“If they weren’t mistaken, it should be here,” said Hans. They had just left Doen that afternoon and were taking a short rest as they discussed Eirinn’s.
Balor had only pointed out the province and town Eirinn was in. He didn’t mention in which tavern she worked. So, Leguna went to Doen to find a place to eat first before asking around. There couldn’t be many people who had silver hair and a heavily burned face like Eirinn, so he quickly learned where she was.
“You’re talking about that freak working at Emily’s tavern as a dishwasher. Go straight, take the third left, and the second right. The sign is big, you can’t miss it,” commented a villager.
Though hearing her described as a freak made him uncomfortable, Leguna suppressed his rage and nodded. He had given him directions after all. He also tossed him a silver coin as thanks. He now finally knew where to find Eirinn.
“Is this where Eirinn’s been living for the last couple of years?” Leguna looked at the sign and sighed. He stepped into the tavern with a slight shudder.
“So three fingers isn’t enough to vent my anger. Why don’t I take two more?” The bandit tossed the three fine fingers to a corner before licking the fresh blood on his blade.
Eirinn wasn’t moving. She’d fainted with the loss of her third finger. Her mind just shut down. The female owner stared at her pitiful form. The ugly freak had worked for her for the last couple of years, giving it her all without complaint. Now she was suffering so badly, she felt a little agitated. She could not risk pissing off Bloodhand for the slave’s sake.
That bandit approached the girl, about to wake her up. He wanted her to witness her own fingers being cut off. The other four cheered from the side, one even had a bowl of water ready to splash the beast awake. The tavern’s door bell rang just as the bowl began tipping.
“Sorry for the intrusion. Anybody here?” Leguna called out politely when he entered. According to Balor, Eirinn was being treated fairly well. At the very least, she was being fed well. So, he tried to put up a friendly visage when he entered.
The people inside froze. They didn’t think someone would come over. It wasn’t even time for dinner yet!
“Welcome, welcome. What would you like to eat?” greeted the owner in a hurry.
Leguna looked at the owner before looking at the bandits behind her and started.
“It’s you again?!” hissed Leguna.
Kurdak had originally wanted to kill the bunch, but Leguna didn’t want to sour the day he finally me Eirinn again, so they settled for taking everything the five had and letting them go instead. He didn’t think he’d meet them again so soon.
The bandits heard his hiss, they were all mid-order warriors… Given their strength, we can’t take them even five to one! Will he beat us up again?
“What are you up to?” the kid asked coldly. If they were there to cause trouble, he would set things straight.
The bandits made no sound. Two looked at the girl on the floor. Leguna noticed and followed their gazes. He took two steps forward so he could see what was behind the table. There, in a puddle of blood, lay the girl that had occupied his mind and heart for so many years. Her one hand, the epicenter of the puddle, was missing three fingers.
Leguna froze, his eyes turning black.
“Did you do this?” his voice clawed out of his mouth between white prison bars.
The bandits didn’t even dare to breathe. It didn’t occur to them they would piss the god of misfortune off just because they picked on a freak. It looked like they wouldn’t escape without at least taking a huge beating.
“Tell me! Are you the fucks that did this?!”
“Oh my, why are you so mad?” The owner hurried over and tried to calm things down. If the bandits were scared shitless of this boy, she could even less afford to offend him.
More than not offending him, however, she could not let this get out of hand. She would lose everything if it did.
“These gentlemen are from Bloodhand. I see you’re in the same line of work, why don’t we sit down and have a good chat? Don’t–”
Leguna flickered and appeared in front of her. She was in the air before she could get her final sentence out. Two black eyes glared her spirit out of her body.
“Stinking sow, tell me what happened. If you don’t the tavern will be serving you for dinner!”
Her back was instantly drenched. How many innocent people had this kid killed to turn into a devil? There were no words to describe his gaze adequately. It felt like death itself was staring at her through the two black eyes, as though it was rearing to swallow her whole. This knowledge gave the woman power she had never had before. She struggled and waved her limbs about crazily, trying her best to point at her throat. With a cold humph, Leguna tossed her to the ground.
The bandits now stood by the door, stopped by Kurdak and Vera. The couple glanced at each other before their glares landed on the bandits. Kurdak stared at them like a lion at a deer, while Vera hurried to Eirinn and started administering first aid.
Leguna stomped on the owner’s stomach, “I’m not in a good mood now. I might just kill you. So, be quick.”
The owner took two breaths with great difficulty and stammered as she recounted what had happened. She chose not to cover for the bandits out of fear of Leguna and let everything out as she shook. Leguna’s face blackened as he listened.
“Is she telling the truth?!”
The most guilty bandit jumped forward, dagger in hand. “Yes! We cut the beast, so what?! You gonna go against Bloodhand?!”
All emotion drained from Leguna’s face. He quietly stepped towards the meat.
When the bandit saw Leguna’s face change, he thought he had been frightened, relief poured into his face. The kid was still terrifying, maybe even more so in his current state. The man didn’t dare go too far. He just snickered confidently.
“So you know Bloodhand’s reputation. We aren’t much in the grand scheme of things, but we have deep roots here in Semralsin. I haven’t seen you before, but you’re quite capable. What say you? Want to join us? I can make a few recommendations. Given your skills, I’m sure you’ll fit right in. We can feast and drink together then. It’s far better than staying at this shit-hole.”
The longer he went on, the more excited he became. By the time Leguna stood in front of him, he had already stretched his hand out for a handshake. Leguna stared at him quietly and lifted his own. The man couldn’t be happier when he saw the gesture. He was just a low level grunt in the brotherhood, but he didn’t fear the mid-order warrior thanks to his backing.
Huh, so what if you’re a big shot? You still have to shake my hand nicely. If I can recommend you to the boss, I’m sure he’ll reward me greatly!
He breathed a sigh of relief when he saw Leguna stretch out his hand. He didn’t doubt he’d lose one or two limbs if they fought. Unfortunately for him, Leguna didn’t shake his hand. Instead, he continued raising his hand until it was just beneath the man’s chin. He flung out his middle and index finger and tapped the man’s chin lightly.
His four companions froze. What did the kid mean by this? A chill suddenly ran down their spines and pooled in their feet. Their brother suddenly convulsed and shivered like he was in the middle of a blizzard, naked. His contractions didn’t last long, Leguna quickly withdrew. The bandit immediately collapsed on the ground like a tree felled. What happened? They called out, but their brother didn’t respond. They crept closer and flipped him over.
“Aaaargh!” squealed the four. Their brother leaked blood out of all the holes in his head and his body slowly liquefied.