Bluffing his way:
“Knock it off,” Rigel said with an angry voice while pushing Ravel’s hand off his chin. Rigel backed off a few steps until he stood a little distance away from Ravel.
Ravel, who didn’t expect such an answer stood in her place with a stunned expression, but she soon collected herself as she smiled lightly and said, “Ho… I thought that you were a bit more Intelligent than this. You should know that I can spill all your secrets the second you oppose me…”
“Then what?” Rigel asked in a loud voice, “What would you gain by spilling my secrets? In the first place, you know next to nothing about me. True, I don’t belong to this tavern’s workforce. I bluffed my way to work in this bar, but that’s about it. They may kill or sell me as a slave for my deed, but that is the worst case scenario.
Even if I faked my identity, I didn’t fake my sincerity. The master and the other servants respect me for my work and even if you tell them about me, I am positive that they would forgive me.”
Ravel smiled with an amused expression and said, “The world isn’t such a kind place Rigel. Do you believe that they would let you go after you cheated them once.”
Rigel smiled as he heard Ravel and said, “They will. Besides, I don’t want you to tell me about the cruelty of this world. I had my share a lot earlier than you.”
Ravel sighed deeply and sat on her chair. Glancing at Rigel, she said in a deep voice, “You are a tough kid, aren’t you? Submitting to me is the best option for you, you know? Didn’t you see my little stunt earlier? Killing you will be a piece of cake for me.”
Rigel narrowed his eyes and walked towards her. He then sat opposite her in a relaxing way. With a knowing smile, he said, “Maybe. But, I am sure that you won’t kill me. Besides, you need my full cooperation for the thing you are going to ask me to do.
Ravel, I may be a kid in the eyes of the world but believe me, I am not. This isn’t about my secrets or your power over me; it is about the thing you want from me.
Bluffing and coercing me into submission won’t work. Even though I am still a greenhorn compared to you, I have done my share of shady things. If you want me, then make me willing give myself to you. Make an offer; I can’t refuse.”
Ravel sat there silently for a few seconds and then sighed loudly. “This is why I don’t like kids like you. It would be so much easier had you been a naive kid.” She complained in an irritated voice.
Rigel smiled to himself and said, “I share the same sentiment.”
Ravel narrowed her eyes and said, “Well, well. Those are some big words for a kid.”
Rigel rose from his chair and stared at Ravel for a second. He then shook his head slightly and said, “Just so that you know, fifteen-year-old boys aren’t kids. We are considered fully grown men in this place so be careful with your words lady.
Now, enough of this chatter. We both know that this won’t lead us anywhere so to tell me, what did you expect from me that you brought me to your room.”
Ravel sighed as she heard Rigel and said, “How much did you understand from the papers you saw earlier?”
Rigel narrowed his eyes and said, “Ah! Those papers, sorry, I wasn’t able to see them clearly. Can you show them to me again?”
Ravel gritted her teeth as she could clearly see that Rigel was lying, but since she had no choice she took out those papers from her pocket and gave them to Rigel.
Rigel narrowed his eyes as he glanced at the information recorded within them. Plant after plant, chemical after chemical, has been recorded in the ten or so papers.
Hibiscus, Jiantila, Kiri leaves, Stratum, Manzella, Jinalite, Kostivk.
Common and rare plants were recorded in no particular order. Besides, what Rigel didn’t understand was that why would someone give enough clues to know the plant but not the name itself. Initially, when Rigel had seen the papers, he thought that they were a part of an encyclopedia or may be parts of an ancient book, but that wasn’t it.
After several dozens of minutes, he finally put the papers down and asked in a calm voice, “So what is the story behind these papers?”
“Don’t get cocky Rigel. Just tell me what you found out about these papers, and then, we are done.” Ravel said in a threatening voice.
Rigel sighed and said, “Very well. It is not my thing to try to dig into someone’s secrets so I will let this matter go. However, you aren’t getting the information for free, my lady. I have a few requests.”
“Speak,” Ravel said in a cold voice.
“First, promise me you won’t harm me directly or indirectly. Second, get me out of here. Not to the Gehenna city, but to the place you have come from, The Great Gehenna plane. ( here plane is synonymous with the world ) and finally, promise me that you will pay me a thousand gold.
Considering your strength, I can roughly guess your status. These requests of mine shouldn’t be too difficult to fulfill, at least for you, right?”
Ravel had an incredulous expression on her face. She couldn’t help but say, “Don’t you know something called moderation? Just how low can you get to ask a girl money of all things.”
Rigel simply shrugged his shoulders.
Ravel shook her head helplessly and said, “Lower the price. I can’t pay you a thousand gold coins.”
“Nine hundred and ninety.”
“Nine hundred and eighty.”
“Nine hundred and seventy-nine.”
“What the fuck is wrong with you? Fine, you win. I will pay you the gold but only if I am satisfied with your answer.” Ravel said in an angry voice.
Rigel smiled as he heard Ravel. He then folded the papers and gave them back to Ravel.
