The only things left on the errand list is carrots and onions.
And seeds to bloom.
Entering the market, I bought carrots and onions and asked the merchants about the merchant association.
At first, they seemed to be evasive, but when I mentioned what the old man in the alley had suffered, they sighed deeply and clicked their tongue.
“They have no compassion.
They started out as vigilantes during the Magic War, but changed after the war.
After they’d gotten a taste of money, the membership fee became a thing.
They started bullying around people that didn’t bother anyone.
It’s hard to make ends meet, isn’t it?”
“There are 6 heads, and I think about 20 people below them go around collecting money.
Everything is in their palms around here.
If you refuse to join, it’s a complete mess.
It’s no use reporting it to the police, they’ve colluded with each other.
Everyone is dirty as long as their pockets stay full.”
As expected, the gangsters named the Merchants’ Association seemed to move around the neighborhood like it was their own land.
‘That would mean their information about the city is reliable.’
It’ll be useful for finding the relics.
After finishing shopping, I hummed back to the house.
There was no need to ponder anymore.
I’ll have to act from today.
That night, close to midnight.
I changed into my everyday attire and left the mansion secretly.
This stealthy and secret sneaking out was something a maid shouldn’t do, but that’s not my concern.
Sometimes there are tasks that cannot be achieved without deceiving people.
It was even more necessary if you had to hide your real status as a maid.
I entered the pub the potato-seller pointed me to.
When I opened the door and entered, the scarlet lamp that was lighting the inside shook lightly.
The first thing I saw was a picture frame hanging in front of me.
The faded black-and-white photos contained the faces of my dear friends, the heroes of the Magic War, released through the newspaper.
The number of people inside the pub were; one middle-aged woman, four middle-aged men, and a bartender.
Like I heard, there were six heads.
‘It is a rule for these guys to gather at their base and have a countermeasure meeting on the night a problem came up in the district.’
I looked around their waist, but I couldn’t find a gun.
That means I only need to be careful around the bartender.
Inside, I settled down at the bar.
Since no one spoke in the meantime, I threw out the card first.
“Receive your guest.”
The bartender snorted.
I don’t think you’re from this city.
We’re not doing business right now, so go out nicely.”
“Why aren’t you doing it?”
“Why aren’t you doing it?”
A big man who approached me amidst the harsh atmosphere took a seat next to me.
Somehow, he looked familiar.
Wait a minute.
I’ll take care of it.
Where are you from, miss?”
The man thrust a grinning face at me.
“What’s your name?”
He definitely looks familiar.
“Why aren’t you answering me? You’re that girl, aren’t you? The crazy maid who smashed half of my brother’s face?”
He’s trash’s older brother.
Should I call him senior trash?
In an instant, the bartended took out a shotgun from under the table and aimed it at my forehead, warning me;
“It was this girl? If you don’t wanna die, quietly follow me.
I’ll finish this and send you to the slave ship.”
This action betrayed even the lowest expectations I had for them.
In the Empire, a pub is a home, for the people.
But this place is not like that.
At the bartender’s warning, I obediently rose from my chair.
The gun’s muzzle followed my head as I walked across the bar.
When I arrived at the front entrance of the bar, near the bartender, I instantly lowered my body and delivered a kick to the back of his knees, snapping his wrist in half in the process.
Bang! When the bartender’s body flew to the cup showcase, it shattered – and pieces of glass rained on him like snowflakes.
Next, I slapped trash’s brother across the face as he ran to me courageously, slamming him into the wall.
Two of them gathered around the round table, and then I made their teeth meet it a little more closely.
I fed the other two the chairs.
It’s quiet now.
This is the pub I know.
A space for people, not for trash.
“Do you have any hidden guns?”
The middle-aged woman who was being punished by being forced to raise her hands looked at me as her shoulders trembled.
“Well, do you have any?”
“It’s in the warehouse! I’ll give it to you!”
“I don’t need it.”
I went back to the bartender.
