[AN: First of all, sorry for the delay and I have no excuse…]
After having lunch with Fergara, Luke went in his room by the second floor where he studied for 6 long hours. And when it is time for dinner, he asked the maids to bring him his dinner into his room since Fergara will have his dinner outside. After that, Luke starts working on the documents Fergara had left him, where he finished all of it in an hour or so and produced a detailed documented report.
It was now late in the evening, but Luke isn’t falling to sleep, instead, he tidied his study table, then, reached for a small rectangular wooden box hidden under his bed, he then took out the rolled parchments that were as thick as an arm.
He unrolled these parchments on the table and revealed the drawings and sketches of what looks like an apparatus of complex mechanism. He took one parchment which is unfinished and put aside the other.
With the parchment on the table, he closed his eyes and started visualizing the design drawn in it. In a split second, his eyes opened, a 3D version of it appeared in front of him and starts showing a series of movements. From a single gear followed by the next gear and the next until all the moving parts of the apparatus are all moving, rotating, doing repetitive movements, but then suddenly, it stopped. A problem occurred that stopped all the movements in the apparatus. The 3D was zoomed in which revealed some gears that are grouped was shown red as one of the smaller gears was clogged in between the other two bigger gears halting the actions of the rest.
He reached for his quill which was dipped in an ink bottle and start making a note to correct the design which he concluded during simulation, and later, he will redo the drawing plan. He repeats this step for a hundred times until he felt the urge to sleep.
In the next morning, the sound of metal clanking following the rhythm of someone walking and the commotion outside his room had waked him, and then, a loud bang from the door completely woke him that he got up from the bed.
A man in armour entered in his room which made him raise his guard up. This man is wearing fancy shiny armour with the bastard sword – a knight. From the look of things, it seems that this man forcibly made his way in his room.
“Are you Luke?” – The man casually said forgetting the fact that he just barge in and committed trespassing or perhaps he doesn’t know it. From his voice, Luke assumed that the man is considerably young and a serious type of a person.
“Yes I am, and what can I do for you?”
“Did I scare you? You looked tense.” – The man asked as he removed his helmet and tucked it under his arms, revealing his handsome looks.
“I am not, but the fact that you simply force your way here, I should be worried, right?”
“Then let me introduce myself, I am Lorrath Galanver, I serve the duke of Eludun, Duke Augustus Regis-Lenforth. And I am here because I was task to bring you to the duke.”
“And what is the intention of the duke? I don’t see why the duke required my presence.”
Not to mention that you have barge in this house. Is it something that important to act in such manner? – He thought
“I don’t know. I was simply ordered, so I must carry his command. It is my partner who knows of this matter, so you should ask him. He is downstairs negotiating with the owner.”
“And from the looks of things, the owner, Mr. Fergara never agreed to this kind of arrangement.” – Luke gaze swept upon the three maids outside the door who are restless.
“Whether he approved or not, you are coming with us. I will wait for you outside.”
Lorrath left him with no other choice but to comply, he knows that the power of a duke is absolute, second only to that of the king.
15 minutes later, Lorrath and Luke arrived in Fergara’s office and the first thing Luke saw was a man seating on Fergara’s chair. This man is wearing a flat hat with eye-catching snow feather, a velvet short-overgown worn over a blue high-collared doublet, a velvet tight pants and pointy shoes. He has pleasing features, a handsome young man who appears to be in his late 20s. However, having a long glossy-blond hair and beautiful face made him look more feminine.
Luke didn’t know this man, but he certainly remembers him the previous day, back in the clothing shop. He has good memory so he can’t be wrong.
“So, you’re the one they called Luke, am I correct? I am Audleigh of Nerbis. I am a baron working for the duke of Eludun, Duke Augustus Regis-Lenforth. And the man beside you is Ser Lorrath Galanver. We served the same lord.” – The man spoke by the name of Audleigh.
Luke took a glance in the corner next to Audleigh and saw Fergara whose face were brimming red as though hot water was poured directly on his face, he can clearly see that Fergara was greatly outraged by the man’s act of arrogance and self-importance. Then further, he saw another knight in his fancy looking armour holding the hilt of his bastard sword ready to strike any moment, but Lorrath’s armouring is much unique and beautiful when compared to this knight.