“These papers are a part of a book. The book isn’t written for educational purposes, and I am not sure which book they belong to, but one thing is for sure.
They are code. An interesting way of hiding something which I presume is a treasure. Since you have acquired these papers, I am sure that you know what that is, or at least what that might be so I take that you don’t want me to elaborate that for you.”
“Elaborate,” Ravel said in a cold voice.
Rigel shrugged his shoulders and continued, “I can’t decode the hidden message, but there will surely be someone capable of doing that. Since this code needs a lot of botanical and chemical knowledge, the person behind this is either an alchemist or an extremely formidable person with a high-level alchemist by his side. Either of them is troublesome people to deal with, so I suggest you leave these papers aside and live peacefully.
Considering how charming you are, I am sure that men will surely try to charm you into loving them and then you may find love as well. How about it?”
“Shut up. I don’t want your advice on what to do with my life. Tell me, Can you decipher the hidden message if I find the remaining papers?” Ravel asked in a hurried voice.
Rigel sat back on his chair and said, “Maybe I can, or maybe I can’t. I can’t say for sure until I see the whole book. However, just so you know, each plant in this book represents a single letter, and these ten papers aren’t even enough to make a single sentence.
If the hidden message is about a hundred sentences long, then you are searching for a book with a thousand pages. Well, what should I say? Good luck.”
Ravel sighed as she heard Rigel’s voice. She sat back on her chair deep in thought. Minutes passed as they sat in silence.
Finally, Rigel broke the silence and said, “I don’t want to be a prick, but do you want us to stay here doing nothing for the rest of the night Ravel.
However, don’t even think that I am going to let you get out of my eyes for even one second. You haven’t kept your side of the promise yet, remember?”
Ravel who heard Rigel sighed and said, “Very well. Collect your things; we will depart now.”
Rigel stood up and said, “Hey, I know that this is a little bit difficult for you but do you happen to have one of those inter-spatial storage artifacts?”
“Huh!” Ravel retorted involuntarily, “Don’t you have a limit for your greed kid. Interspatial storage artifacts aren’t cheap candy. Get your belongings now. I will leave if you aren’t here within ten minutes.”
Rigel sighed and weakly replied, “Alright.”
Getting down the stairs, Rigel ran towards the servant mansion to grab the few things he always kept on himself. Though he could keep everything hidden inside the cave, there was always a risk of someone stealing the cave. So he always kept the most important things like the concocted poisons and few important books on him.
Within minutes, Rigel was back in the room only to find Ravel ready to leave. He was slightly panting because he was in a hurry. He didn’t want to lose his hard-earned freedom.
Ravel who saw Rigel didn’t speak a word as she climbed the stairs up. Rigel followed behind her until they reached a door guarded by two guards who looked like two absolute barriers.
They didn’t blink an eye as Ravel stood before them, but upon seeing Rigel, they stared at her as if asking for an explanation.
“My slave,” Ravel answered their unasked question.
Nodding their heads, they lifted the seal on the door, and Ravel walked into it followed by Rigel.
The next instant, a world of astonishing beauty appeared before Rigel’s eyes. It wasn’t all that different compared to the outside world but to Rigel, he felt as if he had seen the most amazing thing in his life.
We can’t appreciate some things as long as we take them for granted. Rigel never thought about sunlight in his twelve years of life but now, after being in darkness for two whole years, he felt as if the warmth of the sun was heavenly.
The greenery of the plants. The fresh air without the stench of the dead and the feel of a shackle less world looked like a boundless universe full of opportunities.
“Here take this and good bye. Hope we never meet again. Remember, the only reason why I am leaving you alive is that I have already given my word.” Ravel said as she threw a small bag towards Rigel.
However, before Rigel could even respond she took off to the skies. Seeing this Rigel couldn’t help but shiver slightly. Flight was an ability possessed by Spark Formation stage cultivators.
Spark formation stage was completely different from the Qi Condensation. It was an entirely different level, and any spark stage cultivator can kill a Qi condensation stage cultivator with ease, and they had many unique abilities.
Like the “Qi manifestation.”
Rigel knew only a little, but he knew how terrifyingly powerful they were. The thought that he was provoking with her a second ago made his body shiver in fear.
Opening the bag Ravel gave him, a look of astonishment crossed over his face. But, then again he shook his head helplessly as he counted the gold inside it. He did think of the possibility that Ravel may not pay him fully, but still he did not expect her to pay only a hundred gold coins with the remaining being copper, not even silver.
However, Rigel only smiled as he tucked the gold on his waist. He looked at the skies and said, “You cheated me as well, so we are equal.”
Rigel smirked as he took out an old book out of his bag and flipped through the pages casually. Albeit a bit different they were the same pages, Ravel had in her hands. There was no treasure, no hidden message nor was there any need to search for the remaining pages.
It was nothing but an old practice book which was long out of publication. Frank had given Rigel the book to test his knowledge of plants and chemicals.
Rigel smiled lightly and said, “Leaving the gold aside, I still achieved my primary goal. Sorry Ravel.”