The Mayor’s Son
The one who had just arrived was a brown-haired youth. He looked around 17 or 18, more or less Leguna’s age. However, the prideful crease in his brow made him feel like a rich tycoon in his late forties.
“Master, though there were only two people, you must be careful. Those two are mercenaries; they’re incredibly strong.”
Out of Leguna and Annelotte’s expectation, the attendant following beside the youth was Mikki, the leader of Jaehart’s hunting squad.
“Hmph, mercenaries are just lowly people who do others’ bidding and dirty work. What would they dare do to me?” harrumphed the youth nonchalantly.
“Your words ring true,” said the dog, to happy his master had thrown him a bone.
Leguna furrowed his brow but didn’t act. The youth seemed to have some status in York. He didn’t want to risk offending him.; while he could leave town if things became troublesome, Jaehart and his family might get involved.
“Good day young master, and goodbye,” said he expressionlessly.
He glanced at Annelotte. She caught his hint. Luckily she had no intention of having their day ruined either; she nodded and headed for the door with the two little girls. When the youth saw Annelotte, however, his eyes lit up. His gaze couldn’t leave her. He checked her out from top to bottom. Her face wrinkled with annoyance. The youth’s gaze swept over her like a long tongue and left saliva all over her.
She didn’t react, though. Had she not wanted to preserve the dignity of their beautiful day, she would have turned him into an ice sculpture long ago. Leguna knew how horrible it felt; he had been at the receiving end more than once! The youth stared dazedly at her. He snapped out of his daze the moment he realized she was aiming to leave, though.
“Hold it!” shouted he.
Leguna turned around, his annoyance written across his entire face. They had been stopped right at the exit. It seemed trouble would find them no matter what, but Leguna still had a strand of hope.
“What does the young master want from us?” asked he patiently.
The youth took ten gold coins out of his pouch and handed it to Annelotte.
“Here’s ten gold coins. Follow me today and I’ll let you off tomorrow.”
The youth said it like it was the most natural thing in the world. He also emphasized the ‘ten’, as if it were a huge fortune. It was true that ten gold coins were half a year’s living expenses for the average peasant household. That kind of money was more than enough for one to spend a night with the most beautiful courtesan in town. To Leguna’s party, however, it was just a single good meal.
For Leguna it was not just blasphemy to put a price on Annelotte’s ultimate beauty, but was also a direct insult to him, Annelotte’s future man. There was no way he could hold back now.
Annelotte just looked at the youth calmly. She knew Leguna would deal with everything, so she couldn’t be bothered to care. She also felt it wasn’t worth getting mad at an idiot and spoiling such a rare mood.
Leguna suddenly wore a sweet smile.
“Young Master, I see you’re not a person of normal status. May I ask your name?”
Seeing Leguna soften up, the youth’s expression became triumphant. With the tone of a person of high status lecturing an ignoramus, he spoke.
“Well said. I am Riddie Molt, son of Edwin Molt.”
Leguna shot the two girls a confused glance. Innilis tiptoed over.
“His father is our mayor; he’s the mayor’s son. He’s been causing trouble for me and sis for the last two years. He keeps saying he’ll make us his wives. If brother hadn’t been protecting us, we would’ve been in real trouble!”
Leguna had a rough grasp of the situation.
“Annie, why don’t you take the two girls somewhere for a stroll? I’ll catch up.”
He didn’t want the two girls to see what was coming. Annelotte nodded before leaving with the two.
“Hey! You can’t leave!” cried Riddie.
“Dear Mister Riddie, someone of her quality isn’t really worth mentioning. I know someone even better! If you’d be so magnanimous to follow me, I guarantee you’ll be satisfied!” said Leguna as he hurriedly stopped the youth.
He could feel a chilling cold behind him. Maybe Annelotte heard had heard him.
“Someone like you?” Riddie mused suspiciously, “Who else can you produce better than her? I’ve already frequented all the brothels in town.”
