The Devil's Evolution Catalog Chapter 115: A Polite Moranthal
“Targets huh...I know that...I want to slaughter those damned bandits as well but...not everyone in the village understands this logic.” Io clenched his fists and gritted his teeth as he said that. With a agitated but conflicted look on his face, he said: “I want nothing more than to rip those curs apart! If only I was my own man...but...I…”
“I understand.” George chose not to comfort him but instead shared his own feelings regarding the matter: “Expecting these bast*rds to be reasonable was silly to begin with, yet not only are these fools short sighted but I am as well…”
Would those short sighted fools be referring to the villagers…?
As he said that, he turned around and glared at Dioh, the meaning within his eyes clear for all to see.
“Oh, Dioh and Kevin are here as well, you’ve grown taller since I last saw you guys.” Due to his drunken stupor, he had only just noticed the two boys standing behind George. After greeting them as their senior, he turned towards me and Ancarin: “And these two are?”
Having said his greetings, Dioh rushed to introduce the two outsiders before George could: “They are Magister Mo Ke and Mage Ancarin. As a side note, Ancarin is Master Mo Ke’s student.”
“Oh...so we have two noble mages here, no wonder their get-up is so weird.” Io joked with a derisive tone. “So what are these two mages doing here?”
Ignoring his tone, Ancarin answered placidly: “Passing by.”
“So there will be mages backing us up in this battle?” Even though the question was directed at us, he asked George instead. Perhaps he was still drunk after all seeing as he lacked this basic amount of courtesy; a good thumping would solve that right away.
“There will.” Without waiting for George to reply, Ancarin promptly picked up the conversation. “Truthfully, the reason why Mister George had to seek aid was because of us…”
Ancarin spent the next two minutes recounting our encounter with the Wolf’s Fang and Plateau Village, which elicited a string of sighs throughout from Io.
“Sigh, even though saying this might upset George, I still have thank you all for this opportunity…”
As for why he said that, *cough cough* even a fool would understand without being told. Right after his dad was murdered, the man must’ve definitely gone through a difficult period where he had to choose between revenge and survival. Seeing as he was standing before us right now, he clearly chose survival albeit unwillingly.
It was this decision that ended up throwing him into a spiralling descent of guilt, alcoholism, pain and self-condemnation. Even when his wife, whom he had a great relationship with, left with their child for her parents’ home, Io still hadn’t pulled himself out of this torturous rut. Just the opposite, their departure threw him further into the depths of despair.
Just as he was about to go through a mental breakdown, we arrived with an invitation to “take revenge on the Wolf’s Fang together.”
The reason why he didn’t rush off to take revenge after his father was murdered wasn’t because he didn’t care about the dead man but rather because he was a logical person. He knew very well that rushing in alone was nothing more than suicide. As for asking the villagers for help, he more than anyone else knew that they wouldn’t do so unless they had a dire reason to do so.
After all, living under the yolk of these bandits was still living. If they were to offend the bandits because of his grudge, they might end up getting implicated as well. Thus, Io chose to bear the burden of his guilt alone.
In truth, Iroi Village wasn’t the only village in such a situation. With Plateau Original Village included, all the villages basically adopted such a passive attitude towards the bandits. Those curs were simply too strong and combining forces might not even guarantee a victory.
This was why the Wolf’s Fang was able to prosper for so many years without any of them trying to stop them.
“Since you’ve decided to stand with us, then you better start recruiting some men quick. With my understanding of Dawson, he will attack in two days tops.” Having finished our business here, George rose from his seat and prepared to leave. “We’ll be leaving now, we still have two more villages to visit after all.”
“You’re not staying behind to eat?”
“There’s no time for that, if we survive this battle we can have a celebration then.”
“Be careful, don’t die out there.”
“I should say that to you instead.”
“By the way, about our numbers…” He awkwardly scratched his head sending off a storm of snow flakes as he did so. Despite this embarrassing scene, he chose to say it in the end; some things were too just important to be left unsaid. “I’m not sure how many people will join us for this battle, our opponent is just too strong after all…”
“I...understand. Just do your best.”
Leaving behind Iroi village, we spent another three hours on the road before reaching South Plateau Village. By now it was already night time and the majority of the villagers had gone home for dinner with only a few idlers roaming outside.
George was a kind of local celebrity in this village. Upon entering, his presence was immediately discovered by some of the more busybody villagers who immediately circled around him asking him about our trip here. George gave a cursory answer and asked to see Moranthal.
Moranthal? Haven’t I heard of this name recently?
