Titan Beneath the Heavens
Chapter 3: First Episode: Chapter 3
Chapter 3: First Episode: Chapter 3
Translator: EndlessFantasy Translation Editor: EndlessFantasy Translation
The imperial commissioner department of justice’s attorney general, Marquis Van Earl, could be regarded as a man of justice, but he was definitely not regarded as a good husband. Could a man who conspired to murder his own wife even be considered as a "good husband? Of course not.
Do not be surprised, although the Titan code did not encourage one to murder his own spouse, but it also did not forbid a prosecutor from murdering his own wife. Just like how the aristocrat’s daughter – the prosecutor’s wife was entranced by the prosecutor’s elegance. Oh! Sorry I meant his ex-wife, who was nothing but a lousy little noble, the prosecutor truly regretted being so rash in his younger days. So now he had to rack his brain, to find a way and opportunity to have the wealthy young miss replace his wife. However, the arduous wait had caused him to lose patience, the young miss’ belly was progressively getting larger by the day and he had no choice but to succumb to more extreme measures. Or else, there was no way that the prosecutor could face the possible retaliations from the young miss’ family.
Just when Van Earl was on the brink of being driven crazy, a poison doctor by the name of Mr. Percy appeared before him. It all happened by chance. But it also seemed as if it was a predestined doom.
An incident of medical malpractice and Van Earl’s wife lost her life. After Van Earl carelessly settled his wife’s funeral, he swiftly married the young miss who had already been pregnant for 4 months. Another thing worth mentioning is that Van Earl’s ex-wife’s funeral and his newly wed wife’s wedding was held in the same cathedral, and both these events took place in a span of only 3 days apart.
Right after that, Van Earl’s career skyrocketed, from a mere distant nephew of an old Marquis; he acquired the position of feudal nobility. He was then transferred from the province he was in to the Empire’s central province, and after that he was appointed as the Emperor’s legal counselor and thereafter he took up the position as the Empire’s attorney general. Let’s not talk about this man’s character, being able to get to where he is now shows that he indeed had certain talents about him, even His Majesty the Emperor himself had praised him as the whole Empire’s most knowledgeable man in law.
This man, who in the whole Titan Empire was the most knowledgeable in law, played a major role in the poison doctor, Mr Percy’s trial. It was he who altered the sentence of execution by hanging to a reprieve, and the reasons he provided were so adequate that he had the Ministers of Justice all nodding their heads in agreement. So the poison doctor who had allegedly been involved in 49 murders was imprisoned in Damorga. Furthermore, after bribing some old friends he managed to live his days carefree.
Until one day, a baron named Thomas Aulet appeared. Then only did the Empire’s attorney general, Marquis Van Earl reconsider his relationship with Mr. Percy. In reality, the attorney general accepted the baron’s suggestion after little thought, and the reason was as simple as that - The baron knew about his dirty laundry, and if he refused to cooperate with him, then everything that he had worked so hard for would perish. So, the attorney general initiatively applied to get sent to Damorga by His Majesty the Emperor. He gathered sixty over people in the expedition team, although he did not know any of them.
Damorel is one of the provinces close to the ruling capital district. Its wealth and prosperity in the Titan Empire were among the top few. However, all of this could not be found anywhere in Damorga. Whether Damorga’s prison or Darmoga’s city came to exist first is something that can no longer be verified. But something is for sure; as long as Damorga’s prison still exists, then Damorga will never see the day of prosperity. No citizen would willingly stay in a city filled with gallows and passing vehicles carrying prisoners.
Damorga housed the most vicious and ruthless criminals, and the whole Empire’s worst people were yet to arrive here. So the security in Damorga was immensely tight. The Imperial guard’s cavalry had the whole area of the prison city that was not more than ten kilometers, surrounded. Moreover, they even had military hounds that outnumbered Damorga’s citizens. And so, the most sinister prison in the west land had never had any incidents of successful escape or revolt recorded; and this had nothing to do with the warden’s brilliant leadership skills. The prisoners chose to obediently remain in prison with the sole reason of survival. Escape or revolt would only result in one outcome – death. Instead of dying, they might as well live.
