༺ Inn (2) ༻
When Siwoo went back outside to pick Amelia up, it was obvious from her expression that she was tired of waiting and even looked ready to burn down the inn itself if he had come out just a bit later.
However, he was afraid of what kind of punishment he would get if he were to tell her that, so he kept his mouth shut.
“What took you so long?”
“My apologies. I had to persuade them to book a room for us, so it took a bit more time than expected.”
Amelia felt a tinge of guilt when she recalled how it was her fault they had to stay at an inn rather than a villa in the first place.
Despite always being able to think rationally without letting her emotions get involved, Amelia was frustrated at the fact that she was always unable to express her true feelings and end up lashing out as a result.
“…What are you all staring at? Don’t mind me and carry on with your business.”
“Nah, I just got a bit surprised for a moment there.”
Siwoo, having already stopped by the bar with Odil the other day, anticipated how people would react when Amelia entered the inn.
The loud chatter would come to a halt as every patron can’t help but admire Amelia’s bewitching beauty.
However, Siwoo’s prediction had partially missed the mark.
Their attitude was a lot bolder than he expected. Not so much as a glance was spared towards Amelia, despite her being both a witch and an aristocrat.
Although the majority of the sailors did give Amelia’s attractive figure a passing glance, they quickly avoided eye contact soon after as if they were reluctant to draw her attention or make her upset.
Even then, however, there were a handful of brave individuals still willing to secretly peek at her alluring face and figure.
“Our room is this way.”
Siwoo attempted to lead Amelia towards the stairs, but Amelia ignored him and instead settled down at an empty table in a secluded corner of the bar.
“First, let us have a quick meal.”
The innkeeper, who had been diligently wiping a random cup behind the counter until just now, made his way over in a hurry to her table the moment Amelia took her seat.
To Siwoo’s surprise, however, the innkeeper spoke to her in a manner that was considerably less than polite.
“I’m so terribly sorry, but it looks like this is much too noisy of a place for such a noble witch such as yourself to stay. Sailors are well-known for being as stubborn as they are loud, so there’s not much point in trying to keep them silent. I will personally deliver the food you order, so please do me a favor and wait in your room until then, okay?”
Not only were his words heavily laced with sarcasm, but he had even gone so far as to tell her to leave in order to not ruin the mood, albeit in a very roundabout manner.
Siwoo was surprised to see someone behaving so arrogantly in the presence of a witch in Gehenna, as he had never encountered such behavior before.
“I don’t enjoy the smell of food on my bed. Please serve me the food here, I promise that I’ll pay you fairly.”
Amelia’s fiery personality made it difficult for her to give in.
She pulled out four shiny gold coins and looked up at the innkeeper, who appeared to be twice her size.
Seemingly troubled, the innkeeper scratched the back of his gradually balding head.
He quickly picked up on the fact that Amelia was a stubborn person.
“With this amount, I’ll still have change left over even if I gather every ingredient in the warehouse. Just one will suffice. Hey, chef! One special course! Put your back into it! It needs to be worth a gold piece!”
The innkeeper only took a gold coin from her and ordered the chef in a loud voice into the kitchen.
He had mentioned that they would be served a special course, something that Siwoo wasn’t expecting to hear from a bar in Gehenna, somewhere most bars wouldn’t even have a decent menu.
Siwoo believed that their inspiration for these dishes must have come from contemporary ideas in the modern world, given their proximity to it.
A short while later, the chef’s special course was prepared and placed on the round table.
The most eye-catching dish that was served was the huge steak, which was already dripping with blood and gravy before it was sliced.
However, that was the end of the meat dishes, and instead, a variety of seafood foods not commonly found in Tarot Town were served.
Among them was a dish called Gambas, prepared using King Prawns mixed with scallops and cooked with a spicy sauce.
[T/N – “감바스”/ Gambas, is a Spanish dish with shrimp and garlic as the main ingredients. The name means “shrimp (gambas) and garlic (ajillo)” in Spanish. It is a name with only two main ingredient names attached. Perhaps because the name is rather long, it is often just called ‘Gambas’ in Korea.]
Alongside the Gambas was a sizable lobster that had been cooked whole, along with a grilled fish head.
That wasn’t the end of things, the remaining space left on the table was entirely covered with around 13 different kinds of dishes.
“Enjoy your meal.”
The chef, who had personally delivered the food directly onto their desk, retreated back into the kitchen as Siwoo struggled to wallow his droll after seeing the wide range of delicacies laid out before him for the first time in his 5 years of slavery.
“Thank you for your kindness! I am truly grateful for your generosity, Ms. Associate Professor.”
Since they were in a bar, Siwoo had to raise his voice in an attempt for Amelia to hear him over the noisy background of the busy bar.
Just as they began to dig into their meal, a loud commotion broke out outside the inn.
