The Devil's Cage - Chapter 1729
The Devil's Cage Chapter 1729 – Target
Translator: EndlessFantasy Translation Editor: EndlessFantasy Translation
‘Can you afford to fail your main mission?’
Borl was surprised when Kieran asked that, but after a little hold up, he finally understood what Kieran was aiming for.
Borl was no idiot by any means. He had some guesses when Kieran brought Broker to the table.
It seemed like the voice that he heard earlier, which wasn’t Kieran’s, belonged to the infamous person from the big city.
It wasn’t that hard to know whose voice was whose. The real question was what did Broker want from him?
Though, regardless of what, once Borl dropped dead, everything would be over, even Broker’s plan.
And Borl himself?
He would be able to return the favour to Kieran with his death, so when the thought came afloat, he said, “Yes.”
He tried to sound as normal as possible but his heart sighed heavily.
If he could really afford to fail this main mission, he wouldn’t be struggling this much. This would be his end should he fail his main mission, but at least his life was worth something, right?
Unknowingly, the fear of death went away. Borl felt no fear, he even ridiculed the concept of death. He suddenly realized he could frankly look death in the eyes.
It seemed like death wasn’t as scary as he thought it would be.
Was it because of the light that he saw from Kieran earlier?
Borl was pondering quietly in his heart.
“Kill me and the mission can fail,” Borl said straightforwardly.
Though, he suddenly realized Kieran looked at him with a weird gaze and before he could react…
A slap landed on his cheek.
Insult and grievance gushed to his mind instantly.
“What the hell?” Borl shouted.
“Nothing special, it seems like the wicked presence in this world has affected you, so I woke you up. Are you awake now?” asked Kieran.
Borl was shaken. He shook his head strongly, the expression on his face suddenly replaced by horror.
‘I might have owed this great sir a debt but how can I even think about repaying him with my life?
Is that me just now? Am I still me?’
Borl went through his system notification but he did not find anything unusual, looking up at Kieran with a face of horror.
“The system isn’t almighty. There’s always things that go beyond its control.”
Kieran carefully replaced the word ‘big city’ with other similar terms, then looked at the wicked presence, which was invisible to normal natives.
“They seem to be more dangerous than we thought. Didn’t you just look death straight in the eyes just now?” asked Kieran when he turned back to Borol.
“Right! I felt nothing against death just now, I even deemed it as a release for me! It felt so dutiful and honorable!”
Borl nodded, with his face showing horror after the realization.
The unknown always causes fear in people, especially when something familiar turns unfamiliar.
“When I was in Mozaar, I felt this presence also but it did not affect me! Is it the woods?” Borl asked.
“Maybe it’s the woods that is acting up, or maybe it’s that Mozaar place being a special one. Or…the wicked presence just grew stronger! It started to affect people’s hearts!”
Kieran’s calm reply made Borl gasp hard. As a fellow qualified solo player, he knew if things were really as Kieran said, this world would be a lot more difficult for him to move around.
His mental would be affected without his knowing and the fact that the wicked field gradually grew stronger numbed his scalp.
“What now?” Borl asked out of instinct.
“Just follow your original plan,” answered Kieran.
The reason why he asked whether Borl could afford to fail his main mission or not was because he really wanted to do this in his own way, which was making Borl fail the main mission. However, after Kieran reacted to the situation, his way was no longer viable.
If it were others, his brutal way might really work but he did not forget he was going up against Broker.
Considering how that cunning merchant made his move in the past, he must have also included this kind of direct way to end the dungeon in his plan, hence there would be countermeasures from him.
Kieran was almost certain if he really killed Borl to end this, something unexpected would pop up.
But if he chose not to kill Borl or sabotage Borl’s main mission, they would not end up well either because it was exactly what Broker wanted.
Broker wished for Borl to survive because he wanted Borl to help him achieve a certain task.
Otherwise he wouldn’t have wasted so much effort to set all this up.
Being sandwiched in the middle of both difficult ends did not cause Kieran to lose his way.
He had been through a lot, he wasn’t intimidated at all. He even had the urge to challenge Broker because he had the upper hand right now!
An unexpected outcome granted him the advantage over the cunning merchant!
