“Captain, when will you chase him away? I can’t stand it any longer! You better make sure I don’t drink for the next two days. If I get drunk, I have no doubt I’ll choke him to death!” exclaimed Hans with bloodshot eyes; even someone as powerful as him would be at the end of his wits under the constant torture of Leguna’s antics.
“Alright, alright. I know it’s been hard for you recently, but you must endure. Everything will be back to normal once we reach Brisoniss,” consoled the captain.
“Can’t we just let him off here?” pleaded Hans teary-eyed.
“Of course not, we have to send him to Brisoniss,” refused the captain.
He continued after a pause.
“Don’t worry. Since we’re already ashore, the prisoners will be cuffed and he won’t have a chance to pull any pranks anymore.”
“How did this even happen? Usually, we only have to transport normal prisoners who can’t use impetus, yet this time we have a fifth stratum impetus user onboard,” complained Hans.
“Naturally it means he’s not actually a prisoner,” the captain reasoned, “Alright, Hans. It’ll be fine in two more days. We have far to travel tomorrow. Go get some rest.”
Just as Hans took two more gulps, before the rum even entered his stomach, he could feel his belly grumble loudly before a striking pain assailed his torso.
The captain stared at him with marked surprise as Hans dashed out of the cabin for the lavatory. However, Hans returned after mere moments.
“What’s wrong? Did you forget to bring toilet paper?” asked the captain.
“No, captain,” Hans said with a pale, urgent look while dismissing the captain’s joke, “It just occurred to me that I got my rum from the ship’s public barrel.”
“Which barrel?” asked the captain, seemingly on to something.
“The barrel filled just tonight.”
The captain’s face changed instantly.
Immediately, he ordered, “Have all the sailors ashore gather here now. Get two men with you to check on the prisoners at the town jail with me.”
“Understood!” replied Hans without hesitation.
But the sudden pain in his belly caused him to curl up. It seemed he wouldn’t be of much help.
“Darn it, I’ll get the second-mate to do it. Just go do your business in the lavatory and head to the jail when you’re done,” said the captain before he dashed outside his room.
That night, Leguna found himself unable to sleep as he tossed about his grass mat grumpily. He had been given quite a lot of trouble by Hans over the last couple of days.
Darn it all, thought he, dissatisfied with the effects of his secret concoction.
Not only did it speed up Hans’s metabolism, it also made him more alert and light-tempered than usual.
The concoction he made was intended to be an analgesic-laxative hybrid. His ideal vengeance scenario was to knock Hans out, give him a few slaps out of spite and take away all the wealth he had on his person. But, contrary to his expectations, his ultimate secret concoction didn’t work out the way he wanted.
Having nothing better to do, Leguna began recalling the struggles he had during the past few days.
The first time was when he was tasked to deliver Hans’s meal. Naturally, he didn’t shy from the opportunity to put enough of his concoction to knock out two adult men in the food. However, Hans merely rubbed his stomach comfortably after the meal and went to sleep without any visible effect.
The second time, he found the chance to slip enough of the concoction for ten people into Hans’s teacup. But, even though Hans showed some reaction, it was not the one he intended. All Hans did was rush to the lavatory. Leguna threw his half-eaten canned food into the lavatory to vent after watching and waiting for more than half a day. Hans, smelling markedly worse, responded by finding an arbitrary reason to rebuke him and ordered him to clean the lavatory.
For his third attempt, he slipped all the analgesic he had left into the barrel of rum when no one was watching. It was too bad the sailors were prohibited from drinking during a voyage, however. The last of his concoction went to waste thusly.
While the analgesic was concocted using a variety of different laxatives, its effect should have been rather potent. He could recall the time he used it to knock out a warrior with fourth stratum impetus. The poor man was drowsy for the whole day and could barely control his bowels. But when used against a eighth stratum warrior like Hans, it only functioned as a normal laxative.
As he tossed about whilst struggling to sleep, he noticed the guards guarding the cells had all fallen to the ground unconscious. It seemed they had been allowed to rest after the two-week-long voyage. As some of them still had to guard the ship, the captain had permitted the guards on duty to have two mouthfuls of strong rum to warm their bodies in the cold weather, as well as to make up for the rest they had to forsake. The same rum infused with Leguna’s analgesic. While it wasn’t that effective on a eighth stratum warrior like Hans, the fourth and fifth stratum sailors guarding the jail weren’t nearly as tolerant and slumped to the ground weakly.
