Chapter 33: Burning Youth [Volume 2 - Bloom of the Other Shore Flower]
The scavenger laughed awkwardly and withdrew his gun. Then he took out a few copper coins and placed them on the bar, pushing them in front of the young man and saying, “Hehe, I’m just joking! It’s just a joke! This is all I have. Just give me an order of whatever you like, as long as it can make me drunk!”
Suddenly, the bar regained its liveliness. Many of the patrons sighed regretfully, thinking that they missed out on a good show.
Bucktooth Six, the strongest and fiercest of the scavengers laughed loudly and said, “Knifescar Feng, I've said it long ago, look at you, to even dare try causing trouble with your loathsome self!”
“Yeah, it’s obvious he’s a newcomer at first glance.”
“Dammit, this guy’s pretty smart! Too bad we don’t get to see a good show. It’s been a while since we’ve last saw bloodshed here. Sigh!”
“Oh, those who dared to cause trouble in front of Qianye are all dead, aren’t they?”
The patrons discussed enthusiastically among themselves. Since there was nothing to see, their topics quickly turned to women and boasting about their own capabilities.
Behind the bar, Qianye’s expression was as cool as ever. He accepted the few copper coins from Knifescar Feng and exchanged them for a huge glass of spirit. He delivered it to the scavenger’s table together with the cocktails he mixed earlier on a ridiculously large tray.
After Qianye returned to the bar, Knifescar Feng glanced once more with lingering fear at the bar before lowering his voice and whispering, ”Who is this kid? I’ve never been this… scared even when I was facing werewolves and blood thralls!”
“His name’s Qianye. He moved to Lighthouse Town half a year ago, and after he arrived he opened this bar. Do you understand?” The old man among the scavengers added, “Of course, his drinks are really good.”
Knifescar Feng wore a look of sudden realization.
Someone who could run a bar peacefully for half a year in a place where blood was shed daily couldn’t be ordinary.
Strength could not be judged by appearance alone. It was rumored that pure-blooded vampires looked so weak they might be blown away by a slight breeze, but in fact they were the real monsters. It was also rumored that they could kill a dozen men of the imperial expeditionary force with a single finger! And this was considering the fact that any member of the imperial expeditionary force—even a cook—could take out dozens of scavengers like them.
Behind the bar, Qianye stood like a statue, not moving a single muscle. No one knew if he was in a stupor or deep in thought. This was his iconic posture. When there was no need for him to work, Qianye would become a part of the bar’s background.
A large caliber Kohler pistol laid inside the drawer beneath the bar. This big guy was well made and classically designed, able to fit seven bullets and produced by the giant Blackstone Heavy Industries of the Empire’s military industry. Among handguns, it was called the “little steel cannon.” Its power was completely incomparable to a scavenger’s outdated firearm.
During the first few days of the Red Spider Lily’s opening, this Kohler pistol had blown six people’s brains out. After that, no one dared to come looking for trouble—at least not in this town.
The noise in the bar grew louder and louder, and the patrons grew more animated as the night drew on. Occasionally, the screams of angry women could be heard.
However, as long as a couple of copper coins were pushed down their bras, these women would immediately switch from anger to joy instead. Add a few more and they would twist their waists vigorously and sit on the men’s thighs, allowing them to grab and grope as much as they wanted. Anything further, however, would depend on both parties’ will and price.
There were guest rooms in the Red Spider Lily, but they were rarely used. Checking into a room was an incredible luxury. If it could be taken care of in a grassland why go into a room? Most scavengers thought this way.
Qianye continued to look on coolly. It was as if everything was happening far, far away from him.
These women had nothing to do with him whatsoever; they had simply borrowed his place to attract some business. With them around, the patrons would drink more and act like a crowd of rutting pigs.
There was already a scavenger who charged out of the side door impatiently, carrying a woman in his arms. The door hadn’t even finished closing when there was a sound as if something heavy had crashed to the ground, followed by a man’s panting and a woman’s exaggerated squeal.
Scavengers who had just returned to the city all had some money in their pockets. A life in constant fear for one's livelihood caused the townspeople to be more generous with their spending, which was why they were also welcomed by the womenfolk. Of course, that was only while they still had copper coins in their pockets.
The atmosphere inside the bar ignited instantly.
Qianye became busy as orders came flying in one after another. However, his movements were practiced and steady. It was as if the various cocktails were produced on an assembly line. Every request was followed to the letter without a single error or omission. He was as precise as a machine.
It was at this moment when yet another woman walked into the bar. She wore a short jacket over a black corset that confined her full breasts. Her lower body was wrapped within the canvas trousers commonly seen among adventurers that completely exposed her thin but powerful waist and lower abdomen. There was a black scorpion tattooed on her lower abdomen, adding a wild sense of attractiveness to her youthful and energetic figure.
If someone was to speak of the greatest difference between her and the other women inside the bar, it would be her youthfulness that seemed like it would rise to the surface at any moment. Every inch of her was filled with the fresh scent of after rain grass. In addition, her lips were as red as flames, and in this dim and decadent place, it was a dash of the brightest color.
The moment she stepped into the bar, she immediately became the focus of every man.
“Hey girl! How much for a single night!” a scavenger who just arrived at Lighthouse Town cried out.
“An imperial silver coin.” The woman’s answer was as direct as the scavenger’s question. She walked straight to the bar and sat down without consultation.
