After the fight was over I searched for Incha. I wanted answers from him. Unfortunately, however, he was nowhere to be found. He all but disappeared into thin air after he left the fighting area apparently.
I still don’t know if he was the one who rigged our fight, but I do know that I underestimated him. He had the upper hand in that fight. He was more prepared than I was, and I can’t let that happen again.
There at the end, Incha definitely tried to poison me, even after having surrendered. Why would he do that? Incha had been acting friendly to me leading up to the fight, but perhaps he was just trying to make me lower my guard.
…Is this even what I should be spending my time thinking about? Shouldn’t I be thinking of tactics for my next fight? Even if it was close Incha was still clearly weaker than me in a direct fight, so what happens when someone that is my equal stacks the cards in their favor the same way he did? I have to think of a trump card before this next fight.
“Wow, he really must have gotten under your skin for you to be so deep in thought. What happened in that great big ball of smoke?” I hear aimed at me
As my focus turns back to reality I notice Juire standing in front of me with a vaguely familiar face. It doesn’t take long before I pick his face out from the few that I have come to memorize in these past few weeks.
“Your name was Faurch wasn’t it? You’re the old head of the merchants guild up in Jin right?” I ask
“I’m happy that you remember me. I had heard that you were participating while I was doing some business in the area. Since I had some free time left before I needed to return I figured I would stick around and watch.” He explains with a smile
Even though I know he used to be the head of the Merchants guild, all I can see when I look at him is a kindly old butler.
“Sorry I couldn’t show you a better fight then, I can’t imagine it was all that fun to watch smoke for 10 minutes,” I say apologetically
How did he get in on a whim like that though? Weren’t the tickets meant to be super expensive and sold out already? What kind of pull does he have exactly?
“Oh, it’s no matter. Though I am left curious what exactly went on in there as well. Between the storm of knives, and the fact that when the smoke cleared you were covered in dirt and standing over your opponent, one would assume it was quite something.” Faurch says with a warm smile
For a few moments, there is silence between us, and my face can’t help but redden slightly. Why did my stomach need to pick now of all times to growl?
“Well… I’m just about starving, so why don’t I tell you all about it over lunch?” I say as I try to keep my composure
“Sounds great, I wanted to talk to you about something anyway,” Faurch says with a slightly more serious face
Since I haven’t had a chance to visit in a while I decide to go to the ramen place I found before. This time, however, I have a secret weapon.
I guide Juire and Faurch to the run down shop. Both give the shop a tentative look as we enter.
“Oh! Girlie! Nice to see you bringing in more customers!” The old pops that runs this shop cheers out as I enter
As the rest of his family notice my arrival he is quickly shuffled off to another room.
Confused I look on, but he doesn’t seem to resist at all.
“Sorry about that, my husband just becomes a little excitable around his favorite customers. Will you um… be eating a lot tonight?” His wife as with a worried look
“Just one bowl for me, though I can’t speak for either of these two,” I say as I sit at the counter
I can understand her worry, but I have already figured out a countermeasure to make sure I don’t frenzy again. When I cooked for everybody earlier I discovered that food made by me seems to satiate me almost completely. After experimenting I learned that so long as I snacked on something I cooked before I eat I will no longer frenzy. A good thing too, I was really starting to miss the taste of ramen.
The wife breaths a sigh of release at my statement, and dons a gracious smile.
We order, and I begin to snack on a piece of Borka jerky I made earlier from my inventory while we wait.
“So what did you need to talk about?” I ask Faurch
“Well, it’s about the clients you arranged for us to trade with.” He says with a serious look about him
A chill runs down my spine at those words. I try not to look shaken as I respond.
“Oh, what about? Were they unhospitable to you in some way?” I ask trying to remain calm
“Oh no, of course not! In fact, they have been incredibly gracious to us. Our relationship has been plenty beneficial. So much so that I would very much like to keep the relationship going for a while. That is why I’ve come to you actually. I fear the deal may have to end soon.” He says in an apologetic tone
“What, why?! Didn’t you just say it was beneficial to you? Why would you end it?” I ask confused by his statement
Should those supplies stop before the monster village can become self-reliant the goblins will be forced to steal or starve. That powderkeg does not need to be jostled.
“Well, to put it simply, because the kingdom knows about the goblin village,” Faurch says with a smile.