Chapter 79. Heroes from Far Away (4)
After a sufficient discussion with Kalione, I sent the letter to the emperor. And anxiously waited for his reply.
“My lord, a response will soon be here. Please do relax as you wait.”
Giacomo Albino offered a cup of coffee as he tried to put me at ease as I was pacing around. He is acting calm, probably because he did not know the story about the demon king Jackerd and the feudal lord Trier dying at the same time.
The temperature has turned cool during bed time. That meant that the explosion at the mitigation venue was not too far away. I was anxious because I had to get everything ready before then.
“I have no intention of not doing anything until the emperor’s response comes.”
I observed the people of Bastogne as I went around the city. And I was able to sense the wide range of uneasiness in many places in the fortress city.
They were feeling fear and hatred, but through every day routines, people were suppressing those feelings, it seemed. One day, I asked an old man, sitting next to me, at a bar.
“It seems that people around here were suffering from some incurable pestilence and nervousness. I feel like I’m looking at people that believe that destruction was headed in their way.”
“Knock it off! Don’t say things like that so easily. We do not fear the demons!”
The old man screamed in anger, but he had already told his answer. That was because I have not mentioned anything about the demons, at all. I offered him a drink and slowly calmed him down.
“Certainly, I don’t doubt the bravery of the people, here. However, you seem to compare the demons to diseases, but inside, I sense that you are fearful of them.”
Finally, the old man nodded his head, looking depressed.
“You’ve got a good sensibility. I’ll admit it. Many, here, still remember how Luxemburg had fallen. Coming from outside, you may not know it well, but life here is always accompanied by fear. The feudal lord Trier and the demon king Jackerd are always on each other’s throats every day. So, no one can tell when this city, Bastogne, may get burned down.”
On hearing the old man’s words, I thought about a way to earn popularity in this city. Those who were living in the fortress, in hiding, were suppressing their negative feelings to their limits. So, I would play to that.
I walked to the center of the great hall where hundreds of people were drinking. Most of them did not pay any attention to me, but a few showed hiked interests.
“Dear citizens of Bastogne!”
As I shouted from the middle of the hall, hundreds of people that were drinking stared at me. The great market like commotion came to a halt. So, I shouted quickly, once again, before any drunks had a chance to interfere with me.
“May I buy a round of beer to everyone, here?”
All the drunks were whoaing with great welcome. Who would not like free beer.
“Thank you! Sir! May you be blessed!”
Everyone seemed to be thinking that it was just a casual gesture from me. When I made a gesture with my hand, the owner of the establishment appeared overjoyed as he instructed his servers. Hundreds of glasses of beer were distributed to everywhere, in the hall.
“Now, you’ve bought everyone a round of beer, why don’t you say something!”
“Has a son been born to you?”
Everyone was lending their ears to me as if to say that they wanted to hear what I had to say. It was customary that a great fortune was gained in some form when someone bought a round of drink at a bar. However, that wasn’t what I wanted to say.
“I want to tell you an incidence which took place a few days ago. In fact, I’m not a citizen of this city. I am visiting Bastogne on a business. But I have experienced something curious.”
Everyone was paying their full attention to me with curiosity.
“Following the main road, I went through two check points. Interestingly, one of them belonged to the fire demon king Jackerd, and the other one to the feudal lord Trier.”
Soon, quiet swearing and complaints began to ripple through the hall.
“Those damn bastards!”
“What the hack are they doing in other people’s city!”
Feeling satisfied with their reaction, I continued.
“They each asked for a toll fee. Right before your city, Bastogne. How incredulous was that? The demon king and the feudal lord were collecting tolls from the travelers, coming into Bastogne, right at the Bastogne main road!”
Then someone threw his beer glass as he swore. Soon, swearing could be heard from everywhere. That unfathomable behavior was most likely well known by these people.
“How incredulous is that? Although I do not live in this city, I, very well, understand that those bastards should not be collecting any tolls from there.”
There were great cheers of consensus.
“You’re right, sir!”
I played to their emotions some more.
“Dear citizens. Why do you have to see those big egos quarrel in front of Bastogne?”
I pointed out the discontent which they were feeling in their hearts, as much as I could. Everyone was reacting the same way. It did not even require some fancy or convincing arguments. It was a simple matter of drawing out their antagonistic emotions which they have been suppressing.
“I am not saying that you have to do something grandiose. I am only asking if the check points set up by those bastards should be removed or not!”
I spoke skillfully, and determined that they getting enraged were the right way to express the citizen’s rightful duty.
“Every one of you must know the shame, and disgraced feelings. Without that how could you say that you are the citizens of Bastogne, before me, a foreigner?”
“Damn demon bastards!”
“The feudal lord Trier is all the same!”
