Chapter 23 – Unavoidable Trouble (Part 1)
Markwell instantly felt the disturbance. An awakening in the continent of something inhuman. Instead of feeling crisis upon him like every other officer strong enough to understand the significance of such a situation he felt exhilarated. Exhilarated because it confirmed he hadn’t been lied too.
“Sergeant Jen. It would seem the report you received was not an exaggeration or false.”
A strange smile was suffused on his face as he’d spoke. It was crooked and dripped of malevolence forcing Sergeant Jen to keep his gaze averted.
Markwell paid no attention “Contact the highest ranked noble in Eastesp City. Tell him to order his strongest man and a small company of Imperial soldiers to speak the man who reported the girl. Find out everything, then apprehend the girl.”
Sergeant Jen hesitated for a moment but decided to voice his concerns, hoping that Markwell’s ill will now had a proper outlet “Considering the information, it’s entirely possible he knows even if he doesn’t connect this awakening to her. If we spread the information there is a possibility, he tries to gain rewards from someone else to take full credit… Sir.”
Markwell only waved his hand “Use my name. Make it clear we are on the way. Make it clear I plan on handling this personally. If I arrive and the girl is gone, I’ll end his life.”
“Sir..! You want us to threaten a noble? Even with your position, if his is high enough…?”
“As long as he is a Viscount or lower the threat, under my name will serve as sufficient. If there is a higher ranked noble… Say the same thing.”
Sergeant Jen wasn’t brave enough to argue any further, but he did think of something “What reward do we give the man who reported the girl? If we take it as far as the noble line we can offer him the lowest of noble titles for this service or anything beneath that Sir.”
Taking a quick glance at him Markwell’s smile widened “A quick death is a sufficient enough reward.”
‘The moment the girl is in my hands I’ll have the leverage I’ve needed for years, and should anyone try and stop me… I will massacre whosoever stands in my way.’
Sergeant Jen involuntarily shuddered under Markwell’s gaze but regained composure quickly enough to turn it into a nod.
Sergeant Jen had a common bloodline… But it was a most sought after bloodline in the ‘army’. He had a lesser-grey wolf bloodline, and with it came one of the greatest benefits that virtually anyone with a wolf bloodline held… A blood ability that allowed them to communicate telepathically (even across large distances) with their pack.
Even with Sergeant Jen’s ‘common’ bloodline he had a special blood ability. He could communicate with any other wolf-bloodline holder as long as he had met them once. Something nearly unheard of. It was the reason he had been promoted numerous times. It was one the main reasons he was viewed as a top notch communications officer and had been assigned to Markwell.
Wasting no time, Sergeant Jen began looking through his lists of contacts and the rankings of the nobles in the smaller cities. Unfortunately, it was a mess. In the 5 main cities it was easy to know who was at the top but in the smaller cities, finding a clear hierarchy wasn’t quite as easy. After searching through the notes and books in his possession, which was a hard to task to do in a carriage that had been packed to the brim with supplies, Sergeant Jen finally found a useful memorandum. Inside it had the name of a family that had been living in Eastesp City for nearly 50 years, a newly promoted Baron.
Rushing to Markwell’s carriage he announced himself and stated his purpose.
“Sir. The highest rank noble I can find in Eastesp City is Baron James Hill. I know of a former corporal that is under his employment. I should be able to contact him.”
“Former Corporal Morth has a common wolf bloodline, but he has reached the Spirit Manipulation Realm. He should be able to complete this task, and if not I am sure the Baron will be able to provide sufficient men or find an alternative solution to the task.”
“Do it. Make my intentions clear.”
Entering his own cramped carriage, he felt slightly annoyed Markwell’s small company was currently not active. If it were, there would be no possibility that he would be riding in such terrible conditions. He’d also have more capable men to delegate these tasks instead of being the go-to man for Markwell.
It took him only minutes to use his ability and contact Morth.
‘This… Is either dogshit luck or I’m about to step into a pile of crap.’ He thought to himself. He had no choice but to report what Jen had just told him to Hill, his noble.
He’d find out one way or another, and he had no reason to lie… Yet.
