Author: Demon Lord D (D魔王)
Chapter 7: About that Elf’s Memory
The first time that the knight saw the elf, was at the ground floor of the ‘Mercenary’s Home’s’ main area.
Other than the regular receptions desk at the side ofthe main area, tables were put out at a set time in the mornings, providing a simple breakfast.
It was an uneventful morning near the end of December.
The sheriff didn’t come to investigate, so there was no special need for him to hide.
The knight sat at a table near the door, flipping up a corner of his helmet, and sipping leisurely at the oatmeal porridge with a straw. (1)
This is probably the busiest time at the ‘Mercenary’s Home’, in a moment, they will tear down notices on the notice board, starting the work for the day.
It was at that time that the elf came in.
Wearing thin threadbare clothes, if not for the dagger at his side, he would have surely been mistaken for a refugee.
Many people noticed the appearance of this unwelcomed guest, staring at his face and unusual ears with curious eyes.
The elf did not acknowledge anyone’s stares, only walking straight to the reception, asking if there is room with a soft voice.
The one on duty was ‘Old Man Jake’, an old mercenary, after retiring he settled down as an intermediary for the mercenaries, managing the notice board, as well as taking care of the shop.
Old Man Jake was busy posting new missions on the board, pointing to the price listing of the inn, he replied.
“S’long as ye c’n pay.”(2)
Since refugees started appearing, the rates for rooms in the ‘Mercenary’s Home’ has risen a lot, already exceeding what a normal citizen can afford. But the elf said nothing, not even revealing an expression of shock, only fishing out a few gold coins, paying the deposit and a month of rent. This generous move was completely contrary to his appearance, causing the Old Man Jake to become suspicious. He lifted the coins, examining them for a long while.
“The style’s old…” he said, “where’d ye get it?”
“Inherited,” the elf replied calmly, lifting his dagger, “along with the knife.”
Old Man Jake weighed him for a moment, taking the coin, and throwing a key to the elf.
“Excuse me but are you the intermediary?” the elf took the key, and asked, “if I want to take up a high paying job, what are the necessary requirements?”
There was a brief commotion in the room, more gazes turned towards them.
High paying, of course equals high risk, what is this new person thinking, to take on a difficult job(3) the moment he joins?
Old Man Jake lifted his eyebrows, weighing the elf’s weak appearance, “Ye’r an… assassin?”
“Archer.” The elf replied.
At that moment someone also came up to the reception. It was the leader of the ‘Eagle Mercenary Troops’, he had the humorous name of Pugas Pauldron(4), but if someone were to laugh at his name, they would immediately be beaten until they can’t laugh anymore. Thus when people mentioned him, they used the moniker “Iron Gauntlet” instead.
“Oi rookie, you’ve got some guts,” Iron Gauntlet said in a falsely cheerful voice, “this old man can’t get anything worthwhile, why not join us? Short term job, the payout ain’t bad.”
“Gauntlet,” Old Man Jake’s brows were knitted together, “I’m talking ta ‘im.”
“It’s not like I’m forcing anything,” Iron Gauntlet looked at the elf meaningfully, “It’s just an ‘invitation’, he has the right to choose.”
‘Eagle Mercenary Troops’ is a group that only accepts close quarter fighters, such as warriors and rogues, but Pauldron is a leader that’s very enthusiastic about ‘getting familiar with rookies’. Meaning that, if the new people entering the ‘Mercenary’s Home’, were fairly good looking, they would often become his target. Since there are no females in the mercenary community in Elvira, and ‘the Mermaid’ costs money, combining these two points, relaxing on some of the gender criteria, is not really a problem. – In any case, the elf really does have a beauty that’s hard to ignore.
And rookies do have a freedom to choose, if they don’t have enough ability and strength, their only choice is to yield, give up being a mercenary, or to rely on some other power. Thus a few of the friendlier archers, quietly suggested for this peer to find some other group to rely on.
“Thank you,” the elf turned to nod at them in thanks, but didn’t look at Iron Gauntlet even once, “I prefer working by myself.”
