Chapter 28 “Political Influence”
Towards the evening of this day, soldiers and citizens alike were trying to repair the crumbling parts of Half Horn City’s defense wall. It was then, on the main road outside the city grounds, clouds of dust were being kicked up from a distance.
Dashing past the city guardsmen stationed at the gate, the team of cavalrymen in their imperial armors hollered at the nearest officer.
“I want to see your highest commander!” Said the captain of the group, a fifth class knight belonging to the regional army.
Before long, Spann was carried out to meet with them, half his body still wrapped in bandages.
Remaining atop of his horse, this knight captain gave Spann an assessing look and made a slight saluting bow: “Dear Sir Knight, I am the Captain of the second cavalry division, which is directly supervised by the Governor of the Lille Province. According to the Governor’s command, from now on, using Half Horn City as the center, the area within a three hundred kilometer radius will be temporarily deemed as a military zone! I am here to take over command of the operation!”
At that, the knight captain called Goron threw over a scroll, “This here is the document signed by the Governor.”
Spann was surprised, “Gov, the Governor’s nearby too?”
“No, the Governor remains at the governor office,” said Goron with a serious face. He took a look at the heavily injured Spann and sighed: ”Sir Knight, I have a need to remind you that you are in big trouble. While it’s not entirely your fault the eldest son of Earl Raymond was attacked, but he was under your jurisdiction when it occurred. When the governor heard of the news he was very shocked. I suggest you better prepare yourself for your failure to carry out your duty. This emergency appointment document was directly sent to all the regional armies stationed across the province by using the magic union’s transfer magic.
According to this letter, the thirty thousand garrison soldiers of the Lille Province are hereby ordered to stop their exercises for the annual spring drill. Using Half Horn City as the center, all forces must make haste in search of the Rowling young master in all directions. And this time, you reported the incident involved a mage openly attacking the military barracks; I think…… you should prepare yourself. It’s highly possible the governor will summon you to the governor’s office to personally testify the event before the court. You should know your report will likely increase the tension between the military and the magic union.”
Sir Spann’s face turned ashen at the warning, he knew his military career would likely be doomed at this point. Not only were the military barracks attacked by a magician, the young master of the Rowling House had also disappeared.
Logically speaking, Spann shouldn’t have to bear all the responsibilities, after all, it’s only normal for he, himself, a fourth class knight to be powerless before a almighty magician.
But, a severe event has happened; so there must be someone to take the blame, was it not?
Trying to erect his posture, Spann made a salute. Since half his body were covered in wounds, erecting his body caused so much pain that cold sweats were dripping down his side.
Even so, he lifts his head high and proudly said: “Thanks for your reminder; Sir, I will follow every command by the Governor. Right now I deliver all the commanding rights to you, and….. Sir Knight, what time should I set out for the Governor’s office?
”Now,” said Goron. Looking at Spann, this fifth class knight showed a hint of frustration in his eyes and loudly shouted, “Following the second order of the Governor! Knight Spann, the vice-captain of Half Horn City’s imperial regional guards, due to serious negligence of your duties, the Governor has deemed you incompetent and strips you of your position. And, every military officer in Half Horn City’s regional guards will be demoted by half a rank. I hope every one of you will be able to atone for your failure by achieving military merits in the future. Sir Spann, you must set off now. The Governor hopes you can arrive at the Governor’s office before sunset.
Looking at the heavily wounded Spann, this senior knight deemed it necessary to say something. Whispering, “Sir Spann, I know you shouldn’t be blamed for the whole thing. When looking at the wounds on your body, inwardly I know you had done your best. I’ll report everything that I saw today and do my best to illustrate things were beyond your capacity to control.”
“…… Thank you.” Spann sighed. Shaking his head, he said: “I indeed failed to carry out my duty in some parts…. Well then, Sir, Knight Robert from the Rowling family is just over there at the garrison barracks outside the city. I think you need to go see him.”
Looking at the injured Spann being stripped of his armor and helmet by their fellow soldiers, Goron could not help but give a lamenting sigh.
Spann oh Spann…… Do you have any idea how big of a trouble your report has caused!
On the surface the matter may seem to only involve the kidnapping of the Rowling young master by a sorceress….. But in reality, the young master wouldn’t be able to cause thirty thousand soldiers to drop the spring drill exercises in search of him, even if he was of noble status.
In the end, the root of the matter fell into the friction between the military and the Magic Union!
Even if magicians are a recognized group that can override the law, but this time, a magician had openly dared to attack the imperial local garrison! In the military’s eye, it’s extremely serious.
This was not only a blatant provocation to the imperial military, it’s also a provocation to the empire itself! Taking it further, this action can already be regarded as treason, an act of rebellion!!
For this matter now, in the capital of the Lille province, the aids, subordinates, and officials of the governor are going nuts arguing over this! It can be predicted that there will be huge repercussions after the commander’s report was submitted.
