Titan Beneath the Heavens
Chapter 41: Fifth Episode: Chapter 5
Chapter 41: Fifth Episode: Chapter 5
Translator: EndlessFantasy Translation Editor: EndlessFantasy Translation
Titan, the most ancient empire in Westland was welcoming another brand new day. The Sun crept up lazily from the eastern horizon and just when the people were hoping that could slow down, the wretched Sun instead lifted its round, plump body and jumped to its peak.
The Sun spilled over Titan, which was also known as "The Nation of Rice Fields". From the mountainous regions of the south to the hills in the central region and on towards the plains in the north, it was indeed a land of fields and farmers.
The Princess and His Royal Highness Prince's procession was already prepared to set out at the break of dawn. However, it seemed like the nobles of Vielonna had gotten up even earlier and the noise of their nonsense and rambles greatly ruined the prince's mood. The people could tell as much, so they revolved around the princess and no one dared pester the youngster who looked as if he was barely awake.
By the time the procession set out, it was already seven something in the morning. Perhaps it was the result of the all-night merriment of the previous day, Vielonna appeared rather deserted this morning. There were no pedestrians around the small town. The streets and public square were scattered with garbage that was left behind by the people.
Under the protection of two squads of cavalry, the procession made their way out of Vielonna city while the leader of Burton province's military rode in a carriage that was tailing behind the knights.
Her Royal Highness the Princess invited Sasha to join her in her carriage. The Lady Duchess of Andrew and Countess Antonia were probably catching up on sleep in the carriage. Oscar was with his housekeepers. The lad had arranged the Poison Doctor and the King of Sins to ride in the attendants' carriage. Although they were very much reluctant, the little prince firmly refused to let them ride together with him.
Baron Erbe, also known as the Ricky the Big Liar, looked at the prince, who wore a straight face, and then glanced at the expressionless Snowstorm at another corner. He felt as if something bad had taken place.
"Your Royal Highness, is it that serious?" Erbe was certain about his predicament.
"Yes, very serious indeed!" Oscar gave off a sigh.
"How serious is it?" Erbe was perplexed. He knew that the little chap was never this cautious when he spoke.
"I had relations with a respected and beautiful Madame beyond that of friendship."
Erbe felt like breaking into laughter but then again, he felt that the prince must have made a mistake somewhere.
"Was it last night? I think this is a matter worthy of celebration. Don't tell me you do not believe so? Vielonna is a city filled with romance. The women here are Westland's most open and charming."
"Yes, I believe so." Oscar did not know how he was going to tell Ricky about Countess Philip, but one thing was for sure, the matter would definitely infuriate Ricky.
"I believe that if you met Countess Philip, you would also be dazzled by her elegance and grace. However Ricky, do you know which family the Madame comes from?"
"How would I know! Yesterday evening I did not even dare attend the gathering, you know? A few years ago I was running a huge business in Vielonna and I trust that there were definitely a few in the gathering who detest me."
"I do not know what kind of big business you were engaged in, I only know that you have a younger sister, am I right?"
Erbe was speechless. He vaguely guessed a few things. "Why... are you asking about this?"
"Because Countess Philip said that her family's surname was Creech." Oscar quietly observed the liar's eyes.
Baron Erbe did not lose his composure despite him knowing that Countess Philip might very well be his younger sister.
"Monique Leanne Creech? Is that her name?"
Oscar let out a sigh. He did not answer Baron Erbe's question and unnaturally diverted his gaze to the outside of the carriage.
"Is she... Is she well?" Erbe contemplated, and decided that he should inquire about his sister's condition even though this sister of his had already severed their familial ties when he was first sent to prison.
"She is now Lady Countess Monique Gru Goolean. She has two enormous houses and a small farm in Vielonna. Her husband is the Imperial Confidential Secretary and to avoid harassment from the no-good Majesty, both she and her husband are living separately. She has been married for five years without child. She... She is a little lonely, and a little licentious." Oscar deliberated his words; he did not want Ricky to know that his sister had an infamous private salon.
"This is what she told you?"
"Yes, is it a little too much detail?" Oscar noticed the change in Ricky. He felt that the liar had never been this dispirited before.
