A short while later, the ground floor of the inn was now empty except for me and Breman.
A giant sack was dumped onto the dining table in front of us. From the sound it made, it must’ve been really heavy.
Di Qi Ju: This is?
Breman: The money Breiya won. After a number of twists and turns, I finally managed to smuggle this here.
Di Qi Ju: Oh, that huh.
Breman: Remember what I said before, that we definitely won’t be leaving empty handed?
Breman: I bet Ferdila is biting down on his bedsheets and cursing the Cold Wind Empress right now as his angry wife viciously spanks him.
Breman: Having exacted our revenge to this extent, I doubt there’s a need to continue with that operation we were planning.
Di Qi Ju: That imagination of yours…it’s almost like you witnessed it yourself.
Breman lifted his head and stared at the ceiling as if he was worrying about some distant matter in the future.
Di Qi Ju: What’s the matter?
Breman: Truth be told…
Breman: Savile’s opponent, Coagan, he’s someone I know.
Di Qi Ju:…
Di Qi Ju: Huh???
Breman: He’s one of my classmates from when I studied abroad in Skills. Though we rarely interacted, those interactions weren’t that bad.
Breman: Seeing him get stabbed full of holes by the Sword Soul; there’s no way I would be happy about that.
Di Qi Ju: Oh…
I just knew it, I was wondering how was it possible that Breman knew the person who tried to kill me, so it was merely some shallow relationship formed long ago.
However, seeing as he was already so upset, I think I’ll pass on telling him what I discovered this afternoon. I wouldn’t want to add to his worries after all.
Breman: Coagan…I wonder how is he right now?
Breman: —forget it, let’s tally up the information we gathered on the sinner first, Di Qi Ju.
Di Qi Ju: Mhm, let’s do that.
Deep in a dark and deserted alleyway, Coagan was currently sitting alone on a flight of stairs.
Originally, he didn’t plan on participating in the Three Battles. However, because he became overconfident during his revenge operation, he ended up exposing himself and got bountied by Reitdarke. Thus, he had no choice but to seek a position for himself via the Three Battles.
However, his opponent actually turned out to be a person like that…
No matter what kind of skills, contraptions or drugs he had or created, he simply couldn’t win against the Sword Soul.
Had it not been a public match but rather an assassination, his chances at victory clearly would’ve been higher than his opponent’s…
Unwillingness. Yet, what could he do about it?
The fact that he was able to extricate himself after that match instead of being immediately arrested by that Carmen was already a blessing in of itself. It seemed that she so happened to have something on hand so he managed to slip away.
However, just because he managed to escape now didn’t mean he was able to escape forever. What was he going to do next?
His homeland was still in the midst of a war and the only country he could make a living in with his connections was Skills. Yet, he just had to fail in his revenge operation and end up bountied by a neighboring country. Now, his body was even riddled with severe injuries so he couldn’t make a long trip either…
Things couldn’t get any worse for him right now…
Coagan: …god d*mn it!
Even though he really didn’t want to, there was only one option left open to him.
Depart for a completely foreign country and start his life all over again from zero.
??: Hey, that red haired brat over there.
Coagan: —who’s there?!
Turning around suddenly, he found himself standing next to another person.
An ordinary civilian attire and a scarf that covered her hair. She seemed just like a passing housewife.
Coagan: Ah, ah, woman huh…I’m fine so don’t mind me. If this is your home and I’m blocking you, I’ll leave right away.
??: Coagan Blutgerinn.
??: Don’t be so wary, that’s just the name you declared yourself in the Death match.
Coagan: No, not that…
??: Oh? Was it because I called you a red haired brat?
This woman, there’s something up with her.
??: Your hair…everyone assumes that the black half of your hair is the undamaged half while the other half is the destroyed side, am I right?
??: However, if you ask me…that black hair is merely the result of your successful modification while that destroyed half is the result of your failed modification.
??: I’m right aren’t I, Coagan Blutgerinn?
His body shivered as an immense sense of danger overwhelmed him.
Coagan: You—you know about—
??: “You know about the secret of the Blutgerinn clan?” Was that what you wanted to say?
??: Oh…I guess that’s true. Having this kind of reaction isn’t actually that strange is it? After all, having someone uncover this secret could just cost you your life.
??: The Blutgerinn clan underwent a racial genocide in the past so there aren’t that many descendants left alive. In fact, there aren’t even that many who remember the curse hidden within their bloodlines…
??: Even so, you made the safe choice of disguising those distinctive features as a precaution against the worst case scenario.
??: Too bad for you, all it took was one moment of failed catharsis to cause your downfall. Because of that, you landed up with such an ending…
??: Coagan Blutgerinn!
Coagan: Where did you learn about the secret of the Blutgerinn clan? And how did you discover that I was a descendant of the Blutgerinn clan?
Coagan: During that Death match, I only announced my clan name in a voice that only my opponent could hear. So how did you make it out amongst all the chaotic chatter in the stands?
Coagan: Since you’ve revealed so much, then…
As he said that, both his hands reached into his tunic.
??: “It’s either you die or I perish”, right?
Coagan: Who are you exactly???
??: True, it’s either you die or I perish…
??: Right now, I’m in a very precarious position and I might just end up losing everything.
??: So, how about we make a deal, Coagan?
Coagan: …what kind of deal?
??: We have a tiny showdown, the loser will help the winner win everything. How does that sound?
??: Either way, we are both people who are about to lose everything, at least with this deal, one of us will have the last laugh.
??: I don’t think you have a choice either, do you, Coagan?
Coagan: First tell me, who are you?
??: Hah, you’re really adamant about that aren’t you?
Standing amongst the darkness, the woman put away that faint mocking tone in her voice before reaching for her head with both of her hands and undoing the headdress wrapped around her hair. (TL: Kind of like a hijab.)
He saw her long, flowing hair cascade downwards and amidst the dim lighting of the alleyway that gave off a sleepy feeling, he noticed the strange sheen reflected off her hair.
It was red.
This woman, she had a head of long, red hair.
With her hair released, the expression on her face changed as well.
Violence; What Coagan saw was an expression of pure violence on her face.
There was no mistaking it, that was one of the two emotions he still had within him, one that he only wore when he truly felt the desire to kill someone…
That was also the curse their clan bore within their bloodlines.
??: My name is, Poppy Blutgerinn.
??: That deal we talked about, do you accept it?
Coagan: I do!
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Special thanks to Kaung Thant Win Naing!!
Synopsis: Somewhere in the universe, there was an altar. On it, laid a bloody eye as big as the sun itself. It burst with light and bathed the entire star system in red.
"The aura of an ancestral artifact!" Someone's voice rose in surprise.
The Great Galactic Era had begun.