Chapter 40 The Lawless city(1)
Translator: BaeBae Editor: BaeBae
Juan tilted his head and looked around the city.
He hadn’t seen many cities yet but this one called Hiveden that he’d first come across after crossing the Laus mountains was certainly peculiar.
Firstly, there were a lot of demi-humans.
Fauns that looked like scouts, elves, dwarves, and even black haired people that appeared to have come from beyond the border.
No one sent curious glances at Juan. It would be a different story if he had his grey cloak on, but he already had it hidden from sight.
The city’s scenery reminded him of Tantil, but one difference was most of the demi humans didn’t appear to be slaves.
Their expression was light, and they were all getting along. Also there were hardly any religious sculptures in the city.
Compared to Tantil, where he saw carvings and sculptures related to the emperor everywhere, it was almost peculiar.
‘Isn’t this city part of the central province.’
But it seemed, not everything was all peaceful.
Frivolous swindles jiggled their coins and rough looking men strolled the streets.
He could also see drunk people lying in alleyways and kids picking their pockets.
Furthermore, Juan could see one common attribute.
Everyone was armed.
He could now understand the casual atmosphere of the city.
One wrong behaviour and one could have a knife sticking out their side. Juan had been confused why there weren’t any guards or soldiers patrolling the city. Even the White crow knights were located close by.
He quickly understood why.
“Kid, look where you’re going.”
A large male figure almost hit Juan as he passed.
Juan could have his eyes closed and never run into anyone, but this man had an unpleasant expression when they’d barely even touched.
Juan tried to ignore it but someone grabbed his shoulder.
“You’re in luck, kid.”
Juan lifted his chin and looked up.
A cheerful looking young woman that seemed out of place in this city was looking down at him. Behind her, stood a young and an elderly male that looked like her guard or companion.
“I’m in luck, you say?”
“Thats right. That’s a dangerous person you just ran into. You see his cloak and his red axe pendant? He’s part of the bloody axe clan, one of the city’s most violent groups. You better be careful whenever you see them. I’ve heard they have got the Hugin knight’s backing as well. You’ve heard of them right? Those scary pe…..”
Juan quickly scanned the woman from top to bottom. The woman flustered at Juan’s gaze but held her hand out and smiled.
“You must’ve come across the border. What’s your name? Ah, my name is…..”
The woman once again flustered at hearing his name.
Juan stopped paying attention to her and walked up to the large man he’d passed. The man fell forwards at being hit from behind so suddenly.
“Keu-ak! What, who… You bastard!”
“You, do you know the Hugin knights?”
“What? In the middle of the street…..Have you got an early death wish?”
Juan smiled sinisterly.
Hiveden was a city that was built without a plan. There were dark places just around alleyways.
Where corpses wouldn’t be found for days.
Juan slid his dagger into the sheath. Taltere’s dagger glowed red as if it was thrilled from drinking blood.
The blood on the dagger did not have to be cleaned, which was convenient for Juan.
Hugin knights huh.
Juan was well aware of them.
They were the knights under his youngest adopted child, Lars Raude.
While he didn’t know the exact details, he’d heard Lars was one of the Six apostates that had betrayed him.
That he had marched up from the southern region and had been cut off by Vares Valte.
That was all Juan knew for now.
The problem was that this was the case for this man aswell.
He wasn’t related in any way to Hugin knights or knew much. If everything bad acts that he’d ever done in his life were considered, he would likely deserve death but Juan let him live.
Although he wouldn’t be able to hold a spoon for the rest of his life.
Juan looked at the woman standing at the alleyway entrance, and knew he’d been tricked. The woman looked at Juan with a pale face while watching the blood stream out from the end of the alleyway.
An expressionless Juan breezed past her.
The young male standing beside the woman tried to grab his shoulder. Juan brushed his hand off and at the same time, grabbed and pulled his wrist, making him lose his balance.
By the time his knee was on the ground, Juan’s dagger was placed on his throat.
“Don’t bother me, if you don’t want to have your throat cut.”
The only reason Juan didn’t cut him was because he thought it would cause an unnecessary ruckus in the middle of the street.
It was common to see fights turn into violent knife fights in this city. The young man’s face turned white.
“It looks like we’ve bothered you.”
The older man stepped in front and with one hand picked up the young man.
Juan, who had no intentions of stabbing the young man in the first place, decided to sheath his dagger. The elderly man growled at the teen.
“People even at that young age are not ordinary folks, considering they’ve made the journey here from beyond the border. You should know this. Remember to show respect whomever.”
The old man bowed to Juan respectfully.
“Juan was it? You have an eye for a good name. I apologise in advance, but wouldn’t you mind listening to my lady’s story?”
“Why would I?”
“This is important to her. It might be a little dangerous, but looking at your skills just now, I don’t think we need to worry. I assure you, it wont be a waste of your time. I’ll promise you a handsome reward. If you’ve lived in the empire, you would know the importance of money right? Especially more, considering we’re in Hiveden.”
