Even though it was only afternoon, the place still felt dim and gloomy. As we walked through the unpaved dirt roads, the whole of the black market soon came into view.
Unlike the tents in the back alleys of realzard, most shops, if you could even call them that, didn’t even have tents and were just a sheet laid on the ground.
From completely normal items to items that were straight up illegal, you find a variety of things here being sold by a variety of people as well. The most striking among those, were demi-humans.
I never saw one in my whole time in both Dezir and Realzard but here you could find a couple here and there.
As for what kind, there weren’t any Dwarves and Elves like the ones that show up in Heroic tales but instead were race Beastkin, half-breed races with traits similar to various animals.
According to rumours, discrimination against beastkin was rampant and most didn’t leave their respective race’s countries unless something major happens but…….
Judging by the looks of the beastkin I’m seeing here, I have a feeling they are not here by choice and were brought as slaves.
Well, if they are running shops here means they are the ones that have escaped. But still, to think there were still people being used as slaves gave me a bit of a shock.
It’s impossible right now but maybe after I kill Klaus and become an enemy of the state, it might be better to fight for people like these.
While holding such thoughts, and further recalling the stories of Ralf and Esta’s past, my head came up with such things.
“……..Chris-san, what happened?”
“It’s nothing, don’t worry. Let’s move on quickly.”
Esta spoke to me looking all worried when I stopped in my tracks but, we moved on and made our way to Brad’s place.
Through the various stores, the two stopped in front of one run down building.
Relieved that at least his place was more than just a sheet on the ground, we entered the place.
The ground floor was used as storeroom with barely any place to walk so we moved to the upper floor where he supposedly was.
Opening the door, we entered a room with many other waiting patients.
They must all be residents of the black market as all of them were dressed in rags.
And the one treating these people was a sulky looking old man in his fifties.
That must be Brad.
“Hello, it’s been a while.
Upon Esta’s greeting, he first looked up glaringly but quickly changed his face to a smiling one as he recognized Esta. He quickly got up, leaving his current patient, and headed towards us while rubbing his hands.
“Ah! You really came after all! The surgery, you will let me do it yes?”
“Of course. As we previously negotiated. The money has been prepared as well.”
“Thank you! Oh thank you so much!! I-I’ll begin the preparations right this very moment!………OI you lot! Shop’s closed for the day, leave.”
This man must have no pride as soon after buttering up to Esta acting all meek, he turned and rudely told all his patients to get out.
……..I had heard that he was pretty crazy guy but it’s been a while since I’ve met such a untrustworthy scumbag.
“Now then, please come this way! Apologies for the dirty place.”
Being led by him, we entered what looked like a makeshift surgery room or something close to it anyway.
But, it didn’t look like the room got used often as there was dust in every corner.
“Before we start……can I first see the money please?”
His face was smiling but his eyes definitely weren’t.
Esta was about to hand it over obediently but………my instincts told me to not trust this guy, after all this time I know.
“Esta wait. Don’t give the money just yet.”
“……Ha? WHY?——That’s different from what was promised!”
“I don’t like the way you talk. The money will depend on the success of your work, and we’ll pay in instalments. If you can’t accept that, then we’ll pretend this talk didn’t happen.”
“Oi, that’s not fair! I’ve made all sorts of preparations for this!”
“If you want the money, then succeed, it’s not like I’m saying I wont pay. Why are you getting all angry huh?”
“Because there’s a chance you all run away later obviously! Why would I agree to such one-sided demands?!”
“Then, the deal is over. Esta, Ralf, let’s go.”
I turned around and started to leave the building.
I feel sorry for Ralf but he’ll just have to be patient a bit more.
While thinking that I began going down the stairs——-at that moment, a loud apology came from behind me.
“Wait! Please wait just a second! I will accept your conditions so please allow me to take this job, will you?”
Looking back up, Brad was kneeling his head to the ground as he apologized.
His previous aggressive attitude was nowhere to be found and the instant flip in personality made me wince.
This guy really tries to act all high and mighty to get things his way but if the opposite side doesn’t budge, he instantly breaks character to try and get a deal done.
Man only has a 0 and 100 mode. Nothing in between.
“Ralf, what do you say? It’s your surgery after all.”
“I’ll…..I’ll take it. This guy is as shady as they come but he’ll do anything for money. If it’s on your terms of instalments and payment based on success, I’m sure he’ll break his back to make this surgery a success I believe.”
“Understood. Let’s leave info gathering for later and stand here for the surgery after all. I don’t know what he might do after all.”
“Chris, thanks. That’d be really reassuring.”
After having this little conversation, we went back up and continued our negotiations with Brad.
The surgery is scheduled for tomorrow, and since we have everything we need, all we need to do is bring the money.
The total price would 5 platinum coins, a great deal for us.
I still have a lot doubts about this but we can’t really pull back in this situation anymore.
After telling Brad we’ll come tomorrow again, we left the black market.
One response to “Null Poison Ch53”
Thanks for the chapter. I like how the healer’s character is built here. He’s not the altruistic, I heal because I can do it free type and instead the I desperately need the money type. Much more realistic.