My words made everyone catch the fire of anger. It was most likely that no one ever truly had a chance to freely express what they were feeling inside. Everyone has been hushing up.
But, when a foreigner came to tell them to know the shame, they all went berserk. Besides, they were fairly drunk. It was a good time to manipulate them to do something.
“Sir! Are you not overstepping your position!”
“That’s right! What gave you the right to say such things!”
I shot back at those who spoke angrily toward me.
“Why are you upset at me? Are not those checkpoints the targets of your anger, not me? As long as those checkpoints remain, your shame, too, will persist!”
Everyone suddenly became surprised at those words. It was because what they have always been thinking about was correctly being pointed out.
“That’s a thought!”
“That’s right! That’s how a man resolves such issues!”
Everyone was enraged. However, it wasn’t easy to instigate a crowd so that they would arm with weapons.
How could they not have any complaints up to now? Yet, they had to remain and suppress themselves. Something would have already happened if it was as simple as buying them some beers at a bar to have them do such things.
However, I had an absolute skill. That was none other than the Steel feudal lord’s empire instigation which could uproot the entire empire.
“I am making a request to you!”
<Initiating SS-Level empire instigation skill!>
“Let’s go destroy the city checkpoints of shame! The law of the empire will never ask for your accountability!”
The passionate screams and the skill have put a powerful grasp on everyone’s mind. Everyone looked like they were under a spell. And the result of the skill was decided.
<The empire instigation has succeeded!>
When the Steel feudal lord’s skill was initiated, everyone flipped and their expressions changed. And everyone resolutely stood up from their seats.
“Let’s go! Today, we burn the symbols of our shame!”
“The thorough way of Bastogne belongs to Bastogne!”
<Everyone in the bar is joining to destroy the checkpoints, as per your wish!>
<Your name sake is rising by +30!>
<The empire instigation skill’s proficiency is rising to level 3! You can instigate 2,000 ordinary people!>
Promising to regroup at the square, everyone quickly went on their way to find weapons. As it was such a time period, everyone had at least one weapon of their choice.
Seeing people resolutely move about with halberds, long swords, aquebus pistols, and more, it seemed that the city patrol unit was in shock that they almost ran off. As hundreds of people were insurrecting, they probably thought that they were going to attack government agencies, or something.
The city patrol units were gathered to protect major government agencies in the city, but the citizens did not even give them a look.
“Let’s go! Open the gate!”
“Let’s go crush them, all!”
The hundreds of people from the bar went out and gathered their families and people they knew. Ultimately, there were over 1,000 armed citizens.
That only meant that there were so many people who were completely unhappy with what has been going on. There were many who weren’t even under the empire instigation skill, yet they were all acting berserk. I shouted to those people.
“Hurry up! The bastards may launder the money they have collected!”
Those were the decisive words. They’ve joined with wrath, but upon hearing that they could get some financial spoils out of it, everyone was determined. As one is to destroy something, and get financial rewards out of it, it only worked to engage the true human nature. I tried to lighten up their guilt feelings.
“That money was supposed to be earned by Bastogne, anyway! You will reclaim them as the rightful owners!”
“That’s right! Everyone you said is right!”
Then unable to control the emotion, one of them shot his gun over his head. And the citizens flooded out of the city wall. Those who had horses rode on their horses, and formed a cavalry.
“Kill! Kill! Kill the demons!”
“Wipe them all out!”
The people were no longer able to control their emotions. And I shouted at them.
“Ironically, only violence and can resolve your wrath and confusion! Let’s show them our power!”
The mob of citizens was divided up into two groups under my control, and they overtook the checkpoints like wildfires. In that process, a few of them were shot to death by the soldiers, but that only poured gas to the fire. It only enraged the already enraged people and they went berserk.
“You, sons of bitches! Don’t let anyone leave alive!”
“Kill! Feed their arms and legs to the dogs!”
As the people acted violently, the soldiers responded in kind.
“Who do you think this army belongs to!”
“You low life slave bastards!”
However, the soldiers’ response did not last long. It was because they were highly outnumbered. The people kept kicking and swearing at the already dead soldiers.
And the checkpoints wooden structures caught on fire. The people fought each other as everyone was claiming the money collected from the checkpoints as their own. It was such an interesting scene.
Finally, I could not suppress my laughter. Now, their fate would soon fall into my hand.
The next day. ‘The assault on the checkpoints’ stirred up the empire. It has become a major incidence as all the empire’s focus has been on the west side of the empire.
The people that went around and caused havoc as if they were some heroes finally realized what they had done and feared for their well beings.
That was only a natural state of mind as the fire demon king Jackerd and the feudal lord Trier looked like they were going to mobilize their militaries, right at this moment. Many threats were being launched to the city from the either direction.
