"So you're telling me that I'll breathe fire like some lizard once I drink this?" Kaden stared up at the bartender with a disbelieving face.
The Bartender shrugged. "Like a Wyvern if you want to be more correct, although there are other variants like frost and lightning. Lizardfolk are generally aquatic Races."
Kaden didn't know if he wanted to ask for more information from the guy who functioned close to an Adventurer's Bestiary, but he still looked at his fire-breathing whisky in his hand. The glass was cold and even frosty to the touch, and while the liquid was close to red inside of it with some hints of brown, the mere fact it was even accompanied by ice made it weirder.
It contradicted everything called 'fire'.
But the Bartender practically oozed confidence, and Lyra egged him on to drink this stuff and test it out. It made him almost feel like some sort of laboratory rat, but this was a good chance to see what this thing was made of—
It tasted of spices, a grainy flavor, and then spices overflowed as it went down his throat. His nostrils flared for air. His lungs burned as if it was ravaged by a fire—
Rings of smoke and bright orange flames spewed out of Kaden's throat and attacked the space in front of him and nearly reached the barrels displayed at the bartender's side before a cloud of white fog dispersing in the air extinguished it. An amused smile played on the Bartender's lips.
"Not bad, some people end up swallowing the fire and it's a little dangerous…"
Kaden slammed his hands down on the table. "Can I get some water, please?" His throat was a bit scratchy, and Lyra was giving him a look that said she might have been a tad concerned—but still enamored with all the fire shows his little drinking did.
After gulping down some water, and even a little of alcoholic healing drink, Kaden sighed and looked at the Bartender. "What kind of people even order this stuff?"
"Entertainers who like to drink and spew this stuff for their viewers, some of them even having the [ Fire Breathing ] Skill and sometimes Adventurers who want an additional firepower. There are those who do get a Skill if they've drunk this enough times and practiced."
"Insane," he muttered.
"It's also great for starting fires." the Bartender said while handing a couple of glasses towards a young woman. He picked up the empty glass and wiped it with a cloth and then struck it with something in his hand—the cloth igniting into flames before crumbling into dust. "During winter, they're perfect against Frostwind Golems that sometimes form and ravage here."
Kaden idly watched the lady Server go towards some tables, before looking back with a small frown. "I guess they're useful if you choose not to drink it then." He could see some use for it, if given a chance.
A nod would be the response.
"Do you have anything else, Mister Bartender?" Lyra asked.
The Bartender chuckled, "Owen is fine for you, Miss. However, I do wonder if I should put some of the drinks on the tab..."
Fruity green cocktails meant to function as healing potions, blue ones used to increase speed, and red ones for fire—Kaden shrugged. He chose to ignore the blush that was on Lyra's face, although his party leader's wasn't often like this. "We're not exactly sure if we'll be able to return here once we leave. Something like this expedition takes a couple of months."
"Then should I give you the bill?" Owen eyed him.
Kaden rolled his eyes. "You did say the drinks were on the house?"
"Yes, yes, I did—hmm, for a man like you then. Should I interest you in some drinks meant to set the mood? Once again on the house." A teasing smile erupted on the Bartender's face. "I think it'll take a couple of drinks for a man of your standing to woo a woman."
"Oi, that's not true!" Kaden half-glared at the Bartender. "I'm just a busy man with all of this adventuring, and it's hard for someone like me to settle down."
Owen already had a bottle in his hands. "Understandable, bachelors like us—but, I wouldn't dismiss Miss Lyra here. It's almost like you're not paying attention to people close to you."
"I'm not interested in this idiot."
"It's too weird."
Lyra and Kaden would share a look before Kaden leaned against the counter. "Do you have anything for my leader's temper, though? She gets way too hot-headed sometimes on this poor handsome member of hers."
She rolled her eyes at him. "Say what you want, but it doesn't change the truth that our team wouldn't do much if it weren't for me." Lyra jerked a thumb at him. "You know, this guy almost lost us a precious artifact on our last mission. We were at Whalemaw's Port when he wagered it against a Swindler. It's like the guy doesn't know how to see when it's sketchy."
"The thing was—you weren't confident I would win our game, and I lost my concentration back then when I nearly got us the map to find the Sunken Ghostfleet Ship."
"Which was obviously a fake!"
Kaden pouted, "You weren't sure if it was a fake—but nevermind that." He gazed back at the Bartender who simply offered them a plate of smoked cheese and grilled steak? He looked up and asked. "How much for this?"
"They're complimentary, don't think about it." Owen waved a hand. "I wish I had some ocean plums though, it would have matched this story of yours. I haven't been much to the harbors here, so it's quite fun listening to your story."
Lyra stood up, "It's too much, we're already drinking for free—"
"Are you saying we can eat for free for stories?" Kaden raised a brow. "Sounds kind of bad and almost makes me think you'll get us drunk and then strip us from our equipment and we'd wake up in some ditch."
"It's hard to take just my word for it, but stories from different people hold information, and that alone is valuable enough for me." he confessed with a somewhat embarrassed shrug. A sheepish smile finally crossing the Bartender's face. "However, I wouldn't begrudge any payment if you insist. Anything reasonable is fine."
"This isn't really how you run a business."
"Who said that I was?"
"So you'll give us potions for free?" Lyra asked.
It earned a chuckle from the man. "I'm not exactly profit-oriented, but I wouldn't want to go broke either. Drinks inside of the bar might be free when I want to, but anything going outside needs payment."
Author's Note: Hi there, Reader! Welcome to TGIF Mass Release where I'm releasing five chapters this Friday. Here's the third one. I'll work on the next two! (April 16, 2021 GMT+8) I'm experimenting a bit on the perspectives between 'current time' where the protagonist now has a 'bar' and mixing it with how his life came to be like this :)