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Chapter 56 – King of the Underground (7)
Odum spent a significant amount of effort in receiving the girl hanging in mid-air. The fat old dwarf’s face was bunched up together, and his thick bushy brows were nearly knitted together while grumbling into her ears that she was too bold and completely ignored danger, and caused him as an old man to have so much trouble and worry.
But in the end, he asked her out of concern: “Lass, are you injured anywhere?”
“Ah!” Romaine stood back on the ground, patted her chest and said happily: “That was dangerous!”
But he could hardly see that she thought she was in danger, rather, her face was flushed with excitement.
[Oh, so you know the meaning of d—]
The dwarf’s thoughts died in his mind when the merchant girl followed up eagerly: “That was interesting!”
“Lass, the way you’re thinking is too dangerous! What would have happened if I didn’t come?” The dwarf’s expression became strict, and his thick accent immediately revealed itself.
“But old mister, you came,” Romaine said.
Odum scratched his head, thinking that his current line of argument was probably not good enough to convince her, so he tried again: “That’s a huge coincidence that I’m there. What’s going to happen if I’m not? Furthermore, lass, you’re giving this old man a huge amount of trouble, and the biggest problem is that you interfered with my time to drink—”
“My aunt says that drinking so much is bad for health!” Romaine interrupted.
The dwarf immediately felt a headache coming on. The girl’s thought process was different from ordinary people.
He started to wonder if rescuing the girl was a wrong decision. Perhaps he should have pretended to see nothing from the start and head off to drink his beer instead. Maybe he should not even raise his head up.
He put up a hand to stop her.
“We’re not discussing this problem! And do you think a dwarf who doesn’t drink can be called a dwarf? Lass, your aunt is……” Odum paused for a moment, feeling that it was not right to talk behind someone’s back, especially when the person in question was a female. “In any case, this is this, and that is that. Look, a normal person wouldn’t tie their bedsheet from the window and dangle in mid-air behind the inn, right?” The dwarf began to lecture her, although he started to think there was something wrong with his words.
But when he pondered about it, he was unable to find out where the problem was so he shook his head and stopped thinking. The only thought had left was that his precious time to drink in the afternoon was leaving him.
Because the girl started talking again.
“You’re right,” Romaine nodded after a moment of thinking, “but I’m forced to do it because I need to go to the mines!”
Odum did not realize that his attention was gradually pulled away by the girl in front of him, and he looked at her in stunned silence.
“…… What is your business with the mine? Women aren’t allowed in there.”
“That’s because the person I like is in there and there had been an earthquake in the mines. I’m really worried. Oh! Old mister, can you bring me there?” She looked at the dwarf and suddenly blinked in realization.
“You don’t know how to go to the mines?” Odum’s beady eyes flared open.
“I think so.” She had never considered this problem. It was clear that she made the mistake of acting first before thinking again, and was quickly throwing the incident that happened a moment ago out of her mind.
But Odum started laughing so hard that he pounded his fist repeatedly into an open palm: “That’s funny, that’s really funny! You wanted to go to the mines so badly that you climbed out of the window to get there faster, without realizing how to get there in the first place. There’s a limit to make such a careless plan, lass, and even the most impulsive Mountain Dwarf wouldn’t make such a mistake. No, even the dumbest beastman would have a proper plan before they hunt!”
“But the beastmen have an adage called ‘Uimassnemont’; the capable hunter might not be smart!” Romaine said the difficult word with a stutter.
“That’s their excuse for being stupid,” the dwarf shook his head, “wait, who taught you that word?”
“No, no, what am I doing!” Odum found himself being led around by the girl. “What I’m trying to say from the start is that you can’t be too impulsive, and that has nothing to do with beastmen being smart or not—”
He rubbed his beard before he frowned. “Hold on, did you say there’s an earthquake in the mines?”
“Then why don’t I know about it?” He stared at her.
Romaine looked back at him with blinking eyes. The dwarf became aware that he had said something silly. If the earthquake had happened an hour ago, he was probably napping.
In truth, he should be in the mines working, but it was not the first time he did not work and drank instead. He had helped the young noble, Perkins, with his personal problem not too long ago and won his trust.
The latter did not mind whether the dwarf went to the mine and worked since there was not going to be much of a difference if he did. Soon after, Odum frequently skipped work and drank in the inn as a dwarf’s pastime.
But Romaine’s words immediately sobered him up.
He knew about a secret within the mines and had been waiting for a long time. He was originally disappointed with the knowledge that the workers dug into a monster’s nest a decade ago and the administration had refused to extend any deeper into the mines.
He tried convincing Perkins to reopen the fifth level, but the latter refused to do so, not because of the workers’ safety, but for the reason that he did not want to cause trouble for himself. He could only stay in the village with disappointment, and after a while, his passion died down.
But his heart started beating faster at this moment.
“Very well, lass, I’ll bring you to the mines, but you must agree—” He said.
“I understand!” Romaine immediately agreed with no hesitation.
“I haven’t finished my words yet!”
“Yes! It’s fine, old mister, I’ll agree with the random things you say since it wouldn’t matter sooner or later!”
“You’re really honest…… But that’s kinda charming too.” He sighed.
Odum began to think about the women back in his hometown when he looked at Romaine. He had grown up in the Golden Dwarf village. The village was not as interesting or diversified when compared to the humans, and even their beer brewing skills lost out to the humans.
However, their people were much more passionate compared to the humans. While this human girl in front of him was a complete handful, he liked her personality and made him happier than he was in years.
Though he instinctively realized that there would be trouble if he allowed the girl free rein.
“In any case, there are three important things you must agree if I’m to bring you there. Do you understand, lass?” He said as he began walking.
Romaine nodded, but she quickly had a new question as she followed him. “Didn’t you say that women are not allowed in the mines?”
“Don’t interrupt me!” Odum frowned. He could not bring Romaine directly into the mines. It was also unlikely for him to enter the place because of the procedures during times of crisis. But he had prepared for a long time, and it was finally going to be of use.
A secret passageway to the mines’ inner sector.
Since he was a foreman, he could pretend that he was trapped there when the earthquake happened. The girl was a little more troublesome to hide, but that was just a matter of disguising her.
“Okay. But old mister, are you a Mountain Dwarf? And are mountain dwarves impulsive?” Romaine asked.
“Of course I’m not one. Those impulsive fellows have nothing to do with me. I’m a……” Odum stopped and coughed loudly. “Don’t interrupt me!”