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Blood Parrot maintained her stance, ready to attack at any time. However, despite his casual posture and loud boasts that made him look like a vulgar street thug, there were actually no gaps in Naya's defence. There was no way for her to even attack, much less escape. She was a level 14 assassin and she was rendered almost completely unable to retaliate; how powerful did Naya have to be in his prime?
Naya had no intentions of attacking right away, instead continuing to mock Blood Parrot. He made ample use of his ability to make scathing remarks about his opponent, "Oh my, look at that posture. Why is your bottom sticking out so high? Are you trying to seduce me? While I have been earning quite a bit of extra income, how did you know I have money? Hehe, hehe…"
He laughed weirdly a few times, but his tone abruptly changed. He stopped the exaggerated vulgarity and boorishness, saying coldly, "Blood Parrot, how can people of your calibre dare come to the Deepblue and behave like this? Tell me who hired you, and I'll let you go. If you don't want to, I wouldn't mind practicing some techniques I haven't used in a long time. Oi Richard! You can stand up already, don't be so nervous. This is my territory, she won't touch a hair on your head."
Richard voiced a reply, but didn't get up the normal way. He first shifted to the corner of a wall, and pressed himself to it like a lizard before he stood up. The entire motion was nimble, and he'd moved in tricky directions. If someone tried to attack him while he was standing up, they would likely misjudge his position and fail.
Richard's movements left Naya extremely pleased. It was Blood Parrot who was astonished by the youth's actions, and only then did she understand the situation. An ugly, hoarse voice sounded out, "Blade of Calamity, you taught this boy all your assassination techniques? No wonder those people failed."
Naya shook his head in dissatisfaction and spat out, "You think this is everything? Pfft, it's just the tip of the iceberg; it can't even be considered the art of assassination. But this little guy learns fast and never forgets to keep his guard up, so he does have a bit of talent. However, my dearest Blood Parrot, are you trying to stall for time? Haven't you noticed that I'm doing the same? This is my territory, and no matter how many reinforcements you call in, you won't be able to escape my grasp…"
Just at this moment, an aggressive voice full of energy called out from the distance, "Her reinforcements have been taken care of, and so have yours! Also, there's something I need to correct you about. The Deepblue is Her Excellency's territory! Since you're standing in her territory, you need to pay taxes!
Despite the huge ruckus, it was only now that the mage enforcers reached the scene. Blood Parrot's body trembled, but she didn't dare change stance in the slightest, lest Naya immediately deal her a fatal blow. A small yet imposing figure walked over from the end of the valley; Blackgold.
The grey dwarf's imposing gait was only thanks to the huge crowd of mage enforcers around him, numbering more than a dozen. They were even guarded by about ten heavily armed foot-soldiers. These large men with steel on their bodies were all extremely mighty, using heavy weapons. They would have great power in these small alleys, something that gave Naya a headache. On top of that, there were more than ten mages behind them that were full of vigour!
The foot-soldiers were escorting three corpses and two men. The men were the ones Richard had seen in Naya's tavern, but even seemingly taken hostage they appeared to be relaxed. Blackgold was just here for taxes, which was Naya's business since they themselves had no income at all. Those three corpses, on the other hand, were reinforcements Blood Parrot had been waiting for. Unfortunately they weren't all that smart, and had dared to retaliate against the enforcers. They died without causing any damage to the grey dwarf's forces; in a frontal battle between assassins and regular soldiers equipped to the teeth, the assassins would face a heavy tragedy.
Truth be told, the grey dwarf's troop was strong enough to deal with even thirty of Naya's comrades, forget just three of Blood Parrot's companions. Naya himself would have to drop everything and escape alongside his group if faced with them. This was why the smile on his face turned into one currying favour with the dwarf, even if it seemed awkward and pained.