The next thing he had to do would be to understand this world, search for Broker’s true goal, and from there, sabotage the plan to further expand his advantages.
To do that, Borl was needed as the bait.
In short, Borl had to survive to complete his goal that he had set before this.
As for Kieran, he had to search for Broker’s true goal while Borl was at it.
Would it be the royals of Edatine?
Or the religion of Edatine? Or something else entirely?
Kieran would slowly ponder upon it and categorize them.
Borl finally calmed down, heaving a breath of relief.
He had no idea what Kieran wanted to achieve but he knew he would really die for sure if Kieran decided to kill him and end all this. There would not be any other way.
Even if Borl dragged his bodyguard in this, both of them could never be a match to Kieran.
Compared to Kieran, those robbers who held them back were nothing.
‘Judging by the looks of things, the infamous Flaming Devil seems like he is joining me in my main mission, then…does it mean I don’t have to worry about my safety anymore?’
Borl reacted to the situation and joy smeared all over his face.
The joy was obvious in Aschenkano’s eyes after he cleaned up the battlefield.
“Mr. Borl, you are happy because of your spoils too?”
The tall and buff bodyguard carried stacks of blades and muskets on his shoulder, the smile on his face brighter than the moon.
Borl promised him that part of the loot would be his.
“Of course! Let me see what we got here.”
Borl did not explain explicitly, going over and starting to count the loot.
“These swords and sabers are decent, and with some sheaths, they can be sold at some secondary stores. These muskets are decent too, and although they lack maintenance, selling one for 1 Gold Purton won’t be a problem. Is there any armor or horses left?”
Borl quickly entered his professional mode and started to assess the loot.
“No, the few horses they had were harmed in battle and so was the armor,” Aschenkano shook his head.
“That’s a pity. Come, Aschenkano, wrap the loot with our asphalt felt and strap them on top of the wagon. They will be transformed into dazzling Gold Purton when we reach Sicar Land. Don’t worry, a part of them will be yours and it will be enough for you to buy a set of sturdy armor.”
Borl sighed but he did not forget the promise he made to Aschenkano.
With the assuring words from Borl, Aschenkano’s morale was boosted.
When the bodyguard started to move the loot, Borl then looked at Kieran respectfully.
“Of course, you will receive the biggest share of all this.” said Borl.
No matter whether Kieran wanted them or not, Borl thought he should be like this in front of Kieran.
Kieran turned around to the wagon without saying yes or no.
When Borl strode over to the wagon before Kieran to open the door for him, the piled up bodies of the robbers started burning. The hill of bodies were soaked in gasoline, therefore the fire spread rapidly and incinerated the leftovers.
Dark smoke rumbled up into the sky, fierce fire devouring every trace and evidence.
The pinewood in the area were chopped off by Aschenkano and despite the seemingly careless look, the bodyguard was meticulous enough to clear up the space so that the burning bodies wouldn’t cause a forest fire.
Kieran looked through the window in the carriage when the fierce fire burned.
The fire grew fiercer but the gray mist in the area wasn’t affected, still shrouded over the burning fire and somehow growing thicker.
“There’s no negative energy around but the wicked presence grew stronger because of death…” Kieran muttered to himself.
Almost instinctively, he thought of the Lady Calamity.
According to what Borl said, Lady Calamity caused death on a large scale.
Could she be related to the wicked presence?
Pondering in his heart, Kieran’s eyes started to size up the inside of the carriage.
It was a 4-wheeled leisure wagon, hence the carriage being very spacious. It didn’t only have seats opposite each other with a table in the middle, there was another little tea table attached to one side of the carriage.
The little tea table was opened up with a warm teapot on top.
The teapot was metallic with a set with the cups and saucers, heated on top of a palm-sized stove and the water inside boiled with steam coming out from its mouth.
Borl put a cube of tea the size of a nail inside the pot and then added two spoonfuls of honey and several green plums.
A minute later, Borl had finished setting up several pieces of pastry on the saucer, then picked up the teapot and poured a cup for Kieran and himself.
“Sir Colin, please have a taste. This tea is popular among the nobles of Edatine Castle. I learned how to make it from the War God Temple. The pastries are from the best pastries house in Mozaar,” Borl explained to Kieran.
