Rothschild Estate's Marshaling Yard

Knight Captain Judis eyed the brightly lit windows of the Great Hall where dancing figures and drifts of conversation and music could be heard. "Lord Captain!" An armored soldier stood saluted. "The men have formed up and are ready!"

Judis turned and faced the neat columns of soldiers, the remaining core of his military strength, as hundreds of his men had perished away at the battle of Orwell's Point. "Good. Squad leaders, you have your orders! Carry them out!"

The soldiers saluted as one with a clash of steel against steel and mounted up onto their land dragons and headed towards the gates. Judis eyed the soldiers marching away and turned to the group of United Nations soldiers who stood there watching the ongoings.

"Mills!" Judis gestured to the cocky soldier. "I need a word, man to man!"

"What is it?" Mills strolled over.

"You and I..." Judis glared at Mills. "We started off as enemies, but now... allies..."

"Yea... so what of it?" Mills frowned as he braced himself at Judis strange words. "What do you want"

"I want you to look at Lady Titanna!" Judis gritted his teeth as he forced the words out. "If we fail... her enemies will... not let her live!"

"Wha? I..." Mills was confused.

"I want you to take her away from this place if we fail!" Judis hissed. "Protect her as you did!"

"O- of course!" Mills replied in a serious tone. He knew Judis was putting Titanna's safety before his own interest and he admired the man's heart. "I promise you!"

"Good!" Judis nodded. "A gentleman's promise is heavier than the mountains!"

Mills watched Judis turned away and join his troops as they rode off towards the gate and towards the city with several carriages in tow.

"What did he want?" Tyrier asked as he rode a land dragon over.

Mills rubbed his face and said, "He wants me to protect Titanna if shit hits the fan and bring her out of this place..."

"Will you?" Tyrier asked as he turned to watch the Rothschild's cavalry.

"Yes... I promised him..." Mills replied. "And, I have yet to give her a reply..."

"Reply?" Tyrier asked. "On?"

"Responsibilities!" Mills sighed. "Enough of that, you also watch yourself out there too!"

Tyrier grinned, his teeth unnaturally white from the glow of the lamps. "Don't worry too much, we should be able to accompise our mission successfully! Your girlfriend won't be in danger, besides, she is smart!"

"I hope so too!" Mills replied. "Alright, good luck and godspeed!"

Tyrier gave a nod and turned to his men, "Move out!"

The dino like mounts hissed as the riders kicked their flanks and they galloped off, following the cavalry into the city.

The cavalry split up once they left the Estate, with some heading deeper into the Inner City, others headed towards the Inner City gates to enter the city districts. The sparsely populated streets allowed them to rapidly move to their destinations without any incidents and the soldiers dismounted and proceeded to enforce their orders.


Norshelm Residental District, Baker's Street

Campell Solomon, the city's watch commander, was happily sipping a goblet of fine red, recently he has gotten a case of wine, courtesy of House Taron. He smiled at the thought of the cooperation with two of the Great Houses of Norshelm and the amount of gold he had accepted that sat in his private vault.

Suddenly, an urgent knocking on his door jolted him out of his dreams and spoilt his mood. "What is it?"

"My Lord," His manservant bowed and quickly reported. "There are soldiers downstairs that wished to speak to you, they say its a matter of great importance!"

"Who are they?" Campell stood up and asked curiously, wondering what had happened. "Which unit are they from?"

"They bear the signet of House Rothschild, my Lord," His manservant replied. "As for what purpose, they say it is for your ears only..."

Campell's face turned slightly pale as he set his goblet down, wondering if the Rothschilds had found out his involvement with House Taron and Deflin. He shook his head at the thought, doubting that they uncovered his part with them and even so, with the backing of two of the greatest Houses in the city, what can a waning House do to him?

"Let them in," Campell said after a while. "I will meet them in the study."

The manservant gave a bow and left while Campell walked over to his study. To be safe, he called his personal guards to be on alert and sat down and waited for what kind of important matters these soldiers came bearing.

Sounds booted feet could be heard and the door to his study opened. His manservant announced the guests, "Sir Ley, Knight of Silver."

"Sir Ley, pleased to meet you," Campell stood up and pasted a welcoming smile on his face. "What matters are that important that can't wait till the next day?"

Sir Ley did a quick check of his surroundings before he turned to his men behind him and nodded. His subordinates suddenly sprang into action, drawing their swords and cutting down the guards and the servants without a word.

Campell's expression turned into fear as he witnessed the sudden violent deaths of his people and he nearly toppled over his chair. "Wait! What are you doing?"

"You are under the suspicion of the crime of collaborating with the enemy!" Sir Ley said as he stood before Campell. "Surrender yourself! Resist and die!"

"Do you know who I am?" Campell tried to scare the Knight. "I am the commander of the City Watch! I report directly to Lady Titanna! Who are you to accuse me of such crimes!"