"No, I only want to know whether you... I mean, whether she is aware of my existence? Did you tell her? "
"No Ricky, I did not tell her, and I will not tell a single soul. When people discover that a criminal who should reside in Damorga is among them in public, no one can guarantee what will happen. Despite Lady Countess Monique Leanne Creech being your sister, I cannot reveal your existence to her."
"Yes, Your Royal Highness. You have taken the proper action, for even I dare not guarantee how Monique would react. Moreover... she probably despises me, despises this brother of hers who has disgraced the family." Ricky laughed at himself somewhat mockingly, but he suddenly thought about yet another problem.
"Hey! You bastard! I remember you saying that something happened between the two of you. What did you even do to her?"
Oscar broke into laughter. Ricky had dropped all honorifics when he said this.
"Don't worry, will you? It was indeed thrilling at that moment. I already undid the last button on your sister's blouse, but I think that was a circumstance that was arranged by the God of Light, you know Ricky? And it suddenly struck me that I should inquire about the Madame's surname, and you already know her reply. That indeed gave me a shock! She said that before she was married, she was known as Monique Leanne Creech. She came from the Creech family of Dylano. Hehe, my whole body went ice-cold at that time, my mind was dumbfounded."
Snowstorm was smirking. "That can't be! The Madame's brother is not an assassin, but a liar. There is no need for you to be that scared, right?"
Oscar let out a mischievous laugh. "No, No, No! Paul, you apparently can't tell that the Madame's brother is a master archer. I certainly do not wish to be murdered when I'm alone."
"I say, that's enough, both of you! This is my sister we are discussing about. The God of Light most detests those who speak nonsense. You will definitely receive retribution."
"Very well then Ricky, I've told your sister that I had crossed paths with you, back in Damorga, and she tried to indirectly enquire whether you received amnesty or other alternatives that could possibly get you out of prison. Do you now know why she had the need to reveal her current situation in such detail? She wanted to aid you and moreover, she believed she has the means to do so."
Oscar paused. He still felt that he should get it off his chest.
"However, Ricky, I think your sister was not entirely serious about it. If she wanted to rescue you, then why didn't she fight for it from the very start? So I deduced that your sister does not hate you, as you might have thought, but she also does not feel that seeing you is a matter to rejoice about, something like that. What do you think?"
Ricky forced a smile. Family already meant nothing to him. From the moment he embarked on the path of a criminal, he had already broken all ties with his family.
"How else can I see it? It's up to her, as long as she can get by, then there is nothing for me to say. Even if she doesn't have that intent, it doesn't matter anymore. Am I not free? Nothing could be better than this!"
Oscar nodded his head. He initially thought that Ricky would have wanted to meet his sister immediately.
"So do you not plan to meet her? She is just at the rear of the procession sending us off. I could make the perfect arrangement. No one would find out the relationship between you both."
"Forget about it, Your Royal Highness. I understand your good intentions, but as you said, who knows what she would do once she meets me. Even if she is my sister, so what? I still don't think it is worth the risk."
The youngster fell silent. He once again in his mind visualized the sexy and fascinating Lady Countess Philip. If it were not for this Madame being Ricky's younger sister, he would have already tasted her sweetness.
"Regardless of all that was said, Your Royal Highness' discovery is something worth our rejoicing over. After all, Ricky now knows the whereabouts of his sister, and furthermore, this Madame is the Imperial Confidential Secretary's wife, very impressive. There's nothing to worry about, right Ricky?" Seeing that the two of them did not say a word, Paul tried to persuade Baron Erbe.
"Yes, you are right. There is indeed nothing to be worried about." Ricky looked at Snowstorm and smiled.
"Well then, would everyone like to listen to something that is worth being worried about?" The King of Assassins put on a mysterious face.
"Let's hear it! I already have enough to worry about, another one won't matter much." The prince replied unhappily.
"I found a painter during last night's gathering. His portrait drawings are impeccable. He presented his on-the-spot sketch to the princess and thus successfully invited the princess to a dance."
The little fatty's eyebrows shot up, and here he was assuming that something had happened! "Ola! The princess' business is not for us to worry about. As long as Alanis did not invite the painter to spend the night, then there is really nothing to be concerned about."