“Pay attention, everyone! The crew members whose names are called out are to get ready for departure immediately!”
In order to get everyone’s attention, a man in a nice suit rang a bell as he entered the inn from the outside.
He began to call out the names of the selected crew members one by one from a piece of paper.
“What the hell? Why are we suddenly departing the port?”
“I have no idea. Didn’t the captain say he had to leave right away to take care of something?”
“Max, Ben, Timmy. Hey, wake that guy up and come with me.”
“Why me?! Take the other guy!”
“Have you gone crazy? How am I supposed to navigate a ship without a helmsman this late at night?”
“Shit, it’s been a month since I last set foot on land, and now I’m returning to the sea. Such bad luck.”
The sailors, who were sitting around a table and having fun, hurriedly grabbed their things and made their way to the exit.
Despite all the grumbling and nasty swearing that had been going on since the captain’s instructions, the sailors left in an orderly manner.
The sounds of creaking floorboards and swinging doors resounded throughout the Inn as the crew members left the premise and despite the large number of them leaving there were still over a dozen people inside the inn.
As Siwoo looked around the room in a daze, Amelia continued to eat without a care in the world.
By the time the sailors had finally left, Amelia had also finished her meal.
Given the fact that she only ate a small amount of food, it was only natural that she would finish much faster than Siwoo.
The bar quickly fell into silence as the majority of the remaining guests slowly left.
The bar that was supposed to be filled with drunken chatter was instead filled with an uncomfortable silence, creating a tense atmosphere in the bar.
“Oh, Ms. Witch, it’s good to see you again”.
In that moment, Larissa walked to the side of their table, her heels clicking as she walked.
Amelia straightened her back and looked up at Larissa, dabbing the corners of her mouth with a napkin she’d stashed somewhere.
“What’s the matter?”
”Oh… Nothing in particular, I’m not here for anything.”
“Can’t you see that I’m having a meal?”
Larissa, who was politely speaking, was at a loss for words.
In fact, it was how people usually reacted after hearing Amelia’s way of speaking.
She wasn’t really friendly after all.
“…I actually brought some good wine for the after-party, but with the sailors leaving for their voyage, there aren’t enough people left to share it with..”
Larissa took out two clean wine glasses and placed them on the table.
She deftly poured the wine into the glasses after uncorking the wine bottle.
“This is an expensive wine imported from the modern world, well suited to the tastes of Lady Witch.”
Amelia kept an eye on Larissa’s behavior as if to gauge her true motives.
Given that Larissa ran a store targeting the nobility and Amelia belonged to that class, it was understandable for Amelia to have doubts regarding the reasoning behind her actions.
It was definitely not an act done out of impulse.
“I apologize, but there is nothing I can do to help you in this matter.”
“I know, just take it as a token of sincerity.”
She started to delicately pour the red wine into the glass.
The lingering aroma of food couldn’t compete with the fruity aroma of grapes wafting over their nostrils.
Larissa not only filled the wine glass for Amelia but also for Siwoo as well.
” I hope you have a nice time.”
As if she was done with her business, Larissa took the bottle and poured out the remaining liquid for the sailors around her.
People were behaving normally around Amelia, and somehow she didn’t seem to mind the situation she was in.
Witches were objects of awe and terror, they often tried to posture themselves in front of others, seemingly superior to other beings, whilst Amelia was the polar opposite of such a mindset, which was why behavior like this didn’t bother her.
Amelia took a sip of red wine and frowned.
Noticing her change of expression, Siwoo took a sip from his glass and instantly understood why.
It was a very dry wine.
[T/N – The reason a glass of wine is called “dry” is due to it having no residual sugar.]
Amelia, someone who enjoyed sweet tastes, did not like how it tasted.
”I’ll go to our room first, come up after you’ve finished eating.”
Although the flavor of the wine wasn’t to her liking, Amelia finished her glass without hesitation and stood up from her chair.
”Oh, I’m almost done eating, please wait a little longer.”
”There’s no need for you to be so uptight when eating. Treat this as your reward for your hard work today.”
Today’s hectic schedule of racing about without a break was worthwhile in light of the reward he received.
“And I don’t think I’ve heard your answer yet. What do you think about being assigned as my assistant?”
It turned out that she had not forgotten her offer for him to work as her assistant.
Siwoo, who thought he had lost all opportunities as a result of his earlier slip, was given an unexpected second chance.
“I’m willing to guarantee you the convenience you have now.”
She assumed he was reluctant to accept her offer because he was concerned that becoming her assistant would further restrict his already limited freedom. As a result, she made certain to reassure him about giving conveniences.
Siwoo was able to feel his tensed mind unwind as he came to the realization.
Five years ago, Amelia wanted Siwoo, who was a mathematician in modern times, to be her assistant.
