༺ Old Acquaintance (2) ༻
Women with heavy makeup and daring outfits that could make one dizzy, surrounded me in an instant.
They pressed close to me, wearing provocative smiles.
“Oppa, aren’t you too handsome? It’s my first time seeing someone this good-looking at work.”
“I didn’t know people who look like this come to the brothel too. Oh my, look at the muscles on his arm. Are you an adventurer by any chance?”
“Oh dear, all men are the same. Even a good-looking gentleman like him has a hobby he can’t talk about.”
At one woman’s words, the women around her laughed together.
Despite their hands trying to touch me here and there, I shook my shoulders and gently brushed them off.
“Sorry, but I came here to find someone.”
Then, a woman with red hair and a daringly exposed cleavage softly grinned. She was the one who had made the surrounding women laugh earlier.
“Gentlemen who come here always say that. Which woman are you looking for? Is your taste a mature and sophisticated one?”
The red-haired woman emphasized her voluptuous chest and gave a seductive smile. But when she saw I wasn’t interested, she grabbed the shoulder of another woman beside her and introduced her to me.
“Or do you prefer a small and petite type of woman? Or perhaps a pure and delicate woman like a noble? Don’t be shy, just tell us. Even if it’s a preference you can’t tell others, we can accommodate you.”
Fighting the Demon Army would be better than this.
I shook my head firmly.
“Where is Sylvia?”
“Eh? Sylvia…? I’m sorry, sir, but there is no girl here with that name.”
“No, she’s here.”
My tone was confident, and the women closed their mouths in unison.
Their expressions changed from wanting a desirable customer to surprise and caution towards a stranger.
The red-haired woman spoke with a much colder gaze than before.
“…Sir. I don’t know where you heard that name, but that’s a name you shouldn’t mention carelessly. If another customer had mentioned that name, I would have called security immediately, but I’m giving you another chance because you’re handsome. If you admit you misspoke now, we will treat you as a guest. Otherwise…”
“You heard it right.”
I answered calmly.
“Call Sylvia for me.”
The red-haired woman brushed her bangs upward, sighed deeply, and said,
“Brothers? There’s a gentleman here looking for our sister. Take care of him properly.”
Upon her words, men who had been guarding around the window immediately swarmed around me.
They didn’t hold any weapons in their hands, but their sturdy physique, thick arm muscles, and their attitudes suggested they were probably ex-military or mercenaries.
About ten such men surrounded me.
Among them, a man with a tattoo on his shoulder took the lead.
“Who are you, why are you looking for our sister?”
“I have some business with her.”
I replied casually to his informal tone, and the atmosphere around me grew even more hostile.
They glared at me with a savage look as if they could easily dispose of a man, but I nonchalantly returned their gaze.
“Tell her that Eon Graham has come.”
“No one sees our sister. Just get out. Unless you want to die.”
This is going to be difficult.
It would not have been difficult to subdue them all here, but I had already swung my fists enough on the way here. And considering what my purpose was in coming here, being too aggressive was not advisable.
So instead of swinging my fists, I just stood there with my arms folded, exuding an intense aura.
And opened my mouth in a cold tone.
“You’ll regret it.”
As my aura became denser than the threatening atmosphere they were exuding, the air around me grew heavy.
Several of the men held their breath and stiffened with tension. They looked at me with fear in their eyes.
After a tense standoff in the heavy silence, the tattooed man seemed unable to bear it any longer and spoke.
“Fine! Okay. I’ll at least mention it to our sister.”
As I withdrew my menacing aura, the gathered men urgently gasped for breath.
The tattooed man, who had been clicking his tongue as he watched his subordinates, went inside the brothel.
The person who came out of the building a moment later was not the tattooed man, but a petite girl with braided brown hair and a face full of freckles.
With an innocent smile that didn’t fit the brothel atmosphere, the freckled girl lifted the hem of her skirt and politely greeted me.
“Sylvia said she would meet with you. I’ll guide you to the room.”
