Book 2: Chapter 174
While Ishuta was experiencing full-blown panic at this unexpected situation, Lukas had finished his inspection of Lee Jong-hak.
And he concluded that he wasn’t being influenced or manipulated.
‘Right, just like I thought.’
It was none other than a firm will that couldn’t be shaken by anyone else that formed the basis of Lee Jong-hak’s personality. His imperturbable mind was not something that could be influenced easily. Even if it was by a power on the level of Ishuta’s Magical Eye.
Of course, this didn’t mean that Lee Jong-hak would be able to completely negate the power of her Magical Eye. He would still be affected to some extent, but at the very least, he would be able to remain in control of his actions. If worse came to worst, he would still be able to take his own life before doing something he didn’t want to.
There were a few people who would choose death over subservience, and Lee Jong-hak was one of them.
“Ahahaha! How interesting. It seems Ishuta’s Magical Eye has no effect at all.”
The Akad Major City Lord burst into laughter.
The more one looked at him, the more one would feel that his real age actually matched his appearance. His gestures and way of speaking seemed to reflect that.
Ishuta stared at him in displeasure for a moment before lifting her folding fan to cover her face again. Then she spoke in a posh manner similar to a noblewoman.
“In addition to 20 million erus, I will introduce you to Babylon’s ‘Fire Hammer’.”
At those words, the eyes of the other Major City Lords lit up. This was the same even for the Akad Major City Lord, who had been ridiculing her just a moment ago.
Of course, Lukas had no idea who Babylon’s Fire Hammer was.
After all, it was natural that he wouldn’t learn about famous figures by simply reading a few books.
It was times like this that made the usefulness of Bargan’s presence stand out.
“He is one of the greatest blacksmiths in Babylon… no, in the entirety of Combat Island. He is known for making famous items like the ‘Fire Dragon Armor’, ‘Wind Listener’, ‘Supreme Spear’, and countless others.”
“However, he is known for being extremely proud. So much so that he wouldn’t lift his hammer even if the heaven’s forced him to. From what I’ve heard, there are only a few people who can control him, including the Babylon Major City Lord.”
An excellent blacksmith.
That wasn’t necessarily a bad offer, but Lukas couldn’t help but silently lament the fact that he wasn’t a refiner.
Of course, he still felt that it would be good to obtain a good quality staff, but what he needed most right now was neither weapons nor armor.
Lukas’ lack of expression caused those looking at him to feel that he was still unwilling.
Once more, Ishuta’s confident expression crumbled. At this moment, in her eyes, Lukas was a completely unreadable outsider whose desires she was unable to grasp.
“We can also match the price of 20 million erus.”
It was Gargad who spoke.
The other Major City Lords also nodded to show their agreement. If they were to compete without any regard for each other, the price would definitely have soared beyond their control. But now, it seemed that the price would not go past 20 million. This was probably the maximum amount that they had agreed to beforehand.
Suddenly, the Bakdad Major City Lord spoke up.
“This is the greatest sign of sincerity that we can give. Outsider, if you continue to be greedy, then…”
He intentionally lowered his voice at the end of his sentence.
He thought that would be enough of a warning, but Lukas turned to look at him and said.
“If I continue to be greedy then…?”
The Major City Lord looked at Lukas with surprise for a moment before responding in a cold voice laced with killing intent.
“It would make us very angry.”
The atmosphere became frozen.
Nevertheless, Lukas’ expression remained the same.
The Bakdad Major City Lord hated being looked down upon and ignored the most. And the current situation made him feel like that was exactly what was happening.
Just as he clenched his fist tightly.
“Relax, relax. We’re not here to threaten you.”
The Akad Major City Lord chuckled.
“Lukas was it? We are people who don’t have much free time on our hands. So I hope you can make your decision soon.”
Bargan gulped slightly, inwardly agreeing with that statement.
Those were exactly his thoughts.
After all, these were Major City Lords. They were inherently different from pigs blinded by greed, like Sshiris.
Even Ishuta, who still had an expression of surprise, was known in the arena as a ‘Demonic Woman’ who never revealed the full extent of her abilities.
‘In that case…’
Bargan began to calculate the profits and losses of this situation.
The offers made by the five Major City Lords.
First of all, the money offered by all sides was set to 20 million erus.
Then, he thought about the other things that had been promised. Slaves, flying dragons, magical tomes. But in truth…
‘…that isn’t all.’
Not at all.
Accepting the proposal of one of them meant refusing the other four.
Of course, they wouldn’t openly express their displeasure or try to attack them, but having a bad relationship with a Major City Lord on Combat Island was very bad for many reasons.
More importantly, it wouldn’t just be one Major City Lord, but four.
In other words, they couldn’t just look at the products that were promised.
The answer should only be given after thoroughly comparing the actual influences of each Major City Lord, the sizes of their cities, the popularity of their arenas, and whether their cities would be suitable to stay in the future.
‘This is all my fault.’
Bargan’s heart suddenly felt heavy.
If he had known this would happen, he wouldn’t have sent letters to each of the major cities. In the first place, he thought they could be considered lucky if even a single Major City Lord was to make an appearance.
But in the end, it could only be said that Bargan’s hasty judgement had been incorrect.
Bargan turned to look at Lukas.
He saw that his head was lowered and he seemed to be agonising over something.
‘It’s natural for him to feel troubled.’
No matter how bold Lukas was, there was no way that he could easily give an answer in this type of situation.
Right. The thing he needed the most at that moment was time.
But in this situation, asking the five of the Major City Lords for time might bring ridicule and scorn.
Such a role should be taken by the subordinate, not by the Lord.
“Can you please give us some time to think about it?”
At those words, five pairs of eyes all turned to focus on Bargan. Within their cold gazes were traces of surprise and contempt as though they never expected someone else to interfere.
Those gazes alone were enough to make him feel immense pressure.
In an instant, Bargan found that it was hard to breathe, and his legs began to shake subconsciously.
This caused a question to appear in his mind for a moment. How did Lukas manage to remain calm under these gazes?
Bargan tried to not show how much he was suffering from the pressure, but there was no way for him to stop the cold sweat from slowly rolling down his cheek.
He forcibly spoke through his constricted throat.
“…Ma-, Major City Lords, please understand that this is not an easy decision to make.”
At those words, the Akad Major City Lord nodded slightly with a soft smile on his face.
“Your courage is commendable. You are a pretty good slave.”
“Let’s see…. We’ll give you 15 minutes. How about that?”
Even when the Bakdad Major Lord called out his name, the Akad Major City Lord’s expression didn’t change.
“What is it? I didn’t say anything wrong.”
Gargad, who had been silent for a while, finally spoke in a heavy voice.
“We will give you ten minutes to think about it.”
“Th-, thank you.”
Bargan bowed his head to them slightly before turning toward his Lord.
But Lukas spoke without looking at Bargan.
“Are you trying to buy time for me?”
“There is no need. I’ve already made a decision long ago.”
“…i-, is that so?”
He shouldn’t have said anything.
Bargan’s face flushed slightly as he had this thought, and he bowed his head.
“Then I suppose I did something unnecessary… I’m sorry.”
“No. You did well.”
Lukas’ eyes remained on Ishuta.
To be precise, they remained on Lee Jong-hak, who was standing beside her.
Lee Jong-hak seemed to be saying something to Ishuta. And as she listened to what he said, Ishuta’s eyebrows rose up in surprise. Then, she glanced over at Lukas before nodding with an expression of interest on her face.
Lee Jong-hak bowed slightly towards her in a business-like manner before walking over to Lukas.
Seeing this, Lukas spoke.
“Step back for a moment.”