"Young lad! What are you thinking about? I'm not talking about the princess; I am referring to that painter. He is gifted in portrait art and I noticed that he had painted both your and the princess' front and lateral views yesterday evening. I really think that that was unnecessary and he did so furtively, hiding in a corner. There's also one more thing. Did you know? As assassins, we would usually receive our target's precise portrait before we carry out our operation, and when I saw the painter's artwork yesterday evening, it practically came to mind in a split second, that those were portraits of the targets prepared for assassins!"
Oscar wrinkled his eyebrows. "Are you sure?"
"I could not be certain at that time, because it was purely just my intuition, but just when I decided to shadow him, I realized that he had miraculously disappeared in the crowd. It was extremely obvious, the events of yesterday evening were well planned and there was definitely someone who aided him, lest I would not have lost him!"
The youngster sank into contemplation. After the past few days of interacting with him, he more or less understood Snowstorm's character. Regarding matters that he was not certain of, the King of Assassins would not partake in them and what more, to speak of them.
It became still in the carriage, with only the shallow sounds of their breathing. Oscar began to unconsciously fiddle with the window grills, Ricky traced the timeline of his memories and sought his family, Snowstorm took out a book borrowed from Her Royal Highness Princess, entitled "Slaughterhouse Tycoon Teaches 1000 Methods of Business Operations".
Yager was a citadel in the east of Vielonna. The princess and prince's procession arrived in this little town at noon. They bid farewell to the regional officials who were sending them off and replenished various supplies required of their procession.
According to the route the narcissus knights had drawn up for the prince, once they left Vielonna, they had to continue advancing towards the east. Using four to five days to pass through the whole Burton province, the party will then arrive at the foot of the Northern part of the Alps. Once they maneuvered out of the mountain range, then it would not be far from the prince's destination.
The rolling and seemingly boundless Alps cut across the whole Southern part of Westland. Its body rose up from Burgundy Province of Westland's Faran Kingdom all the way to the Riel Kingdom, and at 4808 meters above sea level, it reached its peak at the sacred Mont. Blanc. It was here that the mountain range started to diverge, one stretched out towards the north and passed through Titan's Bordier while another ran eastwards and passed through the whole southern part of Titan.
In the southern part of Titan were three provinces that were mostly in the mountainous area of the Alps. Summer and fall in these provinces were lengthy with the weather being scorching hot and ever-changing, while winter was short, but yet the temperature was extremely low. At that moment, it so happened that the icebergs and snow in the southern mountain area had melted. In the warm and humid rainy season, there were large and small lakes scattered everywhere in the mountain area. Following the arrival of the rainy season, the abundant rain poured unlimited vitality into those lakes.
The jade blue color of the lake contrasted with the dark green color of the forest. Among the tall and looming snowy mountains, were scattered countless simple little towns. All of Titan's famous vacation spots were concentrated at the southern part of the mountain area. Lillyville was renowned for its mackerel and red maple; Fort Stanson had Westland's deepest canyon and the most magnificent waterfall; multiple volcanic lakes surrounded Astonia while the clergyman of Labrador had dug countless walls on the islands of the snowy mountains.
The prince's procession was still outside the range of the mountains at that moment. Despite the procession traveling at full speed as soon as they left Vielonna, but it seemed as if the people of Burton had received all kinds of news about the procession. The princess and prince had already received who knows how many visitors. Although the narcissus knights raised their war flags high above their heads, these countryside nobles paid no heed to them. They had settled down in Burton for many generations. Their meager territorial income and their lowly lordship positions caused them to be full of reverence for the exalted Imperial household.
These few days, His Royal Highness Prince was somewhat on edge. He not only allowed his mother and younger sister to equip weapons in their carriage, but he even proposed to the two paladins who were guarding the princess to limit the young lady's activities. At first both the paladins were a little perplexed, but once the prince divulged the matter about the portraits, they had no choice but to restrict the energetic princess. There had an extremely profound understanding regarding the profession of assassins because their main task as the Imperial household's guards was to deal with the possibility of assassinations. Thus, after they received hearsay that someone had procured the princess' portrait, these two paladins were like hedgehogs, raising quills all over their bodies, completely arming themselves.
