The next morning, Leylin was guided to the employment marketplace in Roran City by the attendant.
The employment marketplace was beside the city lord's castle, so the public security there was not bad. At the very least Leylin did not see any brawls taking place.
Along the way, there were many people who looked at Leylin and his group. They were especially interested in Anna, who was behind Leylin, as she was an exceptional beauty, and was even more so after some dressing up. Fortunately, they did not dare try anything funny for they were rather fearful of Greem who was covered in steel armour.
"Sir! This is the employment marketplace in Roran City. All the people you require can be found here, besides you can also issue any mission related hiring......" The attendant explained to Leylin's group of three.
As for Fraser, Leylin made him stay at the inn to look after the horse carriage and luggage.
Although the important possessions such as potion ingredients and magic crystals were on Leylin, if they were to lose a few items like gold coins and the sort, it would prove rather troublesome.
Leylin surveyed the employment marketplace before him.
In his view was a large field, with groups of stable hands, mercenaries and the sort squatting on the ground, waiting for some employer to hire them.
Leylin knew that there had to be a slave market too, however it could not be displayed blatantly out in the open. After all, even a Magus market had to organise one covertly.
However this was well within Leylin's plans, he only wanted an entourage to hire here, so his requirements were lower.
"Young Sir, may I help you with anything?" As Leylin entered the marketplace, a group of traders and merchants swarmed around him. They were obviously dazzled by Leylin's lavish attire and shouted themselves hoarse as they tried to promote their products.
"I need a group of mercenaries to escort me to Extreme Night City, and also to guard my estate there. The contract duration would be at least two years!" Looking at the fervent traders, Leylin stated his requirements.
After reaching this part of the continent, Leylin realised that the novels, in his previous world talking about mercenary groups and bandit gangs and the like, were all nonsense.
Apart from a few large cities that Leylin was yet to visit, in Roran City and other smaller city marketplaces, there were no such groups to speak of.
All such employment, assassinations or similar missions, were arranged at the local bars or trade offices, some locations were even extremely bizarre.
"After all, the costs have to be factored in, and, if the remuneration does not even cover the cost of operations, there wouldn't be any fool who would be willing to toss their gold coins into the water!"
"Then could I inquire if you have any requirements regarding the number of escorts and their strength?" A skinny man with a shiny bald head squeezed through the traders and asked loudly.
"Number of people huh? Around 10 to 15! Their strength only needs to be equivalent to the average guard's standard. The only request I have is loyalty and honour! As the mission might extend over 2 years, I will have to issue a contract, and the salary is to be given monthly!"
Leylin said blandly.
"In that case, I have a group of mercenaries here that fits your requirements!" The bald trader smiled.
"The Roran Hawks mercenary group has just finished their vacation. Moreover, they are citizens of Roran City, so their reputation can definitely be assured of!" The bald trader explained.
Leylin noticed that when the baldy mentioned the Roran Hawks mercenary group, the crowd all turned silent. There were even respected and envious looks. It seemed like the Roran Hawks had a large reputation around here.
"Alright then! Bring me to have a look at them, the commission will definitely be given to you later!" Leylin said.
"Please follow me!" The bald trader led the way, bringing Leylin out of the marketplace.
After the attendant in the inn received his gold coin, he bade his farewell. Anna and Greem followed closely behind Leylin; the current group of four walked on for about half an hour before reaching the southern part of the city.
Having reached here, the surrounding buildings were constructed differently. If the central part of the city was modelled after the city lord's castle, with the buildings being extremely imposing and respectful, then the southern part of the buildings were multi-coloured with various styles. Very much like residential estates.
"This seems to be the area where the free citizens of the city gather!" Leylin muttered as he looked at the crushed rock laid into a pavement, and the small flower terrace and stone-made lamp.
"You have a good eyesight, Sir. Those who live here are predominantly the traders and free citizens of Roran City. The Roran Hawks mercenary group also reside here!"
"Are you not going to bring us to the training grounds of this mercenary group?" Green asked at the side.
"Respected Sir! Roran Hawks mercenary group is only a small unit, and their number does not exceed 30. Their reputation is only spread within Roran City. It is only a casual alliance formed by their leader. The cost of renting some space for them to train would have made their mission earnings obsolete. Thus, who would be willing to do that?" The baldy said with a wry smile
"Normally, the members are each busy with their own matters. They gather only when they receive a mission!" Saying which, the baldy looked at Leylin, and smiled apologetically, "Although the Roran Hawks Mercenaries are few in number, most of them are retired veterans. Moreover, their leader was once a middle ranked troop leader in the army, and his strength is not bad......"
Obviously, the baldy was worried about Leylin being prejudiced against the mercenary group, but these matters could not be concealed either, so he could only say before they found out.