Siwoo had mistaken the offer for a proposal to serve her in bed at night.
He had been conditioned by slave dealers to believe that witches were insane and dangerous, so he rejected the offer as he felt like it was unsafe.
Since being rejected by a slave, Amelia had consistently tormented Siwoo.
Her abrupt improvement in her treatment of him was due to her desire to make another offer for him to work as her assistant.
Her plan was thoughtfully laid out.
Siwoo replied without much hesitation.
After all, he just had to put up with it for just one more year.
If he became Amelia’s exclusive assistant, he might have fewer tasks to do compared to now, even if he wasn’t sure exactly what he would do.
This would give him more time to study magic, and he might be able to complete the magic to get out of Gehenna faster.
He had nothing to lose by accepting the proposal.
Upon hearing Siwoo’s answer, Amelia nodded slowly, as if she was satisfied.
She didn’t show any emotion, but for some reason, Siwoo was able to sense her mood.
“Good decision. l’ll see you tomorrow.”
Amelia went upstairs to the guest room.
Perhaps it was her generosity that allowed him to eat to the end.
Due to his status as a slave, he hardly ever got the chance to eat such delicacies. On top of that, it was a difficult process to get seafood inland.
“But I am grateful for that.”
After noticing that Amelia had gone upstairs, Siwoo began to focus his attention on the delicacies laid out in front of him.
Just as he was about to crack open a lobster shell with his fork, a figure sat down in front of him with a thud.
It was Fyodor, the muscle-bound man who had caused a commotion earlier, who sat down loudly in front of the table.
“What’s the matter?”
Gulping down the glass of wine, Siwoo smiled at Fyodor, his teeth showing.
“You’re a paramour, aren’t you?”
Paramour, that damned title!
Siwoo had no idea why he was being constantly named a paramour, especially since he had never held hands with Amelia before, let alone sex.
“No, I’m not.”
Siwoo said curtly before picking up a lobster and eating it.
There was something unsettling about him. Siwoo decided to eat quickly and head upstairs to avoid the man
But he soon regretted the choice.
When the un-evolved gorilla man had sat down on his table, Siwoo had immediately considered leaving the table.
“What do you mean by no? You’re being unreasonable. I envy you. While some were clapping whores’ arses at the brothel, others were watching the witch’s naked bath.”
He had heard that there were a lot of rough and foolish sailors, but he hadn’t expected it to be to this extent.
Nevertheless, Siwoo, who was regarded as an elite in the outside world, was aware that this rude individual belonged to a race he had never met.
If the gorilla punched Siwoo’s face with his fist the size of his head, his face would be instantly disfigured, but Siwoo was not one to back down, even after gaining more patience through his military and slave life.
“Then why don’t you go bang a whore’s arse. You don’t have to sit in front of someone else’s table and drool all over their food, do you?”
There was a big difference between their physiques.
Fyodor’s face went blank for a moment as if he hadn’t expected to be rebutted in such a manner.
It was only for a moment, though.
The man, who had been condescending towards Siwoo, began to engage in more vulgar banter while mocking him as if he knew everything.
“I’ve come to hear stories about a paramour who clings to a witch and who often gets pampered by her.”
Fyodor dragged his chair and tapped Siwoo on his shoulder.
“Hey, kiddo, talk to me. How’d you do it? There’s no need to keep secrets from brothers is there? What’s it like to fuck a witch? You look young, have you even gotten pubes yet?”
“Are you fucking crazy?”
Siwoo was speechless.
Amelia was a witch.
If Siwoo was actually a paramour, he could report whatever the muscle mountain had said.
He was confused as to why the man would be so rude and arrogant towards a witch.
Was he drunk?
“What’s the color of her nipple huh? Come on, why are you staying silent? Don’t you know that you get to know someone by telling them something interesting about yourself?”
The sight of this man, who spoke of all kinds of insidious sexual harassment against Amelia, made him feel sick and caused him to lose his appetite.
Not wanting to aggravate the situation further, Siwoo pushed Fyodo’s arm away as he finished his meal.
“Be careful what you say. Do you even know who she is?”
For a split second, all Siwon could see was white.
Regaining his bearings, he discovered that his head had been buried under a plate of lobster.
It turned out that Fyodor had used his rugged arm to knock his head onto the table.
”Hey, what does it matter to you, kid? You fucking punk.”
The words rang in his ears as lobster skin plastered over his cheek. He could feel a spicy sensation spread from his nose as if the sauce had entered his nostril.
A disgusting voice rose amid the chaos of the situation.
“Sorry about that. It seems like I accidentally smacked you in the heat of the moment, ah well I had no other choice but to calm my anger.”
However, his voice didn’t seem to be sorry; rather, it was a hateful voice that did not care to hide its laughter.
“I don’t think you’ll ever get the chance to see that witch again.”
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