Translator: Exodus Tales  Editor: Exodus Tales

Sandy River.

This was the start of the border between the north and the south. The lake waters from the snowy mountain flowed down and divided into two rivers, one south and one north. The central part was a river delta.

Soil erosion in that area was very severe; caused mainly by excessive reclamation and deforestation. The desertified soil rushed into the flowing river, making the whole river look turbid and yellowish. If the Druids hadn’t intervened, there might have been another terrible disaster.

At least in Soran’s memory, the river diverted to form a terrain similar to a giant lake.

This area was the territory of the somewhat wise Lizardmen.

Large groups of Lizardmen populated this area. They were amphibians, so this was the most suitable place for them to live.

Unlike the Lizardmen in the wilderness, these creatures know how to build villages and forge weapons. They even have a weak lizard deity that blessed them. Every once in a while, these Lizardmen would try to trade with nearby humans, buying large quantities of food with the precious stones and gold coins they find.

Weapons were not tradable as the Lizardmen were fickle and cunning—attacks on humans happened from time to time. Even the greediest businessmen dare not sell weapons to them on a large scale.

The humans around this area believed in God of Justice.

Within 150 kilometers of this river delta, the law was stricter than other places. Even minor violations of the law may be punishable. The priests of the God of Justice serves part-time as judges, and many of his followers were guardians. People of the evil alignment were very looked down upon. Every place had its own customs and rules. If there were no corresponding knowledge, it would soon encounter problems.

Soran appeared around the river delta.

He took off his mask as he didn’t want to attract any attention. The guards around this area believed that people who covered up their faces were bad.

Compared with other cities, this place was much tidier; even the buildings were in good order. Even though the God of Justice was a ‘lawful good’ minor deity, he was not as extreme as the other lawful good deities. His priests, however, were well known for their one-track minds—for many years they have been trying to promote the idea that ‘no one was above the law, even royalty’. Unfortunately, this doctrine had been strongly rejected by nobles, and some compromises were made.

For example, if a noble kills a peasant, they would either have to pay a fine, get some punishment, or lose their title.

They would never get the death penalty.

Although there was a slavery system in place, if slaves were executed indiscriminately, the masters would be fined severely. Slaves in other places, however, were private properties of the masters.

Slavery prevailed in the world, but there were strict requirements. Slaves had corresponding identity certificates and contracts. That was why slave trading in the black market had always been the industry that Paladins have severely cracked down on.

Soran planned to take a boat down south from here.

This was the fastest way to go to the seaside. It took only a day or two to reach Shipwreck Bay, which was close to the Soros Islands and the City of Fortunes.

It was once called “Treasure Bay”. The main reason was that it became the center of trade with the tropical jungle. However, because of the special geographical environment, many ships filled with goods hit rocks and sank nearby. It took a long time for humans to finally find a safe route.

Soran once dealt with the Sahuagin there; these fish-like creatures found many undersea treasures. Unfortunately, they rarely traveled to land. [Note: There are undead guardians around the treasures.]

To deal with them, a person first had to drink a potion of Underwater Breathing. Soran was not very good at underwater battles, so he didn’t stay for too long.

[Underwater Battle] was a difficult skill to master!

Soran paid fifteen Derahls and found a merchant ship going south. The bottom cabin was filled with cargo, and the top cabins were some high-end rooms. These ships earn hundreds of Derahls by going back and forth.

Since these vessels were owned by the Chamber of Commerce, they were pretty well-armed. When Soran went up, he saw more than twenty guards, including a captain who was above grade 3. Undoubtedly, this kind of life was much easier than adventuring; the guards here also made enough to sustain their families.

There was relatively little danger on the river.

The Lizardman would attack the ships a few years ago. However, since their god had also become silent, these slimy creatures had not come out much.

Soran got a high-class room on the ship; the decoration in the room was pretty good.

A sailor led him to his room and swiftly left. The sailor showed great respect since the class Wizard was feared by most.

Because the ship would sway when sailing, hammocks, and fixed wooden beds were used. Even tables and chairs were fixed on the wall; most things were fixated, otherwise, they would fall and get damaged.

Soran took off his wizard’s robe and took out a book to read; He bought some books when he passed the city. The sailing environment on the ship was not suitable for magic research but he didn’t want to be idle, so he thought of reading some books.

Soon, the merchant ship shook slightly; It must have set sail. The ship was still sailing smoothly now, but some areas along the river were more troublesome. In those situations, it was almost impossible to meditate or conduct magic research. Anything related to magic research must be done under stable conditions.

There were sounds of footsteps from the outside.

Soran hung his clothes on the wall and then sat by the bed reading. The door next door opened with a loud bang; it seemed that there was someone next door.

Bang!

Noises were heard from the next room as if someone’s back was hit against the wall.

Soran’s listening skills have improved a lot during this period and he was very sensitive to movements and motions. Sometimes he could even judge what was happening outside by the sounds. From the sounds of a person’s steps, he could tell what the mood of the person was in, or what he was doing, and so on.

Even though Basic Skills may not seem very impressive, their effects become surprisingly good at higher levels.

Soran heard what seemed to be heavy breathing sounds.

This made him frown slightly and put down the books in his hand. The sounds from next door became louder. There were vague women’s groans and men’s gasps. Then there was another slam on the wall. There should be wooden beds fixed on the wall. It seems like the guests next door were eager to have sex.

The ship rocked slightly again.

Then there was the delicate laughter of a woman, and the slight cry of pain of a man; maybe the man hit something.

After a while, there were continuous squeaks and loud panting sounds. This made Soran frown as he didn’t like to hear it, especially when he had been restraining himself for so long.

Then there were vague sounds of people talking.

“Ah!… Dear…we…we are going to be ric…rich!

“Ha… Ha… Huh… That’s right. We’re going to make a fortune… Wait till we get this thing back!… Karin… Dana… The Countess… would surely be willing to pay a high price for it…”

The voices became softer.

What Soran could hear were intermittent and unclear, but it was roughly, “That lady… Always trying to seduce Prince William… It’s a pity that she’s not very beautiful… She… has been… wanting… huh… things that could enhance her charm… Her father is a businessman… Mining out gold… She’s willing to pay a high price…

The woman’s moans became louder, and the creaking became rapid.

After some time.

Their movements were less, and the voice of a tired man was heard, “Love… why don’t you give it a try?”

“Over my dead body!… people say it’s cursed… she won’t come after us later right?”

“Who cares! As long as she’s willing to pay!… I’ve heard that she even began to try some taboo ways to make herself look more beautiful!… When we get the money, we’ll disappear!…”

Soon no more sounds were heard.

Soran could not help but stand up and walk a little closer to the door. There were no sounds of footsteps; it seems that the other party had not noticed Soran’s presence. The cabin rooms were all separated by a thick wooden board. However, the sound insulation effects were very poor.

Soran was in deep thought and showed some interest because everything they mentioned seemed to represent a rare item.

It can increase ones Charm?

It sounds like some special equipment. Did these people find something special?

Soran’s hands became a bit itchy.

Rare items were not so easily found; those that could improve Attributes were even rarer. The other party might have found a legendary item.

As for the curse, that was nothing.

There were too many cursed items in the world. Any rare grade item from the evil alignment seemed cursed in the eyes of ordinary people.

Soran just wasn’t sure how powerful the two people next door were. They were certainly not ordinary civilians. People who could get this kind of equipment had to be pretty skilled.

Soran opened the window and looked out at the sky. Then he quickly made up his mind.

He would make a move tonight.

Soran was not a kind-hearted man. So, of course, he would have malicious thoughts when there was a piece of rare equipment in front of him.

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