Locke and the others made complete pigs of themselves at Dows' Skirt. They still yearned for more even as they walked out of the restaurant.
Caen cleaned his teeth with a toothpick smiled and said, "That waitress back there had some real huge knockers!"
"I think the waitress who served our food had bigger ones," said Hans after holding this thought in for a long time. He was like a smouldering ember.
Locke buried his face in his hands and walked away, pretending not to know the both of them.
It was much more comfortable eating in a big restaurant than in a pub. Although the three of them felt that the food tasted the same in both places, they wouldn't be able to experience such a high-class ambience in pubs.
They had a wholesome meal but it'd cost them an arm and a leg. Locke spent four silver thalers on this meal, which was the amount of his monthly salary in the past.
Though, Locke didn't lack money at this moment. Both Hans and Caen knew that Locke was wealthier than both of them, and this meal would be his treat.
"Where are we going next?" asked Caen after he spat out the toothpick in his mouth. It was still early, and it would be a waste of a trip to return to camp at this time.
The three of them had to walk about to improve their digestion, after all. "Let's go for a stroll," said Locke.
The prosperity of Peterstown really shocked the three of them. Who would've thought that this bustling city had gone through a devastating battle five years ago?
While they were strolling around, Locke suddenly remembered that the shield that Henry had got for him was made in a smithy in Bideslane.
It was the one that had been damaged beyond repair when he was in the Bering Mountains. The one he was using now was far better than the original one.
After asking the way from passers-by, Locke brought Hans and Caen to an alley that was located in the south of Bideslane.
"Is it here?" Caen pointed to a filthy drape in front of him. There were sounds of metallic clanging coming from within.
"I think so. I don't think that person would lie to me." Locke was also not too sure himself. He'd just gotten the directions from a stranger just now.
The three of them were not wearing any uniforms, but everyone could tell that they were from the army by the look of their strong physique and rough manners, though the bulk of it was Hans' menacing appearance. Anyone would feel nervous if they saw arms thicker than the thighs of a normal person.
Locke lifted the drapes and walked inside with Hans and Caen following closely behind.
It was dark inside and Locke didn't see anyone when he entered. The sounds were coming from deeper within.
As they continued, the sounds became louder before stopping abruptly when the people inside realised that there were visitors.
Raw materials were placed neatly in the workroom, a stark contrast against the swords and axes throughout. There were also a few shields and spears.
"Are you all here to buy something?" asked an old man with a towel wrapped around his head as he smiled and walked out of the forging room in the fire room. The old man sounded like he was in his fifties or sixties, but his arms were extremely muscular despite his short height.
"We're just here to take a look," replied Locke.
He was really just there to see the maker of his shield. Even Yoshk, who was a blacksmith before he became a soldier, was impressed by its quality.
Hans and Caen had basically been dragged there by Locke. While they would've bought some equipment if they were there a month ago, there was no longer a reason to now that the war was over.
"Oh, help yourselves then!" said the old man with a friendly smile that didn't quite fit his burly impression.
As they talked, a few heads peeped out from the door of the forging room. They were all children whose faces were blackened by charcoal.
"Go back, all of you! Are you all done with striking the iron?" The old man turned and scolded.
The group of children then ran back into the forgery immediately. After a while, the clanging started again.
"They're all children and they couldn't survive by themselves, so I've taken them in," explained the old man.
The old man had lived for such a long time, and he could easily guess that Locke and the others were battle-hardened soldiers.
Locke nodded. He could tell from the old man's accent that he was a Faustian, and the children who were working inside were probably Shalorian refugees.
"Let's go! I'll show you the goods in our shop. All of the things here are just rough work." The old men led the three of them out of the fire room enthusiastically.
After having a conversation with the old man, he found out that his shield was indeed from his shop and made by the old man himself.
Meanwhile, Hans was interested in some of the equipment in the shop, especially the large axes and long knives. But he was strapped for cash and he wouldn't use the equipment often even if he got them, so he just window shopped. Caen, however, was more interested in the children.
"They don't have any parents to rely on anymore, so they're here to earn a living." The old man sighed.