The carriage carrying O’Neil Andrew Morisette stopped in the suburbs of the warden’s official residence. Two formidable guards came forth and opened the carriage doors. Little Oscar unwillingly jumped down from the carriage. In all those years, it was his first time riding in a luxurious carriage; the previous time he visited, he only rode in a slightly modified prisoner’s vehicle.
"O’Neil Andrew Morisette and Madame Antonia Horman has arrived!" the door attendant announced the arrival of the two honored guests.
The warden Lieutenant General Moranzo Hanning already stood by the door in welcome. He appeared a little flustered; at such a critical moment he did not have the heart to entertain his invited guests with senseless small talk.
"Welcome, my dear Oscar!" Lieutenant General Hanning exclaimed, showing a hideous smile.
Oscar grudgingly patted the Lieutenant General’s shoulder, and this gesture, in the eyes of others, appeared as if an elderly man was trying to appease his grandson who had gotten himself in trouble. Although the people were somewhat baffled about the legends of this teenager’s rudeness, but having seen that, for the whole evening the Lieutenant General was on edge they were slightly happier, and they started to develop some curiosity about the teenager.
After Antonia bid farewell to Oscar and the Lieutenant General, she walked towards a group of ladies she was well acquainted with.
And Oscar, being personally led by the Lieutenant General, entered an exquisitely furnished parlor. While admiring the handiwork of a master of interior design from Puerto Rico, Oscar felt somewhat indignant. That delicate Persian carpet, silver alcohol stove, the Celadon tea set from the Far East, and also the enormous sofa that was wrapped with a full polar bear skin. This was insane, a room that was barely even thirty square meters had already cost him a hundred and twenty thousand gold pieces. The Lieutenant General who had accepted bribes from him was babbling away and showing off about how his living room was comparable to that of the palace court. Oscar’s voice became cold.
"Moranzo, where are the people I want to see? Don’t tell me you failed to notice that I have no interest whatsoever in your living room?"
The Lieutenant General was obviously a little stunned by the cold, contemptuous words, but he still managed to express a slight embarrassment at the right moment.
"Oh! Yes! How ignorant of me. The Imperial envoy was occupied by some of the ladies, but he and his assistant should be here shortly! Perhaps you would like a drink? How does some rum sound? Stuttgart’s original rum?"
Oscar was slightly infuriated by the Lieutenant General’s flattery. Is that wretched original rum only accessible to the rank of Lieutenant General? Even His Majesty the Emperor could only get those few bottles.
The stout and not so tall Oscar lay down on the enormous sofa that would make anyone feel relaxed. This Puerto Rican long sofa was entirely designed based on the most comfortable positions one could manage, plus the sofa was wrapped in a precious, purely white, fully grown polar bear’s skin, and it made little Oscar take quite a fancy to it as soon as he entered the room.
The Lieutenant general felt a little awkward. He was well aware that the little young master knew his stuff when it came to the comfort of furnishings, but he did not expect that he would so naturally take his place at his own seat. However, after some thought, he chose to sit quietly on the chair at the side. After all, Oscar was the one with the leading role here; while he himself only played a supporting role that Oscar had no choice but to tolerate with.
The Lieutenant General’s every reaction could not escape Oscar’s eyes. As for seeing Mr. Earl, who was already more than half a century old, being exceptionally intimidated and shrinking away beside him, made him feel a sense of delight. Oscar’s mood brightened. In order to allow the intimidated Lieutenant General to be able to act more naturally, he tried to find a topic of interest. As for his social skills, having had the talented liar, Ricky as his mentor, Oscar had already surpassed his teacher at an early age.
Finally, the two men appeared at the living room door. Oscar and the Lieutenant general stood up to welcome them, and the group that somewhat knew each other took their seats one after another. Their politeness in speech and pleasant demeanor showed that these four men indeed absolutely fulfilled the traits of a noble gentleman. However, the issue that they were going to discuss then after might get all of them slaughtered.
The Lieutenant General ordered his confidential secretary to lead a team of guards to stand guard on the walkway outside the living room. If any bold beings barged in, these guards would not hesitate to kill. The safety of these great men were worth their lives.