The newcomers’ expression fell when they heard the price. This was an imperial silver coin she was asking for! They had to roam the wilderness for two months before they could earn an imperial silver coin.
That being said, the woman projected a wild and youthful aura from her entire body. It was as if every bit of her skin was glowing, setting all the men’s hearts on fire. The moment she walked in, all the other women in the bar began to look like molted old hens.
“You’re not telling me your ass is made of origin alloy, are you?” someone began to express his displeasure, but he was immediately held back by the friends beside him.
“That’s Min’er. She’s hot, but her thorns are just as many! Don’t provoke her if you don’t have business with her!” that friend said in a low tone.
Min'er tapped the bar and said, “Give me anything. It just needs to be strong enough.”
Qianye quietly mixed a big glass of spirit, fished out a small silver pot from around his waist, and poured a single drop of liquid from that pot into the glass before pushing it in front of Min'er. A large portion of the patrons’ greedy gazes were immediately diverted onto the glass in front of Min'er.
That small silver pot was the bar’s signature formula. No one knew what was contained inside, but even the poorest spirit would immediately become fragrant and aromatic. A tiny sip was enough to cause anyone to forget all troubles.
No matter what Min'er ordered, she would always get a drop of that something added to her drink. It could be considered unique treatment that she alone enjoyed.
She seemed unsatisfied and extended her hand again, asking, “Do you have a cigar? The special kind.”
Qianye fished out yet again a handmade cigar from below the bar. A striking red line was drawn across its surface.
Min'er immediately snatched it from Qianye’s hands, lit it up, sucked in a deep mouthful, and held her breath. A very, very long time later, to the point she could hold it no longer, she finally puffed out a mouthful of smoke carrying within it a special fragrance. An unnatural bright red color immediately appeared on her face.
Many people in the bar stretched out their necks and sucked hard at the spreading smoke.
The cigar was very short, and she only took three pulls before it had burned to its end.
Min'er stared a little regretfully at the extinguished cigar stub before saying, “Give me another one!”
But Qianye did not move this time. “Only one smoke every three days is allowed. Otherwise you will die very quickly.”
“I’ve lived enough of this life anyway!” Min'er said a little self-despairingly, but no matter what she said, she did not get her second special cigar. At the end of it, Qianye completely ignored her.
Min'er shifted her gaze onto Qianye’s face before speaking with a hint of a smile, “Little Ye, did you know? There were a few times when I really wanted to cut up that face of yours! I dislike seeing anything that’s prettier than I am!”
Qianye pulled the corner of his mouth just a bit to indicate that he had smiled.
Min'er raised her hands as if surrendering before staring at Qianye, saying, “Alright, I don’t want to smoke anymore. I assume you’ll treat me then?”
But Qianye was completely dead to her expectant gaze, because treating her would involve other things as well. In this abandoned land where profit was king and friendship was shit, there was no such thing as a free meal. If Qianye treated her this time, then naturally she would repay him with her own body.
Hearing no response from Qianye whatsoever, Min'er smashed the bar angrily before raising her voice, “Is there anyone who’s willing to pay my tab tonight?”
There were many people who couldn’t help but swallow their saliva, and there were many greedy and lustful gazes that swam non-stop across Min'er’s body. However, not a single person answered her. It was an imperial silver coin! Unless they’d truly gone mad, they would never spend such a huge amount on a woman’s body.
Finally, a large, one-eyed man at least two meters tall walked over, licked his lips, and slapped an imperial silver coin heavily on the bar and roared, “Allow me!”
Min'er snorted and said, “I told you that I don’t like you. You’re out of the question!”
But the one-eyed man did not grow mad. He simply chuckled a few times before returning to his seat.
Min'er flicked his silver coin to draw an arc in the air before falling towards his head. The man grabbed the silver coin and yelled, “You’ll fall in love in me eventually!”
“In your next life!” Min’er answered loudly.
Min'er took out several dozen copper coins and slapped them on the bar. Then, with a sweep of the hand, the copper coins flew into the air in a row and fell into Qianye’s shirt pocket as if they’d grown a pair of eyes. Her trick was beautiful, and it immediately drew a round of cheers in the bar.
What if those copper coins were flying knives?
The scavenger who thought to sleep with her earlier withdrew his head. This girl was a thorned rose.
“I want a room!” Min'er said.
“The third room is empty.” Qianye passed her a key along with a few short words.
Min'er’s slim fingers hooked around the key ring and spun it. She then stared at Qianye with an incinerating gaze before saying with a faint smile, “I’m not locking the door tonight. Come in if you dare!”
“But I will lock the door,” Qianye said.
A curse tumbled out of Min'er’s mouth as she smashed the bar, vexed. However, the moment her fist fell down, the entire bar shook!
Everyone in the bar lifted their heads and looked about in a daze. A hidden glint flashed across Qianye’s eyes, but it vanished immediately.
Outside, the bald sheriff suddenly let out an unnaturally high-pitched scream, “Wait! I’m opening the gate now! I’m opening the gate now!”
Before the sheriff could finish his words, an earthshaking explosion went off outside the bar, its shockwave shattering every window in the Red Spider Lily. The spray of broken glass fell on many people’s heads, and there were a few unlucky fellows who were cut by them—however, no one was complaining, and everyone was staring outside in great fear.
Heavy footsteps resounded inside the small town. It was the sound of military boots stepping against the ground.Previous Chapter Next Chapter