I nodded slightly, and the astonished gazes of the people around me, including the red-haired woman, turned toward me.
The inside of the brothel which I entered following the girl, was very noisy with a mix of alcohol, music, laughter, and the voices of men and women.
Despite being an unsuitable environment for a young girl, the girl guiding me seemed unfazed, as if she was already used to the brothel’s scenery.
I deliberately didn’t look around at the surroundings and followed the girl to the guided location. We walked through a long corridor and stairs to arrive at a very luxurious and lavish bedroom located on the top floor of the building.
Looking at the large bed, big enough for five people to roll around with space to spare, it was easy to guess the purpose of this room.
I looked back at the girl as if to ask if this was the right place, and the freckled girl responded with a hopeful gleam in her eyes and a smile full of laughter.
“Wait here, she said. Now, sir, I’ll excuse myself.”
As I showed no reaction, the girl’s expression turned slightly disappointed, but she soon turned around with a bright smile as if nothing had happened.
I spoke to the girl’s back as she left the room.
“Sylvia, how long are you going to keep this up?”
At my words, the girl, who was leaving the room, stopped abruptly.
When she turned around, she wore a lethal and enchanting smile that didn’t match her freckled country girl face.
“So you knew all along?”
The innocent smile on the country girl’s face had disappeared without a trace.
In its place was a once-member of the imperial intelligence agency, a skilled assassin who had once targeted my life, and now the owner of this street known by the nickname of the queen of the underworld.
“When did you find out? Hmm, no. Since it’s you, Eon, you must have known from the beginning. I wanted to see you surprised, but your lack of expression hasn’t changed.”
After asking a question and answering it herself, Sylvia, still maintaining her freckled girl disguise, cheerfully sat on the bed.
Since there were no sofas or chairs to sit on in this spacious room beside the bed, I leaned against the wall and replied indifferently.
“You’re still quite the prankster.”
“I was just testing you. Seeing you recognize my disguise instantly, it’s undoubtedly you, Eon.”
“You doubted me?”
“Of course. You know my situation well, right? The higher the position, the more cautious one should be. Disguising as a familiar figure to find an opening was my best assassination method.”
Sitting on the bed, Sylvia hugged one leg to her chest and spoke with an enchanting smile.
“It’s always fascinating. How do you recognize my disguises?”
Instead of mentioning the exaggerated reactions of the people around when she first revealed herself, the fact that her footsteps didn’t make a sound like an assassin’s when she walked, and the subtle and unique habits I had learned about her, I simply answered nonchalantly.
“Is that so? Your intuition is still the same.”
Sylvia laughed gleefully with her eyes narrowed.
“You wouldn’t come to see me without any business… You have something to ask, right?”
I nodded slightly.
“Don’t ask why, just find someone for me.”
I hesitated for a moment. I wondered if telling Sylvia about Ella was the right choice.
But whether I got a referral for an informant through her or talked to Sylvia directly, the fact that I was looking for Ella would eventually reach her ears anyway. Sylvia was the real power in this underworld.
In the end, I talked about Ella’s personal information. Blonde hair, blue eyes, left the village with a mercenary group 20 years ago, said she was going to the empire but possibly headed to the Kingdom of Ionia instead.
At this, Sylvia couldn’t hide her intrigued expression and let out a meaningful laugh.
“You’re looking for a woman? Hmm, who is it? Did the fierce Eon have a first love?”
“I told you not to ask why.”
“…Oh dear, how scary. You’re really scary, so can you stop looking at me like that?”
Sylvia let out a faint, forced laugh and shook her head side to side, showing her displeasure.
“20 years ago, and even in the Kingdom of Ionia… You do know that there’s nothing left in that land, right?”
“I had no one else to entrust this to. Is it impossible?”
“It’s not impossible, but…”
“Then it’s settled. I’ll pay you as much as you want.”
Sylvia bowed her head and closed her mouth for a moment.
After deep thought, she cautiously spoke up.
“Never mind the money. In that case, will you do me a favor in return?”
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