Tyrier sat down at one of the tables at the back of the tavern where it offered him a full view of the place and also the entrance. He ordered some food and drinks from the serving slave and slowly nursed the mug of ale that was ordered.
There was barely a crowd in the tavern. Most of the patrons were merchant guards of mixed races. Not long, the doors opened and Hitsu, Loke, and Wolf walked in. They quickly spotted Tyrier and went over to join them.
"Anything new?" Tyrier asked as they settled down.
Hitsu shook his head before replying, "We can't enter the inner city. Can't even bribe the guards to let us in. I think we need to go Plan B."
Plan B was to sneak in at night and infiltrate the inner city. Tyrier nodded and said, "let's wait for the rest before we decide what to do."
They sat there and ate in silence while waiting for the rest of the team to gather. Only when they finished their meal did the rest returned. Altied, Tavel, and Young joined and ordered some drinks and food before sharing the information they gathered.
"All the gates are too heavily guarded," Altied said with a full mouthful of grilled grass rodent. "And there are no tall buildings next to the walls, we can't jump across nor look into the inner city."
"We saw some merchant wagons entering the inner city," Young said. "Looks like they are transporting gold into the inner city."
"If we wanna sneak in, either we go over the walls, or we stow away with the treasure wagons?" Tyrier frowned while the others nodded. "How I wish we could just have UAV coverage here... saves us all the troubles..."
Everyone laughed while Hitsu said, "Well then, won't we be out of business?"
"Alright, we continue to keep an eye out to see if we can find a chance or more ways to enter the inner city undetected," Tyrier whispered. "Same as before, keep your tracks clean!"
Everyone nodded and Young raised his mug, "For Doth!"
Haven, Draco Airbase, Terminal One
Liz hugged a large bag looked around with curious eyes at her surroundings inside the strange tall ceiling of the building she was in. One side of the building was lavishly made out of glass! She stood several steps from the glass walls, afraid that she will be in big trouble if she accidentally breaks the glass!
Her eyes went wide as she looked at the large looming oblong shape with long wings being towed to the front of the building where she could see several people fussing around the flying construct.
She found her self being summoned to the headmaster's office in the morning and was told to pack enough clothes for a week as she will be going someplace to help with an investigation. Magister Thorn next told her to be ready within an hour as they were be rushing for time.
An hour later, Liz sat in the "vee he cle" with Thorn and they were whizzed away and dropped at this strange building. She looked at Thorn who was also watching the flying construct with the excitement of a three year old.
"Headmaster, are we going to ride inside that?" Liz asked nervously. Even doth she has seen how the planes flew around the city and even heard of legends of flying ships and islands, she couldn't really put her trust in that flying construct made out of wood and metal!
"Yes, yes!" Thorn smiled. "It will be fun!"
"Erm... okay..." Liz stammered. "Where are we going?"
"We, my dear, are going to the city of Orwell's Point!" Thorn winked. "Oh, here are the rest!"
Liz turned and saw her friend, Evelyn also totting a bag, next to a female hooman that she recognized as the Doctor who gave her weird vibes.
A soldier appeared from the side and said, "If you all could follow me, we can board the plane now."
Thorn nodded and picked his bag which looked more like a sack, while the female hooman dragged a strange silver rectangular box with wheels behind her. Liz went up to Evelyn and held her hand, "How are you?"
Evelyn gave a small smile, "I'm feeling better, just tired mostly."
"Really?" Liz looked concernedly at Evelyn. "Do you know why we are called along?"
"I think they need our skills in finding out some things that are happening in the city they want us to go," Evelyn replied slowly. She appeared to be out of breath after that sentence and Liz quickly gave her shoulder for Evelyn to lean against.
"Are you ok?" Liz frowned worriedly. "I think you better stay behind and rest! I will tell th-"
"No, I am alright," Evelyn patted Liz's head. "It seems that Dante had damaged my soul and with him gone, the connection with him was severed."
"I'll be fine in time," Evelyn assured Liz. "Don't worry!"
As they passed through the opening in the glass walls, the loud whine and hum of machinery assailed their ears. A small troop of soldiers was standing in a file with bulging backpacks and gear all over their bodies waited for them next to the plane.
"I am Sergeant Aztes," A burly soldier strolled up to Dr. Sharon and Magister Thorn and saluted. "Hundred and First ATI, Claymore Two! We will be in charge of your security at Orwell's Point!"
"Lead the way Sergeant," Dr. Sharon replied after returning the salute. "We talk more onboard."
The Claymore Two Sergeant nodded and gave an order to the rest of his team who followed behind the civilians onboard the plane. Not long, the plane taxied to the runway and took off into the skies.