He looked at the man who spoke to him.
“Yes I am.”– He responded to Audleigh’s earlier question.
“Very good. I thought… you don’t know this… boy? Or… were you trying to… deceive me? ” – The voice and the manner he spoke those words was full of contempt as he glanced at Fergara.
“This is outrageous! You can’t simply barge in here and do whatever you want.” – Fergara’s scornful response to Audleigh as he tossed a piece of paper at him but Audleigh simply sneered at Fergara.
[AN: Try using accents whenever they’re having a conversation (whenever I read light novels (although Japanese) I used English/German/French accents even if I don’t get it right, it’s fun :P]
“You know who the consignee of this letter, yet you dare show disrespect? Good, good. First, you tried to deceive me, knowing that I work under the duke and by deceiving me you are directly deceiving the duke. Have you not consider my master’s words or does it carries no weight at all? Dishonesty and deceitfulness, such acts are punishable by death, without trial. Do you wish to die this instant?”
“Geh~ I didn’t mean to… but, you are being unreasonable. I simply wish to protect my right. As a citizen of this country, I have the right to protect my interest. Therefore, I will not hand the custody of this boy. I wish Duke Lenforth will respect it.”
“Certainly… Ser Lorrath, prepare our departure, ready the horses and the carriage.”
Audleigh gave an order to Lorrath and the latter complied. But just as Luke and Lorrath took a few steps towards the door as he was being led by the latter, Fergara once again burst in outrage.
“What is the meaning of this?! You cannot take the boy! I never approved of anything.”
Luke stop for a moment but Lorrath strongly led him outside.
“That is why I am still here to continue our negotiation.” – Audleigh
A few minutes later, the man spoke once again.
“I heard your business is thriving.” – He said as he put his hands together entwining his fingers while resting his back on the backrest of the chair, his legs crossed.
“Nonsense! We are not here to talk about my business.” – Fergara responded while slapping the table which shook the things on it.
“Of course it is. What I am asking you had something to do with your business.”
“If that is a threat that you’ll do harm to me or my business, I am not worried. Do your thing.” – Fergara said with determination to which the man mocked it with a sneer.
“That is what I intended to do, in the first place.”
“Humph! It clearly shows your despicable nature.”
“Says by who, you? A scum of this society dare to lecture me about values. Hahaha… You’re a funny guy, I like you already. By the way I am not talking about your business here in the… surface.”
When Fergara heard his last sentence, he turned stiff and starts sweating even though it is hot and he feels cold at this moment.
“W-what d-do you mean?” – Fergara stammers with his question
“Oh~… Nothing in particular, I simply learned of this from the duke himself. You know, as a duke, he knows a thing or two about these kinds of things, the preposterous activities some men do.”
“I-I don’t know what you mean.”
“It means you’re engage in a shady trade and that you’re a part of a syndicate known as the red serpent. I am telling you that you’re a criminal.”
“Y-you! You’re accusing me of involvement in that criminal group. Where is your proof?!”
“HA! Despicable! Truly despicable!”
“Don’t try to frame me bastard! Guh~”
When Audleigh heard what Fergara had just called him. His goofy nature was changed into a very threatening existence. His eyes show an intense killing intent that Fergara was cut-off in the middle of his yammering. And the guard is now standing next to him while firmly gripping the slightly unsheathe sword he held in his waist revealing a slight gleam from the sword.
Fergara is now feeling the intense killing intent from the two, and any moment now, this two is prepared to kill him. He held his staves firmly in his hand but then he let loose of his grip, making his staves to fall in the floor.
He won’t survive the moment these two make their moves. No. He can’t even make it pass with just the man standing guard; this man is without a doubt could behead him in a split second given that the man is standing close to him; he will be beheaded before he could invoke a spell. This is a confined space; he can’t make a manoeuvre to evade it in time. No. Base from what his instinct tells him, this man is strong and well-experience, his strike is enough to kill him where he stands.