Sir Ley removed a scroll case and unfurled a document and waved it before Campell's face. "By order of her Ladyship, Countess Titanna Rothschild. Lord Campell Solomon, is hereby suspended from his duties as Commander of Norshelm's City Guards for accepting bribes and favors from other parties. He shall be detained till his innocence is proven in a court of law! Any resistance by the suspect will be deemed the suspect guilty as charged and be executed on the stop! Signed Titanna Rothschild."

Campell's face fell as he took the scroll with shaking hands and read the contents. "Im- impossible! They promised me! They promised to protect me!"

"By those words, you just said," Sir Ley sneered. "It means that you truly have taken their gold!"

Shocked, Campell looked up and quickly said, "No! NO! I was not saying anything at all!"

"Enough of this nonsense!" Sir Ley snapped and drew his sword. "Follow us quietly, or die under my blade! Choose one now!"

Campell swallowed his saliva nervously as he stared at the tip of the sword at his nose. "I... I surrender... Don't kill me!"

"Take him!" Sir Ley ordered his men who quickly tied his hands together and covered his head with a hood. "Let's go! We still got a few more names in the list to arrest!"


All around the city, squads of soldiers stormed into houses, clubs, and even the barracks. Dozens of men were dragged or carried away into carriages. Messengers of House Taron and Deflin raced across the streets in a hurry towards the Rothschild's Estate to inform their masters of the sudden purge but roadblocks barred their way.

Those that tried to force their way through were killed on the spot. Some messengers managed to skip around the roadblocks only to be intercepted when they arrived at the Rothschild's Estate gates, their bodies quietly disposed of.

Hence the party in the Estate continued on smoothly without any word or news of the purge in the city. Titanna gracefully entertained and accepted several dances from prominent heads of the Houses to put up an appearance to the guests.

"Lady Titanna!" A raspy voice suddenly called out to her from behind. She turned her head around and saw Lord Taron and Lord Deflin, supported by their sons standing behind her. She made an apology to the guests speaking with and braced herself mentally for a face off with her enemies.

"Welcome to my humble place, Lord Taron and Lord Deflin!" Titanna gave a sweet smile and a curtsy at the two old men. "And of course, the young Masters too."

"Hmm..." Lord Deflin stood with his crystal cane and returned a smile at Titanna. "You look ravishing tonight, my Lady!"

"Lord Deflin," Titanna said. "Thank you for your compliments. I see that both my Brothers did not tag along with you tonight?"

"Your Brothers?" Lord Taron put on a confused expression. "Why would they be with us?"

"Oh, you must be joking!" Titanna covered her mouth with a small folding fan and giggled. "Didn't they join you to overthrow me?"

Both Lord Taron and Deflin burst out into laughter, making the surrounding guests look at them with curiosity. "Now that is a good joke!"

Titanna gave a shrug and snapped her fan shut with a crack, "I know what my two brothers are up to, and of course what you did behind my back."

"Enjoy the night, my Lords," Titanna said before she walked off. "I will repay back your... kindness to me!"

The four men stood there watching Titanna mingled with the guests and frowned, "Did she know that we are the ones that sent the killer?"

"It seems so, Father," The young Lord of Taron said. "She knows something!"

"Push the next step of the plan forward," Lord Deflin said. "Start moving the men into the city!"

"But... we had yet to secure enough places for our men to hide in yet!" The other young Lord of Taron whispered. "And lately, there are some problems with food supplies for our warehouses!"

"Fix it!" Lord Taron said to his son. "Put them in the dock warehouses or even onboard our trade ships! We just need them to be ready to move in an instant! Get all our associates to open their warehouses and storehouses for us to use so that our men could move in immediately!"

"Yes, Father!"


Norshelm, Grand Harbor

Several soldiers dragged the struggling fat figure of the Vice Harbor Master away and into the black carriage. The Knight in charge turned to stare at the sweating Harbor Master who bowed his head low in fear. "When is all harbor log?"

"Here, Sir Knight!" The Harbor Master quickly took out several thick tomes. "All here!"

"Find all the warehouses and businesses belong to this list of people!" The Knight said and shoved the scroll at the Harbor Master who quickly ordered his clerks to check the books. Due to the fact that their lives were at stake, the clerks worked very fast and soon, they found several warehouses and stores that were under the names of the ones on the list.

"Sir Knight!" The Harbour Master had one of his clerks copied down the information. "Here is the information you asked for!"

"Good!" The Knight did a quick check of the list. "You are certain that none is missing from the list?"

"Yes, Sir Knight!" The Harbor Master swiped the sweat forming on his head away. "My people had checked our records twice!"

The Knight stared at the sweating Harbor Master for another moment before he abruptly nodded. "Go home. All of you. And if you spread the single word of this incident tonight... Every single one of you will be arrested and thrown into the dungeons!"

"Tha- thank you, Sir Knight!" The Harbor Master and his clerks quickly replied. "We will not speak a single word of this to anyone! We swear!"

"Good! Now beat it!" The Knight gestured them to leave which they did so rapidly. After making sure no one was around, the Knight handed the information to another soldier. "Find out where these stores and warehouses are!"

"Yes, Knight Captain!" The soldiers saluted.

"And burn them all down!"

A note from neo Koh

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