Imperial commanders had always been dissatisfied towards the Magic
Union’s behavior of neglecting the law, and always believed that the empire gave the magicians too much privilege. So, this incident simply coincided with the tension that’s been brewing between the two opposing factions, the military and Magic Union….. It’s said that even the emperor himself was quite dissatisfied with the Magic Union in recent years because in the last naval expedition to the Southeastern Sea, the Magic Union did not send enough magicians to support the troops.
The emperor has thought to cut back on the preferential conditions given to the Magic Union, but when his majesty was about to carry out his plan, the news of the incident in the Lille Province popped up. Immediately, this event ignited the smoking fuse among many officers leading the army.
Even before Knight Goron’s departure, there was already thousands of imperial garrison officer’s demanding the severe punishment of magicians through a jointly signed document…. But, sentencing a grand mage of the eighth level?
It’s unprecedented in imperial history!
Spann headed towards the governor’s office, even though every part of his body were wounded and totally unfit for rushed traveling, but since the order came down from the Governor himself, he can only reluctantly endure the pain.
Meanwhile, Sir Goron immediately took charge of the city’s defense by issuing his own soldiers, and then quickly separated a portion of the manpower to the repair efforts of the collapsed wall from yesterday’s earthquake. Only by settling all of these issues did he go meet Sir Robert, which he found in the garrison barracks outside the city grounds.
Robert was also wounded, but he still endured despite being exhausted from searching the area for the entire day. Still, his spirit remains strong, which was hard to say for his horse. The purpose of his return was meant to outfit him with another mount
Goron promptly met with Robert and both sides talked for a while. After knowing the local garrison had assembled a massive search, Robert became slightly relieved.
“Also… I believe the Rowling family’s private army should be assembled by tomorrow. At the latest by tomorrow noon the light cavalry unit of the Rowling House should be entering the Lille province. The impact from this incident is very big…. I fear.”
As expected of Robert, a worthy retainer of the Rowling House. After spending so many years inside a big household, he would naturally be partially knowledgeable of the situation: “Yes, you mean the impact of a mage attacking the military base?”
“That’s right,” Goron slowly said: “I’ve brought a thousand cavalrymen with me and there’s still a large force gathering behind, I’ve been given charge of the entire region within a three hundred kilometer radius. But to be honest, I don’t have much confidence in myself. Nevertheless, the governor gave strict orders that we must locate Master Du Wei at any cost. Because…..”
Sir Goron looked around for signs of eavesdroppers and whispered: “Because the governor personally handed me a secret letter, its content says: Although the impact from this incident is far reaching, but it’s safe to say the commanders up there wouldn’t dare break ties with the Magic Union, at most they would just take this opportunity to suppress the union so they wouldn’t be so arrogant in the future. I’m afraid even the emperor himself wouldn’t dare offend the Magic Union and is simply going with the flow. Of course, the emperor will send some letters to condemn the union, but chances are high the matter will be eventually forgotten after diminishing its severity over a period. There’s no denying the fact that the garrison base was attacked, but nobody died. At least on this point it’s negotiable. But….. That little noble is the key! If in the worst case scenario, the young master met with some ill-conceived accident, then I’m afraid this matter would be difficult to handle. Sir Robert, do you understand what I mean?”
Robert thought for a while and nodded.
If….. If anything happens to Master Du Wei, then……
Considering the Rowling family’s status, then things cannot be overlooked for the eldest son of the clan’s chief has died at the hands of a sorceress. Even if it’s rumored the Earl doesn’t favor this son of his, the child still carries the Rowling name! Otherwise, the clan’s name preserved for hundreds of years will be tarnished by this incident. They can bear the child being killed, but the Rowling Clan cannot bear the fact their name is being sullied. If that happens, the very foundation of the Rowling House will become shaky!
Standing as the head of the house, the Earl will certainly not let this end!
And if the Earl does not relent, then ….considering the status of Rowling family and their connections, the Rowling family leader will be able to move a considerable number of imperial armed forces.
At that time, if a confrontation ensues between the military and Magic Union, things will turn chaotic!
Therefore, finding young master Du Wei will be “key” to calming the situation.
“What about the response of the Magic Union?” Robert asked
“Magic Union? Humph!” He said it with a contemptuous tone. It’s obvious from Goron’s voice that he was very dissatisfied with the Magic Union: “What else can they say?” The response from the Magic Union’s branch in Lille Province was this: “They will handle it privately. Did you hear? Handle it privately! Blatantly attacking the imperial army is treason, is rebellion! All they gave was a simple ‘internal investigation’ and its over! It’s well know the Magic Union is very bias towards their members, often disregarding any crime they commit. They are so arrogant, thinking the empire can’t afford to lose the support of mages, humph!”