Clearly, he is left without an option.
“I will obey! I will obey! Please spare my life. I will do anything, please spare me.” – He cried begging for mercy. Audleigh sneered once again and looked at the knight standing beside Fergara whose sword is almost drawn. He waved his hand signalling the man to stand by.
“Careful with your words, I don’t have that much patience left.”
“Yes. Thank you.”
“Then, about the boy -”
“Yes, the duke… m-may have him.” – Fergara closed his eyes in submission
“Thank you. And the names…”
“Yes. Names involves in the syndicate. Tell me everything.”
“I-I am sorry. I am simply a runner. I don’t know the big names.”
“I don’t know what this syndicate had done to piss the duke to come up with a decision to annihilate them. He even spoke to the other duke and the king of his plan to wipe them out completely from this country. In the past 15 years, he simply imposed constant raids to cripple this group in his dukedom, but now, he will put a stop to them bypassing proper investigations. They will be killed like rats in their holes. I am giving you a chance to live. The duke has offered 10 Bruinne Gold for each name and a hundred to those who are in command. You can use the money to start anew. You can live in the countryside or travel around the great continent of Arkimutt or cross the great Rukbian Ocean towards the continent of Dorgea. It is up to you, you can do anything you want, if you make the right choice that is. However, you must remember, with or without your help, we will get them and I can kill you anytime anywhere and nobody will care.”
Fergara was left with no other choice but to submit to this man’s wishes. Even though the syndicate ruled the underground world in this country for 50 years now, but when they are face with the wrath from one of the duke, they simply won’t survive. The duke has an army of elite mages and knights, if the duke decides an all-out war against them; it will be very devastating on their side. The syndicate had been very careful not to cross path with any of these dukes as to not incur their wrath.
And now, he simply doesn’t have an idea of what was happening, but he is right to guess that a great storm is coming and it is not safe to stay in the underworld anymore.
He told Audleigh everything he knew not missing a single information. He knows that if he wants to completely get away from the duke and the syndicate, then he must tell everything. He didn’t want to be pursued by the two, especially the syndicate. Sooner or later, the syndicate will found out about his connection towards the upcoming storm.
When Fergara told him the things which concerns the boy, Audleigh couldn’t believe what he’s hearing that he threatened Fergara once more but Fergara’s words are convincing and when it is over, he pondered for a moment trying to connect the dots in the process.
“So that’s how it is.”
“I have told you everything. So please spare me.”
“Surprisingly, you did tell me everything. Now, the problem is, I didn’t prepare that much, I only brought this small amount. I never expected that you’re this helpful and cooperative, which I like. How about this, expect the other half in 3 days’ time and I suggest that you go elsewhere after that.”
Inside the carriage, Luke is comfortably sitting on the couch which is facing Lorrath and the direction of the driver. Both of them are quietly sitting inside for almost 30 minutes now when the carriage door opens and Audleigh came in.
“Hello. How are you? Sorry about what happened earlier. Are all your stuffs in the carriage?”
“Don’t tell me-” – Audleigh looked at Lorrath in which the latter simply shrugs his shoulders.
“Ah… Sorry it’s my bad. Well, I was ordered by Duke Augustus Regis-Lenforth to pick you up. From now on, the duke has the right over your custody, so he will provide you of your needs.”
“For what reason… why the duke is doing this?”
“I can’t answer that. Anyway, I too was a little bit sceptical regarding this matter.”
“What about Mr. Fergara?”
“He already approved it.” – Audleigh said whose smile is meaningful in which Lorrath simply brushed the weird feeling he felt when he saw it.
The two had a conversation for about 15 minutes until someone knocks on the carriage door and told them that Luke’s luggage were already loaded in the carriage.
Earlier, Audleigh told one of the servants he brought to inform Fergara in regards to Luke’s belongings, in compliance, Fergara told his servants to prepare the things Luke left in his room.
Following that, the carriage starts to move and then it gained the speed along the way.
[AN: Rate my work, support my work. And leave a comment to express your thought. Also, if you have any suggestions or violent reactions, PM me. To those who like it, and to those who read it, thank you.]