༺ Inn (3) ༻
Siwoo felt a throbbing pain in his head as he was pressed against the plate.
The giant, who was a head taller than Siwoo, showed off his gorilla-like strength.
Siwoo couldn’t move his head no matter how hard he tried.
“What a fucking idiot.”
Fyodor said mockingly as he saw Siwoo struggling to move,
Siwoo ignored Fyodor’s remark and instead focused on figuring out how and why the situation had escalated this way.
The answer to his question would become clear if he could just reorganize his thoughts and find the previously laid out clues.
Why did this happen in the first place?
The following were the most obvious clues to help him better grasp his situation:
The first clue, Fyodor had mockingly called Siwoo a paramour.
Since the majority of the citizens were required for the convenience of witches, Gehenna’s city law guaranteed ordinary citizens’ rights to life and property.
The witch’s only victims would be the slaves, since as long as the citizens never broke any laws, they were never punished. Therefore, the citizens’ feelings towards witches could only be described as awe, fear, and respect.
Gehenna’s citizens were like peasants in the manner in which they treated the aristocracy and royal family, but Fyodor wasn’t like other citizens. Not only did his tone show contempt for Siwoo, but for witches as well.
The second clue was that Fyodor was both a Nagaho sailor and smuggler.
Unlike citizens who had spent their entire lives in Gehenna, Fyodor, a smuggler, traveled back and forth between the modern world and Gehenna.
Who despised humans more: a bird who had lived in a cage without ever seeing the grand blue sky, or a bird who had tasted freedom, but was always forced back into his cage?
It went without saying that the ordinary citizens of Gehenna and the slaves that were brought in had experienced great oppression for years and had every right to harbor deep resentment towards witches.
Based on his previous actions thus far, his resentment towards witches would be similar to that of a slave.
But there was one more question that had, yet to be answered
What led to this situation?
As mentioned earlier, Fyodor looked down on Siwoo by calling him a paramour, but displaying contempt and expressing it with violence were two completely different matters.
If someone tried to hit a witch’s favorite paramour out of malice, he would have to deal with the consequences.
Fyodor’s remarks after slamming Siwoo’s head against the plate was the crucial piece of information he needed to finally figure out the cause of this issue, “Sorry, but I had no choice.” Along with “You’ll never see that witch again.”
Those were the exact words he had uttered.
“Why don’t you whine like you did before?”
– Slam! Slam! Slam!
– Crack crack crack
Fyodor grabbed Siwoo by the back of his hair and repeatedly bashed his forehead against the table, the stacked tableware and dishes fell causing them to spill all over the floor with a loud crash.
The skin on his forehead had been torn by the repeated slams and his vision was dyed red.
If this continued, he surely would die.
Even if the giant man had no intention of killing him, his body wouldn’t be able to handle Fyodor’s gorilla-like strength much longer.
When Siwoo realized this, his hand moved at lightning speed.
It was a situation where he couldn’t use the mana he had worked so hard to polish.
Unfortunately for Siwoo, he lacked both mana and a method to activate it at the moment.
With little room for options, Siwoo took a fork from the table and plunged it into Fyodor’s meaty thigh with as much strength as he could possibly muster.
It was an improvised reaction to a survival situation.
The sharp fork pierced the fabric of the thick jeans and with little to no effort penetrated the soft flesh and muscle underneath.
The effect was great considering Fyodor loosened his grip on Siwoo’s hair because of the sudden pain.
Siwoo widened the distance between them, attempting to get over his dizzy state.
“Look at this sly cunt.”
Fyodor trembling with rage pulled the fork out of his thigh all at once.
Siwoo had used all of his might to pierce it, yet the wound appeared to be shallower than he expected.
Siwoo reached over to the other table and grabbed a meat-cutting knife.
The bar served a pretty thick steak whole, so it wasn’t the kind of dinner knife you’d see in a family restaurant.
The knife was cruder than a regular dinner knife, which meant that if used skillfully it could even kill people.
Fyodor, aware of this, didn’t rush forward recklessly.
“What are you going to do with it? You’re going to stab me in the stomach?”
The knife bought Siwoo some time to think, thus he needed to make the most of the time given and attempt to seek out more information.
The scream was so loud that Fyodor frowned.
Then three seconds later the first floor of the bar was filled with laughter.
“Look at the kid looking for his master.”
“It’s a spectacular sight, indeed, kekeke.”