It felt as if Bastogne was going to be destroyed in no time. However, only then I was satisfied and drank the coffee which Giacomo Albino offered.
“The aroma of the coffee is really excellent today.”
“I just can’t figure you out, my lord. I learned that it was you, my lord, who had instigated the attack last night?”
“Why did you do that?”
“There was a high chance that the city of Bastogne may not accept me, even if the emperor’s letter arrived. So, I had to create a situation where the people had to depend on me. I told you that I wasn’t just going to sit around and do nothing while waited for his majesty’s letter?”
Giacomo Albino could not hide his appreciation at what I had accomplished.
“You’re truly a great man.”
“Senor Capitain. I have a favor to ask of you, instead of your praise.”
“Ah, is it regarding that thing?”
I had asked him to assassinate the demon king Jackerd’s strategist.
“Yes. It is time. Here, take this note. I’ve wrote down detailed information.”
The demon king Jackerd was staying in the city of Rhymes, in the west.
“An old witch Ultutu is living there. That woman is the key advisor of Jackerd.”
“Is she, by any chance, inside the demon king’s castle? If so, assassinating her will be a challenge.”
“No. The demon king Jackerd’s castle is only reserved for his women and himself.”
“It’s like the harem of the east?”
Nodding my head, I opened the map and began to explain.
His officials and loyal servants have built big mansions around the castle, and reside there. This is where the witch Ultutu resides.”
I’ve carried out multiple Ultutu assassination quests in my past lives. It was because getting rid of her was the prerequisite for attacking the demon king Jackerd.
Therefore, I was able to provide Giacomo Albino with great details. Then he could not hide his surprise.
“It is as if you’ve been there many times. With this level of information, I think I can take care of it quite easily.”
From the positions of the guards, and where Ultutu was by time line, to the things to be careful about while staying in Rhymes, I’ve told him everything. Then Giacomo Albino was sure of the success of the assassination attempt.
“Give me 15 days. I think that will be sufficient.”
“Ah, Senor Capitain. If possible, please do bring back the witch’s treasure, as well.”
I informed him about where Ultutu hid her treasure and how to open the secret door. Then Giacomo replied by saying that he would bring back the treasure if the conditions were right.
“Good luck. Senor Capitain.”
“Do not worry, sir. I’ll bring her head, soon.”
With his skill level, he would take care of it without too much difficulty. What made assassinations difficult was lack of information about the target. However, I’ve drawn a greatly detailed map for him. And besides, since I’ve told him the attack method and other tips based on what I had gathered through many assassination attempts, I could only say that it would be successful.
“Alright. The most troublesome Ultutu will be finished with this…”
As I was organizing my future actions in the house, there was a knock on the door.
“Max, go and see.”
“Yes, my lord.”
When Max went out, there was some yelling. And the men from the city patrol unit poured in and surrounded me. However, since I knew that they were coming, I remained calm.
As I raised the coffee cup to take a sip, there came a flash of light from a rapier and shattered the cup. I was only holding the remaining handle of the cup.
“You’re disturbed gentleman from a coffee break. How dare you.”
I looked at the man, in black, who appeared to be the leader of the pack. He was a good looking man, sporting a mustache, and had a hat with a feather.
“Count Wittenweier, please accompany us. They holy Count Burggraf seeks your presence.”
“Certainly, I’ll cooperate. But then who are you?”
In fact, I knew who he was. However, since this is the first encounter with him in this life, I was just asking. Bowing slightly, he introduced himself.”
“I’m Charles De Bartzcartemoire Daltanang.”
Unlike forcing himself to maintain his decorum, his eyes were cold and hostile. I was expecting someone from the castle, but did not expect Daltanang, himself, to come. Things were getting interesting.
“Alright. Let’s go.”
When I stood up the members of the city patrol unit all rose up as if to encircle me. Although they did not tie me up as I was a count, after all, but I couldn’t help, but feel like a criminal. It wasn’t that I could not understand their actions. Due to the event that I had caused last night, all of Bastogne was about to fall from grace in a matter of short time. Had I not been a count, it would have been a sword that would have swiped my face, rather than the coffee cup.
However, as I murmured nonchalantly, wearing my hat, Daltanang jerked a bit. He looked to be suppressing his anger.
At any rate, it felt great to see a hero character, like Daltanang. Known as the <three musketeers>, famous Daltanang was a real personality. He was a spy under the Sun King Louis the 14th of France, and in 1673, he would die of a gun shot in the battle of Maastricht, against Netherlands.
Perhaps, it was because such real history was applied that he debuted as a hero with the best spy class, in the game. Thinking about intel war which was to come, he was a character that I must draw into my team.
“Your hat looks great. Where did you get it?”
“Uhhk! Shut up and walk. Count.”
However, his first impression seemed to be the worst one ever.