Posting a chapter to say “I’m Still Alive”.
Chapter 30: The Inn That’s Like a Hideaway Spot Is a Bit…… Strange?
「As Hitto-sama is well aware of, my main occupation is that of what is seems, but I also have customers on this side of things, you see. From time to time, I go around town like I am now」(Shadow)
I had Melissa take us to an alleyway slightly far away from the Hotel, and I once again began talking with this man who bares the names Light and Shadow.
It seems like this place is made up to be that Hotel’s parking lot for wagons, but if we’re here only for a bit then it should be okay.
But in any case, why is it that this guy knows my name?
「I don’t remember naming myself to you though」(Hitto)
「Oh, if it’s only something of that level then it is possible to find out in no time you know. Like I said earlier, my main occupation is on the “underground” side of things after all」(Shadow)
Shadow had a thin smile as he answered with a *Fufu*
……Well, now that I think about it I also told my name to that gatekeeper when I was buying information from him. It shouldn’t be that hard to find out.
「Incidentally, how goes things for you as of late? Have you earned enough so that you can utilize my services yet?」(Shadow)
「No, not much time has passed since we’ve last met you know……」(Hitto)
It’s more like our funds went in the opposite direction.
However…… I think I can understand where he’s coming from.
Although he does a lot of business with adventurers, if he is able to manipulate various people then he should be able to earn millions from them.
After all, the institutions in this territory are completely absurd. Not just the bank but the entire system is designed to extort everything you own.
In a situation like this there’s bound to be people who want to keep their money off the record. In other words, it’s similar to tax evasion.
As for the adventurers, if they get their hands on a valuable treasure and end up selling it earnestly, then the bank might immediately find out and their earning might be taken away as interest rate. In times like these, if they sold it underhandedly to people like Shadow then they would be able to keep the money for themselves.
Of course, if they sold it to this man then the sale should never become to known to the public.
Otherwise the users of their service would be exposed.
「Is that so, I’m sorry. I saw you coming out of that high class Hotel, so I had thought for sure that you had earned an appropriate amount, you see」(Shadow)
Kuu, the only thing I can hear is your sarcasm!
「That place, we only went to have a see how much it cost. As expected, it was too expensive so we immediately gave up though」(Hitto)
「Oh? Is that how it is? Even if you present them with money, that place does not allow fugitive slaves to stay there. I thought that might have be the reason that you gave up」(Shadow)
In that moment I looked towards Shadow with a scowl. What are you trying to imply?
「Oh my, please don’t look at me with such scary eyes. I am also a part of the underground business. Of course I will not be telling other people, and if you’d like I can even assist you, you know?」(Shadow)
He waved both hands side to side as he offered his proposition.
「Y-You are mistaken! I am not yet a runaway slave! We still have until tomorrow for the time extension, so for my sake Goshujin-sama is――」
I quickly turned my head towards Melissa, raising my voice to warn her.
Noticing that, Melissa hurriedly covered her mouth with both hands.
「Fumu, by time extension you mean…… Perhaps, Hitto-san, you saved this slave from something, and moreover you did not immediately deliver her back―― Meaning that you plan on purchasing her, is the situation like that?」(Shadow)
This guy, he figured out so much from just that huh. I didn’t say anything for the time being, but Shadow simply wore a thin smile, as if he could see right through me.
「However, purchasing a slave such as her is not a simple task, is it not? Since she possesses such beautiful features and proportions, I would estimate that a slave of this caliber would go for about 3 million Gold by today’s market price」(Shadow)
3 million? As expected, I don’t really know specifics like that though. According to Melissa it should be 1.5 million.
Maybe Shadow isn’t too familiar with the prices of slaves huh.
……Well that’s fine.
「I don’t plan on answering any of your questions. Also, this matter has nothing to do with you, right?」(Hitto)
「Hmm~ I suppose so. However, if the need for funds every should arise then please do not hesitate taking out a loan from us」(Shadow)
「……I’ll ask just in case, but you won’t be lending money with no strings attached right? Naturally」(Hitto)
Of course I don’t plan on resorting to such a tactic, but I’ll hear him out nonetheless.
「Certainly, although we do give out loans without any necessary collateral…… All we ask of in return is about a 10% increase every 5 days, personally I believe this to be a pretty good deal you know」(Shadow)
Wearing a small smile he said it as if it was a trivial amount…… But doesn’t 10% every 5 days mean 20% in 10 days!? If you keep the loan for a month then it will go over 50%! It’s practically oozing with greed! It’s a dirty loan!
「That’s entirely out of the question then. With interest that high I doubt it’s even remotely close to a “loan”」(Hitto)
Melissa also let loose her expression and seemed uneasy about it.