Siwoo ignoring their sarcastic remarks slowly widened the distance between himself and Fyodor.
It would take some more time to accurately judge the situation.
“Hey, come here, motherfucker. I’ll gouge your eyes out with a fork.”
10 seconds passed, then 15, 20, and eventually 30, yet there was no response from upstairs.
Amelia didn’t show up.
This was the final nail in the coffin for him to figure out what was going on.
“You guys are really crazy!”
Siwoo now knew the reason why they said he would never see Amelia again.
These sailors all conspired together to target Amelia.
These sailors had all conspired against Amelia and it appears that they have already succeeded whether partially or completely.
As long as they could deal with any future hindrances, a witch’s favorite slave could easily be eliminated.
Siwoo didn’t know why they did it, or even how they managed to pull it off.
Amelia was a witch.
She was Baroness Marigold and held the 22nd rank in the hierarchy of Witch aristocracy.
She was a powerful witch, capable enough to outwit even the most advanced and cutting-edge strategic weapons, meanwhile, Siwoo was incapable of confronting such a large group of people.
But now she didn’t even respond to Siwoo’s screams meaning they had succeeded in overpowering Amelia.
The most likely way to accomplish such a feat would be the wine Larissa had brought them.
“That’s enough, Fyodor. What are you doing with a kid?”
When Fyodor approached Siwoo quietly, a character who could solidify Siwoo’s assumption appeared on stage.
The owner of the Blue Snake Junction and a member of Naga Lake, Larissa had appeared.
“Don’t interrupt me and get out of here, this fucker put a hole in my thigh.”
“Go on ahead and get the sail ready. I don’t have the time to play around.”
“Larissa, you’ve been covering that kid for a while now….”
Fyodor’s complexion hardened as he felt the barrel of a gun touching in between his hip bones.
“You’re kidding, right?
Larissa was holding Tokarev, a pistol that nowadays could only be seen in spy movies.1[T/N – The TT-30, commonly known simply as the Tokarev, is an out-of-production Soviet semi-automatic pistol.]
She was pointing it between Fyodor’s buttocks, his family jewels to be precise.
“Do you want to play marbles with me here? Or do you want to shut up and start preparing to set sail? You know that the Tokarev lacks a safety feature, right? If I pull the trigger like this, boom! You’re done.”
“Hey, hey, I got it! You bitch! I just can’t stand the sight of such a good-looking fellow.”
“Think of my position only rolling among burly guys like you. It’s been a while since I’ve seen a cute guy, and you know you shouldn’t kill him.”
“Who was going to kill whom? I was just teaching him a lesson about obedience the hard way.”
“You just talked back, didn’t you?”
“I didn’t! I didn’t! Put that thing away!”
Fyodor threw the fork away with a fed-up expression and led the rest of the crew to set sail.
“Hey! You should get moving, too!”
Soon, only Larissa and Siwoo remained on the first floor of the bar.
This time, Larissa, who had observed the previous scene, pointed her pistol at Siwoo’s chest.
When she pointed the end of a small pistol at him like a scene from a movie, he wondered why he couldn’t move.
It was simply the suffocating pressure from the little hole facing toward him that inhibited his movement.
“Is it Shin Siwoo?”
“I won’t thank you for saving me.”
“It’s all right to pay lip service for what I did earlier for you.”
“You are a much scary sister than I thought.”
Larissa just grinned at Siwoo’s resentful words.
“There’s still something I need you to help me with. Don’t you want to know why this happened?”
“What happened to Lady Amelia?”
“If you’re curious, go to the guest room. Stand in front of me, and don’t ever look behind you. Oh, but before that, put down that lovely knife.”
Siwoo did as he was told and dropped the knife.
He wasn’t a former member of the special forces or a retired intelligence agent.
He had no intention of facing a gun with a crude knife.
By the way, in Border Town, they carried pistols for self-defense.
His thoughts may have been a little crazy due to the excessive adrenaline coursing through his system but he wasn’t that crazy.
Slowly while creating a semicircle around Siwoo with her gun still pointed at him, Larissa ushered him towards the stairs leading to the guest room.
“I’m curious about how much you’ve figured out, can’t you tell me? It would save me the trouble of explaining everything.”
Siwoo answered as he climbed the stairs.
“The people involved in this incident include you as well as the sailors who weren’t called up earlier. Lady Amelia is most likely unconscious, therefore some kind of drug or substance that makes people fall unconscious was put in the wine you gave us earlier.”
