127. Chapter 127
The tavern was an indispensable presence for those who risked their lives day and night to challenge the labyrinth. To heal dissatisfaction and fatigue caused by the labyrinth they drank liquor, which they sometimes called the water of life. Also, it was used as a way to nurture new interactions. Occasionally, when it wasn’t effective enough, fists would be used for communication, which from the side looked like impromptu entertainment provided to the other guests.
Peyrouse’s party, which was trying to get out of being called a novice, used the tavern as a restaurant, since it was open when the others had already closed at night, and as a place to interact with others and gather information.
Peyrouse was a frequent visitor to the tavern, but in recent days he felt that the atmosphere in the tavern had changed significantly.
Of course, as in the past, there was a lot of fuss and no lack of conversation. Except that lately a rumor about Manhunt’s appearance in the Labyrinth was the hot topic.
According to what Peyrouse had heard, this rumor was caused by the one that caused a series of unnatural annihilation starting from the mid-rank floors, the phenomenon that only monster corpses were swallowed when a battle took place, and the battle scars that were found in the safe room on the 30th floor.
Just a rumor.
Some people laughed and said not to worry too much about something just a rumor.
However, the fact that it wasn’t only a rumor was exposed by the Trimagitack, and the guild was indeed thrown into chaos as if bees were coming out of a honeycomb. Above everything, the Manhunt was the veteran adventurer Faust.
As the oldest active adventurer in the Belgana branch, Faust also served as an instructor and had a sympathetic ear for the problems of the stagnant juniors. As an adventurer, he had given much to the city. Since his real identity was a Manhunt, it was inevitable that people would get restless. And Peyrouse was one of those people.
“Have you seen that? I mean the poster.”
“The one with “that mercenary”?”
Although it was a brief exchange between two mid-rank adventurers, Peyrouse was able to understand the story. Speaking of “that mercenary” in the Labyrinth City, it was a wandering soldier named Walm.
“Right. It seems he’s recruiting people who aim to dive to the deepest floor.”
“Recruiting huh… But that man named Walm, is a mercenary and not even an adventurer. Rather than recruiting for a party, it must be a porter or a guide kind of employment relationship that only the wealthy could afford. Besides, the guild doesn’t know his abilities or background. It’s just too much to handle.”
“But, he’s a guy who managed to dive to the 30th floor, alone. Considering the profit that he may make, it’s not strange if he wants to form a 3 or 4-man party.”
“I wonder if everything will go well. Remember, he’s the guy who killed two people.”
“It’s a legitimate defense, isn’t it? And both were Manhunts. Are you going to defend those bastards?”
“That’s not it… I understand the reason. Whether that wandering mercenary is good or not, he just did what need to do to protect himself against possible danger. But, the one who helped me when I didn’t know this and that, was Faust. Huff, why does it have to be like this.”
“Rambling an old story to let your guard off, and the profits won’t need to be shared, don’t ya think so?”
Could it be the influence of alcohol? In any case, one drunken adventurer was trying to fool the other.
Peyrouse didn’t miss the sharp look in the eyes of the nearby adventurers who were talking. And sensing these unfavorable signs, he immediately put the bread in his hand into his mouth at once.
“You…… Is that the only thing on your mind? Regardless of being a Manhunt, Faust is a first-class adventurer. Sure enough, he’s not short of money.”
“Hah, then he must have made a mistake in choosing a target. I hope he’s quickly hanged and exposed to the public… This is why, you’re easy to fool. Dumbass.”
“You know that once words are spoken, they can’t be taken back.”
“Think I’m afraid? Of a dumbass who just talks and does nothing like you?”
The two switched from a verbal exchange to a physical exchange. Yes, a fistfight. As they made a move, they scattered iron cups and the like on the floor, turning them into musical instruments that signaled the start of a fight. Onlookers noticed the commotion and instead of stopping it, they incited the confrontation.
