To rescue, or not to rescue?
That is the question.
Roland stared at the building painted pitch black by the darkness of the night. Although the door of the inn was shut already, it wouldn’t be hard for him to enter if he’d wanted to do so. The current problem at hand hinged upon whether he should rescue that despicable dragon.
As a qualified rogue, being well-informed was a must. Leina and the others may not know about him, but he definitely knew about Leina.
The name Red Storm didn’t come from her red hair, but from her impressive exploits. When Leina was an adventurer, she had taken up the request to exterminate a gang of mountain bandits. She was supposed to wait and take part in this together with a mercenary squad, but instead Leina rushed up the mountains by herself from the start. By the time the other mercenaries arrived, all they saw were corpses of bandits strewn across everywhere along the path up the mountains. The dark red blood meandered along the path, as if a red storm had swept past.
Red was the color of the enemy’s blood trickling out.
Roland knew that if it weren’t for the recent sudden massive increase in strength, he wouldn’t have lasted even a single round this morning in front of Leina.
Beside that cloaked person, he was able to tell that the other four people possessed considerable strength and reputation, in addition to having the famous mercenary troop behind them. As for Roland, although there was an increase in strength, he was bound by the words of the young dragon. If conflict was to rise again between him and these people, it wouldn’t be too advantageous for him.
But why did he still unconsciously follow them?
His brows knitted tightly together. After pondering for a bit, the new and rising dragon servant went to a corner of a separate street, took out a coin and mentally told himself to let God decide it all. If it is heads when the silver coin falls to the ground, he’ll save the dragon. If tails, he’ll give it up there and then.
Roland casually flicked the coin without controlling it. The silver coin flipped several revolutions mid-air and fell to the ground with a clear plink. Roland looked down: Heads.
He really didn’t want to rescue that dragon.
After painfully staring at the coin for a while, Roland picked it up and mentally told himself again that it was just a trial, let’s try again now.
The coin fell. Heads.
As he looked at the coin with disgust, Roland found another reason again. This silver coin must be faulty, the result from before doesn’t count, let’s try again with a gold coin.
The gold coin fell. Heads.
…Just then his hand slipped, try again.
After waiting until his seventh or eighth try, a tramp that squatted at a corner of the street could no longer hold back and pounced at the gold coin. He snatched it up and gave it a bite. “Say, if you don’t want this gold coin, just simply give it to me. Dropping and picking, picking and dropping, can you even call yourself a man with that sort of wishy washy behaviour?” He was not the least bit interested in Roland’s disguise. For a homeless tramp like him, he often saw a lot of things. If he were to kick up a fuss at every matter, he would have died long ago. He had previously planned to continue faking his sleep, but the gold coin’s temptation was just too strong, so he couldn’t resist snatching it.
Roland glanced at the gold coin that was taken away. He didn’t take it back and instead looked at his empty palm and sighed. His gaze became firm as he turned around and swiftly went back.
As he returned to the street behind the inn, Roland recalled his investigation that day into their rooming arrangements. That dragon should be rooming with the female mercenary.
He braced his hand on the wall and leapt to the top of the inn like a cat.
He had tried to poison the mercenaries’ food and water that evening, but sadly that bunch was used to being cautious. They ate their own food just as before even when they had arrived at the city. They only drank water after its quality had been tested, providing essentially no opportunity for him to spike it.
However, this did not mean that Roland was completely helpless.
The method of spiking was not just limited to food and drinks. There were other ways which were not as effective as direct intake, but were instead stealthier and not as easy to detect.
After failing to spike the food and drinks, he immediately kidnapped the family of the innkeeper and ordered him to aid with his operations. Next, two people went to the inn one after another, disturbing all the inn’s guests. The first one was a little girl living a hard life of poverty, which earned the pity of the innkeeper, whom then allowed her to sell flowers in this place. The little girl knocked on the doors one by one, asking the guests inside the inn if they required freshly picked flowers. These were all common tulips and lilies, but there were traces of drugs that had the similar fragrance of flowers mixed on the stamens.
The second one was a handyman from the inn, the role performed by Roland himself. He went inside each room and changed the bed sheets and buckwheat pillows. Residues with the outer appearance of broken pieces of buckwheat were hidden inside the pillow; the scent of the residues was concealed by the smell of buckwheat. Even if someone was to tear apart the pillow, they wouldn’t find anything wrong with it.
Luckily, Leina bought the flowers and also accepted the pillows. The infusion of the two drugs would have better results, but in order to avoid detection, he could only use drugs that didn’t have as strong a scent and make the person sleep a bit deeper than usual. If it caused a great commotion, he would still be found out.
With both feet hooked onto the edge of the rooftop, Roland hung upside down like a bat. He took out the dagger by his waist and lightly prized open the window to Leina’s room. A gap opened and he peered inside. The red-haired mercenary was deep asleep on the bed as before and wasn’t disturbed by him.
The process of rescuing Yi Longlong went smoother than he had imagined. Roland silently crept to the side of the bed and directly grasped the young dragon by the collar, stuffed her into the prepared knapsack on his back, then nimbly leapt towards the window.
Throughout the whole process, he did not harbor any intention of harming Leina. As a battle-worn expert, Leina was more sensitive to killing intent than sounds. Waking her up would be just a small matter, but mission failure would be a giant blunder.
The soft soled shoes stepped across the window sill. Roland exited through the window, but at the same time, Leina suddenly woke up and caught sight of the flash of silhouette. She subconsciously turned her head and look towards the bed side and found the place that was supposed to have a dragon lying on it empty.
Without sparing time to put on her soft armor, Leina grabbed the sword placed beneath the pillow and rushed to the window in her untidy clothes. She looked down and saw a horse carriage speed away and disappear around the corner in a blink of an eye.
“Intruder alert! Beastmaster keep an eye on the person! The rest follow me!” Leina agilely jumped down from the second floor through the window and chased in the direction of the carriage.
“The rest” all exited the inn and chased after the markers left by Leina. After some time, a small voice came from atop the roof.
“They’ve left.” Yi Longlong stuck out her head from the knapsack and looked at Roland imploringly. “Can you help me rescue Lin Qi?”