Quickly realizing what was going on, Leguna’s heart started to thump heavily. He had tossed the remains of his analgesic into the rum barrel only to vent his frustrations and had truly not expected it would grant him such an opportunity.
He rummaged through his hair for two thin iron wires. As he had managed to keep his pouch of concoctions hidden, the two wires were even less trouble. These wires were, in his own words, the tools that won his meals. Back in the slums, almost every lock was picked at least once by his meal winners.
Sitting up very lightly, Leguna turned to look at his three cellmates, fast asleep. Their snores were so loud they shook the heavens itself, testament to how deeply asleep they were. Even though it was an opportunity to escape alone, he still relented and walked to their side.
“Hey!” called out he as he gave one of them a few kicks, which did naught but prompt a few satisfied groans from the sleeping man.
He had no choice but to squat down and give a few light slaps to his face to wake him up.
“What’s up, Boss? I’ll clear the chamber pot tomorrow,” asked the tough man, half asleep.
“What chamber pot? This is a chance to make our escape, Lorey. If you don’t want to become a slave, you better wake Eimon and Jilrock right now,” said Leguna before he started picking the lock with his wires.
The prisoner snapped awake after processing Leguna’s words. He took a look at what Leguna was doing before he quickly woke the other two.
It didn’t take long for Eimon and Jilrock to comprehend what Lorey told them. They turned to Leguna, who didn’t let them down and had successfully picked the lock, and went to the unconscious sailor nearby to get the keys to unlock the chains at their ankles.
“Come, quick! Follow me as closely as you can.”
Even though Leguna was young, he was far superior to the three in terms of escaping unnoticed.
“What should we do about them, Boss?” asked Eimon as he pointed to the other cells. The prisoners within were gradually waking up and looking pleadingly at them four.
“Release them. The more people escape, the more chaos will ensue. The more chaos we have, the easier it will be to escape,” said Leguna before he tossed the keys to Eimon.
Not long after, all the prisoners were released from both their cells and ankle chains. But at that very moment, Eimon raised his sword against a knocked-out sailor and swung it towards his neck.
Clang! Leguna flicked one of his iron wires to deflect the prisoner’s longsword. The impetus-infused needle buried itself deep into the walls of the cell.
“What are you doing?” asked Leguna coldly as he glared at Eimon.
“Killing the sailors, of course,” smiled Eimon.
“They’re already unconscious and pose us no danger. What we have to focus on now is running. Don’t cause unnecessary trouble,” said Leguna in a bossly manner.
“They will come for our arses when they wake up. It’ll save us trouble if we kill them now,” Eimon humphed.
Leguna narrowed his eyes.
“I won’t let you kill them,” hissed he.
Eimon looked pitifully at the youth glaring at him.
“I say, do you think you’re really something just because I called you boss a time or two? What can you do other than fight?”
“As far as you’re concerned, that’s all I need to do. I just need to pummel you until you can’t resist,” said Leguna as his agitated impetus caused a few strands of dry grass in the cell to flutter about.
“Oh, come on, don’t think you can act all high and mighty just because you can use impetus. You were only barely able to hold the three of us back, last time. Do you think we fear you now when there’s more of us? Also, we have these,” said Eimon as he waved the longsword in his hand about.
Leguna felt the situation turn south. There were already seven to eight prisoners surrounding him, longswords in hand, with less-than-friendly gazes. Jilrock was naturally among them, but the relatively more honest Lorey looked at Eimon terrified.
“A pisspot of a brat like you shouldn’t go marauding around like a leader. Are you an idiot? Do you think I would know so much about Hans if I didn’t have connections somewhere? Didn’t you suspect me at all when I gave you the information? Seriously, I’ve had enough of massaging a stupid brat like you,” said Eimon as he glared at Leguna with killing intent.
“Are you crazy? Murder will only get you the death penalty! If you’re captured again, you won’t even be able to live on as a slave!” cried Leguna palely.
“Hahahaha!” Eimon laughed in a voice that blurred the lines of sanity, “Are you pretending to be an idiot, or are you really one? If we didn’t kill anybody before, why would we have been exiled? Do you think you’re an exception? Do you even know how many slaves die overworked on Lance? Some are even sold to the orcs as food. Others are sold to the dark elves to have their innards harvested and sacrificed to their gods! Even if you’re sold to a human, you’ll be treated as the lowest of the low! Taking lives, huh… I’ve long stopped caring about that!”
“But I do. They’re my subordinates.”
All of a sudden, the captain’s voice resounded in the prisoners’ ears.