an: Alright, one more chapter after this and we’re done with chapter 13 unless I have the incentive to drag on even more so.
Third day of Spring Break over Kaomagi Earth
It was decided to wait for the Dark Guardian, Darc, to return and interrogate the assassin.
Apparently, this meant that until he has returned, the poor bounded man had his skull bashed every time he regained a bit of his consciousness throughout the night by the male Court Wizards in shifts.
A murky patch of black then entered the inn room. A man with long silver hair and long-elongated ears risen from it.
“You weren’t at the office,” Darc said. “So I ask the manager where your room is.”
“We got this guy trying to assassinate Alicia and we want you to interrogate him,” Jonathan replied.
“I see.” Darc looked at the bounded man. “Is this the man?”
“Yes,” Jonathan confirmed.
“Have you check for weapons?” the dark elf continued.
“Yes, all of these.” Jonathan pointed the entire assassin’s inventory lying on a tarp at the corner.
Inspecting it, Darc asked, “No poison?”
“No,” Jonathan said. “Why?”
“Hmm…” The dark elf then kicked the assassin on the head lightly to wake him up.
“Hah! W-Wha?” After constant skull-bashing to keep him unconscious, the assassin’s head was pretty much disfigured as he jerked up.
“You’re awake,” Darc bluntly said.
“W-Who are you!? Where am I!? Why am I tied up!?” the assassin exclaimed panickly, facing all directions.
“You screwed up your job and you got captured,” the other assassin coldly stated. “Where’s your poison, you are an assassin, right?”
“Wha- why poison?”
“To kill yourself with it.”
“Wha- why would I do that?”
“Hm…” The dark elf assassin then muttered something for a moment and then…
He suddenly materializes a black dagger with very intricate design and used it to stab one of his fingers, cutting it off. This caused Alicia to shriek.
“Do you have to do that!?” Alicia complained.
“An assassin should know what will happen to them if they got captured,” Darc retorted. “Which is why even I bring poison with me to use it on myself to avoid torture upon capture. This guy didn’t, now I will show him the consequences.”
Alicia wanted to talk back, but looking at Darc’s serious look, she conceded. “…We will wait for you in the office.” The Bell heiress opened the door and left the room. Owen, Jonathan, and Will followed, to give the Dark Guardian some privacy while he deals with this assassin.
“Don’t even bother crying for help,” Darc cut the assassin off. “I’ve erected a sound barrier around this room. No one outside will hear a thing, though we won’t be here for long.”
They sunk to the ground, leaving a murky patch of black, and it left the room.
In some isolated corner.
“Now then,” Darc unleashed his second dagger. “Who hired you?”
One hour later…
“I’m done.” The dark elf assassin rose up in the middle of the office of the Bell branch.
“…” Alicia wanted to ask what happened to the assassin after Darc was done with him, but decided not to, knowing what would happ to him.
“Tell us what you found,” Jonathan started.
“From that amateur,” Darc reported, “he was hired by some noble called Doug von Salt Waters.”
“I knew it!” Voice chimed.
“Eek!” The pixie got spooked by the Dark Guardian’s glare and promptly returned to her master.
“Apparently, it was supposed to be a kidnapping,” Darc continued. “But they never seemed to find you anywhere even when they knew the inn you are staying at. Some of the men hired quit the job, so he changed it into an assassination, hoping he could make something out of it.”
“Then what did you find from the salt waters household?” Alicia asked.
“I just happened upon the master of the household ranting about your assassination,” Darc replied. “Thinking you’re dead.”
“Sometime later,” Darc continued. “He was in a conversation with the captain of his personal guards on the finalization to kidnap a princess who was returning to the capital in two days, which is tomorrow.”
“Ah,” The manager said. “That would be princess Alyssa von Coastline, his majesty’s elder sister.”
“Why would he kidnap the king’s older sibling?” Alicia inquired.
“He’s planning a coup and intends to marry the princess to put himself on the throne,” Darc answered.
“Ah,” Owen interjected. “That sh*t.”
“Owen, language,” Alicia chastised.
“How very cliche…” Will commented.
