Chapter 3 – Stupid Rumours
Orphen felt desperate——the is what he felt like as he patrolled the messy room. The wardrobe was twisted beyond recognition, wax from the candlestick was all over the floor, the iron that held the bed together was bent, a burning smell came from the wallpaper, and Vulcan had kicked in the door. The compensation that would have to be payed would be extraordinary, he didn’t want to know the exact amount. Orphen had more important things to deal with, even if he wanted to leave, he had a plan ready.
The day after, Orphen was brought to the local Police for interrogation.
“What a disaster. Ahem, how much compensation can you pay?”
Orphen was confused. Because he knew the amount would be extraordinary,
(He asked me how much? Does he even know if I can pay?)
Orphen was surprised, he then tried to talk as calmly as he could.
“Well, I’m not too familiar with that kind of thing. What was it priced on the market?”
The old white haired officer slightly moved his skinny lips. He was wearing a brown vest, and had the face of a kind old man. In the corner of the cramped office there was a coat hanger, a large wide brim hat sat on top. The only furniture was a small wooden table, the man put his old thin elbows on the table, his lacklustre eyes staring at Orphen.
“Three years ago, a woman staying in that room awakened a ghost.”
Orphen crossed his arms, and suddenly thought——
(That man, he said Fonogorosu……)
This whole ordeal requires a detailed investigation. But who should he ask?
After what happened last night, there was an official investigation into the disturbance. Knowing this, Orphen wondered if they would dig up any worth information.
Exiting the police station, he saw Majic squatting on the side of the road, he looked very happy to see him.
Orphen waved as he ran towards his student.
“I told you to wait at the hotel. Did something happen?”
“No, it’s just——“
Majic’s eyes blinked with hesitation.
“We……simply can’t stay there.”
“While you were away, that person called Hirietta went to get something to eat in the hotel……and then——”
“Cleo was there, she was sitting at a table. I don’t know if they said anything, but both of them were staring at each other.”
“This is just great.”
Orphen and Majic simultaneously sighed.
Last night in the hotel, it was extraordinarily quiet. After what happened, they had boarded up the broken window and wall with wood. Other than that, it was the same as the day before.
The entrance of the hotels eating area was pushed open, the air was quiet and cold. In the middle of the room was a table, Hirietta with her full body leather outfit was staring into Cleo’s eyes. She looked angry, so did Cleo, but oddly her cheeks looked a little swollen. She was wearing a shirt, the buttons were out of place, there was a knocked over chair lying on the floor——if Orphen didn’t know any better, they had a catfight.
After Orphen opened the door, Hirietta gently smiled. As for Cleo, her body didn’t move, her blond hair was obscuring her injury.
“I want to——”
Just as Orphen spoke, Cleo kicked the foot of her chair and knocked it over as she stood up. Her face contorted as she angrily shouted at him.
She then turned to head upstairs. Orphen watched her every move, until she disappeared from his view. Behind him, Majic quietly said:
“I’ve never seen her so angry. Have you, Master?”
Hirietta spoke——as she touched a black scabbard beside her right leg.
“What do you mean by that?”
Orphen said, as he slowly approached the table.
Hirietta didn’t look at him.
“I think that kid has the right to know. You still haven’t told her the truth, right?”
Orphen picked up the chair Cleo kicked over, he then sat down. Hirietta went on to say:
“I told her, that I was a professional anti-sorcerer assassin, and that I was hired to kill you. You should have seen the look on her face.”
When Majic heard those words, he took a few steps backward, bumping into a table behind him.
“One thing lead to another and I hit her, you’re lucky that’s all I did.”
“You shouldn’t have done that, it was my call to make.”
Orphen said, Hirietta simply laughed.
“How can a first-class black sorcerer be worried about a little girl, it’s very unbecoming of one such as yourself.”
Orphen then looked over to Majic.
“Go upstairs. Tell her not to worry.”
Immediately, Majic raised his hand and said:
“B-But Master, I can’t do that!”
“I’ll owe you one.”
Orphen winked at him, and said:
“It’s far too dangerous for her to be left alone, that spirit that attacked last night could come back.”
“……She’s still upset, I don’t know if I’ll be able to calm her down.”
Majic whined, as he went upstairs. Orphen and Hirietta went into the kitchen, since it was morning, the fires weren’t lit, and it was a little dark.
“I just want to ask you one thing.”
“What is it?”
Orphen said, as he leaned backwards.
“Are you an enemy……or friend?”
“Can’t you distinguish from friend and foe?”
She jokingly said.
“Okay, I’m not an enemy. Though if there’s a ploy against you, I’ll provide you the necessary information.”
“Well then, out with it.”
“You’re really impatient. Don’t you want to talk some more?”
“What’s wrong, didn’t you enjoy that passionate kiss yesterday?”
“Enough flirting. Let’s get down to business.”
Hirietta put her elbows down on an old mottled table.
“Alright……I hope you’re still willing to meet my client.”
“How do I know I can trust you?”
“Fine. If you don’t trust me then you can forget about it.”
Listening to her, Orphen wanted to say something sarcastic, but then he remembered something. When he looked at her, he thought of the name Foolish Dog Hirietta, he had heard all kinds of rumours about her, he didn’t know what to believe.
“By the way, you should know this about my client. He’s dead, he’s been dead for a long time, and I was the one who killed him. But he still exists……in this village.”
“He’s such an idiot!”
