Frey looked around immediately.
Ispaniola was a small, secluded city.
However the residents’ faces didn’t have that general carefree feeling that was common to rural cities.
The reason was a bit obvious.
‘It’s adjacent to the mountain range so monsters must come down frequently.’
The guards’ faces were solemn and there were many mercenaries walking around.
The city was as noisy as any other, but the atmosphere was filled with tension, similar to the feeling of walking on thin ice.
As one would expect from dangerous geographical locations, safety was a priority.
First off, Frey bought food and water. The bag he’d bought was quite large so even when he bought more than he needed there was still a lot of space.
‘With this much I can easily last three weeks.’
Then, he headed to a bar.
The bar he picked was one in the center of the city that was filled with many mercenaries.
However, contrary to what you would believe, the bar was not noisy, instead, the mercenaries focused on drinking their alcohol in silence and words were only spoken every now and then.
What was also unusual, was that the inside of the bar was dark even though it was the middle of the day.
Frey glanced around once before heading to the counter.
A bald giant of a man, who appeared to be the owner, greeted him bluntly.
Frey sat down at the bar and spoke in his usual tone.
“A glass of beer. And something to eat.”
“What if it doesn’t taste good?”
“Bread and meat are good. As long as it fills my stomach.”
The owner nodded and brought the food after a while.
It was a simple meal of bread and tasty sausages.
Frey took a sip of the beer before looking at the owner and saying,
“Are you familiar with the Ispania Mountains?”
“Are you a mercenary?”
Frey nodded at that.
The owner glanced at his appearance before letting out a laugh.
“Hmm. From what I can tell…you just started working as a mercenary. Am I wrong?”
Strictly speaking, he indeed was wrong. Frey shrugged instead of answering.
Then the owner shook his head.
“I already know. You think if you dress up in water proof armor and wear a new sword on your waist then you can beat a dragon. I don’t mean to say that it’s wrong. Passion is a privilege of the young.”
To be young and courageous. Maybe it had been so long in the past that he couldn’t even remember what it was like.
“But you’ve come to the wrong place. The Ispania Mountains isn’t a place that you should come to for an adventure.”
“It’s called the Monster Paradise. I know that already.”
“No, you don’t know anything.”
The owner said as if he was chewing the words. When Frey looked at him with curious eyes, he shook his head.
“Pardon me. I also had a son. He was around your age. He also wanted to become a mercenary from a young age. He was a good kid.”
Looking at the owner’s face, Frey couldn’t help but ask.
“Your son is now…”
“He’s dead. Died in the Ispania Mountains. It’s been 2 years now.”
He continued with a sigh.
“He was escorting a mother and daughter who went there to pick herbs. The daughter barely made it back to the town alive.”
The over glanced over Frey.
“No one will insult you, so just go home. I’m not trying to project my son onto you. But you must know that even the greatest mercenaries call that place the Hell Mountains.”
The owner thought Frey would understand if he said this. He sincerely hoped that this young man would not lose his life at such a young age.
But Frey silently emptied his mug before saying.
“I want to know what types of monsters appear in the mountains.”
“Hoo. You have no intention of bending?”
“I have a reason to go there.”
Frey spoke in a calm voice.
The owner could only shake his head, even if he didn’t tell, he would get the information from elsewhere. The owner scratched his head.
“Don’t blame me later.”
“Why would I blame the owner.”
“Ai. I’m afraid I won’t be able to sleep well tonight.”
The owner continued speaking.
“The Monster Heaven. Just like the nickname says. All kinds of monsters can appear in that mountain range. Goblins, Ogres, Trolls, Drakes…there isn’t a monster out there that wouldn’t be in those mountains.”
Maybe the owner remembered something which scared him, as his face became pale.
“That’s not all. Two headed or Albino Trolls, goblins who are able to make poison…there’s a lot of mutants everywhere.”
The owner explained as much as he knew. In fact, he was trying to show that entering that mountains was a hopeless idea. Nevertheless he gave up on exaggerating when he saw Frey’s calm eyes.
After hearing the explanation, Frey nodded and stood to his feet.
When he was about to pay however, the owner shook his head.
“I won’t accept your money. When you come back alive, then I’ll accept it.”
Frey paused the hand that he was about to pull out of his bag and laughed.
“That is not an attitude suitable for business.”
“You’re like my wife nagging in my ears. It’s fine as long as I can feed my family.”
Frey moved away from his seat. He had enough money now, but he didn’t want to refuse the owner’s favor.
“It was a great meal. Especially the sausages.”
“You’re different. Usually in our place, the conversations are about monster corpses or alcohol.”
The owner smiled.
“I will remember your face. Please come back alive. When you do, I’ll cook even more delicious sausages.”
“I look forward to it.”
As Frey turned around, the owner called out to him again.
“Oh yeah, corpses have been turning up near the mountains these past few days.”
“Was it the monsters?”
“No. The wounds were made by weapons.”
Made by weapons…
Frey understood what the owner meant immediately.
“…someone is killing by the mountains?”
“That’s how it seems. Even some of the best mercenaries were attacked. No one knows if it’s one murderer or a group, but we do know is that they are highly skilled.”
“Were there any bodies discovered recently.”
The owner’s expression became heavy, maybe he was thinking about his son.
“The guards are doing their investigations but there hasn’t been any results yet. As far as I know, some mercenaries have also been hired but there are still no leads. I don’t know what you intend to do, but you’re going into the mountains, so be careful.”
He was reminding him to not poke the beehive for no reason. The place he was going was already dangerous so there was no reason to add to it.
‘Was he looking for something in the mountains?’
Or maybe he was searching for someone.
“I will be careful.”
Frey finally left the bar and left Ispaniola immediately after.
Then he saw a huge boulevard.
‘Mac said that half a day’s walk from here would allow me to reach the entrance.’
He had thought it would be completely untamed since it led to the mountain range, but surprisingly, it was actually smooth enough to be called a road.
Frey had this thought as he walked along the path.
Schweiser’s dungeon was probably not a cave.
‘A mountain that pierced the clouds, with a beautiful lake on top and a serene island in the middle of the lake.’
Schweiser’s previous words were the best clues.
And he had an idea what they were describing.
‘Ungwanbong. The mountain known as Drake mountain.’
At the top of the mountain should be a volcanic lake and there was probably a small island in the middle of it.
So he just needed to find the small island.
The problem was that there was no easy way to get there.
If it was at the outskirts then even a newbie would be able to make it. But as you got to the middle, the levels of the monsters there skyrocketed.
If he wanted to deal with them effortlessly then he would need to be 6 stars at the least.
Of course, that was not much of an issue. Here in the Ispania Mountains, the natural mana was very high, so if he found a place to settle and train here, his level would increase quickly.
It would probably take about a month.
Frey thought to himself.
In front of him, a lush forest could be seen. The forests continued up the mountains and there were hundreds of mountains in his sight.
In other words, he had finally arrived at the Ispania Mountains.
‘Now it really starts.’
Clenching his fist, Frey headed into the forest.
(TL: At first I didn’t like the bar owner, but he turned out to be really nice in the end…
Now for the true purpose of this note, I’m thinking of changing ‘mercenary’ to ‘adventurer’ since they have the same meaning here.)
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