Chapter 46: Song of The Wind (5)
Lancelot was very popular.
In just forty minutes, he earned 86 copper coins.
“Hey, isn’t it Lancelot?” A person who knew him finally appeared amid the crowd that had stopped to watch him play. It was a generous-looking middle-aged man with a beard. He glanced up and down at Lancelot, then said in a surprised and exaggerated tone: “I didn’t expect that you’re really a bard and your music is this beautiful. Praise Flange. Little Bazz won’t have to struggle for money now.”
Jin Cheng kept smiling, ready to act according to however the situation would turn out.
The bearded man continued to sigh: “Oh, Lancelot, a cold wind would never take you down. Now it seems that the sickness that you suffered when you first came to Flange was a test from Heaven. You’ve completed the test and won people’s hearts. But you must know, Lancelot, those who suspect you are not out of malice. Who would have thought that a man this young can really play such wonderful music?”
This person spoke enthusiastically for a long while, but Jin Cheng and Tang Cuo both agreed that he was no good man, because he wasn’t willing to let go of even one copper coin.
What a cheapskate.
Jin Cheng asked: “Have you seen Bazz? I’m looking for him.”
The bearded man: “I just saw him helping people move things in front of the Wanderers Tavern. You know, Lancelot, he used to do two jobs to help you cover the cost of medicines. He’s very busy.”
Tang Cuo then opened the Mission panel.
[Kingdom Hidden In The Moonlight]
The second round: Song of The Wind
Main mission: Find Bazz.
They bid goodbye to the bearded man and quickly rushed to the Wanderers Tavern.
Looking at it now, Bazz should be Red Hair, and Lancelot fell sick when he first arrived at the Principality of Flange and was given a helping hand by Bazz. Other people like that bearded man, however, didn’t seem to have any respect for Lancelot. As far as Tang Cuo and Jin Cheng could guess, they probably just stood by and laughed at him.
This also meant that Lancelot’s performance just now should be his first.
The Wanderers Tavern wasn’t far from here.
About ten minutes later, a tavern with a wind chime at the door came into their sight. The moment Jin Cheng stepped forward, the bartender immediately smiled and said: “Hey, isn’t this our great bard Lancelot?”
This was a joke tinged with mockery. Indeed, it seemed that Lancelot’s days after coming to the Principality of Flange weren’t so smooth-sailing.
At this moment, an astonished voice came from behind the two of them: “Lancelot, Theodore!”
It was Bazz.
Bazz, with his cotton-like red hair, happily waved his hand and walked over. His eyes swept back and forth: “Why are you here together? I wanted to introduce you two to each other. I didn’t expect you to have met, it must be fate!”
Tang Cuo: “…”
Jin Cheng smiled: “Isn’t that right?”
The bartender pursed his lips when he saw Bazz coming, then he turned around and left.
Bazz showed a look of fear and said to Tang Cuo: “The attack on the Grand Duke just now had me scared silly. Luckily, Theodore was there. Theodore, I saw the entire thing, you’re really a brave knight. But then I was pushed away by the crowd. After that I asked the guards and got told that everything was okay. Theodore, were you injured?”
Tang Cuo shook his head: “It’s just a small wound. There’s nothing to worry about.”
“A small wound should also be taken care of.” Bazz seemed like he had a say on the matter of injuries. He seemed to think of something and said worriedly: “When I went to look around, I saw Dr. Albert’s house surrounded by the guards. I don’t know what happened, but I’m oddly nervous. Oh, by the way, Lancelot, where did you go just now? I searched through the entire house and couldn’t find you.”
Bazz didn’t seem to see Jin Cheng helping Tang Cuo and the Grand Duke to escape, thus naturally believing that Lancelot wasn’t involved at all. And his words revealed something that suddenly cleared up Tang Cuo’s suspicion ― Dr. Albert.
When Lancelot went to the rented house, he might be looking for Dr. Albert.
Tang Cuo and Jin Cheng exchanged glances and both saw the same guess in the other’s eyes.
Jin Cheng asked: “Bazz, have you seen Dr. Albert today?”
Bazz shook his head: “No, Dr. Albert is very busy. Many noble lords want to see him for treatment. But he is also remarkably kind and willing to receive civilians like us. He even comes down to our place to examine us and lowers the cost of medicines. Lancelot, we should find a good day to thank him in person.”