In the back room, Cleo was angrily shouting, she took a pillow from the bed, threw it into the air, and kicked it. The room was unlike any other, mostly because it had no wallpaper and it was a mess.
Cleo then picked up the pillow, sat on it and started staring at the wall.
“You idiot……of all the people to engage with!”
Outside the window came a cry.
“All right, we’re all done!”
It was the voice of Vulcan. Cleo’s eyebrows move a little, she calmed herself down and went towards the window. Putting her hands on the windowsill, she could see Vulcan standing under the window. From Cleo’s position you could only see his head, from the sound of his voice, it seemed he was in a good mood. Behind Vulcan was Dortin, he didn’t look like he was having fun.
Cleo didn’t know much about Vulcan and Dortin, all she knew was that they owed Orphen money.
Five children stood in front of Vulcan, they looked around ten years old.
“Okay! It’s time for all of you to join and run my new commerce guild! Fear will keep you together!”
Without looking behind him, Vulcan took Dortin’s sword and pointed it into the air.
“Times are tough, but we’ve got to make a living somehow!”
Cleo put her hand over her mouth, she almost busted out laughing. The little children winked to each other, as Vulcan was giving his speech.
“Those who suffocate easily from sweeping chimneys are excluded from the group! Everyone must be careful not to get sick, and——”
Cleo closed the window.
“Those guys sure do like to have a good time.”
(But then again, I can kind of relate……)
She wondered when she began to change——even since she left home, she could feel something eating away at her, she couldn’t help but just worry about it.
(When did it all start to go wrong……)
She thought, as she looked at the celling.
(I know Orphen is technically my guardian while travelling, after all, I am a minor. I just feel like he won’t let me bear some of the responsibilities…)
She then spoke:
“As long as Orphen agrees, I could be a competent partner, helping him out with his work.”
Tap, tap, someone knocked on the door.
“Cleo, it’s me……can I come in?”
When the door opened, it was Majic who entered. Cleo was slightly disappointed.
(I thought it would be him……)
Cleo’s heartbeat intensified, a jealous flame arose in her eyes.
(That idiot, how dare he look down upon me! This is all because I can’t learn magic.”
The blonde girl gave Majic a sharp look, he was frozen with fear.
“……This is troublesome.”
A few kilometres away from the village in the forest, a man whispered. He looked around 30, he had unkempt hair and a stubble. He was wearing combat fatigues——hidden behind his clothing was a chain that was specifically used to deal with sorcerers, around his waist was a knife. He pulled out the knife and examined it, it reminded himself of how many times he’d been scarred by knives.
However, this wasn’t the one man in the area, several men approached him from behind——their ages and uniforms were not consistent, it was clear this was a gathering of assassins. One of them replied:
“……What’s the matter, Mr. Kozen?”
“The other party failed to assassinate the target. We must remain vigilant, we’ve got to wait for the proper time to attack. But first, we’ve got to find his whereabouts, it shouldn’t be hard.”
“Indeed……though he is from the Tower of Fang, so——”
Another assassin timidly said.
“Are you saying the other’s asked for it?”
“Well, it seems apparent.”
“I admit that sorcerer is a crafty man.”
Kozen put his hand on his chin, and pulled a hair off.
“Listen, he may be from the Tower of Fang, but that doesn’t mean you should believe every rumour you hear about him. I don’t believe he’s as powerful as they say. After all, he’s got such a silly name——Orphen, what a terrible pun.”
“Even so, to deal with an enemy like him……”
“Enough. No matter how powerful he is, he’s too young to have perfected his combat skills. His lack of courage and experience will be his downfall.”
One of the men with long hair looked at his right arm, it was wrapped in bandages. He was knocked out of the tree by Orphen, he saw him interrogate his comrades. He didn’t agree with the others.
“You didn’t see him last night, he——”
The long haired man half finished his sentence, he suddenly started having a spasm.
All the people around him watched in amazement. They saw the long haired man’s eyes widen, he acted like a ventriloquist’s doll.
His hands went to his throat, as he said:
It was an unusual situation, but the assassin’s reaction was very fast. Kozen stuck out his hand and said:
A sharp whirlwind struck the man, it opened up a large wound from left shoulder to his right abdomen. A large amount of blood shot out from the opening, enough to fill a bucket. Then, the man stumbled to the ground, he wasn’t getting up again.
Then……from his wound, what looked like a black fog, crawled out of his corpse——it slowly started to take human form.
“What the hell?”
A slender assassin cried out. A knife trembling in his hand, as he stared into the black void.
Kozen was baffled.
“Fonogorosu——the debt——must be——repaid!”
Kozen desperately shouted the incantation. He stretched forth his hand, and lighting flew straight towards the foggy figure, it disrupted the black mist for a moment, but after a few seconds, it reformed itself.
“It’s a ghost!”
An assassin shouted. Then——
The slender man uttered. He looked down at his chest, he could see blood all over his torso. At the same time, other shouts rang out.
Men were falling to the ground, some guy’s ankle disappeared, everyone was terrified.
“What the hell is going on?”
Men were covered in blood, nobody knew what was happening.
Kozen looked around, everyone was scared.
In this situation, magic was useless.
“It’s not a ghost, it’s——”
Turning around to the few that were remaining, he shouted:
“It’s a monster!”
It was useless, they were all dead quiet, and they were standing still. Then he noticed he, there was some type of corrosive acid burning away at their heads, one guy had half a head left.
Kozen ran away as fast as he could. Behind him, he could hear the falling of men, and the slicing of feet.