“I couldn’t care less. Bugger off.”
“Doesn’t hurt to listen.”
The female for the first time, erased her kindful demeanor and spoke coldly. Juan was almost certain that was her true self.
Juan shook his head.
“Don’t want to get involved with nobles from the capital.”
The female’s eyes sharpened.
Juan had figured out their identity from first glance.
While she was wearing clothes with holes and stains quite fitting for adventurers, the expensive material used to make her clothing could only be found from far corners of the empire. And furthermore, the finishing touches were of the capital’s tradition.”
The dagger on her waist looked expensive but there was no sign that it had been drawn many times. Likely because of the security guard that was always with her.
And about the young man and the elderly man standing behind her.
The teen was holding an enormous two handed sword but he didn’t seem any bit dangerous. Rather, the elderly man seemed more of a threat.
His leather armor was full of marks and well paved. His well toned muscles clearly indicated that he was a former knight that had learnt proper swordsmanship in the past. But it seemed he spent more time working at a noble’s mansion rather than a battlefield.
And his marks appeared to have happened while protecting his clients rather than on a battlefield.
However, seeing that he’d survived till now, maybe there was a bit of skill in him. Even if his stamina needed some work.
He didn’t think they were an immature group of nobles. The reason why Juan knew they had a reason for their expedition was the woman’s eyes.
It looked cold and calculated, eyes that could find a way out even in total darkness.
Juan knew one other person that had such eyes. And these eyes didn’t talk to strangers in the middle of the road for no good reason.
Juan, who processed all of this inside his head at first glance, didn’t want any involvement thus tried to decline her request. But he couldn’t explain his thought process.
“Do people from beyond the border all act like scared cats, just like you? Maybe I need to rethink my plan if this is true.”
Her eyes, her way of speaking, reminded him of someone. The woman frowned at seeing Juan’s smile.
“If you aren’t interested in money, how about this. You were wanting information about Hugin knights right?”
“Why, do you know them?”
“We made the trip to Hiveden….you think we don’t know about them? I’m the type to investigate and need to know everything about anywhere I go, anyone I encounter. Before, I was simply trying to give you a gentle scare but I wouldn’t have said anything about Hugin knights if I knew you were looking for them.”
Juan crossed his arms. The woman was bothersome but if she had information about Hugin knights, it wouldn’t hurt to talk.
“Are the Hugin knights in this city?”
“Here? Hah. This place is practically, territory belonging to the Hugin knights, ever since the emperor died. It’s full of nobles that have come from the capital in fleeing those crazy fanatics. These people choose to stay with defectors rather than whatever they came across in the capital. This is the crazy city that was formed by runaway nobles and households. Even if the church attempts to free the city, it won’t happen. Many of the pigs inside the capital, have their income source from this city and they would never stand to see it return to it’s past.”
At hearing the words fall out of her mouth like a waterfall, the old man and teen paled.
Juan had never seen someone so openly curse out at the church.
Even Huksel and his crew looked regretful when they’d mouthed off the church.
“Huh. Unafraid of anything, aren’t you.”
“My opinion is that people need to be more afraid of being stabbed rather than speak out freely, kid.”
“You aren’t afraid of yourself being stabbed? The church will hang you.”
“I’m afraid, my reputation of being a friendly young woman at the capital is quite famous. I wonder if they’d believe the words of a lying brat from outside the border or a respected noble from the capital.”
Juan chuckled. Her attitude was far from pleasant but her demeanor was at least in the right direction.
“Alright then. Let’s hear it.”
“I see you’re a good child. However, there’s one thing you must answer before we continue. Why are you looking for the Hugin knights?”
“Why do you ask?”
The woman looked at him up and down with a wary expression.
“Because I don’t want to get their attention. If you are intending to catch their attention, then this conversation is over. There is too much risk if that’s the case.”
“I won’t go searching for a fight.”
For now, he thought to himself. He was going to hear their reasoning as to why they betrayed him and make his decision then. Of course this was only possible if Lars was still alive.
A dumbfounded expression was on her face.
“Well no shit. Who on earth would think you’d fight them. They have the power to match up with Paladins. I only say this, as I thought you’d be affiliated with a bigger group that would bring this city to a battle zone. I don’t want to see the last free city in this empire crumble.”
“Thought you didn’t like this place.”
“I don’t particularly like it. But it has its uses. Plus I need to come here ever so often.”
“I don’t have any other groups with me. The reason I’m going to see the Hugin knights is to see someone I know.”
“I’ll believe you Juan. My name is Heretia. I’ll start my story then.”
Heretia cleared her throat and closely approached Juan.
Juan suddenly was a bit curious why this noble needed to come to this lawless city, even bringing along a guard. And more so about what his role would involve.
Till now he’d been asked to be a champion of the Colosseum, empire’s genius knight, someone who would overturn this empire. And now……
“My plan requires a good looking black haired boy.”
 – while the literal translation is teacher…… master or instructor would fit as well. Might change it in the future if it needs changing.
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