Chapter 27 – Restless
Earlier this evening.
“Reports?” Kan Yune was writing at his newly installed desk. He didn’t bother looking at the one who came in.
“Yes, Sir,” a guard replied.
“Excuse me, Kan-sama.” Rikku’s maid came in and spoke in a hurry. “Rikku-sama said that he will be sharing his tent with Ran-sama tonight. I came for instructions.”
Kan Yune paused. “Let them be.” Then finished what he was writing.
Rikku’s maid withdrew and the guard that came to make a report spoke, “We confirmed that Edoran Kingdom’s summoning ceremony was indeed successful. The number of otherworlders is still unknown. They are planning an official ceremony with the Nobles and Ambassadors in 2 months’ time. There have been some movements around 3 or 4 dungeons in the Northern regions. We believe they want to train those otherworlders there before having them perform in public.”
“There are movements on the Crown Prince’s side. They are more cautious. The spy we sent was discovered. However, they didn’t have time to interrogate him. As planned, they turned their suspicions towards the 2nd Prince’s side.”
“What about the sheep?” Kan Yune massaged his temple. He didn’t know why, but he had been feeling a bit restless since this morning.
Kan Yune raised his head and narrowed his eyes.
“There’s…w…w…we don’t…” the guard didn’t have time to stutter any longer when a faint light pulsed through a crystal ball sitting on Kan Yune’s desk. The light blinked twice, then once, then thrice before vanishing.
The high priest paled. Cold shivers crept along his spine. It took a couple of seconds before he managed to gather the courage to launch the message. Unfortunately for him, just as he was putting his hand on the crystal ball. It blinked brightly and at a swift pace. It was a direct transmission. He froze and his face turned unsightly. However, he didn’t dare to delay any longer. He put his hand on the crystal ball and closed his eyes. He sat still and felt his consciousness leave him.
Through his mind, Kan Yune saw a projection of himself in a dim study. In front of him was someone sitting in a leather chair. A bright fire was burning behind making it impossible to distinguish the features of the one sitting. Kan Yune promptly fell to his knees.
“This priest greets Your Hi-” His voice was steady but his mind was blank.
“I chose you for this mission because I consider you to be efficient and discreet enough for it,” the shadow stated coldly.
“I – Your Hi-”
“Don’t you know how important this mission is for me?”
“Your Highness, I -”
“Don’t you?” Repeated the shadow.
Kan Yune lowered his head further. The aura of the one in front of him was pressing him down. “I do.”
“Then, can you say that you have been efficient and discreet thus far?”
“I- What happened at Linestones Castle was -”
“What? A mistake?” The shadow cut him sharply. “I don’t want mistakes. Mistakes will get my head rolling down. I have invested a lot in this operation. I have sacrificed too much to have some otherworlders dogs. I don’t need mistakes. I need results. I need perfectly obedient weapons.”
“I will not tolerate any other mishaps. I can’t afford it and most certainly you cannot either.”
Kan Yune shuddered and buried his head lower. A tense silence was weighing on his shoulders.
The shadow asked, “What happened?” They may have reprimanded Kan Yune, but they knew their subordinates well enough; something must have happened.
The high priest swallowed with difficulty before he spoke. “Something went wrong during the summoning. 12 heroes have been summoned.”
“What did you say?”
“12 otherworlders. There’s no news of the avatar present during the summoning. Furthermore, on top of the 7 dead mages, every single linestones reserve has exploded.”
The shadow tightly gripped on the armchair. “Did the number of heroes leak?”
“I highly doubt it.” Kan Yune shook his head. “I took the initiative to drug their food so they’ll run a fever. Most of them haven’t set a foot outside the castle. I had all the servants that may have seen them killed. I also assigned a guard from that side to each hero for monitoring purposes.”
The shadow stayed silent for a while. “This morning?”
“In the 12 otherworlders, there are some troublemakers.” The high priest explained.
‘The one who caused the commotion has been detained and won’t be released anytime soon. The one who was in the middle of the dispute is most likely useless.”
“Useless?” The shadow tapped their fingers on the arm of the chair.
“Yes. Her job is related to a useless production class. We gathered that her stats are basic and without any real special skills.” Kan Yune recalled the facts. “Her personality is also weak and apathetic. However, she is protected by what I consider our biggest threat.”
The tapping stopped. “One of them is a threat?” The shadow knew that if Kan Yune was wary of somebody, they must be really dangerous.
“Yes. That one has been wary of us and on his guard since the second he appeared. He has been monitoring us and his skillset must include stealth and dark attribute. He managed to leave his room undetected and can most likely use spells to avoid being spied upon. I don’t want to move against him yet as I lack information. However, he is being very protective of the useless one. I can use this as leverage.”
