Chapter 183 Demolition Crew
She might even manage to advance the rest of her ashen skills near Ravenhall without seeking out specifically dangerous situations. ‘They do level slowly though…,’ she thought but shook her head. Hopefully she could at least level from fighting monsters instead of people, however monstrous they may be.
“How long until we move out again?” Ilea asked as she pushed the cold cloth below her shirt.
“Couple hours. Two teams as discussed. I feel like we did enough damage. Let’s hope they don’t have enough gold to immediately hire an army of mercenaries.” Trian said.
“Well for one thing, I’d assume with the situation in the city those might be hard to come by. And for another.” she said and summoned a couple documents and some gold coins. “Kyrian found their treasury.” smiling weakly, she pushed the things towards him, watching the man lean back.
“Hmm, haha. Hahahahaha…,” he laughed before he covered his face with both hands. “You two are amazing.” he added, turning serious again as he looked at the papers. “Got any more of those?” he asked, looking at Ilea. The man looked tired and exhausted. She didn’t fault him for that, unwilling to check out a mirror at the moment.
“Loads.” she said and distributed the certificates, books, letters and paintings on the bed, the floor and the table.
“This is…,” Trian said, getting up. Grabbing one of the paintings, he turned it around and cursed under his breath.
“Half of this stuff is ours. Heirlooms…,” he made the painting vanish. “… I thought they had burned them all. Ilea… I will. I’ll buy them all from you. I’ll pay you back in the future, how does that sound?” Trian asked, obviously not knowing Ilea quite as well as she thought. Or perhaps his noble upbringing was the reason for that question.
“They’re yours anyway mate. Take all that belongs to your family.” Ilea said, getting a nervous nod from him in response.
“Alright, alright. Thank you.” he murmured and touched a couple of the paintings, making them vanish before he stared at one of them for a while longer. A couple in their forties, likely his parents Ilea thought. A lack of photography meant that something like that was priceless, especially to him in this situation. She was glad they had accidentally found the treasury. Ilea touched Kyrian’s shoulder and smiled at him.
“Well done.” she said.
“Speaking of, I get at least half of that stuff, right?” Kyrian asked and she nodded.
“Of course, we’ll look through it after this is over. Don’t want to entice the others. Trian they’re coming up, can you store your stuff?” Ilea asked. “Sorry.” she added as she approached him. He first didn’t react but nodded a moment later.
“It’s.” he said, brushing away at his eyes. “Alright.” he added and quickly stored all the paintings and books, leaving behind the letters and certificates. Perhaps they would give them some more knowledge, ways to fight and hurt their wealth. Edwin and Maria would likely understand that they had found a stash of some sort but Ilea doubted the two would outright ask for loot. Edwin didn’t seem like he was in need or want of anything but blood. And blood he got plenty. Summoning a set of Taleen clothes and a set of Hand leather armor, Ilea placed them on the bed.
The knock came and Ilea went to open the door, both Maria and Edwin joining the group.
“Ah, so you did find the treasury. Hopefully there were some things recovered.” Edwin said.
“There were.” Trian said and left it at that.
“There you go.” Ilea said and motioned Maria towards the bed.
“You’re lovely Ilea. Thank you.” Maria said honestly and grabbed the things, teleporting behind the dressing screen.
“I suggest we don’t wait less than two hours but not longer than three.” Edwin said as he sat down, reading through some of the papers.
“That was the plan. Maybe we can find some other locations through this.” Trian said as he hunched over the table.
Ilea sat down on the bed and looked through her skills again. “We’d be more efficient if we move alone and not in groups.” Edwin said but Trian shook his head.
“I thought about it too Edwin but the chance of someone dying isn’t worth it. Not for any of you.” he said and summoned a map of the city, circling a specific place while checking another document.
Ilea took a deep breath and looked at the wooden ceiling before she closed her eyes.
The night had gotten dark as they ran over the rooftops. Three dark figures clad in bloody armor, unarmed it seemed but to any trained eye a danger best left alone. They blended in with the environment, hiding whenever a patrol walked or flew by close to them.
“Night shifts suck…,” Johann mumbled to himself as he continued cleaning the massive ax he could barely hold. Fifteen other boys were doing various tasks in the same hall, the air heavy and the temperature high. The smiths worked just a room over, giving the boys a good brunt of the heat and gases.
“Come on lads, you can do it faster than this. Or do you want to have your pay reduced.” The adult mage said as he walked around inspecting their work one by one, sometimes giving quiet instructions or even encouragement when someone’s work was good. That was the only good part about night shift, Johann thought. The man was nicer than the ones he had worked under during the day.
Still he had heard stories before, stories that he hoped weren’t true and hopefully he would never found out.