Don’t worry, I would no way I would resort to using a loan with such unreasonable interest.
「Is that so? How unfortunate. Since, as an adventurer, there are quite a few request that will earn you a large amount of income in one go, I thought perhaps the loan might be of some convenience」(Shadow)
……So there’s actually people who take out that loan.
「Hm, Wait, this isn’t the time for us to be talking to you. We have to hurry up and find an inn to stay for the night」(Hitto)
「Oh? An inn?…… haha~ha」(Shadow)
A crease appeared near his narrow eyes, and a mischievous smile arose on his face.
What exactly did that remind him of……
「Is it possible, are you perhaps in need of an inn to stay? Although she is not a fugitive slave, she is still a slave not bound by a contract. You must be having trouble finding a place because of that」(Shadow)
……Well, that’s not exactly why though.
「In that case, if you would be so inclined, shall I recommend to you a nice inn?」(Shadow)
「Either way, it probably won’t be “for free” right?」(Hitto)
When I replied, Shadow had on a suspicious look as he waves his hands saying “Oh heavens, no”.
「Too seek something in return for merely suggesting an inn to you, I am certainly not that shameless. In addition, Hitto-san might become a welcomed customer in the future after all」(Shadow)
Thinking that it wasn’t a bad offer I unintentionally knitted my eyebrows in suspicion.
But…… Knowing our sorry situation with the bank, I don’t think we can afford to refuse.
「If you’re going to tell use for free then I’ll gladly hear you out, but to clarify things, it’s not because of Melissa that we can’t find an inn. It’s just that I don’t want to stay at an inn that treats slaves badly」(Hitto)
“Ah~” his thin eyes seemed like they were pried open. He looked at Melissa and I with extreme interest.
「I see, I see. But, if that is the case then it will be all the more fitting. The place I was going to suggest will take you in regardless of your social standing or your past. Of course they will not pry too deeply into those subjects either. Although, in exchange for that privacy it is strictly forbidden to inquire about other customers regarding those subjects」(Shadow)
……Somehow that place seems a bit sketchy, but if that is the only condition then it’s not that much of a hindrance.
「Does it come with a bath?」(Hitto)
「They manage a bathing area together on the first floor. If you choose to stay there then you will be free to use it at your convenience」(Shadow)
It seems like there isn’t a bath for each individual room, but based on their policies I doubt anyone would complain if a slave went in there or not.
The place was located near a road that ran to the south-west. To get there you had to first go down an alley that was in the middle of that street…… Shadow drew us a simple map but looks like the place is located right by the slums huh.
Well, we don’t really have to luxury of being picky at a time like this.
「……Thanks for the information」(Hitto)
「We are truly grateful for your kindness」(Melissa)
After I said my thanks Melissa also said her part while bowing her head in earnest.
There might be some hidden motive behind it, but since he gave us information free of charge the least we can do is say our thanks.
「No need to thank me. Oh yes, if you do go to that establishment then I believe things will go by faster if you mention that you heard about it from me. Well then, allow me to take my leave. Ah, I am also looking forward to doing business together in the future」(Shadow)
Saying that he gave a bow, and Shadow left our sights.
He disappears right after giving us some good info huh.
With this I won’t be able to brush him off the next time we meet.
Perhaps this guy… He might do this kind of thing to make important people into his customers.
Well, that’s fine. He went through the trouble of telling us about the place after all. Let’s make good use of that info.
Melissa and I went back to the Hotel parking lot and rode the wagon towards the inn.
It’s already starting to get dark outside. The magic devices are lighting up the main streets, but they don’t quite reach the alleyways.
The place is near the slums so it’s best if we were in a hurry.
The inn that Shadow told us about, at first we had absolutely no idea where to find it.
Since it was also in an alleyway the surroundings weren’t that much different from Dowan’s store, but at this particular time of day it’s so dark that you would hesitate to walk around here alone.
Down the alley was a building that looked like it was made by an apprentice builder. It was the inn that Shadow was talking about.
The place was pretty much made of stone, but there were cracks in the walls here and there, and things like moss were growing on it.
It’s not like we were expecting it be luxurious, but this inn wouldn’t be called “elegant” by any stretch of the imagination.
To top it off, the inn didn’t have a sign or billboard at all. Remembering that they supposedly had a place to take a hot bath, we were only able to recognize the place because it had a smoke chimney.
Also this building… the entrance was also hard to comprehend. It wasn’t in the front but on the side instead. The entrance to the first floor was located in a small path sandwiched between the neighboring building. It seems like this entrance is also used by customers who want to use the baths.
Beside the entrance was a staircase that led to the second floor.
Looking at the place, we began wondering what to do with the wagon.
