The two women led him to the bedroom and helped him sit down on the bed. He was groping the women and smirking. "Why don’t you dears go grab my things?" he said.
The two women widened their eyes in fear. As he aged, Arlanga found that he had a hard time convincing his body to have sex drive. Sometimes he would spend hours on top of a woman and still could not enter her; or he could, but could not keep himself hard. Arlanga enjoyed seeing women squirming and crying under him, but it brought him only psychological pleasure, not physical pleasure.
As a leader of a trading company, Arlanga still had ways to find pleasure. He found some soft whips and ropes and crystal sticks that could help him. On the other hand, this was torture for the women. They were young and needed warmth, not coldness and pain, and much less so from men that could not keep themselves hard.
However, there was too big of a difference in their socioeconomic class, and none of the women dared offend Arlanga. If they did, who knows what would happen to them later. They would disappear, or be handed off to men who had not seen a woman in years. Or thrown into a pit with werewolves or bear men, and experience warmth with Death holding their hands. So all the women chose to obey the old man and satisfy his needs.
The two women glanced at each other and walked out the room, smiling. Arlanga remained, humming and waiting.
After a few minutes, Arlanga felt someone approaching him. "Give me my things, dearest," he said, cackling, showing his missing teeth.
Hard objects showered Arlanga. He turned angrily, but froze when he saw it was not the women, but a figure in black standing over him. He wanted to call out, but suddenly felt something cold slipping against his neck. He shut his mouth.
His body was getting old. He felt the impact of the shock from the wetness between his legs. The coldness was uncomfortable, but he did not dare to say anything. He grabbed more quilts and piled them on his body to avoid embarrassment. His eyes darted around the room, trying to get himself out of this situation.
Even though he had sought nothing but pleasure in recent years and did not do anything dangerous, he had been a mercenary when he was younger, and did not lack experience. He knew that when faced with danger, screaming and crying would not do him much good. He had to act natural and at peace.
When he was still a mercenary, he and his companion encountered a Seven Tail Magic Fox. His companion, who was screaming and making a fuss, was ripped apart in seconds. Arlanga, on the other hand, had remained calm and was speaking to the fox the entire time. He did not know whether the fox understood him, but he knew that it did not harm hm. He learned that when in danger, he must remain calm in order to save himself.
Arlanga coughed quietly and pointed at his neck. "This is not the way to treat an old man, is it, young man?" he said, smiling. Except for his slightly shaking fingers, he was very calm. His smile was natural and voice was level.
The coldness around his neck disappeared. The figure hid its weapon, but did not speak. His black eyes were cold and calm.
The first step was a success. Arlanga gave himself a mental pat on the shoulder. "Tell me, young man. What are you doing here? Of course, if you don’t want to tell me, just pretend I did not ask the question." Arlanga worded his question very carefully. He was afraid his words would anger the assailant.
"Someone paid me to kill you," the figure croaked.
"You’re an assassin?" Arlanga asked. He was suddenly hopeful. This man was an assassin, but instead of killing him, he stopped to engage him in conversation. Clearly he wanted something. "You’ve made a mistake," Arlanga said.
"Did I, now?"
"There are so many thing you could do in the world. With your skills, you could be anything you want. Why choose this path of evil?" Arlanga knew what kind of people were protecting him. This man could stand in front of him because he was very powerful. Powerful men had more choices than normal men, and being an assassin was not the best choice. Arlanga was hoping to find the man's weakness.
"I enjoy it," the figure replied.
"But this is a path of death! It will never end well for you. Trust me, young man. One day you will regret your decision." Arlanga’s voice was hoarse and filled with wisdom, as if he was a mentor teaching his student about the way of the world. "Money cannot buy everything,, and violence is not the solution for everything." The last part Arlanga had once heard from a minstrel. He was very impressed by his memory. These were words of pure wisdom. Surely it would make an impact.
"Money cannot buy everything, but it bought me. Violence is not the solution for everything, but it will bring you to your end." The hoarse voice shattered Arlanga’s hope.
Arlanga’s forehead was dotted in sweat. He wished he could be a minstrel so he could convince the man with just his words. Now he realized how little knowledge he held. "Young man, you’re too stubborn. There are a lot of answers to one question. Say, how much did you employer pay you for my death?"
"A hundred gold coins."
Arlanga cackled, "Young man! My life is not as cheap as that! Let me offer you two hundred, no, five…no, let me offer you a thousand gold coins to let me be. What do you say?" It seemed like Arlanga could never be a minstrel. A minstrel would not preach that money cannot buy everything, then turn around and try to bribe his opponent.
"Really?" The figure sounded hesitant, and he moved his eyes away from Arlanga.
"Think about it, young man. If you really kill me, you would make an enemy of Storm mercenary. My daughters and their husbands would try everything in their power to avenge me. I want you to let me be. I do not even want to know who your employer is. I know you have your rules and morals, and so do I. I will not make the situation difficult for you." Arlanga was speaking from the bottom of his heart. He would seek out who employed this assassin, but first he needed to live. He was old, but he was not ready to die.
"You’re willing to pay a thousand gold coins?"
"Of course!" Arlanga raised his hands. "I swear on my life."
Arlanga was overjoyed. He struggled out of his bed and said, "follow me."
He had a small vault in his bedroom filled with money. He was the head of his trading company, but his daughters and their husbands were already taking over the finances, since Arlanga did not know how to limit his spending. He had built the vault to prepare for the unexpected.
As he stood in front of the vault, he was worried. He had way more than a thousand gold coins in the vault. He was afraid that the assassin would take everything in there. However, he did not have any other choice. If he did not give the man money, he would die.
There were only about a hundred gold coins in the vault. For someone like him, he did not need to hide his gold in a vault like that. There were two boxes made with black antimagic crystals, one he had had for a long time, the other he had recently acquired. Behind the boxes were some magic scrolls, a dagger, and some small bottles holding the best alchemy potions.
As Arlanga stood there trying to figure out how to make up for the missing gold, he was pushed aside by the figure. The man took everything from the vault and placed it into his dimensional ring.
Arlanga watched as his treasures disappeared into the ring. He felt terrible losing these treasures, but he had to smile. "I’m old now, these mean nothing to me. Take it.
"I should not have given you a chance to talk. I should have just killed you," the figure said slowly.
"I didn't know you would have an intermediate magister here. He saw me when I was on my way in, but he didn’t do anything about it," the figure said, smiling. "I thought that was interesting."
Arlanga cursed Ulemon quietly. How dare he abandon his post? He was really old now, old enough to remain completely ignorant of the hidden meaning in the figure’s words.
"I don’t want to serve as other’s executioner, so you better be careful," the figure said. He reached over and hit Arlanga on his neck. Arlanga fell to the ground quietly.
After a few hours, Arlanga’s angry voice could be heard from the courtyard. "I curse your entire family…" He had reverted to his mercenary days, but could not finish his sentence.