“And he had time to assassinate a future merchant who humiliated him,” Owen added.
“Moving on,” Darc continued. “I’ve found the plans for the operation, the route, the logistics, how it will be carried out.”
“I see,” Jonathan nodded in understanding. “Anything else?”
“Just some evidence of extortion, bribing, stealing, and other stuff,” Darc shrugged. “Anything to fuel his coup.”
“Is that all?”
“Yes, I’ll be going to the mansion over their territory.” With that, Darc sank to the floor, into his shadow, and left.
Two hours later…
They were the backroom of the lobby, where the tax collector and other people hid when the SaltWaters head came and tried to control the Bell branch through blackmail. There were Alicia, Darc, Jonathan, Will, Owen, the manager, the receptionist Maria and two other staff members tending to twenty-four individuals wrapped in blankets.
7 half-animal males.
9 half-animal females.
7 half-animal children.
Darc apparently returned from scouting the SaltWaters mansion in their territory early only to brought all of those people mentioned above.
The adult male half-animals had injuries over their bodies. Some are missing ears or tail or even both of them. Few of them are still gritting in pain. The adult female half-animals looked beaten up. Some of them had swellings on their stomachs. Few of them had lost the color of their eyes. The children were malnourished and had slashes over their bodies. Some of them also lost their animal ears. Their faces were listless.
The manager and his granddaughter were horrified when Darc brought them in by using his shadow sinking magic to bring all of them into the shadow he created and brought them all the way here, Alicia too. Owen, Jonathan, and Will didn’t seem to react to it. Alicia noticed this but didn’t mind that because they needed to be tended to before anything else.
Maria and the two other staff members applied healing magic to the wounded while Darc took care of the more serious injuries with his superior healing magic despite not from Qantasia. The other boys were giving tea that apparently could instantly restore stamina. Alicia and Owen, who had experience with children, comforted the young half-animals. Few of them broke into tears and wet their comforters’ clothes with tears.
After they were tended, they had given their thanks. Especially to Darc who had saved them.
Alicia and company went back to the office, leaving the half-animals under the care of the employees only for Darc to say…
“Found them in an underground cellar underneath the mansion.”
…and the rest of the group realized something.
“I scouted the SaltWaters mansion in their territory and I found almost nothing but I ordered [Biological Scan] and picked up a lot of people under the place. Twenty-six to be exact.”
“Are there suppose to be two more?” Alicia asked measly.
“They were dead about a day ago when I got there…” Then the dark elf assassin’s silver eyes were tensed. “You knew and did not inform me…!”
The other group could not say anything and simply stood there with the guilt of unable to save the two other half-animals. Had Darc been informed of the twenty-six biological signatures, he would’ve gone straight for them.
“Whatever,” Darc grunted, “even if I came sooner they still wouldn’t survive.”
Silence filled the room once again. The Dark Guardian then spoke up again, “I’m killing that noble.”
Alicia was going to refute that, but does she even have that right?
“I’ve written his name,” he continued. “So whatever you guys do to solve your mess, he’s mine. I’m going back.” With that, he sank to the floor and left.
“Oh my, for him to already written the name…” The manager muttered in a somber tone.
“What do you mean by that?” Alicia asked.
“Master Darc was not your typical cold-blooded assassin. He kept a journal filled with names or an accurate description of every living thing he’s killed. That was even before he became a guardian,” Jonathan answered.
“Why would he do that?”
“I don’t know, he doesn’t talk very much about his past either. Master Ilezenya, the Nature Guardian, Master Darc’s little sister said that it has something to do with reminding him of all his murders.” Jonathan continued, “that’s something an assassin would never do.”
“True,” Will commented. “And I’m pretty sure he recorded every kill. I saw him swat a mosquito and then whipped out his journal and recorded it.”
“We’re getting off track,” Owen interrupted. “So essentially, he records the names of his targets that he had killed. But, he only does this after he killed them, writing the name before that means he is determined to kill that target. That is rare.”
“SaltWaters’ actions must’ve pissed him off to want to kill him himself,” Jonathan said. “Master Darc is not a murder-happy kind of guy.”