"A middle-ranked troop leader huh? I am looking forward to meeting him!" Leylin smiled, he actually did not really mind who he hired in Roran City, as their roles will primarily be to run errands for him in future.
"We've arrived!" The baldy brought Leylin and the rest in front of a two-storeyed villa. Within a circle surrounded by a rosewood fence, there was a small pond and garden. There was a type of small white flower, their petals being extremely small, but with a dense aroma, a middle-aged lady was currently watering the flowers.
"Hello! Madam Lariette! Is Fayern around? I have brought some business for him!" The baldy greeted the lady watering the plants.
"Of course, he's around, my dear friend!" Before the lady got to respond, a bold and unrestrained voice sounded from within the house.
A large guy wearing a white-coloured shirt walked over and hugged the baldy.
"My dearest Fayern! Let me introduce to you- this is Sir Leylin who came from the central part of our city. He wishes to employ your Roran Hawks mercenary group to escort him to Extreme Night City!" The baldy explained to Fayern.
"Hello! Respected Sir, if you choose to go to Extreme Night City, then the Roran Hawks mercenary group would be your best bet. We have traversed the route over 100 times, and recognise every rock, nook, and cranny on the path."
Fayern bowed slightly towards Leylin and laughed as he spoke loudly.
Leylin noticed that this group leader's eyes had been sizing up the three of them. Especially lingering on Greem for a while, as if discovering something. However, he overlooked Leylin.
"A crude outer appearance but his inner qualities are astute! He is also a Preparatory Knight!" Leylin observed, and at this moment, the A.I. Chip scanned Fayern's stats.
[Name: Fayern. Strength: 1.8, Agility: 1.5, Vitality: 1.7, Spiritual force: 1.4]
These stats amongst Preparatory Knights was only considered average, however from Fayern's callus and multiple scars on both of his hands, it can be seen that he has bountiful experience as a mercenary.
"We can discuss this later, won't you invite us in to take a seat?" Leylin smiled and gestured towards the villa.
"Oh, of course, I will! Please enter!" Fayern patted his head and moved his body while bowing. His right hand stretched, making an invitation for them to enter.
After exiting the garden, it was soon the living room of the villa.
The floor was painted red, and on one the four surrounding walls there hung a rusty and stained cross blade. Beside it was a skull belonging to an elk, with bent antlers that were intertwined and had a jet-black lustre.
Fayern cordially invited Leylin and the group to have a rest on the sofa in the living room. He also asked Madam Lariette to give Leylin and the rest a beverage similar to black tea and then began to discuss the details.
"I heard from Nigel that this respected Young Master wants to go to Extreme Night City? If it is not inconvenient, could you tell me the reason why? Please forgive me, only after assessing the risk can the group make preparations for it......" Fayern's tone was rather sincere.
Leylin sipped on this beverage similar to black tea- it was rather sweet and salty and thus he did not like its taste- before he placed the cup down.
"Regarding the mission, this time, I only wanted to start some business there and require manpower for security. Do not worry about any other trouble!" Leylin looked at Fayern, while the latter was rather embarrassed and looked down.
Obviously, Fayern assumed Leylin was the bastard son of a noble who had lost in a power struggle and was sent away.
"The reason why I hire you was because the people in Roran City will not be easily bought when compared to those in Extreme Night City. Moreover, I have received news that there were some interesting events recently happening within Extreme Night City......" Leylin smiled and said.
"Interesting events?" Group Leader Fayern guessed, "Is it about the incident where the vegetation near the surroundings of Extreme Night City suddenly withered? "
"Correct! A forest, the size of a small village, suddenly withered. It really makes one worried. Because of this incident, I believe it is necessary to increase the strength of the guards."
"Concerning the earnings, I can give each a monthly salary of one gold coin. However, each one must sign an employment contract for agreeing to follow my commands for at least 2 years or more."
Leylin interlocked the 10 fingers of his hands, as he gave his opinion.
Fayern's face was indecisive, clearly he was making a choice. After being silent for some time, he struggled to say, "The other matters will be alright, what about the mission duration?"
"Although the period of two years is rather long, you don't really have to always stay at Extreme Night City. I promise you during any idle period, I will grant them leave to visit their loved ones. Also, if they want to bring their wife and family over to Extreme Night City, I can also arrange an appropriate position for them......" Leylin's voice reverberated in the living room.
"Sir, I have seen your sincerity. I would like to talk it over with a few of my brothers; after all, I do not run the mercenary group alone. I can give you an answer tomorrow, so please be rest assured, Sir!", said Fayern as he stood up and bowed slightly.
"Good! We will wait for good news from you!" While Fayern saluted, Leylin calmly got up and together with his servants and the bald trader, left the villa.
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