BBYW Vol. 3 Chapter 14 (WN)
Chapter 14 – A Suspicious Fortune Teller
I walked towards Sue, still heartily playing around the street market.
“Hey, having a good time?”
“Mwuashter! Dhish ish dhelishas!”
“Yeah…chew well, swallow, then talk, okay?”
Sue trotted towards me, all smiles and a mouth full of corn. Her golden eyes were sparkling with joy, just like a small child visiting a town festival for the first time.
“You got sauce on your face.”
“Nnh…ah, thank you sho much!”
I wiped Sue’s mouth with my sleeve and sighed internally.
After discussing the matter with Sakuya, I decided not to tell Sue about the Garnet Kingdom’s downfall.
She was as innocent as a child: what face would she make, were she to learn of her homeland’s fate?
“Damn…this is turning out to be more of a pain than expected…”
“Pwah…I am sorry to be a pain, master…”
“That wasn’t meant for you. I was just talking to myself.”
I took a bronze coin from my breast pocket and gave it to the salesgirl in exchange for a tropical fruit.
I bit onto the vivid yellow fruit whole as Sue and I walked down the avenue.
“We’re going to stay in this town for a while, then head to Garnet. You might have to wait a bit, but put up with it.”
I asked Sakuya to have some Fangs of Steel spies investigate the current state of the Garnet Kingdom.
We were going to stay a few days in town, until we received their report.
“Of course! Thank you for your concern!”
Sue smiled brightly, as expected. The children might have been more of a problem…
“…or maybe not.”
The slave children were cheerfully playing in the market. They had enough energy that their pirate chaperone was struggling to keep up: they should be fine for the time being.
“Children can adapt way better than adults, after all. If they have enough energy to drive a pirate nuts like that, they can survive anywhere.”
“That’s right, children are truly strong.”
“…you’re pretty tough yourself.”
Sue cocked her head to the side, puzzled. I smiled wryly, then we headed to our lodging for the night.
I sent some pirate goons to secure rooms for our whole group: ours was separate from the children. Sakuya was going to stay the night with us too, so they could have ended up hearing noises not suitable for their upbringing.
“Sakuya was feeling pretty competitive, so you better be ready for tonight.”
“Yes…? I’m not sure I understand, but I will be ready.”
I issued an implicit warning to Sue’s ever-unsullied eyes and went through the market’s crowds.
Even in a prosperous trading town such as this, one step out of the main roads could lead to much quieter districts.
Compared to the bustling market and its racial melting pot, the peaceful scenery of the district made me feel like time had slowed down.
“Hello there, newlyweds. Do you have a moment?”
As we were walking down the quiet street, someone called to us. I turned around and found a young man, using a wooden crate as a seat.
The man had draped a small round table with a black cloth and placed a crystal ball in the center. His face showed purple scars, probably burn marks, partially hidden by black glasses.
“Don’t you want to know your future? I do love fortunes too…”
“A fortune teller…sorry man, but I don’t believe in that stuff. Find someone else.”
I quickly waved my hand in denial and turned away.
“Young man, there is something troubling you. Isn’t there?”
The fortune teller’s words stopped me in my tracks. He didn’t miss the opportunity, and started pressing further.
“You are keeping a grave secret from someone, yes? And that’s burdening you with guilt. Isn’t it?”
“I see you are noble…or maybe a soldier? You have seen your fair share of battles, and are quite skilled at your craft too. The lady beside you…is not your wife? She’s a servant…maybe even a slave? You’ve only met recently, but your relationship is already deep…maybe even extending to the flesh.”
“…you’re a fast talker, aren’t you.”
I scowled and glared at the fortune teller.
He didn’t seem to be affected at all, however, and simply grinned.
“Bullseye, yes? Do you believe in fortune reading a little more now?”
“No way. You’re not a diviner, just a scammer.”
I stomped closer to the man and slammed my fist on his table.
“You say you’re reading my fortune, but you haven’t even looked at this crystal ball the whole time. You sure leered at us up and down, though.”
“Find me someone, anyone, that doesn’t have troubles or secrets. I dare you. You’re just spewing stuff that could fit anyone, mixing it with information you got from observing us.”
Nobles and soldiers have their own peculiar gait, so it wouldn’t be difficult for someone used to seeing it to spot them. My relationship with Sue could also be found out from the distance between us and our facial expressions.
“…well, well. You’re sharp, young man.”
The fortune teller raised his hands, as if in defeat, then smiled bitterly.
“A lot sharper than expected. Could you really be from a famous noble family?”
“Why don’t you divine that?”
“Haha…unfortunately, I don’t have much trust in fortune-telling. My mouth is the only thing I can always rely on.”
With words no sane fortune teller would ever utter, the man flatly admitted he indeed wasn’t one.
He picked up the crystal ball and black cloth from the table and unceremoniously shoved them into his bag.
“You’ve piqued my interest, young man. How about we have a little chat? I can at least get you a drink.”
The “diviner” then deftly pushed up his glasses with his middle finger.