How a Reincarnated Warlock Lives – Chapter 11

Chapter 11: Trial (4)

‘Damn warlocks.’

Impatience was evident in Foil’s hands as they flipped through the ledger.

“Whew.”

This was already the third time this month that these guys had missed their delivery date. He didn’t even want to count how many times it had happened throughout the duration of their business dealings.

In the case of a normal business transaction for buying and selling, he would have terminated the partnership long ago, and would have even demanded a significant amount in damages.

However, the people he was dealing with weren’t normal merchants, but warlocks.

If he complained to the Merchant’s Guild or the local nobility, what he would receive in return would not be compensation, but the scornful gazes of people who thought he was crazy, and a noose for his neck.

Besides, even if it wasn’t him, there were many others who wanted to purchase cursed items. In any case, he was the one at a disadvantage.

“Damn warlocks. May you lick a devil’s feet for the rest of your lives.”

Unintentionally uttering the words that had been circulating in his head, Foil looked down at the floor with a slight gasp.

It was about time for these guys to show up. It wasn’t very wise to badmouth someone behind their back.

Especially if the other party was a warlock.

“Phew.”

In addition to the unilateral stress of frequent contract violations, and the life-threatening risk of being executed if he was caught by the Inquisition, there was a simple reason why he continued to do this job.

Because it made money.

There was always a high demand for cursed items with various effects in any place where humans lived.

“I’ll have to quit this gig soon.”

Knock, knock.

He muttered words that had become a habit over the past few years, but that even he knew he would not act upon, and then he covered the ledger and slammed it shut.

A customer?

The only people who would visit this shabby building on the outskirts of town, which didn’t even have a proper sign, were customers who had heard rumors and come looking for items.

There was nothing to worry about. He had already bribed the guards of this small town.

“Oh, come to think of it. . .”

The time to pay another bribe was approaching.

Foil’s face crumpled as he recalled the amount of the bribe he had to pay the town guards this month.

Damn parasites.

Before Foil could even get up, there was another knock.

Knock, knock, knock!

Foil winced at the knock, which was much louder than before. Why are they in such a hurry?

“I’m coming!”

Foil answered in a loud voice, hid the ledger in a secret space under his desk, and then tidied up his clothes.

They were customers after all.

However, before he could get up and take a step, there was another knock. It was twice as loud as before.

Thump, thump, thump!

Foil’s face was filled with irritation at the sound of the old hinges rattling.

“Damn it, I said I’m coming! Are you deaf?!”

As he cursed, the sound outside the door stopped.

‘Tch, making me use harsh language.’

Foil snorted and slowly walked towards the door.

Unfortunately, there was one thing he had gotten wrong.

Bang!

“Huh?”

The customers standing in front of the door were not very patient.

Crash!

Much more so than Foil had imagined.

“Wh, what the hell?!”

Crash!

The old wooden door, which was hanging on two small hinges, was completely shattered, and wooden splinters, dust, and debris flew everywhere.

‘I-Is this a raid! But who the hell?’

Foil quickly grabbed his weapon and turned his head in a panic at the sudden commotion, which was anything but ordinary.

The guards he had bribed? Warlocks who were angry at the gossip he had muttered to himself? A lazy lord from a faraway place who had no interest in a small town like this?

All of these were unrealistic guesses.

In that case, there was only one answer.

“Kneel before the radiance of God!”

“What the─”

The identities of the visitors were none other than those damn fanatics.

It was an ordinary visit, considering that the other party was from the Inquisition.

Foil cursed and hurriedly pulled out his sword. Unlike others, who gave him some room for negotiation (or rather, bribes), fanatics who shouted only the name of God were notorious for not knowing compromise.

Of course, there were some corrupt people among the many believers of the Inquisition. However, if it were people like that, they wouldn’t have broken down the door like that.

“Search!”

Foil shouted and swung his sword. It was too late to run away. In any case, the people from the Inquisition, who had tracked him down, were determined to settle things once and for all.

Swish!

The sword he swung sharply cut through the air and flew towards the intruders.

“Ack!”

Foil rolled on the floor without even being able to let out a proper scream.

In an instant, the floor and ceiling were reversed, and his body didn’t move properly, as if at least one part of it was broken.

It was a truly breathtaking blow.

“Hmm, too easy.”

Foil’s blurry vision caught sight of three strangers who looked like they had just reached adulthood.

A man holding a sword with a somewhat disappointed expression, a woman holding a huge mace that didn’t match her size, and a young man with a calm expression.

Foil quickly opened his mouth after quickly examining their attire. It wasn’t the black robes unique to inquisitors, or the white robes of regular priests, who wouldn’t have come to such a shabby place.

Are they apprentice friars?

“I-I’m just a humble broker!”

Foil cried out desperately, although he felt pain as he tried to get up, as if one of his legs was broken.

He thought that if he could get through to these seemingly inexperienced kids, he might be able to avert the crisis.

The blue-haired young man who heard his words said with an indifferent expression.

“They say the world has become a dangerous place, but these days, even humble brokers swing their swords at customers without provocation.”

‘That’s because you guys broke down the door!’

What kind of customer in the world breaks down the door of a store?

“No need for long talk! We’ll sentence you right here and now!”

Swish.