The work was suddenly interrupted by a yelp from the mage, making Johann turn around with the big ax. Three figures clad in black full plate armor stood next to the man as he stumbled backwards. Johann couldn’t hold onto the ax anymore and panicked as it slowly slipped his grasp, only to find it had stopped falling suddenly.
One of the Shadows had appeared next to him and held onto the ax. “Leave this place.” the woman said, casually placing the ax on the ground. “All of you.” her voice didn’t leave any room for argument and Johann ran off towards the door.
“Hey you brats, come back here!” the mage shouted but Johann was already out the door, sweating as he ran through the streets, avoiding the usual patrols that would come near here. Turning around, he climbed a ladder that led onto a nearby building, breathing hard as he reached the top.
Checking if anybody was following, he ran over the rooftop, jumping onto the close next building until he reached the usual vantage point to check who would be in charge that day in the smithy. Some people you best avoid, that was what his sister had taught him.
Just when he could see over the rooftop, the night shift boss was pushed out of the door. “You can’t do this! The Birmingales will hear about this!” he shouted before the door itself suddenly smashed into the man, the two of them in the air for a couple meters before they came crashing down. Johann yelped and hid again before he waited a minute. ‘Who are those people?’ he thought, feeling both excitement and anxiety. He had heard of the Shadow’s Hand of course but Johann was more interested in the individuals.
The woman had talked to him, he thought giddily as he looked back up. The five smiths he had rarely seen walked out, some of them protesting. One of the Shadows was following them.
“If I see you working for the Birmingales again, you’re dead men.” he said and walked back into the place.
Johann hid again, his heart beating fast as he smiled to himself.
“Can I start finally. I don’t think most of the stuff here is work taking. The Taleen weapons seem like a much higher quality. What do you think Kyrian?” Ilea asked as she played with a sword.
“They’re mass produced. Of course the quality doesn’t hold up. Why not kill the smiths?” Kyrian asked.
“They’d get new smiths. Like this the news will spread that someone threatened anybody working for the Birmingales. They’ll be hard pressed to find any labor for a while. Ilea yes, please start. We’ve got a lot of places to visit tonight.” Trian said teleported out of the building.
Kyrian followed after nodding to Ilea.
All buffs activated, Ilea was a little disappointed she didn’t have headphones and her workout playlist. Well it would be alright. Running towards the wall, Ilea didn’t stop and smashed her head into the stone with full force. Stone and dust was sent into the street as she broke through, turning around and activating her wings.
Her acceleration really was something, as she combined her wings and legs to burst her speed as high as possible before she jumped towards the ceiling, crashing through before she continued running, destroying parts of the walls and supporting beams of the buildings. Only three minutes later she heard the first groaning of metal and stone as the weight became too much for the damaged base to carry.
Continuing her work, Ilea smashed walls and support beams until the ceiling came crashing down on her. Blinking out in the last moment, she watched the building collapse. A smile covered her lips, despite the circumstances. Letting her pent up emotions, her anger and grief out on a building for once calmed her down somewhat. Not killing people for once.
“That’s one down. Kyrian can you not help with your metal?” Trian asked as Ilea joined the two of them.
“Oh, I didn’t think of that. Next one I suppose.” the man answered, touching the back of his helmet. Trian shook his head and started flying.
“Thought you needed it.” Kyrian said to Ilea before he followed, leaving her with a somewhat surprised look. He definitely became more perceptive in the time they had known each other.
Ilea looked back at the boy hiding on a nearby building. She chuckled, hoping that she hadn’t just destroyed his only way of making a living. The look on his face when her Sphere was still in range had however told her the opposite.
What followed was a destructive sight seeing tour through the city of Virilya. Ilea combined with Kyrian shredded through buildings like a bulldozer on crack, giving both authorities and members from the noble family in question little time to respond. They were on their eight target already.
A seamstress it seemed. The woman was sleeping on the first floor of the building while their group entered the house. Beautifully crafted gowns were laid out in the working space, Ilea grabbing some of the dresses and inspecting them.
Trian rang the bell placed on the counter a couple times until they heard rustling above.
“Who’s there!?” a female voice resounded. “I don’t have no money so leave, the shop is closed until the morrow.” she said as she came closer to the stairs.
“We’re not here for money, nor are we here for your services. Or you for the matter.” Trian said calmly as he inspected the bell.
“You’re…,” the woman said as she came down the stairs. Young and beautiful, her hair hanging down nearly to her waist.
“You are working for the Birmingales.” Trian said. “I can’t have that. Leave the store and never cooperate with them again. I’m sure your skills will let you find other work.”
“I… you’re from the Hand, why would I be a target of you… the Birmingales… I can’t. You don’t understand, they promised to return it if I worked for them for a year.” the woman said, her words coming out quickly as the sleep left her immediately upon seeing the group of people.