It seems I had accidentally vocalized this bit of confusion seeing as Ancarin immediately stepped forth to remind in a whisper. “Moranthal is that poor man who had his wife kidnapped.”
Ooooh...right right, that chump. It was said that the two greatest tragedies a person could suffer was the murder of their parents and having their spouse taken away. Today must’ve been a lucky day seeing as how we encountered two such cases in less than half a day.
I wonder what state of mind he is in right now, defiantly angry or perhaps he is drowning himself in alcohol as well. Probably the latter…
As if acting in accordance with my will, we found a young man who was definitely under the age of 25 sitting in the courtyard of Moranthal’s home, sullenly drowning himself in alcohol.
So this is rumored man who had his wife kidnapped. He seemed kind of handsome with his refined features, his faintly green hair that parted down the center flowed to his shoulders and most of all his fair complexion that would turn any woman green with envy.
While I did say that he was drowning in alcohol, his method of doing so was markedly more civilized that Io’s. At the very least, he wasn’t chugging at his wine bottles directly but instead used a small cup. Even so, his efficient drinking speed that seemed almost mechanical more than made up for the difference.
Somehow I have a bad feeling about this. A person who could give off that sort of impression while drinking wine from an almost teacup-like vessel would definitely be a much harder opponent to tackle than Io.
“Moranthal, do you need me to keep you company?” George asked, clearly not intending to use the violent method he used on Io. I bet it had something to do with his more civilized drinking style.
“...George?” Moranthal raised his head and looked at George with glazed eyes. After several seconds of staring, he finally verified the identity of that voice. With a faint hiccup at the start, he asked in a fairly lucid voce: “What are you doing here?”
“Naturally we have some matters to discuss with you.” As he said that, George walked into the courtyard and plopped himself down next to the man as if this was the natural thing to do. In a slightly teasing voice, he said: “So I heard you’ve been having some trouble lately.”
“*cough* What do you think?” Moranthal reached for a spare wine cup and filled it to the brim before gently pushing it before George. “So what are you here for? Don’t tell me you’re just here to make fun of me.”
“Hah, I don’t have that much free time to spare.” George picked up the cup and downed it in one gulp. He lowered the cup and waved his hand at us: “I’m sure you’re familiar with my brother and Kevin. Let me introduce these two to you.”
After a short introduction, Moranthal signaled for us to sit, but as he did so, he discovered that there weren’t enough seats. He graciously went inside his house to retrieve a pair of chairs for us; unlike a certain someone who made us stand throughout the discussion.
Not bad...well-mannered, civilized...seems like he was raised well.
Moranthal swept his gaze over us; while it wasn’t a wary one, it wasn’t a curious one either. He asked in a fairly formal tone: “Ever since those bast*rds showed up, Plateau Village rarely has any visitors anymore, I’m sure these two have a story to tell.”
“Truth be told, this is what happened…” George picked up the question and roughly recounted our encounter with the bandits and their village.
Moranthal remained silent for some time, tapping the table with his fingers while he did so. A moment later, he slowly opened up his eyes and squinted at us. “You’re here to request for aid, aren’t you?” He said summarily.
“That’s right. If it hadn’t been for the time constraints, I would’ve hired some mercenaries instead.”
George answered in an unabashed tone, clearly not finding such a request to be embarrassing.
Having received such a definite answer, Moranthal took a sip of his wine and said in an extremely amiable fashion: “Alright then, you guys are free to recruit within this village. If anyone is willing to help, you’re free to take them with you.”
What an unambiguous stamp of approval. I wonder why I thought you would be more difficult than Io. I must’ve taken the wrong medicine today. So sorry about that, I’ve wronged you, you’re a really nice man.
Even though we had just received what was in my mind the best answer possible, George remained motionless in his seat and instead stared at Moranthal.
“Didn’t you say you were in a hurry? Why are you still sitting here?”
“You haven’t said that you’re joining us yet.”
“Oh me..” Moranthal picked up the cup with his right hand, and with a tilt of his head backwards, downed its contents. His left eye twitched as if something had gone in it. While maintaining his previous position of having the wine cup raised in his right hand, he rubbed his eye with his left.
After a period of rubbing, he casually threw out his answer under George’s withering gaze: “I’m not really interested in this.”
Come to think of it, he did say we were free to recruit and not that he was willing to help us...which means...this bast*rd was toying with us from the start!! Damnit, how did I ever mistake him for a nice guy?!
This potato’s a tough nut to crack after all…
At the side, everyone had the same expression of having something stuck in one’s throat that couldn’t be removed.
Special thanks to Steve Granger, Kaung Thant Win Naing, and Antoine Thompson!!