The delicate, compact and luxurious little living room fell into silence. Once the door closed, the four men chose to remain silent. The almost forty-year-old, impressive attorney general, Van Earl was happily calculating how many folds his property would increase by. Damorga prison’s ranking officer was debating how he would hide his crimes from the Imperial envoy. He was yet to know that the two men from Dulin were in the same boat as him. The baron, Thomas Aulet was carefully sizing up the teenager who was the previous Titan underworld’s godfather, nicknamed "Balance". Brother Balance spent a fortune just to save his clan, so if he were to die for him, it would not be considered too extreme.
Oscar had received professional and strict training in psychoanalysis. Although the things he could tell from the eyes of those few men were of much chaos, but he knew that everything was within his grasp. He was ready to speak.
"My respected gentlemen, firstly, I would like to thank everyone for allowing my brothers and I an opportunity of rebirth. This opportunity so important that it makes it seem as if my gratitude is lacking. So, during this last moment, I hope that each and every one of you could reconsider, regarding the Empire’s Ministry of Justice. Damorga prison is about to experience a string of nightmarish misfortunes. Are you sure about your decision?"
The Attorney General used an almost playful look to regard O’Neil Andrew Morisette, and the look he gave him was as if he was not even a member of the Ministry of Justice. In reality, he was obviously thinking that this child who was mimicking the attitudes of underworld lords was a bit amusing. Thomas Aulet the Baron was always a man of few words. He pursed his lips. Let the Ministry of Justice suffer. His hatred for the Ministry of Justice definitely did not pale in comparison to the big shots in Damorga’s prison. Moranzo Hanning, our Lieutenant General, Damorga prison’s warden, was utterly stunned! His lips turned blue, his shoulders and arms could not stop trembling, and it looked as if he was about to have a stroke.
Yes, the Lieutenant General could hardly believe, and honestly speaking it was difficult for anyone to believe. The Imperial envoy, authorized by His Majesty the Emperor was not here to supervise his work, but to teach him corruption. However, the Lieutenant General immediately became aware that there was something he overlooked. He tried to calm his heart that felt as if it was about to burst. Ah! Damn it! What was it? Oh! That’s right! That fat bastard was trying to do something to his prison, and it seemed like he had a big movement planned, some big movement that he did not know about!
"Uhh… Please… Please forgive my impudence! Haha! Everything happened too fast. It’s as if my worries were excessive. But could someone tell me, what would become of my prison?"
Seeing Moranzo’s rage, unwillingness and humiliation towards himself, Oscar only gave a flat laugh. He could finally rid himself of this fellow.
"Oh! I apologize, our distinguished Lieutenant General, but I’d have to correct you. Damorga prison is no longer yours. His Majesty the Emperor has approved your request for rest, and so has appointed Mr. Attorney General as the temporary commanding officer with all rights. Our acting warden hoped that he could announce His Majesty the Emperor’s issue of this order for you in public." Thomas Aulet the Baron answered Moranzo’s question coldly.
When Moranzo saw the Attorney General’s slightly startled expression and at a loss for words, he understood. He had been abandoned. That fat bastard had already abandoned himself a long time ago. Since he could attain the role of Attorney General, a prestigious role in the Ministry of Justice, was there anything that could stop him? He himself was only a worm who had been exploited to the most extreme and pitiful extent, what else could be waiting for him? Moranzo momentarily thought about the various methods the fat bastard usually used to kill. He wanted to faint, but instead, he felt more alert than ever before.
Oscar somewhat could not hold it in anymore. Although he despised the Lieutenant General of the Imperial guards, but he could not deny that Moranzo Hanning had been a great help to him. Even in the early days, in the whole of Damorga the only person who had truly protected him was this man. Oscar was never a person who betrayed those who had helped him and his spirit, which was like a balance, was already well known.
"Moranzo! My dear Moranzo, I am aware of the things troubling your heart. But do you really think that that will happen to you?" Oscar tried to be friendly and good-natured.
"Perhaps you wouldn’t believe me, but all this while, I have always looked up to you as my father. Even if this place no longer needs you, but you will always receive my everlasting respect and an unimaginable large sum in pension, not to mention a manor close to the mesmerizing Neil’s lake."