The children were indeed Shalorians, the oldest among them being only twelve. It was hard to imagine how they could lift up such a big hammer to strike the iron.
The outlook of the shop and their staff seemed lousy. If it weren't for his shield that had been produced there and their oft-praised workmanship, Locke would've definitely doubted their abilities.
But this shop might not survive for much longer as his partners had already left when they could. Only the old man and the bunch of children were left.
Before they left, Locke gave the old man about twenty silver thalers. Henry had already paid for his two shields, but Locke had still decided to pay him as the reason why he was able to bring Angelina out of the Bering Mountains safely was because of the shield. Without that shield, he would've probably been killed by the moonlight wolf.
The old man originally refused, but he eventually took the money after being persuaded by Locke several times. He was indeed at the end of his rope. Twenty silver thalers were quite a lot, and it was enough to feed ten mouths for two months.
Caen bought two weights for weight training, one for himself and the other for his apprentice Hank.
He insisted on paying the old man five silver thalers even though the old man had said that four silver thalers were enough.
Locke knew that Caen was really loose with money. He knew that although Caen was merciless when it came to killing the Shalorian soldiers, he was rather soft and easily swayed outside of the battlefield.
Locke and the others left the smithy after a while. There was really nothing interesting to see there.
The sky had already turned dark. The three of them weren't in a hurry to go back, so they decided to enjoy the night view in Peterstown.
Peterstown had developed rapidly in the past few years. When Locke was a child, the biggest place he had ever been to was this town. At that time, every family would shut their doors and chat in the yard at night. There wouldn't be anyone on the streets outside.
But now, Peterstown lit up at night. The moonlight and the stars in the sky were quite bright too, so the residents wouldn't need to worry about not being able to see clearly in the dark.
This was also the reason the three of them were not in a hurry to go back. It was their first time visiting a town that never slept after all.
After buying a packet of fruits, the three of them ate the fresh fruits while they wandered around.
A large number of Faustians had migrated to Bideslane over the last few years. Some of them went there voluntarily, while some of them were there because they had been forced by their lords. Bideslane would definitely become Faustian's focus for development in the future due to their vast plains.
The Faustians were far-sighted, and they'd already planned for the future.
The upsurge in immigration had lasted for three or four years, but Bideslane used to be Shalor's territory, so there were still more Shalorians there compared to Faustians.
Not everyone would want to leave their hometown. Most civilians preferred to live and grow old in their homeland. The Faustians definitely had a much superior status than the Shalorians in Bideslane.
The ones who walked with their heads held high on the streets were mostly Faustians, and those who kept their heads down and didn't dare to look around were definitely Shalorians.
Almost all of the Faustians despised the Shalorians due to the war. If any Shalorians dared to disrespect them, the foul-tempered Faustians would definitely make a move on them. The city guards would just ignore them as long as they weren't killing or maiming anyone.
Eventually, four classes of people formed -- the nobles, wealthy merchants, Faustians and Shalorians.
Locke and Hans didn't bother about the Shalorians who were still in distress, and they went to watch the performance at the roadside.
A masked middle-aged man wearing a hat took a sip of something and spurted it out immediately. He then waved the torch in his right hand, and a flame formed mid-air, greatly startling the crowd. Locke could sense that he wasn't using any spells, which surprised him even more.
Hans took a sniff and said, "It's liquor!"
Peterstown's nightlife was an eye-opener for the three of them, but it'd also shrank their pockets.
It was still fine for Locke as this spending was nothing compared to his assets that he owned now. However, it was different for Hans and Caen. Hans still had some self-control, but Caen spent extravagantly.
It was midnight and most of the torches in the town had been put out. The three of them then staggered back to the camp when the town was no longer as lively.
Everyone bought some local specialities. Hans wanted to bring them back for his family, while Caen wanted to bring them back and eat them all by himself. As for Locke, he just bought them because he didn't lack money and he'd never seen them before.
The three of them hit the pubs before they went back. To be honest, Locke felt that the pubs in Peterstown were similar to the ones elsewhere, with the only difference being the prettier ladies.
After a whole day of 'hard work', the three of them slept until the noon of the next day. As soon as Locke woke up, the baron called him over for a meeting.