Then Bazz asked Tang Cuo and Jin Cheng again why they were together. Jin Cheng realised that Bazz was clueless about the incident that took place, so he didn’t mention the secret tunnel, instead saying that they both came to find Bazz and happened to meet on the way.
Bazz didn’t doubt his words and immediately handed Jin Cheng a key: “Lancelot, I may go back very late today. You know, the tavern will open till late on such days. It’s a long way from here to East Street in the White Leaf District. Maybe you can walk around with Theodore and have some new jam pie from Beibei’s Cake House. It tastes really great.”
“We’ll definitely try it. Thank you, Bazz.”
“Haha, Lancelot, you’re really strange, friends never need to say thank you. There is one thing I must tell you, Lancelot, don’t worry, your talent will be recognised one day. If it’s not today, it’ll be tomorrow.”
“I performed at the bazaar just now and everyone liked my music.”
“Did you? Isn’t that fantastic?!”
Bazz looked genuinely happy. At this time, the bartender came out from the tavern again and loudly called Bazz over to continue his work. Bazz scratched his head and smiled apologetically at Jin Cheng and Tang Cuo, telling them that they must enjoy the celebration to the fullest.
Jin Cheng and Tang Cuo watched Bazz leave, his fluffy red hair that glowed under the sun making such a pleasant sight to the eyes.
The main mission changed again ― Go to the Greenvines Alliance office.
Now that Dr. Albert, a key figure, had surfaced, Jin Cheng also had an excuse to be aware of the secret tunnel and could openly turn up at the Greenvines Alliance office.
But the key given by Bazz gave him a new idea.
“Bazz and Lancelot also live in the White Leaf District.” He said.
“Because the rental there is cheap.” Tang Cuo replied.
Very good, very logical.
Jin Cheng put away the key. They couldn’t go to the White Leaf District to investigate anyway, so let’s just throw it aside for now.
The Greenvines Alliance office in the Principality of Flange was located in St. Paul District right at the heart of the city. It was three-storey high and had a large Greenvines Alliance crest hung at the door. Its architectural style was different from the surrounding buildings that were all milky white and looked like churches.
This might be the style of Luo Island, which carried a natural, primitive feel.
Now that they looked at it, the alliance’s office in the Kingdom Hidden In The Moonlight was probably the size of the toilet here.
Behind the entrance was a reception hall, very much similar to a usual Adventurers’ Guild. There was a mission area and a rest area, with a huge crest painted on the ground.
In the hall, many people came and went. Most of them were swordsmen in leather armours, and sometimes there were a couple of wizards. All these people had a common characteristic, that was ― ordinary.
The Greenvines Alliance was a relatively relaxed bounty hunter organisation. If one compared the entire thing to a giant towering tree, these men should be the leaves ― the ordinary members who relied on this big organisation to earn money and survive.
The real core, like Celtic, was the branches. The leaves could fall off and grow again next year, but the branches couldn’t.
Tang Cuo’s gaze swept to the second floor: “Let’s go up.”
He was the youngest son of a duke of the Kingdom of Hundred Flowers, so how could he be an ordinary leaf? Sure enough, as soon as the two of them reached upstairs, a voice came from a distance: “Theodore, you’re back!”
It was a lively, amicable girl with her hair tied into two braids.
Jin Cheng looked at Tang Cuo jokingly and got Tang Cuo’s expressionless face as a reply.
The layout of the second floor was similar to that of the first floor, but the alliance’s crest on the ground had become a huge magic circle and there were a lot fewer people coming and going. The girl stood in front of the service counter and waved at Tang Cuo: “The messenger of the palace has sent you a thank you gift. Theodore, come and have a look.”
Tang Cuo walked over at once.
Jin Cheng leaned to one side and waited for him. While waiting, he opened the Mission panel to find the main mission changed yet again. The current main mission ― Survive.
Jin Cheng immediately looked around. The system gave such a straightforward mission, which meant it must be extremely dangerous this time. But where was the danger hidden? He reflexively gazed at the people coming and going, but his intuition told him that it was incorrect.
At this point, Tang Cuo had received his thank you gift, which was a square wooden box the size of his palm. It looked ordinary and didn’t seem to carry any magic energy.
“Don’t open it!” Jin Cheng shouted all of a sudden.