However, being a true "Hedgehog", Sarlat Drosha, the former paladin, instead treated the reactions of his two companions with mild contempt. He had previously assumed the role as a guard of numerous great beings and from how he saw it, assassins were simply a nightmare that couldn't be prevented. Furthermore, true assassins would definitely not provide an opportunity for one to come into combat with him. More often than not, they would use sneak attacks, strong poisons, schemes and other unpreventable things to resolve their relationships with their targets.
Of course, Sarlat the "Hedgehog" still had to let out a final sigh. Assassins also had rankings; those who used the above methods only played third-rate roles. The truly skilled assassins would approach their targets with great stealth, then use a table knife, a thread, a pillow and even bread or other unimaginable lethal weapons, to eliminate the problem.
"Hold on! Bread?" Snowstorm abruptly interrupted the former paladin that was going on endlessly.
"Yes! Bread, the kind that you usually eat!" Sarlat could not conceal his excitement. He knew Snowstorm's identity and it seemed that even the King of Assassins was unaware of the killing methods he had just disclosed.
"It's been ten years!" Snowstorm adopted a fond expression, recalling the past. Sarlat instantly dropped his smile; he felt that something was a little fishy.
"At that time, I was still in the training stage of the assassins. My friend, who also acted as my mentor, did not allow me to utilize any weapons. I still remember that that was Weisner white bread. Speaking of which, I was most cautious with that important person, among all the other people I assassinated. He not only replaced every single thing in his house that had sharp ends or edges, but even the tableware was made of wood. After much trouble, I finally managed to dodge that damn paladin. However, when the target appeared before me, instead, I was at a loss of what to do." Snowstorm was engrossed in his story, completely impervious to the hedgehog beside him, whose face was darkening.
"Did you know? I did not know how at that time, but with only a glance, I already knew that the room held not a single usable weapon. However, at my second glance, I noticed that piece of bread. I squeezed that person's neck and then stuffed the bread into his throat and airways, until he breathed his last, only did I... Hey! Friend, are you alright? Your complexion appears quite pale!" The naive Paul expressed his concern for Sarlat.
"If... If I told you... If I was that damn paladin that you dodged, what would you do?" Sarlat Drosha fixed his gaze on the King of Assassins. "Once you knew that this paladin lost his job and was banished."
Snowstorm was dumbfounded. He silently scolded himself; since when did he become so slow-witted? Since Sarlat was aware that someone in this world used bread to assassinate, he should have realized that he was the paladin who was guarding that important person.
"Uh...This... Friend, the mysterious easterners have a proverb, ‘If revenge breeds revenge, will there ever be an end to it'?"
"Shut up! I cannot make sense of your damn nonsense!" Sarlat lunged at the King of Assassins.
There was a brief struggle in the huge box wagon. The attendants in it were also wrestled aside by the two grappling men. His Royal Highness Prince O'Neil Andrew Morisette did not intend to settle the disorder in the rear of the procession. One was the Hedgehog, the other was the King of Assassins; let both of them have a go at each other! The journey was indeed dull and the prince realized that he really needed a pleasant surprise.
16th June, the narcissus knights bid farewell to the soldiers of the fifth district that escorted them. At noon that day, after they had their meal, they inspected the equipment and supplies of the two carriages, twice. In the afternoon, the procession passed through Bissell Canyon. They had entered the southern mountainous area with a spectacular view.
It had been several days and the leader of the narcissus knights, Colonel Kamille Rayen had yet to leave his post. Since receiving word that there was someone who meant harm to the prince, this paladin had reorganized the entire rank; the scouts were increased by one fold, the search and investigation unit too, the strength of the guards for each carriage were also doubled, in particular, the young lady and Madame's carriage, all were replaced by knights of a higher order.
As for those carefree guards who were sightseeing throughout the journey, frankly, the colonel did not know what to do with them. However, he still requested his deputy to do his best to try and get them to form a loose formation that could still advance and defend.
However, all that the Colonel did could not be put to use when they ventured into the mountainous area. Although the mountain paths were quite even, the narrow roads prevented the cavalry from spreading out, and the scouts were greatly restricted. It was impossible for them to cross the mountain range on either side of the road.
