Chapter 89 — Back in Business
Note: Please read my statement on the current issue that has made me stop translating AD indefinitely here.
Two days passed in the blink of an eye. Soran spent most of his time analyzing Invisibility and finally managed to learn it. Unable to stand the anticipation any longer, he eagerly constructed the spell in his mind, which took him over an hour. Soran filled both of his Level 2 spell slots with Invisibility, while the four Level 1 slots were stuffed with Arcane Missile.
Although he could also learn Level 3 spells, Soran did not have so much time now; it would have to wait. For now, he needed to quickly obtain more funds. Although his Scribe Scroll skill was now 36, he had spent over three hundred Gold Derahls and was a bit tight on money. As it was only afternoon, Soran decided to rest for a while to recover from his mental fatigue after learning spells for so long and to wait for night to come.
Soran woke up at ten at night, after the sun had already set. He changed into a suit he’d prepared beforehand, then donned a mask and went out. Soran got the items from people of the Grey Realm; as long as one knew how to deal with such people, he could very easily get his hands on various useful tools.
The night curfew was still in place in Whiterun, and the number of guards patrolling the streets was almost doubled as compared to normal circumstances. Soran, though, could not care less—he blended into the shadows and headed toward the noble district.
The social classes of this world were distinctly separated. Those who were rich and had high social status were separated from the normal populace, and the noble district was an individual sector within the city guarded by soldiers. Normal citizens could not enter the noble district, and they would be questioned and sent away as soon as they approached its entrance. The guards would only let those who wore elegant and tidy clothes through. If wanderers were found within the district, the guards would be punished.
As compared to the other places within the city, the noble district was especially clean and tidy. There was no excrement in the back alleys, and there were no stinking drains. The ground was covered with smooth stone, and there were small openings to direct rainwater to the underground sewers. Flowerbeds and trees lined both sides of almost every road, along with elegant mansions with colored glass windows. It was a sign of wealth; colored glass was an alchemical product, and normal people could only afford paper windows.
The most important difference between the noble district and the rest of the city, however, was the presence of patrols within the district and guard posts at the entrances. People like Soran were the reason soldiers patrolled the district. Plenty would want to try their luck at stealing from the nobles, and the guards were there to deter thieves from entering and apprehend those who dared to try. Stealing from the nobles was a serious crime, and the person caught might have his arm smashed or get sent to the mines.
Soran murmured a chant and cast Invisibility on himself in a dark alley. He disappeared from the spot shortly after, moonlight taking his place as though he were not there.
Under the effects of Sneak, Soran's footsteps were very light and did not alert any of the guards. He even walked straight past two patrolling guards without being found out despite being only a few meters away. The guards simply continued chatting about some sexy mistress from a tavern and laughing. If Soran wanted to, he could end their lives, but pointless slaughtering was not his objective here tonight.
The mansions were all dark inside because almost everyone was sleeping. Further back were the high-ranked nobles' mansions, but Soran refrained from entering that region. As low-ranked nobles did not have many expensive items, while high-ranked nobles had extremely good security measures, he was aiming for a middle-ranked noble's mansion.
For now, humans still maintained social order and did not simply follow the strong. Many nobles were no stronger than commoners in terms of combat. Only those who held high power had strict requirements in terms of combat strength, as they had to rule over a city with many powerful people. Most nobles in Whiterun had inherited their status from previous generations, with some titles being permanent while some would only last for three generations. Even for the former, if the house failed to produce anyone who made great contributions to the city for a long time, they would slowly be deranked into commoners as well.
Middle-ranked nobles had their own villas outside the city, but they would also keep a mansion within the noble district. For the sake of socializing and maintaining their relationships with other nobles, they would spend half a year living within the city and spend the other half in their villas. Because of this, most banquets and events were held between March and June. Some were banquets held for the nobles to have dirty dealings with one another, while others were purely for fun. For the latter, they would invite the priests of the Goddess of Beauty and Love as well as those of the Lady of Joy. The overall lifestyle was very similar to that of British nobles.
Soran quickly surveyed his surroundings and soon found a suitable target. It was a medium-sized mansion with a large garden, and there were no guards keeping watch. The servants' rooms were all dark, but surprisingly, the owner's room was still lit with a light glow. After mentally calculating how much time he had before the patrolling guards would pass by this mansion, he leapt and held onto the second floor balcony ledge, then climbed into the mansion.
