Father Jonas sighed as he looked out the room's window toward the forest, "I received the letter from Father Tobias himself; sighed with his magical signature and sealed with his personal stamp. His words were "Keep this between quiet". From my understanding, the king is restricting the search to his personal guard so as to prevent the citizens from panicking over a demon attack."
Mary shook her head, "I understand that, but why hasn't Vance sent me word? I was his vice-master for many years . . ." She narrowed her eyes, "Unless he hasn't been told."
Jonas turned away from the window to look Mary in the eyes. He inclined his head, "This matter is only known between Tobias, myself, the king and his guards, and now you. Given the current state of things, King James is suspect of everyone."
"King James?" Mary started, "What has happened to King Duran?"
Father Jonas looked over to the door and brought up a charm from under his shirt. It glowed and filled the room with light. Mary was unperturbed as she recognized a sound-proof charm.
"The line of succession has almost reached it's conclusion.," Father Jonas explained, "As you know, your Adventurer's Guild is a multi-national organization with many different people working in it's upper hierarchy. The status of these kind of state matters is not often disclosed to your people."
"So why explain it to me then?" Mary probed.
Father Jonas nodded, "You see, you are in an interesting position. We have investigated your background and know your status within the elvin community, as well as your former home." He waited until Mary motioned for him to continue, "Unlike others in your guild, you have a personal attachment to the affairs of this kingdom and a personal vendetta against a certain . . .individual on the empire. Also," Father Jonas chuckled, "I do have your secret as well."
Mary rolled her eyes, "In other words, you can black-mail me if you so choose. Right then, but why not talk to Vance?"
Jonas took a seat next to the bed, "Lord Rotch was quietly arrested a few months ago, a little before the invasion of the undead dungeon known as The Tomb of the Forgotten King. He was placed under hose arrest at the time since no evidence had been found linking him to his son's activities."
Mary raised her eyebrow as she turned her head to look better at the father, "If he was only under house arrest, then why does it sound like he was broken out of a fortified prison?"
"Because," Jonas said with a gleam in his eye, "According to the letter, one of the guards accidentally stumbled into a room filled with demon worshiping icons and an alter. The guard quickly secured the house, but then something ripped through the defensive perimeter and made off with Rotch before reinforcements could arrive."
At this point, Father Jonas turned and stared Mary full in the face, "The report of demon worship had just been viewed by the inner council: King James, Representative Ganus, Lord Mannis, Father Tobias, Merchant Wendle, and Sir Vance. Between the deliver of the report to the council and the escape, only an hour passed."
"So only a member of the inner council could have called for demonic interference." Mary's anger rolled over her face as a vein began to throb on her neck, "That means the cult hasn't been fully uprooted from the city."
"More than that," Jonas turned away, "It means that we, this town, have likely become a target. Not only would Lord Rotch feel anger toward us for the death of his son and the destruction of his plans, if he is working with demons than the empire could be in play here as well. The dungeon here is a good source of fighting experience for our fighters; those who will eventually stand against the empire's forces in battle. Also, the dungeon is a good source of ingredients and materials to strengthen our forces. With that in mind, it has been decided that the city will be sending reinforcements here to fill in the losses from the dungeon invasion. Sir Ken and Leo will be leading."
"A member of the royal family? Is that truly the wisest choice here?" Mary asked curiously.
"He requested it, and the king agreed. He will likely be looking for closure in private, but he will be in charge of training the town guard."
Mary turned her head toward the window, and the two of them watched the world go by.
"Will this coming storm destroy everything we have fought for; or will it be the start of a new beginning?"
"By the luck of the gods and the will of man, perhaps it will be a little of both."
"Come on big brother, cheer up." Anhel consoled Jare as they made their way down the stairs to the next level. Ever since the fight, Jare had been despondent and depressed.
"Why was it so weak? Was I too hard on it? Did the new enchantments on my hammer make me too strong? (Sigh)" Jare mumbled as he trudged his way from the back of the group.
Anhel turned and gave William a pleading look. William returned it with a shrug.
"Slime charge, strange. Perhaps, impatient?"
Anhel pondered for a moment, "You're right, that slime boss has never been fought before. If we consider the dungeon has been fairly quiet with few adventurers diving in, perhaps the spirit of the dungeon was too impatient for a fight."
Jare twitched, seemingly listening in.
Anhel continued, "With that boss dead so easily, I bet the next boss will twice as hard to compensate for the embarrassment, if dungeons can feel embarrassed. Why, I bet we'll have a few broken bones at the end of it."
"Maybe some lacerations?" Jare spoke up hopefully from the back.
"I bet this new boss will have spikes that can gouge a person's heart out if they are not careful." Anhel lied.
With a happy roar, Jare ran in front of the two, a large grin on his face. "Will come on guys, can't keep the boss waiting forever."
William rolled his eyes, "Simple head."
"With good ears." Jare yelled from the front, causing William to chuckle. Anhel smiled with relief as his big brother returned to his normal self.
"Hey guys, do you smell something burning ahead?"
heh heh heh. You guys should know what's coming. I finally get to use the battle scene I've been saving, complete with possible lacerations. You know what they say, "Give her a laceration, witches love a good laceration"
Oh, and if you feel like this is too short, it's a third part of one chapter. If things work out, another chapter tonight.