“This stuff is beautiful.” Ilea said as she stepped into the room. “Would be a waste to make it for those nobles.” she added.
“Return what?” Trian asked.
“A painting my father made. It’s the last thing left of the damn fool and they took it.” the woman said, anger flashing in her eyes before she calmed down again.
“One of these?” Trian asked as he summoned some of the paintings Ilea had given to him. The woman’s eyes opened wide before she walked straight towards one of them. A painting of a woman, not the woman standing before them but there was a resemblance.
“Take it and leave. Do you have a place to stay?” Trian asked and she nodded.
“I do. Let me…,” she said, rushing to the counter and taking the silver out of the till, looking around nervously.
“I’ll take the clothes. Got anything hidden away? We’ll be demolishing this house shortly.” Ilea informed.
“Demoli… yes…,” again, she looked at Trian nervously.
“We don’t want anything other than your promise not to work with them again. And the destruction of this property. It’s not yours, is it?” he said to her.
“It isn’t. I just need to get some things. Two minutes.” she said, rushing upstairs with the painting in hand. Ilea watched her wrap it in some protective layers of cloth before she opened the closet, grabbing some leather armor and a short sword she sheathed on her belt. The woman clothed herself about as quickly as Ilea did back when she didn’t have her necklace. Trained movements to be sure.
The woman grabbed a hidden pouch of gold from under her bed and hid it inside her armor before she rushed down again, picture in hand and a little red on her cheeks from the rush.
“Got everything? Then promise me and know that should you work with them again, I’ll come for you.” Trian said.
“I do, I’ll leave the city tomorrow. This is all I wanted. Never liked them anyway. Thank you, for saving me nearly a year’s worth of time.” the woman said and bowed slightly.
“Can…,” she looked back as she reached the door. “Can I have your name?” she asked, blushing.
“Trian Alymie.” the man said, a smile coming to her face as she left the store, walking away briskly.
“That one was very beautiful.” Kyrian said.
“Well she has her eyes on this guy.” Ilea said, tapping Trian’s shoulder. “Let me grab the rest of the clothes before we wreck this place.”
Ilea wasn’t sure if sharing your name with a pretty lady who previously worked for the enemy was a wise thing to do but she had done things more idiotic than that aplenty. Plus they already knew how he looked, likely able to find out his identity at this point anyway. Hers and Kyrian’s as well. “Oh well, another noble house on the hunt for me…,” she murmured to herself as she stored away the dresses and clothes she found.
She came out with eight not too over the top dresses that she could casually wear and five pairs of shirts and trousers. The days of Taleen clothes as replacements were over, a good thing too as she only had one set left.
Kyrian had prepared one of his metal bombs in the meantime. “Should be enough for the house.” he said as they stepped outside, turning around on the street. A loud noise came out of the house, windows shattering and walls pierced by shrapnel. Mana surged in the man to Ilea’s right before the metal in the walls started moving, forming into blades that whirled around in the house, cutting through stone and wood alike. The building collapsed after a couple minutes of the assault, crashing down slowly. Ilea waved to a young girl looking out of a nearby window, most of the people in the street woken from the loud noise. She waved back before she was snatched away by a concerned mother.
“Guards on the way.” Trian said as they ascended and rushed towards their next target. A brewery where Ilea intended to leave with a stock of fresh mead.
“The suns are rising.” Kyrian said as he looked towards the horizon. The three sat together on a roof again, looking over a city that didn’t seem changed by any of the abuse they had put it under the past night. Buildings would be rebuilt and guards would be hunting for them but hopefully they had dealt a blow to the Birmingales’ reputation and economic power. They would do another round in two days, while remaining in the city.
“Let’s change clothes.” Ilea said and switched to a summer dress she had gotten from the seamstress. It looked stupid with the leather boots she had on but she didn’t really care right now. The cool air brushed against her skin as she looked at the sky above, her body undisturbed by the cold.
Trian switched to formal atire and Kyrian removed his helmet. “Here.” Trian said and handed some clothes to the man. “We have a similar enough build.” he added.
“Thank you.” Kyrian said and started undressing on the roof.
“You should really get a storage ring or something.” Ilea said while smiling.
“They are so easy to find aren’t they?” Kyrian said sarcastically.
“Were there none in the Birmingale treasury?” he asked and Ilea shrugged.
“Didn’t look at everything yet. Wanna do that after he’s done? I’m hungry too. Maybe we can find a nice restaurant. Distract ourselves a little from all the blood.” she said, her face turning serious as she locked eyes with Trian. He clenched his fists but relaxed again a moment later, sad eyes looking back at her.
“That sounds good.” he said. “And we’ll get you some damn shoes.” he added, making her laugh. Kyrian chuckled as well, struggling to put on the shirt that was a little too tight for him.