According to Shadow there was suppose to be a place to put a wagon, but I had no idea where it could be.
「Goshujin-sama. I will stay as a lookout so――」(Melissa)
Melissa said that as to urge me to finish checking in while she was away.
Muu, Leaving Melissa for too long in a place like this makes me a bit uneasy, but she has a weapon so I gave in thinking it would be okay.
Either way, now is not the time to be needlessly saying that she can’t go, but…… It can’t be helped. In any case, after telling her, “I’ll immediately ask them where to put the wagon, so if something happens then be sure to scream right away,” I made a dash to the second story of the inn.
The staircase was also narrow and the front desk(?) didn’t seem like one at all. On a really dirty floor, far in the back, was a small wooden counter.
And, behind the counter was probably a woman, but――she was lying face down snoring with a “Guu~ Guu~“.
……Wh-What’s up with this inn? A bunch of things just keep on making me even more anxious, but it’s too late now to start Canceling things.
If I backed down now then without a doubt we’d be spending today sleeping outdoors.
「Umm, Excuse me」(Hitto)
No response at all, almost as if she was a dead corpse――Hey! Now’s not the time to be saying that.
Looks like I have no choice but to wake her up. Wait, why is this person wearing something like a negligee……
Well, in any case I went over to shake the woman’s shoulder, but――in that moment she abruptly lifted up her head, and grasping a knife in her right hand she pressed it against my neck.
Seriously, what the hell is this?
「You’ve got some balls, disturbing my sleep like that, haa? Do you have a death wish?」
……Are you some kind of mercenary, this person――
「I, came here as a customer though……」(Hitto)
With scrutinizing eyes, she strengthened her gaze. Wait, don’t go “strengthening” your hold on the knife too.
「Since you didn’t wake up when I called to you, I thought I might shake you a bit is all. Or rather, this is an inn right? I came because Shadow told me about it but……」(Hitto)
The moment I said that name, the woman swiftly loosened her grip and lowered the knife.
「Oooh, so you’re a friend of Shadow’s huh. In that case ya shoulda said so earlier~」
……There wasn’t an opportunity for that though. Wait, you were asleep just now anyways.
「And? Why are you here?」
「I’m a customer! I just want to stay here! Isn’t that obvious? This place is an inn, right?」(Hitto)
「Hmm? Oh yea, that’s right. Right now this place was an inn」
“Right now”… what was this place before…… However, getting a second look at her she has messy black hear down to her shoulders.
She’s completely different from when she was thrusting the knife, her face doesn’t have make-up and looks totally unmotivated.
On top of that she looks like she’s wearing a black negligee. The fabric and her pale skin are completely in full view.
That’s pretty astounding…… Is she the owner of this inn? Thinking back, that guy did say that there was a female manager.
Nevertheless, the impression she gives off is that she’s entirely unkempt.
Is she in her 30s? She doesn’t have make-up on but her face isn’t bad. If she properly put on make-up then she might look pretty attractive.
But for various reasons it’s way too disappointing.
「So what you’re saying is you want a room~?」
「Before that I want to do something about our wagon. I heard from Shadow that there was a place for us to put it, is that right?」(Hitto)
Once I asked her, she slowly responded with an, “Hmm~ Let me think~” as she roughly scratched her head.
……It really is a disappointment.
「There’s a spot by the entrance to the first floor you can leave it there you know~」
「In the front? I didn’t see anything that looked like a place for wagons by the entrance though? I have a female companion with me who’s waiting with the wagon. If something were to happen then things could get dangerous, so I would appreciate if you could hurry up and tell me」(Hitto)
「A companion, you, with a girl~?」
「……Is there a need for me to answer that?」(Hitto)
Wasn’t it a rule that you don’t ask about a customer’s background?
「Naaah. I just felt like askin~ Ya don’t have to answer if ya don’t want to, We won’t be askin unnecessary questions so just relaax~ Well still, you don’t haveta worry about something happenin~ The area round here ain’t that dangerous~ If it’s a woman then at best only the tip will get inside ya know~」
While shaking her right hand up and down, she said it like it was no big deal but isn’t that a huge problem!?
「Anyway, just hurry up and tell me!」(Hitto)
「You’re real hasty huh~ Are you quick like that in bed too~?」
「Just H・U・R・R・Y ・U・P」(Hitto)
When I emphasizing myself, the woman finally started to move. After she said, “Okay~ Wait for me out in front~”I returned downstairs and went back to Melissa.
……But, is this inn really alright?
TL Note: A Negligee is a type of women’s night gown. I would usually link a picture but Google gives me some, ummm, risque pictures so this time you’re gonna have to look it up yourself if you’re interested 😛