“Is that all?”
“…the conspirator may be a witch outside Gehenna.”
Larissa, who was listening to everything Siwoo had said so far, replied in an amazed tone.
“That’s right! You’re like Sherlock Holmes! I didn’t expect you to notice a witch was involved.”
It wasn’t difficult to figure out once he contemplated the previous circumstances for a moment.
Everyone, including Siwoo and Larissa, had drank that wine together, yet Amelia was the only one who ended up unconscious.
It was possible for Larissa to be given a poison that only worked when mana was present in the body.
If a trap caught Amelia without her realizing it, the only explanation would be that the conspirator was a witch high in the hierarchy.
Furthermore, if she wasn’t an idiot she should be aware that she wouldn’t be safe after causing such a fuss against the witch, she would obviously have had countermeasures or a backup plan.
“Is it ‘An Outcast’ ?”
“That’s correct, too.”
Larissa responded by clapping her hands.
Not all witches lived in Gehenna.
Surprisingly, the proportion of witches who lived inside Gehenna, like Amelia or the twins, was at most half of the total amount.
The remaining half settled in modern times, but even this half was defined by two types.
One of these types were the witches who chose to stay in modern times simply due to its comfortability or for more personal reasons and business opportunity.
The other type of witches were the ‘Outcast.’ An Outcast was a witch who had their citizenship revoked and couldn’t enter Genenna due to breaking an unwritten law.
The detailed reasons may vary, but some of them have committed the following crimes:
The one who had hurt another witch’s apprentice witch.
The one who had caused too many casualties while experimenting with magic
“You’re going to steal the brand, aren’t you?
The one who killed another witch and robbed them of her brand in order to elevate their magical rank.
“Right answer! I thought you were just a good-looking guy and not much else, but you are surprisingly intelligent and quick-witted. Go ahead and open the third door on the right.”
Siwoo opened the door of the guest room and went in.
Amelia was lying on the floor as if she were on a bed.
Forgetting the fact that Larissa was aiming a gun behind him, he hurriedly rushed over to her to see her condition.
“Stop! If you put your hands on her body, I’ll shoot you.”
Larissa stopped Siwoo with a sharp voice.
“At least let me check her condition!”
“Fine, but do it without touching her.”
Siwoo glared at Larissa and put his finger under Amelia’s nose.
Even though he hated Amelia so much, he was still worried when he saw her lying on the floor like that.
He sighed softly in relief.
Even if he shook her, Siwoo doubted she would wake up.
Her breathing was weak and slow, as if she were in a coma.
“Hey, don’t act rashly. I almost jumped and shot you, I don’t want to kill you, so please be careful from now on.”
As she calmed down and reorganized the situation it was clear to Siwoo that there was little to no reason not to shoot him in this situation.
It would be preferable to kill and silence Siwoo, the only witness, than to be pursued after they had stepped out of Border Town’s gates.
“Why don’t you shoot me?”
“You’re even complaining about that?”
Larissa shrugged her shoulders as she noticed Siwoo’s eyes staring at her in wonder, then she continued speaking.
“The witch will suffer the same fate as you who was captured and dragged here against your will, losing not only your freedom but your human rights. Everything is as you said it was, some of the crew, including Fyodor, and I signed a contract with a witch outside of Gehenna. I was offered a place to live in the modern world if I kidnapped a suitable witch.”
Larissa put her pistol down.
Naturally, she kept a safe distance from Siwoo so that she could fire whenever she felt threatened.
“I’ve been waiting for a chance like this for a long time you know, luckily enough I was able to reap a great harvest tonight. While we were renting the shop, a noble witch happened to appear with nothing but a single slave.”
No wonder their movements were so organized.
Amelia was like a butterfly that entered the open-mouth of a carnivorous plant.
“Actually, life here isn’t that bad, I’m pretty rich, and I’m good enough to get most of the things I want in Border Town.”
Siwoo asked Larissa.
“Then why attempt to pull off such a dangerous stunt?”
The act of kidnapping a witch was not without risk.
If she failed or got caught halfway, those participating in the operation would surely be executed.
Larissa’s reply was both sad and lonely in some ways.
“Even if you have a thousand pounds of gold in Gehenna, you still can’t buy freedom.”
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- 1[T/N – The TT-30, commonly known simply as the Tokarev, is an out-of-production Soviet semi-automatic pistol.]