>Continue from Chapter 3 : Rumour has it...
Later on, the merchant summon his most trusted kin, Vell of Hell’s well. Living on a cell for most of his youth, Vell knows less about selling and more about killing and even more about bells thanks to his uncle Gale Bellington which is quite fearsome with folks from South Derk as they used to phrase “Gale ain’t telling if he ain’t yelling!” whenever some unfortunate traveler wish to meet the master bell smith. Merchants are well known by their patient, but this one is restless, evident in his manner as his fingers drums the sand away from his hourglass and shook his faithful abacus on the elegant mahogany table which is the exact same place where there used to be a great wall of coins; all acquired thanks to his craftiness and ignorance of his consumer. The mahogany table shook as the merchant’s burgeoning belly pushes it aside so that its master, the merchant, could stand as the door knob turns.
“You’re LATE!” announce the merchant to the visitor.
Old Man Alfred, the old man from an office next door stares at the merchant, his withered eyebrow forming a straight line to match his frowning cracked lips.
“Late? I thought you said tea at six?”
“Old Alf, for the last time I am NOT your grandson!” retorted the merchant, obviously vexed by the old man’s presence.
“No, I’ve taken the cat out, that little bummer, he sure-”
“Fin, what do I told you about respectin’ your elder?”
Rising with anger, the merchant cover his face in his hand. Old Man Alfred is a wealthy merchant from across the street close to the castle and is well known to be the richest-yet-aged man in this kingdom, even wealthier than the merchant himself. These differences including the fact that Old Man Alfred has a bad memory and well-liked by the folks in this kingdom, has made the merchant sworn hatred to the old man from the bottom of his grave. Unlike the merchant, who employ deception on his customers, Old Man Alfred is honest in his trade and always gives folks for what they paid for. This has led the merchant to believe that Old Alf uses sorcery in his trade as a merchant couldn’t possibly gain any profit in dealing business with honesty.
The merchant exhale some deep breath and reveal his face to the visitor. This time there is a smile on his face or rather a fake smile to express humbly.
“My Dear Old Alf, I am not your grandson” said the merchant between gritted teeth.
“You’re not?” said Old Man Alfred, with a worried look on his face.
“No, he is awaiting your arrival at- he’s is…umm…” stammer the merchant as he quickly raked his mind for an excuse.
“…he is at the dungeon- YES that’s it; he said he is waiting to see you at the city’s dungeon”
There is a silent, as both the resident in the merchant’s office stares at each other, one with a worried look and the other a smile, as beads of imaginary sweat started to form at his forehead.
“Poor boy, I’ll better get there before he misses his tea” Old Man Alfred smiles, as he leaves the room.
With a puff, once again, the leather bound mahogany chair is occupied with the merchant’s huge figure, but before the merchant’s buttock even got the chance to warm the leather, there is a knock on the door.
“FOR THE LAST TIME, THIS IS NOT A DUNGEON!” shouted the merchant, annoyed by Old Alf’s return.
To his surprise, the voice that replies wasn’t of Old Alf’s. It sounded like murder and bells or maybe more of bells and murder. The door opened slowly to reveal Vell of Hell’s well, looking elegant and lavish in his outfit which only fits for a person of high wealth and standard albeit his appearance betray his threads as he looks disheveled; his face grim, with a scar upon his left forehead and a lips so thin you might think it’s a line drawn on his face by some irritated scribe.
“I didn’t come here just to be put back in a stinking dungeon.” said Vell, his voice like ice.
“Bastard, I thought you were Old Alf, he came blastin’ in here talk’in nonsense again!”
“Do you want me to…silence him?” Vell said with a grin, yet deadly.
“I rather have his wizard dead instead, so that dumb Alf would stop being so darn successful”
“You do realize that he did not employ sorcery at all, do you?”
“I’m tired of this conversation! What profit could you possibly accumulate through honesty?”
The merchant folded his arms; he usually is quite discontented in being misunderstood by others but he prevail this feelings by regarding those who defies him as trolls but his own blood? Never in a million years.
“Apparently, more profit than you do. But I think you have something else in mind?”
Desire always manages to douse away flames of arrogance, as the merchant suddenly straighten himself.
“Ah! Yes, have you heard the tales of the Black Lantern?”
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