Robert mused for a moment, and suddenly said: “Sir Goron, I think, only searching within a three hundred kilometers radius is not enough because the power of that female assailant is far beyond our Imagination. I believe she already ran out of our search radius by now, so I recommend …… ”
“I know.” Goron nodded: “Although the scope written on the governor’s official letter is three hundred kilometers, but the governor also told me in the confidential letter that the radius can be appropriately expanded, even if this means reaching outside of the Lille Province for the governor has arranged meetings with the officials of the surrounding areas. And as you know, pass the three hundred kilometer mark is the open sea. I heard the governor even went to acquire the Imperial Navy’s assistance. I think with the deep ties the Rowling family has with the navy, acquiring their assistance will not be a problem.”
Robert wryly smiled: “I wonder what condition Master Du Wei is in now….I hope he is ok…..”
How was Du Wei doing now?
Not good, very bad in fact!
Du Wei’s shoes were already broken for the lambskin footwear made for aristocrats were unsuitable for walking in the rigorous forested terrain. Also, his trousers were torn by the thorns hiding under those bushels.
He leaned against a wooden stick, smoothing the sides in the process so he can not only use it as a crutch, he can also use it as a weapon.
Now that the powerful sorceress has lost her magic, and he himself nothing more than a teenage kid, the two will naturally have to be extra careful as the dense trees may have some beasts lurking about.
While staying around the dragon remains the safest option, but surveying the area was a must…. At the very least, they need food and sustenance, or drinking water at the minimal!
After making a round across the island, Du Wei can basically determine most of the island’s terrain were comprised of dense woods!
His mouth was so thirsty now that flames were almost alit inside, and what’s most worrying of all was the fact that he couldn’t locate a single drop of fresh water! There’s no spring or small sources of fresh water on the island.
There’s not much he can do. This island wasn’t large by any means with the islands topography being slightly flat and round in shape. From east to the west, it only took him no more than half a day to transverse. According to Du Wei’s estimation, the diameter of the island should be about five miles.
A small island.
On an island like, if there’s no fresh water, then ……
Du Wei shook his head, only to come out with sigh.
The problem now was that the dragon can’t be counted on so the idea of leaving on its back was out of the question.
Then there’s this silly girl. After losing her magic, her flight spell would last no more than a dozen or so seconds before failing….. And their surrounding was the broad open ocean!
Conclusion, the two are incapable of leaving the island!
If they are unable to find food and water, then in a maximum of two days, these two would have to die here.
Vivian, with a pitiful look, followed behind Du Wei. This sorceress was terrified. Since landing on this island, her greatest reliance no longer worked, this left her extremely loss and anxious.
And now, the little noble who had always bullied her was her only sense of security. Only by following this person will she feel at ease.
So, when Du Wei proposed to survey the surroundings, Vivian insisted on tagging along with Du Wei …… Though staying with The Dragon was likely the safest option.
Even if there was some horrible beast on the island…… But in this world there’s likely no beasts that would dare approach a dragon.
Losing her magic and walking for a long time, Vivian’s feet ached so badly that she believed it might be bruised. However, seeing the gloominess looming over the little nobility in front of her, Vivian didn’t have the nerve to complain and could only follow from the back with a frown.
Although Du Wei was slightly annoyed by their circumstances, he’s not blind to the silly girl’s displeasure. Walking such a long way, there’s no doubt the trek would be too much for a delicate girl of her nature.
“Let’s rest for a while.” Du Wei sighed and waved his walking stick around the area to be sure there’s no snake hiding in the bushels. Once he deemed it safe, Du Wei helped Vivian over to sit.
Vivian was almost shedding tears over how painful her foot felt. She never expected how good it was to rest.
Du Wei thought for a while before taking off his coat. Quickly ripping it to pieces, he handed the strips to Vivian: “Here! Your soles are hard; it’s no wonder your feet’s hurting. Cover your feet with these and it will feel much better.”
“Tha…… thank you.” Thinking for a moment, Vivian became a little scared: “A… Are we, able to leave from here?”
“Leaving ……” Du Wei bitterly smiled. He could not bear to disappoint the little girl: “First of all we have to find food and water, as for other things, we’ll fix it one by one.”
Du Wei pondered for a moment and said: “After walking for a day, I can now confirm that first, according to the winds direction, I am sure the weather here is part of the spring monsoon. Concurring to this, I believe this island is located in the eastern part of the sea. Then, after checking the vegetation here, we should still be in the southern end of the empire, perhaps even in the area of the eastern Lille province. And……”
Speaking up to here, Du Wei’s expression turned a little weird: “I am very concerned about a problem.”
”Don’t you find it odd that after walking for so long, even after we covered nearly half the island…. There’s not a single animal in sight! Forget about big animals, there’s not a single snake or even a rat in sight! This island seems to be devoid of life, and….”
Du Wei raises his hand up to his ear and made a listening posture, his voice strange: “Have you noticed it…… In such a big island with a dense forest …… There’s not even a bird’s call….no land animals and birds….! This is too weird!”
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