Moranzo was like that, regarding O’Neil Andrew Morisette’s promise; he was more concerned about the pension and the manor located in one of the famous tourist hotspots. He knew that if Oscar could describe it as "Exceptionally generous" then it would definitely be that. He really no longer wanted the position as warden. Oscar also spoke very clearly, so what else is there left for him to complain about? This outcome was already better than what he had hoped for.
Count Moranzo Hanning experienced all the emotional ups and downs until his emotions finally settled down, and he became like a noble.
"I am very honored to be favored by you. My dear Oscar, if it is as you said, I am willing to gladly accept it. I will follow all your arrangements. Moreover, you should trust me, as I have yet to refuse even one of your wishes, have I not?" The Lieutenant General wanted to leave that place soon.
"Yes! Yes! You have never disappointed me, and what you have said is right." A rare sincere smile appeared on the little chubby, Andrew’s face.
"May I know how would you operate? Please do not be offended. As the proverb goes, curiosity killed the cat. But I am really very curious. Those who are not guilty are naturally easier, but as for the special people you mentioned, Oscar, they are very difficult to handle. You know, His Majesty the Emperor has already deployed an army and gained complete control of these lunatics’ fort, and this seems to have diminished all our hopes!" Lieutenant General Moranzo Hanning voiced out the problem that had been bothering him. It was impossible to rescue the repeated offenders who were under high surveillance. He had handled an external movement that attempted to rescue criminals. The planning took ages. With all the preparations done, failure was not an option. Although the Lieutenant General was involved in the rescue, but knowing all the prison guards, he knew that there was no chance of success.
Despite having the crown of King of the Underworld, a few of Oscar’s attributes were still stagnant at 15 years old. So the 15-year-old child showed the outsiders that his intelligence was not lacking.
He really hoped to use his genius plan. After all, Count Moranzo Hanning’s lips were well known for being cautious. However, when he saw the Attorney General’s contemptuous look, he changed his mind. Let this extremely hypocritical bastard pay for his crimes!
The imperial envoy, Lieutenant General Marquis Van Earl, was displeased with O’Neil Andrew Morisette for making him reveal the whole plan. But he could not find any reason to refuse, and this put him in quite a difficult position. However, the Attorney General was used to obstacles and would not show weakness before a child who only appeared somewhat scary. He put on the expression he usually used when debating in court, finished the good wine in the crystal glass in one gulp, then used his usual tone to start off the discussion.
"Your distinguished general, you should know that as compared to the little thieves you’ve dealt with before, our Sir O’Neil Andrew Morisette is undeniably a genius. This plan is unbelievably concise. Please believe me if I say so, because this is really too simple."
As the Attorney General was making a show with his words, he failed to notice that O’Neil Andrew Morisette was giving him a hostile look. It was obvious that this count looked down upon the child before him. He did not think that everything was planned by the child, so when trying to make it difficult for him, he did not hold back at all. This was a costly mistake, as he would pay with a violent death in the near future.
Light Calendar 8 April 791, a team of inspectors from the Empire’s Ministry of Justice arrived at Damorga prison, in the province of Damorel in the Titan Empire. It could be that these men from Dulin wanted to maintain an air of mystery among the locals, for they all had the same cloak draped over them. The hoods of their cloaks were pulled low. And thus, the young soldiers of the Imperial guard would not simply gape at the men’s appearances. Following their arrival, there were all sorts of rumours being spread in Damorga prison. There were many soldiers who saw them confidently claiming that they were indeed secret agents from the Ministry of Justice and that they were secretly here to deal with certain serious offenders. Otherwise, there was no reason to explain why these men needed to hide their faces with hoods. Only secret agents carrying out their mission would be like this. They were afraid of revenge from the people of the underworld. So they made themselves look like thieves. Overall, under mere speculation, the Imperial envoy that was granted permission through passes signed by the Empire’s ruling High Official of the Ministry of Justice himself, at 7.24pm in the evening, appeared at the gates of the last checkpoint to enter Damorga prison’s inner fort.
"My respected gentlemen, I am tonight’s commanding officer of the inner fort. I’m ranked Lieutenant Colonel. As for my name, all of you probably already know it. In order to avoid any unwanted events, all the members of the guards of the inner fort are confidential. You can address me by my rank. Could everyone please present your passes? This may delay your time, but it is required. We ask that you respected gentlemen give your cooperation."