Captain Joseph reread the stack of reports and statements regarding the raids of the two meetings and arrests made. He sighed and rubbed his eyes, thinking that this war has just gone more complicated with demons and cultists now thrown into the equation as if the city was not chaotic enough!
"Sir?" An aide knocked on his door and struck his head in. "HQ just sent word that the investigation team has just left Draco Airbase. They will be landing here in roughly five hours."
"Thank you," Joseph nodded and he picked up the statement report he was reading halfway. 8 men were found and arrested in the Merchant District, with 3 deaths among them caused by the demons. No Marines or other civilians were injured but the whole city now knows that there are demonic cultists in the city.
The other raid at the Warehouse area was not so lucky, as the illegal gathering had dispersed when the Marines raided the place and found it empty. Joseph decided stricter measures were needed to prevent another incident like this from happening, especially from the statements of the arrested they were plotting some kind of uprising.
Now Joseph waited for more information from the mouths of these plotters under interrogation. Once they break, his Marines will respond immediately to arrest all those that were involved.
Joseph frowned as he stood up and looked out of the window towards the docks. He knew that their time was almost up here as the Empire will grow suspicious and send ships or dragons down to investigate why their ships are not returning from Orwell's Point.
"Damn it!" Joseph cursed. He needed to pacify the city before the real enemy comes knocking at his door or he and his troops will be facing both external and internal threats! "Five hours more eh?" He collected all the reports and placed them into a folder for the team that was on its way over to read.
Seagull 03, Enroute to Orwell's Point
"- two hours more," Came the announcement from the pilots in the cockpit. Liz sighed as her whole body was starting to ache in the uncomfortable buckle seats. They were seated leaning against the 'walls' of the flying contraption facing each other but the space between the passengers had stacks of crates and boxes strapped down limiting movement.
She looked to her side where Evelyn had fallen sleep while the hooman Doctor and Magister Thorn were in some heated discussion. Opposite her sat the soldiers who were supposed to escort them and she noticed that all of them appeared to be asleep which lead her to wonder how could anyone sleep in such uncomfortable and noisy settings!
Evelyn yawned from the side and rubbed her eyes, "Are we there yet?"
"No, two hours more at least," Liz replied. "Are you fine?"
"Yes, better now that I have taken a nap," Evelyn replied as she stretched as much as she could in her seat.
Liz and Evelyn looked over the stack of crates to see one of the soldiers gesturing to them. "You girls from the Hero's party yes?" The soldier had to shout loudly and repeat himself over the roar of the aircraft engines.
Liz nodded uncertainly, not sure why the soldier was asking such a question.
"Hey, you know, my brother was in that town your Hero destroyed!" The next shouts from the soldier shocked Liz and Evelyn. They did not know what to say after hearing that and just looked at each other in silence.
"You know that town where they said they had cultists and demons inside?" The soldier continued to shout across. "Ya, you guys came from the request of the Adventurer's Guild, right?"
Liz and Evelyn just kept silence as they did not want to have a confrontation with the soldier. "Hey? Why did your party destroy half the town?"
Liz frowned as she recalled the quest they received from the Guild, and after reaching the town where they said there were cultists dabbing with demonic magic, they investigated and found several shrines that appeared to be used for occult practices.
Dante at that time had said that he had sensed most of the people in the town were tainted and he started a cleansing. In the end, more than half the town was destroyed by his efforts and hundreds purged.
The Adventurer's Guild even complimented them on their work and they were even hailed as heroes to the people. Liz at that time was still naive to believe in their words and her own misguided sense of justice.
"Is that why the higher ups are sending you girls here?" The soldier continued to taunt them. "Cause you all are great demon hunters?" He twitched his fingers in an exaggerated gesture when he yelled the word, demon hunters.
"Enough!" The Sergeant who applied to be sleeping suddenly yelled out. "Watch your words, they are our responsibility for this mission!"
The soldier gave a shrug and a smile back as he conceded to his Sergeant. But he turned and eyed the two uncomfortable girls opposite him and made a two finger gesture to his eyes and pointed back at them while mouthing the words, "I have my eyes on you!"
Liz shuddered at the gesture and turned away, "Evelyn, do you think we were wrong back then? Did we not fight for justice and the people?"
Evelyn appeared to shrink into herself as she replied, "Honestly, I do not know. All I know was that I loved Dante and he is gone now. Even if what he did was wrong or evil, but to me, he is always the light in my heart."
She smiled at Liz, "He is always inside me even if our connection was severed. I do not blame him for what he has done to me."
"But what about the people that he killed and hurt?" Liz asked. "Their blood is in our hands too!"
"Well, I guess we can only make amendments," Evelyn smiled. "To pay back everything."
Liz sat quietly as she pondered Evelyn's reply. "I guess it's our due to pay back everything that we have done so far..."
Evelyn' smiled wider, "Yes, everyone must pay for what they have done..."