Confronted with the pitch-black, massive mountain all around him, Kamille Rayen suddenly felt a sense of powerlessness. Despite the narcissus knights never fearing any foes before, but being in the steep terrain, just a single landslide and the whole army would be buried.
His Royal Highness prince's mount was a purebred stallion from the Tyler grasslands. This was apparently the first time this two-year-old little fellow entered a mountainous area. It appeared a little skittish and was extremely frightened by the occasional cries of ferocious beasts sounding through the mountain forest.
Oscar could steer the horse effortlessly, but he could not perform high-level maneuvers on horseback like the narcissus knights. In addition to that, when he urged his horse to sprint, he would exercise extreme caution to avoid anything dangerous from befalling himself.
It was already the second afternoon when the procession got out from the valley. The paladin organized the soldiers to set up camp on high ground facing away from the wind, for they required rest. The scouts came across a few hunting families and they received some dreadful news from these local folk, who were extremely familiar with the lay of the land.
"This is my leader. Could you please repeat what you have just said to me to this man?" The leader of the tiny scout squad had brought one of the hunters into the camp. He felt that this matter was better left to be decided by his leader.
"Sir!" The hunter placed his trilby on his chest and gave a deep bow to Colonel Kamille Rayen. "Sir, heavy rain is about to come and it may even be a rainstorm. The various signs are indicating that it will not be long before the change in weather."
Kamille Rayen's heart silently screamed of rotten luck. This was indeed terrible news.
"Sir, I guarantee you with my life. I've been living here half a lifetime, please, believe me." The hunter once again clarified. He sincerely hoped that these knights from Narcissus could avoid unnecessary inconveniences.
"Then can you tell me, how long will the heavy rain last?" This was the matter that Kamille was most concerned about.
"This I cannot be certain. As you know, the rainy season has just begun. A day, a night, even a week, all these are possible."
Kamille tossed him a Ti coin and waved his hand at his team leader. After the team leader paid his respects, he took the extremely grateful hunter and left.
"What's the matter?" Oscar urged his wine-red stallion and came over. His mount and the paladin's stallion were of the same origins. The pair of wine-red stallions bumped into each other and nuzzled each other around their necks.
"Ah... Your Royal Highness, bad news, it seems that we will have to stay here for a while. The hunter just now said that there would be a rainstorm in the mountains. Although we can still march in the rain, it would be easy for our carriages to encounter dangers on the mountain trail."
Oscar tilted his head to the side and contemplated. Actually, he did not have any good suggestions himself.
"Ola! Then it can only be like this! Strengthen the camp, let us rest and reorganize here for a while!"
"As you wish, Your Royal Highness!"
Kamille rode his horse and ran off. He had to instruct his knights before the arrival of the huge storm that they not only had to set the camp up to be watertight but also had to set up traps all around the camp. In short, there was still quite a lot that needed to be done!
17 June, in the wee hours of the morning, the heavy rain arrived on schedule. Mist shrouded the mountains as far as the eye could see, preventing people from making out anything. The dark foreboding skies hung right above the camp and it was as if the narcissus knights could touch its boundaries with just a leap.
A bold magpie flew into the camp. It shook off the droplets of water on its body onto a tent. The resounding howls from lonesome wild beasts came from the mountain forests, but the cavalry's warhorses were already used to them. They were gathered in a corner of the camp, with their innocent eyes gleaming. Although the knights had already draped a rain tarp over them, but the icy cold mountain rain still made these loyal and brave warriors huddle close to each other for warmth.
The majestic heavy rain would cause pain once it pounded onto a person. The knights who were in charge of keeping watch were scattered around several observation posts. These observation posts, which were constructed from branches and rattan, could not achieve the purpose of shielding them from the wind and rain. The knights on watch inside, not only had to open their eyes wide in caution, but also had to exercise their arms and legs from time to time. The mountain forest was strange; once it lost the light of the Sun, even if it were during summer in June, it could still cause one to develop the feeling of being frozen solid.
The knights that were not on duty were in their respective tents and occasionally, their roars of laughter could be heard from outside. His Royal Highness Prince's servants and maids remained in the large caravan. The knights made slight alterations to the caravan, allowing people to be able to rest inside.