The people in the hall of the second floor were all taken aback, and the girl at the service counter hugged her chest in shock. Only Tang Cuo could understand Jin Cheng’s warning.
But it was too late, the box had been opened. And it was this tiny opening that allowed Tang Cuo to see what was inside ― an ugly rag doll with an umbrella.
When their eyes met, the rag doll suddenly grinned.
Tang Cuo closed the box without hesitation.
“Dang, dang, dang!” The box trembled violently, as if the rag doll had come alive and was desperately hitting the box to get out.
“What’s going on?!” The girl’s expression was both horrified and incredulous. The Greenvines Alliance had one of the best Nullification magic formations on this continent, which could eliminate most of the magic in the world. Not to mention, the defence was tighter on the second floor, where such a tiny item cast with a little magic shouldn’t be able to work at all.
Tang Cuo pressed it down unyieldingly, but the force was too great for one man to stand. A thought flashed his mind and he decisively let go of his hands, then he pulled out the [Sword of Judgment] and slashed it!
The moment the longsword broke open the box, the Holy Light of Judgment was suddenly released, its dazzling light blinding everyone that stood around for a brief moment.
Jin Cheng ran over and pushed the reception girl behind the counter, then kicked away two other men that were coming closer. In a hurry, he didn’t care whether he kicked them too hard, and as he tried to clear the space, the dazzling light finally dispersed.
A black umbrella poked out from the broken box, its tip pressing against the tip of Tang Cuo’s sword.
Tang Cuo’s expression tensed up as his eyes moved from the tip of the umbrella to its handle, then to the hand holding the umbrella, where the bones were distinctly bulging up. Cold sweats were streaming down his back.
It was too strong and he couldn’t resist it at all. Although the [Sword of Judgment] was in a damaged state, it was a legendary weapon. How could a mere umbrella hold against it?
Within the one second that Tang Cuo was caught in his thoughts, the person holding the umbrella gradually revealed his true form. First, it was a hand that looked too pale, then his shoulders, then his whole body. He slowly walked out of the broken box like a gentleman from ancient times, and with every step he took, he forced Tang Cuo to step back.
He wore a silver mask and was clad in a pure white suit, his long black hair tied into a low ponytail with a black lacy band, a tassel earring hanging from his right ear.
“I was wondering who had spoiled my grand event.” His lips slightly tugged up as he turned to look at Jin Cheng. The tassel earring swayed gently with his movements: “So it was you, Lancelot.”
After that, he gently pushed the tip of the umbrella and Tang Cuo was sent flying by an overwhelming force, his body smashing against a pillar in the hall.
He spit out a mouthful of blood, and one of his ribs might have broken.
It was this point that Tang Cuo saw the change in the main mission. The word ‘Survive’ was blatantly simple, but looking at the current situation, it seemed extremely challenging.
He couldn’t help glancing at Jin Cheng. Jin Cheng raised his eyebrows, looking as though he wanted to spill a few swear words ―
Dear Lancelot, why is your name everywhere?
The magic circle on the ground finally reacted.
The golden arrays rippled out like water waves and magic energy surged towards Tassel Earring. But the man just turned the umbrella upside down, gently touching it on the ground like a walking stick. Then, the magic energy was completely pressed down.
He placed both hands on the umbrella handle, himself standing firmly like Ding Hai Shen Zhen1. No matter how the magic formation exerted itself, it couldn’t move him.
Jin Cheng had to keep smiling: “This gentleman, do I know you?”
“You saying that really makes me sad.” Tassel Earring smiled and turned the handle of the umbrella in his hands. A glaring attack broke through the shackles of the magic circle on the ground and flew towards Tang Cuo.
Tang Cuo dodged around the pillar at the very last moment and simultaneously called out the Holy Light of Judgment with all his might, taking down the impact of the magic attack with one strike. He panted, his ribs hurt, and when he raised his head again, a trace of blood could be seen at the corner of his mouth.
Of course, his expression looked bad. Very bad in fact.
Jin Cheng provoked you, and you hit me?
Translator and reviewer at Strictly Bromance blog. In essence, she lives to indulge in plot-driven stories sprinkled with camaraderie and slow-burn drama-free romance, especially more so if they belong to adventure, mystery or supernatural genre. A trope that she always thirsts after: “Comrades who go through life and death together”.