The Sleepless Night of the Maid — Chapter 79
Translator: Scarlet / Editor: Mango Kitten/Scarlet
Finally, in less than ten days, the Gallahan Merchant group reached the outskirts of Montana. Even with the destination right around the corner, the wagons stayed parked because of the procession of mercenaries passing right before them.
“They are the Potusha mercenaries. They are said to be the strongest and toughest in the entire continent.”
Rex, who sat on the stone steps, spoke sullenly. The guards of the group wanted to meet up with their old comrades, so he had to give up his important time. Rex looked displeased with wasting his precious time, but not Eva and Cecil, who were sitting next to him. Eva was so excited to see famous people right in front of her.
The number of men was about two hundred, and it seemed that there were about thirty or forty who rode like knights on horseback, while the rest seemed to be infantry. Although they seemed like a strong force, strangely the men in the front row were not equipped at all. They were people who walked casually, who’d stop to laugh and converse with people they met on the way. Contrary to what she thought, everyone was so relaxed.
“Are they really the Potusha mercenaries?”
Eva tilted her head and asked Rex.
“Don’t judge them by appearance alone. They may act like idiots, but when the battle starts, they are merciless.”
“Are there others?”
“They are scattered everywhere, but when they all gather, they are about five thousand strong. That’s the equivalent of a kingdom’s army. They are not the Potusha mercenaries for nothing.”
Although he was looking at the mercenaries with unwelcome eyes, Rex’s evaluation of them was quite generous.
“Why do they do such dangerous work? Any mistakes mean they could die.”
Eva did not understand them well. She was told that mercenaries were hired and deployed in the most dangerous and fierce battles. Everyone had their own circumstances, but there was nothing more important than life.
“They earn a lot of money. They either enjoy killing or are desperate enough to make money with their lives as collateral.”
Eva accepted Rex’s words in silence. Among Rex’s answers, the former reason seemed unfathomable, but the latter reason appeared to be understandable. Desperation had the most power and control over people.
“It’s weird. Anyway, why can’t I see Hayden?”
Rex muttered and tilted his head to observe them.
“Who is Hayden?”
Eva looked at him confused and asked. Come to think of it, Rex was scanning the procession while he spoke. She was curious as to why but realised that there must be someone he was trying to find.
“He is the deputy commander of the Potushas. Though he is just the vice-captain, his skills are the best in the Empire. He is also the most trustworthy in the group.”
Eva and Cecil stayed silent as they watched Rex eagerly speak. Baronet Biti would also light up when he talked about popular gladiators or strong warriors. Were all men like this?
Eva knew that Baronet Biti’s interest in those things was because of his gambling, but Rex didn’t gamble.
“There has been no battle that Hayden has lost so far. Even if they lost in a war on rare occasions, he always won every battle. Of course, he has also never lost in a one-on-one match… Oh, there was one. I lost quite a bit of money because of him.”
Rex rolled his eyes and clenched his fists.
“…You bet money…”
Eva said in surprise.
“Three years ago, in a jousting competition, he and a young knight were competing in the final. Of course, I knew Hayden was going to win, so I bet money on him, but it was a draw. Both fell off their horses trying to dodge the other’s lance.”
“The two of them secretly met again away from the castle and fought. This time I bet on the young knight and I lost it again. They both collapsed with holes in their armour. My money was washed away by the blood the two men shed.”
Rex clenched his fists again, as if angry even just by thinking about it.
“Young knights are amazing. He must be famous.”
Cecil mused with curiosity. She was not interested in this kind of thing, but the odd appearance of the mercenaries always gathered the curiosity of the public.
“No one knows the identity of the knight because he wore a helmet. Of course, I know because I secretly saw..”
“Who was it?”
This time, Eva asked with a twinkle in her eyes. Whoever it was must’ve been incredibly strong. She got really curious about the knight who almost beat the vice-captain of Potushas twice without revealing his identity.
Rex opened his mouth immediately and enthusiastically, wanting to explain. But when he heard Eva’s question, he just looked at her, frozen on the spot for a moment.
‘Did I ask a rude question?’
Eva became embarrassed.
Rex smiled mischievously and answered.
‘What kind of person- ‘
As Eva was about to say something, Rex patted her on the head, laughing and continued.
“Keep this in mind. A man with a sword around his heart or on his hip should be avoided. If you aren’t careful, you could come across men like that.”
After saying those mysterious words, Rex got up from his seat. Although he was still smiling, Eva noticed that his smile had changed. Earlier, he had let his walls and let Eva and Cecil in with joy. Now the smile meant that the walls were back up and he would not allow any more questions.
During her time with Rex, Eva saw his many sides, but it all came down to one.
He had wounds, but he was a good man. At least he was one to her.
The Potusha mercenaries were disappearing from the road ahead as they got further away.
Eva embraced Cecil’s shoulders and walked with Rex back into their wagon. Suddenly, Edward’s figure as she had seen on the Bale River came to mind. He too had a lot of wounds, but she couldn’t tell if they were on his body or on his heart.