Iron Gauntlet was not looking all that angry, for running into this problem.
“Really, you don’t look like you have much experience, you don’t need any instructions? Doing it yourself, isn’t as fun as doing it with someone else. — Give it a try, you might feel good, and come begging me for more, beauty.”(5)
The ‘hint’ had become obvious, to one side a few members of the ‘Eagle Troop’ laughed. Receiving such support, and with no reaction from the elf, Iron Gauntlet reached a hand out to drape over his shoulder.
The moment his hands touched the elf, the elf suddenly grabbed his hand, turning sideways and under his arm, the elf twisted behind him, and pulled hard. The warrior was not prepared for this kind of attack, his large body losing balance. Waving he tried to brace himself, but the elf had already lifted his foot to kick the bend of his knees, in the next second, Iron Gauntlet was kneeling on the floor.
The room was silent, many people had expressions of shock on their faces.
This was not some highly skilled move, nor did it require a lot of strength, but to have the courage to use that on Iron Gauntlet, was another matter altogether.
To cross him means to cross the twenty plus people in the ‘Eagle Mercenary Troop’, and under the principle of the matter not being about themselves, no one will rush to the newbie’s aide.
“That’s enough,” Old Man Jake’s rough voice said, “Get out if ye wanna fight.”
“I don’t have the desire or reason to fight,” as if nothing had happened, the elf released Iron Gauntlet and stepped to one side, “as long as this gentleman does not touch me. – Please tell me what the requirements for an archer are?”
All sorts of calls rose from the main room, some were trying to smooth things over, others were hoping for a good show.
Iron Gauntlet stood up, seeming a little undecided, looking at the elf his expression changed from hatred to part hesitation part anger, his gaze dropping to the dagger at the elf’s side.
–This wasn’t like those rookies he was familiar with, but how skillful is he, for him to be brave enough to do that?
Old Man Jake looked at Iron Gauntlet warningly again, and replied.
“Fifty paces continuous shooting fer a minute, at least thirteen arrows, get anything outside of the target or overtime is a fail.”
That was fairly difficult, but not an impossible goal to reach, enough to test the skills. The archers looked at each other, trying to decide in their mind who would be able to do this for certain.
“That’s fine.” The elf replied unblinkingly.
At that the archers were wild, they were never able to stand the ‘Eagle Troop’s’ overbearingness, and were all for standing by the elf and calling him brother. But there were also the cautions group, looking on with suspicious eyes.
“Not gonna fight, is it?” Iron Gauntlet suddenly laughed maliciously.
He went back to his table, slapping his left hand on the table, “I’ll be the banker, I bet pointy ears will lose, who’s in?”
The members of the Eagle Troop fought to place coins in his left hand, after a moment there was a small mountain of coins sitting there. And the right hand representing the elf was still empty.
“No way,” Iron Gauntlet let out an expression of shock, “no one wants to bet on our sharp eared little rabbit?” (i)
- ROFL a rust bucket sipping porridge with a straw XD
- He didn’t actually say it like that, but there’s no accent or way to indicate accept (other than describing it) in Chinese. So I took a bit of liberty to play around… at least that’s what I imagined he would speak like lol… rough old man with a no-nonsense attitude and all 😛
- 一上来就想啃硬骨头 – literally translates to wanting to swallow a hard bone the moment it comes up. “Biting off more than they could chew”? Or something similar.
- 匹格斯 伯特恩 – Pugas is probably the correct translation, but Pauldron… probably not so much, but I decided to go with that because…well, they call him the Iron Gauntlet, and pauldrons…gauntlets… armor… you know XD (PS. Pauldrons are like the shoulder pad/armor thingies, I just found out recently 😛 Yay cosplay research?) Oh god, that was weak even for me…oh wellz
- Urg…sleazebag… yuck, I feel like I need to take a bath just translating that lol
Ooooo I like this, Cain and Ellen’s meeting XD
(i) I bet 1000 gold on the ‘so called’ rabbit ( ^_^) v