The Devil's Evolution Catalog Chapter 119: Persuading Eddison Part 1
As Eddison and George stared daggers at each other, the rest of us glanced at each other with a worried look in our eyes. Unlike the previous two villages, this situation didn’t look like it would resolve itself.
That meat sack Moranthal inexplicably came onto us after some persuasion. That drunkard Io came on board after a good thrashing. Yet why did things become so complicated when it came to dealing with this damned fatty? I guess it came down to the fact that we didn’t have a grasp of his weakness.
Sh*t, if this negotiation fails, we’ll lose the aid of a three-star and at least a hundred men...looks like it’s time for me to make an appearance.
With a light cough, I gathered the attention of everyone present and poised my question: “Ahem, about that, I heard that Master Eddison was robbed by the Wolf’s Fang a while ago while doing business. May I know if that’s true?”
“Hmm? You are?”
Looks like George didn’t do us the favor of an introduction. Seeing his questioning gaze, Ancarin stepped forth to fulfill George’s duty of introducing us: “Greetings Mister Eddison, this is my professor, Magister Mo Ke. As for me, I’m Ancarin, an apprentice mage. We are a pair of travelling mages who, due to a misunderstanding, ended up offending the Wolf’s Fang.”
“Misunderstanding? You mean those trained wolves?” The fatty nodded his head while giving Ancarin an admiring look. “Those beasts are ignorant to have attacked a beautiful mage such as yourself. Truly deplorable.”
“Hahah, beautiful, you’re too kind Mister Eddison.” She gave an obligatory response to his praise before steering the conversation back on track.
“It’s precisely because of this misunderstanding that we offended those despicable bandits. Not only that, we ended up implicating Plateau Village as well. This matter has caused us a great deal of guilt which is why we decided to stand against the Wolf’s Fang. We hope that you’ll aid us in this noble endeavor and help us overcome this obstacle.”
Her words were soft and gentle with an alluring undertone you would expect from a typical seduction ploy. The fatty’s body jiggled slightly in excitement from her advances, yet this still wasn’t enough to change his mind. “I’m terribly sorry. Normally I would make it my duty to accept any request from a beauty such as yourself, however, I do not possess the strength required to fulfill this request.”
“You really can’t help us?”
Ancarin gave a pitiful pout as she said that in a pleading voice. Even so, the fatty didn’t bite. “I’m sorry but I truly do not possess the strength to do so.”
You damned tub of lard, why are you so damned obstinate about this. If you are truly that weak, why the hell would George even bother looking for you?
Yet with all that cursing, the problem still remained that he wasn’t being cooperative. It’s not like we could force him to help us with a knife to his neck either.
In the midst of their conversation, that beautiful lady came back once more with a platter of piping hot food in her hands. Laid out on the tray was bread, soup, vegetables and also some grilled meat.
“I’m aware that this must’ve been an arduous trip for all of you especially given the timing. I’m sure none of you had the time for a proper meal while rushing here.” Eddison smiled at the girl’s arrival and nodded in her direction. “Is the fish ready?”
Lady: “It’s almost done, Master.”
“Mhm, once the fish is ready, prepare some mashed potatoes as well.”
“Understood Master.” She lowered her head in response and left for the kitchen.
Master? This fatty seems to be pretty well off…
Mhm, this hall’s pretty well decorated, from the looks of it, it must’ve cost him a pretty penny. So...Io got into a blood feud with the Wolf’s Fang because they murdered his father….while Moranthal’s grudge was because of his slutty ex-fiancee. As for this tub of lard, he was robbed while running a caravan...this hall though...why does it seem so different from the homes of the other village chiefs? I guess he pays more attention to his lifestyle?
Mhm, let’s go with that, after all this fatty’s furniture seems to be on the expensive side, or at least they’re more expensive than those of the other three chiefs. Just from a glance, one could tell that the furniture in the homes of the other chiefs were all made from their village’s carpenters; they were slightly rough around the edges, but the emphasis was put on durability instead during construction.
In comparison, the fatty’s furniture were more ornate. Seeing as he was a merchant, he must’ve purchased them from the city.
That beautiful lady just now must’ve been his maid. While she wasn’t wearing a maid’s costume, there weren’t that many women who would call a man master. She’s either a servant or his wife, but given her aloofness, it was probably the former.