One of the Lords that looked like an officer gave a cry of discontent. "Then could you please hurry up? Mr. Lieutenant Colonel! We have already passed nineteen security checkpoints. A full hour and we barely even covered 500 meters. Even the Imperial army does not have such tedious inspections. Don’t tell me that you’re not clear about our identities?"
The Lieutenant colonel and another two captains carefully checked through their passes and did not even lift their heads.
Just when the officer was starting to get angry by their disrespectful behavior, the Lieutenant Colonel lifted his head and gave a respectful bow. "Your identity is clear. You are the Ministry of Justice’s prison plague prevention and cure bureau, Sika Shamila. Forgive my ignorance! You may pass through, but the rest of the gentlemen would have to wait a while."
Sika snatched away his pass, and crossed the inspection point with arrogance.
After sending all the men one after another into the enormous fortress, the Lieutenant colonel and all the soldiers standing at the sentry post breathed a sigh of relief.
"Okay! Everyone knows what you got to do! The Boss’ order was that from now onwards we are to seal off this inner fort. No one is allowed near the gates, and this order is effective until the day we retreat. Are we clear?"
"Very well! Go keep watch, like a true guard. Even in your dreams you wouldn’t have imagined you would get this opportunity to be a guard at Damorga prison. But the truth is, all of you are only worthy to mine for coal. However, Brother Balance and our elders needs you to be good guards, so you should cherish this opportunity well!"
"Yes! Lieutenant Colonel!"
Sir Leon Arsea Crelini was imprisoned in Damorga prison with the criminal charge of tax evasion. The allegations of the Ministry of Justice towards Sir Arsea were definitely unjust. This was because no one had ever collected tax for his trades. The elders in the Imperial Tax Bureau had never heard of this man, but in the Ministry of Justice, this man’s name was well known. The Crelini clan controlled close to seventy percent of the whole west land’s opium market. The old Crelini’s young son always played a critical role in the clan. The old Crelini, for the sake of his most beloved son, the heir of the household, launched countless prison raid movements. The Ministry of Justice’s prison, the Empire’s supreme court, Damorga prison’s inner fortress that was impenetrable, all these places had stains of the brave Crelini house’s fresh blood. The insane rescue missions continued until the old Crelini received Brother Balance’s news then only they subsided.
9 months ago, the old Crelini had secretly sent out the clan’s elite and most loyal unit. This unit, at an uninhabited valley, had undergone intense training. Their instructor was said to be a Narcissus Knight who had beheaded countless pagans. Under the leadership of this respected Knight, at the uninhabited valley, they used the simplest of materials to build a fortress. If you have ever seen this wobbly and badly damaged castle, you would definitely gasp in surprise at its resemblance to the world famous Damorga prison.
In this simple castle, everyone was given a definite position. From the soldiers to the officers, a winter’s training allowed them to walk within the castle with their eyes closed. After that, they divided and conquered, marching from Mobustan, they set out towards Damorga. At the outskirts of Damorga, in one of the secluded manors, they mimicked one of the Imperial army’s organizational structures to restructure their group, until Light calendar’s 8 April 791, 3.20pm.
Here, the 1024 members of the Crelini clan’s private soldiers held their forged soldier’s certificate and stared blankly ahead. From that moment onwards, they became the capital Imperial Guards’ fourth defending division. Their responsibilities were clearly stated in the Titan Empire’s army redskin files that were handed out.
The army’s order was like this:
The capital Imperial Guard’s fourth defending division special task force, should immediately set out. On Light Calendar 8 April 791, 5pm, completely take over Damorga prison’s inner fort and other surrounding areas guarding and defending duties. During His Majesty the Emperor's birthday celebration, Damorga prison’s safety and the amnesty order’s steady execution concerns the whole Empire’s stability. May the capital Imperial Guard’s fourth defending division special task force at this crucial moment, take up this responsibility, and bear this glorious as well as arduous mission.
The letter clearly bore the Titan Empire’s military affairs chancellor, Marshal Vann Hewitt Alan’s own signature. Moreover, it was stamped with the emperor’s customized seal used to deploy troops – the golden lion official seal.
