That night, we found a comfy little inn that wouldn’t be too far away from the tournament. It was the only one that didn’t have a sign that declared no vacancy. I had serious worries that we wouldn’t have a place to stay. However, five seconds after entering the door, I realized why the place had room. There were three tables full of barbarian looking people. They were both noisy and extremely filthy, spilling food on the ground at frequent intervals.
The innkeeper was a scrawny looking man who was wringing his hat and staring anxiously as the men effectively destroyed his inn. There were two barmaids, but as soon as one of them passed a man, he grabbed her behind. The other got pulled on a man’s lap, and despite the frown on her face, he was fondling her quite rudely. She shot the innkeeper a desperate look, but he could only stare on helplessly. If he caused trouble, naturally, these men would beat him up.
As soon as I stepped into the room with four beauties, we drew the eyes of everyone present. As for the tables of men, they all looked at the girls with hungry eyes. It made my skin crawl instantly.
“Hehehe…. Look what we have here!” One man growled.
The innkeeper looked over at the group of us with sympathy.
“Uh, sorry, wrong door. Apologies,” I turned to leave with the women, but these men were prepared.
A man I didn’t even see slammed the door behind us and then crossed his arms with a grin on his face. “Where are you going? It’s getting dark outside. How about your women stay a while and get warm with us?”
“Slaves, are they?” Another man said. “Yours, huh? How about you share a bit? You couldn’t possibly need four women every night. How about you lend them all out to us for a while?”
The girls picked up on the implication of these men. Only Lydia seemed to be able to handle it and keep her cool. She was trained to deal with men exactly like this, after all. That didn’t mean I wanted her to execute any of her training whatsoever!
This was part of the reason men were so angry. A monster would attack you and that would be it. These guys would do stuff far worse than killing if they were allowed. Plus, I had no means of reading their status. They could literally be any strength and I wouldn’t know. To date, I wasn’t sure how strong we were. They looked stronger than the bandits, at least. This could be a mercenary group or something. Just because someone broke laws didn’t necessarily mean their jobs would be bad. In fact, getting labeled as a Thief or Bandit usually held you back from leveling.
From how I understood it, Mercenaries should be stronger than your typical Bandit. They had access to dungeons and means of leveling quickly. Unless a Bandit could find a steady supply of monsters, the only way he could level is through banditry, which was admittedly a limiting option for them. Either way, the point was, fighting was a complete gamble.
As I struggled to come up with a means of getting us out of this situation, my eyes landed on the glasses strewn across the table and an idea formed in my mind.
“Okay…” I said.
Everyone blinked. Even the men who were grinning at us seemed surprised by my confession.
“How about we make a bet?”
“A bet?” The one who appeared to be the largest and in charge frowned and glared at me. “What are you talking about?”
“I’m just talking about drinking? Is your constitution too weak to drink?” I suddenly asked.
“Drink? Hahaha… look at this guy!”
“He’s so small, he’d tip over with a drink.”
I used to be pretty fat. Naturally, that affects how much alcohol it took. One of the things I used to pride myself on was that it took a lot to get me drunk! Since then, I have three jobs worth of constitution. How could I not defeat these guys?
“What do you propose?” The man asked.
“A true man is a man who keeps his drink, right?” I offered, channeling the words of a certain pervert I met earlier that day.
“Hmph… of course!” The guy straightened up.
“So… to the truest men go the women.” I declared. “We drink, and the last man standing gets the women. All of them. You say how could I need four women. I say… how can you only handle four?”
Naturally, those words seemed to excite the man. He suddenly threw back his head and roared with laughter. The other men found the scene funny as well. The girls were looking at me a little angrily, particularly the two barmaids I casually threw into the deal, but I had to word things this way in order to get to these men.
“Alright, the winner goes the women.” He nodded.
“And the loser pays for all the beer and the inn damages!” I added quickly.
He snorted and then gave a decisive nod. “Very well! I wasn’t planning on paying at all, but I like the idea of making you pay better! Innkeeper, bring us beer!”
Two glasses were quickly brought out and filled. My girls watched worriedly, but I gestured for them to remain in a corner and to stay out of the way. The barmaids seemed to join them, leaving the innkeeper to bring out the beer on his own. Apparently, every man at the table decided to drink. If the one who remained conscious got all of the women, then naturally any of these men wanted to be the last one standing.