Peyrouse, who was eating at the nearby table, instructed his party members to not get involved.
“Oi, take the table and move it to the corner.”
Leake and Donna grabbed the table in one breath, and Peyrouse carried the easily toppled liquor bottle. And Matthio, as usual, cared only for his food. He stuffed as much food as he could into his mouth and held the tray tightly.
Donna’s face turned purple with anger.
“Matthio, till when are you going to keep eating?!”
“It’s useless, he’s a hardcore when it comes to food.”
Peyrouse agreed completely with Leake’s words. He half-seriously believed that Matthio was possessed by a hungry wolf or some kind of evil spirit because of his gluttony.
Just a few seconds after being done with moving the table, the mid-rank adventurers who began to wrestle came into the place where Peyrouse’s table was.
“Just in time”
“Well… weren’t there other people fighting over the same topic yesterday?”
With cold eyes, Donna followed the two rolling around on the floor. She had seen this one ugly side of a mid-rank adventurer who was usually a role model, more than enough.
Faust was also a mediator in the tavern. But now his existence was just oil for a fire. And no one could control for the time being how far the fire would spread.
“Guess this topic won’t end for a while.”
“Right, more than that, that mercenary is recruiting.”
Leake muttered something meaningful, but even Peyrouse could read his simple thoughts.
“Don’t waste your time. We aren’t good enough.”
Thinking only about profit, there would be no more reliable person than the mercenary. But after adding the disadvantages, it would be a different story.
First of all, there would be an unequal distribution due to the difference in abilities, and if they had to deal with a monster from the mid-rank floors, Peyrouse and others who were classified as fledglings could only imagine a future in which they would die immediately. And if a quarrel with someone else arose, they wouldn’t be able to help suppress it. Above all, no one in his party had ever made contact with the mercenary Walm.
Even Faust, who was trusted and collected achievements, deceived the guild and the citizens. No one could trust the mercenary who had recently washed ashore.
Although it was just a formality, Peyrouse, who was in charge of the party, couldn’t agree to the proposal of joining the mercenary. In the first place, it was hard to say that they were attractive as companions. They might get rejected even before they could say anything to the mercenary.
“I understand. Still, such a thing as recruiting people who will go to the deepest floor of the labyrinth. Even I, would like to say these words one day.”
“It’s a distant, hazy dream… If I’m not mistaken, I heard there was a such recruiting in the past.”
Peyrouse searched for faded memories. A village elder, who had served in the military, telling old stories at the harvest festival endlessly came to mind. Right. The pitiful Peyrouse, fell prey every year. Among those many stories, there was the story where at the time the army disbanded or had a break period, the soldiers were given permission to go into the newly robbed labyrinth, so they went in to get money for travel expenses to their hometown or to buy gifts for their family.
“If I remember correctly, right after the end of the “Unification War”, the militia who had finished their military service and the soldiers who had time off due to disarmament were said to have earned a living in the labyrinth.”
“I don’t know the details, but the Unification War was over 80 years ago, right?”
“During the Unification War, Belgana was the most fiercely fought area among the battles that took place within the archipelago. It’s said that about 100,000 soldiers died. That’s the only thing I know.”
The battle, which even involved urban areas, was extremely cruel, and even when the village elder, whose words flowed like a river in telling the story, slowly turned the river into muddy water. It was such a dark history.
“Even if we talk about old stories, it won’t help us anything.”
Leake exhaled deliberately and shook his head. His strangely annoyed face tempted Peyrouse to poke his head with the liquor bottle.
“Don’t lump me in with you.”
Said Donna, perhaps she felt the same way Peyrouse did.
After a struggle between temptation and self-control, Peyrouse’s mind, which narrowly won over by reason, placed the liquor bottle on the table, which had been evacuated to safety. The battle that was going on nearby wasn’t yet decided, and it looked like the dirty fight with intertwined hands and feet would go on for a while.
Thus, another day of commotion passed in the tavern.
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