The maids in the huge box wagon who had nothing to do, started singing folk songs. The soft singing unexpectedly traveled far in the curtain of rain. However, the singing stopped abruptly and the echoes of the girls' laughter were heard.
Oscar smiled and lowered the curtains of his tent. He had been listening to the girls' singing since just now. He knew that the sudden commotion was because a young lady named Bora, sang the wrong lyrics.
"The days of freedom are the best!" Oscar sighed. He took up the teapot that was warmed on the stove and filled the cups of his companions in the tent with the fragrant white liquor.
"Oh! Thank you, Your Royal Highness, let me help myself. Filling a teapot with white liquor, it's lucky that you thought about it!" The poison doctor took the teapot. "Haha, what you have just said is indeed true, thinking about Damorga, and then looking at our current state, us, the girls who are serving you, I must admit, we are indeed very lucky to be able to be of your acquaintance."
"Parker! You finally said something that makes sense!" The King of Assassins snatched away the teapot. He breathed in the fragrance for a while and then took a huge swig from the spout of the teapot.
"Little Oscar, at that time you were only this big. Ha! And you are now the prince! Hehe, what you said was right, all the robbing and other affairs are things that should indeed no longer be done. Did you know? I am already 51 years old. Before my thing down there stops functioning, I want to find a beautiful, busty, Monrovian lady and have her give birth to an army of little Doramys!"
"Hahahahaha! Percy! Percy!" The drunken Ricky leaned against him. He seemed to also have a part in getting them drunk. "I say, Percy! Quickly take a look at Doramy! His thing down there has not seen the light of day for many years. You're a doctor, you should carefully have a look at it. What if on his wedding day he suddenly realizes that his thing can no longer be of use, then what will become of him?"
"Hahahahaha..." With the most monstrous sounds, those in the tent laughed heartily.
Snowstorm's single laugh made the wound on his lips tear open. His current state was extremely pitiful. His whole left cheek was purple all over, while his right eye was a little swollen. The King of Assassins no longer had any reputation; his appearance was as if he was the owner of a slaughterhouse who had just been taught a ruthless lesson by his wife.
"Haha... I...I am almost out of breath!" Paul had one hand over his mouth, another clutching his stomach.
"Yes! Yes! Doramy!" The holy Hedgehog, Sarlat Drosha had a thick bandage around his head, it seems that he also had received no mercy from the King of Assassins. "Dear Doramy! If you really marry a beautiful and busty Monrovian lady, both Ricky and I will visit you at your house every day! When the times comes... when the time comes... wait for your group of children to grow up! Hahaha... You... You will ask your wife in doubt." Sarlat imitated the King of Assassin's tone.
"Hey! My dear! What's going on? Why do our boys look like the Hedgehog, while the girls look like Ricky?"
"Hahahahahahaha..." Even Wozakad Mohamed who had difficulties understanding was also caught up in the moment. The brothers of Damorga were once again having the time of their lives. Doramy actually wanted to punch another hole into the Holy Hedgehog's head, but the end, he could no longer hold it and collapsed onto the ground laughing.
"Foosh... " The curtains of the tent were suddenly pulled open. The wind and rain fought to enter the space full of the wine's aroma.
"Oh good heavens! Even the air in this tent is heavy with wine!" Kamille Eaten, who had just entered the tent, staggered after having his nose assailed by the stench of overwhelming wine.
"What happened?" Oscar motioned to the paladin to have a seat.
"Nothing." Kamille accepted a glass of wine from Godot. He indeed needed this now to warm his body. "I was just curious, the laughter of you gentlemen traveled quite far. I just came to see what happened.
The hedgehog, smiling, was just about to explain, but the sound of two whistles, one long and another short that came from outside the tent, caught his attention. "Heehee! Kamille! You've really come at a bad time, if I didn't remember wrongly, that whistle means the emergency response squad should be mobilized immediately!"
"Yes! Damn it!" The young paladin abandoned the wine glass that had just reached his lips.
"Hold on Kamille, I will come with you." The prince stood up. "Godot, Wozakad, come as well. Snowstorm and Sarlat, go to my mother. Ricky, take care of things at the princess' side."
