The hunchback, one-eyed old man stepped aside and didn't even bat an eye at Kieran and Starbeck anymore, as if he fell asleep.
However, in Kieran's eyes, the old man had tightened his muscles, ready to strike.
Kieran was clear if they really stepped into the passage down the stairs, they would be welcomed by furious attacks from the old man and the vicious traps underneath the passageway.
Inside "Distributions of underground factions of Naveya City", Kieran had precisely read lots about the organization before his eyes now: Oak Hand.
Perhaps they might not be the strongest among the gangs in Naveya City but they were definitely one of the most, if not the most, cautious.
That was why they were able to develop over the past 20 years quietly under the deeply rooted temple factions.
Compared to a real faction of traditional roots, the years that Oak Hand had been around would only allow them to be considered as a young bud, but that was extremely difficult in Naveya City.
One needed to know the biggest gang faction inside Naveya City, the Emerald Rock, had only been established for less than 5 years.
In fact, the book mentioned that most of the people thought that if Oak Hand had no intentions of becoming the biggest faction in Naveya, the so-called Emerald Rock will not be around.
As though Kieran was insulted, he stepped up to the old man, looked down at his hunchback, one-eyed figure and asked with a cold tone, "Since when did Oak Hand become so impolite?"
Kieran slightly showed off his killing intent as he spoke; no devil, no cardinal sins, only the one originating from himself.
Still, it made the old man stagger backwards. In the old man's eyes, Kieran's figure was long gone and what he saw was the charging of a myriad of soldiers and horses.
Iron flowed like the rapid current; blood stained the battlefield like the setting sun.
The aura of a true warrior that had fought in the battlefield caused the old man's only eye to widen.
He managed to get a hold of the wooden wall beside him, thus saving himself from an ugly fall but he was still rendered speechless under Kieran's pressuring aura.
Until Kieran put away his killing intent, the old man panted heavily as though he was a drowning victim being rescued.
"P-Please forgive me dear sir! We don't mean any disrespect! But that thing happened recently forced us to take extra precautions! As you may have know, the reason why Oak Hand has always been around is because of our vigilance."
The hunchback, one-eyed old man panted hard before standing properly in front of Kieran in a respectful manner.
A gatekeeper like the old man might only possess common battle capabilities but had sharp eyesight that surpassed others. Surely he knew what kind of people he could afford to provoke and what kind he couldn't. Kieran, the warrior that came from the battlefield was definitely one of the people the old man couldn't handle.
"That thing? What thing?"
Starbeck who was silent for a quite a while suddenly opened his mouth.
The mimosa tried to maintain a steady tone, suppressing his trembling voice and purposely spoke slowly; he sounded like someone that was trying to fake some kind of accent.
However when Kieran took a step back and whispered to the mimosa's ear, his fake accent became thought-provoking. At least the Oak Hand gatekeeper saw the scene and his remaining eyes was glimmering.
"My dear lord, are you curious about it? I guess you must have stayed in your family's manor for quite a while, otherwise, you must have heard about some reckless fools that stole the Holy Thorn Grail two weeks ago. Because of this incident, we have to be more careful than ever. After all, the folks at Thorn Temple have been crazy about finding the ones who stole it and the likes of us are the ones they showed "extra" care." The Oak Hand gatekeeper said with half flattery, half explaning but his words didn't sound like he was trying to probe for information.
Although the gatekeeper was curious about where Kieran and Starbeck came from, he knew how to guarantee his own safety.
As for the news of the stolen Holy Thorn Grail?
It was the news that was two weeks old, it didn't hold much value anymore. Most of the slightly capable people would know what happened.
"Dear sir, dear lord, please, follow me!"
The gatekeeper then stepped into the passage.
"The Holy Thorn Grail was stolen two weeks ago? Is it the time where I disappeared? Or earlier than that?"
Kieran was pondering upon the matter as he looked at the hunchbacked figure.
Although because of the dungeon clear special rewards, Kieran wasn't completely in the dark about Naveya City, yet he still couldn't be certain of the timing.
Last time with Tiki's "help", he entered this place in a hurry and didn't get to know more. This was also the reason why Kieran chose Oak Hand as the target to approach; he wanted to know more.
Kieran went down along the stairs and arrived at one end of a corridor that was almost10 meters long.
Despite the poor lighting, the whole corridor seemed very dark but Kieran still clearly spotted holes hidden in the wall seams; sharp presences were coming from behind the holes.
What were the empty holes for?
The answer was self-explanatory. The arrows that were hidden inside could turn anyone who crossed the corridor into a hedgehog.
Starbeck too spotted the holes; his body shivered.
Out of instinct, Starbeck turned to Kieran and what he got in reply was a cold gaze that intensified his pressure.
Starbeck always felt like he was looking at a lifeless body or a pebble beside the road when he caught Kieran's cold gaze. Whichever it was, it frightened him.
"I can't make 2567 angry! I need him to overcome the obstacle! If I leave him, I will be dead!"
The sane part of his mind mustered up enough effort to suppress the panic from the scares.
"We are disguising as a young master and attendant from a big family in this trip. The attendant has to fulfill the young master's curiosity and with the young master's begging, the attendant brought the young master on a road trip to Naveya City, allowing him to have some experience. While I as the young master has to act stupid, trying to get as much information as possible…"
Starbeck slightly breathed and repeated the plan that Kieran told him before in his mind.
When the mimosa lifted his head up, the group had arrived at the other end of the corridor.
The hunchbacked gatekeeper knocked on the door a few times in a way that only his comrade would know.
One of the two tightly shut wooden doors was opened up from the inside.
Instantly the clamoring noises multiplied, the hall inside was well-lit.
A small hall crowded with people appeared before Starbeck's sight. He would have thought he arrived at a morning market if it wasn't for the vicious looking people with swords and knives around them.
The scene before him and how he pictured a gang's base was completely different.
The mimosa looked left and right, up and down out of curiosity.
Compared to the curious mimosa, Kieran stood beside him calmly and explained softly to his "young master".
From "Distributions of underground factions of Naveya City", Kieran knew that Oak Hand as the longest running gang in Naveya City didn't just go around collecting protection fee that simple; its main source of operation was running the black market.
No doubt the scene before him was a black market gathering.
"So this is the black market! So will that stolen Holy Thorn Grail be here somehow?"
The mimosa went along with the plan, asking naively.