Chapter 14: New Role
After they made sure the surrounding area was clear, I alighted from the carriage and walked through the bushes, heading towards the area where Alex was. He stood there together with a woman, the latter I presumed to be the female mercenary he mentioned.
Indeed, she was very skilled as the rumours stated. I stared at Alex; the latter looked like a walking zombie right now.
Maybe I should apologize to him later for using him like that.
I thought to myself. I knew I was running out of time. After greeting them, I turned to go back to the carriage and they quietly followed behind me. Even the puzzled Ezra followed obediently. Then, Hawkeye suddenly appeared from the bushes with a satisfied look on his face.
[Hawkeye]: Ahh, The Great Prince personally showed up to greet me. I‘m extremely flattered to receive your time.
[Edmond]: Shut up you old man. I came here for Alex and her.
[Hawkeye]: I’m not an old man, thirty-five is still quite a young age though. I can still even marry.
He appeared very satisfied as he played with his beard. He was a very proud man; nothing could shake his overwhelming confidence. This was especially so after he faced death more times than he could count.
[Edmond]: Unless you somehow find a fellow gorilla, you’ll die single.
[Hawkeye]: You’re hurting my poor feelings.
He pouted like a big baby as he slowly walked away. In situations like this, he resembled a presumably weak, old man. However, when the time came, he would transform into a wild beast, he had a reputation for killing people by the masses. On the battlefield, he was even compared to a god of war, who rode a black horse of death.
We continued walking through the bushes until we reached the carriage. It was a typical carriage that didn’t have any emblems and was drawn by two horses. Before boarding the carriage again, I turned around and spoke,
[Edmond]: We’re leaving. Both of you, enter the carriage.
[Ezra]: Where are we going?
[Edmond]: You’ll know when we get there.
[Alex]: The moment you agreed to take on this job, this was your fate.
[Ezra]: I want to terminate the contract.
Hawkeye paused upon hearing this, he turned around, unsheathed his sword, and approached Ezra. Suddenly nervous at the sight of the blade, Ezra shifted into a fighting stance, almost as if she was a cat trapped in a corner. Hawkeye then handed the sword to her, hilt first. Ezra could only keep her puzzled face on at the sight of this, she couldn’t help but look at him with wide eyes.
[Ezra]: Why are you giving me this sword?
[Hawkeye]: It was your father’s last wish. If you want to terminate the contract, then this sword will guide you to your father in the afterlife.
His voice was frigid as he spoke while his eyes were filled with killing intent. She silently glanced up at him, and then at the silver sword. It had a golden handle with two snakes circling the bottom of the blade. It was a beautiful sword that I had never seen him use before.
[Ezra]: Did you kill my father? Where’s my family?
[Hawkeye]: I wish I did it, but we’ll save that story for another day. All will be revealed if you stay with us.
[Erza]: I’ll stick around… only because it’ll be fun. There’s no other reason, understand? Don’t get any weird ideas.
[Edmond]: Time is something I don’t possess much of. Enter the damn carriage already.
We finally boarded the carriage starting with Ezra, then Alex, and finally me. Hawkeye sat at the front with the coachman. Once the carriage jolted into motion, silence permeated throughout the entire carriage. After a brief period, Ezra spoke up,
[Ezra]: Who am I protecting?
[Edmond]: Lucia of the Gremory family.
[Ezra]: They have security tighter than Alex’s butt cheeks. How am I supposed to protect someone I can barely see?
[Edmond]: What? How do you know Alex’s butt cheeks are tight?
We silently stared at Alex in sync. Under such intense gazes, Alex looked down in embarrassment.
[Alex]: Enough. Please continue, your highness. The details of my butt cheeks are confidential.
[Edmond]: Okay, you will work as her maid, once she becomes engaged to me and she moves into the castle will your job be finished.
[Ezra]: How much will you pay me?
[Edmond]: Whatever you want; your weight in gold, a piece of land, or a royal position.
[Ezra]: Then, I’ll tell you what I want later.
[Edmond]: Good, James has already arranged the position for you. Tomorrow, you’ll apply for it and secure the position of Lucia’s personal maid.
[Ezra]: Yes, your highness.
[Alex]: Shall I resume my normal duties?
[Edmond]: Yes, papers from last week are waiting for you in the office.
[Alex]: Ezra, take me with you, please…
[Ezra]: Sorry, there’s only one opening for the position.
In no time, we finally reached the palace and got off the carriage. We directed Alex and Ezra to the edge of the palace grounds. Even though it was already dark, the lanterns were kept unlit to avoid attracting unwanted attention to our activities. Next, Hawkeye whistled, this seemed to be a signal for a group of guards to run out of a small post. Once we entered, there sat two beds side by side. A short, old man was sitting atop one of them, he was waiting for us to arrive. Once he saw us, he approached Ezra first, startling her by placing his hands on her stomach and upper chest so suddenly.
[Peter]: Just a few more inches and you could have died. You lucked out. Lie over there. I’ll treat you.
[Edmond]: He’s my personal doctor. He won’t harm you.
My doctor then walked over to Alex. He went around him and paused, Peter inspected his right arm, left leg, and finally the chest area.
[Peter]: You’re strong, but reckless. Lie on the bed next to her.
[Edmond]: Thank you for taking the time to come here.
[Peter]: It’s thanks to you that my family is alive and well. I’ll go anywhere you need me to.
[Edmond]: Take care of him. After you’re done, return him to the base, okay Hawkeye?
[Hawkeye]: Of course. Don’t worry.
I left them in the small post and made my way to the palace. Many of my soldiers had already infiltrated the castle, this was why it was easy to sneak in and out. I entered my room and then took a cool bath. As always, I had my bottle of wine inside. I sat on my bed and drank slowly. I suddenly called out,
[Edmond]: Do you have anything for me?
[????]: It’s about the Gremory Knight Family. Here is my report.
He handed me an envelope, I laid it on top of my bedside table.
[Edmond]: Have you already made the appropriate arrangements for Ezra?
[????]: Yes I have.
[Edmond]: Proceed with the plans.
He then vanished instantaneously, leaving me alone once again. I opened the envelope, and then stared at the paper inside. The contents were very interesting. Who knew that they had such a history? I could use this to pressure them into accepting our engagement, however… I needed more information. As I stared at the beautifully-lit full moon, the night was quiet and serene.
[Edmond]: It’s such a shame. A massacre will soon happen.
= = = = =