While Vandalieu and his companions were overcoming Joseph and Aggar’s insignificant schemes, a certain man entered a nameless bar between the red-light district and the slums with his drinking buddies… or rather, his subordinates that were posing as such.
“Welcome…” a waitress said unenthusiastically.
In addition to the unmotivated waitress, there was a strong-looking but amateur door guard, and a man who served as both bartender and chef, who talked constantly and yet was so unfriendly that it was incredible that he hadn’t been fired yet.
Even the customers were the kind that were satisfied with drinks that had been diluted to mask the fact that the alcohol had been fermented for too long.
“Your order? If you’re still deciding, I recommend the Slum Cocktail. It’s made from the leftover booze that we get given from other places, but tonight’s mix is a good one. You’ll be in paradise for sure,” said the bartender, talking on and on in a gloomy tone.
“One special red wine and sheep cheese set, large,” said the man, placing his order without engaging in the small talk. “I’ll share it with my drinking buddies.”
“… We’re out of that. We do have white wine and normal cheese, though,” the bartender said.
“No, I want the red wine and sheep cheese,” the man insisted.
“Very well. Follow me to the back room,” the bartender said, and with that, he led the men to a room with no windows and nothing inside except for a plain table and chairs.
But one of the man’s subordinates pressed a button, and a staircase leading downstairs appeared in the middle of the floor.
“Let’s go,” the man said.
“Yes, ‘Venomous Snake’ Erkid-sama,” said the bartender.
The man was the ‘Venomous Snake’ Erkid. Like the ‘Hyena’ Gozoroff, he was a somewhat well-known figure in the Alcrem Duchy’s underworld.
And like Gozoroff, he was the boss of a lower branch of a nameless criminal organization. At the bottom of the stairs that led underground was the organization’s headquarters… At least, Erkid had been told that this was the headquarters, and this was where he met with the leader of the organization and the bosses of the other lower branches of it.
There’s no guarantee that what I’ve been told is true information, and there’s no definite proof that the boss that I’ve met is the real boss and not a body double. I have to say, I’ve done well to place myself so deep in a mysterious organization, Erkid thought to himself sarcastically.
But he felt no dissatisfaction towards the organization. There were many things that the organization provided – such as the cultivation of raw materials, their refinement into drugs, trade routes to sell the drugs, information on ongoing drug investigations.
Naturally, Erkid paid the organization a large amount for these services, but… he was still left with plenty of money in hand.
That was why he felt no dissatisfaction
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