect the knife to still be in good shape after being sheathed by his aura. It was likely because it was made by a skilful blacksmith, as well as the fact that the aura was only present for an instant.
An empty laugh leaked out of Calian’s lips. ‘I guess I’m weaker than this knife.’
Calian sat back down. He lowered his head once again to hide his pain and slowly regulated his breath.
Five minutes felt like five years. His pain subsided to a somewhat bearable level. It was taking much longer than he had expected. Calian impatiently knocked on the desk with his knife.
The man frantically waved his hand around. He felt as if his lifespan was shortening with every knock.
“H-He’ll be here soon! Please be a little more patient!”
Just as he finished his sentence, the door burst open and the men who had just left rushed in. However, it was just the two of them and no Kyrie.
The man pressed,
“Where is he? Why are you the only ones here?”
“He says… he says that he refuses to leave without Hina…”
Calian’s head jerked up in surprise. His hood almost slid off his head.
Hina. He knew that name.
Could it be that little girl from before…?
When Calian looked up, the man shouted in panic. His life was on the line, and this wasn’t the time to be picky.
“He wants to leave with her?”
“Yes. Hina is a half-blood like him-”
“It doesn’t matter! Bring both of them! Two, three, whatever! Just bring them over!”
They ran out again. This time, it didn’t take them long to come back.
The door swung open again, and four people stepped in. Other than the two men, one of them was Kyrie, and the other was someone Calian had seen not too long ago. She was the silver-haired girl who had been delivering him his receipts.
The man’s face lit up when he saw them.
“Here, take them all. Go on ahead.”
Calian stood up. The man and his subordinates flinched and took a few steps back.
“Both of you, follow me,” said Calian as he walked towards the door.
The man placed his hand on his chest in relief.
“Ah,” Suddenly, Calian turned around and stepped closer.
Calian opened his hand palm-up. The man jolted in shock. Did he change his mind? Now he wants the money as well?
“Give me back my entry fee and the money that I started with.”
Five gold coins. He should use money sparingly.
Original Translation: Wordexcerpt
Edited By: Tani Andris
Calian does make me laugh sometimes.