Home > urban > North x Northwest > CH 93

North x Northwest CH 93

Author:Song Yun Category:urban Update time:2023-01-03 14:31:52

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“What’s that”

“It’s the stem of a fluorescent plant that’s hardened in balsam.

Luckily for us, this process traps its light-emitting property.

The darker the surroundings, the brighter the light gets.

However, when it has absorbed all the nutrients from the balsam, it will wither and die.

But as you can see, it’s still very much alive.”

“Balsam …Like tree extract Where the hell did you get that”

“That’s a secret.”

At the same time as Lil narrowed her eyes in suspicion, Ed looked down at her gun again and furrowed his eyebrows.

Lil flinched when she noticed, but Ed slipped past her and covered the stem with the cloth. 

“Anyway, let’s go now.”

“What’s your plan”

“I have no such thing.”

“Oh, wait!”

Lil grabbed the doorknob after tucking Ed’s hand away when he was about to turn it.

“What the hell are you saying you don’t have a plan”

“What Don’t you want to release it”

“But, how are you going to release it”

“We’ll just have to get the mermaid out.”

“How are we going to do that”

“I haven’t really thought about it.

Do you think I’m just lying around all day thinking; ‘If I ever come across a mermaid stuck in a tank, I’ll save it like this.’”

“Not that…”

“Do you have time to delay this any further”

‘No…’

Lil knew it better than anyone else, so she pursed her lips and dropped her hand.

Ed opened the door and took the lead.

Lil followed him, looking suspiciously at the nape of his neck, her hand still resting on her gun.

“I thought you would be flattered when I asked for your assistance earlier, I didn’t expect you to respond with ‘Why would I’.”

It was a sarcastic remark in which she also imitated his accent.

However, in response, only the back of Ed’s head moved up and down slightly, as if he was laughing.

“When a modern man encounters an ancient transcendence, he can react in a variety of ways.”

“…”

Lil didn’t answer.

She couldn’t afford to respond to a monologue that wasn’t an answer.

Instead, she tried to figure out what Ed was planning to do with that light. 

‘Can you lure a mermaid with light Is it like food for mermaids But shouldn’t we untie the chain first …Don’t tell me he intends to kill me.

If he takes it for himself, it would surely be worth the price…’

Suddenly, Courant popped up from behind and ran forward with a lantern.

Lil twisted herself to make way and greet him.

However, Courant, who was already in front of her, deliberately struck Ed on the shoulder as he passed by.

From Lil’s point of view, the blow from Courant seemed intentional, but Ed didn’t respond as if he was used to it or he didn’t bother. 

“But the Captain is the odd one.

Why do you want to ‘save’ it”

With his question, he broke up Lil’s train of thoughts and she focused on Ed again.

But Lil didn’t have the time to explain it verse by verse as she did with Cesar.

And she didn’t feel the need to.

At least, she didn’t think it was because Ed didn’t know.

“Isn’t that obvious”

“Yes.”

“..”

His answer was so simple that Lil uneasily pursed her lips.

‘if you already know, why did you ask’

Meanwhile, as the two climbed to the upper deck, the sunset spread further and further over the horizon.

“What will you give me if I free the mermaid as you want me to”

Lil’s attention, which was directed at the hourglass on the stern, shifted to Ed.

A refreshing but lukewarm breeze blew and without a hat, Ed’s hair fluttered lightly.

Stained by the setting sun, his light brown hair turned reddish, like the leaves in autumn.

He stuffed his hands into his pants pockets and lifted his chin, turning his upper body Lil.

He was waiting for a response, but Lil simply waved her hand in front of his nose, asking him to move.

“I’ll give it to you.”

“What”

“My full trust.”

“…The full trust you speak of has already been earned.

Before you spoke about the mermaid and even before you apologised to me.

Coming to see me was an admission of what had happened.

But saying ‘full trust’ means in its totality.

Are saying there’s still some trust left behind”

“…”

“You trusted me, that’s why you asked for my help.

So don’t get that confused, Captain.

We still need to talk about how you’re going to pay for my help.”

“Don’t be unreasonable.”

“Didn’t you come to me to have your wish granted”

“…”

“…And wishes, as in any fairy tale, aren’t free.”

Ed walked across the boardwalk, still facing Lil.

Meaning, he climbed the wooden plank, hanging in the middle of the sea, backwards.

Lil felt she actually wanted to laugh in vain at the audacity. 

‘Ha…Nothing is going well.’

Lil sighed in desperation before inquiring urgently.

“What do you want”

“Take a guess.”