The room was dimly lit and had a specific fragrance. "Brad, is that you?" A soft voice could be heard from within the room. A lady wearing a loose red sleeping gown held together only by a silk string sat up on the bed and looked toward the balcony. "Be quiet and come in quickly."
The noble woman heard the small noises Soran made, and she was slightly nervous when no one replied. At a closer look, she was also wearing black stockings, which indicated that she might actually be rather affluent. Obviously, no one would wear stockings when going to sleep; her current outfit was obviously for a specific nighttime activity.
A tryst—the noble woman was clearly waiting for her lover. For some reason, such a sneaky act was actually very popular between southern nobles, and almost everyone knew what was going on at night. Given their status, they had little to worry about in terms of living expenses, but that did not mean their human desires could be satisfied. Practically speaking, illicit affairs were a fairly tame past time. Those nobles who could not be content even with nighttime rendezvous with other nobles might even turn to the evil gods' rituals in order to satisfy themselves.
There was once a time when the Goddess of Joy tried the forbidden ritual of pleasure. If not for the Good-aligned deities who held her back just in the nick of time, she might actually have changed her alignment from Good to Evil. The most notable deity who had changed alignment due to such pleasure was the Goddess of Cats and Dancing. It was said that the Night Baroness gave her so much pleasure that she changed from Chaotic Good to Chaotic Neutral. It was fortunate she did not completely succumb to the Night Baroness.
Hustling sounds could be heard from not far away. A healthy-looking man leapt over the mansion wall and said in a low voice, "Camilia, it's me dear. I'm coming right away."
This guy's got decent agility.
Soran had night vision, so he could clearly see the handsome young man creeping his way through the garden. He seemed quite muscular and young, and was probably in his mid-twenties. The noble woman, on the other hand, seemed to be in her thirties. She surely took good care of her body, but that did not prevent the slight wrinkles and her slightly thickened waist from showing.
"Quickly, dear." The noble lady spoke in a hurried voice, and her breathing gradually turned rough.
The young man was apparently aroused by her voice as he quickly climbed his way up onto the balcony and jumped at the waiting woman. They kissed wildly as the man rubbed her breasts, then quickly retreated into the room. Their lips never separated for a second, and they seemed extremely thirsty for love.
Soran had no interest in the upcoming wild battle in bed. He quietly snuck his way next to the two nobles, then did a karate chop on the woman's neck, rendering her unconscious. As it was an attack, his Invisibility wore off. Soran quickly squeezed the man's neck, then kicked him right in the balls. The man could not even scream before his eyes turned white, and he lost consciousness; Soran might have crushed something precious.
Soran calmly placed the two on the ground and started searching their bodies for items. Rings, necklaces, earrings, bracelets—he took everything that seemed valuable. He even had the leisure to rub the woman's chest, but he was disappointed as he muttered, "It's a bit too soft and saggy. The drows were way better alright."
Perhaps because he had spent a lot of time in the Underdark, he knew the most about female drows, more so than humans.
Soran observed the man's ring under the dim light, and he could not help but shudder after realizing what it was: a Ring of Energy. After activating the ring, one could fire an energy beam that could deal around 30 damage, which was enough to kill low-ranked professionals in one hit. It was fortunate he’d acted quickly and did not give the man time to react, or else he would have been seriously injured. Besides being dangerous, the ring also cost around two thousand Gold Derahls.
This guy must be from a house with decent standing, Soran thought to himself as he looked at the blood around the man's crotch. The man had a combat profession as well, and this much damage would surely not kill him. Soran dragged the two unconscious nobles out of the way, then searched the room. He managed to find a hidden safe, and eagerly set to cracking it.
Soran swore after he failed to open the hidden safe even with 45 Pick Lock. It probably had some special mechanism reinforcing it. Although he could break it with sheer force, doing so would create a loud noise. As such, he could only think of other methods. After roughly measuring the dimensions, he realized he could fit it inside his multi-dimensional bag if he dumped out some of his other items. He did just that, throwing away some miscellaneous items and replacing them with the safe.
Before Soran left, he looked at the two lying unconscious on the floor. He took a blanket and covered their bodies like a caring mother.
It was already unfortunate to have his balls crushed right before a great battle in bed. It would be even worse if the man caught a cold, right?
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