The man, who seemed somewhat passionate, said as he raised his drawn sword.

Foil’s face turned pale, and the girl with the mace spoke up to stop him.

“Valent, wait. Even if this place was marked on the map, we can’t pass judgment without proper evidence. We should first find evidence of heresy━”

While the two of them were exchanging opinions, the young man who had first spoken to Foil looked at him with deep eyes that were impossible to read.

Gulp.

Foil unconsciously swallowed dry saliva at his gaze, which seemed to pierce through his mind.

Swish.

The next moment, the young man slowly raised his hand, and in it was the secret ledger that he had been writing in until just now.

“Huh?”

When did he find that? It was clearly hidden in the space under the desk.

While the bewildered Foil blinked, the young man opened the ledger and began to read slowly.

“Two bundles of carrots from Kehehrn Mountain, one sack of old wheat, three barrels of red wine. . .”

Outwardly, they were completely normal, unproblematic lists.

Of course, they were code words for various items provided by warlocks, but there was no way they could know that.

“S, See!”

Was it because of the double mechanism he had prepared, wondering if he should do this or not? Foil shouted with somewhat regained confidence.

“. . . . . .”

The other two, who had received the ledger from the young man, began to examine the thick book, but there was nothing else they could figure out.

‘If I play my cards right, I might be able to get away with this. . .!’

While Foil was happily daydreaming, clutching his broken leg.

Creak.

An ominous sound came from behind.

“. . . . . .?”

All three of them turned their gazes towards the back at the sudden sound.

“Ah.”

There was a secret entrance leading to the basement, wide open and staring at them.

“The vibrations of evil energy are strong.”

Foil muttered in vain as he looked at the young man who was smiling wickedly like a demon.

“Damn it.”

Foil wanted to punch himself in the mouth for cursing the warlocks just now.

Because right before his very eyes was someone much worse.

🔹🔹🔹

Rumble.

With a dull sound, the secret passage leading to the basement appeared.

“Excellent! Of course, it couldn’t have ended so meaninglessly!”

Valent exclaimed in admiration. I shrugged at his words.

Even as a joke, it wasn’t something you could say was well-hidden. At least by my standards, it was annoying enough to hope that whoever hid it like this wouldn’t get caught.

“A faint lingering trace of magic. . .”

Daena narrowed her eyes and looked down the dark underground passage. Not a ridiculous excuse, or something comparable to a piece of a ledger, but solid evidence that could not be denied.

It was enough to execute them on the spot.

“But before that.”

I nodded at Valent as I stepped onto the creaking stairs. Figuring out this guy’s sins comes after we investigate this basement and figure out everything we need to know.

Creak.

Daena, who lightly lifted her heavy mace, and Valent, who lightly tied up the guy with the broken leg and forcibly lifted him up, followed me.

The passage was longer than I thought, and there were faint traces of magic lingering here and there.

There was nothing special except for the dimly burning torches hanging here and there to illuminate the darkness.

I figured out the situation without difficulty. Rather than something else being hidden in this place itself.

‘It’s just a passage. The question is, who came and went through here.’

When I asked the broker, who had revealed his name as Foil, about the purpose of the passage, he rolled his eyes and hesitated.

“T, That’s. . .”

He wasn’t going to tell me easily. It was quite a cute rebellion.

Swish.

Daena, who met my gaze, raised her mace, and Foil’s face turned white.

“Eek!”

“. . . . . .”

Watching him closely, I noticed that he kept glancing anxiously at the other side of the passage with an uneasy expression.

“Who are you waiting for?”

“. . . . . .!”

His expression hardened. Valent, who heard my words, narrowed his eyes and looked at the other side of the passage.

It was bright daylight outside, but it was somewhat dark underground here, so it was difficult to see the other side with the dim torches.

Daena muttered cautiously.

“It’s likely that there’s an accomplice.”

“He said he was a broker. Does he meet them outside the city through this passage to deliver items?”

“No, it might be the other way around.”

I cut myself off and looked at the other side of the passage.

Valent, who understood what I had left unsaid, narrowed his eyes and said.

“It’s broad daylight outside. Are you saying that warlocks would dare to enter the middle of the city in broad daylight?”

“Well.”

I shrugged and stopped walking, my gaze fixed ahead.

Of course, the possibility was low. Theoretically speaking.

However, I had lived long enough to experience countless things.

Things that many people would dismiss as unlikely happened quite often.

Whoosh!

With a loud noise, the lights that had been dimly illuminating the passage all went out at once. At the same time, I felt magic from ahead.

“. . . . . .!”

The passage was instantly enveloped in darkness. Valent and Daena also seemed to have sensed the ominous energy coming from the other side, and raised their weapons with tense expressions.

Blam!

The light that bloomed from Daena’s hand illuminated the darkness. Then, something slowly appeared, moving from the other side.

It was a group of people slowly approaching us.

“Dirty heretics. . .!”

Valent gritted his teeth and raised his sword, feeling the dark energy emanating from them.

The man at the forefront, wearing a robe over his head, looked at us as if he found us amusing and said.

“Put down your weapons quietly, you devout believers.”

Clank.

At the same time, the sound of a slingshot being loaded could be heard from somewhere.

A dark and narrow passage. At least twenty figures appeared out of the darkness, as far as I could count at a glance.

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