Translator: Lore_Temple (foxaholic.com)
Kingdom of Alitia.
It is one of the three kingdoms that exist on the continent and is famous for its nightlife and different varieties of entertainment.
As one can see, the innkeeper and the local residents are working together—trying to take in a tourist.
Isn’t it really scary?
How did a kingdom become such a heinous den of thugs?
To find out, we have to go back in the history of the Kingdom of Alitia.
There is nothing to go up too long.
It is only necessary to find out the deeds of the previous king.
Talking about the predecessor of the Kingdom of Atilia, he was neither superior nor inferior.
Just a king who should be content even if some five lines are written about him in some history book.
There was one thing about him, he had a very deep affection for his wife, his beautiful queen.
Even as the king of a kingdom, he did not have a single concubine, so it is easy to imagine how deep his affection reached.
And one day, the queen he loved so dearly was assassinated.
The king was enraged and searched throughout the kingdom to find the culprit.
The criminal was found within two days of the search, and he was executed with the most terrible torture procedures in the history of the Kingdom.
The culprit who killed the queen was caught, but the dead queen wouldn’t return back.
Disappointed, the king left the state affairs as it was.
Then, as if just waiting for that, criminals began to run rampant in various parts of the kingdom under the name of an organization called Zarakh Society.
And in the end, the situation reached to a point where it was difficult for the current king, who had inherited the throne, to do anything meaningful.
That’s why the current king, just like his predecessor is and can only keep sitting on the sidelines.
Only recently have there been rumors circulating that the murder of the previous queen was a conspiracy arranged by the Zarakh Society…
But, that’s not what’s important now.
The important thing is.
“I mean, it won’t be a problem even if we made a fuss like this.
Don’t you agree?”
I looked at the woman sitting next to me.
This is the gusty woman who locked the inn door earlier.
Instead of answering, she just stared at the floor with a pale face.
Well, there’s something to see, so I guess, it’s normal to keep looking over there?
But, all I feel now is losing my sense of appetite.
“T, That, guest.
I brought the tomato soup you ordered…”
The innkeeper placed the freshly made hot tomato soup on the table.
Well, first off, the smell sucks.
Still, I don’t know, maybe it’ll taste good…
I took a large spoonful of the tomato soup and delivered it to my mouth.
Then, after gurgling a few times, it got spit on the floor.
The blood that had pooled on the floor splattered slightly.
The woman was startled and screamed when blood splashed on her.
I languidly put my arms on her shoulder.
“Annie, let me ask you one thing.”
Annie is this lady’s name.
“You recommended this tomato soup to me… Was it the best trash—oh, I mean, food you guys have?”
“I wonder if the things that don’t sell well are sold to innocent tourists who don’t know much about real food, does it causes tragedy-!”
“T, That..! I’m s-sorry…!”
Annie slammed her head back on the floor and trembled.
She looked at the innkeeper, and he immediately responded similarly like Annie.
In any case, it is the same with a tourists’ misfortunes everywhere, an everyday story.
I sighed and said.
“The Battleground Championship.”
“Tell me what you know about the Battleground.
Where and when will it open? The person who provides the most useful information, will save one precious life.”
The innkeeper and the waitress stared at each other.
As soon as I put my hand on the handle of the sword by ‘mistake’, and the innkeeper opened his mouth first.
Words poured out like running water.
The woman, who had her face muscles trembling with a betrayed expression, also began to speak.
I folded my arms and listened.
After a while, both of them shut their mouths as if they had told me everything they had to say.
Now it’s the time to choose.
As the sword was drawn, tension rose on the faces of the innkeeper and the lady.
They didn’t grovel for forgiveness or shouted or help, looks like neither of them are stupid.
They seem to know that instead of putting a pathetic display it’s better to remain still which can more probably increase one’s chance of survival.
This is the real Kingdom of Alicia.
Even in a random inn, they know the art of survival.
I smirked and swung my sword.
A head flew away, and the blood that should have been directed into the head pumped out like a fountain.
The middle-aged man’s figure collapsed.
There was a deep sense of relief on Annie’s face as she looked at the scene.
“Annie, you are the innkeeper from today.”
“I’m going to go upstairs and sleep, so clean up all this away by tomorrow morning.”
I pointed at dozens of corpses lying on the floor.
Annie’s eyes widened.
“That, all, until tomorrow? Alone?”
“Of course I cannot! I’m a slender woman! How am I going to get rid of all those corpses by myself…”
“Then we should change the innkeeper to a stout man.”
“…wait, I think I can make it happen, no, it would be very easy in fact..!”
Annie clasped her hands and said in a voice dozed with fighting spirit.
The lass who trembling before…
Now that the death was overhead, look at how she is overflowing with strength again.
‘As expected, this is the Kingdom of Alicia.’
How many times will I be amazed today?
“Anyway, clean it all away by tomorrow.
And while I’m staying, this whole inn will be rented by me.
Don’t take guests.