In order to maintain this lifestyle it must’ve cost him a fortune, and that was probably why he does those trade runs. If that’s the case, shouldn’t this man be very particular about his money? After all, trade runs weren’t allowed by the bandits and ran the risk of him getting beat up. Also, the fact that he could even transport the goods meant that he had horses...didn’t those bandits confiscate all the horses? He must’ve kept a hidden stable somewhere.
When he was robbed, I’m sure he put up a fight and yet he was merely beaten up and instead of murdered. That means he didn’t go all out then...so we’re dealing with a money-grubbing fatty that was afraid of dying.
Alright, enough analyzing for now. I might’ve messed up somewhere along the way but for the most part, I had just the right plan for such a fellow.
As I pondered this question, the enticing fragrance of the grilled meat wafted underneath my mask, tempting me to eat it. Yet this clearly wasn’t an option, so I decided to settle this problem as soon as possible.
Gazing at the feasting Eddison, I directly offered up my proposal: “If I offer 1,000 gold coins, will you help us?”
“*cough cough cough*...” In the midst of what was probably his second dinner, my sudden proposal caused him to nearly choke from the surprise. The fatty immediately wiped his mouth off with the cloth he hung in the front of his collar, coughing several more times before finally settling down. He then gave me a look you would only give when you saw your long lost father or perhaps when you stumble upon a million dollars.
“You’re serious about that?!”
“Mhm, however this includes your village as well.”
“...” Hearing that, his grin turned upside down in what had to be a world record in falling out. With a shake of his head, he flatly said: “No.”
How was a thousand gold coins not enough?! That’s the equivalent of a million Chinese Yuan (roughly 150k USD)! Don’t you know the meaning of the word million? Why weren’t you jumping at such a generous offer? Only a fool would reject it!
At the side, Dioh stirred in his seat, clearly dissatisfied with the fact that he rejected such a princely sum. However, George knew that I was trying to win him over with money, so he swiftly silenced the teen before he could open fire with his mouth cannon.
“Then what will it take for you to help us?”
“Give me…” He halted mid-sentence as if he had just remembered something that prevented him from even extorting us. He closed his mouth and paused for a second before saying in a definite tone: “No matter how much money you offer me, I won’t accept the deal so just give up on this.”
His love of money was already something I had verified so the fact he rejected me was probably because of his village?
Not willing to give up, I upped the offer: “2,000 gold coins.”
“No way, I...this isn’t a matter about money.” I clearly saw his eyes waver at the mention of 2,000 gold coins, however, he still rejected the offer. Don’t tell me we really have to put a knife to his throat to secure his cooperation?
“Not enough gold for you? Just state your price then.”
“I said so already, this isn’t about the money…”
His refusal left me at a loss for words. It was then that Ancarin spoke up: “Mister Eddison, is the reason why you refuse our offer because you feel that we will lose?”
He paused for a couple of seconds before saying, “...yes.” With a nod of his head, Eddison confirmed her theory.
“Truthfully, I don’t think that the combined forces of our four villages will be enough to defeat Dawson and once we fail to do so, we’re all doomed. No matter what, I can’t take this risk.”
“According to what I know, the bandit’s suppression of your village is extremely severe. If you don’t make use of this opportunity to defeat them now, I’m afraid this chance will never come to you again.”
“Dawson is too strong...he might’ve already become a four-star…”
His words had a varying level of shock on us, particularly George. He had suspected that the man was nearing four-stars, yet that was merely his suspicion. All this while he had operated under the assumption that, while he might not be able to defeat the man, he might not lose either if he went all out. And yet...reality was never as one thought.
Four-star warriors have the ability to project their Fighter’s Aura and thus could perform long-ranged attacks. If Dawson was really a four-star, he wouldn’t even be able to get close to the bandit in a one on one match.
“Mhm, it’s only a possibility though…” Eddison continued in an unsure tone. “Truth be told, I only learnt of this through hearsay. Roughly three months ago, I heard that Dawson managed to slay a warrior who had just advanced into four-stars. While no one was there to witness it in person, the state of that man’s corpse was telling enough. I heard that it was ripped to shreds.”
As he said that, his lard jiggled in fright as if to emphasize the point.
If Dawson was truly a four-star...then weren’t we all in trouble? Was it too late for me to leave now? Hmph, when did I become such a coward? I caused this mess so I must be the one who fixed it. Besides, I couldn’t just leave Regine to fend for herself. If I left now, what about those innocent villagers?
One mustn’t be too selfish; sometimes there are things which you mustn’t avoid.
Special thanks to Steve Granger, Kaung Thant Win Naing, and Antoine Thompson!!