Kieran always had an undying passion and unyielding persistence towards testing food.
He took a sip from the cup and tasted the warm sweet and sour tea, which left a delicate taste.
The pastry however wasn’t soft enough, somewhat rough to the mouth but not entirely hard to swallow. The sweetness was off the charts, as if the whole piece was baked with pure sugar.
Kieran took another sip of tea to flush away the sweetness in his mouth.
“The tea is nice,” Kieran said honestly.
As for the pastry, he did not comment.
He automatically thought of the biscuits and pastry from Starbeck.
Kieran then quietly pushed the saucer with the pastry to Borl.
“You don’t like sweet things?” Borl asked as he grabbed two and tossed them into his mouth.
“Everything needs to be balanced out, anything over would be hard for the mouth.”
Kieran did not answer the question directly, euphemistically rejecting it for the sake of the food.
“Then you may not enjoy Edatine Castle’s food as much as the others. The folks there favour sweetness over anything. The sweeter the better. They even use sugar in roasting meat, especially some royal dishes. It’s known for its sweetness and it’s very widely known throughout the Northern Land,” Borl said in pity.
As he explained, he shoved several more pastries into his mouth.
It seemed like Borl was fond of the sweetness.
When there was one piece of pastry left, Borl knocked on the window behind his seat.
“Aschenkano, do you want a piece of pastry before breakfast?”
The wooden window opened up right away with the bodyguard smiling behind it.
“This is just what I need.”
The bodyguard did not take the saucer altogether. He just took the pastry and put it into his mouth. Compared to Borl, Aschenkano enjoyed it much better. Kieran even heard the bodyguard licking his fingers after eating.
Since the battle with the robbers, the bodyguard had not washed his hands and before the wagon moved out, he even went to release himself in the bushes.
Kieran didn’t want to ponder upon the disgusting question that could potentially affect his appetite, tapping the table and attracting Borl’s attention.
“Are you prepared to mix around with the upper class of Edatine Castle?” asked Keiran.
His question had some hidden meaning that only Borl could understand.
“It’s not that easy! A Dukeship bought with money is recognized by the king but not the traditional nobles. Even if someone is there to introduce me into their social circle, I will be looked down upon. Those who have wasted their family fortune and ended up in debt will treat me all the same because they have a glorious historical background that can be traced back to Edatine II or farther,” Borl explained to Kieran with a bitter smile.
“It’s not easy but not impossible,” Kieran asked the question that interested him.
“Mm. If… I have a land, even if it’s a little village, I can completely change my current situation!” Borl nodded without hiding anything.
In the Northern Land, the biggest advantage a noble had was land. Estates with plantations and endless supplies of various crops, it was an honorable achievement for those nobles.
“Can you get it then?” Kieran continued.
“I’m not sure yet, I’ve found some ways but I still lack some true acquaintances—I can’t tell whether that guy is reliable or not and that guy is also testing me.”
Borl then lowered his voice to the point that only Kieran could hear what he said,
“Since Edatine II approved the royal decree that states ‘private land cannot be violated by private means but the king has the right to inspect them’, selling and buying land between the nobles is not something new but is limited to the nobles only. Commoners don’t even think about it. Some declined nobles would rather starve to death than sell land to commoners, because even if he would sell it out, he couldn’t survive the king’s guard. He will be apprehended, stripped of all titles and privileges, and hung to death at the city walls. Those who bought the land will also be hung together and the land will be taken back by the king.”
“At first, some people tried to take the risk but after Edatine II hung his own uncle, everyone stopped. The royalty of Edatine have zero tolerance of nobles selling and buying lands, unless a rebellion is happening.” So, if I want to buy a land, first I must have a legal noble status and it’s not only me who seeks this status.”
Kieran nodded, getting a general picture of how this dungeon world operated.
Borl’s rivals would never want to see him with a legal noble status, trying to stop Borl by any means necessary.
The robbers and the watchers were the best example of the ill intentions of his rivals.
Those rivals would never give up this easily.
Kieran looked up to the roof of the carriage.
At the roof of the carriage, where the spoils were loaded, a very soft noise sounded.