The moment another guest enters the inn, that is the day the inn gets a brand new owner.”
I took my keys and went up the stairs.
I heard a squawking sound from below, but I ignored it.
* * *
Once in every four years, it is a competition held in the capital of the Kingdom of Alitia, and many brave men who are confident in their skills participate.
The reason for participating in the competition is to publicize their name, but it is also because of the generous prizes that can be won.
‘There are a lot of people here.’
Were the Gladiator Arenas of the ancient Rome like this?
The perimeter of the large-sized amphitheater was crowded with people.
Most of them are spectators meanwhile some are participants.
In the preliminary round, 16 finalists out of 100 contestants will be selected.
‘By the way, there’s also a preliminary round…’
There was no such thing when I was playing this game?
Is this also because of not revealing my identity as a hero?
As I waited in line with that thought in my mind, it was my turn.
“Welcome to this battle of passion.
Did you come as a spectator or as a participant?”
“As a participant.”
I showed him my A-class Adventurer plaque and the recently issued battle-record plaque.
He looked at the two cards for a moment, confirmed that it was genuine, and nodded his head.
“Yes, participant Cloud.
Would you like to place a bet and enter? Or would you like to go right in?”
“Oh, you don’t know?”
“No… I know.”
Annie told me the other day, but I forgot.
It’s a setting that didn’t exist in the game.
‘If it’s betting…’
I took out my money bag.
All that I have.
‘Betting is double-edged.’
And, sometimes it can be made into single-edged.
* * *
The spectator seats around the battleground were filled with noisy audience.
It’s a huge event that takes place once in every four years.
Although it is an event where people are killed and injured, this is after all, the capital of the Kingdom of Alitia.
No one cares about the lives of the participants.
There was one group that actually did care—
—Those in the audience who were holding small chits of paper.
On that small piece of paper was written on whom and how much one was betting.
These gamblers were also divided into two categories.
—those who bet small sums on famous people for small moments of enjoyment.
—those who bets large sum on strangers to strike bouts of overnight riches.
They dream of turning their lives around by betting large sums of money on people who are not very famous.
And Annie, who recently became an innkeeper from an ordinary waitress, was one of the latter’s.
Unlike those who opted for safety, she was restlessly looking at the arena.
“Ah… please… please… please…”
She grabbed the piece of paper and prayed to God.
Haven’t I had a hard enough life until now? Grant me some good luck for only this once, please, please.
That’s pretty much what it was about this lady’s inner monologue.
“How much did this lady bet that she is so agitated, uh?”
An old man’s voice was heard next to her.
Annie was startled and turned her head to her side.
An elderly man sat down next to her and looked at her.
“Oh, my heavens! Which blabbering old man…”
Slowly, her voice got smaller and smaller.
It is because of the old man’s guards who sat behind her, staring at her with her oppressive eyes.
Ah… high-ranking person…
Naturally, Annie’s attitude became polite.
“Khm, hello old sir.
My name is Annie.”
“Ho ho, unlike this young lady, I’m just an old man.
So, just call me old man.
By the way, how much have you dipped to become so restless, young lady?”
At that, Annie’s expression got struck.
“Huff… I didn’t see that coming, but you’re one true natural gambler, aren’t you?”
“I am not that kind of person.
Until now, I have been living a steady life.”
“So why did this lady who has lived normally until now suddenly played with her entire fortune?”
“…I think the opportunity has come.
When it comes, one has to catch it.”
Annie tightened her hold on that piece of paper.
“Oh… who in the world instilled you with that much confidence? I’m curious.
Can you tell this old man?”
Because I’m only betting in the preliminary round.
That red hair you see over there.”
“Hmm… where… oh?”
The old man looked in the direction Annie was pointing at, with a slightly startled expression on his face.
He soon started chuckling as if he was begining to feel the fun.
Is this old man crazy? Annie thought inside her and opened her mouth.
“No, haha, it happens to be a coincidence.
It happened that this old man is also betting on that young man.”
Why would this old man lie about something like that?”
At the old man’s words, Annie’s expression lit up with joy.
It’s reassuring to know that a tall-standing person is betting on someone is same as your choice.
‘I was indeed smart in betting all my fortune!’
It is a bet that even chucks the money taken using the inn as collateral.
If she went bankrupt, she would have to live a life of being chased by debtors…
Glad that I placed my bet on right choice!
It was time for her to be relieved.
The preliminary round begun.
Annie smiled and looked at Cloud.
He’s very scary, but he’s a great person nonetheless.
Come on, show me your skills and shower me with money!
…but her smile soon broke down like glass.
“Hiii, no, no!!!”
As soon as the qualifiers started, Cloud barely broke away from the attack, tumbling on the floor.
Annie’s stiff facial muscles trembled.
“Hey, is it not the same person…”
On the other hand, the old man sitting next to her smiled broadly at Cloud.
He said as he wiped the tears from the corners of his eyes.
“As expected, everyone’s crazy.”
* * *
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