Knights and guards surrounded an iron carriage with Greene out in front. Two armoured lobsters wearing heavy golden plate armour that was created exclusively to fit the shabby, spike creatures. Clanking sounds with each step; the armour pieces rubbing against each other.
There were about 30 knight and guards surrounding a single steel carriage. Fitted with metal bars at the exit, the atmosphere inside was dark and bleak. With 17 Zen organization members caught, they wouldn't be as lenient as to let even a single one escape.
They were closing in on a towering castle structure, a keep. The five apex's, each having triangular flags blowing in the wind. The keep towering multiple stories high. Surrounding it was a large trench of water trashing around in violent waves. Guard towers were station on the outer boundaries of the trench. The draw bridged lowered and the carriage was pulled in.
"Knights!" Shouted suddenly from behind, just as the carriage had stepped onto the wooden drawbridge. Everyone halted, their breaths stopped, the armoured lobsters obeyed.
High-Order Royal knight, Harold.
"Knight Greene," Harold called out for her in a calm demeanour. He still remembered that it was her, leading the liaison that first reached the library.
Too bad Greene was out in front, she had to circle around back of the carriage. She was imposing as a knight. Everyone had their attention fix upon her, the whole way. Quite awkward, actually.
"Everyone else escorts the detainees to the keep, Knight Greene, come with me."
She was brought to a secluded place by Harold. "Answer my question by saying either yes or no." Harold looked deep into her eyes. "Did you acquire the name of the mage?"
"Yes...." Greene drawled.
"Does anyone else know the name of this mage," he looked, really serious.
Relieved, his expression loosened. Harold took a deep breath, shoulders raised at his inhale and dropped at the exhale. Greene was curious why he reacted like that.
"Can I guess?"
"Yes?" this time Greene felt a little more awkward answering his question. 'The hell?'
"His name is Will, Will Everett," the tensions had risen again.
Greene cramped her shoulders.
'What the heck is this! Without any information but wanting to make a guess and guessing a random name? Who the hell is this Will he is speaking of anyway?!'
"No," Greene said shallowly.
"What?" Harold's eyes opened wide.
"Sir, his name is Curtis, I was told he is a regular who comes to that library often to study magic."
'No. way. There's another Jester on the loose?'
Harold felt his temples hurting.
"Sir, what's wrong?"
Will's identity should be kept a secret. He was relieved that nobody found out his identity, but the outcome turned out worse because his suspicion was wrong.
"Greene, do you know his current whereabouts."
"Any information to start with."
Greene tried to recall.
'A mage, created wonderful ice, should be a super-duper powerful person. Let's see—LIKE HELL DO I KNOW!?!'
"He's got a few acquaintances at the library however they weren't of any use. They were somehow silenced by him using some unknown magic. They treat his name like some curse," Greene still remembered the librarian who staggered in shock.
The moment the name 'Curtis' was mentioned, almost half the girls fainted on the spot. Some of them started praying, and there were also those who—wet their pants. Let's not talk about that— the librarian was somehow the only person unaffected by the spell.
Though now knowing the extent of power that single name contained, the librarian too was now going to treat the name as a curse.
Harold gawked at the explanation.
"I too find it hard to believe," Greene confessed.
"Then for the leads.."
"I believe we should ask around the guilds," Greene was quick-witted, "This person must have been living in Haital for a long time now. If not, the librarian wouldn't say that he was a regular."
"Knights close to any of the three guilds, ask the guild for information for a person named Curtis," he ordered via the communication device.
'Why is he in such a rush?'
"Sir, why are we rushing? Based on the information we've acquired so far, he doesn't seem to be of any threat."
"No," Harold recalled the mansion and the noble's district that blew up in flames. "He is a big threat."
He took out a different communication device, one tainted in gold. It was another communication line made separate for those who had the 'royal knights' title. However, he turned it to send a message only to Aldrich, "Sir Aldrich," he paused for a bit and looked at Greene, "This a secret. I trust you know how you should handle this sort of information," continuing, "The name of another Jester has been confirmed. His name is Curtis."
'The hell? Wasn't that just a hoax?'
"The story behind it is false," It was fake news spread by request of the king himself, "But the enemies are real."
Ruth returned to Croquel Guild safe and sound. Nothing extravagant happened along the way. No thugs, no drunk people and no whistlers. Ruth had already washed up and was now in her dormitory, a room shared by 4.
The two wooden double-decker bunk beds arranged on opposite ends. In the middle of the room were 4 desks, each tagged with the seater's respective name. The one closer to the window was Ruth's.
A creaky fan swirled above while the stable lights lit the room, undisturbed by the obstruction of each passing fan blade.
She sat at her desk, an arm supporting her cheeks. She raised her free hand, a bead of water swirled about her finger. Instead of the word swirl— it looked like it was rotating faster than the fan itself.
"Heya," a girl wearing Croquel's attendant uniform called out. Ruth caught off guard, did not notice she had entered until she tapped her shoulders.
"Heya, Shelby," If Ruth didn't hold her focus there, the water bead in her hand would have flown like a Frisbee, slice off her finger or other miscellaneous objects in the room. "How's work?"
"It's fine—I guess." She wobbled her head up and down. Her way of making a nod apparently, "But there's a mess going on down there you know?"
"A knight that appeared asking us to help find someone."
"Who may it be?" Ruth tried to sharpen her ears, and to her surprise, there was quite a clamour downstairs.
"And Guild master Dean had to be involved, again."
Ruth thought he was quite pitiful but, he was the person in charge of social matters after all.
Then came the sound of footsteps outside. Shelly reflexively turned to look behind. A knight was standing outside. His helmet was hung at the belt around his waist.
"Anything?" Shelby asked casually, no tension whatsoever.
"Excuse me, Ruth, can you come out for a bit," Dean asked from the corner of the door.
Shelby turned to Ruth with a raised eyebrow.
"Sure," Ruth came out of her dorm, "Is there anything you want to ask?"
"Knight Borsch is trying to find your brother, Curtis. Do you know his whereabouts?" Dean lowered his head.
'Curtis? What has the knight do with Curtis.'
Then she remembered the incident at the library.
"It's about the library incident?"
"You seem to know something about it?" the knight had gentle eyes.
"I couldn't quite recall the events. I fainted before I knew it."
Borsch raised an eyebrow, "Then do you know where your brother is, currently?"
"That. I think he's at the whaling dock. Do you need to question him?"
"It seems so. The commander told us to find his location, I'm not sure what's the big deal with that but thank you for the information," His voice was calm but convincing, his demeanour suiting his title as a knight, "Reporting, the mage Curtis is currently at the whaling dock."
"Is the information from a secure source?" Ruth could hear the buzz of the device, unsure whether it was fine to let others let in on the conversation.
"Yes, the information I acquired from his sister, a worker at Croquel Guild."
There was a beat of silence. Shelby peeking from the door; Dean kept his smile.
"Her sister too, bring her to the office."
The knight frowned. Not at directly at Ruth, but how troubling it would be for Ruth to go there at this time. The government office was a 30-minute walk away, "There's that..."
"What going on?"
"I'm not too sure myself, but I'll be escorting you there. Go prepare yourself, if you need a change of clothes. I'll wait here," the knight looking at Ruth who was wearing a one-piece dress.
She looked calm on the outside but in her heart, she felt a bad premonition coming on.