The courageous bartender, who aimed a gun at my head, was rolling on the floor as if one of his legs broke.
I stretched my body and sat myself on top of him like a statue of death.
“So when do you answer my question?”
“Why aren’t you doing business? Is the sign that says ‘pub’ outside just a decoration?”
“I’ll do business.”
“Why did they set up a merchant association that doesn’t even do business?”
“Hng, I’ll do business.”
“Just answer the question.
Why did you set up a merchant association?”
“To protect the interests of merchants in the city…”
“Who agreed to it?”
“All the merchants..”
“Are you sure they agreed? You didn’t threaten them, did you? Shall we go around and ask them right now? I’ll drag you like a dog and face every one of them.
Every time a person who says they were forced to join shows up, all of you people’s life expectancy will be cut short by 20 years.
Shall we do that?”
I don’t feel uncomfortable talking to these guys for a long time.
My voice in my ear wasn’t terrible.
The corners of my mouth went up and down more easily because I felt as if I had returned to being Andert.
Thanks to this, my tongue moved like a fish in water.
One of the men sitting at the table with both hands raised asked me in a dim voice, probably because of his newly-broken molars.
“But who the hell are you?”
I looked through the frightened faces of the six and then pointed to the wall.
A frame proudly hung with black and white pictures that seemed to have been cut out from an article.
In the photo, a total of seven heroes, including me and Raphael during my Andert era, and Natasha, the only princess of the empire, were smiling with their glasses facing the sky.
It wasn’t a picture with a big backstory.
The photo was taken by the owner of the pub to boost the Allied forces’ morale when the front line was pushed north because of the sudden attack by the Great Wizard Mephisto.
I wonder how their morale would’ve been raised by just pictures, but they seemed to have released it after the victory.
“What do you mean….”
“I worked hard and saved the world.
But I didn’t save the world so people like you could ruin it.”
The bartender’s eyes looking at me quickly turned to eyes that looked a crazy maid.
I drew a chair from the table, sat down, and moistened my throat with water.
“Did you say you were curious about who I am? Then wait, let me tell you my story.
Will you listen to it? Even if the words sound a little awkward, just laugh it off.
I’m not good at speaking.”
“What? Oh, yes.”
“I have an important goal that I must achieve in three years.”
“But, there’s something.
For me to achieve this goal, the areas surrounding all the houses here must be clean.
Especially kids like you.
You know what I’m talking about, right? Thieves.”
“Well, we’re not thieves…”
“Is that street yours?”
I glanced at the thieves.
Everyone seemed busy sneaking away from my eyes.
“Is that alley yours? Answer me.”
“It’s not yours, but if you don’t get paid, you rob them.
My dinner tonight was bad because of you.
The potatoes were in a bad condition.
The reason why the potatoes were bad is because the merchant who sells them feared paying tax for a seat in the market, and hid in the alleys to do business.
The alley is not noticeable, so things won’t sell for a long time.
That’ll will make it easy to rot, right?”
“So without the seat tax, the condition of the potatoes will improve.
Fresh ingredients amplify the taste and quality of the food, but if you eat poor quality food, you can get sick.
Do you know what happens when the sick is unlucky? They die soon after.”
I turned my head to the thief bartender.
“In summary, if you receive tax for those seats, I will die.”
“So I’m going to kill you first before I die.
It’s called self-defense in other words.”
I smiled at them.
“The end of story.
Now, who’s going to die first?”
Naturally, the thieves’ complexion paled.
Someone took a harsh breath.
Of course, I don’t really mean to kill them.
Violence and murder are different crimes on completely different levels.
Although both are felonies.
Then, the bartender who was lying around slowly rose.
His frightened eyes slowly started to exhibit a powerful aura.
“We have Berithlet behind us.”
Were there still people who believed in that?
The bartender showed his canine fangs and pointed at me.
“Berithlet pays back twice as hard when hit once.
If you cut off all our heads, you will become Berithlet’s enemy, and you will never survive.”
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