It was simply that Jen had told him such a simple task, with rewards that were far too great. He’d even mentioned a possible position within the nobility if the task was accomplished properly…
‘Nothing that would be deemed as great as warranting a title of nobility would be so simple as to retrieve a child.’ Shaking his head, he quickly made way into the manor of Baron Hill and made his way to the Baron’s personal chambers. Despite a few people trying to stop him, who he simply slapped out of the way he found it unsurprising when he knocked on the door to hear squealing and shouts of pleasure inside of the room.
“Hill. I have important news.”
“Get the hell out. I’m busy!” Hill yelled back at him from the other side.
“It’s word handed down by a Lieutenant.” He shouted back.
Morth could hear the complaints from inside the room. Grumbling and sheets being pulled, clothes being put on and soon enough the door opened. A small quaint but very busty maid, sweat on her brow and a a deep red blush on her cheeks as she ran out of the room and past him with her head down.
Right behind her Hill followed “God damn. Why should I respond like some sort of lapdog? Next time just because its some army punk that outranks me, don’t just come barging in. If you weren’t related by blood, I would’ve had your head for your imprudence!”
Morth managed to keep a straight face “The orders are from Lieutenant Markwell.”
The blood seemed to drain from Hill’s face. “Tempest Demon?”
This was the true reason he’d viewed the news with such huge importance. Had it been nearly any other Lieutenant he would have at least respectfully waited until his noble was “done” but Lieutenant Markwell was a man known by any man who had been in the Imperial army. A man that caused fear in any man in his right mind that had seen him kill.
The man simply didn’t kill, he slaughtered. He was a killer through and through. The man should have already been promoted to at least a Major but he had a tendency to do as he pleased, and an inability to stop once put into action. Even so he had still reached the position of First Lieutenant. A man that instilled fear in any and all rational men.
There was simply no way in a world that had a ‘Morth’ that was sane and wanted to keep breathing existed in which he wouldn’t immediately tell his noble the news from Jen and make sure that under no circumstances were they to fail in their task.
Morth stopped his previous train of thought, not even slightly amused by the idea of ‘courting his own death’.
“Task. I was told to find a man, I was given his location and description. There is a girl in town that we are to apprehend and he knows who and where she is. Afterwards we are to silence him.”
“That’s all?” Hill asked slightly surprised by the simplicity of the order.
“Yes. But there is likely trouble that will follow.”
“I’ll get the man every virgin within a hundred miles if that’s what he wants. You know the stories, but my father met the man once. Failure is not an option understood? Get the girl. Get whatever he needs.” Hill declared.
“I was also told to report that should you as well as the man tasked to the job succeed. There would be the possibility of a promotion in your nobility title, as well as rewards for any and all those you tasked to accomplish the task.”
Hill’s eyes widened, a look of surprise tinged with greed covered his face before he considered the situation. Only briefly did he even bother to think about the detriments. “No matter. If we fail, we’ll have a calamity on our hands. If we succeed, there’s great reward. Get it done.”
Morth nodded. He had already expected to be chosen and after coming to terms with the situation, his blood was starting to boil at the exciting prospects of the rewards to come for a job well done.
Gathering a group of 25 men, all imperial army guardsmen. A position within the imperial army for men specifically tasked to guarding royalty. It included either particularly talented but lazy individuals or men who considered themselves “retired”. None of them could be viewed as useless.
He spoke to everyone about the basic tasks, keeping most of the important information under wraps seeing no need to spread unnecessary information. Considering none of them friends, there was no need to share any rewards with them.
They thought they would need to scour the town but the man who they had been tasked to find was exactly where they were told he would be. Finding him so quickly alleviated some of the concern on Morth’s mind. After inquiring about her situation and finding out he had already made an attempt to kidnap her a year ago he also killed the man right then and there. It was only upon realizing that he had still kept a close eye on her afterwards and they hadn’t run away did he stop himself.
“Speak. Her name, location, any problematic people?”
“Her… Her name is Lily Seishin. Two parents, and older brother no older than 13. There doesn’t seem to be anything special about the boy, and the parents seem ordinary too. I wouldn’t have known about the girl if I didn’t remember the wanted poster that had made its way out of the Capital in Central city over 10 years ago. Even then it was old news but I was shocked when I saw that she looked almost exactly the same as the girl in the poster. Almost exactly the same!”