“As for all of those half-animals,” the manager interjected, “that’s something he’d do. People doing that are usually guaranteed on his list.”
“Yeah, him writing down all of his victims, everybody else who knew him pretty much made him the unofficial ‘grim reaper,'” Will said.
“If I may,” The manager spoke up. “Just before Mister Erith left, he had left a note detailing the plot to kidnap the princess and the coup. We don’t have much time, I suggest we discuss about this.”
Fourth day of Spring Break over Kaomagi Earth
In a certain route in the middle of nothing but mountains of hard granite, there was a carriage accompanied by thirty silver-armored knights and five silver cloaked men on horseback.
The horses were also equipped with silver armor and a yellow decor.
The carriage itself was gold like the sands. An emblem of water and sands resided on the carriage. It also existed on the knight’s armor. Several knights had a flag of similar design strapped on their horses.
One of the knights reined his horse near the carriage.
“Your highness, we will reach the capital in two hours,” he reported.
“I see,” the woman, the princess of Coastline, in the carriage said. “Thank you, Alfred.”
“Excuse me.” The knight named Alfred reined his horse away from the carriage and back into formation.
“Mia, how long have we been away from the capital?” The princess of Coastline asked.
“About three months, your highness.” A woman dressed in a yellow maid outfit answered.
“Mia, you do not need to call me that when we are not in public. Just say my name.”
“Alright then, miss Alyssa.”
“Well, good enough…”
“It has been long, hasn’t it?”
“Yes, why did mother chose a very far place to settle into?”
“It was the former capital before everything that had happened five years ago.”
“Yes, it was a very dangerous time. All of my half-brothers trying to kill each other for the throne, all the riots, and assassinations.”
“I still remember all those fools trying to harm you and your brother.”
“Yes, in the end, my brother won the throne. He then purged the entire noble society, lots of nobles faced the guillotine. He was never liked by them for his ‘radical’ ideas.”
“And those ideas had made the kingdom better. We don’t need to fear nobles as much as we do back then after their powers were stripped into simply a fancy title.”
“And giving government positions to those who are capable.”
“And letting beastfolk such as Alfred to fill in the ranks.”
A loud voice interrupted the conversation between the princess and her handmaiden.
“We’re being attacked! Protect the princess!” One knight shouted.
CLANG CLING CLANG
The knights drew their swords and got off from their horses as bandits poured from all sides. One of the knights dragged another knight who was struck by an arrow and fell from his horse before the others clashed against the bandits, but the bandits outnumbered them.
“Dammit,” one of the knights grunted. “They got mages too?”
Mages from both sides fired spells on each other. However, the bandits’ side had more of them.
Few of the bandits broken through the formation and proceeded to the carriage. Five of the mage knights in the rear were not close enough to physically stop them, not that they could anyway. They were also still occupied with the enemy mages.
“Stop! Stay away from her highness!” Alfred shouted, chasing after the loose bandits after making sure not to break the formation.
“Grr..!” However, some of the bandits turned back to stop the beastfolk knight.
Some of the bandits that got to the carriage proceed to pry open the carriage. The driver was slashed by the chest, still alive but gravely wounded.
“No! Stay away!” The princess held onto the door tightly to not let the bandit in even though it was locked. Her handmaiden held the other door.
But then, just as a bandit tried to hack the door away…
…the bandit was suddenly knocked to the ground, a sword struck through his back where a man in an unkempt cloak stood above the bandit. On his left arm, a sword plunging through the back of the bandit.
The princess looked at him, “Y-You are…!” and gasped in surprise.
an: And I am dragging this chapter for much longer!
Name: Darcassan Erith Age: 223 Sex: Male Species: Elf (Dark Elf) World: Rakarok-Earth World Merge Element: Dark Element Color: Black Cherished Armament: ???, ??? Rank: Duke/Guardian
Name: Jonathan Age: 26 Sex: Male Species: Human World: Qantasia Element: Nature Element Color: Green Cherished Armament: ??? (sword), ???, ??? Rank: Duke