Blackgold's eyes flashed with a dangerous glint, "You only taught Richard the tip of the iceberg? You haven't taught him the essence of the art of assassination, but you still dare to take a thousand gold coins a day… You must know; when it comes down to it, this is Her Excellency's money you're taking. Her. Excellency's. Money!"
Naya smiled as if he was ridiculed and pulled the grey dwarf aside, speaking in a low voice, "Wasn't I boasting just now? Look, Richard can even take care of four assassins alone, so how can it just be the tip of the iceberg? That's the essence of everything I've experienced over the years! That's why it's understandable to take fees like that. Besides, I paid all my taxes last month. Your bringing so many people here is just…"
The grey dwarf too spoked in a hushed tone and glanced at Blood Parrot, "I heard there was a tiny issue here, which is why I brought more people here to take a look in case you couldn't take care of it and injured Her Excellency's little Richard. Who knew they're all at this level? How are you planning to take care of this woman?"
Naya furrowed his eyebrow, saying, "This is actually hard to say, and I'm not certain I'll get any answers. Would you like to stay and watch?"
"No no, I'm only in charge of collecting taxes. This has nothing to do with me!" the grey dwarf rejected straight out with a wave of his arms, "And I don't want to hear what she has to say. If you get any answers, take care of it yourself. Don't you people of the underworld have your own laws?"
Naya frowned even more, "But this is the Deepblue, so everything works according to the laws of the Deepblue…"
The grey dwarf waved his arm and vulgarly interrupted Naya, "The law of the Deepblue is to pay your taxes honestly, that's all. I'm off! Remember the taxes this month, I'll pretend I didn't see anything else here!"
The troop immediately tossed the corpses and men to the ground with a wave of Blackgold's hand, escorting the dwarf back.
Naya turned grim. Blackgold's tone had implied that the Deepblue had enough military power to destroy the underside of the city, an obvious warning and demonstration of power. He'd implied that, even without Her Excellency acting herself, those of the Deepblue could definitely take care of anyone without good intentions no matter how impressive they were ten years ago in the outside world. This was the Deepblue, Sharon's Deepblue.
Blood Parrot remained with her buttocks raised high even as the grey dwarf left, as if she had some kind of fetish. The ground she was lying on had long grown damp with her sweat, but Naya's killing intent that had remained locked on her from the start left her with no way out. Blackgold's troop was even more terrifying than Naya himself, and she wouldn't dare move at all.
When Naya's gaze landed on her once more, Blood Parrot finally understood there would not be any lucky breaks. WIth a yell, she pounced towards Naya!
With a dull crash, Naya's dagger wondrously appeared at the back of Blood Parrot's head and knocked her unconscious. He kicked her a few times after she collapsed to the ground, confirming that she was unconscious before he turned to Richard, "I need to interrogate her after this. The entire process will be exciting and bloody, and you can watch from the side and even give me some help; it will be extremely useful for your understanding of the dark arts. That isn't necessary, however; it might be a little too early for you, giving you too much of a shock. Decide for yourself whether you're going to participate. What do you think? Want to give it a try?"
Richard turned slightly pale. He'd already been instructed in the dark arts Naya spoke of, understanding the excitement and bloodiness he mentioned. He still nodded with resolution, however, the sheer speed of the decision surprising the former Blade of Calamity. The killer who'd been unmatched in the underworld a decade ago couldn't understand quite how someone with Richard's illustrious background was so determined in his pursuit of the dark arts. It was to the point that one might suspect Richard had been born with perverted tendencies.
Actually, Richard's mindset had been pretty simple when he made the decision. What would Gaton Archeron do? he asked himself, would he cower in fear? The answer was obviously no. Gaton had seen far more blood in his life, creating more scenes like this himself. Most importantly, his mother had told him— and he'd seen it for himself— that the man was completely fearless. That was why he decided to participate.
Seeing Richard starting to look pale yet determined, Naya shrugged, "Fine then, come. But first, prepare a bucket and make sure it's big enough. You'll need it."