Chapter 50. I Mean No Harm (9)
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.
His only feature 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 useful, 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 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 ever since he woke up was Calian. 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 entrace drew their swords. Just then, a terrifying aura exuded from Calian. A thick miasma of murderous intent filled the office.
The man was speechless. 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 wih busineeses 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 threatening 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, 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—