The shadow remained silent for a long moment. “If they cannot be raised, get rid of them. A dead dog is better than a useless one. Given their number, we can spare a couple.”
A dead dog is better than a useless one. This warning was also directed at him. Kan Yune gritted his teeth. He had made up his mind. He would get rid of Ran and Rikku during the bandits’ raid. Furthermore, the death of 2 camarades would unite the group.
The shadow saw through Kan Yune, but didn’t comment on his decision; a wild card would be too dangerous. “Do not disappoint me.”
The connection cut abruptly and Kan Yune’s consciousness came back into his body. His heart was throbbing wildly and he was feeling restless. He rubbed his face and realised that his nose had bled. Fury washed over him and his fist came crashing down. The crystal ball shattered under the impact.
“WHAT?!” The high priest snapped. His life was on the line and he was surrounded by incompetence.
The guard fell to his knees from fright. Parvian’s maid could be seen kneeling in his shadow.
“What is going on with the sheep? Don’t try to bullshit me!”
“We- we don’t have any news on their side,” the guard trembled.
Kan Yune froze and stared hard at him.“What did you say?”
The guard gulped with difficulty. “We can’t contact them. The last report dated from yesterday evening. They fought with wild beasts through the night. They even found clues of a demon beast. They should have moved forward for they’d said they may have to act ahead of schedule. We sent a scout ahead at noon but we are yet to hear from him.”
“Useless!” Kan Yune threw a small knife that impaled itself deep in the guard’s shin bone. However, the guard kept his mouth tightly shut. “What’s the point of keeping you bunch around!” He had just received a warning, he couldn’t afford anything slipping out of control.
“If one isn’t enough, send 2. Send 3. Send everyone if you need to! If anything happens…” He shouted.
Kan Yune paced behind his desk. He had to do something to get everything under control or else… the consequences would be horrific.
The atmosphere was tense. The maid kneeling behind the guard gulped and resolve appeared in her eyes. At least if the high priest was to lose control over the news she brought and kill her on the spot, she would still have the satisfaction of dying a quick death.
“Kan-sama.” Parvian’s maid’s voice was thin and was barely heard.
Kan Yune whipped his head around and stared menacingly. The maid shuddered, her whole body felt cold and she felt like fainting under the pressure.
“Something is going on in Rikku-sama’s tent,” She took a deep breath before going on.
“Parvian-sama chased me away and went with Dorian-sama to discuss and it has been a quarter of an hour.”
“What did you say!” Kan Yune suddenly appeared in front of her like a ghost. His hand wrapped around the maid’s pale neck and lifted her up until her feet could no longer touch the ground.
“There are some spells that prevent us from eavesdropping.” The maid winced in pain yet didn’t beg for her life.
The guard heard the sound of her neck breaking and held his breath. The lifeless body of the maid collapsed on the floor with a thud. Kan Yune violently kicked it aside and left in a hurry. A couple of minutes later, the guard pulled out a small knife and stood up. He looked at the body on the floor and sighed. He wondered how long he would be able to keep that insignificant life of his.
Kan Yune stood in front of the tent. Indeed, thanks to the spells it was impossible to hear what was being said inside. The spells were simple but if he tried to do anything or forcefully eavesdrop, he would definitely alarm the ones inside. He wanted to avoid a frontal conflict for the moment. Kan Yune was seething from fury. However, it was unwise to stay there any longer.
Rikku was standing near one of the tent’s walls, the one facing the forest. He was motionless with his eyes closed. He sneered and said out loud, “Someone is in a bad mood nearby.”
“Well, that someone must have been scowled by his boss,” replied Ran. “We need to get ready for tomorrow, who knows what he is planning.”
Ran thought for a moment. She had some preparations to make. She whispered, “Status.”
Status NameRanRaceHuman GenderFemaleStatus[Tipsy]Level1Age17 yearsJobWeaver HP80/80STR4INT5MP70/70AGI5WIS3Stamina4VIT5LUK3SP0DEX7PER5 SkillsAppraisalLv 1 WeavingLv 1 KnittingLv 1
“Unseal,” Ran commanded.
Would you like to unseal your status?YESNO
Ran’s index finger hovered above the small screen. “It’s better to be safe than sorry.”
She was about to press on a button when when she felt a gust of wind and saw Rikku suddenly standing by the entrance of the tent. She frowned and dismissed the windows.
“Something’s going on,” he said, lowly while peeking outside.
“Kan Yune is up to something?” Ran crept forward and peeked outside as well
“I don’t -”
A shriek rose into the night followed by another one.
“Horde. A horde of beasts is coming this way!” A guard came running into the camp before collapsing on the ground.
Ran and Rikku looked at each other in dismay. What?!