“Begin!” The man called out.
I drank down the beer in a single swallow. I was thankful for my college days. Actually, I never went to college, but I did visit a few college parties for about a year or two. I learned the art of keg drinking back then.
“Second!” He called out.
We drank round after round. Men started to fall out. As men collapsed, new men joined in. Everyone had been drinking for hours before I came, so the leader declared it “fair” that I had to drink out every man on his side. I didn’t complain a single bit, as if I had a choice in the matter.
Time dwindled on, and the leader became so intoxicated than all he could do was shout ‘next’, having long forgotten how many rounds there were. We were finally the last two sitting. Every other mercenary had been knocked out. I tilted in my chair, burping dizzily. He put on a grin.
“Hannneenuf?” He barked.
“Naww… onesmore…” I said, putting up two fingers.
We both took the next glass and drank, slamming them down in unison. A moment later, the chair scrapped and the massive man fell out of the chair and collapsed, unconscious. I peeked over at him with a raised eyebrow. Then, I let out a sigh.
“Well, it looks like I won.” I crossed my arms and laughed.
The innkeeper and barmaids looked at me like I was a monster.
“How are you still alive?” The innkeeper said, “You’ve drunken at least half your body weight in alcohol!”
I let out a chuckle. “It’s nothing so amazing. I’m sorry, that was a trick. I took a small gamble. I reckoned that alcohol would be considered a poison. That means anything that cures poison would also cure drunkenness.”
I lifted up my hand and it glowed green as I used Cure Poison on myself. The innkeeper looked slack-jawed for a second but then burst out laughing.
Of course, I had completely lied about using Cure Poison. If Cure Poison could seriously be used to cheat like that, a mercenary band would have definitely been on the lookout. They would have easily seen me casting the glowing spell on my arm over and over again. The trick I used was a bit different. I simply reset my dungeon points. I knew there was no way they’d let me win fairly, so I reckoned I needed to equip the dungeon ability poison immunity so that it didn’t matter how much I drank.
“You might want to get the nightwatch over here while they are all unconscious. They might not be willing to get into a fight for you, but they’ll probably have no issue carting a bunch of drunks into a holding cell for the night.”
“Of course, of course!” The man said, his mood improved greatly, “I even have a cart for it.”
He sent one of the girls to go fetch the watch and then worked with me to get the men out of the inn and plop them on his cart. I found a bag of coins on the leaders belt and handed it to the barkeep, squaring away his debt.
“Master really worried me for a moment,” Terra admitted.
“Master is always amazing…” Lydia spoke without a hint of doubt.
“Still, Master is unable to become drunk, huh?” Miki said, sounding a little forlorn. “It would have been fun to see a drunk Master.”
“I wonder what kind of drunk your Master would be?” The remaining barmaid asked curiously.
“Oh..” The barmaid suddenly blushed, eyeing my direction for a moment.
“Huh? What are you girls talking about?” I asked, noticing them looking at me.
“You… have won the b-b-bet… so you won me… right?” The barmaid said, looking sheepish.
“Ah… sorry, if I didn’t speak in those terms, I was worried about how they would act. Of course, you guys owe me nothing.”
“Even so…” She put on a face.
It looked like she was about to say more, but the innkeeper had returned from putting the money in a secure spot.
“No… I wouldn’t hear of it!” The innkeeper butted in, grabbing me and pulling me aside to speak. “You saved my inn! At the very least, you and your girls can stay here for the rest of your time in the Capital!”
Free lodging? Score! I found myself suddenly quite happy about that. Meanwhile, my girls had pulled the barmaid into a corner and seemed to be talking seriously to her. I hoped they weren’t bullying her like Eliana. Well, after they were done, she didn’t look at me anymore and seemed to try to avoid me. Why did I have a feeling while I was scoring free lodging for us that I missed out on something just as good?
Ah, well, I finished helping him load the cart and then walked into the inn. At that point, I reset my dungeon skills so I could put them back to the way they were. Immediately, I felt like I struck a wall.
“Oh… apparently, Poison Immunity doesn’t get rid of the poison, it just keeps it from affecting you. Now I know.”
The lights went out. Thud.