“Money”

“That’s no fun.”

Suddenly, Lil had the urge to give Ed a hard shove or to kick the boarding away.

But she managed to control her impulses with superhuman patience. 

‘What does this rotten bastard want! He might be hoping for an extraordinary answer because he has such a strange personality.’ 

Lil rubbed her forehead.

She couldn’t shake the feeling that she was getting played. 

‘He had been trying so hard to impress me, but now he is… No, wait, maybe that’s it…’

When her confused thoughts faded away, Lil removed her hand from her forehead.

Her vigorous eyes met his playfully bent green ones.

“Then go.”

“What”

“I have nothing to give, so go.”

“What are you going to do if I really go”

Lil stepped aside from the crossing to make way for Ed.

Then, she chinned towards the Bell Rock.

“I don’t need you.”

“…”

“I don’t want to see you, so get out of my sight.”

“…”

For a brief moment, the sound of the waves filled the silence between Ed and Lil.

The crashing of the water against the hull created a steady rhythm.

Ed stood motionless, his mouth slightly open.

If his hair and clothes weren’t blown by the breeze, it would have been safe to presume he had frozen stiff.

But soon enough, a curved smile was drawn on his bewildered face.

At sunset, his twilight-stained cheeks grinned brilliantly.

It was a smile full of satisfaction as if he had gotten all he desired, despite the fact he was given nothing.

Ed took the rest of the steps just like that.

Backwards, of course.

Their strange interaction had long since become a spectacle for the sailors on the Marian.

Lil flashed them a warning glance and stepped onto the crosswalk.

She had said it without hesitation, but she couldn’t help the fact she had gotten goosebumps.

‘He’s such a weird guy.

Even though I told him to ‘go’, he still continued.

Is he a sadistic pervert’

Ed turned, jumped off the board and turned around once again to face Lil.

At the same time, Lil scurried down the crossing board, making a threat.

“Didn’t I tell you to go”

“I can’t help it because the Captain sounded so desperate.”

At the same time, Ed bowed his upper body and spread his arms gracefully, mimicking a custom from a foreign country.

The stone-cold Lil passed him and went down the stairs.

When she noticed he was following her, she immediately increased her steps.

Before they completely disappeared to the deck below, Lil met eyes with Jacques Poussin, who shook his head.

It was an indication that he couldn’t come up with a way to free the mermaid.

Lil didn’t think he was lying as Poussin clearly knew that the gun gates of the Bell Rock would open at her command. 

With a pace close to running, they reached the warehouse with the tank.

Lil gave an order to the two sailors stationed in front of the room.

“You may leave now.”

The men vanished in an instant, ecstatic with the prospect of finally returning to the Bell Rock after their tedious patrol.

When they were gone, Lil dragged Ed inside and locked the door.

As an extra measure, she also shoved some wooden crates in front of it.

After struggling with the boxes, Lil turned around and found Ed already checking the tank lid.

Once again, Lil grabbed her gun before approaching him.

“What are you going to do”

“We should talk to it first.”

“How”

“…”

Ed kneeled down and opened the lid. 

 – Screechhh… –

An ominous sound pierced their ears, followed by the sound of clashing water.

Lil warned him as she checked the tank’s bottom from a safe distance.

“Careful.

It could come popping out.”

“Well, it seems to me that it has lost its strength.”

With that said, Lil moved closer and looked further into the tank.

The bright blue light was only a small dot.

The constant swaying of the waves gave the illusion of it moving, but in reality, it stayed still.

Lil repeated what she had already said like a parrot.

“What are you going to do”

“…”

Ed stood up without answering.

After loosening his belt, he jammed his sword between the lid and the floor to prevent it from closing.

He then took off his shirt and boots.

Lil, who was making sure the sword was a suitable support, noticed the scene halfway through.

She widened her eyes and started to shout.

“What are you doing!”

“…”

All sorts of irreverent delusions mingled in her head as she looked at Ed.

She was about to draw her weapon when the only piece of clothing left on his body was his pants.

“Are you crazy”

“…”

‘What What’s he doing’

As soon as she thought about it she wanted to ask him, but Ed took the balsam out of the cloth and bit on it, leaving Lil too stunned to speak.

 – Splash! –

She opened her eyes after being struck in the face by the upcoming water to find no one with her in the room.

She looked around but saw nobody.

‘No way…’

Reflexively, Lil turned her gaze toward the tank.

There she saw the pure white light sinking with the figure of a man.

She exclaimed with a gasp.

“Th… that crazy bastard!”

-

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