“Haha, well… We’re a new establishment. If someone like me can dine with her, don’t you think there must be someone even better? What would I gain from lying? We might be mercenaries, but we also deal in.. special merchandise. I’m sure you know people like us would definitely not lack good… products…”
“Ah, I see!”
Riddie’s eyes lit up.
“Young Master…” Mikki knew Leguna was most probably lying.
He tried to advise Riddie like a good dog.
“Shut up! Dogs should only bark when they’re called!” rebuked Riddie.
He was quite annoyed at being interrupted during his negotiation. Mikki started in fear. He shut his mouth and refused to open it again. After Leguna made sure the three girls were a safe distance away, he took Riddie to somewhere secluded. As a civil person, he would prefer not to cause trouble for the shop owner. A few turns around town later, they came to a dark, secluded corner.
“Are we there yet?” asked Riddie, annoyed.
“Where are they?”
“There’s only me,” said Leguna as he turned around.
Though there was still a warm smile on his face, it wasn’t as sycophantic anymore.
“Do you want to f*cking die?” cursed Riddie, preparing to give Leguna a slap.
The kid easily caught his wrist. With a slight twist, he dislocated his hand.
“Aaarrrgh!” cried Riddie, a pig about to be slaughtered.
Mikki had wanted to come up to help, but he stopped when Leguna glared at him. He recoiled in fear at the stare. He knew they were in for trouble, but he didn’t think the kid would actually attack.
“You’re awfully bossy for the son of a mayor,” Leguna said with a smile, “So you’re rich, huh… You should be able to count well, then… pick up these coins.”
Leguna undid his money pouch and flung it at Riddie’s face. The pouch hit and coins flew all other, scattering to the ground.
Riddie’s nose bled. He raised his head angrily, about to say something, but the pain that assaulted him made him swallow his words.
Leguna stretched his wrist.
“Not a word unless I tell you to speak. I’ll relieve you of a tooth for every word uncalled for.”
Riddie spat out a mouthful of blood along with a tooth.
“Now, pick up the coins. I’ll also take a tooth for every coin you miss.”
This idiot had come out of nowhere and spoilt his good mood. He had no mind to hold back. A couple of minutes later, Riddie finally picked up the last coin.
“Good. Since you were obedient, I’ll let you off… Before you leave, I should warn you against doing something this stupid again.”
Leguna slapped the stone wall. When he withdrew his hand a one-centimeter-deep palm mark was left.
“I am Leguna, a mercenary from Starfall. I live in the inn called Shining Star. If you feel like getting beaten up, you can find me there. But, if you dare bother anyone else, you better be prepared to die! Clear?!”
Riddie nodded ceaselessly. As Leguna had forbidden him to speak, he didn’t even dare to say ‘yes’.
“Alright. Now tell me, how did your face get hurt?” asked Leguna as he lightly tapped the injured cheek with satisfaction.
“I was… No, I fell down.”
“Who did you meet today?”
“No one. I didn’t meet anyone. I just slipped and fell when I was in town.”
“Good. You’re not a complete idiot.”
Leguna tapped his left cheek again.
“Alright, I’ll take my leave. You’re welcome to come find me in Starfall. Remember, the inn is called Shining Star.”
After dealing with Riddie, he walked out of the alleyway. He didn’t care about the venomous glare Riddie shot his way.
“Young Master,” murmured Mikki, finally daring to approach.
Riddie’s hand landed on Mikki’s face.
“If you let word slip of today, I’ll skin you alive!” barked he.
“Yes, understood. I’ll keep my mouth shut.”
When Riddie couldn’t see Leguna anymore, he yelled, “Let’s go!”
It didn’t take long for Leguna to find the three girls again. They were in the town plaza. Annelotte had just bought the two young’uns a few skewers. Minnie and Inniliis were far more energetic after they had gotten better acquainted with her. They jumped around her energetically as they played. Leguna could even see a reserved smile on Annelotte’s face.
This isn’t half bad! thought Leguna as he approached them, smiling.