When the capital Imperial Guard’s fourth defending division special task force showed up in the Imperial Guard’s Lieutenant General Moranzo Hanning’s office, the Lieutenant Colonel himself had his doubts about the sanity of the situation. Under the distinguished Lieutenant General’s confidential secretary, Captain Vick’s arrangement, he and his fake army, at precisely 5pm, entered Damorga prison’s inner fort. The highly skilled narcissus knight’s training results were shown to all. This private force only took less than 4 minutes to occupy the enormous fortress. That made the confidential secretary continuously give them the praise they deserved as the capital defenders’ elite.
The fake army’s Lieutenant colonel, after securing the fortress, the first thing he did was to make a special mark outside the planned prison doors. At this time, if there were anyone who came close to the important people that they were to rescue, the soldiers under him would not hesitate to rise up and attack. Seeing that everything was within his control, Sir Major ordered the men under him to open the fortress’ fifth floor, cell number four’s prison doors. Locked up inside was his close childhood friend.
Although Leon Arsea Crelini heard the unusual inner fort’s clamor, but after a while it quieted down, yet he still could not help but worry. Would the situation really be as what the brother mentioned? He had been imprisoned for long enough! He had before himself his biggest hope in the past seven years, and he did not want to pretend anymore. If this time was like the previous times, ending in failure, this strong man had already made up his mind to commit suicide. He yearned for freedom, but freedom had never been this close. If he still had to cross arms with failure, the immense disappointment would have crushed his spirit. How would he still have the courage to struggle for survival?
Arsea’s anxiety was interrupted by the bang of the prison door. He carefully identified the Imperial Guard officer who appeared at the door. The officer stepped out from the shadows into the light of the torch. The Lieutenant Colonel’s friend, finally after staring blankly for a few seconds, frantically threw himself on him. The Lieutenant Colonel embraced the clan’s heir tightly and allowed the strong, courageous man’s surge of tears to be shed on him.
"Is this all for real?" Lieutenant General Moranzo Hanning was still baffled about the order signed by the minister in charge of the army and His Majesty the Emperor.
"Really? You’re really naïve!" Marquis Van Earl could not tolerate his slow reaction. "You should be quite clear about the Imperial Army’s structure. Tell me, a teacher only has three groups, so this capital teacher’s fourth group, is it possible to exist? Do not think about that transfer order document anymore. Our Sir O’Neil Andrew Morisette paid a huge price to get His Majesty the Emperor’s official seal from the hands of the Imperial Palace’s chamberlain. As for the ‘Silver fox’ Alan’s signature, that is even better, is it not? O’Neil! Among your underlings there should not lack experts in document forgery right? Oh! That’s right! After everything is over, could you introduce me to get to know the man who made the military order document?"
The coldness in Oscar’s eyes was enough to freeze a lion. His good mood was ruined by the Attorney General, who thought so highly of himself. It has been very long since anyone could calmly stand before Oscar and mock and ridicule him. Those who are ignorant are innocent, but if you were to pay more careful attention, then you will realize that the ignorant ones usually die cruelly. This inspection official was truly ignorant and thought that Oscar’s status was just a slightly more respected prisoner.
"Could it, could it be that it ends like this?" Lieutenant General Moranzo Hanning, Damorga prison’s previous warden, unconsciously added another word before his name. Damorga prison’s inner fort that was as difficult to capture as if there was a moat, was taken over by a fake army. Thank the God of Light; luckily this did not happen when he was still in office.
"No! It has not ended! It will never end!" Oscar stared expressionlessly at Marquis Van Earl’s eyes, and coldly answered the previous warden’s question.
Van Earl felt an inexplicable chill. As the Ministry of Justice’s Attorney General, he had countless dealings with criminals, but he had never saw a pair of eyes as these. In these pair of eyes, his observation skills that were his pride, could not find a single thing. Those pair of eyes was like black holes, about to gobble up every inch of his flesh. His ears felt as if they heard a beastly roar. For the first time, Marquis Van Earl started to wonder whether the astronomical sum of money that he was promised, and could never acquire in many lifetimes, would have to be exchanged with his life.