Once everyone heard the prince's instructions, they promptly sprang into action. They did not seem as if they were drunk on wine at all. In the blink of an eye, among those who had originally gathered in the huge tent, only the poison doctor and the King of Sins were left.
Doramy stood by the door of the tent. Once he was sure that everyone had already gone far away, he undid his pants.
"I say, Percy! I am a little worried about what Ricky said! You better examine me a while!"
The poison doctor abruptly spurted out the white liquor he had just drunk, that was still in his mouth.
The knights of the emergency response squad were already dispatched. However, the narcissus knights that were in the tent also did not rest. As soon as they heard the sound of the whistle, they took into their hands, bow and arrow, swords and spears. Each tent had a knight beside the entrance, peering outwards. It was believed that if there was even a stir, they would take the appropriate measures without delay.
Around the camp, the knights had dug out a trench of about one meter deep and now this trench had become the knights' bunker.
The emergency response squad was made up of sixteen knights. Before enemy invasion was certain, all trouble in the cam was to be handled by them.
The sixteen fully armed knights leaped into the trench one after another. Each of them took up their bows and arrows with their arrows trained towards the suspecting mountain forest.
The members of the emergency response squad withdrew the arrows pointing towards Kamille. Although there was no need for them to do this, but to the people who failed to reply with the code word that they used to verify enemies and allies, then those arrows would be released from their strings without the slightest hesitation.
His Royal Highness Prince O'Neil Andrew Morisette was the first to leap into the trench. Even though he had only come out for a while, but the heavy rain had already drenched his whole body.
The mud that was in the trench covered up to their knees. When the knights of the emergency response team saw the little prince, they were bewildered. They did not expect that His Royal Highness Prince would brave the heavy rain and hurry here.
"Your Royal Highness, please forgive my boldness, but the current situation is unclear and you should not personally endanger yourself."
"What is your name?" Oscar asked the narcissus knight who spoke.
"Your Royal Highness, I am the commander of the emergency response squad, Captain Machiavelli Brauchitsch."
"That's enough, Machiavelli. Tell me, what is the situation?" Colonel Kamille Rayen wiped his pale, rain-washed face.
"Yes, boss! Just a moment ago, the sentinels on duty noticed that one of the surrounding traps has caught its prize. Look, it's right over there!"
Kamille's eyes followed the direction in which the captain's finger was pointing at. The big mountain forest, under the curtain of rain, produced all kinds of weird sounds. Although the wind and rain caused the trees to sway incessantly, but the colonel was certain that for the moment, there was nothing strange in the direction of the traps.
"Where are the sentinels?" The colonel inquired.
"Dole!" Captain Machiavelli shouted for his squad member behind him.
"Dole, what is going on over there? During the time of the incident, did you honestly see correctly?" The colonel questioned the soldier who had walked over to stand before him.
"Colonel, I dare assure you that that part of the mountain forest had no signs of movement before the incident. The trap was just suddenly triggered."
Oscar joined the crowd; standing in the rain had made him a little impatient. "Why aren't we going there to have a look? Wouldn't that allow us to reach a conclusion?"
"No, Your Royal Highness, we will fall for their deception that way. Those who have a mind to approach the camp will use wild animals as an experiment. If we were to run over and investigate now, the spies who are hiding in the shadows will find out which locations do not have traps. So I feel it is best for us to just wait here, wait until visibility becomes clear, then only go and investigate."
Oscar shrugged his shoulders. "I do not have any objections. I am an outsider and naturally I will listen to you all."
The knights peered into the distant mountain forest. The colonel readjusted their position and now, the distance between each knight was about a horse's length away. The arrows were locked onto their bows; the swords and spears were held tightly in their hands. The narcissus knights at the front lines focused their gaze ahead despite the icy wind and cold rain relentlessly battering against their bodies.
The gloomy dark clouds still poured rainwater over the earth. Upon the edge of a tall cliff were knights standing silently, draped in rain cloaks. Their gaze fell upon the high ground in the opposite valley. At that very moment, a camp there stood tall with the army banner of Narcissus and the imperial household's totem hanging above it.